a little advice

You know, I don’t have a lot of experience reading men’s magazines.  Mostly b/c I am not a man!  And I get tired of reading the jocular buddy-buddy tone that infuses most articles (which is not to say there aren’t some good ones, like Maxim‘s investigative piece on the suspicious deaths of women in the military.  Quite surprising coming from a borderline-pornographic magazine dedicated almost solely to the objectification of women…but I guess women aren’t as hot when they’ve been beaten to death by their boyfriends).  Sometimes I feel sorry for men, b/c they do not seem to have as many magazines as the ladies.  When I go to the gym, I can choose btwn. Cosmo and Glamour and Marie Claire and Redbook &c. &c to tell me that I’m not good enough and had better do some extra sit-ups.  And buy some new eyeshadow.  Men need to feel inadequate too!  They deserve to be criticized for having puny muscles and poor grooming, and offered the appropriate products to alleviate those ills!

And then there’s those crazy women!  They are so complicated!  They keep talking about “feelings” and “taking responsibility.”  And what’s w/ all the eyeshadow?  Why is it all the same color?  What’s a guy to do?  Never fear!  Men’s Health has come to your rescue.  While it may not be able to explain women, it can help you CONFUSE them.  Thus distracted, they will be unable to use their wiles on you.  To this end, Men’s Health (which boasts a circulation of 1 million +, making it the second most popular men’s magazine in the country) has provided a list of ways to “seduce her in 10 minutes.”

OH MY GOD, I thought.  THEY KNOW ABOUT THE POLAR BEARS.  Except, oh, wait never mind.  Forget I said that.  Here are a few highlights from the actual article, along w/ a few editorial comments from Yours Truly, who happens to be A Woman, and thus feels qualified to comment!

1. Your Approach
Her brain quickly vets your height and facial symmetry the moment you meet. Now convince her of your character. Approach confidently; don’t pretend to bump into her. “Men tend to talk to each other at angles to avoid confrontation,” says Rutgers University anthropologist Helen Fisher, Ph.D., author ofWhy We Love. “But women face each other head-on and maintain eye contact.”

So, dude, you have to be handsome.  That’s what “symmetrical” means.  Do they make male eyeshadow?  You’d better get some.  Also, don’t sneak up behind her, even if your bros do it all the time and think it’s HILARIOUS.  Believe it or not, that’s a turn-off!  Crazy, right?  But it must be true–the anthropology lady said so!

2. Your Introduction
A good handshake isn’t a shortcut to her bed, but a bad one can doom you. Hands are loaded with tactile nerves, and people with weak, clammy handshakes were perceived as shy and neurotic in a recent University of Alabama study. So hold your drink in your left hand and give her a firm but not bone-crushing grasp. Pay attention to her grip as well: The same study showed that women who give firmer handshakes tend to be more adventurous.

If you have a crappy handshake, no one will EVER love you.  EVER.  Also, if you are left-handed!  That’s the bad news.  You know, I was taught that a firm handshake makes a person seem more assertive and confident, and made people take her more seriously.  But ACTUALLY it’s lady-code for “I’m a slut!”  WHO KNEW?

3. Your Voice
The most attractive women prefer deep-voiced men, according to a recent study by Scottish researchers. It suggests high testosterone levels, a sign of strength and reproductive prowess. Push out air with your diaphragm, not your throat. This lengthens the column of air moving past your vocal cords. “It’s like a built-in subwoofer,” says voice coach Joanne Joella.

I think you know what you need to do.  Yep, start taking steroids.  And if she’s not attracted to your newly deepened voice, it’s okay, b/c she’s probably ugly!

4. Your Icebreaker
Say something that will draw out details about her. “Your friends seem nice—how did you get to know them?” is a compliment and a window into her past. Forming a bond will release dopamine, a mood booster in her brain. Show off your interest with verbal nods of agreement (“uh-huh,” “go on”), adds Alex Pentland, Ph.D., an MIT professor….

The ability to convincingly feign interest is an important part of seduction; obviously w/e she’s saying won’t actually be interesting.  Put yourself on autopilot and imagine her naked instead.  Alternatively, you can just slip her some L-DOPA in order to simulate that mood-bosting effect; no conversation required!  Better still, one of the documented side-effects is excessive libido!  Just get out of there before the other ones (including hair loss and gastrointestinal bleeding) kick in.

5. Your Conversation
We all know to ask lots of questions and to avoid flat-out boasting. But don’t sell yourself short. “Women listen very carefully for signs of status and wealth,” says Fisher….Another crucial conversation tip: Talk at the same pace she does and she’ll consider you intelligent, kind, con-fident, and ambitious, according to a University of Maryland study.

Haha, women are so shallow!  Also, stupid.  Make sure to talk slowly and use small words, so she doesn’t think you’re a meanie (that’s ladyspeak for condescending snarge).

6. Your Body Language
Attraction causes couples to mirror each other’s body language. But don’t be overeager to connect. Stay relaxed and let her set the tone, says Lisa Clampett, founder of the Matchmaking Institute. Fidgeting conveys nervousness and triggers the empathetic release of stress chemicals in her brain….

Whatever you do, don’t release the stress chemicals.  She might want to talk about her feelings!

7. Your Deal Closer
If you’ve made the right sort of first impression, she might be wondering how you are in bed. “Consciously or not,” says Fisher, “she’s looking for signs that you’re patient and sensitive to the ways her body finds pleasure.” So talk her through the jukebox options….

Oh yeah.  SHE thought she was asking you about the latest RHCP album.  You know better.

The article ends after number 7, but I think they have left out a v. important thing.  Number 8: Act like a vampire!  We all know how much the ladies love those nocturnal men of mystery.  So buy a cape!  Slather your chin w/ fake blood (ketchup and warm water will do in a pinch).  Loom creepily in dark corners and claim sensitivity to the light.  The ladies will be lining up in no time.

It comes as a relief to see that women aren’t the only ones getting ludicrous romantic advice.  It’s just too bad that all the magazine seeks to reduce the subtle alchemy that characterizes the interaction btwn. to people into some standard recipe for success.  What this advice boils down to is tips on how to pretend to connect w/ someone in order to trick her into thinking you care about her, so that she’ll sleep w/ you.  It sounds mercenary, and it is.  You know what else it is?  Wrong.

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5 thoughts on “a little advice

  1. hahahahahaha oh my god I just laughed very noisily and for a long time. thank you! god, I hope I don’t encounter any men who read that crap. it seriously is a manual for fooling women into thinking you care about what they’re saying so that you can sleep with them. how disgusting. I will never trust a man who seems interested in my conversation again. fuckers.

    this is great, btw. you should write for a magazine or something. or a blog. oh wait, you already do. well get more people to read your blog.

  2. I have a confession…a lot of those times I said, “lol,” were because I wanted you to think that I was interested and amused by what you were saying, but I wasn’t really laughing out loud. However, this piece made me laugh, hard.

    You know, I bet all these “women’s magazines” are actually run by men. “Let’s see how much vapid materialism we can push on the women to keep them in line, to keep them thinking about how their purse matches their shoes so that they don’t think about things like…POWER.” I dare take on your vogue knitting–its ultimate goal is to keep you at bay, occupied on time-consuming knitting projects instead of world domination. Priceless how we’ve had you fooled!

    Let me tell you something, droogie: there is nothing dumber than a horny man. They are prime targets for scams, and they are amazingly trusting. If you want money from someone, try kissing them, thus triggering a massive rush of oxytocin, which is connected to forming trust in the brain. In any case, articles like these…I’d swear this was common sense in interpersonal skills, so it’s not really saying anything *new.*

    1. It’s true that men and women communicate differently. I read a great article about this, actually. Me and my (male) friends don’t even have to look at each other when we’re talking. With my female friends, it’s direct eye contact all the time. It’s neat, actually, that because of this behavior women are able to “read” people’s eyes better than men are. That also explains some male lack of intuition into *EMOTION.*

    2. My personal handshake tip: make sure the “valley” between your thumb and index finger solidly intersect with theirs. This way, they won’t be able to crunch you knuckles together, no matter how firmly they shake.

    3. Nobody likes a person whose voice is either too nasal or squeaky. This is good general advice: speak from your chest, not your throat. I don’t know if it makes you sexier, but it makes you less annoying 😛

    4. This was written in such a cold, scientific manner that it’s hilarious. The best luck I’ve had with any lady was by saying this, “If you were a hamburger, you’d be the McBeautiful.” I kid you not.

    5. I’d reword this. It’s called: “Keep your eye on the ball.” If you’re talking to someone, pay attention to what the hell they’re saying. If you want to imagine her nude, stand creepily in the corner and stare.

    6. Heard this before, actually. Being able to read body language is good–there are a lot of things to pay attention to. This comes down to being a good communicator, really.

    7. I have no comment on this. I just feel embarrassed that this was written for men. 😦

    That’s my take, from my male perspective. By the way, men have a mass media that makes them feel inadequate–it’s called porn. Ever wonder why men are obsessed with penis size? Or breasts? Yeah, that’s why. Keep that in mind and it might explain any “mysteries” that men have.

    Finally the truth be told! Does this make me a whistle-blower? Should I worry about hitmen?

  3. Well, Mr. B I’m glad to see that you’re a faithful follower of Rule Number 4…although I don’t think you’re supposed to tell the ladies about your schemes. It’s okay; we can still be friends.
    Ugh, pron. That is a whole other post waiting to happen. Suffice it to say that I think it’s far more detrimental to women, both viewers and participants, but I also think it strips men of their empathy and gives them unrealistic expectations about women and how to interact w/ them.
    It is also one of those problems to which I don’t claim to have an solution. That is, except my usual answer for frustrating problems, which of course is to just nuke everyone.

    1. Haha, thanks for the blog suggestions. In fact, I even made a submission to “Psychotic Letters from Men.” Just doing my womanly duty. ;)))))

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