Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Another Reason to Hate Smoking Bans

In his book "The Tipping Point," Malcolm Gladwell cites a study from influential British psychologist Hans Eysenck when making a link between smoking and certain personality traits. He says:


In countless studies since Eysenck's grounbreaking work, this picture of the smoking "type" has been filled out. Heavy smokers have been shown to have a much greater sex drive than nonsmokers. They are more sexually precocious; they have a greater "need" for sex, and greater attraction to the opposite sex. At age nineteen, for example, 15 percent of nonsmoking white women attending college have had sex. The same number for white female students who do smoke is 55 percent.
This is why cities who ban smoking in bars have it so wrong. Think about the desperate dorky guy who regularly hits the bars hoping to trick a random "precocious" young lady into some lovin'. The City of Madison has removed a valuable arrow from that young man's quiver by not allowing him to see which girls at the bars smoke and which ones don't. This changes your odds significantly - we're talking about a 40 percent swing here.

Smoking issue aside, men have used nonverbal cues for centuries to pick out eligible mates. Tattoo? Check. Nose ring? Double check. Wearing a necklace with a marijuana leaf on it? Hit the family planning aisle ASAP. Wearing her UW Softball Team jersey? Run like the wind, my friend.

By removing these cues, men would waste infinite amounts of time talking to women with which they have no chance (for me, also known as "all women.") They have it easy in the animal world - when male monkeys go to monkey bars, they just have to find a girl monkey with a swollen buttocks. Dogs just have to make sure they don't have a stuffy nose, otherwise they're guaranteed to go home empty-pawed (where they will pour themselves a drink, have their way with a sofa leg, and pass out.)

The only other option, of course, is a process known as "dating," where apparently you are supposed to actually get to know a girl for a while. But this is a high risk proposition, as it can be expensive and cuts into your time normally spent attending license plate conventions.

I'm surprised that this ordinance wasn't more ardently opposed by nerdy college guys and guys with bad breath. Of course, that would make for a pretty unpleasant public hearing for everyone involved.

The nonverbal clues women offer you to hint that they don't want to go home with you are varied. They involve kicking you in the groin, pouring a drink on you, hiding under a table, and having their girlfriend beat you about the head, neck, and chest area.

And for the ladies that are looking for nonverbal clues as to whether a certain guy will go home with them, there is one telltale hint that says he will: He's alive.