What Women Want

Hint: It’s not a photo of your penis. Or anyone’s penis.

New York Mets general manager Jared Porter sent explicit, unsolicited texts and images to a female reporter in 2016, culminating with a picture of an erect, naked penis, according to a copy of the text history obtained by ESPN.



Relationship advice.

This is not how to attract a woman.

Thank you for coming to my TED Talk.

Porter acknowledged texting with the woman. He initially said he had not sent any pictures of himself. When told the exchanges show he had sent selfies and other pictures, he said that “the more explicit ones are not of me. Those are like, kinda like joke-stock images.”


2. He thought the fact that it wasn’t actually his own penis made it OK?

How To Attract A Woman 101

  1. Women do not want to see a photo of your genitalia.
  2. Women especially do not want to see a photo of your genitalia if they have never seen your genitalia in person.

I realize I may not speak for all women #NotAllWomen, but I can tell you that I speak for me and never once in my entire life have I thought, “You know what I want right now? I want a man I am not even dating – a professional connection – to send me a photo of a penis.”

And – I am going out on a limb here, but I am going to say it, I bet that there is not a single woman anywhere in the world who has mused to herself as she is just trying to do her job, “If only that professional contact I have met only a few times would send me a photo of a penis. It doesn’t have to be his penis – any penis will do.”

(See: Sleeping Your Way To The Top.)

Wait – I cannot let this go

I wanted to write something light and funny about the proper way to attract a woman, but I am getting really angry reading the entire story.

The woman, meanwhile, returned to her home country and left the journalism industry altogether. She now works in finance.

While she said the fallout of the texts from Porter wasn’t the sole reason for leaving the industry, it caused her to think about her future — and how remaining around baseball long term was simply untenable.

“It would be a lie to say similar occurrences hadn’t happened to me in [my home country],” she said. “It’s a male-dominated industry. But it was a tipping point for me. I started to ask myself, ‘Why do I have to put myself through these situations to earn a living?'”


You know what? I will leave it to you to read the entire story and get angry for yourselves. I don’t need to dissect this. This is still the water we swim in. I am going to return to Relationship Coaching.

How to Attract A Woman 101

Course overview

In this class, you will learn proven techniques to get the (positive) attention of the women you want to date!

Follow along with our simple strategies that will first of all, keep you from breaking the law and/or losing your job during your pursuit of your feminine ideal.

Learn how Hollywood has lied to you – that stalking the Object of Your Affection Who Is Otherwise Unknown To You does not usually win in the end.

Discover how you don’t even have to spend a lot of money to get a woman to like you!

Stay out of jail, keep your job and your reputation, and have a happy relationship all with our easy, proven Love Strategies(TM). You can do it!

Case Study #1

My friend Susan was entranced with a man we had just met at a party.

“I think he likes me!” she said.

I laughed. “Susan, he’s gay!”

“What?” she asked. “How do you know that?”

“Well, first of all, he said he would like to spank Al Gore, which was a dead giveaway. But second, do you remember when he asked what you thought about something? And then waited for your answer? And listened to what you had to say?”

She nodded.

“Straight men don’t do that. Or they rarely do that.”

#NotAllMen I KNOW.

How to Attract A Woman 101

What Not To Do

In this class, we will review a few things not to do. Although you may have seen these techniques used in fiction, they are not usually effective in real life.

  • Do not send her a photo of your genitalia.
  • Do not show up unannounced at her job
  • Do not have sex with her mother, then show up at her wedding and expect her to run away with you
  • Although it pains me so, so much to say this, because I adored Lloyd Dobler, do not show up at her house with a boombox and blast a song to her.
  • Wait. I’m taking that one back. If you are already dating and you love each other and her dad is trying to keep you apart because he thinks you don’t have anything to offer his daughter because your dream is to be a kickboxer, then you have my permission to show up at her house with your boombox and play “In Your Eyes,” one of the best songs ever.
  • Do not send her a photo of your genitalia.
  • Do not send her a photo of your genitalia.
  • Do not send her a photo of another man’s genitalia.
  • Do. Not. Send. Photos. Of. Genitalia.

How to Attract A Woman 101

What To Do, Part 1

In this class, we will discuss new strategies that you may not have considered. These are proven strategies, based on research with actual women, that impress women. If you are interested in reaching your goal – spending time with the woman of your dreams, these are tested, effective ways to get to that goal.

But before we start, there is a major caveat:

Do not try these with women at work. Women at work are off limits. For all practical and romantic purposes, the women you work with and encounter in your professional capacity are robots.

These techniques are for women you meet outside of work.

  • If you have just met the woman and she is not clearly trying to get away, ask for her opinion about a current event. Then – and this is the hard part, so you will want to practice with a trusted friend, Listen to the answer.
  • Let me repeat – do not send her photos of your genitalia or the genitalia of anyone else.

Let’s break into pairs and practice. Everyone get a partner. After you ask your question, you will need to press your lips together and keep them together for at least one minute. Time yourselves.

Then, while your lips are pressed together, focus on your partner’s face. Up. Up. Not the boobs. The face. What are the words coming out of your partner’s mouth?

Repeat the words back to your partner. This is not necessarily something you will do with the Object of Your Affection, but it’s a technique to learn to listen to the words someone else is saying.

This will be very difficult, but will get easier with practice. Practice at home with your roommate, your pet, or your mom.

Good class! I’ll see you next week!

How to Attract A Woman 101

What To Do, Part 2

In today’s class, we are going to learn about techniques that are best employed once you already have a relationship or maybe are even married.

Yes! Even in marriage, we need to continue to impress our partners!

But first, a reminder.

Do not send her photos of your genitalia. Or of someone else’s genitalia.

I cannot stress this enough.

No dick pix. Ever.

OK. Now it’s time for us to review some more advanced techniques for engaging the positive attention of the Object of Your Affection.

I know you want to do something dramatic, like send a photo.

Or save her from a burning building.

(Do not set a building on fire so you can rescue her.)

Instead, focus on everyday things that can make her life easier.

What do I mean by this?

  • Vacuum.
  • Wash the dishes.
  • Do the laundry.
  • Take out the trash.
  • Replace the burned-out lightbulb.
  • Make the bed.
  • Complete any household task that you think that women should be in charge of.

And here is the key. You have to do it without ASKING FOR AND EXPECTING CREDIT. Specifically,

  • Do it without being asked.
  • Do it without announcing you have done it.
  • Do it without any expectation of recognition or praise.

Let’s break into pairs and practice. Pick a partner and then each of you, do a simple task in this room – put some books away, pick up a piece of trash, and then – and I know this will be really hard, say nothing.

That’s right.

Say. Nothing.

Your homework is to pick one task a day – a task you usually do not perform, and do it. Do not draw attention to it. Do not ask for praise or recognition. Just do it.

If you are not living with the Object of Your Affection, then repeat the homework from Part 1, which is to ask her opinion and then listen to the answer. This can be done over the phone.

How to Attract A Woman, Graduate Seminar

Advanced Strategies To Regain Love After You Have Stupidly Broken Up With The Object Of Your Affection

In this seminar, we will address how to get her back.

That is, if you break up with a woman but then realize you do indeed want to be with her, you need to be very careful about your approach.

Let’s start with a case study of how not to do it. Read this study below – Case study #2 – and then let’s discuss what you think our friend did wrong.

Case study #2

Boris, in Paris, and Natasha, in the US, dated for nine months. This was a long-distance relationship, but they did travel together in France for a week and Boris traveled to the US frequently for work and would see Natasha then.

For Boris’ birthday, Natasha found a rare, single-batch American bourbon that he could not get in Europe, where he lived. She called five different liquor stores to see if they carried it, drove across town to buy it, and then carefully transported it from the US to France when she went to see Boris. (Plus it cost $50. For one bottle. Of booze.)

For Natasha’s birthday, Boris rubbed his hands in glee and said repeatedly, “Just wait until you see what I got you!”

Natasha expected something Big. A rare European chocolate? A sweater hand knit from the fur of white kittens? A weekend in London?

Boris sent Natasha an e-card.


An e-card.

And nothing else.


Then Boris broke up with Natasha, telling her he was not ready for a commitment.

Natasha moved on.

Months later, Boris emailed Natasha. He had to come to the US for work and wanted to see her. Natasha needed to let him know ASAP because there was only one cheap ticket left on the weekend flight.

Natasha, who cannot bear Not To Know and who Hates A Mystery, said sure whatever.

They met at the most expensive restaurant Natasha could find.

(Boris hated to be separated from a penny.)

Here is a summary of the conversation:

Boris: I am getting married.

Natasha: That’s great! To whom?

Boris: You know her.

Natasha: ???????

Boris: It’s YOU!

Natasha: ??????

Boris: I want to have children. I want to start a dynasty.

Natasha: ??????

For your homework, please write a 1,200 word essay on what Boris did wrong and what he could have done differently.

We will discuss next week.

BTW, Natasha did not marry Boris.



Let’s start building the country we want to be

I want people to complain how our military, including the Coast Guard, is a big fat waste of money because sailors spend time goofing off when they are stationed at Guam. I want that instead of seeing Washington DC full of National Guard protecting the capitol from the president. From. The. President.

On Inauguration Day, Mr T woke up and shouted from the bedroom:

“Did he start a war last night?”

And I had to look at the newspaper because I wasn’t sure what the answer was.

Today – now that Joe Biden is president and Kamala Harris is vice president, I am pretty sure I can answer, “No!” without even checking.

Years ago, I worked with a guy who had come to the US for school from India and never went home.

I asked why he didn’t want to live in India.

“Because here, I can be who I want to be,” he answered. “My destiny is not based on who my family is. And I want that for my daughters, too.”

I also worked with a man who had grown up in East Germany. He and his wife were living in the States for the duration of the multi-year project.

We were nearing the end of the project.

His wife was pregnant.

He was adamant that his child would be born in the US.

“I want my child to be an American,” he said. “Even if we have to return to Germany. My child will be American.”

We have always been the land of dreams. It’s time to make those dreams a reality.

I leave you with Chef Jose Andres, also an immigrant who dreamed of America when he was a child.

Remember the Alamo?

Remember when white people defended white supremacy and slavery?

Someone told Trump that the 11,780 votes he tried to get the Georgia Secretary of State to lie about were in the basement at the Alamo. (BTW, what Trump did in that case is a crime, just in case you’re keeping track. I hope the State of Georgia prosecutes.)

I was talking to a German friend about – well, everything.

She was horrified at what was happening in the US and wanted to know how it could happen here.

Which is a fair question.

But then you look at Chile, which went from democracy to dictatorship in the blink of an eye. And you look at Spain, which was making the transition from monarchy to democracy but got sidelined. Argentina has alternated between democracy and dictatorship.

It can happen anywhere.

But that’s not really what we’re taught, is it?

When my friend was a girl, she was taught that Hitler happened because Germans were uniquely bad. It was a shock to her to learn, when she was older, that other countries had dictators.

When I was a girl, I was taught that Americans were uniquely good. “Manifest Destiny” (presented uncritically) and all that.

It was a shock to me to learn, as an adult, about the internment camps in WWII and the genocide of the Native Americans and systemic racism.

Thank goodness the curriculum has changed and that students in the US are now being taught something closer to the truth. I haven’t seen their history books, but I know from friends that their children are being taught, for instance, about the Civil Rights movement.

Remember the Alamo?

What were they fighting for?

What were you taught?

I was taught, in Mr Bale’s 7th grade Texas history class at Mackenzie Junior High in Lubbock, Texas, that the Texians were fighting for Freedom from the mean Mexicans.

Know what they were really fighting for?


Mexico had outlawed slavery.

The Texians wanted to keep it.

All of the combatants inside the Alamo during the 1836 battle knew that they were fighting for the institution of slavery, as surely as they knew they were fighting for Mexican land. James Bowie, a slave trader and smuggler who William C. Davis says was “easily the largest land swindler of his era,” had arrived in Texas in 1830 with 109 enslaved people. 

Remember the Alamo for What it Really Represents, Ruben Cordova

I attended James Bowie Elementary School in Lubbock, Texas.

They closed the school last year, but not because of the name. Bowie is still being lauded.

Bowie Elementary School, located at 2902 Chicago Avenue, will be closed in June 2019. Bowie Elementary was first opened in 1964 and was named in honor of Texas Revolutionary war hero Jim Bowie.

KFYO news

Full story here.

I’m not sure where this fits in this post, but in 1989, my high school computer science teacher was assassinated by Manuel Noriega’s forces in Panama.

Panama was a dictatorship under Omar Torrijos when I lived there, nine years before Mr Dragseth was murdered. We knew not to mess around with the Panamanian police. We knew to be careful.

But when I was living there, on a US military base, where, I admit, I was sheltered, I don’t remember hearing about people being disappeared and murdered.

At least, about Americans being disappeared and murdered. I don’t know if it’s because it wasn’t happening or because it was happening and I didn’t know. We got our news from the Miami Herald, copies of which were flown to the base every day.

It’s easy to ignore these things when they don’t affect you directly.

(Also, I was in high school, so all I cared about was that the Canal negotiations led to frequent bomb scares at school, which meant we got to leave the classrooms and hang out outdoors with our friends.)

But – the leadership of the United States knew what was going on. They knew we were in bed with a dictator.

And they wanted to control the canal.

Shrug. Whaddya gonna do?

(I honestly don’t have an answer to that. Strategically, the Panama Canal is essential. What do we do to ensure we have access?)

I asked my mom what she remembered about when we were in Spain – if it was known that there were political prisoners and were or had been concentration camps.

She answered, “They MIGHT have been, but there was never any discussion about it to my knowledge. We were warned not to mess with the Guardia Civil.”

But the US government knew that Spain had not had free elections since before WWII. That’s always a clue.

And yet.

Did you know that the Native Americans did not get the right to vote – by federal law – until 1924?

That wasn’t even enough. Voting is regulated also at the state level. Utah was the last state, in 1962, to grant voting rights to Native Americans.

I know this not because I was taught in school but because Mr T and I went to the History Colorado Center in Denver a few years ago when we were visiting my mom. This information was part of an exhibit about Native Americans who had served in WWI.

My friend said there is a French philosopher who says that there is always a boomerang reaction to any kind of political and social progress. I don’t know who she’s talking about and when I google, I find only references to Michel Foucault and I am way too lazy to dive into postmodernism.

But it makes intuitive sense – we had a Black president and we thought finally we can get past our racism but nope.

Trump got elected and told the racists (yes I know not all 2016 Trump voters were racist – but man if you voted for him in 2020, you own the racism and the anti-Semitism and the anti-everything. You own it) that is was OK to be a racist. He told people it was OK to be a Nazi.

During the insurrection, rioters surrounded and threatened a Black man.

They promptly found one: another Black man, passing through on his bicycle. He wore Lycra exercise gear and looked perplexed by what was happening on the streets. He said nothing to anybody, but “Black Lives Matter” was written in small letters on his helmet. The Proud Boys surrounded him. Pointing at some officers watching from a few feet away, a man in a bulletproof vest, carrying a cane, said, “They’re here now, but eventually they won’t be. And we’re gonna take this country back—believe that shit. Fuck Black Lives Matter.” Before walking off, he added, “What y’all need to do is take your sorry asses to the ghetto.”

Among the Insurrectionists, The New Yorker

I hope every single person involved in the January 6 insurrection is caught, tried, and imprisoned.

I hope Trump is escorted out of the White House in handcuffs.

I hope the racist Trumpers who weren’t at the insurrection – and I am talking about my former vet, my dentist (looking for a new one), other well-educated, well-off people I know, crawl back under their rocks.

And I hope we now have a boomerang back to decency.

And that we can work together to eliminate systemic racism and make this country the beacon of freedom and equality and the country of good people we want it to be. The country we promised we could be.

We are not special

I grew up in countries run by dictators. I thought we were special. We’re not.

Life can be shockingly normal under totalitarianism – if you are completely ignorant and/or complicit. This is me at seven, when we lived in Spain. Franco was in power. I didn’t know. I was seven.

Is it too soon to say, “I told you so” to all the Trump supporters?

Was a year ago, when he told his buddies about covid so they could buy stock in companies that make body bags but didn’t tell the American public so we could protect ourselves, too soon?

Was five years ago, when he bragged about grabbing them by the pussy, too soon?

Are you cultists who have supported him ready to admit that maybe – maybe you were wrong?

That “Orange Man Bad” is actually – bad?


I told you this felt like Spain under Franco. That this felt like Panama under Torrijos. That this felt like Chile after Pinochet.

At least when Pinochet was in power, we didn’t have any rapes.

Wistful and completely deluded Chilean woman, missing the Pinochet dictatorship

Newsflash: Protesting to stop police brutality – to stop the police from killing Black people for the crimes of

  • selling loose cigarettes on the street
  • sleeping on a park bench in the middle of the day
  • sleeping in a car at a city park at 3 a.m.
  • being in the wrong house when a warrant is executed
  • having a broken tailight
  • passing a counterfeit $20 bill
  • etc
  • etc
  • etc

is not the same as attempting to overthrow a legitimately-elected government. So stop with the “but both sides” shit right now.

Oh. And also?

BLM protestors did not erect a gallows so they could hang the vice president of the United States.

They did not murder a policeman by bashing his head in with a fire extinguisher.

They did not smear their feces on the floors and walls of the US Capitol building.

Number of persons arrested out of a group of 50 for violating curfew in one night in my neighborhood during a BLM protest: 8

Arrest rate: 16%

Number of persons arrested while they were storming the Capitol, breaking windows, and stealing government property: 0

Number of persons arrested since: 40ish?

Arrest rate: 40/thousands = a lot less than 16%

Mr T and I just started watching, The Dictator’s Playbook.

The only thing that saved us this time (and I don’t think we are out of the woods yet) is that one of the essential factors for a dictatorship to succeed is that the elites have to support the dictator.

Trump is a vile, vulgar idiot whom the educated elite do not want at their parties.

But the pretenders to the throne who follow him? They have legitimate degrees from prestigious universities. They are educated. They have the proper pedigrees.

We have to stop them before they get to the White House.

One of my college professors would have us cast Shakespeare’s plays for a movie.

When we read Othello, he asked whom we would cast as Iago.

We wanted an actor who wasn’t conventionally physically attractive – we suggested Danny DeVito.

Our professor laughed.

“No,” he said. “That’s lazy. It’s lazy to cast someone unattractive as the evil character. Evil is not ugly. Evil is not unattractive. Evil does not announce itself. If it did, it couldn’t seduce anyone. Evil is beautiful and seductive. I would cast Robert Redford as Iago.”

Whoever made this movie about the attempted overthrow of American democracy was lazy. She cast Trump in the role of villain. She cast evil that announced itself.

Next time, this movie will be made by someone smarter.

After Cambodia, Spain has the most bodies buried in mass graves in the world.

Mr T and I did not know that until we watched the Franco episode of The Dictator’s Playbook.

Think about that.

You knew about Cambodia. You knew about the Killing Fields.

But did you know about the wholesale slaughter – including the slaughter of civilians – in Spain during the Spanish Civil War?

I did not.

Did you know that Spain had a gulag?

I did not.

Did you know that Spain had concentration camps?

I did not.

And it didn’t occur to me because – look at Spain! It’s a democracy! It’s a developed western country!

It can happen anywhere.

It could happen here.

Chilean friend: My dad died of a heart attack. We couldn’t take him to the hospital or call an ambulance.

Me: Why couldn’t you take him to the hospital?

Friend, giving me a look of “duh”: Because it was after curfew!

Trump was banned from twitter.

This is not censorship. This is not a violation of his free-speech rights.

This is the market, responding to a market problem.

This is not 1984.

These criminals who stormed the Capitol building are not George Orwell.

If they would read anything other than parler, they might know that George Orwell actually went to Spain to fight against Franco, who was attempting to overthrow a –

What do we call it?


And for those who need to hear it – Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are not going to turn this country into a communist dictatorship. FFS, people. Read a F*ing book and learn some history.

We are not special.

“Actually, I like the way I look”

When was the last time you heard a woman say those words?

I hate being on camera. I hate having my photo taken. I always have.
I am the one covering my face. The woman next to me is a sculptor who was sailing around the world with her husband, loving her life and probably not worrying about the stupid things I worry about.

I have been thinking about this post and what to write for a few weeks, ever since I read the first essay in Laura Lippman’s new book, My Life As A Villainess.

In that essay, she talks about being told she had a potbelly when she was a little girl. She talks about trying to lose the potbelly.

She says,

Every girl remembers her first diet. Usually, it’s her mother’s.

My Life As A Villainess, Laura Lippman

I remember my first diet.

I remember my mother’s diets.

I feel like I have been dieting almost since I was born. I feel like my entire life has been about depriving myself of what I enjoy so that my body somehow does not bother other people or bother me.

She remembers the time a man told her,

If you lost twenty pounds, you would be a knockout.

My Life As A Villainess, Laura Lippman

In college, a guy who saw me in my underwear while we were making out – I kind of liked him and he was in love with my roommate, Anita, and I guess I was the next best thing because she had a boyfriend and even if she hadn’t had a boyfriend, wouldn’t have gone out with him, told me,

You’d be really cute if you lost some weight.

She talks about the diets that so many of us have followed.

She talks about men who disagree with her telling her they don’t want to have sex with her.

Because of course that is the ultimate insult. Isn’t that all we women want? For all men to want us?

She decides no, screw them.

She decides not to diet.

She decides not to criticize her body. How she looks.



She decides to like how she looks.

Stop waiting. Stop entrusting praise to others, especially to sad deluded men who think our bodies are theirs to judge. It is not the trolls or the blunt dance teachers or even our partners who get to tell us we are beautiful. No one can lift us up until we choose to leap.

….Consider…saying those dangerous, forbidden words out loud. Pick any of the sentences I have peppered throughout this piece, knowing how subversive they are for someone who is sixty: I am a knockout. They totally want to have sex with me. I’m gorgeous. I look great.

Do you know how hard those words were to type, how often I flinched? But I wrote them, I say them without a flicker of irony, and go figure, I’m finally beginning to believe them.

My Life As A Villainess, Laura Lippman

And that’s the part that makes me gasp.

Because even though I think I am good at not talking about dieting and weight and trying to steer conversations away from that, I do not like how I look.

(And even though I don’t talk about dieting or weight, I still think about it. All. The. Time.)

I do not like how I look.

And I talk about it.

I talk about my teeth and my eyes – how I like wearing a mask because it covers my teeth and how my eyes are puffy.

My eyes are puffy because I eat really good food that I have cooked. I am a really really good cook yet I am concerned about what I eat because of how it makes me look.

I hate how I look. I hate more than my teeth and my eyes. I hate it all.

Maybe it doesn’t have to be this way.

Caitlin Moran likes how she looks, too.

I stand in front of the mirror and look at myself in it, naked. Through some mad quirk of fate, I am a middle-aged woman with a nonperfect body who still, nonetheless, likes her own body.

More Than A Woman, Caitlin Moran

The idea that it’s OK for a woman to say she likes her looks –


That it’s OK for a woman not just to say she likes her looks but to actually like her looks?

Doesn’t that mean she is conceited?

Are we even allowed? This is not our culture. This is not how we are supposed to be. This is not what our culture of ads for plastic surgery and makeup and photoshopped women tells us.

We are not supposed to accept ourselves as we are.

And yet. Laura Lippman flips off the patriarchy.

I thump the culture on the chest, push back, and say one of the most infuriating things a woman can ever say: Actually, I like the way I look.

My Life As A Villainess, Laura Lippman

Whoa. How dare she! How dare she?

How dare we women take the power away from men to define whether we are attractive or not?

How dare we take the power away from other women?

And I am including myself in that statement – I used to think about how the Miss Americas came from the south and my conclusion was that the women in the Northeast just weren’t that pretty.

It took me a while to realize that nope, women in the Northeast are more concerned with more important things than how they look.

I was wrong, Northeastern Women, and I apologize.

And – if women stopped thinking about our weight and our looks, what would we do with all that time?

What if we used that energy to fight injustice?

What if we used that energy to seize political power?

What if we used that energy to change the world?

Or even, you know – just to be happy?

When I asked her how she was going to celebrate her fifth birthday , my beautiful smart confident granddaughter (Mr T brought his two stepdaughters with him when I married him and they are lovely and smart and beautiful and I am so lucky), told me, “I am going to be happy.”

Maybe her generation will get it right?

I want that for them. I want that for us.