Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Admittedly a dude probably couldn't get away with anything like this.

The best pick-up line I have ever used:

"I heard you have a huge cock. Can I see?"

42 comments:

  1. Huh. Bizarro PUA.

    Jack

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  2. Being a chick is kind of awesome because most guys don't have hangups about appearing slutty, etc.; they're okay with just admitting what they want without a bunch of games or pretext. This is a great boon to those of us who are brave enough to make the first move.

    The best pickup line I ever used is "We should make out." Same principle as "can I see your cock", but I like to start tamer.

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  3. Perversecowgirl - It's partly that guys don't worry about being slutty, and partly that they're not afraid of us. Even when he means it in the most innocent way, a guy saying "I hear you have incredible tits, can I see?" seems to be implying a degree of threat, of maybe not taking it well if you say no. It's probably not fair to guys to think that, but sometimes I do.

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  4. 'Even when he means it in the most innocent way, a guy saying "I hear you have incredible tits, can I see?" seems to be implying a degree of threat, of maybe not taking it well if you say no. It's probably not fair to guys to think that, but sometimes I do.'

    Okay. So what are you doing to help yourself move away from such not-fair-to-guys, sexist mentalities?

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  5. Anon - I'm showing my tits to absolutely anyone who asks, because it would be sexist to deprive anyone of public fucking property.

    ...What you ask actually is a complex question, because on the one hand I would like to place more trust in men, but on the other hand I've been burned. My caution around men doesn't come from the media or blogs or whatever but from very direct experience of putting too much trust in guys I didn't know and having them turn out to be cruel or creepy or pushy.

    I think it's fair to say two things:

    1) Guys need to make me feel safe if they want to be treated as safe. Because I'm afraid of being shamed or stalked or attacked and they're only afraid of not seeing tit, I think it's fair that they should make the first move here.

    2) I would have backed right the fuck off and not pushed it if the dude had said "no" about seeing his cock. I can't guarantee the behavior of other women, but I try pretty hard not to give men a reason to be afraid of me.

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  6. I think the best pick up line I've ever used was "I'm not going to fuck anyone tonight, but if I was going to, it would be you." It worked.

    ...Now I'm worried about how confusing that could have been to the poor guy and was I playing mind games...? I mean, I WAS kind of groping him as I said it.

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  7. I know it's a complex question -- safety vs. trust, etc. -- that's why I asked it. :)

    Regarding #1: doesn't that make the guys responsible for your fears & potential baggage, even if those fears are in no way their fault (your example does stipulate that the guy means it in the most innocent way, and yet to you that implies a degree of threat)? I mean, does Joe Schmoe have to do anything besides act like a normal human being to make you feel safe, or is there some above-and-beyond-sitting-there-normally thing you look for for personal your Threat Assessment Board to go quiet? You don't automatically fear being shamed/stalked/attacked by each and every guy you interact with, correct (not to mention that the guy[s] could have fears of being shamed/stalked/attacked [guns are a great equalizer for violent stalkers] by you [or any other unknown, just-met woman] as well -- should you then perhaps be expected to make your own first move; should there be mutual, non-gender-based "I'm a safe person" displays of some sort rather than guys-go-first?)? I'm absolutely in favor of reasonable caution, but a mindset of 'meant in the most innocent way = he's implying a threat!' might reduce the quality of life for you and the guys around you (I'm also guessing, because you're rational and levelheaded [except around tasers and red-hot irons, go figure], that 'Even when he means it in the most innocent way, a guy saying "I hear you have incredible tits, can I see?" seems to be implying a degree of threat, of maybe not taking it well if you say no.' may not be as... nuanced?... a view as you might propound, given more time to expand upon it).

    Regarding #2, it's also fair for me to say that I'd have backed right the fuck off and not pushed it if you had said "no" about seeing your tits (assuming that I was ever to ask such a question, etc.). Likewise, I can't guarantee the behavior of other men, but I try pretty hard not to give women a reason to be afraid of me. If you met me in a bar, would I still need to do something 'extra' -- something more than you'd have to (mutually) do for me to see -- to either get to see your tits, or just chat with you for a while?

    And more importantly than all this equality blather, I hear you have incredible tits, can I see them?

    Sorry for some ungodly-parenthetical (even for me) sentences, I'm tired and stoned on steak-and-cheese grinders at the moment.

    Oh, and for clarity's sake, I was the 4:14pm Anonymous; I just forgot to sign my name the first time 'round.

    Jack (who really, really enjoys a nice set of tits now and then)

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  8. (not to mention that the guy[s] could have fears of being shamed/stalked/attacked [guns are a great equalizer for violent stalkers] by you [or any other unknown, just-met woman] as well --

    Yeah, totally. Because statistically, the vast majority of violent crimes are committed by women. And also, women are on average the physically stronger of the sexes, and estrogen is known to make women violent, aggressive and competitive.

    OH WAIT I'M THINKING OF MEN AND TESTOSTERONE.

    The whole "but men interact freely with women even though women could totally rape us if they really wanted to" thing DOES. NOT. WORK.

    Before everyone jumps down my throat, I am in no way saying that every guy out there is a rapist or murder, or even that very many guys are. But the people who do rape and murder are overwhelmingly male, and you can't tell if any given guy is a rapist (or even merely an asshole) with a quick glance. Plus, as with Holly, most of us have been burned before...isn't there some statistic that 8 out of 10 women will be sexually assaulted within their lifetime?

    You don't automatically fear being shamed/stalked/attacked by each and every guy you interact with, correct

    If the guy is a total stranger then I think most women do. We don't scream and taser every guy who says hello, but we'll be a bit reticent until we can suss out his vibe. I don't know why you (and so many other guys who've made similar posts on other blogs) seem so offended by this.

    I'm absolutely in favor of reasonable caution

    Refusing to show my tits to a total stranger is reasonable caution.

    But I suppose you were actually addressing your comment to Holly so I'll stop hogging up pixels now.

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  9. "OH WAIT I'M THINKING OF MEN AND TESTOSTERONE."

    It doesn't really work like that. The interaction of differing hormone levels is complex, and how one's body processes those hormones also depends on genetic factors. But in general, what makes people aggressive (though not necessarily violent) is low levels of estrogen, not high levels of testosterone. High levels of testosterone, in general, makes people horny.

    Of course that still means a man with high estrogen and low testosterone (even by male standards) plus insufficient self-control is likely to get all rapey.

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  10. ...Also in response to the original post: A "Dude" can get away with that if he's bi or gay and in an environment where most of the other men are as well. So... sometimes?

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  11. "Doesn't that make the guys responsible for your fears & potential baggage, even if those fears are in no way their fault?"

    Well, the alternative to that women must shoulder all the responsibility for the problems caused by the fact that there's so many creepy, stalker-y, potentially violent guys out their. When the existence of such guys is no way the women's fault, either. Women are already disproportianately the victim of rape/stalking/domestic violence/creepy weirdos all up in their grill; suggesting it's unfair for men to be affected by the social caution this creates seems clueless in the extreme.

    Besides, what would you have women do -- just go ahead and get friendly with/date guys who make them uncomfortable? I have the right not to patronise a business if I don't like the lighting or the floor plan; I have the right not to be friends with a guy if something seems slightly "off" about him.

    "A mindset of 'meant in the most innocent way = he's implying a threat!' might reduce the quality of life for you and the guys around you." Yes, yes it does. Living in a crime-ridden neighborhood lowers a person's quality of life -- you have exercise a degree of caution that seems inconvenient, & stay aware of things you'd prefer to be blissfully ignorant of. The same applies to being reasonably cautious about men who might have a sexual/romantic interest in you. The fact that there's a few bad apples out there who might get violent, or not take "no" for an answer, REALLY DOES lower everyone's quality of life. That's why feminists got so pissed off in the first place. Good/respectful men aren't to blame for this, but neither are women. I suggest you redirect your annoyance about this problem to the men who create it, & their apologists.

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  12. Having to be cautious for your own safety is a very real thing that most women have on their minds all the time...we're almost always running risk assessment/contingency plans in our heads, which is kind of a buzzkill but necessary.

    One thing that men can do is to call out other guys when they are being creepy/pushy/aggro and let them know that they are not only being a-holes but that they are cockblocking the 90% of decent guys. We can't tell at first meeting if you're a potential creeper but we've usually had at least one bad experience with one so we're gun shy. If you see/hear/know a guy who doesn't respect women's boundaries, shames them for acting on their sexual impulses, doesn't listen/respect "no/not right now/I don't feel comfortable with that", come down on him and don't high five him. 90% of men and women are pretty cool people who just want to interact and have fun..let's not let the 10% assholes ruin it for everyone. The more safe and accepted women feel about being able to be themselves sexually (or otherwise), the more fun we're ALL going to be able to have!

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  13. @perversecowgirl
    "Yeah, totally. Because statistically, the vast majority of violent crimes are committed by women."

    I agree that they are committed by men. But some are committed by women. Is the smaller % of woman-to-man violent crime okay with you because it's smaller? I would hope not, and that you'd view it not as just stats but as individual people at stake -- i.e., each PERSON being eval'd for themselves, as opposed to being eval'd based (at least in part) on their gender. The "statistically men are more violent" argument always creeps me out because it sounds so close to the "statistically black people commit more crimes/go on welfare/do more drugs" argument that racists use to paint with such a wide, tarring brush.

    "And also, women are on average the physically stronger of the sexes, and estrogen is known to make women violent, aggressive and competitive.

    OH WAIT I'M THINKING OF MEN AND TESTOSTERONE."

    Granted, women have far less, but if I remember my biology they still have some, right? And I missed the Mr. Wizard episode that proved that all violence is based purely on testosterone levels. There's so much more that goes into the equation -- mental health, etc. -- but again, it comes back to judging the person (not the man or woman or transgendered individual, but the person) on their actions, as opposed to seeing them and deciding that they are implying a degree of threat.

    More to follow -- I'm overcommenting size-wise. :)

    Jack

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  14. @perversecowlgirl Part Deux



    "The whole "but men interact freely with women even though women could totally rape us if they really wanted to" thing DOES. NOT. WORK."

    No, but women can use guns and weapons (and yes, do so at lower rates, but still, do so); again, is that acceptable because the rates are lower against men?

    "Before everyone jumps down my throat, I am in no way saying that every guy out there is a rapist or murder, or even that very many guys are. But the people who do rape and murder are overwhelmingly male, and you can't tell if any given guy is a rapist (or even merely an asshole) with a quick glance."

    I agree with this completely. But I would modify the last statement (if I wanted it to reflect my beliefs, which may differ from yours) to read something like "You can't tell if a person is rapist/murderer/etc. (or even merely an asshole) with a quick glance." Which was what came across to me from Holly's post: she clearly states that the guy means it innocently (which I read as 'he's an okay human in the rality of the example I'm providing,' but maybe she meant otherwise, I dunno) -- and yet he still implies threat. Just because he's male. Which bothers me, because again, I'd hope that she'd judge him (or anyone) on behavior, not on gender or other other non-behavior/mentality-related factors.

    "Plus, as with Holly, most of us have been burned before...isn't there some statistic that 8 out of 10 women will be sexually assaulted within their lifetime?"

    I don't know, but I'll take your word for it, because it sounds depressingly accurate. Would that I had an accurate way to winnow out the decent vs. the indecent men easily and at first sight, so that that number could be reduced.

    "You don't automatically fear being shamed/stalked/attacked by each and every guy you interact with, correct

    If the guy is a total stranger then I think most women do. We don't scream and taser every guy who says hello, but we'll be a bit reticent until we can suss out his vibe."

    "Reticient until we can suss out his vibe" doesn't bother me, because you're judging and reacting to an individual. Assuming that the guy is implying a threat -- that he is of such a mentality that he will even imply a threat, never mind possibly act on it -- solely because he is a male bothers me. Again, for me it goes back to treating people as individuals, and not as a class.

    "I don't know why you (and so many other guys who've made similar posts on other blogs) seem so offended by this."

    Because it treats us (men) not as people, with individual needs/wants/desires/abilities, good and bad traits, etc., but instead as a class, and one that gets violent traits automatically attributed to it. Which creates fear towards us as a whole, rather than having individuals be feared or not (as they deserve). And it's easy to hate what you fear and justify almost any actions against that which you hate and fear -- Christ knows it's happened to too many women throughout history. Is it just one aspect of equalism/humanism, and quantitatively a lot less of a problem than discrimination, rape and violence against women? Absolutely. But that doesn't make it any less valid of a concern for the individuals it affects (which in the end, is how I live my life: interacting with persons, not genders). Holly's statement troubled me, and I don't feel commenting on it was off-limits in any way. Hell, I'll see her soon, and she can ask me to apologize or tell me I'm full of shit or that I'm completely wrong -- but it'll be two people, Holly and Jack, exchanging views, not a woman talking to a mna, if you get my meaning.

    Jack

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  15. Jack - Jack - Gosh, I thought you were some random "why do you deny us your titties, sexist?" asshole.

    (And by the time you commented again, I'd taken Tylenol PM for the flu and passed out. Was this your plan? To disease me beyond being able to argue?)

    But the truth is, at least at this point in my life, I am no longer making my titties available to anyone I don't know. (Unless, um, maybe if they have excellent references from someone I do know.) Now, it may not take a long time for me to feel like I know you--a couple hours of conversation can do it--but once I do, I have a better idea of whether you feel safe to me and also of whether you're hot to me.

    But until then, until you pass from being "a man" to "Jack" in my mind, I am more afraid of you, and that's just because I've received a lot more creepiness from men than from women in my life. I don't mean to treat men badly, I certainly don't shun all strange men, but there's a difference between being mean to you and putting trust in you. The latter has to be earned. And yeah, it is a little harder for dudes to earn, just because of all the sketchy dudes who've come before you.

    Yes, you can see my tits any time you want, sheesh. :p But that's because you're Jack, not because you're a man.

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  16. Also, it's important to keep in mind what the actual actions taken against men vs. women in the nervous-strangers scenario are. A woman who's unjustly afraid of a man is likely to not talk to him, not get alone with him, not accept anything from him--in other words, all she's really doing is denying him the pleasure of her company. Whereas a skeevy "show me your tits" man is more likely to progress to harassment or groping--which are considerably more harmful than just the cold shoulder.

    And I think argument this gets back to that debate (such as it was) I had with Ashur--you can't base your gender opinions on featureless gray boxes immaculately spawned without history or culture. Here, now, men are scarier than women. Not irredeemably, not that every man should be feared always, but the default man, until he can be seen as an individual, is just a little bit scary.

    If you want that to be less true, I think you have to work on men's tendencies to intimidate and assault women, before you can go asking women to extend trust before it's earned.

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  17. I think my comment got eaten by interspace, and then Holly (as ever) said it better...

    >> "Reticient until we can suss out his vibe" doesn't bother me, because you're judging and reacting to an individual. Assuming that the guy is implying a threat -- that he is of such a mentality that he will even imply a threat, never mind possibly act on it -- solely because he is a male bothers me. Again, for me it goes back to treating people as individuals, and not as a class. <<

    @Jack: I don't understand the part between the dashes here. But to the rest of it -- yes, exactly. We HAVE to treat you as part of a class UNTIL we've sussed out your vibe. The potential downside for a woman in trusting a man before she's done that is MUCH worse than the downside for a man in being stereotyped unfairly.


    The old feminist saw is:

    "Why are you afraid of women?" I asked a group of men. "We're afraid they will laugh at us," replied the men. "Why are you afraid of men?" I asked a group of women. "We're afraid they'll kill us," replied the women.


    flightless

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  18. @ Emily H

    "Well, the alternative to that women must shoulder all the responsibility for the problems caused by the fact that there's so many creepy, stalker-y, potentially violent guys out their."

    No, I would say the alternative is to be aware of your fears and baggage and try to achieve a balance of being safe, but also not seeing every guy, esp. the 'innocent' ones, as implying threats. Treating each guy as an individual and basing your reactions on their behaviors, not a class of folks.

    "When the existence of such guys is no way the women's fault, either."

    Absolutely. While I'm bemoaning the inaccurate views towards guys (some guys, the decent guys? Substitute your preferred phrase), I would like to emphasize that you're correct -- the existence of sleazebag guys is in no ways women's fault. The argument that women not be extra-accomodating to all guys somehow justifies some men's sleazebag attitudes and behaviors towards women is a repulsive one, and I hope that I've made myself clear enough in my (horribly long, I know) posts that my words could never be construed as support of such.

    "Women are already disproportianately the victim of rape/stalking/domestic violence/creepy weirdos all up in their grill; suggesting it's unfair for men to be affected by the social caution this creates seems clueless in the extreme."

    Social caution, okay. But viewing every guy, even the innocent ones, as a threat -- that, to me, is a different modus operandi, and one not healthy for the woman or the guys she views that way (and yes, a certain percentage of those guys ARE bad and certainly every guy should be evaluated -- but as a person, not as class member with a pre-existing disposition towards violence/sleazery).

    "Besides, what would you have women do -- just go ahead and get friendly with/date guys who make them uncomfortable?"

    This may be the crux of it -- "guys who make them uncomfortable?" If that discomfort is caused by a guy's behavior, yeah, avoid him, shitcan him, etc. If it's caused by the very fact that he's a GUY -- not so good, I think.

    "I have the right not to patronise a business if I don't like the lighting or the floor plan; I have the right not to be friends with a guy if something seems slightly "off" about him."

    Of course -- you're then basing your decision on who he is ('off,' etc.), not what he is (guy), which to me is a healthy mentality.

    "A mindset of 'meant in the most innocent way = he's implying a threat!' might reduce the quality of life for you and the guys around you." Yes, yes it does. Living in a crime-ridden neighborhood lowers a person's quality of life -- you have exercise a degree of caution that seems inconvenient, & stay aware of things you'd prefer to be blissfully ignorant of. The same applies to being reasonably cautious about men who might have a sexual/romantic interest in you."

    I would hope that you wouldn't judge anyone living in the bad neighborhood as automatically being bad. I mean, yes, I reside in Penisville, but I'm an okay person, y'know?

    "The fact that there's a few bad apples out there who might get violent, or not take "no" for an answer, REALLY DOES lower everyone's quality of life. That's why feminists got so pissed off in the first place. Good/respectful men aren't to blame for this, but neither are women."

    I agree.

    "I suggest you redirect your annoyance about this problem to the men who create it, & their apologists."

    It's not annoyance, it's concern, and hope that Holly wouldn't class all guys, including the ones she describes as innocent, as implying threats, etc.

    Jack

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  19. @Kaija --

    The 'one thing' you recommend is excellent advice. I try to do it, but I bet I fail at times. And I bet that part of why I fail is that there's less subconscious urgency on my part because I only have to deal with being feared (one of my personal bugaboos unless it's in a bdsm context -- and Jesus, there's a whole OTHER 30-million-word discussion), not being hurt, for the most part. I do try, though.

    By the by, I've taken long enough to comment that Holly's comments came in after I started, so the chronology of this may seem off.

    Jack

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  20. If it helps, I'd give the hairy eyeball to any woman I didn't know who asked to see my tits, but this doesn't seem to happen as often.

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  21. @ Holly

    "Jack - Jack - Gosh, I thought you were some random "why do you deny us your titties, sexist?" asshole."

    HEY! I resent the 'random' part!

    "But the truth is, at least at this point in my life, ... But until then, until you pass from being "a man" to "Jack" in my mind, I am more afraid of you, and that's just because I've received a lot more creepiness from men than from women in my life. I don't mean to treat men badly, I certainly don't shun all strange men, but there's a difference between being mean to you and putting trust in you."

    Agreed. I'm concerned (and again -- this is one, small, sub-element of the entire, vast women/men interaction continuum, I know) that if even the guys you feel are innocent start off as you feel they're implying threats, then a lot of decent humans may never get the chance to know your friendship (or your tonsils, but honestly, it's the friendship part I've been speaking to all along).

    "The latter has to be earned. And yeah, it is a little harder for dudes to earn, just because of all the sketchy dudes who've come before you."

    Okay. But can me and my dick-owning buddies at least start off in the 'Unknown/Neutral' bin at the Humanity Store, rather than in the 'Implying Threat' aisle? I mean, two seconds of weird vibe, and for God's sake, yes, please send us to the Remainder Bin of Assholes. But at the start can we have a blank slate, as individuals?

    "Yes, you can see my tits any time you want, sheesh. :p"

    Ohthankgod. That's all I wanted, the rest of my posts were just meaningless posturing bullshit, really. :)

    Jack

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  22. @Jack, Thanks for being willing to take part AND for being aware of the little subtleties involved in why we do or don't act in certain situations. And guys who do help out in this way get the kind of good rep/recommend/references that can lead to the fun stuff more quickly :) I try to pass on that info about my cool male friends to my interested female friends and vice versa...and I also call out women who act like assholes to men and warn my male friends about women I may know who have less than genuine agendas. Thank goodness for having good friends and a good network!

    As a straight girl who has been hit on by both men and women (I played a lot of sports and have a lot of lesbian friends/acquaintances), in my own experience, I have never felt the kind of fearful/creeped out/uneasy vibe from interactions with a woman as I have with (some) men. There is some real cultural aspect to the perceived threat of violence from men and their general unawareness of it...women seem to go out of their way to avoid giving off that vibe, probably because they have felt it themselves. I don't know how often a man has that experience in a one-on-one sexual interaction, so it may be difficult for them to imagine. I'd be interested to hear more about that from the guys' side...

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  23. @ Holly Part II

    "But that's because you're Jack, not because you're a man."

    Which is kinda what I've been trying to say.

    "Also, it's important to keep in mind what the actual actions taken against men vs. women in the nervous-strangers scenario are. A woman who's unjustly afraid of a man is likely to not talk to him, not get alone with him, not accept anything from him--in other words, all she's really doing is denying him the pleasure of her company."

    And herself the pleasure of his (if he ends up in the 90% of guys that are decent, and then the smaller % beyond that that would have anything to offer her emotionally, etc.). Yes, I know, it's a small thing, but I was serious when I said that it was a concerning mentality for you to have, not just for the effect on the decent guys of the world. To me, starting every guy off neutral, rather than 'he has a dick, thus he's willing to imply threats' titls things too much and possibly leads to you (and any other woman who starts all the guys off as active threats), is a good balance between caution and remaining open to possibility.

    "Whereas a skeevy "show me your tits" man is more likely to progress to harassment or groping--which are considerably more harmful than just the cold shoulder."

    Agreed. I'm not trying to equate loss-of-possibly-good-company to harassment-groping-violence; I won't even try to call it a 1;10, or 1:100, or 1:1000 ratio. But it's not an either-or deal, finding the right balance leads to the fullest possible life, I think.

    "And I think argument this gets back to that debate (such as it was) I had ...but the default man, until he can be seen as an individual, is just a little bit scary."

    We can be scary, and dealt with with both a friendly smile AND caution. Hmm... would you say that your original statement -- the one that troubled me -- could be better-worded as something to the effect of 'any unknown-quantity guy could POTENTIALLY be a threat,' rather than even the innocent guys are implying threats?

    "If you want that to be less true, I think you have to work on men's tendencies to intimidate and assault women, before you can go asking women to extend trust before it's earned."

    Agreed. But also, not assuming that every guy is automatically implying a threat if you don't do what he wants would be a worthy kindness in return. Ayes? Nays? Abstentions?

    Jack

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  24. If you want to get back to the original example, remember that the guy wasn't saying "hi," he was saying "show me your tits." That's less neutral. I wouldn't tell a guy saying "hi" to fuck off, but tits are a slightly higher level of trust.

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  25. @ Holly --

    Yes, but he was also saying it to YOU, not a normal woman. :)



    Jack

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  26. @ flightless

    "I don't understand the part between the dashes here."

    I was trying to distinguish between 'seeing any other human as potentially capable of being dangerous to you' vs. 'seeing a guy as implying a threat' -- which sounds like the guy is actively implying a threat towards you, whether through deliberate speech, body language, etc. -- that the guy is in some way evil, or at least being perceived by the viewer as such. The first, while cautious, is at least treating all as blank slates but with the capacity to cause harm; the second seems to say that even is the guy is innocent, he's seen as actively making that threat.

    I've worded this clumsily, but does that clarify it at all?

    "But to the rest of it -- yes, exactly. We HAVE to treat you as part of a class UNTIL we've sussed out your vibe. The potential downside for a woman in trusting a man before she's done that is MUCH worse than the downside for a man in being stereotyped unfairly."

    But do you also HAVE to treat women as part of a class until you've sussed out their vibe, given that women commit violent acts (even against other women)? Or are the numbers small enough that you don't feel you have to? If the latter, where's your ratio/line between where you feel you have to treat a group of individuals as a class, vs. where you feel okay treating a group of individuals as individuals? Is it based on percentage of violent acts, or the average man's greater (physical) capacity for power hitting/strength/etc. as compared to the average woman's? I'm curious where, and how, you set your line(s).

    And would a woman who was a big, hulking bodybuilder (so one could assume more power than you, higher testosterone -- more capacity for power hitting/strength/etc.) trigger the same levels of caution in you? Or does her being a woman just instinctively make you feel safer?

    Jack

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  27. @ Holly

    Dammit! After the 'normal woman' remark, I typed 'ducks and capers away' in carrots, but it didn't come through in the comment. Cursed loss of snarkiness...

    Jack

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  28. @Jack - for me personally, yes, the fact that a "big, hulking bodybuilder" is female is enough to keep my initial threat-wariness from kicking in. (In this culture, she's probably dealt with even more harassment and threats from men than I have, because I'm generally "acceptably" feminine in appearance.)

    And it's not based on some percentage of the data, it's probably more based on the same tendency that kept our ancestors alive in pre-modern times. Flinching away from anything that looks like a snake, even if most of them are curvy bits of twig, works out better in the long run than blindly grabbing them all just so as not to miss out on a really cool twig.

    flightless

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  29. "Show me your tits" is not only not neutral, in this world and this culture and this time and place, it's a statement that tremendously pushes boundaries to a stranger. It might be different at a play party where boundaries and safety are very well understood, but that's not the context being talked about. Willingness to immediately push sexual boundaries hard from a strange man is a great big fucking red flag and any sane woman knows to back the hell away from such a red flag.

    Yes, but he was also saying it to YOU, not a normal woman.

    I know this was a joke, but bear this in mind: the kind of men women have good reason to fear DO in fact believe that a woman designated as a slut is fair game to do whatever with, whether she particularly wants to or not. The barrier to them isn't her consent, it's getting away with it.

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  30. What LabRat says actually scares me sometimes. Given how hard it seems to be to get any kind of justice or even protection out of the legal system if your story is anything other than "I was walking from the kindergarten to the nunnery and this total stranger of a different race and social class jumped out of the bushes with a gun", I know damn well that any story beginning with "I met this guy at a BDSM munch and agreed to walk back with him while we talked about my sex blog..." doesn't have a rotten chance in hell.

    (Hopefully not applicable to me, but I've seen this a lot at my job: women with mental illness are at a huge risk of getting raped. This is a little because they're less able to detect red flags and to defend themselves, and a lot because the assailants know--often correctly--that police and medical staff will wonder if this isn't just some wacky delusion.)

    Also, part of the reason I'm more afraid of guys is just heterosexuality. Most women aren't sexually interested in me, thus they aren't as likely to want to harass or assault me. (I've never been creepered on by a lesbian.) Sexual interest, in the absence of any familiarity or trust, is potentially creepy.

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  31. Ditto to what LabRat and Holly said. It's just not individual guys or guys in general that we have to worry about, it's the larger culture and double standard that says if you are actively sexual, you might be branded as a slut and "bad things happen to those dirty sluts". If anything bad happens, you'll get blamed or told "well what did you expect? You were doing/wearing/saying/going ________ so you were asking for it."

    Many "normal" dating scenarios can easily go either way. You were out having drinks with a guy you maybe met once before, had some attraction to, and after a few beers and some playfully flirty conversation, you decided to share a cab back to someone's area of town. You started some steamy making out on the ride that led to a "nightcap" that led to some great sex that left you both twitterpated, was the subject of breathless conversation with your friends the next day, and the eventual "how we met" story of your relationship. Or somewhere between the cab and someone's place, it turned creepy and the guy assaulted you...then in hindsight, it's a cautionary tale of why you shouldn't have drinks with, get in a car with, make out with, go back home with, be alone with a strange man. What did you expect? You obviously were there for a reason and were asking for it.

    I wish we didn't have to consider that possibility.

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  32. Jack - I know how it feels to be distrusted on the face of things just because you're a man. I think women don't really understand what it's like to be on the receiving end. But I think that's really for the best, because the statistics do in fact make that distrust the sensible behavior. Until you have opportunity to distinguish yourself from a potentially dangerous class, caution is the right attitude from every woman you meet, and explaining how it makes a man feel just makes the wise response harder to do.

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  33. Mousie00 and Jack, I agree that it sucks for the guys who have to deal with this as well. And having mostly guy buddies (and two beloved brothers), I get a small glimpse of how daunting it must be for guys to approach women and deal with the possibility of rejection. Which is one reason why once I suss out that a guy I'm interested in is non-creepy and I've been around him enough for him to pass my risk assessment (having a mutual friend vouch for him speeds up that process vs a complete stranger), I am usually very quick to make the first move/clearly communicate my intentions and risk rejection myself (but then I'm pretty direct to downright blunt in general). The previous stuff isn't cockteasing or gameplaying, it's just the screening process.

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  34. Kaija, that sounds great, thanks on behalf of the men you meet for making the first move after screening.

    Although I wonder about the screening process that might be mistaken for cockteasing. One time during my first divorce, I was seated at a wedding with a particular woman I didn't know. I still considered myself married, therefore unavailable, and it came up at the beginning of the conversation. After that she kept getting flirty, then if I'd respond warmly, she'd ice up for a while, then get flirty again after I was back to being reserved. Maybe she was trying to help me keep my resolve whenever she thought I was weakening, maybe she was testing my resolve out of sheer curiosity. But I was determined to stay chaste, not to avoid exchanging a few pleasantries and compliments. Anyway it triggered my psycho radar.

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  35. Mousie: Oddly enough I knew a guy like that when I was in college. When I was wide open and available he'd flirt with me but was always taken/not interested... then when I had a long distance boyfriend he turned on the pressure, which raised flags for me. I married the boyfriend. After I saw how he treated his girlfriends I didn't regret the missed opportunity.

    Bothers me a little that I totally WOULD have dated him if he had been more straightforward, he was very much my type. In hindsight wouldn't have been remotely good for me though.

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  36. LabRat, I'm glad you caught the flags. Unfortunately I think it's like that for all of us; you lay out what you think makes the perfect match, then you find there's some way they can disappoint that you never thought of or you were sure couldn't be part of someone who had so many other admirable traits. With luck it's something you can adjust to, and with determination it's something you do adjust to; and, of course, they do the same with you.

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  37. I'm kind of surprised that nobody has linked Schroedinger's Rapist in this thread yet.

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  38. Jack -- after reading your response, it seems we don't disagree as much as I'd thought, & I agree with most of what you have to say. "'Reticient until we can suss out his vibe' doesn't bother me, because you're judging and reacting to an individual." Okay. I would imagine that sort of reticence is what most women on this thread have been talking about. It's a good idea to remain cautious about "strange" men for a while, but not a good idea to jump to conclusions or to actually treat them badly. I might think it would be fun to dirty-dance uninhibitedly with some guy I've just met at a bar, but might hold back from doing so (or from doing other things, like giving out personal info or getting in the hot tub with him or whatever) because I wasn't sure if he would turn out to be a creepy weirdo. This kind of caution might lower everyone's quality of life (making it harder for us to get to know each other, or to get laid or whatever), but at the same time I'm not treating the guy unfairly, because he isn't "owed" those things in the first place.

    I agree with your point about treating based on their behavior, not what group they belong to. As a white person, I wouldn't want all people of color to automatically assume I'm a racist until proven otherwise. But at the same time it's important for women to remember that they don't owe strangers their time or friendship. If I'm walking alone on a dark street & a strange man stops to ask for directions, I'm going to be curt & get away from him ASAP. Not because I really assume he intends harm, but because the possible harm to me outweighs the harm of hurting his feelings if he's a normal, nice guy. The "rudeness" inflicted on normal guys is collateral damage produced by the fact that there's so many creeps around. (Not assuming you don't know this already, just trying to make it clear what I mean by women having to be cautious.)

    "I mean, yes, I reside in Penisville, but I'm an okay person, y'know?"

    LOL! I was trying to compare being female (not being male) to living in a bad neighborhood. They both have a rep for being dangerous, & sometimes are. I live in kind of a sketchy part of town myself, & most of the time it's fine.

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  39. @ Emily

    "LOL! I was trying to compare being female (not being male) to living in a bad neighborhood. They both have a rep for being dangerous, & sometimes are. I live in kind of a sketchy part of town myself, & most of the time it's fine."

    Yep. I think we are relatively close to the same page. In your bad neighborhood you might be cautious around someone, but you're not assuming that they're trying to imply threats towards you simply because they live in your neighborhood, fair enough. :)

    Jack

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  40. "But can me and my dick-owning buddies at least start off in the 'Unknown/Neutral' bin at the Humanity Store, rather than in the 'Implying Threat' aisle? I mean, two seconds of weird vibe, and for God's sake, yes, please send us to the Remainder Bin of Assholes. But at the start can we have a blank slate, as individuals?"

    Sure you can! But that assumes that you do, in fact, start off that way. As Holly pointed out, walking up to a woman and telling her you've heard she has big tits, can you see them? doesn't start you off that way. Neither does the aggressive, hostile, subtly or not so subtly threatening vibe that many men seem to think is the appropriate way to approach a woman. This is something I've often noticed about the Internet, too: you have a great deal of control about the first impression you make -- so why do so many people choose to behave as badly as they can, and then act wounded when people don't like or trust them?

    As someone mentioned in another thread, the best way to get laid is to be -- not just to act -- genuinely interested in the person you'd like to get nekkid with. To like them, even if it's only (initially?) because you'd like to get nekkid with them. This has been on my mind as a personal issue lately, wondering why I've been so lucky with a number of men. It's hard to ask them why, because men are generally not (in my experience) very articulate about such things. But I think that the fact that I like them does help.

    Not all guys act this way, of course. But we're talking about guys who do. Or who don't know any better, perhaps because they don't much like women, aren't really interested in them, and get most of their pickup advice from other guys. In one of Thomas Mann's novels one character asks if anything is greater than love. "Yes," the other replies: "Interest." It seems to me that if you like women and want to have sex with them, you'd be interested in them and would listen to them. But apparently I'm wrong about that.

    By the way, probably most guys, even gay guys couldn't get away with approaching a man with Holly's pickup line, but I don't know because I don't like big dicks. Using pickup lines has never been my style, hasn't worked when I've tried it, so I stick to other means of meeting men. But a lot of straight-identified guys would, under the right circumstances, be flattered and at least tempted by it, I think. Under the right circumstances.

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  41. Hershele OstropolerAugust 5, 2010 at 12:07 AM

    the alternative is to be aware of your fears and baggage and try to achieve a balance of being safe, but also not seeing every guy, esp. the 'innocent' ones, as implying threats.
    How does one distinguish? I'm not even female or into dudes and I treat strangers of all sexes as potential threats. I'm not sure how you can simultaneously stay safe and trust everyone absolutely, and I'm not sure how much space there is between trusting someone absolutely and treating them as a threat.

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  42. @The Promiscuous Reader
    On the one hand, "Nice shoes, wanna fuck?" type approaches are creepy; on the other hand, "You seem like an interesting person and I'd like to get to know you better." type approaches (without a supplementary "If you know what I mean.") can frequently be disingenuous. How should I approach someone who apart from being good looking did not catch my eye?
    Maybe, "I noticed that you were attractive and decided to come over and introduce myself." Better in that it's not overtly sexual, but I think it still manages to be sketchy.

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