Women

CLUELESS IS AS CLUELESS DOES

I suppose it may seem, from some of my past entries, that I am quite the ladies man. That I have these women, both available and/or taken, wanting a chance to experience The Jak.

“WTF, why does Jak gets all the ladies?” a friend recently asked. To be honest, I wasn’t sure if I should take it as a compliment... or insult. It was humorous, nonetheless! I assured them it was nothing more than imaginary.

Another friend likes to call me the Ladykiller. Sounds pretty creepy and serial-killerish. I always have a “story” to tell, and while true, I feel a false impression is made. They apparently believe that women adore me, or some crazy shit like that.

After all the “fluff” shouldn’t I feel pretty badass? Perhaps I really am some lady-magnet?

I assure you this isn’t the case. No where close. In fact, I am very much - what I like to call - an acquired taste. I am not exceptionally handsome, out of shape, lack strong financial backing, and am pretty awkward in most social situations. My humor definitely sounds a lot funnier in my head, compared to when spoken. All that and a cup of tea. Except that tea isn’t for everyone.

So what attracts some women to take a sip?

I would like to think deep within I am a bundle of awesome. I have some fucked up quirks, and may be a little OCD. Awkward, possibly a bit too passionate about some geekery things, and a touch of random. Okay, who am I kidding... a lot of random. At the core, though, exists this pulsing, positive source of awesome. Love. While, I may not always be utilizing it, it is always there; allowing access whenever the inner-self critic isn’t blocking it out.

Unfortunately, throughout my life, that shadow has been cast over it more often than not. This naturally causes self-love, and confidence, to waver quite often.

On those rare occasions that someone does become interested in me, there awaits another problem. I am pretty much clueless to the fact if someone has any romantic feelings for me.

I am a people watcher. I used to partake in it all the time, and still do on occasion; especially when at my Thursday night hangouts. If feeling silly, I may do voiceovers for them; maybe try to guess what they are like or what their lives may entail. Whether out and observing strangers or friends, I feel I get a good sense of their connections. Body language being a huge indicator. You can usually tell if a woman has no interest whatsoever in the man attempting to pick her up.They look around a lot. Forced smiling. Sometimes they are leaned back or away from the individual, and fidgety.

A swift slap or beverage splashing is a scenario I’ve yet to see, but I know I would enjoy it intensely.

I think I am a pretty good in intuitively knowing when someone is digging another too. I have to admit, though, commentary is way better on those awkward encounters you witness. One issue with knowing if someone is interested in another is all the mixed signals. Flirting is a big culprit. Some men and women just like to flirt, love attention, and have no real romantic interest in who they are engaged with. It’s almost like a game for them.

This has played a large part in my avoidance of “making a move” and taking a chance with a handful of women in my past (and present). Those flirtations can, and are, done between both romantic partners, possible romantic interests, friends, or strangers. I am usually able to discern them when observing others. When it comes to myself, though, I am completely dense.

The Proof is in the Pudding

During high school I had a crush on someone. Didn’t we all? We had became friends and spent a good amount of time together; spent even more time talking on the phone until the wee hours of the night. We clicked fairly well, enough to justify exploring more definitely. What eventually happened was me suggesting her dating various friends of mine. That seems pretty logical right?

So after one of these relationships just didn’t work out, her and I had a talk. She explained the reasons why, and we discussed a variety of things as we always did. Suddenly the urge to man up, and let my balls drop occurred. Now, it has been so long I can’t remember exactly what was said, except the very last statement and the eventual outcome.

“What would you say if I asked you out?” I asked shyly.

“Yes.” was the almost immediate reply.

A pause... was I thinking? Was I about to take the risk of asking her out? Wait, what risk? She had said yes already! Nope... I was just verifying my balls had retracted.

“Cool...” I returned.

We then said our standard cordial goodnights and were on our merry. We still hung out a lot and talked, but never was the discussion or topic brought up again.

This is, in turn, also an example of the confidence issue of course.

You all may be pleased (uh... those bothering to read) to know that I did eventually “man up” and made the decision to ask her out shortly after she broke up with a newer boyfriend. That boyfriend choice confused me, I remember, but hey... Who was I to judge?

So I was on the way to take the chance; it is fair to say there was legitimately more risk after time had passed, since my last smooth performance. I had a wingman even, of sorts, who I had explained it all to. So we had our pep talks and encouragement going, you know... the Ball Droppin’ mantra. Ok, that isn’t a real thing.

So we arrive at the party, where I was to make the play, and was psyching myself up. I then ran into someone I would have called more an acquaintance than a friend, at the time, being I didn’t know them very well. He seemed, and I had heard he was, a decent fellow. We talked a bit, and I wasn’t sure what to say considering I didn’t know much about him; just randomness from friends and family, nothing in depth.

It was here that he revealed to my friend and I that he planned to ask someone out. Who was that someone? The same nameless someone I was working up the courage to ask out.

I am Jak’s deflated sense of hope.

So I did what anyone would do... I cited the choice as being good, talked her up some, and encouraged him to go for it.

Then I went on my merry.

This is one of those things in life that just seems to happen for a reason; if not everything. The two of them hit it off and over time got married, had children, and are still together to this day; very happily from what I gather. I am extremely happy for them and, when I think of it, send out love in their general direction. I miss the friendship that eventually drifted over time, but that is how those things work sometimes.

So there is at least a happy ending to this story.

How Can You Eat Your Pudding...

Now my first serious relationship... well, that was interesting. An online thing. Go figure. I will spare a lot of the details leading up to meeting and such. Basically we ended up dating, and would meet once in awhile, when able. I lived up north in the stix, her down in the cities. During one of my first visits to her house, on the way out the door at the end of the evening, there was a conversation that went something like this:

“I had a great time with you tonight,” I said.

“Me too, it was a lot of fun.”

That pause.

“Do you think you would mind if I kissed you?” I asked.

“No, I want you to.”

Another pause.

“Okay.”

Then, after a few moments of me standing there like an idiot she took the initiative and kissed me. Halle-fucken-lujah! Thank god some women can take charge or I would have never gotten anywhere in the dating world for a good portion of my life.

Now sure, I was shy, and some may even view this situation as cute. What sucks is I know that, even though the girl and I were dating and said she wanted me to kiss her, I felt like maybe she wasn’t genuinely interested.

No reason to go into the mess that ensued after that point. Needless to say, it didn’t work out in the end.

...Where’s the Beef?

Throughout most of my life, there are similar instances like the above. These give a lot of evidence to just how lacking my self-confidence was.

Worse is when I can’t even tell a girl is interested in me to even allow my self-confidence to fail. I’ve gotten a lot better about knowing, so I am not a complete putz anymore. A lot of times close proximity and touching (non-sexual...) is a good indicator. Uh, okay, sexual touching is likely a good indicator too. I also no longer question if someone directly states they are okay with/want something or state they have romantic interests in me. As long as it is direct and not hinted at. Hinting just leaves me wandering aimlessly in the dark.

Regardless of having a better grasp on attraction and the signs, though, I still run into problems. I am not sure how to become better receptive of positive romantic attraction offered in my direction. All I know is I have likely missed out on a lot of opportunities, that I was mutually interested in, due to failure in correctly picking up on the signs given.

Considering my current semi-reclusive lifestyle and solo job, the opportunities to run into those chances have decreased exponentially. Outside of the whole internet dating that is. It would be nice to just meet someone while randomly out some evening, now that I am attempting to be a lot more social.

For now, I will just go on as I have; eventually I should be able to get a clue, right?

One can only hope. Sweet Mother Mary Jesus nuts, one can only hope.

DEEPER INTO THE GREY

I was delightfully surprised that there weren’t any negative responses (except maybe one over a misunderstanding) to my earlier posting “Into the Grey.” In fact, it was quite the opposite. I had planned to go into more detail at the time, but wanted to better construct that coming section. I can’t say I will succeed, but here is my attempt.

While I may dabble into the shady realms now and again, I feel it is important to point out that I am 100% able, and prefer, to be monogamous. One day I would love nothing more than spending my life, with one individual, building a family. While growing up, it was never anything I was interested in. Marriage? No way! Kids? Screw that! Over time as I... “matured” …I found that those were things I was no longer adamantly against. In fact, I currently feel like I am behind. Very behind. I thought I would already have that family and be living that life with someone special. Alas, here I am.

In the meantime, while single, I find situations conflicting and blurring those morals I retain once entwined with another. Certain factors come into play. I wouldn’t fully call them addictions, but they may be pretty damn close. One of the main being:

Sexual tension.

I love it. I have this fascination with bringing myself to the brink of temptation and trying to maintain myself. It encompasses that whole fluxing of the line. Pressing against it, bending it some, attempting to not completely break it; followed by allowing it to retract to its original form. It is exciting; it can be intoxicating.

Anyone who has truly experienced it would likely agree; intoxicating. The tension that builds up over time between two individuals where there exists an undeniable connection. Chemistry. Sure, there are different levels of attraction and it can change. Sometimes you may not be attracted to someone, but getting to know them somehow makes them so. I’ve experienced this a lot and I am sure I fall under that category for some. It can also work the reverse. Sometimes, though, it’s just there. Once it is discovered, it’s like electricity.

Once it is unlocked, it’s not a simple matter of just tucking it away. That connection has been engaged, all systems go. Alive. It wants to be explored, experienced, and heightened. Not only that, but you fill with the sense of desire to oblige those feelings. In the grand scheme of things, this would be a beautiful thing; it is a beautiful thing. But, sometimes they occur when you are at a place dictating you shouldn’t indulge.

This is life, and that attraction is human nature; not the devil or a test of faith delivered by God. Just human nature. I have heard claims, from both men and women, of people finding their “soulmate” and never being attracted to another person. This I find hard to believe. I think throughout your life you will constantly run into a multitude of individuals who you will be undeniably attracted to; all for varying reasons.  I do, however, believe that people are fully capable of being monogamous regardless of these attractions. Does being attracted to others mean you can’t be completely loyal to a partner in life? Not at all. For some, maybe. We will get to these individuals later.

Being attracted to someone has no bearing on one’s ability to maintain and adhere to the boundaries set by monogamous relationships. Even that deep rooted chemistry, almost spiritual connection, is manageable (albeit more rare and a lot more difficult). Even if that means recognizing that said individual can’t necessarily be in direct approximation with your life. If you feel, or know, you are weak around someone you feel this attraction to, and your morals and beliefs may be compromised, then you avoid placing yourself in specific situations with them.

I dislike that part, but I feel it is true. Everyone has their own moral compass and degree of willpower. It is important to be fully accepting and aware of what/where they are. You can even strengthen them, like a muscle.

For myself, I feel I have a lot of willpower. Something that I am grateful for when these temptations arise while in a serious relationship. I avoid placing myself in situations that may be morally compromising.

Even when single, though, willpower plays a role in the dance of temptation. To extend yourself and test your limits. To blur, but avoid being consumed. This is where the “addiction” factor comes into play for me. I don’t seek it out, but once sexual tension and those connections are revealed, and I am aware of them, I want to dabble. Like I said, I love it. The rush of it all. Just thinking about it now stirs feelings inside. Anticipation. Being close to someone you feel that connection with is amazing. Brushing as you pass by one another, prolonged hugs... danger... danger!

Trouble.

What else stirs these various emotions, in much the same fashion? Causes the mind to race in thought? Yearns to burst forth from you and envelope another? Lust?

Love?

This is definitely a topic I plan to touch on soon, but first...

“What was I to do? How was I to proceed?”

So there is that connection being experienced between you and another. When single, I am very prone to explore and expand on it. But what if they are involved with someone? Then into The Grey I go...

I’ve already explained this in the first entry on this topic, but with the recent experiences I can’t help but contemplate and touch on other aspects.

During my dating excursions, I found myself opening up to the possibility of polyamory. Open marriages, open relationships. Attempting to learn more about it all; what it entails, how it’s managed. I have, in the past, jumped from relationship to relationship and I felt the need to make sure I avoided doing that again. It sometimes works out, but I was (am) determined to take my time and explore options, meet people, and attempt to make sure the next relationship I get involved in is solid.

This lead me to being open-minded to all those other, less than familiar, dating/relationship possibilities. I’ve always been a curious individual and, to be honest, my views on sex, relationships, and love have shifted a lot over the last 5 years.

I never went through with experiencing any of the listed types of relationships. I met with many individuals and couples, but only one ever seemed decently sound. What most lacked was communication. Communication is key to any relationship, but possibly even more so when delving into those types of lifestyles. The one couple, in an open marriage, that seemed to have their communication golden, had yet to fully experience being with anyone other than themselves. That was enough to steer me clear of getting involved.

When you look into these alternative lifestyles, you may come to very negative realization. A lot of times, one of the two individuals is not fully on board. Some are just agreeing to the terms their partner, who they love or are dependent on, set so they don’t lose them. That is a very unstable foundation. Actually, there isn’t even a foundation.

Are these types of relationships possible? Yes, very much so; all depending on the individuals and communication involved.

It may seem to contradict my statement about my ability to be monogamous, but it doesn’t. I believe someone is able to flow between a multitude of lifestyles as their life deems fitting. With these relationships I was never to be a “primary” and much preferred to be the “other” man involved. I feel this is likely due to knowing that, in the end, I want to be with one person. May this change? It is very possible. At this time, I’ve no comparison on how I would handle a polyamorous relationship.

The conundrum I now face is how these individuals engaged in these lifestyles are so unfit for it, yet those currently in monogamous relationships are. Those that desire experiencing people, love and life on a broader, more open, scale. Some even seemingly devoid of jealousy. That hasn’t been a very prominent ability I’ve seen in many. Some fully stray. Some dabble and dance in The Grey; it calls to them, just the same as it calls to me. Some have no desire in marriage. Others are open to polyamory and are unhappy in their current relationship.

What makes them remain in their relationships? What makes some stray rather than breaking it off? I am constantly intrigued and curious about people and their decisions made; what makes them do the things they do. Even myself, sometimes. Regardless, these are some of the circumstances surrounding the individuals that entice me.

In the end, we all make our own choices. I’ve done decent over the years with avoiding casting judgment on choices made; avoiding condemnation. Learned not everything is black and white. There exists an in-between.

I would encourage you all do the same. This in-between exists in a lot more facets of life than just intimacy and relationships. I know many of you have already delved into this realm. While some of you feel confident you will never dabble, you just never know. When you least expect it, it may creep up on you. The electric, magnetic pull drawing you in. You may avoid crossing over completely, but there is a good chance you will find yourself somewhere in the middle.

“Welcome to The Grey,” you may hear whispered from somewhere deep within your soul.

At that moment, you and I will be closer in our understanding of one another. Just know you aren’t alone, and that it doesn’t have to be a scary experience. It is beautiful; it really is. The realization that your perception of “right/wrong” or “black/white” was possibly flawed. Something deeper exists.

As it were, you were invited in and welcomed. Embraced.

It only makes sense to be polite and say, “Thank you.”

INTO THE GREY

Today we take a different path. Some consider it the road less traveled. On this journey, the line walked between “right” and “wrong”  is neither distinct nor constant. There exists a flux. In it, black and white dance in unison; now and again the essence of each bleeding into the other. Small, sporadic blotches litter the path, marking our footsteps, left by each decision made. Sometimes there is a blur; a blending leaving us in a wondrous, obscured envelopment of grey. Intermittently throughout life,  I have delved into this realm. Dabbled and played. So, what better place to start than...

The Curse.

Simply put, The Curse is what I perceive as my attraction of “unavailable” women. In terms of unavailability, I mean those already taken, attached in marriage or long-term, serious relationships. Sure as shit, emotionally unavailable men and women are a dime a dozen. I’ve encountered my fair share, and sometimes have been the culprit. I may even fall into that category now.

Ever since out of high school it seems I attract those who are already hitched and/or dating. This isn’t exclusive to just me, naturally. I am sure many out there experience this. Sometimes as the seeker, sometimes the recipient. I use “seeker” loosely, because not everyone is purposefully trying to meet new people with the goal of sleeping with them in mind. People are just attracted to one another, it is human nature.

When I have been single during these moments, I find that my moral compass becomes begrudgingly confused; barely ever while involved with someone myself - unless the relationship is on the way out, or long been dead. I will admit to having relations with those who were already involved with another. Relations not necessarily meaning sex, but being intimate in other fashions. In the end, still considered a breach of their current relationship. Many of these excursions took place in my mid-twenties while I was exploring the dating scene.

Almost all of my dating has taken place exclusively online, or at the workplace. I never, and still don’t, hit the bars and nightclubs looking to hook up. I believe the “online” aspect is what opened up this scenario and exposed it more fully to me. Many women, unhappy in marriages or relationships, being able to more accessibly reach out and connect with others. I always viewed it as questionable, considering the factors involved; specifically people. While I never want to hurt anyone in these instances, I know that a lot of the issues don’t directly involve me. The issues revolve around the marriage or couple, and their inability to understand, accept, or work on them.

Does this mean you should lock up your lady-folk if The Jak comes around? No, not necessarily. This isn’t exactly a raging epidemic in my life, and I’ve always had a set of rules or boundaries.

The Rules (If we can call them that):
  • I don’t cross this line with those I care about/love. Basically, friends and family. Those I am close to on a personal level, especially when knowing the guys (if these are lady friends).
  • I don’t initiate the process. Hell, I can’t even initiate when dating in general, so maybe this is just a situational rule? Either way, I think it would stick even if I were more “suave” … Yeah.
  • After stating the last rule, I find my inner-self at odds; forcing me to acknowledge it is one I sometimes break.
  • Yeah, let’s just stick with the first rule.

So, there is no cheating with or stealing of women from family and friends. If knowing the guys on the opposite end, or liking them, naturally it makes anything harder to do; at least for me it does, so I simply avoid it. My moral compass doesn’t malfunction in those situations. If not familiar with said men, or they are just pricks and I dislike them? Well, then the blurring and adventures into the grey would take place.

As time went on, and I grew up... or... whatever has slowly been taking place over the last decade... I began to feel even more morally conflicted about those scenarios. Concerned about those on the other end of said “affair,” or act, being hurt; even those I didn’t know or care for. Am I afraid of Karma? Not necessarily, being I truly believe intent plays a large role in it, and never is my intent to specifically harm or hurt someone else. If Karma was based off anything that hurt people, which is often based on perception, we would all be fucked. Though, there is something to be said about having an awareness of it all.

Now I find myself wanting to help the individuals with their situation. Talk things out, and make them think about their place in life and the actions they want to take. This can really annoy women, I have found, when they are attempting to go down this path. Reality is, sometimes people are unaware of the true reasons pushing them along. Some, however, are full fledged aware, willing, and wanting. More power to them.

So I guess the main aspect to have changed is my desire to “talk it out” before proceeding, compared to when younger and I would just jump in. Also, the understanding that doing so is extremely unlikely to ever result in a healthy, long-lasting relationship. So naive when young, thinking these women and I would live happily ever after. There are always exceptions, sure, but they are few and far in between. It all depends on the individuals involved.

So what prompted these musings? Currently, a handful of situations have arisen and presented themselves. Situations that call for decisions to be made. Individuals subconsciously beck and call; natural attractions pulsing. The line begins to blur.

The Grey calls out, with a seductive sway, “Dabble Jak, come out and play.”