Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Predators And Prey

I loved this comment (on my post titled More On Dating (see next post below)) from Robespierre so much, I thought it merited highlighting:

Blogger Robespierre said...

Does this not beg the larger "Sex in the City" question: Can straight guys and girls be friends (when they are not physically repulsed by each other)? How many straight guys are you friends with? And by friends I mean friends like you are with your coterie of "BFF!" GFs? From my vantage if you put me in a magical world where I were no longer married [the last part of that sentence was written with my best Homer Simpson "beer" voice], I would be in full-blown leopard stalking baby Thompson's gazelle mode in about 15 seconds. Yes, yes, I know how hard it is to be single in the twilight of our youth where we are no longer so needy and don't want to put up with anything. But I think normal straight guys are for the most part not going to fit into your paradigm.

I do want to stress that I am by no means advocating against romance in any way. If you like a girl, then the courting process will take however long the courting process takes. But in the end you will ambush her and she find herself being dragged up into a tree away from other predators.

First off, it's Sex AND The City (all caps mine). But Robespierre, given that he is a straight man, gets huge bonus points for that very relevant and appropriate reference. Although some points are deducted for his married status since I have no doubt (actually, absolute certainty because he's already told me this) that he watched every single episode of every single season with his lovely wife sitting by his side. But those points would be added back on if he initiated that viewing marathon.

Second, leopard-stalking-baby gazelle mode? *LAUGHING* Would have loved to see that!

Third, with the prevalence of cougars and so forth, it's now harder to determine who is the predator and who is the prey. I myself am VERY uncomfortable in the role of prey. Actually, it just pisses me off. I prefer to be the one doing the stalking.

But those initial observations aside, I think friendship is indeed possible between straight men and women who find each other at least somewhat attractive. Of course, I am the first to say that my CLOSEST friends are women and gay men because of the simplicity and purity of those relationships ("pure" defined as unclouded by sexual attraction). That said, friendships peppered with the additional frisson of flirting and heightened aesthetic appreciation and even sexual awareness might sometimes be more precarious propositions, and might require more effort to avoid slippage, and might not be as CLOSE, but are, inherently, no less solid or real. I remember once being told by a straight male friend: "I would drive you crazy, and you would drive me to drink, so it's good that we're just friends."

But I digress.

The primary issue here is expectation and goal orientation. When people meet as colleagues, as friends of friends, or as classmates, etc., sexual attraction and romance might erupt at any time, much like cold sores. But romance is not the goal of the initial dynamic. And hence, there are more opportunities and time to collect the data points necessary for BOTH parties to be on the same page. Nakedness is not expected shortly after the third class together, or third business meeting, or third group happy hour or dinner. And given the meeting I just had this morning, all I can say is, "thank goodness for that."

As for a long courting process, that's absolutely fine, as long as there is no undue or obvious pressure. After all, it's a time honored practice to sneak in under the radar as a "friend" for positioning purposes. Many a battle has been won by steady attrition.

And especially given the boo-on-dating-and-relationships stance that I have been hearing from so many of my single female friends, a slow, low-key, non threatening siege might be the only effective strategy to breaching the castle walls.

As for being ambushed and dragged up a tree away from other predators? That's acceptable as long as it is according to our timing, with our permission, by a predator of our choosing (after consulting all close friends and comprehensive stalking on our parts), and our hair and nails don't get mussed.

But of course, this is only applicable "advice" for those predators who just HAVE to pursue the gazelle that happens to be bristling with "No Trespassing" signs and sharp pointy weapons. Otherwise, there's far easier prey out there.

Now this cougar-in-gazelle's-clothing is going to take some tylenol for her multi-metaphor induced headache.


Robespierre said...

I am not sure what the protocol is when one's comment becomes part of an actual post. May one comment on the post about one's comment? Does one need to leave the last word with the "ze blogguer" or may one jump right back in? OK, I am jumping.

Sex IN the City??? Yikes. Apologies to all that were offended.

I think the dynamic of who is stalking whom probably is indicative of the kind of guy you are seeking. To generalize, I suspect that straight guys who are chased are generally of the softer more passive variety. But in the end are these really the guys the single gal wants? And can you be friends with a either the more passive or less passive guy? So in keeping with the animal metaphors, the topic of this comment is .... dogs.

Within the straight guy world I know, there are dogs, and there are non-dogs. Dogs are the guys that are constantly in traction from whipping their heads around to catch a glimpse of that chick in the car going the other way who just might have been hot. Non-dogs are the ones who ask "Which one?" after someone in the group comments about the girl that just walked by. If you are not sure whether or not you are a dog, you are a non-dog. When you are in a group of guys and (as usual) spy a mini-skirt on the other side of the street a block away, a glance at the group reveals all. The dogs will catch each other's eyes and give a subtle knowing nod. Sadly, dogs are not generally friends with women because all of their attention goes into the woman they have or the women they seek. The rest of their time is spent pondering how much they miss the chase no matter how much they love their significant other. I am not sure that you will have much luck befriending non-dogs either. Perhaps the best one can hope for is close acquaintance(smith) in a group context.


C-Belle said...

This explains a lot. I'm a cat person. I prefer to be ignored by my pets.