Archive for Table for One

Yeah, like that’s gonna happen

“Make women want you,” said the come-on, so to speak. This showed up as a bogus pingback; WordPress, as it does lately, disclosed that there really was a page with something like that as the title.

I decided to look at it. It’s on Blogspot, there’s only the one post, and it consists of several paragraphs of questionable how-to-get-the-girl advice, interrupted a couple of times by a big DOWNLOAD NOW! box. It is implied that there’s a PDF under that link. There isn’t. Instead, it’s a fairly stock-looking phishing lure.

This thing came to me from 23.94.99.70, but I suspect that copies of it are scattered all over Botsylvania.

Addendum: A few hours later, there came an email spam offering me a “Love Spell.” I suspect such a thing would take more magic than can be packaged in a mere executable.

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Kindred spirits, once removed

I was perusing the logs Sunday afternoon, what with Monday coming up and Monday meaning yet another list of strange search-engine queries to be posted, and I discovered an incoming link from wizardchan.org.

In the wake of 4chan, I tend to be somewhat cautious around anything -chan, but curiosity would not leave me alone, so I went to the source, and found this explanation:

Wizardchan is a Japanese-inspired image-based forum (imageboard) for male virgins to share their thoughts and discuss their interests and lifestyle as a virgin. The name of our website is inspired by the term wizard, a meme of Japanese origin that means 30-year-old virgin. In contrast to other imageboards, Wizardchan is dedicated exclusively to people who have no sexual experience and may be NEET or hikkikomori.

I am disinclined to mock these guys, having been within shrieking distance of “been there, done that”; my own period of activity, so to speak, was the middle third of my life, and nothing much happened on either side of it. And the discussion thread in question (which links to this page here) is a bit more thoughtful than I had anticipated. These are not generally vindictive souls, though you can hear the frustration from time to time; their rules seem eminently reasonable. (Compare to, say, this ill-tempered wretch.) Still, I wonder how I managed to miss this site, and “You can’t read everything,” while true, isn’t much of an explanation.

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Poster boy for mansplaining

“How dare a mere girl drive something I want?”

Yahoo Answers screenshot: Why do women buy the most expensive model of cars?

To elaborate:

I just saw a girl in an SRT-8 Jeep, I do a lot of driving for work and notice women never seem to buy base models of cars. Guys tend to get what they can afford. Is it because women have other people making their payments or do they just not mind making a $1,000 a month payment for every option available?

Green’s obviously his color.

For ten points, what is the probability that this guy has ever had a second date?

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As close to forever as it gets

Jack Handey once explained how it is that swans so often stay with a single mate:

I don’t think it’s that big a deal. First of all, if you’re a swan, you’re probably not going to find a swan that looks much better than the one you’ve got, so why not mate for life?

And roughly 95 percent of them do. But there’s one species that makes swans look comparatively slutty:

In his new book, The Thing with Feathers, Noah Strycker says albatrosses have a knack for coupling. “These globe trotters, who mate for life and are incredibly faithful to their partners, just might have the most intense love affairs of any animal on our planet,” he writes.

The courtship, you may be sure, is methodical and time-consuming:

For a long while they will dance with several partners, but gradually — it can take years to pick the right partner — they will find a particular favorite. Together those two continue to refine their steps, until, having “spent so much time dancing with that specific bird … that pair’s sequence of moves is as unique as a lover’s fingerprint.”

Now they are ready to mate.

It has taken 15 years to decide on a partner, but having decided, albatrosses don’t switch. “It will generally stick faithfully with its mate until one of them dies, which might not be for another fifty years.”

And here’s the part that should embarrass those of us who claim to be higher up on the food chain:

[T]hey don’t see each other that often. When at sea, couples don’t hang together. It’s too easy to get separated. “So even the most committed partners habitually spend months at a time alone, without knowing what their mates are up to.”

They don’t build nests every year. Often, they’ll wait for two. But when the urge is on them, somehow they both manage to return to the nesting site at roughly the same time “almost as if the date were prearranged” and they settle in.

Wholly admirable, especially in view of the fact that you don’t get wafers with them.

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The dreaded Friend Zone

By now, you know the territory, or at least you’ve figured out the map:

Venn diagram detailing location of the dreaded Friend Zone

One Christopher Tognotti, evidently a full-time resident, decided to cry into a HuffPo microphone about it:

You’d be shocked how easily the thought I really like you as a person but I’m not attracted or interested in dating you can be conveyed with just the flicker of an eyelid.

Trust me, I wouldn’t be shocked. I know this land like the back of my hand.

Perhaps you’ve heard this story before, of a self-proclaimed “nice guy” who feels miffed by the romantic inattention of a close female friend. But assumptions that the alleged “nice guy” may be making — feeling aggrieved, maybe even angry, that she couldn’t be more open-minded, or see how great a couple they’d be — fall perilously short of anything describable as “nice.”

Vehemently complaining that a woman is dating somebody else instead of you hinges on the assumption that she’d want to date you otherwise. I understand the impulse, even the drive to convince oneself that such a romance could flourish.

Self-described “nice guys,” as a rule, have a tendency to fall back on that old saw about women being attracted only to bad boys | douchebags | asshats [select one or more]. It does not occur to them that the problem is not in the stars, but in themselves, that they are underachieving.

Robert Stacy McCain suggests that it’s an act, not of desperation, but of sheerest cynicism:

The problem is not their superficiality, but his.

He’s basically a stalker, a romantic voyeur, dishonestly using the “friend zone” as an excuse to get close to women in a non-sexual context, secretly hoping that he can then exploit this proximity to convert a girl friend into a girlfriend. But when he finally works up the gumption to express his secret purpose, not only are his overtures unwelcome, but his female friend feels understandably betrayed: If she had known his interest in her was erotic, she never would have let this pitiful scrub into her “friend zone” to begin with.

One might reasonably ask if there’s any substantive difference between Mr Tognotti, author of that wail, and yours truly, author of several dozen such. Well, there’s one that comes most immediately to mind: I know who’s to blame for my predicament. And unlike Tognotti, I don’t, in McCain’s phrase, “overestimate my range”:

Suppose a guy’s overall attractiveness — including all possible factors, including income, personality, etc. — is 5 on a scale of 10.

As a general rule, a 5 male’s romantic prospects are seldom going to include women who would rank as high as an 8. The best such a guy can realistically hope for is to catch a 7 in a vulnerable moment and if he doesn’t want to be hopelessly lonely while waiting for that lucky shot to come along, Mr. 5 would be wise to seek companionship among females ranking 5 or below. The very nature of Chris Tognotti’s “nice guy” complaint tells you that he’s not playing that way.

Faced with these daunting odds, I opted for the only rational choice: I gave up hope altogether. And I feel better, though admittedly not to the extent I’d like.

(Venn diagram via Notre Lien Quotidien.)

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Look away

Not so far away, there’s a blonde in her middle sixties who can rock tight contemporary jeans better than the teenager up the block. She is, of course, spoken for. Even if she weren’t, though, I have no business even mentioning it.

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Quote of the week

The first truth about sex, says the Nightfly, is that it unites people:

Physically this is indisputable; as one moves through the physical to the mental and spiritual, it becomes easier to hide and mislead on this basic fact, but couples themselves know better. In fact, sex is often enough the result of couples who catch each other’s attention for other reasons. In situations where the physical is the primary motive, these other motives for spending time together frequently arise; those couples without these other bonds nearly always dissolve. Sex also frequently leads to couples preferring each other to anyone else, and both expecting and promising exclusivity — a thing that could not happen if the physical bond were the only one to consider, since there are always times where one or both partner is unavailable sexually. Also, sexual attraction naturally leads to people pairing off in as beneficial a match to themselves as they can arrange: not necessarily where the greatest sensual delights lie, either. Nor is satisfaction in a lover’s relationship exclusively gauged by those couples as the greatest degree of physical sensation. And it all leads to family units that people are willing to defend to the death against all comers. A happy home is something worth protecting, and not surprisingly people will speak up about and oppose proposals destructive to that happiness — whether the family or the proposal are liberal or conservative. People with families to protect unite across political and social strata to do it.

Of course, there are those who resist the very idea of progressing to the spiritual:

This is a major protection from all the other nonsense peddled as alternatives to healthy and fully-realized humanity. Society can hardly be remade along statist or Marxist lines with that sort of thing going on. Thus the major thing to do is to destroy families … a tricky proposition.

Then again, if you’ve promised your heart to the state, at least you’ll have a chance to be faithful: no one worth having will stand in your way.

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It’s always 306.7 somewhere

Gee, and I thought it was because she was, um, smart:

[T]he iconic librarian’s desexualizing dress and hairstyle was intended to allow her to move freely and invisibly through the male public sphere. Under the conquering gaze of the man-as-dominator, though, this desexualization only serves to highlight the sexuality thus contained. Just as the North African woman was assumed to know secrets of pleasure far beyond those of The West (secrets worthy of being hidden), the sexy librarian is seen as not just a woman underneath, but a super-sexual being, a “freak”, a “wild one”. She is a prize to be taken, a treasure to be captured, an exotic animal barely tamed beneath her bun and shapeless cardigan.

If I’ve learned anything in a lifetime — and I’m prepared to argue that I haven’t — it’s that looking at the cover is at best a half-assed way to judge a book.

(We will not discuss the highly fictional dalliance with a librarian that I wrote about a couple of years ago.)

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Zillaficationary

Something identifying itself as “MatchZilla” wandered into my email box yesterday to advise me of the favorable attention to be given me by one “DaisyChixha3.” This struck me as rather unlikely, since they said “Daisy” was twenty-six years old, and you may be certain that I have no business messing with twentysomethings. (I wasn’t particularly adept at it during the period when I was most likely actually to have business messing with twentysomethings, but that’s another story.) This was followed shortly by a pitch for “PixiePie0t,” twenty-three.

There is, or was, a MatchZilla out there, but it has nothing to do with dating:

MedZilla.com, a leading Internet recruitment and professional community that targets jobseekers and HR professionals in biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, healthcare and science, just launched a user-friendly program that eliminates the task of having to enter keywords to search for matching resumes or jobs. “MatchZilla” does the searching with pinpoint accuracy directly from a posted ad or resume, according [to] Frank Heasley, PhD, MedZilla.com President and CEO.

Such an operation would have no reason to want to find me a date.

Curiously, there is a blog using this name which is, if not exactly replete with babes, certainly not keyword-oriented either. A click of the About page brought me to someone labeled as “Alexa Prince,” “passive investor in several private corporations and LLC’s located in New York City, Long Island, N.Y. and also in Washington, D.C.,” definitely older than 26 and better than decently pretty, but still not within my grasp.

And also curiously, the real MatchZilla trademark was evidently abandoned after a couple of years, so it’s not like Ms Prince is just asking for a Cease and Desist order.

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Sexist hardware

It wasn’t planned that way, of course:

In the fall of 1997, my university built a CAVE (Cave Automatic Virtual Environment) to help scientists, artists, and archeologists embrace 3D immersion to advance the state of those fields. Ecstatic at seeing a real-life instantiation of the Metaverse, the virtual world imagined in Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash, I donned a set of goggles and jumped inside. And then I promptly vomited.

I never managed to overcome my nausea. I couldn’t last more than a minute in that CAVE and I still can’t watch an IMAX movie. Looking around me, I started to notice something. By and large, my male friends and colleagues had no problem with these systems. My female peers, on the other hand, turned green.

Clearly, further experimentation was called for:

I created scenarios in which motion parallax suggested an object was at one distance, and shape-from-shading suggested it was further away or closer. The idea was to see which of these conflicting depth cues the brain would prioritize. (The brain prioritizes between conflicting cues all the time; for example, if you hold out your finger and stare at it through one eye and then the other, it will appear to be in different positions, but if you look at it through both eyes, it will be on the side of your “dominant” eye.)

What I found was startling [pdf]. Although there was variability across the board, biological men were significantly more likely to prioritize motion parallax. Biological women relied more heavily on shape-from-shading. In other words, men are more likely to use the cues that 3D virtual reality systems relied on.

And that word “biological” is there for a very specific reason:

Scholars in the gender clinic [in Utrecht] were doing fascinating research on tasks like spatial rotation skills. They found that people taking androgens (a steroid hormone similar to testosterone) improved at tasks that required them to rotate Tetris-like shapes in their mind to determine if one shape was simply a rotation of another shape. Meanwhile, male-to-female transsexuals saw a decline in performance during their hormone replacement therapy.

The spiffy new Oculus Rift may compensate for this — or it might not. I’ve never seen one, and for that matter I never was any good at rotating random polygons. I’m thinking, though, that of the various differences between the sexes, this is one of the more easily minimized.

(Swiped from Erica Mauter’s Facebook page.)

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Kith and mannequin

As I understand things — and it’s no secret that my fashionista credentials are barely above size zero — you’re not supposed to notice the model, only what she’s wearing. So this perplexes me somewhat:

I recently participated in a forum discussion about beauty. In that discussion, it became apparent that some participants — a small subset, admittedly — felt that runway models were the ultimate definition of feminine beauty. Not one possible definition — the definition.

This makes sense only if the prettiest girl in your world looks like a twelve-year-old boy. Now there’s nothing in the world wrong with looking like a twelve-year-old boy — I did, back when I was a high-school sophomore — but if your tastes in women run in this direction, I suggest there’s a possibility that you’ve overlooked something somewhere.

Of course, it may be something simpler than that:

I suspect that these men might have been dreaming about the actresses who depict models in movies, rather than the actual models. They also seemed reluctant to accept the idea that those women may not look, when they step out the front door to get the paper in the morning, precisely the same way that they look in movies and magazine covers.

Or, as Cindy Crawford once said: “Even I don’t wake up looking like Cindy Crawford.”

This being March, which comes right after February, which means the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue — let’s face it, February’s not much use for anything else — some of these chaps may have just recently bought into the illusion that the girls just plop down on the beach and shutters are squeezed. (After all, they’re not reading the articles; they’re just looking at the pictures.)

But this is more worrisome:

What struck me was the idea that there is a single definition of feminine beauty, and any other beauty is not merely different, but inferior. That women who don’t strive for this particular brand of beauty are failing to make the most of themselves and resigning themselves to a miserable man-free existence, and that men who don’t want this specific kind of beauty in a woman, who want something else, are deluding themselves, or “settling”, or so weird that they don’t count statistically.

Or worse, betas who have no hope of corralling the most desirable women, according to the traditional instruction of game.

I, of course, have long since been consigned to one of the lower-down Greek letters. And my own definition of beauty is, I suppose, fairly close to standard, though it is also legendarily flexible. And by now I think I’m past all those biological imperatives: the genes have been passed on, fulfilling whatever duty was required of me.

Besides, I am possessed of a tiny sliver of discretion: should A look better than B, it profits me nothing to mention it to A. Or, for that matter, to B.

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The usual two chances

Which, you’ll remember, are “slim” and “none”:

Yahoo! Answers screenshot: I want Ferrari and beautiful girl. What to do?

It’s a safe bet he can’t afford the maintenance — and the car is even worse.

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Try not to look

Once upon a time, fashion was intended to serve the time-honored function of making sure that boy meets girl. (There always were, and still are, other combinations possible, but they require a bit more specialization, or so it seems to me.) Today, the dynamic is utterly different.

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Jerkettes

Freeman Hunt turned up an article from her archives, titled “Frank Advice for a Male Relative on Finding a Mate,” and this is how it leads off:

Never spend even a moment’s time on anyone who treats you badly. As you are courteous, you should expect courtesy in return. A jerk, no matter how beautiful, no matter how intelligent, no matter how accomplished, is still a jerk and is as untrustworthy as she is insufferable.

While this seems inarguable, I note that women of the jerkular persuasion are usually tagged with some epithet considerably worse than “jerk” — even by women, who presumably ought to know better.

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Babe magnets, how do they work?

I really hate to dash anyone’s hopes — no, really, I do — but I don’t think this will end well:

Yahoo Answers screenshot: I am a 27 year old black male and drive a 2007 glacier pearl white nissan murano sl. am I going to get ladies?

It’s not entirely stock, either:

It has tints and a mesh grille and a black hood deflector instead

James, my man, I hate to break it to you, but the woman who falls for you because of your wheels won’t last beyond a couple of oil changes. Sorry.

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Seventh verse, same as the first

“Art there any more like thee at home?” asked Henry VIII:

Mary Boleyn is a shadowy figure and although she has been the subject of biographies, novels and movies, very little is actually known about her. Although she is often portrayed as Henry VIII’s favourite mistress or the Boleyn woman he really loved, we actually have no details at all about the King’s affair with Mary. We only know that they had a sexual relationship because of the fact that the King applied for a dispensation from the Pope in 1527 to enable him to marry Anne Boleyn and in this dispensation was listed the impediment of “affinity arising from illicit intercourse in whatever degree, even the first”. There was the impediment of affinity in the first degree due to Henry having slept with Anne’s sister.

The relationship, such as it was, is difficult to date:

Most historians date the relationship to the 1520s, beginning in 1522. This is because at the Shrovetide joust of 2nd March 1522 Henry VIII rode out with the motto Elle mon Coeur a navera, or “She has wounded my Heart”, embroidered on the trappings of his horse. A woman had obviously rebuffed his advances, but we cannot be sure that it was Mary, who, by this time, was married to William Carey. Mary could well have been just a one night stand when Elizabeth Blount, the King’s former mistress, was pregnant with the King’s son in 1519, they may not have had a long-lasting affair at all but the King still needed to declare the impediment whether the relationship had been one night, two nights or many nights.

Bill Clinton, unsurprisingly, was not available for comment.

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When dictionaries won’t do

There’s more here than meets the eye, but not much more:

A British woman attempted to sue her former lawyers for professional negligence, claiming that, alongside a number of other allegations, they failed to advise that finalising divorce proceedings would inevitably cause her marriage to end.

The curious case — made against two solicitor firms — had already been rejected by the court, but was revealed in the transcript of a later appeal by the claimant against the dismissal of other aspects of her case.

Jane Mulcahy had argued that the lawyers should have made it clear that a divorce would cause her marriage to be terminated — something which she apparently wanted to avoid.

The solicitors, I suspect, thought this was perfectly obvious. But this was her issue:

The allegation was revealed in a subsequent appeal court judgment last month, in which Lord Justice Briggs said: “The most striking of Mrs Mulcahy’s many allegations of negligence against her solicitors was that, having regard to her Roman Catholic faith, Mrs Boots had failed to give her the advice which was requisite in view of her firmly held belief in the sanctity of marriage … either in terms of the alternative of judicial separation, or about the impossibility of pursuing divorce proceedings to a clean break settlement, without thereby inevitably bringing about the final termination of her marriage, which she wished to avoid.”

Mrs Mulcahy evidently remains divorced.

(Via this Doug Mataconis tweet.)

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A bit of embellishment

The March Playboy Raw Data section contains this unsourced statistic:

54% of online daters feel someone else “seriously misrepresented themselves” in their profile.

I’m guessing the other 46% misrepresented themselves frivolously.

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The preparations are in place

I am now in the proper mindset for Valentine’s Day:

Vintage Valentine card

What? Oh, they’re not so bad. Martin Luther endured an entire Diet of Worms.

(Via BuzzFeed.)

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Avoiding next Friday

It’s Valentine’s Day, after all, and Rebecca Black has advice for the lovelorn:

And hey, if she can put a short I in “driving,” she can put one in “unrequited.”

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Covered stories

Being a person of the masculine persuasion, I’ve read a few magazines that are supposedly aimed at me, and generally, they’re about Things Guys Like To Do, supplemented with Things Guys Should Buy; see, for instance, Maxim, which once spun off its Stuff section into a separate magazine, only to discover that the readers realized that Stuff was basically Lucky with a neckbeard. And yes, there are babe pictures now and then, but they’re of secondary interest, unless you’ve gone twelve years without any feminine attention.

If this sounds uninspiring, consider what women are expected to read:

Women … are continually exposed to a single message: it’s time to have sex. Don’t women deserve adventures of their own, ones that have nothing to do with sex or sexuality? Shouldn’t their magazines celebrate that stuff first, put that stuff ahead of the bedroom agenda? Why does every magazine aimed at women in the supermarket have sex as its primary topic?

Don’t get me wrong: the day I can’t have sex with women I’m going to stare at the wall in the nursing home and cry. I’m all about it. But I don’t think it should be the primary focus of every woman’s life.

Then again, this is the culture that gave us Sandra Fluke, attorney and potential Congressional candidate, who will forever be remembered, not for any actual accomplishments which may be in her future, but for demanding that her contraception be subsidized. A culture in which a person like this is taken seriously is a culture that can’t help but serve up cover stories like “26 Ridiculously Hot Moves.”

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Two roads diverging

A couple of members of the state House, noting the absurdly high divorce rate in these parts, have come up with schemes to make it harder to split up. Arthur Hulbert (R-Fort Gibson) has proposed a minimum six-month waiting period for a divorce — maybe, just maybe, you’ll change your mind — and Sean Roberts (R-Hominy) has called for “incompatibility” to be stricken from the list of legal grounds.

To Patrick of The Lost Ogle, who has at least as much legal background as any of these guys, these approaches are bass-ackwards:

Instead of spending so much time on draconian legislation that makes it harder for unhappy people to get a divorce, maybe our legislature should make it more difficult for people to get married. Crazy idea, huh? Maybe introduce a 6-month to 1-year probation period before a marriage becomes official, or raise the legal marriage age to 25? I bet that would lower the divorce rate.

Or, lacking that:

Another solution would be to make a couple pay a $1,000 marriage deposit. If a couple stays married for 7 years, they get the money back with interest. If they divorce prior to the 7 years, it goes into a marriage education fund. Who would be against that? It would make people seriously consider whether or not they should get married, and encourage them to make it work if they do. It’s an idea so logical and brilliant it will never see the light of day.

Make it $5,000, and this state will never have another budget deficit.

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Dunham already

I don’t understand all the flapdoodle over Lena Dunham and her HBO series Girls, and I really don’t understand why it’s such a big deal that Dunham often appears on the show undressed.

There’s some sort of effort to paint Dunham’s efforts “revolutionary” because she’s fairly average in appearance, unlike, we are supposed to presume, every other woman who’s ever been unclothed on screen. If there’s anything “revolutionary” about this sort of thing, it’s that they didn’t hire an actual beauty and then downgrade her appearance with the tricks of the theatrical trade. See, for instance, Charlize Theron as serial killer Aileen Wuornos in Monster; Theron was lionized for her disappearance into the role, when they could have just hired someone who didn’t need the extensive makeup job.

Dunham, I think, could have sidestepped most of the drama had she basically told reporter Tim Molloy to stick it in his ear, instead of this:

“[The nude scenes are] a realistic expression of what it’s like to be alive … But I totally get it. If you’re not into me, that’s your problem and you’re going to have to work that out with professionals.”

But she was evidently anxious to make this a Teachable Moment, which gets the kind of response it deserves:

A man who isn’t “into” Lena Dunham has a “problem”? He needs “to work that out with professionals”? As in, reparative therapy?

Look, I don’t know if Tim Molloy is gay or not, but to say that a man who isn’t attracted to Lena Dunham needs professional help?

It would be nice if both sides of the gender aisle (and the straddlers thereupon) would simply acknowledge the fact that zeroes are zeroes and tens are tens and both are few and far between — and most of us are going to spend our lives with someone somewhere in between, or no one at all.

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Liquid admiration

One of the Time blogs pulled this out of Craigslist, presumably to let it dry:

You — 5’8 scruffy, glasses, wearing a blue hoodie outside the Vid and I asked you for a lighter. You lit my cigarette and we talked about our wishes for the new year. We heard the countdown starting and decided to stay outside. I started to cry and you kissed me, and then we started to make out. After a minute I felt something warm and realised that you pissed yourself. I pushed you away and that’s when you ran but I wish you had stayed. You peed on me but it’s OK! I just want to know who you are! Please reply and when you do tell me why I started crying so I know it’s you — if you remember.

I shudder to imagine those two taking a shower together.

(Via Voodoo Princess Daintyhooves, aka Erin Palette.)

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December here, has anyone seen May?

I was just about to type “Twenty-nine, of course” as an answer to this:

Yahoo Answers screenshot: Men .. What age is a female most attractive in terms of sexual appeal?

She (I assume it’s “she”) continues:

You know how they say that older men in their 40’s and 50’s, in general, prefere younger women for sex/relationships?

Well how much younger do they tend to prefere if they could have any?

If you were a man in your 40’s / 50’s and could have any age woman who was childless what age would be your ideal?

Or would it depend on whether you just wanted sex or a relationship?

Out of interes please state your age?

No longer being in my 40s/50s, I stopped typing. And despite being 60, I still have a memory, so I recalled once — actually, more than once — having pointed out before that someone 31 years my junior should not be on my romantic radar.

Someone did point out to the questioner the existence of the standard rule in such matters: “half your age plus seven.” I am not sure, however, if this applies equally to men and women; is a 50ish woman on solid social ground if she aims her sights on a chap of 32? At one level, I want to say “Of course she is, you moron,” but I have a feeling that she’d be skewered by society for so doing, while a guy robbing the cradle never comes close to getting probation.

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Sterility ensues

I am actually a fan of universal contraception, not so much because I think Sandra Fluke deserves a ride now and then, but because some people simply don’t have any business reproducing, and this, assuming she actually exists, is definitely one of them:

Boys should not be breastfed because feminism

Then again, I could be unnecessarily alarmist here: what the hell kind of self-respecting male would allow his seed in the same room as this person, let alone sow it there? I concede that there are males who lack self-respect and will consider themselves fortunate to be allowed on the premises, but this is the exact point where Ouroboros gets his first lick of tail.

(First seen here.)

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Get your Manassas in gear

If you want to make the argument that birth control should be absolutely universal, this ought to be one of your exhibits:

Yahoo Answers screenshot: Could i be pregnant ? Condoms Were Used? Penis Didnt Go Threw Virginia All The Way?

At the very least, we need to teach them to stop before Richmond.

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Decades after the fact

Every now and then, Jack Baruth throws me a curve. In a piece with the seriously on-point title “Do You Have A Wound That Won’t Heal?” he cites a meme I might have missed:

You are now thinking of her. What is her name?

If there’s any difference between me eighteen years ago (almost) when I started this site and me now, it’s my ability to deal with that question without actually answering it. In fact, I got the core of a pony story out of it. Middle-aged stallion looking dejected on a bench, crisp social-worker mare investigating, and we pick it up here:

“If you’re looking for ponies who need a place to stay, there’s one who sleeps in the old Wheelwright warehouse.”

“Used to, anyway,” she said. “About a week ago he was found dead.”

He cringed. “Something got him?”

“Just exposure to the elements. He’d been hiding out there since before Hearth’s Warming Eve, and it eventually got too cold for him. Old earth ponies just don’t have the same resistance to the cold that the younger ones do. And sometimes they don’t realize that.”

“So your job,” he said, “involves telling me to beware of the cold?”

“If necessary, yes,” she replied. “That poor pony had no money, no family, and maybe if we’d found him earlier, we might have been able to save him.” She sighed. “And now he’s gone. I wouldn’t want that to happen to you. I wouldn’t want that to happen to anypony.”

He looked at her. “I’m sorry,” he said. “I didn’t mean to impugn your profession. I’m just not used to being worried about.”

“And your family?”

“Long gone. Both parents died; never had a brother or a sister. It’s just me out here.”

She persisted. “Do you at least have a Very Special Somepony?”

For a moment, he looked beyond her, away from the coast, toward a place he barely remembered.

Finally, he spoke. “For forty years,” he said, “I have loved only one mare. Well, she was a filly back then, but … but she was always the one.” He shook his head. “If only she knew…”

The rest of the story, of course, is about healing a wound.

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I regret having read this

At least some of this would seem perfectly obvious:

Men most often regret not having sex with more people while women frequently regret having sex with the wrong partner, according to a recently released study.

The study from researchers at the University of Texas and University of California-Los Angeles aimed to show that the feeling of regret is part of the evolutionary process when it comes to reproduction, the University of Texas said on Monday.

“For men throughout evolutionary history, every missed opportunity to have sex with a new partner is potentially a missed reproduce opportunity — a costly loss from an evolutionary perspective,” said Martie Haselton, a UCLA social psychology professor who worked on the study.

Who knew the demand for wild oats was so persistent? How about, um, everyone?

But if men want numbers, women want something else:

The main regrets for women include losing their virginity to the wrong partner, cheating on a present or past partner and moving too fast sexually.

“The consequences of casual sex were so much higher for women than for men, and this is likely to have shaped emotional reactions to sexual liaisons even today,” Haselton said.

And, because something like this requires a punch line:

More women than men included “having sex with a physically unattractive partner” as a top regret.

I have done what I could to minimize the incidence of this particular tragedy.

(Via this Georganna Hancock tweet, in which I attempt to monopolize the thread.)

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She’s not good, she’s just written that way

If I’ve learned anything in the incredibly long, yet pitifully short, period between Then and Now, it is this: Francis W. Porretto does not toss out throwaway lines for the purpose of being, well, thrown away.

Consider this item, tucked into the midst of a post called “Marginalia”:

Do other fiction writers dream about having an affair with a female protagonist? And when it happens, do they admit it to their wives?

My credentials as a fiction writer are the slenderest possible, but here’s my call:

  1. Yes, definitely.
  2. If the wives are paying attention, they already suspect it.

Substitute gender references as needed.

And remember: that and $5.99 will get you a combo meal at participating locations only, for a limited time, local taxes not included.

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