In my peripatetic reading, I came across a poem by Jonathan Swift, “The Lady’s Dressing Room“. A guy (or fellow, or chap, or whatever they called a guy in England 300 years ago) wonders what the hell his girlfriend is doing in all the interminable time she spends getting ready, so when she is out and her maid is out, he sneaks in and looks over all her stuff. He finds instead of being a delicate flower, she is actually just as gross as a guy, with all her dirty clothes, snot-covered handkerchiefs and weird makeup goop.
This disillusions him, and he can’t look at a pretty woman again without thinking of how gross she really is underneath. At the end, Swift says the guy shouldn’t be so ruined by having his illusion punctured, but realize that women like flowers grow in dung.
It’s not hard to understand that like men, women get dirty, sweat and have bodily functions that produce disgusting effluent. But there is something deeper here- I’m not entirely sure Swift intended this, but he is considered a great writer so maybe he did. “Game” is all about the base motivations women have for doing things and how to take advantage of this. Reading over and over again- and seeing by the evidence- that a lot of women like arrogant douches and you have to be careful not to be too nice to them has a discouraging effect. How can you enjoy being with a woman who wants to be with a douche, wants you to act like a douche and rewards you for it?
There is a part at the end of “Life on the Mississippi” by Mark Twain where the young riverboat mate, having learned every detail of the river, every sandbar and submerged tree, worries that he has lost his appreciation for its beauty. Everything consists of an aesthetic, enjoyable and even romantic aspect, and a practical aspect, and the two can’t be separated. If you want the enjoyment and sense of achievement of piloting a riverboat on the Mississippi, you have to know its hazards and difficulties, or your journey will come to a quick end. If you want to have a relationship with a woman, you have to understand her behavior, even and especially its base and dark side. And, not get too discouraged by it. Or too cynical about it.