Noodles and Beef

Noodles and Beef, the goodbye video

Video transcript:

I’m not really good at video so, bear with me.

Hi, my name is Dylan, I’m the person who writes Noodles and Beef dot com, and this is my goodbye video!

I started this blog 15-years-ago to gain a better appreciation of my life by writing openly and frequently. Its been an incredible creative outlet, great way to make friends, and–perhaps most rewarding–there are people out there who have benefitted from my writing about poly, BDSM, and other challenging social subjects. Which I think is really awesome…I’m not exactly an expert, so thats pretty cool.

This has worked pretty well for the last 12-or-so-years, when I had about 10 readers on Livejournal. But now I’ve got 2.2 million readers and the audience/creator dynamic is very different.

As my audience has grown I’ve started to attract some bad actors who attack my life under the veil of cowardly anonymity. I’ve been able to ignore them for the most part, but over the last year the hateful messages have taken on a disturbing racist rhetoric and sometime they contain veiled death threats. Which is scary and unacceptable.

This isn’t fun for me anymore. This hasn’t been fun for a while. I only see it trending worse.

I feel like my only option is to close the blog down.

I’ve had a really good run. 15-years, yay! Its gotten so bad that I’m relieved to have the option to close it down. This is a good stopping point. My journey in San Francisco is coming to an end, got a new job, moving my pups up north.

I feel like the time I spend on my blog fielding “blog stuff” can be better spent on other creative projects.

Thank you everyone for reading, I really appreciate it.

Verbal signature, Noodles and Beef.

THE END.

How to journal? Or, what do I do with noodlesandbeef.com now?

This is me when I was 17-years-old.  Just look at that jawline.  Young, naive me had no idea what his silly journal would turn into.

Back when I started this journal, I had a simple goal:

Gain a better appreciation for my life by writing openly and frequently.

It was based on some wonderful advice I had read in Psychology Today on improving your quality of life.  Journaling forces you to record and examine one’s thoughts and feelings, which can improve your perception of your life.

This has worked pretty well for the first 10-years of my blog when I had, like, ten LiveJournal friends who casually read about my depressing teenage life.

Now I’ve got ~2.2 million readers and everything is terrible.

I really enjoy having a large audience, but I find I cannot write in my journal like I used to.  I have to use coded language to describe uncouth activities, censor myself, or (worst of all) pander to the lowest common denominator by posting sexy photos.

Writing for an audience is difficult because text and photos is an imperfect medium for communicating the nuance of my life.  No matter how eloquent, detailed, or verbose I am, folks can take things out of context.

How bad could it be?

It can’t be helped.  Every year my audience inexplicably grows.  Many of my readers are wonderful, delightful, intelligent people with good taste…and a few are trolls.

That’s just how it goes on the internet.  You know you’ve “made it” when you get hate mail.  Just ask Beyonce.

So, what do I do?

I miss my journal.  I want to be able to write openly again…but, how?  Some ideas:

  • Make a private journal?
    • Pros: I can be as candid as I want because I’m the only person who reads it.
    • Cons: I lose the valuable audience-performer interaction that is so critical to my creative work. (Pretty good paper on this here).

  • Offer paid-access content?
    Backstory: I ran an experiment last month selling “I hate Noodles and Beef” shirts to determine the lowest possible price a troll would pay to harass me.  Prices ranged between $1 and $10, and any purchased shirt would result in me donating $10 to the AEF.  Turns out trolls are so cowardly, that they can’t be bothered to spend $1 (costing me $25 for the shirt and $10 for AEF donation) to harass me.  A payment gateway of $1 would stop all trolls.
    • Pros: write about whatever I want, donate 100% of proceeds to AEF or LA&M.
    • Cons: While effective in stopping trolls, I would alienate readers that are too frugal to pay for content.

  • Move to Facebook or some other access-controlled blog platform?
    • Pros: I am mostly free to post what I want, still get some audience-performer interaction.
    • Cons: Facebook doesn’t allow adult content, Livejournal is a russian dating scam, I guess I could build my own platform but I’m lazy.

  • Fourth option: you guys tell me.

I’ve been struggling with the big-audience problem for a few years and its only getting worse.  It is time for me to make a change to my blog so I can start enjoying it again.

Any ideas?

squarepegsroundholes-deactivate asks:
In theory, if one were to be a fan of yours, no negative biases whatsoever, but have evidence that is common knowledge about emotionally abusive relationships to showcase some rather dubious things that maybe being ignored, is it considered trolling or genuine concern for both parties?

foxbear:

Power exchange is an illusion.

???!!!

I hate to pick at or criticize you, bubba, given that you’ve been subjected to a fair amount of unfair garbage recently here in the Tumblrverse, but this line really struck me.  

Power exchange is very much a non-illusory actuality in the dynamics and relationships of many leatherfolk, including several of my own.  You make a fair point about power exchange being consent-dependent, but that doesn’t make it any less real.  Given the simplicity (and corresponding potential efficacy) of your statement and the wide reach of your blog audience, I hope that you’ll either clarify or qualify. 

Cheers, bub!

–Your Friendly Neighborhood FoxBear

image

What even is illusion? How are fantasy? Why does exchange power?

Words, man. 

Let me try and rephrase it:

The fantasy of power exchange is an illusion.  The actual power being exchanged is very real and critical to my relationship.

I feel like its pretty clear that the fantasy of power exchange is an illusion, but there are actually people out there who genuinely believe I have magic hypnotic powers that I use to brainwash people.  Sometimes I have to explain how fantasy and power exchange actually work…but, these are intangible concepts that are best explained with example.

image

Examples of the fantasy of power exchange being an illusion:

Real-world examples of power being exchanged:

  • Your boss tells you to do something and you comply. They have power over you because you are obligated to fulfill their requests in exchange for compensation.
  • You go see the new Transformers movie with your romantic partner.  They have power over you because you will sit through a four-hour movie in exchange for sex afterwards.
  • A security officer at the airport tells you to take off your shoes. They have power over you because our society has a tacit agreement to put up with security theater in exchange for feeling more safe while traveling.

In these real-world examples you are agreeing to do something for something else.  Giving up power in exchange for something else.  This isn’t an illusion.  We relinquish control on a daily basis.  Sometimes the exchange is tacit, like social rules; other times its explicit, like negotiating chores with your roommate.

Abstracting the power exchange from the fantasy

In power exchange relationships, we negotiate power between people just like you would in my real-world examples.  But now its sexy.

Look at the photo above.  Its pretty obvious I’m not a real football player, but through the filter of fantasy…

noodlesandbeef:

If it’s genuinely constructive, yes, of course.

I am sincerely interested in being a better partner and do everything I can to be a positive force for the people close to me. (Even if that means ending the relationship, eg lilpup).

Power exchange is an illusion. The only people who are fooled by it are these naive trolls. They completely overlook that rules and boundaries are negotiated, consent is maintained with regular check-ins, and that we’re like any other relationship. Just kinkier.

Just like any other relationship, we are not perfect.

…I’m the star linebacker, taking a break after practice.  

And you…you’re the lightest flyer on the cheerleading team. I could shoulder-press you as a warmup weight.  

The power-dynamic trope of football player and cheerleader is well established: you’re my bitch.

Or, that should be the case.  

I’m just a big, clumsy jock, who’s generally too horned up to make my own decisions.

You’re smart, manipulative, and popular.  It doesn’t take long for you to recognize that I admire someone so articulate.  Before you can finish a standing-back-tuck, I’m hanging on your every word.

You string me along like an obedient puppy, a piece of arm candy for your amusement.  I defer to you because I can’t understand most words you say, but certainly someone so smart has my best interests at heart…and gosh, its just much easier being told what to do.  I am so grateful for that.

Better stop there. Started getting hot.

The power exchange is clear: I’m obedient, I defer to you, I do as I’m told.  When the scene is over, the fantasy of me being this big dumb jock is over.  I get my power back, we return to being equals.

Real power exchange, pretty obvious fantasy situation.

My examples are a simple attempt at explaining something difficult and intangible: the fantasy of power exchange is an illusion, the actual power being exchanged is very real.

Internal Demons

brandedbulltank:

There are some sides of myself that I keep rather close to my chest:

  • I saw a child psychologist every week between the ages of 8-10 because I was an unusually sad child and had difficulties making friends.
  • Between the ages of 15-16 I went through periods of depression so deep I was at the end of my rope, I couldn’t let anybody in and I saw no light in my life.
  • Today, I am not always all-together as I let on - especially during times of heavy stress - I can get deeply distressed, and internalise a lot of blame, a hell of a lot of blame. I become my actions. I cross the line where one stops doing bad things, one becomes bad. You haven’t disappointed someone you love, you become a disappointment.

I bring this up today, because I wrote a post I am not particularly proud of. I wrote a post that was very self-debasing. I was not in a good place. I had done the wrong thing and I hurt people I care about, and they were upset with me - specifically my Master. Coupled with being on the other side of the world, away from my usual support networks and in a situation that has been stressful for me and being on my own - it put me into a very bad place. When you’re in that place - all you can see in yourself is cowardice, the pain you cause in others, all your faults competing with eachother for which makes you a worse person.

Fortunately, after I put that post up I had a few people reach out to me and talk me down from the place that I was in. That we all occasionally hurt the people that we care about, and the reason why they hurt is because they care - that we are not the sum of our mistakes, that there is love - and as long as we have time we always have the change to make amends.

I calmed down and I took the post down.

To all the people who saw that post and took the time to calmly reach out to me, I wish to thank them very much.

To all the people that pounced upon that post to use as ammunition to defame and slander my partners and my relationship - then might I say: it is a cruel action to prey upon my own weak moments to further your own biases and your own vendettas. If you had actually cared, perhaps you too should have spoken to me about it.

I am very loved, our relationship looks different to many others, but it is rooted in very deep love. My partners love me and embrace me as I am. Even when I do the wrong thing they are still there to catch me when I fall. All people should be lucky enough to have that privilege.    

“To all the people that pounced upon that post to use as ammunition to defame and slander my partners and my relationship - then might I say: it is a cruel action to prey upon my own weak moments to further your own biases and your own vendettas. If you had actually cared, perhaps you too should have spoken to me about it.”

Really explains the true agenda of these opportunistic trolls.

Thank you for writing this, pup. And thank you for being patient with me. I love you very much and can’t wait for you to come home.

This was just a small bump. We’ve endured worse and come out better. This will be no different.

alphabeef:

noodlesandbeef:

I’m home!

Tank is still in Australia. Big pup and alpha are on their gay cruise together. Beef is in Hawaii still.

Sooo I’m home alone.

The moment I came home I found these notes hidden throughout the house.

Sigh. I love my pups.

Sorry I haven’t been posting very much lately. I do have an excuse for the last week, though – @carnenchiladas and I went on a big, gay Atlantis cruise together while Master @noodlesandbeef was traveling to Australia and Hawaii. 

Master was getting back home before us, though, and we hated the idea of him being alone in a pup-less household. He had admired the work of Bossy Sculpture, so I ordered one of his faves well in advance. (Shipping from Spain took almost a month.) Enter Pup Bossy!

To remind him how much his pups love him, we left a gazillion (give or take) hand-written notes in places he might find them. Behind doors, on cabinets, in the protein powder, etc.

We love you so much, Master. Welcome back!

It was such a wonderful surprise. I felt so loved <3

I’m home!

Tank is still in Australia. Big pup and alpha are on their gay cruise together. Beef is in Hawaii still.

Sooo I’m home alone.

The moment I came home I found these notes hidden throughout the house.

Sigh. I love my pups.

Tank and I hiking the Claustral Canyon in Australia’s Blue Mountains park.

Australian Culture Shock

I kept a little list of weird things I encountered while traveling through Australia.  The whole place feels very familiar, but there are lots of little things that threw me off.

  • Grocery stores don’t sell prepared food (aka hot bar).
  • Mall food courts close very early.
  • Small size cups are tiny.
  • Meat pies are for sale everywhere.
  • Ketchup is not a universally available condiment, sometimes they have tomato sauce but you have to ask for it.
  • High tea is a thing.
  • Plum pudding is closer to bread than jello.
  • Takeout vs eating in, usually means a 20% surcharge to use their tables. Ridiculous. 
  • Iced coffee (eg, an iced americano, cold brew, or straight up pouring coffee over ice) is not a thing in Australia.  “Iced Coffee” is what they call this sickeningly sweet dessert where espresso is chilled with vanilla ice cream.

Obviously, food and drink culture is very important to me.

  • Chemists sell OTC pharmaceuticals.  Reminded me of ABC stores in dry states.
  • No black people.  This might sound hyperbolic, but Australia feels more white than Bearracuda posters.
  • Pay phones exist.
  • Toilet is in different room then bathtub (everyone thinks I want to take a bath when I’m asking for a toilet).
  • Green is trash, yellow is recycling.
  • Extremely violent PSAs on drug use, texting while driving, and obesity.
  • Tap to pay has completely replaced swipe-and-sign card transactions in Australia.

And, of course, the weirdest thing coming from America:

  • Driving on the left-side of the road.  The adjustment was actually pretty quick.  I was more annoyed by the reversed placement of the turn signals (indicator toggle) and would frequently turn left to windshield wipers.

Tank earns my brand

Friday, March 11th at 11AM.

Tank has known since last week and today we went to a tattooist in Melbourne to get him branded.  Unlike my other pups, my brand rests on tank’s chest, the horns forming a chalice to hold the padlock of his collar.

Tank says he barely felt a thing, almost falling asleep as he drifted off thinking about being mine forever.

Tonight I surprised tank with a dinner at Altitude Restaurant, a three hats restaurant (one of the fanciest places you can eat in all of Australia).

I had arranged for a window table overlooking the Sydney Opera house.  The night was incredibly special.

Started with a couple very inspired cocktails.  (I was stumbling drunk after finishing mine).  Then made our way through 12-courses of New Australian cuisine.  Opened with Tasmanian Oysters, followed by duck and lamb entrees, and ended with three different dessert courses.

Tank was beaming. He’d never been to a nice restaurant before, and his second time ever having a tasting menu.

“The best meal of my life,” he said.  

Tonight I gave tank my brand.

Almost five years in service, tank has certainly earned it.  He’s given me everything, loved me completely, we’ve grown a lot together…now I’m giving him a symbol of my love.  A permanent mark that says he’ll be mine forever.

He was so happy he got teary eyed.

I love you pup, thank you for being mine.

Part of beef’s Valentine’s present: a jock I’ve been wearing for the last couple weeks.

He sent me these photos and it tugged on my heart. There is something so romantic about seeing my collar around his neck.

The lock and chain is symbolic of our relationship. It means much more than “he’s mine.” It’s a promise that I’ll love and protect him. The subtle tug of the padlock a constant reminder of how important and valuable he is to me.

He wears it proudly of his own volition.

Thank you for being mine. Thank you for going on this adventure with me. I love you so much and am excited for our future.

Thank you.

Boeuf Japon (or, my modern take on beef bourguignon using Japanese ingredients)

I had some extra meat from last night’s beef bourguignon and I wanted to try a modern take on the French classic.  The original is an incredibly fussy recipe, lots of nuanced technique that takes two days to complete…so of course I love doing it.

Deconstructing the original recipe, we see that the foundation technique is braising (fry and stew meat), the braising liquid is alcohol with stock (wine and chicken stock) seasoned with a trinity (mirepoix).  It would be trivial to swap the braising liquid and trinity for something more exotic.

Buta no Kakuni (豚の角煮) is a classic Japanese dish of pork belly braised in shoyo, mirin, dashi, and sake.  It’s a personal favourite of mine and the ingredients would make easy substitutions for my modern take on beef bourguignon.

Ingredients (or what I think are pretty clever substitutions)

  • 4 pound chuck roast, silver skin removed and cut into 1″ cubes
  • 1 pound pork belly
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 pretty big piece of fresh ginger
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 garlic head, cloves separated, unpeeled, and crushed
  • 1 ~4″ piece of kombu
  • 1 packet of bonito flakes
  • 6 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups nigori sake
  • 2 cups mirin
  • 1 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of oyster sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • ¼ cup MSG
  • 10oz beef stock (or chicken stock, whatever)
  • 6 tablespoons of gelatin
  • Sesame oil as needed
  • Butter to taste

Tools

  • Dutch oven
  • large skillet
  • oven preheated to 300°F
  • cheesecloth
  • cooking twine
  • patience

I’m not really good at writing recipes from scratch, so I’ll try walking you through my process.

The traditional recipe involves a technique called larding, where you thread thin strips of pork fat through the cubes of beef.  Modern beef is sufficiently marbled that larding is no longer required, but we still want the flavour of pork fat.  Bacon or salt pork works great for this, but with buta no kakuni on my mind I opted for pork belly.

Score the skin-side of the pork belly then cut into 1″ cubes and fry in a hot pan of sesame oil.  Wait for the oil to “shimmer” so you know it’s hot enough for frying, and don’t use a nonstick pan.  The residue that develops (called a fond) when browning meat is desirable here.

Our goal is to caramelize the surface of the pork belly, which looks like this:

Gorgeous.  

Toss the seared pork belly into your dutch oven when all sides are golden brown.  Then, using the reserved pork fat to brown your beef.

Use paper towels to dry the beef, then season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

Sear in batches, don’t crowd the pan, otherwise it won’t sear correctly as too much moisture will flood the pan.  Add the browned beef to the dutch oven and deglaze the pan with water to prevent burnt flavours from developing.  Scrape off any burnt bits from the bottom of the pan and add the deglazed pan sauce to the dutch oven.

While the meat is browning, let’s assemble the bouquet.  Inside a 24-square-inch cheesecloth, add coarsely chopped carrots, onions, shallots, ginger, garlic, thyme, kombu, and bonito flakes.  The flavours of these ingredients will pass through the cheesecloth while cooking without changing the texture of the sauce…if you like a heartier stew, you can skip this step.

Tie the bouquet closed and place it in the middle of your dutch oven, surrounded by browned beef and pork belly.

Now we add the braising liquids.  Sake, stock, soy sauce, oyster sauce, mirin, MSG, gelatin, and tomato paste.  The bouquet should be fully submerged by liquid, so add water if necessary.

Cover the dutch oven and place in oven at 300°F for 3 hours.

Your house will smell amazing during this time.

Carefully take the dutch oven out and bring it to a boil on your stovetop.  We want to reduce the sauce by half to concentrate the flavour.  You can speed this process up by removing the meat from the dutch oven.

Once the sauce is reduced, top with sauteed shiitake mushrooms and caramelized pearl onions.  Serve over udon noodles.

There you go.  Noodles and Beef.

ashtonfatbear9 asks:
Do u have any tips on how to find the right guy I would like him to chubby but this world is so cruel

@bearberlycrusher, there is a word, a once special word that’s been tragically co-opted by the romance industrial complex, and I would hate to use it here and have everyone think that I am suggesting any type of romantic sentiment or invitation for intercourse (that’s what dick pics are for).

The word comes to us via Latin’s lubēre or libēre, meaning to please, later adopted by old German as luba or lieb haben, meaning to be fond of.

So, I’m certain you know exactly what I mean when I say this:

I love you.

Alright.  Now that that’s out of the way, I want to expand on this a little.

“Do the things you love to do and you’ll attract meaningful friends and relationships who share those interests.”

I wrote this back in 2012, when someone asked me how to befriend bears and break into that community.  I specifically wrote this post to be (1) succinct and (2) personal; condensing everything I know about social psychology, relationships, and Csikszentmihalyi’s concept of flow into one sentence.

Simplicity is great, but lack of detail can lead to misinterpretation.  Like this:

Now here’s where I disagree with Sir.  I don’t think it’s shallow to say, “I’m only sexually interested in chubby guys.”

I don’t think people are shallow for having sexual preferences, but for a demisexual like me, I can only have sex with someone I have a romantic connection with.  I was trying to explain this from my perspective, but most gay men don’t share my romantic hangup.

bearberlycrusher:

I think Sir Dylan, @noodlesandbeef, gave the best, succinct advice on this subject: “Do the things you love to do and you’ll attract meaningful friends and relationships who share those interests.”

Since this is my blog and not Sir’s, you’re going to get my long-ass-winded-self response, but that’s the heart of it. You should read Sir’s post first. 

Pretty much everyone I know who endlessly laments about being single isn’t passionate about anything. Sir is right that they are single in part because they don’t really meet interesting people and aren’t that interesting themselves. But there’s another, physiological reason why they’re single.

Strong feelings connect people, even when the feelings don’t have anything to do with the person. This is called “Misattribution of Arousal”. In one of my favourite studies, two people met on a bridge above rushing water.  They were scared and excited by the water, so they were attracted to each other.  Literally, that’s it.

When you’re passionate about something—when it gets your heart rate up and your blood racing—you’re more likely to connect, and so are they.

For example, when I met my pup ~3 years ago at a rugby tournament, I was out on the field playing rugby, and he was singing the national anthem in front of a crowd, both activities we’re passionate about and that get our blood flowing.  We were both physiologically aroused when we locked eyes, and when I jogged over to him and kissed him hard without saying a word, all of our respective passions for singing and rugby went into that kiss—and there’s no way they couldn’t.

Now here’s where I disagree with Sir.  I don’t think it’s shallow to say, “I’m only sexually interested in chubby guys.” After all, if that were true, bisexuals could call me shallow for only being interested in men! (Well, some do, actually, but that’s beside the point.)  You’re no shallow if you’re only sexually attracted to one type; you’re shallow if you’re only emotionally invested in people of your type.  I love many women and skinny guys.  I love them with all my heart, and I don’t care what type they are. The people who think I’m shallow for having a type are themselves shallow because the only type of love they can fathom is romantic love (footnote#1).  There’s so many types of love, and the more we love, regardless of type, the better people we’ll be.

Certainly, because of the Misattribution of Arousal, sometimes we find ourselves sexually interested in people who aren’t our type. One of my best friends (who’s also with benefits) is a 110-pound chaser.   We love debating and arguing together, which always gets our heart rates up and us physiologically aroused, which then translates into sexual arousal, and then we fuck. He doesn’t want photos on Tumblr, but if you’re on heftynet you can look up MisterFan and see photos of us together in underwear.  But the fact that I have a chaser FWB doesn’t make me non-shallow; the fact that we instantly became awesome friends who care for each other despite my initial lack of attraction does.

So, the next question is, what are chubby guys passionate about?  How do you physiologically arouse a chubby guy? Well, any passion can do it, but in my experience, chubby guys tend to have non-standard passions.  He’s what chubby guys seem to be disproportionately interested in: food (esp. baking (”never trust a skinny chef” is mostly true, though a really good friend of mine is a skinny chef who eats about 4000 calories a day, so he’s OK)), games (ones that get you physiologically aroused around the other person, like board games, not ones where you’re separate from people when passionate, like MMOs), politics and intellectual topics (especially history, for some reason), genre fiction, sci-fi television, and the like. The most important thing is to find your passion, yes, but, if you’re like me, there are SO MANY things you could be passionate about, but you’ve only got ~80 short years to explore it (seriously, how do people get bored? I could live 5 lifetimes and never be bored, still not having mastered everything I’m passionate about). So if you are interested in something that chubby guys are generally more interested in than normal, follow that passion first ;)

The other thing I disagree with Sir about is that I think he was going to the wrong events. Bears who like chasers don’t go to bear runs, which are for bears who like bears.  Bears who like chasers go to chub/chaser and bear/chaser events, like Convergence, which has a Mr. Chaser contest, for example. Or they go to Gromoffs, where a lot of gainers like the idea of fattening up a skinny guy or being fattened up by a skinny guy.  I know many bears who only like chasers, and they go to these types of events, not bear runs.

In other words, go to events that not only have the people you’re interested in, but that have people who’d be interested in you.

The smaller the population of people you are interested in, the harder you have to look.  I, for example, am exclusively interested in people who are passionate, who are big (or want to get big), who enjoy adventure and new experiences, who love debate and discussion, and who want to spend the rest of their life in complete submission to my will (or, depending on our chemistry, make me submit to their will for the rest of my life, and have me as the Alpha pup to Kai).  That’s a very, very small population! If/when my pup and I make our triad, we’re probably going to have to import him, so we need to go to events where we’re likely to find people we’d be interested in.

But first and foremost,  we need to follow our passions, because that’s what connects us.  Passion always comes first.

—–

Footnote#1: I’m not calling Sir shallow here. It could be read that way, but that’s not my intention at all.  He’s not thinking I’m shallow, after all. Also, Sir has demonstrated many types of love for many types of people.

The other thing I disagree with Sir about is that I think he was going to the wrong events.

Yes! I was certainly going to the “wrong” bear runs. Lazy Bear, IBR, etc were marketed as euro-centric-bear-features-for-same.  Its taken me a while to find the niche I most enjoy (international circuit parties, gay leather events, gay cruises/resorts/cities).

“When you’re passionate about something—when it gets your heart rate up and your blood racing—you’re more likely to connect, and so are they.”

@bearberlycrusher explains my “do what you love to attract relevant people” quote with the Misattribution of Arousal.  This is an interesting explanation, and certainly more verbose than my one-liner anecdote, but I disagree that my attraction is a mistake.

image

When you get really passionate about something, you achieve a higher state of mental focus called flow; you become completely immersed, euphoric, energized from the process and product of your work.  The hallmark of flow is a feeling of spontaneous joy, even rapture, while performing a task, although flow can also be a deep focus on nothing but the activity–not even oneself or one’s emotions–in absolute extremes, ego death.

We’ve all experienced flow in some degree–perhaps you’re having a great workout, you’re kicking ass at a new video game, you’re coding a new algorithm, etc–a flow state can be entered while performing any activity…even in relationships with other people.

Imagine feeling spontaneous joy, rapture, love while being with someone, focusing so intently on them that everything else disappears.  (Sounds like subspace, eh?)

Sometimes this attraction is accidental, like with Misattribution of Arousal, but it can also be curated deliberately.  Flow theory postulates three conditions that have to be met to achieve a flow state:

  1. Goals are clear
  2. Feedback is immediate
  3. Balance between opportunity and capacity

If you can establish these conditions with someone, you’re certainly going to attract them.