My dad once told me, “When it comes to women, you gotta be rich or good looking.” I was a fairly lazy kid, so I focused on working-out incessantly and optimizing my “look.” This practice later included such accoutrements as an effeminate mullet shellacked into place with an econo-size can of “Super-Hold” Aqua-Net and a badass Pontiac Trans-Am with an enormous, metallic, fire-breathing bird decal splayed across the hood. Whereas my brother took right to hard work. We both played the cards we were dealt. Since I was well aware that my boyish good looks might one day fail me, I decided upon a career that would score me women well into senility: A pilot. Due to consistently poor pre-flight planning as a student pilot, that career didn’t pan-out and I listened to my Lit professor to become a writer. I’m still waiting for a woman to seductively writhe into my lap at a bar upon learning that I’m a wordsmith. Whoever said, “The pen is mightier than the sword” wasn’t trying to get laid.
I grew-up with no females in my life besides my mom and two German Shepherds – none of whom would listen to me, and one who bit me on the face. And, being adopted, I felt abandoned by my birth mother, so I was fairly vexed with women in general. My parents have been happily married for 50 years. Whereas my longest relationship currently stands at 3 years – a milestone I proudly closed-out in 2012. Looking back, maybe I should’ve married that girl. But, she was hardly the last great thing I let slip away. Today, I am fortunate to have many female friends that I cherish, all of who incessantly pummel me with the same grievance: That despite their crazy good looks, vast intelligence, formidable jobs, porcelain veneers, breast implants, and leased BMW’s, not one of them can – just once – be hit on by a good looking guy with a stable job, no garnished wages for child-support owed, and having never spent time as a child answering the question, “Point to where on this doll the priest touched you.” I wish – nary – pray these men will show themselves at once, so my female friends will stop asking me where they are. My response that, “Most of them are erroneously incarcerated” won’t hold these ravenous women much longer. In the words of my gorgeous friend, Alicia – a 31 year old ER nurse in San Francisco – “What the hell is going on that only ‘trolls’ hit on me?! Even worse, why do they think I’d ever be interested?”
Ladies, truth is the men you seek are all around you. And, they are not all “gay.” Though, the best-looking men are, in fact, gay. No one knows why. The reason you are not meeting these great men is stunningly simple: Good looking straight men have intricately fragile egos. The good-looking, “together” man you so desire would love to approach you while learning of your affinity for the unparalleled comfort of 1,200 thread-count Egyptian sateen cotton sheets and roomfuls of handmade, soy vanilla pillar candles. Alas, he cannot. “Why?” Because good-looking man cannot mentally afford the potentiality of rejection. His ego – though presumptively intact – remains so only through irregular interludes of positive external validation. Were you to reject good-looking man on the basis of his popped-collar, sockless leather shoes, taupe Khaki’s, or his boy-band fetish for example, you would send him emotionally reeling back to the 9th grade, where he was turned down for the Sade Hawkins dance by the whorishly hot cheerleader, Tracy Stevens, on account of his acne and head-gear. It has taken good-looking man the past 20 years to assimilate the facsimile of self-esteem you now see propped against the mahogany bar.
As a man, I know one thing when it comes to men: We are often blissfully ignorant of our true image around women. And, the more unattractive the man, the more false bravado and less to lose he seemingly has while on the prowl. It often becomes a numbers game of ‘chumming the waters.’ Though the return is surprisingly low, there are just enough inconsistent triumphs to perpetuate the behavior. Can this anomaly be chalked-up to ignorance, poor lighting, or feigned confidence?? Maybe. But, there is also a scientific explanation.
According to the findings published in Psychological Science, “Unattractive men who are looking for a quick hookup are more likely to overestimate how attractive women find them.” Researchers from Williams College and University of Texas at Austin put 96 men and 103 women, all undergraduates, through a speed-dating scenario. Horny collegiates make superb study subjects. They first took surveys rating themselves on attractiveness and their level of desire for a short-term sexual encounter. The men and women then talked with five members of the opposite sex for about three minutes each. After each meeting, participants rated the partners on physical attractiveness and how interested in them sexually the partner appeared to be.
What is grossly perplexing, however, is that within this study women consistently underestimated their male partners’ interest in them sexually. How outlandish of them! C’mon, we’re guys – the gender that has been caught fornicating pumpkins in daylight. In our defense (not of the pumpkin scenario), researchers claim there’s an evolutionary explanation for this discrepancy. “There are two ways you can make an error as a man,” says psychologist, Carin Perilloux. “Either you think, ‘Oh, wow, that woman’s really interested in me’ – and it turns out she’s not.” Or, “That the woman is interested and he’s missed out on a mating opportunity. That’s a huge cost in terms of reproductive success,” according to Perilloux. “For men who are looking for casual sex, they’re only limited by the number of women they can get to have sex with them, so overestimation also makes sense in that situation,” he added. So, that notion of “chumming the waters” holds some merit. It truly is a numbers game, and just the right quantity of “no’s” will yield that elusive “yes.” Women have no one to blame but themselves for the continual ambush of unattractive men in clubs, at parties, or at the food court in the mall. If women ceased rewarding this maligned behavior, evolution would eventually disperse it, and we would meekly sulk back into the dank, sticky corners of poorly lit strip clubs. Don’t feed wild bears, ladies.
All of these behaviors play-out in the real world wherever there are mixed genders, alcohol, darkness, or … air. I recently ran into an unappealing (by most anyone’s standards) male acquaintance with a defective personality at an outdoor concert in California. I will call him, “Michael” because that’s his real name, and I hate that he insists on the full two syllables rather than just “Mike.” As Mike stood too close to me and I faked interest in whatever he was saying, I interjected to point out a stunning blonde about 10 yards away. While I was busy convincing myself that she was both unavailable and out-of-my-league, Mike was already introducing himself to her while violating her personal space with a contemplative look regarding the viability of dry-humping her thigh. His predatory nature and ability to stalk female prey like a panther were somehow impressive. Delusional guys seemingly have no fear – and crafty catlike prowess. This might be due to a lifetime of getting rejected by women, and the need to continually hone one’s skills in order to replicate. As I stood waiting for the beautiful blonde to throw her $10 concert beer in his face, I was met with another surprise: Mike entering her number into his cell phone. From whence does such madness spring?! I convinced myself of an additional falsehood: That she had given him a bogus number. A week later, I learned I was wrong on this accord when he called to tell me about his amazing date with her. I was beside myself with resentment. I don’t know why. Mike, and the majority of guys like him never score a second date without Rohypnol and their own “Silence of the Lambs” basement well. But, that’s okay with them because, like lone sex gypsies, their guiding principle is to “stick-and-move.”
I refuse to be part of this subset of men, even if I unknowingly am. I still have a smidgen of pride. That said, now that I’m older, I’m also a realist. I am cognizant that my available dating pool is rapidly shrinking as I age, while my ears and nose will continue to grow until I appear a “Shrek” version of myself. Dad was right. I’d better make some money.