December 5, 2020

Social weather update: girls wolf-calling back in response to guy calling out first

At the end of last year and early part of this year, I detailed several "new" phenomena that signaled the end of the vulnerable refractory phase of the 15-year excitement cycle, and the beginning of the restless warm-up phase. "New" in the sense of they hadn't happened since the summer of 2015 at the very latest, and were more of a staple of the zeitgeist from 2005-2014 (a warm-up phase, and a manic phase).

One of those was girls in a car cat-calling guys (me). I felt sufficiently in-the-mood on Halloween to do some cat-calling of my own from the car. But it was from behind, since they were on the same side of the street, and we could only look sideways at each other as I passed them, which didn't leave much time for them to process what was going on and respond in kind.

So tonight I felt like experimenting a little, and made sure to look for a group of girls on the opposite side of the street, on the main drag through campus / downtown. Sure enough, despite the 30-something degree weather, there was a group of 5 or 6 girls in their early 20s, all dressed in short skirts and fishnet leggings, looking like they were heading somewhere with a goth / industrial / alt / e-girl theme.

Not that I don't appreciate the ones jogging around in yoga pants, but if you're showing your legs in near-freezing weather, you deserve the reward most.

So I howled out like a wolf -- OWW OWWWWWWW!!! -- and this time they had enough time to see me and process it all, and they all howled back using my exact same vowels and rhythm -- OWW OWWWWWWW!!! An entire pack of she-wolves out on the prowl, baying back at a random hot lone wolf guy. I honestly cannot remember the last time this happened, sometime during the heyday of '80s night around 2010, give or take.

I think it's important to make sure they can see you first, so they know it's not some ugly / creepy / soyboy guy, as they might worry if you called to them from behind. Even then they probably assume that an awkward dorky guy wouldn't have the balls to make such a public move on a group of girls, but still, don't leave any uncertainty in their minds.

Same reason why you don't ever approach a girl from behind to dance in a club -- even if she would want to dance with you, the event takes too long to process if she can't see you first, and she's going to instinctively feel awkward. Either she'll scurry away, or look tensely at her friend who can see you, to get a signal if it's a hot guy or a dorky guy. Bad spot to begin the interaction in.

Certainly your mileage may vary depending on how hot you are, and what music you're playing out the windows. ("Long Hot Summer" by Style Council tonight, despite the season, still set the flirtatious mood perfectly.) But even if you're not a follow-around-the-store hot guy, girls are still pretty forgiving when you're giving your best effort to flirt with them in public, especially where actual physical contact is not yet involved. If you and your normie friends are out driving around, and it doesn't look like you'd all be alone at a danceclub, just go for it and have some fun.

Cat-calling, wolf-howling, etc., are not going to get you laid right then and there -- and the girls know that. They won't interpret it as an awkward slide into their DMs, accidentally liking one of their selfies from 4 years ago on Instagram, or any of that other fake gay online shit. And therefore, there's a good chance they'll give you a signal of their own right back. It's just fun and exciting flirtation, meant to get everyone into a coming-out-of-their-shell mood.

The girls are signaling that they're out of their shell by making themselves presentable, and then actually presenting themselves for public evaluation. The guys signal that they're out of their shell by giving the girls a glowing evaluation.

You can't carry out this call-and-response ritual online, over text, etc. That's too pod-like. Girls feel no validation from it because it's the easiest thing in the world to send a text, so the guy isn't investing anything in them. And guys get no enjoyment either because sending a text, liking a tweet, etc., is not a ballsy move, so they don't feel their testosterone surge. Also, the timing is a nightmare online -- did they actually read it yet, when are they going to text back, etc.? When it's IRL, everything happens immediately and directly, so there's never a moment for either side's anxiety to build up. They just go with the flow.

One aspect of these interactions that I have not discussed yet is the impression they leave on everyone else in attendance, as it were. These are public spaces, filled by more bodies than just the two parties to the mating calls. Not only do these rituals change the mood and steer the behavior of the people directly participating, they alter the mood for everyone else as well.

"Wow, what kind of atmosphere are we in, where guys and girls are wolf-howling to each other in a densely packed public street? Horny levels must be going off the charts these days. Noted for future reference..."

These public spectacles can serve to shatter the conformity effect, when the time is right in the excitement cycle. If no one perceives anyone else to be bucking the trend of low-energy isolation, then even if they wanted to do so, they might just go along to get along. Maybe the timing is wrong. Maybe I'd be too weird. But once they see just a handful of other people breaking the "rule" and getting away with it, then all bets are off. Time for us to do a little cat-calling of our own.

One instance of the spectacle can alter the mindsets of dozens of others watching, and at least a few of them will perform the spectacle themselves before long, which propagates the phenomenon in an exponential fashion, as a social contagion.

Of course, you couldn't do this a few years ago during the height of the #MeToo vulnerable phase. It would have been poorly received by the girls, and the spectators would've taken it as a reminder to just keep to themselves for awhile longer.

But when you get the sense that the vibes are changing, risk-taking people can experiment to see what the reception is. And provided the time is right, they've just kicked off a return to the fun and flirtatious climate of the last restless warm-up phase (in the late 2000s).

Happy to do my part for the greater good of society.

I've been meaning to write a brief review of Miley Cyrus' new album Plastic Hearts, but in the meantime, here's an apropos track (featuring "Billy Fucking Idol," as the CD booklet says):

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