Women often ask men to advise men on how to interact with women, but who am I to preach? I can share a story that I’ve seen re-enacted hundreds of times over the years. The story about a lone cowboy. It is heteronormative and exaggerated. Still, it carries an important message to some men out there.
It starts with an older man longing intimacy and connection. He is our lone cowboy. And there is a princess in the story. She is young and beautiful. And new to exploring the wildlands of sexuality. The magical bell strikes midnight. It’s prom night.
real life: it might be an actual tango club, or a rope workshop, or a munch gathering, or a play party retreat
The lone cowboy searches the kingdom for the youngest and fairest one. She can feel his gaze penetrating the thickest castle walls, so she quickly marries her nerdy and boring older sister.
real life: usually this happens in slow motion with awkward courtesy and fake smiles
The lone cowboy stands alone. Around him, everyone is dancing. Maybe there is another lone cowboy around for some friendly (and to everyone else disturbing) banter.
The thing is, all around him there is plenty of women in roughly his age, who would love to pair up with him. Because they also dream about intimacy and connection while their average joe man is at home watching sports and drinking beer. These are wise women who know what they want and could easily teach our lone cowboy how to please a lady. The princess has no idea (yet). She is busy being mesmerized by the wildland leafs and creeks.
In a way our lone cowboy is an anti-hero because he is trying to learn a situation where most men don’t even try. He has everything to gain, but he fails because his fantasy outruns his reality.
Everyone in the kingdom is unhappy. The beautiful princess is married to her nerdy and boring sister instead of exploring the wildlands. The older court ladies are dying out of boredom. The average joes are snoring on the sofa with the TV still on while the world is dying. And the lone cowboy is still alone.
The story could end here with a disappointed cowboy walking away towards the sunset, but as every good story, it has a twist. This cowboy came back, he repeated the same mistake a few times, but eventually, he learns. So one prom when the bell strikes midnight he asks a woman of his own generation. She gladly accepts and he is eager to learn. It might still be a bit awkward but he walks away as a winner. He did it. So he comes back again and now he knows what to do. He succeeds again and again. He is becoming known and popular in the kingdom. And all of a sudden, the princess sees an experienced, empathic and self-confident ranger in the wildlands.
Is he still interested in her? I don’t know.
real life: in my experience, 2/3 of the older men actually prefer a woman over a young girl, once they have learnt how to interact with women.