11 Things That Men Do That Are Attractive ONLY If You’re Interested

This picture has nothing to do with the post. Shoutouts to the northeast.

This picture has nothing to do with the post. Shoutouts to the northeast.

Recently, I came across a slight ridiculous and mostly no-sh*t-Sherlock list on Huffington Post (courtesy of Reddit) entitled, “The 11 Most Attractive Things That Men Do Without Even Realizing It”. While I can appreciate a list like this existing and being curated via a question from somebody asking what men do that that we O.E.N.O. that has the lady parts flourishing, I side-eyed this list with the passion of a Peyton Manning interception. Mostly because just like with anything else in life, all things are attractive when you’re interested. EVERYTHING.

Why? Well only ewe can make me do the things I do. Such as…be like say heffa say what at:

7. Concentrate hard. “I love the look a guy has on his face when he is trying to figure something out,” one user wrote. No know-it-alls required.”

Let’s just keep it onehunnid. Despite constantly telling us menfolks that we don’t deserve any cookies for just doing things your supposed to do (raising your kids, not going to jail, waking up in the morning, etc), women stay giving us cookies for things we’re just supposed to do (raising our own kids, not going to jail, waking up in the morning, etc). The fact that “thinking” was on a list of things that are attractive without us even knowing it is the reason why people keep watching Love & Hip-Hop. I will forever believe this. Also on this list are: “laugh out loud” “roll up one’s shirtsleeves” and “use eye contact” <—presumably at the strip club.

While the list does have some merit, I suppose, I’m not a woman afterall, I figured I’d go ahead and toss out a much more useful list. One with a bit more insight into the human condition…the Vidal Sassoon of the spirit if you will. A bit of Garnier Fructis for the soul. So here are 11 things that men do that are attractive ONLY if you’re interested in him.

1. Talk about marriage

If a woman is interested and you don’t seem like an axe murderer, telling her that you’re going to marry her (even on the first date) isn’t the most stalkerish thing you can do. Meanwhile, if she’s NOT interested in you, jokingly texting her a marriage proposal leads to screenshots, restraining orders, and relocations. No matter WHEN you do it.

In the same vein…

2. Talking about having children

Here’s the “does she like me” test: tell a chick you want to give her a baby. If she’s feeling you, she’ll laugh and make some comment about what the combination of your genes would produce. If she’s not? Well, consider that love connection more dead than, hey…did y’all know that Chuck Woolery is still alive?

3. Show Up Uninvited

PSA: Never EVER do the drop by house visit without calling first. There are too many technological advancements available to you that renders any excuse for not touching base a complete lie at worst and a perfect storm of unfortunate events at best. But, you are MUCH less likely to get cursed out if she actually likes you. The first time, it might be a shock but could be considered romantic (hence the attractive part) as long as you have a plan. Like, show up and say, hey, let’s go. Don’t talk just listen (*cue DeVante keyboard riff*). But if she doesn’t f*ck with you my rap? Yeah…that is going to go soooooooooo badly.

Don’t show up uninvited, people.

4. Be the center of attention

If she likes you, she will love that you can work a room and socialize. It’s like honeysuckle breeze to women. They love a confident man who is in full control. Then there’s the other end where you’re just an arrogant f*ck who needs attention. You might as well be Rich Dollaz.

5. Call and/or text repeatedly

Who are we kidding, nobody makes phone calls anymore. That sh*t ain’t cute. She likes you, you’re being attentive and giving her attention. She doesn’t, you’re a motherlovin’ bugaboo. “Why does this fool keep textin’ me…DAMN!”

6. Take seflies

It is a commonly held belief that men shouldn’t take selfies. I piss all over this assertion because how else are you supposed to document the hot dog you are eating at the time. Selfies are daily journal entries. Well, as long as your boo is feeling you, they’re cute and she likes the way you stand at that 74 degree angle with your hat bill facing the sun at the just the ring angle to allow the angels of heavens to dance the macarena in your eyes. Reverse that and you know how she feels if she can’t stand your bum ass.

7. Breathe

She likes you, its cute when you breathe. She doesn’t? She wishes you’d stop. Oh my bad, that’s number 12 on the HuffPo list.

8. Be an idealist

You know, one of those people who spends his time dreaming of the next level while having no clue how to get there? Yeah, that sh*t cute my nword. Until it isn’t. You’re really just a broke dude who probably lives with your momma if she ain’t interested. There’s nothing attractive about being broke.

9. Colorblocking

You fashionable motherf*cker, you. Well, either that or, “why does he look like a bag of Skittles?” There’s very little middle ground.

10. Rapping/Producing

Probably the truest litmus test of interest. Women who like you will support your dreams and find creative so aphrodisiasical. The rest of the female populace just thinks you’re a clown, Krusty.

11. Blogging

A close cousin to rapping/producing. When women like you, you’re a writer. And writers are attractive because they have a way with words. And chicks dig words. When they don’t, you’re just a motherf*cker with some random blog that nobody gives two f*cks about. Trust me, I’m a blogger.

What else you got? What is attractive ONLY if you like him (they like us)?

Talk to me.

-VSB P aka THE ARSONIST aka MR. SHE LOVES ME SHE LOVES ME NOT aka GIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIRL HE A 3

 

A Gender Role Bending Christmas

***And, just in case anyone doubts the validity of the engagement scene from the video, I’d like to share a quick synopsis of every conversation my fiancee (BTW, it still feels funny typing “my fiancee.” Admittedly, it might just feel funny because I just might still be compelled to type “the Gay Reindeer” when writing about her.) and I have had with our friends since our engagement***

“Her”

Her: “So…I’m ENGAGED!!!”

Friend: “AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!”

Her and Friend together: “AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!”

***5 minutes later***

Her and Friend together: “AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!”

***10 minutes later***

Friend: “OMG, that ring! Did he have help? Tell me you helped him pick it out. Bitch, you helped him. You had to help him. Right? He couldn’t have picked that by himself. You helped him! You had to help him. He had help, and this help was from you, right? There’s no f*cking way you didn’t help him. But, if you didn’t help him…wait, nevermind. I won’t even f*ckng go there. You helped him. You had to help him. Help was had by him and it was offered by you, right?”

Her: “ ….yea. I helped him. A little. But I helped.”

Friend: “I knew it!!! You helped him!!! OMG, the ring is so perfect for you and like, for the Earth. It’s Earth perfect. If the sun and the stars had a baby, and that baby knew how to make guacamole, it would totally be that ring.” 

Her: “Thank you!!! That’s exactly what I was thinking!!! Exactly!!!”

Friend: “So how did he do it? I need details. Where? When? Why? How? Did he write something? I could see him writing something. Like a vow. Not a wedding vow. But an engagement vow. And having you find it on a tree outside your house. And giving you clues all day by saying stuff like ‘You should look outside the box more often’ and you not even knowing they were clues until after you saw the tree. Did he carve the engagement vows with a knife? What kind of knife was it. OMG! OMG! OMG! Did he get it from Williams Sonama? Cause that would have been soooo romantic. And they were having a sale last week.” 

“Me”

Me: “So yeah, I’m engaged and shit now.”

Friend: “Word?”

Me: “Word.”

Friend: “Congrats, man.”

Me: “Thanks.”

Friend: “What her friends look like?”

Me: “They aiight, I guess.”

Friend: “They f*ckin?”

Me: “Which one?”

Friend: “Any.”

Me: “I guess.”

Friend: “Aiight. I’ll come to the wedding, then.”

Me: “N*gga, aint you married?”

Friend: “Yea. And faithful too.”

Me: “So why you asking me about single chicks?”

Friend: “I prefer to fantasize about the ones who I know are f*cking. Makes it more real.”

Me: “That doesn’t make any sense.”

Friend: “It will after you’ve been married five years.

—Damon Young (aka “The Champ”)

19 Bizarre Things That Men Have Done At Least Once

photoHand me a late pass because today was the first day that I saw the list on Thought Catalog that was a compilation of statements from Reddit about some of the bizarre things that all women have done at least once. It was aptly entitled “27 Bizarre Things That All Women Have Done At Least Once”. Not for nothing, ewww.

While all men learn to appreciate and eventually love the arrival of a woman’s period, some of the information in the article was just TMI. Like, we all know that we all take dumps, but the details are so unnecessary to share. On the other hand, there were quite a few of the things on the list that I’ve seen either in person or thru my vast network of boobed mammals have been informed of. Don’t end sentences in prepositions.

Also, the fact that no women that I know disputed getting in front of a mirror on all fours to see what doggystyle looks like from a male’s perspective? *dead* But I can totally see it since well…

Let’s just get into this male centric list, mmkay, pumpkin? Here are 19 bizarre things that men have done at least once. Maybe not all, but most. You can dispute this, you will be wrong. And for semantic’s sake, the word bizarre is going to have its loosest interpretation ever.

1. Measured his penis

If a dude tells you he doesn’t know how big his johnson is, he’s lying. EVERY dude tries to take SOME measurement.

2. Done naked jumping jacks

I have no clue why. At all. But we do it.

3. Pick up a pair of pants off the floor, smell them, and put them on regardless of what they smell like.

I’ve definitely reached the point in my life that I haven’t done this in years, but it happened. Oh yeah, it happened.

4. Twirled his penis

You know the naked jumping jacks? This is the next step in the progression of penis olympics.

5. Adjusted himself in public, in full view of any and everybody

Yo, when your schlong is uncomfortable, you are uncomfortable. And nobody likes being uncomfortable.

6. Stuck his tongue on frozen sh*t to see if his tongue would get stuck without a plan in case it actually happened

7. Refused to throw away an item of clothing because you’ve had it for long period of time.

I’ve got shorts that literally shame the our ancestors who picked cotton that I refuse to give up. I also have a pair of Morehouse shorts that have more holes in them than a golf course eaten alive by moles. They’re coming with me til this life ride is over.

8. Drank out of a carton even despite repeatedly being told not to by the authority woman figure

It’s easier.

9. Attempted to run and slide in our socks on a hardwood floor

I don’t care whose house it is. If there’s a hardwood floor and I wake up in the morning, I will try to slide in my socks.

10. Put his hands in his pants just for comfort because that’s where hands go when they need comfort and warming

11. Stood in a mirror and flexed our muscles pretending to be swole even if we aren’t

12. Eaten food that would possibly kill us because, well we won’t know if we’ll die unless we actually die

Guys make a lot of sense.

13. Attempted something that might actually kill you because…well see #13

I skateboarded off the roof of my house. It hurt a lot.

14. Freestyled for a significant period of time during a car ride solo and truly believed we were good enough to make it as rappers

Still going strong with this one.

15. Watched a chick flick and felt some kind of way while watching

Me and my father once watched a Lifetime movie together. Afterwards, we didn’t speak to one another for 2 hours.

16. Written his name with his urine while pissin’ at a urinal.

All cursive of course.

17. Eaten food right off the ground…like outside ground.

18. If he has them, combed (and possibly conditioned) his chest hairs

Nobody likes that hard scrabble stuff…we like soft silky…what am I doing tellin y’all. This got awkward.

19. Wiped his arse with something other than toilet tissue…because, we tend to run out of toilet tissue. Or are out in the woods.

Again, this is younger man stuff, but its man stuff nonetheless. It happens.

Well there’s your 19. A bizarre number.

It’s Friday. Let’s come clean and share some of the secrets of the trade of our genders. Let’s add to the articles. What are some more things that all men and women do at least once.

Talk to me.

-VSB P aka THE ARSONIST aka VITAMIN P aka GIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIRL HE A 3

Why (Some) Men Seem To Hate Scandal So Damn Much

olivia-pope-2

A few weeks ago, as Panama and I were discussing the logistics of the D.C. screening for our TV pilot, he offhandedly mentioned that the Scandal season premiere—which aired the night we scheduled the screening—might have an effect on the number of people we’d draw to our event.

“How so?” I asked in all my Pittsburgh naivety. “Our screening starts at 7:00 and should end by 9:00. It shouldn’t interfere with Scandal at all.”

“Dog,” Panama replied, channeling his best light-skinned Randy Jackson, “this is D.C.”

The screening went well. We had it at Busboys and Poets, we managed to fill the room, and those in attendance seemed to enjoy the pilot and the 45 minute-long talk back afterwards.

The talk back ended a little before 9:00. After hanging around to take pictures and close everything out, we left at roughly 9:15 to attend Scandal Watch DC—a Scandal watch party (duh!) that we were asked to live tweet.

Since Busboys and Poets and Jin Lounge (the site of Scandal Watch DC) are practically next door to each other, I was able to see Jin’s doors as soon as we left.

And, what did I see?

A red carpet. A backdrop printed with sponsor’s logos. A couple dozen people in line, all dressed like characters Anthony Mackie and Paula Patton play in movies. A doorman with the perfunctory “I’m working the door at a very important event” black on black suit and headpiece.

As soon as Panama saw this, he started to walk back to his car to change his sneakers for some, um, non-sneakers.

“Why are you changing shoes?” I asked, intent on keeping true to my Pittsburgh. “They invited us to the event. I doubt your shoes will be an issue.”

“Dog,” he replied, reaching deep to channel his best light-skinned Randy Jackson again, “this is D.C.”

Now, although my slightly sardonic tone may suggest otherwise, I had a great time at the Scandal Watch party, and I think the women who threw the event did a great job. I also do (gasp!) enjoy watching Scandal. Despite whatever criticisms it receives (and deserves), it has one quality that separates it from 90% of the shows currently on TV. It is always entertaining. Always. I can’t even say that about Mad Men, and that’s probably my favorite show on TV today.

Anyway, as I sat on a couch in Jin, listening to a packed house react to every line, heel turn, and Olivia lip-quiver like they were watching the Super Bowl, something finally dawned on me.

Although there were quite a few men at the watch party, I’d guess that 75%-80% of the people there were women—numbers that likely reflect the overall demographics of Scandal viewers. Yes, there are many men who enjoy the show, but it’s targeted towards, promoted by, and dominated mostly by women. Women are the ones who’ve made it a social media sensation and cultural force. And, while I’ve joked before that Shonda Rhimes is the Bougie Black Girl’s Geppetto—and that Olivia Pope is the patron saint of Bougie Black Girls— it’s not just Black women who love Scandal. It’s White women, Latina women, Asian women, women from Youngstown. It’s just…women. (Not all women love Scandal, of course. But…just stop making faces and bare with me.)

And this is why a week can not pass without another piece written by a man (well, usually a man) detailing exactly why Scandal sucks. It’s why you’re likely to see more tweets about “bed wenches” on Thursday nights between 10:00pm and 11:00pm than you will at any other time. It’s why there are men whose love for shitting on the show and its fans surpasses the love Scandal fans actually have for Scandal. 

While there are many very intelligent sounding theories for this level of pushback, I think the root cause is rather simple.

It’s created by, targeted towards, and loved by women. So, it can not possibly be any good. 

Although I do realize there are some racial, sexual, and socioeconomic factors at play here, the (mostly) male antipathy for this show isn’t so much a burning hate as it’s a never-ending attempt to dismiss and disregard the merits of something that’s unabashedly targeted towards and supported by women. Because of course “something created for women” = “something that likely sucks.

On that level, it’s not much different than the mocking disdain directed towards romantic comedies—well, romantic comedies not made by Judd Apatow—the Oxygen Network, women’s magazines, Twilight, cats, comediennes, and even any male entertainer who speaks more to women than men. (Hey, Drake!)

Interestingly enough, this level of skepticism towards “women’s” things isn’t only harbored by (some) men. I know women who, in an attempt to make themselves seem more “smart” or “serious,” will intentionally craft an affinity for things that are more traditionally male. I’ve even had a couple very talented female writers express to me that they won’t consider themselves successful until they’re published in GQ or Esquire.

It actually kind of reminds me of some of the criticisms certain things—the NBA, rap music, Atlanta, etc—receive because they’re considered to be a bit too Black. Not saying that every person who harbors a dislike for any of these things feel that way for that reason, but you can’t deny that an undercurrent of “This is a bit too Black, so it can’t possibly be any good” exists.

My girl and two of my friends came to the watch party with Panama and I. When the party ended, each guest received a gift bag as they walked out the door. By the time I got to the door, though, they had run out of bags. My girl left a few moments before me, and was waiting outside with a bag.

“What’s in there?”

“Lotion, a gift certificate for a massage, and some other girly stuff. They’re actually getting more bags from the back. If we wait a minute, you can get one too.”

“I’m good. Let’s go. I’m hungry.” I replied as we started to walk away. But, as we turned the corner and neared a pizza spot, a thought shivered down my spine:

“Shit. I wanted a bag too!”

—Damon Young (aka “The Champ”)

Panama And The Champ Have A Long Chat About Street Harassment

NYC Street Harassment

Panama: So, street harassment has been getting a lot of traction as of late. There are panels, discussions, shouting matches (which may or may not actually constitute street harassment depending on if the man is louder methinks), Twitter town halls, Twitter shouting matches (“tweet harassment” perhaps?…), etc. Basically, the conversation about men making women feel uncomfortable has reached a critical mass. To wit, the definition according to StopStreetHarassment.org is:  any action or comment between strangers in public places that is disrespectful, unwelcome, threatening and/or harassing and is motivated by gender or sexual orientation. 

In its simplest form, basically men need to stop talking to women unless women say something first. Hmm…if I say “smile sister!” and I’m smiling at the same time, is that harassment? I’m really curious about this. What’s your take on it?

Damon: I took part in a HuffPo live segment about street harassment last week. The producers reached out to me because of a piece I wrote for EBONY (“I Stopped Telling Women to Smile“), and I was the lone male voice with three women—including Tatyana Fazlalizadeh. Because of the show’s format, I didn’t get much of a chance to speak. But, when I did, I offered some background about what prompted me to write the EBONY piece.

That said, I am a bit ambivalent about some of the articles and discussions about this movement. No one—well, no one in their right mind—would deny that random shouts, catcalls, and insults do occur and can make women feel violated and even physically threatened. Also, this type of behavior can escalate.  I’ve heard stories from numerous women about them politely declining a man’s “invitation,” and that “invitation” quickly turning into an insult or even violence.  
 
But, some of this conversation has gone as far as saying that men should never do a “cold approach”—basically, unless a woman has made it clear she’s interested in being approached, he shouldn’t say a word—and I don’t agree with that. I think we (men) can stand to be a bit smarter and more considerate with how we approach women we’re romantically interested in, but we do still have to approach. And, sometimes these approaches may happen while on the bus, or at the gas station, or on the street. 
 

You know, I do think most men understand the difference between considerate approach and harassment, and most women know the difference as well. But, it seems like the tone and tenor of this conversation is being set by people on opposite ends of the spectrum: women who seem to consider all unsolicited male attention to be harassment, and men who say things like “Man, if I can’t give random females compliments on their tiddies, how is the human race gonna survive??? They should be happy I even took the time to notice they asses!”

PanamaI think that you may be right. It probably is mostly the fringe element that’s driving the majority of the conversation, as the Internet is largely responsible for. I mean, if you let the Internet and FOX News tell it, well…don’t let them tell anything. I think men could be a lot smarter and less icky when talking to women on the street. I just don’t know if we’re supposed to stop talking altogether. Like can I say, “hello beautiful”? Or is that like borderline. Perhaps its like backhanded harassment…on the street. And to be fair, I agree. I’m not trying to trivialize the movement. I’ve seen and heard some pretty atrocious things said to women who were doing nothing more than existing. That’s not nice. And the guys who managed to do so clearly were pretty disgusting people. I guess, my curiosity about it is more of, like, would women prefer (I realize I’m asking a man) for nobody to ever say anything? Is positive stuff okay? Hell, I’m afraid that if I say hello to a woman and say she’s beautiful I may get like, hit with the street harassment whistle or something. Wait, is there a street harassment whistle? If not there probably should be one.

Damon: I know women who carry whistles. And mace. And tasers. And tiny dogs that shit in their purses. I also know a woman who showed me how she holds her keys when she’s walking somewhere alone at night so that they form a de facto knife. 

I don’t know any men that carry those types of weapons. (Or purse-shitting dogs.) And, while I’m aware many men carry guns, I don’t know—well, I don’t think I know—any who do. I also don’t feel compelled to go to the bathroom in groups, I don’t think twice about taking my eye off of my drink if I’m sitting at a bar, and I’ve never intentionally made sure to wear more conservative clothes so I got less unprompted attention from the opposite sex when catching the train to work.

I’m bringing this up because we (men) have a tendency to downplay or just completely ignore the fact that while the world is a dangerous place for all of us, it’s even more dangerous for women. It’s almost like how (some) White people will downplay or completely ignore the effect racial profiling can have on us.

Also, we have to be real with ourselves. I seriously doubt any woman you say hello to is going to blow the harassment whistle on you, and I seriously doubt you believe that too. It feels like the internet-based pushback or even ambivalence about this movement from men is based on semantics. We (men who read and shit) know how to act around women, know what harassment is, and aren’t going to have our off-line interactions with women affected by this at all.

I will say one thing though: I don’t think it’s a good idea to ask women how they prefer to be approached. Aside from shit that goes without saying—i.e. “don’t grab my ear,” “don’t have breath that smells like Newark”—if you ask 10 women that question, you’re likely to get 10 different answers.

Plus, no one—women, men, Gucci Mane—knows what they want, anyway. Seriously, sometimes it seems like life is nothing but a quest to learn exactly what you don’t want. And, when you finally do figure out what you want, you die.

Basically, life is like a very eclectic hood strip club.

Panama: Damon, sir. Mr. Champ. I do believe we’ve got some growth there. I sense the empathy and attempt at understanding the other side. I’d shed a tear if I hadn’t already let the song cry. So  yeah, you’re right. Women have to deal with an entirely different set of circumstances than we do. I have a daughter and I’m already scared about what’s possibly happening to her when I’m not around. So I see your point. Ladies….I get it.

On another note, I disagree about asking women how they want to be approached. Hell, that’s the only way to get data and find a middle ground. So what you get 10 different answers; I guarantee that they’ll all be at least “okay” and won’t include the words, “hey redbone, let me bust it wide open” or “how about you do something strange for a little piece of change” or “I got your tuition in my wallet, guh…twerk something”. Or my current favorite that has yet to work…”guh…I know you want this dih!” Not that I’ve actually tried it. Nope. Not even twice.

So for me, I would be curious as to how women would like men to approach them ideally. I feel like we’d get a mix of grand sweeping gestures and scenes from Belly. Really though, it would probably look like Love Jones. Here’s a stick in the mud, Darius Lovehall, the patron saint of Black romance was a real life stalker. Like an actual one. That isn’t street harassment, that’s a felony. But I’ll bet some women would find that charming. So to quote poet laureate and philosopher king, Tyrese, what am I gonna do?

Damon: Yeah, Darius definitely did some arrestable shit in that movie. That nigga just showed up at her door…after getting her address from a receipt…and after being told by her that she wasn’t interested, but he’s the Black patron paragon of coitus procurement??? It has to be the baby hair.

And, the reason why I don’t think asking about approach best practices is useful is that they’re too variable and arbitrary. Lemme put it this way: What Jane says is the best way to approach her (“Just say hi and make me laugh”) might not work when Jack tries it. But, later that night, Jim gets Jane’s number, and all he did was nod in her direction. (It was a “sexy” nod, according to Jane, but just a nod nonetheless.)

Oh, and let the song cry on deez.