This is good. As the author says though, this is a complicated issue, open to a great deal of additional discussion. I don’t know that I have that much to add, but I can think of a couple things.
One thing I’ve noticed about male behavior with regard to sexual issues is that many men are working from a false premise. They think that there is a woman out there who might want to have sex with them, and unless they are constantly vigilant, scanning the fleshy horizon and putting out sexy signals, they will miss out. While this is true for a certain subset of the male population, the fact is that for most men, most of the time, nobody actually wants to sleep with them. This seems wildly obvious. But somehow, somehow, a great many men either don’t know, or don’t believe — or don’t care that this is the case.
If you want to be a better person, guys, you really can’t ignore this. You have to take it to heart: Statistically speaking, no one wants to sleep with you, and your constant readiness to pounce on any potential sexual opportunity is making your behavior odious to others. It’s like your running around the world screaming, “I’M READY!” while the world cringes and whispers, “Ew, no.”
You’re not missing out on anything. There isn’t a woman out there right now telling her friends, “Yeah, I wanted to sleep with that guy, but he didn’t make an unsolicited pass at me, or grab my ass or act like a pig around me or anything, so nothing happened.” Sex does not result from alert men taking advantage of once-in-a-lifetime millisecond windows of opportunity. This isn’t putt-putt, and women are not windmills.
Once you have learned to accept that sex is something that will never happen to you, you can begin to orientate your attention elsewhere. You can be free. And the best part is, people will like being around you more. A sexless life is one that has more time for other worthwhile pursuits. There are video games to play, television shows to watch, languages to learn, model train sets to build, music to make, stories to write — all things you can do without touching, talking, or looking at other people who find your body sexually abhorrent.
I was 23 when I realized this, and over the past decade (um, and a half) I have enjoyed how uncomplicated my life has been since then. It allowed me to realize that even though I just don’t like people very much, I was spending a lot of time with others during social outings on the off chance I might meet someone who’d be interested in me. I allowed myself to jettison a ton of excruciating, but ultimately unnecessary social commitments, and my life improved immeasurably. I also stopped plucking the hairs between my eyebrows because why bother? In a very real way, learning to accept myself led to less actual pain in my life.
Of course, there are a lot of guys out there who know what’s up, keep to themselves, and manage to reduce the amount of damage they cause to the world. Unfortunately, there are also plenty of guys who are well aware of where they stand, and have allowed that knowledge to turn into resentment, which fuels their negative behavior. They know nobody wants them, but they act out anyway. They know they make women feel unsafe, but that’s what they’re after. They are caught in a never-ending cycle of blame and punishment.
I don’t know what to do about these guys. But I do know this: they only pull the crap that they do, because they know they can get away with it. Maybe then, that’s where it starts.