I used to spot a hot girl in a crowd and feel the hunger and delectation, like I was looking at ice cream. Like ten million other guys hanging around bars, offices, parties, barbecues and baseball games at the exact same moment. (Girls would occasionally gave me the same look, of course, sometimes in a more direct way than I’d feel comfortable putting out.) Nowadays I spot a hot girl and I still see the ice cream, but ten seconds later it melts and I just see the vulnerability, and I think what a shame it’ll be if she hooks up with a creep.

But if we happen to chat and she seems a little boring or vain or insufficiently informed, the compassion starts to ebb a bit.