There is No Right or Wrong
Posted by Khiem in: Articles

Yesterday, I told my Mom I was planning on going to the Adult Convention in L.A. this weekend.  Surprised, she asked:

Los Angeles Adultcon 03/2007HER:  What is it?
ME:  Hmm, have you heard of pornography?
HER:  What?…  Why would you want to go to that?
ME:  Some of my friends are planning to go.  I’d like to go too.  I have never been to one so I’m  curious to see what it is about.
HER:  Do you always partake in what your friends do?  Do you think you are being negatively influenced?

As you can imagine, I wasn’t too happy after our phone conversation.  She turned a discussion of an event I was planning to attend into a debate over the types of friends I have and a debate over my moral compass.  I love my Mom!  She has always been a strong positive influence on my life… but sometimes, I wish she could see my way a little bit more before casting her judgment.

I guess it is our parents’ job to see the world in black and white for us because they want to protect us, but I don’t see everything in dual tone colors anymore.  As I wrote in my Art of Conversation and Storytelling post, trying to be right all the time hinders your ability to communicate well.

Let go of your attachment to being right, and suddenly your mind is more open.  You’re able to benefit from the unique viewpoints of others, without being crippled by your own judgment.
– Ralph Marston

A lot of things in life are actually neither right or wrong.  The way you react or interpret them is what makes them right or wrong.  Is Adultcon in itself wrong?  Probably not.  It’s neutral.  If you come from a very conservative or religious background, you will probably condemn the event as morally unthinkable.  If you come from a more liberal background, you may argue that it is a celebration of human sexuality, which then makes it a reason to rejoice.  It all depends on how you frame things.

So where am I going with this?  I see this issue a lot when guys come ask me if what they are doing is right or wrong in their endeavor to get with a girl.  I am no expert but it really depends.  It depends on how well she responds to what you are doing/saying, but more importantly, it depends on how well you react to HER response.  The question you should ask yourself in those situations is:  is my response moving the interaction closer to where I want it to go… or further?  If you are moving the interaction forward, you are doing well.  Let me give you an example.

A girl sent a text to my friend saying :  “Fool, study… Study fool!!!”  So he turned to me and said:  “does that mean she doesn’t like me?  She called me a fool.”  I asked him:  “what is the context?”  It appears that they were flirting all along.  He needed to study for an exam the next day but as they kept on texting each other, he finally sent her:  “Oh you need to stop that, you are distracting me.  Don’t make me spank you the next time I see you ;p”  Her “study fool” response to his text is by itself neutral.  But within the context, calling him a fool means she’s being affectionate with him.  She was playing along by flirting but she knew when to let him go.  The interaction so far was positive.  Now imagine what would have happened if he replied with:  “why did you call me a fool?  That’s so mean.  That was so uncalled for.”  Do you see how bad of a turn the conversation would take?

I like what Vin DiCarlo said about attraction in his Dating Diablo program: 

“You have to stop thinking about attraction as something that is either there or not… and rather a process, in which leading the logistics is included.  Attraction and seduction is a process ANY man can lead any woman through.  So instead of wondering what is going on, lead her through the process and make her attracted.”

By keeping the big picture in mind, you don’t get stuck with small frivolous concerns:  am I saying the right thing?  Does she really like me?  What you say in a specific moment is usually not very important as long as you mean it well and you move the interaction forward.  Even if she gives you a negative response, you CAN recover by reacting positively.  Generally speaking, there really isn’t a right or wrong thing to say to a woman.  However, there may be better ways of saying what you want to tell her.

This leads to my next topic:  what do Indicators of Interest (IOI) really mean?

I feel that a lot of guys who are deep in the Community rely too heavily on Indicators of Interests to gauge the likelihood of success for their next escalation move.  They look for IOIs to determine if the girl is attracted enough to them before they attempt a move on them.  This is a big mistake.  This type of logic reeks of approval-seeking behavior:  “I want to make sure the woman will not reject me before I try <insert whatever action you are trying to do>.”

While interacting with a man, a woman doesn’t consciously think:  “OK, I like him.  I’m going to flip my hair now to let him know he can go on” or “Oh, I want to kiss him.  Let me flutter my eyelashes and pucker up my lips so that he knows I’m ready.”  This is ridiculous!  Yeah… some women may actually do that intentionally but most won’t.  What they do as a sign of interest to you is usually subconscious and spontaneous.  In addition, some women won’t even give out any IOI at all.  They are either shy/reserved or they are too much in their head to even think about that.  They are not as sexually-attuned as their more social friends.

Last but not least, an IOI is neither a credible, nor consistent enough measure of a woman’s interest in you because they can be easily misinterpreted.  If a woman is twirling her straw in her drink, that doesn’t necessarily mean that she’s thinking of sex with you.  She might just be bored with you so she’s doing something else.  If she’s touching you, it doesn’t always mean that she’s into you.  She just might be one of those very touchy feely person. 

An Indicator of Interest (IOI) should not be treated like a red or green light.  To me, an IOI is a sign that what I did previously was right.  If the girl laughs at my joke, it means I had a good joke.  Her IOI is a response to what I did.  I want to be aware of any IOI a woman sends me but I am not paralyzed by a lack of IOIs.  A lack of IOIs does not stop me from pushing the limits of the interaction.  I am the man.  I am supposed to lead the interaction with her.  Remember, attraction is a process.  It is a gradual emotional and physical arousal that you are in control of.

Think of Indicators of Interests as guiding posts.  Imagine yourself driving on a road in heavy fog.  You can only see so far ahead of you but you are trying to get to city X.  Every so often, you see a sign that says:  City X – 55 mi.  Then you see another one later on that says, City X – 30 mi.  Seeing the signs reassure you that you are going the right way.  However, if you don’t see one, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep driving and turn around.

So guys, be aware of IOIs but don’t think too much about them.  I don’t ever want to read or hear anything like this anymore:  “So I had this many IOIs (she laughed at my jokes, she flipped her hair, she touched me…) but then when I tried to kiss her, she gave me the cheek.”  This means you tried to kiss her the wrong way, it doesn’t mean she didn’t like you.  You probably escalated too abruptly.  Got it?

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