A Mutated Uber-Geek’s Take on Classic American Game and How It Unlocks the Key to Life
“It’s not how you look, it’s how you act” – The Chern
“It’s about being the only male in the USA to be anti-sex and completely dismissing females as an annoyance. It’s about knowing what it takes to be looked at as a weirdo outcast in society and doing just that as hard as you can.” – From an essay I wrote in 2004, describing the mechanics behind an alter ego I’d come up with
Part One: A Real Life Clark Kent
I was given the undeniable stamp of a nerd around the time I started to reach consciousness. As I entered preschool and began a journey of being stuck in educational institutions that would seem akin to prison, I already had glasses. It wasn’t just that I had glasses; it was that I had big, thick, heavy glasses that covered up almost half my peanut head. These jumbo frames, combined with a blackened buck tooth from a falling down the stairs accident, made me look like I was auditioning for a role as a nerd in a movie where the only casting instructions were: THINK CLICHÉ.
So I don’t even have memories of a time when I didn’t have glasses on my face, something that I came to look upon as my own scarlet letter. Perhaps I was just young enough to willfully embrace idiotic stereotypes, but glasses made you a nerd in my mind. I would often lament this fact, feeling like having them stuck on my face was a handicap, desperate to be rid of them so I could combat all the other wonderful feelings that went along with being in school – insecurity, fear and resentment – by at least LOOKING normal. I can remember many times where I was in front of a girl I was crushing on and would take off my glasses, pretending to wipe them clean on my shirt, but in reality executing a desperately pathetic maneuver in which I hoped the object of my affection would look at me without them on, and, in those brief seconds, have the epiphany of, ‘Hey, he’s actually kind of cute’, which would then battle my horrific geek image once replacing them on my face.
There were many aspects of my life that would make people put me into the category of wuss, but one of the stronger ones was my terror-soaked resistance to people putting things in my eye. This made optometrist visits a ticking countdown to stomach-churning discomfort, as I knew every visit would have to conclude with me getting eye drops plopped into my tender portals of vision. In one infamous incident that sums up my fear nicely, I reached up, and grabbed the hand of the assistant as she was about to move the eye drops towards me, locking onto her with a death grip meant to keep her hand far away from me while my mother observed this, bathed in embarrassment.
Therefore, the concept of contacts seemed implausible, a taunting vision of a promised land I could never gain access to, a ticket to finally not feeling like I was walking around with the word ‘nerd’ emblazoned above my head in flashing neon letters. It wasn’t until both high school and my failed college career were over that I actually got past my stupid fear enough to try them out. I remember several hour-long trips to the bathroom with my new eyewear, emerging with bloodshot, tear-filled eyes and that despicable child-like tantrum anger flowing through me, all from being unsuccessful at getting the goddamn things into my eyes.
I worked past it though and got to the point where I was somewhat used to it, and, after years of feeling repulsive in high school, had to admit that I had been rewarded with more than the normality I had so desperately craved – I was a good-looking guy. I remember what may be the first ever post-contacts comment, a girl who worked with me at Wegmens, not that attractive, but still a girl none the less, who remarked upon seeing me without my trademark spectacles, ‘You look good without glasses.’ I took this comment and stuck in it my pocket to have some self-esteem for a rainy day. I would end up getting several of these nuggets of confidence, but I was going to have far more to deal with than just my recently dismissed badge of geekdom.
Part Two: A Good-Looking Comedian Is An Oxymoron
It wasn’t just the oversized glasses that acted as my scarlet letter, my dismissal-inviting beacon shining through the hallways of school, but the way that I acted. Quiet and shy for as long as I can remember, these attributes were intensified by growing up in a beyond ideal, safe, loving suburban environment with regular, suffocating mollycoddling destroying any hint of having an edge from me like an effective and ritualistic eraser. All of that however, bows down in the face of something that came to define my artistic life while crippling my real one: comedian blood.
I am of the opinion that a person never has to set foot on a stage nor write a single joke to be a comedian. Like sexuality, it is something you are born with, and cannot deny. It’s a category as inescapable as gender is. It’s a specific type of person that looks at things differently and speaks about them in a certain language. While I’d always displayed traits of a comedian, when I was younger they were more endearing, albeit probably annoying, as I bounced around like an energetic goofball, eager to get a reaction. As I got older, a horrible synchronicity occurred as puberty kicked in while I simultaneously discovered the dark, caustic, self-deprecating nature of comedy and proceeded to make this persona my bitch, grabbing onto it with a stranglehold that some defiant part of me intended to never let go of. It turned insecurities into badges of honor and again, while serving as a huge revelation to my creative life, pushed me further into fully destroying any hope of an attractive image.
The comedian’s lament, which I guarantee you’ll hear if you spend enough time around my people, is how women always say that what they want most is a guy with a sense of humor, and how untrue the reality of that is. What they fail to realize, and what makes it embarrassing, as it seems to be glaringly obvious, is that women like a sense of humor with confidence behind it. You see, to the comedian, a large percentage of whom are youngish, sexually frustrated, angry white males, having a sense of humor means constantly, endlessly, slavishly making supposedly humorous comments about how much you masturbate or how ineffectual you are with women. It leaks from them without even trying, words tumbling out wearing the pathetic and unconvincing camouflage of comedy, when really they’ve been marinating in isolating bitterness. My feel is that this is a compulsion that literally runs in their veins – the dreaded comedian blood.
As I’ve stated, this is something I feel you’re born with, and grabbing onto this identity definitely gave me a sense of pride and belonging, though I was never oblivious enough to not see the dark underbelly of it all. Being a comedian makes it hard for me to even utter or type the statement ‘I’m a good-looking guy’ without feeling like I’m betraying something, like I’m a child trying on his dad’s work clothes, able to wear them, but still looking ridiculous and out of place, adorned with a sense of superficial slickness that I didn’t deserve or know how to deal with. I was in my contacts phase as I ran around New York attempting to carve out in a niche in stand-up, and the absurdity was not lost on me that I was standing on stages in front of strangers complaining about women with a face that was, even to my disgusted-by-confidence brain, undeniably cute. I’ve even read comments from professional comedians talking about how being attractive is a handicap in comedy. It was a mask that required other parts to be used effectively, a concept that caused confusion and forced me to speculate on my possibly shallow nature.
Part 3: No One Gives a Shit About a Good-Looking Guy
There is possibly nothing more powerful in this world than an attractive woman. To see a female who fits perfectly into our perhaps sickening cultural standard of beauty is to witness a lightning rod walking amongst us, sending out electric shocks to both genders whether they want to or not. Males, easily the more pathetic of the two genders, exhibiting a mind-boggling shallow nature at their core that I don’t believe anyone who isn’t cursed with a penis will ever fully grasp, turn their heads to look at females with a complete lack of free will. Personalities and individual attributes all fall down and bow before the male sex drive, the one horrific addiction that defines us and levels our playing field – every man or boy drifts off into his own private mental porno set throughout the day. This devotion to lusting after flesh could unite a homeless drunk and the President of the United States into relating to each other. Hell, even girls can flip out when they see a truly stunning member of their gender.
So, after both observing and feeling this phenomenon, I was probably convinced, on some base, childlike level, that being attractive was all it took to make waves. My much beloved experiences with females that I’ve been able to talk to, relate to, and completely be myself around saves me from feeling like a completely shallow prick when I think of how often how a girl looks has factored into my thought patterns when dreaming about sex or companionship. Embracing my gender’s idiocy at its very pumping heart, if I found a girl to be truly attractive, ESPECIALLY the face, then it seemed as if there was nothing she could do wrong. I am filled with shame, although perhaps it’s just simply a curse of the species once again, when I think back to how many girls I may have flipped shit over simply because of their appearance.
It would seem then that the obvious effect of this line of thinking was an extreme bitterness towards the world in general when I was christened with my new appearance and didn’t receive an onslaught of free ass and attention without even having to work for it. As the years went by after initially ditching the glasses, I felt like I made the rest of me conform to the facial freedom and dressed slightly better, more conscious of the fact that I could now pull off looking not just normal, but actually attractive. The comments were there throughout the years, but always, always the same effect of taking them and stashing them in my pocket, using them for nothing but personal swells of confidence that would boost my ego but never translate towards actually ACTING differently towards women.
In recent years, after adding what may be the male equivalent of big breasts, long hair, as well as a struggling career where I’m on stage doing music, I started to realize how much of an appealing package I was actually putting together. Here I was, beyond a shadow of a doubt tall, dark, handsome, with long, thick flowing hair, and a willingness to do something that terrifies most of the public (perform in front of people), and still having no different of an effect on women, save for a few regular instances of I-think-she-digs-me eye contact or the occasional blatant comment about my looks, which did nothing but simultaneously reinforce both my confidence and my realization that I wasn’t going to be outgoing or aggressive.
When I started getting regular comments like ‘Yeah, the girls must love the hair, huh?’ or ‘Do you have a lot of groupies from being on stage?’ and could respond with nothing more than a faux-playful ‘Oh, yeah, you know it’ that reeked of a lack of conviction was when I started actually wondering myself why in the hell I wasn’t getting more, or any, girls. Mutating into an attractive guy after years of walking through hallways with my head down, years of quickly darting my eyes away from any prolonged contact with an attractive girl, years of the comedian obsessively squawking in my ear about how bad I was with females, left me feeling like my new face was an amazing but sick joke from above. It was like coating an onion in silky caramel and putting it on a stick, handing it to a child, watching their face light up at the joyful recognition of something visually appealing, and then watching the surprised disgust at discovering the improper innards of the thing every time a girl seemed interested in me.
Hot girls could always send ripples through the pond of life, but being an attractive guy meant nothing, less than nothing actually, without knowing how to use it, without having the personality and experience to back it up. There was one group of people who particularly hammered this point home for me, and ended up changing my life in a drastic way that I wasn’t sure was positive or negative.
Part Four: Pick-Up Artists, The Cold-Blooded Killers of Idealism
I still remember the first time I discovered them. It was an issue of Esquire featuring different skills you could accomplish and one of them was a writer named Neil Strauss describing picking up on Britney Spears. I read the article, fascinated by it, and read at the bottom that it was an excerpt from his new book, ‘The Game’. I rushed over to the nearest Borders, and began reading it, possessed, transfixed, and captivated by it in a way that only the best vessels of entertainment can produce. Indicative of my personality, I rarely ever looked at it as a method to start getting girls, but instead just let the sociologist inside of me drool over it with an infectious and rabid lust. Interesting was a whimpering understatement.
There was an entire community of people who experimented with these theories, endless websites and message boards and blogs and books, all concerned with the science behind attraction. This was the antithesis of starry-eyed romanticism, a precise look at the undeniable triggers of the species and genders, breaking down the process of attraction like a math equation, and showing how it could be manipulated. It was like pulling back the curtain and seeing the man running the entire amusement park of life.
This was huge for me, and sent several different emotions coursing throughout my body. It definitely shot bullet holes through the hazy clouds of idealism that permeated my existence. Suddenly I saw females reduced to nothing but animals, complete slaves to the DNA within them, idiotic dogs whose legs you could always get to shake, no matter how they felt about it, by simply knowing the right place to scratch on their bellies. Criticism was nothing new to the community. The stench of vicious manipulation hung in the air when the topic of game was discussed, and indeed many of the guys who went to sign up for classes in pick-up seemed like pitiful wounded children, eager to turn the pain of rejection they had felt into glorious, blazing self-confidence when the class taught them how to make the females the ones strung out by the phone, waiting for it to ring. There was also the oft-discussed stigma of abusing the ‘chicks dig jerks’ stereotype.
While a lot of this can ring true, pick-up game is exactly like having superpowers, and has just as much potential for a massive amount of good. Even the much-maligned argument that girls like assholes is based on distortion – assholes simply exhibit a high level of confidence through their devil-may-care attitude and THAT, that one simple word, confidence, is really what it all comes down to, what will really drive a female wild. Ideally, these pick-up classes teach guys how to present a positive image of themselves to women so that they’ll actually have a chance.
And so while the ugly underbelly of pick-up game caused the hopeless romantic in me to weep at a shattered dream world, it also gave me a simplistic, scientific vision of what was going on that was both uplifting and confounding. All it was was putting yourself out there as confident. There were a million tiny offshoots of course, but it all boiled down to that one concept, the same one that had made me think the comedians whining about the false nature of women liking funny guys were so clueless.
Now I couldn’t take any guy who didn’t get girls or any girl who didn’t like me seriously. There was no need to get all forlorn and emotional and self-deprecating about it, I was simply not synched up properly with women. It was like trying to take down a black belt on your first day of karate class – how could you mope about getting your ass kicked when you haven’t even started to attempt to master the skills that are necessary for this activity? I was functioning wrong, and it was as simple as taking a class and putting some time in to get it right. OK, maybe not simple, as the walls of insecurity, laziness and fear that we build up in our heads are, as anyone who’s spent time as a human knows, incredibly strong, but it still left me feeling like screaming ‘JUST GRAB YOUR BALLS AND BE MORE CONFIDENT IN YOURSELF’ to anyone who was releasing the all-too-familiar ‘girls don’t like me’ rant.
If a girl didn’t like me, I ended up thinking, both triumphantly and somewhat dismissively, ‘All I would have had to do is act in a different way and you would have been mine.’ And while it DOES seem hurtfully dismissive to think that way, I believe, for the most part, it’s true, because the pick-up artists had completely solved the puzzle of my face and non-congruent personality, leading me to both embrace a once-satirical nickname and, in the process, figure out the key to our world in general.
Part Five: I’m the Most Unfuckable Guy You Ever Met, and You Can Be Too!
It’s really true. It’s not just a statement influenced by comedian blood: I am most likely one of the most unfuckable guys you’ve ever met in your life. How can I say this confidently, without any hint of lingering, comedic self-deprecation? Because I sincerely doubt you’ve met many others guys who’ve spent the better part of twenty years almost completely dedicated to putting the image out there of how severely bad with women they are.
From my days in high school gleefully making explicit masturbation jokes like a giant middle finger towards social competency, to my discovery of how well those same jokes seemed to fit me even better on a stand-up stage, to my no-amount-of-self-dissing-can-
And so the lessons of pick-up artistry, as well as the also frequently mocked philosophies of the best-selling ‘The Secret’ all seem to ring gloriously true here. If someone devotes that much of their time to putting out unappealing frequencies, negative energy if you’ll allow me to use that new age-y term, then no amount of good looks, talent or passion will ever break through it.
Suddenly, the fact that I’m thirty years old with only one sexual partner to my name and still have never had a girlfriend seems like an amazing tribute to the power of how this world works! With the right image to put forth iron-clad in my mind, and with a ridiculous dedication to said image, I was able to avoid what literally ALMOST EVERY SINGLE OTHER PERSON EXPERIENCED. No matter what they look like, how they grew up, what they’re interested in, what their personality is like, what their job ended up being, everyone else has a sexual and romantic history! Even people with sparse, sporadic experience seem to have me beat in overall quantity!
It’s the power of our brains, the power of believing, and a wondrous testament to the one basic principle of life that seems so easy to dismiss as cornball positivity: all you have to do is believe in yourself. I believed, deeply, purely, in my heart, that I was an unappealing, unfuckable weirdo, and because of my conviction towards that belief, made everyone else believe it too. Finally, I have an answer to the always asked and always puzzling ‘Why don’t you have a girlfriend?’ and it’s simple as can be. I put the vibe out there that I wasn’t an applicant and the girls responded appropriately.
What I’ve done is simply the flip side of how ladies men get constant action. They believe strongly enough that they’re the shit that women pick up on the scent and believe it too. Do you know what the greatest part about this is?
NO ONE IS SPECIAL!
We’re all the same! True, unadulterated equality does exist! Every slick-talking, bed-hopping ladies man is nothing but a pathetic, insecure, imperfect human who learned how to shut up the requisite noise that goes along with having a brain and instead convince himself and everyone else that he’s the shit. He is! He isn’t! Both are true! Don’t you see? This is the key to our entire world!
We’re all just normal nobodies wandering around this Earth, and all you have to do to elevate yourself is simply sell the idea! Believe! Every single goddamn stupid ass movie and kids show and guidance counselor and motivational speaker and self-help guru is exactly right! The power is sitting there inside of you, ready to be unleashed! You really can do anything you set your mind to, even getting through three decades of life completely neglecting one of the most basic human needs and desires!
And so, after years of presenting it as cheap comic fodder, I will now distort and change my near flawless celibacy, and instead present it to you as proof that you can overcome the forces of this planet through sheer, unbreakable mental will.
I’m Jason Ellsworth, and my lack of sticking my penis inside vaginas is undeniable proof that you can achieve your dreams. Now get out there, you goddamn glorious humans, and conquer this planet, while I sneak off into a corner to jerk off to girls I’ve convinced myself I can never have, girls who would happily let me put that same load inside of them if I would only approach them with the belief that I’m the shit.
Believe, my friends. Believe.