I’m known amongst my friends as a serial dater. I enjoy going on first dates. Or I used to. In the last few years, I began to feel an encroaching anxiety before every first date. There was one thing standing between me and enjoying dating. It was a monster. Every time I met a girl I liked, I would sit at my computer and open my browser. My fingers would start tapping. And I couldn’t resist. Clicking. Going through images. Info.
“Look what I have to show you,” the monster would beckon me. And it had a lot to show me.
It knew my date’s favorite books, movies, music, even quotes. It knew her interests. It showcased videos of her with friends. And worst of all it was the gatekeeper of her photos. Sometimes just a few, sometimes hundreds, thousands. So many photos of the girl I hadn’t even gone out with yet! The monster would only show her good ones, of course. The bad ones were untagged, which made me wonder what the bad ones looked like. That monster was Facebook. And it was ruining my ability to date like a normal human being. Keep reading »
The e-mail simply read: I’ll pay you $350.
I lay down and thought about this. I thought about a three, a five and a zero. How pretty they looked altogether, no periods to dash out the mass. How nice they would look in my empty piggy bank. I thought about what was being asked of me for the $350. The man wanted me to, shall we say, pleasure myself in front of him. As a straight 21-year-old, newbie journalist, this wasn’t really what I had expected when signing on to do an article about sex parties for a hipster-porn-rag mag.
But this is where my “literary” endeavors had led me — to possible prostitution. The want and need for our readers to hear what it’s like for me, a young Jewish man, living in NYC, to attend, watch and maybe, maybe participate in a sex party, had gotten me into this predicament. Keep reading »
It’d been a nice night with mixed drinks and homey Brooklyn fare. The conversation hadn’t teetered, except in those first moments when we were testing the waters. Dipping our feet.
Then she said, “I find it funny that people feel uncomfortable in silence.”
I didn’t say anything. She smiled. We felt comfortable. Keep reading »
One of the most difficult ordeals a guy can face is the delicate matter of ending a relationship that his girlfriend still wants to continue, especially if he still cares for her. There are some good ways to go about it, but infinitely more bad ones, and I’ve certainly plumbed the latter category more times than I’d like to admit over the years. So, in the interests of sparing men (and women) the mistakes I’ve made, here’s what I’ve learned from my past. Keep reading »
Hugo’s piece was originally published at the Good Men Project Magazine.
Both at the Good Men Project and at my own blog, my most popular posts in terms of page-views are invariably those that focus on one particularly controversial subject: older men and younger women. (Here’s “What Young Women Are Really Looking For From Older Men.”)
As I’ve laid out in those pieces, for a number of reasons I think we should be suspicious of age-disparate heterosexual relationships in which the male partner is substantially older than the female one, and in which the woman is still quite young (say, under 23). Put simply, the potential problems in these relationships seem to diminish based less upon the actual number of years in between the partners and more upon the age of the woman involved. I’m more concerned about an 18 year-old woman and a 30 year-old man than I am about a 30 year-old woman and a 55 year-old man, even though the latter relationship has twice the number of years separating the partners. The research of psychologists like Lynn Phillips—who has written extensively about relationships between teen girls (including those above the age of consent) and older men—bears out how damaging these relationships can be. Keep reading »
Not so long ago, my wife and I were talking to a recently-divorced friend of ours. She’s younger than we are, in her early thirties, and as far as she’s concerned, she’s never tying the knot again. Not because of an objection to the institution, but because she’s convinced that most men marry for one reason: they want to be taken care of emotionally.
“I got tired of thinking about someone else’s needs all the time,” our friend said. “I’m prepared to take care of a baby. But I don’t want my first-born to be my second child.” When she heard that, my wife turned to me and gave me a grin. She knows my history.
In three previous marriages and a handful of other long-term relationships (I haven’t been single for long since I was 16), I found myself—like so many men—taking on the parts of the “naughty boy” and the “helpless child.” Time and again, I turned wives and girlfriends into mother-figures, and the result was inevitably disastrous. Keep reading »
Last week’s discussion about guys, porn, and honesty raised a number of interesting questions. How much truth do we owe our partners about what we do when they’re not around – and how much should we share about what runs through our heads? Almost everyone agrees that outright lies are bad. But are there some questions that invite lies? Are there some questions we shouldn’t even ask? Keep reading »
Fact: women are too often judged solely on their appearance, and treated differently based on how they measure up to men’s ideas of what they should look like. This much is obvious, and I’m sure the majority of us here applaud the women who stood up and continue to stand up to this offensive treatment that reduces women to just one aspect of who they are, while ignoring their many other strengths. But—there had to be a “but”—women should acknowledge that they often do the same thing to men—not based on looks as much as on our jobs, careers, and success. Keep reading »
There are few more famous snippets of film dialogue than this exchange from the 1989 Blly Crystal and Meg Ryan classic, “When Harry Met Sally”:
Harry: You realize of course that we could never be friends.
Sally: Why not?
Harry: What I’m saying is — and this is not a come-on in any way, shape or form — is that men and women can’t be friends because the sex part always gets in the way.
Keep reading »
“I was always daddy’s little girl. We did everything together. He was my hero. My father was always there with a hug for me; when I was little, he let me climb all over him like he was a jungle gym.
And then my body changed. I developed early; I had boobs by 11. And all of a sudden, my Dad stopped hugging me or touching me. He went overnight from being my best friend to being remote and critical.”
I read that in a student’s journal earlier this semester (quoted with permission). I’ve read and heard similar things countless times over the course of nearly 20 years teaching gender studies and doing youth ministry. Ask any family therapist who works with teen girls, and they’ll report the same thing I’ve heard: story after story of fathers withdrawing physical affection as soon as their daughters hit puberty. Keep reading »