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- The Red Pill Primer For Boys
Friday, June 27, 2014
But the best proposed method for reliable male birth control isn't a hormone-based therapy. It's a minor surgical intervention that renders the patient effectively sterile for a ten-year period of time. RISUG, or Vasagel, has proven effective and safe in initial clinical trials in India.
Because it's a surgical intervention and not a drug, there isn't much corporate support for the procedure, but its promise has attracted individuals to contribute to the incredible expense of funding FDA testing. And the promise is fantastic. Essentially, a microscopic device is injected into the vas deferens, where its crystalline structure effectively shreds the sperm before ejaculation. After ten years the structure breaks down and the patient returns to normal fertility. Or the device can be flushed away surgically with another minor procedure.
But for ten solid years you don't have to worry about getting anyone pregnant accidentally. The power to conceive is under your control, as a man. You are no longer a potential victim of reproductive coercion.
That's not a term you hear often enough, although the effect is widely known. When a woman gets pregnant (or pretends to, or convinces herself she is) in order to extract a commitment from a man without his knowledge or permission, that's reproductive coercion. It's the other side of "using sex as a weapon". Unfortunately, things rarely work out well for either the man who has been coerced or his off-spring.
In the discussion about sexual violence the issue of reproductive coercion rarely comes up. The talk begins and usually ends centered on rape and violent sexual assault, acquaintance rape and sexual entitlement. But the issue of sexual violence is not complete without putting reproductive coercion on the table for discussion. If rape is morally wrong - and it is - then extorting an unwanted commitment from a man is equally wrong.
It's a Red Pill fact that a goodly portion of marriages are the result of a little blue line on a plastic stick and a True Love rationalization, not the careful vetting and examination they should be. The status quo tends to run like this: Jack and Jill go off to college, hook up with a bunch of people before getting thrown together for a weekend at the beach, knocking boots out of boredom and opportunity, and six weeks later, after both have moved on, Jill shows up at Jack's dorm with a wet stick and a blue line. June wedding and married student housing, or perhaps a semester off, if they elect to make a go of it.
Of course it really could be True Love - or boiling hormones - that provides the chemistry that turns that little line blue. Or it could be a calculated ploy on the part of an ambitious or desperate girl, pure reproductive coercion. Or it could be a simple mistake that neither of the principals feels ready to contend with, but because of moral obligation or their own youthful optimism they dive in anyway.
Whether inspired by a belief in True Love, a genuine mistake, or a cynical and calculated ploy to secure a given man, the result is the same: a child has been conceived without the father's knowledge or permission. His conscious right to choose his reproductive future has been usurped. While it takes two to tango, he is not the one leading the reproductive dance. A woman is ultimately responsible for what happens to her body, one way or another, and a man is at her mercy at even telling him about the child. He is not in control of his own reproductive freedom.
So . . . what would happen if he was?
Imagine, for a moment, a world in which a sixteen year old boy went in for his summer camp physical, and while he was getting his vaccinations caught up they took twenty minutes to put his reproductive life on pause. With no chance of getting anyone pregnant until he was 26, what different kind of future does he face?
Imagine a world where a young man has a leisurely amount of time to cultivate a career, pursue a degree, develop a skill or master a profession, without the looming, lingering danger of unwanted pregnancy. Imagine the shift in power as the ability for a woman to have a child comes under male review and approval.
The procedure is not expensive - around $1000 - and it appears to be perfectly safe. If one assumes that any teenage boy with a brain in his head and a future ahead of him would take advantage of such a procedure, then only the very low-status, low-quality males would be casually fertile. Competition for high-quality males would be extremely high among women, forcing even more competition for the Big C-Commitment of an engagement ring. When a woman's ability to conceive is reduced to her ability to attract a man who finds her worthy enough to flip the switch and have a baby with her, the rules of the SMP change dramatically.
The "I can always get knocked up by a handsome stranger" fall-back position offers great consolation to women unable to master the intricacies of a heterosexual relationship long enough to have a baby. Most sexually-active women go out of their way to avoid pregnancy with an essential random, for fear of his real status and the social consequences of reproducing without a reliable mate. But if the majority of decent dudes are voluntarily sterile, then even that possibility vanishes. But that would not be the boon to women you might imagine.
As the Wall inevitably approaches, the reproductive instinct, combined with generous contributions from the Rationalization Hamster, allow a given woman to rationalize lowering her standards to take advantage of the large pool of dudes who want a regular piece of ass and possibly a relationship, muddle through with Beta Bucks and start looking around for some Alpha on the side while soon-to-be ex-hubby raises the kids. That's the status quo for all too many poor Beta dudes who think they've found True Love when what their wives are thinking Starter Husband. As long as she's got a few good eggs and a willingness to go wild for an unsuspecting Alpha, she has a potential escape hatch and the rationalizations and legal remedies to use it.
But what happens when that option is, for all practical purposes, off the table? When any hypergamy-inspiring hot Alpha who walks into her life is in control over his own reproductive destiny, the biological escape hatch is closed. And when she has to ask her husband's permission to have a baby, she has lost the innate power of her feminine reproductive biology.
It goes beyond that, of course. When the Betas-and-below can effectively control their reproductive freedom, the ability for a woman to secure a reliable provider with her reproductive biology without his consent . . . vanishes. She must rely on her sexuality and her (shudder) personality to convince a given man that she is worthy enough to bear his children. The burden of proving herself falls to her, as mother, not to him, as father and provider.
The result: teenage pregnancy drops, and accidental pregnancies of all types plummet. Male fertility - a commodity so plentiful it's currently essentially free on the SMP - suddenly has value. Men of quality get the procedure as a matter of course. Most of the middle class, naturally. Any smart boy on his way to college would certainly do it. Same thing for the military forces - who wouldn't? No need to worry about pregnancy if you don't have to, right?
And then the power in the SMP shifts. When women have to compete, really compete for a man's commitment, not just for provision and protection but for access to his genes, then the social pressures change and the idea of commitment becoms a lot more clear-cut. Marriage becomes re-entwined with reproduction as it becomes clear that a solid marriage is the best guarantee of quality children raised in a reliably stable family. Men who are able to demonstrate that kind of ability by their late 20s suddenly gain huge capital in the SMP, and they will be quick to re-write the rules of commitment. Without the potential of "Guess what, honey? You're gonna be a daddy!" looming over them they are free to insist on a far stronger commitment than the drive-by matrimony that persists today.
Of course the Puerarchy explodes with horny young dudes who can't get a girl pregnant, thus obscuring the future good family men from being easily identified in the competition altogether. When "extended adolescence" means being sterile until you're 26-28, life for a young man becomes one long pussy-party. Even having a steady girlfriend doesn't mean as much. The moment she brings up the idea of a serious commitment without the biological bond of a child, the youth in question is forced to look just at her, not at their offspring, when making that decision. And let's face it, ladies, many of you just won't measure up under that kind of scrutiny.
The process of conception requires his positive approval, not just his passive cooperation. Without that bullet to dodge, the Puerarch is able to really enjoy his youth in ways that make feminists everywhere shudder.
RISUG gives men the chance to really plan and execute their life's ambitions without concern for premature distractions. With the smug knowledge that our sexual capital only improves with our age, instead of depreciating like a woman's, such control over our genetic destiny gives men the room to make far more intelligent, informed choices about where and when they want to father children, and with whom. It puts a premium on the Dad skills and abilities, and makes the stakes in Combat Dating much, much higher for women. It puts the balance of reproductive power in masculine hands, and increases the competitive drive among women.
Of course that also frees up his dating life, too. Without the danger of unexpected pregnancy, he just has the minefield of STDs and batshit crazy to navigate, and that's not nearly as fate-changing, usually, as bringing a kid into the world. With a modicum of Game knowledge, the Dad-to-be can sow his oats like an Alpha for a decade. That's likely to make him generally less commitment-happy, and genuinely instruct him on the nature of women. And that's going to be very frustrating to the Beta-girl who suddenly fines herself desperately
And most importantly, it makes responsible fatherhood a valuable commodity. The worse the Puerarchs behave in their cock-sure shenanigans, the more the stability of a well-seasoned male will be valued by women who want to be mothers. Watch the age of first marriage climb for men, and over-all marriage rates fall yet lower.
The blowback against feminism would be severe. When femininity is valued, feminism loses force. Arguing for a lean-in career path which almost certainly dooms your chances of reproduction loses credibility in the face of observable truths.
Revalorizing marriage and family by re-valuing fatherhood and paternalism - and, yes, Patriarchy - leaves women with stark choices when it comes to their futures. They would either have to commit to a childless future as a corporate drone, dying lonely and covered in cats, or they will play the game that gets them pregnant, by the rules made by those who control the tap. Feminism will be a hollow ideology. When men hold their future children hostage to their will, women will reflect more deeply on the whole issue of equality. And we'll see a lot less emphasis within the Matrix on conquering the corporate world, and more emphasis on escaping it . . . by becoming a wife and mother to a worthy man.
Also, capitulating to popular demand as a test I'm letting folks take a look at a Red Pill Primer for Boys, set up as a Google Presentation. Here's the intro. Let me know what you think.
Monday, January 27, 2014
The premise of the argument is that if competition and ambition are good for women to demonstrate, then caring and compassion and a desire to raise their children and be a part of their lives are just as good for men to demonstrate. Because, according to Slaughter "We don't observe that desire on the part of many men today, in the same way that we didn't used to see the competitive side of women."
This, despite the fact that there are tens of thousands of men who desperately desire to do just that, but have been prohibited from doing so by a women-oriented family court system. This, despite the dramatic rise in the number of dads who are dispensing care and enjoying it. Despite this gross misrepresentation of the deep masculine desire to father (she can't bring herself to use the term, selecting the gender-neutral "caregiving" instead), Slaughter insists "Men are still socialized to groom their competitive instincts and suppress their caring sides."
You wanna know why? It's a big secret: because sex is the primary motivational factor in a man's life, and being socialized to groom their caring sides gets them personally, socially, and psychologically mangled in the pursuit of that motivating factor. Men groom their competitive instincts because they compete for the attention and the sexual availability of women. And yes, we are groomed to suppress our caring sides, because over-empathizing with your competitors is counter-indicated to the whole idea of competition. But to conclude that it is therefore missing or underdeveloped is an error.
That's equivalent of a dude bragging to his friends, “Yeah, she’s got a face like a trainwreck and she’s lousy in the sack, but she makes so much cash I don’t have to lift a goddamn finger!” It might be a practical advantage, but you don’t score social points for it. On the contrary, you lose points.
That leaves the Beta AFCs who become domesticated out of economic necessity, who might be attracted to the vitality of a corporate feminist but who is under the mistaken impression that he can expect the kind of domestic loyalty and rejection of hypergamy he thinks marriage entails.
At the very best, you will always live a contentious life of negotiated intimacy and rigid boundaries that makes a mockery of the partnership of marriage. These corporate feminists who suddenly see a husband as this season’s must-have accessory to break the glass ceiling, not a partner worthy of a life-changing commitment. To them, their careers will always take priority over their relationships, their children, and their families.
Men value a husband based on how well his family functions and how he gets along with his wife, and his domestic responsibilities are part of that reflection but not a significant part. Women value a husband in a lot of ways, and caregiving is certainly among them, but the idea of basing their mating preferences on a man’s nurturing is foreign to feminine sensibilities.
While you talk of valuing these men for their caregiving, you do so in a feminist climate that has continuously denigrated the roles of husband and father for four decades. What you propose instead is an emasculating and matronizing rationalization of a dysfunctional system.
Praising men for being more like women does no one favors. It certainly doesn’t help those poor AFCs stuck in the shadows of their wives until they get discarded.
Quite the contrary, it’s just cruel of you. Stop objectifying husbands like they were handbags. It makes you look fat.
Thursday, November 21, 2013
Monday, November 11, 2013
I'm not faulting them - in all honestly, realistic portrayals of well-functioning married couples in popular culture are pretty thin on the ground, and its unlikely they can look to their parent's generation for insight. But part of managing a relationship is understanding how to manage conflict. And in marital conflict, like any other conflict, there can be agreed-upon and religiously-adhered-to Rules of Engagement to keep things productive.
I've blogged about these before, back in the mists of time, but they bear repeating, and I'm not above stealing from myself when I think it is timely. And no, not because Mrs. I and I have been fighting recently. I just know a lot of newly married people.
Mrs. Ironwood and I came up with these before we ever got married (we lived together for 6 years first. I was pretty sure I wanted to marry her 4 years into the relationship, but when you're planning on only marrying one girl . . . better to wait two more years and be sure.). We had the help of a highly skilled marriage counselor, one of the very, very few I've known worth the money. These Rules were mutually understood and agreed-upon before we got married. They are designed to keep things productive.
1) No yelling. Reasonable tones only. Over-shouting the other person is rude and does not lend weight to your argument. NO YELLING is the very first rule. Yelling is a clear attempt to establish dominance without having
won an argument. That's disrespectful not just to your partner, but to the marriage as a whole. Worse, when a man yells in an argument it demonstrates he has lost his cool. (Yelling at your children to get their attention, or increasing your tone to denote emotional emphasis of a particular point, is different than yelling in a fight with your wife). As an axiom to this, I'll add "No interrupting". Interrupting is as much of an attempt at conversational dominance as yelling. Indeed, just as yelling is the masculine preferred method of establishing social dominance, interrupting is how women usually do it. Maintaining reasonable tones and allowing your partner to finish their thought without your input is fundamental.
2) No name calling. That's disrespectful. This is your spouse, and calling them names is hurtful and unproductive. If some behavior is unacceptable, call it out as such. Don't just say "You're such a cunt!", because you shouldn't let anyone call your wife a cunt without repercussions. That includes you.
3) Stick to one topic at a time. Don't fight about that thing you did last week. Or last vacation. Or last year. Or on your wedding day. The conflict is here-and-now, and unless there is a reason to bring the past in as
prologue, expanding the scope of your argument does no one any favors.
4) No ultimatums. That's contrary to the spirit of the discussion. You are having an argument. It doesn't mean the end of your love for each other, the end of your relationship, or the end of your marriage. It's a fucking argument. Keep your emotions under control and deal with things productively and move on. It's not a sign of the end, or a reason to say "I'm unhappy". Married people fight. Happily married people fight. Hell, happily married people fight the most, sometimes. Allowing your ego and your feelings to be a springboard to some bullshit ultimatum that can't be un-said is in no one's best interest. If you feel like throwing out an ultimatum, give yourself 24 hours to think about it. If you still feel that way, start a separate discussion about it.
5) No chase-and-follow. Handle your business face to face in your own home without involving other people.
6) No involving other people. This is between us. Trying to get other people to support your position against your spouse is a recipe for a general social shit-storm, and repercussions that last far beyond the argument itself. When the Female Social Matrix gets involved in your marriage, you have problems far in excess of what you asked for. Keep private things private, by mutual consent. Unless someone needs to affirm or deny as a witness - in which case you have some trust issues to work out - your argument is your argument, no one else's.
7) No ad hominem attacks. They are rude and intellectually dishonest. As a man it is a good example of a loss of control - DLV. As a woman, it is a demonstration of disrespect contrary to the spirit of the discussion - DLV. You may disagree with their behavior or their perspective, that does not make them less of a person or unworthy of your respect and love. Even if the problem is habitual, it is not usually indicative of a flaw in someone's character.
8) No kidney punches, i.e. hitting the other person's acknowledged weak spots. After nearly 20 years, we know where those are. If your husband/wife had an alcoholic parent, for example, comparing them to that parent would be considered a kidney punch.
9) No involving the children. This is a debate between adults. It should not be held in the presence of children, nor should children be privy to the after-effects. Your first responsibility as parents is to ensure a safe and happy childhood for your kids, and watching parents fight is rarely a good thing. Especially in an age where their friends' parents are divorcing so rapidly, it is unfair of you to inflict your sophisticated adult discussions on minds who lack the adult context to understand them properly. All they know is that mommy and daddy are fighting, and they're anxious, and they're worried that they'll have to take sides. Do your fighting in a room with the door closed. Like your love making, it doesn't require witnesses.
10) No profane language. If you can help it. Emotions get high, and invective will of course be used in an adult discussion. But don't go overboard. Emphasizing a point with a calmly-delivered f-bomb is one thing; having "motherfucker" fall too oft from your lips undermines your credibility. And it detracts from your point, whatever that is.
That's the general guideline.
Our friends think we never fight, but we do -- we just agreed to the rules ahead of time. We've managed to stick to this set of rules for two decades, and maintaining them has helped us get through some dark times, even when the Rules worked against us, personally. And that's not to say that both of us haven't occasionally violated one of the less-important of the above rules at various points, including Yelling. When that happens, it's time to call a "time out" and walk away for some silent contemplation, marshal your resources, etc.. It stretches out the fight, but it's better than a trip to the emergency room.
(If you want to improve the efficacy of employing these rules, you may gain considerable leverage by fighting naked.)
Oh, and the unofficial #11?
Wednesday, August 7, 2013
One of my long-time readers came to me with a problem: after working with her husband to overcome some BETA issues and ALPHA him up a bit to generally good effect, the dude back-slid after an argument into nearly full Blue Pill BETA supplicant mode, much to her dismay and mild disgust. But as she is committed to the relationship, she wanted to know how to repair that damage.
So I discussed it with Mrs. Ironwood for a while and she pointed out that it can be difficult to be assertive from a submissive position without coming across as the typical "bossy bottom" (a term borrowed from Lambdaworld to describe the submissive partner in the relationship who is actually in charge, usually through a multitude of passive-aggressive and emotionally manipulative actions). No one likes a bossy bottom.
But that doesn't mean a wife is powerless to affect change in a nascent Red Pill relationship, nor is she automatically at the mercy of her husband's whim. When a Red Pill husband accidentally shifts into reverse, a Red Pill wife has a chance to give him a way back, if she is bold enough. You don't do that by bitching, nagging, whining, or pleading. You do that by issuing a challenge.
Now, every man wants to feel like a heroic knight in shining armor in his relationship, and while that implies plenty of dreary damsel rescuage, it also implies a dedication to a quasi-mystical quest. So when things are amiss in the usual ALPHA-BETA, Male/Female equation to the point where your dude starts whining or moping instead of manfully handling his business, not only do you as a Red Pill wife and First Officer have a responsibility to the ship to point it out in a respectful way, but you have an agency to restore that equilibrium.
Just as you can Extend an Invitation to give him a nudge in the right direction, creating the space to impel him toward a more ALPHA presentation, when he fucks up you can give him a way back by Issuing A Challenge.
Now, you have to be careful about this, because it has the possibility of blowing up on you if you aren't. You must make your dude understand that this isn't just an ordinary hysterical shit-test, it's a very deliberate and calculated Shit Test. Indeed, it isn't a classical Shit Test by virtue of its restorative power. Traditionally, by acceeding to the Shit Test you lose no matter what: even if you do what she wants, she loses respect for you for caving in when you really should have stood your ground.
Issuing a Challenge is more involved. First, it should be well-established just WHY you are issuing the challenge in the first place. Let's pretend, for example, that Mrs. Ironwood and I had a fight, and instead of being all ALPHA like she wants me to be, I cave in and go into obsequious BETA mode until she's ready to strangle me. The first part of Issuing the Challenge revolves around identifying the behavior you wish to correct.
"Ian, you're being a spineless bastard. I'm sick of this BETA attitude of yours, and I'm calling a flag on that play." Okay, so she really wouldn't talk like that, but I've reduced a twenty-minute conversation to the headline. "I really don't feel as attracted to you when you're like this, and I'm not happy about it." She doesn't need to add the insulting "Man Up!" because that's, well, insulting when it comes from a woman. "I'm not happy about it" is sufficient to demonstrate the limits of his behavior.
Second, once you've established WHY, you need to establish HOW. "Ian, I know you didn't mean to go all Blue Pill Beta on me, so I'm going to assume you just had a bad day and got sand in your panties. However, you did hurt my feelings, and yeah, I'm a woman, so that's important. I need to feel like you're in charge again, or we're going to start fighting again. So . . . I'm going to give you a week to think about it, and while you're thinking, perhaps you could do something to demonstrate both your contrition at being a pussy and your devotion to your own masculinity. If you can't come up with something creative in a week . . . well, let's not dwell on such an unpleasant possibility."
(Again, severely reducing the convo.)
When setting the goal of the Quest, it is important to keep it a) achievable and b) challenging. I'm a writer. If Mrs. I challenged me to write . . . well, pretty much anything, that wouldn't be much challenge. The English language is my bitch. I've written everything from menus to major novels. Poetry? In my sleep.
But if she challenged me to, say, sing her a song in front of a crowd that would stretch my meager vocal talent to the limit . . . and be an impressive feat if I could actually follow up on it with less than four beers in me.
Don't make the Quest about tangible gain or reward ("I want an emerald bracelet!") because that is both unimaginative and ignoble; the point of the exercise is to get your dude's creative juices flowing in a positive direction. You want to inspire him, not discourage him. Reducing the challenge to his ability to shell out cash is banal and pointless. "I want an emerald bracelet . . . that you design and build yourself, down to mining and cutting the gemstones" is an achievable and challenging goal.
A week and a Quest, as well as some parameters: both manly AND contrite. And, I know up front, the more it references my devotion to her and my family, the crazier the reward when I'm done. The woman issuing the challenge must understand that the juice has to be worth the squeeze, i.e. Herculean effort deserves Dionysian reward. If you're gonna be ballsy enough to issue a challenge to your man, you'd better be woman enough to fulfill the reward appropriately.
Once you've established What you want changed, and given him some idea of How you'd like to see it . . . step back. Don't harp on it. If possible, do something or establish something that is a visible, silent reminder of the challenge, but don't mention it again. The Mission has been given. The Quest has begun. The Challenge has been issued. A simple reminder, a token of that ongoing mission, is helpful to keep the matter present in both of your minds without it becoming a point of contention.
To that end, don't let him talk about it with you. That spoils it. Part of the magic of this is that after you have set the parameters, your biggest role in this should be that of observer and audience. You've given him an opportunity, now it is up to his masculine whiles to fulfill it. If he consults with you, asks your advice, etc. then he's falling prey to Solomon's Dilemma, and you should politely feign not understanding what the hell he's talking about. If he needs clarification, that's one thing, but the point of the exercise is to give him an opportunity to impress you, and if you're holding his hand the whole way, that ain't gonna happen. The token should be enough reminder of what he needs to do.
Then give him a while. It might be a long while. You might find it hard to cultivate patience. But don't give up hope, not until he admits defeat. That should be a crushing blow to his ego, and if he truly cannot rise to your challenge after giving it his best, then either the challenge was too hard or the man was too soft. Re-think it, re-issue it, and give him another shot.
The goal here isn't to make your dude into a limp-diked Beta. The goal is to give him something tangible to aspire to, a quest to perform, a mission to accomplish.
Here's an example: A few years ago, Mrs. Ironwood was standing in front of her highly-disorganized closet trying to get ready for work, and despite the cubic miles of fine textiles on display for her, she declared that she couldn't find anything to wear . . . and blamed her shitty closet.
"I would give just about anything to have a decent closet!" she declared.
"Anything?" my penis asked.
"What do you think?" she asked, her eyes narrowing. It was a casual mention, and she briefly told me what her ideal would be like, but that was the extent of her direction.
I let her forget about the conversation for a few weeks, made some secret sketches and preparations, and then the next time she went out of town on business I descended on Lowe's like an avenging horde. I put all three kids to work, and spent all weekend completely gutting and redesigning her closet. There was a light inside, a shoe rack, three tiers of clothes racks (one full one for dresses, two demis for tops and pants), lingerie drawer, baskets for dry-clean only and delicates, hooks for bras, the works. I didn't have to tear out any walls or doors, but when she got home for the reveal, well, she was impressed.
Impressed enough to do Anything.
At the time it wasn't a conscious thing, but the whole idea of issuing challenges became a part of our marital culture. Most recently, as Mrs. Ironwood has taken up her new role as stay-at-home-wife-and-mother (!), I've turned the tables on her a bit, issuing a few challenges of my own.
She's been doing almost all of the cooking, which is a HUGE departure for us both. I've been cooking for twenty years, and approach the subject as an art. She's far more literal, has little natural talent or intuition with cooking, and approaches the matter as a science. So asking her to cook anything is a Big Deal.
But I wanted to encourage her pursuit, as reluctant as she was, without being either condescending (which would sap her confidence) or preachy (which would piss her off). She's done magnificently, thus far, and can now turn an omelette as well as the children. But I wanted to give her something a little more confidence-building than bacon-and-eggs. So I issued her a Challenge.
I didn't expect a quick turn-around, but since our anniversary (22 years) rolled around August 1, she decided to act on it. My challenge was for her to cook me lumpias, a kind of Filipino fried egg-roll I became enamored with, due to a strange series of circumstances involving moonshine and a huge cast-iron kettle and a cute little Filipino woman, back in the mists of time. I've only had them a half-dozen times, but they're exquisite. Papa Ironwood still recalls his first experience with them at Subic Bay fondly after 40 years, although he never fails to mention that the ones he tried likely had monkey meat instead of pork.
If you've never had them, they're a treat. They're somewhat like traditional Chinese egg rolls, but instead of a lot of cabbage or bok choy, lumpias are often made with pork and sweet potatoes or carrots. It's not a difficult dish, exactly, but it is time-consuming, takes a lot of prep work, and involves a deep fryer. It was, in other words, a worthy Challenge to my wife's nascent cooking abilities.
She surprised me Anniversary night when I got home with a whole assembly-line of lumpias. I hadn't given her more than "I'd really love it if you'd learn how to make lumpias", and she ran with it. And yes, I was impressed, so impressed that I broke out the Third Anniversary Present that night, made us both cry, and proceeded to the more sweaty and sticky portion of the evening.
Ladies, if your dude is lagging, then consider Issuing him a Challenge. It's an opportunity for him to impress you, surprise you, delight you and astound you . . . without you chewing him out for screwing anything up. It gives him the opportunity to demonstrate his competence and ingenuity. And it gives him a tangible, achievable goal toward which to work. And sometimes that's all we need to get us out of our own heads.