Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Dudefile #6 - Clueless?

Dear Dude Whisperer,

I feel like I'm regressed to a 13 year old recently, but I can't help it. I met this guy about 6 months ago. We instantly hit it off and being chatting all day, everyday. (We had really boring jobs.) He was dating someone when I first met him, but that ended a few weeks after we met. We tried making out a couple of times right after that, but I stopped it because he didn't seem that excited about it, I couldn't decide how excited I was about it and it seemed like maybe we were just better off as friends. I figured it was better to nip it in the bud than let it continue and ruin was seemed like the beginning of a great friendship.

Since then we have continued to speak every day, several times day, and hang out at least once on the weekend and perhaps during the week if we're free. We have an amazing time together- when I'm with him I don't really ever want to be doing anything else- generally crack each other up, and see eye to eye on many many things. Basically we have become best friends and are in what amounts to a platonic committed relationship.

It's making me INSANE. We are both single, consenting adults. We are both smart and good looking people. I could potentially be dating other people, but I am using up my boyfriend space on him... because he is awesome and hot and my favorite person to spend time with these days. And yet no one is making any moves on the other person. I fear it's gotten to the point of no return. Is it really possible for a man in his late twenties to spend the majority of his time with one (really rather cute) girl for several months and really just think they are best friends and there is nothing else doing?

I mean, I know dudes can be clueless... but that clueless? I fear that ramming my tongue down his throat will be the end of a beautiful friendship if I'm totally out of line.

And he's not gay. Really, he's not. We've discussed it.

Any insight?

Thanks, SR

Hi SR,

The DW admits it. He yelped at the screen when he read this one. And okay, maybe he swore. A little. Because it made him bananas. Clueless!?

But since the DW doesn’t understand women, only dudes, he asked his wife to read it over and see if she had the same reaction. She didn’t. “What does she do?” she asked, calm as you please.

So, apologies, SR, for swearing in your general direction. Clearly there is more mystery to women in this situation than there is to the DW. I’ll do my best to un-mystify it.

Really, to understand the dude perspective, you only need to look at one thing. When you two were first heating up, you stopped it. You thought it would be better to be friends. You nipped it in the bud. Fair enough. Your dude understood the rules and the rules were that you are just friends.

What the DW doesn’t get is how is this dude supposed to know the rules have changed? You spend a lot of time together and you speak every day, sure. And yes, you are absolutely right to assume that these are not normally the things a dude does unless he’s attracted to a woman. A dude wants to chat on the phone several times a day about as much as you want me to cut this answer short right now in favor of shooting off 6,000 words about who should play left field for the Giants this year. Which I could do. Don’t dare me. But, hanging and chatting are not enough to let him know that you are attracted to him. Compared to the concrete “No,” you gave him, directly, with words, hanging and chatting is vague, circumstantial, and up to interpretation at best.

Look at it this way. Suppose everything else in this situation is equal except you were not attracted to this guy and it was not okay for him to put on some kind of move. What if he tried to kiss you again? You’d think he was a jerk and he was way out of line. You’d tell all your friends he was a no-good lying walking boner. You’d be offended that all this quality time you thought you’d been spending was really just an elaborate plot to invade the sovereign nation of Yourpantsia. This dude is operating under that assumption that this may well be the case. He’s purposefully not kissing you because the last thing you told him about kissing was no kissing. You think it’s driving you insane? This poor dude’s been trailing you around for months doing all this totally un-dudelike stuff, biding his time, and absolutely dying for you to change your mind.

Anyway, as you can tell by now, the DW feels that this dude is the utter opposite of clueless. In fact, he’s honoring the only dude-caliber clue you gave him, which was saying we are just friends. Talk to him. Just say, “Um, yeah, so I’ve been thinking. Wanna be more than friends?” It’s theoretically possible this non-gay chatterbox will say no, but The DW would assign approximately a 107% chance he’ll let you ram your tongue anywhere you want. Repeatedly.

Does this make sense?

Let the DW know how it goes, if you have the time. Good luck,
the DW

Monday, February 25, 2008

Dudefile #5 - The Checkered Past

Dude whisperer-

First of best friend sent me your link and I think you are not only ridiculously funny, but spot fucking on. I have three older brothers and you certainly know what you are talking about.

So...on to my for the ages I imagine. I am 27 and to even my own surprise, have slept with a few more people than I had expected to at this point in my life. I haven't had many serious relationships, 3 months is the longest to be exact. It isn't that I'm afraid of commitment, I simply just see things for what they're worth. I'm not looking to get married anytime soon, but when I figure out that I'm not attracted to someone in the long run I bail pretty fast. What's the point of wasting mine and someone else's time if I can't see waking up next to them in six months? Anyway, I've slept with 14 people. That's kind of a lot for a girl. I think. Especially for me, who comes off as the all-american/good girl type.

SO....the real question...I'm dating someone that I like a good amount and I could see it getting serious. The last time we were together he asked how many people I'd slept with and I weaseled out of it with a joke and we were pretty drunk, but I don't know if that will work the next time. So I think I should lie...but what is a good number to say? I don't want to be too deceiving, but I think his jaw would drop ten floors if he knew.

Were you honest with your wife? She you? What is the protocol on this? I've never cared enough to lie or even consider it.
Looking forward to your answer.

Thanks!Slutty SF Girl :)

Hi Slutty,

So, the DW’s brother has been meaning for years to finally write down a list of all the movie conventions that drive him bananas. You know, like Tying Someone Up Instead of Just Goddam Shooting Them or The Totally Unfunny Wisecracking Hipster Sidekick Who Can Hack The Pentagon In Seven Seconds. His absolute all-time biggest peeve, though, aside from The Foghorn Leghorn Crappiest Southern Accent Ever is when one actor plays twins. It’s a stupid and lazy enough idea to begin with, but the extra kiss of death is that it always falls to shitty actors who alternately over-scowl or over-preach depending on whether or not they’re supposed to be the ‘good’ or the ‘evil’ twin at that moment. Double Impact starred Jean-Claude Van Damme, not Meryl Streep, as you’ll recall.

Anyway, your letter brought to mind another movie convention. The Tortured Checkered Past. Not that it’s an inherently bad concept. It’s worked in plenty of films of varied quality from Casablanca to The Bourne Identity. But when the Past is neither Tortured nor Checkered, you just get, well, you sleeping with 14 dudes. Big whoop.

As you can tell, 14 is hardly slutty to the DW. In pure math, that’s one dude every eight and a half months since you were 18. Whatever. If the DW was Suddenly And Inexplicably Transported To Another Body, to use another terrible movie conceit, and the body was, say, that of a 27 year old single woman, he’d have sex 14 times by the end of this post.

Second, in general, the DW believes what you each did in terms of sex before you met is your own business, unless one of you used to be a porn star or nail donkeys or something that might be responsible to reveal. There’s no such thing as retro commitment and a grown up dude oughta know it. If your current dude wants to take it personally about your previous dudes, that’s a little silly.

Now, the thing about all of the above is that we’re talking about normal stuff like your number 14. Your dude should be able to handle normal stuff. But what if your number wasn’t 14, it was 76? Or 48? Or 29? Do you still tell the truth? The DW will always have a stubborn bias towards truth (since you ask, the DW and his wife are always honest about stuff like this, though it tends not to come up much), but maybe there is a point where you start getting all Arthur Andersen on his ass. We don’t have to figure that out in your case, though.

Here’s where you do lie, though. If your dude is dumb enough to ask you to assess him, you know, as numero 15, don’t tell him #7 had the best shaped wiener and #11 was the most attuned to you, and #12 taught you this awesome little twisty thing where you kinda lift this and put that over there and, like wow….No. Feel free to adjust or omit those details as you see fit. You don’t have to go over the top and tell the new dude he’s way better than he is- he already thinks that- and you don’t have to act like you just happened into 14 of the worst lays on the planet before him, just, you know, be smart. Don’t let him think he’s competing with some previous punkass dude from your past. Sounds ridiculous, but trust me- it would really eat at him to think he was.

Incidentally, the DW is a big fan of your ‘can I see myself waking up with this person in six months’ test. Practical. Ethical. Efficient. It may not have seen it’s last quotation around these parts. Slutty’s Six Month Wake-Up Rule. It’s got a ring to it.

Glad you’re enjoying the blog so far. Best of luck with your new dude. May you make it to month number four,

the DW

PS- Incidentally, the lying all changes with those older brothers of yours. With them, feel free to lie yourself back to virginity. Forever. If you ever have a kid tell them it was immaculate conception. Deny, deny, deny. They'll appreciate it. Trust me.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Dudefile #4 - The Bus Crush

Dear Dude Whisperer,

What a great idea! I love this blog already. So I have a truly San Francisco dude dilemma that I hope you will enjoy solving.

I don't know if you ride the bus, but I have had what we SF Muni riders call a Bus Crush since about November. I get on first, we both get off on the same stop.

I have tried smiling and eye contact to no avail. To make the possibility for small talk more likely I bring the best conversation-starter props I can think of: a Blackberry that I clearly have no idea how to use, the Economist, flash cards for a test, architectural drawings, Garden and Gun magazine, all with no results. My only indication of interest from him is that he has twice held the door open for me when we were getting off.

My question is whether you think I should instigate a conversation. I know that men are driven by getting what they don't think is available, so I am wary of being the one who is the pursuer.

Secondly, can you recommend any good icebreakers? Being on the bus means there is an audience, and all heads swivel in unison when they hear a pickup line in action. I haven't tried dropping a bunch of papers or falling and busting my ass, I was hoping for a better way.

Thanks Dude Whisperer!


PS I'm *smokin* hot, I don't know if that makes a difference.


You know, what would make this a truly San Francisco dude dilemma is if your Bus Crush was gay. But for the purposes of an answer, we’ll sully forth assuming straightness.

That said, just go talk to this dude already. You have no idea how refreshing it is for a dude to have a woman initiate a conversation for once. Your questions and uncertainty and doubt in this one instance are what single dudes have to regularly face when approaching women, after all. It doesn’t mean you want to move to the burbs with him and bear his children, it just lets him know you’re interested enough to say hi and that if he asks you out you’ll probably say yes. And since this is so rarely how the dynamic works, you don’t really need to be super smooth with an ice-breaker. It’s not like most dudes have had a hundred shitty pickup lines tried out on them like you have. Just say good morning. Ask his name or where he’s going every day on that bus. Whatever. The dude will already be sizing you up, trying to figure out how badly he wants to touch your boobies. The last thing he’ll remember is the dumb thing you said to get him talking. Yes, it’s that simple. Dudes are not complicated. Remember this always.

Now, two quick further notes…

First, while things like eye contact and door holding can absolutely have significance, be careful, when dealing with dudes, about assigning them too much significance. In your head the Bus Crush situation is becoming this complicated narrative of flirtation trial and error. Maybe the Bus Crush has picked up on this, but the DW would bet the baseball Moises Alou threw to him from right field at PacBell Park that the Bus Crush could not possibly be more oblivious to your desire for him to ask you out. If in doubt, assume a dude did not understand your hint. At. All.

Second, you think you “know that men are driven by getting what they don't think is available”, but you think wrong. The DW greatly prefers the available. And he’s not alone. I’ll put it this way. You and Alicia Keys are sitting at a bar. The DW has to approach one of you and ask you out. Know who the DW would approach? You. Because with you I’ve got a shot. You’re more available. Now, I’m not saying you go up to Bus Crush and start humping his leg like some kind of St. Bernard with a Blackberry and flashcards. Of course that’s off-putting. But the DW is a big believer that playing hard to get, by and large, only sends signals to dudes that they interpret as you not being interested, and chasing around a woman who isn’t interested is a pain in the ass, potentially humiliating, and something a lot of dudes just won’t take on.

Hope this helps. And if you have the time, the DW would love to hear how it goes if you decide to give Bus Crush the ol’ how-do-you-do.

Thanks for reading! Best,
the DW

PS- Of course smokin hot makes a difference! Smokin hot women know this, right?
Anyway, the DW, for this case, simply approached smokin hot as very good looking and 100% datable. Truly smokin hot is a topic that will need to be addressed more fully at another time.

[ SD responds:]
THANKS DUDE WHISPERER! I'll let you know how it goes ;)

Friday, February 22, 2008

Dudefile #3 - If I Want Serious, Should I Consider Casual?

Dear Dude Whisperer:

So as much as I know how to solve the problem I am posing to you, I need to be reassured that all the answers point that way. Particularly the male's response. Sorry, not to use for your sex, but yeah, that is pretty much the reason.So I have dated this guy, who I have known for about a year. Off and on though because at different points in our lives we decided to get into separate committed relationships. Anyhow, ever since we first met he made it clear to me that he did not want anything serious. At the time, I was hoping for something serious, but like it has been done by many women before, I convinced myself that I was also looking for something casual.

In any case, we dated casually. We would see each other quite often and even go out on nice dates like a couple, so to speak. Before we separated to get into committed relationships, we were not having sex. Just the casual making out. Anyhow, we took break from each other because he wanted to be bf to this girl who turned out to be gay. So they break up and then he calls me. Here I am the rebound girl, obviously. This second time around the real sex comes into play. We got back into the routine we had when we first met. Seeing each other often and hooking up. Then I decide to be gf to this other guy I was also seeing at the time. The other guy and I end up breaking up and in hopes saving the "relationship" with the first "great hook up dude" I call him. Unfortunately that failed: he said we should move on. So I moved on.

However, every now and then we would text each other to catch up. We finally got together a few weeks ago to catch up in person. Turned out to be cool. I definitely felt chemistry. But, once again, he made it clear he can’t be in a serious relationship. We ended up making out, but no sex. Still, I feel this urge to want to get casual again. He has even mentioned getting together to catch up and pretty much hook up every once in a while. As PHYSICALLY tempting as it sounds, I think it is not a good idea. I feel chemistry and as much as I want to believe I can handle it, the chemistry there makes me feel otherwise. I have done casual and can do casual, but not with someone that I actually like. Still, by not giving in, I'd be assed out on getting any.

Talk about a fucking recession dude whisperer: I'm basically celibate now by force. I'm not sure what I am asking for. I think I have been ranting more than actually asking for help. Still, do you have any advice on what I should do? I mean if I want something serious should I even consider the casual? Why is it that he could have a serious relationship with someone else and not with me when I feel like there is more than casual likeness between both of us?

Not getting any...even casually, right?

Dear Not getting any,

There's a Chinese joint across the street from where the DW’s wife works that has a really fantastic noodle soup for, like, three bucks or something crazy like that. Huge bowl, enough for two meals, and the word that everyone uses to describe it is zesty. “This soup is so damned… zesty.” Turns out it also gives you a huge headache.

Thing is, because of the value and the zestiness, everybody in the shop kept trying to attribute the headaches to just about anything but the soup. It was only a coincidence. The weather. The customers. The dusty ducts. Tight underpants. Whatever. Finally, as she picked up a bucket of soup for the seventh day in a row, one of the coworkers asked the restaurant the question that everyone in the shop already knew the answer to. “Um, do you guys use MSG?” And poof! The headache denial was over. Of course they used MSG. Probably enough to give a bowl of peat moss some zest. Nobody really even tried to act surprised.

In other words, yes, you do already have it figured out. This dude’s had a ton of chances to take you up on the idea of getting serious. He’s had a separate relationship in between hookups with you and seen you be serious with someone else. If none of this has caused him to look at you differently, it’s probably never going to happen.

As for what you should do? Let me put it this way. The DW’s wife still goes to the Chinese joint every now and again. But, when she does she asks, “Hey, anybody want anything from the MSG joint?” That is, if you go back to this dude, don’t kid yourself one ounce about what it’s for- zestiness and a headache. The Chinese joint is not going to wake up one day and decide to be Chez Panisse. It just isn’t.

Regarding your other question, the DW has no idea why this casual dude wouldn’t want something serious with you. It’s a question for that particular dude rather than about dudes in general. Maybe think of it this way- Surely you’ve left a dude in a similar position, right? Dude liked you, thought you got along, but you just weren’t feeling it so you kept him, in one way or another, at arm’s length? Some people just don’t work, even when one of them thinks it makes a whole lot of sense.

One thing that’s confusing to the DW about this situation is what the reasons were for having sex sometimes and just making out other times. The DW doesn’t know any dude who would stop at making out if getting laid was on the table barring some extraordinary circumstance. Nervous about losing his or your virginity, maybe. But other than that it would almost have to be some Old Testament style locusts and fire and blood and serpents kind of thing. Is it possible you were the one pushing the hooking up way harder than he was? A dude could hook up even if he wasn’t that into it, especially if it was the easiest way out of a situation. We can be gross that way.

Whatever the case, you’re not celibate by force. You’re celibate in terms of this one dude. If it’s bothering you that much, go to your favorite bar and make some other dude’s week. He’ll take you up on what you’ve got in mind.

Best of luck with the dudes,

The DW

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Dudefile #2 (part two)

Hey DW,

Yeah, I kind of knew from the beginning where this was going to go, but went along with it anyway. I guess, in case I was wrong about things. Yes, I brought it up. Yes, he was surprised. He simply assumed that I was ok with the way things were going. He never asked, he assumed. I never brought it up and let him assume that it was...but secretly wanting more. I hate the dating scene and the games we must play.

Question: When did you realize that you were done with the casualness and wanted more? Or did you just find the right person?

Your insight is're awesome, I think this whole Dude Whisperer is pretty fucking cool! Props to DW's wife for picking a winner.


Hi LS,

Well, sorry to be right. And the DW can't resist a brief additional note regarding assuming. Dudes don't look at it as assuming. They look at it as using the information available and reaching a conclusion. That's why secretly wanting things is basically never going to lead to a dude giving it to you. Hinting either. Want something out in the open and the dude will either give it or not and you'll both be more informed way sooner. A lot of the things the DW does for his wife he still doesn’t understand at all and never would have figured out on his own.

As for your casualness question- with dudes it often comes to getting some other things straightened out in their life, as well. Maybe a dude figures out what his career is, or where he’s living, he just gets tired of going out all night all the time, maybe televised sporting events seem less life or death, whatever. He just grows up a little and sees how much the relationship thing really affects another human being and so he starts acting accordingly. One important thing to know, though- it's rarely that "you find the right person" that makes you a better relationship dude. Maybe never. That's more Diane Lane / Drew Barrymore stuff. Forget it. I know women like to think they have that power, but a dude will not change and go from jerk to seeing the light in the span of your relationship. Won't. Can't. Put it out of your head. You get involved with a certain kind of dude, expect him to stay, in a general sense, that kind of dude.

Anyway, thanks for liking the DW, LS! And the DW's wife appreciates the props.

the DW

Dudefile #2 - Casual Sex Situations?

Hey DW,

So I'm wondering about a dude I've been seeing. It's one of those casual sex situations that's been consistent. Do you think that it will ever take a turn for the better or should I take the exit before I begin getting in over my head, if not already?


Hi LS,

Gotta tell you this is a pretty easy one if the DW is making a few correct assumptions. If by 1) "casual sex situations" you mean that you and this dude hook up, but don’t go out on dates 2) "turn for the better" to mean this dude coming to his senses and falling madly in love with you like the exciting conclusion of a Diane Lane movie and 3) "getting in over my head" to mean you caring way more for this dude than he does for you- get out.

Dudes don't necessarily equate the touching of naughty parts to emotional attachment. They just don't. This fascinates his wife, but there was a time when the DW was like that dude and had "casual sex situations", and here's the thing. If this dude of yours felt deeply about you as a girlfriend-type, all that disconnect between naughty parts and emotions goes out the window and the mere thought of another dude's wiener being anywhere near you would make him really, really antsy. The fact that it doesn't, which is implicit in casual non-committedness, means that he won't likely ever be your boyfriend.

Doesn't mean he doesn't legitimately like you. Just means he doesn't, for whatever reasons, think of you, as the saying goes, in that way. He might even be surprised to find out you think it's anything more than casual and that things aren't just fine and awesome and convenient like they are right now.

Anyway, hope this is some helpful dude insight. Feel free to write back with follow ups or new dude situations.

the DW

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Dudefile #1 - The 3-4 Day Rule?

Hi Dude,

Thanks for offering your services. I had a date with a guy, and I thought it went well. I thought we enjoyed each other's company and had potential chemistry. He seemed to like me. But then, I didn't hear from him. Now it's 3 days later and I still haven't heard from him. What's the deal? Is there really that 3-4 day rule? Or is he simply not interested?

And on that note, why would a guy not be interested in me? I'm pretty (really!) and smart and nice, at least I don't let the bitch out until at least the 2nd or 3rd date. But I rarely make it past the first date, and I don't understand why. There are plenty of women who are less attractive, less interesting, less horny than me, and they all find boyfriends easily. I don't understand why I'm not able to connect with guys. They don't seem to even want to pursue me enough to get laid. What's that all about? I mean, I'd prefer a "relationship" but I'm not adverse to just having some fun. Is it me? Or is it them? I'm truly baffled.

Curious what you'll say,

Hi Venus,

You’re welcome. So, contacting you for three days means he’s probably not interested. Generally speaking if a dude’s interested, he’ll act like it. If he’s not, he won’t. That simple. Think of it as Occam’s Dude Razor. We’re often spectacularly unmysterious. The DW supposes there are dudes who have rules about when you call and how often you text and keep little charts and graphs about where they take you to dinner and how many buttons of their shirt to leave undone, but that kind of fussiness is for dudes who are up to no good or have weird social issues you don’t want any part of anyway. If you want to find out for sure, call the dude and make him account for himself.

As for why a guy wouldn’t be interested in you, the DW couldn’t say. If you’re pretty and nice and smart as you say, something else is clearly amiss, because those are undoubtedly things dudes are looking for. Could have something to do with letting the bitch out, although th DW has to admit he doesn't really know what that means. Maybe you need to mix up the way you meet dudes or try a different flavor of dude than what you usually go for. You? Them? Logic says it’s probably a bit of both, right?

Best of luck with the dudes,

the DW

Friday, February 15, 2008

How the DW Blog Started

This is the post I put on Craigslist SF in the Missed Connections section, February 14th, 2008:

To me, dudes aren't that hard to figure out. But maybe that's just because I'm a dude. Lately, it seems like I'm completely flabbergasting women I know all the time by interpreting what I consider the most basic of dude situations/behaviors/mindsets/etc. I've been giving simple dude interpretations and advice so much we came up with the handle of 'The Dude Whisperer'. And now, after much goading, I am taking this service public. If you are a woman and you want to know what your relationship dude, potential relationship dude, friend dude, brother dude, or any other dude is thinking and why he's acting like he is, email me at thedudewhisperer at yahoo dot com and i will use my powers of elementary dude knowledge to help. It's better for you that way, and better for the dude. I'm happily married so this isn't about doing some pickup artist nonsense- I'd frankly rather not know your name or see your picture. And I have no psychological training or qualifications whatsoever, so keep that in mind, too. I'd like to post some of the best exchanges on a blog (anonymously, of course) so we can do follow ups and see if what I suggested panned out and all that kind of stuff, but we'll cross that bridge after the dude talk. Have a good Valentine's Week.

The DW