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What Women Really Want From Men


Why are women so freaking hard to understand?

Why are women so freaking hard to understand?

This list of 35 brutally honest truths will tell you what women really want from men. Let’s just say I’m trying to promote cross-cultural understanding. Think of this as an Instruction Manual.


1. Women don’t tell each other everything.

We don’t share a lot of intimate sexual details. OK, if you’re hung like a stallion, it may come up in conversation. But we generally share the really personal stuff in only two situations. The first is when we’re seeking support. We’re upset about something that’s happened, and we want to find out how our trusted female companions view the situation. Are we overreacting? Or is it a dealbreaker? The second is when we are providing support to a friend in that same situation. If we’ve been through it, we’ll cough up the story to make her feel less alone.

2. We know when we’re being bitchy/PMS’ing.

If you call us out, we’ll deny it and get pissed, but if you cut us some slack and say “I love you even when you’re a bitch,” we’ll be grateful.

3. We don’t care about penis size.

That’s not what makes a good lover. It’s way, way down on the list, under the heading “Nice But Not Essential By Any Means.” It’s like men and huge boobs. Some men like ‘em, some don’t, but it’s hardly a requirement for choosing a real partner (we hope).

4. When you tease us about our weight, you make us feel completely worthless and disgusting.

It’s about the worst thing a woman can hear. And it makes us want to keep our clothes on.

5. The majority of us can’t come from thrusting alone.

Studies have shown that if a woman’s clit is more than 1 1/8 inches from her vaginal opening, there’s no way she can have an orgasm without direct clitoral stimulation. It seems like Mother Nature really screwed up here (bummer!), but you shouldn’t take it personally.

6. We do care about your going down.

It’s vitally important to most women (the 70% who need clitoral stimulation). It’s hard to enjoy it, though, if we don’t think you love it. It’s the same as when you enjoy a blow job more when it’s done with enthusiasm. We won’t beg for it, though. The basic rule is, “Love me, love the vag.”

7. Re oral sex, every woman is different, but don’t take your lessons from porn.

That’s way too much licking and lapping from too far away (camera angle considerations). Think in terms of French kissing. A tight seal, light suction, soft tongue action. Gentle, gentle, gentle.

8. We are incredibly self-conscious about the way we smell.

Believe me, we know better than you do how gross VO can be. If you like the way we taste and smell, please say so. If you don’t have anything nice to say….well, you remember what Mama said. And we promise to keep it clean.

9. Anal sex hurts like hell.

It makes us sore for a week. If we do it, it’s because we really, really want to please you. Request it only occasionally.

10. We know you enjoy looking at other women.

But it makes us feel terrible if we detect it. When we’re together, please don’t look at other girls.

11. We’re the generation of women caught between wanting chivalry and wanting independence.

It’s confusing. We are proud to be self-sufficient, but we love it when you act chivalrous and protective.

12. We love the smell of your sweat and your musk.

Don’t cover it up with anything more than soap.

13. Your penis is magical.

We adore the penis as the font of life and we like to be penetrated by it. We cede dominance to you entirely in this arena.

14. We want to be appreciated for our intelligence.

We are threatened by beautiful, stupid women, and hope that you won’t choose them. You should know that IQ for boys is carried by the x chromosome of the mother, so if you have a stupid wife, you will have dumb sons.

15. We’d like to think that you could find us appealing in a turtleneck and old jeans.

It’s exhausting to always be figuring out ways to display the produce most effectively. And there are times when we don’t want you to feel sexy, because we don’t.

16. We can’t resist a guy acting domestic.

Cook us dinner, and you will almost certainly get laid.

17. Most of us aren’t gold diggers.

But we do care about effort. If you’re short on funds, we’re happy to go on endless cheap dates if you’ve given it some thought. Picnics, staying in to cook, hikes, museums, bike rides are all good. So is spending a whole weekend in bed.

18. The things a woman longs to hear:

  • You’re the only one I want.
  • I’ve never felt like this before.
  • You’re all I think about.


But only if you mean it.

19. Even when we act like it’s casual, it isn’t.

Very, very few of us really want no-strings sex. You can get away with a single hookup, but you should know that if we start having sex regularly, drama is inevitable.

20. Women cry even when we don’t want to.

We’re not using tears as a weapon to manipulate you and get what we want. We cry when we’re sad, angry, frustrated, scared, and discouraged. We also cry when we’re happy. If a woman cries during sex with you, she is thinking of you as a potential baby daddy.

21. I want to know that I’m sexually attractive, even though I’m taken.

I can get that from you, but if you don’t express how hot you think I am, I’ll wind up seeking that validation elsewhere. Don’t make me flirt with other guys.

22. When your plumbing doesn’t work, we think it’s our fault.

We know it’s very hard for you when this happens, but we blame ourselves, even if you had 18 beers.

23. We like to be dominated sometimes.

Whether it’s roughing up the sex a little or bossing us around, it’s exciting to take the sexual tension up a notch by reverting to a “Me Tarzan, You Jane” kind of scene on occasion.

24. We feel extremely threatened by other women you’ve hooked up with.

We will acquire photos of them online and ridicule them for hours on end with our friends. We will wonder how you could ever have liked such a fat, ugly, mean girl. (This will have nothing to do with her real appearance.) For this reason, it would be ideal if you pretended you never knew her, and never mentioned her in our presence.

25. Our women friends judge whether you treat us well enough.

Please do not tease, humiliate or ignore us in public. Even if we disagree, please stay cool and save it for later. Once our friends think you’re a douchebag, life is going to get a lot harder.

26. We are incapable of understanding your natural need for sexual variety.

We view it as a direct threat to our femininity and desirability. And we worry that we are just some of that variety, not the real deal. If you are willing to be monogamous with us, let us know asap. It makes a huge difference.

27. We love it when you ask us for our opinion or advice.

Men seem so self-sufficient that it’s rewarding when you can use a little help. We’ve been trained to offer support and nurturing since we were two, so let us do that once in a while.

28. We want to be pursued.

We want you to be the aggressor. If we ask why you never called, please don’t say, “Well, you didn’t call me either!” Once we’re in a relationship, we can talk about meeting halfway, but in the early days we feel more comfortable if you are the one making moves.

29. Please do not try to model your body after a gay underwear model.

Chest hair is sexy. We don’t like men who primp and preen too much. If you’re fit and healthy, that’s fine. And we hope you know that we find huge bodybuilder type muscles repulsive. They’re freaky.

30. Shaved heads are totally sexy.

If you haven’t got the fullest head of hair in the world, consider shaving it. A combover or anything close to it is a ladyboner killer.

31. There’s a difference between being flaky and being uncaring.

We want you to be reliable, but we’ll cut you some slack just for being a guy. Once we detect, though, that you’re jerking us around, you’re in trouble.

32. Uncontrolled farting has ended relationships.

We don’t care if you pee in front us, but any air or matter emanating from your back door should be kept as far away from us as possible. Loud burping is only slightly less offensive.

33. If you’ve put on some beer fat, buy bigger pants.

We don’t want to see exposed belly, love handles, or plumber’s crack because you’ve squeezed into the 32s you outgrew three years ago. One glimpse will put us off sex for a week.

34. We love getting a peek at the little boy you once were.

Get silly with us sometimes. We know you were ridiculously impulsive as a boy, so show us that side of you from time to time.

35. We’ve pretty much figured out that it’s normal for you to watch porn.

But you need to know that almost everything you see in porn will not work if you try it with us. We won’t sound like that, look like that, or act like that. If you’re having trouble getting it up with a real girl, you might lay off the porn and see if that helps.

I hope my female readers will weigh in here and add anything else you’d like to share. And I always welcome comments from the guys!


3 Pingbacks/Trackbacks

  • Melissa

    Hi !!! I just wanted to put a different insight regarding No. 5
    You said “(…)It seems like Mother Nature really screwed up here (bummer!), but you shouldn’t take it personally.” Actually, i think Mother Nature did the most anatomically wise thing to do, because if the vaginal opening was as sensible as the clitoris it would be virtually impossible to give birth. I mean, imagine the amount of pain you would feel if your clitoris was located inside or very near the vagina. That's why I think the clitoris is actually a precious gift from Nature to women. It's the only organ which only purpose is pleasure. Think about it: penises have other functions (urinary, reproductory, etc.) but the clitoris is exclusivly for pleasurable sex. Why not embrace its reason of existence instead of ignoring it? We girls are actually very lucky!!!

  • http://jadekeller.com Jade @ Tasting Grace

    I would agree wholeheartedly with Melissa's point above here. And I'd also like to add:
    We don't actually want to be nags, and hate being put in that position. We want to be your wives, not your mothers, so if you could help with household duties and tasks when we ask you to – or even better – take the initiative to take care of things when you see they need to be done, we will be so very relieved and grateful.

  • Pingback: The disease is in your genes « In Mala Fide

  • http://www.mistermanpower.net/blog David aka Mr. Manpower

    Wow… that's a really good list… I'm a guy, and thought I knew it all, but it gave me quite a few helpful insights…

    “know that IQ for boys is carried by the x chromosome of the mother, so if you have a stupid wife, you will have dumb sons”… good one…

    I'm naturally only attracted to intelligent women, but this gives me even more reason to look for smarts in a lady.

    As to penetration, and the distance between clit and vagina, there is still a way to make a woman orgasm, while only penetrating.

    If a man enters the vagina in a more up and down fashion, rather than an in-and-out penetration, and rubs the base of his erection against the clit (sort of like the base is a saw, and the clit is a log, and you're cutting through it), then a man can usually provide sufficient stimulation to make a woman orgasm.

    There are a couple of positions that work on this basis.

    Regarding making a woman orgasm, many men think they need to be a certain size to make her orgasm… that's far from the truth.

    As you mentioned technique beats size. However, if a man wants to make it bigger, just for his own confidence-sake, there are exercises that work to increase the flaccid and erect size of his penis.

    For instance, check this out:

    “A Question regarding Exercises to Increase the Size of your Flaccid Penis”

    That's my blog…. pass by and share your thoughts!

  • rick

    I think the list might be more aptly titled:

    “What Women Want from the Guys Who are Not Likely to Give Us What We Want.”

    Your post needs to first stipulate that all of these wants are in addition to the more primary wants of high income, looks, etc.

    So be advised that while you are describing traits that are admirable, you are looking for these admiral traits in men that are already in VERY high demand.

    Since good-looking high earning men are in such high demand, it might prove difficult to influence them to comply with all of these additional items.

    Here is the current problem:

    Women want men that are, to use simple terms, well-off good looking, and treat them well.

    For most YOUNG women, they can get two of the three. Problem is most are trying for three out of three.

    As a woman draws closer to mid-thirties, she can probably only get one of the three, but is now trying for two.

    A man's need/want for a woman is at it's greatest when he is younger.

    Post-40, there tends to be a shift where men begin to appreciate many things other than women. While we still enjoy their company, we are far less likely to commit, since we see no significant benefits to doing so.

    Modern women have perhaps priced themselves a little too high, and a for a little bit too long. In my early forties, I am surrounded by many women who are not financially secure and have substantial bad life decisions from which to recover. I'm not interested in being a life raft for these women. I have played my cards carefully and am very financially comfortable. It's very hard for me not to suspect some of the women who show interest in me as being motivated by a late-30s panic for a financially stable individual.

    Not to mention the fact that many of these women are very hurt and jaded from a slew of relationships where they were used and discarded. This is not attractive to men. Had they guarded themselves better, and stopped wasting their time and sexual energy on users, then perhaps they would still have some left to offer in marriage.

    Most are finding this out too late.

  • AsherJ

    Odd. When I tease a woman about her weight, it tends to make her want to qualify herself to me though increasingly kinky sex acts. Your results may vary.

    On a more serious note, some of your advice is good, while other parts are absolutely craptastic, for men, specifically #s 4, 8, 10, 11, 16, 18, 21, 26, 27, 28 and 31.

  • tayloramorgan

    Ok Rick . I agree with you . It's so true for a lot of women.
    To be honest , if I were to play the game ,so to speak, I could have all three . But I don't like always being self controlled or controlling .
    And I don't think a man who is loaded is necessary for me because I plan to be entirely self sufficient . Especially if I were planning to have children . I don't believe in leaving those things to chance .
    But on the other hand , if a man is a self made or at least capable of not losing most of what was handed to him then it's a good sign he can look after himself and has his wits about him .
    But I do need someone I find attractive and who treats me well but is also fun to be with . I've got lots of energy and need someone who can keep up !

  • Passer By

    This is a funny list. A few good points, but a lot of stuff that women think they would like but, in any excess, would also lead to her losing attraction for the guy in question (paradoxical, I know).

    As to number 6, you say “It’s hard to enjoy it, though, if we don’t think you love it. It’s the same as when you enjoy a blow job more when it’s done with enthusiasm. We won’t beg for it, though. The basic rule is, “Love me, love the vag.””

    Although I understand and agree with it, I wonder as you wrote this, did you even consider the stunning contradiction with your other recent post where you encourage women to spit out his cum if she is grossed out by it? How would you like it if he spit all over you after going down like he had just accidentally kissed a camel? You thought we would think it was “totally understandable”?

  • susanawalsh

    Melissa, thanks for that insight! Yikes, I never even thought about the implications of having orgasms when you don't want them – childbirth, putting in tampons, etc. I agree that the Almighty Clitoris is a pretty fabulous feature. And of course, Mother Nature doesn't make mistakes; we're all evolving, so your explanation makes total sense.

    I think the biggest challenge for women is getting men to understand how best to please them sexually. A lot more guys know about the clitoris now than 20 years ago, but there's still a lot of fumbling and bumbling around down there. We need to communicate what turns us on!

  • susanawalsh

    Passer By, hi, I really appreciate your leaving a comment, but I do think you've got me confused with someone else here. I don't believe I've ever even addressed the question of swallowing – but for the record, if the guy I love wants me to swallow, I swallow cheerfully. I mean, I wasn't exactly expecting a hot fudge sundae, you know? So I hope I haven't contradicted myself, but if I have please give me the quote and I'll rectify!

  • susanawalsh

    Well, AsherJ, I do appreciate your leaving a comment, but let me just say IT IS NOT NICE TO TEASE A WOMAN ABOUT HER WEIGHT. Is this your way of getting kinky sex? Do you look for ways to get women to qualify themselves? Put them down, make them feel like crap? Practice Game much?

  • susanawalsh

    rick, thanks for leaving a comment, and amen to everything you've said here. This is what drives guys crazy – women playing really hard to get when they are young with the nice guys, playing victim to players, then trying to snag a good guy later on when other options have run out. I don't know how many women do this, but it is not a sound strategy, obviously. Why should you settle for a woman who has already failed repeatedly?

    You're in your early 40s, financially comfortable; sounds like you're in a position to be calling the shots, and you have every right to be selective. Your mating value is very high. In fact, you may well be in the market for a woman 10 years younger than yourself.

  • Passer By

    Fair enough. I looked back at it again, and I see now that you were posting somebody else's advice column (“How to Blow His Mind in Bed” – your August 10 entry). For the record, I think her advice on that particular point is terrible. I go down with gusto and enthusiasm. Although I don't really have a need for regular BJs, I expect my partner to be more than willing to reciprocate my enthusiasm when desired.

    http://www.hookingupsmart.com/2009/08/10/hookin

  • susanawalsh

    Thanks so much for pointing that out! I agree, that's a total contradiction. At the time I posted that piece, I obviously didn't focus on the implications of that suggestion, but I'm with you. It's not acceptable, so I've removed that part.

    I read somewhere that men vastly prefer swallowing to non, that it's a psychological turnon. And to be honest, I think women have the better deal here, haha. For going down with gusto and enthusiasm, you are a prince among men.

  • susanawalsh

    Hi taylor, nice to meet you! Thanks for leaving a comment. I just want to say that I applaud your intention to be self-sufficient financially. Men often accuse women of being gold diggers, and maybe some are. I know some are. But me? I married a high earner, but I was a high earner myself. I would never put myself in a position where I was entirely dependent on a man. Even in the years when I focused on my kids, I always knew I had skills I could earn from.

  • http://Ft.com/ VJ

    Count me as totally confused here. Melisa [way up there on the comments] has some wonderful points, but then she countered with this: “Think about it: penises have other functions (urinary, reproductory, etc.) but the clitoris is exclusivly [sic] for pleasurable sex.” Sure. Fine. That's 2 right there. What are the other functions for my dangling bits here? Hundreds right? Did I get this memo? Has Everyone but me known about all these secret uses? Snorkeling, right? I just knew it!

    And again I just lost it @ #13 up there: “13. Your penis is magical.” I'm sorry, have we met? I've got a pretty standard, run of the mill, regular issue 'unit'. No one has ever told me that it was magical. No matter how often I might have insisted on that point either. Nope. It cannot get the women to rapidly undress for me, not now, not then. It is still unable to open drawers, work the phone (w/o assistance), or open cans. No matter how hard I train, it remains unable to do all those wonderful 'prehensile tail' monkey tricks I see in the cartoons & at the zoo. Now That would be magic! No, I've got a pretty ordinary crank. Being a bit older too, it gets cranky sometimes, like it's owner. Would that it were 'magical', well my wife would probably divorce me too!

    So once your penis Becomes magical (like with the wonder enhancements of various pharmaceuticals), mark my words, trouble only mounts for some poor sods who actually believe that claptrap. Once you being to think of your 'little head' as being magically endowed by Big Pharma, you begin to suspect that it deserves Better than what you've got. And as they say, that's always been big trouble in River City!

    But thanks for all the fine updates & tutorials on what to do when facing a littoral situation. Boswell would be proud.

    Still, like I said, I had a hard time getting past #13. Then you had to throw in # 14:
    “14. We want to be appreciated for our intelligence.” Which is almost funnier. Does intellect take, what, a half hour, and hour or more to 'get ready' for a night on the town? For dinner out? Pro-rated how much does that cost in cosmetic enhancements for the average gal? About what per min of 'make up time'? And how many fortunes in the cosmetic & beauty biz depend on that bottom line number? And just how smart is that? And has anyone ever gotten anywhere with a lovely comely looking lass by exclusively complimenting her on her wide ranging intellect? Sure we love you for many, many things. Intellect really should be one of the prime reasons here. It's just like, rarely mentioned in too many love songs, cards, letters, love poems & the like. Why is that? Just asking…

    And then the list just sort of breaks up in mid air as it were. Less & less plausible somehow.

    15. “We’d like to think that you could find us appealing in a turtleneck and old jeans”.

    [I'm sorry, no everyone looks good in jeans. Less do in turtlenecks too!]

    “16. We can’t resist a guy acting domestic”.

    [Take it from the old married guys here, they just might find a way...]

    “18. The things a woman longs to hear:”

    [Mmm, maybe. Depends, really. If I came home and told the wife this? "I’ve never felt like this before", she'd think about taking me to the hospital. And she'd be right! This might work for anyone under the age of 25 perhaps. Not much older. And this cherry:
    "You’re all I think about?' Unless it's a really special occasion? The wife might think I was delusional, or sick at home with not much to do. Really.]

    This though is the funniest:
    27. “We love it when you ask us for our opinion or advice”.

    [Read that as Demand to ask us for the Proper opinion and advice. On everything. At all times. Because, like, you got to. Especially if you're married too!]

    But thanks for the fun lists. Always good for a chuckle, no doubt! [Tried to post this on Oct 15th, but it never took. Said that it required 'moderation', and then promptly disappeared!] Cheers, 'VJ'

  • susanawalsh

    Ah, VJ, you always make me laugh out loud. Yes, your penis is magical! All penises are. As you may know, I proudly admit I have total penis envy. It's just an amazing thing, getting erect, and then you get to poke stuff. It has power. And it contains sperm. It's ACTIVE. It gives, rather than receives. I really, really wish I had a penis. Of course, if I had an orgasm with it, and it wasn't as good as the ones I'm used to, I would want the right to exchange it within 14 days. I mean, that's standard, right?

    OK, I hear you about intellect. But that sucks! I always wonder about it when I see that smart famous men have married bimbos. I mean, OK, great sex, but what about the other 23.5 hours in a day? Don't you want to be able to discuss those interesting tidbits in the FT with your woman?

    As for the rest of your feedback, hahahahahaha. You are old and jaded. Don't you know that I'm writing for younguns? We old folk will ruin it for them with our cynicism and experience. The wife certainly longed to hear those things at one time. And I don't buy that you are unappreciated. I detect a definite subtext of contentment and respect between you and your wife.

    BTW, sorry about the delay with this comment. Somehow it got caught in the spam filter. No idea why, but now that I'm back, you're in!

  • wookie

    If we broaden “smart famous men” to “men with power”, it'd be easy to see why they might go for a bimbo. He's able to get great sex by offering prestige and/or a good life. He'd get his way on what he wants such as how he spends his time or cheating since he controls all the power in the relationship. He might even be able to have fun on the side with a smart woman if he so chooses. There are nuances of course but you get the gist.

    I don't think many men are interested in marrying women simply for their smarts anymore then women are interested in marrying men for their smarts. It's how intellect is applied that matters. Women want a man whose intellect manifests itself as humor and wit. If a man isn't entertaining on some level, most women I know would say no deal. How a man would want his woman's intellect applied is harder to say since it's not an evolutionary necessity but I think most men are attracted to intellect that manifests as a shared passion. Being knowledgeable about a specific music scene, being an avid bicyclist that understands the nuances of the frames, being able to discuss baseball stats with the boys, being a competitive gamer, sharing a similar sense of humor, being a partner in a business venture, etc.

    On a separate note, #15, the casualwear thing is a bit complicated. If a girl is disheveled and wearing a simple tanktop and slacks for exercising, she's still pretty hot. Some girls may even find more guys hitting on them. This is related to how guys really don't care about the hours girls spend putting on makeup. Casual clothing makes her look like the girl next door, which most guys are interested in.

    On the other hand, if a woman doesn't want to feel sexy and wears obviously unflattering clothes like super-baggy sweatshirts, it's hypocritical for her to expect a guy to find it attractive.

  • Passer By

    You obviously lost or didn't bother to read the original instructions that came with your unit. Sucks to be you.

  • tayloramorgan

    Yes , putting effort into your appearance is smart. It certainly gets me attention from the more attractive men. And if you saw some women before they get made up you'd certainly understand. Lucky for me I don't have to put much make up on to look my best . Mostly some mascara saves me from getting asked for ID. But a lot of women do need a good make up job to look their best. It takes me maybe 15 minutes to get ready if I've already done my hair which is a mass of curls that only needs attention every three days.
    But if you saw the before and after of most women you'd be more appreciative .

    Penises may not be magical but they are certainly delightful or at least amusing :-).

    And I do look appealing in a turtle neck . But probably because it makes me look look even more well endowed. Go figure .

    And girls , men will find you attractive in your casual cargo pants if you are feminine enough not to look like a boy when you put them on.
    I've even had a “Wow , you look hot moment.” In converse , cargos and a polo shirt .
    Maybe it was really a “Wow. You don't look so intimidating and high maintenance.” moment though. Or a you look like we can enjoy sports together now thing ..
    But still , the point is he was impressed .

    And yes I would so go you if you recognised my intellect and appreciated it . But only if you were on my level too.
    I don't find it appealing if some guy says . “Wow…you think too much.” If I casually observe the reason dinner is taking an hour and a half to arrive . It's more like ..”You don't think enough..”
    Never calling you back….

    And yes if I had been with someone for a few years and were married I'd still like to hear that he still feels like their is noone else he could feel so strongly about .
    I don't know who you're married to but she sounds like one of those people from the middle ages that thinks gay is a mental health issue or something. Or perhaps isn't all that into you and is therefore apathetic?
    But I think you were just exaggerating.
    I know plenty of married women who would still like to hear that they are number one.

    I don't expect most men to ask me for advice for a lot of things. Mostly because I don't think I'd have the answer to alot of them . But there are some things that women know best . Or that YOUR woman might know best :-).

  • susanawalsh

    Wookie, your insight into whether, and how, men appreciate intellect in a woman is fascinating. I know my husband and I discuss world events and politics a great deal. Also, in 25 years, we've never grown tired of the question, “John or Paul?” We share interests, not engineering projects.

    It makes total sense that a man can marry a bimbo, and then have intellect, or whatever else she lacks, with a woman on the side. I imagine that happens very frequently. That means that smart women had better have their act together on the evo necessity front.

    I agree that women want humor/wit in a man. Which is also not an evolutionary necessity – how would that make a man a better bet for helping you raise your young to adulthood? Obviously, culture plays a role in determining what we want, or what we think we want.

    What I was getting at with the comment about jeans and a turtleneck is that it's exhausting for women to feel that they are always auditioning for sex. If a young woman on a college campus believes that she can't go to class without applying full makeup and straightening her hair, she's under a lot of distracting pressure. Duke has actually studied this and concluded that its women students feel enormous pressure to achieve what they dubbed “effortless perfection.”

    Sometimes we want to just relax. Not in gross sweats, but in clothes that make us feel comfortable without making us feel sexy. There are times when I dress in such a way that my husband will NOT find me sexy. I don't want to seduce. (This doesn't always work, haha.)

  • Screwtape

    I think it has to do with acceptance. It shows that the woman accepts the man, and loves him enough to do something thought to be unpleasant. It is the same reason we (both sexes) tend to be put off if our lover immediately jumps out of the bed to shower after sex, or otherwise closes themselves off. I suppose there are many such little details that are often overlooked but seem somehow very important post-coital.

  • http://Ft.com/ VJ

    But I always tell the wife that she's my favorite! And not to worry, I married her primarily for her intellect & good sense. Which means she's way smarter than average. It really helps in the long run. And yes, we know people who lived in the middle ages (no kidding)! But I'm not certain about anyone who might 'thinks gay is a mental health issue or something'. We did go out to dinner last night and a few nights before that. Some of the topics of discussion were: Ovid, Homer, Aristophanes, Vulcan cannons vs. 'revolver cannons', CRE, new business from London, art, artists, landscapes, shoes (boots), Dinah Washington, Jazz, Af-Pak, landmines, the relative durability of Maxim guns (Brit Mk1 Vickers) vs. M4 (heat) failures, Lt. General Gunther Rall, (formerly) one of the last living Luftwaffe aces and the appeal of Early Music.

    John or Paul or John Paul. Why not Timothy or James? I don't know, but few people might be able to keep up. But I still have to answer to her and her likewise. And as they say here down South sometimes that's just 'Yes Sir' or 'No Mam', where applicable. Like I said, we're really old and cranky already… I hope that answers most of the questions. And yes, I've found the directions for the unit (finally!) it unfortunately was written on vellum in a type of ancient Cyrillic. We've never seen much of a satisfactory translation, but that's the way it was handed down to me. Figures, right? Cheers, 'VJ'

  • susanawalsh

    Screwtape, I think you're right about acceptance. We stand naked before someone, as vulnerable as an infant, and we're sensitive to any sign they're repelled by us. If they actually are enthusiastic to partake in every part of us, even the parts we ourselves find distasteful, that feels like unconditional acceptance. And it really doesn't get any better than that.

  • susanawalsh

    Aw, VJ, I knew you loved the intellectual banter, but that dinner convo topic list is awe inspiring. Er, I hope you know that I meant John (as in Lennon) and Paul (as in McCartney). Not saints. I'd much rather discuss ad infinitum the relative songwriting, singing and character faults of my favorite Beatles. My mom was an avid fan in her 20s when they were on Ed Sullivan, so I was pretty much weaned on the Beatles. And just in case you were wondering, I'm a Paul girl.

  • http://Ft.com/ VJ

    Thanks Susan, yep, all the girls went for Paul for his dopey 'hound dog' good looks. The ones with a bit of intellectual pretension went for John, (but mainly for the drugs & cool & oft crazy colored round specs). And mostly, people later questioned that too.

    In our house, we're not much impressed until you can name some of the band members of particular era Ellington & Basie bands. Extra credit for getting Armstrong's late or early players or some of the 'original' Preservation Hall Band's line up. Who played with Monk & Diz & Bird & Max & when & where. Being able to tell roughly which era BSO that is from hearing it on record, picking out a Koussevitzky interpretation vs Munch or a Leinsdorf vs. Ozawa. Fiedler vs. Williams for the Pops. Who's who in the line up on 'Wang-Dang-Doodle'. Which songs Willie wrote and which The Wolf did. Being able to take a decent guess between Schubert and Schumann songs ( a real connoisseur's dilemma). Perhaps even who was married to whom, or 'going with' way back in the day, for strange influences at critical times.

    But really? The relative merits of John vs Paul? For 25 years?! It's just never come up down here with us. Not even once. Jelly Roll vs Fats? That comparison came up last week. The relative merits of Coltrane vs. Joe Henderson have. Doc Watson vs John Hartford vs Chet's vs Gid Tanner & Uncle Dave's version of an old traditional tune. Geez, I'm much more likely to be thinking of Bunk Johnson or Sidney Bechet than anything Paul might have been doing, well much since a few years beyond John's death. And they've both been dead for at least 50 years! But then again we're strange folks. Most of the people we talk about are dead. Figures, right? Cheers, 'VJ'

  • susanawalsh

    Well, most of the interesting people are dead. Re the Beatles, I believe that in 500 years they'll be revered the way we revere Bach today. You know what I find really interesting? When fate conspires to bring people together to create incredible bodies of work. Why those four guys at that time? Why Botticelli, Raphael, da Vinci and Michelangelo all at the same time? These guys went to parties together! There's the friendly, or not so friendly competition, but that obviously doesn't completely explain it.

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  • king

    oh my gosh, i just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for that.
    you have really educated me

  • susanawalsh

    Hey, king, my pleasure! Come back soon!

  • Esau

    Hmm, I have to agree with Rick up at the top of the thread. All of this “advice” may be effective to follow for a man who is already considered well-above-average attractive. But for normal/typical men, accommodating and respecting women's preferences just comes across as needy, weak, and hence unattractive.

    The plain, unfortunate (?) fact of the matter is that, in dealing with men who are _not_ rich or handsome, young women are far more likely to give it up for selfish, boorish men who ignore their needs than they are for sensitive or caring men who might pay attention to them. Susan needs to face this fact, straight out, before anything she writes can be credible.

    So I pronounce this post to be actively pernicious, and totally false advertising. For typical men, rather than an “instruction manual” this is a deadly trap. Nice guys who use this advice to help women feel secure and desirable will continue to strike out; while bad boys who make women feel insecure and vulnerable will get away with all the goods. Susan is just making an already bad situation even worse.

  • susanawalsh

    Hey, Esau, thanks for stopping by and commenting. I disagree. This list is an accurate portrayal of what every woman wants IN A RELATIONSHIP. I'm not talking about hanging out in bars here, nor am I describing the initial phase of attraction. If a guy I wasn't serious about said “You're all I think about,” “I've never felt like this before,” or “You're the only one I want,” I (and most women) would run for the hills, as you suggest.

    On the other hand, there's plenty in this list that all women want men to understand, regardless of the stage of the acquaintance. Don't fart. We'll put up with your being a little flaky, but not with your being a dick. Very few of us can do casual sex for very long without getting attached. We don't crave sexual variety (more than one partner), and we'll never really get why you do.

    I believe that men and women both want to feel secure and desirable in a relationship. Many well-meaning men fail to “get” the women they're with, and the relationship suffers.

    Now as for getting laid, which I believe is what you're describing here, yes, a bit of Game (you are a Game type, no?) is helpful. We all want what is hard to obtain. Hard to get makes the world go round. Be careful, though, that you don't “neg” a woman so much she loses interest. If you're only after casual sex, you don't need an instruction manual for relationships. Neil Strauss has laid it all out for you. When you are ready for one, use Game as a tool to get the girl, then switch into relationship mode.

    I have witnessed many guys derail themselves by relying too heavily on tactics to get a woman interested. By holding your cards so close to the vest, you are not giving a woman a chance to really know you. She's attracted b/c you're mean to her, but that's all you've got. It fizzles fast.

    In using the words pernicious, deadly trap, etc. I detect a fair amount of bitterness. I understand it. If you consider yourself a beta male by nature, cheer up. You have the qualities that women want in a long-term mate. Most women figure that out as they mature and graduate from college. Barflies in their 20s are not good relationship material anyway.

  • Esau

    Susan — Thanks for your prompt attention. Let me say a few things, and hope you find some value in them.

    1. I stand by my judgement of “false advertising”. At the simplest level, if you agree (as you appear to) that women “want” very different things in an initial approach versus when they're already in a relationship, then you should recognize that, and title the post “What women really want from men they're already sleeping with”. The alternative set, “What women want from men in order to start sleeping with them in the first place” is very different — and imho more important, in that far more people are on initial approach at any given moment than in LTR's — while your generic heading mistakenly implies that they're the same.

    At a deeper level, there's a real hypocrisy here that you, it seems to me, are for some reason willfully failing to recognize. When you say that ” there's plenty in this list that all women want men to understand,” what you presumably have in mind is that men in a relationship should understand what their partners want and then use this knowledge to make them feel better, ie more desired and secure. It's a specific solution to the very-oft-heard desire “I wish my boyfriend would treat me better/wasn't such a jerk.” But, guess what! It's very likely that the only reason they're in that relationship is _because_ he acted like a jerk in the first place. It's wildly hypocritical, if you ask me, for her to announce in the beginning that she values jerkish behavior, to make that the gold standard; only to then turn about-face and say no, she really wants thoughtful behavior. Can't you see this? or does it just not bother you, and you think being steeped in hypocrisy is a fine way for women to live?

    Consider a simple example. The way women operate, a man can often make a good start at getting a woman's favor by (perversely, to me) showing that he doesn't value her very much; to be aloof and self-centered, in effect saying “I don't need you, I don't really care what you think, I have a lot of other options (ie other women want me and so I am of high status).” Not my cup of tea as an opening, but many women seem to insist on it. Now, once her attraction has led to a relationship, should he keep up this attitude? According to your list, the woman would probably prefer that he not do so, that he value her highly. But she's already shown that aloofness is what she finds compelling, what gives her that “tingle;” does he really dare change? A woman might _say_ she wants to be treated thoughtfully, but there is always the danger that what she really values is the thrill she feels from jerkish behavior and once that's gone then she'll be gone too.

    Also, you seem to think that “switch into relationship mode” is something a man can do casually, like changing the radio from AM to FM. But, let me tell you, for men to whom it does not come naturally, it takes work to be a jerk! of the kind that women seem to insist on for a man to get anywhere at all. You really have to psych yourself up for it, and then it's not that easy to psych yourself back down again — especially if you have to face the fear that once you act thoughtfully it will get you kicked back to the curb. If I were you, I would try to think very carefully before declaring it natural or acceptable that most men should need a dual nature just to have a reasonable life.

    In the end, then, I don't agree with you, and I stand by my original judgement: by enabling and normalizing hypocrisy, instead of condemning it, your post is, ultimately, pernicious.

    2. Here you've written “I detect a fair amount of bitterness. I understand it.” and there are similar sentiments in many of your others posts & replies. This alone would almost make you unique! on the Internets. But — sorry to say and I'm trying to stay civil here — I don't believe it, I don't believe that you really do understand. Anyone who writes as well as you do generally _must_ realize that lines like “… cheer up. You have the qualities that women want in a long-term mate.” are INCREDIBLY patronizing and condescending to hear, and don't make anyone feel the least bit better — just the opposite, despite your good intentions. Can't you see this? I could explain why; but better to leave this as an exercise for the blogger, see if you can figure it out.

    3. You speculated that I might be “a Game type,” and the answer here is no and possibly. As I write, I'm old, happily married and have been out of any games for quite a while; but my younger self, say 25 years ago, might well have looked into it seriously had it been available. (We didn't have Neil Strauss for help back then, we had to get by with Ross Jeffries and F.J. Shark — if you've never read them, look them up and I think you'll find them hilarious.) I like to read Roissy today, but it gives me shivers to imagine living the way he claims to want to. No, my view of the “PUA/seduction community” is pretty much along the lines of how the sinister robot Ash views the deadly creature in the old movie “Alien,” as shown in this bit of dialog:

    Lambert: You admire it.

    Ash: I admire its purity. A survivor … unclouded by conscience, remorse, or delusions of morality.

    What I admire in Roissy and the PUA's is their _empiricism_. Unclouded by conscience, remorse, or morality, they're entirely focussed on discovering what actually works, what actually happens in the real world. I wouldn't want to do their work, or live their lives, but I have to give them their due for being grounded in reality at the expense of morality. And, I think that what they've found is supremely unflattering to your sex. So if you are really willing to face the music of reality, then I would take you more seriously if you started condemning women's bad behavior instead of telling men to accommodate to it. Is this clear? Is it so hard?

  • susanawalsh

    I think we've got a real case of Venus vs. Mars here. In your original comment you describe who women are willing “to give it up” for. Men and women pursue different mating strategies, which causes conflict between the sexes. Women seek long-term partners with a variety of characteristics including:

    Economic Resources
    Compatibility
    Intelligence
    Stability and Dependability
    Ambition and Industriousness
    Demonstration of Love and Commitment
    Size and strength

    Source: David Buss, The Evolution of Desire

    Men look for physical beauty/youth/fertility, and they prefer short-term mating. The dynamic you refer to – women being sexually attracted to men with “Size and Strength” is real, but it is only one small part of what women want. There is much research being done in this area, and it demonstrates that women are seeking men with lower testosterone levels for both short- and long-term mating. In other words, the beta male's market value is rising rapidly. There are several potential reasons for this. The Pill changes the way women experience sexual attraction. In an information economy, high earners tend to possess traits more commonly found in beta types.

    You take me to task for being condescending and patronizing. Let me tell you how I see it. I understand that many men are bitter and angry, because I have read their blog posts and comments in the Roissysphere. I have been astounded by the level of absolute rage men are expressing around the issue of not getting laid. I do not understand why they are angry. I have heard all the arguments, which range from blaming suffrage to the claims you make that women only like boorish men. If men are dissatisfied with the amount of sex they are getting, they would do well to develop themselves. (The same is true for women.) Game tactics may be effective in getting laid, but I can't imagine that most men look forward to a life of going to bars three nights a week to troll for women with low self-esteem.

    If you are a curious person with interests, and you develop those interests and make an effort to engage around them with others, you will meet people with whom you may connect. It is incumbent upon you to develop the social skills necessary to attract women – Game can be helpful here, as it is a form of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

    I did not write this post, or any post, to “make people feel better.” I write to give people strategies I believe will help them achieve their goals for relationships. My focus is not on getting sexual access – stick with Roissy for that. I stand by this list. You may say women have a lot of nerve, women are bitches, blah blah blah. The truth is I do condemn women's bad behavior (See Why Nice Guys Ignore the Girls They Like) and try to get women to make better choices when choosing men. I have written openly about the dangers of dating narcissists and other selfish types. I have written posts about the benefits of dating guys with something else to offer, including geeks and emo guys.

    Women want relationships, and they want the characteristics that Buss identified in his research. This list reflects those wants. This is what women want as they mature (pass the age of 21). If that's not what you see in your own marriage and social circle, you hanging out with some very low quality women (no self-respect).

    You got it right when you said Roissy and other PUA types are unburdened by conscience, remorse or morality. I do believe that's the definition of a Sick Fuck.

  • Esau

    Susan — I'm sorry to have made you defensive — you do say that you value male input — though I'm glad that you're still “speaking” to me. There's a lot here that I can take issue with, but maybe it's better to concentrate on what I think is the main issue. I'll try not to talk past you, but to stay directly within your terms. Your “mating strategies”-framed explanation of behavior, as informed by Buss, is quite traditional, and may provide a reasonable description of men's behavior. But for women's behavior I think you, and Buss, are simply flat wrong. And I can prove it, quite easily, with a simple experiment that you can do in your own backyard.

    Here's the direct quote from you, crediting Buss:

    “Men and women pursue different mating strategies…. Women seek long-term partners with a variety of characteristics including:

    Economic Resources
    Compatibility
    Intelligence
    Stability and Dependability
    Ambition and Industriousness
    Demonstration of Love and Commitment
    Size and strength”

    What follows is a simple proof by contradiction. We start by assuming that what you say is true, then show that it would imply an outcome in serious disagreement with what is seen in the real world.

    OK so far? Here is a series of simple statements, which I think are pretty self-evident (stop me if you disagree with any of them, and say why):

    1. If the statement “Women, in general, seek men with X,Y,Z, etc” is true, then it stands to reason that women, in the main, would, to the extent they have choice, chose to spend their time with, and grant their favor to, men or a man with all these characteristics, if they can find them/him.

    2. Therefore, if we could identify a man, or a group of men, who has all these characteristics, then we would expect such a man, or the men in the group, to be the object of a lot of women's attention and favor — assuming the man/men are accessible and available.

    3. Technical point: to go any further, we need to look at the list excluding “Compatibility”. Yes, it's important; but compatibility is very specific to a pair of people and there's no real, direct way to pick out a particular man, or a group of men, that we can expect to have compatibility with a lot of women. With the rest of the list, though, we can pretty straightforwardly name men in the real world who have these qualities, even without having met them first-hand.

    4. The remaining list has six qualities on it; by point 2, any man who had all six should reasonably be expected to be the object of a lot of women's pursuit. But, lacking that, it is reasonable to presume that a man with, say, five out of six should still be high on Buss' scale and so still get quite a bit of favor.

    5. So, if we could identify a group of men who meet five out of six, and who are also accessible and available, then if you and Buss are right women should be visibly flocking to that group, eager to scoop up the free diamonds in the streets. Do you agree so far?

    Now, you're based in Boston, right? (even if not, just pretend you are for these purposes) It's an area dense with the college-age people you are thinking about and trying to speak to, and so you should be able to see their behavior first-hand. So here's the simple experiment: walk by MIT and look around. If you and Buss are right, and if college-age women are not fools or idiots, then you should find women from all over the Boston area lined up at the doors of MIT! Think about it: with the exception of Size & Strength, nearly all men at MIT have the other five characteristics on Buss' list, and in spades. Any local woman knows this, and also knows that the MIT men are likely to be single and available (and straight). So they should be swarming the place over.

    Of course, the truth of the real world is not just different, it's the polar opposite: the young women of Boston generally avoid MIT like it's a toxic waste dump. (I'm not speaking first-hand here; I never matriculated at MIT. But I feel quite confident that I know the scene.) Yes, you've made the statement that “the beta male's market value is rising rapidly,” and maybe the day will soon come when the girls of BU and Tufts will be crowding the Red Line to Kendall Square. And you might well be there, urging them on. But that recent result, even if true, doesn't touch the main argument: MIT men have been 5/6 on Buss' list for decades, and have been reviled and ignored for just as many decades. So, your proposition must be mistaken. QED. *Busted*

    It's important to note what has and hasn't been proved here. I'm not claiming to have shown, for example, that the qualities on Buss' list aren't desirable or wouldn't be attractive to women generally; I guess that they would. But what I think I have shown, airtight and irrefutably, is that the qualities on Buss' list are not _primary_, they're _secondary_ at best. That is, yes, women might generally find these traits attractive; but there are other traits, not listed here, that women find _more_ compelling and which can easily, completely trump the entire list — if a man has the “trump trait” then he doesn't need the rest, and if he doesn't have it then even having 5/6 traits on Buss' list won't help (as we see at MIT).

    So, what are the “trump traits,” that are far more important than the ones you listed? Equivalently: what's not to like about MIT men? what are their shortcomings? One obvious suggestion would be appearance, ie handsomeness and grooming; another might be social awareness, familiarity with popular culture. If these are the big kahunas that women insist on in order to have a relationship, then this would readily explain why the MIT men rank low! But if I had to guess, I would say that the real ur-trait, the one that women will value above all others when looking for a relationship, is what might be called “status”. A man has status, in the sense that I mean, proportional to (i) how many other peer men defer to him, and (ii) how many peer women find him attractive.

    This is nothing original, of course; the idea that this quality of status, thus defined, would be supremely attractive has been discussed in many places. It also fits reasonably well into evolutionary psychology (which I think, personally, is way overrated). Of course, your and Buss' theory, that women seek men who would make for good relationship partners, also fits into evolutionary theory. But your theory, as we've seen, is wrong, or at the very least quite incomplete; while the status theory explains much better a great deal of what I've seen or heard of in the world, including what's discussed on this very blog.

    Of course, you don't need any of my rigmarole to see this. Your theory, that women want solid relationships and so seek out men who would be good partners (correct me if I'm misquoting you here) is reasonable on its face, but founders immediately on the rocks of reality. Just ask yourself: if women really are seeking good relationship material, then how can it be that so many attempt to have relationships with men who are so obviously, manifestly unqualified? James Bond; Peter Pan; Don Draper; players and PUAs, etc. Reductio ad absurdum; the proposition must be wrong. Yes, I know that you claim that only a small minority of women with low self-esteem would go for (ie attempt a relationship with) these types. But I dispute that: I think these types are almost universally attractive to women even though — or maybe exactly because? — they're bad relationship material.

    So, I return to my earlier statement: in the real world, young women are typically hypocrites. They say they want to have relationships with men who would be good partners; but, when given the choice, they actually attempt relationships with the opposite, men who would manifestly make bad partners. This behavior is not the exception, it's the norm. You try to help young women avoid doing this, as a practical matter to make their lives better; I am primarily interested in condemning hypocrisy as an evil in and of itself, whether that helps anyone or not. I don't think this makes us Mars and Venus, necessarily; but we are definitely working non-identical agendas.

    There, I hope this point is clear now.

  • susanawalsh

    Esau, I find flaws in your argument. First, I do not agree that you can exclude compatibility as a trait. Compatibility is defined by Buss as “sustained collaborative alliance.” How does such an alliance occur?

    1. There must be attraction, or chemistry to bring any two individuals together.
    2. Collaboration requires the ability to communicate, negotiate and compromise.
    3. Alliance implies that both partners are seeking a committed relationship, expecting to derive mutual benefits.

    Now, I have to say that I lived in Harvard Square and NEVER did I see young women travel in on the Red Line to stand at the gates of Harvard Yard and check out the guys. The only young people milling around Harvard are those attending, and those hoping to attend. The same is true of MIT. In the case of MIT, the student population is generally not found to be milling around, period. It's the most silent campus I've ever visited. My brother attended MIT and took advantage of the reciprocal program with Wellesley College, taking a bus to Wellesley three times a week for a lit class. He had a gorgeous girlfriend almost immediately. But I daresay he was the exception to the rule at MIT. Guys there are neither reviled nor ignored, as far as I can tell. They are an extremely studious and talented group, not generally to be found out in the evenings in the same watering holes that students from Harvard, BU and BC frequent.

    IT IS INCUMBENT UPON EVERY INDIVIDUAL TO MARKET THEIR RELATIONSHIP POTENTIAL IF A RELATIONSHIP IS WHAT THEY SEEK. THEY CAN DO THIS BY MAXIMIZING THEIR PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT AND INTERACTING WITH THOSE WHO SHARE THEIR INTERESTS.

    We both know MIT guys aren't doing that for the most part. No one, absolutely no one, chooses MIT for its social interaction opportunities.

    Finally, I would just say that Buss' theory holds AS LONG AS YOU RECOGNIZE THAT 10S DATE 10S AND 4S DATE 4S. The research clearly demonstrates that most people marry within one or two steps of their own physical attractiveness. Relationships with a large discrepancy between parties are very difficult to navigate, as the less attractive partner is on high alert with jealousy and/or fear. For couples who marry under these circumstances, marriages are far more likely to succeed when the woman is the more attractive one.

    Everyone wants a 10. Women are hypergamous, and want a 10 in terms of social status. Men want a 10 for sex. Anyone objectively scoring less than an 8 would do well do conduct a realistic assessment of their own mating value.

  • Esau

    Susan –

    I don't dispute very much of what you've written in this last reply; but you are still not engaging the main point, which is not about tactics but about hypocrisy. I've met many women who, when the topic of hypocrisy is raised, just shrug it off, saying “Yeah, that's just something women do. What's the big deal?” I hope you're not one of these, as I think hypocrisy is a very serious subject, and especially so for your target readers (more on this below).

    First I think it's worth a moment to re-emphasize the distinction between primary and secondary traits of attractiveness, because the basic act of hypocrisy is mis-naming the two, saying “X is most important to me” when in fact “Y” is actually _more_ important but the person doesn't say this. Here's a little skit, based very closely on a real-life example I happened to see:

    She: What I really want is to meet is a guy who's smart, funny, kind, reasonably good-looking, single and interested in a relationship.

    He: Sounds like a tall order, but I know just the guy. I'd be glad to fix you two up on a blind date.

    – After the blind date –

    He: How'd it go?

    She: Terrible! I bailed to the ladies' room within the first half hour and then snuck out the back way. I'm never letting you fix me up again.

    He: Whoa, what's wrong? He should have been perfect. Wasn't he smart?

    She: Yeah.

    He: Funny?

    She: Yeah.

    He: Kind?

    She: Yeah.

    He: Reasonable-looking? Single? Interested?

    She: Yeah, yeah, yeah, he was all those things.

    He: But that's what you said you wanted. What was the problem?

    She: He was a NERD!

    He: You never said you didn't want a nerd.

    She: I never said he shouldn't have two heads, either! Some things just go without saying!

    The woman in this story has committed an act of what I would call “soft hypocrisy.” She didn't actually lie outright, as she did want all the things she described in a man. But she effectively lied by omission by leaving out a statement of what was really most important to her (“no nerds”); and this omission leaves her friend misinformed about what is really primary and what secondary. The result, in this story, is just pain and embarrassment for all three people involved.

    This is a cautionary tale for you, Susan: many things that you may think go without saying, you should take the time to say. When you quote Buss' list, or exhibit a list like the one in main post here, about what women want or what women are seeking, and you do so _without_ further qualification, you are [imho] _implicitly_ saying that these things are _primary_, they are the _most_ important things a woman wants/seeks. But that's untrue here; the behavior a man might follow under the advice of your main post, or the qualities listed in Buss' list, are _secondary_, not primary [*]. They're good things to have, but they're _not_ the _most_ important, and are easily trumped by other qualities that _are_ more important. So I maintain that when you proffer a list of what are really secondary qualities, without distinguishing them as such and without even remarking on what the primary qualities actually are (“some things just go without saying”), then you are committing an act of soft hypocrisy just like the woman in the skit above.

    I've been too rambling in previous comments, so let me get right to the heart of the matter here, which is how women value status versus commitment. You've described your basic view of the world, which is that women want relationships and so will prioritize qualities in a man which are likely to make him a good partner, particularly being willing to commit to, and work at, having a good relationship (cf your post on “How to Figure Out if He Has Relationship Potential.”) At the same time, however, in accepting the “hypergamy” idea, you also believe that women highly prioritize status in a man. Every woman would like to have both! of course, a man who's high-status and also a good partner. But, which is primary, and which secondary? or are they roughly equal? (to the extent we can generalize women's desires, which we both seem to think we can)

    I think basic experience in the real world shows clearly that, when forced to choose, young women will nearly always prioritize “high-status” over “good partner” — hands down, going away, no contest [you tell me if you disagree]. Yet when speaking about themselves, these same women will often — almost always, in my experience — say the opposite, that “good partner”-type qualities are the most important for them, above a man being “high-status”. The young women say this are almost universally — there's no point in trying to be polite here — lying, an act of “hard” hypocrisy. (Older women are a different story.) I don't know if they're conscious of it or not, but they live their lives steeped in hypocrisy, and I think this failure to be honest causes them, and the world, a lot of trouble.

    I believe that prioritizing “high-status” over “good partner” leads to a great deal of misery for young women, much more than one might expect offhand and for a very specific reason. Tell me what you think of this analysis, which I think meshes very well with a lot of what you've written on the blog here:

    Given that high status in a man is of primary importance, it's important to ask: how does anyone, man or woman, judge whether a given man has high status? The majority of men college-age or in their early twenties are just starting out in adult hierarchies, and so there's not much objective to go on. (One can always lie, but no one is going to believe a 22-year-old claiming to run a large company and put out oil well fires in his spare time.) So anyone, man or woman, making this judgement on a young man will tend to fall back on impressions and encoding, and ask — subconsciously, most likely — “Does this man have the habits and mannerisms of a high-status person?” And this is how the devil sneaks in the door.

    This explains why, for example, confidence is a universally attractive trait to have. Ask yourself, why should confidence be attractive? Here's a theory: Confidence is the expectation that people will react to you in the way you want them to, broadly speaking. The basic way you get confidence is through a lifetime of people responding well to you, ie liking you and/or deferring to you. This is exactly the experience a high-status person would have, and so the habits of confidence serve as a proxy, or marker, for being high-status.

    But the habits of confidence are just that: mannerisms, with no actual objective restraint on them. So, they can in principle be faked. That is, a person can, through training or natural talent, act out the mannerisms of confidence _without_ the life-history of having been treated well. This, I think, is what you're getting at when you recommend a little “Game” as cognitive behavioral therapy: whatever one's background, if you _practice_ the habits of confidence, then you will _become_ naturally confident. This also explains why nerds and geeks have such a hard time appearing confident: they haven't been treated well in their lives, and because they're reflexively literal-minded and truth-oriented they're not very good at faking anything.

    Confidence is probably the best “universal solvent” for appearing high-status when a man is not actually rich, handsome or powerful. But there are other traits that will also “encode” for high-status, and a man for whom acting “unnaturally” confident is tough may (even unconsciously) try these others instead. For example, a whole range of boorish behaviors — being self-centered, aloof, entitled, arrogant, critical and disparaging to others — all encode for high-status at some level, because they all communicate “I don't care what you think,” which implies “I don't need or crave your approval,” which implies “I get plenty of support and attention without you.” They also communicate “unpleasant person”, to be sure!! But, given women's priorities, the high-status/unpleasant man is more highly valued than the low-(or unknown)-status/pleasant one. And this is the engine of hypocrisy: the woman _says_ she wants to be treated well, which she does; but she _chooses_ the man who treats her poorly, because of her absolute prioritizing of status.

    This, then, is my best theory for the much-noted phenomenon of why women so often choose to favor jerks. It's not that they like or enjoy boorish behavior; no one does, really. It's the fact that they prioritize status so highly, that when there are no clear status markers to be found — the few men who are actually rich, handsome and powerful having been, in Matt Groening's wonderful phrase, “hunted to extinction” — they will choose even the lousy marker supplied by the boorish behaviors over no marker at all. And so she chooses the jerk over the nice guy; tears, recriminations and letters to Aunt Sue follow, as surely as night follows day. Lather, rinse and (unfortunately) repeat.

    From your writing I gather that you understand very well how this kind of bad choice can affect a woman's life for the worse. She loses twice: she has to put up with a jerk, which is no fun; and in the end he doesn't turn out to actually have any high status, he was just faking it. But I don't think you appreciate as well how this setup impacts men.

    For a man who's not rich, powerful or particularly handsome — and this is most men — but who wants to date, sleep with, and even have a relationship with a pretty girl — and this is also most men — what is he to do? The clear message from experience, from the dynamic set up, enforced, and followed by women, is (1) Your best chance, by far, is to abandon your good self and be arrogant and self-centered instead, and (2) You can't take women seriously as honest, thinking human beings, because what they say is the opposite of what they do. Try, for a moment, to imagine what effect that lesson can have on an ordinary young man! He goes into the world with a good heart, fully expecting to take women seriously as thinking beings; but he discovers that this will cost him his life! (yes, not ever getting with a girl that you find attractive == no life) I know you've heard exactly this testimony even in some of your comment threads, from men who regret that they had no choice but to turn to the dark side. You are disappointed by these losses as a practical matter; but don't forget to count the effect on a man's soul.

    Female hypocrisy is a main driver of this sad state of affairs, and it deserves to be examined closely on its own.

    Best regards,

    Esau

    [*] This was the main point of the (admittedly overblown) MIT example. Yes, of course you're correct that the men of MIT could probably get more action if they got out a little more. But my point was that, if Buss' list were _really_ primary, then they wouldn't have to do even that much: the MIT men would be pursued like rock stars, and women would track them down in their labs and libraries just as determinedly as — in the real world — they try to sneak backstage at a Bon Jovi concert. Primary means primary! and Buss' list is not primary.

  • susanawalsh

    Ah, Esau, I do believe we are on the same page at last.

    “I believe that prioritizing “high-status” over “good partner” leads to a great deal of misery for young women.”

    I agree 100%. As I said in another comment thread this evening, honestly, if women are going to be total idiots and reject guys who are funny, intelligent, kind and sincere, they are on their own. I don't blog for those women, and I don't want to know them. The world is full of superficial people who seek only personal gain, and never consider the “giving” aspect of relationships. As you can imagine, those are not the people who inspire me to write. Yes, there are many hypocritical women. And men.

    “For a man who's not rich, powerful or particularly handsome — and this is most men — but who wants to date, sleep with, and even have a relationship with a pretty girl — and this is also most men — what is he to do?”

    Both men and women who want relationships need to develop and pursue strategies that will lead them to success. This is where a bit of Game is invaluable. For both sexes, confidence is essential. If you don't have it, you need to find a way to “fake it 'till you make it.” It's about finding the middle ground. Being confident without being a douchebag. Being sincere without being a wuss. Men need to emulate certain qualities to attract women, but if they are seeking true love rather than short-term sex, they would do well to find the “zone” where they may be desirable without being boorish.

    Thanks for all the thoughtful comments. I don't have a PhD in any of this….I too am a work in progress, and you have raised some very interesting points.

    BTW, I do want to just say once more, that if every man wants to date a pretty girl, he would do well to be realistic about his own attractions. I feel like way too many guys think they should be able to land a Megan Fox. Men (and women) are not entitled to anything – they must earn success with the opposite sex, and have a much better chance of doing so if the desired object is within realistic range of their own level of attractiveness.

  • Esau

    Susan –

    I feel I've been on the same page since I started here, so welcome to it ;). But I'm glad to have found for my ideas a language which makes some sense to you.

    I'm also glad that you've at least been able to admit the existence of hypocrisy, after only four tries. But I'm afraid that your anodyne statement “Yes, there are many hypocritical women. And men.” is a limp whitewash that just doesn't come anywhere close to reality. Men and women are simply not on equal footing in this area, not even on the same planet.

    I'm not saying that men are at all honest, per se; heavens, no. Men can and will often lie[*] tactically (from the old “I'll respect you in the morning” to my favorite “I'd love to buy you shoes forever”) to get what they want. But men are also typically much more honest and direct when speaking in general about what they want. When a man says “I'd like to sleep with Megan Fox,” chances are that, yes, he actually does want to sleep with Megan Fox, and if Megan Fox walked through the door he'd at least make a move in her direction once he stopped blinking. By contrast a woman's lies, of the type I condemn, are not tactical and don't really gain her anything at all. When a woman says “I'd like a man who's kind, smart and funny” but opts for boorish jerks instead, what good does it do her to have even said that? She's just confusing herself and everyone around her, courting misery for all (except the jerk, of course; 'nuf said).

    [*] Another part of my general complaint is that women typically make no little or no attempt to judge or to value correctly a man's honesty, and so they both set themselves up for trouble and give the advantage to the liars among men. A twofer, as it were.

    So, no: women's hypocrisy can't be shrugged away with “men do it too, so we're even”. Instead, women's hypocrisy is widespread, pervasive and toxic, like some deadly chemical that seeps into the groundwater and threatens to poison everything — even your favorite potted plant. Observe:

    You advise that “if every man wants to date a pretty girl, he would do well to be realistic about his own attractions…and have a much better chance of doing so if the desired object is within realistic range of [his] own level of attractiveness.” This seems, at first, like very practical advice, clear-eyed and unsentimental. And it is, I agree. But it's harder than you think, for good men, because of the waters poisoned by hypocrisy. If a man actually listens to what women say they want — imagine that! — to then compare and see how he stacks up against it, he'd get the sure idea that “kind, smart and funny” is the top of the scale. (I heard this all the time, from women of all ages, when I was coming up the ranks.) If that man is, in fact and judging honestly, himself kind, smart and funny, then he might reasonably think his own attractiveness should be pretty high! Boy, is he in for a rude awakening.

    Note also, in passing, that this dynamic hurts only honest men who try to listen and take women seriously in what they say. The poison of women's hypocrisy derails honest men, giving the advantage to cynical, manipulative men who never valued women as thinking beings at all. Way to go, girls.

    Consider also the question you asked earlier: why is there so much hatred and rage among some men? I myself am relatively restrained, but I know you've overflown the Roissysphere and so have seen up close just how batshit crazy those guys can get. It's pretty scary! How did it happen? What pushed so many over the edge?

    There are probably many different reasons, and some were probably crazy seeds to begin with, just waiting to sprout. But I would bet that fair number of these men were once honest, well-intentioned guys who were driven crazy by contact with the poison. (I myself was saved by the love of a good, honest, non-hypocritcal woman — we met in our thirties — and I shudder to think how I might have wound up had it not been for her. Weepy and cliched, I know, but also absolutely true.) What do you think it's like for a good and honest man to keep hearing women say “I want X, I think X is sexy” and then see that having “X” doesn't help him at all? (and often hurts; that's another, related, story) Then, when he learns that the quickest, easiest and most reliable way to gain a woman's favor is to treat her like dirt? (yes, confidence is dandy; but assholery is quicker.) What do you think this does to a man's psyche, to his soul? The system set up and maintained by women is insane, a madhouse that no honest man can navigate. (I've even had women say, straight to my face, “You can't take seriously anything I say;” welcome to the madhouse!) So, whenever a woman asks, somewhere down the line in her 30's or 40's, why there aren't any good men around, the answer I would give her is: because you ran a madhouse in your 20's that no good man could survive.

    So, no, women's hypocrisy is not something to be shrugged off lightly. It's pervasive and it's toxic, and it ruins the lives of men and women alike. You should try to face it seriously. Consider making it the subject of a blog post! You've heard enough from me; see what the rest of your readers think.

    I'm all talked out, so this is probably the last you'll hear from me on this thread. Thanks for listening, and I hope you found some of it thought-provoking. Also, regarding this statement, “I don't have a PhD in any of this….I too am a work in progress,” take heart! Your writing is lively, intelligent and original and I hope you find the large following you deserve.

    Best,

    Esau

    PS I can't depart this thread completely without at least mentioning that I personally had a very bad reaction to reading point 16 from the list in your original post:

    16. We can’t resist a guy acting domestic.
    Cook us dinner, and you will almost certainly get laid.

    If you're talking about a man who's already in a relationship, OK; but he's presumably getting laid regularly already, so what's your point? For a man who's not in a relationship, and the woman hasn't decided whether to sleep with him yet, then this is SO AWFULLY, TERRIBLY, TRAGICALLY WRONG that your writing it practically constitutes a felony act of violence. I spent my 20's cooking for women, and quite flatly it never improved my chances one iota, not once — in fact it probably hurt them. And my cooking in those days ranged from good to very good. One young woman was honest enough to tell me to my face that she thought cooking was effeminate in a man, and the opposite of sexy. So I call total BS on this one, and would advise young men to reject your advice. If a man is already solidly approved of, for other reasons, then cooking may be safe; but if a man is not yet in the door, then _any_ generative or thoughtful act on his part is dangerous! as it risks getting him marked as beta, and so totally untouchable. This is the world women created, where generosity is punished; are you proud of it?

    PPS, off this topic but since you mentioned it, re: “I feel like way too many guys think they should be able to land a Megan Fox.” I think you're on to something very important here, and that this men's desire for, let's call it “excessive quality” is closely related to the desire for “excessive quantity” that you discussed in the recent post “Why Are American Men Sexually Insecure?” They look like two sides of a coin to me. I'll see if I can say anything useful over there.

  • susanawalsh

    Esau, in your first two paragraphs alone, you indulge in four personal insults. I might say that you didn't find a language that makes some sense to me (as if I am slow-witted), you finally stated a couple of points in a way that was free of bitterness and rant. You might consider that when you are not being understood, it may reflect your ideas, the way in which you express them, or both. I have tried hard to be gracious with you, Esau, but you do not argue with civility at times.

    To say that men and women are not even on the same planet with respect to hypocrisy further demonstrates how emotionally invested you seem to be around this topic. It makes no sense to paint one sex with such a broad brush. Hypocrisy must be considered a serious character flaw, and essentially, you keep suggesting that it is innate to women. As long as that is your main point, and you must return to it relentlessly, no productive discussion is possible.

    What I can't figure out is that you said early on that you are happily married, yet nearly all of your comments present a man who is bitter and resentful about his lack of opportunities in the sexual marketplace. Apparently, that reflects your history, but surely all that residual anger must poison your own relationship. You are not relatively restrained, just because you don't exhibit the full-blown sociopathy of the Roissyfans. Your comments are among the most angry and extreme I've ever received.

    Re #16: None of this advice pertains if the woman in question does not find you sexually attractive. If you haven't got her juices flowing, performing in the kitchen isn't going to get the job done. On the other hand, if you have awakened a woman's interest, and are in the early dating phase, cooking for her can seal the deal. I have seen many men use this approach to great effect, because it signals several things:

    1. He is competent at fending for himself. His apt. is not likely to be littered with pizza boxes and takeout cartons.
    2. He is confident about his abilities in the kitchen, and confidence is always winning.
    3. He is setting the scene for intimacy, eating without the bustle of a restaurant. No restrictions on playing footsie under the table here.
    4. He is sharing personal information about himself by welcoming me into his home.

    In other words, men cooking for women is charming. I've been there many times, and always found it so. But you can't squeeze blood from a stone. A man shouldn't be cooking for a woman unless he is reasonably sure that she is interested in him.

    Women did not create a world where generosity is punished. Not the women I've known, and not this world. The world is filled with couples, and a large number of them are in relationships that work. They are raising children together, making a home and a life. They experience ups and downs. The half that doesn't divorce is not miserable. I reject your idea that advice to young people should consist of warnings and diatribes about how toxic women are.

    Esau, I do appreciate your willingness to engage and debate. I know well how time-consuming it can be! And I welcome your intelligent input. But if your plan is to pick through my posts looking for ways to denigrate the character of women, you might as well stop right now. It's not going to be productive or enjoyable for either of us.

    I do wish you the best.

  • susanawalsh

    Esau, in your first two paragraphs alone, you indulge in four personal insults. I might say that you didn't find a language that makes some sense to me (as if I am slow-witted), you finally stated a couple of points in a way that was free of bitterness and rant. You might consider that when you are not being understood, it may reflect your ideas, the way in which you express them, or both. I have tried hard to be gracious with you, Esau, but you do not argue with civility at times.

    To say that men and women are not even on the same planet with respect to hypocrisy further demonstrates how emotionally invested you seem to be around this topic. It makes no sense to paint one sex with such a broad brush. Hypocrisy must be considered a serious character flaw, and essentially, you keep suggesting that it is innate to women. As long as that is your main point, and you must return to it relentlessly, no productive discussion is possible.

    What I can't figure out is that you said early on that you are happily married, yet nearly all of your comments present a man who is bitter and resentful about his lack of opportunities in the sexual marketplace. Apparently, that reflects your history, but surely all that residual anger must poison your own relationship. You are not relatively restrained, just because you don't exhibit the full-blown sociopathy of the Roissyfans. Your comments are among the most angry and extreme I've ever received.

    Re #16: None of this advice pertains if the woman in question does not find you sexually attractive. If you haven't got her juices flowing, performing in the kitchen isn't going to get the job done. On the other hand, if you have awakened a woman's interest, and are in the early dating phase, cooking for her can seal the deal. I have seen many men use this approach to great effect, because it signals several things:

    1. He is competent at fending for himself. His apt. is not likely to be littered with pizza boxes and takeout cartons.
    2. He is confident about his abilities in the kitchen, and confidence is always winning.
    3. He is setting the scene for intimacy, eating without the bustle of a restaurant. No restrictions on playing footsie under the table here.
    4. He is sharing personal information about himself by welcoming me into his home.

    In other words, men cooking for women is charming. I've been there many times, and always found it so. But you can't squeeze blood from a stone. A man shouldn't be cooking for a woman unless he is reasonably sure that she is interested in him.

    Women did not create a world where generosity is punished. Not the women I've known, and not this world. The world is filled with couples, and a large number of them are in relationships that work. They are raising children together, making a home and a life. They experience ups and downs. The half that doesn't divorce is not miserable. I reject your idea that advice to young people should consist of warnings and diatribes about how toxic women are.

    Esau, I do appreciate your willingness to engage and debate. I know well how time-consuming it can be! And I welcome your intelligent input. But if your plan is to pick through my posts looking for ways to denigrate the character of women, you might as well stop right now. It's not going to be productive or enjoyable for either of us.

    I do wish you the best.

  • Joe_Blast

    I first want to start by saying that I appreciate this blog post, and it's comments, especially between Esau and Susan.

    It was a good read.

    Next, I want to say, in simple terms, that I agree with Esau's core point; hypocrisy(even soft-hypocrisy) should not be wantonly disregarded.

    I heard, on a few occasions, something along the lines of “none of this advice applies if a woman doesn't already find a man attractive.” Well, it would seem to make sense to apply the things that a woman 'DOES' find attractive at the top of this list of things that a woman “really” wants from a man. For instance, it should start by stating “If a woman does not initially find you sexually attractive, then you're shit-out-of-luck.” Some might think that this is an unnecessary step, but many people might take this omission at face value; which is that this list 'IS' what women really want.

    If a man has all of the qualities on this list, but is not sexually attractive, then he still wont end up with the woman he's after. This, to me, seems like 'sexual attractiveness' is what women “really” want. If that's the case, then it would make sense that the things on the list are secondary desires.

    Step one should be “Become(and stay) sexually attractive.” The rest of the list should be bonus points, because they're definitely not as relevant to attracting, or even keeping, a woman. As soon as a man loses his sexual appeal he becomes “boring.” I'm not saying that women are wrong for feeling this way, I am simply saying that men need to follow a different list(with yours[Susan] as an addendum) in order to get and keep a woman satisfied.

    I don't think that the advice to young people should be about how toxic women are, but, rather, how toxic relationships seem to be. Simply slicing the 'blame' down the middle and ascribing 50% to each gender doesn't seem like a reasonable thing to do. My own experiences are not absolute proofs, nor are Esau's or anyone else's, but they definitely demonstrate that the hypocrisy of women 'seems' to be an enormous cause of the current dismal state of average relationships.

    It makes sense that if people were truly saying what they actually wanted, rather than being hypocrites(even if they aren't aware of it) that there would be less futile attempts by men to please women that are literally not possible to be pleased by that specific man.

    The thing about women, and what they find to be 'sexually attractive,' is that the view appears to change so frequently. It's largely based on emotion, and you can't control your emotions. How do you remain attractive to someone who's opinion of attraction changes so frequently? It seems that the most reliable trait that women seek is aloofness. They want what they can't have, and it will always be attractive to them.

    Thanks again for the interesting read,

    - Joe

  • susanawalsh

    Hey, Joe, welcome and thanks for commenting!

    Sexual attraction is indeed a must. If you haven't got that, you haven't got anything. However, it's not something that naturally occurs at first meeting, necessarily. A man can work it, and I often hear of women having “personality crushes” that develop over time. Game is very effective, but in a place other than a club or bar, it can take some time to produce results. In the workplace, for instance, a guy can begin to appeal to a woman over time.

    This list is specifically addressed to men in relationships. Obviously, the sexual attraction is established at that point. A man who has not yet received indications of interest from the female would not be in a position to implement these suggestions.

    The topic of hypocrisy is a difficult one. You admit that people may not be aware of it. I would say that women find it difficult to advocate for themselves in the early stages of a relationship. We are programmed to be pursued, and to respond. We view our options as yes or no to the men who have taken the initiative. It is rare that a woman feels comfortable going after a man she finds attractive, and is more likely to consider it a FAIL if she is unable to arouse his interest.

    I don't think that women find aloofness attractive. We find self-confidence attractive, and one whiff of EAGER and we're out the door. Neither sex wants a partner who is needy, dependent or desperate.

    A man would do well to get his A-Game in place, because a woman will feel attraction for him if he has internalized his own sense of worth.

  • Joe_Blast

    I agree that men should be getting their A-game in place. Not because it attracts women(which it does, as a side effect), but because once you're aware of who you are, and what you value in life, you can choose your actions accordingly. People should respect themselves enough to strive to improve for THEM. It shouldn't be about getting 'better' to meet other people's standards. You should meet your own standards. When you have high standards of yourself, it shows. Other people will respect that, but more importantly, you'll respect yourself.

    If you happen to want a relationship, then you would be wise to know what you're looking for, and more importantly, what you're not looking for. When you have your act strait, things seem to come together more efficiently. There is less indecisiveness.

    Also, I still think that women find aloofness attractive. If a man is not playing games, but is genuinely interested in other areas of life more than he is interested in settling with a woman, then most women seem drawn to that man. They want to be the one special woman that can draw his focus.

    It doesn't happen, though. Those men, the most passionate and free-spirited men, don't settle down. They can't, it is against every bit of what their 'soul,' or 'self,' stands for. They can have relations with women, and treat them kindly. They can even develop feelings for them, but they can't settle for them. If this kind of man were to settle down he would no longer be the man that initially drew the interest of the women that pursued him.

    It seem natural for women to seek this sort of man, which is fine, but it would be smart to learn that if they're seeking a relationship then they're wasting their time on him.

    Concerning men that would settle down, It is very rare to find a man that can act as a chameleon and remain exciting to a woman's constantly evolving opinion of what is desirable, for a long relationship. Even when relationships stay intact out of loyalty, they don't seem to have the 'spark' that they originally had.

    Most men seem to be satisfied if a woman stays the same as when he met her. He liked her the way she was when he made a commitment to her, and has no problem so long as she doesn't become worse than when he met her.

    Women seem to want a much different thing. They want men to constantly change to suit their current desires. Men become 'boring' if they remain the same as when they initially met them. Men aren't advertising that they're going to go through all sorts of transformations once they're in a relationship, and women shouldn't expect them to. Either be happy with what you have when you got it, or wait until you find something that you can remain content with.

    I personally think that all people should make constant efforts to improve and remain exciting, especially for their own benefit, but it seems unreasonable to become bored with a man that hasn't become worse in any way since you met him.

    If you're becoming bored with people, that's probably your problem, not everyone else's.

    I bounced around a lot on this comment, but they were points that I thought were relevant to the discussion.

    Take care,

    - Joe

  • susanawalsh

    Joe, yes, I totally agree with your view here, which is to say that it's about personal development. That's likely to lead to more success with the opposite sex, and in other places too; work, etc.

    It's true that there are men who really don't have an interest in settling into a LTR. Women who deceive themselves into thinking they will be the one to make him change are playing very, very long odds. Annette Bening succeeded with Warren Beatty, so it happens. But every time I see that some new woman is dating either George Clooney or John Mayer for example, I think “Good luck with that.” It's possible that those women don't want to pin down those men, but I doubt it.

    I'm not sure why you think women are more likely to get bored in relationships than men are. I tend to think it's the opposite – men want sexual variety, so being in a relationship means sacrificing that. Women prefer relationships, and sex with a favored male, so if she has fallen in love then I see no reason why she should become bored.

    Of course, many people enter relationships not really knowing each other very well, and they find out after a while that they're not really that compatibile. That's often when boredom sets in.

    Finally, some people crave drama, and create it if necessary to have conflict followed by reconciliation. It's a roller coaster of emotion. If one person has no interest in this dynamic, then the drama seeker is likely to quickly become bored.

    I agree that in general, everyone enjoys spending time more with people who have varied interests. By developing interests and pursuing them, you can guarantee that you will have interesting things to say, provided that you are speaking to someone who is interested in the same things you are.

  • Collegeboy

    Thank you Susan, for patiently putting up with us, non conforming males on your blog. Esau and Rick are actually correct. I know because I came very close to being an alpha male. What I believe we should address is the inequality and unfairness. Inequality because women are hitting on only a few men, while excluding everyone else. Unfairness, now here I don’t really want to complain I enjoyed the treatment I received. However women give alpha males less stringent rules/expectations.
    Being quite candid: sex is important to boys\men. And men view it as being no less important than the attention, affection, money or marriage that women demand. Take that away and things will become bitter. That’s not to say that women should not demand for men to reciprocate the favors women do for men.
    Some background about me (I’m different): I am Hispanic with bachelor degree. I received discrimination from older white males when I was young. I also found that women have a lower tolerance for economic inequality; Women have been generous when I have needed their help e.g. Economic issues or fairness issues and men tend to be the opposite. I also rationalized what men want or wanted from a wife before feminism. Men want their wife to be altruistic and I know that’s kind of unfair given that men forget how hard women work for them. I included need to be reminded, to reciprocate women’s favors sometimes. From my observation women tend to be materialistic, but in a good way .e.g shopping, suvs, etc.
    The fairness issue is vital. Because if you say life isn’t fair, so you kick boys, their eventually going to kick you back and it won’t be funny. Other than that women who permit unfairness might create men who are greedy creating corruption and harm to society.
    Here’s the upside (my story): Most Hispanic girlfriends didn’t treat me all that well when it comes to relationships. I learned through perseverance. And I have allot to be thankful to Hispanic women, for challenging me and motivating to achieve, but I’m not going to marry a Hispanic woman for that very reason (I don’t like the culture, too much emotional baggage), they were not nice to me when it comes to relationships. The Movie School for Scoundrels is a comedy but it demonstrates the point. Dr. P challenges boys to become men. After nearly destroying Roger (the young insecure boy) he told Roger that he was the only student to ever pass class. Roger demonstrates his disdain for Dr. P.
    I am however in favor of women’s equal rights and success in their carriers because everybody wins. I don’t like religious fanaticism and I don’t put up with hypocrisy (tattoos are cool, down with the Moral Right).

  • Collegeboy

    I forgot to mention tips for aspiring women. Focus on making money, so that men won’t think your after their money or alimony. More education doesn’t necessarily mean more money. Do your research before you commit. If you have a family member who practices a particular field that requires experience consider getting into the same field, they might be able to help you get your foot in the door. Experience trumps education, at least that’s the way I see things right now. and being over educated can actually be a bad thing if you don’t deliver on the promises. Ultimately university is about challenging you to work harder using your brain. Women are great at multitasking and memory and that will be very helpful. Critical thinking skills are the most difficult to master. make sure your look like a woman. the most unattractive thing are women who look like men. And stay slim, because it looks good and it is healthy for you. As for the men who go for brainless women, I guess they don’t mind paying alimony for the privilege. If the guy very rich alimony might work out well. If the guy is not rich then you will end up cutting your overall earnings by accepting alimony. Men love bums more than breasts, so don’t get plastic surgery, just focus on staying fit and do the best with what you have, aerobics/running is great.

  • Collegeboy

    Sorry I didn’t mention something that I meaning to say. back up in the first rant.

    People are trying to protect their ego (men/women). So be polite. being mean is contagious. So don’t hurt others feelings, especially if it doesn’t cost you anything, to be polite. You don’t have to take anyone’s advances, just don’t let them down hard. Likewise head games that women play to get revenge like the ones Esau was complaining about are wrong (and vice versa). They will lead to the opposite sex being mean. Which is what many women are complaining about (“Sexual Conflict”clue men will lose). When I play games my intent is not to hurt others ego and every woman I befriended back when I played games, I know would be happy to see me again, although most of them got married or moved on. During college unlike other males, who were preoccupied with women, I wasn’t and I don’t regret it one bit. I gave up 4 or 5 one night stands (by complete strangers), smart women (ok that was a bit stupid). But I genuinely worked hard to improve myself, just like I did before for women (I have high grades). And everyone must work hard to improve themselves, if they want more relationships.e.g money, looks, etc.

  • Anonymous

    Hey Susan,

    While I am a bit off when it comes to selecting guys, I just wanted to add that I find mysterious guys incredibly attractive.

    And I want to share this song, whose lyrics send chills:

    Caro Emerald – “The Lipstick on His Collar”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2gGa4kXLj6c&feature=channel

    Love,
    Florence

  • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

    @Florence
    Wow, great song! Re mystery, I think both sexes find it intriguing. Everyone is different, but many of us enjoy cracking the code to solve the puzzle….

  • Jennifer

    AWESOME!!!!!!!

  • Glenn

    4. When you tease us about our weight, you make us feel completely worthless and disgusting.

    It’s about the worst thing a woman can hear. And it makes us want to keep our clothes on.

    ——————————————————————————

    33. If you’ve put on some beer fat, buy bigger pants.

    We don’t want to see exposed belly, love handles, or plumber’s crack because you’ve squeezed into the 32s you outgrew three years ago. One glimpse will put us off sex for a week.

    interesting.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Glenn
      Good point. That is rather hypocritical, isn’t it? I think it’s time to look over some of these old posts and make some changes. Thanks for calling that to my attention.

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  • Jennifer

    Glenn, there’s a difference between men AND women wearing reasonable clothes related to their weight, and TEASING or making fun of each other’s weight. Don’t you agree, Susan? I don’t think that’s hypocritical.

    Susan, this post is perfect. I just saw two jerkier gamers give the typical advice of treating women like kid-sisters, with playful insults about looks and orders to fetch sodas, and even insults about how GF’s fingers look like E. T.’s, and how this just works like a charm. Jerk-offs. That’s why we need superior wake-up lists like this one, at least regarding more intelligent women.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      even insults about how GF’s fingers look like E. T.’s

      Oh brother, another brilliant neg for the books.

  • ryan

    Great post its nice to see a well thought out list. What I’ve never understood is the sheer power of the penis. Let’s just say I was born lucky. Through the years I have gotten away with murder. Not that I treat a woman wrong but let’s face it i am a guy and that being said from time to time I do some dumb #$&# unintended. What is it with being well endowed that all her girlfriends have to know about it, she has to talk about it to workmates etc…

  • Mike

    I agree with the poster Esau – this list *might* have some value, if the woman is already very much into you. But guess what, at that point you don’t really have to do any of that – or not too much. However, it is good idea to incorporate some of it to keep the relationship strong. But too much and it can backfire – especially if the woman was initially attracted to something completely different.

    All in all, this list is VERY BAD advice for men. I would name this list “What women think they want from men”.

    I just discovered this blog recently, and I like some of the newer articles. I can see that this one was written in 2009 – it seems to me that Susan since matured and understands the human condition (and especially the women’s mind) better than before, I think that is admirable.

  • rudiger

    Hi!
    24. We feel extremely threatened by other women you’ve hooked up with.

    We feel the same way about all your hook ups! But I think it’s more personal for us. Dramatic for women, but just a guess

    26. We are incapable of understanding your natural need for sexual variety.
    I find this odd, because women have so many more partners than men. Or don’t they? Now that women are free to be, ahem, liberal in their sex lives, they hold the key to vast numbers of lovers. I hate that.

  • dave

    Some of the women seem to have objections to the various strategies that the “pickup-artist-instructors” are teaching. There are men who pay lots of money for “boot camps”, seminars and date coaching dvd’s in order to get better at approaching women.

  • wjdude

    Some interesting and enlightening points. Thank you.

    I’m a man of 45 years and have to ask one thing if I may: Can you please NOT compare penis size to breast size? lol. Everyone does this. Why? There can be no comparison. A penis is used for urination and sexual intercourse. Which, as we all know, is essential to the procreation of human beings. Unless artificial insemination is used of course. Ha Ha.

    Breasts, on the other hand – other than being most hetero males’ favorite play toys – are meant for feeding babies. They are NOT essential for sexual intercourse. Are you seeing my point yet? Besides, personally speaking, large breasts are not huge on my own list of physical requirements. Very large breasts get in the way to be quite honest. I won’t NOT go out with a woman if she is massively endowed, but I do try to avoid women with such endowment. A large handful is plenty for this hombre. Now a nice, big butt on the other hand? lol. Yes ladies, there are men out there who LOVE your big butt. Never forget that. Now that we’ve covered that…

    Yes, it’s very true that most of us men are insecure about the size of our penises. While I am slightly above average – but not so much so that it affects my ability to attain wonderful female companions – I still feel as though I could have more down below the belt. I’ve been told I’m quite a good lover: attentive, love oral, vocal, HUGE imagination and I know how to move. But still….there is that nagging doubt that the equipment just doesn’t cut it. Why? Well….

    Everywhere you look you see references to large penises. TV and movies are chock full of innuendos. It’s reminiscent of the subliminal programming we used to see – and sometimes still do – telling girls they MUST be slim and gorgeous in order to succeed. Remember those days? Well…we men are experiencing the exact same thing. And I can remember experiencing this when I was still fairly young. Did it do some damage on my self-esteem? Darn right it did! And why wouldn’t it? Young men are just as impressionable as young women. Are they not?

    Furthermore, the author herself made a statement that can scare the crap out of most men: “OK, if you’re hung like a stallion, it may come up in conversation.” If you’re not interested in huge penises, why talk about them with your girlfriends? If you ask me, that’s information that we men really don’t want to know.

    As for pornography, well…it certainly doesn’t help the ‘average’ man’s self-esteem. I personally don’t bother with porn though, as I prefer the real thing, my incredibly broad imagination or nothing at all. Unlike most men, I think with the large head, not the small one. Always have.

    I hope I’ve made some good points here. The main one being that if women don’t want men to be insecure about their penises, stop talking about big ones! At least you ladies that say you don’t care about them anyway. And as for you not liking us talking about our exes, same goes for us. Especially Studly Do Right with the 10 inch trouser trout. That is NOT a good way to get a great sexual performance out of us. No matter where you talk about it. Me? I don’t ask, that way I don’t know who I’m competing with or against.

    Once again, thank you for the insight and enlightenment. We men do need this from time to time and it’s nice to hear an honest perspective from women with integrity. Which is what any good man wants, correct? A woman with integrity? I certainly like to think so. For the record, I am not putting down your article – as it is excellent – I am only trying to give one mature (ok, that’s a matter of perspective LOL) man’s feedback on the subject. And yes this subject is a big one for us (no pun intended). Unfortunately.

    Thank you for your time,
    J

    P.S. – Please try to be patient with your man when he has these bouts of insecurity regarding his Johnson. He IS human and while most of the time he may be that confident, sexy dude you’re head over heels for, sometimes he falters. Just like everyone else. Thanks :)

  • wjdude

    Perhaps I was a bit premature with my opinions about this article. I have to agree with Esau and Mike. Most of this list is a bit out of date now from what I can see.

  • Frank

    since many women over the years have changed, it is very hard to figure them out. even when i go out to the clubs and dance, i will dance with many women that are not that pretty but with their personality being very nice i still enjoy being with them. many women nowadays are looking for a man with a very large bank account, and can’t seem to accept the man for who he is like they did in the past. i can easily be very attracted to a woman with a very good personality, like i have just mentioned and looks aren’t everything.

  • J

  • john

    Women want security. You can interpret that any way you want.

  • wjdude

    Now that I’ve been single for a while and have been dating regularly again I’ve come to one conclusion about women: they are completely insatiable.

    Therefore, I’m just going to stop trying. I owe nothing to anyone, especially self-entitled, spoiled females. I’m done. My hand works just as well :)

  • Man

    Susan: I would like you or other women to answer why girls often ask about how many girlfriends we’ve had and details about our past relationships. I really don’t like that. I always wonder with which kind of girl I am dealing and if I should answer I had 2 girlfriends, or 10, or 100. Usually I refuse to talk about it. It looks like an insecure woman for me or with other problems.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Man

      I think that depends on the woman. Have you had the sense that they want to hear a big number or a low number?

  • Man

    I suspect that they unconsciously want to hear a very big number. :) Probably they had already detected I was a “nice guy” for them and were looking for ways to sabotage the relationship. :)))

    OK… Kidding apart, I think so: if she is interested in me, it’s just about curiosity; otherwise, she needs to be part of the harem of an alpha male: The Nice Guy Dilemma

    But… what do YOU think, as an Alpha Female? :-D

  • Man

    if she is interested in me, it’s just about curiosity

    I think I can sometimes tell the difference. But I think that most of the time these women have self-esteem issues. It’s the same kind of girl, who later on will ask: why do you like me? But it can be difficult actually to tell if she has self-esteem issues and is seeking validation; or if she is just interested in commitment and might be afraid she’s just another in the line.

    But I also wonder: if she’s just interested in casual sex, she wouldn’t even ask it anyway?

    Whatever, I am not so preoccupied about this. I just wonder which is your perception as a woman, and from your peers too. Also because you’re trying to shed some light into the dating scene.

    But, overall, I think that guys (nice or not) have already internalized the concept that women prefer the men with the highest scores (numbers). So I do think it’s really a good idea for girls to make these questions. I particularly don’t like it and start to be suspicious of the girl’s motives and possible personal issues which lead her to ask it, or if she’s controlling and manipulative, etc.

    Well, you know: we do not like to discuss the relationship. And even less so, past relationships. :)

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      But, overall, I think that guys (nice or not) have already internalized the concept that women prefer the men with the highest scores (numbers).

      This varies depending on the female. Those with very unrestricted sociosexuality who enjoy casual sex prefer men with a high number of past sexual partners. They also tend to seek out men who have had few relationships. Women with more restricted sociosexuality who do not have casual sex will want reassurance that the sex you’ve had is not casual, and that your number of past relationships is not extremely high, which would make you a serial monogamist.

  • Man

    Correction: So I do NOT think it’s really a good idea for girls to make these questions.

  • Lokland

    @Susan

    Ahh number 16.
    How times change.

  • Man

    @Susan: As a last note, usually I do answer everything she wants and I provide correct answers so that if she’s insecure or has other issues, will fuck off as soon as possible.

  • Man

    @Susan: I do not agree with everything on this site, and I have my own values, but I do like the work you’re doing with girls and coaching them to do smarter dating. However, I am not going to participate actively here. If you want to share my journey have a look at my journal, especially the first post and related references and links, and replies #19 and #21: http://www.yourbrainrebalanced.com/index.php?topic=8575.0 Cheers!

  • Anacaona

    This varies depending on the female. Those with very unrestricted sociosexuality who enjoy casual sex prefer men with a high number of past sexual partners. They also tend to seek out men who have had few relationships. Women with more restricted sociosexuality who do not have casual sex will want reassurance that the sex you’ve had is not casual, and that your number of past relationships is not extremely high, which would make you a serial monogamist.
    Cosign this. I did asked my husband his number and details about past relationships and I have even met some of his exes. I needed to know his romantic resume before committing to him, YMMV.

  • Man

    Thanks both for the clarification. Since that both types of women tend to seek out men who have had few relationships, presumably for a committed relationship I think, I wonder which is the best option for a man.

    Typically men will assume that if the woman has a promiscuous past that a relationship with her will more likely to be troublesome: she would more likely cheat; she would more likely have emotional issues which will be brought to the current relationship; she would likely be more demanding of her partner, because of her past relationships, etc.

    I guess this is the “double standard” you talk about in The Sex Risk for Women That No One Likes to Talk About , which I think are more related to men’s typical “alpha male” animal instincts and the “double standard” of price of sex for both genders, which I explained in my comment 319 there.

    That said, perhaps you might add another article entitled “What Women Really Think About Your Past” and “What Women Really Think About Nice Guys”. Thanks anyway for extolling women to give “nice guys” a break, even though I think that nobody can be categorized into “nice” or “bad”. We all have some of both traits. Think about “nice girls” for instance. I suspect they are more sexually available to a man she likes than most “bad girls” out there.

    You’re a champion for trying to shed light on many stereotypes that exist in the dating scene (or circus?). But how many are they! Sometimes I think we all got pretty lost and the connection between men and women was almost totally torn apart in this post-feminist world.

    That said, I have been even watching lately some romantic movies to get more into women’s world and I actually enjoy it. I have already watched too much porn and should give it a break. :) Moreover I am now more interested in establishing a romantic relationship with a focus on emotional connection and bonding, easy lovemaking, which might be spiced it up occasionally when we both might feel like.

    All the best!