Songs the Perfect Man Would Sing to Me #3

James Otto's Just Got Started Loving You

You don’t have to go now honey
Call and tell ’em you won’t be in today
Baby there ain’t nothin’ at the office
So important it can’t wait
I’m thankful for the weekend
But two days in heaven just ain’t gonna do
This is gonna take forever darlin’
Girl I just got started lovin’ you

What’s the point in fightin’ what we’re feelin’
We both know we’ll never win
Ain’t this what we’re missin’
Let’s just stop all this resistin’ and give in
Let me wrap my arms around you
You know you don’t want to leave this room
Come back and let me hold you darlin’
Girl I just got started lovin’ you

What can I say I’ve never felt this way
Girl you’re like a dream come true
After all the love we’ve made
It sure would be a shame
If we let this moment end so soon

So won’t you lay back down beside me
Girl just like I know you’re wantin’ to
Trust me when I tell you darlin’
Girl I just got started lovin’ you

I’m thankful for the weekend
But two days in heaven just ain’t gonna do
This is gonna take forever darlin’
Girl I just got started lovin’ you
Come back and let me hold you darlin’
Girl I just got started lovin’ you

Songs the Perfect Man Would Sing to Me #2

Clay Walker's Fall

Hold up there you go again
Puttin on that smile again
Even though I know you’ve had a bad day
Doin this and doin that
Always puttin’ yourself last
A whole lotta give and not enough take

But you can only be strong so long before you break…

So fall go on and fall apart
Fall into these arms of mine
Ill catch you every time you fall
Go on and lose it all
Every doubt every fear every worry every tear
Im right here
Baby fall

Forget about the world tonight
All that’s wrong and all that’s right
Lay your head on my shoulder let it fade away
And if you wanna let go baby its okay

Fall go on and fall apart
Fall into these arms of mine
Ill catch you every time you fall
Go on and lose it all
Every doubt, every fear, every worry, every tear
Im right here
Baby fall

Hold on hold on hold on to me...

Fall go on and fall apart
Fall into these arms of mine
Ill catch you every time you fall
Go on and lose it all
Every doubt, every fear, every worry, every tear
Im right here
Baby fall


Songs the Perfect Man Would Sing to Me #1

Keith Urban's Making Memories of Us

I'm gonna be here for you baby
I'll be a man of my word
Speak the language in a voice that you have never heard
I wanna sleep with you forever
And I wanna die in your arms
In a cabin by a meadow where the wild bees swarm

And I'm gonna love you like nobody loves you
And I'll earn your trust making memories of us

I wanna honor your mother
I wanna learn from your pa
I wanna steal your attention like a bad outlaw
I wanna stand out in a crowd for you
A man among men
I wanna make your world better than it's ever been

And I'm gonna love you like nobody loves you
And I'll earn your trust making memories of us

We'll follow the rainbow
Wherever the four winds blow
And there'll be a new day
Comin' your way

I'm gonna be here for you from now on
This you know somehow
You've been stretched to the limits but it's alright now
And I'm gonna make you a promise
If there's life after this
I'm gonna be there to meet you with a warm, wet kiss

And I'm gonna love you like nobody loves you
And I'll earn your trust making memories of us
I'm gonna love you like nobody loves you
And I'll win your trust making memories of us


The Nice Guy

My friends and I have been talking more and more about the Nice Guy lately. I think it started with the Feathery Stroker excerpt and the night with Period Boy.

Period Boy was a very sexy, very fun guy my girlfriends and I met at a club in Vegas. He became known as Period Boy because after spending an hour or two dancing with us and his friends, he started pouting anytime he wasn't getting enough attention. He got all sulky and needed to be attended to. Obviously, we got bored of this very quickly. Cuteness does not make up for the need for a babysitter in a grown man.

And then I came across the ad about a man's job, and it all started coming to a head. Coincidentally, it's also been coming up more in my blogroll, and I've been feeling inclined to say something about it. Amanda over at Dating is Miserable recently even had a slew of guest bloggers write about the issue. I'm not sure I'm talented enough to accurately capture everything that's rolling around in my head, but I'll try for the essence here.

Having pretty much always ended up with the self-defined Nice Guy, but having had enough experience with his opposite to feel expertly qualified, I think I can diagnose this issue as a problem of semantics.

The Nice Guy we root for in movies is nice, but he's still the Man in the relationship. He still knows how to handle his woman, and hot sex is not automatically thrown out the window just because he brings the female protagonist a cup of soup when she's sick.

So what makes him more appealing than the Nice Guy we meet in real life?

Well, for starters, it isn't about Nice vs. Not Nice.

The original Nice Guy debate sees to have stemmed from the difference between the bad boy that's fun and exciting versus the nice guy that will always be there and is thoughtful and, well, nice. In this face-off, bad boy gets the dates and nice guy gets the wife and 2.5 kids.

Side note: this doesn't even begin to address the problem of Nice Guys learning to affect Bad Boy characteristics and Bad Boys pretending to be Nice Guys, which Amanda deals with in her follow up to her guest week.

But that's not what we're dealing with in dating anymore. That's an oversimplified version of the real issue. Rather than having 2 men: the Bad Boy versus the Nice Guy, I'd argue, that there are really more like 4 archetypes, with dots on the spectrum all across the way. I propose using 2 variables (I'll leave incorporating other planes to someone out there who has far more time than I do): Nice and Sexy.

I propose The Nice Guy Graph:

It just so happens that many of the qualities that make a man seem Nice (sensitivity, friendliness, openness, approachability, humility) negatively correlate with the qualities that make a man seem Sexy (confidence, experience, edginess, mystery, toughness). This means the the upper left and lower right quadrants contain a significantly large percentage of the population. Thus the typical Nice Guy versus Bad Boy debate.

Being the complicated and never satisfied woman that I seem to be, however, I simply can't settle for one or the other. I want Nice and Sexy. I believe this is what most women want (although I can't really speak for all of us, now can I?).

The problem for me is that most of the nice guys I meet are too passive (asking me for the first kiss, not making a move at all), too sensitive (they want to talk about their feelings more than I do), too open and available (they lose all mystery, which is fun), too inexperienced (they have had less experience because they don't just take what they want, so they just aren't as good in bed), too humble (confidence is key!), too complimentary (if you worship me so much, maybe I'm out of your league), too...well, feminine. But most of the truly sexy men I meet are too mysterious (you've gotta open up a little), too arrogant (c'mon...you've got to have some weaknesses), too insensitive (I don't want to cry at home b/c you were a douche...this is when Nice Guy gets called), and too assholeish.

There's got to a balance. The aggressive man who takes what he wants but is happy to work to get you to want it, too. The guy who is open and honest without divulging all of his insecurities. The guy who makes you feel sexy without making you feel like he's not good enough for you. The guy who is confident without arrogance, rough with tenderness, and has the answers but doesn't mind asking questions.

I think the key factor for me is capability. That upper right quadrant is a capable man.

He is capable of love, romance, commitment, conversation, emotional sharing. But he is also capable of turning you into goo with a look from across the room, kissing you in a way that makes you think you never need to breathe again, getting what he wants in life, keeping you interested and excited, getting into trouble, getting out of trouble, fixing things. He is capable of handling me in all of my complexity. (On this - Amy Brown wrote an interesting post on how she doesn't like Nice Guys because she's not a Nice Girl. She poses that Nice Guys just don't want her because she's too complicated and restless. This seems right on for me. You can read more Nice Guy posts over at the Heartless Bitches archive.)

He can party you under the table, but will get you home safe and get you that awesome bowl of chicken tortilla soup for brunch the next day. After a night out he'll have you up against the wall before the door is closed, but the second time around, he'll take his time and be sweet and slow. He'll have his own life, his own friends, his own dreams, but he'll be there for you and support yours. He'll make you dinner, but he won't feed it to you unless it's leading right into dessert. He'll feed your cat when you're out of town, but he won't coo at it in baby talk. He'll fix your internet and your broken lock; your emotional drama and your sexual frustration. He is capable in many ways on many levels.

My favorite image of the Upper Right Quadrant Guy?

Peter DeWolf's guest "word doodle" on the Dating is Miserable blog:
i chuckle sometimes
i really do
i chuckle when you mistake
kindness for weakness
not malicious
i know
your warm dark eyes twinkle
lips turn up just a little
the smugness
i'm nice
it's true
and i like being good to you
if i thought for a minute
a second
that you took it
for granted
you'd miss
popsicles and west wing dvds
when you are sick
and wearing those thread-bare pjs
you got when you
were sixteen
you'd miss
me sensing the need
for a back rub
a foot rub
a soft but sturdy shoulder
when your boss
doesn't realize
everything you do
and are
and can be
you better
i guess
what i'm saying is
i will remember
our anniversary
and cook you a romantic dinner
but you better believe
when we're done eating
i'll be bending your ass over that table

And with that perfect thought, I'll leave it to you all to add your thoughts.

Oh...and you can read more of Peter's stuff on his blog.


A Man's Job

I ran across an ad on Craigslist recently that I found all too amusing. I had to share. The first part of his ad is a description of his job, which is incredibly detailed and accurate.
I know my job and I own up to it, I learned the hard way - but I own up to it now. My job is to be decisive when you say "what do you want to do tonight?" My job is NOT to say, "I dunno, what do you want to do?" It is my job to say, "I would like to [verb here] to [insert place] and [activity here]. Yet, I must also know when you have your own idea and actually want me to say, "I don't know, what about you?" How should I know? That's my job as a man. I must know. I do know.

My job is to be ambitious in my career and make enough money that if we live together and your career takes a turn for the worse - I would have the money to afford to keep you fed and healthy AND sexy.

My job is make you feel safe with me. I know when to be cool and aloof most of the time when you are just engaged in friendly flirting. I have to NOT feel threatened when guys stare at you, not be jealous when they flirt, not be insecure when you flirt back, just relax and enjoy your happiness. Ok? I figured it out. I know. I am not jealous by nature so this job is easy. But the moment a guy mistakes one of your signals (which happens because you don't quite realize all the signals you give off) and starts trying to do something to you against your will, I need to be ready to be incarcerated after I make him sorry. That's fine. Hopefully it will never get that far and my sharp tongue will scare him off.

I agree to it every day when I put my pants on, or when we take a photo and you have to lean into me (we know who is who). I don't lean into you. We don't have photos of me sitting in your lap.

My job is to intuit, using my sexual psychic powers, when you need to be objectified and fucked like an animal (yet still ensuring your orgasm) or spanked or hair pulled, or more, and when you need gentle love like what you saw in that romantic movie you watched. I need to also magically know when you want it quick and urgent and when you want it to take all night. And when you scream the very painful words "fuck me harder," even whilst I am fucking as hard as I can and running out of breath, it is my job to find a way to do it harder. Yes, it is tough, but it is my job, I accept it.

All the hours I spend at the gym will help me fuck harder when I am supposed to. I work hard for you. And somehow, most of the time, I have to figure all this out without anything but your body language and your subtle female hints and the infamous girl code. Fine, it may not be easy, but I accept it and I do my best because this is how it works.

It is also my job to be funny and entertaining yet a little dark and mysterious at times. Don't ask me how either. But, I can do it. You can't teach that by the way. God forbid you should be able to figure me out entirely. Your boredom means the end of good sex, orgasm and eventually the relationship. Or it just means the beginning of the nagging and bitching, which neither of us want.

I realize that. I accept that. I have to be your clown, yet keep your respect. Get you to laugh at me, but not reduce my prowess in your eyes. It is a fine line. It is my job to walk it and know how to keep mystery alive, maintain your respect and awe of me as a man and at the same time make you smile when you need it and keep things light when you get too lost in your intensity.

It is also my job to make you feel comfortable to express yourself to me, to listen, to show you I care (without ever caring too much). I have to care for you and show love without ever making you feel that I am more sensitive than you, more emotional, more emotionally intelligent, sweeter or more romantic. If I cross those lines, you will run from me and say I am too nice - or just not feel complete because I am walking in your territory as a woman. Again, that's fine with me. I know the line, I will walk on the right side of it and I will accept responsibility when I screw up. I will be your listener and still ignore you at the right time, or fuck you like a bar room whore when I need to. I can figure out what to do when, or at least accept that it is my job to figure that out. Call me a multi-tasker. I recognize that sometimes you need to be told to shut up and put in your place or sent to your room, but still left to feel like you can express yourself freely to the guy (me) who loves you. No one taught me that. I had to figure it out.

And when you get into a car accident, and the guy you hit is yelling at you and you call me on the cell phone, I need to be able to drop what I am doing and effectively manage whatever tragedy has occurred. Sure, you can do it yourself - you might even resent girls who are helpless in such situations - I am not criticizing your skill set here at all. I am just saying that when tragedy goes down, and [if] you are in need of help, I need to take care of it. The relationship requires that I be able to stay calm and solve problems when you can't. And you know you can smell fear in a man. If you catch the slightest hint that I am just as intimidated by the tragedy as you are, forget it, I will sit in your lap for the next photo. Of course there are tragedies where you need to take charge - I will cover that in a few

Now in exchange for me doing my job well and keeping our relationship alive and well, you will have to do your part as well. If one of us fails to perform his/her role, the arrangement crumbles and I become an asshole and/or you become a nagging bitch. I know. I have seen it on TV, in the grocery store on a Saturday morning, in restaurants etc... It's all around us. All the couples fighting - where you can just feel their bitter energy and you know they are doomed - that's why. One of them did not step up and the relationship is crumbling. And you say, "no, maybe it was something else." Perhaps. But most likely it is what I am talking about here.

Now you: There are many jobs for you. Your first and last job are the same. The rest of the list is important too, but they don't work if you don't do your first job first. Your first job is to be sexy in the way that you can be. It is your job to discover your own natural sexiness, manifest it, AND your job to figure out what I think is sexy. How do you normally attract men? If you think it is by wearing your thong above your jeans so that everyone can see it - then you are a moron. If you think it is getting wasted at some club and making out with your best girl-friend while guys cheer - you are an idiot. I have met you already, you bore me. I think you need to pull your pants up, drink less, bathe more and try to be more original than the Girls Gone Wild video that your former boyfriends got boners watching.

I have heard girls get upset about this. They say, "it is not my job to be sexy all the time," or "It is not my job to meet your definitions of sexy." And I say, bullshit. Have you never stepped outside? Who raised you? It IS your job. It may not be your job to be sexy ALL the time, but you better believe it is your job to be sexy when you are around me, my friends, our friends, and the neighbors. I am not saying you have to dress up, I am only saying you need to figure out where/what and how to create your sexiness and make sure I agree with it. Sure you can have your off-days where you don't change your underwear until noon the following day, or you are bloated and gassy and you just can not be sexy.

That's ok - I like girls who are real - I will still love you. I know you fart and get acne in strange places sometimes and have all kinds of biological processes that are esoteric to me - those things don't turn me off either, afterall I like real girls. I just ask that you manage and control the things that are in your control. But don't let me catch you eating pork sticks everyday and then complain that your stomach hurts and you have the runs for weeks.

You be sexy. Eat right, wear sexy underwear (which I will gladly buy for you), comb your hair and as you dress in the morning DON'T ask yourself, "will this outfit make guys at the county fair want to jerk off on me? If yes, then change and stop wearing shirts with your name airbrushed on them. Ask something like, "Would this look turn my man off if I were giving him head and he were looking at me." or "would my man be proud to walk with me in this outfit?" This question will keep you from dressing like your grandmother, a nun and the lonely lady you work with that, when she shows up in the morning you look at her clothes or hair and murmur, "what is she thinking? And she wonders why no men are attracted to her?" Don't be that woman. You be sexy. Ask the right questions when dressing in the morning.

I want to love the sexy girl who will occasionally be ugly. Not the girl with no taste who once in a while gets lucky and looks nice. Now, I don't want to discourage girls who feel unsexy most of the time. In cases like that - I just ask you to not book me on those days - lets have some away

And you need to be able to figure out when not to be sexy, like: when I am sick in a hospital bed, incapacitated and unable to move, but only able to see that some male interns and you are talking about my condition. At that moment you need to be clinical and NOT sexy; when you are at the dentists
office and he is about to put you under (wear ugly stuff), when I am feeling down on life and we go to a party - don't be hot, you are only going to get me to sink lower. Just be nice looking or better yet, suggest that we cancel and have some "us" time.

I can not tell you how to locate your inner sexiness - but I can offer you some advice on how to avoid being unsexy.

Unsexy: always wearing a seamless sports bra, especially girls who dont play any sports and have no athletic ability (unless complaing and nagging count. I dont count them). Fine for sporting times or gym time, very sexy when sweaty - I may grab you and want to get animalistic on you. But to wear them on a day to day basis because they are comfy is to completely give up on life, or to say "I have a boyfriend now, nothing matters anymore." You do your job and stay sexy and I promise to work-out regularly, keep my cholesterol low, dress well, pluck my ear hairs, get laser hair removal whereever else, not leave you hanging when it is your turn to orgasm and not to wear my dirty sweat pants. Just you keep your sports bra for work-out time.

Unsexy: Bras with big thick (wide) straps in the back or over the shoulders. That's just weird. Ok, at times it is necessary, like when you are all swollen up from breast feeding and you need more strap-strength to hold your product in place. Or if you have a very large chest. But outside of that, what is wrong with you? Under what assumption are you operating where you concluded that the "nursing" look was sexy? Unless you want men to suckle you in a child-rearing kind of way, wear something else - lace is nice.

Unsexy: photos of yourself cramming food in your mouth, or cookies or an alcoholic beverage. Or photos with your mouth gaping open as if you are wasted and screaming at a party. I am out here working out, staying in shape and taking care of myself - for what? For you to cram cookies and beer into your mouth, run around drunk with your jaw hanging open? and take photos? No. We will not date.

Unsexy: Your growing gut. Pooch like Maya Rudolph - very hot. Gut like post high school ex-jock? It is diet time.

Unsexy: yellow underwear. You wear it, you sleep on the couch. I don't want to see it and I don't want it touching my laundry.

Unsexy: panties with little cutesy polka dots on them or any pattern that looks like something a 4 yr old girl would wear at her pajama party. Save those for when you feel puffy and bloated and want to snuggle with your stuffed animals and eat chocolate ice cream.

Unsexy: Girls who are nutso about shaving and plucking. I know you don't want your eyebrows to look like Santa's - but why remove them entirely and then draw a line with a pencil? Are you my grandma? And your pubic hair is not your enemy - starchy food is your enemy. Unless it actually makes you physically uncomfortable - it is ok to have some pubic hair. Yes, porn has become mainstream now - and all those chicks are shaved - but I don't want the trash porn girl who fakes her orgasm or the Pamela Anderson wench, I want you. And Pamela Anderson is ugly anyhow - why doesn't the whole world know that? You be you.

Sexy: girls who take care of themselves physically and emotionally. Girls who manage aspects of themselves that are in their control. Meaning, I don't care if you are short, tall or medium, have huge breasts or no breasts, brown hair or red hair, enormous feet or a funny nose - you have little control over what you were given. So I don't judge those things. I just ask you to take care of what is yours to take care of. Don't tell me that your ass is fat because that is your body type - and then shovel lasagna down your throat 3 days a week. We have a deal. I will do my part. You do yours. Stay thin - meaning if you are 130 pounds - you need to stay around 125 to 135. I like slender girls or muscular or thin or thinner than average. Slender does not equal thick. If you look like Minnie Driver or Kate Winslet
- then your excess weight is hot and I love it.

Your other jobs are very important as well. It is your job to nurture. If I am down and not feeling so great, you need to be building me back up. You need to be reading self-help books once in a while and see to it that we are both emotionally balanced. You need to make sure that we both communicate what is bothering us and all that stuff that you women want us to talk about in relationships. I need that. Do your job, I respect it. And when I am not feeling like such a man, you need to find it in yourself, even if you have to fake it, to build me right back into the alpha male that I should be(I believe a woman tests a man until his last day(lol), so you don't have to worry about me being a Beta/wuss..World is full of wussbags..I AM not one)

Your job is to find it in yourself to want to do things that the last 3 decades told you were not women's work. You know - the huge double standard - how you were taught that it isn't your job to do anything that your dad expected your mom to do, yet you still expect me to open doors for you, fuck you like the world is ending, be strong, buy you nice things when I can, make money, jump in front of a bullet for you, provide security for you, take initiative and make you feel safe. Well you don't get it both ways. I
told you I would do my job. You must do yours. Personally, I like to cook and clean, do my own laundry and wash dishes and I am not asking you to do ANYTHING for me. But if I need help in that area - you better put on an apron and cook some food, or make the bed, or offer to make sandwiches on
rare occasions when my friends are over, or do some laundry or fold something, sweep - whatever because you WANT to do it. Again, I am not asking you to do those things, I wil l do them myself when they need doing. Your job is not to be my maid at all, your job is to WANT to care for me in those ways and/or offer or just jump in and help when I am doing it myself. I will help you too - but don't refuse to do stuff because you feel offended because you learned in your college class that men oppress women. Personally, I only know oppressed men and frustrated women. Men afraid to be men and women who are frustrated with them.

But its harder than that. And you can blame your feminist aunt. You have to figure out how to be all that while also being modern and knowing how to hang with the guys. Don't ask me to explain that - I would not know how to pull it off. But I have some touch jobs to do that I cant explain either.

You do that, and when the guy is shooting at us I will take the bullet. When the bad man is attacking you, I will make him sorry. When you break your leg, I will carry you to the hospital. When the heater doesn't work, I will chop wood. But believe me, if you refuse to do your part you can walk yourself to the hospital with a broken leg and bullet in your chest while fleeing the bad guy - because I will have left you.

Your job is to be in charge of our morality. If we are at a dinner party and I say something a little mean to someone and you notice it. It is your job to pull me aside and say, "that was wrong - you go and apologize because you hurt that persons feelings." I won't like it - but I will obey. You are doing your job and I respect it. I will somehow find a way to go apologize.

You are in charge of our emotional health. Even if I say I am fine. When you notice that I have some unresolved issue that I need to work on, I have to listen and do whatever it takes - even if it means seeing a therapist or counseling or reading some stupid book. You are in charge and you must find a way to do this without ever being bossy or over-critical. How do you do that? I don't know. It's a tough job and only you can do it. My job is not easy either.

When we are having friends over for dinner and I say that it doesn't matter if everyone has matching napkins and you say it does matter. You better believe we will have matching napkins.

When I feel like not going to the new stupid shit museum and you think that it is better than me sitting around the house on Saturday playing with my computer - you better believe my ass will be going with you to the museum and with a smile on my face.

You will also select my clothing when we shop. And I will obey, pay and wear it - whether I like it or not. You will pick out my cologne, my soap, my whatever, to meet your tastes.

Your job is to rule all of the things you can rule, by using my love for you against me, by teaching me shame for wrong-doing, by communicating what is in your heart - and whatever, without ever nagging, being a non-sexy bitch, emasculating me or smothering me. It's a fine line - but you must walk it.

I will enforce my power by giving you verbal commands to which you will obey. You will enforce your power by giving me the guilt/shame stare or the silent resolute, refuse to look at me stance - both of which usually will trump all my power. I respect your power, you respect mine.


Feathery Strokers

Now that I'm back at a point in my life where I'm meeting men here and there again, my friends and I talk quite a bit about men, and of course the quality of men, in the dating pool.

One thing that many of us have agreed upon is that men in San Francisco are, in general, not as aggressive as we would like. They tend to be soft and passive in a way that just doesn't work me, personally.

Well, I just read Anybody Out There? by Marian Keyes, and there's a fantastic notion about a "feathery stroker". I would like to point out that Keyes is NOT a local author.

An excerpt:
Jacqui's Feathery Stroker test is a horribly cruel assessment that she brings to bear on all men. It originated with some man she slept with years ago. All night long he'd run his hands upa nd down her body in the lightest, feathery way, up her back, along her thighs, across her stomach, and before they had sex he asked her gently if she was sure. Lots of women would have loved this: he was gentle, attentive, and respectful. But for Jacqui it was the greatest turnoff of her life. She would have much prefrred it if he'd flung her across a hard table, torn her clothes, and taken her without explicit permission. "He kept stroking me," she said afterward, wincing with revulsion. "In this awful feathery way, like he'd read a book about how to give women what they want. Bloody Feathery Stroker, I wanted to rip my skin off."

And so the phrase came about. It suggested an effeminate quality that instantly stripped a man o all sex appeal. It was a damning way to be categorized and far better, in Jacqui's opinion, to be a drunken wife beater in a dirty vest than a Feathery Stroker.

Her criteria were wide and merciless--and distresingtly random. There was no definitive list but here are some examples. Men who didn't eat red meat were Feathery Strokers. Men who used postshave balm instead of slapping stinging aftershave onto their tender skin were Feathery Strokers. Men who noticed your shoes and handbags were Feathery Strokers. (Or Jolly Boys.) Men who said pornography was exploitation of women were Feathery Strokers. (Or liars.) Men who said pornography was exploitation of men as much as women were off the scale. All straight men from San Francisco were Feathery Strokers. All academics with bears were Feather Strokers. Men who stayed friends with their ex-girlfriends were Feathery Strokers. Especially if they called their ex-girlfriend their "ex-partner." Men who did pilates were Feathery Strokers. Men who said, "I have to take care of myself right now" were screaming Feathery Strokers.

The Feathery Stroker rules had complex variations and subsections: men who gave up their seat on the subway were Feathery Strokers--if they smiled at you. But if they grunted "Seat," in a macho, n0-eye-contact way, they were in the clear.