Category Archives: media

Need help finding a story about…

I’m looking for a movie or book or short story or comic about sexuality fluidity.

The storyline I *don’t* need is, “Here I am going along in my life and WHAMMO ALL OF A SUDDEN IT TURNS OUT I AM GAY (or straight) WHEN ALL ALONG I THOUGHT I WAS STRAIGHT (or gay).”

I’m looking for an example of a person (let’s call them Chris) who has one identity, falls in love with a person whose own gender is incongruent with Chris’s identity, and Chris does NOT decide that they were in denial all along but instead goes, “That’s unexpected! I’m in love with someone who violates all my expectations about the gender of the people I love!” and keeps or queers their identity, rather than switching to another category.

Anybody know anything like that?

The one example I know of is Erika Moen’s excellent and now defunct Dar.

a highly educated, never married white woman

According to the New York Times, I am a member of the group of Americans that will live “the longest, healthiest lives of all groups.” I am a highly educated, never-married white woman.

Education is protective against all kinds of health risks, that’s been obvious for decades, and a background of ANY privileged status (in this case race) improves health outcomes, and only in the last decade or so has the “marriage is good for men’s health and bad for women’s health” trend begun to change (PDF). So of course I’m in the healthiest group.

But man, this is an article full of sentences that make me blink hard and shake my head, to make sure I really read it. Like:

One reason educated heterosexual women may worry about their marriage prospects today is that overall marriage rates have been slipping since 1980…

I… wait, why would women “worry about their marriage prospects,” when unmarried women fair better? Because of cultural expectation of marriage I guess. And in fact the rest of the paragraph is about how marriage rates among educated women have slipped the LEAST, so actually we (the educated women) don’t need to worry after all, at least not compared to less educated women.

Because we were worried. Apparently?

And then:

ONE of the dire predictions about educated women is true: today, more of them are “marrying down.”

That is, marrying men with less education and less earning potential than the woman.

Okay, so surely the “dire” is tongue-in-cheeck, since a couple paragraphs later the article says, “But there is not a shred of evidence that such marriages are any less satisfying than marriages in which men have equal or higher education than their wives,” and then it goes on to identify those benefits (husband participates more in housework and childcare.)

But then there’s this nugget:

The degree to which housework is shared is now one of the two most important predictors of a woman’s marital satisfaction. And husbands benefit too, since studies show that women feel more sexually attracted to partners who pitch in.

Right? Because more sex is an asset to the HUSBAND in a relationship. Men want sex. Women want chores.

But then:

[E]ducated wives…are more likely to receive as well as give oral sex, to use a greater variety of sexual positions and to experience orgasm regularly.

So sexual pleasure is or at least might be important to women’s relationship satisfaction…

(Actually, there are reliable results across many decades indicating that orgasmicity is associated with social class. I have yet to run into a satisfying account of WHY this would be true, apart from generic “stress.”)

I mean paragraph after paragraph, it just alternates between painful gender stereotype and celebration of women’s education and autonomy. I had whiplash by the end of it, from the pitch and toss between “education and economic independence is good for women and men” and “young ladies go to Smith to meet Harvard men.” I tried to read it as “ha ha look at these sad old stereotypes, isn’t it awesome how great educated women are doing?” but I can’t make that interpretation stick. It’s a vertiginous mismatch.

Anyway, it’s February 13, the day before Valentine’s Day. For the past two years, I’ve written Valentine’s posts celebrating being single on Valentine’s Day, and this year I’m not single. I have a valentine who is “down” – less educated than I am.

I still believe that being single has many benefits, not least the avoidance of V-day drama. But if I’m going to have a Valentine, at least I can celebrate my continuing independence and overall wellbeing as a highly educated never married white woman. I’ve got a better chance of living longer than you (and longer than the Valentine, come to that) AND I’m more likely to give and receive oral sex, which makes the long life rather more worth living, eh?

To all the women who are single and smart on Valentine’s Day, whose mothers or friends or siblings are wondering when you’ll make it happen: you’re set up for a healthy, happy life.

And if you don’t believe me or don’t know how to allow that to be real, see last year’s valentine’s post.

behold, thou art fair

I spent most of the day home in bed with a norovirus that’s been making the rounds. (I used to be a person who never got ANYTHING. Where did that go? How did I become the person who gets EVERYTHING?) Now I’m watching one of my favorite movies, “Keeping Mum.”

Context: wife feels sexually neglected by her vicar husband. The new housekeeper intervenes.

Look at this:

Rowan Atkinson is my dream man. Astonishingly, I’ve only ever posted anything about him once before! (Note resemblances between tall, thin, dark-haired, mild-mannered comedian and the romantic euphemism.) I like the nerds, I like the smart ones, I like the ones who apologize easily and spontaneously bring chocolate with them when they come over.

Having spent my last post griping rabidly about the men in the world who make this an unsafe place for women – the predators – how about a post about the good ones?

I just gave my first lecture of the semester (I totally half-assed it, ended early, and it was still exhausting.) I did this activity at the end, where I showed 105 slides with highly diverse pictures of different women on them, and we went down the rows and for each picture, a student said out loud, “She is so beautiful.” The goal was to begin undoing the cultural brainwashing that mainstream narrative around women’s bodies and what it means to be beautiful.

It was pretty great, hearing 105 women validating all the other women in the room.

But there was one male voice in the room – a 5 colleges student or a boyfriend of a student, I don’t know. And to hear that one male voice say, “She is so beautiful”… I mean, I’m all for women supporting women, but I could feel something happen to the energy in the room when that one male voice affirmed the beauty of a woman whose body absolutely did not conform to the cultural standard. It was almost painful how important that was.

Lesson: we need our good men. Not because we rely on men’s approval or even because they’re the gatekeeper allies, but because men bring an important and different energy.

I must acknowledge that for most of my life, most of my friends have been guys. I really, really enjoy not having to worry about hurting someone’s feelings, and for a long time my experience was that girls were terribly fragile, guys were made of rubber, and I am a bulldozer. And the good men were the ones who valued honesty over diplomacy.

Now one of my favorite things about good men is the extent to which they recognize their privilege, the extent to which they listen to women in the same way they listen to men, the way they keep their (inevitable) thoughts about how sexy a woman is to themselves. The good men are alert for the ways that a woman’s physical appearance might be impacting how they interact. They pay attention to making sure women feel comfortable in a social environment – not in a chivalrous way, but in a plain old polite considerate way.

(BTW, if you’re a good man and looking to learn what makes you good, the above list is a pretty decent summary.)

There are a lot of good men in the world. In fact, most of them are good. And only a minority of the ones who aren’t good aren’t good because of their own psychology, rather than some interaction between their psychology and their culture.

Kiss your good man tonight, if you have one. (I can’t kiss mine, I have this fucking virus.)

how often you think about sex… or food or sleep

A neat blog post from Brian Mustanski over at Psychology Today, about a study on frequency of thoughts about sex. It’s a neat study that asked participants to press a clicker each time they thought about either food, sex, or sleep – depending which group they were in. (Brian is another Kinsey alum, so I have a natural bias toward his work. I really like his stuff.)

My favorite part is on page two of the Psychology Today article, where Brian talks about problems in the media’s coverage of the study, which parallels my thinking on mainstream journalism reporting science:

1. Writers were either confused or deliberately choosing the more extreme, less representative central tendency (the mean rather than the median) to report.

2. Writers emphasized the central tendency, to the exclusion of standard deviation, when one of the most compelling results of the study was the wide variability among subjects.

3. Writers also emphasized the sex part, paying inadequate attention to the fact that thoughts about sleep and food were as frequent as thoughts about sex.

4. Writers emphasized population-level differences between men and women, neglecting to clarify that there was lots of overlap so that, even though the men on average reported more thoughts about sex (and food and sleep), many of the individual women had more thoughts about sex (and food and sleep) than many of the individual men.

5. Writers generalized the results to All People, rather than recognizing the delimitations of the population studied: college students, who are likely to be WEIRD.

What can we really conclude about frequency of thoughts about sex? We think about sex about as often as we think about food and sleep, and we vary a great deal from each other in all three topics.

I wanted to insert another thought here, too:

Hunger and sleep are both drive motivation systems, with a powerful homeostatic mechanism punishing an organism for failing to get adequate food (hunger) or sleep (fatigue). Sex, in contrast, is an incentive motivation system, pushing an organism toward appetitive stimuli, rewarding the organism for exposure to positive experiences rather than punishing it for not getting enough.

(This is not so simple a binary as I’ve made it sound.)

So I wonder how frequency of sex thoughts compares with other incentive motivation systems, like exploration (what’s a thought about “exploration”? Heck, what’s a thought about “sex”?)

two boobs, two butt cheeks, no belly

Over the weekend, I was introduced (by Yuko, Ananth, and George) to the idea of “escher girls” in comics. Like this:

two boobs, two butt cheeks

Yuko tells me the point of these skeleton-defying positions is to show both boobs and both butt cheeks all in the same panel. BAM: the soft parts!

There are other similar Tumblrs, like boobsdontworkthatway, to give you an idea of the genre. (NSFW, unless your work is like mine.)

The artists among you will object to the epic figure drawing fail of such illustrations. The feminists will object to the, well, objectification and misrepresentation of women. Those of you who want to get turned on by pictures of scantily clad women will object to the fact that these images don’t have much to do with what scantily clad women look like.

The soft parts bother me, it’s true. But what I REALLY object to is the hard part in the middle, the waist and belly. Even the lowest-body-fat female athlete you can imagine has to SUCK IN HARD to make their abdomen look like that. And yet a startlingly wide range of media represent women’s bodies as having this kind of midsection.

Take the original cover of The Female Eunuch, a feminist polemic. Flat, toned abdomen.

Even the cover art of On Our Backs (pdf) the feminist and delicious women’s magazine, has abstrictified the female body to have a six-pack between luscious titties and a rounded, bounding booty.

Me personally, I don’t walk around with my gut sucked in and my abdominal muscles flexed. (Grrr!) I walk around with my belly soft and rounded. And it is ROUND. There’s some fat, yeah, which is nice too, but even when I’m athlete-lean the shape of my belly is still round, unless I actively flatten and flex those muscles. Like that chick in the tuna commercial? Who lets out her belly when the elevator doors close? That has nothing to do with fat and everything to do with the natural, healthy functioning of the muscles and organs of the midsection.

I am not a comics person, romantic euphemism notwithstanding, so I don’t have a great deal of exposure to these images or their audience. But their audience seems to be adolescent boys (or adolescent men), and it worries me that they might be learning that this is (a) what a female body looks like and (b) how a female body works. If that’s what they think, they’re in for either a major disappointment or a major treat, depending how you think about it.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this idea of “What is normal?” and SO MUCH of the answer has to do with what a woman’s body really looks like and really does. I can’t talk about sexual health without also talking about body image and embracing the sticky, rounded, breathing organism that you live inside, rather than expecting it to look the way a picture of a woman looks.

I have your solution. But it’s complicated.

So I’m learning about marketing at the conference.

It’s irritating.

It’s irritating because it’s easy, in typical marketing, to describe a problem. The problems are in front of us all, every day: people feel bad about their bodies, they worry about their orgasms, they fret about lack of desire, and they don’t understand why sometimes their bodies don’t seem to be doing what their mind is telling them to do.

The solutions… well. Take the example of feeling bad about your body. The usual marketing approach to this problem is to say, “Wanna be attractive? BUY THIS!” And that feels intuitively valid; we’re used to the idea that there might be some jeans or moisturizer or technology or moisturizing jeans that will make us attractive.

But the health promotion marketing says, “Wanna be attractive? LOVE YOUR BODY!”

“Well no shit, fuckface,” says the target audience. “If I could do that, I wouldn’t be looking at your stupid marketing media.”

Or they look at it and think, “Yeah I should love my body. But I don’t. Damn it, I suck so much for not being able to love my body!”

So you (the health educator) think to yourself, “Okay, so they need to know HOW to love their bodies. They need to overcome the barriers, real and/or perceived, between themselves and loving their bodies. Um. So. How do I do that on a poster or a 30 second video or tweet or 200 word blog post?

Did I mention it’s irritating?

Marketing health behaviors is hard because we need to market ideas and behaviors (i.e., solutions to your problems) that are VASTLY more complex than the ideas and behaviors that are sold to you all day long. Indeed, the reason those simple ideas are the ones sold to you is precisely BECAUSE they are simple! Not because they’re likely to work or even because they’re easy, but because they can be communicated adequately in the given medium.

One Idea at a Time, quoth the session leader today. Like, maybe:

1. The thin ideal is a social construction of the media to make you feel like shit so that you’ll buy more shit.

2. Internalization of the thin ideal predicts negative health outcomes, both physical and mental.

3. There is no meaningful relationship between weight and health, within about an 75 pounds above the medically defined “ideal” weight. Honestly. I know that’s the opposite of everything you’ve ever been told, but it’s TRUE. So the thin ideal only hurts you and doesn’t help you to be healthy.

4. I know people judge women negatively for expressing affection for their own bodies, but if you can avoid letting that bug you, loving your body will have excellent impacts on your physical and mental health.

5. Love your body.

Or take orgasm with intercourse:

1. Less than a third of women are reliably orgasmic from intercourse. Another third are sometimes orgasmic from intercourse. The remaining third are never or almost never orgasmic from intercourse.

2. The clitoris is the primary organ of women’s sexual arousal. The clitoris doesn’t get good stimulation (on most women) during intercourse, which is why that’s not a typical mode of orgasm.

3. You may still want to have orgasms from intercourse because you’ve spent decades being lied to about it and you can’t eliminate your unrealistic expectations just because I say they’re unrelaistic, so if you want to have orgasms from intercourse, add clitoral stimulation.

4. You may not feel comfortable touching yourself in front of your partner and you may not know how to ask your partner to touch you and you may not feel comfortable using a toy with your partner, so use different sex positions to maximize pressure of your partner’s pubic bone on your clitoris.

5. Woman-on-top usually means you rock your pelvis against your partner’s; it usually DOESN’T mean what you see in porn, which is a woman bouncing vertically on her partner’s cock and making squeaking noises. That’s a show for the partner, not a strategy for increasing clitoral stimulation.

You see what I mean? It’s irritating that my messages are ACTUALLY HELPFUL but too complex to express effectively in a medium that parallels the medium whose messages I am trying to counteract. If you see what I mean.

Mainstream media poisons my students with toxic (and wrong) ideas about their bodies and their sexualities.

Being an alternative voice is my job. But I am struggling now – and looking actively for ideas – about how to make my voice as salient and interesting as the glitz and shine of Cosmo or Gray’s Anatomy. (Grey’s?)

I may have to resign myself to being a tiny alternative voice, stumbled on by those who think to look for a different way of thinking.

@feministhulk

So you guys! Did you read about how @feministhulk went to the school where I work?

I am FRICKIN’ STOKED about this.

Now, full disclosure, I do not personally think Judith Butler is quite the shit that the social constructivists in the audience might, I don’t really buy the argument that biological sex is socially constructed, and I actually think the gender binary is a perfect reasonable way to think about human life on earth, as long as you bear in mind the extent to which biology is both messy and not inherently meaningful.

But! I am all about some joyfully expressed feminism, which is something I suck at and something I’ve been thinking about a lot since I started the blog. ‘Member like year ago when I talked about feminism and the nerd voice? Funny and feminist is the pinnacle of genius to me.

The thing is, I’ve been learning that people need and seek out information, but they get addicted to entertainment! They go BACK for entertainment. And feministhulk is perfect as entertainment that communicates with breathtaking clarity about patriarchy and oppression, specifically because the character uses words like “patriarchy” and “oppression” in a silly, self-reflexive, self-deprecatory voice.

In other words, the “Hulk” voice is a kind of nerd voice. And that kind of voice is absolutely CRUCIAL to engaging people in this kind of communication. Feministhulk is important because it promotes justice at the same time as it pokes fun at people like me, who lose their sense of humor when they get intense about things like justice. Feministhulk makes the concept of justice safe and friendly.

Now, something a bit more practical: because I now spend multiple hours of each day talking to someone who writes a comic and puts pithy things on t-shirts for a living, my appreciation of @feministhulk has expanded beyond funny-feminist love into full-fledged thoughtfulness about merchandise.

There should be feministhulk t-shirts. I’d wear one, wouldn’t you? Green, with an all-caps declaration of solidarity? And there should be buttons. And stickers! And, hell, an action figure.

Jessica Lawson is a grad student and a new mom, both of which mean she’s got way too much of an actual life to think about these things, so I’m putting it out there: I think somebody should help Ms Lawson out. Make some cool stuff and split the profit with her 50/50, wouldja?

(One can’t help hoping that a book deal has already been offered, right?)

science, activism, bisexuality

So, the good news is that there’s actual evidence of bisexuality in men, as measured by physiological response to erotic stimuli. This is good news because the myth of bi men as “gay men not ready to come out” and bi women as “straight girls with a wild side” persists, and it’s time to put it to rest.

(I actually did a Q and A back in Indiana with the GLBT student group on campus, and one kid said, “I think that when gays are more accepted, there won’t be anyone who identifies as bisexual.” To which I replied, “I think that when gays are more accepted, hardly anyone will identify as either gay or straight and most of us will just be fluid or bi- or pan- or omni-sexual.”)

The irritating news is that apparently the community of bisexual men is responding to the evidence in a stupid way – at least according to the New York Times.

“It’s insulting,” says one guy in the NYT article. Another person says, “Researchers want to fit bi attraction into a little box — you have to be exactly the same, attracted to men and women, and you’re bisexual.”

Yeah… researchers want to fit it into a box; it’s not that the way to measure stuff is to standardize it. It’s not that operationalizing a variable necessarily means simplifying it (anyone who has taken high school physics knows about the role of the frictionless, spherical cow). It’s that researchers WANT to reduce sexual orientation to psychophysiology, they WANT clusters of homogeneous people, researchers believe that actually all people in a particular category are just alike. Yeah.

What?!

Did Kinsey have to deal with this? He pursued his interviews with the explicit goal of SHOWING THE WORLD what diversity existed. Did people say, “It’s insulting that he thinks you can conclude something about sexuality just by asking a lot of people a lot of questions”?

I agree that the world shouldn’t need evidence that something someone says about their internal experience – e.g., “I am turned on by people with penises and by people with vaginas,” or “I feel attraction to people without reference to their gender expression” – is true. But the world is incredibly ordinary, insofar as it tends to believe that anything that isn’t true about its own sexuality must either be a lie or pathology; any other conclusion is apt to make the world feel there is something wrong with ITSELF, and the world will simply not have that.

Therefore we find something plausible (if limiting and flawed) to measure – in this case, genital response – to show that, look, here are folks who get tumescent in response to boys AND girls. There are other folks who only get tumescent to one or the other, so it’s important that some respond to both. And thus the world is forced to acknowledge that yes indeed, there must be bisexuals.

Because bisexuals face discrimination at least as much from gays and lesbians as from straights. They violate the simple black-and-white clarity of sexual orientation and thus threaten the importantly simple message of the gay community to the straight community: “We’re just like you, only we love people with the same bodies as ourselves.” Bisexuals make it seem like all bets are off, there are no rules, it’s not simple.

And it’s NOT simple.

But before we can talk about that productively in the public sphere, we have to agree that bisexuality EXISTS, and we need to do it in a way that people will buy. Hence psychophysiology. If we could do it affordably with fMRI and produce pretty pictures of colorful brains, we would, because people fucking LOVE that shit and they’ll believe anything with a brain magnet involved.

There’s an episode of “This American Life” called 81 Words about the removal of homosexuality from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association. My students listen to it when I teach about sexual orientation. Why? Because it’s a story of how science interacts with social movements, and how social movements reject the science (and the scientists) trying to support their cause.

Sometimes I wonder if the dichotomy between science and political movements isn’t as great as the dichotomy between science and religion.

when writers write sex advice

On the same day that I read what I could of Backwards in High Heels, my cousin posted a link on Facebook to this GQ sex advice column.

Like Backwards in High Heels, it’s charmingly written. Examples: “While we finally, thankfully are reaching a point where fewer men seem to be confusing having a personality with having a moustache…” and “…it’s important to remember that you are a person and not a mid-priced chain restaurant.”

But like Backwards, it only meets one of my criteria. Remember my three criteria? Scientifically accurate, helpful, and well-written.

This problem – and it is a problem – is actually what drove me to start writing about sex in public (er, that is, writing in public about sex. Darn predication). The ubiquity of sex writing that neglects actual helpfulness or accuracy and focuses exclusively on entertainment just makes life harder for anyone whose job it is to untangle the sociopsychological knots that popular culture, including these columns, create in people’s sexualities.

People really, truly want to know how to be better lovers, understand what their partner wants, and how to be more attractive to their crush object. People are starving for this information. It’s why they read the columns, at least in part. I can’t be the only person who, at 18, read these kinds of things ravenously, only to be left bloated and disappointed. It’s like giving candy to a starving person: hell yes it will taste good and it might even make them feel full, but it won’t actually nourish them.

And it doesn’t. You can’t REALLY meet a guy in the grocery store, and you can’t really turn on any woman, at any time, with ANY fancy sex trick. If you want to know how to meet a guy or how to make a woman want you, don’t ask a journalist. They don’t know any more than you do. Why would they?

Then again, you can ask me but you won’t particularly like the answers because they are not entertaining; they involve you doing stuff you don’t want to do. What you really want to know is how to meet a man without having to sieve through dozens of people you’re not interested in, without having to depart your comfort zone, without risking rejection. And what you really want to know is how to turn on a woman with something that turns YOU on, rather than with empathy, consideration, and affection.

Helpful sex/relationship advice is the spinach of the sex advice world. Some people truly love it, but lots of people only eat it because they know they should. And still more people just avoid it altogether.

There are times when I want to be poetic, because striped through my love of science, like vanilla and anise salt water taffy, is my core belief in the beauty and glory of human sexuality. But EVERY time, I end up sacrificing precision for chewy prose, and every time, I get called on it.

Is it possible to marry absolute precision with beautiful language? I think so. Read Bill Bryson. Read Douglas Adams. Just because I haven’t found a way to do it doesn’t mean it’s not possible. It is my ultimate goal to tell you the exact truth, as science currently understands it, in a way that feeds your soul as it enriches your sexual functioning.

And that’s the only way I’ll ever make a dent in the glutinous edifice of mainstream popular writing about sex. I’ve thought about it and thought about it and I’m increasingly persuaded that the quality of the writing, the ENTERTAINMENT of the writing, is the cheese sauce that will make science palatable to folks. If it’s beautiful, people will believe it.

bossypants

I read Tina Fey’s “Bossypants.” Well, I had her read it to me. Audiobook.

I admit that part of the appeal is her reference to Pathmark and No Frills, two keystones of my own childhood in northern Delaware. But also she talks a lot about body image and the sexualization of women, both of which are topics dear to my heart. She says near the end:

I have a suspicion that the definition of “crazy” in show business is a woman who keeps talking even after no one wants to fuck her anymore. [...] Even if you would never sleep with or even flirt with anyone to get ahead, you are being sexually adjudicated by these L.A. creeps. Network executives really do say things like “I don’t know, I don’t want to fuck anybody on this show.” They really do say that stuff.”

The solution to this problem? More women becoming network executives and creating shows for women the L.A. creeps don’t want to fuck.

Which, totally. Right on.

Until then, can we spend a minute talking about regular women in their every day lives being “sexually adjudicated” (which is a phrase that I am now going to incorporate into my everyday vocabulary)?

This, to me, hearkens back to Mr Ironwood’s comments vis a vis the perceived potential sexual availability of women. Actually his post was more about whether or not a woman might ever even theoretically want to fuck him, not whether or not he wanted to fuck her, but it still feels immediately relevant.

I’ve been thinking about this a great deal for a variety of reasons, not least because I have recently posted a profile on an online dating site. Yeah. I know. And I have pictures posted. And most of the messages I’ve received so far have been about the pictures. “Nice pics.”

I’m a girl with a PhD, gainful employment at a job I enjoy, and a list of interests that provide more than enough possible targets for comment from people who want to send me a message. And yet what do they begin with? “You’re cute.”

Really??

There will probably be people who read this and feel that it’s perfectly natural that a user on a dating website’s first and biggest reaction will be in response to the images – especially, I know some will say, if that user is a man.

I have, in the past, believed that men’s response to me as a potential source of sex was caused by my job. Now I’m learning that it’s caused by my appearance – my face, my body, and the putative vagina that go with them. I’m being sexually adjudicated before I’m being personality/intelligence/emotional-fuckwittage adjudicated.

Probably I should get over it. I’m sure there are lots of people who would enjoy the feeling or at least forgive it on the grounds that it’s inevitable, that on some level ALL men (even the good ones) are like the L.A. creeps.

But I don’t enjoy that feeling. I don’t enjoy the sense that men perceive my body as existing in the public domain, accessible to their senses for their consideration and judgment. Like their judgment has anything to do with me. I can’t be invisible, in order to avoid the judgments, so as a next best alternative, just keep your opinions, which you probably can’t help having, to yourself.

Let me add for the record, because I think some people might wonder, that I do not sexually adjudicate first. I have examined my reaction to profiles and I learned that what I judge first is a sort of social class/intelligence factor. Does this person’s brain seem to work like mine? Sexual adjudication – “Can I imagine ever being naked together with this person?” – is somewhere down the list, maybe between 5th and 10th.

I guess this boils down to a tip for people who want to impress girls:

Even if the first thing you THINK about a woman is sexual adjudication, don’t let it be the first thing you say.