The Ethical Lothario

My duty as a gentleman has never interfered with my pleasures in the smallest degree.
Oscar Wilde
As I was re-editing an article on men who are slut-shamed (yes it happens, article should be out at the end of this week or early next week), I got into an interesting conversation with a couple other writers and editors. The topic in question was how a man could be a Gentleman and yet end up earning a reputation as of a player. “Doesn’t that mean he is taking advantage of them?”

Most sites and books reduce a Gentleman’s relationships with women as either demonstrating you are a good candidate for a relationship or being suave enough that women basically through themselves on him. Not to offend anyone, but both attitudes set up unrealistic expectations on the gentleman, his life, and whatever woman he relates to. He is either has a codependent attitude towards relationships, finding his value only based on someone else’s happiness, or a Lothario, finding his value on how many women he can conquer.

We end up frame every woman he meets as either possible candidate for a relationship or a possible victim of his advances. Do we really need that amount of pressure in our lives? Are we in a constant search for Mrs. Right or for Ms. Right now? What about being Mr. I’m Just Hanging Out or enjoying the company of Ms. Funny and Ms. Hell of a Dancer? Does everything and everyone need to be about this obsession over our roles within the social drama?

Not every dinner is a date and not every drink is a potential hook up.

Unfortunately, between our obsession with relationships and our sexual taboos we are left with a society of codependent isolated socialites. We shames men for being emotionally honest about their relationships needs, reducing intimacy into sex. Worse yet is we reduce sex into a taboo to be explored only perversely behind closed doors without understanding each other. This usually leading to the very culture of manipulations and lies we are trying to condemn.

Before we desperately try to live up to someone else’s standards or try to have someone fit into our own idea of the perfect mate, we need to make peace with ourselves and our own needs. We need to stop viewing everyone in relationship to how they would fit into our lives. Sometimes you just have to let go. We don’t need to go out and label every interaction, or define every interest.

And we, as Gentlemen, need to understand that not every woman needs saving or that they only way they are willing to be with you is by “winning” them over. We also have to understand that “plays” are nothing more than manipulations and deceit. If you need these to impress a woman, you are not a Gentleman. Hell, at that point you are barely a man.

You will be surprised just how much empathy you can achieve between each other when you stop trying to force situations, and enjoy each other’s company simply on the fact that we are each other’s company. We need to stop viewing our interaction with women solely on our ability to mate and match.