Sunday, June 08, 2008

The Cupcake Analogy

Spatula, bless her, has come up with the perfect analogy to describe the clueless Invasion of Boundaries that frequently occurs, in this postmodern dating debacle:
Another man greeted my arrival in his car by putting his hand on the inside of my leg. This was our second date, and he had known me for a combined total of three hours, none of which included any physical contact. He felt up my leg at regular intervals all through the evening, and when I covered it with a bag, he would feel up the bag.

Men: imagine this. You are holding a cupcake. You are thinking of sharing it with someone. You stand around trying to decide who. Suddenly, a random person walks into the room, says, "Awesome! Thanks!", yanks it out of your hands and eats it. That's what it's like.

The cupcake is sweet; who can blame you for wanting it? But here's the thing: it isn't yours. It isn't yours until the cupcake owner says very clearly and in your direction, "Would you like some of this? It will be my heart's delight, my infinite pleasure, my happiness to share it with you." Then, and only then, is the cupcake up for grabs. You'll know you did it right if the lady breaks off a piece, puts it in your mouth, and lets you lick her fingers.
Pretty Lady recalls, in her college days, when masculine acquaintances of hers would stop by her apartment for a chat. Uninvited, they would wander into her bedroom and declare, "So! This is your bedroom!" in a proprietary sort of way.

Not only did these men never receive another invitation--not only to her bedroom, but into any of her dwelling spaces--she did an art project about it, entitled 'Uncertainty,' which involved a gnarled mobile-like construction, dripping used motor oil all over a bedframe which was covered in pristine white dust. Passersby thought it was about abortion, which, tangentially, perhaps it was.

Sometimes Pretty Lady thinks that all this crude, clueless cupcake-yanking has its roots in the indefatigable optimism of testosterone, which runs on its own engine independently of feedback, including feedback such as "You couldn't get me drunk enough to sleep with you, jerk." Other times she thinks that most people were simply Born In Barns, and need a remedial course in basic etiquette, as well as signal-reading. Very occasionally, she suspects that such crass behavior is perpetrated by men who are attempting to come across as Dominant, and haven't quite gotten it down.

Regardless, she will provide a single Clue, for free; that is, when a lady to whom you are attracted, and have made clear signals toward, starts avoiding all contact with you--including not returning your phone calls, switching caf├ęs so that she doesn't have to deal with you, and moving without providing her new address--YOU HAVE CROSSED THE LINE. Moreover, you have crossed it in such as way as to make amelioration of the situation utterly impossible. Whatever it is you did, DON'T DO IT AGAIN, with ANY other lady.





26 comments:

Spatula said...

Pretty Lady, I love your blog for its intelligence, insight and flair. I am delighted to be quoted on it.

As to the cause of the pernicious cupcake-yanking, I think many men seem to have Entitlement Issues in general, and with women in particular.

The men I gave as examples seem to see women as objects rather than subjects. I don't mean just sexually - they saw something they wanted and just helped themselves to it, oblivious to the fact that I have thoughts about people taking my stuff, whether it's my schedule or my leg.

In my opinion, the only answer is beatings, and plenty of them. :-D

jSinSaTx said...

In risking seeming 'uncomfortable'... I ask for the definition of many in "I think many men seem to have Entitlement Issues in general, and with women in particular." This word many keeps creeping into conversation here... many men want that... many people want Obama dead... does many mean - fills a room... most... 40%... the majority of the men in the town I happen to have any experience with...

And then I would put this phrase forward which I believe even more valid "Many (and in this sense I indicate the greater mass of the population) people have entitlement issues particularly when it comes to life (meaning all things material, spiritual, intellectual). When the true concept is universal almost any subset of it will be true... If you do not feel this applies to you then you would be of the less mass of the population...

jSinSaTx said...

Having said that... it is not the mark of a gentlemen to place his hands on a lady within hours of making her acquaintance... anymore than it is the sign of a lady to presume to kiss me after < 30 minutes of meeting her... or jumping on top of me leaving me no alternative but to slide along the floor to get out from under her... simple class people... Presumption of the right to intrude on someone's physical space is a mark of poor values and vulgar expression.

jSinSaTx said...

I think it is a true statement that men have a much harder time getting the message... rejection from a female seems to go to the core of being a man... it is not generally taken well... I think perhaps it involves the amount of putting yourself out there that comes with being a man... i.e. in my experience you have to do the asking and setting yourself up to be evaluated where the woman knows your interest in her just by the fact you asked... Additionally, I think men take a great deal more negative activities from a female, an in fact many (yes, here I mean most men in my opinion) would not take umbrage at the activities that a woman might (perhaps because it does not feel so potentially threatening), before they would seek to so completely break contact... where unwelcome attention might cause a female to make massive changes... it would probably take slashed tires to make a similar adjustment for a man... I personally think in this one women have the more reasonable standard... if she is off, break contact... don't excuse poor behavior.

Chris Rywalt said...

I think, regarding testosterone, it would do a lot of women some good to actually try some and see what it does. Because I expect most people don't realize how powerful it is. I have some idea because, for some reason, my testosterone level is really low, and as a result I need supplementation. Which I don't always take.

Many years ago now a friend of mine took me out to meet with a friend of his who happened to be a painter. My friend met him through some testicular cancer online group; my friend had had one testicle removed due to cancer, and the painter he knew had actually had both removed. You have to be pretty unfortunate to develop cancer in both testicles, because apparently the cancer develops independently in each. Anyway, so I met with this painter who literally had no balls.

He had just recently started testosterone therapy and he was absolutely blown away. He hadn't even realized what he was missing: Suddenly he was noticing pretty women everywhere. He was lascivious most of the time. He was nearly overwhelmed with feelings of potency.

Whenever I remember to start my testosterone therapy again, I remember that painter and how he felt. Because it really is night and day. And I have to admit that part of me is relieved when it doesn't have to deal with a sex drive.

I don't know if it'd be harmful for a woman to elevate her testosterone for a short time, like maybe a week or so, and then stop. Maybe it would be. But I really think it'd be so eye-opening for some people.

Spatula said...

Eh. I'm not buying it, just as I don't buy PMS as excuse for terrible behaviour in women.

jSinSaTx said...

Hormones are a powerful force... and they certainly effect people differently... taking it at face value that women do not play up the menstrual cycle... it is evident that hormones there and post pregnancy can have significant impacts on things. Good point though CR... now you just need to type something witty like 'many women seem to have entitlement issues especially when it comes to exploding their emotional natures on others during there time of fluctuating hormones'... that would make me chuckle...

However, the mark of a man... or better put the mark of a developed human is the ability to control hormonal impulses, not being ruled by them.

Chris Rywalt said...

I'm not saying testosterone is an excuse, but it is a reason. I'm not saying we should ignore truly egregious male behavior; just that smaller things, like occasional hand-on-leg things, or "So THIS is your bedroom!" kind of stuff could be explained and understood a little better. It's just hard for someone without much testosterone -- and I suspect I've been low my whole life -- to appreciate how stupid a chemical can make someone act.

As for controlling hormonal influences: I don't think they can really be controlled. If you're not subject to biochemical problems of any stripe, you're not exalted, you're just lucky.

jSinSaTx said...

I think hormones offer a path, not a destiny... just because my hormones drive me to potentially bed every woman I see does not mean my mind is incapable of placing my body into a monogamous life. Even in non-religious tones the difference between man and animal is to be driven by more than simple instinct and hormones.

jSinSaTx said...

Interestingly enough however, avg testosterone is decreasing over time... wonder what that will portend...

Pretty Lady said...

I read somewhere an article written by a woman who actually HAD taken testosterone for an extended period of time, and eloquently described the radical change in her emotions, libido, aggression, interests etc. I can't find it anywhere, however, so maybe I imagined it.

I do know that our testosterone levels surge when we're PMSing, though. I can't imagine what it would be like to feel that way all the time.

Anonymous said...

"It's just hard for someone without much testosterone -- and I suspect I've been low my whole life -- to appreciate how stupid a chemical can make someone act."

Be it chemical, vegetable or mineral, we are well aware of the stupidity level.

I have a theory that is probably too pat, too physical, but when a man is aroused, he becomes stupider than a woman when aroused because a significantly larger amount of blood is flowing to his nether regions than to hers, due to size of genitalia. So a man loses a larger percentage of blood from his brain than a woman does. Of course, this doesn't explain the entitlement that many (yes, jsin, it's a generalization; how about "the majority of men in my experience"?) men feel at many other times about women. Chris, here's an experiment for you. Try walking down the street by yourself as a young attractive female. It would seem that your very presence indicates to men that you are there for their entertainment, for their perusal, that it is appropriate to make loud comments and gestures to express their opinion of your body, sometimes emphasizing certain parts and relating to you, and all those within earshot, what they would like to do with/to these body parts. As a woman past the first blush of youth, I don't experience this nearly as much as I used to, and if I'm walking with a man it never happens. It seems that ogling a woman in the company of a man would break the code of men's respect for each other. You don't lust audibly after another man's property because it shows disrespect to HIM, never mind about to her.

"anymore than it is the sign of a lady to presume to kiss me after < 30 minutes of meeting her... or jumping on top of me leaving me no alternative but to slide along the floor to get out from under her... "

js: I guarantee you this won't happen if the lady hears you speak a few sentences first. Well, maybe the lady in Chris's experiment, but I wouldn't get my hopes up if I were you.

Have a lovely day everyone!
O

Chris Rywalt said...

PL sez:
I do know that our testosterone levels surge when we're PMSing, though. I can't imagine what it would be like to feel that way all the time.

And even at its highest level, female testosterone is minuscule compared to male. When I started the supplementation I was warned about accidentally getting some on women or children -- like through shoulder massages -- and so I looked up normal testosterone levels for women and kids. I can't find the numbers now, but I recall they were lower than normal male levels by a factor of ten.

I imagine that men would find high doses of estrogen interesting also.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't there a Judy Chicago piece called "Through the Cupcake"?

Cupcake Power!

Howlsatmoon said...

Courtship is as courtship does. I personally don't "bed" a Woman unless I'm interested in more than her physical attractiveness. I also want that Woman to feel the same way about me......

Thus, I'm rarely disappointed. If it's not a mutually desired end...why suffer the heartache that inevitably follows?

But, I'm selfish that way.

*must admit, I do like cupcakes, especially the ones with little sprinkles*

Howlsatmoon said...

Oops...and, your last paragraph was right on target. Works both ways. *ouch*

jSinSaTx said...

Oh no... O just dropped a version of the 'you couldn't get laid' argument on me... now I'm devastated... the example I gave did happen... and the fact that it happened before I was able to get a few sentences out speaks more to her than to me... why the presumption that you know me? If even the writings of PL are to be believed for example a jerk/loser/asshole tends to have no problems finding women... so, even if I was one of the three I can see little to effect my chances... this is increasingly appearing to be a forum where if it involves male/female relationships it isn't worth the time... this is nearly VP in reverse... irritating from either side.

jSinSaTx said...

One reason men don't perform the awful things you describe in the presence of another man somewhat boils down to the fear that the other man will simply beat his ass... they certainly don't fear an ass beating from you... but what they might fear is being confronted and publicly embarrassed. Stand up for yourself if something bothers you. And not in that passive whiny you can't get laid way either... that is just pitiful.

jSinSaTx said...

Oh, and PL... THAT is an example of a non respectful slap at someone from me... If she is one of your non whiny, carefully selected, best buds then let me know.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Js, that was rude of me. It was my way of implying that you do go on a bit, considering this is not your blog. I apologize if I hurt your feelings. It's true, I don't know you. But you also don't know me. You might be surprised whose ass I could kick, but that's not really my style.

I've done my share of talking back to obnoxious oglers and sticking up for myself. I'm no shrinking violet. Sometimes embarrassing them works, sometimes not. And yes, I'm one of PL's carefully selected friends, but hey, we all whine once in a while.

I don't know what VP is, so not sure what we're supposedly reversing.

No hard feelings on my part.

Cheers, O

jSinSaTx said...

No, my feelings were not hurt... it simply struck me as poor form so I responded with a bit of sarcasm... having said that, it does seem that this is not the blog for me... particularly when it comes to female commentary on males, my posts in reply have irked the friends of PL. You are also now the second poster to make mention of the lengths of my posts (though neither being PL herself). It had seemed, particularly with health care that they were actually appreciated (as who doesn't like to know that there stuff is read and thought on), but (shrug) these past few threads it hasn't even been fun. Every place has a culture and one does not always fit in with it.

Thank you PL for the discussions, they were enjoyable.

VP = Vox Popoli...

Regards

Pretty Lady said...

jSin, if I am not sufficiently thin-skinned to stomp away from VP in a sulk, considering some of the comments addressed to me there, you have absolutely no excuse. But suit yourself.

I would just mention that in any community, and any conversation, it is always wise to ensure that one is not doing the vast majority of the talking. As in, one communicates a few ideas, then waits for a response before communicating again. This is not an ideological rule, but a social one.

Carol Diehl said...

Lest a passel of guys run off in the wrong direction, I want to make clear that it's the cluelessness that's at issue, not the action. Once a man put his hand on my leg after having known me only a few hours...and we were together for eight years.

Chris Rywalt said...

Once a woman leaned her head on my shoulder after only knowing me a few hours, and we'll have been together 20 years this September.

Spatula said...

"it's the cluelessness that's at issue, not the action"

Yes. 'Zactly. And it's not always sexual, like the other guy in my examples who would overstay. And overstay. And overstay his welcome, and would bristle and huff when I told him to go home due to my having stuff to do.

To tax the food metaphor further, it's like these dudes helped themselves to me and mine as if I am a plate of cookies instead of a person.

BEATINGS!!!

Chris Rywalt said...

Men do that to men, too. A friend of mine had this friend over, and the guy wouldn't leave. Even when my friend laid down in his bed and fell asleep, the other guy just sat there.

Some people are just socially inept. I happen to be one of them, although I like to think I'm not so far gone I'd miss someone passing out in front of me.