Thursday, 25 August 2016

When Choosy Men Reject Women

Being a writer and drummer living the free Bohemian life on the beach sure has its perks. Being single in your late 30s in Los Angeles breeds even more options while widening your horizons. However, at some point in our lives we find that our priorities regarding dating and sex begin to change. It usually happens gradually, without one noticing.

After Why I Choose to Remain a Non-Dad for Now — Reflections on Being Childless, the following is another related topic which is based on personal experience, mine and others’.

Like all men, every now and then I have “guys talks”. Whether it’s an old friend, a neighbour, or at the drum circle, I’m often asked: So what happened with that girl/woman from last time? In some cases, I explain to them that [she] was interested to go back to my place, but I wasn’t; so I just left and went back home… alone. 

Now, almost every time I share this reoccurring happening I get weird looks from the guys. It’s like their eyes are speaking to me in a familiar macho language: How could you pass up such a chance? Who does that? You could have called me, you know, and I would have been happy to serve.

Looking back at my life and how guys talks go, I can confidently say that these reactions are actually quite universal throughout the masculine world, especially for single men. And one day I was like that, too. In fact, during my teenage years I dated the first few girlfriends because they liked me, because they were available.

Later when sex was involved, it was also the female’s choice to agree or not to sleep with me. If that wasn’t the case, it would be called harassment or even rape and I would be in deep trouble. So just like the animal world, when it comes to the domain of flirting and sex it is usually the man who makes the first move while the woman is the one who gets to choose.

 As an evolutionary trait, it’s how things work since women invest more in their offspring.

Sometimes, however, things go the other way round; and it’s the woman who makes the first move. Perhaps in the light of the gender equality wave, this is happening more frequently nowadays.

Personally, I am no longer interested in sharing my time or energy with someone just because they happen to like me. It’s inconceivable to like everyone who like us, simply because “attractiveness standards” is a real thing. If there is no chemistry — be it physical, emotional, or mental connection — it’s better not to get into it. 

I had always been somewhat picky, yet I still used to listen to my penis-brain. Now that I have matured, I am more in control of that lower brain and urges, which makes me even more picky.

The reality is, during sex there is a merge of energy between the partners. The intimacy makes this transference contagious. If they have positive energy you will feel uplifted afterwards; if it’s negative, you may feel weird for having ‘borrowed’ an energy which doesn’t vibrate with yours. When you’re in touch with your inner workings, you will be able to sense these chemical reactions and it would be almost impossible to disregard them. 

As such, it’s best to connect first before getting into bed. This is not to say that going wild every now and then at a party or with a random lustful stranger(s), or even getting a sensual massage, isn’t fun or worth the experience. But when it gets to everyday dating and building relationships, this is the approach I have been following: Seduce my mind and I’m yours. Despite having to occasionally deal with some women’s catty attitudes, this is how I am true to myself and to them. It’s actually how I virtuously bought my head when it comes to dating and sex. And it’s been working great ever since. 

As for the urges, masturbation could be way more fulfilling than sharing one’s energy and feeling awkward right after. Self-love is healthy and has many benefits. Besides, if you can’t love yourself, you won’t have the capacity to love others. In sexual terms, if you do not enjoy satisfying yourself, you will likely find it hard to satisfy others, or to enjoy sex in general. More about the topic can be found in the recent What’s the Story with Blue Balls (and Blue Vulva)

That said, while females hitting on males may be a rarer event, it still happens to some of us. When, then, we turn them down because we’re not interested, they take the rejection personal and not too well. Even though I habitually make sure to do it nicely and politely, I can still sense a certain degree of hostility, sometimes coupled with confusion. Some we remain friends, others I rarely ever see again. Because in some cases rejected women can become so bitterly obnoxious, it is almost impossible to be just friends. It actually makes you grateful you found it out without having to date them.

You see, guys are usually more horny and desperate for sex. This make them more used to being rejected, so many just carry on with their lives when it happens. But when a woman is told ‘no’, she gets startled and doesn’t know how to act. When you think about it, even the less attractive ones can always find some man who’s ready to bed her — men are horny beasts, remember. So it makes logical sense that women assume that if they are agreeing to jump, the man should promptly ask: How high… or deep?

But the truth remains, women are equally bound to get rejected. And just like the other way round, men also do not owe those they reject any explaining. We do not have to word out certain things like: “You’re not my type or I think you’re too fat/skinny/boring, or it’s your lackluster essence”. Totally unnecessary. So do not get hurt or defensive, Ladies. Also, do not nag, wanting to know why he’s not into you. It won’t matter. Just realise you are not compatible, let it go then move on.

Generally speaking, rejection can happen between couples in ongoing relationships, between friends, or as I mean in this article, between people who just met. Emotional rejection hurts and can have dire implications on our psychological state, for men and women. This is chiefly due to the fact that humans are social animals who are constantly striving to be accepted.

In Emotional First Aid: Practical Strategies for Treating Failure, Rejection, Guilt, and Other Everyday Psychological Injuries, Guy Winch explains that the pain caused by rejection is deeply rooted in the make-up of the human psyche since much earlier times.

If you were living in a hunter/gatherer society, being ostracised meant death. For you couldn’t have survived without your tribe. Therefore we became wired to regard any rejection threat as a warning alert, which triggers us to change our behaviour in order to avoid being ostracised.

A scientific reason why rejection can be so agonising is what studies have shown regarding social rejection and physical pain triggering the same region in the brain. So our body here reacts the same to both situations. As a response, the brain releases its own natural pain killers — the opioids — to make you feel better. 

In clinical psychology, the associated syndrome is called Rejection Sensitivity (RS); defined as the tendency to “anxiously expect, readily perceive, and overreact to social rejection.” 

Some people are more sensitive to being rejected; others deal with it better. But the resulting unhealed pain could be traumatic and may get worse by triggering a ‘fear’ of rejection, which is capable of jeopardising their future relationships and can further lead to anxiety and depression.

Interestingly, more studies have found that being rejected by an attractive man makes a woman more likely to turn down an unattractive one. She does so to counter-balance the rejection by using the novel opportunity to restore her self-worth.

For the man to reject a woman who’s into him shows that he is confident and satisfied with what he’s got; that he doesn’t need her. Because, for one, he is capable of mastering his penis-brain. Two, she may not be his taste, simply. 

Or perhaps in case he is some kind of creative artist, she may have read or viewed his work and thought she knew (liked) him, despite the fact that he may not know anything about his female fan. 

Whether it’s dating or sex, when a man has the courage — and taste — to reject a woman, consequences follow right through. He gains a certain superiority over himself and his masculine ego. He also conquers his horniness which usually controls most men. Naturally, the availability of the choice strengthens his self-worth while at the same time builds and deepens his character.

Further, on the level of societal norms, this choice shatters the conventional paradigm of leaving it for women to choose. If we are both equal as a significant portion of us want to agree, then as a man, I, too, should also have the luxury to choose. 

Just as women are confused by rejection, lots of guys can’t seem to wrap their head around the notion. Many, including some of those I have had those guys talks with throughout the years, have never rejected a woman. If a woman wants to have sex with you, why would you say no? As mentioned, this mentality is a repeated theme in the masculine universe. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

At the very end, if you are a man, know that you can reject a woman without having to feel bad about it. Also know that you can do so without having to explain yourself. Just be decent and honest and she will at least respect you for that. If you are a woman who has been rejected or will get there someday, do not let it bother you. It certainly does not mean that you are unwanted or that there is something wrong with you, so best not to take it personal. Remember that life as we know it is constantly evolving and so should we.

Be choosy it’s beneficial for the gene pool of our species. 

“Give me more wine or leave me alone.”
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  1. I agree. I think us men should have higher standard, personality wise, for rejecting. Women should learn to take it, but as usual the problem is the socialized role, those who don’t take it maturely, are not used to propose themselves, I think, not only, it’s still something not expected from girls by the society, by default, many women roll with it, of course because anyway it’s less fatiguing to not be exposed. But we are used to the bullshit that men never refuse an occasion, especially no string sex. So while it’s inexact to assume that about no string sex, go figure if it’s about relationship, the standards are even higher, for both genders than for just sex.
    Thinking the men are always ready, women who think this way, give a quite different value to rejection than a man is expected to, if we accept the arrangement that men chase, and hence are supposed to be grateful and feel blessed when chased. Plus learning that women’s only selling point to men is attractiveness, also not true, they think a rejection from a man have a more general value than the other way round, and there’s little she can do to improve herself and have better chances than guys. Humans being a social and cultural animal they interprete their urges, they also evolve, so now women are active more and more in making the first move and I think we should welcome that and at the same times having higher standard for rejection, be it "shallow" or not shallow, doesn't discourage the mature women from approaching, the opposite, it makes it clear it's worth it and a man wouldn't simply hop on any occasion presented. It's actually, what you suggested a step toward equality.

    1. It's riveting to find other men who think the same. Thank you, Anto, for the insightful comment.

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