Month: July 2015

Flirting remystified

(I’m postponing my post on /r9k/ for later)

This is a guide on flirting written by Kate Fox at the Social Issues Research Centre. I’d recommend everyone to read it. It’s practical advice for both men and women, with apparently sound empirical backing. Seems like a great demystifier. This is just what the topic of flirting needed.

Flirting is a tricky subject, because people seem to refer to it (e.g. tell you to ‘just go and do it’) without being able to explain what it is, even if they’re really skilled at actually doing it. It’s an elusive concept, because it describes an activity that involves non-exact understanding; ambiguous, implicit methods of communication characterises it. The SIRC guide’s strength is in describing these methods (verbal and non-verbal cues like eye contact and physical touch) and outlining their generally-understood meanings, and appropriateness for a given level of target flirtiness.

The guide says ‘flirting is a basic instinct’. But it’s really complex. It’s laden with social conventions. The fundamental underlying instincts are the sex drive, and fear of potential danger. I see flirting as a way to navigate though the barriers that keep our sex drives under control. It’s about signalling sexual interest, and ascertaining the level of interest in others, but also actively raising it. When properly employed, it avoids the embarrassment of explicit rejections, by subtly dissuading against unwanted advances.

Of course, people often get it wrong, and an explicit verbal rejection is required to put an unpleasant encounter to an end. And even then, some dudes persist in getting it wrong.

The SIRC document mentions the possibility of sending ambiguous signals, as in ones that can reasonably be interpreted two contradictory ways. It warns against causing undesired confusion in this way. But it does not directly address the practice of deliberately doing this, for the purpose of testing the interest or courage of the other party, or causing frustration in order to build up sexual tension, or simply taking delight in the act of teasing.

It’s tempting to declare that such the best move in such games is not to play at all. Or fall back to explicit verbal communication.

Forthcoming content: I want to talk about a necessary precondition of flirting: meeting. Specifically, meeting strangers. I’ll discuss Tinder, and technologically-mediated dating generally, and its future.

Launching the Moonpod

These are my writings, about  myself and about the world.

For a while, this blog will be pseudonymous, because I will write things of a rather personal nature.

Here are some topics I can see coming up:

  • self-development, mindset, stoicism
  • attraction, dating, sex
  • social justice, feminism and masculinism
  • culture and internet subcultures
  • virtual reality
  • social networks and communications technology

It’s going to be wild ride.

Notes on comments

I won’t enable WordPress comments. Managing an online community is a large responsibility, especially one centred around the controversial topics that I will be discussing. ‘If your website’s full of assholes, it’s your fault’. My corollary: if your site’s full of morons, it’s your fault.

But I believe online, pseudonymous dialogue around these topics can be valuable.

You can email me feedback. I’ll read it, and sometimes reply directly. I plan to periodically feature interesting ones in posts here, along with pieces of discussions I’ll collect from external sites, be they tweets or imageboard replies or blog post excerpts.

So this blog will include comments, but in a curated, controlled manner.

A bit about myself

I’m a rather introverted and introspective 2X year old guy, working full time and living in London. This blog will document me on a journey of self-development via the dissecting of my anxieties and self-defeating beliefs, building new good habits, while overcoming bad ones. Like porn addiction (nofap at 10 days and counting, yay me).

One goal I’m working on: getting laid. I’ve never had sex. That alone probably gives you a good impression of where I’m at.

In documenting my ascent to higher forms of consciousness (it’s not all about sex, honest), I intend to use this blog as a sort of outreach project to my brothers in the struggle. I’m starting from square zero too. I want to help, but I’m not qualified to give out advice as a primary source. What I know is this: I know nothing.

So what good am I? I can be a gateway. I can examine, contextualise, and put theory into action and report back with results, in my peculiar manner of analysis.

Here I should quickly state I’m not trying to lead anyone into the realm of Pick Up Artists (PUAs). They aren’t what I’m trying to be about.

I will mention two recommended teachers on the dating topic:

I use them in theory, but not in practice. So far. I have criticisms or reservations about both of them, and maybe their lessons are in conflict… but we’ll return to them later.

Next, I’ll post about one stronghold of internet loser subculture, 4chan’s /r9k/ board. I was there in the beginning. I left and returned several times. The environment resonated with me. Most recently, I’ve returned and seen that its culture has degenerated in a rather saddening way.

I’ll discuss what it was, what it became, and what it could be.

In the meantime, here’s an overview of its worst.