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View Full Version : Flirting, with your opponent...



tateuts
06-26-2003, 08:41 PM
You're playing in a tournament with a member of the opposite sex, an equal player. You find the person quite attractive, and are pretty sure the feeling is mutual judging by the eye contact and maybe a smile. The match is very competitive.

Is it bad form to flirt with or compliment your opponent during the match?

cheesemouse
06-26-2003, 09:01 PM
Before I respond I have a question? Did she win the match??? /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

tateuts
06-26-2003, 09:09 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote cheesemouse:</font><hr> Before I respond I have a question? Did she win the match??? /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif <hr /></blockquote>

Well, this is a hypothetical question since I am a happily married man. Of course, a little harmless flirting never hurt...

heater451
06-26-2003, 09:25 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote tateuts:</font><hr> . . .compliment your opponent during the match? <hr /></blockquote>What kind of compliments are we talking about here?



=======================

tateuts
06-26-2003, 09:34 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote heater451:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote tateuts:</font><hr> . . .compliment your opponent during the match? <hr /></blockquote>What kind of compliments are we talking about here?



======================= <hr /></blockquote>

C'mon you guys, use your imagination!

OK , how's this? "Your eyes are sure purty, m'aam, which I liken to a pair of blue two balls hanging in the corner pocket of my heart!"

Chris

heater451
06-26-2003, 09:53 PM
Hey, it could have been like, "Nice 3-railer into the side", "hella nice draw", or just "good shot/try"--as long as it wasn't "nice rack" (aw c'mon, you knew that was coming. . . .)

I only think it's bad form, if it's interrupting the shooter (you or her). Of course, since you say that it was mutual, I don't think there's an issue beyond the moral one. . . .

Some people consider flirting as "safe", while others think that NO flirting is "safe". You might consider whether you would tell your wife about it. If she wouldn't like it, then you have to make some internal decisions that I definitely can't help you with. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif


=====================

nAz
06-27-2003, 12:56 AM
I think its ok to flirt after the match but not during, unless she is shaking her boobies in my face while i shoot. I have known some chicks that do that while we are playing. then i will have to start doing the same to her, but using other things not my small boobs... /ccboard/images/graemlins/tongue.gif

cheesemouse
06-27-2003, 06:13 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote tateuts:</font><hr> You're playing in a tournament with a member of the opposite sex, an equal player. You find the person quite attractive, and are pretty sure the feeling is mutual judging by the eye contact and maybe a smile. The match is very competitive.

Is it bad form to flirt with or compliment your opponent during the match? <hr /></blockquote>

tateuts,

TOURNAMENT&gt;OPPOSITE SEX&gt;PRETTY&gt;EQUAL SPEED&gt;FLIRTING= SHE IS MOVING ON YOU LIKE THE BALLERINA IN THE "NUTCRACKER SUITE........ /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Qtec
06-27-2003, 06:27 AM
[ QUOTE ]
OK , how's this? "Your eyes are sure purty, m'aam, which I liken to a pair of blue two balls hanging in the corner pocket of my heart!"

Chris <hr /></blockquote>

If this is your best material ,I dont think your wife has to worry . /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif


....coudnt resist...

Q

Qtec
06-27-2003, 06:30 AM
[ QUOTE ]
I think its ok to flirt after the match but not during, unless she is shaking her boobies in my face while i shoot. <hr /></blockquote>

I dont understand . Are you complaining ? /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Q

griffith_d
06-27-2003, 06:32 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote tateuts:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote heater451:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote tateuts:</font><hr> . . .compliment your opponent during the match? <hr /></blockquote>What kind of compliments are we talking about here?

This compliment is not a simple flirt,..that is a little much, but it was not crude.

I have had women bend over when they shoot, from either end, and aim them/it at me and then make a comment to like, "nice a**" huh? These comments to me did nothing but make me change my mind about their pool playing abilities.

When a women bends over to show me her boobs and has no bra and I can see her bellybutton,...she is wanting more than a good game of pool.

Griff



======================= <hr /></blockquote>

C'mon you guys, use your imagination!

OK , how's this? "Your eyes are sure purty, m'aam, which I liken to a pair of blue two balls hanging in the corner pocket of my heart!"

Chris

<hr /></blockquote>

06-27-2003, 06:41 AM
Pure and simple - it's a form of Sharking, albeit a good form if you like it, if you dont like it, its a bad form ??

Buckshot

Sid_Vicious
06-27-2003, 07:06 AM
"You find the person quite attractive, and are pretty sure the feeling is mutual judging by the eye contact and maybe a smile."

If I'm getting positive feedback like the smile and eye contact and I really believe it is "a connection" in the new stages...I'm flirting! That might be my next Ms Right, and I ain't passing any up...sid

tateuts
06-27-2003, 10:16 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Sid_Vicious:</font><hr>
If I'm getting positive feedback like the smile and eye contact and I really believe it is "a connection" in the new stages...I'm flirting! That might be my next Ms Right, and I ain't passing any up...sid <hr /></blockquote>


Gotta love Sid! It's like "to hell with 9 ball, honey, let's go to my place! "

Chris

Voodoo Daddy
06-27-2003, 10:34 AM
Pretty or not...equal talent or not I flirt with any lady on the table &lt;'cept my own of course /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif&gt;. I feel it would be classless and unsportsman-like to do that, pretty or not. I will woof before/after a match but when the balls are racked its all biz. All I wanna do is beat them into submission and make them wanna cry out for mommy. After the match I will be flirty and let her know how pretty she is, I'm not a barbarian...just a guy with a will to win.

Kato
06-27-2003, 11:48 AM
I don't know Steve, I flirted with your girl Crystal for about 3 hours before she finally got the better of me. Of course that was just dogging around. Wouldn't do it in a tournament or anything, I'd have to give much respect. Now the CCB ladies that we meet up with in September, hey, I'm single, I'll do what's fun but with the utmost respect.

Kato

Vicki
06-27-2003, 12:36 PM
I can tell you, after 15 years of experience as a lady pool player, there is very little that pisses me off more than unwanted flirtation during a match (or at any other time, really). I would have much more respect for a man who flirted with me AFTER the match and who treated me seriously and with respect during the match.

Vicki

9 Ball Girl
06-27-2003, 01:04 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Qtec:</font><hr> &lt;/font&gt;&lt;blockquote&gt;&lt;font class="small"&gt;Quote:&lt;/font&gt;&lt;hr /&gt;
I think its ok to flirt after the match but not during, unless she is shaking her boobies in my face while i shoot. <hr /></blockquote>

I dont understand . Are you complaining ? /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Q <hr /></blockquote> Just don't ask him to juggle 5 balls... /ccboard/images/graemlins/blush.gif

Sid_Vicious
06-27-2003, 01:41 PM
The original post indicated return vibes from her camp, so given those indicators I'd have to say a counter-flirt response is openly welcome, no double standards ya know. If I get the serious look back at me at any time, I will certainly shift off any flirtation. Heck I probably lose out to the bold and non sensitive guys many times simply because I won't intrude on some lady players space and time when they are solo on a table. Still, I'd rather not risk looking like a masher by tossing some BS at them. BUT given "the positive signs" of flirtation, count me in for the hunt! sid

Voodoo Daddy
06-27-2003, 01:44 PM
{Makes mental note} Never flirt with Vicki while playing but turn the charm on afterwards... /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

highsea
06-27-2003, 02:11 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote cheesemouse:</font><hr> Before I respond I have a question? Did she win the match??? /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif <hr /></blockquote>

Yeah, c'mon Chris, give it up. Who won?

And after it was over, did she go back and sit on her boyfriend's lap? /ccboard/images/graemlins/blush.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/frown.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/crazy.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

-CM

tateuts
06-27-2003, 03:14 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote highsea:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote cheesemouse:</font><hr> Before I respond I have a question? Did she win the match??? /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif <hr /></blockquote>

Yeah, c'mon Chris, give it up. Who won?

And after it was over, did she go back and sit on her boyfriend's lap? /ccboard/images/graemlins/blush.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/frown.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/crazy.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

-CM <hr /></blockquote>

OK - there was no flirting going on. She is a high speed female who at one time was a pro and won a large regional amatuer tournament. The female pros would know her name, but she's not "in stroke" right at the moment. She is very pretty and it crossed my mind that some guys might flirt during the match. I kind of wondered if this happened a lot to the attractive female players out there and if it upset them if a guy was flirting with them during the match.

I was hot that night, on the table that is. I had to spot her 1 game in a race to 7 and beat her 7 - 3. I'm sure that wasn't exactly the crowning moment of her career.

Chris

tateuts
06-27-2003, 03:28 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Vicki:</font><hr> I can tell you, after 15 years of experience as a lady pool player, there is very little that pisses me off more than unwanted flirtation during a match (or at any other time, really). I would have much more respect for a man who flirted with me AFTER the match and who treated me seriously and with respect during the match.

Vicki <hr /></blockquote>

Vicki,

I kind of figured that it might be a touchy subject for women and I was hoping that a female player would chime in and tell us how they feel about it.

Obviously, you view flirtation as a form of harassment. Thanks for your point of view, Vicki.

Chris

tateuts
06-27-2003, 03:30 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Sid_Vicious:</font><hr> I ain't passing any up...sid <hr /></blockquote>

There's a few out here you'd be real wise to pass up, Sid my friend.

Chris

Mikey
06-27-2003, 06:20 PM
About 4-5 yr. ago while playing APA 8- ball, I was matched up with a lady, very nice looking by the way, skill level 7. I also was a 7 , I knew her vaguely by reputation.. Well I had her down 4-1 and as I'm getting ready to shoot I notice her standing at the end of the table stroking her cue up and down slowly, , a good shark attemp, however my wife was there that night so it didn't bother me HAH!. I ended up beating her 6-1. Hey ya just gotta keep your mind in the game.

tateuts
06-28-2003, 08:55 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Mikey:</font><hr> Well I had her down 4-1 and as I'm getting ready to shoot I notice her standing at the end of the table stroking her cue up and down slowly, , a good shark attemp, however my wife was there that night so it didn't bother me HAH!. I ended up beating her 6-1. Hey ya just gotta keep your mind in the game. <hr /></blockquote>

<font color="blue"> Some of these girls don't realize that we might actually play a little better to impress them!

Chris

</font color>

bluewolf
06-28-2003, 10:19 AM
Many men have talked to me about how playing with certain women distract them, even to the point of losing.

Most women in our league dress okay, conservative/casual. I have seen a few though that dress in a way that could be perceived as 'sexually alluring', intentional or not. I really do not think that this is right.

Any ideas about this?

bw

Blackwolf
06-29-2003, 04:39 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote tateuts:</font><hr> You find the person quite attractive, and are pretty sure the feeling is mutual judging by the eye contact and maybe a smile. Is it bad form to flirt with or compliment your opponent during the match?<hr /></blockquote>Follow your instincts. If she shows interest in you, it is nearly impossible to screw up by showing interest in return.

You should always compliment her, but only once. Anymore than that and she'll know your so interested she can have you anytime she wants, like after she checks out all the other guys.

Your compliment must be genuine. She can spot insincerity a mile away and will dismiss you as a BS artist.

Compliment her on something she is wearing or a piece of jewelry. She makes a statement about herself by what she chooses for herself and will appreciate that you like it. Don't compliment her on any of her physical features. If she is attractive, she has guys hitting on her all the time, telling her how beautiful she is. She is bored with it and has no respect for them.

BlkW

Sid_Vicious
06-29-2003, 08:41 AM
"Don't compliment her on any of her physical features."

So seeing a pair of the most appealing, softest eyes and complimenting them is a no-no? OH NO now I know my mistake. I understand what you are saying though, a female seems to thrive on competition. Delta Burke of Designing Women once gave the guy working for them some dating advice by saying "If you really want to get a girl interested, get as close to her as you can, hang there and show her no particular interest, it'll drive her nuts." It was comedy and yet had it's merit...sid

bluewolf
06-29-2003, 10:31 AM
Sid,

From the time I was very young up until the time I was 35 or so, I had gotten sooo tired of guys focussing on my looks. When I met a man who was interested in my intelligence, common interests or the kind of person I was, it was a real turn on.

I am no longer a young woman and do not know how most women feel but when I was young, felt like many men looked at me almost like an object, caring only about my looks, and it had grown very tiresome.

What the stranger says about commenting about jewelry or such would have been very transparent to me also. Maybe some people, including young women are different but, when I was young, only an interest in the real me would have caught my interest. I, OTOH, was not interested in looks only in men either. Sure, I noticed nice looks, but if it did not seem to go any deeper than that, they would not have gotten more than a glance from me.

Laura

Sid_Vicious
06-29-2003, 10:40 AM
Y'all girls are contradictory imo, many if not most of you women tweak on the make-up, tone the body, even get silicon implants and YOU SAY YOU DON'T LIKE COMPLIMENTS ABOUT IT. Where's the sanity in that???sid

Nightstalker
06-29-2003, 10:52 AM
Yeah, they bait men into making a comment on their looks simply by making themselves look so great! Then they get upset when a guy says something about how good they look! I think they expect men to read their minds, but I will tell you it is not going to happen. They want sensitivity when they want it, take charge attitude when they want it, and get upset when any of the above happens when they don't want it. I think if they were a bit more communicative about what they want there would be less problems and confusion. Men aren't mind readers, and although many of us know how to read non-verbal communication, it is not an exact science!

TomBrooklyn
07-05-2003, 06:07 AM
Anthropologist Helen Fisher argues that romance, marriage and divorce follow predictable patterns as old as the species. The evidence is as near as your local bar

Jake MacDonald
Saturday Post
National Post

It's raining in New York, and in the cavernous gloom of Penn Station, thousands of travellers pour down the hallways, the rustle of their feet and the echo of the train announcements combining into a kind of rapid-heartbeat rhythm that might be more exciting if weren't such a cold and drizzly winter morning. The fluorescent ceiling exudes an olive glow that makes everyone look like they died two hours ago, and when the blonde woman seated by herself in the departure lounge looks up and sees a man looking at her, she sends him a hard, wary glance that says, step forward if you're who I think you are; otherwise, get lost.

"Dr. Fisher, I presume?"

Helen Fisher stands up and extends a small hand toward me. She's a trim 56-year-old with shoulder-length blonde hair, dressed in the head-to-toe black ensemble of the seasoned New Yorker. Her manner is courteous but guarded, and she walks quickly as she hefts her bag and heads for the train. She's a hard one to track down, this Helen Fisher. She has a policy of not answering her phone when she's writing a book, which is most of the time, and when she's not writing, she travels. She's just returned, for example, from Africa, where she spent a week living incommunicado with a clan of Stone Age hunters. Catching up with her feels like apprehending a fugitive.

During the hour-long train ride to New Jersey, where she teaches anthropology at Rutgers University, Fisher sits by herself, intently making notes and prepping for her first lecture of the new term. I sit a few rows back and look out the window. This part of New Jersey is all tank farms and swamp, and in the grey light of dawn it looks like some gigantic hillbilly's junk-strewn hayfield; a futuristic and extraordinarily brutal landscape that can't help but inspire
unoptimistic thoughts about the human species. It's an appropriate backdrop for this journey however, because the human species is Dr. Fisher's specialty.

When Fisher graduated with a Ph.D in physical anthropology, very few scientists were conducting research into modern human behaviour, or trying to separate innate behaviour from what is learned. Even less research material was available on human courtship. There was broad consensus that patterns of flirting, dating, sex and marriage were culturally determined, and therefore varied wildly from one country to the next.

For reasons of her own, Fisher didn't buy it. She launched her own investigation and, over the course of her career, assembled a remarkable body of evidence that human beings seek romance, select mates, marry, cheat on each other, and even get divorced in predictable patterns that are as old as the human species itself. More interestingly, she has determined that we all tend to behave in knee-jerk fashion when we're in the presence of an attractive member of the opposite sex. Put an eligible man and woman within 10 feet of each other, and they'll immediately launch into rote display behaviour that's invariably comic to watch, if you're schooled in recognizing it, which most of us aren't.

Fisher's work has earned her a reputation that is both formidable and controversial, and she now teaches at Rutgers University, which has the most prestigious anthropology department in the world. The office across from hers belongs to Lionel Tiger, and the guy down the hall is the top fossil hunter alive. After she checks into her office and deals with a few minor emergencies, we make our way to her first class, where the room is already filling up with hundreds of students. By the time she clears her throat and starts the lecture, it's jammed to the rafters.

"I think I'm just beginning to get a reputation," she told me earlier. "I suspect some of these students might be here because they've heard about me."

Helen Fisher has dedicated her life to exploring and defining the innate qualities of the human species. Being a woman, and one who has lived through the final days of an old millennium and the dawn of a new one, she's particularly drawn to the inborn aspects of romance and sexuality. As she paces the stage, she begins to loosen up. With her hand propped on her hip, she throws a few one-liners at the crowd, and asks them if they have any idea why human males have such large penises. Nobody wants to touch that one. But when she tells them that a mature silverback gorilla has only two inches, a couple of big football players in the back row glance at each other, appalled.

Fisher's central message starts with the now-familiar notion that men and women are very different; not different because they've been raised that way by a callous and patriarchal society, but because four million years of evolution have saddled them with very different nervous systems, temperaments and brains. She says men, for example, are inherently much more aggressive than women, and this innate aggressiveness is one of the reasons men tend to dominate the worlds of business and politics. She says that furthermore, despite their protestations, women prefer such dominant males as sex partners and long-term mates. These views haven't endeared her to traditional feminists.

"The traditional feminists hate me," says Fisher, walking back to her office. "Even though I'm a feminist myself. I've made a successful career in the male-dominated world of anthropology, and I've written books like The First Sex, in which I argue that women possess unique talents that will soon change the world. But traditional feminists don't read my books. They're too angry to step outside their paradigm. They think my ideas are harmful. They think I'm betraying the cause. But my cause is science. My job is to get at the facts."

When it comes to human behaviour, the "facts" continue to be in dispute. Back in 17th-century England, the philosopher John Locke famously described the mind of a child as a "tabula rasa," or blank tablet, upon which any imaginable life could be written. Then Charles Darwin came along in the 19th century, published the brilliant The Origin of Species, and turned Locke on his head. Darwin's theory of natural selection put most of the emphasis on nature, and that view prevailed until the 20th century, when his ideas were hijacked by the eugenicists and the Nazis, who argued that natural selection proved the white race was inherently superior. With the close of the Second World War, "social Darwinism" was discredited and thrown on the scrap heap, and by the time Helen Fisher was growing up in the Connecticut of the 1950s, she says, "virtually every social scientist worth his salt had gone back to believing that the dominant force that shaped us was culture."

She lived in New Canaan, in a neighbourhood of glass houses, and in the evening, her neighbours' homes glowed like tropical aquariums in the darkness. She remembers sneaking through the wooded backyards. "One of our neighbours lived in a Philip Johnson house," she says. "And I remember being a little girl, perhaps six years old, sitting on this rock in the woods, and studying the people, watching how they talked and laughed and argued and prepared their meals." Later, as a college student, riding the train into New York City, she found herself doing the same thing, staring into the windows of the homes at trackside. "It's still one of my habits," she says. "My friends are always saying, 'Earth to Helen, Earth to Helen ...' I've always been fascinated by people." During the late '60s, she studied at the University of Colorado. The Vietnam War was at its height and American society was in turmoil. Feminism, gay rights, free love and black power were tearing up the streets. On campus, the prevailing doctrine was that all human beings were virtually interchangeable. Social equality could be achieved through proper training and re-education. Boys and girls would grow up alike if you took away the Barbie dolls and the G.I. Joes.

"I've never been a confrontational person," she says. "So I never debated these ideas in class. But I happen to be an identical twin. My sister, Lorna, and I laugh alike. Our gestures are similar. We like the same kinds of foods. Our older brother and sister grew up in the same household as us, but they don't share our uncanny similarities. So I knew there was biology in behaviour, but I didn't argue the point. I just quietly decided they were wrong."

She majored in psychology, but wasn't keen on the material. "In those days," she says, "everyone was very interested in psychosis and abnormal behaviour. But I was interested in what made people the same, not what made them different. A big discovery for me was reading Jane Goodall's book In the Shadow of Man. She was talking about chimpanzees, and you could clearly see that these creatures kissed and hugged, made friends, were jealous, had enemies, made war, made peace, jockeyed for political position. And as I read this book, I suddenly saw that here was a field of study that could explain both our physical origins and the origins of our behaviour."

At the time, it was generally believed that dating, flirtation, romance and courtship among humans were cultural constructs, and that marriage patterns varied wildly from one society to another. A big insight came in 1988, when Fisher was riding in a crowded New York subway car, reading divorce statistics. "These were UN statistics from 62 countries, going back to 1947," she says. "Incredibly, the statistics seemed to show that divorce peaks around the four-year mark." She kept rechecking the tables to see if she'd made a mistake. But whether the statistics were from Third World countries or highly developed Western nations, the pattern was the same.

"I was staggered," she says. "I couldn't believe there was a pattern, let alone a consistent one. Nobody had ever bothered to analyze this. To me, it clearly suggested that divorce might not be a cultural malaise, but an aspect of our inherited mating behaviour."

She looked at "pair bonds" in the animal world, and discovered that in many cases animals only stay together until the young are raised. "In humans, the period of infancy is about four years. Of course, it takes a while for the relationship to heat up, and it takes a while for things to cool down. But the average time required to raise a child past infancy is four years." Her investigation of divorce patterns led her into wide-ranging research of mating traditions in both the human and animal worlds, and over the next four years, the research grew into a book, Anatomy of Love. In that book, she examined the ancient drives that draw men and women together, weld them into a couple and, perhaps eventually, tear them apart. "Some readers were alarmed by that book," she says. "But I was not advocating infidelity, adultery or divorce, or trying to trivialize them. I was just explaining why they're facts of life."

Some couples, of course, survive the four-year crisis. What's the cement that holds them together? Is it friendship, dependency, sexual heat? Most of us assume these are all aspects of that complicated force called "love." But Fisher's research indicates that lust, infatuation and long-term attachment are distinct drives. Sometimes they're even incompatible drives. Lust, for example, is often celebrated in pop music as just a rougher, friskier version of romantic love. But Fisher says that's a mistake. "Lust is not love. Lust is driven by brain chemistry, plain and simple. Lust is the desire for sexual gratification, no more. But it's a dangerous game, sleeping with someone just for the sake of sex, because your levels of oxytocin and vasopressin will go way up, and you'd better be ready for the consequences. These powerful chemicals produce feelings of attachment, and you can become emotionally involved with someone who's quite inappropriate."

Romantic love, or infatuation, is associated with a different barrage of chemicals. Romantic love produces dopamine, which generates obsessive feelings about the sexual partner. From an evolutionary point of view, this natural addiction ensures that both parties will stick together and do the hard slogging if a pregnancy occurs. Infatuation is also characterized by persistent "intrusive thinking" about the loved one. "People who are infatuated testify that they're
thinking about their lover at least 90% of the time," she says. "Dopamine produces feelings of elation and excitement, along with decreased serotonin, which causes anxious, obsessive thinking. One minute you're up, the next you're down. It's no wonder that people in love feel so messed up."

As we ride the train back to New York, Fisher seems more relaxed than she was this morning. She's relieved that her first day of class has gone well. "I don't have a combative temperament," she admits. "And I don't do well when people attack me in large-group situations. But I've taught myself to be calm, and stick to the facts, and not take it personally. When I was less experienced, I'd immediately feel like doing the girl thing, which is to run off and cry."

She explains that it's "the girl thing" because the male and female brain have dramatically different physiological responses to emotional stress. When you put a man in an MRI machine and ask him to think of something sad, a small part of his brain will light up. Ask a woman the same question and the response will be about eight times greater. The well-known tendency of men to "stonewall" is therefore not macho stubbornness, but brain physiology.

"Let's not forget that the human brain has been evolving for four million years," Fisher says. "For most of that time, it's been important for men to compartmentalize their feelings. If a hunter has to cut a gazelle's throat, empathizing with the gazelle is actually counter-productive."

She says evolution favoured the man who could ignore discomfort, fear, danger, weariness, pity, etc., and focus on the task at hand. Hunting was a linear undertaking, with a pass-fail outcome. Women, on the other hand, evolved as "web thinkers." Everything was relative to everything else. The successful primordial woman was the one who could fetch the wood, feed the fire, separate the squabbling children, cook the meal and nurse the baby all at the same time.

She says we may not still be hunter-gatherers, but numerous lab experiments have shown women are still much better at multi-tasking than men. "Because women do not think in linear, step-by-step fashion as men do, men often regard them as less rational and less precise. This can cause real problems in the workplace, where women will discuss all kinds of variables and permutations of an issue. Men tend to regard this as dithering. Men 'hunt' for the goal, and they don't want to dwell on the process. But for a woman, sometimes just discussing a problem is the solution."

Fisher is working on a new book about the brain chemistry of romantic love, and says the laboratory results are so remarkable that she can't talk about them.

"I'm sworn to secrecy," she confides. All she can say is, she's been conducting experiments with colleagues from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, using volunteers who claim to be romantically infatuated. The subjects lie inside an MRI machine, and she monitors changes in their brain activity as they think about their lovers.

"We know a lot about the brain chemistry of lust, but we don't know much about infatuation. We know that lovers are literally intoxicated by romance, but the feeling fades. Why does it fade? I think it's possible the brain's nerve endings become habituated to high levels of natural stimulants, or the levels of chemical begin to drop.

"Either way, it takes from 18 months to three years for the feelings to subside. For some relationships, that's the beginning of the end. That's where all the sad songs and the poems leave off -- at the end of love. But speaking as a woman, not a scientist, I don't regard infatuation as real love. I think that real love requires commitment and long-term effort. Infatuation is a free ride."

She says couples who survive the death of infatuation are those who can make the transition into what she calls attachment. "This is the warm, secure feeling associated with a comfortable relationship," she says. "As infatuation subsides and attachment grows, a new group of chemicals takes over. Unlike dopamine, which makes us all revved up and anxious, these calm us down. When two people are happily attached, they feel a sense of peace and security. This is the kind of relationship, I think, that most people are hoping for. I've had both, and I've found that even the most mundane long-term relationship is more satisfying than the wildest short-term affair. Long-term relationships allow for personal autonomy, trust and a real feeling of partnership. The challenge, of course, is in finding someone to share your life with."

Manhattan has a population of more than 65,000 people per square mile, the highest density in North America. As the city's mythmakers persistently contend, it's the world's premiere gathering place for the rich and beautiful, the best and brightest. You'd think it wouldn't be much trouble finding a mate in such a target-rich environment, but New York also has a remarkably low population of live-in couples. The average household has 1.6 occupants -- and that includes many neighbourhoods with large immigrant families. Most New Yorkers live alone.

In the search for a partner, they go to such places as Scopa, a fashionable singles bar on East 28th. It's as good a place as any to try to meet someone, and tonight, Helen Fisher and I are going on a safari to study the humans. I pick her up at her home, a classy old Upper East Side condo building just across from Central Park, and we ride downtown to the singles bar, which on this Thursday night is as crowded as a waterhole on the Serengeti. The semi-gloom is filled with chatter and loud music.

"Singles bars are designed to facilitate sexual encounters," Fisher says. "I'm not sure the designers are conscious of this, but a good singles bar has a direct influence on the human brain. The brain has three basic parts: the cortex, which is the higher brain; the limbic brain, which is the seat of emotion; and the 'reptilian core', where a lot of our basic drives come from. A good singles bar has loud, rhythmic music, which allows you to lean in close, and smell someone's hair and skin. The loud, hypnotic beat of the music also depresses rational thinking and gets you down into your lower brain."

It's like a house party, with lots of milling around. The currency of exchange at a singles bar is personal pace. "The idea is to meet people," she says. "But there are strict rules about approaching someone. Most people aren't conscious of the rules, but they instinctively know them anyway." She says women tend to do most of the roaming around. "That way, they can select who they want to interact with. A man will talk to any good-looking woman, but women are fussier. They're looking for a man of confidence, achievement, trustworthiness -- qualities that may not be immediately obvious."

Fisher says two scientists named Tim Perper and David Givens spent several hundred hours in cocktail lounges, watching men and women flirt. Their research confirmed that, most of the time, women make the initial contact. This is true with other species, such as prairie chickens. Fisher says that in the springtime, male prairie chickens gather at a dancing ground, or "lek," where they bust a few moves and wait for the females to arrive. The females are in charge of selecting partners. The males dance on their spots, hooting and displaying their feathers, while the hens circulate, looking them over.

"Humans observe similar rules," Fisher says. "The male human has to look both impressive and non-threatening. If he inflicts his presence on a woman, he'll probably be regarded as a nuisance. So, often, it's better for him to just stand there. It's difficult to stand in one place and attract attention, so he'll use exaggerated gestures. He'll puff out his chest, roll his shoulders, and generally embellish his movements. Watch that young man over there, for example. Do you see his exaggerated body language?"

She nods toward a tall, young businessman who's standing by the bar. He's talking with a couple of buddies and holding a martini in his hand, which he's mixing with a lot of forearm action, as if stirring a can of paint. By studying his face, you can see he's keeping an eye on the buxom blonde who's standing about 10 steps away. Mister Big, as we, inevitably, name him, is nodding slightly in synch with the music, and laughing a little louder than necessary. When he lights a cigarette, he does it with real flourish, using a vehement gesture to shake out the match.
"He's claiming a large physical space for himself, advertising his self-confidence and status," she says. "If the blonde woman finds him attractive, she'll signal her interest with a glance. We have to watch for the glance. The glance is important. It's the first stage of the pickup."

In the 1960s, a German ethnologist named Irenäus Eibl-Eibesfeldt travelled the world taking photographs of men and women flirting with each other. He used a camera lens that shot sideways, making it seem as though he was taking photographs of heritage buildings or waterfalls. He examined the many hundreds of photographs back at the Max Planck Institute of Behavioral Psychology in Munich, and discovered that, whether the subjects lived in France, Japan, or the Brazilian rain forest, they adhered to universal facial expressions and gestures -- the woman first smiling at her admirer, lifting her eyelids in a swift jerky motion like an expression of surprise, then lowering her eyelids and looking away. "There are numerous studies demonstrating that these gestures are part of our innate behaviour," Fisher says. "They evolved over millions of years as a means of communicating sexual interest."

Five or six years ago, when cellular telephones were still a prestigious fashion accoutrement, Mister Big might have tried catching the blonde's eye by off-handedly checking the messages on a walnut-paneled Nokia. In the early 1990s, a British researcher conducted a study of "lekking behavior" in singles bars, and determined that when an attractive woman walked into the bar, the men would grab their cellphones, make a call or two, or just fondle the phones and hope she noticed. The amount of cellphone display behaviour was proportional to the perceived attractiveness of the female. The women carried cellphones, too, but tended to keep theirs in their purses.

Our view of Mister Big's campaign to catch the blonde's attention is momentarily obscured by another group, this one composed of three young people -- a calm, intellectual-looking brunette with a boyish haircut, pretty blouse and a red leather skirt, and on either side of her, two young men in plaid shirts and khakis who look like they work on the creative side. The two men are bobbing to the music and chattering away, but she is gazing straight ahead. "She's an interesting one," Fisher remarks. "She appears to be buttoned-down and demure, but the red leather skirt adds a sexy touch. Watch her toes when the men are talking to her."

When the fellow on her right leans close and says something, raising his voice to be heard over the music, her toes twitch together. When the other fellow leans in and speaks to her, her toes twitch apart. "That's a perfect example of body talk," Fisher says. "She's unaware that she's doing it, but her toes are saying that she's interested in the man on the right. When he speaks, she goes slightly pigeon-toed, in a gesture of awkwardness. You can observe that sort of behaviour all through the animal world. The female will feign defenselessness in order to show she's available." As the two men take turns speaking, her toes go back and forth like dowsing wands. Meanwhile, her face is pensive and she's staring straight, taking an occasional sip from her beer. A few minutes ago, an onlooker might have guessed she was bored. But her feet suggest another explanation. Perhaps she's thinking, I wish this guy would give us some privacy.

A moment later, we catch a glimpse of Mister Big, and miraculously, the Blonde has moved over to join him. They're conversing face to face, laughing and preening. "They're involved in grooming talk," Fisher says. "Right now, it's not so much a matter of what they're saying, as how they're saying it. As soon as people open their mouths, they reveal all kinds of things about themselves -- background, education, even aspects of character. These two are measuring each other for compatibility. If they like what they hear, they might move on to the next stage."

The next stage is initiated when a woman, with a seemingly casual gesture, touches a man on the arm or shoulder. This is an indication that she likes what she sees, and if he reciprocates, with a similar touch, they graduate to what Fisher calls "body synchrony" -- nodding their heads in time, lifting their drinks in synch, and generally mirroring each other's behaviour. Fisher says couples that get to the stage of synchronous movement are usually quite taken with each other, and may move on to the next stage, the kiss.

In real life, however, it's rarely that easy. After 15 minutes of conversation, the Blonde courteously withdraws and returns to her friends. Mister Big looks deflated. During the interview, something must have gone wrong. Did he tell the wrong joke? Did he mention his three rambunctious kids? It's hard to know, but the mating dance can go wrong in many ways, and usually does. It's a long, hazard-strewn path from the initial glance of interest to the long-term relationship. After joining his buddies for a while, Mister Big finally puts on his trenchcoat and goes home alone.

Helen Fisher was married once, when she was 23. The marriage lasted six months. Throughout her life, she has had a series of "wonderful" long-term relationships, but she still lives alone. As we ride home in the taxi, she confides that she's seeing an older man right now. They go to off-Broadway plays, take long walks in the park. He reads poetry to her, and he's a wonderful lover. But he goes away a lot, on business trips to Europe, and she worries he's not being faithful. It's frankly a bit of a mess. "I'm OK with being a girlfriend rather than a wife," she says, choosing her words carefully. "But I would like to be the only girlfriend."

In the canyon walls overhead, thousands of tiny lights glitter in the darkness. Each one hints of lives we'll never lead, people we'll never know. It feels like a long life, sometimes, but less so when most of it is behind us. And one person's life is a mere eye-blink when compared to the long span of human evolution.

"There's a common perception that human beings are very different now than we were 10 or 20 thousand years ago. But we're not," she says. "The human brain is no different. The wiring hasn't changed. It's like a piano. We're playing different music on it, but it's still the same instrument. Sometimes, people ask me if I'm trying to demystify romance. I ask them, if you learn more about, say, musical theory, does that prevent you from being carried away by the beauty of a Chopin concerto?"

At a traffic light near The Plaza, she pauses in conversation for a moment and gazes at a happy-looking, well-dressed couple walking hand-in-hand toward their waiting limousine. Earth to Helen. She's still the six-year-old, trying to figure out the neighbours.

"The mystery never goes away," she finally says. "It just deepens. Look at me. I've devoted my whole life to this. I'm supposed to be the world expert on love, and I still haven't learned how to do that -- to fall in love and make it last."

Patrick
07-05-2003, 07:18 AM
It is sharking if you compliment or talk to your opponent in the middle of the match. Wait until the match is over.

"Attraction to physical vehicle material is for those who are young"

Patrick

tateuts
07-05-2003, 09:43 AM
Tom,

Wow, great article. Thanks for posting it.

If I would have known all that in the first place, I would have just dragged my wife by the hair to the altar and saved myself a lot of trouble.

Seriously, though, I do believe the nature of human behavior all boils down to one thing - survival. The instinct to survive is so strongly imbedded in our nature that we often do overlook the "why" behind the things we do and don't do.

Chris

OnePocketChamp
07-06-2003, 07:13 AM
I never flirt with my opponent during a match and this is very hard for me because I do enjoy flirting. Now, oh course I have never played a match with <font color="blue"> 9 Ball Girl </font color> so I'am not sure how that would go, maybe one of these two outcomes: 1. I would stay very focused on the table and over come my urge to flirt. 2. <font color="blue"> I would have a complete nervous breakdown and run from the poolroom raving like a maniac. </font color>

[ QUOTE ]
Just don't ask him to juggle 5 balls... <hr /></blockquote>

What kind of guys do they grow in New York??? How can a Texas boy compete??????

rackmup
07-06-2003, 10:10 AM
9BG,

Don't let OPC fool you. The boy is a professional flirt and playing pool has never interfered with it.

I am concerned however. A man his age, coupled with the high blood pressure and rapid heart rate caused by "arousal" could be detremental to his health.

The fact that most of the women he flirts with already have husbands, boyfriends or are of another sexual preference also plays into the health risks.

Regards,

Ken (The last women he hit on blew him off by claiming she was gay. He said "no problem" and suggested giving him about fifteen minutes while he scrounged up a video camera.)

eg8r
07-06-2003, 10:33 AM
I vote maniac. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif I have seen him do it before. /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif Remember Brittany?

eg8r

rackmup
07-06-2003, 10:57 AM
Gosh, I had almost forgotten about what is now known among Law-Enforcement circles as the "Brittany Incident."

As the case is still pending and Brittany is still in recovery counseling, I am not at liberty to discuss the sordid details.

Okay...if you insist:

As I remember it (Ed, correct my mistakes), Heather, Ed's beautiful wife, brings two gals along with her to watch OPC, myself and her hubby play pool at Billy Wier's.

This Brittany gal was a former Playboy Bunny, Centerfold model and just stunning for the eye to behold. OPC lays one look on her and immediately gets all out of shape about how he "must have her."

When she walked to the bar for a drink, OPC followed her like a coon hound on the point. When she went to the restroom, OPC would await her exit with a folded towel in his hands, offering to dry hers.

The guy slobbered so much, he needed a bib. Eventually, this loss of hydration led to him passing out and as he fell to the floor, he grabbed her by her...er...well...her upper body and cried like an infant, saying:

<font color="red">"Mama...mama...Les needs nourishment. Mama...mama..."</font color>

Next thing you know, Brittany is screaming, OPC is handcuffed in the back of an ambulance and now we have to find a new fourth for a friendly game of team ten-ball.

OPC is dangerous.

Regards,

Ken (let's keep this our secret as to not compromise the case.)

Qtec
07-06-2003, 03:37 PM
/ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif


My kinda guy . /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Q

OnePocketChamp
07-06-2003, 08:15 PM
This post is not true, for the record I was taken away in a Fort Worth Police car not an ambulance. And in the future Rackmup, please have all your facts correct. Also, I believe Brittany was the 2001 Hooters calendar girl of the year, a woman well worth the trip to jail.

Nightstalker
07-06-2003, 08:28 PM
That is despicable, utterly despicable! /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

rackmup
07-07-2003, 04:00 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Nightstalker:</font><hr> That is despicable, utterly despicable! <hr /></blockquote>

Clarification please...The incident or OPC?

Regards,

Ken (wouldn't label OPC as despicable but something close would be appropriate.)

OnePocketChamp
07-07-2003, 07:20 AM
[ QUOTE ]
That is despicable, utterly despicable! <hr /></blockquote>

Despicable!!!! Seems such a harsh word for someones actions, maybe if you knew about all the long hours I have spent doing community service work (all court ordered) your adjective would have been more friendly based. I especially liked the 20 hours I recently completed working with unwed mothers at the Immaculate Conception Catholic church in Grand Prairie, of course I choose this venue as a way to maybe pick-up chicks but that should be irrelivent because after all it was community service.

Nightstalker
07-07-2003, 07:46 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote rackmup:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote Nightstalker:</font><hr> That is despicable, utterly despicable! <hr /></blockquote>

Clarification please...The incident or OPC?

Regards,

Ken (wouldn't label OPC as despicable but something close would be appropriate.) <hr /></blockquote>
The incident, of course.

9 Ball Girl
07-07-2003, 08:15 AM
OPC, you are just too cute for words!

Wendy~~~believes that we would give a whole new meaning to the word "play" should we match up against each other one day... /ccboard/images/graemlins/blush.gif

07-07-2003, 04:06 PM
Unwed mother's? Great choice. Not too obvious. Maybe next time see if you could get a gig councilling recovering nymphomaniacs. They always need someone to talk to.

Nightstalker
07-07-2003, 06:50 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote captain:</font><hr> Unwed mother's? Great choice. Not too obvious. Maybe next time see if you could get a gig councilling recovering nymphomaniacs. They always need someone to talk to. <hr /></blockquote>
LOL I was thinking the exact same thing! /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

eg8r
07-07-2003, 09:13 PM
LOL, I have been waiting all night to come back and read this. /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif Ken, I think you have it perfectly. Poor Les, was crying to whole way to the hospital.

Come to think of it, Brittany does not come around anymore. I work with her mother, and she changed jobs just to get away.

Poor Les. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif See 9BG, you will have to steer clear of Les, he means no harm, but sometimes he cannot help himself. /ccboard/images/graemlins/shocked.gif

eg8r

eg8r
07-07-2003, 09:17 PM
Oh no. I could just see Les crying to the judge, "There is no way, I do not believe in immaculate conception. She is lying and that is not my kid."

eg8r

Qtec
07-07-2003, 09:27 PM
a bit like this? /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif


http://members.lycos.nl/agli2/hpbimg/happy_doggie.gif

eg8r
07-08-2003, 07:04 AM
LOL, Q that is perfect. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

eg8r