Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Lament from the Sidelines: Do Poly Men Get Less Play?

Dear Viny,

I'm a heterosexual guy in an open marriage, but over the years I've had few occasions to take much advantage of my freedom. It's not that I don't want to; it's more that I just don't know how. You see, women don't really flirt with me or think of me as potentially anything but a friend. I often think that if only I were a woman, I would have a very clear idea of what sorts of clothing, body language, etc. would communicate sexiness and availability, but for a man I can't seem to see any equivalent. It seems the situation is a lot worse for poly guys, because to single women we're that creepy married guy, and to partnered women most of us are unnecessary, because poly women can take their pick of hundreds of willing single men, PLUS all the studliest poly men, who are also available to them. Do you think, Viny, that in the Brave New Poly Paradigm, there's any hope for all of us invisible surplus males?

– W.E.


Dear W.E.,

Yes, I think there's hope for anyone – male or female, cis or trans – who is willing to set aside a narrative that's functioning primarily as an excuse.

It sounds like the story you're telling yourself is some version of, “There's nothing I can do.” Well, maybe it's time to get off your duff, sugar puff. You say women don't flirt with you – but do you flirt with them? You say you don't see any way for a man to communicate sexiness and availability – but have you even tried?

Here's an idea: why don't you find a few poly studs, and ask them how they do it. Who knows, they might even introduce you to some of their female friends and lovers. See, this is one of the niftiest features of the poly playing field: it's big enough to accommodate more than one winning team. True, the ground still isn't level. It may never be completely level. But male-male competition just got a lot less ruthless.

(I know, I know. Let's say you actually got around to interviewing some other guys for pointers. Your take-away would probably be, “Ten reasons why what works for them won't work for me.” Then you'd wriggle back down into the squelchy mud at the bottom of your comfortable rut and wait for Princess Persistent and her Siren Sextuplets to come and rescue you from your own passivity.)

Look, I don't mean to be insensitive here, but I just don't think you need any help feeling sorry for yourself. You're right: you would have better luck in the dating arena if you were a gorgeous 23-year-old vixen with a compassionate heart, a bubbly personality, and amazing tits. But how many of us fit that description? And also: what happens when that lucky girl becomes a 53-year-old with a double mastectomy? Will you still envy her then?

No matter who you are, if you want others to see you as a person worth dating, you first need to see yourself that way. As long as you keep thinking of yourself as surplus and invisible, that's what you will inevitably project in your interactions with others.

I bet you a pontoon of purple primroses that there are people in your life who consider you indispensable and irreplaceable. I have no doubt that if you asked these people what you might have to offer potential lovers, they could name all kinds of gifts – insights, experiences, talents – you have shared with them. If you're good enough for them, you're good enough.


Kisses & misses,

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