Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Dude of the Week! (#8)

This time, the not quite weekly Dude of the Week award goes Lance Armstrong. But let’s get this straight right from the top. This is not going to be another puff piece where someone gets all hot and bothered and starts licking Lance Armstrong’s balls. Er, ball. Honestly, the DW doesn’t care much about cycling and isn’t really up to speed on how much of this Lance Armstrong Great American Hero stuff is true and how much is myth. You can use “The Google”, as our fearless leader calls it, and decide for yourself.

What got the DW thinking about Lance Armstrong was his announcement that he was returning to competitive cycling. The way the Dude Whisperer sees it, there are two likely reasons for the comeback, both of which are extremely dudelike.

The more likely of the two is this. Lance Armstrong needs to come back because he wants to erase suspicion that his previous exploits were drug enhanced and/or he’s suffering from an unwillingness to accept that aging places limitations on his body. Think of your dad refusing to let anyone, especially your strapping young lad of a boyfriend, help with his luggage. Denial about fading physical potency? Trying to clear your name whether you’re guilty or not? Dude traits of the highest order.

But wouldn’t it be great if the reason was this? What if Lance Armstrong just really, really likes to ride a bike? Think of Woody Allen, who pumps out feature length labors of love every 15 months, even though a lot of critics would suggest his prime was over when his wife was 17. Or think of Jesse Helms, who got such joy out of discriminating against minorities and subjugating women he worked tirelessly in the Senate for 30 years even thought the peak of his bigotry was accomplished fairly early on with a 16 day filibuster against creating a national holiday in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Actually, on second thought, don’t think of that. But what if Lance Armstrong just wanted to race because he loved it, even at the ‘risk’, as a dude might see it, of looking old or average or diminished or vulnerable? That degree of self-ease would be the best kind of dudeliness there is.

And so Lance Armstrong, for coming back- whether it’s for mid-life crisis-y reasons or excellent self-assuredness, you are the Dude of the Week!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Dudefile# 14 - The Arrangement (part 3)

[DW Note: For the first and second parts of the story, see Dudefile # 14 - The Arrangement and Dudefile #14 - The Arrangement (part two)]

Hey Dude Whisperer,

Since you claim to love updates and I'm bored, stuck at work on the weekend, I thought I'd drop a note and get your take on the current situation with The Arrangement.

So I'm still going at it with the same dude. The sex is still amazing and we've settled into a decent routine of seeing each other around once a week (more or less, depending on schedules). He pulled a bit of a disappearing act for about 6 weeks not long ago. Okay, he didn't really disappear, he still came running if I emailed him (sometimes on only a few hours notice), but he stopped initiating. I asked him if he was sleeping with someone else, made it clear that I wanted to know in the name of sexual health and he replied that he wasn't sleeping with anyone but me, was 'a one woman kinda guy,' but that after his ex screwed him over he's really cautious about getting into a serious relationship. I had to take a step back at that one, who said anything about a serious relationship? We are strictly about the booty.

Granted, he's long since taken to staying the whole night (he always comes to my place since I live alone and he doesn't) and recently started showering at my place (the first time was cause we had overslept and he had to go pick up his brother, since then it's become a regular thing) and has told me a surprising amount of personal information, but we never go out and I don't think I've seen him with his clothes on for more than 30 consecutive minutes. I assumed I could blame the staying over and personal info on simple laziness and post-sex haziness. I usually like that he sleeps over (once I got used to the snoring, away) and his stories are pretty entertaining, so everything has been hunky-dorey.

Just last week, I invited him over and he wrote back that he wanted to come, but he had to be at work earlier than usual the next day, was it okay if he brought clothes and got ready for work at my place? I said it was fine and that I had to be at work by 8am myself. He had already started showering at my place regularly, so I thought it was a little strange that he made such a big deal about having a change of clothes with him. When he got here I asked him what time he had to be at work and he said 10am. I didn't say anything, but I must have had a look on my face cause he said it was no problem, he'd leave when I did, and just bum around until it was time for work.

Is it me or is that strange? If he knew I would be leaving two hours before him and he'd have to kill those two hours anyway, why not go home to get ready for work? He literally works around the corner from my apartment, but his place isn't far away. And maybe I'm reading too much into it, but he seemed to be expecting me to tell him he could stay after I left.

The next morning I was up with my alarm and started getting ready while he still slept. Around 7am, he asked me what time it was and if he could grab a quick shower. Having great sympathy that we had been up til 3am (which was mostly my doing), I told him he could stay and sleep in til he had to go to work. He said okay, rolled over and went back to sleep.

When I came home I found he had done a very guy job of making the bed and had taken a shower, but everything else was just as I had left it (not that I had expected my place to be torn apart). The unsettling bit came later that night, when I discovered (and I'm about 95% sure on this) that he had used my toothbrush. I'm only a little grossed out, but combined with him staying at my place when I wasn't there and it was like the straw that broke the camel's back. I'm a bit freaked by the level of comfort he has in my place.

I guess what I'm looking for is just a little reassurance that to him this isn't a big deal. Merely manifest of laziness. It takes me a long time to get that comfortable in someone else's house, so the fact that he seems to have jumped there out of nowhere has thrown me a bit. I haven't been able to ask my guy friend's their point of view since they would give me endless shit for having a fuck buddy, so I turn, yet again, to the Dude Whisperer.

Your thoughts? Any helpful hints you have would be greatly appreciated.


Hi again,

Thanks for writing again! The DW totally loves updates. Loves them.

First, though, the DW has to admit he got a little distracted by the toothbrush thing. Okay, sure, a dude should know better than to use it out of politeness and all that- but is using the toothbrush really so grody to the max? Especially in the situation at hand, isn’t one of the last things that’s been in the dude’s mouth, um, your mouth? Again, not to excuse dudes from toothbrush-using-type-offenses, but for what it’s worth dudes avoid those things only because they know you care about them, not because they see the logic in it. Let’s recreate a scene from early in the DW’s courtship of the wifey.

[Morning, bathroom. DW has spent the night at future-wifey’s apartment. As usual, he has forgotten to pack at least one vital item]

DW: Hey, mind if I take a swipe of your deodorant? [Thinks question is essentially rhetorical, pops cap, lifts arm]

Wifey: Uh. That’s disgusting? [Look on face similar to finding pile of warm human sh*t in center of living room]

Deodorant? Who knew? Is this universal? Why?

But enough about the DW’s stinky pits. On to the question at hand.

So, it would seem The Arrangement has reached the point where the lines can blur and problems can occur. As you know, the DW isn't at all troubled by the moral implications of some good ol' fashioned rumpin’ thumpin’ with no strings as long as both parties have a good sense of what's going on and are stable individuals and all that. And you two seem to fit the bill.

What usually happens at some point, though, is that one person starts to care more than the other, which unbalances the balance, resentments start, power dynamics shift, and a giant hole opens up in the earth and both of you plunge into a land of hellfire and eternal suffering. This is a slightly odd case in that it doesn’t seem like either of you is slipping into too much emotional attachment – the only mention of ‘serious relationship’ has been so that both of you can disavow the idea – but what you have done is get more and more intimate in your behaviors. Not intimate in the naked sense- you’ve been ball-touching intimate for a long time, obviously. The DW means intimate in the familiarity and proximity sense. And there is still some danger to that.

The example that comes to mind is this. If you are happy you smile. But, it's also been shown that if you are in a neutral mood, you can make your mouth into a smile and your brain will still read it as happiness and your mood will improve. The behavior can not only be a result of the emotion, but the emotion can follow the behavior. Therapists and sports psychologists and all kinds of shrink-y people use this idea all the time. Behave like someone who’s not depressed and it will be harder to stay depressed. Expect to win the game, you’re more likely to win the game. Etc.

In this way, it seems that even though you and dude are not getting emotionally intimate, the more you slip into things like sleeping over or making concessions about letting the dude hang around at your place, the more you are slipping into behaviors of people who have emotional attachments. It’s not exactly like cuddling by a fire and whispering sweet nothings about how superawesomecute he is (no you are! no, you are! ), but what could follow is some of the confusion you seem to be having right now.

Is there a motive for him coming over? Why change at my place? Next thing you know you’re asking yourself if he was fishing for a ‘serious relationship’ by bringing it up as if he didn’t care. Why bring it up at all? What’s going on? These kinds of questions don’t come up as much when the dude just pulls off the condom, takes a whiz, hikes up his Spongebob boxers, and heads back to his place at 3am.

This is all just to say that yes, the dude’s just being lazy and all seems to be status quo. Maybe, though, just to be safe it’s time to redraw some boundaries regarding shower/sleepover type activities to make The Arrangement look a little more like strictly business again. Keep it simple and f*ckcentric and you’ll be able to stave off the toothbrush sharing and caring type stuff a lot longer.

May you continue to bone like champions. Best of luck and, as usual, write back any time,

the DW

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Poll Results #12

The DW, as usual, would like to thank all those who took time to vote. Here's how poll #12 turned out...

How often does your first date with a dude need translation?

Always! Dudes perplex me, dude. - 17%
Like an adult diaper, it depends. - 71%
Never. Dudes are simple. - 10%

Dudes, how often does your first date with a woman need translation?

Always! Help! WTF! - 90%
Sometimes - 10%
Never. Chicks are super easy to read, dude - 0%

The DW admits he will never quite understand exactly why dudes appear so complicated to women. But, since clearly dudes do seem complicated to women, and sorting out how to make it simple to understand them is the whole thrust of this blog, the DW likes to take small opportunities every now and again to step outside all the talk of dude difficulty to remind all the sexy ladies out there that dudes have a similar problem regarding women. Or, to be more succinct, dudes have no idea what the f*ck you’re thinking either. Not a clue. A dude could figure out how to enrich uranium in his bathtub before he could guess what’s on your mind right now.

And here’s the thing. In the case of first dates, at least, you should be heartened by a dude’s cluelessness. Too many DW letters about first date dudes are written in a frenzy of worry and confusion about your own point of view with the implicit assumption that the dude is driving the situation. In charge. Determining the outcome. Well, guess what? That first date dude thinks you’re driving. In charge. Determining the outcome. Which levels the playing field a bit, right?

So, next time you’re on a first date and you’re getting all worked up and wondering “WTF!”, take a deep breath and look into the dude’s eyes and remember this- the Dude Whisperer Super Duper Poll-O-Meter says that your first date dude is 90% likely to be thinking “WTF!” too, and approximately 0% likely to have you all figured out. So quit worrying, have dessert, and get on with the rest of your date.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Dudefile# 32 - Is it enough?

Dear Dude Whisperer,

i've got a question. and it's a burning question for years that i just want to put out. extinguish. be done. I can't seem to find an answer and i need some help. here's the deal. i'm a 30's something professional female who pretty much has her shit together. I have a good job/career, am successful and have a nice home -- read: small but well decorated apt :)... I lived it up in my early 20's, partied a lot, went out a lot, dated a lot. Met lots of nice people, fell in love once, ok twice, but wasn't able to sustain those relationships. Mainly because there were major differences between me and the partners I've had and i felt those differences were too severe to really allow us to be together, long term, over time. I gave one of them 2 years and the other 3.5 years, but it just didn't work -- I wasn't happy, I wanted more. I wanted a person who was more confident, able to take feedback and give a little to get a little. You know, the whole back and forth thing of compromise.

So, I broke up with both of them and I dated some more, met some other ppl who I also felt super duper excited about, (the whole butterflies thing) but when it came down to being in a relationship, they weren't able to deliver. For example, one dude (who was exceptionally HOT - i mean like stop you in your tracks hot!) wouldn't call me for like two weeks even though he considered me his girlfriend, and I just wasn't into that. It didn't work for me and when I tried to explain this to him, he agreed to change but things remained the same, so i said see you later to that dude... so let's fast forward to present day. I meet this dude, who is stable and smart and funny. He and i start dating and i like him. he is a genuinely good, decent, person who treats me well.

but dude, here's the issue. I'm not head over heels in love with him. i think i love him, it's been about a few months now. he is a great boyfriend, he is respectful, loves my family, loves me, etc. he does everything right. he tells me he is in love with me and all that jazz. but dude, the thing is, i don't think i'm in love with him. but do i have to be? i mean, i've dated a whole bunch of people. I've had some serious relationships that didnt' work, and some not so serious ones too. dude, i didn't just arrive on the dating scene yesterday. but i'm tired of dating. i am not scared of being alone, or that i won't find anyone. i always meet people and dont' have a hard time getting dates. but dude, enough is enough.

i want to settle down and have a family soon and i dont' know if i'll be making the right choice if i stay with him. should i be madly in love with the final dude i choose, or can i just know that he is wonderful, treats me well, and that we are compatible and that is enough? it's a real struggle for me dude. i dont' know if i'm being realistic. i mean does that exist? a person you are like madly in love with AND you are compatible with? i don't know if i'm too stubborn and i want someone perfect or what. like maybe what i'm looking for isn't there and i need to just deal with what i have.

i don't know dude, i'm lost and i need your counsel. what do you think? any words of wisdom? tales of truth?


Hi JT,

So, the DW’s been friends with this one dude for twenty years. We’ll call him KY – for the state, not the jelly. And in all that time knowing KY only one thing ever caused some serious tension. It was nothing to do with gals, beers, sports, beersports, beergals, politics, or money. It was living together for one semester at college.

The proximity was brutal. It was like living in a warm bag of each others farts. Too much was seen. Too much was heard. Too much was, on purpose or accidentally, shared. By the end of the run the DW felt like drugging KY and giving him an insane forehead tattoo. And this is a dude with whom the DW really, to this day, couldn’t be much better friends. (If you didn’t just click on that last link, btw, reconsider.)

(As an aside, the DW’s solution for the rest of college was to room with this dude we called Scoop who was never around. Still no idea where he went or what he got up to. Nice chap. Bright. Interesting. Big Meat Loaf fan. A little intense. Scoop, if you’re out there, give a shout sometime. The DW’s dying to find out if you’re a bigshot filmmaker or if you killed a dude with an empty bottle of Kiwi Mad Dog. Wouldn’t honestly be surprised either way.)

Anyway, the point is this. Dipsh#t college aged dude or not, living with someone isn’t practical. Living with the same person for the rest of your life is even less practical. Throw in an exclusive intimate relationship, planning major events like weddings and vacations, add in buying houses and cars, having children, potential emergencies and illnesses, in-laws, growing old? Come on. Managing all that with the same person, every day, forever? Really? As a matter of pure practicality, this is an incredibly stupid idea and doomed to failure.

Which is why you need more than pure practicality to see you through. Look, the DW, being a dude, would love to be able to tell you that there is a logical way that you can enter some sort of contract of common sense behavior with this almost perfect dude of yours and you could ride off into some mellow sunset of contented-if-not-excitedness. But a business contract like that won’t work. You need goofiness and irrationality and exuberance and blindness and extreme ability to overrate someone. You need magic.

For instance, if the DW was asked to assess the wifey in terms of pure fact the description would probably look a lot like what a cousin or casual acquaintance might say. The wifey would come across as a pretty great person, but flawed like everyone else and maybe not all that distinguishable from any number of other pretty great, but flawed people. Objectively attractive for sure, but who can quantify how much more or less than other women?

Ah, but you ask the DW to tell you what he really thinks of the wifey? All of a sudden the so-called ‘facts’ mean less to him than they do to Karl Rove. The DW will tell you there’s nobody like her, JT. There just isn’t. She’s the best. She’s the smokin’est. She’s magic in a can, the wifey. The DW does crazy&ssed sh*t like think of her and smile for no reason every day. Seriously, the DW actually understands sh*tty movie dialogue since meeting her, for f#cks sake. You know, all that "You make me want to be a better man,” horseflop? The DW gets it now! All of it! What the f^ck! (Okay, to clarify- the DW gets the sentiment, but not how any of that sh&t doesn’t get edited. Even so- WTF!)

Picture the easiest person to get along with, man or woman, that you’ve ever known. Maybe you could watch the news with that person every day. Maybe talk on the phone. Now picture having that person in the bathroom at seven in the morning tomorrow accidentally bumping into you as they pass, naked, on the way to the shower while you’re trying to brush your teeth. Now picture that every day for a week. A year. Twenty years. Yikes. There is no practical way to cope with that sh*t. You need magic!

Anyway, this is all to say- hold out, babydoll. If you're not sure about this dude who's doing everything right, you're probably not gonna get more sure. What's he gonna do, get perfect-er? Not to parse words, but when you say things like "he tells me he is in love with me and all that jazz" it belies a certain lack of enthusiasm that's really hard to work around and talk yourself out of. Since you have the great gift of meeting people easily, the DW suggests you use it. There's a dude out there who's gonna spin you like you've never been spun. It's worth waiting for. Trust me.

Here's to illogical goofy ridiculous thoughts,

the DW

Monday, September 1, 2008

Online Dating Tip #4 - You Might Not Want To Show So Much Boob

It pains the DW to say this, it really does. In fact, in a parallel universe the DW’s twenty-year-old self is kicking the current day DW squarely in the nuts just for thinking it. But since the DW is a genius who cares, he will tell you – you might not want to show so much boob.

The DW is assuming there are reasons you have that shot in a bikini that’s this close to springing loose an areola and that shot where your black thong is as readable as sixty point type through your tight pink dress. Maybe it’s because you understand that dudes respond to visual stimuli. Maybe you want to show off the work you’ve been doing in the gym. Maybe you’re just the kind of freespirited gal who makes a habit of treating your boobies to plenty of sweet fresh air.

And that’s all fine. But here’s the thing. Dudes are already zooming in to the pixel trying to figure out how badly they want to cling tenaciously to your buttocks. They could take a picture of you dressed like a friar and find a way to get wood over your tawny thighs because of that one little swell they can see, right there, just to the left of the rope belt, catching that little bit of shadow. Online dating dudes don’t need any more encouragement than the stuff they dream up on their own. You put up a shot with twelve inches of cleavage you’re gonna be fighting off four and a half inches of wood. Skip the bikinis, the plunging sundresses, all that stuff the DW and other dudes dearly love.

Instead, try a strategy like this. If you really must reveal some figure, find a way to go with a girl next door approach. For instance, the post-10k race picture is always good. Your running shorts and slightly sweaty t-shirt show off plenty, and the situation implies you get regular exercise, but there’s less room for the wrong kind of dude to misinterpret that you’re cruisin’ for some wiener the way he might if you show the same amount of leg in photo of a mini-skirt and heels in a club half drunk holding a fruity vodka drink.

Hey, in a perfect world, show as much boob as you want. In the reality of online dating, though, fair or not, too much boob is just gonna get you the wrong kind of mail from the wrong kind of dudes. A dude can see if you’re the kind of cute he likes no matter what you’ve got on in your profile pics.