Thursday, November 26, 2009

Forbidden Fruit

When I was in high school, I daydreamed -- a lot. Mostly about boys from the magazines, or the most popular boy in my class. You know, the usual.

These days, I still do that -- hotties gracing the cover of People Magazine, old boyfriends... Or, once in a while, guys a little more off the market, like a co-worker I just should NOT be fantasizing about, or a guy friend that would otherwise NEVER happen.

What's the fun in fantasizing over what you can't have? Maybe the fact that it doesn't go beyond the fantasy. I mean, if you think about it, fantasy takes all sorts of shapes in and out of the bedroom. Why do people get thrills out of costumes, role playing and props? All a part of creating the illusion. You get to live a new world, be a bolder version of yourself... If even for a little while.

Essentially, we create fantasy because we get a reason to be whoever or whatever we want. No restrictions, no boundaries. I mean, why do you fantasize?

At the end of the day, a little indulgence never hurt anyone. As long as you're not living in the fantasy more than the reality.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Seduction vs. Attraction

Can seduction trump attraction?

This was the very question that entered my mind as I tried to wrap up The Game by Neil Strauss this weekend. I checked it out to understand the world of pick up artists -- and ended up learning a whole lot more about seduction and attraction instead.

Using my trusty resource, Wikipedia, I understand that attraction has been scientifically studied and comes from somewhere deeper within a person. Simply put, it's what draws you to someone and it's natural -- there are qualities that appeal to you and intrigue you about another person, usually the basis to build on something much more meaningful.

Meanwhile, seduction (the "sexier" sounding of the two) is influencing someone into some type of romantic or sexual behavior. The definition implies that a person is led into these things, and not something that comes organically.

It's reading these definitions again that made The Game a pretty insightful read. These guys, or Pick Up Artists (PUAs) as the lingo teaches me, created versions of themselves to establish an aura that would make them appealing to others. Essentially, from what I could gather, the guys in the book aimed to make women surrender (and from what I read did it quite well) simply by observing their targets and using basic understandings about sex and dating. Actually, what disturbed me was that I needed to read this to see it for what it was.

I have to admit -- this made me go back and think of times I was out on the scene, and was "number closed" (gave a guy my number) or "kiss closed." (working towards a kiss by the end of the night) The art of seduction ran deep. Heck there are tons of books, clubs and even schools of thought on the matter. The Game was only the tip of the iceberg.

Seduction is an art that can be learned by just about anyone, as Neil Strauss proved. But it's clear that it's way different from raw attraction. That's something that can be taught. I mean, can you really create something that's supposed to be natural between people? Maybe it's the illusion of natural? Either way, I'm open to discussing seduction verses attraction. Seems like there's a lot there...

But -- I'm still a believer in attraction. Seduction can last for the night... But attraction can withstand all of that - even when the magic of a night is done.

Settling for Second Best

Do we convince ourselves that something is meant when it simply isn't?

I had this very conversation just yesterday with an old friend, Katie, who is seeing a guy that she's pretty lukewarm about. No major fireworks, the sex is "OK" at best, and the conversation is good, but not electrifying.

Admittedly, a million thoughts ran through my head, with the main one being "Why bother?"

"Well," she said, when I asked it out loud rather bluntly. "He's nice... And, well... I don't know when I'll find another guy as good as he is. So I'll play it out and see where it goes."

Not having a response for that remark, I kept my mouth shut and casually let it slide. But deep down, I felt bad for the half-interested emotion she had about the guy she's been seeing for nearly seven months. She didn't seem excited or even interested in this guy. And that was disappointing.

For some others, companionship takes center stage and attraction comes later. But for me? I would want to be thrilled about a guy that I'm dating, especially one for several months. And I'd want to feel it down to the tips of my fingers and toes... So, I'd rather be single than settle for a mediocre relationship. I mean where's the heat? The chemistry?

Now in my "late" 20s, I get grilled a million times over by my family on my dating life. (And with the holidays nearby, I am getting the questions fast and furious.) But, I remind myself that I still have some time to wait for the fireworks before you write me out of the marriage game altogether.

On the flip side, I think about it like this: In the time it takes me to decide how into a man I am, he's figured it out in half the time. So, if he disappears, it's because he already knows that there's no future. And while I don't agree with the vanishing game, he's saving me the trouble of wondering "what if."

Not that I'm in a rush to get to the altar. I still have a few bar nights left in me anyway. :-)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Unfinished Business

It takes a lot of practice to just move on from someone when the relationship is over. But, admittedly, since I've become something of a serial dater I haven't had too much trouble in doing so, adopting the "plenty-of-fish-in-the-sea" attitude to dating.

But to keep it real -- I have a thing for revisiting my past every once in a while. Essentially, I allow myself to indulge in "What If" fantasies about men I dated that somehow seem to move on and be blissfully happy with the woman that came right after me. Like, no kidding, it's happened more than once. I end up being the transitional woman that prepares a man for exactly what he wanted but didn't know he wanted until I was out of the picture.

Anyway, all this is to say that I found myself having these fantasies this evening when I received a message from an old fling/flame of sorts. Juan and I met a short while after I came out of a very intense relationship. Not wanting to make him responsible for the experiences before him, I went into it open minded... And surprisingly, I was really into him.

Things started and stopped after that -- I got back together with my ex, then he seemed to want to be unattached... Then he was attached... Never could we get it together.

So, when he sent me a message to my MySpace, hoping that I was still checking it... Didn't know how to react. However, I did know that I wad curious as to whether we had any chemistry left.

Then I thought about it again: Would it be nice to hook up again? Oh yeah... (He was hot and I'm human) But when push comes to shove, it's a sexier thought than it is a reality. After all, when you're feeling someone, it should come out of something naturally - not out of romanticized thoughts. But, then again, those romantic thoughts are OK once in a while... I mean, hell... You need something to keep you warm, don't you?

The Answer to this Mess: Out with the old and in with the new. "Shoulda Coulda Wouldas" are not healthy for anyone. No matter how sexy...

Now, to keep reminding myself of that.

Pulling the Trigger

We all know of the common dating phenomenon when someone you're seeing just up and vanishes - or the disappearing act. But, what do you do when a person goes against the formula and keeps reappearing?

That's exactly what I'd say about a man who continues to appear in my life. Lionel and I met nearly five years ago and after a seemingly nice date, things have been pretty fragmented, to say the least. We've barely seen each other since then but he's had a tendency to call and text me on a very sporadic basis. One time, he texted me and I suggested getting lunch -- JUST to talk and catch up. He agreed... But then called me to say that he didn't want to get anything serious, blah, blah.

So I cut him off. Simply put, I thought he took something casual and made it much more dramatic.

But, how does one explain why he continues to text and resurface in my life? Especially since one single date and his fear of "getting caught up"?

Here it's simple: When it's over, it's over. If you can't pull the trigger with a woman, then why bother engaging her? After a while, it just seems unnecessary.

See, this is where honesty pays off. If you're not interested, don't continue the chase. I mean, you're not even fooling her. And you may be doing everyone a favor.