I thought I'd start by revealing something about myself that not many people know (and I guess still won't). Something personal and, maybe, just the hint of a window into my soul. I don't necessarily think this is a good idea, but I like to live on the edge. I need the rush.
Okay... I cry when I watch "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition". There you have it. Every time I sit down to watch, I say to myself "Don’t be a fool; it's just television; act like a man, you big wuss." And every time I cry. This isn't the only thing that leads me to believe that I'm something of a sentimentalist, but it's the only thing I'm sharing with you today. And, of course, I'd like to think that this kind of honesty will in some way make me a better person.
Well, as I was thinking about this (and I was actually prompted further by one of the articles I was considering writing for Baggage Reclaim) my mind started to wander, and I found myself dwelling on the perceived wisdom that "nice guys always come last". Do they? And what is a "nice guy" anyway? Do women always gravitate towards the Alpha male, or is he outdated? A Neanderthal in today's gender-blurred, egalitarian society?
Now I have no absolute understanding of how other people see me either as a person or as a man, because I really don't go around asking them that kind of question (tempting though it might be, I'm sure I wouldn't like the answers). But when I look at myself, I think (I hope?) that I see someone who's emotionally available, communicative, able to express both thoughts and feelings, and able to understand – and empathise with – the female perspective. But at the same time, believe me when I say that there's nothing blurred about my gender. I'm no pushover, either. I have a steely resolve, and am only ever crossed once. A lot of people find me both intense and, at the same time, a little scary.
So where am I going with this? Well, I suppose I'm saying that if a guy is all the things women say that they want, but without the mistaken assumption that it has to go hand on hand with some kind of emasculation – in other words, while still behaving like a man – I reckon he's half way to cracking it. To surviving in the noughties, and not necessarily doing so in splendid isolation.
Oh, and it also helps if he's a good f*ck.