The Asshole Paradox

So a friend’s away message is linking to an article in GQ purporting to explain why Republican men make for a better lay. As you’d expect, the article has a wide number of complaints essentially flowing from the general premise that Democrats are bunch of whiny, considerate, cerebral sops whose correlating concern for others gets in the way of them treating women poorly. Now obviously, the article is written to be funny, but I’ll just point out that the anonymous author’s rather broad interpretation of what makes a Republican better betrays her hand.

Yes, Republicans are the better lay—but only the Republicans you’ve never heard of. The more prominent they are, the less fuckable they are. The opposite is true of Democrats. Think about it. Is there any woman on the face of the earth who wouldn’t fuck Bill Clinton? (Didn’t think so.) But with a gun to your head, could you even think of doing Santorum? DeLay? Lott? Yuck, yuck, yuck! Okay, with a gun to our head, we might do W. And Cheney. Definitely Cheney. As long as we’re blindfolded. (But that’s okay. Republicans are into that, too.)

But isn’t more to the point that Bill Clinton is exactly the sort of ” no conscience!” sociopath who rates well on the authors’ rubric? Indeed, as a certain White House intern can attest, Bubba is definitely the kind of guy who “understand[s] that foreplay is about sex,” and I’d be willing to bet he’s the sort of “efficient” man who is “likely to whip [his] dick out during the cab ride back from dinner.” Further, I don’t think women are exactly lining up to get a crack at Harry Reid or John Kerry. The primary difference then is not fame, but perception. That is, in this context, the real difference between Bill Clinton and Trent Lott is primarily that Bill Clinton is a charming and charismatic asshole, whereas Trent Lott is more just the garden-variety asshole. The so-called “Republican you’ve never heard of,” follows the Clinton mold: good taste, impulsive, assertive, and confident (crucially, his partaisanship only enters the article as adducing another trait, “Republicans are happy to watch Jon Stewart with you. They think he’s a riot.”) Even if you know someone to be a bad person, these qualities make people want to like someone, and it’s usually pretty easy to convince yourself of something you want to believe. Of course, there’s nothing shocking about the conclusion that women are helpless to resist the “wolf in sheep’s clothing.” The real mystery is why women extol the virtues of people who invariably leave them wondering, ice cream in hand, why there aren’t any good guys out there.

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80s Advice for Singles: Still Relevant

Some of my female friends have been pointing to this video, via Jezebel, offering advice on meeting men.

Predictably, the video has been met with much skepticism — in particular the suggestion that a small stuffed animal makes for a good conversation piece. Certainly, this would be odd, but it’s worth noting that not all of the advice is terrible. For example, Amy guffaws, “I need to find a book with an unusual title. Immediately.”

Now, this may sound ridiculous, but that’s only if you assume the whole charade of small talk isn’t itself a totally ludicrous endeavor. That is, since time immemorial, men have been vituperated by women as impulse driven pigs who act only on their basest desires with no regard for emotional consequence. The arguable veracity of this claim notwithstanding, men have thusly learned to mask their invidious intentions so as to appear less threatening. This is why men are told to compliment your shoes or earrings instead of your chest, despite the fact that most shirts are designed to draw attention to your chest. And though most anyone with a pulse understands the sleight-of-hand at work, the quasi-Victorian game of self-delusion continues. It’s insane: the whole idea is finding pretense to bless a conversation with some raison d’etre, even though the pretense is usually understood to be just that. Having a pretense handy — like a book with an interesting title — makes you more approachable because it’s easier to lie about why we want to talk to you. Got it?

NB: This is not an endorsement of every tactic presented in the video. In particular, never, under any circumstances, attempt to make chit-chat about sports teams, especially if you’re only going to discuss a player you think is cute. It’s just patronizing.

And as for the stuffed animal conversation piece, twenty-somethings in the 2030s might be laughing about those absurd shirts with all the witticisms.

10 Ways to Fill a Column

Andrea Savage is an expert on women.

Andrea Savage is an expert on women.

So I was over at Esquire checking to see if there was anything new by Chuck Klosterman and (in addition to growing frustrated with how the site fools you into thinking its features are actually online), happened across one of those “pithy” articles aimed at edifying the brutish male population. It was really great to learn 10 things I apparently don’t know about women, courtesy of Andrea Savage’s publicist Andrea Savage.

1. Wedding rings need to be sparkly to remind us not to have sex with other people.

Wow, good point. If there’s one thing men don’t know, it’s that women like jewelry.

2. Completely shaving your genitals does not make them look bigger. It just makes you look gayer.

3. And if you do shave it all off, fair warning is essential. Otherwise, it’s as startling as a hairless cat jumping out of your pants. And no one looks sexy being startled in the nude.

Great advice. Plus it speaks to the concerns of countless men who worry endlessly about how they’ll “stay in the mood” with a naked girl holding their penis.

4. Murdering someone because he snores should be admissible in a court of law.

I’m with you here. Snoring in court is enormously disrespectful.

5. We hate baby showers as much as you assume a sane person would.

Maybe it’s because I’m not in the “all my friends are getting married” demographic, but I think this is one of those things that women think all men loathe in the specific. In fact, men are just generally loathe to spending time with a bunch of jealous women.

6. After being married, hearing “You’re hot!” from a total stranger means a hundred times more than hearing it from your husband.

Can you imagine living in a world where every single guy was the kind of guy who tells married women they are hot all the time? I think both sexes can agree we don’t want that.

7. If teenage boys knew that no matter what they look like, knowing how to dance will get them laid at every wedding they attend in their twenties, cotillions would be wait-list only.

And if teenage boys knew that, it would be because someone lied to them.

8. We don’t understand your fascination with boobs, but we’re happy you have it.

Us too.

9. A rebound relationship has only one true purpose: Just be interesting enough to keep me from having sex with my ex.

I can’t figure out whether this is a tip or a criticism, but if it’s a tip, then it’s pretty sad Andrea Savage’s insecure publicist Andrea Savage feels that way. If it’s a criticism, I suggest reading this.

10. We love that you are reading this to learn more about us. You’re adorable.

Hey, and thanks for imparting your limitless wisdom like cautioning against shaving my genitals or warning against snoring during a trial. But then, this wasn’t about education anyway.

Andrea Savage can be seen opposite Will Ferrell in Step Brothers, in theaters July 25.

Look, Esquire, it’s annoying enough that you hint coyly about having your features online, but if you’re just going to hock PR fluff, can we just drop the pretense and at least give me a nude photo or something?

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Daily Philosophizing

A fairly common complaint to hear is that ” there just aren’t any worthwhile men/women in this city/these days”. The potential validity of this claim aside, I think people don’t realize the full reflexive implications of that type of statement. That is, the notion of “worth” or “value” is a completely relational property; something has no value without someone else to value it. The concept, which informs ideas like “supply and demand”, is hardly new, but framed in this context might help people better grasp their predicament.

What I’m trying to say, is that if you find yourself in such a situation — a location seemingly devoid of worthwhile objects of sexual or romantic desire — it’s worth considering that your problem is one of demand.

CNN: Bold faced liars

Leave it to CNN, the most trusted name in news, to list several strategies for women to ensure they don’t get asked out on a second date. This, in the day and age of “Photoshop, spell check and the Internet”, is an apparently pressing concern for husband hunting crazies on dating sites most women. Here are the suggestions:

1. “Forget” your wallet

2. Cry

3. Inappropriate disclosure of the personal kind

4. Inappropriate disclosure of the medical kind

5. Perplexing puppetry (the suggestion is a hand puppet?!?)

5. EXcessive Ex talk

a.) Still Smitten

b.) Still Smiting (spiting would be a better word, personally)

But wait, it gets better.

If, after all this, your dude sticks around, it’s time to reassess –because either you’re totally irresistible, he’s mentally ill, or he’s actually turned out to be a total catch. (Perhaps a little of all three.) In any case, you might want to give him a second chance. And a second date.

Of course, this is complete bullshit. As we all know, any man who sits through and pays for a dinner where a woman cries, talks about her exes, and reveals personal information will soon be so ignominiously ensconced in the “friend zone”, there will be literally no hope for escape short of hara-kiri.

Most trusted name in news, please.