Jewish Journal Singles Columnist Orit Arfa Interviewed About Her New Book

Part two of the interview.

Dec. 28, 2009, I interviewed Jewish Journal singles columnist Orit Arfa about her new book on the tests women give men.

Orit: “Mansch is inspired by the whole pick-up artist community… I’ve yet to have a man sweep me off my feet.”

“Women thrive on the drama of being in love.”

“Non-Jewish men seem to get more education about how to treat a woman on dates, on how to court a woman.”

“I’m waiting for a man to write Womansch, how men perceive Jewish women. I’ve heard complaints on that end too.”

Luke: “Did you go through a Gentile phase?”

Orit: “I’m thinking about it now!”

“I lived in Israel for about ten years. Israel has a lot of the man qualities. Israeli men serve in the Army and they have a little of the machismo, the chauvinism… A lot of women go to Israel and find Israeli men sexy. ‘Wow, there’s just sex in the air in Israel.’ Particularly in secular places like Tel Aviv. There’s a certain sensuality there that you don’t have here.”

“They are much more comfortable in their bodies there, in their sexuality. Here it is not common for Jews to have a pastime of going to a bar where you test out your sexuality, you test out your relationships with women. In Israel, it is commonplace.”

“A benefit of dating people who are different from you is that they take more of an active interest in you. Women love it when men take an active interest in them and ask them specific questions about what their dreams are, what their hobbies are…

“Especially when I date non-Jews, they’re interested in Judaism. They’re interested in my thoughts on Judaism. I don’t get as much from people in the Jewish community. They take it for granted.”

“I don’t see myself dating an Orthodox guy. It’s not my mindset.”

Luke: “So you haven’t?”

Orit: “No. Not seriously.”

“When I was really religious, I wasn’t really dating.”

Luke: “Say you were interested in a guy who lived in a place like this, the hovel, what does this place say to you?”

Orit: “I was here nine years ago.”

Luke: “You thought it was bigger.”

Orit: “Yeah. I remembered it’s very rectangular.”

All the ladies say that.

Orit: “It poses a challenge for interior design.”

Orit looks around.

Luke: “No bed.”

Orit: “Luke, it says, I’m a bum. I’m sorry, Luke. You don’t even have a mattress. You’re an artist, so maybe that will appeal to some women. You’re this floaty artist who’s just into his craft of blogging.

“I personally would have a problem with. It’s not necessarily the money. It’s not necessarily the means. It screams, I need a mommy. I need someone to take care of me because I don’t have a bed to make, even though you do make it, kinda.”

Luke: “I tidied it up before you came.”

Orit: “Maybe there are women who find this appealing. Yay, I get to be a mommy to someone and make someone over.

“I think with a few tweaks… Naturally, you are a bachelor and bachelors take lesser care of their surroundings.”

As I transcribe these words, I pick up the unwashed cup I gave to Orit to drink out of during our interview. The outside of the cup is all crusty. I remember using the cup last night to scrape out the split-pea soup. I remember scrubbing it last night — feeling groggy and full of peas — so it would be nice for Orit today, it would be a special cup, the cup that would prove my manschood, but the split-pea is still clinging to the outside of the cup. Aside from the big brown stain at the bottom of the cup — no harm, no foul — the inside of the cup is as clean as a kangaroo’s bum. But the outside of the cup, it’s grossing me out, and I’m a putatively heterosexual bachelor. Oy, I am so ashamed.

Or did she appreciate the protein?

Orit, please know from the bottom of my floaty artist heart that this was my nicest cup. I really did scrub it in your honor. I just didn’t scrub it hard enough because I was thinking too intensely about how the welfare state creates metrosexuality, but I will do that scrub now so the next time you are at the hovel, you can drink out of a cup without the split-pea grime.

You deserve that.

So now I am getting out of my chair and taking Orit’s cup to the sink and scrubbing it, even though my followers are screaming for me to write new and provocative blog posts.

First, however, before I clean up the world, I will clean up Orit’s cup, her cup of travail, her cup of suffering at the hovel, her bitter cup, her grimy cup that will always come to mind when she thinks of Her Moral Leader and his three-days-after-Christmas Inquisition — Oprah style!

We now return to our regularly scheduled blogging.

Orit: “Women are neat freaks. In fourth grade, the girls are neat and the boys are messy. Some women might have a problem if it is messy, but you are telling me that you are clean and very hygienic.”


Orit: “Hygiene and grooming is really important. That’s why I would say that you need tweaks to demonstrate that you are a groomed hygienic person.”

Perhaps I should start with a dash of Comet on the ol’ pea cup?

Orit: “This smells a little bit of neglect. If you are neglecting where you live, what are you neglecting about yourself? Do you have self-respect and pride in who you are?”

Hasn’t she read my blog? I am the master of self-loathing.

Orit: “Someone’s surroundings may reflect that you are neglectful, your appearance, how you take care of yourself, and if you are neglectful of yourself, that reads to a woman that you might neglect me. If you can’t take care of yourself, how can you take care of me?”

Luke: “How would you tweak this place?”

Please bear in mind that I had a woman over Thursday and we spent several hours — for the second time in a month — cleaning up and reorganizing the hovel.

Orit: “First, I would just make it neat. I don’t like how the bed is covering the bathroom door, if you call it a bed. I would move it so that the bed is its own sacred territory. It’s also just not comfortable.”

Luke: “Wait! You’ve never laid on it.”

Orit: “I’m not commenting!”

Charles Joseph emails me: “Please don’t post anymore tonight. I have to get to sleep.”

Orit: “It’s not comfortable getting through to the bathroom.”

Orit points to the top of my dresser. “There’s all this clutter there. I’m not a fan of clutter.”

I wonder how much she would charge to make over my apartment? And could I raise it through my Paypal donation button?

Think of how much clearer my writing would be if I composed my thoughts in a place of peace!

We had lots of moths flying through the hovel and chirping crickets, which I fended off with my bare hands so Orit would feel safe.

The spiders, thank the Good Lord, stayed away.

It’s important in life to be grateful for the small things that make social intercourse so much more pleasurable.

Orit: “You need to compartmentalize it. No, it’s not working.”

In retrospect, I’m just grateful I didn’t ask her to move in.

Orit: “A woman’s thoughts aren’t going to the bed. Her thoughts aren’t in the bedroom. You catch my drift?”

Luke: “It doesn’t make her want to go to bed with me?”

Orit: “Basically, although I don’t know how you’re doing in that department. Maybe it is charming some women.”

Well, Orit, the Holy Torah makes its demands pretty damn clear in this regard. When I converted to Orthodox Judaism, I swore to observe the Torah. So that is about all that needs to be said regarding this bed of shame and degradation, this citadel of suffering, this loneliest place in Los Angeles, this desert, this rock and island, this bed of nails, this Garden of Gethsemane, Lord, take this cup from me, but not my will but Thine done.

I purposefully put my bed by the bathroom door because the feng shui experts said this was the best way to stay chaste.

Orit: “Hot women, who I am sure you are attracted to, have the pick of the litter. Women are attracted to men who have some sort of social proof, social status. It doesn’t mean that they have to have money, but that they convey the qualities that tell the woman and tell the world that he’s successful, that he’s comfortable with his lot, that he’s comfortable with his lot, that he can maneuver in the world, that he can be a provider and protect her, which money often provides.

“It doesn’t have to be money. It can be his confidence, his positivity, his values, the way he treats a woman, the strength he projects. If hot women, and you want hot women, not bummy women, they get the sense that he’s not going to protect me.

“How do you feel about that?”

Luke: “I think that’s a pretty normal reaction.”

“What kind of woman would feel comfortable here? Someone broken?”

Orit: “Someone very free spirited. A woman who likes quirky guys. And a woman who’s just attracted to your charm and personality and good looks, although we have to work on that beard.”

Luke: “What do you think of the beard? What does it say to you?”

Orit: “It says I need to be accepted as an Orthodox Jew.”

Part two of the interview.

Orit Arfa blogs:

There is an act that seems to require more courage from men than asking a boss for a raise, than changing a career path, or even than fighting in a war. It is the simple task of ASKING A GIRL OUT ON A DATE.

So what does asking a girl out on a

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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