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August 14, 2000   CONTINUED e-mail e-mail to a friend in need



To BG from Chris the Improvising Bratwurst:

Okay, Breakup Girl. I have a great anecdote and a follow-up to the barbecuing of said single guy.

First, the follow-up: during a party with the aforementioned friends, I suddenly became the target of grill humor. Instead of just laughing along with them, I didn't crack a smile and give in. Nobody really said anything about it, but my engaged ex pulled me aside later and totally apologized. We talked about it for a while, about how I wasn't finding it amusing anymore. We talked and bonded, yadda yadda yadda, and she agreed not to do it anymore and to only support me in my search for an end to the single life.

As for the anecdote: remember how I'm a pretty skinny guy? Well, this tip is for the svelte guys out there. I spent the best 20 bucks ever on a T-shirt that says "Chicks dig scrawny, pale guys." You wanted me not to "block" my friend's idea of being "money," so here I am, running with that idea fast and furious. You would not believe the number of people who've found it humorous. And here's the payoff -- I got a phone number out of it! (Rocky theme plays!) Lonely Bratwurst no more...

BG responds: Right on! While you may need to throw your weight around to get some respect, you don't have to be shallow to find your Adrienne. Keep us posted!

To BG et al from Brad (not BRADBrad):

This letter relates to Steve's question and the ensuing shoutouts, but first, I'd like to quote from the article linked to from your site: "Baldness can take a heavy psychological toll. A recent study by David Przybyla of Denison University found that both women and men -- those with hair and those without -- view bald men as "less physically attractive, less socially skilled, and less socially successful than their counterparts...Another recent poll revealed that 1 in 4 balding men would happily sacrifice five years of life for a full head of hair."

On with my rant. I'm tired of the glib advice that "many women find baldness attractive." Or that women care more about "honesty and charm." Please. "'Honesty' is such a lonely word," according to Billy Joel, and he still had hair when he wrote that song. Charm? From fifty yards away, a woman can't tell how charming a man is. But she can see a man's blowhole. That's why lots of bald men are so nice and charming, because they have to be.

Think of it this way, BG. For years, women struggled against a "glass ceiling" (that many argue is still there). A woman had/has to work harder than a man in order to get paid less. The same is true for balding men in my experience. We've got to be more charming, better listeners, better dancers -- all the while not being too nice or too thoughtful or too available, because women love rogues. Not that I'm bitter.

Here we are in 2000, and natural selection is alive and well. We're just peacocks flaunting our tail feathers. I wake up in the morning and shave just like Tom Cruise and Michael Douglas. They look like Tom Cruise and Michael Douglas (56!), but when I stare in the mirror, I look like I've been licked to death by a weasel.

I take care of myself and try to dress well. I work out. I go out with friends. I set the table on a roar. And I am invisible to women. It's depressing, to say the least. Sometimes I don't want to leave my house. I might be mobbed by the throng of bald-loving women who have gathered on my porch overnight.

BG responds: Oh, Brad. Your point about the shiny ceiling is quite well-taken. I didn't say the bald thing was easy or that it was the same as having hair. It "shouldn't" be harder, but it is (just as it is for heavier people). I'd be infuriated, too. But what am I supposed to tell you guys? "You're right. It's a lost cause. No one will like you. Maybe wear a hat?" Not helpful. The stats you cite are enormously disheartening, but the women quoted on my site and this one are real. I'm not just cheerleading. They're out there somewhere. Boy, do I wish I could tell you precisely where. All I can say is soldier on, sailor. Complain to me whenever you want along the way. And maybe check back here for some more success stories, too? Remember, some chicks also dig "scrawny pale guys."

To Double Standard from Chris the Improvising Bratwurst:

Hey, I'm 19, and I'm a virgin, too. Be proud of him for making it that far and staying safe and pure! If you two decide to take the next step, that just shows how much he respects and loves you. (As for the double standard...if there are so many more girl non-virgins than guy non-virgins, who exactly are all these guy non-virgins sleeping with to keep the tally so much higher? Just a math question.)

And from Laura:

My boyfriend was a virgin at age 38 when I met him. I was taken aback when I found out. But not only did he turn out to be the best lover I've ever had, his waiting so long reflected a desire for true love and commitment. And we are now engaged to be married! So, I wouldn't give up on your guy just for that reason. (Besides, I have to say, I don't think 22 is that unusual.)

And Jenn:

I think you're being silly to worry about this guy still being a virgin. My boyfriend, at age 21, was a virgin the first time we had sex. I, too, was curious as to how he managed to stay that way -- he's so gorgeous I thought for sure some girl had him before me -- so I just up and asked him. His answer, I have found, is the same given by many, many other virgins of my acquaintance, be they male or female: "Well, I was always just busy doing things like school and work, and it was never really a priority for me. Besides, I've never been with anyone else I really wanted to have sex with, before." So, maybe that's the case for your guy, too. Not everybody has sex just to have sex. Sometimes they just honestly have never met anyone that sparked that interest in them before.

And from 22-year-old Virgin Man:

I've been a twenty-two year-old virgin since, well, since I turned twenty-two, and accordingly, I felt strangely compelled to answer this letter and defend my compatriot in not-having-sex-ness. I would suppose that if you asked him why, you would get any number of responses. Religious beliefs are the most publicized ones, but despite the hype, many people do take their faith's teachings to heart. Some people spent a great deal of time being introverted when television was telling them that they should be having sex with models with perfect skin. Others have taken the possibility of STDs and pregnancy very seriously. Some are just waiting for...something. Most are a combination of all of the above.

But when I asked myself this question, the answer I came up with was, "Why not?" It may come as a shock to some of the ladies (and probably a good number of the gentlemen), but not all guys wake up in the fifth grade and suddenly think, "I must devote all of my time and energy toward having sex as much and as soon as possible or the universe will explode!" I certainly didn't and haven't since. My sexual experience has been enjoyable and fulfilling (if limited), but it's just another part of life for me. And at the end of it all, being a virgin means nothing more than that I haven't [explicit content deleted]. So what have you got to lose? I suppose he might not know the ropes in bed, but on the other hand, he's probably not a sex offender wanted in another state, and isn't that a more important thing to know?

To Girlospam from New Kid:

I think that his e-mail, no matter how drunken it was, deserves some acknowledgment. As an ex-writer of such three-sheet-confessions, I have to say that no reply causes many questions. Even though he likely regrets the letter, it was probably written with at least some truth, and he will wonder without cease if you don't tell him something! My (totally amateur) advice is just to say, "Ha ha, I got your e-mail; I hope your hangover's not too bad anymore. Anyway, I know you woke up the next morning and realized it was unnecessary since we already had this conversation. Have fun at camp! Blah blah blah." I'd guess he probably knows it's coming and needs to hear it anyway.

To Mr. Shallow from Dee:

I am one of those women who gained weight after I got married (ugh). Why? I think primarily because I didn't have to try anymore. Eventually, I gained even more weight because I was depressed about my weight gain. (Vicious circle and all that.) Our sex life disappeared; he cheated; I was devastated, and the marriage was ruined. What I wish more than anything was that my husband had said to me, "I love you, but I will sleep with someone else if you don't do something about your body." One other thing, Mr. Shallow: don't forget your role in your marriage. My husband took me for granted and spent all his time at his job. Reread BG's advice. I think she hit the nail on the head. (By the way, when I found out my husband cheated on me, I lost all that weight. He wanted me back, but I couldn't get over the betrayal. So please tell her the honest truth!!)

BG responds: I'm not sure I can directly endorse that precise threat/incentive, but your sincere insights -- from experience -- are well-taken.

To Lulu Bell from Elisabeth:

Run away from this guy. Rapidly. Did you notice that his parents are telling him that he's not "allowed" to buy a house or car, or go on vacation, or buy his kids things? Assuming he's working, not living with them, and over 18, what right do they have to not "allow" anything? Are they going to ground him? Send him to bed without supper? Ugh, Ugh, Ugh.

To Brad from Aaron:

Don't forget that if you've gotten attached to this 16-year-old, it goes without saying that she's gotten attached to you. So, while BG is completely right in telling you that 21-16 is unquestionably a dealbreaker, there are still two hearts at stake here. If you handle this wrong, you'll be leaving a wonderful girl (and she is a girl now, regardless of how deeply you connect) with a broken heart, and that would be tragic for both of you.

You've clearly developed a strong friendship, and it's important to let her know that just because you're not interested in/comfortable with/legally allowed to pursue a RELATIONSHIPrelationship now, it does not mean she's not a wonderful person. More importantly, it doesn't mean you're going to drop off the face of the earth tomorrow, just take some time to get reacquainted with the idea of strictly a friendship between you. That doesn't mean you sit around for two years staring at each other's watches waiting for the chance to hop in the sack. (23-18, while legal, isn't necessarily a good idea either.) It means you'll both find new (appropriate) relationships and move on with your lives. If, at some point in the future, you're both in the same place (geographically and emotionally), who knows what can happen.

To BG from Optimist:

Thanks for answering yet another of my letters! I'm happy to report that I think you're right: it is possible to show interest in an interesting man without scaring him off. At least, that appears to be the case with someone new I've met.

External influences (on both sides) are keeping this one on the "back burner" for a while, but without putting it in so many words, we've made it clear that we like each other -- and we both keep coming back for more! Once again, your advice is supported by real-life experience! Thanks again for the super-heroics!

BG responds: Who-hoo! Thank you!


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