;#90: Testosterone, My Religion

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This article is written for Men, or maybe boys who want to be Men. Women are more than welcome to read it, but ladies may not find the value in it that males might. Thanks.

At Age 18, after a Spring/Summer of getting my ass beaten by vicious 21-year old Men, I decided to go to college instead of trying to latch onto a Junior Hockey team for the upcoming Fall season. Getting punched in the face repeatedly by players much bigger and stronger than you is incentive for Higher Education, if any exists.

I ended up at my beloved Duquesne University, and things ultimately worked out. But I almost didn’t make the Duquesne team, largely because I assumed I would walk-on because of my ability to put up points.

While my ability to score wasn’t an issue, the Duquesne coach had major concerns about my ability to play physically. Though I could surely take a beating, there were questions about my ability to dish one out. Duquesne was largely a Hitting/Skating team at the time, and I was told that I would not make the team unless my speed and strength rapidly improved.

Insistent upon making the team, I took a crazed approach to getting my strength/speed up to par, living at Duquesne’s modest gym and pounding enough Protein Powder and sports supplements to give Jordan Belfort pause. I probably was the last man on the roster, but damned if I didn’t work my way onto that team.

For training geeks, I took my body fat down from 12.5% to just over 9% (Bioimpedence), took my scale weight from 179 to 195 (noting that I was all volumized from the Creatine), shaved almost 1.5 seconds off my blueline-to-blueline time, added 60 pounds to my Squat, and generally transformed myself into a raging beast in 21 days. I’m living proof that love and feverish dedication can help you accomplish the seemingly-absurd.

(Note: I didn’t take steroids due to NCAA drug testing and whatnot, but at the time I probably would have considered it. That time period was a blur for me, but I remember heavy doses of ZMA, Creatine, Glutamine, and the now-banned Ephedra by the fistful. Shoot to Thrill, indeed.)

But love and dedication alone didn’t get me onto that team. To achieve my goal of making the team, I used two primary sources of information to guide my nutrition and training:

1) A then-fledgling website called Testosterone.com, or T-Nation, and

2) A book written by two prominent T-Nation contributors called The Testosterone Advantage

I would not have made that team without this information, so this article serves as my sincere thanks to Dr. John Berardi, Christian Thibaudeau, Chad Waterbury, Chris Shugart, Lou Schuler, Dr. Jeff Volek, Charles Staley, Tim Patterson, and anyone else who may have indirectly contributed to my efforts. Thank you all, very sincerely.

Anyway, while I was satisfied (somewhat) in achieving my goal of making the hockey team, the real treat was the change in body chemistry that I had undergone. Three straight weeks of daily high-volume leg training immediately followed by 30 minutes of Sprint Intervals, combined with John Berardi and Lou Schuler’s dietary recommendations, had my hormones gushing.

I am privileged enough to know what it’s like to walk into a 75-seat lecture hall and have every girl and woman in the room turn to gawk at you, which of course contributes to my legendary modesty. It was almost as though the girls, and even an instructor or two, could smell me before they could see me. I would get this prolonged, overtly-sexual eye contact from Women who from appearance would not seem to want anything to do with me.

Once a Man has experienced this high – having lots and lots of Women interested in him on a primal level – he will almost certainly chase the dragon for the rest of his life.

People sometimes talk about what their addictions are, as though everyone must have one. Most people say alcohol, drugs, gambling, sex, etc. The tack taken by many is that everyone has a vice. While I’ve dabbled in all of the preceding to various degrees, at eighteen I found an addictive force more compelling than all of the collective indecency in Las Vegas. This of course was Testosterone.

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The Good Lord is my Savior, but Testosterone is my Religion. Since my freshman year of college, I have relentlessly sought more and more natural Testosterone and Growth Hormone, even as years of this pursuit have turned me into a twisted mix of Buddy Love and a Caveman.

In the process, I’ve become a Mentor to other Men who are still finding their way. I covered a lot of this in my satirical article The Sidekick Manifesto, but what I’ve experienced is that a pronounced uptick in Testosterone levels will have both Men and Women flocking to you. Even if they claim to detest or fear you – as is regularly the case with Mad Men’s Don Draper – people are compelled to seek the approval, comfort, and counsel of High-Testosterone (or Alpha) Males on an almost-biological level.

Having said that, it’s been brought to my attention recently that some of the “Men” in Wilmington have taken to asking themselves, “What Would Jack F____ll Do?” While this is somewhat flattering, the impression I get is that the clownish and wayward are not doing what I would do in given situations. They are not heeding Jack’s Rules and they are not Doing the Right Thing. They either lack understanding as to what I would do in certain scenarios, or they are asking the wrong questions entirely.

In fact, I almost titled this article “What Jack F____ll Would Do”, but I ultimately decided that was too self-indulgent and not at all Vague. I touched upon most of the reasons that I don’t want my name all over the internet in my article on Quitting Facebook, but the short version is that I don’t like being stalked on the internet. If anything herein needs clarification, I can be found at a hockey rink in either Wilmington or Greater Pittsburgh. I’m in the #11 jersey.

Instead of a WJFWD article, I decided to compile The Testosterone Ten Eleven Commandments in the interest of both enlightening and entertaining both low-T males as well as intrigued women.

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Before we begin, I will shill for both T-Nation, Coach Schuler, and Doctors Berardi and Volek. I suggest you visit both T-Nation and Precision Nutrition and consider purchasing a copy of The Testosterone Advantage, as I did when I was 18.  I have no financial stake in any of the above, but I find it all to be excellent information.

In addition to citing specific examples on how to be more of a high-value male, this article will also aim to guide beaten-down and frustrated Men by providing them with more general advice on how to live successfully and the beginning steps to take on a path to long-term happiness. Enjoy.

The Testosterone Ten Eleven Commandments

I) Be Hilarious…and Sexy

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(Note: as noted above, I am no longer on the Facebook, but I remain Hilarious and Sexy.)

When people start assigning personality traits to me (more on this below), they frequently acknowledge how Sexy I am, but because I’m not a clown they assume that I lack a sense of humor.

Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, I am Hilarious with a capital H. But there is a big point of distinction revolving around my use of humor.

To be Hilarious and Sexy, a Man must let comedy flow organically, mostly by making smart-ass comments about the Women in his orbit or working as many as 12 Meows into a professional e-mail. Comedy, not variety, is the Spice of Life, and some people make the mistake of thinking more is automatically better.

What a Man should not do is dance for an audience like a puppet. That’s a critical difference between an Alpha and your standard-issue clown.

I am Hilarious, but it’s on my time and the select privilege of my family, friends, and readers. I don’t go into a car dealership and do my best schtick like Chris Rock opening a set, because that’s a business negotiation. I have a gift for comic timing, and I chose to share that gift for people I enjoy being around rather than those I actively despise.

If you want to be a Hilarious Man, I highly recommend you downshift and seek a more subtle approach. It’s Hilarious when Vince Vaughn quietly pokes fun at the obnoxious characters in his life, but it’s only marginally-funny when Ben Stiller rams his awkward idea of comedy down our collective throat. With comedy, Less is More.

In fact, the Dodgeball dichotomy between Vince Vaughn and Ben Stiller’s characters is an excellent example on Being a Clown versus Being Hilarious … and Sexy. Find the guy who’s trying too hard in this picture:

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If you are a Man, and if you are trying to be Hilarious/Sexy, my strongest recommendation is that you develop a complete infatuation with yourself. What I’ve found is that Women are fascinated when Men are preoccupied or even self-obsessed to a certain degree. I am not going to breakdown the psychology at play here, but I will link to a wide number of celebrity examples demonstrating attractive women doting on self-obsessed men.

The key is to always walk the line between being serious and bringing the hilarity. My favorite personal example is from many years ago, when I was lounging in my living room admiring my muscles. My female roommate Pickles walked in, and not really sure if I was kidding or not, I lifted my leg off the couch and barked, “Pickles, look at how ripped my calf is,” commanding her to stare at my flexed lower leg.

Was I kidding? Was I serious? It doesn’t matter, because it was Hilarious. Pickles rolled her eyes, but then came and sat down on the couch to listen to more of my outrageous, self-aggrandizing claims.

A large number of people have come to these same conclusions about comedy. Some of them have even attempted to brand my particular style of comedy, to varying degrees of success. But the key is to have a seemingly-unhealthy preoccupation with yourself, mixed with a modicum of self-awareness. Being Hilarious…and Sexy requires having the right proportions of each, used judicially and with practiced restraint.

II) Be an Original

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I will always have a soft spot for Professional Wrestling, as Pro Wrestling basically saved me from full-blown alcoholism. I’ll save the complete story for another time, but the short version is that I had to start locking myself in my apartment on Friday nights because if I didn’t, I would be apt to have 10-12 vodka clubs immediately followed by a tryst with someone’s wife/girlfriend. It was a bad look.

Not sure when you last watched Friday Night television, but the pickings are slim. There’s a healthy amount of Tween porn, white-trash theater reruns such as COPS or Jerry Springer, QVC-type infomercial programs, Pawn Stars mini-marathons, etc. There’s almost nothing substantive.

(Note: Cinemax fixed this problem by putting the Best New Show on Television on Friday Nights. Meet the New Boss is exactly right.)

As far as original programming goes, I can assure you the top of the card used to be Friday Night Smackdown, one of WWE’s signature programs. So, I developed this weekly ritual where I sat myself down with a bottle of lemon-lime soda water and watched these incredibly-athletic egomaniacs scream at each other for two glorious hours and dried out a bit.

I will always be grateful to Vince McMahon of the WWE for providing me with a few hours of mindless distraction on Friday nights, which ultimately prevented me from death by alcohol poisoning or furious-husband stabbing. Maybe Vince can work a “Smackdown Saves Lives!” angle later in the year.

Anyway, one of the signature performers on Smackdown was CM Punk, who has since left the company. Like many other stars who gained mainstream appeal, Punk looked around at the abysmal corporate culture that has killed Professional Wrestling and decided that as much as he loved Pro Wrestling itself, he no longer wanted to be a part of it. Punk has since become a celebrity in his own right, and his personal popularity easily eclipses that of the current WWE product.

Though I’m disappointed CM Punk decided he could no longer reconcile the corporate oppression of the WWE Machine with his personal beliefs, I am thrilled that he was enough of a Man to leave something he loved behind for the sake of his personal well-being. See the 8th Commandment below for more on this.

Punk was willing to give almost everything he had to the WWE, but there were two ways in which he absolutely refused to compromise:

1) Punk was unwilling to sacrifice his personal dignity. He was unwilling to take on a dated, obnoxious Russell Brand-style gimmick or wear a ridiculous bunny rabbit costume for the greater glory of WWE.

2) Punk was unwilling to compromise himself and his personal beliefs. If he was going to be part of the WWE, he was going to do so pantomiming Jesus Christ and playfully forcing his Straight Edge beliefs onto others.

CM Punk is an Original. He took what he personally believed in and made it cool. He did not chase popularity and let it contradict what he knew in his heart to be true. The downside of Being an Original is that you are frequently misunderstood, and that people will tend to denigrate you rather than appreciate you, at least initially.

The mistake would be to copy CM Punk’s attitude and values. Punk is thoroughly counter-culture and anti-authority, and while that can be you to a certain degree, it’s likely you don’t hate authority for it’s own sake.

Instead, Be an Original. You probably don’t think like other people, and if you want to be High-T, you shouldn’t act that way. Being true to yourself and doing things your own way, sometimes to your detriment, is an essential part of being both a Man and an Original.

It’s easy to tell someone to Be an Original, and if it were easy everyone would do it. The problem is that innovators and people who act and think unconventionally are usually not well-received by society, at least not at first. People tend to distill all others in their orbit into concepts and stereotypes that they can wrap their minds around. When someone genuinely unique comes around, it’s our nature to cast stones at them.

It’s also human nature to fear and hate what we do not understand. Part of the reason I am so divisive is that, in my view, I’m fairly original. I can’t really be shoe-horned into the most of the standard categories because my personality is complex and my interests are varied. But I’m both comfortable and confident in living this way, as all Men should be.

Being an Original can and does cause some social strife, but this approach ultimately leads to greater glory. Having said that, in my case it doesn’t help that I refuse to explain myself or my actions most of the time, which leads me to my next topic:

III) Be Vague

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Most people have this burning desire to be understood and to connect with other people. I am no different, but even more than being understood, I don’t want to be misunderstood. It leads to contradictions such as this, in which I will write 9,000 words about my outlook but refuse to offer some of the most basic details about my personal life.

To again cite a recent example, I quit Facebook because it was taking value from my life. While I was mainly using it to keep in contact with friends that live far away, what was happening was that people with agendas were taking some of the most off-base, trivial aspects of my personality and using them to make assaults on my character.

I covered it at length in the Quitting Facebook article, but an example was that people I dealt with professionally would take a Facebook picture of me from New Years 2007 or a profanity-laced post about the 2010 Hockey Olympic Gold-Medal Game and use it against me in any way possible.

Also as noted in the Facebook article, I can’t bring myself to take Facebook seriously, so rather than keep an account and censor myself, I chose to just eliminate the problem all together.

As noted above, people frequently misunderstand me because my appearance greatly varies and my personality traits are so contradictory. One moment I will come across as extremely intellectual, the next moment I will be involved in a fistfight. One minute I’ll be wearing a three-piece suit, and a moment later I’ll be wearing the tattered remains of a $5 t-shirt. One day I’ll have Conan-length hair, the next I’ll have a military buzzcut. There’s usually method to the madness, but to the unobservant it looks like I just do things.

But most people don’t care about your perspective or reasoning. Most people just want to stereotype each other for self-serving reasons. You don’t have to like this about people – I certainly don’t – but it’s a reality.

A high-value Man is not going to be drawn into the sorority-girl scheming and backstabbing that many people love to partake in. People are always going to talk about each other, but there are some people with nothing in their empty lives other than spreading gossip and baseless rumors. Like many Men of value, I consider people like this beneath me.

But people like this tend to create problems for me by constructing erroneous character assassinations, while I will not. As you may know, I am more of a “walk up and punch a guy in the face” type, but I obviously can’t risk going to jail every time someone spreads a rumor that I’m a drug dealer or a male escort.

My suggestion to the like-minded is to Be Vague. Limit your exposure. Your personal and professional business should not really concern other most other people. Plenty of very successful people, including the Greatest Man Alive, play their cards close to the vest. This method simply filters out potential problems, the same way a Spam folder filters junk e-mail.

People are always going to be critical, but you don’t need to give them additional ammunition. I prefer to choose my words somewhat carefully, and present my views on my own forum and in full. I’m a complex thinker with complex views, and I want these views to be fully explained before people jump to judgement.

I hate it when I’m having a conversation with someone and they take two sentences out of a 45-minute discussion and use that to form their impressions of me. But I really hate it when people take something I say or write as an obvious goof and use it to slander me. Being Vague just keeps a lot of the sorority sisters out of my personal affairs, and makes my life less complicated.

IV) Bros > Hos

I love women, to such a degree that it frequently gets me into trouble. I would say I have 80% of my private conversations with women, and surround myself with women by preference. Typically, women are a joy to be around, and I tend to prefer their company.

Meanwhile, I don’t have tons and tons of guy friends because I spend most of my time thinking about ways to beat other guys in competition or otherwise outdo them. For me and probably most other Alphas, male friendship is a rare privilege.

But I’m lucky enough to have 10-12 brothers, scattered across the globe, that I would push most other people out of a moving car for.

Let me tell you about my brother Chuck:

At the end of 2013, my housing development used a small contractual window to unilaterally terminate my lease. In English, they pulled a low-class move to evict me because I was locked in at a lower rent rate than they liked.

Anyway, I was left scrambling for a place to live. Faithful readers may recall that I got robbed at gunpoint that month. Those who know me personally also know that late 2013 was a really stressful time for me professionally. It’s like they say: when it rains, it pours.

Chuck must have seen my temples throbbing especially hard at Hockey one day, because out of the blue he says:

“No worries, bro. You can move in with me.”

It was an offer I couldn’t refuse. After I settled in, Chuck and I proceeded to have the best time two non-gay grown men can probably have. I haven’t laughed as hard in years as I did watching YouTube clips of LA Beast or Predator or Starship Troopers for the 80th time with my brother Chuck.

I’ve since moved out and Chuck has since gotten married, but at the time I needed a brother, and Chuck was a brother to me. He’s a tremendous individual, and I’ll always be extremely grateful to him.

Normally, I would dump a full drink on another guy or throw him down a small flight of stairs if he was preventing me from talking to a certain girl. So while for me it may be “Chicks Before Dicks” in most cases, like most High-T Men, my real brothers mean more to me than all the women in the world.

I actually have another very recent story that further speaks to that point, but I don’t think this is the time or place for it. I’ll probably retroactively link to it after the story is told. But the short version is that I picked the happiness of one of my brothers over a girl, because girls come and go. Brotherhood is more important than that, at least to Men of Value.

Speaking of girls coming and going…

V) Get the Girl

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Everyone has “the one who got away.” Hell, by my count, I have two girls that got away, at least as of this writing.

But as a Man of Value, what you want to do most of the time is Get the Girl. Do not piss and moan and agonize about whether she likes you or not. Make your intentions known and aggressively pursue her, outside circumstances be damned.

There’s been this disappointing trend in which weak Men make excuses as to why they can’t get the Woman they want. They tiptoe around the central issues – the biggest of which is that she can probably get someone better – so they mope and wallow and ultimately chase her away with their desperation and neediness.

I’ll get into this more in the section Kill Before It Kills You, but until the time comes in which you need to totally wash your hands of a bad situation or a stiletto-wearing dumpster-fire of despair, you may need to ride things out until a certain lucky lady comes to the realization that you are in fact the Man for her.

This concept segues nicely into the 6th Commandment:

VI) Have a Set or Grow a Set

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This is basically the same as Jack’s Rule #11 (Don’t Be a Coward). But if you want to take things a step beyond being unafraid, you need to Have a Set or Grow a Set.

If you’re going to Be a Man, go assert yourself. If you’re not, live the contented, quiet life of a mouse. But don’t whine about circumstances and misfortune if you’re never going to take a chance or make an ambitious play.

I don’t exactly know where it stems from, but many if not most people live entirely different lives in their head than they do out in the world. I’m a realist and I understand that for most people, family and work take precedence over their personal desires.  However, it also bothers me that most people marginalize themselves so much and compromise their sense of self so easily.

In Men, this reluctance to step on toes can become paralyzing to the point of contempt.  I sometimes want to shake indecisive or timid males and bark in my best Sobe Voice, “You are a Man. Grow Some Fucking Balls.”

This condition – prevalent, diluted masculinity – exists for a great number of reasons, most of which would go past the scope of this section. But the takeaway point is that in 2015, it’s harder than ever to be a High-T Man without being seen as a relic or a social outcast. The ability to navigate socially, rather than aggressively dominate, is a much-handier skill set to possess today.

For me and other High-T Men, it would be an ideal world if one could go around tuning up every amoral, disingenuous, and passive-aggressive coward that we came across. Alas, we live in an unjust, lawsuit-happy era, and it’s not socially acceptable to beat the tar out of every clown that cuts you off in traffic.

I may not act on all of my aggressive impulses – like Johnny Rico says in the award-winning film Starship Troopers, The Mobile Infantry doesn’t make stupid Troopers” – but when I have a strong opinion about something, I certainly make it known.

The Passive-Aggressive approach, i.e. being friendly to someone’s face and disrespectful behind their back, doesn’t fly with High-T Men. If you’re a Man and you have something to say, say it to someone’s face. Don’t wait until they get up to get a Sprite and then start whispering behind their back like a catty sorority girl.

In High-T Men, this mindset endures in all areas. While discretion may in fact be the better part of valor, there is also the notion that fortune favors the bold. As Woody Harrelson’s character Tallahassee likes to say in Zombieland, Nut Up or Shut Up.”

VII) Be Physically Dominant

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Like most High-T Men, I am a Physical guy. Everything I like to do – sports, sex, working out, even the jobs I’ve taken on – is predicated on the use of my body. As such, it’s become my nature to be as Physically Dominant as possible.

Certain people are going to misread this idea and think, “Go start bullying people.” That’s not what I’m suggesting at all. But if you’re ethical and just, it almost behooves you to also be physically dominant so that you might uphold these values. It’s a cornerstone of Testosterone.

I’ve mentioned it several times, but there was an incident recently in which I was suspended from the Wilmington rink because I fought a kid. The kid threw a slew-foot on me, so I got up, and I warned him that his behavior was out of line. He not only refused to apologize or heed my warnings, but he continued to buzz around and say things that offended me. So, I fought him and roughed him up, and very honestly I could have beat him much worse.

People may rightly look at me as the bad guy in this situation, and that’s fair. But even in wailing on him a bit to try teaching him a lesson in respecting those bigger and stronger than you, I protected the kid. I’m a Hockey purist, and I don’t think there’s much honor in beating on a smaller person. But there’s even less honor in kicking out someone’s skates from behind and exposing them to severe injury.

The point is this: if you’re going to be an Alpha, i.e. Simba in the Lion King, you need to be physically dominant. If you are not, there is a good chance you will become a beta, i.e. Skar or the Jackals in The Lion King. As a craven beta, you will have to be the type that has to kick out the Alpha’s skates from behind because you can’t physically-compete with him. You will then you will have to cry out “I’m only 17!” so the Alpha doesn’t maul you. It’s a potentially bad life.

Apologies for mixing metaphors, but I’m a writer. It’s what we do.

Moving along, the more-appealing reason to be physically dominant revolves around a Man’s interactions with Women. I’m going to be as Vague as possible and not incriminate myself, but my  experience has been that most Women want a powerful Man who makes them feel protected. This is hard to accomplish when your girlfriend can out-lift you at the gym and wears the same size jeans as you. Remember what you’re supposed to be bringing to the table as a Man.

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Since we’re talking about being physically dominant…

VIII) You WILL Do Squats

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By my estimate, Mr. Olympia/fitness icon/actor/California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is the most fascinating person of his era, possibly only superseded by actor/martial artist/philosopher/writer Bruce Lee. The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding remains my favorite book and an essential read in the fitness community almost 30 years after first publication.

Arnold’s most-recent book, Total Recall, tells a tale that would be roundly rejected by book publishers as an absurd work of fiction due to unbelievability. Yet the spread of photos in the middle of the book, to say nothing of Arnold’s bodies of work in Bodybuilding, Acting, Fitness, and Politics, are proof of the epic life that he’s lived.

Like many people, I sometimes get very busy, and at the end of a long day the last thing I want to do is go force myself through a workout. But I like having high Testosterone and being good at sports, so most of the time I manage to drag myself in.

On the rare occasions when I absolutely lack motivation and my usual motivational carrots – Hockey, Women, personal pride, etc. – fail to inspire me, I use a photo of The Oak such as this to shame myself into going:

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If you’ve read New Encyclopedia, then you’re familiar with the very distinct manner in which Arnold writes. He has no issue making up his own Austrian/English words (such as Problematical), and uses his unique brand of motivation/humiliation to inspire others. After a few reads through the massive tome that is New Encyclopedia, you can hear Arnold’s voice as clear as day shaming you into being less of a whiner and more of a winner.

Maybe I had a dream about it, but somewhere amidst the meandering 800+ pages of New Encyclopedia is a very basic tenet: You WILL Do Squats.

Squats are non-negotiable, if you consider yourself anything other than a complete girly-man. You WILL do them, under order of the Terminator himself.

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Maybe you aren’t interested in Strength Training, but if you’re interested in Testosterone there’s a good chance that you have an unhealthy obsession with the iron. If you want to make Testosterone your religion, there’s no better building block than a high-volume squat workout. You WILL Do Squats, starting immediately.

IX) Kill Before It Kills You

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I’m not going to get all Darwinian on you or overburden you with scholarly articles, as I’m apt to do. The cold truth of life is that the world is not a terribly nice place most of the time. As they say, it’s a dog-eat-dog world, and this is something most everyone will comes to learn as they mature.

While many are able to embrace this savage aspect of human nature, many others who are hard-wired with the instinct to protect others.

I am wired this way. I may be, as one woman famously put it, “a colossal dick”, but at the end of the day my instincts are to protect people in both physical and emotional ways. I am far from alone in this regard, as there are innumerable people who think of the good of the collective before they think of their personal desires.

A notable example from fiction is Rick Grimes, lead character of both The Walking Dead television show and The Walking Dead graphic novels. Throughout both the novels and the show, Rick is described as “a Man of Conscience”, and is frequently shown to have ethical objections to some of the horrible things he must do to ensure the safety of his family and friends.

But in the epic 4th Season finale, Rick very literally puts the 9th Commandment of Testosterone into practice:

The clip from The Walking Dead serves as a metaphor. In life, there are a great number of threats – some insidious, some obvious – that can compromise our health and livelihood. The key is to identify and eliminate these threats before they take a severe toll on you.

There are two particular areas in which I apply this commandment: Women and Work.

As I will discuss below, one of my bigger character flaws/traits is that I am a sucker for a damsel-in-distress. If a Woman appears to be in trouble or vulnerable, I am basically powerless to stop myself from trying to help her. Over the years, shrewd Women have observed this trait in me, and tooled me to various degrees.

While some people may read this and chuckle about what a chump I am, this trait – the need to intervene and help others – is also one of the strongest aspects of my character. I wouldn’t be who I am if I suddenly started turning a blind eye to others in need. I often proceed knowing that I’m being played, because that’s more palatable for me than the alternative.

Acknowledging that, the maturation process for me has been to identify when I am clearly being used, and to kill the relationship before it kills me.

I touched upon it in “On Doing the Right Thing I”, but I ended a close friendship with my former roommate because her toxicity was sucking the life out of me. In addition to being a sullen wench, not a week went by in which she didn’t manipulate me into helping her solve one of her personal problems or self-constructed dramas.

She was usually pretty personable with me, but she would surround herself with these douchebag, effete hipsters who would rightly see me as a threat and passive-aggressively provoke me into confrontation. I enjoyed her friendship a lot, but it was exhausting. One day, I took a deep breath and decided I had to remove her from my life, for the sake of my own well-being. I “killed” our relationship before it took anything more out of me.

That’s just one example, but it’s part of a larger pattern of traditional behavior for me. I’ve written in the past about what a problem quitting is for me, and for the longest time I was unable to separate quitting a relationship from “killing” one. I’ve changed in that regard, and while it may not be progress, but it’s definitely evolution.

The same goes for work. I was raised by a family of farmers, and I am fortunate enough to have a great work ethic and pride in being professional. The downside of this, as I discussed in Jack’s Rules, is that I’ll tend to let my personal pride keep me from leaving a bad job or hostile work environment.

I think everyone reading this can empathize, as they are either like me – i.e. tend to stay too long in flawed relationships because of personal integrity – or they are the sort of person who tries to exploit people like me. Regardless, the lesson is this:

To grow and thrive, a Man will sometimes need to make a hard choice and “kill” a given relationship. There could be any number of factors – money, sex, emotional investment, honor, etc. – that make the relationships seem salvageable, but a high-value Man will identify when a relationship has outlasted its usefulness, and sever it.

This isn’t as easy as it sounds, because most of the time there is a strong human component to a given relationship. Most of the time, “killing” a relationship will involve putting a weaker person out to pasture for the sake of your own well-being, and as a Man of Conscience, this will wear on you. But as a Man of Value, you will tap into your inner strength and make a hard choice that most other people cannot.

To be a strong-enough Man to accomplish this, you will need to learn the 10th Commandment well…

X) Don’t Beg for Mercy, Work for Strength

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(John Cena Deadlifting 650 pounds, like a boss – don’t dare say he doesn’t deserve his spot)

We were told just to sit tight,
‘Cause somebody will soon arrive.
Help is on the way.
But it never came
It never came

Rise Against, Help Is On The Way

Megatron: [feigning defeat as he reaches for a gun] No more, Optimus Prime! Grant me mercy, I beg of you!

Optimus Prime: You, who are without mercy, now plead for it? I thought you were made of sterner stuff

Let me tell you one thing I’ve learned about Women. Free tip:

For many if not most Women, it doesn’t matter if you’re a Good Man or a Bad Man. What matters to them is if you’re a Strong Man. The rest is negotiable.

This isn’t meant to paint Women in an unflattering light, and there are certainly exceptions.  But my experience has been that Strength – be it emotional, physical, or otherwise – is the critical component Women seek when searching for an ideal mate.

There are some awful Men who do or have done extremely-well with Women. We also all know some great guys who can’t get anywhere with the fairer sex. Unfortunately, the misconception of many Men is that Bad Boys automatically get all of the Women, while nice guys don’t. This leads Good Men to behaving badly in the interest of doing better with Women.

But there are plenty of Good Men who do great with Women, and in fact I think if Women had their way, they would all have a Good Man. But their Man needs to be a Good, Strong Man, both emotionally/mentally as well as physically.

Strength is More than Physical. A Strong Man ideally would provide financial and psychological support when needed, and as noted above should be a pro in making his Woman feel comfortable. If he’s physically-strong to boot, the Man in question should be so busy fighting off Women with a stick that he doesn’t have time to address his other shortcomings, whatever they may be.

(My two cents? You should take care of your Woman, and she should let you. After all, she takes care of you. But I’m traditional.)

So let’s say I can sell you on the idea of being a Strong Man rather than a Good Man or a Bad Man. If you want Strength – emotional, physical, or otherwise – you’re going to have to work for it. Life is largely unfair, and you are not going be magically transformed from weak-willed to resolute. You are going to have to fight for Strength.

Let me tell you another thing I’ve learned: The Only Help is Self-Help.

Not to say that a lot of people haven’t helped me through the years, because I’ve been blessed enough to have had an outstanding support network, at times. But there have been a lot of times when, like most Men, I’ve basically been on my own. It always seems like this happens when the circumstances of life are at their most overwhelming.

Again, life can be brutal. I’ll steal this speech from Rocky Balboa:

Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place, and I don’t care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!

Now if you know what you’re worth, then go out and get what you’re worth! But you gotta be willing to take the hits. And not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody! Cowards do that and that ain’t you! You’re better than that!

A Man can beg for mercy, but sometimes, there will be no mercy. A Man will need to work to find the Strength needed to Rise against whatever circumstances life has thrown at him. Testosterone will help greatly in this regard.

Lastly:

XI) Be a Hero

beahero

(Props to me for working not one but two relevant Zombieland references into the article)

If there’s an overriding theme to my work, it’s Be a Hero. There is very little in my eyes more masculine than stepping up when no one else will, especially as circumstances grow more daunting.

Anyone who reads my writing knows that I am a big fan of Heroes in all forms and shapes. But if I had to pick one, we all know it’s Batman. Here’s why:

Even the most casual fan is aware that young Bruce Wayne witnessed his parents being murdered, and rather than pout like a little girl or turn to chronic substance abuse, he dedicated himself to ensuring that such an incident would never have the opportunity to repeat itself.  He went on a decade-long odyssey in which he prepared his body and mind for a forthcoming war on injustice.

Being as realistic as possible in looking at the situation, if an eight-year old saw his parents killed before his eyes, he would likely be a fucking mess. Any number of emotional or psychological disorders would have likely crippled any child in Bruce Wayne’s position, and the fact that he was a pillow-soft rich kid makes it all the more likely he would have collapsed under duress. The real-life Bruce Wayne would have turned to drugs and alcohol, and ultimately let substance abuse consume him.

But that’s why the idea of Batman is so special, and resonates with fans as it does. Bruce Wayne, even with irreparable psychological damage, chose to Be a Hero. It would make him a one-in-a-billion type of person considering the circumstances, and that’s why Batman is a work of fiction. But it’s inspirational nonetheless.

batman

It’s interesting to me that both Bruce Wayne and Patrick Bateman of American Psycho infamy are played by actor Christian Bale, because it allows for some interesting comparisons. Both obviously come from a great deal of money. Both have obvious psychological damage. Both exhibit great intelligence and extreme control-freak tendencies. Both show an obsession with their bodies and their health.

Watching the films in succession, it’s almost impossible at times to distinguish between Bale’s Bateman and his Batman. It’s a very thin line between the Man Bruce Wayne became and the one Patrick Bateman became. But that’s the point of the 11th Commandment of Testosterone. Be a Hero, by choice, even if circumstances lead you in the opposite direction.

It’s far more-realistic that a traumatized eight-year old would become Patrick Bateman, i.e. a murdering psychopath, than he would become a Hero. Not even a Man in a Bat costume, but a cop or a doctor or a firefighter, i.e. someone who works for the good of others.

In fact, I would go as far as to say that Bruce Wayne and Patrick Bateman even think in fundamentally similar ways. Not just in terms of control and precision, but also in terms of emotional scarring from trauma during development. In most interpretations, Batman/Bruce Wayne is shown to a borderline sociopath at best and at worst a very disturbed individual.

But that’s why Batman is so revered, even 75 years after the character’s creation. Batman does something that most people are incapable of, which is that he creates something good from great tragedy. He does not let tragedy dictate the person that he is or what he aims to accomplish. Even if Batman’s brain is not a nice place to be, he still opts to make positive, tangible contributions to the world around him.

Two scenes from Batman Begins reinforce this concept:

A Man can choose to benevolent, even if he’s an aggressive or even malicious person by nature. A Man can choose to Be a Hero, because a Man in control of himself. That’s the fundamental difference between Batman and Patrick Bateman: Bateman can’t control himself because deep down, he’s a scared little boy. Batman can control himself, and focus himself in a positive direction, because he’s a Man.

Batman is also the model for those who have had to work for their success, which many Men of Value have had to do. While some Men are born with seemingly-endless gifts and have their own unique struggles – not unlike Superman – many Men have had to build themselves from nothing. They have had to overcome a lack of talent with education and work ethic, and they have had to overcome personal issues on their own. Batman is a choice role-model for Men like this.

As a Man, realize that you have a choice. You don’t have to Be a Hero, but you also don’t have to let tragedy and circumstances outside of your control define you. The one thing a Strong Man can control is himself, how he acts and reacts to the world around him. It’s a great responsibility, but it’s also a tremendous freedom that weaker Men may never get to experience. As a Strong Man, the choice is yours.

Bonus Section

These two extras aren’t Testosterone Commandments per se, but they are both helpful things to know.

Bonus #1) Dictate Your Environment

jacknicholson

“I don’t want to be a product of my environment. I want my environment to be a product of me.”

– Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson), The Departed

This isn’t a full-on commandment, but as a Man you do want to be conscious of how your environment impacts you, and vice versa.

My friends know that “the world is my living room”. I can frequently be seen walking around Hockey rinks barefoot or plugging my iPhone charger into any power outlet within sight because I am, for whatever reason, very comfortable making myself comfortable.

As my friends also know, I am very comfortable forcing my preferences onto other people. I’m a sport and I’ll be accommodating, but if you give me the slightest bit of latitude in making a decision, we are going to end up watching Super Troopers way more often than we watch the latest Sarah Jessica Parker farce/Rom-Com.

It’s the nature of Men to take something and make it theirs, and a Man’s environment is no different. A side effect of ramping up my natural Testosterone levels has been that I have become almost territorial. If you ever want to be embarrassed, come into my Hockey team’s locker room some time without an invitation. I promise no one will belittle and berate you louder that particular day.

You don’t have to be as obnoxiously-territorial as I can be to learn an important lesson in masculinity: Dictate Your Environment.

There is definitely a line between being a bane on society and being a mindless, timid conformist. A Man will dictate his environment to a large degree, as he knows his personal worth meets or exceeds that of the people around him. But a Man will usually not make those around him deliberately uncomfortable for his own sake. The key, as with most judgement calls, is to Walk the Line and show a reasonable amount of discretion without letting anyone else step on you.

Bonus #2) Understand the Nature of Estrogen

Before you get your thong in a twist, hear me out. This is not an attack on women. In fact, it’s a defense:

I’ve written extensively about the benefits of Testosterone, which you can of course read more about elsewhere. The opposite of Testosterone (not the antagonist, obviously) is Estrogen, a hormone that prominently occurs in Women. Estrogen exists in Men as well, leading to a disturbing number of maladies if left unchecked, but offers a number of benefits to Women including:

  • Increasing serotonin, and the number of serotonin receptors in the brain.
  • Modifying the production and the effects of endorphins, the “feel-good” chemicals in the brain.
  • Protecting nerves from damage, and possibly stimulating nerve growth.

Estrogen is also of course critical in female sexual development and child bearing. But the downside of Estrogen is that it’s an extremely volatile hormone, and that it can cause wild fluctuations in mood irrespective of gender. You can read the entirety of this WebMD article on Estrogen and Women’s Emotions here.

A condition called Estrogen Dominance can occur in both Men and Women, in which Estrogen levels run rampant and unchecked, leading to numerous problems. Here are some of the effects of Estrogen Dominance:

estrogendominance

I am not going to do your reading for you, but you should understand the basic positive and negative effects of both Estrogen and Testosterone. If you’re thoroughly-undereducated, you can start with this scholarly article and work your way through.

Estrogen Dominance sounds like hell on earth to me, which is why I so voraciously chase Testosterone. But I am a Man, and I have the luxury of attempting to turn on my Testosterone like a spigot with smart lifestyle choices.

Women, however, generally have about 1/10th of the Testosterone of the average Man, thus missing out on most of the benefits of Testosterone while combating the Estrogen Dominance conditions detailed above. As an example, the average Woman has to work much harder to lose a few pounds than the average Man, again due to the average Woman’s Estrogen: Testosterone ratio.

Once more, this is not to say that there are no positives to Estrogen. There are many. It’s a hormone not unlike Ghrelin or Luteinizing Hormone or Cortisol and serves a major purpose within both male and female human bodies. But Estrogen Dominance is not a desirable condition for Men, and as noted above, even Women do not want out-of-whack Progesterone: Estrogen ratios.

I included this section for two reasons:

1) I think it’s important to educate Men on how problematical Estrogen Dominance can be, and how it can be contributing to any number of mental or physical problems a Man might be experiencing. I highly recommend that as a Man, you educate yourself on ways in which you can mitigate Estrogen Dominance – if only to limit your chances of conditions like Prostate Cancer – even if you do not wish to aggressively pursue high Testosterone levels.

2) I can’t believe I’m writing these words, but … try not to give Women such a hard time. Lord knows this is a case of “doing what I say, not what I do”, but the reality is that the hormonal deck is largely stacked against Women in many instances, and that’s before contributing factors such as Birth Control are thrown in.

As a Man, you can’t reasonably be expected to know what’s going on with a Woman at any given time. But as noted under the 11th Commandment, you can choose to cut a good girl some slack if she’s acting like a maniac. Educate yourself, adjust your patience accordingly, and make your own determinations.

Final Words on Testosterone

handshake

A brief list of things NOT to be:

Don’t Be a Coward

Don’t Be a Clown

Don’t Be a Crybaby

By now, you’re seeing a consistent theme in Testosterone-based behavior. Pretty much anything that lacks basic masculine dignity is a major no-no as far as this is concerned.

I have a passion for both Strength Training and body development, so it’s hard for me not to push the benefits of both. Do you need Strength Training to be a High-T or high-value male? Absolutely not. But is a passion for Strength Training or body development going to hinder you? Absolutely not.

In closing, if Being a Man were easy, every male would do it. Most take the easy way out and elect to gleefully conform to our current passive-aggressive culture, and generally bend over every time life decides to stick them. Being a Man of Value, rather than just a male placeholder, takes dedication and a stiff spine.

If you decide to rise to the challenge of Being a Man, know that the rewards are significant. But it won’t be effortless. You will need to dig in, and ideally with some support in the form of these Ten Eleven Commandments, you can become a Man of Conscience and Value. Lord knows we could use a few more.

Jack

 

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Issue #77: Gender Psychology: So, You Want to Be a Bad Boy II: Reins and Rumors

banshee1

A while back, I wrote an article on Gender Psychology called “So, You Want to Be a Bad Boy?” in which I broadly outlined some of the characteristics and traits of a Bad Boy. The article seems to be somewhat popular or useful, as about 150 300 people per week click on it, according to WordPress.

I am constantly getting new material on the subject. I had a pretty-absurd Fall and early Winter 2014, and my condition as a Bad Boy contributed greatly to the Highs and Lows being so pronounced. I will save those stories for a later date, other than to say that that I am on the ground-level as a Bad Boy authority. Short of being involved in an international drug cartel as a meth cook, I cannot envision a more-tumultuous lifestyle.

My lifestyle stands in stark contrast to the lifestyles of my old friends, most of whom I have less in-common with by the day. Most of my friends from High School and College have now been married for a number of years, and most of them are working on their second child. While marriage-and-family is not the path I’ve chosen, I have great respect for those who have chosen to start families. The commitment it takes to build a family, and the transformation I’ve seen many of my friends undergo as they take on spouses and have children, is extraordinary.

My best friend from high school is my primary example. You never think the guy you used to get into childish slap-fights and drink ghetto malt-liquors with before hockey games would develop into a tremendous father and husband, but he has. Almost all of my childhood friends have taken this route, to varying degrees of success.

Then, there’s me. Like Lon Chaney as the Moon grows more Full, I seem to get “Badder” and Wilder by the week.

I’ve written before that my Bad Boy path started in College, when I was the antithesis of the guy you took home to meet the parents. But I was still a college kid with a large support network and an undefined role in the world. I think the expectation from most was that I would eventually evolve and take the more-traditional route of Marriage and Children.

I suppose I still can go that way. But for the moment, I have clearly gone the other way. Like Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, I’ve played the Bad Boy role for so long that it has become difficult to separate the actor from the character.

The real change started several years ago, when the first of my friends began to announce their Engagements. There was an unspoken-but-sharp change in the status quo. The normal process of getting blind-drunk, dating strippers, and starting fistfights at dance clubs was suddenly immature and passe. There was an epic shift in both conduct and priorities as most of my peers sought to settle down and wife-up.

For a few years, from ages 24 to 27 or so, I was something of an outcast. Everyone in my peer group was focused on finding a committed, “mature” relationship. Like most people in their mid-20s, I probably attended 10 or 12 weddings in a two-year period. I attended most of them by myself and left many of them with only a well-vodka hangover.

Because I was seemingly not marriage-material, Women of marrying age wanted nothing to do with me. This was a drastic departure from college, when I was in constant high-demand. Interestingly, I continued to appeal to many older women, but both my friends and the girls we went to school with were both highly-invested in their long-term relationships. I was mostly an afterthought.

More recently, since about age 28 or so, there has been another shift. Like all trends, I again became fashionable. While almost everyone I associated with from ages 15-25 has committed to a spouse or had children (or both) and spent the last several years making the requisite personal sacrifices, I’ve been on my own. I have had time to work on myself and to learn a lot of things about the world. At the least, I’ve had a relatively-unique journey.

My married friends and all of the Women who had blown me off to start their families are suddenly very interested in what I am up to. The three or four or five years that they had spent building families, I had spent developing myself in different ways. My decision to do something different with my life is apparently interesting to people who began families shortly after college.

Which brings us to today. My entire thought process and approach to life is so unconventional that Women of all makes and models are attracted to me. I walk through a store and get extended eye-contact from wives, grandmothers, high-school girls, and especially the Women from my peer group who have now been married for a few years. I’ve become a cardinal in a forest full of robins, and for better or worse it has made my Life Experience very interesting.

Because for the moment I have chosen to forgo the comforts of family life, I have had a lot of negative experiences, and I have have had a lot of positive ones. My experiences have been pointed, bordering on extreme. Rather than playing the role of a Bad Boy, as I did when I was younger, I have become one. There is value in what I have learned, and will likely continue to learn, which I share for the benefit of other would-be Bad Boys and interested observers.

Here are more situations you can expect to encounter if you continue to take the Bad Boy track:

The Rumor Mill

gossip

The girl I’ve been running around with informed me of a rumor floating around that I had been taking my “Girlfriend” to public skate at the local hockey rink, apparently showing off my gorgeous Bret Hedican-style skating and re-enacting The Cutting Edge.

While my “Mistress” acknowledged that I would have to be unusually-stupid to take my “Girlfriend” to the hockey rink of all places (where my “Mistress” and I met and spend much of our free time), she knows me well enough to know that I’m brazen enough to pull something like that. She also knows that even though I’m crazy and slutty, I’m just not that disrespectful or stupid.

My Mistress pointed out that I am frequently involved in trailer-park dramas and rumors such as this on a regular basis. To cite a few examples, there were widely-circulating rumors that I shortly after moving into town that I was having sex with a pair of 21-year old girls who hated each other (which was traced to the source), that I’m a drug dealer (untraced), that I’m a stripper (partly true – I’m not currently stripping anywhere), and I’ve been linked to a number of women who are known to be unhappily married or recently separated.

trouble

Most recently – even since I started the first draft of this article – much was made of the fact I have a Plenty of Fish account. People, grown men and women no less, are so eager to discredit me that they have been running in droves to my Mistress, basically tattling on me and hoping to drive a wedge between us.

My Mistress of course knows about my POF account, because while I am many things, I am neither a Coward nor a Liar. The Women you tend to see on Internet Dating Sites, especially free ones, are like the options on a cheap buffet: you can have as much as you want, but none of it is very good. I am on POF mainly for entertainment value. The idea of finding quality Women on a free dating website seems remote, at best, and honestly I don’t really need help meeting Women. But I digress.

(UPDATE 8/31/15: For as much grief as I’ve gotten about having a POF account, I’ve gotten ten times that amount for having a Tinder account. Every bitter hag in a 100-mile radius can’t wait to tattle to anyone I’ve dated or potentially would date that I am a huge Tinder whore.

You may ask, if it’s such a big deal, why not just get rid of Tinder? I’ll save most of the reasoning for a future valentine to Tinder, which I adore, but for the moment:

A) I miss Tinder most when I am forced to wait for something, which as you know I despise. Like a recovering cigarette smoker, I reach for Tinder by habit every time I’m standing in line at the bank or waiting for my oil to be changed on my car. If I want to look at some pics of the current dating pool while I wait in line at Trader Joe’s, I feel like that’s a reasonable right as a red-blooded American male.

B) 90% of the women I know under the age of 30 have such retarded social skills that they preferentially communicate via text, Facebook, et al. rather than face-to-face. Younger women find the idea of a Man approaching them in a bookstore or at a coffee shop almost confrontational, as it rapidly exposes their inability to socialize like a normal human being.

In the interest of keeping myself sharp, I make myself meet women “80s-style”, meaning in absence of technology, and my experience has been that I receive a lot of odd looks and resistance. 

By rough estimate, I would say 15-20% of women I approach think it’s shady or sketchy that I don’t have a Facebook account. These women automatically disqualify men from dating consideration because they can’t be easily researched on the internet. We have gotten to the point where your electronic Social Proof surpasses your actual Social Value, apparently except in the case of writing.

Many modern single women pine for traditional romance and wish to be wooed, and many will gleefully send nude photos to complete strangers, but they can’t be competently civil when an unfamliar man approaches them. The mindset of the average modern woman necessitates innovations like Tinder, not the other way around.

C) I have met some really good people via Tinder. That’s not code for “thirsty thots”, but I’ve in fact made female friends that I otherwise would not have met. Again, this is just how people meet each other in 2015 2016: LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and yes, Tinder.

D) Lastly and most-importantly, certain people think they’re getting over on me by showing my Tinder account to anyone peripherally interested. It tickles me in an indescribable way to dangle my Tinder account in their collective faces, and dare them to confront me in an adult fashion about it.

As a Bad Boy, I thrive on actual confrontation, rather than the passive-aggressive whispering most whelps are reduced to, so I use Tinder as an invitation to engage me. Predictably, I always hear about this nonsense third-hand, as the craven masses feign “nobility” by “warning women about me”.

In American English, the beta males who can’t compete with me try to undermine my relationships with women, and the unfucked fatties who can’t land a boyfriend cattily try to interfere with otherwise-scintillating interactions between consenting adults. 

In short, I kept a Tinder account after beginning a relationship because what I do doesn’t concern 99.99% of the population. I’m disgusted by how much more people care about my social media activity than my actual feelings and thoughts.

Most people wisely don’t engage me in confrontation, but this is your invitation: if you want to know what I think about social media and dating sites in particular, speak to me in-person like a freaking adult. Otherwise, grow up and keep your mouth shut.)

I could care less about rumors involving me. I’ve always been of the “Let’s give ’em something to talk about” disposition. As my friends say, I crave attention, and any kind will do. However, I do get irritated when rumors that might be potentially disrespectful to my Mistress (who’s a peach) start spreading around.

My Mistress heard this latest rumor about “Endless Love in the Dark” from her roommate, who heard it from her 60-year old grandfather, who I have never really spoken with. I did not realize Gramps knew my name, let alone my personal affairs. Round and round the Rumor Mill churns.

My Mistress acknowledged that while I am frequently involved in rumors such as this, she does not fully understand why my name comes up so frequently. I tried to explain to my Mistress, a sweetheart if one ever existed, why a person like me is so often involved in the Rumor Mill. In my view, it boils down to these reasons, all of which tie into my Bad Boy presentation:

1) I look like the sort of guy who would have sex with someone’s wife or girlfriend. I wear a leather jacket and have bags under my usually-bloodshot eyes. I almost comically resemble Charlie Sheen in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”. This makes it convenient for me to be a bit actor in the self-serving, constructed dramas of manipulative, petty people.

2) Equally-relevant is the Bad Boy tendency to run off with the local Princess, which I have a striking tendency to do. Whether it’s Ryan Atwood winning the heart of Marissa Cooper or the street-rat Aladdin catching the eye of Princess Jasmine, there is a long-standing tradition of the guy from “the Wrong Side of the Tracks” ending up with particularly-treasured Women.

My Mistress is no different. She is indisputably the local Princess. As such, there are a large number of people who care about her and perhaps cross the line from Protective to Meddlesome. Rather than tell the Princess not to run around with the Bad Boy (which will only encourage her), the Meddlers go the opposite route and try to discredit the Bad Boy. This has been a subplot in so many Disney Movies, Teen Soaps, Vampire novels, and Shakespearean tragedies that I don’t need to list examples.

3) Misery Loves Company. There are countless people in unhappy marriages or relationships who do not want to see other people experiencing something exciting. The appeal of running around with a Bad Boy is that there is a time-limit on the relationship, due to the Bad Boy’s self-destructive nature. This makes every moment together richer and more cherished.

People who have slogged through fundamentally-flawed relationships for years see two people (or in my case three people – make sure you count my “Mistress”  and my “girlfriend”) happy, and immediately try to tear them apart. Again, this concept has appeared all across the land of Fiction for so long that I don’t need to cite specific examples.

As a Bad Boy, people are going to be extremely-reluctant to engage you directly. Aggression, hostility, and unpredictability are all cornerstone attributes of the standard Bad Boy, and many people are cowardly and passive-aggressive. While most people at least know better than to cross a Bad Boy directly, quite a few will plot-and-scheme for months or years in efforts to discredit and undermine the Bad Boy.

Bad Boys are prepared for this. As I wrote in Article I, Bad Boys are extremely-distrustful of people, for many of the reasons described above. My distrust of other people borders on paranoia. But like all Bad Boys, my lack of trust in other people is often warranted, as my Life Experience as a Bad Boy has involved backstabbing and deception rather than support and warmth.

As a Bad Boy, your name will continuously circulate in the Rumor Mill. If you are a legitimate Bad Boy, you will have much larger and more-pressing concerns than the opinions of the narrow-minded. If you are merely pretending to be a Bad Boy, you may have a problem having your reputation constantly run-down. In either case, be prepared.

Becoming Mean

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“…I’m already rough
I’m already lean
I’m already wanting to be obscene
I’m already cursed
I’m already dry
I’m already wonderin’ what am I
I’ve already learned a bit of sin
Enough already, let me in…”

Silversun Pickups, Dots and Dashes

Do you ever watch a movie or TV show and think, ‘I can’t believe he just did that,’ after some anti-hero double-crosses someone or acts in some self-serving way that screws over a lot of other people?

I used to as well. I used to watch Bad Boy archetypes and then imitate them in order to project a Bad Boy image. I did this because it’s really attractive to college girls.

But as I touched upon in the first Bad Boy article, this was a mask that came on and off. As my college roommate once remarked, I ‘took my hat off’ at the end of the day. At one point, it was accurate to say that I was genuinely good-natured.

That seems to have shifted somewhat. While I still Do the Right Thing most of the time, my sensitivity and thought process has changed dramatically.

Most current example: I sold a pair of skates on eBay. The buyer, a whiny malcontent if ever one existed, drove down the price obnoxiously, haggling with me over $5-$10 while claiming that he “absolutely could not pay a dollar more” after I gave him a $50 discount. I gave him a steal on a pair of nearly-new skates because he “just wanted to teach his son how to play hockey”, even though his user name looked like a sporting goods store. But I digress.

Predictably, upon receipt the guy e-mailed me and wanted to return the skates, citing a minor flaw and forgetting that he was shopping at the Internet Flea Market and not Dick’s Sporting Goods.

Also predictably, I sent him a scathing response. I not only belittled him, but I also used the details of the eBay Buyer Agreement to deflate his delusional demand for a return. I had no reason to do this, other than my refusal to accommodate an entitled pussy. It was not enough for me to just win the argument; I had to impart a good deal of shame on some faceless eBay buyer because he tried to make me dote upon him.

Berating some guy on eBay doesn’t make me (or anyone) a Bad Boy. But the mindset, meaning both an unwillingness to acquiesce to a needy person and the desire to extract a Pound of Flesh for being bothered, is a decidedly Bad Boy mentality.

There was a time when I would have talked myself into giving this buyer the benefit of the doubt and returned the guy’s money, albeit angrily. But that time has seemingly come-and-gone.

Becoming Mean is not a recommended way to live, nor is it necessarily a means to an end. It is a consequence of having good-nature exploited too many times.

There have always been people who cut other people in line at the grocery store or dangerously pull out in front of other cars in traffic. Both nice and not-so nice people repeatedly allow this to happen, to differing levels of acceptance. But Bad Boys not only have zero tolerance for inconsiderate or selfish behavior, they actively seek retribution. Not surprisingly, this calloused attitude gets a Bad Boy into a lot of disputes.

Again, being mean does not always correlate with getting results. There are plenty of people who agree that you catch more bees with honey. But a mean streak is an inherent Bad Boy trait, and one that distinguishes the Bad Boy from more well-adjusted types.

High Self-Confidence/Low Self-Control

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For reasons I won’t get into here, I’ve recently taken a number of personality/psychological assessments. Don’t worry, they aren’t shipping me off to the loony bin, at least not yet. These tests were more of a formality for work and school opportunities.

I took three separate tests, all of which were different and administered for different reasons. Surprisingly, the feedback was consistent, useful, and in my view accurate.

On all three tests, I tested high for Intelligence, Leadership, and Self-Confidence (huge surprise). All three tests also described me as “easy going”, but they were obviously not administered while I was playing Hockey or putting my foot in someone’s ass. Meanwhile, I consistently tested low for Openness (VAGUE) and Self-Control, again not a major surprise.

What’s interesting is that despite consistently testing low for Self-Control, I have traditionally been referred to a “Control Freak”, which is true in a sense. I will try to explain how this ties into Being a Bad Boy:

I think a common Bad Boy problem is Low Self-Control. To survive in modern society, people like me have had to learn to restrain ourselves to a great degree. I touched upon this in my article on The Wild Side. Because we Bad Boys have such a difficult time controlling ourselves, perhaps many of us fixate on controlling as many external factors as possible.

To cite one example, Christian Troy of Nip/Tuck fame is an obvious Control Freak. In addition to being a textbook Sadist, Christian has an obsession with money, power, and status – all things that allow him to maintain control over his environment and the people around him. Don Draper of Mad Men has similar predilections.

As mentioned in The Wild Side, I focus on routines as a way of controlling myself. For example, developing my body, which involves commitment and discipline to both diet and exercise regimens, is a passion of mine. But I’m Lon Chaney, living a simple life of Reps, Sets, and boring meals only to careen off-course and embrace hedonism with growing regularity.

Here is a direct quote from one of my evaluations:

“…As someone who exerts little control over your actions, you may find that you commit social blunders that might offend other people and get yourself in trouble. For example, if you’re given responsibility to work on a project that requires close attention to detail, you may be likely to overlook important details because you have difficulty staying focused. Consequently, you might feel more comfortable delegating such tasks to other people who are more detail-oriented. Being able to recognize such characteristics in yourself and having more detail-oriented people do such tasks could be an effective way to manage your own stress level.

Low self-control may diminish your effectiveness at work. Acting too relaxed can make it difficult for you to focus on projects that require organized sequences of steps or stages. Thus, your ability to accomplish may be inconsistent. Indeed, it’s possible that you might be criticized periodically for being unreliable or unable to “stay within the lines.” Nonetheless, you may still experience many short-lived pleasures and never be thought of as boring.

You may or may not know me personally, but that sounds exactly like two people I know: Don Draper and myself. To illustrate my point, you can check out this clip of Don attempting to work.

I am the same. Many Bad Boys are the same. The inability of a Bad Boy to completely control himself is both infuriating and extremely attractive to the fairer sex.

One of the reasons I so enjoy writing is that there are no lines to stay within. I can write about whatever I want. Rather than be chastised for my inability to think like other people, I am rewarded for it.

The downsides of Low-Self Control are obvious. As noted above, I have extremely-mixed results completing step-by-step tasks. Getting along with others in a professional environment is a chore, to say the least. A Bad Boy is easily provoked, and this leads to an almost-unending parade of interpersonal conflicts and disputes with authority figures.

I try to work on my self-control, but it’s like a Hockey Player trying to become a Golfer. The Good News for me is that I am intelligent and at least cognizant of the Bad Boy condition, and this helps me head off a good number of potential problems. Still, even if I catch 90% of these problems in-advance and map-out responsible courses of action, it still seems like I am frequently pulled into fights and romantic entanglements, which I will talk about more below in “The Drama Elixir”.

If you are a Bad Boy wrestling with self-control issues, or if you know one, weigh the points made in this article and consider adopting some sort of productive lifestyle routine. Body Development, Sports, and Writing have all helped me to a large degree, but Low Self-Control requires constant vigilance and a good deal of foresight.

Married Women and Bad Boys

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Confession: a Wedding Ring has never served as a stop-sign for me.

This isn’t to say that I go around trying to bewitch wives or wreck homes. But if an attractive Married Woman makes me an aggressive offer, I will usually at least consider it.

There are many exceptions to this: I will not consider Military Wives or the wives of Firefighters. I will not consider the wives of my friends or, God forbid, family. I’m not Marty Brodeur.

But as I wrote above, for me a Wedding Ring has always been more of a blinking Yellow Light rather than a stop-sign. The presence of a ring just makes me consider the situation differently. I think this mentality is unique to the Bad Boy breed.

Daniel Craig as James Bond probably said it best:

Bond: You’re not my type.

Vesper: Smart?

Bond: Single.

My view is not that Bad Boys run around trying to steal involved Women. But the willingness to physically-engage an involved Woman is a very common Bad Boy trait.

When it comes down to it, Bad Boys are animals. Bad Boys take the traditional rules of society with a grain of salt, or at least do not consider them as strongly as more-socialized types. This is both extremely-vexing to society-at-large and extremely-attractive to most Women.

Again, it’s not as though I go around trying to drive a wedge between happily-married couples, or for that matter, people in happy relationships. But as one Woman told me when I was 19, “I’m going to (cheat) with someone, and it might as well be you.”

Take a cursory run through Books, Movies, and Television, and you will see a consistent trend of Bad Boys and involved Women gravitating toward each other. As I have written before, the only guide in situations such as this are the Bad Boy’s conscience, however large or small.

Taking the Reins

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Maybe to my own detriment, I have never really lusted for power. In fact, my idea of happiness is being left alone in peace. A book, a comfortable place to sleep, something to exercise with, and something to write with is really all I need to be perfectly content. The brief company of a low-drama lady would be the cherry on the sundae.

My point is that I am not a power-hungry beta nor a would-be cult leader. But ironically, I frequently find myself Taking the Reins in almost every situation I’m involved in. Here is how that ties into Being a Bad Boy:

As I wrote above, I test high for Leadership qualities. This is the direct quote from one of my evaluations:

Perhaps the defining feature that sets you apart from most people is the exceptionally high standards that you set for yourself. Your competence in social gatherings as well as at work should provide ample evidence for this. With these characteristics, it’s very likely that people come to you for advice and generally think of you as someone with leader-like qualities.

This is all true. I don’t want to be in-charge, but I do expect those in-charge to govern fairly, judiciously, and professionally. Typically, I am disappointed because the decision-makers in most cases are crooked and self-serving. Rather than do the French thing and consent to oppression, I do the American thing and fight for Equality and Justice.

Bad Boys are hard-wired like this. While I think Bad Boys are generally loners by-nature, most of us are forced into extended social interaction. I don’t believe most Bad Boys think they are the best and smartest guys for a given job, but I do believe that most Bad Boys think they are better and smarter than the clown in-charge most of the time.

Bad Boys Take the Reins because there is often not a viable alternative. It’s not that a Bad Boy aspires to command, but liars and schemers are frequently those who ascend to authority positions, and most Bad Boys – no matter how rough around the edges – often threaten to trample a House of Cards that a beta social manipulator has carefully constructed.

When combined with a typical Bad Boy’s hair-trigger temper, politicking from a corrupt leadership figure often leads to a conflict. As the politician exposes her or himself as a disingenuous liar, more and more people look to the Bad Boy for guidance and resolve. Bad Boys often take leadership roles if only because they cannot stand the current leader, not because they crave power.

The Drama Elixir

vampire diaries season finale

I had an opening written for this section, but this trumps what I was going to write:

A woman just sat down directly across from me. She caught a glimpse of me from across the restaurant I am writing this article in, and walked across the restaurant to sit directly in front of me even though there is plenty of seating available elsewhere. I am experienced enough to pick up on her coy looks and suggestive posture. She wants me to approach and engage her.

I glance over at her. She smiles coyly, and lingers with eye contact. After a moment, she looks down, then looks back at me. She pulls at her sweater a bit and rubs her neck. My expression does not change, but I hold eye contact. There is no verbal exchange, just looks and non-verbal cues. I know this is not the typical for everyone, but it’s typical for me.

In fact, this happens to me often. I do not meet Women because they start casual, normal conversations with me, or by the conventional means that most of my friends have described to me. I probably wouldn’t know an appropriate, normal interaction with a Woman if it hit me across the face. I meet Women because they either bait me with sexual suggestion (to varying degrees of subtlety), or assign me a personality they crave and desperately throw themselves at me. I do not believe as an adult I have ever dated a Woman who started as a friend or via the traditional dinner-dating route.

You might be thinking, “Here he comes again talking about how Hilarious and Sexy he is, Yawn”. I won’t dispute this, but I am also trying to illustrate a point and stay within the scope of the article:

As a Bad Boy, I have a high Potential for Drama, due in large part to the Low Self-Control issues I described above. Many Women, particularly those in the 16-35 age demographic, readily pick up on this using some kind of advanced formula available only to Women. Leather Jacket + Bruises/Cuts on Neck + Contemptuous Look on Face + Muscles + Plain Black T-Shirt + Standoffish Attitude = Drama Reservoir.

I believe what makes a Bad Boy attractive is not necessarily how he looks physically. At the least, I do not believe Looks play the biggest part in the Female-to-Male attraction process as a Woman assesses a Bad Boy. The smaller cues – the hungry & lean look, the scars, the five-o’clock shadow, the distant look in the eyes – are what attract certain Women to Bad Boys.

Younger Women especially are drawn to this Drama Elixir. For reasons Men will never fully understand, younger Women feel this tremendous need to inject Drama into their lives, and a Bad Boy – with his lack of impulse control, unwillingness to commit, and short temper – is sure to inject Drama into her life in one way or another. I have never been able to explain or qualify it properly, but it’s almost as though many Women are not living unless they are experiencing the Dramatic range of emotions – angst, elation, excitement, jealousy,  joy, and so forth.

For many Women, a high Potential for Drama is like a seductive bombshell for Men. While the mind may protest otherwise, the base instincts want what they want.

As I wrote in the first article, a frequent occurrence is that a Woman will be borderline-rude to me for no reason whatsoever. Again, these are not Women I am trying to pick-up in bars or clubs, but Women in Retail who were hired to be pleasant to customers.  I will stand in line and watch a Woman be overwhelmingly-friendly with other customers, but become defensive and short with me before I even speak to her. I would ask these Women why they act this way for informative purposes, but I do not believe I would get a forthright answer out of most of them.

This also frequently happens between me and Women who are in longer-term relationships or marriages. As I alluded to above, I do not interfere with happy or successful relationships. But a consequence of my Bad Boy presentation is that happily-involved Women almost refuse to be civil to me. I suspect this happens to most Bad Boys.

A common occurrence is that an involved Woman will be a raging bitch to me for no identifiable reason, then get sexually-aggressive the moment after her boyfriend or fiance or husband leaves the room. As a Bad Boy, you are expected to take the heat in the event an angry husband or boyfriend catches you with his Woman. However, too little derision is placed upon the Women who shamelessly flirt or gleefully cheat with Men other than their own.

To tie a bow on the story from the beginning of this section, the Woman who sat next to me while I was writing this article continued to throw a variety of suggestive gestures and glances my way for 15 or 20 minutes, until her boyfriend/husband showed up. At that point, her entire presentation changed, as she switched from flirtatious and sexually-suggestive to bubbly, naive, and sweet. She walked out of the restaurant without so much as a second look in my direction, holding her boyfriend/fiance/husband’s hand.

This has been my continued experience as an adult. When I was a 22-year old bartender and Women treated me this way, I always assumed that it was situational and temporary. But years later Women continue to play this game, still throwing provocative looks behind the backs of their boyfriends and finances and husbands. As I’ve grown and learned more about myself and the world, I realize that I am just a certain type – or at the least, Women assume I am a certain type.

What does the Drama Elixir mean for a Bad Boy?

As I wrote previously, Bad Boys are usually not consciously-manipulating Women. Bad Boys are either distracted by more-pressing matters (like going to jail or having guns shoved in their face), or like me wish to be left alone. But as anyone who owns a cat will tell you: the more you push the cat away, the more the cat will keep trying to climb onto you. The indifference or even contempt a Bad Boy shows toward a Woman will usually only serve to make her more attracted to him, via one mechanism or another.

You will know that you are a Bad Boy when you start pining for a calmer or steadier lifestyle. While a Woman who exaggerates the circumstances of her life for attention is a Drama Queen, a Man who downplays or tries to minimize a litany of legitimate problems is likely a Bad Boy.

My last word of advice for the would-be Bad Boy is to be leery of a sexually-suggestive or aggressive Woman. As I pointed out above, the Woman who sat next to me and tried to bait me with an arsenal of slutty gestures and glances left the restaurant with her boyfriend/husband. Provoking a Bad Boy is a no-lose proposition for most Women, because they can always feign innocence to their devoted partner.

After all, who is an angry boyfriend/husband going to believe most of the time: the Love of his Life, or some shady-looking guy who is seemingly hitting on her?

Many Women come to know that a Bad Boy is not intimidated by approaching her, so Women are often much more forward in their actions toward him. But the Trap is that the Women who are beckoning the Bad Boy, as in the example above, are often in committed relationships. While these Women tend to justify these seductive invitations as “innocent flirting”, they are less likely to consider – or at least take responsibility for -the consequences of these actions.

Hell, some Women may want to see her boyfriend/husband fight for her, and may attempt to draw a Bad Boy into a self-constructed Drama just to reaffirm his commitment to her. Some Women may aim to turn a Bad Boy into a pawn in a kind of emotional game. I can personally attest to this, as it has happened to me numerable – repeat, numerable – times in recent memory.

A Bad Boy concocts the Drama Elixir the same way certain Women have blonde hair and big breasts: by nature, not by choice. Just be cognizant of the fact that as a Bad Boy, you consciously or unconsciously produce the drug of choice for many Women. While it will serve to make you more-attractive, it will also serve to cause you continual headaches and inconveniences.

Closing

These Bad Boy articles will likely be ongoing. As I wrote above, I am constantly getting new material on the topic. I would hope that as an astute reader, you are noticing all the caution flags I am throwing up for younger or would-be Bad Boys. Inexperienced Men will read this and cherry-pick for ways to sleep with more Women, but savvy readers and fellow Bad Boys will know that the Bad Boy lifestyle is pretty aggravating.

Above all, I suggest younger or less-experienced readers continue to learn from my mistakes. There will undoubtedly be more to follow.

Jack

Issue #71: Jack’s Rules

I am constantly considering my personal code of ethics, which regularly replaces or supersedes many of the more clearly-defined rules of modern society. I am also constantly getting into conflicts because I prioritize my personal code over what is common, established, and sometimes what is legal.

My code of ethics is complicated, and frequently contradicts itself, so much so that even I have a hard time putting it into words. As Walt Whitman once wrote, “Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.” What I think today might be drastically different from what I think tomorrow, and like everyone else I am not exempt from biases and moments of hypocrisy.

My personal ethics are kind of like a disorganized office desk: I have a system and I know how it works, but to a random observer it looks like a total mess.

desk

So instead of trying to explain my ethics, I present a much more coherent and entertaining list of Jack’s Rules. There are 11 Rules which I consistently follow but occasionally break, all of which have led to happiness and personal success over time. These Rules are the closest thing I have to a “Plan” or “Morals”. I don’t encourage you to follow Jack’s Rules, but I don’t discourage it either, because I’ve had a lot of success following these Rules. I’m just presenting the information, and what you do with it is your decision.

Throughout the course of the article, I will explain why each Rule is in place, and hopefully explain why one’s personal ethics might sometimes compromise ethics that are more common in society – as well as why this might not be such a bad thing.

1) Hit on Her

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I’m sorry, but I’m Not sorry, John…I’m a Cocksman!

– Vince Vaughn, Wedding Crashers

America has trended in such a way that Men have gotten way too deep inside their own heads when it comes to Women. 50 years of Feminism, Romantic Comedies, and single-parent upbringing have made Men, on the whole, both much-more sensitive and much-more insecure when it comes to the Fairer Sex.

The problem has gotten so pervasive that entire sub-cultures have popped up to help Men learn how to Be Men. A notable, popular book on the subject is The Game by Neil Strauss, in which the author champions Men that have never learned how to interact with Women the natural way.

Regrettably, the majority of Men today seem to fall into this category. This has led to a convoluted American social landscape in which many Men act disinterested in or even hostile toward the Women they are attracted to as a means of winning the affection of Women. It’s insane. Just as prevalent are the Men who have been taught to embrace their feminine side to too strong of a degree, who hesitate throughout every step of the courting process for fear of coming across as insensitive.

To combat this, I have made my #1 Rule as simple as possible, throwing out all of the socially-conditioned Negative Reinforcement that’s been beaten into my head as a 21st Century Man: when in doubt, Hit on Her.

If I stop and think about it, I can find all sorts of reasons why I shouldn’t flirt with a given Woman: she could be married, she could have a boyfriend, she could be totally disinterested, she could have just buried her cat, etc. Without much effort, I can come up with a dozen perfectly-logical reasons why you should not talk to a Woman.

This is an example of being afraid of success. God forbid you hit on a Woman and she responds positively. Many, many Men are overwhelmed with imagery of how the situation could go wrong without considering how the situation could go right. For all you know, you are a Woman’s exact type, and she’s been eye-balling you since you walked in the room. Do not be afraid to be the best thing to happen to her that day.

Not Hitting on a Woman demonstrates poor self-image most of the time, though many Men would have you believe that they are just highly-selective and have a veritable army barrack full of ardent Women waiting for them at a moment’s notice. Most Women also have “a Desire to be Desired”, and your indication of attraction to them only serves to makes You more attractive in their eyes.

There is a great quote from the book “Shit My Dad Says” on the subject:

“That Woman was sexy. . . . Out of your league? Son, let Women figure out why they won’t screw you. Don’t do it for them.”

Sure, many times a Woman is not going to respond positively to you hitting on her. There are countless reasons for this, none of which you as a Man can reasonably anticipate. Frankly, it’s not your job to know all of the little things that could be needling a Woman emotionally at any given time. Your job, as a Man, is to initiate the courtship phase and validate all of the effort a Woman puts into her personal appearance by showing Sexual Interest. It’s easy.

Best-case scenario? She was already scouting you, and thinks you’re a Hunk of Burning Love.

Fair Warning: things can and will go wrong sometimes. To cite a memorable example, I had a girl’s live-in boyfriend stalk me on Facebook because he had a problem with me hitting on his girlfriend. The girl in question had told me that she was single and more than encouraged my flirting, but that did not change the fact that I had made an enemy out of someone I did not know. Had cooler heads not prevailed, this could have ended in a fistfight or worse.

But I could not have reasonably anticipated this. Personally, I would rather make mistakes of ambition such as this one rather than lose out on opportunities because of inaction.

So, my #1 Rule is Hit on Her. This is a Rule, and is thus non-negotiable. If I am standing next to a girl in line at the coffee shop, I flirt with her. I then flirt with the coffee shop girl. I then go and sit down, and if I happen to sit next to a Woman or Women, I flirt with her or them. An easy way to tell that something is wrong with me is if I am not strutting around like a walking hard-on.

Now, there are exceptions to this Rule: for example, if a pregnant Woman is holding her husband’s hand, she probably does not need the self-esteem boost my attention would provide. Unlike Vince Vaughn, I don’t make a habit of hitting on high-school girls. There are lots and lots of exceptions to Rule #1. But the exception is to let a Woman pass without chatting her up, not the other way around.

It’s worth repeating that this is Jack’s Rule. This works for me because I am very old-school. I’m a traditional Man, and that I accept the responsibilities that go with Manhood. A masculine responsibility that has fallen out of popular favor is the responsibility of the Man to take the reins during the courtship phase. Gender Equality is great until a Woman needs a Man, not an asexual gossip pal, and it’s a male responsibility to initiate and carry Women through the courtship phase.

If this Rule does not jibe with your natural personality, I would not expect you to stock up on Drakkar Noir and breath mints and go off like a sailor on shore-leave. But if you spend most of your time silently pining for some satisfaction from the opposite sex, I suggest you ditch the self-doubt and fully embrace Rule #1.

2) ABC/TCB –  Always Be Closing and Take Care of Business

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There is a movie starring one of my favorite actors, the absolutely-ridiculous Alec Baldwin, called Glengary Glen Ross that talks about hardcore cold-selling. One quote in particular is associated with the film: Always Be Closing:

There are two opposite groups of people in the world: Accounts and Creative, both of which are represented on my current-favorite second-favorite television show Mad Men.

If you are Accounts, this basically means that you are good with people, driven, and goals-oriented, but not necessarily innovative. If you are Creative, it likely means you have a complete inability to get along with people on a professional level, but you compensate for this by having 1000 brilliant ideas a minute. You may also have a drinking problem.

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I am textbook Creative. To cite an example, I have over 100 unfinished articles such as this one in my drafts folder. Put a stimulant into me, and I’ll have a torrential downpour of brainstorms. But I also have a remarkable tendency not to see these ideas through to conclusion. I am great at opening, less so at seeing things through to conclusion.

So, one-half of Rule #2 is Always Be Closing. I have to make a conscious effort to outsmart my ADD, and the most-effective way to do that is to force myself to see all tasks to completion, no matter how large or small. I sometimes have to write my tasks down like a grocery list, lest my concentration wane. I also have to avoid time-wasting activities like the plague, as one of my favorite things to do is to engage in a brainless activity that allows me to fully devote my attention to these impressive ideas I have. Most of the time, it’s a fruitless, worthless endeavor.

I also have to close the book on certain  issues and opportunities. My natural optimism encourages me to see the upside in most people and situations, which leads to indesciveness and trouble. ABC means concluding things as strongly as you open them.

The other half of Rule #2 is Take Care of Business, or TCB. This is taken from the six leisurely years I spent in Undergrad.

At my Alma mater, my beloved Duquesne University, there is a brick walkway that stretches the length of Campus called A-Walk. My absolute favorite activity in the world aside from Hockey was to steal coffee from one of our eateries (Off-Ramp) and to engage in Rule #1 for hours on end.

The problem with this was that my pesky Class Schedule was getting in the way of my busy coffee-drinking and flirting schedule. So, at some point either my roommate or I developed the term TCB, which means to go Take Care of “Business”. At the time, my “Business” consisted of sitting through 50 minutes of 100-level Physics or placing a phone call or e-mail to Father Hogan or Bob Arturo in which I abjectly-lied about something my lackeys or I were doing. After these arduous tasks, I was free to engage in my more-important pursuits:

awalk2

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To no one’s surprise, I’m the guy 1) smoking a vanilla cigar and flipping the bird, and 2) wearing the black Hangover Hoodie and holding the stolen coffee. But I digress.

The notion stands: the first thing is to Take Care of Business so you can go back to the things you enjoy doing, whatever those things may be.

3) Focus on the Good News & Expect the Best

thegoodnewsOne of my all-time favorite television shows, as stated above, is Mad Men. I enjoy most episodes of the show, but if I had to pick a favorite, it would be the episode The Good News from Season Four. Without barraging you with details, the episode is divided into two-halves: in the first half, Don (pictured above) learns that his best friend Anna is dying of Cancer. It’s bittersweet, as Don knows he is likely seeing Anna for the last time. As a kicker, he’s also getting divorced from his shrew of a wife, Betty. It has not been a banner week for Don.

Don deals with the News about Anna and his impending divorce in the only way he knows how, which is to grab a buddy and go on a mini-bender:

http://www.trailercodes.com/tv/mad-men–the-good-news/boys-night-out

I identify with this because, as usual, I would do the exact same thing. Like Don, I do not wallow by nature. Surprisingly, I am a relentless optimist, and at times this optimism includes a probably-unhealthy repression of the disappointing details in my life in favor of Hedonism.

I do not fully agree with the concepts of Optimism and Pessimism, as I think both are inaccurate distortions of reality. What I do believe in is Focusing on The Good News, whatever that may happen to be.

In Don’s case, the Good News is that he is a good-looking, wealthy businessman who has recently disposed of his nattering shrew of a wife. The Good News is that he has the means to grab a buddy, order a couple of T-Bone steaks, sneak a flask into a movie theater, and then go have unprotected sex with a call girl. It may not always be a long-term solution, but there is usually an upside to a given situation. Like Don, I would prefer to focus on the upside, rather than be overcome by despair.

Rule #3 is two-part, as my personal take is also to Expect the Best. Let me explain how this ties in:

I had a friend who was trying to give me some constructive criticism. As delicately as she could, she told me that I hold myself and others to unreasonably-high standards of behavior.

While I have a horde of unwanted acquaintances, I have relatively few friends, or at least people I consider quality friends. There are dozens if not hundreds of people who will go out to the bar with me or who will beg me to solve their personal problems, but very few that I could count on if I actually needed something in return.

My friend was trying to convince me to be more-accepting of the fact that not everyone has my level of personal integrity, and that I should just appreciate people for being fun-loving or whatever. As sweetly as she could, she told me that I expect too much of people.

I listened to her, and after she finished, I kind of shrugged and said, “Well…yeah.”

Admittedly, while I never judge people on credentials or monetary worth, I am constantly judging people on Character, or lack thereof. My friend is right: I do expect a ton from people, because I expect a ton from myself.

I am not going to go on and on about this, because it will turn into a Valentine To: Me, From: Me, and given how much I adore myself, it could end up be a lengthy one. But just to cite one example: I drag myself to the gym almost every day and do as many Deadlifts and Weighted Chin-Ups as I possibly can. I do this because, selfish prick that I am, I have a dream of dragging people out of burning buildings to safety. I go to the gym 5% so I can engage in a little Rule #1, and 95% so that I am physically-prepared to help other people, should I need to be.

I get no awards for this, nor do I want any. But every day I strive to be better for other people. You may notice this article is Free of Charge, yet well-written and meticulously-edited. I do this because I can, not because I have to. I don’t expect everyone else to be wired the same way as me, but I do expect some other people to be community-minded and interested in being excellent.

I think it’s perfectly fine to Expect the Best out of life and others. I would argue that we individually need to raise our expectations of other people, rather than lower them.

There are going to be people who completely agree with me, and people who completely disagree with me. Either way is fine. I Expect the Best because it helps make me a better person, which in turn helps me better serve others. If that makes me an elitist or a snob or whatever, I’m cool with it.

4) Do It Natural

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I could take this is so many directions (like Bareback?), but let’s stay out of the gutter for the moment….

In short, pick the natural alternative to the synthetic one. Your body can tell the difference between running on a treadmill and running outside, just like it can tell the difference between brown rice and Rice Krispies. The natural approach pays dividends over time.

5) Face Forward

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Like most people, if you give me some time, I will sit and dwell on the mistakes I’ve made. I’m not one to beat myself up over the past, but there are times when I think “if only I’d done that differently…”

The antidote for this condition is Rule #5, Face Forward. Regret is for losers. While it’s fun to reflect on past successes, it’s more exciting and ultimately more rewarding to focus on your next challenge or conquest. Facing Forward keeps you motivated and out of your own head, which is a boon if you’re prone to being too harsh on yourself.

6) Keep Your Word

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Those trips to Kansas City and Vegas and other cities was just to go and have a nice dinner, and come back home.“- Mario Lemieux

http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/news/story?id=2797778

As they say, a Man’s only as good as his word. I make an effort to follow through on the things I say, and try not to make a bunch of empty promises. Keeping Your Word can range from showing up on time to going to Kansas City for a nice steak dinner before keeping the Penguins in Pittsburgh. No matter how large nor how small, it’s good practice to keep your promises.

7) You are worth more than ______ (or FIGHT)

This is going to come to a huge shock to you, but I rarely have lacked for self-confidence. In fact, shockingly, I have had to spend much more of my energy corralling my natural instinct to treat myself like a King than I have had to spend developing positive self-image.

I do not expect you to hug yourself with both arms and swoon like I do every time I walk in front of a mirror, but there are important reasons why you need to love yourself to a degree. Not to sound like Dr. Phil, but you really cannot help other people until you learn how to take care of yourself. Part of this means understanding your own personal value, and not allowing circumstances or other people to compromise your value.

I have two stories to share on Rule #7, one Funny and one Not Funny. The Funny story helps explain how I have always valued myself, while the Not Funny story is an important lesson on trusting your instincts and not letting others degrade you.

First, the Funny story:

When I was five or six, I wore a Batman costume every day to school until it became such as issue that my teacher and principal asked for a sit-down meeting with my parents. I was not causing trouble or anything – in fact, I was doing the opposite, sitting at my desk with absolute vigilance while my Kindergarten teacher taught the Letters of the Alphabet or whatever – but it was apparently distracting to the other kids that I was showing up as the Dark Knight every day. Lord, do I wish I had a picture.

(UPDATE: my sister found a picture. Yes, that’s me, and I’m Awesome.)

batman

Anyway, my principal told my parents that I was no longer allowed to come to school dressed like Batman. Not that my parents sent me out of the house this way, as I stuffed my homemade cape-and-cowl and $10 drugstore costume into my Batman backpack and changed into it once I got to school. So, my fun-hating teacher, Nazi principal, and father (who, like the Hulk, had issues with Rage Control) very sternly told me that I would no longer be allowed to come to school dressed as Batman. I recall my mother at least finding some humor in it, but she went along with the program. No more Batman costume.

I was pissed. How the hell was I supposed to fight crime and protect the innocent in my doofus white polo shirt and navy slacks?

Refusing to yield to the oppressive fascists at my school but needing to adapt in some way, I came up with an alternate solution: I would wear my Batman pajamas underneath my school clothes. Batman certainly didn’t bow before any totalitarian regime, and neither would I. Both Darkseid and the dream-killers at my elementary school could kiss my skinny white crime-fighting ass: if I wanted to dress as Batman, I was going to dress as Batman.

So, I started showing up for school with my Batman pajamas on underneath my school uniform in my Secret Identity as Kindergarten student. I vividly remember laughing my ass off each day, because all these kids were sitting around not realizing that I was Batman. I’m sure my teacher noticed my grey-and-blue pajamas poking out from under my Jack-boots and Third Reich school polo, but she must have at least been relieved that I was no longer wearing a cape and mask to school every day.

The little kid who refused to compromise is exactly who I am, in a nutshell. To this day, I rub a lot of people the wrong way because I do not back down if I really believe in something.

Flash forward 20 years to the Not Funny, but Important, story:

Most people cannot pinpoint the Biggest Mistake of Their Life. I can not only pinpoint this mistake, but the exact moment the mistake was made.

My first job out of college was working as a Personal Trainer for LA Fitness, a notoriously-unethical gym chain. My line of thought was, “I like working out, so wouldn’t it be great if I got a job teaching other people how to work out?” At the time, it seemed like a good place to start my professional life.

The job paid next-to-nothing, but I chalked this up to paying my dues. I was routinely being lied to and taken advantage of by my employers, but I had basically no professional experience at the time and didn’t know any better. I thought being marginalized and deliberately misled for obscenely-low dollars was a normal part of the “adult” world, barring a few exclusions. I believed that the situation would improve over time if I proved what a diligent worker and professional I was.

The gym was happy to run me ragged, as I frequently worked 50-60 hours per week for an average of $6 Dollars Per Hour. It would take a sub-article to explain why this was allowed to transpire, but for the moment take my word for it.

To add insult to injury, I was given a single, cheap work shirt that I was expected to wear every minute I worked for the company. As you can imagine, working a very physical job 8-10 hours per day will wear out a $3 nylon shirt in short order. Still, I tried my best to be a professional, washing the thing religiously and doing my absolute best to maintain professional decorum, since my clients were paying the gym $30-$50 per half-hour for the privilege of working with me.

(You read that right: the gym was charging people $60-$100 per hour and paying me no more than a taxed $12 per hour, if I was lucky. If you drive past a shiny new LA Fitness gym, now you know how it was paid for.)

I was not consciously aware of it at the time, but being paid and treated like a slave takes a major toll on your psyche and self-esteem. I was used to having girls fight over me and an army of lackeys who reinforced whatever opinion I gave them. I was not used to having to agree with – or at least stifle my contempt for – the often-ridiculous opinions of my clients and co-workers. I was certainly not used to being brow-beaten for $6/Hour, especially coming from bartending jobs in which I would routinely make $300-$400 to get drunk for six hours.

Up to point, while I had taken the work itself seriously, I had not paid too much heed to the asinine rambling from my co-workers and supervisors. My logic was that I was an excellent worker and the job paid dog-shit, so as long as I kept my clients happy, there was really very little any supervisor could say to me. Anyway, the weeks piled up and there was a changeover in management. The new manager sought to establish his authority by giving me a hard time, for whatever reason.

The LA Fitness rule was that I had to wear that God-awful, $3 nylon shirt while working. My former supervisor had at least been cool about it, and didn’t bitch if I showed up in one of my nice-looking Nike or Puma training shirts. This new guy really wanted to needle me, and since he couldn’t complain about the stellar work I was doing, he decided to rake me over the coals over my work shirt, which by now was literally falling apart from overuse.

I showed up for work one Monday morning with a clean, professional-looking Nike shirt on. The supervisor asked where my work shirt was. I calmly explained to him that the shirt was falling apart from overuse, and that I could use another one. I don’t remember his response, but he didn’t jump to get me another shirt.

On Wednesday of the same week, I show up in the work shirt, the collar of which is literally falling off. He gets indignant and asks, “What’s the deal with your shirt?” I remember choking back my considerable rage – I have quite a temper – and reminding him that I had asked for another work shirt two days ago. Again, I don’t remember his response, but he again did not rush to get me another shirt.

On Friday of that week (which I recall because I always trained a lovely cougar named Sophie M-W-F at 8:30 AM), I had a very professional-looking Nike zip-up over-top of my work shirt, which reeked of gym-sweat and was basically torn from neck to sternum like something an oiled-up cowboy would wear on the cover of a romance novel. While I had Sophie on the leg extension or whatever, this supervisor comes up to me – while I’m with a client, which is a big no-no – and starts harping on me about the shirt.

I snapped. I told him, in my most authoritative Sobe Voice, “TO GO GET ME A NEW GODDAMN SHIRT.” I may have said “fucking shirt.” I don’t recall, as the rage had taken hold by that point. He was aghast, because really, who has the balls to tell his boss to fetch him a shirt? Hint: you’re reading his blog. He got visibly red before telling me “go find my shirt”, which was nonsense because I was wearing it.

After I finished training Sophie, who was flustered and teary-eyed because she thought her boy-toy trainer was about to lose his job, I walked over to my supervisor. I was so entitled at the time that I expected him to apologize to me for interrupting a training session to bitch at me about my work shirt. It had barely occurred to me that I was at-all in the wrong.

Meanwhile, my supervisor, who I’ll call “Benji”, was expecting me to give a full and remorseful apology. When I started tearing into him like an irate football coach, things quickly escalated to a boiling point. I suddenly had the choice of going for Benji’s throat at the risk of my job, or backing off in the interest of keeping it.

Remember above when I mentioned making the Biggest Mistake of My Life? I was about to make it.

You have to first understand that I have this complete inability to quit anything, ever. It’s one of my great strengths. But it’s also a weakness, particularly in situations such as this. Quitting to me is an admission of cowardice and low character, which is in direct violation of Rules #4 and #11. Unfortunately, when I was younger, I could not separate “quitting a shitty job or relationship” from “quitting in Mile 7 of an eight-mile run”. Back then, quitting was quitting, no matter what the circumstances were.

What I should have done was calmly taken off my smelly, tattered work shirt, thrown it at Benji, and told him to come outside and fight me like a Man. I had just turned 24 at the time, so it would not have been the most-immature thing I had ever done. Whatever I ended up paying in court costs would have been worth what I gained in dignity and self-esteem, and like I said, I was young enough that I could have survived any financial or legal repercussions.

Instead, I put my clients and my notion of professionalism in front of my own well-being. I pictured poor Sophie, on the verge of tears because her newest boy-toy was about to quit his shitty job, as well as my other 15 or 20 clients. I pictured the indignity of telling people that I was fired from my first “grown-up” job, which was still relatively new. In one moment of poor decision-making, I decided that the desires and impressions of other people were worth more than what I thought of myself.

I did not exactly apologize to Benji, but I did just enough to not get fired. It was a colossal mistake. In exchange for keeping this crap job, I made a huge concession in self-image. I compromised in the face of a nerdy little bully, the sort of person I would have mauled and scraped off my shoe a mere six months ago. Unwittingly, I had pegged my own self-worth at $6/Hour, and that was reflected in most of the interactions I had with clients and co-workers going forward.

As they say, no good deed goes unpunished. Over the next 2-3 years, I continued to work for LA Fitness, again for the insulting rate of $6/Hour while a veritable Rogues’ Gallery of social castoffs ate up all of my ambition and energy. Between being overworked and underpaid, my body began to fall apart, culminating in a severe knee injury that took 18 months to heal properly.

Once Benji realized that I would not cross the line enough to get fired, it was like blood in the water: he spent an inordinate amount of time aggravating me and making me look bad, because he knew that I would not quit. The atmosphere at work was an absolute nightmare, which of course carried over into my personal life.

While it’s true that I genuinely valued my clients, I should have made the hard choice and put myself and my own well-being in front of them. Because I did not, I let a bunch of lowlifes suck the energy and joy out of me to the point that most of my positive relationships deteriorated.

That’s not a happy-go-lucky story, and it’s not meant to be. But there is an important lesson, and that is that You are Worth More than ________. If you are in a bad relationship or working a bad job, it’s better get out and cut your losses than it is to suffer the gradual erosion of your self-image.

Changing the negative things in your life is one of the key ingredients to True Happiness. Sadly, many people will suffer for months or even years on end in the name of Integrity or Principle or Professionalism or some other gossamer concept. Being so Proud, this is something I have to be very conscious of, lest I let my personal integrity eventually lead to self-destruction. There is no Honor is Being a Martyr, only in Being a Victor.

fightclub

If you’re the type that skims, you can ignore everything I wrote above if you remember one thing: FIGHT.

You know those people who say, “I’m a lover, not a fighter?” I’m the opposite of that.

I’m not the warmest person in the world, but I know how to compete and dominate and win. As I’ve matured, I’ve grown to appreciate the need for cooperation, but for a while I subverted myself a bit too much in the interest of getting along. Thankfully, I think that disappointing time has come and gone.

Very simply, Alpha Males fight. Not necessarily physically all the time, but when someone wrongs you or your cherished ones, you fight for them and for yourself. Again, you do not quit and you do not surrender, especially if you know if your heart that you’re in the right.

Please do not read this as, “Go out and fight everyone all the time.” That’s absolute nonsense. Read this as “Strive for Peace, but Prepare for War.” Expect that there will be a number of disingenuous people in your orbit who will at best attempt to repress or subvert you, and will at worst actively endeavor to discredit and undermine you.

You don’t have to Fight, but you don’t have to win or have anything worthwhile, either. My mistake from the example above was that I opted to yield when I should have stood my ground, and I paid for it dearly. Use discretion, but realize that at times you are going to know better than the opposing party, and that you may in fact represent what is Just and True is a given situation.

If you want to follow Jack’s Rules, sometimes you need to FIGHT. But if you’re going to Fight, you need to do so in a way that protects your opponent to a degree, which I’ll explain next.

8) Mean, But Clean

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This is one of my Hockey rules that I’ve transferred to Real Life.

The Hockey Rule “Mean but Clean” is the credit line of viciousness I have established for myself. As a puck-carrier, you get frustrated when people repeatedly take liberties with you while you are busy trying to create goals. Less-skilled or unskilled players will slash you, hook you, knee you, and hit you from behind while you are concentrating on Offense and thus relatively-vulnerable. This gets old really quick, and your instinct becomes to seek immediate retribution.

But I draw the line at “Dirty” play. I think hitting people from behind or trying to blow-out their knees is cowardly, which conflicts Jack’s Rule #11.

This is a textbook example of a “dirty hit”:

Claude Lemieux boards Kris Draper from behind. Draper has no reasonable way of protecting himself. Lemieux could have killed or paralyzed Draper. This play is absolutely craven. Watching it makes me want to fight Claude Lemieux, but thankfully D-Mac did it for me.

And this is a dangerous, dirty play called a Slew-Foot, which is basically kicking out a player’s skates from behind:

The word that occurs to me as I watch both of these plays is Cowardly, which is something I do not abide. I think it’s much Cleaner to hit someone while he has a chance to defend himself, or to fight him Man-to-Man.

To point, I recently had a kid slew-foot me in a pick-up hockey game. If I had fallen in a different way, I could have been injured. I was going to let it go, but then the brat decided to keep chirping at me, so I threw off my gloves and handed him a light beating.

I could have really hurt this kid – I estimate I outweigh him by 40 lbs, I’m a trained boxer with 30 hockey fights on my resume, and unlike him I’m not a massive pussy – but I restrained myself quite a bit. I could have very literally broken this kid’s face – meaning his nose, orbital, etc – but I opted to pull back because even if the kid is a mouthy shit who deserves a beating, there’s no honor in working over someone much smaller than you.

I don’t have a picture or video of the fight, but there’s this:

jacksuspended

I could have chased the kid down and kicked out his skates from behind him, then stepped on him while he was down. But there’s nothing clean or honorable in that. I chose to drop the gloves and at least give him a chance to defend himself, and I got suspended from the facility.

But this is why Mean, But Clean is Jack’s Rule #8. I refuse to sink to certain levels because of what it says about me. I’ll fight, but I refuse to be a dirty player.

So, the restriction I have put on myself is that I can be as malicious as I want, even ruthless, as long as I do not cross the line into spineless, or underhanded. As far as Hockey is concerned, this usually means that I tolerate an amount of insubordination, depending on my mood, before the claws come out.

If I am in my normal state, which is Surly, this is more likely to happen:

 

Pull the Tiger’s tail on the wrong day – such as the night the kid decided to slew-foot me – and you get this:

In both cases, Mean, but Clean. Peter Forsberg puts his shoulder into Vladdy Konstantinov’s chest, not the back of his head. Mario gets fed up and drops the gloves like a Man, rather than trying to slash the guy in the neck or slew-foot him.

This extends into Real Life. Most of the time, I cannot hit or fight someone on the street who offends me, because we live in a lawsuit-happy era. Yet the desire to make someone Accountable for cowardly, disingenuous, and/or inappropriate behavior remains.

In the Real World, Mean, but Clean could involve getting aggressive or confrontational in a very direct manner. What it does not involve is getting back at someone at any cost. You might dislike someone, and it might be satisfying to go key their car or pour sugar in their gas tank, but ultimately you need to establish a level that you will not sink beneath in the name of retribution.

For me, keying or otherwise defacing someone’s car is completely acceptable…if the person in question is watching me do it. Going behind someone’s back is the Real World-equivalent of a Slew-Foot, in my view. Again, the point is that there are levels I will not sink to because of what a given action says about me, not because of my thoughts on a given individual.

9) Pick Your Friends Carefully

batmanjl

“Oh, good, my lackeys have arrived.”

As they say, you are the Sum of the Five People You Spend the Most Time With. In my view, it is crucial that you find and maintain a quality group of friends, but it is equally important that these people be positive influences in your life.

My tendency is to over-invest in people who ask for my help. Like all Disney Princes, I am a sucker for a Damsel in Distress. Shrewd individuals, Women in particular, have spotted this trait and tended to exploit it as much as possible. This has led to Rule #9, Pick Your Friends Carefully.

In choosing friends, I start with people who have personality traits that I respect or admire. I am not going to turn this into an article on how I personally make friends, as long the takeaway message is that it will serve you to be somewhat discerning in who you choose to be friends with.

My litmus test for Friendship is “Would this person cancel all plans and drive 45 minutes to help me change a flat tire in the pouring rain?” I do not expect everyone I socialize with to be this committed, but the willingness to help me when I really need it is what takes someone from “Acquaintance” to “Friend” in my eyes.

This litmus test rules out a lot of married people, who understandably have already committed this level of care to their spouse and/or children. This also rules out most of the under-25 crowd for me, as many younger people tend to be a little too self-preoccupied for my tastes.

(Note: some other time, I’ll explain to you the differences between Self-Love and being Self-Absorbed. Night and day.)

I certainly do not try to be friends with everyone, because a lot of people are worthless vampires who will use your time and resources while offering almost nothing in return. If you are one of those people who wants to be liked by everyone, more power to you, but don’t say that you were not warned.

Again, not trying to make this a mini-article about I pick my pals. It’s my Rule #9 because I tend to be overly-accepting of people when they ask for my help or position themselves as victims. I have wasted a lot of time trying to find value in worthless people; time that could have been spent with positive, worthwhile people. I am also trying to save you the trouble of having selfish or self-centered types leech off of you. As everyone eventually learns, not every smiling stranger out there has your best interests at heart.

10) Rise

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“…’Cause sometimes you just feel tired,
Feel weak, and when you feel weak, you feel like you wanna just give up.
But you gotta search within you, you gotta find that inner strength
And just pull that shit out of you and get that motivation to not give up
And not be a quitter, no matter how bad you wanna just fall flat on your face and collapse…”

– Eminem, Til I Collapse

I have written much about this, and I will probably continue to write much about it. Rise is my life philosophy. Let me explain why I made it Rule #10:

Rule #10 was almost “Be True to Yourself”. I think that’s a Rule everyone should follow, not something that is specifically mine. Thankfully, I have never really had any issue being true to myself, so it’s not something I need to reinforce in print.

Rule #10 became Rise because I no longer wanted to have a choice in the matter. Like Jim Carrey in “Yes Man”, I want to be on auto-pilot when it comes to Rising.

If you ask any Football or Hockey Player, they will tell you that if they get knocked down, they pop back up immediately, almost on instinct. There have been a couple of times when I’ve actually been knocked unconscious, but still immediately got back on my feet and finished a shift or whatever. There have been entire minutes after being hit that I have been up and skating around that I can’t recall, kind of like a drinking blackout.

NHL fans might remember this happening to Sami Kapanen:

 

Sami is out cold, but he still manages to get to his feet and get to the bench on instinct. That is so Hockey. Great courage by Kappy. But I digress.

In a similar vein, I want to Rise on instinct. I do not want to consider a daunting task and consciously think, “I probably should try to do _______”. I just want to do it. If I have a kid and he tells me he wants to go to Harvard, I don’t want to think “How the hell am I going to pay for that?” Without thinking, I just want to find a way to do it.

Let me explain something else that older readers understand but younger readers may not:

It’s easy to find motivation and manufacture your own enthusiasm when you are younger. There is always something you want, whether it’s a girl or a car or an internship. You have not let learned how to be completely discouraged with people.

As you age, one of two things happens: you start achieving your goals and become complacent, or you become jaded and bogged down by despair. One way or the other, you begin to lose your motivation to Rise to the challenges life presents you. It becomes easier to just go with program or to acquiesce or relent.

Personally speaking, throughout life I have had a lot of doors slammed in my face. When I was younger, this used to be a major source of motivation for me. For example, if I got cut from a sports team, I would either train like a maniac, come back the next season and dominate, or I would go get some guys, come back, and beat the hell out of the team that cut me. This hyper-competitiveness is called Michael Jordan Disease. I used to feast on the negativity others presented me.

Around the time I graduated high school, I mostly outgrew this mindset. Negative Reinforcement irritated me more than inspired me, and honestly I stopped having so many doors slammed in my face. I have continued to Rise when have I needed to, but as I’ve matured, I’ve been presented with a different problem: a complete, almost disrespectful, lack of appreciation from people.

I wrote above on some of the misadventures I had working as a personal trainer. To use just one example, I would put in these insane 16-hour work days in the interest of accommodating other people who asked for my help. I would Rise to the challenge of every work day turning into an endurance event, but it would be to almost zero thanks or acknowledgment. I did not ask to have my ass kissed for going out of my way to help people, but I did not expect dismissive entitlement, either.

This is not a unique situation. There are plenty of people reading this, yourself likely included, who have been similarly under-appreciated. Most people are selfish by nature, and as you age the selfishness of others begins to enact a toll on you. You want to stay enthusiastic and positive, but you start to become cynical and jaded by the nature of other people.

Over time, you may begin to develop to the unfortunate condition where you start asking yourself, “What’s the Point?” You know you can Rise, because you’ve done it many times in the past – but why should you?

Are they going to appreciate or pay you any more at work if you put in a greater effort? Who really cares if you shave a minute off your 5K time, or hit a new Personal Record on the Bench Press? Is your girlfriend or wife really going to care (or even notice) if you go the extra mile to do something thoughtful? Why should you go out of your way to help out people when they are not likely to reciprocate?

The solution to this corrosive mentality is to take the thinking out of the equation, and to keep finding new challenges for yourself. Rather than choosing to Rise, I have made it a requirement, dismissing all other considerations and factors. That’s how Rise became my Rule #10. Rather than being a choice such as “Who should I vote for?”, I’ve made it an automatic response, like “Red means Stop, Green means Go.”

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11) Don’t Be a Coward

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This is my 11th, and probably most important, Rule.

If I had to distill my identity down to a single sentence, it would be: I am not a Coward. People can say many different nasty or negative things about me, but woe be the wretch who dares question my courage. Calling me a coward is like calling Marty McFly “Chicken“.

This has been a constant theme in my life. Here’s just one example:

In college, my girlfriend claimed to be pregnant. I would later find out that she told me this just to keep me from breaking up with her (awful story), but for two or three months she had me convinced that she was carrying my child. I was 22 and had basically no life experience, so I took her at her word.

I was still in college when this happened. I worked as a bartender, and had no interest in having a child, particularly with this train-wreck of a girl. I spent a lot of nights not sleeping, trying to think about what to do.

As I’ve written before, I have this insane ability to get calmer as the situation requires: I will chase someone like a maniac for blocks if he or she cuts me off in traffic, but a pregnancy scare barely fazed me. I remember this sense of acceptance and peace coming over me, as I plotted out a checklist of things I had to prepare in the next seven or eight months.

Here is what I did not do: run crying to my family, demand that she get an abortion, or even blame her for not properly using her Birth Control. Again, this was a girl whose drinking/drug use/self-mutilation was so excessive that I hated being around her, yet I was stoically prepared to give up all of my other plans to be her Baby Daddy. This was not because I cared much for her, but because I thought it was cowardly to get a girl pregnant and then try to run away.

Fast forward a few months, and of course this girl was not pregnant. This was a desperate, elaborate lie she cooked up to keep me from leaving her. Lord knows I give Women a hard time, but one of those reasons is that Women are capable of some truly despicable things. Faking a pregnancy for the purposes of trapping someone in a flawed relationship is one of those things. It’s a miserable story that I wouldn’t mind forgetting, but I am extremely proud of the fact that I was prepared to stand by this girl and accept responsibility for my actions.

Rule #11 may be macho and even senseless, but it’s my most-important Rule. Whether it’s falling to block a shot in Hockey, admitting to the police that I was hosting an underage drinking party/orgy, or taking financial responsibility for a group of irresponsible people, time and time again I have not turned into a worm when the going got tough.

According to my Family Crest, I come from a family of Lions. While Lions might be ill-tempered, indifferent, lazy, and proud, they are certainly not cowards (usually). Courage is probably my most-integral personality trait, which is why my lips curl into a contemptuous snarl when I see people try to dodge responsibility or run-and-hide.

farrell

If you want to follow Jack’s Rules, the most-important of those is Don’t Be a Coward. Be an Asshole, be a stubborn prick, even be vindictive or ruthless, but Do Not Be a Coward.

Closing Remarks

These are my Rules, and I certainly do not expect you to follow them to the letter. But as our morality as a civilization declines and you being to lose understanding of what’s truly Right and Wrong, it’s important that you have a Code of Honor that you seldom deviate from.

Having an Ethical Code is far more important than the Rules themselves. The world is moving in such a way that almost anything can be justifiable. People are rapidly losing their identities because they can no longer distinguish between Good and Evil, or even Good and Bad. Having a Personal Code, or a list of Rules, takes much of the guesswork out of 21st Century morality.

Use My Rules, use my template, or make your own Rules, but make sure you have something to guide you during times of uncertainty.

Jack, Rule-Breaker/Maker

Gender Psychology: So You Want to be a Bad Boy

So You Want to be a Bad Boy?

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Any guy who has ever watched The New Kid move into town and run off with his girlfriend understands the appeal of being a Bad Boy, as does any girl who has ever gotten involved with a troubled loner. Bad Boys have a special place in cinematic and fictional lure, as they scorch through the even-keeled lives of more-conventional types like shooting stars.

What many Nice Guys, Good Guys, and even some Women do not understand is that Being a Bad Boy is not an easy endeavor. While it would seem to take no larger effort than to be anti-conformist and sullen, the reality is that a number of often-tragic circumstances conspire to create a Bad Boy, much like any monster. This article aims to explain some of the realities of the Bad Boy existence, as well serve as a cautionary tale to those would-be Bad Boys who are considering a turn to the Dark Side.

Who is a Bad Boy?

heath

There are plenty of articles all over the internet dissecting Why Women chase after Bad Boys. Articles within that vein often ask more questions than they answer, since it is very difficult to articulate the allure of the Bad Boy to most women; in fact, the girls themselves can rarely put the appeal of Bad Boys into usable wording.

For the sake of argument, just understand that Women Love Bad Boys as a self-evident Proof. This notion has transcended both cultures and generations at this point, and the captivating nature of the Bad Boy is in fact is one thing that mothers and daughters of disparate ages can agree upon.

Since we can agree for the moment that Women Love Bad Boys, the next questions are, “Am I a Bad Boy?”, followed by “How do I become a Bad Boy?”

To answer the first part: if you have to ask, you are not a Bad Boy. While Bad Boys may be introspective and thoughtful, they are rarely mired in self-doubt or uncertainty.

Speaking as a Bad Boy, people like me are more prone to ask themselves, “Am I a Bad Person?” after a particularly devious action. As in all things, there are progressions, and in this case the progressions are directly tied to your own morals. Does kissing a married woman make you a bad person? Does stealing money out of a woman’s wallet make you a bad person (assuming she owes you, on several levels)? Does having sex with a mother and her daughter in the same calendar month make you a bad person? Does fighting a 55-year old father-of-three make you a Bad Person?

These are not questions normal people ask themselves. These are questions reserved for Bad Boys. Your own conscience will determine if you are Bad Person or not.

To answer the second question, allow me to walk you through one way in which one might become a Bad Boy. You can then decide for yourself if becoming a Bad Boy is an endeavor you wish to pursue.

How Does One Become a Bad Boy?

“Give us brilliant boys that we wanna fuck, man
Full of ecstasy, hard drugs, and bad luck
Yeah yeah yeah

Turn the lights back on
You burn so hard
But you won’t burn long…”

Hole, Mono

No one looking at a smiling baby boy ever thinks, “One day, this kid is going to be an absolute bastard.” Contrary to what George Thorogood will tell you, it’s very difficult to make the argument that children are born contemptuous of others or with inherent malice, even if you want to argue that some children are born with a much-greater potential to be Bad. Most often, the circumstances of a boy’s life need to conspire to turn him “Bad”.

One commonality I see among Bad Boys of various cultural or socioeconomic backgrounds is Isolation. Bad Boys do not properly acclimate to Social Norms because they generally lack the foundational support of a loving family, be it the Flesh-and-Blood variety or the Close-Knit Friends version. Bad Boys become simultaneously self-reliant and suspicious of others, leading to this vicious cycle in which they become further and further detached from the Social Mean.

This leads the Bad Boy to develop Trust Issues, which manifest in a number of ways that are bizarrely-attractive to Women. For example, most Women are well-acquainted with the idea that some Men are reluctant to commit to a relationship. While this becomes irritating in most cases for Women, in the case of the Bad Boy, this makes him more-attractive because the inability to commit is out of his control; it is a consequence of prior abuse or a lack of loving support during his formative years. This frequently leads many Women to fall into patterns in which they desperately chase Bad Boys, which of course makes the Bad Boy in question pull further away.

Contrary to belief, Bad Boys actually have very little Game, and most are not actively manipulating Women. What happens in actuality is that Bad Boys start to grow comfortable with Women, rewarding their patience with sweet behavior, until something triggers an underlying Trust Issue within the Bad Boy. At this point, he pulls away strongly, which makes the shell-shocked Woman start questioning what she did to scare him off. Again, this causes desperation in certain Women, leading to the aforementioned cycle in which she chases after the Bad Boy despite the emotional turmoil he is causing her.

Speaking personally, I was not vehemently anti-social growing up; I just managed to make it to adulthood without really finding that “Second Family” or tight group of friends that most people find in childhood or High School or College. Whereas most well-adjusted types manage to find acceptance in a Family System of some sort, Bad Boys are often kept at Arm’s Length from people until they start to prefer it that way.

Bad Boys learn to become extremely independent because there is never the sense of unconditional loyalty from a Family System. Life becomes a high-wire tightrope act without the emotional safety net of supportive Family and Friends. As a result, a Bad Boy becomes increasingly more capable of relying upon himself while hesitating (and later refusing) to count on others.

Another area Bad Boys specialize in is Loss. Bad Boys often go through entire lifetimes of attrition at a relatively-early age, which consequently makes people more replaceable to them later in life. This is frequently seen in popular culture. One prominent example is in the James Bond films, in which Bond’s beloved Vesper is killed in the film Casino Royale. After incurring this Loss, Bond becomes irretrievably-hardened, and other people (especially Women) become completely interchangeable to him.

Bad Boys often deal with Losses so profound and at such a young age that their character is entirely changed. While this does not necessarily have to be the death of a loved one, often a major event or series of events occur that drive a Bad Boy on a divergent path from the rest of society. This uniqueness may likely serve to increase his attractiveness, as both his mindset and his ability to cope with tragedy are greatly different than those of more-socialized Men.

To offset the lack of emotional support and social protection, a Bad Boy learns to cultivate a very specific set of skills, most of them survival-based, that appeal to Women on a profound, sexual level. Speaking in Darwinian terms, a Bad Boy is attractive to most Women because in a theoretical “Survival Situation” (such as Prehistoric Man foraging for food), they have an Internal Locus of Control that allows them to surmount odds that would cower other Men. This is basically the same thing as Willpower, which I have written about elsewhere extensively.

Darwinists like myself can easily see why Women Love Bad Boys, but more-domesticated and socially well-adjusted types may have trouble making the logical connection. In short, Bad Boys appeal to most Women because they are better at both surviving and protecting her potential offspring than less-malicious types. Many Women unconsciously hope this instinct of self-preservation would eventually transfer to herself and her potential children.

The Mask

As they say, “No Man is an Island”, and no Boy is Born Bad. The decision to consciously embrace moral ambiguity or even Nihilism is a common Bad Boy ritual in which someone rejects the comforts and support of a loving family in lieu of Power and Self-Sufficiency. This amorality is often  in fact a protective Mask that separates the Bad Boy from would-be social persecutors.

The World is Cruel, and to cope with this the typical Bad Boy takes extraordinary measures to protect himself from it. After all, he has reached adulthood or near-adulthood without the feeling of familial protection and support that more well-adjusted Men experience. A ferocious social Mask serves the same function as a scarecrow, chasing away many of those who would potentially injure the Bad Boy emotionally or physically.

Bad Boys are frequently preoccupied with Money and Power. These two things allow a Bad Boy to live in what a Bad Boy considers to be Relative Comfort: the freedom to be emotionally-indifferent and independent. Nothing vexes a Bad Boy more than having to rely upon someone else, and large amounts of Money and Power keep a protective bubble around him.

It is now pertinent to bring up the Nature-versus-Nurture argument: while some Bad Boys have a natural predilection toward anti-social behavior, others are “Good Boys” who make a conscious effort to be “Bad” in order to acquire the aforementioned Money and Power.

The Heel Turn

anakin

Some well-adjusted “Good Boys” will force themselves to do out-of-character “Bad Things” as a means of accruing Power or coping with the cold cruelties of the world. A result of this “Fake It ‘Til You make It” mentality is that a Good Boy eventually becomes a true Bad Boy by pushing his personal envelope of ethics too far. This fall-from-grace is known as a Heel Turn.

A Heel Turn occurs when a good-natured person decides that they are going to stop acting ethically and with the good of the community in mind. A Heel Turn involves a dedication to personal selfishness and anti-social behavior, typically in a way that is extremely out-of-character for the person in-question.

One example from popular culture is seen in the Star Wars movies, as Anakin Skywalker forces himself to commit acts of malice until his entire character changes:

In the opposing fashion, some kids who are raised in a loving environment are so deeply anti-social that no amount of familial support can prevent them from submitting to their dark, even psychopathic urges. This theme is well-covered in the 50 Shades of Grey novels.

One thing that inspires logical Women to persist in their efforts to “Fix” a Bad Boy is the idea that underneath a mound of social refuse is a gentle, kind-hearted soul crying for help. While this can be true in some situations, in other situations a Bad Boy is “too far gone” for any reasonable Woman to salvage him.

Common Traits

The term “Bad Boy” is not well-defined, but there are some traits that repeatedly appear:

Lack of Self-Doubt: A very attractive trait in most Bad Boys is their absence of Self-Doubt. While more-socialized Men are likely to confer with their group before taking action, the loner Bad Boy is accustomed to relying upon his sole judgement in making decisions. This lack of insecurity is like cat-nip to younger females, many of whom are trapped in their own heads with paralyzing self-doubt.

Lack of Socialization: By definition, a Bad Boy displays a high number of Anti-Social Behaviors. These can vary in how enticing they respectively are to Women, from intriguing to extremely attractive. As I have written in my article on the Wild Side, almost all Women are forced into stronger standards of social decorum than Men are, at least in Western society. A Bad Boy’s willingness to not only act upon but embrace the anti-social aspects of his personality is completely enticing to a Woman who has to go around being Miss Sunshine all day long.

This Lack of Socialization can range from borderline-feral to borderline-criminal to ill-tempered. The common characteristic is that the Bad Boy swims against the social current in almost all situations, or at least conforms very reluctantly.

Preoccupation: Another key way in which Bad Boys separate themselves from more-socialized Men is their chronic inattentiveness and emotional distance. Whereas many Men are prepared to make a given Woman or Women the center of their universe, Bad Boys are preoccupied with their drugs, guns, hockey teams, motorcycles, etc. Furthermore, this Preoccupation is typically of the aggressive or anti-social nature; a Bad Boy would be much less-likely to be preoccupied with video games than he would be getting into fights outside strip clubs.

Substance Abuse: Bad Boys have two options: they can engage in violence (the end result of their ASPD), or they can attempt to suppress their anti-social rage with alcohol and/or drugs. This leads to a brutal cycle in which the Bad Boy tries to corral his aggressive instincts with booze or drugs, which of course is horribly ineffective. The persistent Substance Abuse is one of the justifications Women tend to make when defending or excusing the sociopathic behavior of a Bad Boy.

Swagger: A Bad Boy is a natural survivor, and thus projects a menace and self-confidence that could be collectively defined as “Swagger.” A Bad Boy is not concerned with getting into physical altercations because he has proven to himself time and time again that he can endure them. This again makes a Bad Boy very attractive to many Women on a Darwinian level.

Throw-down: Bad Boys have a special power called “Throw-Down”, which worldly Women will agree can be defined as the ability to seize the moment. Bad Boys, for example, may not be concerned with getting intimate in public because they are more-focused on taking advantage of a given opportunity; in this case, a Woman who is primed and ready for physical contact. This ability, to act irrespective of outside conditions, is called Throw-Down, and Bad Boys have it in spades.

Trust Issues: Bad Boys have become extremely self-reliant because they have likely not experienced the support of a loving family, or have had repeated traumatic events occur that compromised their ability to trust other people.  This leads to Bad Boys preferring people at arms-length, and developing an array of skills meant to prevent people from injuring them emotionally or physically. To protect themselves, Bad Boys often display large amounts of financial or physical power, again as a means of self-protection.

The Club

Here is a group of Bad Boys, taken from both Fiction and Real Life. Try to identify the common traits that unite them.

(Note: most of the Bad Boys in “The Club” are square-looking white guys. I am a square-looking white guy. I feel it would be insincere of me to put up a bunch of African-American and Latino “Bad Boys” just to appear racially-nonpartisan. When Women attribute “Bad Boy” traits to me personally, they are usually not the mannerisms of Denzel Washington in “Training Day” or Antonio Banderas in “Desperado”; instead, I am saddled with stereotypes put forth by other square-looking white guys. The Square-White-Guy role has been my personal experience, and I cannot apologize for it.)

Casanova

Giacoma Casanova is a very interesting cat, and probably the only Italian I respect. He lived a positively absurd, syphilis-ridden lifestyle, mooching off rich guys and sleeping with their wives and daughters.

James Dean

James Dean is “The Original Bad Boy.” He remains, “a cultural icon of teenage disillusionment,” so much so that Rebel Without a Cause posters can still be found in the bedrooms of 16-year old girls. He died in the ultimate Bad Boy fashion, i.e. a “Blaze of Glory” fiery car wreck.

Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash was the original Bad Boy of Rock N’ Roll. When he was not writing songs about cocaine, murder, and running from the police, he was battling substance addiction and playing sold-out shows at prisons.

Steve McQueen

I live for myself and I answer to nobody.” – Steve McQueen

Steve McQueen was a Bad Ass. He personified Bad Boy-cool for an entire generation of film-goers. While some of his exploits may have been exaggerated, McQueen certainly set an example for aspiring Bad Boys everywhere by being difficult to work with, but so in-demand and popular that directors and producers were forced to deal with him.

Bruce Wayne

Bruce Wayne best represents the idea of the Bad Boy caricature. In all media, “Bruce Wayne” is this figurative mask that Batman (the dominant personality) slips on to fool the weak-minded.

For his part, Batman really turns up the volume on the “Bad Boy” ruse that is Bruce Wayne by playing the part of the drunken, entitled buffoon to perfection. He makes womanizing more of a game than anything else,  or even a chore, which obviously is in stark contrast to the control-freak characteristics that the Batman personality represents.

Mr. Big

The ladies know Mr. Big as the one-man wrecking crew who tormented horrid social bane Carrie Bradshaw for 10 years before consenting to take one for the team and finally marry the bitch before she could spawn. While some Women will acknowledge that Big was emotionally-abusive and even nihilistic in his dealings with bulimic Mayan terror Bradshaw, the 50-60% of Women who blindly identify with Carrie will adamantly defend him under Bad Boy 101 logic, like, “His old relationships made him reluctant to commit,” or “You don’t know what it’s like when it’s just the two of them.”

George Clooney

George Clooney is the real-life representation of a Bad Boy. He is the sterling example of what separates a Bad Boy from a “Player”, the key difference being that he does not need to deceive or lie to women in order for them to clamor after him. He stubbornly insists upon remaining a bachelor, much to the frustration and arousal of red-blooded American girls in 50 states. He makes cool movies.

Christian Troy

Here is Christian at work:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ja8OD0AbCZ8&feature=related

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOUaGKZVsng

Christian gets bonus points for being extra manipulative and morally-vacant. Note: Do not try to keep up with Nip/Tuck if you are not a fan; it’s just ridiculous.

Tommy Gavin

Tommy is an alcoholic Fire-Fighter. He has less-than-zero Impulse Control, the thread that commonly links most criminals. He would be a complete social outcast if not for his role as a Fire-Fighter. His alcoholism, fearlessness, rage, and unwillingness to temper himself all make him ridiculously attractive to the Women on the TV show Rescue Me.

Don Draper

Don Draper is an alcoholic womanizer, albeit a very successful one. He is an excellent case-study in the “Bad Boy Mask” theory proposed above, engaging in Bad Boy antics in order to maintain the facade of his character. Don, alias Dick Whitman, consistently acts in power-hungry, self-indulgent ways that may oppose his natural character, but are essential for re-enforcing the Bad Boy Mask that he has decided to wear.

Christian Grey

I used Matt Bomer because I think he represents the character well for most Women.

Without recounting the details of the novels, Christian Grey is of course the protagonist of the 50 Shades novels. If you are a Woman reading this, you obviously know who he is and what he does that makes him such a Bad Boy.

The Ways Women Treat Bad Boys

Being a Bad Boy is an All-or-Nothing proposition, but it is one that most Men would not trade for the more-moderate role Women assign to the majority of Men.

Bad Boys seem to have it made, as they get Women at their most sexually-ardent while not having to deal Women during times of emotional turbulence or vulnerability. What Man wouldn’t take that package deal?

The trade-off is that Women completely objectify Bad Boys, and have almost no use for them outside of their role as a sexual interest. Bad Boys are objectified in much the same way as Pin-Up models and strippers are, even if the process is gender-specific.

Here is an Overview of What Women Expect and Do Not Expect from Bad Boys:

What Women Expect

The Goods:

Women expect Bad Boys to rock their world in the bedroom, and if a Bad Boy turns out to be underwhelming or even average in bed, much of his mystique is lost. Since the typical Bad Boy provides little or none of the emotional solace that more sensitive men might, it is imperative that a legitimate Bad Boy demonstrate outstanding sexual skill almost every time things get physical.

This can include the aforementioned Throw-Down (spur-of-the moment sex, often in semi-public or other potentially-compromising situations), exceptional size and/or stamina, high degrees of animalism and creativity, and no evidence of clinging or emotional investment. The Bad Boy is the sexual convenience store for a longing woman, and she expects to get The Goods with minimal complication or investment.

Adventure and Excitement:

The Bad Boy, with his secretive past, is the alluring alternative to the more-transparent boyfriend or husband in a Woman’s life. A Woman is attracted to a Bad Boy because his lifestyle is seemingly a mash-up of affairs and bar-fights, which stands in exotic contrast to her daily ritual of laundry and television-watching with her dutiful boyfriend or spouse.

Women expect their lives to become much-more interesting with the introduction of a Bad Boy, even if they do not explicitly say so. After all, a Woman yearning for stability will have a much-easier time finding a substance-over-style type of Man in her daily orbit; the Bad Boy represents something novel by being so relatively unpredictable.

Drama:

Younger Women, especially, love Drama because it puts them at the center of attention. The Bad Boy induces Drama into a Woman’s life by compelling her loyal friends to be distrustful of and possibly aggressive toward him. A Woman can become a fixation within the lives of her friends and other potential love interests by playing the role of the victim and taking up with a detestable Bad Boy.

It goes beyond the scope of this already-long article to delve into the need some Women have to inject Drama into their lives. Taking this Proof again as self-evident, it should be obvious that a Bad Boy is a drama reservoir, and immature or needy Women are going to crave the attention that co-mingling with a standard-issue Bad Boy can produce.

What Women Do Not Expect

Commitment:

A very appealing Bad Boy trait is his unwillingness to commit. This works very well for a Woman who is similarly-unwilling to commit, due to emotional unavailability or pragmatic reasons. This also works for Women who are in committed relationships who are seeking to stray.

A Bad Boy ceases to be a Bad Boy when he outs himself as another Nice Boy looking for love. This will be like nails-on-a-chalkboard to a Woman who is seeking to keep emotional distance between herself and her sexual partners.

Affection:

Most Women have an array of Men within their life that constantly dote upon them, tending to their various emotional and psychological problems with a soft touch. While there are some Women in unfortunate positions who have no one like this, most Women are actually besieged by considerate, courteous sorts who Women believe (rightly or wrongly) are trying to incur favor in order to bed them. The stereotype of the dutiful friend tending to a Woman’s emotional needs while she runs around with a parade of bikers and jocks has become a contemporary classic.

Most young girls are actually overwhelmed by the affection bestowed upon them, and come to not only take it for granted, but to become irritated with it. The fascinating contrast to the Men who hold open doors and pull out chairs for her is the irritable loner who barely can glance her way.

Predictability:

The appeal of the Bad Boy is that he is wildly unpredictable. Once again, this injects excitement into a Woman’s otherwise ho-hum life. A Bad Boy can be like a great novel, as the reader anxiously awaits what lies on the next page and is desperate to find out what comes next. Just as no one wants to read a predictable story, no Woman wants her Bad Boy to be easily-figured out.

Bad Boy/Good Man

saints

It is very possible to be a Bad Boy yet be highly-ethical; the ethics of a Bad Boy are simply much different than most.

At some point, Conventional Laws and Morality become constraints that prohibit certain types of Righteous Men from acting decisively and truly. The evolved Bad Boy is much-more preoccupied with The Greater Good than he is with following more-traditional rules. This is something Women astutely observe, and begin to find intrigue in a Bad Boy’s motives when his actions indicate that he is ethically-conflicted.

The “Good” Bad Boy will Break a Nose to Save a Life. While some Bad Boys are simply sadistic and self-preoccupied, there is a certain segment of Bad Boys that have noble intentions at the root of their malicious actions. Again, Women tend to see issues in degrees while Men tend to segment issues into Black and White. Combined with their higher levels of Empathy, the ability of Women to see through a Bad Boy’s grim veneer only serves to make him more attractive to them.

Bad Boys vs. Assholes

”Do you think this is who I am? I am a professional thief, I don’t run around killing people I don’t have to.”

– Seth Gecko (George Clooney), From Dusk Til Dawn

I have written much about Assholes, Dicks, and other constituents of the Brotherhood of Men is this rather-popular article. A common misconception is that all Bad Boys are Assholes, when this is certainly not the case.

Bad Boys are frequently Men of ethics who have decided that certain ends justify the means. For example, a Bad Boy may decide that dealing methamphetamine is an acceptable recourse if it means providing for his family. There are noble, praise-worthy, and selfless elements to this type of behavior, all of which distinguish a ruthless-but-devoted Bad Boy from a garden-variety Asshole.

As Asshole is a landmine of non-discriminating obnoxiousness. There is frequently little rhyme-or-reason to the behavior of an Asshole, aside from the continuing need for the Asshole to entertain and indulge her or himself. Bad Boys can be extremely-decent Men, which can greatly contribute to their attractiveness to Women, but Bad Boys are often willing to go to lengths that Assholes or Nice Guys are not in order to protect or provide for their loved ones.

The Trade-Off

Here is a list of concessions a Man makes when he becomes a legitimate Bad Boy:

* Unless a Woman is desperately attracted to you, she will barely acknowledge you during non-carnal situations. A fair question to ask yourself is, “Would I be crushed if I saw the girl I was with eight hours ago holding hands with her boyfriend/husband and refusing to look at me?” This is your life, future Bad Boy. Again, if the girl is desperately attracted to you, she will fall all over herself to get your attention, but if you are just a fling or a sexual surrogate then she will spend most of her time avoiding you like the plague.

* In a similar fashion, Women who are both emotionally and sexually-satisfied will have absolutely no use for a Bad Boy. Something I frequently have encountered is a scenario in which some Women will not even be civil to me because I am an obvious Bad Boy. I am not speaking about disaffected ex-girlfriends, but grocery-store clerks, neighbors, random acquaintances, etc.

A common event will be one of these Women being very friendly and outgoing with others, then immediately becoming hostile or otherwise rude to an obvious Bad Boy. This might be a self-protective reaction, or this could be the projection of prior rage toward a Bad Boy onto someone who embodies the stereotype. Regardless, as a Bad Boy, a lot of the Women in your orbit will be surprisingly venomous toward you, if they acknowledge you at all.

* Are you comfortable having no one really know or care who you are? Are you ready to be nothing more than a fantasy, or an image? In fact, most Women are going to get annoyed when you try telling them that you used to care for sick puppies or play fantasy football or whatever. As a Bad Boy, the only personality traits you are allowed to display while retaining your attractiveness are the ones a Woman assigns you.

* Can you stand the idea of lots and lots of people hating you? Even if they have never spoken with you or been in your company for any length of time?

As a Bad Boy, you are going to draw the attention of the female community, and at some point the Women are certain to force this line of conversation upon the Men. Your intentions, mannerisms, and personality are going to be dissected at-length by a bunch of people who barely know you. This would be fine, except that this dissection is going to be done by a number of people with a vested interest in making you look bad or “protecting” the attracted Women from you for purely self-serving reasons.

This type of scorn will know no bounds; some people may become so simultaneously disgusted and intrigued by you that they will put up webpages dedicated to attacking your character. Bad Boys are ready to handle this because they already mistrust people and almost completely rely upon themselves, but most people trying to become Bad Boys are going to have a real hard time walking into a chorus of derision on a regular basis.

* Are you ready to spend a major holiday, like Christmas or New Year’s Eve, alone? Because it can and will happen. Women want to be with family and friends during major holidays, and you are neither. If you want the Bad Boy perks, you had better be ready for the cold and discomfort that comes in tandem with them.

* What are you going to do the first time an angry husband takes your phone number (or address) out of a Woman’s phone and confronts you? Are you ready for an incredibly-awkward e-mail or Facebook message in which some guy verbally assaults you for bewitching his wife? Can you look another Man in the eye and admit that you are banging his spouse? Will you apologize? Get confrontational? Possessive? Answer these questions for yourself now, because your mind will go blank if your bang-buddy’s husband starts walking toward you with a gun.

Closing Remarks

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5GbWk–Cv0Q

Aspiring Bad Boys should be warned that great personal sacrifices are traded off in Becoming Bad: mainly the comforts and unconditional support of Family and Friends. While it may seem like a sweet deal to be able to swoop in with only a bad attitude and walk away with a Woman on each arm, the reality is that Being a Bad Boy is a lonely walk down a dark road. There are benefits, to be sure, but there are also a number of compromises that most Men are simply not emotionally-capable of making.

As a Bad Boy, you get a lot of flirtatious smiles from strange Women. I got one just as I was typing this. But those smiles are empty and fleeting. The reality is that almost all Women want to take a Man and make him her family, not run around with some preoccupied loner living on borrowed time. The Nice Guy may fantasize about having Women lust after him, but the Bad Boy fantasizes about one Woman who will truly care for him. As they say, the grass is always greener on the other side.

BK

MSS

JF

#65: The Sidekick Manifesto

It apparently has to be stated that this is largely a satire. If anything herein offends you for some reason, reevaluate your life.

Given the rash of incompetent Sidekick behavior I have had to endure recently, the Time has Come to write The Sidekick Manifesto, which is a detailed guide on How to be a Better Sidekick. This Manifesto will clearly detail all of the responsibilities a Sidekick is expected to undertake while under the direction of a trusted Mentor, as well as delve into the Sidekick-Mentor Dynamic.

Who is a Sidekick?

A Sidekick is an apprentice or protege who is serving under the tutelage of an experienced and wise Mentor. Usually, the Sidekick voluntarily elects to undergo this internship, but in some situations the role of Sidekick is forced upon an unwilling participant.

A Sidekick serves under a Mentor for an indeterminate amount of time, much like a squire serving under a knight. Continuing with this analogy, a Sidekick pledges allegiance and loyalty to a Mentor in exchange for an education of sorts, as well as a degree of social and possibly physical protection.

Once a Sidekick has reached a degree of relative maturity – and take note, this could mean emotional maturity just as easily as physical maturity – it is the obligation of the Mentor to release the Sidekick from her or his contract of service. It is then the obligation of the now-former Sidekick to continue this Circle of Life by one day taking on a Sidekick or her or his own and imparting the same lessons and wisdom that she or he was once taught.

Who Has Sidekicks?

Alpha Males

A major male status symbol is being adored and followed by other Men. A concept as old as the wheel is that of the less-experienced or younger Man following the Alpha Male in the middle of his prime.

There are great demands on the time of an Alpha Male, as he likely means many things to many people. A Sidekick acts as a bit of an agent or press secretary for the Alpha Male, representing the Alpha’s interests when he is not able to do so himself. In exchange, the Sidekick receives a one-of-a-kind education on How to Be an Alpha Male, which will in turn one day allow the Sidekick to be equally beloved and respected.

The Fringe Benefits of serving as the Sidekick to an Alpha are extremely diverse. To cite Matt Damon as an example, his decision to sign up as George Clooney’s Sidekick has legitimized him as a box-office star and increased his earning power immeasurably. Meanwhile, the Fringe Benefits of serving as the Sidekick to the high-school quarterback could include the Sidekick’s pick of the women the Quarterback does not want. It greatly varies situation-to-situation.

Bad Boys

Bad Boys need Sidekicks as “Social Liaisons”, since they tend to have a litany of ASPDs (Anti-Social Personality Disorders), not to be confused with the burning-crotch thing you got from that sailor last July. While Bad Boys generally project the image of the toughened loner, as they say, “No Man is an Island.” The Sidekick, usually a younger female, is the boat that goes between this “island” and the rest of the world.

From the perspective of a potential female Sidekick, a Bad Boy is of course very attractive, as he is to most women. This attraction to the Bad Boy rarely fades (as long as he retains his edge), even as the Sidekick approaches Womanhood.

While the Sidekick may pledge her allegiance and stay with the Bad Boy due to her attraction to him, the Fringe Benefit she receives is adventure and drama (which I am told women enjoy to a small degree). The Sidekick’s life will get at least 100% more interesting by tagging along with a Bad Boy. While the Sidekick may at times chafe because she is again being forced to run from the cops or finish a fifth of 1800 Silver, secretly she is thrilled because she is no longer spending her Saturday nights cat-sitting or playing Jenga with a bunch of married couples.

Captains

Captains are designated leaders. They are not hired. They are appointed due to their competence. This theme is most prominent in Hockey, in which every team designates one player as its Captain. Peer appointment is a much-greater honor than being named Commander, in which a designated leader is chosen by some kind of hierarchy.

Real Captains lead, regardless of who follows them. They are seldom Sidekicks because they tend to jump head-first into all things, consequences be damned. Captains are fearless, and this inspires others to follow them.

The Sidekick of a Captain should note that she or he no longer has the ability to think, as a Captain does not think about any of her or his actions until the moment of action or truth. Even if a Captain has a Secret Evil Plan, there is a strong chance the Captain is going to be extremely VAGUE about the details. The Sidekick of a Captain needs to be very flexible and “read-and-react” rather than thoughtful. The Fringe Benefit is that Captains are constantly seeking Glory, which they are certain to revel in and share with their Sidekick.

Charismatics

Charismatics are principled on making others believe in their doctrine. The Sidekick in this case is the first disciple of the Charismatic, one who believes in the message of the Charismatic almost as vehemently as the Charismatic himself.

The loyalty of the Sidekick in this case is predicated on Faith, i.e. the belief that one day the Sidekick’s loyalty will be rewarded. This does not have to apply exclusively to religion, as this could also be belief in the artistic, musical, or writing talent of the Charismatic. The belief is that one day, many others will recognize the Charismatic for having the same talent that the Sidekick him or herself sees, and the Sidekick’s belief will be vindicated.

I have written more on Building a Charismatic here, to reinforce the concept.

Cougars

Cougars are women of sophistication and status who prefer the company of younger Men due to their firmer bodies and lighter emotional baggage. By nature, Cougars are decisive bordering on cutthroat, and their focus on their respective goals often necessitates a Sidekick in order to juggle a Cougar’s ever-growing list of business and personal ventures.

While the tone of the article may have suggested that “Mentor” was a Man-only position, nothing could be further from the truth. Many women can become outstanding Mentors, if they accept the duty willingly. Cougars, for example, embody all five necessary traits of a quality Mentor: Confidence, Dignity, Experience, Poise, and Self-Respect. In the same way as an Alpha Male, having a Sidekick is a major status symbol, and we all know how Cougars love those.

A Cougar may have particular value in that she can bring a wealth of female-specific skills to the Mentor-Sidekick dynamic. Whereas the above-listed traits of a Mentor are gender-neutral, a Cougar such as Meryl Streep in “The Devil Wears Prada” has a veritable arsenal of womanly charms that a female Sidekick could really benefit from cultivating.

The one thing a Sidekick must remember in this instance is that a Cougar, by definition, is someone who is making up for lost time. As such, a Cougar is going to be business-like bordering-on-salty, so it will behoove the Sidekick to be not only attentive to details, but also to develop unusually-thick skin.

Creators

Don Draper: [Holding up an empty bottle, vexed] Why is this empty?
Allison: [Exasperated] Because you drank it all!

Creators are visionaries. They are innovative, but their abilities to both lead and see the future are somewhat offset by their laundry-list of personal short-comings and inability to take care of themselves.

The Sidekick of a Creator fills the standard supporting role, with the Fringe Benefit of learning to think like her or his avant-garde Mentor. The downside is that a Creator is dangerously close to being an artist or even a bit of a diva, meaning that there is a direct inversion between his or her talent and his or her ability to cope with it. A Creator is more apt to be a bit of a drinker or even a drug-user, meaning that her or his Sidekick must be extra-vigilant and prepared to deal with the Mentor’s bouts of Drunken Inappropriateness.

Commanders

A Commander is a whimsical leader who is forced to retain his or her authority through the use of coercion or power. There is an excellent chance you work under a Commander, i.e. someone who you would have little to no respect for if he or she did not have the power to fire you.

Commanders need Sidekicks because, like most Mentors, they have immense ambition but limited ability or desire to dig their own ditches. Commanders frequently take on the role of “Bad Cop”, so they compel or solicit the services of a Sidekick to play the role of “Good Cop”.

The Sidekick of a Commander is usually someone with integrity who takes the outrageous demands of a Commander with a grain of salt. While most Mentors are bossy to some degree or another, Commanders tend to go overboard in both their requests and the tone in which they issue these “requests”. A Sidekick working under a Commander should expect their relationship to be Short-and-Sweet, as it is a Mentorship of mutual convenience (and often monetary or social considerations) rather than one built on affinity or personal growth.

Egomaniacs

Egomaniacs are people who have an inability to think beyond themselves and their own personal wants. As with Charismatics, there is a certain magnetism to the brazen confidence an Egomaniac tends to display, and someone who is less-certain of her or himself may find that she or he is drawn to the bullhorn personality of the standard-issue Egomaniac.

The Fringe Benefit is that the Sidekick is forced to be considerably less self-conscious, because all of the focus is constantly placed on the Egomaniac. While this does not seem like much of a benefit at all, for a person is who is constantly doubting her or himself, tending to the self-appeasing whims of an Egomaniac actually comes as a welcome relief. Beyond that, the Egomaniac is inadvertently teaching the Sidekick self-confidence, which is of course invaluable.

Heroes

The opposite of the Egomaniac is the Hero, who thinks constantly about the well-being of others. This need to put others before her or himself can become an obsession, taken to such a degree that the Hero needs to bring in a Sidekick to assist him or her with whatever mission the Hero has set for her or himself.

The Sidekick could be drawn to the Hero for any number of reasons: perhaps, for example, the Sidekick has a similarly-ardent desire to protect others, but does not have the means to do so on a large scale. Aligning oneself with a Hero enables the Sidekick to perform acts of heroism her or himself.

The Fringe Benefit is the self-satisfaction that heroic-types feel after helping others. This is something a person either experiences, or they do not. Choosing a Hero as a Mentor allows a Sidekick to experience this feeling with much-greater regularity and often on a much larger scale.

Superstars

Van: Do you know why I made you my assistant?”

Taj: So you could teach me how to muff dive?

Van: No. Well, yeah. But also because you have the potential to be great.”

-Van Wilder to Taj, Van Wilder

Much like Alpha Males, Superstars need Sidekicks because there are tremendous demands placed on their time. Whether we are talking about Lady Gaga or LeBron James, the fact remains that a barrage of people are always clamoring after Superstars in an effort to eat up their attention and time.

In this case, a Sidekick differentiates her or himself from the rest of a Superstar’s entourage by having the Potential to one day be great in their own right. While a Superstar is guaranteed to have plenty of hangers-on who are otherwise devoid of talent, a Sidekick is someone who reminds the Superstar of him or herself, in some fashion. The Superstar takes a special interest in helping the Sidekick cultivate her or his unique talents to the height of their abilities.

As with the Alpha Male, the Fringe Benefits a Superstar can extend are myriad. In the case of the above-pictured Mario Lemieux, Fringe Benefits may include all-you-can-drink ’66 Beaujolais, a room in his swank mansion, choice seating at Consol Energy Center, lap dances, Stanley Cups, etc. It really depends on the personal preferences of the Superstar.

What are the Responsibilities of a Sidekick?

You know the expression, ‘a Man’s Man’? A Man’s Man is the leader of the pack, the kind of Man other Men look up to, admire, and emulate.”

– Lauren Holly, What Women Want

What are the Responsibilities of a Sidekick? Glad you asked. Here is an overview of the general responsibilities of a quality Sidekick:

* Unquestioned Devotion and Obedience – the Sidekick has pledged her or his allegiance to the Mentor. It should be a given that the Sidekick will never backtalk or question the Mentor, but like a frisky puppy, some Sidekicks just love to test boundaries under the guise of “being playful”. It is the duty of the Mentor to properly punish the Sidekick whenever this Acting-Out rears its ugly head, lest this behavior prompt an eventual Wingman Rebellion or other undesirable carrying-on.

* Unwavering Support of the Mentor – as a Mentor is very likely to be a polarizing figure, it is imperative that the Sidekick be feverishly loyal to the Mentor. The Mentor will be apt to make plenty of enemies, and it is the duty of the Sidekick to not only watch the Mentor’s back, but to refute any malicious lies or other attempts of social espionage people may attempt against the Mentor.

* Handling the Details – Mentors are typically inconsiderate, or at the very least preoccupied with more-important matters. Because Mentors are so valuable, it is the role of the Sidekick to handle any secretarial-type duties that may arise. These can include: booking hotels, event planning, social media management, taking the Mentor’s car to get washed, answering the phone, and limiting the Mentor’s drinking if the Mentor appears to have a problem. Basically, anything you can picture an intern or a personal assistant doing within the realm of appropriateness and reason.

* Always Be Learning – Enlisting as a Sidekick is like going to College: you are permitted to be something of a bane on both the Mentor and society-at-large because you are ideally developing into a better human being. Bouts of incompetence will be accepted from the Sidekick because a long-term investment in making the Sidekick a more-effective person is being made. The Sidekick needs to always remember that the primary goal of taking on a Mentor is to learn, and thus a Sidekick should be hanging on the Mentor’s every action and word, even if the Sidekick is incredibly drunk (and especially if the Mentor is incredibly drunk).

* Helping the Mentor achieve her or his Goals – while the role of the Mentor is to make the Sidekick a better and more complete person, the role of the Sidekick is to help the Mentor achieve her or his goals, whatever those goals might be. If the Mentor, for example, desperately wants to have Awesome sex with Dara Torres, the Sidekick should be writing her hand-written letters once a week gently persuading Dara to think about it.

(Note: Let’s be honest – Dara Torres is a perfect woman)

While this list may seem outlandish, remember that the Mentor is investing much of her or his time and energy into making the Sidekick a better person – probably without taking money for it. Just as it would be unreasonable to expect a Chiropractor or Psychologist to work on someone for months or years without any compensation, it is unreasonable for someone to expect free Mentoring with no repayment. The very least a Sidekick can do is to facilitate the whims of the Mentor (and make no mistake – more often than not, they will be whims).

Why Be a Sidekick/Why Be a Mentor?

I have covered the concept of the Circle of Life in previous posts. The Circle of Life is the concept that a father or father-figure passes along the lessons of Life to his son from generation-to-generation. This concept of progress is how we evolve as a species, and is prominently displayed in the film The Lion King.

I implore you to seek out both a Mentor and a Sidekick. It will make Life much more rewarding. Even if you are like me and think you know everything, adopting a Mentor can really help iron out some of your most-glaring character deficiencies.

While my current preference is to take on a field of relative experts in a diverse range of skills (such as music, medicine, art, aka the GI Joe Model), I would not be averse to taking on a Mentor more similar to myself if I could find one.

Lastly, it should be noted that a Sidekick’s Sidekick is subject to the commands of a “Grandfather” Mentor under the same line of thought as military chain of command. If your Mentor’s Mentor tells you something, you should take it in with the same level of respect as you would if your own grandfather said it.

Animal Sidekicks

Animal Sidekicks have the same responsibilities outlined above. In addition, they should be adorable, so as to attract as much attention from the opposite sex as possible. Animals in fact make ideal Sidekicks, assuming they can be trained properly.

Sidekicks vs. Friends

A Sidekick is both more and less than a standard-issue Friend. In fact, as a Sidekick you should view yourself as an unpaid intern working for a very demanding boss rather than a social equal.

While it is implied that a Sidekick is not the same as a Friend based upon the divergent ways in which a Mentor treats the two, there are plenty of benefits a Sidekick receives that a more typical “Friend” may not be privy to. These Fringe Benefits, or special treatments that a Mentor might not otherwise bestow upon a “Friend” can be diverse, ranging from Footing the Bar Tabs to Taxi Service to World Domination. Every Mentor-Sidekick relationship is different, and will thus be subject to differences in Compensation.

Sidekicks vs. Wingmen/Wingwomen

A Sidekick may be eventually promoted to “Wingman” or “Wingwoman” after an appropriate term of service. While “Sidekick” is a deferential position relative to “Mentor”, a Wingman or Wingwoman is more-or-less regarded as an equal and a peer.

The goal of the Mentor is to make the Sidekick self-sufficient and reasonably cool, rounding out the deficiencies in character or skill that a Sidekick might possess. This is commonly seen in parenting: at some point, a son or daughter stops being a child (in the strict sense) and can proceed to have a more adult relationship with her or his parents. The same concept applies in Mentoring, assuming the Sidekick achieves a reasonable degree of competence and self-sufficiency in the Mentored fields.

Not every Sidekick gets promoted to Wingman or Wingwoman; as written above, the promotion to Wingperson is based on Merit, not time served. A quick learner might be promoted from Sidekick to Wingperson within a single Summer; a more obtuse Sidekick might take years or even decades of tutelage before a promotion is in order, if ever.

Like other employees, a Sidekick who is not promoted within a reasonable term is quite likely to turn on her or his Mentor. This is an unfortunate situation known as …

The Wingman (or Wingwoman) Rebellion

The Wingman Rebellion is an ugly scenario in which the Sidekick wants to be released from her or his apprenticeship, but due to social circumstances cannot shake the image of being a Sidekick. This leads to a vicious cycle in which the Sidekick projects her or his frustration onto the Mentor, regardless of how warranted these frustrations might be.

If that explanation was unclear, here is a real-world example: picture two friends (let’s call them Maverick and Goose). While Maverick and Goose consider each other equals, Maverick is much better-looking and much more popular. Goose is decent-looking, goofy, and likable, but every time a girl comes over to talk to the twosome, she flirts shamelessly with Maverick and mostly ignores Goose. When she does talk to Goose, all she does is ask him questions about Maverick.

The same thing happens no matter where Goose and Maverick go. Goose tries not to get mad at Maverick, because Maverick is constantly supportive and respectful of him, but everyone else treats Maverick like the second coming of Jesus Christ while barely acknowledging Goose. Worse, the only time anyone does give Goose the time of day, they are consciously or unconsciously condescending to him. No one takes Goose seriously, except maybe Maverick.

This happens for weeks or months or years, until one day Goose snaps and lashes out at Maverick with unreasonable anger. Maverick is confused and a little hurt, because really, he has been nothing but a loyal and supportive friend to Goose.

Maverick never went to Goose and said, “You are my Sidekick,” but due to Maverick’s Alpha Male status, both men and women alike started viewing Goose as subservient to Maverick. This is galling to the male ego. While women are generally assigned social status based upon their looks, men are assigned status based upon how other people treat them. When a man starts to be seen as a Beta Male (or in this case, a Sidekick), a negative feedback loop is created in which the Sidekick must work ten times harder to get 10% of the respect that the Alpha Male gets. One can see where this would get very frustrating.

This clip from “How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days” illustrates the difference between an Alpha Male (who is assigned the role of “Mentor”, whether he wants it or not) and Beta Males (who are assigned the roles of “Sidekick”, even though they would likely rather be “Mentors”:)

You are nuts if you do not think the other two dudes in the clip aside from Matthew McConaughey want to fuck Kate Hudson. Of course they do. They also realize they have no shot with her, so the closest they can get to being with a woman like that is to co-mingle with a “Maverick” like Matt McConaughey’s character. They have unwillingly, or at least unknowingly, elected to be Sidekicks.

The Wingman Rebellion is not always a male Sidekick rebelling against a male Mentor. For example, if a woman elects to be the “Sidekick” of a man she is very attracted to as a way of incurring his favor, she is likely going to get frustrated after years of her “Mentor” ignoring her sexually and making her do his laundry and help him chat up other girls. She will “rebel” by either angrily cutting him completely out of her life (similar to the male Wingman Rebellion), or by making one last desperation pass at him. The second scenario usually ends up being only slightly less embarrassing than having your mom walk in on you having sex.

Having said that, female Sidekicks seem to rebel against male Mentors less frequently. I attribute this to the natural male instinct to dominate, but really, who knows. I cannot speak to the tendency of female Sidekicks to rebel against female Mentors, as I have been neither.

Opposite-Sex Sidekicks

“…Like the naked leads the blind.
I know I’m selfish, I’m unkind.
Sucker love I always find,
Someone to bruise and leave behind…”

Placebo, Every Me Every You

Some less-ethical Mentors will use their physical attractiveness or Charisma to pigeon-hole a member of the opposite-sex into being her or his Sidekick. Perhaps the term “Lackey” should be used rather than Sidekick, as this type of Mentoring is rarely reciprocal.

This is distinct from a Bad Boy Mentor electing to take on a female Sidekick, despite her attraction to him. An ethical Mentor, such as a Bad Boy, will understand the situation and do his best to ensure that the Sidekick is receiving a proper education, and thus preserves the integrity of the Mentor-Sidekick dynamic. Even if the Mentor never verbally addresses the situation, the subtext is that the Mentor is in fact looking out for the interests and well-being of the Sidekick.

On the other end of the spectrum, you have unethical Users who control opposite-sex (or homosexual same-sex) Sidekicks through the power of attraction. The difference between the two types is the Lack of Reciprocation from the User. An unethical User will turn an attracted party into a Cuddle Bitch or Foot-Stool rather than a respected Sidekick.

This is neither a predominately male or female tendency. Users, indiscriminate of gender, will have lengthy histories of manipulating those attracted to them. While the discriminating and tasteful Mentor may have a preference regarding the gender of his Sidekick, there are usually logical reasons why the Mentor elects for one gender over the other, even if the only reason is social chemistry.

Has Jack Ever Been a Sidekick?

I have always had an excellent understanding of people and the world, and even at a young age demonstrated the confidence of a born Narcissist. Furthermore, you have to play to your skill-set; if you display the ability to throw a football well at a young age, it usually makes sense for you to play Quarterback rather than Receiver.

As such, I have traditionally taken on the role of Mentor, even to people considerably older than me. This is not always intentional, as my college Sidekick clamped onto me with the tenacity of a bear trap, despite my efforts to shake him long enough to get to third base with one or two of the girls in my dorm. While I do not claim to be competent in all fields, I generally play to my strengths (hockey, drinking, etc), and thus tend to serve in more of an instructional or leadership capacity.

However, there is one particular time in which I served as a Sidekick: in college, I worked for about 10 months at a strip club as a bartender. The club’s owner, whose name I do not dare write, took a particular shine to me; he memorably once said I was “so good-looking he wanted to fuck my mouth,” before taking two of the club’s young ladies back into his “office” to do hard drugs and fill-in-the-blank.

The club’s owner, who I will refer to as “Dirk”, was about 30 years older than me, and unarguably the most psychotic man I have ever met in my life. For example, he not only pulled a gun on one of his employees, but fired it at him. A routine internet search should bring up the details of the man and that incident, especially if you use the term “tax evasion”. He did not “believe in computers”, instead keeping the financial records of a $10,000-a-night cash business written on Post-Its and gas-station receipts. I am fully convinced the man tried to burn down his own club and collect the insurance money, which again a creative internet search could yield the details of.

Anyway, “Dirk” really liked me for some reason, and made every effort to take me under his wing. While I did not “party” much compared to “Dirk” (meaning I did not snort random powders off the unwashed stomachs of strippers), not once did I interact with the man without him going on some rambling tirade about God-knows-what. He was constantly dispensing advice on where I should get my haircut and what toothpaste I should use, and though he was keenly interested in how I behaved, he rarely asked questions and instead gave strict directions such as “if you leave your car windows cracked again, I am going to fucking stab you. There are all kinds of untrustworthy people around this neighborhood.” You don’t say, “Dirk”.

This certifiably-insane man does demonstrate what I sometimes fail to bring to a Mentor-Sidekick relationship: Experience. I might have an innate understanding of anatomy and the human body, but I have zero reps performing surgery on someone. Experience, regardless of the field of participation, is incalculably more valuable than all of the fancy book-learning you could hope to have. More than anything else, Experience is the trait you should look for in a Mentor.

As such, I have generally looked to people much older than me for Mentoring, such as my grandfather. Even when I was 8 years old, I thought I knew better than people my parents’ age and considered myself more or less their intellectual peer; but many older people project a sage wisdom that a 40-year old usually does not. A price tag cannot be put on the Lifetime of Experience a 65 or 70-year old can acquire. As people get into their 60s, they have seen and done it all a few times over, and can be extremely insightful. You would do well to be less dismissive and more attentive the next time some crazy old guy starts barking about economics or war, because there is a good chance he has first-hand Experience dealing in the matter at hand.

Closing Remarks

I have a great deal of experience as a Mentor, and thus thought it was my duty to write The Sidekick Manifesto before I get the bill for all of my years of repetitive head trauma from contact sports.

Additionally, my current Sidekick has gotten a little fussy and has started to test her boundaries on a regular basis. Since Negative Reinforcement seems to have run its course, I believe now is the time to appeal to her rational side and thoroughly explain the necessity of the Mentor-Sidekick dynamic, lest her petulant streak continue to bite me in the ass.

I believe this article nicely outlines the responsibilities of the Sidekick, as well as completely delves into the logic behind enforcement of the Mentor-Sidekick Dynamic. A good Mentor does not bop his Sidekick on the nose with a rolled-up newspaper just to be a prick, but as a way of maintaining the respect necessary to preserve the Mentor-Sidekick Dynamic. As long as Respect is maintained, the Mentor-Sidekick relationship can be fun and relaxed.

As for you, if you have acquired a good deal of Life Experience, perhaps the time has come for you to take on an adrift, eager-to-learn Sidekick. In the same vein, if you lack guidance or are otherwise lost, it may be time for you to seek out a learned Mentor to help right your ship. Both sides of the Mentor-Sidekick relationship can be extremely gratifying, if both sides properly accept their respective roles and heed the lessons passed along in this article.

BK

JF

Gender Psychology: Dorothy Theory 2.0

large_wizard_of_oz_blu-ray5

What is Dorothy Theory?

Here is an updated explanation of Dorothy Theory, originally posted on MySpace on February 8th, 2008:

Dorothy Theory is the notion that, in life, women (straight women) are essentially presented with three undesirable choices when seeking a mate: The Scarecrow (no brain), The Tin Man (no heart), and the Lion (no courage, i.e. no balls).

Ladies, pretend you’re Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, and you had to pick one of your three companions to be your boyfriend/husband/bang buddy. Assuming that they were all turned into good-looking, normal men, but retained their original personalities, which of them would you choose?

That’s the fundamental basis of Dorothy Theory, and the existential quandary of red-blooded women on seven continents.

Every day, women searching for Mr. Right are usually left with an unappetizing choice between an idiot, a dick, and a pussy. Every once in a while, I’m sure a man comes along who is none of the above, and women flock to him. Of course, since he’s fighting away women with a stick, he’s probably disinclined to select just one woman, since he’s neither a pussy nor an idiot.

Corollary of Dorothy Theory #1: If an incomplete man lacks a brain, a heart, or a set of balls, a Perfect Man has all three.

For the sake of making a point, assume for me that most of the straight male population is one of the three main archetypes, and women, out of loneliness, horniness, or desperation have to choose between one of the three. Which one has the fewest drawbacks?

The Scarecrow

This type has strong appeal to women that prefer to have Hand (dominance) in the relationship. High-Maintenance women also tend to prefer Scarecrows, as do the exceedingly patient, child-like, or motherly sorts. Nurses, teachers, and special education counselors might be the sort of women that find Scarecrows most appealing. Truly kind-hearted women, especially, seem to prefer this type of man.

Scarecrows just don’t understand women, or much of anything, in fact. They dress the way others (TIN HAT) tell them they should, and most of their conversations are extremely polite but excruciatingly boring. They’re excellent props at social gatherings; if you tell them to stand in one spot and smile, they’ll be happy to do so, at least until someone else comes along and manipulates them like Play-Doh. Scarecrows are generally good men, because the advantages of being bad don’t occur to them.

Scarecrows, sadly, get dumped and cheated on most easily, because they look at their woman with blind, canine affection. At first, a Scarecrow is adored by the woman targeting him, because he’s so polite, easy-going, and loyal. There’s usually a lot of passion in the bedroom, because up to this point, Scarecrows haven’t had women telling them how they need to behave.

Women get bored rather quickly with Scarecrows, and usually end up leaving them for a Tin Man. It’s fun for a while for a woman to have a life-sized Ken doll, but because Scarecrows tend to be so agreeable, women essentially take their balls from them and are left with an estrogen-laden puppet who can’t keep up with them in conversation.

Regrettably, most women eventually leave Scarecrows, even if the Scarecrow in question is a really good man. The frustration of not being understood, combined with a Scarecrow’s predictable and static nature, eventually compels women to look to greener pastures. Generally, after deciding she’s had enough of the Scarecrow, the much flashier Tin Man tends to catch her eye.

The Tin Man

tinman

Women usually hop from the Scarecrow to the Tin Man because the Tin Man clearly has balls, which the woman in our example has long since stripped from the Scarecrow. Additionally, the Tin Man is obviously clever, and has an intuitive knowledge of women. The Tin Man, by far, gets women the hottest and is most able to sustain the initial attraction and animal lust at the onset of the relationship. A good Tin Man is likely to make most any woman the envy of her friends, which is something most women inherently desire.

Most Tin Men are exceptionally charming and very adept at reeling women in. For a while, they tend to mask their obvious emotional shortcomings by being smooth, exciting, terrific in bed, and presentable. Many are capable of thought-provoking conversation, and an equal number of compensate for their emotional void through extravagant gestures and social skill.

Tin Men do the best impersonation of the Perfect Man.

Tin Men are fun and passionate…until the woman realizes that’s all they are. The modern representation of the Tin Man is the Dick, a man who does what he pleases when he pleases. Tin Men are selfish, and they tend to be completely unfaithful and unreliable.

Most women spend a good chunk of their lives pounding their head against the wall trying to get a Tin Man (or Tin Men) to care about them. Some women think that if they act a certain way or are good enough in bed or are submissive enough, the Tin Man will suddenly wake up one day and be completely in love with them. Tin Men are as frustrating to deal with as Scarecrows, but in a uniquely different way.

To anyone with a brain, this should seem foolish: A Tin Men does not have a heart. That’s why he’s a Tin Man. A Tin Man is not going to change his self-centered ways unless he can logically convince himself to do so; even then, any change made is going to be largely, if not completely, self-serving.

The bottom line is that dating a Tin Man is ultimately not fulfilling for a woman, because he will never be able to offer the emotional connection almost all women seek in a long-term relationship.

Most women eventually wise up and realize they’re never going to make a Tin Man feel for them. Whereas a Scarecrow is easy to change and manipulate, a Tin Man is frustratingly, stubbornly set in his ways. He thinks of himself first and everyone else a distant second. As most women come to terms with this, they seek to find someone who can provide the sensitivity the Tin Man could not.

The Cowardly Lion

After dealing with both the cement-headed Scarecrow and the aloof and incorrigible Tin Man, if a woman is not yet ready to give up in frustration and apply for a full-time Carpet-Licker Membership Card, the Cowardly Lion can become an appealing option.

The Cowardly Lion is a man who, either through socialization, psychological makeup, or hormonal predilection, has an innate and remarkable understanding of women. He radiates warmth, kindness, and sensitivity. He has none of the emotional shortcomings of the Tin Man and displays much more emotional comprehension than the Scarecrow.

The Cowardly Lion becomes most desirable for women directly following a long and fruitless battle of wills with the ever-stubborn Tin Man. The Cowardly Lion understands; he cares when a woman is upset and does his best to comfort her or cheer her up. He is a constant, steady stream of good feelings and a perpetual ego-boost, a combination that seems positively magical after a woman has experienced the emotional turbulence that almost always accompanies the Tin Man.

One would think, after exhausting her previous two options, the woman would happily settle down with a caring, empathetic soul like the Lion, right? Here’s the rub: almost all women are completely sexually disinterested with a standard Cowardly Lion.

After all, as the name implies, he’s a complete pussy, which in-honesty extremely few women would concede to being turned on by. It’s great to have a man who understands the perils and pitfalls of womanhood, at least until the woman in question starts to feel frisky and realizes the Cowardly Lion couldn’t get her wet with a 100-foot fire hose.

This is a point of frustration among both sexes: women fawn over and adore men who display androgynous or even feminine traits such as kindness, the ability to listen, gentility, the desire to help and please others, etc. The list goes on and on. Yet despite this fascination, women often show a complete lack of sexual interest in this type of men, as the characteristics that appease women on one level completely dissatisfy them on another.

Many men logically conclude that sensitivity is What Women Want, because women claim to adore these traits in their ideal man. The only problem is, while women have been socially conditioned to laud these traits, on an animal, subconscious level women find them boring or even repulsive. At the end of the day, most women want a Man, not a timid eunuch who won’t fight for her or otherwise assert himself in society.

This is why you see so many younger women sleeping with douchebags that have nothing going for them, then running home to sob into the ever-patient ear of a Cowardly Lion after said douchebag screws them over or kicks them out so he can deal drugs, clean his guns, and/or fuck other women. The masculine part of a man is non-negotiable in the eyes of most women, which eliminates most Cowardly Lions from serious consideration in the eyes of most women.

Does this make any sense logically? Of course not. But Logic (the Male Way of Thinking) and Anti-Logic (the Female Way of Thinking) are topics of discussion for another time. Here’s what you need to derive from this lesson: most women, though many of them will deny it to the grave, like to be dominated, led, told what to do, man-handled, and played with rough. You don’t have to like this, as it flies in the face of most Feminist leanings, but I know what I know.

These are practices, the kind you read about in those best-selling 50 Shades novels, are utterly foreign to a Cowardly Lion. In all likelihood, a Cowardly Lion finds it confusing, or even appalling and misogynistic, that a woman finds crude behavior like this sexually arousing. Yet when pressed, most women would admit that they find masculine dominance very attractive.

You don’t have to believe me, but you might consider some historical perspective: known Boys’ Club presidents such as Sean Connery (James Bond), John Wayne, Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, and James Dean, are simultaneously remembered as the biggest misogynists and the most appealing male sex icons of all time. Why, you may ask? Because the same masculine qualities that repel women on a logical level strongly attract them on a physical level.

Women, sooner or later, realize that they cannot be in any kind of exclusive, sex-based relationship with a Cowardly Lion because he cannot fulfill her on the most critical level, while a Scarecrow and a Tin Man can. Realization of this fact usually sends women screaming in frustration and ready to swear off men forever. Until…

The Perfect Man

As I mentioned at the top of this article, if an Imperfect Man lacks a brain, a heart, or balls, by definition the Perfect Man has all three.

Stop and think about it, ladies: if you met your Prince Charming, what would he be like? He certainly wouldn’t have any of the flaws detailed above. Though fantasy often presents him as having enough money to ensure that any woman in his life would have no responsibilities in life besides getting sun by the pool and banging him twice a day, the metaphorical Prince Charming is nothing more than a man with a brain, a heart, and balls.

Go watch any Disney animated movie. Go watch any romantic comedy. Read any romance novel or epic love story. Find me contrary evidence where a woman does not find “Happily Ever After” with a man who has a brain, a heart, and balls.

As always, there are the questions of money and loyalty that concern every woman looking for a man. In response, I propose this: if a man has a brain and balls, just how long will it be before he concocts some scheme to make a good deal of money? If he has a brain and a heart, a man certainly will know how true he can be to a woman without being taken advantage of.

Additionally, having both balls and a heart, the Perfect Man knows when he needs to battle for a woman, as well as what it will take to keep her happy and interested. As the title implies, he will do his duties as a man perfectly.

But as I stated above, if a man is able to cultivate and maintain a brain, a heart, and balls, why in the world would he limit himself to one woman when he has a veritable score of woman begging him to impregnate them?

Perhaps love. After all, the Perfect Man is in possession of a large, altruistic heart.

Regardless, any woman reading this will agree that the Perfect Man is scarce and hard to find. And that, friends, is the gist of Dorothy Theory: given the dearth of Perfect Men walking the globe, what alternatives does a woman have?

Simple: a Scarecrow, a Tin Man, or a Cowardly Lion.

Here’s what a man can expect if he knows himself to be a Scarecrow, a Tin Man, or a Cowardly Lion:

Scarecrows will generally find themselves in frequent long-term relationships because most women will consider a brain to be the most acceptable loss among the three qualities inherent to the Perfect Man.

However, a Scarecrow will also subject himself to the most heartache and emotional distress, because women involved with Scarecrows will almost always become bored and susceptible to being stolen away by more exciting, less predictable men, usually Tin Men.

Tin Men can expect lots of brief sexual relationships and women frantically chasing after them, because it is a basic fantasy of almost all women to be the one who changes the heartless man and makes him complete. However, women fail to recognize that dozens, if not hundreds of women prior to her have tried and failed to complete the Tin Man.

Eventually, after an often-prolonged ride on the Tin Man’s emotional roller coaster, a woman says enough is enough and, after one last emotionally exhausting attempt to get the Tin Man to feel something, departs in a fit of rage and frustration. Though a Tin Man will never be long between women, he will often be long between women he trusts, and consequently, love.

(SF Note: However, Tin Men do get to console themselves with the fact that lots of women give you that “I’d fuck you right now, but I’m stuck with the guy who just bought me dinner” look over the shoulders and behind the backs of their current “boyfriends”. In fact, a woman is giving me that look right now as she’s leaving the coffee shop with the guy that just bought her a Cinnamon Roll. So that’s at least something to smile about :-D)

Cowardly Lions can expect to have plenty, and I do mean plenty, of female friends. They will find a level of intimacy with women that most Scarecrows and Tin Men will rarely experience. However, a Cowardly Lion can expect to spend a lot of time silently suffering while the woman or women he so cares about gnaw his ear off talking about their current boyfriends, fuck buddies, crushes, and the sexual fantasies she has that she will never experience with him.

The good news for a Cowardly Lion is this sexless hell will eventually end when a woman starts dating a Scarecrow, and only calls upon him when she grows completely frustrated with the Scarecrow’s inability to understand her the way a Cowardly Lion does. So at least you have that to look forward to.

As always, you can thank me later when this all makes sense.

BK
SF

****

I barely had to edit that post. Over three years later, it remains iron-clad and razor-sharp.

The reason Dorothy Theory suddenly needs re-visited is that the world is growing more and more sensitive by the day. This is great if you’re a Cowardly Lion, because you’ve probably found a gaggle of pussies in lilac polo shirts who will listen to John Mayer and Death Cab for Cutie with you as cut hearts out of red construction paper for the women you claim to adore.

As a Tin Man, this concerns me greatly because actual men are becoming an endangered species. Seriously, as Paula Cole once wrote, “Where have all the Cowboys gone?”

This is annoying to me because almost everywhere I go, I’m outnumbered ten-to-one by social manipulators, people who talk shit and won’t back it up, menstrual pseudo-males who hate red meat and contact sports, and so on.

The worst part is that as much as this vexes me and people like me, this does the greatest disservice to women. The explanation of Dorothy Theory should have made it clear that a Cowardly Lion is certainly no prize for a woman. The idea is to become a Perfect Man, not to become a weepy eunuch for the sole purpose of relating to women better.

My response to this unfortunate regression in the state of 21st Century Masculinity is this:

I will always remain a Man. I am far from a Perfect Man, but in the modern world, simply accepting the responsibilities of Manhood gives me a major leg-up on the competition.

I am going to continue to openly lust after and say sexually provocative things to women I find attractive. I don’t care how many women slap me in the face or how many clowns or douchebags try to  pick passive-aggressive fights with me, I am going to stay a man. Even if I’m the Last Goddamn Man on Earth, holed up in some apartment with the entire James Bond collection and a library of MILF porn like a Testosterone-jacked Vincent Price, I am not going to turn into one of these modern-age sob-sisters who agonizes over whether kissing a girl might betray the sanctity of their friendship.

At some point, I’ll hopefully be able to mentor a few younger guys and teach them that telling a girl she has a nice ass isn’t sexual harassment (it’s a compliment), and possibly help perpetuate the male species.

Furthermore, I’m doing this for women, because once most of the “men” in the world turn into effete twats with Justin Bieber haircuts and no ability to protect and provide for their loved ones, women will be the ones to suffer.

This is not the first, nor will it be the last time, I will have to defend my unconventional worldview. But I’m nothing if not experienced in the ways of the world, and my view is that Men of quality are an endangered species in the modern world. Striving to be a Man of quality is the best way I know to treat women, so I will continue to make it my purpose to both be a better Man, as well as educate younger or less-experienced Men in this regard.

Jack

 

Safe-Listing

Safe-Listing is an unconscious process women execute when assessing a man, particularly one who has or may have value to them as a sexual partner.

Speaking in simple evolutionary terms, women are much more guarded and selective about whom they agree to fuck and with whom they’ll allow themselves to be vulnerable than men are. This is for a number of reasons:

1)   Men, generally being bigger and stronger, are obviously capable of inflicting violence upon women. A woman is not going place herself in a scenario of vulnerability with a man she views as potentially threatening or unsafe.

2)   Men are obviously able to copulate with and impregnate dozens, if not hundreds, of women in a relatively short time span. From the evolutionists’ perspective, this gives him countless chances to allow his genes to be transferred to a future offspring. Women, meanwhile, are much more invested; the duration and restrictions of female pregnancy mean that if she’s going to have sex and expose herself to the chance (however minimal) of pregnancy, it had better be with an adequate genetic resource or a decent provider.

So what does this information mean to you quasi-literate clowns who can’t use four-syllable words in casual conversation?

Women, possessing the Darwinian critical eye, are going to be skeptical of anything a man does or says until he gets Safe-Listed. It doesn’t matter if it’s an innocuous comment or a bold gesture such as grabbing her ass – if a man is not on a woman’s Safe List, she’s likely going to respond negatively.

She’s going to respond more negatively to a more extreme action or remark, which is one of the myriad reasons all those books on ‘How to Talk to Women’ or ‘What to do with a Woman in Bed’ are utter panda shit: her response to whatever a man does is dependent upon on how high on a woman’s Safe List or how low on a woman’s Unsafe List said man is.

Extremely Charismatic or polarizing men are going to make a lot of women hate them right out of the gate, because their extremist comments and conduct is going to be like nails on chalk board to a woman who hasn’t Safe Listed him.

Obviously, in most cases it behooves a man to get Safe-Listed by women, particularly women he wants to sleep with. Here are some ways to get Safe Listed:

1)   Social Proof

This is the easiest way to get Safe Listed, in my opinion. Having someone, or better yet several people, vouch for you is the least complicated way to get a woman to drop her emotional and physical barriers.

Surely you’re familiar with the concept of having Mutual Friends, or having a Mutual Friend act as a liaison between two relative strangers. For women, having a strange man “approved” by a Safe Listed acquaintance or friend is going to be the quickest way to get her to warm up to you.

Most athletes, celebrities, and the like have built-in Social Proof. Women will typically Safe List a man of celebrity, regardless of his personal appeal to her, because she may feel she knows enough about him from seeing him acting, dancing, playing sports, singing, etc. Because he has proven his value to society, he has been “pre-qualified”, and most women will be apt to see his actions and words in a positive light (even if the logical parts of their brains are telling them otherwise).

Lesser lights with high social value include people such as doctors, firemen, policemen, etc. Anyone who has a skill that society values, particularly if the skill has specific value to a woman (for example, a plastic surgeon has specific value to a woman because he theoretically can keep her beautiful for an extended period of time), has built-in Social Proof and is more apt to be Safe-Listed by women.

In general, in our society higher social stature is commensurate with higher income; a doctor, someone who can preserve life, is more highly compensated and sought-after than a personal trainer, who can enhance health but can’t necessarily remove a cancerous tumor. The dynamic between salary and social placement is mostly parallel and reciprocal.

You could divide Male Social Proof into three Tiers: Celebrity (pro athletes, rock stars, actors, etc.), Productive (doctors, lawyers, police officers, etc.), and Lower-End (bartenders, servers, retail clerks…pretty much any non-specialized or minimally specialized field). The higher Tier a man is in, and then the higher he is within said Tier, the more Social Proof he is likely to have. Thus, more women are likely to Safe-List him.

2)   Time Accrued

Have you ever noticed how people who spend a lot of time together, such as people who live, go to school, or work together end up as great friends or in sexual relationships? Even when there isn’t immediate attraction?

This is the most notable example of Time Accrued.

From the time a woman comes into contact with a man, a little invisible clock starts that keeps track of all the time they spend together. When a certain amount of time has lapsed (which, in general, will greatly vary from man to man), a woman will automatically and unconsciously Safe-List a man. Then, if the man has adequate Reproductive Value (sexual appeal) to the woman, she may begin to develop feelings of lust or sexual attraction for the man.

Again, this can and often does occur, even if there was little or no sexual attraction from the woman at the onset of the relationship.

This is why we date. Men take women to places of relative safety (bars, restaurants, movie theaters, mini-golf courses, S&M workshops, etc.) to allow time to lapse from a woman’s intangible Time Accrued clock. While neither sex might be consciously aware of this, both sexes instinctively know this to be true.

As stated above, every woman’s Time Accrued clock is going to vary quite a bit from man to man. A man to whom a woman is attracted may have a very short Time Accrued clock (such as under one hour), where as a potentially threatening or unattractive man may have a much longer clock (eight or more hours). In my experience, the time a strange man takes to get Safe Listed will be 3-9 hours, which coincidentally enough is the average time it takes to complete three typical dates.

With practice, men can get better at lowering the Time Accrued clocks on most women. By getting better at building comfort, rapport, and eventually trust in shorter time frames and windows of opportunity, a man can get himself Safe-Listed through the Time Accrued pathway.

(SF Note: The downside of getting Safe-Listed this way is that it may negate a woman’s desire to sleep with a man. If a man builds rapport with a woman by telling embarrassing childhood stories, humiliating himself, or otherwise depicting himself as a clown or pussy, she may begin to view him as a ‘buddy’ or ‘brother’, thus dispersing any sexual feelings she may have had toward him. Longtime readers, you may notice this TIES DIRECTLY INTO LADDER THEORY, which is why Ladder Theory is still the most consequential piece in the history of writing.)

3)   The Free Pass or The Lifetime Pass

The Free Pass is given when a woman wants to sleep with a man based on pure physical attraction and lust. This is the same thing as having a crush on someone you’ve never spoken to; no matter what comes out of his or her mouth, it’s likely to be received with the most positive spin possible. A woman who has unconsciously issued a man a ‘Free Pass’ has Safe-Listed him without regard to Social Proof, Time Accrued, or any other precursors.

The Lifetime Pass is an unlimited Free Pass. Some women want to sleep with certain guys no matter what these men do or say to them. Female-to-male Sexual Attraction like this sometimes defies all and any explanation or logic, and admittedly incidence of this is rare.

Male Safe-Listing?

Men generally do not Safe-List women. In my estimation, if a man wants to sleep with a woman, he’s ready to rail her from the moment he lays eyes on her. If he doesn’t initially want to sleep with her, there’s little she can immediately do to enhance her standing (with the possible exceptions of chemically-altering him through alcohol and drugs and/or paying him).

Most men could give a hot fuck about Social Proof. Miley Cyrus may or may not be a gifted, rich musician, but I could care less, because I find her to be a heinous, vulgar beast. Unless she’s willing to pay Duquesne University a considerable portion of my student loans or buy me another 1997 Eagle Talon TSI (manual), I’m probably not banging her.

By contrast, Scarlet Johansson could be a babbling, crazy bag lady, pushing a Foodland shopping cart aimlessly up and down Mount Washington, and I would still want to bend her over my couch every minute of every day. 

Time Accrued is equally irrelevant to men. Watch any chick flick or teen soap opera where the girl next door continuously throws her cooch at the dopey Paul Rudd/James Van der Beek-type, and notice how the amount of time the two spend together talking and taking walks along the shore isn’t prompting him to rip her clothes off. If a man isn’t fucking a woman, it isn’t a matter of his reluctance to be vulnerable with her.

Final Remarks

Safe-Listing is something that has developed in women over time as a means of selecting the best possible mate or mates.

Because men are less concerned with a woman’s ability in child rearing and providing, and because they don’t have nearly as much invested in a potential pregnancy, they’re likely to be much less selective about whom they sleep with.

The ideal goal for a man is not to trick a woman into trusting him, but to get Safe-Listed through one or more of the mechanisms described above. Then, if the man has adequate Replication Value (sex appeal), a woman will be much more apt to fuck him (which is usually a man’s main intention). At the very least, getting Safe-Listed by a woman is likely to provide an in-roads to meeting other women, as being Safe-Listed and “Pre-Approved” by another woman offers a fairly high degree of Social Proof.