Male Kindness Isn’t Always A Mask For Desire

Media in English-speaking culture, largely written by men, tends to give us the impression that women are all attractive and can pretty much have sex whenever they want. They just have to agree to whatever offers from men are on the table right now. We men, on the other hand, have to earn sex, and what we look like is presented as pretty much irrelevant. And then there are women who aren’t to Hollywood standards; the horrible cultural message tends to treat them as if they don’t count as women at all. They are “invisible women.”

I try to be nice to everybody, hot girl or not; it’s part of my religion. A friend of mine noted that since his surgery I’d been one of his most frequent visitors, despite living over an hour away and being allergic to his cats. I’m always there when friends move. I’m interested in people, I like to listen. I’ll give backrubs to anybody shortly after being introduced. Also, I have some old-fashioned notions of chivalry. If you’re a woman, I rush to open doors for you, offer to carry things, etc., regardless of whether I want you or not. There are a lot of less conventionally attractive women who are not used to being treated that way; who are used to being treated as if they are almost invisible. Since I also abstain from sex outside marriage, I suppose the combination of gallant treatment with lack of pressure for sex makes me kind of look like a knight in shining armor.

And, um, I kind of look the part. I’m tall, broad-shouldered, long wavy hair, knight’s cut beard. So, given my habit of making friends with people who contact me, I have a lot of women friends who’ve gone through a lot of the invisible treatment. Many of the women like me a lot, to the point where I have to be very careful not to take advantage—one drunkenly confessed plans to acquire a key to my house and clean it for me while I was away.

There’s always something different in these “invisible women” than in men who don’t have much to offer in conventional terms. Every woman who doesn’t already know me is on guard against sexual interest at first; their chief worry starts out that when I say “friends,” I want us to be friends with benefits or fuckbuddies, whereas later, some are rather frustrated that I don’t. So while certainly women can have trouble getting sex when they want, generally they seem to perceive it differently than men. They seem to think that sex is most likely what I’m after in the beginning. I’d imagine they don’t see getting sex as being particularly hard.

Men, however, do see it that way; that’s why there’s so much low-class spammy advertisement telling men how to get a woman for sex but almost none for women on how to get a man for sex. Women get the ads on how to keep a man; there are almost none for men on how to keep a woman.

This past New Year’s Eve, a conventionally, very attractive (thin, young, buxom, pretty face) woman spent a good bit of time kissing me. It was a really big deal for me, and it took me a while to figure out why it was such a big deal with her rather than any other girls I’ve kissed.

The thing was, that was the first time I’ve done anything sexual in nature with someone who didn’t seem to have any motivation besides “he’s hot.” She didn’t know me, we’d only exchanged a few sentences before. I thought it couldn’t have anything to do with me being nice or doing things for her or her feeling sorry for lonely me (I’ve been staying single for a while to work out some issues from my divorce). I have been so steeped in the idea that sex is something women do because they want something else, like affection or security or marriage, that it’s always my assumption. The fact that I couldn’t make this assumption was huge for me.

The women I know tend to have their perceptions shaped by the inverse expectation. I think sex is because I’m nice, women I meet think niceness happens because sex is desired. A few weeks ago, at a convention near closing time, I was wandering around when I heard a woman vendor talking to a man about how they were going to get all their stuff out to their van. I volunteered to help. After everything was in their car, she told me that I could just ask around if I wanted to find a party to go to in the convention hotel. I was slightly confused by this apparent non-sequitur, but just smiled and hurried back inside (it was cold). Since then, I realized that she assumed on some level I was helping for the sake of a possible chance at sex.

So women normally suspect at first that I am nice because I want into their pants; especially where backrubs or massage are concerned. Not that I’m saying that’s an unjustified assumption in general. But there are probably a lot of women who think they have more sex available than they really do, and that there is less kindness in the world than there really is—just because they are steeped in the idea that male kindness or politeness is always a mask for desire.

Why the pseudonym? To make the point I want to make here, I have to talk about how I’m attractive and nice to people and how a lot of people, women in particular, like me. I think it comes across as “Look at me, I’m so awesome!” and I find it rather embarrassing. So, while normally I’d like the traffic, I don’t want this to be anyone’s introduction to me or my blog.

Related Links: