6 Fs: How To Read Men's Eyes By Kyle Phoenix

 6 Fs: How To Read Men's Eyes By Kyle Phoenix
Friend, Flirt, Fuck  or False?
The joy of doing workshops with men for almost the past decade, focusing on relationships, identity, sexuality, etc., has been that I get invited to some really cool workshops myself.  Also when I've been managing programs, any one who's done it, knows that it's like trying to consistently book and produce engaging interesting talk shows every week.  I used to be responsible for doing it three days a week, for a total of about 20 hours AND provide substantial meals---lunch and dinner---for as many as 50 to 75 participants all on a micro budget.  I came up with the idea of scouring books and videos, devouring them and re-presenting them to the groups.  One time I lucked out and one of the writers was coming to Columbia University to present his books and do some informal workshops.  AND the sponsoring on campus group was providing a full dinner for all guests.  I signed up 30 men and trucked them about 20 blocks on a bus to the campus and walked happily into the seminar/lecture.
Fight?  Or Friendship/Fun?

What we learned there then spurred me to create a workshop/television show episode on MSM dealing with other MSM and the 6 F's.  It's a crowd pleaser and really fun to do in person.  I'll give you the outline here for you to consider and maybe even practice with.

Heterosexual people, I'll amend that to healthy heterosexual people, socially have 6 Forms of eye contact available to them:

1. Flight: you make eye contact with someone and they give you a menacing look from either the top of impending violence to just unease and you make haste and get away.  You're worried for your safety.  That's Flight.

2: Flee: eye contact again and they make a move and you flee.  Flee and Flight are similar but think of them as two ends of the continuum.  You might Flee from your Aunt with sticky hands coming over to pinch your cheeks at a family reunion.  She's not dangerous, just not desirable. (I recently went to my mother's birthday party and the family pedophile was there.  While I greeted him politely at the door, i spent the entirety of the party at the opposite side of the room from him.  I didn't leave but I didn't want to be in close proximity to him.)

3. Fealty (Friendship/Fun): this is generally between friends or family or lovers or even when you and another person standing on line at a store make eye contact and silently agree that the person ahead of you or the cashier has done something foolish or rude.  You agree with each other.  That connection is a form of loyalty or fealty.  That's warmth or gentleness or acceptance or love in your eyes.  You soften your gaze or you laugh with your eyes.  It's generally reserved for looking deeply at someone and accepting them. This is also part of love with lovers---I accept you, I like you, I want to be with you, I want to know you, I am interested in you.
4. Fight: someone looks at you fish-eyed or makes a move or you have to put some steel into your eyes to tell someone to back off or this will move into violence.  You've drawn a line and you have the look in your eyes.  That's Fight.  It means I am willing to get loud, enraged or violent about this right now--back off!

5. Flirt: you're checking someone out, admiring them physically, sending them an appreciative gaze or an agreement that they're "good" or you've gone even further and you're visibly sexually appraising them.  Flirt is complimentary but not overtly sexual.  It says: "Hey, you're attractive.  I like what I see on MANY levels."

6. Fuck: there's no way to get around this intense look of sexual appraisal and desire that's looking to be agreed with.  It is sometimes disarming or charming or alarming, depending on how you feel about the person.  But adults generally know it when it's leveled at them.

Now here's where it gets fun and where we compare sexualities.  Women are generally masterful at using all 6, recognizing all 6 and even mixing them.

Heterosexual men are generally good at only 4 of the 6 unless they practice.  Flight, Flee and Fight are generally where they drop off.  They've either learned or not learned how to do them effectively but it's okay because they don't often need them or use them as much in life.

What we found in the 30 man workshop on the trip to Columbia and subsequently when I've run this exercise with MSM, is that gay, bisexual, same gender loving men have trouble with knowing 2 or 3 well.  The first time I learned this concept I was surprised until we role-played it out.  Two groups of 15 men facing each other, cards handed to one man at a time of 1 of the 6 F's to flash intently at several men while walking past and then we had to answer what he was doing and if he'd done it right.

The setting suggests Flirt or Fuck
but look at his eyes,
is that what he's saying?
Most MSM had trouble flashing Fealty/Friendship, Flirt, and Flight & Flee was confused.  After doing it for a few minutes the teacher/psychologist then talked us through why it was difficult.  (Curiously enough there were about 75 men at the onset of the workshop.  When I brought in 30 Black men, half of them, who were White left.  I spoke to the teacher about this afterwards and he said it crosses racial groups---Flight, Flee, etc..  And as a second note while 30 of us lined up to do the exercise, 10 to 15 stood on the sidelines, anxious and nervous about "exposing themselves" in a group exercise.)

When we discussed the results, we learned that homosexual men learn Fight/Flee as a combo, Flirt and Fuck so they're really only operating with a half range of human eye communication.  The reasons why have to do with growing up Flight and Flee show fear or anxiety and essentially MSM learn to mask or hide those feelings when they're in groups telling fag jokes or baiting their sexuality.  Having a sexuality that includes men also means that you probably had crushes on your father, your brothers, your cousins, your classmates, your best friends or you found random, unavailable men (probably heterosexual) attractive (and still might) but it isn't always appropriate to display that attraction.  Homosexual men learn to lie.  But the lie isn't so much of a non-true as it's a blinding or a blindspot.
Fight, Flirt or False?

Think of it this way, you have a friend, we'll call him John.  John is very attractive and fun and sexy and heterosexual.  But you still find John attractive, however when he looks at you you never see Flirt or Fuck is his eyes and you definitely don't see Fight----what you see is Fealty/Friendship.  Which is okay but not what you might want.  His Fealty/Friendship comes off to you as Blank or the SEVENTH F----False.

7. False: when we make eye contact but guard, hide, obfuscate our true emotions and intentions.

All humans have a way of doing False but when confronted with manhood issues around Flight and Flee we come back with False.  And also when confronted with Friendship or Fealty we come back with False.  Why is this?  How many of you have had a secret crush on the John in your life but had to keep Fuck out of your eye contact to him?  Or had to double back and clean up Flirt so as not to lose a friend or a co-worker?

What the teacher showed us was how an sexuality that is unsupported in society growing up teaches you how to maintain False and only have Fight, Fuck and Flee.  He took us through an excellent exercise in Flirt----not Fuck, no sexual intent.  Simply admiration and compliment and appreciation that might or might not lead to Fuck.  It sounds easy and rudimentary I know but I always try to attach the seemingly easy to the often quoted.  Have you as an MSM noticed how so many men simply want sex?  They say they want something else, a relationship, love, etc. but all they seem to know how to do is have sex?

The further work we learned is that if a man has learned to only express his true self through Fuck then all of his ability to read signals is warped and all of his ability to send signals is limited.  He literally has a blindspot in communicating with men.  Have you ever known men who were positive every heterosexual man was interested in them or that they were being hostilely surveiled by other men? Men often use False to mask Flee and Flight because we're socially conditioned not to show those emotions.  Yet consider the range of emotions we miss SEEING when we don't know how they look or feel on ourselves?

I remember an incident with a friend who was positive that one of my students was passionately attracted to him.  I tried to gently explain that though the man in question had some feminine aspects, he was heterosexual.  But my friend persisted....and got humiliatingly shot down.  In thinking about it, I realized that the straight guy was often sending out Flirt to everyone because he was a flirtatious heterosexual man.  But to my homosexual friend his Flirt was being received as Fuck.  To me though, I received my students Flirt as a heterosexual man Flirting with me and never considered it sexually.

Which is another grand confusion---humans Flirt.  Humans who don't want to have sex with you will Flirt with you.  Men Flirt with Men but it has no sexual intent to it.  Homosexual men have their antenna up for Flirt from men to mean Fuck.

I was recently with a student getting suits tailored for him and the Fitting Room attendant and the Tailor were both men and helping him.  They would tell him what looked good, what didn't, how something fit, how the slacks should lay on his legs, in the front and even once that one slack looked better than another on his butt.  They meant nothing sexual by it but they went on about how such and such blazer made his shoulders look great and his arms look strong and brought out his face.  There was no sexual overtones but it was a level of Flirt, making him feel good, see himself in the appreciative light they were casting at him.

Back to the friend who was interested in my student.  What he didn't see was Friend in the young man's eyes.  Because Friend involves trust, safety, vulnerability.  What the young man was conveying along with Flirt (which is why I suspect he's so successful with women) is "I care about you", "I am a caring person".  But if you have learned to project False, you've also learned how NOT to see beyond a Fight about to happen, a neutral Friendship that you've already established no sexual interest, or a reason to emotionally or physically Flee.

So then how do MSM make friends?  Now that's a whole other column because it goes into establishing why you don't find another man attractive, which is a level of honesty, that you might disappear or distance from a Friend because it becomes painful to keep giving off False.

Now here's an even deeper question that men are left with after doing the workshop for a few hours and going through different images and identifying the eyes.  If there are so many pictures of men in less clothing, suggestive poses, pornography being posted all around you aimed at your sexuality but in your deepest human sense you can tell when an emotion is true in someone's eyes or at the very least spot False.  What emotions are your sexual interest pictures projecting at you, truthfully?  Not from your False blindspot.  And if you have a False blindspot, might that not account for your difficulty in finding a mate?  You simply can't READ them?  Or maybe that's why you're "attracted to straight men".

Yeah, we generally have to schedule another workshop for how to discern men after that.........

Thank you for reading,
Kyle Phoenix
Email: kylephoenixshow@aol.com
Website: http://kylephoenixsite.com/
Blog: http://kylephoenixshow.blogspot.com/2012
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