Thursday, April 17, 2014

Going Nowhere in Life: Revisited

My Going Nowhere in Life post from yesterday caused a bit of a reaction in people who read it (yes multiple people read, oddly enough).  So I want to clarify a few things people seemed to take issue with.

Note: if you don't want to read the main section, skip to the bottom to what's written in bold.

1. Marriage:

I only mentioned getting married in passing, as an example of an adult type of thing that is fairly normal for people my age to have done.  When I was younger (say 14-15) I did think that I'd be married by now, and when I was older (say around 20) I would have thought that I'd be in a relationship that was moving in that direction by the age of 26.  I'm not particularly broken up about not being married.  I'm frustrated at the fact that at an age when some people are married I haven't even managed to date consistently or even kiss a girl.
2. The purpose of this blog:

This blog exists for a few reasons.  The most obvious being that I am romantically (and to a lesser degree of importance, sexually) inexperienced.  It doesn't exist because I'm single; lots of people are single.  It doesn't exist because I didn't have a date last night; lots of people didn't have a date last night.  What makes me unique is that I'm an older inexperienced man.  So I write about what my life is like given that reality and I write on other topics from that perspective.

This is also a place where I can dump a lot of negative thoughts and feelings without fear of judgement from people who know me in real life (though some of you do know my real identity).  Most of the stuff about how I feel are things I'd never in a million years tell my friends or family.  Partially out of fear of judgement, but also because I doubt they'd understand where I'm coming from.  If you've been going on dates for most of your adult life, you can't really understand the point of view of someone who's late to the party.

If you don't want the negativity, you can skip those posts.  You can also send me an email, or get at me on twitter or write a comment on here and you can add me (the real me) on facebook and follow some of the cooler stuff I do in my life.  I have a pretty healthy variety of interests and things I like to do and learn about.  So I'm not entirely irredeemable.

3. Depression/Suicidal thoughts:

I said this in the original post, but I'll say it again here: I am not suicidal.  For many reasons.  I do understand the value of life and how many people have to deal with obstacles in life far more trying than being perpetually single.  Some of you have lost loved ones to car accidents, cancer or violent crime.  Some of you are dealing with loved ones who have substance abuse problems.  I get it.  My lament is that despite having this thing of value called life I have seemingly managed to waste it.  I can't seem to figure out how to use the talent I'm alleged to have, nor how to use the resources I have at my disposal being a middle class person in a pretty decent place to live with a family that generally supports me.  I'm always told how smart I am why am I having this much trouble?  If I'm such a nice guy who could get a girlfriend, why have I not?  This is what gnaws at me.  Knowing I need to fix something, but not knowing exactly what.

4. Women/Dating/Relationships:

This sort of goes back to point 2, but it's a little different so it gets its own section here.  I clearly have a lack of confidence in this area of life.  It isn't something that I made up in my head, it's the product of my own personal experience in this arena.  Every time I'm interested in a girl, as soon as she figures it out, or as soon as I tell her/ask her out/etc., she begins to avoid me like the plague.  I've had women do this to me in high school, I had women do this to me in college, I've had women do this to me after college, on dating sites, etc. It's like my interest is this creepy thing that nobody wants to have happen to them.

And it's not even isolated to romantic interactions either.  I've tried to cultivate female friendships with absolutely no ulterior motives whatsoever.  And I always, always, always get rebuffed.  I honestly don't understand what I'm doing that could be interpreted as threatening to people.  Males never have any problems with me like that.  I don't send women penis pics, I don't talk about sex, I don't do anything awkward or off the wall.  When I do manage to get a date I get unceremoniously dropped before anything can develop (we're only talking about two women here so don't get ahead of yourselves).  What gives?

So if you wonder why I've come to expect failure from my interactions with women, that's why.  Because I've never had a situation where a woman has reacted to my interest with anything other than what I'd consider to be the nuclear option: excommunication.

I understand that having a girlfriend is not the end all be all of life.  But it's weird when something considered so commonplace and "normal" is so hard for me to figure out.  You start to wonder what's wrong with you.  I don't think I look like Quasimodo.  I brush my teeth, I wear clean clothes, I shower daily (sometimes twice daily), I exercise, I have hobbies and interests.  Yet the simple process of successful dating eludes me.  As much as it shouldn't, it depresses me.  For once in my life I'd like to have someone I like say "hey I like you too".

5. Career, Etc.

This is a complicated one.

I have a BA degree in a social science/humanities type of field from a fairly good state school.  When I was actually in college I had a plan that I thought was a pretty decent one.  Looking back on it, from a purely logistical standpoint, it was.  The problem is that I developed a moral opposition to it, and I could never go into that field without thinking I was a monster for doing so.

I've long been told I'm a smart guy, and I have "so much talent".  The problem is I have a terrible time finding any openings that I'm even remotely qualified for.  On the odd occasion that I do find something I could do, I apply only to never hear back.

I have a job now.  I make a little bit more than minimum wage (though not much more) and I work fairly decent hours, and I know the job and the company like the back of my hand.  It's not a terrible job like cleaning toilets and sweeping floors, but I often find myself bored and daydreaming.  The process of going back there day after day just leaves me on the verge of having a mental breakdown.  I don't want to advance any further with this company, so promotions and further advancement are off the table.  I'm mostly doing this because it's easy and I need money.

I suppose going back to school is an option, but I want to make sure that if I do it I won't be just racking up student loan debt with no hope of having any kind of decent career on the back side of it.  No one wants to be that guy with a Masters or Ph.D. in History working part time as a sales clerk.  Plus I don't want to be spending another 2-4 years postponing my career start.

6. Inexperience:

I want to be honest: I have a bit of a complex about my inexperience.  I feel like most women would judge me negatively if they ever found out and would immediately write me off as a dating/romantic prospect.  But more importantly I feel out of step with my peers.  We're supposed to be the most open generation when ti comes to sex and our romantic lives and here I am late to this party.

So there you are: my clarifications on my last post.

I want to thank each and every one of you who gave me your thoughts.  You don't understand how appreciative I am that you took the time out of your day to read my blog and took your time to think of something to say and then shared those thoughts with me.  All of you are wonderful people.  






Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Going Nowhere in Life

If you're looking for a cute or witty post, something with humor or some kind of redeeming educational value, I suggest you not read this one.  Go through the archives and find one that better fits your needs.  This is going to be a rather negative, soul crushing post.  Read at your own peril.

Roughly 3 weeks ago I turned 26.  Birthdays I suppose, are usually a cause for celebration.  I lived to see another year after all.  And I'm healthy enough to appreciate that.

But this year I've turned the corner.  I'm now closer to 30 than I am to 20.  That's scary.  Not only because it means I'm getting older, but because I seem to have stagnated in my progression as an adult.  Just to take stock for those of you late to the party that is this blog: as of today April 16, 2014, I am a 26 year old male who has never held a paying job outside of retail sales (not even management), I've never lived away from my parents' house, I've never been in a romantic relationship, I've never had sex (or even kissed a girl), vacationed on my own, and I've never had a credit card (or any line of credit aside from student loans), among other adult type things I'm sure I've never done.  About the only adult things I have done is pay for my student loans, cell phone bill, gas for my car, and my car insurance.  Oh and I can cook and clean (in a very limited capacity though I might add).

When I started this blog in late 2010 I was a senior in college.  Looking through my posts on here as well as posts of mine from message boards I post on, I am in the same position today as I was roughly three and a half years ago.  In essence, I'm going nowhere in life.

I think about this from time to time and I wonder: what girl in her right mind would want to date someone like me?  I'm clearly bad at being attractive, I have no career, no "thing" that defines who I am, I don't make enough money to be independent, and I must have no ambition or else I wouldn't be where I am.  If there was ever a poster child for "loser" I'm it.

I know some of you will try to put a positive spin on this.  Tell me I'm a good guy or whatever.  But honestly I can't see a single positive point about anything meaningful in my life.  I'm not suicidal, mostly because I'd like to live long enough to see my favorite baseball team win the World Series, and I'd like to see the ending to Game of Thrones (whenever that is), but I don't see the value of my life.  Growing up I thought for sure that by 26 I'd be getting ready to think about marriage, have a career, maybe a house, stuff like that.  I am so far away from those things to make them so completely unlikely.

I don't see anything as an opportunity anymore.  I see them as chances for me to fail.  Women who aren't interested, HR people who will just throw my application in the trash as soon as they see  it, etc.

I have failed the game of life.


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Ask the Inexperienced Guy

Allison F. [last name redacted] asks: Hi!  I have a question.  When's the last time you felt confident around women?

Honestly?  Maybe first grade.  I don't know why or how this happened, but I've pretty much always felt nervous around women.  Even in elementary school.  Partly because I had acne, bad teeth, bad hair, glasses and I was fat until I was 15.  But none of that really mattered when I was 9 or 10 so why did I not have confidence?  Beats me.

During my senior year of high school I was able to overcome my lack of confidence a little bit.  Danced with a girl at homecoming and asked out another girl (she gave me the run around until I wised up).  But my lack of sustained success made me give up and hope that college would be much better/easier.

My mother would claim that it's because she failed as a parent to instill in me self esteem and adequate confidence.  To be honest though I received the same upbringing most of my Generation Y counterparts did: always told I was smart, good looking, could do anything in life, etc.  So I think that's a bunk theory.

You're free to come up with your own though and let me know.

Joanna writes: I am dating a guy who's also inexperienced.  We're both 19, how should I deal with this?  Should I bring it up and talk about it with him?  I really like him.

Well, you're both 19.  At 19 it's really not a big deal.  I'm sure a lot of his friends have probably done the deed but not enough for him to feel self-conscious about it.  Or at least he really shouldn't feel self conscious about it.

The biggest thing is to not call attention to it.  He probably wants a normal relationship that includes sex, not one that requires him to talk about his feelings and lack of experience all the time.  Just make sure he knows you like him and you're not weirded out by him or treating him like a baby because of his inexperience.

I hope that helps.

Ask the Inexperienced Guy appears every so often.  To appear just send your questions to theinexpguy@gmail.com.  Please include your name, age, and whether or not you'd like to be anonymous.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

How many people are like me?

Obviously I come at this question from a heterosexual male point of view, so I'm mostly interested in that, but I'm a little curious about the female side of this too I suppose.

A couple of years ago I did some research on it and I came up with results pretty similar to what I found here: about 1.1 million people aged 25-44 are virgins and by age 19, 80% of men and 75% of women have lost their virginity.  Now, I wasn't able to find the total number of adults aged 25-44, but if you use the demographic numbers from the US Census Bureau and play around a bit it's roughly 100 million adults give or take.  So 1.1 million is about 1%.

Sorry about the math there.  I know it's a lot of numbers to read all at once.

My main point is that most people by the time they hit 30 aren't virgins.  And odds are if they aren't virgins they've probably kissed a girl, and had a girlfriend.  So it's a far more useful indicator to use.

Now, people can lie on self-reporting surveys.  People might be ashamed at the amount of sex they've had or not had and will lie or round their numbers to something they think might seem more "normal".  So you have to be a bit suspicious about the numbers.  But in my experience the numbers more or less jive with what I've seen in real life: I only know two people who remained kissless past the age of 21.  And I know shy guys, religious guys, people from other parts of the world, people who smell, people who look weird, etc.  I don't know about the virginity numbers because I don't know everyone's sex life and don't care to.

So given these numbers and given what I know about people in real life, and given that people often lie about these things, how many people do I think are kissless inexperienced guys past the age of 25?  I think the number is somewhere between three and  seven percent.  And that mostly depends on who we're counting in the overall pool, and I'm actually leaning towards the lower end of that number.

Yet on message boards, websites and forums that I read and post on, there seems to be a feeling that the number of "forever alone" type guys has been steadily growing over the past 10-20 years.  Most of the people who subscribe the this theory tend to blame women for being too picky, feminism and single mothers for teaching men to be passive, or society for valuing alpha males over beta and omega males, or some combination of these theories.  I'm willing to believe that the percentage of older inexperienced men has grown over the past say 50 years, but not by any significant margin and not for the reasons given by these internet commentators.

I now bring it to you readers.  How common is it to find a guy (or a gal) who has made it to age 25 or older who has not had his first kiss, has not had sex, and has not been in a relationship?  Is my estimate of 3-7% too high, or too low, or just right?  Am I missing some big increase in inexperienced guys?  I thought this blog was unique?

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Revisiting the Race Issue

I wrote a little bit about race and dating six months ago, dealing with the notion of preferring to date within your own racial background being inherently racist.  The topic is relevant again with this lovely article written by Tiffany Wang over at The Bold Italic.  It's not necessarily about dating per se, but more about the kind of people one finds attractive and the stereotypes of Asian men in particular.

I will start off by saying that I had no idea Asian men were stereotyped or felt stereotyped before I started posting on internet forums around 2010.  Perhaps being white means I don't notice such things, I don't know.  In any case I understand the frustration, a lot of women who say they are not attracted to Asian men may be doing so because of the perception that Asian men are undesirable.  The whole "small penis" stereotype, the femme way Asian men are sometimes presented, and the lack of strong Asian male portrayals in popular culture.

But, on the other hand, is it possible for an individual woman to not be attracted to Asian men in general?

One of the key themes of this blog is my unusual attraction (some may say fetish, but I should hope that's not what it is) to women of South Asian and Middle Eastern backgrounds.  In general I'm not attracted to white women, despite being white myself.  It's much more common for me to find an Asian woman, or Hispanic woman, or a black woman (like Iman, I mean damn) attractive than a white woman.  But almost every woman I've ever been into was South Asian or Middle Eastern.  I don't know why this is, perhaps it's because one of the first Disney movies I watched as a kid was Aladdin.  Maybe it's something else, I don't know.  But I am pretty sure that my lack of attraction to white women has zero to do with popular culture, otherwise I'd be fantasizing about Megan Fox instead of Sherlyn Chopra, et al.  And this doesn't mean that I've never met or seen a white woman that I was attracted to, we're talking about generalities though.

So at the end of all of this, I don't really know what to say.  Perhaps many have been socialized to find Asian men unattractive.  Maybe some women were never going to be attracted to Asian men in the first place.  It's really hard to say.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Hooking Up and the Consequences of Doing So

I like to read other people's blogs or Tumblrs from time to time.  Just to see how an "average" person lives.  Some posters are pretty open about their lives, detailing drug use, how often they get drunk and even their romantic and sexual lives.  All of these people are anonymous, so I've never met them and likely never will.  But the insights into their lives are quite fascinating.

It's no secret that young people (especially college aged people) hook up.  There have been numerous articles written and studies conducted on the subject.  There are good things and bad things about this, but I think the simple fact of the matter is that it happens.

For those that have hooked up, and have done so frequently, my guess is that at some point in the future (maybe in a short while, maybe a long time from now) you would like to settle down and get into a relationship.  Will your experience hooking up impact how you go about that?  Will it impact the kind of partner you choose to settle down with?

I'd imagine it would probably be easier to settle down with someone who had also done their share of experimenting sexually as well, but I could be wrong on that.

This is something I wonder about sometimes.  Would a woman who had spent a good deal of time in her 20s be interested in a guy like me who is basically a completely clean slate?  We'd be on totally opposite sides of the sexual spectrum in terms of experience and knowledge.  Would she be worried I wasn't really ready to settle down because I hadn't experienced the world very much?  Would she be worried that I'd be bad at sex?  Creeped out?  In essence: does our new openness about sexuality impact how we view those who aren't as experienced?

For my part, I've never been one to care about my partner's sexual history.  It's just not something I care to know.  Mentally I would prefer not to think about any girl I'm seeing being with another guy (sexually or romantically) but intellectually I understand that most people in my dating age range have probably had relationships and sex before, perhaps a lot.  So I understand I won't be getting some "pure" virgin, and I really don't care.  At the same time I don't want to be judged for my lack of sexual history, you know?

So I'd like to here from some sexually experienced people, and since I'm a heterosexual male, preferably some women.  How would you feel about dating a man who was sexually inexperienced?  Do you think your experience sexually would impact your view of him as a sexual and/or romantic partner?  Would your sexual histories be so incompatible as to not be able to be overcome by any amount of compatibility in other ways or his ability to learn?

Email, comment below, or tweet me your answers.  If you'd like to remain anonymous let me know.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Updates, and What's Ahead

Most of my posts as of late have been more op-ed oriented stuff.  A lot of pop culture criticism, lifestyle pieces, things I think about in my everyday life.  I haven't really talked much about my own life recently so I decided to give a bit of an update and talk about what things will look like from me creatively going forward.

I am still a kissless virgin.  In fact, since my date last spring, I haven't even come close to first base.  Hell, I haven't even managed to ground out to shortstop.  I don't meet many women through my social group and as far as cold approaching goes I am still pretty bad at transitioning from acquaintances to anything more than that.  I joined a few dating sites hoping to maybe get some dates that way but it's really been a tough time.  When my Match membership expires in March I'm canceling it and saving my money.  I'll still probably go on Tinder every once in a while but I have no expectations.

The big progress has been made on the workout front.  I joined a gym in November (as opposed to paying for one day passes or working out at home) and I can honestly say I've seen more strength gains this past couple of months than at any time in my life.  The one downside is I'm having a hard time weening myself off the 3,000 calorie a day bulking diet that I'm on.  I'm not "fat", I just have a bit more flab on my stomach than I'd like.  My arms, shoulders, and chest are very defined and big.  My max bench press is 185 lbs, up from about 115 a little under a year ago.

Professionally, well I'm not doing so well.  Still working part time at a retail job (what you thought this blogging gig pays?) and living with my parents.  I'm sure that doesn't help me with the ladies.  But, at least I have a job, and some money, and my own car.  That helps, right?

So that's where I am right now.

What should you expect from this space in the coming weeks and months?

Well, more of the same.  Some updates from my personal life, and a lot of social commentary.  Maybe a little comedy.  I started a podcast and recorded the first episode I just haven't uploaded it onto blogger.  So I guess I should get around to that.  What would really make this space and the podcast much more interesting is for you, the readers to send me questions.  Questions about anything really.  Anything from what kind of food you should have at your wedding to what you should wear for your first day of college (I'm a guy though so keep that in mind when I answer such questions).  You get the point.

So send me an email (theinexpguy@gmail.com), or hit me up on twitter (@the_inexp_guy) or tumblr (http://theinexperiencedguy.tumblr.com/) and I'll be glad to answer it on the blog or on the podcast.  You can even specify which one if you'd like.  I'm even thinking up a contest I could do with a prize or something for the winner.

So let's hop to it!