March 9

Political Change

I haven’t seen that there is much that can be done in my case, or any number of cases like mine. I have talked to men and women who fall into similar situations. The fact is there shouldn’t have to be losers when we talk about custody, but if it goes to trial, there will be losers. That is what courts do, they decide who wins. When a case goes before the court, there are generally 4 parties represented. One is you and of course another is your spouse or ex-spouse. The third is an idea called “The best interest of the child,” often mistaken as being the children. Who is this fourth party involved? The state. Who represents the state? The court. That’s right, by entering the court room to argue your custody case, you have invited the state into the upbringing of your children. Once they are there, they will stay there. The state’s interests are protected by the court. The attorneys on both sides will appeal to the state’s interests at times to try to shift the state’s/court’s thinking towards their client’s interests. The third party may or may not be represented. Sometimes this idea that the arguments revolve around is argued by the the parents attorneys. Sometimes this idea has its own representative. Four party negotiations are not a simple matter, but once you are in court, the advantage goes to the state’s interests. Each jurisdiction may have different interests, and each judge may have different opinions about those interests, so there isn’t a singular list of things to address here. What needs to be addressed is that the state has an interest in most custody cases.

In my recent reading, I am very much of the opinion that to change things, I have to seek political change. I may not be able to affect any changes in favor of my relationships with my children, but I can affect change for them. I have talked about the costs of the state being in the middle of our families in other posts. I am not going to go into them at length here. I am simply going to say that the state taking an interest in my family’s dynamics without their being some form of criminal misconduct on one parent’s part is dangerous to our freedoms. This does not simply endanger our parental rights, but it endangers our rights in general. The state using children as an argument to get involved in private matters during custody cases is simply just the state gaining a foothold into other areas of our lives. What is even worse, is the state is being represented by a court system that is making decisions outside of their authority. Our elected officials are invading our homes, but our courts acting as an oligarchy.

Much of this has been caused by our elected officials not wanting to get their hands dirty, so they give the court authority to make decisions they shouldn’t be making. Child support is a great example. The legislators in most states have delegated the authority they have to set a child support schedule to the courts. In most states the state supreme court will in one way or another set the child support schedule. This is advantageous to the elected officials, because they won’t be blamed for taking the money from the payers or shorting the payees. Without the oversight of the other branches of government, the courts can choose to do what they see as the best interest of themselves and the state. They understand that there are Federal matching funds for collecting child support, and the legislators can ensure that some of that money makes it way to the courts. There are government jobs tied to having to maintain processing centers for child support payments.

The question is how do we affect change. Where do we attack first. One of the first things I see needing to be struck down is the Bradley Amendment. It gives no means for paternity fraud to be fixed. It doesn’t deal with the realities of life for the person paying child support. It is a key ingredient to the dehumanizing of the payer, usually the father in the public eye. Along with the Bradley Amendment, the criminal penalties for non-payment of child support need to go away. Traditional civil penalties are enough for dealing with court orders that fall under the civil courts. A family court doesn’t even hold the same evidentiary standards as normal civil court, so it has no place in applying criminal penalties for anything.

Two things need to go hand in hand for the next step of change. One is the idea that the children have a right to a portion of the parents income. Its a silly notion that really exists to justify child support at very high levels, and to justify the transfer of income without a tax consequence. It is the equivalent of a theological debate over the law. No one listens to it, until they see the utility of it in their lives. The other is to get the legislators to accept responsibility for child support rules or calculations. The two go hand in hand because it is this accountability that will get them to listen. Now it returns to an issue that has political capital. The state representatives now have a reason to come up with calculations and rules that benefit their constituents. This becomes a campaign issue. Our Federal representatives can be pressured to change the nature of child support. The matching funds need to go away. States should not be rewarded for their role in destroying the family. The tax consequences of child support need to be changed. This is an income transfer from one adult to another for the purpose of raising their children. There is no requirements for how the money is spent, so without any accountability, its just income.

Pressure then needs to be placed on the states to make child support something that is not required or even the norm in cases. Both parents have a right to support their children as they see fit. There is no fairness in this. If one parent has more money available to provide nice things to the children, then they should be allowed to use it as such if they choose to. In reality this isn’t different than it is now, except the court has decided that one parent will have this money by their ruling. Hard work and financial planning are not the deciders. Most parents will take good care of their children. The parents can work out expenses as they see fit. Any required expenses should simply be split in half legally. Each parent being responsible for 50% of the expense according to the law. I can tell you, I would rarely hold my ex-wife to that standard, and would simply pay most of my kids bills. The image of the deadbeat dad needs to be eradicated from the political discourse. Our elected officials who choose to use such language need to be punished at the ballet box. The culture that men are bad, and lazy needs to be attacked at every place it is seen. Men cannot afford to ignore these things anymore.

Child support orders should be a total amount, divided into monthly amounts due. It cannot be raised or lowered. It should be treated as most other debts. If a parent paying child support is filing for bankruptcy, the child support due should be treated as one of the highest priority debts, and receive some of the largest funding through the process. When the bankruptcy is over, the child support should be considered paid in full. By this model child support is simply an award like any other civil case. The law needs to stop looking at every father as a potential dead beat who does not want to care for his children. Most men who filed for bankruptcy would emerge better able to pay directly for the child’s needs.

I know what needs to change. I have some ideas about the specifics. I know that these ideas will be flushed out over time, and working with others. Right now I need to find some political allies to fight the fight with. I need to find some elected officials who are already fighting the fight. Its time to to change things. Its time for fathers to make it clear that they matter, and they care, and they will destroy your career if you are betting against them.

This was somewhat of brainstorming session. I would love for some comments and ideas to sharpen my thoughts on this. I am actively looking for groups that are taking real political action, and politicians that are ready to stand with fathers.

Ten-Foured,

JeD

February 25

Being Non-Custodial

DV Benes

What does it mean to be non-custodial? It can mean a lot of things. The term is used to apply to anyone who pays child support. Lets look at my situation. Its a modern example of how the system is dysfunctional, and that the system isn’t at all about taking care of the children involved, but it is about taking care of the women. There has been a big shift in my state in the last few years. The legislature has recognized that the modern family has two involved parents and they are encouraging judgments that are in favor of shared parenting. This is a 50/50 timeshare of the kids or some approximating this. To get this, the parents need to be intentional when the process starts, because a judge isn’t going to change things much once a pattern has been established. If the mother is trying to hoard the kids time, then the father needs to take action right away to change things, or he will be stuck with what has been established. To go along with this new understanding of family, they have changed the child support calculators to include provisions for shared parenting. I give them credit for this move, but it is not nearly enough, but it does clearly demonstrate the overall problem with the child support calculators in most states. The truth is child support is too high in every case that I have seen. I know that is a small sampling, but I have played with the numbers from more than a few states to see how things could have been different, and they are high everywhere I have checked things out.

How does my state modify things for a parent in shared parenting? Sorry, I am not going to reveal which state I am in, but just understand that other states are doing similar things, and that the concepts are not unique. The new calculators for shared parenting kick in when you have near equal time share with the kids. It does not make it clear what is near enough, so the judge gets to decide. For some courts this is good, and others it is bad for the fathers seeking this arrangement. Its not really different than the old arrangement with liberal visitation. Its been common for a long time that men with liberal visitation has had near equal time with the kids, but the mother has had significant control over whether that is allowed or not. Now basically they apply a 20% discount for the non-custodial parent, and the custodial parent is responsible for direct expenses. No where is direct expenses explained. If the parents agree to each supply clothing, then there is another discount of about 4% applied to the child support. Direct expenses do not include medical, dental, or other health care costs. They do not include extra-curricular activities outside of school, and maybe inside of school. These are listed strangely under special needs expenses which are also not considered direct expenses. Medical expenses are expected to be divided based at the same proportion as the gross income of the parents differ. The non-custodial parent is defined in my states law as the parent who earns more money. That is it. Nothing else is used to determine this.

The end result is I get to pay for things twice. Pretty much everything. My child support didn’t go down, because under the old arrangement men would pay child support, and usually the court wouldn’t require any other payment from him unless there was an extraordinary expense involved. I pay $1000/month in child support for kids. I then pay 64% of health related costs and 50% of sports and extra-curricular costs. She pays the school expenses and the other portions of these costs. Before I was responsible for child support, I paid for all the kids expenses at 100%. Sometimes these reached the $1000 mark, but usually not. Typical expenses in a month are close though. So I pay her $1000 and then pay my proportions, which are about another $500-$600. If you do the rest of the math, this leaves her with about $500-$600 in her pocket even after paying for lunches for the kids, which she could decide to only do for the days they are with her. After paying taxes, child support, retirement loan for marital debt, and health insurance is I have about $3500 dollars a month to pay for my rent utilities and these kids expenses. To put in perspective to her income, she takes home about the same amount from her pay checks, and then gets another $2400 tax free between CS and other government checks.

As I have laid out above, there is an extreme imbalance in the reality of CS and the actual costs of raising the children. I might be able to accept this. We have certainly made some strides in the right direction for men protecting their rights with their children, but there is just one huge problem with this experience. I am under constant threat of court order to pay this amount. It doesn’t matter what my job situation is. I have lost my freedom to decide on these things. The activities that my kids are involved in are somewhat locked into place. I can’t decide that I can no longer afford them. I have can be sent to jail for having a budget change. I can lose my drivers license or have money removed directly from my checking and savings accounts. I am in fact indentured to my ex-wife through my children. I am her servant. I am required to work to ensure she is paid. I have less freedom than I had when married to her for the next decade, and she has greater freedom. She can continue to choose to work at a job that for all practical purposes is a part time job. There is no pressure on her to improve her financial condition. If I choose to improve mine, then I am then obligated to improve hes. This is a major disincentive to move up in my career. The only thing that is a driver to do better in my career right now, is that I need to make some moves or I will be the guy who gets overlooked forever.

As a father, I live with the constant threat of the court over my head. I live with the fear that she may win the battle for more time, and take even more of my paycheck. The slippery slope that will lead to me not being able to maintain a home large enough for them to visit me, and thus give her more ammunition to further reduce my time, and further tap my paycheck. I have to continue the fight for my kids. A fight that no father should have to fight. I have to pretend with my kids that everything is okay. That me and their mom don’t have problems. I can’t tell them how she has treated me, because that would be alienation of affection. I can’t do a lot of things. When people look at divorce and wonder why men are bitter, they need to understand that men are effectively slaves to their ex-wives for the time their children are growing up. This is why men are bitter. Ask a black man what the legacy of slavery has done to his life, and then understand that in the modern world, all men are subject to slavery through their children to the mothers of their children. This is why men are so bitter. This is why men can’t get over their divorce. It isn’t because women are emotionally stronger and more capable of dealing with the loss of divorce. Its because for the men it is never ending until their children are 18 years old.

Being non-custodial means being a second class citizen. Your children and their mother are superior to you under the law. People can argue this case otherwise, but the fact is proven in the number of men that are subject to this system. I will recommend to my sons that they don’t have children. That they don’t subject themselves to this burden of slavery that we call fatherhood. I love my children very much, and I would not like to imagine a life without them, but I would be free to make my own decisions if I had never had them. I would not turn back time, but I would protect those I love from this fate. I hope to change things before that time comes for them, but if things do not change, then I will recommend they choose freedom from slavery over this. I am not as good of a father as I might be without this burden.

Ten-Foured,

JeD

January 15

Charitable Organization for Men

Charity Tuesday banner, Tintagel

I am contemplating what it would take to set up a foundation or organization that’s purpose is to help men recover from the economic desolation from divorce. I am not sure how to go about it yet, but I am doing my research. My hope would be to be reimburse legal expenses and other expenses related to protecting their rights in court. Paying off debt and tax bills that accumulate because of divorce. I would also like to start to put together an army of lawyers that will take on these cases and understand the sensitivity of the cases. There are men’s divorce law firms, and some of them actually get what’s going on. Others just pay lip service to men’s issues to increase client contacts. My own case is inspiration for this, and I am still going through it. I know that I will be broke for a long time, because of my divorce. There isn’t much I can do about it, but I do want to help change things for other men. The long term goal would be to change the laws in the USA to favor a system of divorce that doesn’t include court room combat, or the threat thereof, but establishes fair baselines for couples to agree to and firm defaults when the couple cannot agree on things. The system is out of control, and encourages fighting that just isn’t necessary. Most of us have had bad breakups before we were married, and somehow we managed to figure things out mostly on our own. The needs of a divorcing couple aren’t that much higher, except in system where winner can take all.

I am going to continue to blog on my life, but I am going to start talking through how to start this thing. I hope that I can get some sound advice from others about not only how to start this thing, but also in setting the direction as I move forward. It may take me years to get this off the ground, but I feel like it is important, and needed by too many men. Its time to start making some changes. Time to stop complaining, and start taking action. The status quot sucks. This is for men. This is for the children. And this is for our society. Everyone suffers when there is an underclass in society. It was true with slavery, indentured servitude, and its true in the modern cultural shift of indenturing men by proxy through their children.

I am hopeful that there are actually men out there that care, and will start to support this cause and get it off the ground. I am especially hopeful that there are some lawyers out there that see past the profits and care about what is right and wrong. I know there are lawyers that went into law to help find justice. This is a call to these men and women. Right now, I am planning. When my own mess is somewhat behind me, I will be wanting to take action, and I hope that there are some lawyers who are willing to help create the legal entity that will be required to do this work.

Comments and opinions please.

Ten-Foured,

JeD

May 16

I Won’t Live Alone In A Cave

The Cliff Dwellers (1906)

All too often the suggestions I hear come down to two things. One is go fuck as many women as you can. That is fun for about a minute. I am not that guy. Never have been. The other is to go my own way. Now this is appealing in some ways, it doesn’t solve the problems that I have in my life. If I were a young man without kids, I would consider this the way to go now. Make sure I can’t have kids, and disengage from the life chosen for me, and do whatever the fuck I want to.

The problem is, I do have kids, and I like the companionship of a woman. I do have a red pill view of these relationships, but I don’t see them as being something I can’t have. I just have to understand the risks that I face as I enter into these relationships. The big solution to the problem is that I could crawl into a cave and spend my time with my kids and hang out alone when they aren’t around. This is depressing. I might get some reading and writing done, but I would be unsatisfied. I do plan on doing these things, but I want a partner.

So now I am faced with building a relationship and knowing the score. I know the female nature. I also know what I am willing to accept from a woman, and what I want. All woman in my life will demonstrate jealousy of the time I spend with my kids when they aren’t “mine”. This manifests itself usually as jealousy towards my ex. It really is jealousy of the time and that I sometimes have to get up and leave. My ex uses this to cause problems, and I do have to learn better ways to mitigate the situations. She is a manipulator and likes to create strife. There isn’t much I can do about that, because she is willing to use the kids to get her way. This is not good for anyone involved. All it does is score her a win. Its not even good for her.

I understand how men walk away from their kids. Its not fair to the kids, but there is a limit to how much a man can take. There is a limit to how beneficial his presence is, when a vindictive woman is manipulating things on the other end. When the kids come to you and are treating you like crap, what do you do. When no amount of discipline teaches them what they need to know, because the other parent is working against you, there is a time where you have to say that I can’t fix the damage under these circumstances. Its the heart wrenching decision that has to be made sometimes. These men are broken and torn apart, and society will heap more and more shame on them for this decision. As I have gone through this process of divorce in my life, I have developed a new compassion for these men. Most of them are not the man who drops a litter and runs from town to town. Most are good men, who want nothing more than to be with their kids.

I have a lot more on my mind, but for now.

Ten-Foured,

JeD

October 25

Child Support Enforcement

History of UK speed enforcement

Fathers and Families has a great post about some of the issues of child support enforcement. As I have stated before, I find it deplorable that forced child support is something that we do. I am not a big welfare society plan, but with as much as we provide social welfare, why are we doing this. Just let the women go on welfare, and let the men walk away. Good and moral men are getting smacked up the side of the head with this stuff, and real deadbeats are getting away from these punishments. The real deadbeats tend to live below society’s radar, or they are criminals of another sort and already in state custody/monitoring. Good men want a relationship with their kids, and have no problem financially supporting them. Why are we making it so hard on these men. If the expectation of child support is removed from the system, then within a generation women won’t complain about it. They will understand the new system. Check out the article, and read some of the other stuff they have there.

Ten-Foured,

JeD

September 20

Online Dating Update

Dangers Of Online Dating

I changed my profile completely. As I said I would, I used some of the women’s profiles as archetypes for mine. This has been an excercise in reverse engineering the technology, and then extracting social cues from the women’s profiles that I thought I would like to attract. The end result is an honest, but engineered profile. It also does a fair share of social engineering to get desired results.

Interests

I added a lot of single words to the interests section to make sure that I get hits based on that. Stupid me had that relatively short, thinking that if I covered it below in then I didn’t need to there, but that area is like meta-data to POF. You need it to be there, so you are presented more often to women. I didn’t put anything in there to just get hits, but I put a lot of things in there I wouldn’t have thought to add before. I put things in there that everyone has an interest in, like music and movies. I put specific things, and the generic counterpart so I could catch people who had one or the other in their. So you have float trips, canoeing, and kayaking in there.

About Me

So the about me is the meat of this system. This is where you say whatever it is you want people to know. There is a lot of space, but it is limited. I used it all. Using it all gives the impression that I took some time to do this. It tells the people reading it that I am not wasting their time, and that connection can carry into the first few conversations. I give details and inject some humor as I go. I rewrote each piece a couple of times until when I read it, I could hear my own voice saying the words. I am selling myself, not some image of me that they won’t see when we meet. That is something I learned in dealing with Sarah. I was not surprised in any way by her. She sold me what she was in looks and interactions.

Disclaimer/Introduction

Most women have a disclaimer in their profile. Telling you what they don’t want. I find this very off-putting, so I twisted the idea into an introduction. It basically says that I am not playing the game by the rules. I will not send out 100s of emails without responses. I will write women who catch my eye, but if I catch yours, then you should send me a thoughtful messages that shows you read what I wrote. I also tell them if they do that I will respond, even if it is to inform them I am not interested or we are not a good match.

Kids Come First

Again the way women write this piece, though it exists in all profiles, is a put off. I let them know that I am a busy involved dad with some real examples of how. Kids are a great place to interject humor. I hint at a peaceful relationship with the kids mom. I don’t say the kids come first and if you can’t handle that kiss off. I think any woman that reads a section describing my activities with my kids who can’t come to that conclusion on her own is too stupid for me to deal with for long. I can filter these women out pretty quick.

Active Lifestyle

Everyone likes to think they are active. I skip past the active women who only say they go to the gym, unless they look like they are about ready to compete in a figure or fitness competition. I do this because I know they are at the gym five times a week to meet men. Once they have one hooked, they will kick the habit and down goes the figure fast. I list what I do to have an active lifestyle. The sports I play. The activities I do. I inject a lot of personality humor into this section. Its a lifestyle born of disciplines, and I don’t want to focus on the disciplines. They aren’t fun and are evident to anyone smart enough to keep my attention.

The Career

Women write a lot about their jobs. I don’t really care about her job. I do, but only once I get to know her. Its not a selling point. I only care that she has a job to take care of herself, because this man has four kids to care for. She cares about my job. They all do. There needs to be a hint that you are secure and stable in that job to get any hits. I give some hints at what my work life is like and what I do. I am not too specific, but I paint a picture of the job and environment I work in.

Intimacy

Women always have something about hugging and cuddling. I wrote a section that covers my emotional disposition and thought process, but only little glimpses. This is something they need to discover, but they need a teaser. I let them know that I am protective almost territorial about the people I love. Its a lot of strong and affirmative language reflecting my character.

Interests Revisited

I expound on my interests. I talk about my love of fires and the outdoors. I paint a picture of their being room there for someone without making it sound like someone is missing. I talk about the different volunteer activities I have done. I have done a lot, so there is some stuff there for everyone. I explain some of my musical tastes and add a little humor to this section. I don’t talk about movies and TV. Who really cares. Yes there some I love and hate, but I don’t plan on sitting around watching movies or TV with anyone very often. I did that with the STBEW, and that relationship sucked. I talk about my love of reading and writing. I talk about my love of art, and make some cracks about how little I know about art. I talk about doing photography.

Relationship Status

This is a head them off at the pass section. Women rarely have it, but they do care. Especially since I am not divorced yet. Its simple and clear. Divorce is coming, and we get along well enough to deal with kid issues without fighting.

The Close

I say something that dares them to pass me by. No well wishes. No passive letter closes. Its the you should know me, and choosing not to is a bad idea.

First Date

I put some creative things I would actually like to do that are not the same stupid things everyone else puts in there about drinks, coffee, dinner, or god forbid a movie.

Results

I didn’t break it up into sections. I just had paragraphs follow this format, and in this order. The order was something I noticed as I read women’s profiles. I have had good results. My response rate is at about 30% when I send out messages, and I don’t send out a lot of messages. I have 3-5 women I am communicating with right now, and two that are likely to escalate into a date. I have been contacted by numerous women, and as I said in my intro, I do respond if they say more than “Hi, wanna chat?” The other thing I have noticed through this process is that I have very little patience for someone who has not taken the time to fill out their profile with something that gives me at least a little hint of who I am dealing with. Women with the punch lists of don’ts are bitches, guaranteed. Women with the punch lists of wants are never going to be satisfied. Women who say they don’t want players and assholes are off the list, because the only guys they are going to respond to are players and assholes. I don’t have a problem with those guys, and the women get what they deserve, when this is the type of guy they choose. I mostly look at the women who say something about themselves and what they like to do, and who have taken some time to choose pictures that show what they look like and some personality. When meeting a woman, if they don’t look like their pictures I will walk away. That is lying of the first order, and its not acceptable to bait me in with 10 year old pictures that don’t look at all like you. I have seen some of this with friends, so far the women I have met have not done this. I have had no surprises. I know that with time I will meet a few truly crazies.

I am surprised to say the least. This change has been dramatic to the whole online dating experience. None of it really fits what POF lists as good profiles or what many web gurus will tell you. I am liked by women in the physical world. They like my personality and how I carry myself. I needed to bring some of that into the profile. I am selling me, not some everyman for women to drool over. In the same way that I would walk if I find she misrepresented herself, I expect that the type of woman I want will walk if I do. I spend less time with the stupid site, and get better results. I have made a few international pen pals along the way as well. All in all, I think my assessment is changing of online dating.

Ten-Foured,

JeD

September 12

Lust, Pornography, and Christiananity

Jesus is Watching You (and adult videos)

Well this isn’t so much a personal story as it is a commentary based on personal observation and experience. If you haven’t noticed reading my blog, I don’t use a lot of facts and figures. This is about what I observe in the world. I work in a world of facts and figures and statistics. I don’t want to write about them. Other people cover those things quite well. This is one of those posts that people will wonder about the facts and figures. I say go find them. I don’t have them. I am not sure I believe the ones I have read, because of the nature of the questioning that would have to occur to get the results. As with so many things revolving around sex, we really can’t get to the heart of the matter, because of the many taboos even in conversation that exist.

I am going to start with lust. Lust is one of those words in the Christian world that gets thrown around a lot. It is always used to shame men. I won’t argue this, I have sat in the pews of too many sermons that are on the topic of lust. None of them have ever dealt with it in any way that is not shaming men. Its an easy target. Men want women’s body’s to be theirs to enjoy. Its a part of how we were built. God made us with a desire for women. The unfairness to this is women lust after men too. Its not completely based on body, but it is a part of the equation. Women like the bad boys who set their own rules. I rarely hear women chastised for this lust of theirs. We use this word lust, but what does it mean. http://dictionary.com gives us this definition”

lust? ?[luhst]
noun
1. intense sexual desire or appetite.
2. uncontrolled or illicit sexual desire or appetite; lecherousness.
3. a passionate or overmastering desire or craving (usually followed by for ): a lust for power.
4. ardent enthusiasm; zest; relish: an enviable lust for life.
5. Obsolete .
     a. pleasure or delight.
     b. desire; inclination; wish.

Notice something in that definition. There is nothing about looks. The verse that is referred to uses the word look, but lust is not about looking. Its about desire and appetite or craving. So women lust after men all the time. Women get horny. Women desire men sexually. Its just not based on something they always see. It might be wealth, power, prestige, or beauty. Women are not immune to lust. This is the verse used to go after men.

Matthew 5:28
New International Version (NIV)
“But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

The context of this verse in Matthew 5 is Jesus calling out the judgmental people who sit back and do all the right things that they too are just as guilty as the ones who committed these acts. He is saying to the overly religious that if you want to judge the adulterer, then you tomust judge yourself, for what man has never looked upon a woman lustfully. He is speaking about the spiritual ramifications of these things. He is saying that for your spiritual well being you are no better off thinking about carnal acts with women who are not your wife than you are if you do the carnal acts. I would say that the core of this message is that no man is deserving of the saving grace of Jesus, and that being said we can do better. To do better we must stop worrying about our neighbor’s failings and start worrying about our own, for no man knows what is on my heart but myself. A verse rarely used for lust, but one that is used to attack homosexuality is this.

Romans 1:26
New International Version (NIV)
“Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones.”

I am not going to say anything about homosexuality. If you are a Christian then you are answerable to God on that issue not me. Verse 27 is the verse that is used for this. I have left it off on purpose. The word lust is clearly used in relationship to sex and women. Not only that, but its used in way that is derogatory towards their actions. I think the point can be made that women have lusts that are not Holy in nature. The Church needs to stop presenting this issue as a male only issue. One of the things that gets thrown at men in sermons is this lust, and as a side note women are told to be dressed provocatively is inadvisable and not very nice, but men you are still supposed to have it under control. The women’s dress is treated as cultural phenomena that women should think about, but has no spiritual consequence. There may be some truth to this assessment when you are talking about little girls, but you will notice that women will dress to show off the parts of their body that they know have men’s attention. For some women this is cleavage, and for others it is their legs, and for others it may be their stomachs. They are knowingly showing off parts of their body for the purpose of gaining male attention. Not just any male attention, but male sexual attention. These women lust for male sexual attention.

Pornography consumption is merely more of the same. Men and women watch pornography to fantasize about sex. They lust for what is being done on screen. There is an addictive nature to it, because of the chemical releases in the brain. I would venture to say that all lust has an addictive nature to it for the same reason. It is in the modern era that you can see porn without shame from society, so it becomes more prevalent. In the past to sit around and stare at women was a juvenile thing. If a woman was to look up at you staring at her while she was at the beach or pool, you would be chastised or she would move. Watching other people have sex is not something most people are invited to do, so again there is no historical corollary that really applies to be able to watch a couple of actors put on sex show in the privacy of your home. It is a kind of supercharged lust. The act of lust tends to kick endorphins into your system, and pornography gives you almost unlimited means to do get that release of endorphins. The closest anyone probably got to this in Jesus’ era was the temple prostitutes or orgies, but these things of course required participation.

I blame the Church for so much of the damaged sexual relations in Christian marriages. The Church has painted a picture of men being predators and uncontrollable lust monsters while women were pure and virginal(even when they weren’t) lustless creatures. Women were warned to watch out for the men. The men only wanted one thing mentality. Here is one of proverbs warnings against adultery.

Proverbs 5:1-6
New International Version (NIV)
Warning Against Adultery

5 My son, pay attention to my wisdom,
    turn your ear to my words of insight,
2 that you may maintain discretion
    and your lips may preserve knowledge.
3 For the lips of the adulterous woman drip honey,
    and her speech is smoother than oil;
4 but in the end she is bitter as gall,
    sharp as a double-edged sword.
5 Her feet go down to death;
    her steps lead straight to the grave.
6 She gives no thought to the way of life;
    her paths wander aimlessly, but she does not know it.

To me this warning is clear. Men watch out. She will entice you. She will make you feel good, and she will drag you down to your death given a chance, and she will be none the wiser about what she is doing. There are plenty of verses that make it clear she is not absolved of her actions, so I won’t read into this that she is somehow innocent. The context of the Bible must be read as a whole. The problem here is the Church gives her a pass for her adultery all too often. It is blamed on the men. It is blamed on her husband’s failings, and on her lover’s charms. She was helpless to do anything about it. This is bunk, and everyone knows it.

Now lets get to my experience. I found that in my marriage, pornography was a problem. Not that I consumed it often or in large quantities, actually quite the contrary. Lust for other women and the temptation to just take a peek were there all the time, unless I was getting regular and quality sex. I only remember a very brief time in my marriage that happened. I think it was driven by some guilt on her part. I noticed right away that these temptations were almost completely absent during this time. As we separated I found that initially these temptations were huge. So was going out to pick up some woman just to have sex with. I gave in these temptations. I do not regret it. It has given me an understanding of things that I would not have had before. The absolutely carnal sex of pornography and casual sex was addictive in nature. I craved the endorphin rush, and the I craved the adrenaline rush of the chase. So what changed. I met Sarah. She was very sexual, but this was hardly casual. This was albeit short lived, a relationship. She was a person, not a body. She met other needs I had, and had needs I met. For me the sex was incredible. I had never had regular, healthy sex in a relationship, since high school. I know many will say sex out of wedlock is not healthy and spiritually speaking they would be correct, but psychologically speaking the definition expands some. Here is the kicker. I desire the healthy(or healthier) sex to the other stuff. I have not been tempted to go seek out the sex of pornography or one night stands after we split up.

Sarah never used sex as power. We had great sex up unto the day before she decided to move on. Sex as power in the relationship is at the core of what the Church teaches women. They are taught that there is no consequence to their actions sexually. They are taught that it is not their fault. Men are to get in line and do things right, and if they do, then their wife will desire them. There is the power play. The wife can say that he isn’t doing this spiritual thing or that spiritual thing right, and that is why they don’t desire their husband or worse strayed to another man. Of course if it were some womanly spiritual discernment that made them not desire their husband, then that same discernment should have told them that the man they were fucking on the side was in it just for the sex. Christian women hold men hostage with sex. I know women in the culture at large do this as well, but it is far worse in the Christian world, because the men will stay with these women because of their faith, and be tormented by their failure as a Christian husband.

I think that if the Church were to spend less time talking about lust and sexual purity, and more time about truly healthy relationships. If the Church taught Biblical truth about love, marriage, and leadership, things would be better. If the Church took the time to worry about spiritual successes rather than failures in its teaching, then men and women would strive to reach those heights. Too often people will look at the failures that are being talked about, and look around and see a sea of people who are doing worse, and decide that the teaching isn’t for them. I think that all too often the Church in focusing on the sins of men and women, they put the ideas into their head to become distracted by. How many people chose to look at pornography out of curiosity. To see what all the fuss was about. Those images are stuck there, and won’t go away. What if the Church stood up and said wives it is your duty to sexually please your husband? What if, instead of telling men to keep their lusts in check, they said husbands it is your duty to direct your sexual desires on your wife often? What if?

Ten-Foured,

JeD

September 6

My Focus Needs More Focus

Focus Your Vision

I have spent so much time perusing an online dating site. Its addicting. I am done. Tonight I will change the profile to say some different things. One of which will be that if any woman wants to talk, she will have to initiate. Men respond most of the time to women on these sites, and women almost never respond. I get a better hit rate than I see most men do. I get a response about every 20 messages sent, and at least a look every 5 or so. This is stupid. I spend a ton of time doing this, and it isn’t any fun. Its not otherwise productive. I will leave it up there for these women who search like crazy, and if they are bold enough to contact me, then I will say something back. Even if I am not interested in them, because I know how it feels to be ignored. I may block them after I send a message, but I will reply.

What am I going to do with all this time I was wasting? Um, read a book or two. Yes I read about three books a month as it is, but there are so many I want to read, it won’t hurt to get another one or two in there. I am checking out some things through meetup.com. It seems this is a better way to go. I will meet new people for real. Not just women, but men too. I get to make eye contact, and if there is a woman that gets my attention, she will at least know me from the group and have something to base her rejection or acceptance on. There aren’t many places to go meet people in the modern world. Things have become so much less social. The bar seems to be the place, but I don’t want to be there all the time. I also will probably be told I can’t go to bars for the next year, because of my DUI. I am bored of the bars. I like hearing the music, but there are other options for that. I will have time for some projects I have in mind. A couple of them are software projects that I have intended to do for a long time, and have never really gotten off the ground. I have some multi-media projects that I want to get done with my personal media. Nothing that will take too much time, but I do need to give it some time.

What will I miss? The sex and other intimate touch and companionship. I have become accustomed to having that in my life since my separation. I haven’t gone long without it. I didn’t have that in my marriage as this blog catalogs. I know I can live without, but desire it. I think patience will prove to be my friend here. I know that I can go find some woman for sex, but the amount of time that takes can be spent on so much more. The stress. Online dating makes you feel like a failure. There is a tendency to grab hold of women who wouldn’t normally have your attention, because they accept your message and reply. Most of these women, I would reject out of hand in the real world. I think that its time to return to the real world. Spend some time window shopping at stores that I like. It is likely I will run into women who enjoy the same things at those places. Go out and experience the places that I would enjoy going with a woman by myself. It is likely I will meet a woman at those places that would also like to enjoy them with a man.

What do I need? I need some single guy friends that like to do things together. I have a lot of married friends. Well I thought they were friends, but most have moved on since my separation. They aren’t available when I don’t have the kids. I can’t blame them. I am not a bad looking guy, and since my separation have got in much better shape. I wouldn’t want someone like me around their wife, and most men don’t do anything without their wife’s approval, so they are unlikely to spend much time with me away from their home. The problem is me and the other single dads I know, don’t have time. We go above and beyond to spend time with our kids. We have extra jobs or overtime to pay for our kids stuff, while our exes choose jobs that provide very little money, but great hours. It sucks to be more of a wage slave without her than with her, but its true. How do I get these men together. I don’t know the answer to that, but its something to work on with this free time I will have, now that I won’t be spending hours trying to woo that woman online into meeting me offline.

I wish I had more time to raise a dog. I miss my dogs. They died shortly before we separated. They were old, but they were mine. We had a dog that we shared with a neighbor, but it was really the neighbor’s dog. They gave the dog away as we separated. When I have my kids, I don’t get home soon enough to take care of the dog. It would normally be at home alone for about 13 hours. That isn’t fair. When I don’t have the kids, that would still be the case for a day or two. Sad, my broken family takes away my opportunity to have a simple companion like a dog.

I still struggle with the broken vows and separation. I get angry and sad. Its not that I want her, because she was not a nice person. I held onto my vows, always thinking that if I just persevere I will reach the promise of marriage that was sold to me, and shown to me by my parents. Her leaving takes away that opportunity. Knowing what I know, I regret not leaving her when she cheated on me, and we had the boys only as foster kids, and the girls weren’t in the picture. I say that, and know that I wouldn’t miss the girls, because I wouldn’t know them, but have a hard time regretting a decision that has brought their light into my life. I need to work through these feelings. I fear being alone forever, but that would be better than settling on a woman who will treat me badly again. I laugh at the women who put on their profiles that they are perfectly happy being alone. If that were true, they wouldn’t be on the site looking for men.

So often I want to cry, but I have no one to cry with. I have been the shoulder for my wife, children, mother, and even father. My wife shamed me when I was in pain, and obviously is not available now. My mother and father are dealing with so much in their lives now, and they become really uncomfortable when their big strong son cries. My kids obviously don’t need my pain heaped onto their own. I will not burden them with it. My best friend is the one person who can cry with. He is a youth minister of sorts. He is also the busiest man in the world. We live 45 minutes apart, and don’t get to see each other often. He is the only person who I don’t feel guilty laying my burdens down and letting him see my pain. Men need this. Men need to find ways to provide this to each other, because women will attack the weakness it shows all to often. I am not encouraging men to run around crying all the time. I believe the control of our emotions is where some of our strength comes from, but there are times where all a man can do is cry to clear his mind and relieve the pressure of things he cannot change.

I suppose that the tears are why I miss Sarah. She allowed me to cry, and not feel weak. Its one of the things that I will require in a partner in the future. I need a safe place to show that side of me. Many women proclaim they want this in their man, but then judge him weak for showing it. She never did. I had so much bottled up that during the short time we were together, I cried twice. She didn’t comfort me and say poor baby. She encouraged me. She saw where the chinks were in my armor, and fortified with the exact right words of encouragement. I am thankful for that. She needed me to be strong, and saw her part in making sure that I could be. It was not in tearing me down, but in building me up that I could be her hero or knight. Shame was not going to make me a better partner. This is a requirement in any woman that I choose to be with in the future. I am coming to a point that I am just thankful for the lessons Sarah taught me. I am getting over my sadness of her deciding that things wouldn’t work in the long term. There is this piece of me that believes she didn’t give us a chance, but then I understand wanting to leave on a high note. Who knows what the future holds. We parted well, and things could bring our paths back together when the dust settles in my life. If not, I will forever remember her for what she gave me this summer.

Ten-Foured,

JeD

September 5

Online Dating Sucks

Self portrait - Blow in her face and she'll follow you anywhere.

I don’t have the time or the desire to head out to some place to pick up women. I thought the online dating would be a good way to cut that part out, and get to know someone better. Well it sucks. I can go to most public places and with just a look get a woman’s attention. From there its easy to approach her and talk. Many times she will approach me first. Its just not that hard to meet new women. It doesn’t happen every time, but most nights out, I get a woman’s phone number and she returns the call. The problem is the quality of the woman that I meet out is questionable, or at least her motives are based on how we met each other.

My thoughts were that with online dating, I would meet women who were interested in more. That reading their profile, I could have a decent opening message and expect a reply from most, even if it turns out they aren’t that interested. I figured it would be like real life for me, but better because we can talk about motives and desires. I have found that most women are demanding that they get the best the world has to offer. The only problem is they aren’t that good themselves. They think that they should have the most attractive man, with the best job, who has all the time in the world for them. Women who would have a good time with in the real world, won’t give me the time of day in the internet dating world. I am going to try some different tactics, but I doubt this goes anywhere. Women think that these sites are catalogs of men for them to choose from, and that they can have any one of them that they want. They don’t realize that most of the men have no interest in them. They don’t reach the mark, but they aren’t being rejected. They are doing the rejecting. The men still initiate most of the contacts. Most are ignored. I think many of these women would have better social skills if they took the time to respond to a few more of these men, if it is even to just reject them kindly. Most of these women rarely even look at the profiles of the men who send them message. They are rejecting them based upon the first picture they see. Crazy how shallow most of these women are, usually while accusing men of being shallow.

I am going to try to change my profile. I think I might have done something foolish. I have created a profile projecting what it is that I want to do with a woman, and thus have created a profile to attract men. I am going to basically create a profile that strongly resembles the ones I see from women. That talks about my position and stability. My abilities in the work force, and how independent that I am. I just won’t list my you better not be-s. That can be sorted out by me just fine without just pissing off some women with what they think is targeted at them. I think most of the women are projecting as well. They are righting what is important to them, not what they think will catch the man. Maybe I will get a higher quality of response. I will report back.

Ten-Foured,

JeD

August 31

The Dating Carousel…Everyone Loses

Courtney on carousel

I tend to like the women who fall in the category of late bloomers. They were awkward through high school and often college. They are quirky and tend to have funny hobbies, because they weren’t in the scene with the cool kids. It used to be these women were open and inviting. The kind of woman that I could meet when I was out and about doing my daily things. Its just not true anymore.

Online dating has changed this. These women get an unbelievable amount of attention that they never got before. They are quick to discard a good thing looking for the next thing. They are entertained by the men who want their attention. Being late to the game, they also seem to not understand that the game leaves them. They get older and less attractive. The men they discarded who were good, are no longer available, or they have decided to shop for younger hotter women.

Men like me lose, because I really don’t like dating. I want my quirky girl, and I want to go on and do quirky things together. It used to be that the girl would be there for that, but now she keeps seeing more guys that might just be better, or they at least have in the back of their head that its not that hard to find a new guy.

The other problem is they believe that they can find perfection. They are unbending in their desires. A woman in her thirties or forties is not going to find a man the age that is going to date her, who does not have some baggage. They have had financial crisis, divorce, kids, or other things that bring an attitude about life into the relationship. They have their fears and their ideas that are not the fresh ideas of youth, but the jaded ideas of experience and the irrational fears that follow.

When this modern world is looked at in history, people are going to wonder just how we survived as a species, if we do. Why would anyone want to continually discard something not so bad, with the only guarantee being you can be alone. Why risk something hard for nothing at all. Why not work through the problems that are easily forgotten or fixed. We are a sad people. Our modern independence will be the death of us.

Ten-Foured,

JeD