Friday, November 7, 2008

Nice guys, or, orbiters

Before my second post of the day, I want to say a word acknowledging the two blogs I have linked to so far. The Bad Man is a recent find of mine. I can thank him for putting me on to the world of 'pickup', where I have found more than meets the eye. His three points, especially (talk to women, treat them like they are people, and be sexual) are so sensible that it's amazing that I had to read them to realize them. The other thing I can thank him for is the idea that I could pseudonymously blog my own life. I had wondered how I might put these thoughts out into the world. I had thought about novelizing them, but under my own name it wouldn't quite fit. I could just bury them in a journal, but then I wouldn't be able to have the give and take of being part of a community. The Bad Man gave me the solution. I also like the names he gives to people.

The Bad Man also emphasized something that I've come to agree with: that social skills are skills that can be learned. And in that, he agrees with Suzette Elgin, whose blog I also have linked to. Suzette created the Verbal Self-Defense system to teach people how to "clean up" the language around them. She also analyzes language and power, especially in relationships between women and men. Like 'pickup' as taught by Mystery and Style, the GAVSD (Gentle Art of Verbal Self Defense) cries out for field-testing, and further analysis. I'd like to try to bring some dialogues from the field here to take them apart and see what I can learn.

The Bad Man describes pickup as a kind of response to feminism. Style calls it the beginnings of a men's self-improvement movement. I think Suzette is a feminist, and I am influenced by both.

Now to the post.

Let's call my current girlfriend Voice. She would insist on that title. I'd be happy to give it to her. We talk that way. We certainly have sex that way. But the world doesn't know. That's because Voice is a pretty well-known singer and media personality and has a well-known boyfriend. People cheat all the time, I know. There was a time when it would have grated my conscience. It doesn't, so much, these days, though I don't know how long I can keep it up.

Here's something I have long observed about ladies like Voice: they don't just have one man, they have a team. Voice has her public boyfriend, she's got me, and she's got other men as well. In PUA language, these guys are called orbiters. For nonspecialists, they're sometimes called "nice guys". When she decided she wanted me, these men all seemed to disappear into the background. For all I know, they might know about us. What's interesting is that, while I think Voice likes having them around, and they do things for her, they are also a drain on her.

Take Auto, for example, the most frequent of her men. Auto's advantage is his car. He drives her places, and is all over her life because of that. Voice needs to get around, and doesn't drive. Neither does her man. Neither do I. But Auto does. For driving her around, Auto feels he has rights to her time and to her loyalties. He confronts her about the time she spends with others. He tells her it hurts his feelings that she has fun with others. He has made his life to be available to her at all hours. And when we're not in bed, I don't think I've seen her without him.

I wonder what it all has to do with me. My strategy is to treat him like the backdrop that he is. Her thing with him is her business. Her thing with me is mine. I think she gives him signals she shouldn't. I think he disrespects her boundaries. But I can't control any of that, and telling her will only create more fights between us.

If I were to embrace the pickup community I would immediately be accused of serial 'one-itis'. So be it. I want these tools to better live in the situation I'm in, not to do some other guy's thing. I have it bad for Voice, and I think she loves me, in some way. Someone clearer minded might tell me what I need to do is let go. But I don't want to do that. So help me to do what I do want to, which is love this girl who is surrounded by stage props.

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