Friday, 29 June 2012

The Making of A Bachelor Boy

I had a summer cold recently, so my brain went slightly AWOL and I wound up reading all sorts of MRA / Manosphere / Game blogs. What hadn't occurred to me, being Urepian and hence used to a feminised and non-militant Christian Church, is that them there Yankee Christians can be pretty darn right-wing when it comes to the subject of love and marriage. They do go on about commitment, love, men's and women's roles and the like. They mean it as well. These guys want to stay with the same woman for their lives, provided she follows certain rules, most of which amount to, you know, being a contributing, sexually-available wife instead of some entitled sex-rationing bitch on wheels.

Seriously. They want to be with the same woman for their lives. I mean, I know that's what marriage is about, and that's why I never even thought about getting married. I could no more get married than I could starve myself down to fifty kilos. I got confused when I hit adolescence and thought I would be happier if I was married or in relationships, and was therefore unhappy because I wasn't or couldn't be. What I got wrong, I now understand, wasn't that couldn't be happy in a marriage, but the circumstances under which I could be happy.

I don't do oxytocin, as I have remarked recently. It's the hormone that lets you trust and love. Either I don't produce it or have a greatly enhanced capacity for oxytocin uptake - in other words, no sooner is it released than it gets hoovered back up before it can do any damage... I mean, before it will help me bond appropriately. Also, I'm an extrovert. Yes, I know, you think extroverts need to have people around all the time, and I am never around people except at work, which doesn't count, so that looks odd, but that's not how it works. Extroverts fear boredom, introverts fear being swamped. I'm not scared of being swamped by people when I stay home and read, I'm trying to avoid being bored. Also, I'm intellectual, which means ideas are more interesting to me than people. Also, I'm an ACoA with a drink problem (that's "recovering alcoholic" to you), which means I have a totally dysfunctional sense of who would make a good partner, plus a desire for sensation over feeling. Or something like that.

In other words, all I really wanted to do was get laid. I know you think that's what all men want, but they don't. As those American Christian Manosphere guys reminded me, the vast majority of men really want a lifetime partner, which is why they get married. Screwing around a lot is Bad Boy Alpha, maintaining a working, sexual marriage over a lifetime is Real Man Alpha. It takes a lot of the same tricks, though some of them have to be spun differently. I had / have absolutely no intention of sharing my life (aka "putting someone else in a position where they can have the Courts take away two-thirds of my salary and all my assets, just because she stayed over one night and left a pair of panties in my wardrobe") with anyone. Not because I'm worried about losing what few assets I have - though there is that - but because I was and am scared of getting bored.

I think sex is one of the best things ever. Sex with an attractive, intelligent stranger, so I can have an interesting chat while getting my breath back, is about the best way I know of spending a night. I have done this a few times, and there was only one time it went a tad sour. However, while I'm pretty good on the first night, I'm not so good the second time round with the same girl - unless there's a while between nights. It's the novelty I want. Also back in the day, it was the excuse for a drink and a really late night.

So when regular girls came along, I thought I was being shy and awkward, but actually it was my self-defences: this girl will bore you in ten minutes, or you will bore her in five. I couldn't make the connections with "wife material" women, because the radar they use to detect suitable men doesn't register me at all. When I made a connection, it was with a girl who had similar problems to me. Those problems in men make us less than we might be, but basically sane, whereas those problems make women unstable with a trajectory to craziness or depression. Also, the other real burden I had was that I thought I was supposed to be a nice guy.

Stop sniggering. This was back in the 19... never you minds. These days everyone knows women really want coke-dealing, gun-running bikers rather than sober, responsible providers, but back in the dark pre-backlash decades, women spun the "nice guy" line, because it was what they were supposed to say, and some of us men were dumb enough to believe it. Of course, I was only pretending to be a nice guy: just ask any of the women on whom I cancelled relationships, didn't call afterwards, behaved like an asshole with (that may have been the booze, but it was often me), and certainly didn't offer to marry, engage or move in. But because I was a snivelling, no-confidence, co-dependent I couldn't just shrug my shoulders and say "That's who I am". No, I had to apologise and feel bad about it. More confidence, fewer delusions, more money to pay for weekends away, hotels and taxis, and I would have been laying them from Lands End to John O'Groats with a clear conscience and a smile. Not once would I have thought my life was empty and meaningless, because I wasn't looking for meaning from women - if I want meaning, I'll read some philosophy - I was looking for a night's sex and company.

But when I was in the depths of alcohol and co-dependency fuelled self-pity, pain and confusion, and I was there a long time, I thought the way out was to be Normal. I never actually envied the Normals their lives, but I envied the way I imagined they felt: self-satisfied, smug, sure of being right and when the going got tough, downright self-righteous. That's what I wanted. Not the wife, children, house and partnership track. I wasn't alone in thinking that: everyone who feels psychic pain from unidentifiable causes "just wants to be Normal". So that's what the Therapy Industry sells them.  Whereas the point is to understand what I made of myself as a reaction to what was being made of me, and then to do what it takes to enjoy life as I am, not as someone else thinks, or even I think, I should be.

I know all this now. I had to accept my inner ACoA to get here. It's too late to use this knowledge: like many single men of my age and vanity, I don't want what I can get, because it would make me look bad, and I can't get, nor afford, nor have the energy and time for, what I want. Dignity and vanity both commend a single life. Except it's not that easy and you and I know it.

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