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Are We On A Date? (Pt 1) by Ben Weston

I was waiting for her at the bar and still wasn’t sure if it was a date.

[phone vibrates]

“I’m so sorry to be late to our first business meeting.”

Ok, so maybe it’s not a date.

After hanging out for about 20 minutes she says, “You know, when I first met you, I thought you were too charming to have any substance.”

Thank you!

Wait...that’s flirting, right? So it’s a date now?

---

I’ve recently been having private conversations with men around the Aziz Ansari news and #MeToo movement.

One thing that keeps coming up is feeling like you either can’t or it's unclear how to express your desires with women.

I get it. Expressing your desires is vulnerable and scary but you still want to be masculine and assertive, all the while not crossing any boundaries.

The problem is, I feel like the current models of behavior for men don’t do the job.

We have romantic comedies where the hero is a guy that keeps pursuing his love interest in spite of her numerous attempts to tell him “no”. Eventually she relents, says yes, and realizes he’s the man of her dreams.

(Why John Cusak, why?)

And then we have the pick up artist world where one of the first things you're taught is literally how to give a backhanded compliment to a woman -- a “neg” -- meant to show that you’re the kind of guy that’s NOT interested in her.

Good lord.

Keep pursuing her in spite of her repeated and clear “no” or pretend that you’re not interested in her?

Bob, I’ll choose what’s behind door #3, please.

---

As our “business meeting” progressed it felt like we were flirting and hitting it off but I still wasn’t sure where she was at.

Maybe she was just naturally flirty but didn’t mean anything from it?

I honestly had no clue.

After she finished sharing a story, I told her: “I have to confess - I’m having some difficulty focusing on what you’re saying because I’m finding myself really attracted to you.”

Without any hesitation, she responds with: “Oh, I know. But before you kiss me...”

Now, at the time of writing this, I’ve already spent several minutes desperately trying to remember what she said after that but I think in my excitement over her saying the words “kiss me” I zoned out a bit.

 :)

But I remember the gist of the message: wait.

We left to try to find dinner, finally locating a BBQ joint still serving food at that hour.

At some point after our pulled pork sandwich and fish tacos arrived she turned to me and asked, “May I kiss you?”

“Sweet Jesus, yes please!” is what I thought in my head.

I am 100% positive that I looked waaaaaay cooler giving a deep, manly “Yes” and leaning in.

(Damn, I really hope so)

Sure, that whole evolution from telling her I was attracted to her and her eventually asking to kiss me looks nothing like a typical romantic comedy setup or what pickup artists teach.

But damn, it’s just so much *easier* being upfront. I don’t want to be constantly guessing.

Plus, I find it extremely sexy when a woman is that direct with what she wants.

[Update: click here to find out what she had to say about the evening]

I Still Haven't Watched My TED Talk by Ben Weston

7/7/14
I didn’t realize I'd be giving an actual TED talk until I walked into the TED headquarters for rehearsal and there was Chris Anderson, owner and curator of TED.

He was there to watch and give feedback. And 60 Minutes was there to do a TV segment.

Maybe I shouldn’t have worn a ratty tank top and jeans.

After my rehearsal talk he said, “This has the potential to go big and make a huge impact.”

After my talk the night of the event, he walked on stage and said, “I bet that if we put that video up on the TED site now, it would get thousands of views instantly…most of those views coming from me watching it over and over again.”

Sadly, despite the high praise from him and other members of the TED team, I was emailed months later that I would not be put up on their site.

I received that email on my birthday.

I still haven’t watched the video, but I know I am *damn* proud of how I showed up that night.

And I know there’s at least one man out there that can be impacted by this message.

An Asian Magic Mike - Dance Film by Ben Weston

I just spent 6 months to make a video of me giving a lap dance.

Here’s why:

1. It’s a video for my 15 year old self, the kid in his basement room that made a check list titled: “How To Be a Man”

(I still have it)

It was what I believed I needed to look and be like before I could be sexually desirable:

- Have biceps that strain my shirt sleeves
- Have pectorals that look like Batman’s chest plates
- Be less sensitive
- Be more aggressive
- Be cockier
- Have piercings
- Have tattoos

I thought I needed to look and be like the love child of Mark Wahlberg and Johnny Depp.

This belief lasted long past high school and still has some of its tentacles wrapped around me.

So, this video is for my 15 your old self that still lives on. You can rest now, playa.

You fine as hell.

2. There are very few things that piss me off. The fact that Asian men in Hollywood are never the romantic lead or portrayed as being sexually powerful - THAT pisses me off.

How many times has Jackie Chan saved the day and home-boy still doesn’t get any?

Jet Li was god damn R-O-M-E-O in “Romeo Must Die” and still nothing?!

I may not be able to whoop ass like those OGs, but I can body roll like a mo’fo and will do my part to show that Asian men can be sexy AS FUCK.

This leads right into the final reason.

3. As much as I love both Magic Mike movies, there was an egregious omission in both of them - an Asian brotha.

But don’t you worry, Channing Tatum - I got you.

I’m your Asian Magic Mike.

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Directed by: Ben Weston
Featuring: Ben Weston, Alyssa Adkins
Director of Photography: Matthew Alvero
Edited by: Ben Weston, Matthew Alvero
Camera Operator: Wendell Alvero
Song: "Go Fuck Yourself" - Two Feet