By Rod Van Mechelen
The women's war zone is in the work place. Its psycho-social borders are the sexual expectations honed by Mother's Rules of doing what's best for oneself and fending off rivals. Her rules include: "It's just as easy to fall in love with a rich man as with a poor man." -- Tara Roth Madden, Women Vs. Women: The Uncivil Business War
Confessions of a (recovering) Gynaholic
1992 Bellevue, Wash. - Until women stop separating sex from intimacy, men need to provide a "tough love" solution.
Hello, my name is Rod, and I'm a gynaholic. Well, a recovering gynaholic, actually. More about that, later. But first, a few tart confessions.
For most of my life, I have craved female attention. Yes, it's true. A real addict, I would do just about anything to feed my habit. Grovel and beg. Whine and howl, if I thought it would help. I was truly pathetic.
The hoops I jumped through. Listened for hours to women whine about the jerks they were sleeping with. What a nice guy I was. A typical gynaholic.
Then one day a female friend told me that the so-called "nice guys" who complain because they can't "get laid," need to stop blaming women for their own inadequacies. "Just go out and get some," she said, euphemistically, "that's what they need to do."
Ironic, isn't it, how when men who truly desire a committed relationship complain because so many women would rather sleep with domineering jerks, it sounds like it's just about sex? There's a simple reason for that: the thing that happens in a committed relationship that doesn't happen in a friendship, is sex. Sex is the essential difference between the kinds of relationships women say they want, and their relationships with "just friend" nice guys. That's why, when men complain about not being able to get a committed relationship, it comes out as, "I can't get laid."
That's also why we get so obsessive about it. Why so many of us turn into quivering gynaholics. But is it really all our fault? Aren't women at least partly to blame?
Yes, they are. In countless surveys, women say they want committed relationships with "nice guys." Yet, when Friday night rolls around, many of those same women party with the bad boys. Tormenting us like that feeds our addiction. It's a power-thing. They get off on it.
An appalling hypocrisy
I've commented on this many times when discussing men's issues, and the common response from women is, "Well, why would you want to have sex with women like that, anyway? Why don't you hang out with a better crowd?" I'm never sure how to answer this, because the women who say this are usually the same women who do this!
It's not like my buddies and I hang out at bars chasing after "easy" women. We don't go around hitting on floozies. Personally, in fact, most of the women I have known were fellow students, or co-workers. And where ever I've gone -- from Princeton to the University of Washington to the high-tech Software campuses in Redmond, Washington -- the vast majority of women, in my experience, all behave the same in this respect: They reserve the nice guys for just friends, sleep with the "bad boys," then expect us gynaholics to listen sympathetically when they need someone to cry to about this month's jerk-who-just-dumped-me.
It's not the rejection we mind so much, but the hypocrisy.
Does this mean women should just admit they really aren't interested in sex with nice guys? Sure, if they really mean it and are willing to live with the consequences: Millions of men throwing away their copies of The Sensitive Male and memorizing What the Hell Do Women Really Want: A Guide for Men in the 90s?
So, ladies, it's time to belly up to the bar and place your order. Do you want men who will be both your friend and your lover? Or do you want a stud who treats you like dirt?
State your preference, but just remember two things. First, none of this "woman's prerogative" crap. Adults aren't wishy washy, and "it's a woman's prerogative to change her mind" is nothing but an excuse to be wishy washy. Second, actions speak louder than words. And so far, what we've been hearing most women say is, "bad boys make me feel so good."
Tough Love Solution
As for my fellow gynaholics (you know who you are), it's time for us to take responsibility for the part we play in this. We may be able to hold women responsible for their foibles, but that doesn't let us off the hook. We get some of the blame, too.
Nice guys who let "just friends" use them for emotional support without getting an intimate relationship in return are enabling women to remain addicted to sex with jerks.
At an early age, many women become physically addicted to sex with "bad boys." The thrill of copulation with dangerous men is like the adrenaline rush associated with sky diving or bungee jumping. But relationships with "bad boys" tend to be one-dimensional, leaving unfulfilled their need for real sharing, caring communication, and emotional intimacy.
That's why they seek out your company. To compensate.
The problem is, you're not doing these women any favors. By listening and providing encouragement, you only enable them to separate sex from intimacy and remain caught in the spell of their sexual addiction.
This means that if you really care, you need to get tough. If you really want to do them a favor, you need to provide a tough love solution.
The next time one of your female friends wants to cry on your shoulder, tell you all about how she's being victimized by her current cowboy, get tough. Tell her that her problem is, she has separated sex from intimacy, and that until she learns to connect the two, there's nothing you can do.
The only problem with this is that, in the current anti-male climate, this is likely to be mistaken as a sexual come-on, which will make you vulnerable to charges of sexual harassment. To protect yourself, tell her that while you really care for her as a friend, you cannot associate with her until she overcomes her harmful addiction. Then ask her to leave you alone.
This may seem harsh, but sometimes a tough love solution is the only way you can really help. If you care for her, it may be the best thing you can do. And it will be good for you, too.
As a (recovering) gynaholic, I have done this, and it's liberating. No, I'm not getting laid. On the other hand, it has freed me from the anxiety that comes from watching Star Trek alone. And that's saying something.
Where have all the nice guys gone?
A common lament among women is that, "All the good men are either married or gay." But that depends on how you define a "good man."
If success, virility or excitement are the primary characteristics of a "good" man, then they're right. Since the average guy makes the average amount of money and sports the average amount of muscle, and since excitement is, by definition, abnormal, then there are probably very few "good" men at all. But if we go by Dr. Judy Kuriansky's definition, then women are wading through a stream of diamonds in search of gold:
"Nice Guy" Defined -- How To Love A Nice Guy, Dr. Judy Kuriansky
- Treats me well.
- Makes me feel good about myself.
- Cares about my happiness and well-being.
- Is thoughtful and generous.
- Is willing to commit to the right relationship.
- Is honest and trustworthy.
- Is willing to cooperate, compromise and communicate.
- Is able to express and receive affection.
- Respects my independence -- and my vulnerability.
- Supports rather than competes.
Men personifying the above characteristics exist, and in significant numbers. But they may be too responsible to be any fun, and as we all know, "Girls just want to have fun, oh girls just want to have fun." Thus, in the real world, the world untouched and forever untouchable by something so ephemeral as a wish, nice men exist. But most women live in a different reality, and in that reality such men do not exist. So, nice guys are forever condemned to an evanescent existence, passing through the lives of women like whispers in the night.
In this harsh duplicity, most men have two choices: to violate their integrity, warp their souls and become spendthrift beer-swilling shallow creatures with an all consuming passion for sex, money, belching and Monday Night Football, and thereby become real to most women, or remain invisible and cling tightly to their invisible integrity with what acts of invisible courage few women will ever know.
Many men -- perhaps most -- choose compromise over despair, and assume behaviors that will get them noticed, behaviors that bind them to the very same women who say they long for the company of "nice men." Many men regret this, but not too much -- better to live a lie with a "bitch" than subsist alone on the cold pinnacle of unrewarded integrity. Is it any wonder so many men are bitter because "nice guys finish last"?
Most women assure nurturing men finish last. They snub them, and do it so casually and with such arrogance, as if they were God's gift to men and we should be grateful for being allowed to breathe the same air. This is the epitome of female hypocrisy, and they are no different from the "stud" who sleeps with dozens of women, then requires the woman he marries to be a virgin.
They put on pedestals the idea of men who are expressive and caring, and there glorify such men in self-help books and the occasional Alan Alda movie. But when they close the books and the movies end, they put the nice guys back up on pedestals to gather dust until the next time they need an icon of the unobtainable to look upon and ask, "Why aren't there any men left like him?"
2012 Olympia, Wash. - When I wrote this chapter I was struggling to come to grips with the ugliness lurking behind the veil of the feminine mystique. Not the one Betty Friedan pretended to write about (and as she admitted toward the end of her life, most of it was a lie), but the side of women most men pretend isn't there.
Most men like to view women as "our better half." But there is no such thing. There is only another person, a human being subject to all the faults and foibles that plague us all. Traditionally, we get around this through religion. Some religions are very enlightened. In Indian Country (a reference that is part-cultural, part-geographical, and a little bit mythical) there is a saying that "Our religion is the tradition of our ancestors." But this is just an excerpt from a speech ostensibly given by Chief Seattle but in reality written by Ted Perry for the screenplay of Home, a 1972 documentary about environmental issues.
The reaity of Indian Country is that many of our modern traditions are not from ancient times, but are based on prison camp culture. Reservations were little more than prison camps. They were worse than the inner city ghettoes. Dependency on the federal government, regulations that stifled individual initiative, reservation politics that undermined achievement, all served to devalue the person. Most tribes seek solutions to this. Some are finding them. But conditions are such that words written for a politically correct documentary from the 1970s have morphed into a religious maxim.
Similarly, America and much of the rest of western culture has become a prison camp for men. A materialistic world of limited opportunities and low horizons where the best you can hope for is a good Friday night buzz, that your Saturday morning hangover won't be too terrible, and good video games to create a virtual world in which men and masculinity are still valued.
Most people need myths. Feminists began the process of destroying the myths about women that men need to love them. Cynical hucksters like Joe Francis, founder of the "Girls Gone Wild" franchise, are finishing what the feminists started. The end result, which I only recently learned about, is called MGTOW: Men Going Their Own Way.
Men in America and other werstern countries are giving up on western women. But women need not fear they will never find a husband, because demographic trends are developing in the east to create a shortage of women that will drive men from Asia abroad to search for wives. Not that these men will conform to the feminist ideal. Far from it.
As for the men in the west who are MGTOW, my suggestion to you is to get rich. No, I'm not being snide. In 2011 I added a section about making money to my home page, with a focus on investing. Years ago I was a stockbroker. Before I began writing about feminism, fathers' rights, and men's and women's issues, I wrote about politics and the economy. Not that I have any investing advice to sell. What I give you are links to people who, yes, do have investing advice to sell, but they give away 90% of the information and insights they have. And much of it is very good.
Let's face it, most of us aren't geniuses. We're not going to invent the next lightbulb, come up with a great new product, or even make it as a shoe salesman. Most of us get stuck in small jobs making just enough money to barely make ends meet. But if you can squeeze even 50 bucks out of your monthly budget, you can invest. The links in the "Making Money" section give you ideas about where to invest. After a while it will become habitual. You'll even start to enjoy it. And one day, with just a little bit of luck, you'll realize you have become rich.
This is about you getting rich. But getting rich is about more than having the freedom to buy what you want. It's also about creating the world that you want. Feminists have money from the government. That money was stolen from us, through taxes or as inflation. There's nothing any of us can do about that, unless we are able to change our government. (Ron Paul, anybody?) But if we are rich, then we can use our money to create a culture in which both women and men are respected as human beings.
Rod Van Mechelen