What Does Society Tell Us About Attraction?

by Reid on April 30, 2021

What Does Society Tell Us About Attraction?Group Of Friends Enjoying Meal At Outdoor Party In Back Yard

Cathy: Someone wrote in about we have been….we had some video about INCEL and people that are involuntarily in celibate and someone

Reid: Yeah, that’s what Incel stands for.

Cathy: Yes, and someone wrote in and said that most people think I’m creepy because they… I….my look are not matched up to their perceived attraction level and then he believes that people see someone who’s not attractive as creepy and I want to deconstruct that a little bit because I think they’re very different things. This is Reid Mihalko from http://www.ReidAboutSex.com/

Reid: Cathy Vartuli from http://www.TheIntimacyDojo.com/. I’m going interior here because this is… this is good this is rich, dense stuff.

Cathy: Yeah

Reid: Um, what do you got?

Cathy: So, I think that there…it’s easy for us to associate people that are not physically don’t cookie cutter match what society says is pretty with creepiness because often those overlap with shame. People that are bigger or short like men that are shorter. Some of us like you for not matching what society says is ideally handsome, we maybe have shamed a lot or we may have experiences that leave us with shame and that can lead us approaching someone with shame and un-comfortableness, it can create a sense of like, people don’t know why we’re approaching them. There’s an unease there versus people that have cleared shame or don’t have never had that shame, it doesn’t matter if they what they look like they’re not coming across as creepier and comfortable and I’ve met plenty of very conventionally handsome people that were very creepy. So, to me their looks and creepiness are separate things.

Reid: Yeah! I’m trying to think about the easiest way to or the most powerful way to re-frame this or to think about it. What is the trickiest is somebody who has a lot of cultural reinforcement that something’s wrong with them. Who’s also shy and maybe introverted because the things that are easiest I think to do when you think about how to make other people feel comfortable. That advice is really useful and easiest to adapt from people who are extroverted

Cathy: Yes

Reid: because it requires a certain amount of me taking my agency being empowered to take action in a way where I’m deconstructing really quickly for the other person that I know what’s going on. When you are self- aware and you can prove yourself awareness to people in a way that’s not pressury, that seems to land on many people as not creepy. And that is a very, what I just said took me 40 years to start to master being the weird goofy big white guy hanging out with a bunch of people, activists who do not like white guys and what I do basically is like “Hi I’m Reid you probably don’t like white guys, probably especially extroverted white guys I’m that guy. And I’m up to date on most of the current ideas around feminism inter-sectional you know geekery and oppressive systematic and social dynamics. May I talk to you?” And that I laid out that I that I spoke into what is the landscape and done it in a way where I’m not pulling “please talk to me… Please talk to me..” Like I’m controlling my energy but I’m stating the.. it’s not really the obvious because sometimes the obvious is what culture tells us. And really what obvious is what culture tells us is bullshit.

Cathy: Yeah

Reid: But I am declaring who I am and what my intentions are in a polite way and asking for consent to proceed. That’s a lot easier for extroverted, non-shy people to do and it also helps if you’re not starving and it also helps if you haven’t had life just kick the shits out of you. So that your, you know your anxiety level. Not anxiety it’s not the right word but like your nervous system is just electrified when you’re trying to break the ice with somebody. So again like there’s a lot of privilege that I have but the advice of a technique the approach I think is useful, it’s just how we get people to that.

Cathy: For me as a shy person it’s easier to come across creepy sometimes because if we think we don’t deserve something, there’s 2 ways that I really see people being creepy with me. Is one, they either come up or say “I’m going to ask you something and I’m putting all the responsibility for my well-being on you, and if you say No you’re going to destroy me and it’s your fault.”

Reid: Yeah

Cathy: And I didn’t get I agreed to that feels icky to me up, that feels like you know …

Reid: Well I know and I would say that might not be creepy but it doesn’t create ease for that person, right?

Cathy: I feel but I feel like there’s a pulling like they’re trying to get something for me that I did not agreed to.

Reid: Yeah

Cathy: So to me that I don’t define that as creepy.

Reid: Okay.

Cathy: And the other thing is if someone’s trying to get something from me without disclosing, they’re trying to get something they don’t deserve.

Reid: There’s a sneaky agenda. …

Cathy: Yeah and unfortunately if we feel ashamed like if I want to ask somebody out and I don’t feel like I deserve it if I don’t feel like I deserve to have that person come and go out with me, I’m…in my brain I’m thinking I’m trying to sneak by the fact that he doesn’t….he’d never go out with me. And then that comes across sometimes is creepy even though we’re just really shy.

Reid: Sure. Yeah, the hesitancy can feel weird like, like, like rather than creepy let’s just say weird

Cathy: Yeah

Reid: like ‘coz there’s like awkward like “Oh, that was awkward.” And then there was like “This is like this is weird awkward, right?”

Cathy: Yeah

Reid: So again like if you if you imagine also like flip the video, all this is going on for everybody else too

Cathy: Yeah the other people are receiving it too.

Reid: We think everyone’s got their shit handle and then the

Cathy: they look like it from the outside

Reid: and the rest of the world is just everyone is Rico Suave. Yeah! The world is easy. And now the handsome extroverted people yeah they don’t have to care in the world.

Cathy: Everybody does.

Reid: Everybody’s freakin’ out in their own head.

Cathy: Yeah but what I do and I learn this from you is actually is when I because I know I can come up hesitate ‘coz I am shy, I will actually start with it. I’ll say “Hey, I’m really shy. It’s hard for me to talk to you.” And then it just normalizes it.

Reid: Yeah

Cathy: They have a context, they know I’m not trying to manipulate, I’m only who I am and I’m willing to take care of who I am. It’s not your responsibility because I’m shy, I’m just owning it so you’ll have a context.

Reid: I have done…yup?

Cathy: Yeah, I thought its scratch. Sorry.

Reid: Oh, I have done in situations because again like I didn’t always look like this growing up and I have a lot of insecurities from having an alcoholic mom and and a father who lied about stuff so I don’t think I deserve a lot of things

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