Interview With Dr. Timaree

Full 1mpact recently had the chance to interview Dr. Timaree. We believe of all of the times we want people to pay attention, this is one of them! So pay attention, this interview has a lot of great information in it especially since this answers a lot of questions many guys have as we’re delving into the Attraction Series. –William M. Jeffries

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Interview withTimaree:
Full 1mpact: We first want to acknowledge and thank you, Dr. Timaree for taking time out of your busy schedule for us. Your work and knowledge of both sexuality and overall human rights are pretty spectacular. If someone wanted more information about you and your work, where could they go and what could they expect to see?

Dr. Timaree: Awww, shucks. Thanks to you too, for your work! My work is spread out all over the interwebs Sex with http://sexwithtimaree.com/, the podcast on iTunes http://tinyurl.com/swtpod, the Facebook community http://www.facebook.com/sexwithtimaree , and syndicated on a few websites run by other folks. Someone who checks these out will hopefully find a passion for sex positivity, social justice, rational discourse about sensitive topics and a penchant for appropriately timed F bombs.

Full 1mpact: What are some projects you are currently working on or which cause you are diving into at the moment?

Dr. Timaree: My podcast and website and facebook page are all ongoing ventures into keeping positive sexuality in people’s lives. What I focus on depends on what’s in the news. For many years, our time was focused on marriage equality. But the tipping point on that has past, so now I focus more on talking about street harassment, teaching media critique to pop culture consumers, affecting legislation around reproductive health and the body image issues that young people face.

Full 1mpact: In a recent seminar entitled, “The Man Myths,” we discussed what seems to be the degeneration of the male character in the last several decades. According to the 2011 US Department of Census, nearly 43% of children live without their father. What effect do you believe this has on kids, and more specifically boys and men?

Dr. Timaree: I think that it’s entirely possible for a young person, and a young man specifically, to be raised entirely by females and come out a completely functional, strong-of-character human being. That needs to be said.

However, I think that young men need to be disabused of the notion that their impact as a parent is somehow lesser. Because I also think a child can be raised entirely by males and still be a perfect adjusted human. Parenting is not a gendered activity. Nor is it an easy one. Males need to be reminded of their POWER as fathers, of the potential that parenting offers them, and the pride that can come from being a man who is strong, reliable and nurturing. Males get a lot of messages about how they can demonstrate power and influence. Let’s deconstruct those messages and see which ones are real and have lasting, long-term impact and which are just a superficial façade for the now.

Full 1mpact: A common theme we get asked at Full 1mpact is, “How can I become more attractive to others?” In your opinion what is something guys can do when approaching women (Or someone they’re attracted to.) to come across more attractive?

Dr. Timaree: This is one thing that men’s magazines do consistently get right (when they ask some random model this question). Because the answer is actually: confidence. However, there’s a big difference between self-involved arrogance and genuine confidence that radiates outward.

Confidence means that you don’t have to overcompensate by being flashy. That kind of peacocking will definitely get attention and land you some dates. That’s the whole thing behind Pickup Artistry. You can definitely strut and crow your way into a girl’s world. But that only works on a specific type of girl, namely one who believes in old-school stereotypes about gender and isn’t entirely sure of herself…. and needs your perceived masculine strength to make up for her lack of perceived ability.

So I guess it ultimately depends on WHOM you are trying to attract. Women are not wholly different from men in what they want: someone who is good looking, smart, fun to be around, and really, most significantly, LIKES THEM. We are attracted more to people who show attraction to us.

This is when it gets confusing for some. Because for those who aren’t patient enough for nuance, that means hollering at a girl is showing interest. Telling her she’s pretty, going right to asking her out, whatever. But I mean real, genuine interest in her as a person. Making it obvious that you’re into her specifically and not just throwing darts randomly to see what lands. Mastering this nuance is the difference between being perceived as a lame street harasser and being the kind of confident person who takes risks to try to win over someone they think is worth the trouble. Because the former is annoying, the latter is fascinating.

Full 1mpact: What is a common mistake most men make that they often overlook?

Dr. Timaree: In approaching women? I’d say there are some men who don’t take the time to learn how to read social cues. If someone consistently says they’re getting “friend-zoned” or something of that nature, it usually means a)they have a mistaken sense of entitlement that kindness towards women merits getting sex in return and b) they are not very skilled at reading facial/non-verbal shows of attraction.

This is a learned skill, cultivated through years of active effort to be aware of what everyone around you is feeling. And it’s not just some code like “she touched my arm, that is a sign of attraction.” It’s really trying to tap into the experience of another person so you can either get on their wave-length or get them on yours. It’s helpful in business, it’s helpful in social interactions, it’s definitely useful in dating. But, for some reason, it’s often undervalued.

Full 1mpact: In our “Attraction Series,” we discussed why one-liners and comments about women’s “assets” are not only ineffective, but really bad form. As a woman, I’m sure you’ve either witnessed or experienced this first hand. Can you tell us what that is like, how that translates to women, and why it is direly important to provoke simple conversation over previously mentioned behavior?

Dr. Timaree: Like I mentioned above, those things have very limited application. Yes, everyone wants to be attractive. But we want to be valued and respected too. And if the only feedback you give is on looks, which is pretty standard for a female to get, then it’s lame and uncreative (everyone does it to her all the time, especially if she is conventionally attractive) and also makes you seem like a person who only values her body. You’ll be simply adding yourself to the list of randoms who harass her on the street, yelling out the window that she has a nice ass.

And on top of that, in a world where 1 in 4 females experience an attempted or completed sexual assault, sexual comments of this nature can be disconcerting and even threatening. We don’t know if a guy is just fumbling for how to start conversation or if he’s going to get mad when he doesn’t get a positive response and then turn vicious. It’s not uncommon for a street harasser to say a woman is beautiful and then call her a stupid, ugly bitch when she doesn’t respond. Separate yourself from those guys in your behavior as much as possible.

Full 1mpact: What is something you wish most men would think about or focus on that would make a big difference in society as a whole?

Dr. Timaree: Wow. That’s a big question! I wish that all people could work on empathy and cultivating the skills to imagine reality through a lens of experience different than their own. One of the biggest sources of conflict is assuming we understand someone else’s beliefs, thoughts and motivations.
It’s easy to make a villain out of someone if you never bother to genuinely listen to their perspective. And one of the challenges for men, especially white heterosexual men, is to realize that they have not been socialized to think from other vantages. The vast majority of history, art, media and politics are constructed to speak the language and experience of middle-class white straight men, to depict their experience as default and universal. It takes an awakening to realize this is not most people’s reality, however, that there are other, equally valid vantages.

It’s not an individual man’s fault that he doesn’t know what life is like for a woman, especially a woman of color, a queer woman, etc. But it is his fault if he fails to try to do anything about it, if he fails to seek out media created by those groups and never gets around to listening to anything they have to say.

And this is not a problem solely for men. White women need to seek out and consume media created by people of color. Able-bodied folks need to read an essay or two written by someone with a physical disability. Americans need to read international news written by local reporters. It’s helpful to get that insight, to have the ability to contemplate how something will be perceived by someone else.

What is something a guy can do today to begin changing for the better, not only to be more attractive as a whole, but also more helpful?
I think this goes for all people: but to never become complacent, never assume you know enough. Always be learning, always be interested in gaining new insights and experiences.

This can mean reading books by authors from countries that you couldn’t find on map and going to events that feel out of your comfort zone. Take a class in something totally out of your element, politely make conversation with total strangers about something of substance.

Face the possibility of failure, look for experiences where you will probably not win. Be OK with looking silly, being perceived by people as being weird. Put yourself out there to be rejected, experience rejection, survive it. The strength you acquire from these learning opportunities will last longer than any other kind because it will be real.

Full 1mpact: And lastly what are some things you see some guys doing right that you find attractive?

Dr. Timaree: We are all drawn to the idea of adventure, fun and intelligence. We want to be around people who smile and laugh and make others around them smile and laugh. When we feel good about ourselves, we are attracted to the things we want to be like: happy, confident, and capable.

Many men shy away from showing enthusiasm. They’ve been told it’s gay or feminine to get excited about anything other than a short list of appropriately masculine interests (football, strip clubs, etc). But fewer and fewer people are falling for that and you want to draw in the folks who see possibilities, not limitations. You can generate excitement in others by demonstrating that you’re excited. I mean, what is sexier than seeing or feeling evidence that someone is turned on? Strive to be that… although not necessarily by walking around with a hard-on all day.  Get amped up about stuff, be ready for adventure, be game for life.

Full 1mpact: We want to thank you for your time and for your thoughts. We will continue to send our support.

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One Response to “Interview With Dr. Timaree”

  1. […] read the rest of the interview, follow this link. For more Full 1mpact: check them out on facebook and their upcoming […]

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