The Endless Wars: The Descent

The Endless Wars: The Descent itunes (coming soon) The Endless Wars: The Descent

On sale now!


Manly Monday (round 2)

Whew. Hell of a week last week, followed by an interesting weekend. As you can gather from my deadpanned previous (Friday) post, I got a little beat-up, but managed to put some alcohol on it Friday night & Saturday night, which helped tremendously.

Friday, I hooked up w/ my old drummer for the first time in about 10 years ('hooked up' as in we went our for beers, not me unlocking his anus w/ my dick-key). We caught up, slowly got over the shock of sitting at a table together, and talked about what it means to be in your thirties with no clear direction in your professional life. I was glad that someone else thinks about that, too.

Saturday, I went to an all-day Driver Improvement Program for my 52-in-a-30 speeding ticket, and found myself simultaneously fascinated and nauseated by the fact that I was literally twice the age of the average attendant. Good times. I then went and podcasted with Tony. It was rad. I would say that this is the best podcast we've done in months. It's also the best TGS podcast we've done in about a year.

We, will, of course, be doing our Holiday Preview this Saturday, and are still gathering up all the games that you wanna hear about. If you're on the fence about something, want to learn more about a holiday release, or just wanna hear that game that you can't live without talked up some more, drop your list here. We'll take the most popular and the most interesting and then drone on about our tedious lives for two and a half hours while casually mentioning something that is very important to you.

Also, don't forget that tomorrow marks the first new Alice in Chains release in fourteen years. I've been listening to my review disc, and I gotta say that several of the tracks are pretty memorable, in a good way, and die-hard fans are going to be rewarded. It's got enough familiarity to it that you instantly recognize the band, but enough has changed that it stays interesting from start to finish.

I also snagged the new Star Trek Blu-Ray sets, Star Trek Season 2 Remastered and the Star Trek: the Next Generation films. Star Trek s2 includes the DS9 tribble episode, so it'll be the first time I've gotten to see Deep Space Nine in HD. DS9 has long been my favorite of all the Star Trek series, so it'll be a real treat to gaze lovingly upon it as my eyes are masturbated by the 1080p-ness of it all. I also just love any and all Star Trek in HD.


Manly Monday
In keeping with today's reader question, I wanted to direct this one to the ladies a bit.

It's pretty simple. Really.

Whether you mean to or not, you train your man. You do. It may not be obvious, but your man behaves and treats you in the way that you've taught him is acceptable.

Look, we men are simple creatures. We like food, competition, sex, and power. Manipulate those basic concepts, and you can train your man. Don't believe me? Read up on B.F. Skinner. Seriously.

A good man doesn't want to waste your time with needless discussion, and he's too focused on the simple things he can control to pick up on your 'signals,' so your best bet is too just implement your own schedule of reinforcement for him.

Now, before I continue, this is all based on a few assumptions. One, that this, in fact, a loving relationship and that you two desire nothing less than both partners succeeding and being happy people, two, that your man is a good man but still a man and therefore a basic primate, and three, he is not a paranoid schizophrenic.

Additionally, none of this is meant for serious issues. This is for those annoying 'little things' that he does (or doesn't do).

So, let's cover some basic concepts. One, the behavior that you want to encourage and see more of is rewarded by you. Two, the behavior that you wish to get rid of is punished. I know that these seem kind of like 'duh' sort of things, but you'd be amazed how easily these things can get lost in a relationship. After just a couple years of marriage, great things about your partner will be taken for granted by you, and vice versa. Don't believe me? Go out with couples that you're friendly with, and you'll see just how fucking awful your marriage could be. It happens to us all the time.

Hopefully, the first thing that happens when you start thinking about existing behaviors that you want reinforced is that you start to realize that, in at least some ways, you have it good with your man. If not, it may be time to trade him in to the dealer.

Odds are, though, that there is some existing negative behavior that has led you to the point of considering training your mate like he was a dog.

Don't feel bad, though. Men need this. You know how you have that one female friend that lets her man get away with anything and everything? Do you want to be her? No, I didn't think so.

And that's the thing. Don't we unconsciously train our friends and lovers? We react with laughter and smiles and affection when they do something to earn that from us, and we do quite the opposite when they earn our ire, as well.

So, this is just like that, but on a more precise level.

Let's take something simple. Let's say he leaves his dirty socks all over the house.

First, give him a chance. Ask him once. If you're the one that does the laundry in the relationship, tell him it makes things much easier for you if all the dirty laundry is in one place.

He now knows that there is an expectation. From there, you now stringently live in the boundaries that you verbally outlined for him. If he lives his shit lying around, you don't need to be a bitch about it, but you can smile a little when he's out of clean socks. If he says something about it, tell him you'd be happy to help him remedy the issue if he could take a moment, go around the house, and then deposit them in the designated location, and do so in a kind manner. Mean it when you say it.

Now, let's say he starts to actually correct his behavior over the next few weeks. Let's say he starts being a little neater in general. When you see him doing something right in regards to his neatness, give him a little extra lovin'. Or, let's say he goes out of his way to try and impress you by starting to do the laundry himself or maybe he tries to have the place looking a little nicer for you. Make damn sure you reward him, in whatever way you see fit.

What'll probably happen, if he starts catching on, is that he'll unconsciously try to slack off a little, and get back to a comfortable, lazy place. Ease off on the 'rewarding' a bit, but then reinforce good behavior as soon as you can. Of course, communicating straight-up in these situations helps quite a bit, too, but he should make a point of knowing your expectation.

Also, be sure to tie the reward/punishment directly to whatever behavior you're targeting. Mete out the feedback as quickly as you can, even if it's doing a little playful teasing at that moment, with the potential to follow up later.

Speaking as a well-trained husband who's training is ever-continuing, I can assure that clear, literal communication, coupled with the above conditioning parameters can smooth your marriage considerably.

Lastly, speaking as a man, all of this works wonders in bed, as well. We love nothing more than knowing that we're rocking your world, or not. Exaggerate your breathing or noises a little when we're doing something that you want more of, and use subtle silence to get us to move on to something else if what we're doing is quite what ya need. Afterward, bring it up, and couch it in terms of 'THAT one thing was AWESOME, and maybe you could linger on THAT instead of doing THAT OTHER THING.' We want little more in life than knowing that we're the guy who does it for ya better than anyone else has ever even dreamed.

Reader Questions
This one comes from Tami in Maine. She asks,

Dear Blaine,
How do I ask my much-loved but oh-so-manly guy to do something around the house and make it sound like I'm not nagging? I don't want to nag, I just want to be able to vaccuum behind the fridge without an avalanche of stuff (not mine) falling on my head when I pull the damn thing away from the wall.

Sick of listening to the fridge run non-stop

I've been noticing lately that I know a lot of women who don't want to sound like they're nagging, but fear that they may be compelled to do so if their man doesn't get on something STAT.

What's sad is that my wife has been there before, with me, and still runs into this with me.

I suggest trying one of the following.

First, the simplest and best thing for everyone involved is saying, 'Can you take care of [X] for me? It'd mean a lot to me so that I can [do Y].' Now, if he's anything like me, he'll smile, assure that it's not a problem, advise you that he'll get to it later, and that never quite find that right moment in which to do it.

Second, you could try a simple barter. Make it into something interesting. Offer something he would value in exchange for his compliance with your directive. My wife has used everything from food to being willing to sit through an action/horror flicks with me to foot massages to more suggestive propositions, and that's worked nicely, though she does point out that I should just get off my ass and do it, in order to be an equal partner in our fortress of love.

Third, you do live in Maine, where it's always winter, and where Stephen King's monsters are running. You could just wait 'til he's in undies, then shove him outside, barricade the door, and tell him that the only way in is through the fridge, so if he'll just agree to do something about all of his shit there, you'd be glad to let him back in, before he dies of exposure or by being eaten by a terrible hell-demon.

Fourth, and this just occurred to me, wait 'til he's chilling, then start doing your vacuuming, and when you get to that moment, ask him to give you a hand with the fridge. Put him on the spot. Or tell him as soon as you start vacuuming, and say 'in 5 minutes, I'm gonna move that fridge, and you're going to help me.'

Hey, fellow men, any other thoughts on this? What have your wives/girlfriends/partners done to 'train you,' or get your motivated in some way?

Ladies, what tricks work for you?

I'll feature the best stuff in next week's Manly Monday!

Need some input on that once white-hot relationship turned festering marriage? Lemme know! I have a hot, happy wife, so I'm an expert!


Tomorrow: Tech Tuesday. We're talkin' games tomorrow, kids!

No comments:

Post a Comment