Friday, April 25, 2008

A Page From Men: The Missing Owner's Manual
Why Good Guys are Still Guys... And what to do about this.

Have you ever wondered why, so often, one of your fabulous friends is going out with a guy who is... Less?

Have you ever wondered, if you are a nice guy, why your female friends are so often going out with guys who are... Less.... and you don't have a girlfriend despite being the emotional support for several?

Let me answer this question bluntly. Good guys, are still guys.

The difference between a man and a guy is that a guy hopes to get lucky, while a man makes his own luck. And, well, a flawed diamond is better than a perfect brick. A bad man, someone who makes things happen, will, however temporary and interchangeable they might be, have companions of his preferred genders. A guy, has to get lucky. Sometimes making your own luck means trampling on some flowers.

But this isn't advice for good straight guys, though you can read along. This is advice for women, and for gay men who like men. Let me tell you that it is easier to turn a good guy into a good man, than it is to turn a bad man in to a good man. Lots of us make the mistake of believing otherwise. It just doesn't work out that way.

There are two distinct parts of getting a relationship. The bad guy messes up this step. He does things like go to orgy rooms and says "wanna fuck?" And tells you you are a crazy bitch if you don't. While the real world does not put it quite so bluntly, there are equivalents. That leering smile of "Hello :-) <----8" is something we get irl. It's the leer that does it. Hello is probably the most effective opening line in a converstation. The leer kills it. It turns "Hello," into "Is your cunt wet yet?"

The good guy often understands that in the beginning of a relationship, not making these kinds of moves is a good idea. Why is it a good idea? Because... hmmm... let me offend the screaming bullies of SL again... house breaking a guy is a chore. A guy who has no control over his hormones... is just all kinds of trouble. If he's leering at you, the logic goes, he'll be leering at the next potentially slippery hole as soon as he's visited yours. I'm being crude, I know, but so it goes. There are all kinds of times when a male needs to think of the woman first, and his gonads second. Men who can't do this for 30 seconds on the first impression, well, let's say they imply that the next time you are felling crampy and bloated, aren't going to think of you first then either.

The good guy however, doesn't get, or doesn't know how, to push the boundary when it comes to the second part. He gets, some how, that pushing at the wrong times or in the wrong ways is bad. But instead of pushing at the right times, he gets insecure. He thinks badly of himself. He's worried. This means that he gets passed over.

We, pass him over. In favor of the bad man, who knows to pop the question, push. Now the bad man is just forever pushing, and hoping to get lucky, he's just a bit better at it. He sort of like the dog who is smart enough to sniff before sticking his nose in a hole, but he's after the same thing.

So here is the advice from Lillie. If you want a good man, then you have two choices. One is to attract a good man. The other is to find a good guy, and teach him how to be a good man. That's right, you need to lead him on a bit.

Now why don't more people do this? Because there is a hazard. Sending the signals of leading on is something the bad men are very attuned to. They can smell it, I think, or even more, sense it. Even in SL, it only takes a twinge. The successful bad man may not be attuned to much, but he's learned to focus on those signs of a potential partner who is exposing his or her vulnerability.

That's why there is the dance between men and women, or more generally between those who propose, and those who dispose. The people who dispose do not want to be surrounded by too many proposals. Why I know this is because escorting turns the tables: there are lots more women who want to be escorts, at any given moment, than there are guys willing to pay for one. Guys willing to pay would love to get it for free, and if they are shopping for sl sex for pay, they want offers of the right kind and in a quantity they can sort through. So they get cagey. They do it in a male way rather than a female way, but the objective is the same: send of a signal that the right potential proposers will get, and follow up on, while getting none, if possible, of the wrong kind.

The dance of the proposer is to get draw the disposer out. The counter of the disposer is to find out exactly what the proposer is proposing, and perhaps to get the price to come down.

So here is the problem with the good guy, and that is, that the positions are reverse from many normal circumstances. Casius, in his single days, and some of the other good men of my acquaintance, know how to turn waiting into an art form. They dangle something, a je ne sais quoi until the woman who is used to disposing of offers, finds herself making one. The difference between the skilled man, and the good guy who does not get any sex, is in that the suave man is actually proposing, merely he's proposing something subtle. The good guy would like to do this, but doesn't quite have the skills.

So here is the trick, and it is a key one. If you want to turn a good guy into a good man, you need to teach him how to turn waiting, into anticipation. This solves both problems at once. It's no longer the case of sending out a general signal, to draw in the flotsam and jetsam. You are sending a signal to him. It also means that you are turning your good guy, into a suave man. That's a good thing.

It's also a skill that you need to learn anyway. For lots of reasons. First, because you are different. Repeat this a thousand times a day if you need to. Your emotional, erotic, and sexual landscape is different from everyone else. Man, woman, whatever. However, men, are a bit easier to read, the signals are external, and they have less training in keeping them hidden. They also are more direct about communication, in general.

So whatever your partner, who ever he is, however much he knows, however many women he has been with, there are going to be times when he is perplexed by your needs, and you are going to have to be the temptress leading him down the garden path. The wise man will know when he doesn't know what you want, and will send the signals that he needs and wants you to take him by the hand and lead you, just as he will, on other occasions, offer his hand, grin a naughty grin, and make you know that something wicked this way comes.

The skill of leading a man on to better things is one that everyone who wants to be partnered with one needs to learn then, because to be the disposer is to hide what you want. This means you need to do more than drop hints in many cases.

So what's the difference between the suave man who dangles that something, and the good guy who just dangles there, struggling with himself? Well part of the difference is confidence, but that is the result of the suave man knowing he has a chance, and the good guy not realizing that he does. Confidence comes when signals are sent, signals are received, and actions taken that show that the circle has been closed. The difference is this. A man has an inner life, and he draws you into that inner life by listening to yours, a man draws out your inner life, and makes you reflect on yourself. A guy, let's you vent and bitch, but never makes that crucial turn, where you are aware of the wonders in his mind, nor turn and reflect on your own. A man shows you another world in himself, or let's you glimpse it, or he turns you around to face the vista of your own emotional landscape.

This moment of turning is the difference. The good guy only gets there by accident, or when you are ready anyway. The man knows it is there, and seeks to put the conversation on the path to that peak, where, a chill air blowing bright red to your cheeks, you can look out over your own lush valley, and look forward a strange land that you have never visited. In this moment there is change, and it is that change which produces the attachment that becomes passion and, perhaps, love.

They skill with the good guy then is two parts, one is to get him to do something he fears, because it is wrapped within him tightly, and shrouded with the darkness of his fears. To do this you must heal the wounds that have made him that way. The other part is to show him how to turn you around to face yourself. Like teaching him how to dance, you need to show up the moves that invite your turn, and thus complete the move.

So how to heal? How to invite?

They both come from the same thing. That thing is to think about the other person for a moment. This may sound strange, but let me explain.

The next time you are venting about your relationship to Mr. Less, stop. Think about something. Think about the fact that they guy you are venting to is, at least, a bit better than the male you are with. Think about that for a moment. By thinking about him, it changes what you are doing. Venting is about ME. Right? We all need some me time, and often what makes Mr. Less Mr. Less, is that he gobbles up all of the me, all of the we, and leaves only him. So one reason we don't recognize good guys as potential good men, is because we are busy taking out our problems with Mr. Less on him.

So the next time you find yourself going on about how the man in your life leaves a trail of destruction across your self image, stop and think about the man who is listening.


Say something simple. "I'm so terribly sorry for going on like this. You look like you have things on your mind too." He'll deny it a few times. Maybe several. Maybe he won't begin to open up then. Let your voice get soft, drop the nasal, and say "Really, I want to hear about them." He will quite probably say that this will happen some other time. Tell him, "Alright, but you've been so sweet to me."

Give him a kiss on the cheek. He'll be floating. Really floating. He'll think about nothing other than that next meeting.

Here's the hard part.

The toxic man cycle is that you go to your good guy friend, dump on him, recharge enough to go back to Mr. Less. And forget all about your good guy friend.

He knows it, it hurts him terribly, and it gradually poisons your relationship. Jealousy, anger, and resentment build up. One day the two of you have it out when you thought you were going to recharge on him. You get puzzled, how did such a friendship go sour? All men are pigs, you say to yourself. Out of your life walks the best guy you know. Bad moves.

Instead, make the next time someplace where there aren't that many other people around, or people don't have permission to intrude. Wear something white. Be soft, not too much make up, but a hint of pink. Bookstores, bookstores are great for this kind of thing. Be there first, instead of late. Have some books you like picked out, on the table.

"This is one of my favorite novels, what do you think about it?" The book should be one that features passion and commitment. It will take some time, you will need to ask some questions. One good tact is to open to the part where the two lovers first make the spark of connection. Read it, looking up at him with each sentence.

See what he says. Don't over sell, don't over flirt, don't vamp. Be virginal. If it isn't going to work, then you are just two friends discussing a novel.

If there is no there there, then you know. However, if he has something upstairs, then he will expose that, or he will counter with his favorite novel, or his view on how people meet.

And there you go, he's got his first positive signal. Each step, the same way. Set a way for him to open up, give him every chance to open up. And then see what flower comes of it.

Time's running out, I can't promise when I will pick this up again.



  1. "Have you ever wondered, if you are a nice guy, why your female friends are so often going out with guys who are... Less.... and you don't have a girlfriend despite being the emotional support for several?"

    That nicely sums up the story of my adult life.

  2. Growing up with a pack of boys, I've always appreciated male energy. Good male energy. And I've had more that my share of toxic male relationships. As usual, you've given me something to think about.
    SL is giving me the opportunity to hone some skills and sensitivities that need honing. I'm relieved to find that practice helps. Thank you, Lillie.

  3. The metaphor I prefer to housebreaking is dancing. Partly because learning the social dances of SL and specifically how to dance with that someone special, suits my egalitarian soul. It implies that both partners need to learn the steps, listen to the music, respond to the moves of the other. Balance, rhythm and attention all matter.

    Keep up the good work!

  4. Sometimes it is dancing.

    Sometimes it is housebreaking.

    (Who wonders sometimes where that good male energy goes when it is time to wash the dishes...)