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Anger Issues

February 26, 2014

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I'm 21 and still a virgin. I also have depression. I'm not bad-looking. I work out and generally keep people laughing. I got a lot of female attention in school, but I was hopeless and still am. Most of my friends have girlfriends, so I don't understand why I haven't had a girlfriend since I was 10. I feel myself becoming increasingly violent, to the extent that I have tried to provoke a fight that wasn't necessary and I try to intimidate other guys when I'm out. I've been unemployed for three years since dropping out of college, and I haven't really met a girl I was interested in since school. I've never made the first move with girls. I never feel compelled to, regardless of how attractive I find them. I do get a lot of eye contact from girls, and I've been approached by girls, but we barely ever get past exchanging names before they wander off or their friends pull them away. Writing this out has made me realize I should start approaching girls, but I don't think it's just that. Surely I should've met someone by now? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Hopeless Over Painful Experience

Women typically expect the guy to do the approaching/asking out/hitting on, HOPE, so that's definitely something you'll have to work on. And if a woman is making eye contact with you in a space where it's generally understood that people are open to meeting new people, flirting with them, and potentially fucking them (house parties, bars, clubs, CPAC), eye contact is an invitation to introduce yourself.

But if women are approaching you and then "wandering off" after conversing with you for a moment or two—or being rescued by their friends—then you're doing something wrong. I'm guessing you came across as angry and potentially violent because you are angry and potentially violent, and you've made a self-defeating decision to cultivate an intimidating vibe. That shit repels people, HOPE, and you're never going to get anywhere with women—or employers, for that matter—if you give yourself over to anger, violence, and menace. Bearing this in mind might take the edge off your anger: Fully 15 percent of 21-year-old men are virgins, HOPE, while only 5 percent of 25-year-old men are virgins. So you have a better than 66 percent chance of losing your virginity in the next few years if you can stop (1) wallowing in self-pity and (2) giving yourself over to anger.

My advice: Get your ass to a doctor and a therapist. Medication can help with the depression, and a good therapist can help you overcome your anger, self-pity, and violent fantasies. Getting help, HOPE, is the best way to increase your odds of getting laid and/or getting a girlfriend.


I'm a 25-year-old bi girl in the Southwest, and I've been with the same hetero guy for almost three years. I miss being with women. We made an attempt at being monogamish, but feelings were hurt and we went back to monogamy. He still parties like he's in college and is a bit dependent on me—socially—whereas I crave independence and, quite frankly, pussy. I've started to withdraw and resent him, not just for the lack of sexual freedom but also because he drinks too much and acts like a slob. I want to move out when our lease ends. I'm willing to work on our issues, but I fear that when I have this conversation, it will break his heart and he will break up with me as a defensive approach, rather than seeing the breathing room as a way to work on our relationship. How can I express my need for other sexual partners and more space without sounding like I'm calling off the relationship? Is it even worth attempting dating, post–living together?

Insert Quirky Acronym Here

Here's what you should say to your boyfriend: "You've got some growing up to do, and I've got some eating pussy to do. I don't want to end our relationship, but I'm moving out when our lease is up." If your boyfriend breaks up with you, IQAH, it's probably for the best—and it may not be forever. If he does dump you for purely defensive reasons, then he didn't really want to dump you at all, right? So once the shock wears off and his anger subsides, your boyfriend may decide that having you in his life is more important than having you all to himself.


I am a heterosexual male. I was dating this girl for six months. We weren't living together, but there were two toothbrushes at my place. We weren't living together, but there were tampons and birth control pills in my medicine cabinet. We weren't living together, but there was yogurt in my fridge. You get the picture. Anyway, things were going well until she told me about a friend-of-a-friend who was building a website for a local "swingers club." I didn't get outraged, and this outraged her. A four-hour discussion followed, during which I held my "good for them" ground, and at the end of it, I no longer had yogurt, tampons, and birth control pills at my place—and I no longer had a girlfriend. All I did was not get outraged, and it cost me a girlfriend. Does this seem a little extreme? Am I crazy?

Her Ex Looks Perplexed

No, HELP, you're not crazy. You're lucky.

Send that friend-of-a-friend a thank-you note. Because if he weren't building a website for a swingers club, HELP, you might still have tampons, yogurt, and scented soaps in your apartment—along with the crazy, controlling, insecure nutjob who came with 'em.


During my last relationship, I finally got to explore the kinkier side of my libido. My partner and I went to pro doms and sex clubs, and I got to watch my buddy fuck her. While the relationship was ill-fated, sex was not the problem. One year and some heartache later, I'm ready to date. But I don't want a vanilla sexual relationship again. My problem is, I don't know how to integrate this into my dating life. People ask to set me up, and I keep turning them down 'cause I feel like I don't want to get involved with someone unless I know that we're sexually compatible. And yet, I feel some internal angst about using Fetlife or similar sites for dating, as if somehow I'm making sex paramount.

Nervously Avoiding Intriguing Vanilla Entanglements

Sexual compatibility is hugely important, NAIVE, and prioritizing it doesn't make you a bad person. But the choice you've laid out for yourself—dating only kinksters you meet on Fetlife or nice girls your friends set you up with—is a false one. Date both. You'll have to establish emotional compatibility with a woman you meet via Fetlife, or sexual compatibility with a woman you meet via real life. Fetlife or real life, there's some work to do at the start of any new relationship.

And don't assume that a woman you meet through friends is gonna be vanilla. She met you through friends, and you're not vanilla, right? It's a bad idea to give someone a laundry list of your kinks on the first date, NAIVE, as no one—kinky or vanilla—finds that kind of emotional cluelessness attractive. Just say this when the conversation turns to sex: "I'm pretty sexually adventurous." There's a good chance you'll get a "me, too" in response.

On the Lovecast, Dan finally enlists advice from an actual ethicist at savagelovecast.com. recommended

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Comments (155) RSS

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1
Terrific column.
Posted by Krunch on February 25, 2014 at 7:43 PM · Report this
2
It is better to a "nice" girl get kinky then try to get a kinky girl "nice".
Posted by Mpls on February 25, 2014 at 8:30 PM · Report this
3
It is better to get a "nice" girl kinky then try to get a kinky girl "nice".
Posted by Mpls on February 25, 2014 at 8:36 PM · Report this
4
The most sexually limited boyfriend I ever had assured me that he was "pretty sexually adventurous" when we first met. I guess we just had very different definitions of "adventurous", but since such things have been known to happen (and people have been known to lie to get into someone's pants), I'd say pretty confidently that you can't take someone's word on their own kinkiness at face value.

I have the same problem as NAIVE, but I choose to put my kinkiness forward ASAP, and kink is now a requisite for any first-time sexual contact with anyone. That way I immediately know if the person is lying.

I may have less sex than before, but it's better, and I'm not wasting my time with vanilla types or, worse yet, falling in love with someone while waiting for his supposed kinky side to manifest itself, only to discover too late that it never will because it never existed (and then looking like the "bad guy" when I dare break up the relationship because of his lies, and having to endure his attempts at shaming me for being just a slut and a pervert - as if that wasn't precisely the way I'd introduced myself).

Honesty is the best policy. The ones you frighten off are people you don't want to associate with anyway.

Posted by Ricardo on February 25, 2014 at 8:56 PM · Report this
5
IQAH's boyfriend
'parties like he's in college... dependent... slob... drinks to much' sounds like a train wreck.

Did their attempt at monogamishm really specify that she is missing female attention specifically? I suspect he may need to sober up, or reorder his priorities if possible, before her unmet needs can get addressed.
Posted by Polyphemus on February 25, 2014 at 10:45 PM · Report this
seandr 6
I'm guessing you came across as angry and potentially violent because you are angry and potentially violent

Unless this guy is angrily shouting at the women who approach him, anger and violence are not causing his girl problems. Rather, all of his problems - girls, anger, violence, depression - stem directly from his negative self image.

LW's problem is nothing new. In a pick up situation where he approaches a girl or vice versa (and some girls do approach), he has a few moments to say something that makes her feel comfortable, that relieves the inherent tension in the situation, and that piques her interest in him. He's on stage, and he has to perform. Otherwise, she's out of there.

Some extroverted guys are geniuses at this. Other more socially anxious or depressive types are not. LW is clearly in the latter category.

LW has to fix his broken self-esteem first. Then, he either needs to keep trying, learn from his mistakes, and not beat himself up over the sight of women walking away from him, or he should meet women in less high pressure settings such as small parties or social functions involving groups of friends.
Posted by seandr on February 25, 2014 at 11:09 PM · Report this
7
@6 To me and I'm guessing to many other people hitting on someone at a small party or in front of a group of friends would be no less stressful. Otherwise I agree. Although I can usually tell if the person in front of me has anger problems without them shouting at me.
I would suggest online dating as the least-stress situation - and being very honest about being socially awkward with potential dates. After therapy, of course.
Posted by puddles on February 25, 2014 at 11:44 PM · Report this
8
IQAH - Whatever you do about this relationship, remember his next bisexual girlfriend when you do it and leave him in at least as good shape for her as for you.
Posted by vennominon on February 26, 2014 at 12:26 AM · Report this
9
Words you never expected Dan Savage to write:

"I've got some eating pussy to do."
Posted by LML on February 26, 2014 at 4:11 AM · Report this
10
Help,

Get a job.

Until you do, you'll not only feel like a loser, you are a loser. You cannot improve your situation as you are.

Posted by Hunter78 on February 26, 2014 at 4:22 AM · Report this
11
HOPE needs to meet women in places outside of bars. Find out where the women are and go there. Get involved with activities that women like to do.

And NAIVE shouldn't be afraid of FetLife. There are so many doofus guys on FetLife that lead with their kink, that only talk about their kink, that PM the same canned message to every woman in their city with a compatible kink list, that a man who is genuinely interested in a relationship, in getting to know the woman, will really stand out from the crowd.
Posted by Marrena on February 26, 2014 at 5:03 AM · Report this
12
@10 yep. Depression sucks the life out of you but inaction is a big part of what allows it to really dig in. Getting a job of some kind should help him--3 years is a long time to be dicking around with no focus. And not working or going to school is going to turn off most women within a few minutes. Get help man, even if you don't know how you'll afford it-- get help. Depression is a bitch but you can improve your life.
Posted by jujubee80 on February 26, 2014 at 5:14 AM · Report this
13
Am I the only one put off by HELP's "we weren't living together... BUT she got to have a toothbrush/tampons/yoghurt on hand for when she slept at my place" schtick? If his sister (or brother) stayed on his couch a few times a week (let's say visiting a friend who's in hospice nearby) he'd have those signifiers of an occasional other person around if he was not a complete jerk. The toothbrush is not a signifier of how you bent over backwards to accommodate her needs.

You two discovered a fundamental incompatibility around either swinging, your underlying attitude toward relationships, or permissable website development jobs, and she decided it was a big enough incompatibility to break up rather than pin a medal on you. You get a prize for repeating "I refuse to be outraged" but no ribbon for "and I expressed this in a way that got someone to re-examine their attitudes."
Posted by IPJ on February 26, 2014 at 5:50 AM · Report this
14
IQAH brings up a rather frequent problem: how can I dial back the seriousness/commitment of our relationship without my partner breaking up with me? Usually you can't. They read it as rejection because it is.
Posted by IPJ on February 26, 2014 at 5:53 AM · Report this
15
I'd like to recommend OKCupid as a dating site. It's very bi/kink/poly friendly without being kink-focused. NAIVE can build a profile that talks about his personality, interests, life goals AND kinks; the percentage compatibility rating system has a very good chance of weeding out women who aren't sexually open-minded enough for him.

And agreed with #4 that "pretty sexually adventurous" means different things to different people. Some might mean they occasional like to do it with the lights on!
Posted by BiDanFan on February 26, 2014 at 6:03 AM · Report this
16
I'd also be happy with a moratorium on letters that go "Dear Dan, I am an extremely enlightened and evolved person who is wonderful to my partner. But recently we disagreed over (insert partner's unevolved stance). So I'm wondering, as a terrifically open-minded person: is my partner actually right and I wrong, dear Dan? Signed, Smug."

Posted by IPJ on February 26, 2014 at 6:05 AM · Report this
17
"I've got some eating pussy to do" may not be the smartest approach to take with someone you are likely to dump. Unless you won't mind your ex going out and telling the whole world, including her parents, that "she broke-up with me because she's a lesbian - she literally said she got some pussy eating to do." If you don't care if people know such, good for you, but not everyone wants their private matter out there for all.

If you care about the guy, and simply want him to grow up, tell him that you want him to straighten-up a bit - and how. Then say if he does so for the next X months you'd be up for a threesome with him and another girl as a reward. You get what you want, without telling him that you plan is to go for deep dive on the girl. He may be surprised, or he may blow his loan, I would, just seeing you going for it.

Drinking and acting like a slob is a habit, which can be changed. If someone offered me such a deal, I definitely take it. At the same time, I would personally be fine with the direct approach as well.

Good luck, enjoy yourself.
Posted by reswin on February 26, 2014 at 6:11 AM · Report this
Eudaemonic 18
IQAH is the gender-flipped version of the cause of the LW's problem from a few days ago--trying to dump someone without having to deal with the drama of dumping them. Traditionally, people in her position either disappear, or say "I'm not interested in dating anyone right now," or something like that.

It's hard to dump someone when you don't want to hurt their feelings, you just want them to disappear from your life.
Posted by Eudaemonic on February 26, 2014 at 6:12 AM · Report this
19
@7: But I wouldn't recommend online dating to HOPE. The idea of an angry, violent man hiding his true self behind an online profile and contacting women who won't have friends around to rescue them is terrifying! There's a reason women are running away. Approaching more of them, before he gets his shit sorted out, through ANY medium is a terrible idea.
Posted by BiDanFan on February 26, 2014 at 6:12 AM · Report this
20
@13 I didn't think of that schtick as intending to say, "Look at how accommodating I've been with her" so much as, "We haven't moved in together yet, but we're clearly serious and probably approaching that point." It's not about how he is in the relationship, it's about where they are in the relationship.

Also, is no one else surprised that Dan didn't tell IQAH to DTMFA? A guy who drinks too much, is a slob, is dependent on his gf socially, and won't give her the sexual freedom she craves, with a girl who isn't okay with any of those things? Sounds like a good reason to break up to me.
Posted by TenrSinger on February 26, 2014 at 6:24 AM · Report this
Eudaemonic 21
HOPE: Find a hobby. Something not too out-there, and not too solitary; maybe a sport, one with a local community to play with. Go do it. Do it until you get good at it. Then, get better at it.

Whenever you're feeling shitty, go for a run.

Fifteen or twenty years later, when you've been happily married for a long time, when you read an advice column about someone with the problems you have now and you remember having those same problems, and you're trying to remember what it was that made the difference for you... you'll probably decide that was what it was. And to give this same advice.

Try to phrase it better than I did, though, because this post is kind of a mess.
Posted by Eudaemonic on February 26, 2014 at 6:25 AM · Report this
22
@17: Alas, not all straight men dating bi women are interested in having a threesome. Perhaps that's what IQAH meant when she said they tried being monogamish. Believe it or not, some straight men are too jealous to enjoy what's assumed to be every straight guy's fantasy.
Also, maybe IQAH wants a woman she doesn't have to share. One's chances of seducing a woman increase exponentially when "and you'd have to sleep with my boyfriend, too" isn't a necessary disclaimer.
Posted by BiDanFan on February 26, 2014 at 6:34 AM · Report this
Eudaemonic 23
@ 22: Believe it or not, some straight men are too jealous to enjoy what's assumed to be every straight guy's fantasy.

Ascribing negative character traits to the people in question isn't a very good way to respond to the news that not everyone shares your own tastes.
Posted by Eudaemonic on February 26, 2014 at 6:43 AM · Report this
24
IQAH---you're on a train to Breakupville. You tried monogamish, it didn't work for him. You want a kind of sex you just cannot get from him, and barring something drastic, never will. You're already thinking of moving out, and you don't like living with him because of cleanliness, maturity, and alcohol issues.

So you're sexually incompatible, and you're domestically incompatible. This is one of those situations where DTMFA is too harsh, because this is normal everyday people stuff. More like, Leave Now While You Still Like One Another.

HOPE--first, go find a counsellor or a therapist. Depression is like a thick nasty fog that obscures everything you do. Unless and until you start learning how to manage your depression (including diet and exercise, cognitive behavioural therapy, medication, or some combination of the above), everything you try to do will be self-sabotaged by your depression-based JerkBrain. If you're low on fund, you may be able to find a support group or a self-help book to get you started.

Also, go check out Dr. Nerdlove. He's made a cottage industry of offering self-help and dating advice to people exactly in your situation.
Posted by slinky on February 26, 2014 at 6:50 AM · Report this
25
Another of HOPE's problems seems to be that he is unemployed & dropped out of college "three years ago" (Jeez, he's 21 now; how long was he in college, three minutes?) -- this is not exactly a status that attracts women. Or potential employers. If he goes back to school and gets a degree, it would increase his chances for both.
Posted by wayne on February 26, 2014 at 6:52 AM · Report this
26
@23: What I said was not wrong. Some straight men ARE too jealous to enjoy a threesome. Other straight men don't want a threesome for other reasons, yes -- it actually ISN'T "every" man's fantasy. But IQAH said "feelings were hurt", and it's likely those feelings were probably her boyfriend's, since she's the one who wanted the openness.
Posted by BiDanFan on February 26, 2014 at 7:06 AM · Report this
27
HELP and IQAH's letters have a common thread in that they describe situations in which they need to break up with someone but seem to think the worst thing in the world is being responsible for the break-up. It's like they're asking Dan to tell them how to get out of the guilt at the expense of getting out of the relationship, or like setting the record straight is the only thing that matters.

I was all set to come down hard on them for being so stupid, but then I thought back on my own relationships in order to give an example and realized that here I am a middle aged lady, and I still harbor fantasies of some of my long-ago relationships (both from sexual relationships and just ex-friends) waking up in the middle of the night and realizing that I was right.

So I'll give you the advice I give myself: Let it go. It doesn't matter if they don't understand. The point is that you're wrong for each other, and that's sad, but it's better to move on now.

If that's not enough, IQAH, hear it from me. You're dating a slob who drinks too much and who hasn't been able find a way to include your bisexuality into your relationship. You need to break up with him. Do it gently but firmly. You will break his heart, but that happens to all of us. In time, he'll either find someone better suited for him, or he won't. Same goes for you. The chances are good for both of you-- especially if he cleans up his act on the drinking front.

HELP, the same advice for you. Your girlfriend needed someone who felt outrage at something you didn't feel outrage over. She didn't just need to talk to you about it and disagree. She needed to break up with you over it. So she needs something you can't provide. She needs someone that you're not. This may turn out to be a learning experience for her, but in the mean time, you're not right for each other. It's not a matter of who's crazy. You just have to go your separate ways.

And now a question: Is yogurt really that much of a gender marker?
More...
Posted by Crinoline on February 26, 2014 at 7:11 AM · Report this
nocutename 28
@13: I read that "we weren't living together, but . . ." as a way to indicate how serious the relationship was in order to set up the lw's sense of stunned disbelief that it could all end over something as insignificant (to him) as his designing a website for swingers.
I don't think he was patting himself on the back so much as trying to convey a level of depth and commitment he feels evaporated in an instant over a disagreement he doesn't even understand the need to have had.
Posted by nocutename on February 26, 2014 at 7:13 AM · Report this
Eudaemonic 29
This thread makes me think there should be a term for that phase of a relationship that is almost but not quite living together.
Posted by Eudaemonic on February 26, 2014 at 7:16 AM · Report this
nocutename 30
@27: I dislike yogurt, and I was surprised recently to see yogurt as a gender marker in commercial parodies. Apparently, the cliché that woman all love yogurt and that no men eat it unless coerced is a thing.
Posted by nocutename on February 26, 2014 at 7:18 AM · Report this
nocutename 31
As far as IQAH is concerned, she jumbles all sorts of issues together: she wants more independence for both herself and her bf; she wants more sexual freedom and adventure; she misses sex with women; the bf is an immature slob who drinks too much and acts like he's a college frat boy. She wants simultaneously to move out, and to work on the relationship, but she sees him as too immature to see the move from cohabitation as anything but a final breakup and expects him to act "defensively."

She definitely needs to break up with him. Some people are able to date after ending a cohabitation, but these two may not be able to. Who knows? The point is that she is unhappy with too many things for them to be in an exclusive relationship at this point.
Posted by nocutename on February 26, 2014 at 7:25 AM · Report this
AFinch 32
All good advice this week. @LW2 - you definitely lucked out - nice to find out, plenty early on.

@LW1 - I have a sibling who seems similar to you - she's decent looking and intelligent, but men - the one's who aren't repelled by her insistence on looking/dressing in ways that try to signal/scream "otherness" - tend to run (not walk) after about two sentences of convo. That is, the ones who aren't even more socially broken. Therapy is really the right answer - Dan is spot on.

Often, what is driving people away is the message you are sending them: I don't like myself and I don't feel good about myself (and therefore, you, prospective mate, shouldn't either!); and it is DOUBLY hard to admit you need help when you already feel crappy - it's one more thing to feel inadequate and crappy about.

My sibling doesn't have a good body image, despite having a decent body, and dresses in ways that very super clearly communicate this - it goes beyond having a unique fashion sense - it's trying to do as so many butch lesbians do: make themselves invisible to or repellent to "the male gaze". In reality, sibling wants the male gaze, but is stuck in a negative feedback loop: she drives it away, and then feels bad about her image, because she doesn't get it and then goes further in hiding her body so as to drive it away...n'est-ce pas?
Posted by AFinch on February 26, 2014 at 7:35 AM · Report this
33
@28: LW isn't designing the website for swingers, it's a third-party (friend of a friend) who may not actually be known to either of them. So it's pretty hypothetical.

I'm actually not clear on at whom he didn't get outraged, the coder or the swingers.

It could be her distaste is all for how anyone could actually take a temp job doing something related to something she finds offputting. In which case it's highly relevant that it's helping swingers find each other. (No porn of questionable grossness or consensualness, no question of whether you're working for a pimp who owns the contracts on the runaway teens he's listing.)

It could also be it's about the idea that anyone anywhere swings, or that she isn't clear on the distinction between swingers v cheaters (for whom there are also websites), or that the conversation made clear that he's okay with some sexual options that strike her as deeply offputting.

That they're incompatible about something in this mix is obvious. Probably in the abstract I would align with his position* over hers. But according to him he spent four hours repeating "good for them" and shrugging. And after this she felt dismissed? Gosh. She spent four hours explaining that it was a big deal to her, and he's surprised that his repeated declaration that it's totally unimportant actually didn't convince her?

It's sort of amusing that amidst all the "he should dtmfa-ing" it is perhaps missed that she did just that: recognized they had a huge incompatibility and that his reaction to it would be to shrug and tell her it wasn't important, and so she broke up with him.

*I say "probably" because I could imagine some versions like "it's okay to write code for something you find morally objectionable so long as you compartmentalize that what the code is used for isn't your fault." The conversation could have gotten into deeper moral territory than "she disapproves of consenting foursomes, he doesn't, even though she does."

By spending four hours "just" shrugging that he isn't outraged, he conveyed that he thought she was silly, that he couldn't see any points she was making, and that he didn't respect her enough to carefully lay out a nuanced position like "these people aren't cheating, they're just into a form of consensual sex that doesn't interest me, and here's where I think the boundaries more reasonably lie..." Next time he has a girlfriend and wants to keep her around he should maybe step his game up from shrugging and repeating "I just really don't care" for four hours.
More...
Posted by IPJ on February 26, 2014 at 8:17 AM · Report this
34
"increasingly violent...unemployed for three years...dropp[ed] out of college...never made the first move with girls [because] I never feel compelled to, regardless of how attractive I find them...Hopeless..." Form an orderly queue to the left, ladies!
Posted by sugar7898 on February 26, 2014 at 8:32 AM · Report this
Eudaemonic 35
@ 33: By spending four hours "just" shrugging that he isn't outraged, he conveyed that he thought she was silly, that he couldn't see any points she was making...

33 seems to put a lot of effort into disappearing the fact that she was being silly and not making "points."

They dated for a while, one person had an outbreak of crazystupid, and the other person acted like they were witnessing an outbreak of crazystupid, and then they broke up.

Reading that situation and deciding that the second person is the one who's "side" you can't take seems very odd.
Posted by Eudaemonic on February 26, 2014 at 8:53 AM · Report this
seandr 36
@puddles: hitting on someone at a small party or in front of a group of friends would be no less stressful.

I should clarify - he should meet women in social situations that provide an opportunity to get to know each other that is not premised on the assumption that one of them is hitting on the other.

For example, a small dinner party or "Cards Against Humanity" party with friends and a few friends of friends.

Or, in a club situation, go have a smoke out on the sidewalk where other smokers are. Hey, we're all just out here having a smoke, no big deal, might as well chat with each other. I've personally gotten to know more random people in the smokers area than I ever have inside the club/bar. You don't need to be a regular smoker to do this - in fact, better if you aren't as you can offer to buy a cigarette from someone, which is a great ice breaker. And bonus - these days, you're just as likely to end up being handed a joint instead of a cigarette.

Anyway, the idea is to find social situations that don't put him up on stage, in the spotlight, so he can just relax and be himself.
Posted by seandr on February 26, 2014 at 8:56 AM · Report this
37
Oddly, HOPE sounds a lot like the guy I recently started seeing used to be. My dude is 22, unemployed, lives at home, dropped out of college after one semester because of anxiety and depression. He doesn't have the same issues with anger and violence but he's definitely the kind of guy who, by conventional standards, might be considered a "loser."

BUT.

I'm in my mid-thirties. I don't really give a shit about his financial status because I'm financially independent. I don't care that he's a virgin (well, he is for now) because I know what I like in bed and how to show a new partner how to give it to me when the time comes. The only thing I care about is that he's taking care of his mental health -- he takes his ass to private therapy and group therapy every week without fail; he sticks to his meds; and, most importantly, he communicates with me openly about his fears and insecurities instead of acting out on them.

So I second Dan's advice -- get your ass into therapy, HOPE -- but I would also add: leave young girls alone for now. Find yourself a hot cougar who will take you under her wing (socially, not financially) and help you lose that pesky virginity, learn some sexual skills, and improve your confidence.

As a bonus, most of us pervy older chicks don't wait for younger guys to approach us -- we're more than happy to go after you.
Posted by she_never_did on February 26, 2014 at 9:05 AM · Report this
XiaoGui17 38
@13 I didn't take "yogurt/ tampons/ toothbrush" to mean "see what an awesome boyfriend I am," I took it to mean "we never officially announced it, but I'm pretty sure she was my girlfriend."

@33 You seem to be reading a lot into the letter that I don't see there. I see no mention of shrugging or dismissing her concerns.

Rather I see "I didn't get outraged, and this outraged her."

So she wasn't angry that he didn't understand why she was outraged, but rather that he didn't get as self-righteously indignant as she did. I've known a lot of people like that, who get worked up about other people not getting as worked up as them.

"A four-hour discussion followed, during which I held my "good for them" ground."

So he didn't just shrug and scoff and say "You seem cranky. You be usin' them tampons I so generously let you keep here right now?" Rather, he had a talk about it with her, and he didn't find anything that she said compelling enough to change his position. How dare he?
Posted by XiaoGui17 on February 26, 2014 at 9:27 AM · Report this
seandr 39
@IPJ: We are talking about someone who not only condemns swingers, but condemns people who make web sites for swingers, and condemns those who refuse to condemn said web site builders, even if the non-condemner is someone she's in a serious relationship with.

It's quite telling that you can find anything redeemable or worthy of sympathy in her character. (I swear, Savage Love is a better projective test than the Rorschach.)
Posted by seandr on February 26, 2014 at 9:38 AM · Report this
John Horstman 40
@30: Right? I love yogurt - I have it for breakfast most days, and I used to eat it as an after-school snack. I guess it's become a "low-calorie" food primarily targeted at 'dieting' women or older women worried about osteoporosis, and the adverts I've seen for yogurt feature women nearly exclusively.

@32: On the other hand, your sibling sounds like exactly the sort of person who would fit into my social scene really well. She should try hanging out in the queer/radical/anarchist/punk area of a major metropolitan area. Better self-image is generally a good thing, so I don't think she should avoid working on her social or psychological issues, but her present state doesn't sound to me like something that inevitably means isolation, social or sexual. The majority of my social circle is made up of deeply awkward people, some of whom are diagnosed with various autism spectrum conditions (and some who probably would be were they to seek therapy). Adorning oneself in ways that scream OTHER is our de facto norm. Theater communities also are good spaces for people like me (and possibly she): as theater is self-conscious about the constructed nature of appearance and meaning, it's almost necessary that anyone involved with it is at least tolerant of the contra-normative, if not outright enamored of it.
Posted by John Horstman on February 26, 2014 at 9:44 AM · Report this
seandr 41
@nocutename: Yoghurt. I can't even be bothered to spell it correctly. Meh.
Posted by seandr on February 26, 2014 at 9:47 AM · Report this
Eudaemonic 42
@39: It's quite telling that you can find anything redeemable or worthy of sympathy in her character.

It's like if someone's response to HOPE was to get vigorously upset about how horrible those women were for the "crime" of smelling the crazystupid on him and walking away.

Somehow, we all managed to avoid blaming other people for their reasonable response to HOPE's situation.
Posted by Eudaemonic on February 26, 2014 at 9:54 AM · Report this
43
@33: One person had an outbreak of crazystupid, and the other person acted like they were witnessing an outbreak of crazystupid, and then they broke up.

See, when this happens no one needs to write to Dan Savage. Except for a head pat.

If HELP doesn't want a head pat, but is instead sincerely mystified as to how an argument in which he was right could lead his girlfriend to break up with him, then I'd suggest it doesn't matter that he is right about the morality of foursomes. How you fight over something matters more than establishing which of you was totally 100% right. (And I'm assuming that his position is "consensual foursomes between other adults are not my business" and not "it's like Walter White: he was just a chemist and nothing that happened was his fault" or "long-term monogamy is a myth that no one practices.")

If your partner is crazystupid, you should break up. Feeling hurt that crazystupid beat you to this conclusion is a waste of time. On the other hand, if your partner disagrees with you on an issue that illuminates some pretty deep differences in how you each view the world, but you want to keep them around, then not treating them like you think they're crazystupid is the way to go.

Contempt is one thing a relationship can't recover from. Viewing your partner as crazystupid is textbook contempt. Whether or not foursomes are okay, or the Ramones are/are not the best group ever.
Posted by IPJ on February 26, 2014 at 10:14 AM · Report this
44
Dan often gets letters along the lines of "I think my position is totally reasonable, but my partner says it is unreasonable and is willing to break up with me over it and I'm wondering have I been totally wrong?" I'd give four broad categories:

1) 'Reasonable' position is one Dan holds.
1a) Gaslighted: The partner has them questioning all their emotional reactions and whether they're allowed to feel this way, when the emotion is one most people would say is warranted.
1b) Smug: LW knows Dan will agree with them and wants the "well Dan says I'm totally right and you're wrong" cred.

2) 'Reasonable' position is one Dan does not hold.
2a) Delusional. Aka 'raw meat.' Will be ripped to shreds by Dan and in comments.
2b) Educable. Sincerely wonders about long-held belief and is open to considering other viewpoints ("Wait, all men really do look at porn?") but discussion with partner is now so emotionally weighted they need an outside opinion.

The gaslighted and educable are both sincere in seeking an outside check on their confusion. The smug and delusional are not. My favorite letters within this realm are probably the ones that could land on a head pat from Dan about how right they are (because in broad terms, or on the base issue, they are right) but he points out some things to consider. e.g. Just how much time and emotional energy is "keeping on good terms with your exes" taking? How did you not notice someone stopping and removing the condom in the middle of sex? Are you right on this particular issue but contemptuous of those who disagree, oddly not winning them to your side and so even those who agree with you wish you wouldn't stand next to them?
Posted by IPJ on February 26, 2014 at 10:35 AM · Report this
45
@22 - You're right. Though my main point was that she shouldn't throw her sexual desires out there, unless she would be ok sharing them with whomever the boyfriend might blab too.

I did digress with a potential solution that was more male focused -- surprisingly so when I reread it. That being said, if he, as you suggest, is not into such an arrangement, then she would have found out, and could move on, without having him say she said....about wanting pussy. If he blabbed my suggestion, I believe it'd be less problematic, which was my objective.
Posted by reswin on February 26, 2014 at 10:36 AM · Report this
seandr 46
@IPJ: Wow, you are doing some serious mental gymnastics to justify your misplaced contempt for this LW.

This is pretty simple. LW gets dumped completely out of the blue for questionable reasons. Being a human being and all, LW naturally feels hurt, perhaps even a little shocked, even though said feelings may be "a waste of time". LW writes to Dan for a reality check, reassurance, and perhaps some empathy - "Does this seem a little extreme? Am I crazy?" Dan obliges. Commenter attacks LW, revealing that she has some rather regressive attitudes towards human sexuality, and perhaps towards men, rattling around in her subconscious.
Posted by seandr on February 26, 2014 at 10:36 AM · Report this
47
@19 Obviously. That's why I said, "after therapy." He would hopefully lose the depression and anger but I doubt he would stop being socially awkward (which is totally okay and is my personal experience).
Posted by puddles on February 26, 2014 at 10:39 AM · Report this
48
@15 Yes, OKCupid totally works but only if you are not too lazy to answer MANY questions and really put a lot of thought into how you rate their importance and which answers you want to hear from the other person. And of course the other person has to do that as well. Then it's really easy to weed out everyone whose politics clash with yours, who has a wildly opposing view of relationships, sex, gender roles, drugs, children, smoking, what have you. And there are pretty many kink-related questions too.
Posted by puddles on February 26, 2014 at 10:42 AM · Report this
49
Was I the only one thinking that HELP's girlfriend is secretly, shamefully intrigued by the idea of swinging, and that trying to reconcile her interest with whatever contradictory values she claims to hold made her blow a gasket?

Ockham's razor would suggest not, but it's a more interesting scenario to imagine. And it would help explain her outsized reaction.
Posted by LateBloomer on February 26, 2014 at 10:51 AM · Report this
50
@36, hm, yes, I get what you mean now, although still ... maybe you are slightly more sociable than me, but no matter how many times I've been in situations like that (even non-depressed) I barely ever managed to have any decent sort of conversation... Even easy stuff like this can be hard for some people.
Posted by puddles on February 26, 2014 at 10:53 AM · Report this
51
24- slinky and Everyone Else-- I'd like to nominate Leave Now While You Still Like Each Other, LNWYSLEO as our new frequently used acronym. It expresses so much and could be so useful in so many situations.
Posted by Crinoline on February 26, 2014 at 10:55 AM · Report this
Helix 52
Seems like IQAH isn't really cut out for monogamy. Something to consider for future relationships!
Posted by Helix on February 26, 2014 at 10:57 AM · Report this
Eudaemonic 53
@44: I agree with everything in 44, with one exception: there's a middle ground between "smug" and "gaslighted." That being the "holy shit, did that just really happen?" space.

Call it a waste of time if you like--though I wouldn't--but let's not pretend it doesn't exist.

More importantly, though, nothing in 44 supports your actual position. A man and a woman had a disagreement that caused the end of the relationship, so you made up some things and then pretended the man was doing them, and then pretended the man had no reason for doing them, and then declared that you were taking her "side" because of him doing this thing he didn't do.

That does not actually follow logically from 44. Making up some misdeeds, then accusing him of them, then pretending that the circumstances--which exist, and which would justify those misdeeds even if he did commit them--don't exist, is not a reasonable response. If he's smug, it's not a reasonable response; if he's gaslighted, it's not a reasonable response; if he's educable, it's not a reasonable response; if he's raw meat, it's still not a reasonable response (since you wouldn't need to invent raw meat to throw at him).

The reasoning you listed in 44 is largely sound, and none of it supports your contempt for the LW. This should have made you question your contempt for the writer, rather than make up new justifications for that contempt. Now that it's been brought to your attention, you have another opportunity to do so.

We'll see which one you choose to do next; I wish you luck in making the better decision on the third try.
Posted by Eudaemonic on February 26, 2014 at 11:00 AM · Report this
AFinch 54
@40
She should try hanging out in the queer/radical/anarchist/punk area of a major metropolitan area.


You'd think so, wouldn't you? Me too. Except, she's tried, and rejects that community herself. Nothing like cutting one's own nose off to spite oneself.

Better self-image is generally a good thing, so I don't think she should avoid working on her social or psychological issues, but her present state doesn't sound to me like something that inevitably means isolation, social or sexual.


Here's where I'd disagree: being part of an alternative/OTHER community isn't a proxy for poor self-esteem or depression, and even if those things are sometimes co-incident, correlation does not imply causation. Instead, in her case, the alienating behaviors are severe enough that even that community has a hard time swallowing her.

The majority of my social circle is made up of deeply awkward people, some of whom are diagnosed with various autism spectrum conditions (and some who probably would be were they to seek therapy). Adorning oneself in ways that scream OTHER is our de facto norm.


Right, absolutely and yes, autism spectrum has come to mind...but even then, not all anti-social behavior is tolerated, is it?

Theater communities also are good spaces for people like me (and possibly she): as theater is self-conscious about the constructed nature of appearance and meaning, it's almost necessary that anyone involved with it is at least tolerant of the contra-normative, if not outright enamored of it.


Heh...I've done my time on the periphery and my sibling is an aspiring (for 20 years now!) opera singer, so I know well what you speak of...and all I can say is, even inside that community...but I do agree with you in general.
More...
Posted by AFinch on February 26, 2014 at 11:21 AM · Report this
55
IQAH: The word you're looking for is GOODBYE. You are too young to be imprisoned by this immature jerk. You are not responsible for his hurt feelings. You will probably be doing him a big favor, because he may realize he needs to treat people better to keep them in his life.
Posted by marilynsue on February 26, 2014 at 11:31 AM · Report this
56
NAIVE, I think you have some very valid points, and I love Dan's response, too.
Have been wondering something sort of similar myself lately...

Sexual compatibility is a huge deal, and I really think people overlook that. It's been the main reason my own failed relationships have ended. If it doesn't work at the start, that never fixes itself.
Posted by Chandira on February 26, 2014 at 11:33 AM · Report this
57
@49 outsized reactions are always a dead giveaway, aren't they? ;)
Posted by Chandira on February 26, 2014 at 11:36 AM · Report this
58
Therapy is not HOPE's only option. Martial arts or boxing classes could help him channel that violent energy (and help him practice the discipline he needs to control it).

Perfect answer to NAIVE. Life isn't always either-or.
Posted by DRF on February 26, 2014 at 11:54 AM · Report this
59
@58 PLUS therapy. To all those people advising a hobby or activities, it doesn't usually work like that if you are really fucked up and your view of yourself and the world is warped. Might work on some people, but chances are very much against that. We do not advise people with physical illnesses to just get up and do something, more often than not they would need medication and/or other treatment and medical supervision.
Posted by puddles on February 26, 2014 at 12:15 PM · Report this
Eudaemonic 60
We do not advise people with physical illnesses to just get up and do something...

Don't you think that's because most physical illnesses aren't helped by finding something that helps you feel good about yourself and meet new people?

If your problem is low self-esteem--and HOPE's is--then yes, getting good at something and building a circle of friends who know you as "That guy who's good at something" is an excellent way to address the problem.

I don't recommend taking lots of aspirin when someone just lost a job. I do recommend it when they have a headache. Saying "You wouldn't recommend taking aspirin if they'd lost a job, would you?" seems like a weird reason to disagree with someone recommending it for a headache.
Posted by Eudaemonic on February 26, 2014 at 12:20 PM · Report this
61
M? Bi - I see you fell for the "feelings were hurt" trap, but, factoring in the Home Team Allowance, I shall not ding you for it.

That was actually the one bit of the letter I liked. Of course, we don't know whether it was injudicious editing obscuring a clear meaning, very clever editing to blur intentionally a clearer meaning, or subterfuge on the LW's part to try to avoid clarifying what didn't work by attempting to create the inference that he couldn't handle it without simply making that statement. As you say, it's likely his were the hurt feelings, but I could make at least a good a case that not only were they hers, but that she obscured the issue because she's like that bi female LW of a few months back who insisted on being her straight male partner's only woman and thought that it was fair to let him have men on the side when he was her only man.
Posted by vennominon on February 26, 2014 at 12:25 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 62
@6: Semantics, really. The issue is that something may be getting externalized in behavior, stance, gaze, etc.

Good on the guy for recognizing this all and not getting all Fedora-Reddit about women being the sole cause of his neuroses. At least with this amount of insight and honesty, I think it should be well-possible.
Posted by undead ayn rand on February 26, 2014 at 12:56 PM · Report this
63
@60 HOPE's problem is not _just_ low self esteem. People with clinical depression - and it sure sounds as bad as that - can be completely unable to do those things you describe. I'm sorry but it's not just as easy as finding a random hobby and being known as the guy who's good at something. What if he fails at this magical hobby and doesn't have any coping techniques to deal with it? And do you realize how difficult it is to build a circle of friends when you can barely talk to people? And how any difficulty seems ten times worse when you are depressed? So no, it is not an excellent way to address the problem. Depression and related disorders are medical problems and medical problems are solved by medical specialists.
Posted by puddles on February 26, 2014 at 12:57 PM · Report this
Eudaemonic 64
@ 63: HOPE's problem is low self-esteem. He doesn't mention clinical depression; he mentions a completely normal case of low self-esteem. He might also have clinical depression, but there's no reason to think so.

Depression and related disorders are medical problems and medical problems are solved by medical specialists.

I agree. He also hasn't been diagnosed with any of those, and you aren't qualified to do so. So, I think you should not do so.

I'm sorry but it's not just as easy as finding a random hobby and being known as the guy who's good at something.

Mere words cannot describe how glad I have been to discover that you are utterly wrong.
Posted by Eudaemonic on February 26, 2014 at 1:28 PM · Report this
65
@IQAH: Let's review what you've said here:
-- You resent him;
-- You want to fuck other people;
-- You want to stop living with him;
-- You crave more independence from him socially.

And yet you are afraid that when you bring up your plan around those things you are afraid that he is going to "break up with you as a defensive measure?"

Honey, YOU are the one breaking up with him. Doing all of the above while trying to spin it as NOT breaking up with him is fucking dishonest.
Posted by avast2006 on February 26, 2014 at 1:29 PM · Report this
Holmes 66
@65: Sounds correct. If I hear, "He's my soulmate. He's perfect. But I have this itch for ......", then I'd say go ahead and pursue some sort of open relationship. If b.f. isn't comfortable, then you have a decision to make.

But the List of Faults makes it sound like your body is trying to tell your mind that its over. Don't consider an open relationship if your primary one isn't secure. And it doesn't sound like it is.

The whole bi thing is sort of a red herring. You have 2x the possible partners going in. But once you've picked one, the rules of the relationship are pretty much the same. Either open or closed with your partner's assent. Some b.f.s might be more comfortable with a wife taking a girlfriend, but the odds of the two of them going off together should the primary relationship be wobbly are just as much as if it were another man.

Posted by Holmes on February 26, 2014 at 1:52 PM · Report this
Holmes 67
@66: Should read: "Some b.f.s might be more comfortable with their partner taking a girlfriend,"

Freudian slip. I had a specific husband/bi-wife/girlfriend in mind as I typed.
Posted by Holmes on February 26, 2014 at 1:56 PM · Report this
68
@64, come on, he can poorly talk to girls and has violent thoughts he can barely control. He definitely has more problems than just low self esteem.
And while your experience was that everything worked, mine was totally different I have always had many hobbies AND some friends AND been good at things - it doesn't really solve anything.
The point is that going to a therapist would definitely not hurt and disputing this out of spite doesn't change that.
Posted by puddles on February 26, 2014 at 2:28 PM · Report this
69
*barely talk to girls. Stupid phone keyboard.
Posted by puddles on February 26, 2014 at 2:29 PM · Report this
70
HOPE's letter is so much like UGLY's of 2 weeks ago that at first I thought there was a webpage mistake such that that a column was repeated. Some of the advice from the comments section was good so I'm going to paraphrase it (without attribution, sorry).

First, I notice that there's some back and forth between those recommending therapy and those recommending activities like hobbies or exercise. It's both. It's highly likely that a therapist will recommend hobbies and exercise. It's baby steps in both directions. HOPE works out some issues in therapy, gets it together enough to have positive interactions through a hobby, talks about it in therapy, gets it together to have some more positive interactions, and takes it from there. (And if there's a negative interaction, the therapist is there to talk about what went wrong and how it can be fixed the next time.)

I liked the advice to change (temporarily) the definition of success. Right now the goal is to lose his virginity and have a full blown successful relationship with a young woman he likes. Put that aside for a moment, and make it a goal to talk to a woman for a few minutes, maybe just to introduce yourself to her. That's it, nothing more for now. Do that, go home, and count it as a win.

Note that being a virgin at 21 doesn't put him that much behind the average. He's still pretty young.

I liked the advice to talk to women outside of a bar and outside of a sexual context. Make it just working together on a project. Gain confidence that way. Talk to the women you're NOT interested in just for practice. Talk to men you don't consider friends. Get into the habit of being kind and polite to everyone, not just when it counts. That will help with the aggression issues. You get to where being mellow is the fallback behavior.
More...
Posted by Crinoline on February 26, 2014 at 3:18 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 71
@64: At worst, developing self-enriching hobbies (preferably more constructive than obsessive consumption of media) gives you a needed distraction, more things to talk about with others, and a way to connect with fellow enthusiasts.
Posted by undead ayn rand on February 26, 2014 at 3:36 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 72
@68: It doesn't solve all problems, but its a good way to ground yourself without tying your entire value as a person to your possessing a romantic partner, which not so ironically makes it easier to meet a partner. It's good to have passions.
Posted by undead ayn rand on February 26, 2014 at 3:40 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 73
And to IQAH "I'm willing to work on our issues, but I fear that when I have this conversation, it will break his heart and he will break up with me as a defensive approach"

If it's not worth bringing it up, its not worth pursuing. You have everything to gain here by discussing what matters to you in a relationship.
Posted by undead ayn rand on February 26, 2014 at 3:46 PM · Report this
74
@4 - I TOTALLY AGREE!
I'd much rather be totally upfront about my kinks then let some emotional attachment develop only to have it crushed when the guy turns out to not be into kink at all.
Posted by czarnychopiec on February 26, 2014 at 4:05 PM · Report this
75
puddles [69],

"poorly talk" v "barely talk" is a keyboard error?
Posted by Hunter78 on February 26, 2014 at 4:30 PM · Report this
76 Comment Pulled (Spam) Comment Policy
Cynara 77
Penthouse forum?
Posted by Cynara on February 26, 2014 at 6:07 PM · Report this
78
Spam. But a good story.
Posted by Hunter78 on February 26, 2014 at 6:19 PM · Report this
79 Comment Pulled
80
Dan, I've read your column for a long time. You usually come up with very good suggestions, but this week again, I think your response to HOPE was not great. He started out by saying he has depression, and you mentioned medication, but I think you should put more emphasis on that, and get more tips from experts. Depression is a major issue, causes problems ranging from the inability to enjoy anything, to suicide.

Several studies have confirmed there are a variety of solutions. Medication works for some people. For others, getting up early, having some coffee, and getting out for 20 minute walk works as well as medication. Depression is tricky. Many people self-medicate with alcohol, which can make them more depressed later. I hope you will focus more on the common and serious issue... Best wishes, Paul
Posted by aboynamedtzu on February 26, 2014 at 6:32 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 81
77/78: Yup.
Posted by undead ayn rand on February 26, 2014 at 6:43 PM · Report this
82
HOPE: I agree with Dan and others on seeking anger management through therapy and possible medications for depression. @70 Crinoline: Good suggestions for HOPE.

HELP: Have you ever seen the following movies: Play Misty for Me and Fatal Attraction? You might want to see 'em to realize just how lucky you are. The MegaMillions jackpot is up to $216 million. Have you thought about buying a lottery ticket yet for Friday's drawing?
And no, I'm not being a wiseass. Dan's right: you got off cheap.

@10 (& maybe @12?): I wonder if you really meant HOPE's letter, and not HELP's, regarding being unemployed for three years...?
Posted by auntie grizelda on February 26, 2014 at 7:26 PM · Report this
83
GrizWatch Update: Encouraging news for all interested in the latest on my upcoming outpatient procedure in mid-March: my insurance company has approved it!! I'm hoping that what ISN'T covered that will be coming directly out of my pocket won't put me in the poorhouse (*gulp* stay tuned!).
However, whatever the total cost, I believe the desired outcome, if successful, will be well worth it after all is said and done!
Posted by auntie grizelda on February 26, 2014 at 8:21 PM · Report this
seandr 84
@undead: Semantics, really. The issue is that something may be getting externalized in behavior, stance, gaze, etc.

When LW says:

"I've never made the first move with girls. I never feel compelled to, regardless of how attractive I find them."

that tells me his problem is more a classic case of social anxiety and social avoidance than it is about him setting off women's "violence detectors".

Also, there are lot of douche bags who go out partying, and as the night winds down and it becomes clear they aren't going to hook up, they try to pick fights with other men instead. I'm thinking he might be one of them. As much as I hate assholes like this, I don't think that kind of violence necessarily correlates with hitting women.
Posted by seandr on February 26, 2014 at 9:52 PM · Report this
seandr 85
@81: Tell your husband he writes pretty good cuckold erotica.
Posted by seandr on February 26, 2014 at 10:05 PM · Report this
sissoucat 86
@30 Don't kids eat yogurt in the USA ?

In France yogurt is the cornerstone of kids' breakfast and "meal similar to breakfast taken at 4 P.M." (wictionary's translation of goûter), along with bread topped with butter and/or jam.
Posted by sissoucat on February 27, 2014 at 12:16 AM · Report this
87
Poor HELP, you just got double blinded. What it seems like to me that your former gf was intrigued by the idea of swinging and used the friend of a friend building the website as an excuse to broach the topic. You didn't bite. Instead of being morally outraged and saying that you couldn't stomach the thought of her with another man or that the thought of her and another woman together is a turn on, you did the one thing she wasn't expecting. You said good for them and what's the big deal. Your total lack outrage or interest to the topic ment she couldn't gague how receptive you would be. So instead of being a big girl and asking you straight out, she picked a fight and left. Not the best way to handle it but in the end better for you in the long run. There is nothing worse than being with a partner that expects you to just know what they want without any hints or input from them as if you are a human tarot deck.
Posted by bxtorr19 on February 27, 2014 at 1:22 AM · Report this
sissoucat 88
@4 "Honesty is the best policy"

Exactly.

But while it wards off plenty of undesirable people, it doesn't commend equal honesty from those who want to get into your pants.

I'm living that right now - and that leaves me quite confused. I've been up front about seeking FWB with a poly, not with a cheating monogamist, all the less with kids. Thus I met a guy, who travels long distance to his divorced wife's place once every fortnight for visitation with his daughter, which is ok. Then along the months it surfaced there also was a FWB with a girlfriend, nothing serious, at that long distance place - so I joked poly was nothing new to him then, right ? And I insisted she was told about me. He was reluctant at first "sure she knows I'm not celibate between weekends but it might hurt her feelings to be told directly", and that had me worried, but then he conceded that he would tell her about our FWB.

Then two months later, it appears the girlfriend's 7-year-old son - is his ! "But I never agreed to fathering him, she was pregnant right away before we ever had that conversation, it was always a long-distance thing, she chose against my advice to have this child since she wanted a family, I resented it but then I couldn't leave her in such a situation, and I sometimes help her financially. And sex with her is awesome ! although I don't love her and everytime I blame myself for having once again had sex with her, since alas she loves me and it gives her hope".

So... I mean the guy is a quiet nice guy, he really works around here (I met him at work) and I quite like him as a friend, but it dismayed me that someone would hide for months a long-distance son. So sex with him is under a moratorium as of now... I'm confused.
More...
Posted by sissoucat on February 27, 2014 at 1:26 AM · Report this
nocutename 89
@86: Yes, American kids eat yogurt. As do many American men.
Posted by nocutename on February 27, 2014 at 5:34 AM · Report this
Eudaemonic 90
@71: Yeah, that's pretty much what I'm thinking. The worst that can happen is that he'll only be much, much better off than he is now.

@68: come on, he can barely talk to girls and has violent thoughts he can barely control. He definitely has more problems than just low self esteem.

Not really? This is what low self esteem looks like in young men who define themselves entirely around their lack of sexual experience.

It's a vicious cycle, because people who think their most important characteristic is their lack of sexual success are wildly unattractive. There's nothing in his life that wouldn't give him low self esteem; my advice was to go get something better.

HOPE: It will be simultaneously the hardest thing you've ever done, and easier than you'd think.

Posted by Eudaemonic on February 27, 2014 at 6:08 AM · Report this
91
Sis [86],

In the US tv ads for yogurt are pitched to women as a nutritious low cal meal. (Women are more concerned about weight than men. "Honey, does this outfit make me look fat?") Men and kids are not expected to interrupt their junk food diets.

France is probably too advanced to allow sexism in advertising.

I thought "We weren't living together, but there was yogurt in my fridge" was a delicious allusion.
Posted by Hunter78 on February 27, 2014 at 6:15 AM · Report this
mydriasis 92
sissoucat

When I was growing up that was called an "after school snack" or, you know, just "snack".
Posted by mydriasis on February 27, 2014 at 7:03 AM · Report this
AFinch 93
@86 & @89 - I used to eat yogurt when I could still get whole-milk yogurt at the grocery store; now all I can get is low-fat which invariably has sugar added and no thanks!
I can't recall now, but I feel somehow the French must not have fallen into this sugar-instead-of-fat trap.
Posted by AFinch on February 27, 2014 at 7:15 AM · Report this
94
Well, medication may help HOPE with depression, but it will also very likely take away his sex drive. Kind of a catch-22 for someone hoping to lose his virginity.
Posted by cockyballsup on February 27, 2014 at 9:42 AM · Report this
95
Letter #1: here's the first tip - stop referring to everything that is female as "girl". Its tedious and immature. Ok... continue...
Posted by LZito on February 27, 2014 at 10:10 AM · Report this
96
HOPE: First, a little tough love. Virgin at 21? No one but you cares in the slightest. Unemployed? Dropped out of college? Depressed? Get OVER yourself, boy! Life in your early twenties, when you should be at your peak of physical strength and stamina, requires a lot of effort. Self-esteem is nice, I guess, but your only real value is in the value you provide to others: as a friend, as an employee, as a lover. You said up front that you work out, which is good. Get your depression treated and go do stuff so you don't sit around brooding. Stop watching TV, stop playing video games, stop going to clubs. Once you are more together you can do those in moderation but for now they just waste your time.

Don't try to ask out strangers. Ask out girls you know. How do you get to know them? At work, at school, by doing stuff. Keep working out, volunteer, and get a job. Make an effort to be nicer to people and less edgy. Dress better and make sure your hair is neat. Confidence is attractive to adults. Take the advice that Dan gives to teenagers about getting a girl-or-boy-friend: don't worry about getting your current self laid, work on making yourself into something that women will want five years from now.
Posted by marmer on February 27, 2014 at 11:07 AM · Report this
97
The sheer level of indirection in HELP's girlfriend's outrage is mind-boggling, let alone how off the rails it all is. Distilled:

"I am outraged that you are not outraged that somebody that you don't even know thinks it is acceptable to make a website for a bunch of consenting adults (that you also have nothing to do with) who have a special club where they go do their consenting adult things."

Yep...she's batshit. Completely, utterly batshit.

Either that or she needs a good dictionary, because just maybe she is confusing the term "swinger" with "sex trafficker." In any case, count yourself lucky, HELP.
Posted by avast2006 on February 27, 2014 at 12:09 PM · Report this
98
@87--Totally. Some day, long after they've broken up, LW will be at his first sex party, and there his conservative ex will be, flanked by five men, two of them quite busy. Once she's able to talk she'll be all, "HOPE! Long time! We have to hook up later, I owe you one. Remember that fight we had once, and you kept saying there's nothing wrong with swinging...?"
Posted by LateBloomer on February 27, 2014 at 12:17 PM · Report this
nocutename 99
@33 (IPJ): Thanks for catching my mistake @28, when I said that HELP had been the one to design the swingers' website. But in fact the true situation, that the website designer is "friend of a friend," of the lw, only makes the girlfriend's reaction to her bf's lack of outrage more baffling and unexpected to him.

It's not even his lack of outrage, I suspect, that has him writing; it's the idea that something as far-removed from them as what a friend of a friend of her boyfriend did would, over one conversation, result in the breakup of what seemed to the lw a pretty seriously committed relationship.

Although sometimes the seemingly most innocuous of things can be catalysts for epiphanies and revelations.
Posted by nocutename on February 27, 2014 at 12:19 PM · Report this
AFinch 100
@99 - I think you are completely right - he stumbled over a land mine - a deal breaker - when thinking they were having an abstract conversation.
Posted by AFinch on February 27, 2014 at 12:48 PM · Report this
101
@marmer, unfortunately the early 20s is when depression and other mental illnesses often strike out of nowhere. "Get over yourself" is non-advice. Really, if only they had thought of that!
Posted by cockyballsup on February 27, 2014 at 2:35 PM · Report this
102
@101, that's why I said "Get your depression treated." Like I did in my 40s when depression struck out of nowhere. Obviously depression isn't generally successfully self-treated. And one of the most obvious symptoms is a tremendous lack of motivation for anything. But what I said about improving the value he can bring to others I still stand by. Unemployed, lacking higher education, increasingly desperate and bitter? Who's going to want that, even if he's the best looking guy around? And the virginity vs. age thing is simply not worth thinking about, let alone obsessing over. When he's capable of a healthy, committed relationship, the sex will happen. Why even worry about it until he's in that place?
Posted by marmer on February 27, 2014 at 4:19 PM · Report this
103
M? Marmer - [When he's capable of a healthy, committed relationship, the sex will happen. Why even worry about it until he's in that place?]

That sounds rather like a reparative therapist saying that the conversion didn't take because the victim (or patient, if you must) didn't sufficiently open his heart to God because, if he had, God would have turned him straight.
Posted by vennominon on February 27, 2014 at 6:40 PM · Report this
sissoucat 104
@91 Last time I checked France was still quite sexist, and not just in advertising. I distinctly remember an ad for a washing machine which only featured a naked young woman clothed in a woollen long top, walking around a dim-lighted house, to the sound of music. Also, check this short French film about sexism.
Posted by sissoucat on February 28, 2014 at 1:00 AM · Report this
sissoucat 105
@92 Thanks for the translation, I couldn't remember the exact wording from my times in the US and for once wiktionnary was unhelpful.

@93 Diet yogurt has been sold here for more than 20 years but it hasn't replaced normal yogurt yet, and I hope it won't ever. No man, child or thinking woman would eat diet yogurt. Alas there are plenty of unthinking women out there...

We also face the plague of "liquid yogurt", which is yogurt added with sugary water, sold for kids in little bottles, of course at prices steeper than actual yogurt.

A yogurt-making machine could help you there : just buy whole milk and a commercial yogurt once in a while, and you can make a lot of delicious whole milk yogurts right in your home.
Posted by sissoucat on February 28, 2014 at 1:08 AM · Report this
106
if the lease is the reason for sticking in with a live-in lover--that pretty clearly shows something is seriously wrong. beyond craving other lovers--if the main thing keeping someone in close proximity is a piece of paper from a landlord---it's dead. stop beating the dead horse.
Posted by flequus on February 28, 2014 at 3:10 AM · Report this
AFinch 107
@105 - I don't want to do a commercial plug, but there is a brand of yogurt out there which still makes a very lovely cream-top whole milk yogurt and is available in many stores, and there are some strained ("greek") ones that are pretty good. I'm not missing yogurt enough to go so far as to make it.

Sorry to hear the French - the last holdouts of good food (non-industrial) - are succumbing to children's sugar water too.
Posted by AFinch on February 28, 2014 at 5:37 AM · Report this
Eudaemonic 108
@ 104:
I was thinking France has better washing machine commercials, but now, after "...a naked young woman clothed in a woollen long top..."

...now I feel like France is doing nudity entirely wrong. "I was at the nude beach, naked, in a sweatshirt and jeans."
Posted by Eudaemonic on February 28, 2014 at 6:17 AM · Report this
mydriasis 109
Yeah I was also confused by that - how can she be naked AND clothed?
Posted by mydriasis on February 28, 2014 at 6:30 AM · Report this
110
Finch,

[93]--now all I can get is low-fat

[107]--still makes a very lovely cream-top whole milk yogurt and is available in many stores, and there are some strained ("greek") ones that are pretty good.

Not a study in consistency.
Posted by Hunter78 on February 28, 2014 at 6:33 AM · Report this
Eudaemonic 111
Yeah, reading that made my mental picture of France become suddenly about 1000% less exciting.
Posted by Eudaemonic on February 28, 2014 at 7:17 AM · Report this
AFinch 112
@110 - it's not completely gone, but it is no longer in the stores I frequent (for other reasons).

I was listening to a vegan acquaintance (lives in Manhattan) rave about some kind of vegan frozen pizza - pretty esoteric - and how wonderful it was that the corner bodega had it as it was the perfect late night post-drinking quick food. She then related how disappointed she was when she went in one day after having reliably found this item for like a year, and it suddenly wasn't there. She asked when they were getting more and they laughed and told her she was the only person who'd ever bought it and she'd finally finished off the case/carton. I feel this way about the yogurt.
Posted by AFinch on February 28, 2014 at 7:27 AM · Report this
113
Well, I'm honored that my little buck-yourself-up comment earned a mention by Mr. Ven, although it didn't manage to garner a Wodehouse, Thackeray, or, better still, Rumpole allusion. Still, a man (for that is what I am) can dream… It certainly seems, though, that my statements fall more solidly into the mainstream Savagean tradition of "you needn't be perfect to date but you must be functional" and "work on getting your five-years-from-now-self laid" than they do into the destructive and delusional tropes of reparative therapy. The One Percent and their lackeys have certainly done their best to destroy the credibility of calls to personal responsibility by issuing them indiscriminately and cruelly without regard to their appropriateness; I know that finding and keeping a job, for example is hard. But still, aside for the treatment for his depression, his solutions are going to have to come from him and virginity is well down of his list of problems.
Posted by marmer on February 28, 2014 at 7:35 AM · Report this
114
@112: what you describe happens to my family with amazing regularity at my preferred supermarket. We believe that they track our purchases with our rewards card, see what we buy the most of or routinely over and over, and drop it from their inventory. I'm not kidding, it happens two or three times a year, year after year.
Posted by marmer on February 28, 2014 at 7:39 AM · Report this
Helenka (also a Canuck) 115
Further to #99/100, HELP and his gf were in a monogamous 6-month relationship without having discussed it first. Because they just assumed they were. But the gf went further and began to assume that she and HELP shared a whole bunch of unspoken moral values. There are moral truths that nobody in their right mind would oppose (i.e., that modern-day slavery and piracy are evil). But the gf was shocked and appalled that HELP didn't feel any outrage at the concept of other consenting adults swinging. So her mind jumped immediately to the thought that HE might want to involve HER personally in swinging, even though she had NO proof ... except for one way overdrawn most-likely one-sided discussion.

HELP should consider himself lucky that she left him, as there are already too many busybodies who insist they have the right to police the behaviours of complete strangers.
Posted by Helenka (also a Canuck) on February 28, 2014 at 8:16 AM · Report this
116
When someone wants out of a relationship, it's no matter that they have a toothbrush, yogurt, tampons, etc, they just want out. You may have come across as a swinger sympathizer or maybe you just wanted to bust her chops, so be it. You were lucky to get rid of her if you both can't just agree to disagree. This was a very silly argument, which is why i say, she wanted out and fast. Consider yourself lucky and don't throw away that url for the new sight.
Posted by Bondsman51 on February 28, 2014 at 9:38 AM · Report this
117
SB1062 vetoed, H8 on LGBT still legal in AZ.
AZ to host 2015 Superbowl...Your move NFL!

repost
Posted by MrMister on February 28, 2014 at 11:48 AM · Report this
118
Another thing which comes to mind is that HOPE might be a good candidate for the military. He needs job skills and education, and perhaps a bit of maturing, and he already is in decent physical shape (he says.) Also, he will probably have to work with some women in a professional, non-romantic way. He wouldn't be the first person to join up to better himself.
Posted by marmer on February 28, 2014 at 1:18 PM · Report this
119
Mr Marmer - Real life wasn't good enough?

"When he's made himself sufficiently functional, the sex will come," just happened to strike me as structurally almost identical to, "When he's opened his heart sufficiently to God, God will make him straight."

I don't advocate against any LW becoming functional, but it does feel as if you're setting up a framework for victim-blaming. It worked great for the RTs. When a conversion didn't take, it wasn't their fault or God's fault; the victim simply hadn't opened his heart sufficiently.

Plenty of functional people are looking and still come up sexless. No matter how functional LW becomes, he's not guaranteed sex any more than anybody. I just don't want LW to hear your voice in his head, should he not have immediate good luck, telling him that he just isn't functional enough yet.
Posted by vennominon on February 28, 2014 at 3:03 PM · Report this
120
Mr Ven,

I don't particularly disagree with anything you say, except to point out that by his own admission he's a mess and it certainly seems that by getting himself together he's improving his chances significantly. No guarantees, of course, but I fear that he's virtually guaranteed _zero_ romantic attention in his current state, and not only due to depression. While I haven't seen it in the comments this time I have heard Mr. Savage espouse the idea of losing one's virginity in a paid professional setting to relieve the tension or anxiety, or some such. If that seems like a good solution here, I wouldn't counsel against it. I would counsel against the recommendation that an earlier poster made to find a friendly cougar. Older people in general are more comfortable with themselves, know more or less what they want, and have a lower tolerance for a drama-ridden project like this boy.
Posted by marmer on February 28, 2014 at 4:19 PM · Report this
121
Also, this prompted me to go back and re-read the original posting. He said, "…(I) generally keep people laughing." Sure, it's fun to be a clown but it can be tiresome to date someone who's trying to be funny all the time. Particularly if his usual demeanor does not tend toward cheerful, as it sounds here.
Posted by marmer on February 28, 2014 at 4:21 PM · Report this
Helenka (also a Canuck) 122
@118
I don't think that HOPE would be a good fit for the Army. Why? Because, first of all, he'd have to account for the last three years of his life - when he's got nothing to show for the wasted time. It would have been one thing to tell the recruiter that he'd had to drop out of college to help out at, say, the parental farm because of his dad's illness. But, without even a year of college or decent work experience behind him, I do not believe the Army would consider him to be a prize. They're accustomed to taking grads fresh out of high school for the enlisted positions.

Secondly, without a pressing need for bodies (because of pulling out of former war zones), they just don't need to take on anyone who applies, even more so if HOPE has to undergo a psychological assessment.

Thirdly, even though it's possible that some rigorous discipline could reshape his life, the fact that he's already having anger issues will only be exacerbated when he sees his Army roommates getting letters from their girlfriends ... while he gets nothing. Just how long can he joke about being such a loser without being pulled down into a pit of more despair and anger.
Posted by Helenka (also a Canuck) on February 28, 2014 at 9:45 PM · Report this
seandr 123
@marmer: HOPE might be a good candidate for the military

Good god no. He'd be better off sucking dicks in an alley.
Posted by seandr on March 1, 2014 at 1:00 AM · Report this
124
Sean,

That sounds vaguely gay-disparaging.
Posted by Hunter78 on March 1, 2014 at 5:26 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 125
@118: Sweet, let's throw some PTSD in the mix with his anger issues and shatter the guy completely under the guise of giving him "backbone" and "purpose", all the while mostly removing women from his life. I'm sure that'll work out swimmingly.
Posted by undead ayn rand on March 1, 2014 at 5:57 PM · Report this
126
@112 & @114: I hope this never happens with my favorite GF/SF fettuccine Alfredo, GF/SF tiramisu or guilt-free chocolate cake, or I'm doomed!
Posted by auntie grizelda on March 1, 2014 at 10:21 PM · Report this
127
@126: ...of course, I frequent more than just one store......
Posted by auntie grizelda on March 1, 2014 at 10:23 PM · Report this
sissoucat 128
@108 and 109

Not fluent enough to convey the stuff. Her clothing suggested it was the only peace of wear she had on : so, naked underneath. "Going commando" is not a thing yet in France (except maybe in the jet-set ?), and certainly it wasn't one in the 80s.

But anyway, the point is that featuring a sexually alluring woman walking around in a house where incidently there also was a washing machine, was supposed to be enough to sell that machine. Why not remplace her by a naked-but-for-a woolen-top guy ? Or by a clothed chihuahua ? It would have made as much sense, she wasn't in any way interacting with the machine nor with laundry.
Posted by sissoucat on March 2, 2014 at 4:19 AM · Report this
sissoucat 129
@Eudaemonic 111

When I was young, sunning topless was the norm on French beaches. Now I hear that nowadays girls would never show their tits on the beach because they would be slut shamed. The guys still go topless, obviously.

France is not what I would call hot. One good point is that we have very few puritanicals, so our bigots usually don't invoke religion to get their point across. And, of course, almost no gun violence, and not much violence overall. A mostly peaceful society with plenty of tolerance. Plenty of nice foods, wines, and sightseeings. We're more cynical and less optimistic than Americans though.
Posted by sissoucat on March 2, 2014 at 4:33 AM · Report this
130
@ 108/109 - How good are you at writing in a foreign language? Do you even speak a second language?
Posted by Ricardo on March 2, 2014 at 7:33 AM · Report this
131
Sis [128],

People (both genders) prefer to see women. There's too much money in advertising for it not to be tested.
Posted by Hunter78 on March 2, 2014 at 7:43 AM · Report this
132
@ 88 - "But while it wards off plenty of undesirable people, it doesn't commend equal honesty from those who want to get into your pants"

T'as tout à fait raison, mais c'est pour ça que j'essaie le plus possible de les obliger à être honnêtes en créant dès le départ des situations où leur véritable nature va se manifester. C'est un peu cynique comme attitude (et je ne suis pas sûr que j'aimerais qu'on me traite comme je traite mes amants potentiels), mais à 48 ans, j'ai déjà perdu trop de temps avec des cons, je n'ai plus de patience.
Posted by Ricardo on March 2, 2014 at 7:44 AM · Report this
133 Comment Pulled (OffTopic) Comment Policy
134
@129 Bonjour, Sissoucat! France is a good place to visit, mai non?
Posted by auntie grizelda on March 2, 2014 at 3:45 PM · Report this
135
Hey HOPE,

Get a job first, then worry about getting a GF. In the process, you'll learn what you were missing.
Posted by JoeJoe123987 on March 2, 2014 at 4:18 PM · Report this
mydriasis 136
@Ricardo

If I were to write in my second language it would probably be terrible depending on how much I needed to say and what I needed to say.

I wasn't trying to disparage her language skills, I was trying to clarify.

@sissou

But did the sweater look comfy?
Posted by mydriasis on March 2, 2014 at 4:49 PM · Report this
137 Comment Pulled (Spam) Comment Policy
138
@ 136 - Seriously? Was it really that hard to understand? I think not. But I'll agree that you weren't disparaging. Eudaemonic @ 108 clearly was, though.
Posted by Ricardo on March 2, 2014 at 8:53 PM · Report this
seandr 139
@Hunter78: That sounds vaguely gay-disparaging.

First of all, I'm not disparaging those who earn a living sucking dicks in an alley - quite the contrary. Second, most people who earn a living sucking dicks in an alley aren't gay. (If you do happen spot a gay man sucking a dick in an alley, it's almost certainly for recreational purposes.)
Posted by seandr on March 3, 2014 at 12:03 AM · Report this
140
Oooooooooooooooooooooooooooo-kay.
I'll try again tomorrow.
Posted by auntie grizelda on March 3, 2014 at 11:48 PM · Report this
141
Ms Grizelda - I think it's "mais" and that "mai" is the month.

I'd post one of the old poems I wrote in French thirty-five years ago if I could remember all of it.
Posted by vennominon on March 4, 2014 at 3:30 AM · Report this
Eudaemonic 142
@129: Worse and worse. France is supposed to be a decadent, libertine sort of place, with plenty of debauchery.

Either that, or the excellent education that is typical of America has lied to me, and good heavens, we all know that is unpossible.
Posted by Eudaemonic on March 4, 2014 at 6:16 AM · Report this
143
The week in review

Since nothing else is happening, I thought I'd review the week. There were 4 letters, pretty interesting, but the posters were fairly quiet.

Hope: Het depressed unemployed male wonders why he isn't getting any.

Iqah: 25 yo bi woman unhappy in 3 y relationship with het male she doesn't even like.

Help: Het male was in 6 month relationship with a girl until she went ballistic on topic of swinging.

Naive: Unknown gender was with a woman until they started seeing pro doms. Naive doesn't want to date again until datee knows and accepts N's sub desires.

There was plenty of meat in those letters that went underexploited.

I regret that the Sochi Olympics closed the week before, and nothing occurred to protest the new harassment of gays in Russia-- beyond the pathetic vodka boycott.

And this week the Ruskies seized Crimea.
Posted by Hunter78 on March 4, 2014 at 8:37 AM · Report this
sissoucat 144
@Grizelda

I do find France a nice place to visit, which is lucky since I'm not currently wealthy enough to go and visit other countries. If you plan to come and visit Paris some day, I'd be delighted to meet you there, or to host you.

@mydriasis

I remember it as a loose cashmere thing. Pretty comfy, and expensive.

@Ricardo

Thanks for your gallant help - but I actually welcome criticism over my langage skills, I find it helpful. Your French is fautless : if you're not a native speaker, I'm very impressed !

Créer des situations où leur véritable nature va se révéler : c'est intéressant, peux-tu donner des exemples ? Je pourrais apprendre quelque chose d'utile...
Posted by sissoucat on March 4, 2014 at 10:23 AM · Report this
sissoucat 145
@Eudaemonic

Either that, or I've been missing on all the French libertine side. Sure, at many work places some coworkers cheat together on their legitimate partners - we call that "affaires de cul" and as long as they close the door when they kiss, the legitimate partners won't be told. Were you thinking of that kind of libertine ?

@mydriasis

I remember it as a loose cashmere thing. Pretty comfy, and expensive.

@Grizelda

I do find France a nice place to visit, which is lucky since I'm not currently wealthy enough to go and visit other countries. If you plan to come and visit Paris some day, I'd be delighted to meet you there, or to host you, I'm close by.

@Ricardo

Thanks for your gallant help - but I actually welcome criticism over my langage skills, I find it helpful. Your French is fautless : if you're not a native speaker, I'm very impressed !

Créer des situations où leur véritable nature va se révéler : c'est intéressant, pourrais-tu me donner des exemples ? J'aimerais bien arriver à mieux choisir mes amants potentiels moi aussi...
Posted by sissoucat on March 4, 2014 at 10:23 AM · Report this
sissoucat 146
shit, double post, sorry.
Posted by sissoucat on March 4, 2014 at 10:24 AM · Report this
mydriasis 147
@sissoucat

What I was getting at is: maybe you were supposed to think "wow, look how happy and at peace she is wearing that super soft looking sweater? Her life is so calm and blissful. If only I could have a sweater - and by extension, life - like hers!"
Posted by mydriasis on March 4, 2014 at 4:56 PM · Report this
Eudaemonic 148
@145: Either that, or I've been missing on all the French libertine side.

Let's go with that one. America-France (i.e., the France that exists only if you live in America and never went to France) is a place where nobody really works, everybody has sex with everybody, and people drink a lot of booze and smoke whatever they want.

I have to say, America-France sounds like a lot more fun than Actual-France.
Posted by Eudaemonic on March 5, 2014 at 9:34 AM · Report this
149
Re: Anger Issues

I'm a 33 year old dude who used to have anger issues in my early twenties and earlier. I was not unattractive, but I was not very lucky with the ladies and often awkward in social interactions. My untrained psychoanalysis of my past self is that my anger was probably driven by some combination of:

1. lack of confidence/self-esteem
2. lack of a girlfriend
3. hormones/sexual frustration

My solution:

1. Find an outlet for anger
2. Find the confidence to approach women

Regarding number 1, I took martial arts classes (Muay Thai specifically) and started playing other "tough" sports (like rugby). To paraphrase the movie "Fight Club", when you're fighting it's like other parts of your life that were stressful before have the volume turned down. Basically, having an outlet for my anger/violent tendencies made me a much more peaceful person. Things that used to get me riled up didn't seem so bad anymore, which helped me feel more secure and more confident.

Regarding #2 of my solution, sports gave me confidence and self esteem. Telling people I participated in these tough sports made them respect me more. It gave me something to talk about to girls.

Other than sports, I started reading "Pick up artist" literature like "The Game". I'm kind of an intellectual guy so when I don't understand something, I tend to analyze it. PUA literature helped provide some useful frameworks for understanding women. Once you have a framework for how romantic interactions work, all you need is motivation.

I hope that helps.
Posted by dogestyle on March 5, 2014 at 10:21 AM · Report this
mydriasis 150
For anyone who didn't have the time to read "dogestyle"'s long post I can summarize it for you: "I'm a giant shitbag."

You're welcome.
Posted by mydriasis on March 5, 2014 at 1:45 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 151
@149: The former, I congratulate.

The PUA shit, yeesh. You can do better than that cargo cult.
Posted by undead ayn rand on March 5, 2014 at 6:18 PM · Report this
152
@141 vennominon; : That's it--"mais non". Thanks.
It has been a while since French class. My lovely niece
majored in French, and taught English in a French
middle school for a year through the TESOL program.
She's turning 30 on Saturday!

@144 & @145 sissoucat: That would be great one day! I understand that spring and fall are great weather times of the year (we're on the same parallel). Merci beau coups for your gracious invitation! I don't know when you'd be in the United States, but....coffee?

I need to start saving up for traveling through Europe. I'd love to see Germany and Austria, too. Maybe go via the European rail system.
*wistful sigh* One day.......
Posted by auntie grizelda on March 6, 2014 at 1:22 PM · Report this
153
The Medical model, for depression- take pills.
Depression, like other mental issues, happen in ones mind- and mind can be worked on/ changed.. Meditation , therapy, exercise, taking hobbies-
Posted by LavaGirl on April 7, 2014 at 1:45 PM · Report this
154
I read this thread a while back when it was first posted. After the incident at UCSB, I thought back to this post wondering if was Elliot Rodger was seeking Dan Savage's help.

Could it be?

Posted by teemarie on June 18, 2014 at 9:43 AM · Report this
155
I read this thread a while back when it was first posted. After the incident at UCSB, I thought back to this post wondering if Elliot Rodger was seeking Dan Savage's help.

Could it be?

Posted by teemarie on June 18, 2014 at 9:54 AM · Report this

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