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Golden Oldie

August 12, 2010

A long while ago, you wrote an incredible piece of general advice for teenage boys. The advice was so excellent that I clipped it out to keep in case I ever had a son. Well, years later, I have a son. But I no longer have that precious piece of paper.

My son is only 9 months old, but I am worried that by the time he is a teenager, you will have retired to some fancy ranch where you will spend your days raising organic cattle, being nasty to the local genetically-modified-wheat farmers, and passing the afternoons on the porch sipping gin from a teacup while terrorizing the local boys with a Super Soaker.

But I digress. Any chance you could reprint your advice for teenage boys? I know that I, my partner, and my son will all appreciate it.

GGG Lady Lover And Mama

Congrats on the birth of your son, GGGLLAM, and here, at your request, is my advice for the hard-up teenage boy:

You're having a hard time getting girls. That sucks. I remember what it was like when I was a young teenager and wanted boys and couldn't get any. It sucked. But the sad fact is that most young teenage boys are repulsive—that is, they are half-formed works in progress. Girls mature physically more quickly than boys, which means most girls your age already look like young women and they're generally attracted to (slightly) older boys—and there you are, aching for your first girlfriend, but still looking like a short, hairless chimp.

But don't despair, HUTB. Your awkward/repulsive stage will pass. In the meantime, here's what you need to do: Worry less about getting your young teenage self laid and start thinking about getting your 18- or 20-year-old self laid. Join a gym and get yourself a body that girls will find irresistible, read—read books—so that you'll have something to say to girls (the best way to make girls think you're interesting is to actually be interesting), and get out of the house and do shit—political shit, sporty shit, arty shit—so that you'll meet different kinds of girls in different kinds of settings and become comfortable talking with them.

Some more orders: Get a decent haircut and use deodorant and floss your teeth and take regular showers and wear clean clothes. Go online and read about birth control and STIs, and learn enough about female anatomy that you'll be able to find a clitoris in the dark. Masturbate in moderation—no more than 10 times a day—and vary your masturbatory routine. I can't emphasize this last point enough. A vagina does not feel like a clenched fist, HUTB, nor does a mouth, an anus, titty fucking, dry humping, or e-stim. If you don't want to be sending me another pathetic letter in five years complaining about your inability to come unless you're beating your own meat, HUTB, you will vary your routine now so that you'll be able to respond to different kinds of sexual stimulation once you do start getting the girls.

Good luck, kiddo.

(The above advice was for a straight teenage boy. Gay teenage boys should read "boys" where I said "girls," "anus" where I said "vagina," "prostate" where I said "clitoris," and "fist" where I said "fist.")


I am a 27-year-old male, identify as bisexual, and enjoy crossdressing—although I have only crossdressed with guys I meet online. I have no real desire to meet guys unless I'm dressed up. And when I do get together with a guy, once I cum, I'm ready to leave. I can't see myself in a relationship with a guy.

With females, I can see myself getting married and having kids, etc., and when I have sex with a woman, I'm not in a cum-and-go mentality. But when I'm dating a girl, after about a month, I start to float back to jerking off while chatting—just chatting, not meeting up—with guys who found my online crossdressing profiles. I know I could try to get a gal to use a strap-on on me, but that doesn't really appeal to me. I like flesh-and-blood cock.

Do I hold out for a gal who is open to me having the odd bisexual encounter or do I learn to use my imagination a bit more during strap-on play? I thought in the past that I might be gay, but I figure since I have no desire to date men and can't see myself with a guy long-term, I must be bi. What are your thoughts?

Sorry If This Question Is A Little Scatterbrained

First, SITQIALS, I'm sorry if my response is a little scatterbrained. I'm on vacation and currently in something of an impaired-state holding pattern over the Pacific Ocean. I didn't read all of today's Savage Love mail—yours was the first letter I pulled from the stack—because the shit that's impairing me is forcing me to take it easy. How easy am I taking it? So easy that I'm not going to change "cum" to "come" in your letter.

Anyway, yeah, it sure sounds like you're into women, SITQIALS—even your fetish screams "into chicks." Your crossdressing and role-playing fantasies are all about your bone for women and femininity. You dig women so much, you want to play the role of the woman—you want to look like a woman, be treated like a woman, get fucked like a woman. But in your fantasy scenarios, SITQIALS, men aren't human beings and sex partners, men aren't people with whom you could potentially have relationships, they're props, the finishing touch that completes your ensemble.

And once you blow your load, once the game is over (once you COME), you're done, you don't need that prop anymore, and you just want to scram.

So what do you do? Well, I think your fetish makes you pretty damn near incapable of monogamy, and you've already discovered that strap-ons don't meet your particular needs. So, yeah, I think you should hold out for a woman who's into your fetish and turned on by the idea of sharing your ass—when it's wearing panties—with a few good men. It'll mean a longer search for the right woman, which you should be willing to do, because you're worth it.

You might want to Google "autogynephilia." Not saying that's where you're at or headed, don't know enough about it to endorse it, but... it seemed relevant, food for thought, the more you know, etc.


I have two things to ask/say: (1) Could you remind people that if they're going to cheat on their partner, to use protection? (2) Could you give me advice on getting over my ex-girlfriend? She ended things pretty terribly (see question 1), yet I'm still having a hard time letting go.

Broken Up

(1) People, if you're going to cheat on your partner, please use protection. It's quite literally the least you can do. (2) Fuck other people—lots of other people. But if you were the one who dumped her, with cause, after she cheated, and she wants to get back together, well, sometimes forgiving someone for cheating is easier than getting over them. Only you know if this is one of those times.

CONFIDENTIAL TO CALIFORNIA: Congratulations!


mail@savagelove.net

 

Comments (85) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
J-Haxx 1
On behalf of all Californians - thank you Dan, we couldn't have done it without you!! xox
Posted by J-Haxx http://defyaugury.livejournal.com on August 11, 2010 at 9:09 AM · Report this
shahnahnah 2
The advice to GGGLLAM should be followed by some grown-ass men as well.
Posted by shahnahnah on August 11, 2010 at 9:14 AM · Report this
3
We'll cut you some slack for your really, really half-assed column this week, Dan--you deserve a vacation, you really do--but get back on track soon, dammit!
Posted by BeefFace on August 11, 2010 at 9:45 AM · Report this
4
@2: Yeah. Pretty much everyone, really. Take care of your body, have interests, be sex-savvy.

Another memo to teen boys: Ask for help now if you have no clue what to wear/smell like/read, etc. Could your dad, uncle, someone. Could be the clerk at a clothing store or the bookstore. Ask.

Especially in the area of clothes, some people are unhelpful drones, but once you find someone genuinely nice and helpful, it makes a HUGE difference. If you're completely clueless, they'll help you figure out what fits you, your budget, your core style, etc.

And pleeeease don't ask, "How do I talk to girls?" They're just people. Be nice, ASK QUESTIONS (everyone likes talking about themselves), and you'll do fine. If you don't click, it isn't because she's an alien species; it's because you're different people. You don't like every guy you meet, and vice versa, right?
Posted by Gloria on August 11, 2010 at 9:55 AM · Report this
5
To the bi guy: I'm a straight chick engaged to a bi guy. He told me a few months into our relationship about his sexuality and fetish (giving bjs). Though I was a very very vanilla girl, my guy was so great I was willing to try opening the relationship up to keep it. So I set rules I was comfortable with (he can't do anything w/ a guy that I can't do) and went for it, unsure of whether it'd work out, honestly. (I was the first gf he told, tho he cheated on all past girls)

Two years later - we're about to get married and his kink has turned into something that turns me on. We talk about it freely and totally trust each other.

So basically: be an awesome guy to an open-minded woman first, then break the news and talk it out.
Posted by bggg on August 11, 2010 at 10:01 AM · Report this
6
I'd love to see a similar article written as advice for teenage girls!
Posted by esthacat on August 11, 2010 at 10:02 AM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 7
This column is posted from the future, featuring a letter from the past.

I think I'm freakin' out, man!
Posted by Urgutha Forka on August 11, 2010 at 10:09 AM · Report this
venomlash 8
Damn, Dan, I know you're on vacation and all, but I do believe that this is the first time that you've re-run two SLLOTD in the same weekly column.
Ah well. They're both interesting, at least...
Posted by venomlash on August 11, 2010 at 10:18 AM · Report this
gr8lakesgrrl 9
Thanks so much, Dan, I'm printing that first bit of advice for my sons AND my husband.

@5, excellent advice!
@6, me too!
Posted by gr8lakesgrrl on August 11, 2010 at 10:39 AM · Report this
Sir Vic 10
@6 They have a gazillion magazines to tell them that. Boys are lucky if they have a father figure give them life lessons, and many of them don't.
Posted by Sir Vic on August 11, 2010 at 10:53 AM · Report this
MythicFox 11
@6 -- Well, in all fairness, magazines directed at girls don't tell them things like "Take care of yourself and dress well to attract men." They say things like "You're not attracting men because you're fat and dress badly." Subtle distinction. (Or at least, the last I checked, that's how it worked.) And hell, I had a father figure available to give me life lessons (or at least every other weekend, I did) and he sucked at it. He once tried to give 'the talk,' but I just wasn't interested in the subject at that point in my life so he gave up on the first try when bringing up the subject didn't trigger a deluge of awkward questions from me.
Posted by MythicFox on August 11, 2010 at 11:24 AM · Report this
MythicFox 12
Er, my comment at 11 was meant for @10. Stupid 'just woke up from nap posting.'
Posted by MythicFox on August 11, 2010 at 11:25 AM · Report this
Rach3l 13
If all you care about is attracting as many members of the opposite sex as possible, Dan's advice is spot-on. But I personally recommend just being yourself (behaviorally)--you should still be cleanly and wear clean clothing. But don't wear fashionable clothes if you like wearing something different. If you want to try goth, go for it. It's not popular but you shouldn't sublimate your personality to the demands of what is "popular."

Read if you enjoy reading. Play football if you enjoy football. Pick up an instrument if you like music. Draw or paint if you like art. Play world of warcraft if you like computer games.

Be true to yourself first and foremost. The girls or boys will follow eventually and you'll be a more whole person than if you spend your teen years molding yourself into an Abercrombie and Fitch plastic mannequin.

Being unpopular in high school (while reading constantly, playing saxophone, getting valedictorian rank in my class, and skipping the weekend parties because I didn't care for liquor) meant I didn't get any action until I was 20. But damn, have I had some extremely fulfilling experiences because I didn't simply drop trou for the first person who came along and was interested in me.
Posted by Rach3l on August 11, 2010 at 11:46 AM · Report this
Sir Vic 14
@11 - Totally agree. Magazines for teenage girls aren't particularly helpful, but at least they pretend to make an effort to offer advice. Magazines targeted at teenage boys are about external stuff, like gadgets, music & sports. Very little attempt to offer advice there, other than how to make something cool from crap sitting around the house.

I also had an awesome father figure who never bothered to have "the talk". He figured that I was smart enough to figure out Tab A & Slot B on my own, like many guys do. The real advice came down to: "Pay attention to what you are doing" and "Actions have consequences". Which, when you think about it, can really cover the whole "how to score with the ladies" topic without useless details. (Who wants to hear their dad talks about his "moves" anyhow?)

The general advice for teenage boys can probably be summed up as: "Men get more pussy than boys, so work on growing the fuck up!"
Posted by Sir Vic on August 11, 2010 at 12:23 PM · Report this
15
@11: I haven't picked up a magazine directed at teenaged girls in a while, but I didn't get the impression that things got so cutthroat until you got out of the teen market. Besides, the question asked for quality advice, and the advice for the usual pursuers (have your life in order first, having your shit together is incredibly attractive) is different from quality advice for the usual pursuees (people will try to tell you all sorts of shit to varying ends, make critical thinking and self-discovery your primary focus for this point in your life.)
Posted by ChiTodd on August 11, 2010 at 12:27 PM · Report this
16
Dan, that was great advice for teenage boys.
Posted by James Hutchings on August 11, 2010 at 12:49 PM · Report this
17 Comment Pulled (Spam) Comment Policy
18
@10 is absolutely correct and should be noted as such. I received pretty close to zero advice on romantic/sexual relationships from my dad; he quietly gave me an old sex-ed book and a package of condoms once, but basically almost never touched the subject at all. Frankly, even if he had given me advice, I'm not sure how good it would have been. I certainly wasn't getting any trustworthy information from my friends either. What's left to learn from? Movies? Porn? Health class teachers? Ho boy.

I don't think I was alone in this way, either. The general impression I get, in retrospect, is that the girls often got more reliable support from family and friends than the guys did. Keep that in mind when you marvel at younger guys' complete cluelessness in such matters.

And thanks for making a bit of effort in that direction, Dan.
Posted by Morosoph on August 11, 2010 at 1:53 PM · Report this
19
Crossdressing dude potentially has a third option aside from "share his ass" or "spend his life feeling unfulfilled": find a drag king. A female partner who's willing to swagger around like a douchebag and objectify him a bit before pegging his hot little girlie ass might be just the thing. You never know until you try, right?
Posted by perversecowgirl on August 11, 2010 at 2:23 PM · Report this
20
I have to chime in with the "be yourself" advice for young boys. To attract girls you have to suppress a little bit of yourself when around them - be more discreet about farting, don't ogle other women when you're with one you're attracted to - but those are more social conventions one can abide by and still be true to yourself.

Just don't do what I did. When I was 17 I decided that, in order to stop repelling girls, I needed to pretend I didn't like heavy metal and start listening to U2. The non-metal girls could tell I was posing, and the metal girls (a few existed even back in the 80s) didn't know I was one of their tribe.

To thine ownself be true, like that old bi writer said.
Posted by truthspeaker on August 11, 2010 at 2:24 PM · Report this
21
On behalf of grammar whores everywhere: thank you, thank you, thank you, Dan. The difference between "cum" and "come" should be pointed out at least once to every person taking high school English. Wishful thinking, I guess...
Posted by Antigone on August 11, 2010 at 7:33 PM · Report this
22
One more thing for the teenage boys out there: condoms. Learn to buy them. Learn to keep them handy. Learn which ones you like best. Learn how to put them on properly and masturbate with them. Learn how to take them off without making a mess, wrap them in toilet paper, and put them in the middle of the trash can (NO FLUSHING!) Perhaps, none of that will get you laid the first time, but it will sure as heck get you that second date!
Posted by GrownUp on August 11, 2010 at 7:47 PM · Report this
23
I'm glad you run your teenaged boy advice every few years, Dan. It's gold.
Posted by MichelleZB on August 11, 2010 at 8:41 PM · Report this
24
Wow. If you wanted us to read old columns, just say and enjoy your vacation. Two repeats - one even from months ago? :(
Posted by dakoneko on August 11, 2010 at 9:31 PM · Report this
25
SITQIALS, there are a lot of women who are turned on by guy-on-guy action (some examples being myself and the girls I obsessively watched queer as folk with). I guess I can't make a blanket statement saying you're every woman's wet dream, but you're a lot of womens' wet dream - particularly if you're OK with a little voyeurism on her part while you have your bi encounters. It's up to you whether you want to hold out for a woman who's into the odd bi encounter, but I think such a woman might be easier to find than you expect.
Posted by Fan of EVPC on August 11, 2010 at 11:00 PM · Report this
26
I know this advice for teenage boys seems to be popular, but I don't think it's very good advice, at least not for straight boys. It's probably good advice for gay boys, but attracting girls is very different than attracting boys. Girls, especially young ones, care less about looks, muscles, interests, and friendship, and more about status, dominance, personality, and attitude.

Teenage boys need to learn things like how to tease girls, how to ignore them, how to avoid seeming needy, how to avoid getting stuck in the friend zone, how to flirt, and how to play hard-to-get. Your advice is good for making boys into good people, but possibly counterproductive for attracting teenage or early 20s girls (who are not the most mature people around).
Posted by BlackRose on August 12, 2010 at 1:47 AM · Report this
Rach3l 27
Having been a teenaged girl myself, I can at least agree that looks don't mean a whole lot, but there's a critical level of ugliness that you must be above to be considered dateable. Just as you must be "this popular" to date.

Example: super cute guy in middle school. I secretly had a crush on him but couldn't date him because he played magic the gathering and dnd with his friends, and barked and purred at people walking past his desk (ok so he was a little nutty and/or furry, too). Regardless, even though he was cute, he wasn't dateable.

But overall, structuring the majority of one's life around the pursuit of their preferred sex is pathetic. Do what you like and be yourself, and if the girls/boys don't follow, they weren't worth your time anyway. Because eventually, you're going to lapse into being yourself around them. If you pretend to be super GGG or open-minded to reel a person in, but really you're not into that kind of sex, you're participating in a bait-and-switch. I don't support the b&s method for ANYTHING (including personality, sex, interests).
Posted by Rach3l on August 12, 2010 at 2:14 AM · Report this
28
@26: "attracting teenage or early 20s girls (who are not the most mature people around"

When I was 19, if I met a guy who "played hard to get", I would have thought he was a condescending douchenozzle. I still do. Courtship games are bullshit.
Posted by Gloria on August 12, 2010 at 6:52 AM · Report this
29
I agree with @28.

I remember when I was about 14 through 18 and there was one guy who ALWAYS had girls around him. He wasn't the best looking, but he was always well groomed and extremely comfortable around girls and could talk to them about their interests because he was genuinely interested. Girls had crushes on him (including me). But I do agree with @26 about not appearing needy. Appearing desperate is never attractive for both sexes.
Posted by been there and back again on August 12, 2010 at 7:35 AM · Report this
30
Wow @26, I bet you get a lot of girls and have long satisfying relationships! Ewwwwww.
Posted by idaho on August 12, 2010 at 8:23 AM · Report this
31
I appreciate Dan's intent, and I'm all for hygiene and good manners. But I really wonder whether reinforcing the notion that an entire group of people is "repulsive" is constructive. A lot of male pathologies start around that age, and being made to feel repulsive, worthless, etc. is at the heart of a great deal of it. Maybe making boys feel like their basic self is repellent isn't the right way to fix that problem...because the normal human reaction to an intractable situation which isn't your fault is either depression, or rage. Do we really need more of those things in the world?

Also, @26 has a good point in that being a good person is all well and good, but it's a hell of a lot easier to be a good person when you've had loads of sex first. That may sound facetious, but I'm quite serious. Once a guy comes to regard sex as something that's fundamentally available to him (because he's a basically attractive person), rather than a scarce commodity that he's always in danger of losing (because he's fundamentally UNattractive), it's the first step towards a more mature attitude towards relationships.

There's also the "sowing one's wild oats" factor as well. So many guys are haunted by all the sex they didn't have in their teens and early 20s, and they carry that into their adult relationships as well. Again, that's something we don't need more of in the world.
Posted by Olympus Mons on August 12, 2010 at 8:30 AM · Report this
32
@31 - "Once a guy comes to regard sex as something that's fundamentally available to him (because he's a basically attractive person), rather than a scarce commodity that he's always in danger of losing (because he's fundamentally UNattractive), it's the first step towards a more mature attitude towards relationships."

There is some truth to this. The perpetual unrequited horniness of high school/college boyhood can create, in some guys, certain patterns of thought that die hard - I have multiple friends in their early thirties who only now seem to be coming around to some deeper understanding that they are, in fact, capable of attracting women just as they are.
Posted by Morosoph on August 12, 2010 at 9:10 AM · Report this
33
A douchenozzle is really only good for one thing, being inserted into one's ass/pussy. Maybe a condescending jerk is the opposite of a douchenozze?
Posted by suckerforscience on August 12, 2010 at 9:28 AM · Report this
34
@26

Boy you know everything about women, don't you? What a charmer.
Posted by DianeLGD on August 12, 2010 at 10:43 AM · Report this
35
Maybe the advice to BU should have been read: "Fuck other people - lots of people, WITH PROTECTION." I mean, I'm just filling in the blanks here, but the reference back to Question 1 indicates that there are STIs or pregnancy involved. Also, going to the doctor might be a good call.
Posted by notemo on August 12, 2010 at 10:58 AM · Report this
36
SITQUIALS could do with reading Alice in Genderland, an autobiography about a married man who dresses at the weekend and has a male partner when he's dressed. Might give a few pointers.
http://aliceingenderland.com/
Posted by krissf on August 12, 2010 at 11:53 AM · Report this
37
@28 - I think the term "asswipe" is much more degrading. A douchnozzle has a use, and an asshole has a use. Actually, it would suck to try to live without an asshole. An asswipe is a one use item, and once it's done, it is totally worthless.
Posted by Barbara on August 12, 2010 at 1:00 PM · Report this
38
@37: Well, an asswipe has a use too, even if it *is* disposable.

In fact, I think we, as well as our assholes, would all be bereft, if we did not have proper asswipes.

And most douches, at best, are optional (and can genuinely mess up a woman's system, making it a more-than-apt metaphor!). Asswiping is not ... I hope!
Posted by Gloria on August 12, 2010 at 1:20 PM · Report this
39
Dan, you continue to ROCK!!!
Thanks again for a great column!!
Posted by auntie grizelda on August 12, 2010 at 1:48 PM · Report this
40
"Broken up"'s post reminds of a time several years ago when I had my window open and my neighbor had his window open and all of a sudden I heard a loud, angry woman's voice, "WHY DO YOU HAVE HERPES MEDICINE!?" Followed by some pleading, more yelling and doorslams. I didn't hear a female voice from that direction again ...
Posted by eric44 on August 12, 2010 at 5:50 PM · Report this
41
Can we please get past this advice to ask girls questions. True, women and girls like a guy who is comfortable around them, and can talk to them like any other person. But they generally hate the guy who comes up and starts asking questions. They much prefer the comfortable guy who can speak in an interesting way, then converse. The interview is a real deal killer when meeting women. Very boring.
Posted by rp on August 12, 2010 at 7:18 PM · Report this
42
Comment #26 was posted by a bitter and clueless manbaby.

Work to become a good and attractive man and you will end up with good and attractive women. Make yourself into a fucking crazy bitch who plays mind games and the women you date will be just as creepy and irritating as you have inexplicably decided to become.
Posted by lilechka on August 13, 2010 at 3:36 AM · Report this
43
@26 may come off as a douchenozzle, but methinks a lot of you are being a bit naive. "Be yourself" and the girls will come a runnin'. OK.. the yourself that has no idea how to flirt or be dashing, witty and charming? After all, if a woman is sending you signals that she's interested, and you're too dense to pick up on those signals, she will at some point decide you're either not interested or gay.

And then there's the whole joyful, painful process of learning not to come off as clingy or desperate, in any number of ways. OK, if you like a girl, you should call her, text her, etc. But if you do those things too soon, too much, women will think you're creepy. **ALL** women. Ditto, initiating too much physical contact too soon - ie, holding hands. Ditto.. any number of behaviors.

Young men grow up watching movies and TV shows where the "nice guy" always eventually "gets the girl", usually by being really, really, sickeningly nice. Ugh. Wrong, wrong, wrong. First of all, women are not mysterious creatures; like men, they have to be attracted to someone. Without that attraction, you can be as "nice" (usually, read creepy, clingy, desperate, and like a doormat) as you want to be, but you're getting nowhere, ever. It takes a long time to unlearn those sorts of hideous notions.

The idea that if you just have a well-rounded life you'll meet all these quality women.. naive. I'm sure that women can tell you the same thing: just because you have a good job, great friends, fulfilling life etc. is no guarantee that the dudes won't be more than a stream of creeps.
Posted by randomTOguy on August 13, 2010 at 6:06 AM · Report this
Cherry Pirate 44
dan, you just solved a life long mystery.

My whole life I have never had the least bit of trouble garnering the positive attention of girls and boys I liked. However everyone around me who made far more serious efforts to wear stylish clothes everyday, style their hair everyday etc. Just had the dickens of a time. I could never understand what their problem was.

But I just realized the difference with your letter: I sat in the library reading and I went downtown to rallies and started up charity drives. I developed opinions on my world and tried to do things to help it. I guess I never realized or even fathomed the thought that at the end of day I was probably more interesting than these other guys. But now that i think of it, one of my g/fs in high school flat out told me.

I have one piece of advice to tack on from "In like Flynn (?)". Don't compete with the man or woman you're with. People hate being upstaged all the time, and it makes you look like you have some issue with not being the center of attention(i.e. it's annoying as shit).I mean, contribute to the situation, and take the stage when they don't want it, but let them shine, don't compete with them and they will like you that much more.
Posted by Cherry Pirate on August 13, 2010 at 7:25 AM · Report this
45
@41: "But they generally hate the guy who comes up and starts asking questions."

Yeah, that makes you seem like a weirdo. Who the hell "comes up" to a person and starts asking questions?

My point was, if you feel you can't think of anything to say (a common problem for many of the socially maladjusted), just try to think of interesting questions to ask. It shows that you're digesting what she's saying, thinking about it, and possibly taking it into new directions -- maybe your question takes the topic in a direction she hasn't thought of before.

It also gives you more material to bounce off your own thoughts.

@43: I think you have some odd hang-ups about this notion of "nice" and what people here are saying. Most of the advice focuses on knowledge and personality. The point is, if you don't obsess about getting pussy and focus on yourself as a person, girls and women will automatically read that as "not desperate."

I frankly enjoy the company of guys who have their own interests and thoughts, and not constantly viewing me as some kind of challenge for their wit and charm, because inevitably these guys come as a bit smarmy and I feel uncomfortable that it's turned into some kind of mating dance. What reads to me as "flirty": A smile, humour, and being engaged in the things I say. Chemistry, to me, is good conversation. That's it. You want to show or reciprocate interest? Ask her to get a coffee/ice cream/etc. together. That's it!

If a woman runs screaming from you (I'm using the general "you") because you texted her two days after meeting her instead of three, then she's an idiot way too obsessed with "The Rules."

If you're calling her three times a day trying to find out where she is, etc., then yes, YOU ARE CREEPY. If you can't recognize that, you're not the person we're trying to help here. We're trying to help average teenage boys who are way too worried about imaginary missteps and secret codes and hidden feminine clues.

"Young men grow up watching movies and TV shows where the 'nice guy' always eventually 'gets the girl', usually by being really, really, sickeningly nice."

The bizarre thing is how many of those movies are written by men. They have this fantasy that they don't need to be real people with their own lives -- as long as they cling on long enough, a woman will eventually give in and want you. Yep, I hate those movies and shows too.
More...
Posted by Gloria on August 13, 2010 at 7:52 AM · Report this
46
@43: Good post. I think @26 is taking a lot of crap from people who aren't actually reading his/her post, which basically says that (1) teenage boys need to learn to treat girls in a non-clingy, non-needy way and lose the powerless, grasping vibe, and (2) girls are generally attracted to status, self-possessedness, and a kind of good-natured detachment (aka "cool"). And so it's useful to project those things in an indirect way -- like teasing a girl instead of hanging on her every word, or not being fooled into thinking that overbearing earnestness is the way to a woman's heart.

All of this is true, though obviously it depends somewhat on how good-looking and charismatic the parties in question are, among other things. A guy who's smoking hot can act like a doofus and will probably still get girls. A girl who's not conventionally attractive probably hasn't been on the receiving end of overwhelming male attention the way that "hot" women often have, so a guy who acts pleasantly indifferent isn't a refreshing change for her. Social context is a big factor too: the behavior that's perfect for England would fail miserably in Brazil, and vice versa.

I'm not sure why it makes people so angry to contemplate these things. There's a place for open-hearted sincerity, but it's generally not an efficient means of getting laid or attracting the opposite sex. Being aware of these psychological truths doesn't mean you have to be crazy heavy-handed or manipulative about them: if you KNOW someone's "playing hard to get", then they're doing it wrong. The idea is to project the sense that you have a life outside the other person, and aren't going to drop everything for them at a moment's notice.
Posted by Olympus Mons on August 13, 2010 at 8:09 AM · Report this
47
@45: Your advice is spot-on up to a point, but telling someone "don't obsess about getting pussy" is both completely correct, and totally unhelpful. There's a certain level of insight that a teenager is never going to have until he actually GETS said pussy; it's amazing to watch how much a guy's personality changes after he gets laid for the first few times.

Also, it's good that you're authentically interested in other people and expect the same. But you may be underestimating how many out there are looking NOT for real people, but for archetypes. For every guy who watches a movie and thinks that persistence will wear down the girl of his dreams, there's a woman who reads a romance novel and fantasizes about the mysterious, powerful man who instinctively understands her and wants to whisk her away. Many people, male and female, prefer this tidy fantasy to messy reality; it's not even remotely a guy thing, but simply a human thing. Understanding what it is and where it comes from is crucial for anyone who's actively dating.
Posted by Olympus Mons on August 13, 2010 at 8:25 AM · Report this
48
@45

Yes, focus on yourself and don't "obsess about getting pussy". But this in and of itself is not going to mean you magically end up dating and in relationsips. There's a whole messy tricky part in there, where you have to learn all of these new social skills, which you kind of blithely dismiss with "Ask her to get a coffee/ice cream/etc. together. That's it!". That's it? So you go for coffee and somehow end up dating and in the sack together? Uh huh. Not buying it, sorry, 'cause I lived it, however poorly.

And then there's the part where, hey, what if you're this great guy, with lots of interests and doing things all of the time, but you almost never meet any women? Of course you want to live your life and not worry about these things, but implying that this will inevatibly result in success with women is flat-out incorrect. If your social circles are mostly guys, or mostly non-single ladies, or people who don't float your boat.. well, you're SOL, aren't ya? Especially if your passions are things that skew to male-dominated.

The point is, that yes, we should tell awkward teenage boys to focus on personal growth and not on "trying to get girls", and *hopefully* the "getting girls" part will sort itself out in the end because you've grown into a confident, attractive man. But it's not necessarily *going* to turn out that way, and implying that it will is another Big Lie, just like all of those stupid romance movies and TV shows, which we are in complete agreement about.
Posted by randomTOguy on August 13, 2010 at 8:47 AM · Report this
49
Actually, I don't think we should tell awkward teenage boys to focus on personal growth or themselves per se. I've always found that line of advice to be more or less bullshit, in the same way that I think that "learn to be happy on your own, then you can be happy with someone else" is bullshit.

Of course, personal growth is great, and having your shit together is crucial once a relationship gets going. But humans are social creatures who like to hang out, have sex, and do a million other things that need sociality to work. In order to make that sociality happen, you need to understand what makes people tick, what they want, and how their actions relate to their conscious and unconscious selves. (Many people think they want X, but deep down they really want Y, even though they'll swear up and down that X is what they want and get infuriated if someone contradicts them.)

So actually, rather than "focus on yourself", I'd tell an awkward teenage boy to focus more on other people -- but on UNDERSTANDING them, not on trying to get things (validation, sex, etc.) from them. If you understand what other people want, you can figure out how that fits in with your own life, and what can be changed without cost to yourself to make yourself more magnetic. People who can do that have much better luck with the opposite sex; people who can't are at a permanent disadvantage. It's unfair, but so's life.
Posted by Olympus Mons on August 13, 2010 at 9:00 AM · Report this
50
@48: "So you go for coffee and somehow end up dating and in the sack together?"

Um, don't most relationships start out that way? I'm not saying all coffee dates end up in relationships, but all relationships start from some point, even something nebulous like just getting drinks together.

Anyway, with that comment I was mostly addressing this point you made: "After all, if a woman is sending you signals that she's interested, and you're too dense to pick up on those signals, she will at some point decide you're either not interested or gay."

Basically, indicating interest isn't rocket science.

"And then there's the part where, hey, what if you're this great guy, with lots of interests and doing things all of the time, but you almost never meet any women?"

The point to create a foundation that you can build on later. Find out what your interests are, develop them, and then later when you start seeking out women, it'll be a lot easier to interest and keep them at your side.

"If your social circles are mostly guys, or mostly non-single ladies, or people who don't float your boat.. well, you're SOL, aren't ya? Especially if your passions are things that skew to male-dominated."

Then go out and find interest groups that do. Hell, there are chess clubs and hiking clubs that are advertised as singles-focused.

Focusing on your interests doesn't mean pretending every circumstance is perfect and ignoring a flaw like "no women here!" You're treating this advice like it means "don't ever try to meet women."

And can we keep in mind that we're still talking about TEENAGED BOYS HERE? If you haven't fucked someone by the time you're 20, you may be above average in that respect, but you're by no means not a doomed virgin, especially if you go to college, where there are tons of women.

"But it's not necessarily *going* to turn out that way, and implying that it will is another Big Lie."

Does anything necessarily turn out any way? Advice is a guideline -- like pointing someone in a general direction that sort of helps them get there, but there's probably going to be obstacles and errors along the way.

Christ, if someone got mad at me because my advice didn't guarantee them a lifetime of pussy and happiness, I'd tell them to fuck off.
More...
Posted by Gloria on August 13, 2010 at 2:10 PM · Report this
51
@48: Also, I honestly don't mean to turn this into a "well do you have any better ideas" but I am genuinely curious: What *is* your advice to teenaged boys? If you don't think things like "have interests" is helpful, I imagine "be dashing and witty" doesn't really help either.

I'm interested in hearing what you think dateless people should do to draw in others. I mean, hell, it's not like I'm roping them in either.
Posted by Gloria on August 13, 2010 at 2:19 PM · Report this
52
@50 - "Basically, indicating interest isn't rocket science."

It may not be rocket science, but I don't really think you appreciate the extent to which these things are learned and not completely innate. It's not just about "indicating interest"; it's about having a little insight into how your words might be heard by that subject of interest, and thus knowing how to indicate interest in a way that doesn't come off as offputting, needy, hackneyed, etc. The point @48 is trying to make is that this is what can easily get glossed over.
Posted by Morosoph on August 13, 2010 at 2:25 PM · Report this
53
@48: "There's a whole messy tricky part in there, where you have to learn all of these new social skills."

Another honest question: Like what? What new social skills do teenaged boys need to learn that haven't been mentioned here? Be witty and charming? I think that pretty much applies to everyone.

I'm baffled. But I admit it, I'm not a guy, I'm no longer teenaged, and I may just not understand. Or maybe I'm just not the kind of woman you're talking about; I've been told before that my approach to dating is unusually pragmatic.
Posted by Gloria on August 13, 2010 at 2:29 PM · Report this
54
@52: "offputting, needy, hackneyed, etc."

I think asking someone out for a beverage in a public place is a fairly useful, non-threatening, open way to approach anyone, whether it's someone you don't know as much or someone you know quite well.

If we're asking for more specific, concrete advice than "indicate interest but don't creepy her out!" yet potentially applicable to any number of situations and women, then I do believe that's probably one of the more helpful ideas.

I agree these things are learned. Part of learning is practising and doing it. If the coffee line never works for you, then by all means you should try something else. It's a way of getting started, which particularly suits a teenaged demographic.

Asking a girl out for a coffee isn't just an approach for dating, but it's just good for learning to socialize in general, especially in the close-quarters way that involves just two people.

It's also another way of "not obsessing" about sex. It *could* end up there, but it might not. You might just end up parting ways or even better, gaining a friend. That'd help a guy too in meeting more girls later.

I wouldn't be worried about "hackneyed" unless you're using some kind of cheesy pick-up line your uncle taught you. Or if you plan to turn your romantic life into a movie script.
Posted by Gloria on August 13, 2010 at 2:49 PM · Report this
Danrilor 55
Good column for being written in a plane while drunk. Giving sex advice to teenage boys is like trying to train rocks to dance, but it was a valient effort.
Posted by Danrilor on August 13, 2010 at 11:01 PM · Report this
Lil 56
Dan, I love that whenever you're in a plane you're always drunk. I miss those days- fucking sobriety, man.
Posted by Lil on August 14, 2010 at 2:12 PM · Report this
HellboundAlleee 57
I only like boys who have interests. Interests other than sex. Unless it's in sex-advice or something, then that would be okay. I had many passions in school; why would I have wanted a guy who had none? You get a chance to see someone alive in their face, in their eyes. When they talk about X, it makes them beautiful. And sure, if it's video games, they might want to find a gal who likes the same--because no one wants to be a widow--one wants to share a passion. And if it's comics, well, there are female comic book geeks too--who long for a fanboy who isn't hopelessly misogynistic.
Posted by HellboundAlleee http://hellboundalleee.blogspot.com on August 14, 2010 at 6:57 PM · Report this
58
God, I feel sorry for Dan's son. His opinion of teenage boys should considered abusive in any one in charge of raising a teenage boy.

The number one advice that should be given to adolescent boys is to not listen to females or column writing gay dudes about, dating, relationships, self-improvement, developing their identities, or anything really.

If all they learn through their high school years is how to be uncompromising and unapologetic about who they are and their interests, they'll be fine.

And girls don't mature faster than boys in any way other than physically.
Posted by arctic_jay on August 14, 2010 at 9:26 PM · Report this
Backyard Bombardier 59
@58: Do you have a teenage son? I do. I think it's pretty damn good advice. "Look after yourself, try to be an interesting person, and focus on the man you are becoming - and who you want him to be - not the boy you are today," makes a lot of sense to me. I could have used that perspective myself.

"Don't take advice from females or gay dudes, and never compromise or apologize for yourself," reads a lot like advice for developing into a sexist, homophobic, asshole. Not what I want my son to become, thanks.
Posted by Backyard Bombardier on August 15, 2010 at 7:49 AM · Report this
60
@58: How is preaching self-confidence and self-improvement bad? Way to sound overly defensive and trollish while in effect agreeing with the column. I guess you win, too, because you got two of us to feed your trolling. Kudos?

From California to Mr. Savage: Thanks! It's pretty nice to know that someone here still remembers why we have a representative system.
Posted by apathyman on August 15, 2010 at 9:38 AM · Report this
61
Most of the people (men and women) in the 18-26 age group are complete tools without depth, experience, or knowledge. The advice for young men to get a shave and a haircut and go talk to women in the pursuit of sex is conventional as all fuck. If you want to see where conventional leads, look at the older generations and their dilapidated, torn-up psyches. Male heterosexuality is completely unlike bi, gay, or female experience. It is a gauntlet and the first enemy is yourself. Shoehorning yourself into a young female's life agenda is a sorry-ass way to throw your life and potential away. I know 50 year olds still damaged from this idea that a woman completes a man, or that a man needs sex to be happy, etc., etc. The fastest way to accelerate understanding of women is to make real platonic female friends.
Posted by STEELDREADNAUGHT on August 15, 2010 at 11:51 AM · Report this
62
Thanks for the congrats, Dan - I speak for all intelligent Californians who recognize that the issue here is not just same-sex marriage - it's more one of upholding the equal rights protection enshrined in the 14th Amendment. Anyone with half a brain should be thrilled with the outcome, be they gay or straight, conservative or liberal. (If it means anything, I'm gay and liberal, but have no immediate interest in getting married.)

This was a victory for common sense, and I hope that it prevails when the Supremes consider it. I'm hopeful, since Kennedy is clearly the swing (!) vote here, and he has already expressed views that portend a favorable outcome.

But I have to confess to gloating over the fact that the real defendants in the case (California, represented by Jerry and Arnie) are thrilled with the decision, and have unequivocally stated that they have NO intent to appeal the stay! Delicious irony.

Again thank you Dan - for ALL your valuable advice, wisdom and insight.
Posted by harddavid on August 15, 2010 at 1:15 PM · Report this
63
@59

"Do you have a teenage son? I do. I think it's pretty damn good advice."

Maybe you need to hone your critical thinking skills, as it would improve your parenting. Every person, no matter what age, is in a stage of development and one of the most difficult and important things to develop is a sense of one's core being and an acceptance of that. Dan's idea of development is simply grooming oneself in order to meet the shallowest of societal standards. It's also ridiculous to advocate only putting value in a possible better, more-complete future self. Boys deserve respect and consideration while they're still boys. Calling them mostly repulsive is a vile thing to do and I almost think Dan did so to assure people he's not a pedo.

"...reads a lot like advice for developing into a sexist, homophobic, asshole. Not what I want my son to become, thanks."

God, you really don't get it, do you? Pressuring boys to primarily value the expectations of women over themselves is what leads them to eventually hate women.
Posted by arctic_jay on August 15, 2010 at 1:44 PM · Report this
64
I agree with 63: calling teenaged boys physically repulsive is both unkind and untrue. It also glosses over the fact that most teenage girls also spend a lot of time feeling hideous and undesirable, whatever the reality is.

Young girls are often attracted to their age peers, and don't necessarily spend their time pining over older guys. The main reason that teenage boys don't get as much sex as they would like is because they want an unrealistically huge amount of sex, and because teenage girls have a whole host of hangups and pressures surrounding sex that are largely invisible to self-absorbed guys.

While girls do mature physically a little faster than boys, that gap is nowhere as large as it is made out to be. People like to exaggerate the difference because society considers it apropriate to sexualise young girls, but not young boys.

Posted by Melony on August 16, 2010 at 6:01 AM · Report this
samanthaf63 65
Dan's advice is going to work just fine for the nice, decent, bright girls out there. It won't work for the stuck-up bitches or the vapid fashion plates or the shallow bimbo type that only date the hot guys or the guys with money.

However, he has to be deep enough himself to pursue girls worthy of a good guy, not the stuck-up bitches, vapid fashion plates or shallow bimbo types.
Posted by samanthaf63 on August 16, 2010 at 6:17 AM · Report this
Backyard Bombardier 66
Arctic Jay: "I almost think Dan did so to assure people he's not a pedo."

Hm. My critical thinking skills are honed well enough to recognize thinly veiled homophobia when I see it.

I also recognize when a columnist is using humour and hyperbole ("a rhetorical device in which statements are exaggerated") to make a point. I don't believe for a second that Dan considers teenaged boys to actually resemble short, hairless, chimps. But, as with the "canned hams" line, there are those for whom it seems to hit a little too close to home to be able to recognize either the humour or the point.
Posted by Backyard Bombardier on August 16, 2010 at 8:35 AM · Report this
67
Thank you so much for the golden oldie. I, too, have a file of useful dating & mating advice to bestow on my (currently 9 & 10 year-old) boys. I wasn't around for the first run, and this one was fabulous, to the point. Their Dad won't remember this phase so succinctly; as their mom, I can't tell them most of it without them dying of embarrassment.
Thanks for your great work!
Posted by kmbr on August 16, 2010 at 9:56 AM · Report this
68
Sheesh, now I'm reading the other comments on how the teen dating advice caters to shallow vapidity and not to the dude's core values: hello, this is a sex column. If your kid has arrived at teenagerdom without intact core values, that is a problem for another column. Also, if he's already getting a lot of attention from girls his own age, clearly, he won't need the advice.

Attempt some common sense!
Posted by kmbr on August 16, 2010 at 10:14 AM · Report this
69
Dan, I know you are impaired, but please think better than to throw out words like "autogynephilia" when even you admit that you have no idea what you're talking about.
Posted by not the name of a registered user on August 16, 2010 at 12:16 PM · Report this
70
SITQIALS needs to find a pretty pre-op MTF tranny girl. There are plenty out there who are very female with hourglass hips and voices indistinguishable from women. Find someone feminine enough to form an emotional connection with but still having all of the requisite equipment (and the desire to use it).
Posted by Xylenz on August 16, 2010 at 2:44 PM · Report this
Freche_Lola 71
That's not just a golden oldie, it's a golden oldie of a golden oldie.
Posted by Freche_Lola on August 16, 2010 at 7:43 PM · Report this
dreadpiratepuck 72
@ 13 be yourself yes, but his advice doesn't preclude that- it just points out that having more than one hobby (especially if one of them is WOW or sports- and thus something to SAY to girls), having enough social intelligence to be able to say HI to girls, and bothering with personal hygiene is EXTREMELY helpful if you would EVER like to get laid.
@26 im a girl. its damn good advice. not for right away- he already said that- but for the long term.
Posted by dreadpiratepuck on August 16, 2010 at 8:01 PM · Report this
73
Yes, it's true, Dan likes to go for the funny quip - even when the subject matter is serious. And for virtually everyone who reads his column, the humor is a big part of why we enjoy it. And I'm the first to acknowledge that the people who write into him either know what they're getting into - or they're idiots who wrote to an advice columnist without knowing the columnist's style.

But if people are going to be printing out Dan's advice, and giving it to their sons - those boys didn't write to Dan Savage asking for advice about picking up women. Telling them that they resemble hairless chimps for the sake of a (weak) laugh from his readers is pretty damned mean. And I don't mean "mean" in the "you go girl, tell it like it is!" sense. (I also agree completely that anyone who talked to teenage girls, as a group, in that manner would be vilified).

Also, regardless of whether it will genuinely hurt the boys' feelings or not, it's pretty likely to cause a LOT of teenage boys out there to put the column down after reading the very beginning, and say, "Fuck this." All Dan had to do was say, "Girls your age tend to mature faster, and so they're focused on guys who are a little older than they are. And a lot of them are reluctant to socialize with the opposite sex because they have their own issues, as teenagers tend to do - so as a result, there aren't that many guys your age that are getting laid. But even if you can't get laid now, here's some advice for getting laid in the future."
Posted by Fidelio on August 16, 2010 at 8:40 PM · Report this
74
"Hm. My critical thinking skills are honed well enough to recognize thinly veiled homophobia when I see it."

Oh, sweetheart, cut the goody liberal kegel clenching. I'm a homo, too, and I consider homosexuality the nicest gift nature gave to me.

"But, as with the 'canned hams' line, there are those for whom it seems to hit a little too close to home to be able to recognize either the humour or the point."

Um, you mean like the teenaged boy this advice was supposed to be given to?
Posted by arctic_jay on August 16, 2010 at 9:52 PM · Report this
75
@63

I've gotta tell you, I'm a twenty-two year old man and thus only a bit separated from the "disgusting man-ape" portion of my adolescence, and I think there's a lot to be said for the position that if a young man of fifteen can't take what Dan is saying, he simply needs to sack up.

Part of growing up is the recognition that we're not all wonderful flower children with something beautiful to offer the world. Some of us (myself included on some, maybe even most, days) are simply unattractive. We have to accept that, and either fix the problem, or figure out a way to be physically unattractive, and still be interesting enough to get girls. Or guys. Or we accept that we aren't getting sex, and not care (or, at least, tell ourselves we don't care)

But, your point boils down to "there are more important things than sex, and there's more to relationships than shallow lust". I agree on both points as stated, but those aren't counter to what Dan wrote. He was talking about how to discuss getting laid with a young man of adolescence (who will be, 90% of the time, obsessed with sex without any outside interference), and how to both reassure them and guide them to becoming someone who will get girls eventually. Is shallowness good? Probably not. Is it bad? Probably not. Is it the reality of the life we life on this planet? You bet your ass.

Is is good to also teach young men that they should be independent, that sex isn't everything, and that they can have value (not that they inherently do, just that they can) without adhering to anyone else's standards? Absolutely. There's room for both.

The problem is that we've spent a good few decades so focused on "self-esteem is a human right, and should be based on the understanding that all wonderful snowflakes have something unique and fantastic to offer the world" that we've lost perspective.

Maybe I've become crotchety in my old age, but I believe that self-esteem should be earned by having some laudable trait. What you want us to do is give "consideration" to young men without particular talent, interest, or attractiveness, just to make sure we don't hurt their feelings? My answer is this: sometimes you need to have your feelings hurt.

@73

"And a lot of them are reluctant to socialize with the opposite sex because they have their own issues, as teenagers tend to do"

That's a very different perspective and take on the situation. Giving the advice you stated puts the locus of control (a nifty psychology term basically meaning "who's responsible for what happens") in the girls. It's saying "they don't like you because they 'have their own issues' (whatever that means)" rather than "they don't like you because you're pretty well unattractive at the moment".

The latter puts the locus of control, and hence impetus to change, on the boys (which is what Dan's point was). I don't think that he was being overly mean, or going for a cheap laugh; I think he was simply being direct and giving any boys reading this the benefit of the doubt that they're capable of looking at themselves objectively.

@74

*Shrugs* I think the argument boils down to whether we think that teenage boys would be able to read the article and accept what it's saying. I'm a strong proponent of giving a young man a kick in the ass and saying "you know what? You're not that awesome. You're not all that attractive, or smart, or interesting. You can be, so work on it, or don't come crying about the girls rejecting you."

If you've ever heard the whargarbl about "why doesn't she like me, she said she wanted a nice guy, and I'm a nice guy... She must just want a bad boy", you've seen the kind of coddling shit you're spewing in action. Guys who can't comprehend why a girl wouldn't like them are guys who've never been told "you're not that attractive". Dan is being honest, at least.
More...
Posted by Seldon2639 on August 17, 2010 at 12:05 AM · Report this
ColumbiaGirl 76
I'm confounded by the host of comments saying that Dan's advice won't work on high-school girls. Well, OF COURSE it won't! He doesn't claim it will. To quote:

"Worry less about getting your young teenage self laid and start thinking about getting your 18- or 20-year-old self laid."

Yes, teenage girls cluster around the alpha males. But we women tend to normalize a bit more as we get older. And for those who continue to cluster around alpha males? Well, maybe they're not the kind of women a well-read, well-dressed, interesting, fit man wants to waste his time on.

Oh: and yes, be true to yourself. But the notion that reading books in order to become a more interesting person would somehow be antithetical to being yourself...well, that fills me with sadness. There are all kinds of books, you know: if you like music, there are books about music; if you like art, there are books about art...at the very least, read a daily national paper so you know what's going on in the world. Reading helps give people an internal life, which is something to fall back on even if you aren't getting laid.
Posted by ColumbiaGirl on August 17, 2010 at 4:56 AM · Report this
77
@75

"I think there's a lot to be said for the position that if a young man of fifteen can't take what Dan is saying, he simply needs to sack up."

Sack up? Surely the wise words of a born mentor and leader of men. Sorry, but your idea of manhood is really warped. Accepting that one should edit oneself in order to garner more demographic popularity is the quickest path to spinelessness. The sackiest response a boy could give to anyone shoving this advice on him would be, "Go fuck yourself."

"Maybe I've become crotchety in my old age, but I believe that self-esteem should be earned by having some laudable trait."

Yes, and we earthlings elect you to be the arbiter of which traits are to be laudable. Self-esteem is not earned like some mental blue ribbon you wear on your psyche. Self-esteem, at least the resilient kind, is developed, and that development comes from a hard-won self-awareness. The laudits you deem are necessary for self-esteem are actually quite useless. People who develop talents in order to garner praise and attention from others usually end up becoming emotionally reliant on that attention while never really finding satisfaction from it, only to end up in shambles when the fickle public has move on. Real self-esteem is only generated when one values oneself beyond the judgement of others.

"What you want us to do is give "consideration" to young men without particular talent, interest, or attractiveness, just to make sure we don't hurt their feelings?"

By consideration, I meaning giving them the same default respect you'd give any other human being. Of all the thousands of people I've interacted with throughout my lifetime, only a handful would I describe as repulsive. To refer to entire group of people that way is fucked up, period. Not complaining about that would be the pussy thing to do.

"I think he was simply being direct and giving any boys reading this the benefit of the doubt that they're capable of looking at themselves objectively."

How is defining yourself based on the criteria of others looking at yourself objectively?

"I'm a strong proponent of giving a young man a kick in the ass and saying 'you know what? You're not that awesome. You're not all that attractive, or smart, or interesting. You can be, so work on it, or don't come crying about the girls rejecting you.'"

This totally comes off as a pathetic attempt to appear macho. Insulting young boys in order to feel tough? Really sad.

"If you've ever heard the whargarbl about "why doesn't she like me, she said she wanted a nice guy, and I'm a nice guy... She must just want a bad boy", you've seen the kind of coddling shit you're spewing in action."

Wow, you are really fucking delusional, or stupid, or a feminist. Probably all three. "Nice Guys" are the idiots who took all the criticisms, all the advice, all the admonitions to heart and followed them to the letter and still didn't get laid. The only thing they didn't do is follow my advice. Nobody following the maxim, "I have value irrespective of your opinion, so screw off you judgmental ass," would ever be thought of as a "Nice Guy."

"Guys who can't comprehend why a girl wouldn't like them are guys who've never been told 'you're not that attractive.'"

No, the guys who can't comprehend why girls don't like them are the one who listened to the standard propaganda about female preferences instead of simply observing how girls behave.

"Dan is being honest, at least."

Nah.
More...
Posted by arctic_jay on August 17, 2010 at 9:08 AM · Report this
78
@75: I just flat out don't agree that young teenage boys, or older teenage boys, or really any class of men look like disgusting man-apes (No class of man that is; I'm sure there are individual men that fit that description, and indeed it's quite possible that you do.

I also do not agree that young teenage girls already look like "attractive young women". I'm glad Dan is a gay man, because coming from a straight guy that line would sound pretty creepy. 13-15 year olds of both sexes look like what they are - awkward children.

It's true that most teenage boys aren't getting laid much and that they shouldn't expect to be. But I really don't think that "it's because you're gross LOL!" is an honest or effective way to convey that message.

And much like when guys go out of their way to describe women as beautiful goddesses and men as stinky neanderthals, it's actually quite disrespectful of teenage girls' own sexuality. I loved teenage boys when I was a teenage girl, and I would have been quite indignant to have my desire erased like that.
Posted by Melony on August 17, 2010 at 9:34 AM · Report this
79
@75: I just flat out don't agree that young teenage boys, or older teenage boys, or really any class of men look like disgusting man-apes (No class of man that is; I'm sure there are individual men that fit that description, and indeed it's quite possible that you do.

I also do not agree that young teenage girls already look like "attractive young women". I'm glad Dan is a gay man, because coming from a straight guy that line would sound pretty creepy. 13-15 year olds of both sexes look like what they are - awkward children.

It's true that most teenage boys aren't getting laid much and that they shouldn't expect to be. But I really don't think that "it's because you're gross LOL!" is an honest or effective way to convey that message.

And much like when guys go out of their way to describe women as beautiful goddesses and men as stinky neanderthals, it's actually quite disrespectful of teenage girls' own sexuality. I loved teenage boys when I was a teenage girl, and I would have been quite indignant to have my desire erased like that.
Posted by Melony on August 17, 2010 at 9:37 AM · Report this
WordyGrrl 80
Not long ago, the instructor of a class (a variety of ages and ethnic backgrounds) I was taking did a quick poll to kill time. The question was, for us females: what's the first thing that catches your eye about a guy and makes you want to get to know him better?

The overwhelming answer was: a great smile. Not a fat wallet or a huge bone. A great smile.

People like to be around people who know how to be happy and share that happiness with others. Happy people are fun to be around.
Posted by WordyGrrl on August 17, 2010 at 1:19 PM · Report this
81


@ 77
I'm not exactly sure what you're arguing against at this point. You say "Real self-esteem is only generated when one values oneself beyond the judgment of others." However, isn't self-esteem at least partially reliant on the judgment of others? Is there anyone who truly has self-esteem but is rejected by all of his peers? I agree wholeheartedly that one should not "develop talents" for the sole reason of impressing others. I also believe, however, that the development of talent is a byproduct of the pursuit of interests, which in turn leads to increased appreciation from the opposite sex. If a completely talentless, apathetic teenage boy with no interests (and they're out there) can be happy with himself, well good for him, but he must also be prepared to face the fact that he will not attract as much attention from either sex. If that does not bother him, then no harm done.
Posted by grovecityfan on August 18, 2010 at 12:31 PM · Report this
82
One caveat to any Advice to Boys (of whatever age)--avoid "Nice Guy" syndrome.

That's the erroneous notion that, if only you can be nice enough, you're *owed* sex.

That's not saying that being a nice person is a bad thing, just that... no matter how nice you are, the object of your affections has every right to say "No, thanks", and you do not have some inherent right to get into her (or his) pants because you racked up enough "nice" points.
Posted by Melissa Trible on August 19, 2010 at 9:28 AM · Report this
83
I think Broken Up is implying that his girlfriend "ended things terribly" by giving him an STI. Why else would he be so focused on the protection factor of the cheating? Maybe Dan's advice to go fuck lots of other people right now isn't the most sound. Just a thought, but that question seemed a little deeper.
Posted by firsttimeuser on August 19, 2010 at 10:17 PM · Report this
84
@ Black Rose: "I know this advice for teenage boys seems to be popular, but I don't think it's very good advice, at least not for straight boys. It's probably good advice for gay boys, but attracting girls is very different than attracting boys. Girls, especially young ones, care less about looks, muscles, interests, and friendship, and more about status, dominance, personality, and attitude.

Teenage boys need to learn things like how to tease girls, how to ignore them, how to avoid seeming needy, how to avoid getting stuck in the friend zone, how to flirt, and how to play hard-to-get. Your advice is good for making boys into good people, but possibly counterproductive for attracting teenage or early 20s girls (who are not the most mature people around)."

Bitter much? Enough with the head game mentality. Geesh! I hadn't realised there are people this clueless walking around so thanks for the reminder.
To everyone else, what "Black Rose" has written here, DO THE OPPOSITE.
When I was a young woman in my 20's, I would have loved to have met a young man who followed Dan's advice and NOT some immature head case who is trying to "play a game."

Why are there so many unhappy people out there? Folks like you and your "advice."
Why do people often do not connect with themselves and others?
Folks like you and your "advice."

Honey, you may wish to stop reading the "How to pick up chicks" websites and go out and interact with REAL people.
REAL life? Remember that?

The best advice for ANYONE? Be true to yourself. Be true to yourself. Be true to yourself.
To the chap who wrote that he had to change his behaviour around girls: Er, mate, NO ONE WANTS TO HEAR OR SMELL YOUR FARTS. That has nothing to do with "different behaviour around girls." It is simply common courtesy when you are around other people.
I guess people ARE that clueless.
Men spend so much time trying to figure out how to get laid and then get annoyed with those guys who DO get laid and the reason why those other guys are getting laid is because they've stayed true to themselves.
There is nothing sexier than a man - or woman - who is absorbed in what makes them happy. It is infectious.
Those who go out with the agenda of getting laid are creeps and there's no two ways about it.
They're wastes of space who have nothing to offer the world but "a good time." If that is how you want to live your life then so be it but don't get upset when you're working very hard to get laid once when you see your more clued up brothers getting hoards of women drooling over them because they go out into life to enjoy it!
More...
Posted by Frederica Bimble on January 20, 2011 at 5:52 AM · Report this
85
I just want to say, While I was spring cleaning, I kept this article. I love technology for this reason. Where information doesn't get lost or forgotten. Where good information can be shared with others. (Now, I can recycle this article and add it as "Likes" to my facebook wall.)

I am a single mom with a son who is 12 years old and I am grateful for your honesty and to the point information; None of the birds and the bees, No shaming sex and not promoting like media has done too much of.

Or at least that's my humble opinion.

Thank you for your dedication and articles.

It has been my favorite, flip to articles in our newspaper!
Posted by emmyrou on April 25, 2011 at 7:25 PM · Report this

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