Some Unsolicited Advice For The Beta-Male

1. Find a pair of jeans that you feel comfortable in, and toss the rest. These should make you feel sexy, should be well-made, and should be washed infrequently unless you suffer from chronic swamp-ass.

2. When you speak with others: listen. Nothing is less attractive than active disinterest. You will learn more, expand your intellectual horizons, and ultimately become a more likeable human being whom others enjoy conversing with. Few things are more important than being an effective communicator.

3. Stop calling others “fags,” and stop using “gay” as your catchall terminology for shit you’re interested in. This is both hateful, and the swiftest way to alienate yourself from the progressive population. Your parents spent nearly a quarter-of-a-million dollars on your (overpriced, and underused) education, so the least you can do is use it.

4. Tip well. When the high-school You is bagging your groceries, and you’re deciding which of your parents’ credit-cards you’re going to use to buy said groceries, pull out a couple of bills and hand them to the young clerk. Do not take “no” for an answer. You’re inadvertently helping this kid buy his first bong, his first car, or dinner for the kid he accidently had with the love of his high-school life. Remember those who helped you. When you dine, tip your wait-staff or bartenders generously—if you can afford to dine-out, you can afford to be gratuitous. If not, stay home. You’re not welcome.

5. Read quality literature. The greatest moral ambiguities are resolved within the pages of bound books. This means you should be avoiding Twilight/Chelsea Handler/Et Cetera. But, but, Steven, how can you be the arbiter of what is and is not quality literature? It’s so subjective. That’s simple: the same way you can tell the difference between a shitty apology, and a sincere one. Let’s stop pretending that Fifty Shades of Sexually Dull has anything to do with how to be a lover. Boys, this doesn’t mean you have to throw away your copy of Mike Tyson’s authorized biography, or your Hardy Boys first-editions. This merely means you should pick up something of literary merit every once in a while too.

6. Develop a taste for drinks without carbonation. This is strategic insofar as your hangovers will no longer resemble those times your father beat the shit out of you with the studded side of his belt.

7. Start going down on women. If you’re not going down on women, you are perpetuating a childish (and Puritan) fear of the vagina. Oral sex is a quid pro quo enterprise, which is to say: if you’re expecting anyone to get near that undulating sweat-stick between your legs, it would be damn wise of you to return the favor.

8. Learn to forgive. Holding grudges is ugly, and life-denying. Too many opportunities are missed because of outstanding petty feuds. You don’t want to die with more regrets than you have already.

9. Expand your vocabulary. Language is sexy, and can make your beer-belly/non-ironic mustache seem tolerable. Overcoming an ostensibly lazy tongue will also aid in the development of your newfound love of lady-head (n.b. #7 above).

10. Understand the difference between being passive, and being aggressive. There is a happy, fence-like niche where you belong.

11. Pick up on social cues. You know when they’re not interested, so leave them alone. No one should be made to tolerate your unwanted advances. Buying someone a cocktail doesn’t entitle you to a goddamn thing.

12. Develop an intimate understanding of human sexuality. Heterosexual Normatives have taught you very little beyond the male/female binary. Sexuality is fascinating, and fluid. Be wary of all prescriptive methodology, and appreciate that while something might not be your cup of ejaculatory tea, that doesn’t mean it’s wrong.

13. Leave your phone at home, and find something to give a shit about. Reality is passing you by. Walk away from your laptop, and engage the beautiful, terrifying, no-good-very-bad everything of the world around us. Let’s start solving problems. TC mark

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