Hot Body, Hot Air

Published on 24 June 2022 at 09:07

Flying a hot air balloon 🎈 should be reserved for the experts ! 

Social experiments, however, are my home turf. I'm busy with one at the moment. Testing a personal hypothesis of "motivationally-based social retention". In layman's terms: what's the secret ingredient that sustains a new social connection ?

Over the last two and a half years, I've conducted various social experiments (sounds so spooky 👻); ad-hoc, impromptu, or otherwise stated at whim! For me, the times before, between and beyond Covid, are mostly the same. Experiences in social bonding blend into each other easily and have followed and continue to follow a very predictable pattern. 

What is this pattern ? I can divide it into four stages (a gold digging analogy): 

1 - Prospection 🧐

2 - Extraction 🤑

3 - Depletion 😮‍💨

4 - Retraction 🫡

The 1st stage is when social contact is made or rekindled (I use Covid as a powerful motivator for online prospection). The 2nd is when each tries to get as much out of the connection as possible by diving into the depths of the one they have prospected. The 3rd is either when the motivation has run out (i.e. Covid is not a thing anymore...) or when the novelty of the person has worn off, or both. The 4th is self explanatory: ghosting, leaving, neglecting, radio silence, gradual loss of frequency etc. There can also be outright rejection at any point in those stages, resulting in a kind of trap sending you back to the start (or the end), in a kind of "snakes and ladders" game.

But is it all a game? 🎲

There's an element of "playing" in all of the above stated, YES! Essentially, a friendship or relationship that manifests on a virtual playing field, often fails to move into a real context, and is hence never subjected to quality testing. It remains forever in a kind of beta state filled with bugs. It's the soldier that never fights: Physically and ideologically SAFE... and utterly useless!

I often wish there were more terms available other than "friend", to describe these connections.

I've come to embrace the term "buddy or bud" to refer to those contacts that are pleasant, even entertaining, but overall flimsy and would never have my back if the rough should get tough. However, there are levels in-between buddy and friend. There are those grey areas where I ask myself the following questions:

"At what point would they bail on me?" 

"What exactly is their level of affection for me?"

And then there's the gender disparity in this mix of questionable interactions. Having perused various online applications and groups in search of the golden grail of depth beyond the thirties (age-wise), I've made better, new connections with men than with women. Online and in real life. I've been largely, silently sarcastic about these successes because they've all been tainted.

With what?

Sexual attraction of course!

Then again I've recently come to the conclusion that there is a big positive to that tainted "love". With men, you can almost (at least 50/50) be sure that regardless of how the connection starts or progresses, they really just want to have sex with you. And if by chance the physique is hot 🔥...both sides...and there's reciprocal chemistry,then it's almost a given!

Is it a bad thing? 

Not really. Unless there's a predator aspect. It's instinctive, and can be worked with, and around. A very good friend of mine (yes, a man!) recently sparked a lightbulb💡 moment for me in saying the following (more or less):

"Well, either you cross that bridge and it could be fun, or, you don't and the sexual tension will continue to fuel the friendship!"

I realised not long after, that it is indeed true. Sexual tension in a male-female friendship can indeed help to keep it alive, with perhaps a small catch: "as long as you don't act upon it." 

All in all, at least it's not a mystery. It's straightforward. As a woman, you can be pretty sure of a man's motivation and perhaps a good part of his intentions.

I cannot say the same for the majority of women I've tried to befriend or who have tried to befriend me. There are exceptions, and they know who they are and I hope they classify themselves OUT of this category of ambiguity. With that disclaimer out of the way, let me speak for the rest: With a woman, you can never be quite sure what it is that she wants from you (or doesn't want). You can never be quite sure if she likes you because you've got a hot body (like hers) or because you don't. You can never be entirely certain of her motivation, her intentions or the genuineness of her declarations. Once again I can quote my friend in saying "A woman's worse enemy (other than man), is another woman!".

At the end of the day, I can sum up the last two and a half years of experimentation as: disappointing

Social connections for me require a longer list of "must do's and must have's" than the blank pages eternally desired by modernity. The mantra of  "keep it simple", (which isn't mine)...translates into: "keep it simple for me, and you will have to deal with my ambiguity at your own expense". It's convenient, and easy, and useless in the long run.

Why?  

Because it's so...normal.

And...here comes my mantra:

Normal is boring. 🤷🏼‍♀️

 


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