Game in St. Elmo’s Fire, part 2 (the betas and oneitis)
See the previous post: Game in St. Elmo’s Fire, part 1 (the alphas)
As explained in the previous post, Andrew McCarthy and Emilio Estevez play beta-male characters (Kevin and Kirby). Both of these characters suffer from what “game” experts call “oneitis.” Now I’m not a game expert, but I will try to explain the movie from the “game” point of view.
Oneitis is the term used to describe a condition where a man becomes infatuated and obsessed with one single female. He is so hung up on her that he spends each and every day thinking about her and what she is doing. He will do anything and everything to be with or around her whenever he can. Oneitis can be extremely dangerous to a man’s mental health. He will pass up on girls who come his way waiting for this one “extra special” girl. The thing that make oneitis so sad is the self sabotage that will take place from spending so much mental energy trying to get “the one”. Usually oneitis is pretty one sided. Typically the girl does not want anything to do with the man who is pursuing her in a romantic sense. And this makes it pretty hard on the guy when all of his efforts of ‘wooing’ this particular female go unnoticed and result in failure time and time again.
Some other sites compare oneitis to a disease or mental disorder, and the cure is often said to be FTOW which stands for “fuck ten other women.” (“Game” sites often use vulgar language to make their point.) It does seem logical that after having sex with ten women, the psychological result would be that (1) no single woman seems special after that; and (2) the man has the confidence that he can have sex with number 11 or number 12 if he wanted to so is far less likely to feel dependent or needy with a single woman.
The “cure” however brings with it the sadness that the woman who the man eventually marries will also never seem special to him. I suspect that marriages were a lot happier back in the day when both the man and the woman were virgins on their wedding day. A Vietnamese girl who never had sex with anyone besides her husband said that her husband was very good at sex. One suspects that if she had the experience of sex with an alpha bad-boy like Rob Lowe, then she might have gone through the rest of her life not thinking that sex with her husband was great, which is very sad: which is why I view Rob Lowe’s deflowering of Mare Winningham at the end of the movie as a very unfortunate thing for her character. Thus I am genuinely happy for the Vietnamese girl who was so satisfied with here beta-male provider husband (whom I never met).
The other problem with the “cure” is that the reason why betas are beta in the first place and thus susceptible to oneitis is because they don’t have the opportunity to have sex with women. So the “cure” is a Catch 22 situation.
The Andrew McCarthy storyline
McCarthy’s character is cynical about the world, and he uses a lot on self-deprecating humor, both beta traits. Alphas are optimistic and rarely use self-deprecating humor. Judd Nelson’s character is way too full of himself to ever say anything self-deprecating.
Andrew McCarthy has oneitis for Ally Sheedy and because of that he doesn’t have sex with other women. At least that’s what he tells himself. We don’t see in the movie that he has any opportunity to have sex with women except for a black prostitute who thinks he’s gay because she never sees him with a girlfriend. Demi Moore thinks he’s gay because he “never made a pass at her,” although possibly the reason that never happened is simply because he was too shy.
Remember that back in the 1980s, it was a big insult for a straight man to be thought of as gay. This was before the 2001 French movie Le Placard in which the main character, a divorced heterosexual man pretends to be gay so his company won’t fire him, and his whole life becomes a lot better after people start thinking he’s gay. Women who ignored him when he was straight now want to be his friend. His estranged son suddenly starts thinking he’s cool. Even though, at the end of the movie, he comes out of the closet as being straight, he retains his improved social status because the experience of being respected as a gay man gave him a lot of self confidence which he lacked before.
The other characters in the movie give McCarthy solid advice to have sex with women (the same advice that Roissy would no doubt give him), but he is unable to follow the advice.
The movie shows that even the best possible out come from McCarthy’s oneitis is still not a very good outcome. Yes, McCarthy got to have one night of sex with Ally Sheedy. After Judd Nelson (who has the very opposite of oneitis) throws a temper trantrum and tells Sheedy to get out of the apartment after she brings up the fact that he has been cheating on her (what an asshole! But women prefer asshole alphas to betas) she goes home with her friend McCarthy and it leads to sex. Very awkward looking sex at first, until they break the shower door. The vidcap above is from right after the shower door breaks. Which was a genuine accident in filming and not the original intent of the scene, but it worked.
(I really liked how the sex scene started out awkward. Being that McCarthy is an inexperienced beta male, it’s more realistic than it starting out perfectly hot and steamy.)
After the one night of sex, McCarthy now thinks they can finally be in a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship. But it turns out that Ally Sheedy viewed the sex as just a way to “break away from Alec” and she puts him right back into the friend zone. In response to McCarthy’s needy behavior, Sheedy says “I just wish everything could be like it used to be. All of us friends” And no doubt it was meant sincerely, but without any regard for how it felt for McCarthy to be friends with her for years while watching her reward Judd Nelson, the serial cheater, instead of McCarthy who deserved her affections for being a nice guy. So McCarthy says with exasperation, “I don’t want to be friends.” Of course that really annoys the hell out of Sheedy. Oops. Get lost McCarthy. “I would really like it if you would just leave. OK?”
I felt really bad for McCarthy, but I suspect that most women watching the scene would think he deserved what he got for feeling “entitled” or something like that. As the blogger “Whiskey” would say, women hate, hate, hate beta males.
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There will be a future post analyzing the Emilio Estevez storyline if I don’t get bored with this topic.