Not being a stranger to humiliation and at the same time, irresistably drawn to it (no doubt, some expression of masochism and repressed self-loathing due to a poor relationship with my mother, a distant slash absent father and few sources of positive reinforcement growing up) I signed up for Match.com, 2 weeks ago. I put some fairly uninspired ramblings up about wanting someone "curious" and "bright" and "attractive" along with a couple of undistinguished pictures of me, smiling. The same smile that causes small children to clutch their mothers' skirts and once caused Robin Williams to leave the Union Square branch of Forbidden Planet. Yeah...nuff said, eh?
The tally so far is this: emails sent SEVEN, emails responding to my emails TWO, unsolicited emails ZERO. Girls who wrote back: cute Egyptian girl with a good sense of humor (I know, hard to believe) and a rather polite Japanese girl who, after maintaining radio silence for two days after she read my email, sent me a polite response with all the safe generalities about how "she always happy to meet people in neighborhood". Not being the sort to acknowledge subtle sledgehammers to the ribs, I wrote back and this time, got a fitting nothing in return.
Which got me to thinking (well, actually, I think all the time...what I did was I switched from thinking to picking on myself, which is more entertaining than it sounds): what is it, that women want?
After much contemplation, I think I've figured it out and it's safe to say, I haven't got it:
1. Good-looking guys. Left-side/ right-side symmetry, piercing eyes, strong chin, striking profile, whatever you want to call it, women respond to it and I don't got it.
2. Familiarity: be that religious, social, racial familiarity (I haven't tabulated the number of caucasians who are only looking for caucasians, but it's pretty telling. To be fair, a lot of other ethnicities are looking for caucasians too; they're very much a mega-brand that stands for wealth, status and opportunity) or background familiarity or failing that, the fucked-up girls gravitate toward guys who look like their fathers.
3. Simple guys: you can group confidence under there, the ability to be relaxed and detached and all sorts of other indicators that while the lights are on, the engine isn't running, an absence of demons, turmoil or inner struggle. Relaxed people are attractive. The only problem is that some people are too stupid to know they shouldn't be relaxed. They get laid anyway.
4. Popular guys: at first, I wanted to say cool guys but while that's accurate, it's not comprehensive. Fo shizzle, chicks LOVE them the bad boys, the ones with the ink, the rebels and the instigators, the non-conformists and the ones who have a problem with the world. But they love them even more when they have friends and a community and a family and a share on Fire Island. Loners don't sell.
5. Good bodies: women are as shallow as men and when a guy has a killer body, it counts for him even if a lot of the other traits aren't there. They rationalize: sure, he has his faults but with a body like that, I'll come as soon as he takes his shirt off and my friends will lust their slutty asses after him, too.
6. Flawed guys: I don't mean not having the stuff I listed in points 1-5 (those aren't flaws, if you don't have them: they're deal-breakers and you're fucked), I mean stuff that women can work with. Like a record or an inability to hold a job or guys who only watch sports or who can't maintain a conversation. A project that chicks can throw themselves into, whole-heartedly while simultaneously assuring them that they are better than their boy.
Let me stop you here. I've got more points to cover but the coming points are different. Ladies, once you start checking points seven through ten off your list, it means that you are in the phase of life we call 'settling for second best', known in some circles as 'adulthood' or, alternatively, 'Why I'm sick of man-boys who cheat on me and steal money from my purse'.
7. Men with money: It's nice, isn't it? Money is pretty sweet, especially when it belongs to somebody else who doesn't know the value of it and is using it to get your attention. All women love that, except the ones who have money, which means that they are angry that they don't have that in their lives. You see, money doesn't just buy you things, it's like the score in a video game: rack up more or get some poor sucker to spend more of it on you, and you win. Money is the ultimate 'Well, at least he has...'. And it's easier to face life knowing you're stiull going to nice restaurants and not craving Louis Vuitton bags. Finally, rich men just love to be cheated on with poor men who have points 1 through 6!
8. Successful men: Those represent achievement and the future and women immediately think of ways to breed them. Not have sex with them or marry them...no, breed them. It's natural selection at it's finest, albeit with an urban twist. And if women could think of a way to mate with these men and then kill them, hide the carcass and rejoin, the rest of their lives, they would without batting an eyelid. There's a precedent for this sort of behavior in nature. Women know that.
9. Needy men: also sometimes known as men who are devoted to one women. Not men who pretend they are or are afraid of getting caught or "respect" women too much. I'm talking about men who simply don't have the urge to go out and propogate, which, let's face it, is a pretty innate male characteristic. These men, cuckolded beyond repair, represent a very prized female bounty: a submissive partner who places her needs above his own.
10. Gay men: Women may deny this but it's to no avail. If men gave women everything they wanted and everything they asked for and acted in the exact way women wished they would act...they would be gay men. Let's face it, the differences between the sexes, the very source of their tension is the reason men and women are together. They're both attracted to something on a physical level, attached to it on a practical, mental level while repulsed by it on a psychological level. The difference is that women would be happier with a gay man than men would be with a gay woman. Because, in life, women value the form while men value the substance. It's a very striking irony.
Before I get all the hate mail, accusing me of being a misogynist, let me place this one gigantic disclaimer: men are no peaches either and I'm aware of a lot of our inconsistencies and inadequacies. But this post is about my match.com experience and the conclusions I drew from it as they pertain to ME. I'm not speaking for all men and certainly not any women, I'm merely commenting on how women react and interact with me. If other men agree with me, I can't help that, so before you ladies fire off your lava-coated, molten rocks of criticism, show this to a man and ask him what he thinks...and then debate HIM. After you're done with that, I'd be happy to discuss things with you.
He probably took most of the blows intended for me, anyway:)