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Pony Love

So there's this post on EqD (Discussion: Take a Character Out on a Date!) that I kinda want to contribute to, but at the same time it's both creepy, and I'd kinda want to be able to find my thoughts on the matter latter. So you get this instead since I can review this later.


The core question is: "Based on personality, who would you take on a date, and where would you go on earth? This is of course not limited to the mane 6. What do you think each character would enjoy most?"


To be honest, I think I'm going to take a Twilight's List style approach to the problem. We'll start with a short-list of ponies who come to mind quickly, derive a table of weights, and then answer the question.


Fluttershy: Calm, demure, passive. Easy to be around. Would basically let me do all the talking. Would be hard to get to talk about herself, not likely to tell me much about what's going on and instead just have a bunch of problems hiding in the background. Invisible tension is pretty much assumed.


Rainbow Dash: Active, energetic, corse. However, also not the most forward person; tends to bottle things up. As such, she's liable to get offended, but then not tell me and become violent as the tension rises. Might be fun for competitive activities regardless.


Twilight Sparkle: Intelligent, wordy, autistic. I'd imagine her getting easily flustered by any kind of advance, assuming she actually gets that it's an advance. Probably not capable of moving into any kind of physical contact relationship (cuddling, etc) due to barriers and confusion. Good for a good conversation though.


Pinkie Pie: Energetic, intelligent, crazy. Off hand she'd be fun for a while; the energy and intelligence would allow things to progress nicely. Similarly she's fairly blunt so there won't be much issue with unspoken expectations. However, she's amazingly needy for external attention and socially flighty, so alone time would be a challenge (and she'd probably not enjoy it.) Good for a fun time, but not suitable for long relationships.


Rarity: Elegant, self absorbed, cunning. My personal demeanor would grate heavily on Rarty; the emphasis on pragmatism would be problematic to say the least. However, Rarity would serve my issues fairly well. She's "politely forward" as it were and cunning enough to maneuver people into a position that suits her. If she had some reason to take interest in me, it would work well, but I don't see that as likely and as such, I can only imagine things ending in frustration.


Applejack: Blunt, hardworking, practical, unintellegent. Applejack represents an interesting conundrum; for people like myself who like people with work ethic and a sense of honesty, she'd be an excellent companion. However, like most people who have things to do, dating is probably more of an inconvenience than anything else. That's not insurmountable, but the lack of book smarts, and the active rejection of deeper contemplation would make things complicated for any long term relationship.


Anything past here is ENTIRELY headcanon (whereas the above is only mostly headcanon,) so abandon all hope, ye who continue.


Lyra: Obsessed, crazy, focused, energetic. In my headcanon this date would be a friends-only kind of thing due to sexual preferences, but might still make for a fun date. As an actual human (or ponified human, or presuming the human Lyra, someone interested in little ponies,) there would be a lot of interesting things to talk about and her enthusiasm for the topic is something I'm always pulled in by.


Vinyl Scratch: Crazy, energetic, immature. Vinyl falls into the same category with Pinkie about being good for a fun time once in a while, but her antics would grate me pretty badly. I prefer a bit more regulation in my life, and though the destabilizing force would be fun once in a while, I don't think I would be able to tolerate that more than once in a while. Could be fun for a one time thing though.


Octavia: Calm, cultured, soft spoken. Octavia actually would be a problem for the opposite reason as Vinyl. Where Vinyl's too wild for my tastes, Octavia is too cultured. Much like the situation with Rarity, I would be a thorn in Octavia's side the whole way through. However, unlike Rarity, who with the right motivation might pull me in an interesting direction, Octavia would shy away and leave me to myself. At a practical level I suspect her and I would get along in casual conversation, but the best we could do was chat over coffee.


Narrowing things down a bit


The core of the discussion is about going on a date, not establishing a relationship or dating for the long term. This means that I can disregard the long term concerns in their entirety and focus on the short term. With that consideration in mind, then the options become rather interesting. I can toss Rarity, Octavia, Fluttershy, and Rainbow Dash pretty much outright. The first two would want to wine and dine and I'm gonna turn up in tennis shoes, so that's a no go. Similarly Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash would both likely have problems and my lack of useful sensitivity is just going to make them have a horrible time. On that same vein, Pinkie Pie and Vinyl are off the list; I might go to one of their events with somepony else, but the reality of the matter is that a date with them would feel like a date with the whole town.


This leaves Twilight, Lyra, and AJ. I would probably find a date with all three fairly satisfying, if for different reasons.


Twilight:

A date with Twilight would have us start somewhere like a museum, probably with Twilight giving me the tour as I'd imagine she has a good deal more memorized than I do and I'd love to hear it. Then when we got tired of walking, we'd find a coffee shop to sit down at and talk about what we saw and the current state of affairs. Maybe wander into a discussion of geopolitics or the construction of the educational system or something. Following that, if things went well we'd settle down at one of the two of our place's to read or work on projects quietly.


Lyra:

A date with Lyra depends a lot on the exact configuration of things (this is the only one where personality is tied to the shape of the body and the world it's in,) but sticking to the article proposed "humans on earth" configuration (EqG style,) this means our common ground is ponies itself. The obvious start then is the more general dating advice of somewhere exciting; say an amusement park. Make casual chit chat as we wait in the lines and explore who is best pony, compare headcanons, and generally get to understand the person via ponies. From there move on to a casual dinner (maybe go to a place just a little over what's appropriate for amusement park clothes just to be "fancy") and if things go right, spend the evening watching a few episodes or drawing or something similar.


Applejack:

The Applejack conundrum is an interesting one. The only real path of dating that is apparent to me would be to have a heavy shared workday. Basically when you ask her to go out, and she automatically denies because she has work to do. The approach then is to offer to help, bring your good work gloves, and expect to end up covered in mud and exhausted. The entire date goes: show up to work, make small talk as you go (always prioritizing the job at hand,) and don't complain. If things go right, you end up having a hearty meal with the family, and find yourself out by the barn with her after dinner, enjoying the stars and talking life philosophy in the way that you don't cite philosophers, but instead just speak from the heart.

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Okay... So now what?

Well, now I'm REALLY confused. I figured it'd be easy to turn up to NDK like I normally do, hang out with just Oni, have a terrible time since I wasn't taking pictures, and say "Yup. I think I'm good," and walk away.

Ya, that isn't what happened. Pocket being Lunar's problem (that is a terrible thing to say, but fundamentally true,) and me not trying to be friends with people simplified things greatly. The shift in expectations and approach made things really fun, even accounting for the fact that I lost my hat, badge, and spent the whole weekend with a cold. That said, it's becoming apparant that I haven't been taking things in the right light approaching this, and even a small amount of shift in perspective will cast things in a wholly new light.

Not sure what the right answer is in this... Not that I figured I knew before, but I had kinda hoped that at least I'd have some motivation to move forward. Now I'm confused about my approach, but I think that the intent to move forward should not be changed. 

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It's Time to Move On

So for the last 10 years or so I've been working on trying to change a lot of who I am. At my immutable core I know I'm driven by the successful completion of goals. Fundamentally this is what make me go. This has a couple of consequences: I'm reluctant to take risks, I don't do well without well defined objectives, and I can quickly be discouraged by failure. In terms of my behavior then this makes me harsh and biting against fluffy objectives, intolerant of people who do not operate in a clearly defined manner, and I'm quick to be jaded by failure.

But I knew I was in control of those facts; the course edges could be softened out with a little bit of perspective and trying to understand that people didn't usually think about how they acted, and as such if I could find their immutable core elements, I could solve out the consequences and work towards moving in a direction that allowed me to move towards my goals without interruption.

That said, as the history of this LiveJournal will tell you, I've really only been pushing on one goal since I graduated from college: finding love. Just about everything else I've done in the interval between graduating and present has been to that objective. I've used small goals and employed strategies to improve my chances of working through the various issues I have associated with this process because of a combination of my procedural approach to life and what I suspect to be a form of high-functioning autism. I took up more social conversations, tried going clubbing, learned to dance, went to conventions, took up cosplay and later cosplay photography, all in an effort to pursue that goal. Along the way there were many sub-goals and there have been several tangential goals I've pursued along the way (life won't wait for you to do only one thing at a time,) but the next big milestone in my life was "get married" which was supposed to kick off steps towards finding a house and fatherhood.

However, as you can also infer from this LiveJournal, that process has gone badly. Overall it has basically been nothing but a long progression of failures for just about a decade. This decade of hard work and dedication to an objective that I have barely even scratched, despite doing a huge amount of intermediary work, has left me bruised and battered. The strategies I employed to place myself in contact with people required a great deal of sacrifice: careful, deliberate manipulation of my behavior; immense expenditure of patience; and a wide variety of smaller ancillary changes to enable me to come across as even halfway normal amongst the crowd. The toll of repeated failure, mixed with these sacrifices has lead me to the worst emotional state I have ever been in. Years of physical and emotional bullying have left me far less scarred than what the last 5-10 years of time with "friends" have done to me.

But recently I gave up. Stresses at work, coupled with the unending din of quarrels within the friends I made broke me. I've been checked out of life pretty much since March. When the summer photoshoot season came and all of the shoots I put together were unequivocal failures, the coffin on all of this was pretty much sealed; the baloney I had been tolerating in support of a primary supplemental goal (cosplay photography) wasn't worth it. I wasn't getting a chance to take pictures or hang out with women (in hopes of breaking some of my nervousness and training myself not to look quite as 'hungry' as I was for companionship) or even hang out with friends; I had to tell my core friends I was busy those days since I was going to be running a photoshoot.

But the time has come to refocus my goals. 10 years (counting some work I did in college) is long enough to say that I've given it the ol' college try. I'm not 'quitting', I'm just not wasting any more of my time. I've banked a lot of things on the outcome of this and I'm quickly passing the point of no return on several of them. I need to own a house or work my way into a situation where I don't need one. I've put that process off far too long and am at risk of not being able to finish a mortgage before retirement. Similarly I need to get out of this job; I've been holding it because it's stable, usually tolerable, and would make a suitable platform for supporting a family. But there won't BE a family, meaning I can't afford to waste anymore of my short days doing something that is merely tolerable just on the excuse that I need regular cash flow. If I'm going to move on and take up the torch I set down when I started this family-making process, I need to free my options and put my time where it's important. I need to drop these shallow "friends" I've been keeping like the useless weight they are and untangle my happiness from people who treat people like friends to their face and enemies behind their backs.

It's time to move on.

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For reference, you'll want to start with the thread at: https://www.facebook.com/JimTheCactus/posts/10152096055418929?stream_ref=5


The response that can't be posted, because of the structure of our society thinking that my perception of socialization as a chore follows:

Probably time to clarify the question a bit as there's a lot of walking around well outside the scope of the question. The issue is not "how to socialize in general". Over the years I've worked this process out and get time in when I need it.


The question is how to not need to budget time because I did little bits here and there and can limit the big stuff to infrequent efforts. To wit, Mike, I think you're actually right on to the nature of the question.


Yes, scheduling hangouts is helpful, and I'm down with this beer&trivia night idea for sure as it sounds really fun. But that's a "big event". Even if the very first thing I do when I arrive is leave, I've still committed the better part of half of an evening to getting ready to attend, commuting there, and commuting back which excludes me from doing anything else with the evening.


The fact is that I have a lot of stuff I want to get done. For example, today I wanted to paint, a project that requires between a 3 and 5 hour commitment. I'm also trying to maintain/develop skills in computer programming, electronics, photography, flute, concertina, piano, pencil art, inking, watercolors, and acrylic painting. Moreover I'm trying to make sure I get time in for exercise, quiet time, reading, and the normal home maintenance.


If I have to do some big event every 2-3 days (i.e. waste half a week on socialization) just not to find myself in a rut, then the reality of the matter is that there is no way I'm going to get what I want to do done in the time at my disposal. And as the saying goes, the stuff you actually spend time on are where your interests are, and I don't spend time, nor do I want to spend a significant amount of time on socialization. But like ignoring eating, choosing not to socialize has quality of life consequences. So finding a way to get enough to keep my mind out of the way so I can get my program written is at the core of my intent.


I'll have to look into your suggestions on improving the quality of my interactions Mike, and we'll see if that lets me get back to focusing on improving on the things that I want to get done.

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Been a while since I felt like I needed to post here. In any case, some people were chatting earlier today about how "love just happens" and how they always thought they'd be that "30-something who never dated." Then they started going off on some bullshit about how things just work and if you just don't worry about it, things will just kinda happen.

Well... As a 30-something that never found love (or at least never a working arrangement,) you can imagine that stung a little. And by a little I can say that it's made the larger part of today rather difficult. To be honest, my roommates don't help this any. I know it's nothing of the sort, but their success feels like a direct insult to my competence and humanity.

There was a time that I thought that the real issue was that I had cordoned myself off, and not been available. So I did some networking to try and expand my interpersonal reach. That didn't have much influence on things. Then I thought the issue was risk aversion. I spent a ton of time researching ways to alleviate those issues.

When it came down to it though, the real issue appears to be at the kernel of how I manage interpersonal relationships. Just based on a sample of individuals that I've been watching at the local food restaurants, something I'm doing is explicitly repelling my suitors. Unfortunately, I've only got enough experience to know how to tell if someone's on or off the pursuit. I don't know what it is that kicks them off the hunt.

In the case of the fast food employees, to which my most attractive trait seems to be my honesty and polite demeanor, there seems to be some point where they 'do their thing' and I respond incorrectly. In both cases I know what event it was, but not what dissuaded them. Not that I'm entirely upset about this as in both cases I wasn't especially interested. But what I am interested in is what I did that broke things.

In both cases, there was a period of heart break, where my interactions with the individual soured appreciably. In one case it persisted till the individual moved on to better things, and in the other, they simply got over it after a few weeks, but the relationship is different since. In both cases, my intention was to simply engage in a pleasant and friendly customer/vendor relationship with a cordial demeanor. The resulting cold shoulder in both cases tempered those interactions pretty strongly.

In any case, this whole thing is beyond frustrating. Every time I stare at a conversation, wanting to add something but being unable, every time I want to complement someone in casual conversation, every time I want to so much as wimper in a public place with the intention of being heard, something forces me to stop. It makes it ever moreso that if I want to sing out loud in a crowded subway I don't have any problem doing that as long as I only intend myself to hear it.

It's what has impaired the growth of a number of my projects. Blogs, photoshoots, art. You name it. All I want to do is be able to have friends and talk with them without having to setup a weekly appointment to do it. As it stands now that's the only time I've been able.

Whatever. Writing about this is far less cathartic than I had hoped it would be. Earlier I was just mopey, now I feel like crying. All I really want out of things is to either be able to manage relationships on all levels, or be able to simply not care about any of it so I can get back to my pure academic work. I think I'm going to go do something highly distracting and hope I can evaporate the rest of the evening.

On the Matter of Gender Identity

So thanks to the fringe community I associate with, I have a higher than average interaction rate with people who self-identify as a person of a gender that mismatches their reproductive organs. As such, I’ve been trying to understand exactly what goes on in that context.
For a while while I was in college it became apparent to me that I felt like there were a number of interesting things in life that were denied to me because of my gender. I wasn’t allowed to wear skirts. I wasn’t allowed to wear makeup (at least not obvious makeup.) Spending time considering my appearance wasn’t acceptable, nor was shopping. All of these things weren’t masculine, and as such I wasn’t allowed to engage in them. However, I thought that these things would be interesting if I was allowed to spend the time to learn and explore them. I wondered at the time if I had some mental faculty that made me less masculine or that I really identified better with women than I did with men.
Some time passed and I decided to let the question ride. However, of late I’ve had a lot of brainpower focused on the issue of sexism and the unnecessary genderfication of things; such as saying that housework is a women’s job. That example is extremely well studied by just about everyone, and in practice it turns out that men are just as suited to the work.
Which raises this interesting question, can a person themselves be the subject of genderfication? At the core level the obvious answer is “Yes but it’s not a problem.” The reason being that the physical bits and bobbles, as well as the genotype are at a fundamental level gendered. There are several protein synthesis processes in my body that are uniquely related to my gender at a primitive level. Yet people feel it appropriate to deviate from the physiologic gender without directly approaching these fundamental factors.
The consequence of this is the observation that gender is something beyond simple differences in gentials, chromosomes, and the subsequent behaviors (such as hormone generation and such.) But anything past these fundamental differences isn’t actually a function of the core of gender at the physiologic level. But what is there beyond the physiologic definition of gender?
The answer to that is the cultural definition. But the cultural definition of gender is the root of sexism; the establishment of a definition of gender that exists in the absence of any fundamental basis. The question then is what does changing which gender you identify with actually mean?
This is a more open question for me. At the moment, my current analysis of the issue is that it means you’re gender-ifying yourself. Saying that you can’t wear guy’s shirts unless you label yourself a guy is accepting the gender stereotype of appropriate clothing. Saying that you can’t enjoy wearing makeup without being a girl simply acknowledges that despite there not being anything in the physics of things on the matter, makeup is only for girls.
Within the context of this analysis there can be some understanding in my old questions from long ago. At the fundamental level it is entirely possible for men to wear makeup (and I was FABULOUS!) It’s also possible for men to wear a dress. I will say that BOTH affect perceived manliness, but manliness is a sexist construct of the society; it’s a measure of how well you fit into socio-normal viewpoint of what a man should be. The only physical measure of the factors that actually have anything to do with being a man at the core level is a discussion of muscle bulk relative to exertion level, shoulder breadth, skin texture, and penis/gonad size and function, etc. Everything else, such as not wearing pink, riding a motorcycle, not wearing dresses, having an interest in sports, and not having an interest in fashion & design are manifestations of the cultural expectations of men.
Also, it bears notice that I’ve obviously focused on transgender concerns from male to female. The reason for this should be obvious in that I have the most experience in the matter and as such have the most data to analyze.
Understanding this topic a bit better, both at the ideologic level and the social level is something I’d like to do more of though. My current sense of sexism is a direct function of a LOT of study, as is my understanding of sex association issues (I’d say homosexual issues, but at a practical level it’s far more complex than just simply hetero/bi/homo) but every conversation I have trims my understanding of everything. As such, it’d be nice to have some good conversations about this and have people berate me a bit for my current thoughts. Why? Well, the party line presently from the LGBT groups I’m seeing seems to be that I’m missing the point and that this matters at some level. What I can’t figure out is how, and it’d be nice to hear what they have to say on the matter.
The problem is that I got where I am on sexism by bashing my bigoted skull against a couple of bull-headed people who I ultimately am no longer friends with, likely because of that. It’s a process I’m hesitant to repeat with people I care about, and the kind of person that can communicate with me on the level I need is EXTREMELY rare. They have to have patience and tolerance, a good grasp of reason and logical methods, a solid vocabulary, and a well considered opinion. Unfortunately this particular triad of properties usually exists in a zero-sum arrangement. It makes things complicated. >.>

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AAAAAAGH!

I'm having one of those days where all of my obligations are starting to feel like a huge crushing weight. I need to find a way to step back and asses the true scale of what I'm facing, and either come to terms with the scale of things or disengage on one or more fronts.

Things that are weighing on me:

  • Multiple work assignments that need to happen, but time for which cannot seem to be scheduled

  • Multiple photoshoots that are still pending processing (Caitlin, Jess, Randi/December, Allerz/Shauna, Cassie)

  • Moving into a new apartment

  • Cousin's Wedding

  • Anime Expo

All of these assignments and tasks are currently in motion and have deadlines that come due in < 3 weeks. To say that I'm feeling overwhelmed would be a crazy understatement.

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This is not a post. *hand waving*

Blarg. One of those days that I really want to talk about stuff that it’s no one’s responsibility to help me deal with, and someone trying to take on that responsibility would just make me feel guilty about imposing.


If I didn’t need my brain for all of the other things I really quite enjoy, I’d murder it with toxins or something. Anyone have a drug that just kills the part of my brain that refuses to stop reminding me that although I don’t want to be a misanthrope, and I want to be fun, lovable, and loved, I’m especially bad about doing any of the above. I can’t connect with people. My closest friends are the ones who impose themselves on me since I can’t bring myself to impose myself on them. That any time I try and do so, I do it with all the delicacy of a wrecking ball.


I mean seriously, things I’ve been unable to escape from today:



  1. The people I do keep as friends I am not even remotely close enough with. Even my misanthropic friends talk amongst each other more frequently than I do with everyone else combined.

  2. I have 200+ people on Facebook and in practice there’s maybe 15 that I have seen in any context outside of a con or photoshoot.

  3. I have trouble not considering people I find physically attractive and intellectually interesting for possible relationships beyond just simply being friends.

  4. This makes me feel like a desperate, looser jerk. Largely because my failure to act on any of this this makes me a desperate, looser jerk.

  5. I’ll be turning 30 here in < 30 days. It doesn’t escape me that of all of the people I know, the only ones who aren’t married at my age are people who I very much don’t respect because of their terrible social skills with exactly one (1) niche exception who’s at least actively dating and one person who decided that he wasn’t interested in pursuing that kind of relationship.

  6. As such it doesn’t escape me that given that I’ve never been able to quash my interest in such relationships (and god have I tried,) that by all odds I’m in the same boat as the creepy guys who I can’t respect because of their utterly abysmal approach to women in general.

  7. Moreover, it doesn’t escape me that, though I’m a VERY tactile person who loves cuddling and rough-housing and tickle fights, my outward expression is so crazy reserved that there probably isn’t a soul on the planet who’d believe me if I said that.

  8. And that dissonance in views really shows in how people handle me. I respond with surprise any time anyone is so bold as to touch me because no one is ever so bold as to actually touch me. Which reinforces their belief that I don’t like being touched, and by extension, leads to them not touching me going forward. It’s a viscous cycle of the worse kind.

  9. And my utter refusal to touch anyone who doesn’t explicitly touch me doesn’t help things. Problem is I run into a lot of people who want their space, and make it very clear verbally that they’d rather not be touched; so I hold it as a point of honor to not randomly interact physically with people who haven’t explicitly told me otherwise.

  10. And because of social rules, no one ever tells me otherwise. I’m just supposed to know.

  11. Oh, did I mention I don’t know SHIT socially? I didn’t fucking even consider dealing with human beings that weren’t somehow forced on me until I was 21. And I didn’t bother trying to know anyone who wasn’t my family or my boss until I was 24.

  12. Long story short, there ain’t no way in hell I’m going to “guess” at something like personal space invasion.

  13. Not that it would matter. The evidence of my shitty self esteem shows up in just about everything I do.

  14. Like not being able to flirt or ask girls out. Like at all.

  15. Ya, wanna hear my life goals for the last half a decade? Produce a picture worthy of the front page of dA, and get and hold a stable girlfriend.

  16. Instead, I’m playing around in the kiddie pool on dA because of my inability to market myself and I can’t even decide how much I hate myself for even having a goal that’s metric is how “famous” it is. Oh, and of the 6 dates I’ve been on in the last 4 years, one opened up with “where’s your camera”, the next one the girl spent the entire time talking about how this other guy she was seeing looked like a god damned cartoon character, the one after that pretty much had her dealing with every person EXCEPT me, the next one had issues of her own, and the two after that almost came across as halfway reasonable, so long as you took me and my ham-fisted handling of things out of the picture.

  17. Oh, and have I ever mentioned that I’m friggin’ afraid of my overly analytic approach to things dehumanizing anyone I might try and accomplish that goal with? “Oh hi! Did you know finding a girlfriend has been a life goal of mine? Oh, ya, I think you’re cool, but you’re simply the tool to accomplishing that goal. No I seriously like you, but will never be able to fully separate you in my mind to my achievement-centric approach to life. Sorry about that. Hope you don’t mind.”

  18. So ya, great work there Jim. Congrats on wasting over five years of your life not pursuing your goals, or at least pursuing them extremely badly, and hating yourself for even having them.


The fact that work has been rough and has been demanding a great deal from me in ways I’m not well suited to provide hasn’t been helping.


So ya, I don’t know how, but I think I’m gonna go try and figure out how to forget about my goals and objectives for a while. Maybe distract myself with video games or television or something. Especially since my brain is having none of letting me you know, actually work on progressing my goals and getting my mother fucking anxiety out of the way so I can move forward.

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On the Matter of "Game"

So in a casual discussion of my insecurities with my latest unsuspecting victim of head bashing, I mean well meaning friend, I came to understand that a large part of making contact with women for the purpose of engaging in relationships is a function of the method and manner of approach, heretofore referred to as "game". To have game is to successfully approach a woman and successfully and rapidly reach your final objectives from the initial approach.

The fact then that the final objective varies means that one person's game is not easily translatable to another and subsequently implies that no one can tell you how exactly to do things except for a small domain of simplistic objectives (getting dates, getting laid, chitchatting etc.) For a more nuanced objective, the specific game that must be played will need to be similarly nuanced.

In my particular case my objectives are fairly straightforward, but together they form a rather complex set of requirements for the game. I ultimately want to find a long term companion, start off with simple dates and simple physical contact, and with time move into a more intimate relationship. I don't want to interfere with my access to viable photographic models or limit my social mobility within my present social contexts. Lastly, I'm looking to keep things reasonable, i.e. long distance relationships are dumb, and I have no intention to get into one.

Writing it out fully makes it seem remarkably complicated, so we'll back up to the specific event that brings this thought to mind. Back on Saturday I went to a cozy Halloween party with two friends and three strangers. This happened after my discussion with my friend on game, so I had it fresh on my mind. One of the strangers made it rather clear that she was single and looking. She was attractive and intelligent, though to call her a bit unsubtle would be an understatement. That said though, it was about as close to an ideal opportunity I've ever had to try to apply some manner of game. Moreover, she was blunt enough that she was actually applying it on <i>me</i>.

Like I said, ideal case to at least cut my teeth on the matter.

But here's a question for you: when someone makes a rather unsubtle approach on me with some innuendo while I'm trying to apply some game, would you expect me to:

A) Blush
B) Respond with a witty innuendo of my own
C) Make a rather indignant "What?!" exclamation

If your answer was EITHER A or B, you give me far too much credit; in practice, the worst case C answer was my actual response. It wouldn't be for another 5 whole minutes before I realized what had happened and then how badly I'd screwed that up. I'd then respond with A for the remainder of the evening before she left, rather upset that I'd obviously "missed" her advances, (where missed means I failed to successfully respond to her advances.)

So this begs the question, how does one develop game? Well, to be honest, the logical answer would be a combination of classroom study and practical practice. Now stop... Before you go all berserk on me about being overly logical about this by suggesting classroom study, realize that what I mean by that is simply going to a club and doing some people watching. The practical practice is simply going to the same club and applying my observations.

As such, achieving my goals, especially now that I'm starting to get some sense for how actual humans approach the topic that I've so far been associating with courtship, which, BTW, is now how it's actually done these days. So next step, figuring out how to get me to drag myself out to clubs and experiment on actual human beings without my conscious demanding that I get an ethics board involved.

>.> *Facehoof*

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So much to say, no one to say it to. My thoughts are a burden to my friends, and too banal and egocentric for strangers. I should probably be paying a therapist to talk over this stuff, but they're both expensive and stigmatic.

It'd be super handy if people actually provided decent academic resources on these problems, but so far my research has only turned up non-academic answers, and my personal experience has been too restricted to either engage in, or even observe the kind of interaction I need to learn about.

Vague post? Ya. I'm not really in the mood for producing a full academic discourse of how shitty of a person I am. I guess I'm just getting tired of it. Tired of fighting with myself. Tired of fighting with everyone else. If I could give in on my concerns it'd be great, but that's the actual issue. Instead I'm stuck with giving in on trying to fight the anxiety and just accepting that I'm going to be a whiny bitch for the rest of my days. Or maybe even just surrendering to one of the "oh hell no" opportunities that comes by like most of my friends have.

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