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Dominance Plays

I was at a club peering down at the dance floor from a bird’s-eye view on a second story walkway. Laser lights painted the room and I tried to avoid direct retinal shots. Whenever you see balconies and laser lights, and the floor is thumping underneath your feet, you’ll know you have entered a portal to another world — the Douchebag Zone.

A large man bulldozed through the crowd. As he passed me, he put his hand on my lower back, grazing the upper butt cheek, to guide me, roughly, out of his way, as he grunted “coming through” in that tone that suggests he really doesn’t care if you’ll pardon his intrusion. Instinctively, I jammed his arm away with a quick swipe of my elbow. He turned around mid-stride and our eyes locked in steely gazes, but nothing came of it. Too many people were in the way for confrontation to develop.

I’m certain that had I been most any other man, I would not have thought twice about a d-bag pushing his way through the crowd and physically nudging me aside with contact on a vulnerable part of my body. But game has changed me. Intricate knowledge of human social dynamics has made me acutely aware of other men’s alpha body language. Where most either blissfully ignore or are unaware of dominance plays by competitor males, my burden curses me with heightened perception of the smallest slights (and the tiniest flirtations). A touch here, a shove there, a distracted look when I’m talking… every mannerism and status signal is a cue that an alpha dominance maneuver is in motion, and I need to make moves to avoid being victimized by the subtle pull of rank.

Some of you are confident that awareness is better than ignorance. But are you sure? If happiness is the measure of a life well-lived, who is happier? The mindlessly naive or the savvily vigilant?

Ultimately, we all want (in the loosest definition of the word) to secure the best mate(s) possible in our short time on this earth. Awareness of reality helps us achieve that goal much better than contented ignorance. But it comes at a cost.


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