Scheherazade Goes to College

In the year or so that I’ve been blogging, I’ve heard a lot of stories. Many of the them have recurring themes. Even Shakespeare stole his stories from the Greeks; there just aren’t that many different variations on human behavior. A few weeks ago, though, I got an email from a reader that astounded me. I fired back a response and thought I was done with it, but it’s been on my mind quite a bit, so I thought we could discuss it here.

Dear Susan,

I need your help! I am in such a complicated situation, and I desperately need some advice. The past two weekends I have hooked up with a super hot guy that I’ve been crushing on forever. He was just really flirty one night so we went back to his place and he was really sweet. I knew that he had been hooking up for a few weeks with another girl, but she’s totally haggard and a slut, so I figured he’d be happy to ditch her. The second weekend we hooked up again on Friday night, but then someone saw that other girl walking home Sunday morning, so she was probably with him Saturday night.

Here’s where it gets really complicated. Last night I was out and the other girl was there too. He was there and being pretty friendly to everyone, not singling either of us out. So I’m in the bathroom and there’s this girl crying and talking to her friend. And I’m in the stall and I can hear what they’re saying. She likes the exact same guy, and she’s just found out about him hooking up with the other girl. She’s really upset, and she obviously doesn’t even know about me. I can’t believe that he has something going already with two other girls!

So my question is, how can I get him to make me his #1? I just want to get these other girls out of the way! I would appreciate any advice you can give me.

Katherine

Can you see why this letter has haunted me? Holy hell.

I’d like to think that this is a description of something very rare, but I know that it’s not. Katherine obviously hadn’t read any of my posts before writing – or she would have known that I would not be the person to give her the advice she seeks. In that sense, a letter slipped through here unlike most of the ones I get, and I’m glad it did. Though it may sound extreme, there is only one possible conclusion:

Katherine aspires to membership in a harem.

Actually, that’s not entirely accurate. Katherine aspires to membership is something not nearly as beneficial as a harem. The word harem first appeared in English in 1634, and comes from the Arabic word haram, meaning forbidden, specifically with respect to women’s quarters. From Wikipedia: “The Imperial Harem of the Ottoman sultan, which was also called seraglio in the West, typically housed several dozen women, including wives.” Because the women were forbidden to other men, they were served only by eunuchs and slave girls. One Persian harem is believed to have contained over 3,000 women.

1001 Arabian Nights, thought to have originally been a Persian book of folk tales, featured the story of Scheherazade. She literally kept her head by thinking up a new and exciting story to tell the King every night.

And so the King kept Scheherazade alive day by day, as he eagerly anticipated the finishing of last night’s story. At the end of one thousand and one nights, and one thousand stories, Scheherazade told the King that she had no more tales to tell him. During these one thousand and one nights, the King had fallen in love with Scheherazade, and had had three sons with her. So, having been made a wiser and kinder man by Scheherazade and her tales, he spared her life, and made her his Queen.

This is the fairy tale that Katherine is trying to live. She wants to be made Queen, having made her master a wiser and kinder man.


There’s a lot of talk in the blogosphere, especially around the topics of Game and Men’s Rights, about women increasingly living in “de facto harems” as a result of the declining marriage rate. Obsidian predicts that they’ll become a lot more common (link here). Blogger Butterfly Squash mentions harems in a recent piece as well (link here). And of course, when Tiger Woods got caught with 12 pairs of pants down, there was much talk of his having a harem (photos here).

Stuart Schneiderman of Had Enough Therapy? wrote a post called Welcome to the Harem (link here):

“If the ratio of women to men [on college campuses] is 60%/40% this will obviously have an effect on dating and relationship behavior. One effect…is that with men in such short supply those few remaining men have become empowered.

They can do what they want, when they want, with whom they want… and women, unhappy about being alone, go along because they feel that they have no other choice. If the choice is between hooking up with an anonymous male and going home alone, no small number of women are choosing the former, on the grounds that something is better than nothing.”

For the most part, I’ve always considered this to mean that women will have sex outside of relationships, even if they want a relationship, because holding out doesn’t really get women anywhere, and it’s hard to spend four years in the romance desert. Now it appears that women have found a way to be brought into the harem tent, no longer left to wander across the endless sands. Sharing the man is the price many women seem willing to pay.

Schneiderman continues:

“The gender disparity has granted men so much power that women’s voices, their needs, their interests become trivial psychocultural excrescences.”

He then goes on to make a point that is usually overlooked in articles about hookup culture:

“As Charlotte Allen points out [in her recent article in The Weekly Standard, girls] are not hooking up with just anyone. Not just any man is going to succeed at the hook-up game. A group of ersatz alpha males seems to have garnered a disproportionate number of women, while the beta and gamma males, nice guys, guys who would make good husbands or boy friends, are left out of the game.”

And here’s the apt harem analogy:

“The interesting part of all this is that a woman who engages in a casual sexual encounter with an ersatz alpha male, only to return to the comfort of the sisterhood, is acting like she is part of a harem.

  • Women are attracted to men who seem to have had many women, because that is a sign of being an alpha male. Inexperienced men, who who are awkward and shy around women, need not apply for pick-up artist or alpha male status.
  • Many of these men are not especially good lovers. This also becomes a sign of alpha maledom. If you are a pasha and can have any woman you want you do not need to be especially attentive to the woman’s needs. You are not going to see her in the morning anyway.
  • Women learn to tolerate men who never call them again, because that too is a sign that he’s an alpha male, that he is never going to be hers, but that she belongs to his harem.”

In thinking about harems, it occurs to me that we also have our modern-day equivalents of those who guard the women forbidden to nearly all the males. The guy BFF, the guy who’s always hearing, “Let’s just be friends.” We have forced those guys into playing the role of the eunuch. Except that today’s eunuchs still have their balls, and they too want a shot at one of those 3,000 women.

The slave girls are the ones who flutter around the Queen Bee, happy to be in her sphere of influence, waiting on her hand and foot, constantly demonstrating loyalty. They hook up with sidekicks of the sultan if they can, happy to be on the fringe of his court.

Hundreds of years ago, women selected for the harem did not have a choice. Today they do. Signing up voluntarily for sexual slavery to the nearest alpha sultan strikes me as a puzzling, poor life choice. At least in those days, a woman got clean sheets. Katherine is sleeping on sheets probably not yet changed this semester, containing the bodily excretions of many other women. Ew.

Needless to say, I didn’t advise Katherine on how to become girl #1. In fact, I hope she fails miserably and gets kicked out on her bottom right away. She doesn’t sound like she’s anywhere near ready to face reality, which is that she is just one vagina among many, destined for the trash heap of regrets.

Katherine, your hookup is no sultan, and you are no Scheherazade. Step out of the fairy tale and into the real world before it’s too late, while men with a genuine pair are still willing to give you a shot.

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  • Il Capo

    You just defined female one-itis. It's like male one-itis, except she's getting sex without the relationship.

    The typical newbie in game usually comes with the question:”there's this particular girl at school/work/club that I have a crush on. How can I get her?”. Everyone makes fun of this kind of guy, because that's not how it works.

    The prescription for guys with one-itis: GFTOW (go find ten other women)*. The prescription for female one-itis: run to the nearest exit, and learn to pick your guys from now on. And when you find one willing to commit, don't go back and cheat with this a-hole.

    * that's the polite version, the other version is go f*ck ten other women.

  • susanawalsh

    Word. FWIW, female one-itis is perhaps more common than male one-itis. It wouldn't surprise me if Katherine was in this exact same boat in two weeks with a different guy. What WOULD surprise me is her taking my advice, or yours. Unfortunately.

  • PJay

    Just reading this makes me feel very, very old.

  • susanawalsh

    I'm right there with you. To be fair, this is the most outrageous story I've heard, but it is real, which is unbelievable to me. I think that the Katherines out there may well be a lost cause. I'm more interested in supporting the women who aren't making those choices, and who have the sisterhood, but no man.

  • PJay

    Yes. I was a nerd in high school and college, but always had plenty of girlfriends at the same time.

    But even given my appetites in college, I can't imagine “hooking up” with huge numbers of people as a surrogate for real dating. It sounds very alienating and lonely.

    Likewise, having been in the sights of “husband-hunters” many times in the past, I can attest to how depersonalizing that is, as well. When you get the impression you are interchangeable with another man who fits her criteria (and later in life add in the real possibility of her getting a “better deal” somewhere else), it makes monogamy in America seem very hollow.

    Marriage is ultimately about joining families and wealth for the purpose of having and raising children. I think women in this country have completely lost sight of that.

  • Passer_By

    I hate to say it, but this almost reads like it was a spoof written by a guy trying to make a point about today's sexual marketplace. If it's real, it's pretty telling. Glad I'm too old for it, because, based on my less assertive personality, I would have been one of the two guys going without while this guy monopolized three or more. I was plenty good looking, but my way of being in college was mighty beta (not sure I ever remember meeting a more alpha type engineering major). Maybe this went on back in the early eighties, but not to the same degree.

    Someone needs to write a book about Game/attractiveness that a father would not be embarrassed to give to his son (the stuff by mystery et al is pretty cheesy and overly focused on short term conquest in the club setting). It pains me to think about how beta my older son will be, despite otherwise being very attractive, smart, decent, etc. If things don't change, he's gonna have a rough time of it that way.

  • susanawalsh

    Well, I don't think it was a spoof b/c the email address looked legit and was a .edu, but it's certainly possible. Even so, what shocked me the most was not that this goes on, I know that it does. You may recall the recent post where guys were talking amongst themselves about how they are having trouble managing up to six girls at the same time, and advising each other on how to dodge the questions the girls were asking about commitment (As if!). What shocked me was this girl's absolute determination to be part of this rotation and beat out the other girls. Her email implies that she believes she can get this guy to be exclusive with her, which is delusional.

    It is hard for beta guys, to be sure. However, if your son is attractive, smart and decent he will be fine, especially if you can teach him a thing or two about female psychology. His biggest risk may be getting overwhelmed by sexually omnivorous women who chase him, even if he is not assertive. A lot of it will depend on what social scene he decides to participate in.

    • vera44

      Part of women attempting to beat out the other girls is they are extremely career-directed, ambitious women who apply that competitive spirit to the dating game too. I have friends that have "stolen" other girls' boyfriends, slept with married men, or at best, competed to be a guy's number one. It's very common in NYC — if you have a good man, you better guard him with your life. It's insane how little attention a guy by himself will receive, but put him with a good-looking girl, and suddenly everyone at the party wants a piece of him.

      • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/susanawalsh susanawalsh

        Aha, that's social proof, and it's powerful!

  • GudEnuf

    If a man only loves a woman's body, he at least loves some of her, because the body is part of yourself. But a woman who is only looking fincial stability doesn't love her man at all, because a man's money is not part of himself.

    To borrow from Susan:

    Men don't want a woman who is looking to GET MARRIED to him.

    They'd much rather be told she wants to get married TO HIM.

    • vera44

      But looks fade, so what happens when she no longer has that body (and she will at some point)? It's like a guy knowing he will lose all of his money at some point if that was the reason a woman was with him.

  • GudEnuf

    Just hire him a coach. They're like a dime a dozen now, the market is saturated.

  • GudEnuf

    Susan, do you know why when I reply to something that already has a reply, it posts my reply as if it came first? (See the reply to Passer_By)

  • Mike

    The past two weekends I have hooked up with a super hot guy that I’ve been crushing on forever. He was just really flirty one night so we went back to his place and he was really sweet. I knew that he had been hooking up for a few weeks with another girl, but she’s totally haggard and a slut, so I figured he’d be happy to ditch her. The second weekend we hooked up again on Friday night, but then someone saw that other girl walking home Sunday morning, so she was probably with him Saturday night.

    ……..

    So my question is, how can I get him to make me his #1?

    Wow, I'm sorry, but the irony here had me laughing. He was “really sweet”. “Shes totally haggard and a slut”. But of course she Katherine isn't a slut despite engaging in basically the same behavior. But she is young and naive and may yet get wiser and mature.

    Katherine aspires to membership in a harem.

    Well…not really though, right? She doesn't specifically want to be part of a harem. She does specifically state she wants to be #1 and get the other girls out of the way so she wants the guy all to herself but simply isn't smart enough and introspective enough to realize that her behavior along with the other girls makes a harem the end result for a guy like this “super hot guy”. And no doubt this guy knows EXACTLY what he is doing?

    Hundreds of years ago, women selected for the harem did not have a choice. Today they do. Signing up voluntarily for sexual slavery to the nearest alpha sultan strikes me as a puzzling, poor life choice.

    Here is what I internally debate, and I fight going down this road all the way. Obviously, we are products of thousands of years of evolution, and there are powerful base drives at work here always influencing our behavior such as the hypergamous instinct young Katherine is displaying. But I would like to believe we are better then our base drives. That our free will, our intelligence, our maturity, our ethics, etc lead to consistently making choices that contradict that 100,000+ year biological hardwired progamming. I think maybe it varies significantly from individual to individual depending on many factors. Maybe Katherine's mom set a terrible example, and she had no father. I don't know you or your family, but I've been reading you enough to know the good sense you have and I'd be shocked if your daughter was acting like a Katherine, or if your son was getting played for resources in one LJBF after another.

    But like the motto I keep repeating life isn't fair, and reality is what it is. Katherine will probably get pumped and dumped by many “super hot” alphas, and maybe she will learn and maybe not. Pity the dumb beta who settles for Katherine in 10 years after she has been used up, spit out, and has turned completely cynical and inflicts her revenge on him.

    It really is a jungle out there.

  • Mike

    Someone needs to write a book about Game/attractiveness that a father would not be embarrassed to give to his son (the stuff by mystery et al is pretty cheesy and overly focused on short term conquest in the club setting).

    Just my opinion, but the David DeAngelo stuff is good, not too cheesy, and if I had a son I wouldn't be embarrassed to give it to him, although he does go over the top with the marketing and trying to sell you every single product he puts out.

    His stuff was the bulk of what I used and studied to transition from beta to more alpha, and I think it worked well.

  • PJay

    I think the genie is out of the bottle – this is largely a result of women's empowerment, and the shouting down of anyone who protests outrageous female behavior.

    Couple that with men becoming more savvy about the legal risks of (highly frequent) divorce, and the cultural pathologizing of anything masculine, and men are asking themselves why they should bother with marriage.

    Be careful what you wish for.

    If a few alpha males are monopolizing all the available women, I guess one perspective is, so what? If it were the other way around with women getting the upper hand, I am sure that situation would be celebrated as a feminist victory ;).

  • susanawalsh

    This is key. Hopefully, a man can sense this. He should be able to – if there's a lack of appreciation for very specific traits other than financial resources, be very careful. Similarly, I think any guy who's being honest with himself knows when a woman is “settling” for him. It's up to him to decide whether thats' good enough.

  • susanawalsh

    Yes, I believe you're right. It's not PC to say so, but unleashing women's sexuality has really caused enormous changes. Initially, I thought that women had shot themselves in the foot by making life so much easier for guys. Now that I understand it's not all the guys who are benefiting, I feel as if 90% of society is getting royally screwed, and not in a good way.

  • susanawalsh

    Just an aside here – this guy mercilessly promotes products as Eben Pagan his real name. My inbox is cluttered with his promotions, just b/c I blog. I've watched his videos and I find him smarmy. But maybe that works well in his David DeAngelo persona.

  • susanawalsh

    Um, I don't think so? It was me, then you, then Mike. Is that not the right order?

  • PJay

    “I feel as if 90% of society is getting royally screwed, and not in a good way.”

    Yes, and as families with children become increasingly rare, our culture and society will peter out in a few generations.

    This seems like too big a problem to be able to remedy.

  • GudEnuf

    “I think the genie is out of the bottle – this is largely a result of women's empowerment, and the shouting down of anyone who protests outrageous female behavior.”

    Bullshit. People always want more than they can have, and feminism didn't cause that.

    “Couple that with men becoming more savvy about the legal risks of (highly frequent) divorce, and the cultural pathologizing of anything masculine, and men are asking themselves why they should bother with marriage.”

    I'll grant you men are getting more skeptical of divorce, but a “cultural pathologizing of anything masculine”? 80% of Hollywood speaking roles are male, and I'll bet telivision is the same way. In our cultural, male is percieved to be the normal, and women are seen as a derivation.

    “If a few alpha males are monopolizing all the available women, I guess one perspective is, so what? If it were the other way around with women getting the upper hand, I am sure that situation would be celebrated as a feminist victory ;).”

    The alpha males profit at the expense of the vast majority of men. Polygamy benifits women, because even if only a few women double up, there are fewer women available for the rest of the men, which means the market price of a woman goes up. The beta males pay the price for all of this.

    Fortunately, the wide availability of surrogate sex (porn, prostitution ect) has taken some men off the market, ensuring men still have the advantage in dating economy.

  • GudEnuf

    I don't know, it seems to have corrected itself now. Or maybe I'm just going crazy.

  • http://FT.com/ VJ

    There's a term for it: Volunteered Slavery. And here's the tune for that, it's only oh some 40 years old: [Check out the groovy duds for 1973!]

    http://www.jazzonthetube.com/page/52.html

    Do a search for Volunteered Slavery under 'Roland Kirk' and you'll come up with the 1969 album. In case you like, missed it. New concept? Nawww. Catchy tune though, had some crazy lyrics if you can find that too. Cheers, 'VJ'

  • Mike

    I knew his real name was Eben Pagan, but I didn't realize he was marketing under that name. I still get stuff in my e-mail, and it is always with the David D name.

    In any case, his stuff worked for me and he avoids the crazy shit like wearing 3 foot hats, painting your nails black, or performing magic tricks. His core message is don't be a wussy, and get your inner game straight which is really all the majority of betas need to do to get 80% of the way home. Not necessary to take it to the Roosh or Mystery level.

  • susanawalsh

    Mike, I'm glad you made these observations. In this post, I emphasized the basic lunacy of the strategy Katherine is following, but you make some good points. What does it mean when a guy is “really sweet” during a hookup? Not sure. As you say, she disses the other girl as a slut, when she is behaving in exactly the same way. Perhaps the other girl has more sexual experience, but it's hard to believe Katherine has not earned herself a questionable reputation at this point, given what her concerns are.

    I would argue that Katherine knows in her heart that this guy will not make a commitment to her, ever. In this way, I believe she is willing to be part of a harem. She already is – she has had sex with him twice, presumably, while he was banging at least two other chicks. Of course, she'd like to eliminate her competition, but she's willing to keep hooking up with him under the current conditions in hopes of becoming girl #1.

    I feel strongly that some women are capable of overcoming their basest instincts to select men of good character. These are generally women who are capable of seeing the consequences of a poor choice and refuse to go down that road. I hear from many women who have made this choice – some are virgins, others have a very low number. They desperately want a worthy man, but they know douchebag when they see it, and they won't go there. These are the women who will succeed in the era of declining marriage rates.

    Re my own kids, I sometimes joke that I'm like the cobbler whose kids have no shoes, haha. But yes, you're right, both my son and daughter have made good decisions, and neither one has been a “player.” They are both attractive, so I commend them for having good values. Then again, can you imagine having me for a mother? I don't cut them much slack on this stuff ;-)

  • GudEnuf

    DD is a marketer, not an innovater. Mystery Method is still THE book to read, containing lots of valuable, specific information that no one else was writing at time. But even he jumped off the cliff and seems to be riding his fame alone.

  • PJay

    Wow – I guess if it were the other way around, it would be the fault of men, as well.

    Today I read an article about why men are emotionally deficient because they do not feel “enough” guilt.

    If I go to the Special Ed section of my kids' schools, I see a lot of boys, and very few girls. Prescriptions for ADHD drugs are at an all-time high (boys are the predominant target population), and popular culture is full of messages that being male is bad and female is good. Indeed, that was a basic tenet of feminism in the 60s, 79s and 80s, and is still true today.

    “Surrogate sex”? That's a stretch, and to say it gives men an advantage in the dating market is like saying vibrators give women the advantage in the dating economy. Come on!

  • GudEnuf

    Hey now, there's nothing wrong with slavery*

    *As long you remember the safe word :)

  • susanawalsh

    I'm tempted to agree, but I don't think it will happen. There will be unforeseen events, which will cause the pendulum to swing back. Families with children becoming rare? I don't think it will happen to the degree that we kill our culture and society. However, the birth rate will continue to decline until it triggers economic crisis. At that point, we will likely import population, though we might also see a change in the priorities/behavior of our own population.

  • susanawalsh

    Some predict that virtual 3D sex will be available within a few years, which will take even more men off the market. Even a slight shift in male behavior toward virtual sex will have a dramatic effect on the supply and demand of sex, with women the losers.

  • PJay

    Won't it take more women off the market, too?

    So what, that will just weed out the flakes on both sides :).
    Quality over quantity will be the result for pools of dateable men and women.

  • susanawalsh

    From what I understand, he's the master of cocky funny, and I think that's probably a winning formula. I agree that Mystery Method is a bit “out there” for most guys in terms of egocentric display.

  • susanawalsh

    There's a market opportunity here – Game needs an update. Forget peacocking and card tricks. Guys need more info. on day Game and also on Game that's designed to get you into a LTR.

  • susanawalsh

    Haha, it's Friday night, how many beers have you had?

  • Mike

    However, the birth rate will continue to decline until it triggers economic crisis.

    Just curious, what do you think the timeline on this is? I'm particularly concerned about the trajectory of the U.S. stock market over the next 10-20 years (my timeframe for wealth accumulation). Usually, every bad decade like 2000-2010 is followed by a good decade or two (the 30s and 40s sucked and the 50s and 60s had great returns, the 70s sucked and the 80s and 90s had great returns), but I'm concerned this time is different and all this cultural/demographic male/female dynamic stuff is going to paralyze our economy and market.

    Japan is literally a nation of wussified betas who have dropped out:
    http://www.welaf.com/funny-picture-1137.html

    And they have been stuck in a 20 year bear market that has taken stock prices back to 1980 levels. Just coincidence? My fear is we are going down that road.

    I know your husband is an investment guy so I'd love to know his take if you discuss it with him. Incidentally, some of the municipalities are just a fricking disaster zone. Get ready for a wave of defaults at the municipal level. Buffett says he wouldn't touch municipal bond insurance with a 100 foot pole. Your husband is going to have some fun trying to avoid all the blow-ups coming.

  • GudEnuf

    “”Surrogate sex”? That's a stretch, and to say it gives men an advantage in the dating market is like saying vibrators give women the advantage in the dating economy. Come on!”

    Women have access to surrogate sex also, but they don't have access to surrogate relationships. One woman can provide sexual services to dozens (prostitute), hundreds (strippers) and millions (porn stars) of men. A man's cannot provide emotional intimacy for multiple women (a lot of guys can't even provide for one woman!).

    Men have gained, and continue to gain, the advantage in dating marketplace due to four factors.

    1. Men want sex more than women.
    2. Women want relationships more than men.
    3. Sex is getting easier to find.
    4. Relationships are getting tougher to find.

    In other words, men (in general) have an easier time filling their wants, and women are having a tougher time.

  • PJay

    “Women have access to surrogate sex also, but they don't have access to surrogate relationships.”

    Their surrogate is romance novels.

    And since they don't crave sex to the same extent as men, well, romance novels provide a perfect sex-free surrogate for real relationships.

    Also, I think you are implying a few guys monopolizing a lot of women as being beneficial to the guy population as a whole.

    It isn't – it's just beneficial for the small pool of guys who consistently get laid.

  • GudEnuf

    Have you read the Mystery Method book?

  • Mike

    Susan,

    Question I am genuinely curious on as I really don't discuss these issues with women except for blogs where the sample might not represent the population.

    In terms of big-picture, macro, 30,000 foot view as it relates to the intersection of all these themes of male-female dynamics, evo-psych, the pros-cons of the results of feminism, etc. in your opinion what percentage of women really “get it” like you do versus more ideological views based on dogma and not reality. One reason I ask this is because I don't think you can have a roadmap for how to improve things unless you can agree on the starting point and premises of why sh*t is f**ked up in the first place.

    IIRC, you said you were a management consultant. It seems to me like it would be like trying to fix an unprofitable company where the main problem is market share and marketing yet everyone is completely fixated on labor costs. You'll get nowhere.

    I could be wrong on this point, but I think in general men are further along the road in understanding the reality of all this. I think the blogosphere maybe represents that when you read some of the sites written by men versus stuff like Jezebel, Feministing, etc. That said, there are some real wackos out there too, one of whom was commenting alot here recently. I'm very disappointed with the direction the Spearhead has gone in with more and more articles being posted by those who detract from the credibility of discussing these issues sensibly.

  • Il Capo

    That's what Roosh does with Bang. He's a day game expert and he explains stuff in layman's terms.

    Now you said “get you into a LTR”. All game can get you into a LTR, if you choose so. The main issue is keeping the LTR, and for that you'll need Dave from Hawaii or Athol Kay.

  • finsalscollons

    “In other words, men (in general) have an easier time filling their wants, and women are having a tougher time.”

    So false. A few alphas have an easier time filling their wants while the vast majority of men have it harder and many of them, impossible. Celibacy has never been so usual among men.

    Please don't whine. A woman CAN have a relationship whenever they can. There are lots of men who are celibate and living in lonely desperation who will be delighted to have a relationship with a woman.

    What women cannot do is to HAVE A RELATIONSHIP WITH THE TOP 10% OF MEN THEY FIND ATTRACTIVE.

    If women have no relationship, it is their pickiness' fault.

    • vera44

      I agree with you to a degree, but I have seen quite a few cases where friends lowered their standards DRAMATICALLY and were still royally screwed over by the beta guy because he suddenly thought he was amazing. So I guess it's highly dependent on the individual.

      • Il Capo

        vera, the key is to lower the standards of raw attractiveness of the guy, not to lower the standards of how they expect to be treated. It works this way: by lowering tyour standards, you get access to a pool of guys who may be more inclined to commit and treat you well. It doesn't mean that every single guy in that group would treat you well, though.

      • ATS

        Oh lord, YES. My very good friend just had this happen to her. Back in law school, she was very good friends with a guy everyone passed over–he was overweight, was a loner, very geeky, super smart. She was sought after, but she fell in love with the geek, thought she saw potential, made him over, and voila! The geek actually looked good in the right duds with the right haircut and after losing 30 pounds! She passed over a very good-looking alpha because she was won over by her beta guy's utmost devotion to her and thought he'd be faithful for keeps.

        Fast forward 10 years and two kids later, and this formerly very beta guy is now cheating on her with his subordinate, because he's now quite high up the corporate ladder and he felt ENTITLED to it. Just steams me up.

  • finsalscollons

    I am afraid we will see this behavior more and more recently. The sexual market for men will be divided between a few alphas who monopolize women, a dwindling amount of betas who manage to have a monogamous relationships and a vast amount of omegas (former betas) who have not access to sex besides prostitutes.

    Although this what you get when you unleash sexuality, it is bad for society. In Europe, we will be conquered by Islam, which is a patriarchal religion, because they have bigger birthrates and they are not willing to assimilate.

    In America, you are lucky to have immigrants that want to assimilate. It will be more like waves after waves of Latino immigrants that have high birthrate until they assimilate and lower their birthrate. Then a new wave of immigrants is needed and so on and so forth.

    Signed:

    A real wacko who was commenting alot here recently.

  • susanawalsh

    Mike, that photo of Japanese men and their lap pillow is so creepy! Japanese sexual norms have become so bizarre over the last 20 years, it's hard to explain, but yes, economic stagnation is often blamed. When I was in b-school it was the height of the go-go years in Japan, and more than a few HBS professors made their names and fortunes writing about everything the Japanese were doing right.

    I'm not enough in the loop wrt the markets anymore to have an independent opinion re timing, but I will be happy to ask the hubby :-). When we discussed the problem of the gender imbalance in colleges, he felt that the difference would quickly and easily be made up by importing the brightest male talent from other countries, but that isn't as easy as it used to be. Many of the Asian and Southeast Asian students who come here for grad school find that they can live very good lives back at home.

  • susanawalsh

    It's true that people will always strive for more, both in good and bad ways. In my view, what happened is that the Sexual Revolution drastically and rapidly changed sexual mores in the U.S. Feminism was a key player, but the availability of birth control and Roe were the real key. Women's empowerment in the workplace also had a huge impact – we no longer felt that we needed to have sex with a man to gain financial security. This drove the price of sex through the floor. Just picture a trading floor with some traders jumping for joy and others putting their heads in their hands. Forty years later, it's some men jumping for joy, and most women with their heads in their hands.

    I do agree with PJay that our cultural prioritizes femaleness in many ways. I see this from the start in the schools, as PJ has laid out below. A boy's natural physicality and impulsivity is heavily penalized, even as recess is eliminated from the school day. Boys are expected to learn like girls, and to socialize like girls. They are only permitted to resolve conflicts in a fashion that is natural to girls.

    I'll give one personal story here. When my son was in kindergarten, during a disagreement, he hit another boy over the head with an empty plastic lunchbox. The kind that weighs about 4 ounces. He was sent to the principal's office, and my husband and I were called at work to come in immediately. Two years later, my daughter had the same teacher. She watched two boys fighting and told the teacher how upsetting she found this. She proposed that the rest of the day be spent with boys and girls together creating a harmony mural. The teacher loved this idea, and the class did spend the rest of the morning on that activity. A month later our daughter was given an award for good citizenship at an assembly, and my husband and I were invited to attend.

    I kid you not.

  • susanawalsh

    1. Men want sex more than women.
    2. Women want relationships more than men.
    3. Sex is getting easier to find.
    4. Relationships are getting tougher to find.

    Exactly right. This marks the first time I've seen a guy boil down this essential reality of where we are today. Men talk a lot about female projection, which is fair. But men do it too. College women have access to sex whenever they want it. They can probably get a night with Alpha if they make the slightest effort. The problem is, this is not what women want. Women are in the relationship desert, and men are in the sexual desert.

  • susanawalsh

    And since they don't crave sex to the same extent as men, well, romance novels provide a perfect sex-free surrogate for real relationships.

    Is this a joke? That's like saying that those body pillows in Japan provide a perfect sex surrogate for men. Chick lit and romantic comedies are a poor substitute for human communication. I can't believe I even had to type that.

  • Analister

    I've seen other commenters state the same thing here. Funny how everyone seems to be ignoring this obvious truth.

  • susanawalsh

    finsalscollons, you're pretty new to my blog, so I'll tell you my view on this issue, which I've written about elsewhere. I believe that it's very difficult out there today – I really see only the natural Alphas getting what they want. Everyone else is miserable, even the super hot babes. Intrasexual competition among women is fierce for a small number of men. Men who are not inclined to commit anyway.

    These problems are intractable and no one strategy can solve this problem on a macro scale. A correction is undoubtedly coming, but it will result for a whole host of legal, social and economic conditions, in my view. In the meantime, I seek to work to effect change on the micro level – what can a woman or man do in their own lives?

    The biggest potential I identify is in bringing the large group of “have not” women into communication with the large group of “have not” men. I don't believe that women are attracted to only 10% of the men, not when selecting for long-term mating. I just don't buy the argument that before the era of casual sex, women married men they weren't attracted to. Women and men used to date and marry regularly with people of similar resources, intelligence and physical attractiveness.
    The sociosexual marketplace has created incentives for women to cater to their basest instincts at the expense of all of those other men.

    What will bring women around?

    1. Expectations need a big reality check. The emerging genre of “spinster lit” that we see with Lori Gottlieb and others is clueing women in. There will be a lot more of this.

    2. Game. Men need to get it. It won't work for most men, but men who can apply these principles will benefit enormously. This is only good for women if those newly confident men don't practice Dark Game.

    3. Strong and sensible female voices. The traditional model of a woman's family giving her advice about matters of sex and love is gone. I really am a direct substitute for that online, and I'm the only one I know of that is telling it straight, from a supply and demand perspective. We need more of this.

    4. Unhappy men need to show up. It's very difficult for a woman to make eye contact and smile, with a man who prefers his Wii. Women have gained enough confidence that many will meet a man halfway. But the vast majority are not going to relish assuming the role of pursuer, it's just not in our nature.

  • susanawalsh

    Some women will undoubtedly enjoy virtual sex, just like some women enjoy porn today. However, due to natural differences between the sexes, it will be mostly men who make use of it.

    Also, as stated above, women are less inclined toward sex without emotional intimacy. Virtual sex is pretty much what women can get today, minus the pulse. It doesn't add anything except safety, and perhaps a more reliable orgasm. ;-)

  • susanawalsh

    I love Athol Kay! I just discovered him via Hambydammit's blog Life Without a Net. I've also heard very good things about Dave from Hawaii.

    Sorry, but I find Roosh reprehensible. He openly recommends lying to women to get sex with them. He is on record as refusing to wear a condom. His recent takedown of Anoukange on his blog was bloody and ruthless. I would urge young men to steer clear of his blog – he may be effective, but he'll turn you into a pathological narcissist if you're not careful. Ditto for Roissy.

    • http://grerp.blogspot.com/ grerp

      I hate to say this, but if Roosh and Roissy got hit by the same bus tomorrow, there would be new guys stepping up to fill their shoes within minutes. The sex wars are like the drug wars – you've got to minimize demand for predators, not supply.
      My recent post Piece of Advice #4: Jettison your toxic female friends

      • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/susanawalsh susanawalsh

        grerp, I agree with this 100%. In fact, I guess you could say that's what my blog is about. It's about giving people the information they need to identify predators, and the strategies to hold their own against them, or even better, reject them. I feel that many women, perhaps because of hypergamy, take the same bait and fall into the same traps again and again. My hope is that if we can understand why we respond the way we do, we may, in some cases, be able to control our responses so that they are in keeping with our best interests.

        • grerp

          I think this is an excellent goal, Susan. Keep up the good work.

        • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/susanawalsh susanawalsh

          Thanks for the kind words, much appreciated!

  • susanawalsh

    Yes, it's on my night table now! I never really got the peacocking thing; Neil Struass admits to finding it all very embarrassing, even while he was doing it. I've got to think that is most effective in the night spots that Mystery favored and with the women he favored, i.e. “hired guns.”

    I don't think you'll ever see Tucker Max wear a pink feather boa.

  • susanawalsh

    Re the percentage of women who “get it,” I would say small but growing. Why is it small? Keep in mind that the current population of women grew up with the gains from the Women's Movement firmly entrenched. Add Carol Gilligan onto that, complaining that girls are shortchanged in education, and now you've got girls outpacing boys there too, reflecting all the changes in curriculum and activists like Carol Gilligan championed, to the detriment of boys. Girls go blithely through the system, essentially ignorant of how boys are faring in less obvious ways.

    Girls don't really figure out that it's not all good until they look for a boyfriend, and he's MIA. If he's showing up at all, he either doesn't want a relationship, or already feels so discouraged by the system that he doesn't come across as confident in the way that women find attractive.

    Lots of women find me here by searching Google with phrases that indicate this:
    why don't i have a boyfriend
    why don't guys call
    we had sex now he ignores me
    etc. etc.

    Meanwhile, why are girls not talking to their mothers about this stuff? I don't know! My generation lived it, we saw the costs and benefits. Nearly all the women my age that I know had one-night stands growing up – we all did. So why are they not speaking to their daughters about that?

    Finally, wrt the conditions on the ground for men, women don't have an inkling, for the most part. The typical female college student is stunned to learn that so few college guys are getting what they want, in my experience. There's really no voice for men that is reaching the ears of women, and that's a problem. I'm trying to do one small bit to change that, and there are many other bloggers doing the same, but how big a difference can it really make? The MSM will need to hop on board for any real traction.

  • susanawalsh

    finsalscollons, you're not the wacko, that was PMAFT.

    The birthrate problem is a serious one, the western European economies reflect that. Importing Muslims has proven a rather problematic solution, though none other is at hand. Frankly, the desire of Islamists to “conquer” the west is absolutely terrifying. As you say, the U.S. won't fall into that trap, which is fortunate, though as you point out, the U.S. always relies on new waves of immigrants, and in my view that is a good thing.

  • megslife

    First of all I think this was an excellent post. The analogy of harems I haven't heard. However, I tend to stay out of the hookup scene. As a single girl in NYC it is hard to stay away from this scene, but really it is easy to spot the guy who is the Sultan and girls/women really need to just have more self worth then allow themselves to become one of many. I think in the long run it is so hard to pin down that beta male because they are at home on their Wii or to afraid of rejection that women tend to settle for being one of many to avoid being alone. It is also really easy to fall for their lines (watch the “Good Guy” great movie about pretty much how much an Alpha male knows how to play the game).

    I am often the odd girl out when it comes to the whole feminist thing. I have not studied feminism so I don't really know the different schools, but I think that it has hurt society a little bit in the relationship and family sector. Yet, the pendulum is starting to swing in the other direction. I know many men and women in their mid to late 20's that are choosing the path of no longer hooking up but rather find themselves in a committed relationship.

    However, it is worrisome that there are so many people that are ok with casual sex. I think this has more to do with the lack of sexual education we are providing. Sex is everywhere and parents rarely talk to their children honestly about sex and the consequences of it. Also sex is seen as something that makes you more worthy. I think this is demonstrated with the queen bee analogy. It is unfortunate that we place so much value on our sexual appeal.

    In the long run I think that people are starting to realize that having just one someone and a family is not that bad of a thing. You also have to remember that many children who are the products of divorce are coming of age right now and do not see the value of marriage. I know plenty of people who have kids and are living with each other happily for years who have decided not to get married. I also have plenty of friends in their 20's and 30's who are about to get married. I think it is easier to look at the hook up culture as the norm because it wasn't as prevalant10-20 years ago and finding that someone in college is getting harder and harder, but I do not think that hooking up is taking the place of relationships. It is a more sensational story to tell and those who are single are more likely to lament about the hardship of dating and finding the right guy. I guess in the long run I still have hope for our society and I think I am starting to see the turn around and burn out of the bar scene setting in.

    I also love that most of these comments have been from men. Start teaching your sons to value the girls in their lives and they will be less likely to just go from hook up to hook up. Girls will flock to them. I know my girlfriends and I are all looking for some good betas.

  • PJay

    Tongue in cheek ;P

  • PJay

    Add massive changes to family law and the adjunct areas like psychotherapy and custody evaluation, which provide de facto legal decisions to family court judges in custody disputes, etc.

    I don't think the inequitable legal environment will change for a long time, and men are learning more and more about it, while recalling all the feminist rhetoric about “equality” they have been fed in our educational system since elementary school.

    It's not going back to the way it was. You can't go home again, Susan.

  • PJay

    Half right. Women are in the relationship desert and men are in the relationship desert AND the sexual desert.

    If a woman wants to have sex, she just has to give a come hither look to get things going. By “sexual desert” in reference to women, I assume you really mean “sexual desert” where the 10% of men that women deem acceptable are concerned.

  • finsalscollons

    Thank you, Susan. I was feeling a wacko, haha.

    Well, I agree with your analysis. Being an European and being 39, my country had no significant Muslim immigration until I was about 27. Now my country has 5% of their population who is Muslim and they are very open in telling everybody who wants to hear them that they have come to Europe to conquer us, create an Islamic state and make us to submit. Their birthrate is far higher than ours (since they are very patriarchal), so it is only a question of time until Europe is Muslim.

    I wish these immigrants were as eager to assimilate as Latino immigrants in United States, but their religion forbid them to assimilate. So, yes, this is a good thing for you. Europe is doomed but United States will survive.

  • Kat

    Why does everyone assume that their birthrate will stay so high? As populations get larger birthrate decreases. Even then they'll eventually assimilate. All the muslims I know hate these people giving them a bad name, and just being all around insane. A good deal of these muslims left their country for one main reason, for a better life. It is a the poor who are living in these slums that breed their hatred which comes from their poor upbringing. Why are you guys so quick to assume that muslims left their countries to start families in western ones to take over?!

  • susanawalsh

    Agreed, there will be a new paradigm. I second everything you say re addressing inequities in family law – clearly the marriage rate will continue to be affected by that, so until it's addressed the disincentives to marry will make the relationship market relatively unattractive to women who want to have children.

  • susanawalsh

    Whew.

  • susanawalsh

    Women are never in a sexual desert, if they're bold enough to give that come hither look. Some are by choice, or because they don't want the men on offer, namely that 10%.

    As I said elsewhere in this thread, there are women who wants sex in the context of a relationship. And then are men who will have a relationship if it means getting regular access to sex. Currently, those two groups are not communicating.

    While it's true that women like Katherine are common, and make excellent “whipping girls,” many women on college campuses see no action at all. They are invisible in Alpha's social scene. A third of women graduate college as virgins. That is a very big number. They are not looking to be pumped and dumped by Alpha, they want something more.

    I reject the notion that ALL women only think with their “hindbrains” and select the worst possible guys to get the “gina tingle.” Katherine does, but no beta wants her anyway, she's sexually aggressive and would scare the sh*t out of a nice guy.

  • finsalscollons

    Yes, I agree with PJay. There is no turning back. Turning back would mean reverting the use of contraceptives, the woman's entrance to the workplace, all the divorce legislation and lots of interest groups entrenched in the establishment: feminist organizations, women's studies colleges, liberal politicians, lawyers and so on and so forth

    If would mean younger women giving up the alpha man's chase when they are young. In the past, they didn't chase alphas because:

    - There was a social stigma for women to have sex outside marriage. This removed the main weapon beta women had to try to ensnare an alpha, albeit temporarily.
    - There was no reliable contraception. Women knew that they couldn't play the field and have no consequences.
    - Women HAD to get married. Otherwise, they had to be poor. There was a huge pressure for women to get married soon.

    This is not coming back.

    This does not mean that some women or men can learn how to navigate this new sexual jungle in a smarter way. I understand that this is your goal, Susan, and I am for it. There will be a minority of women who get it and this is your public. And your role is positive.

  • susanawalsh

    Hi Kat, thanks for commenting. I am not speaking of Muslims. In the U.S. virtually all Muslims are peaceful and assimilating. And yes, I agree that the birthrate is likely to decline over time.

    That's was I specifically used the word “Islamists,” to distinguish those who adhere to a jihad vision of conquering the west. And it's not true everywhere in Europe. If I'm not mistaken, Turks have assimilated well into Germany, perhaps reflecting the secularity of Turkey's population. It is true that living conditions are poor for Muslims in Europe – we all remember the riots outside of Paris. However, it is also true that extremist imams have access to those disenfranchised Muslims, and this breeds more followers of jihad.

  • susanawalsh

    Also sex is seen as something that makes you more worthy. I think this is demonstrated with the queen bee analogy. It is unfortunate that we place so much value on our sexual appeal.

    This is key. What Katherine is really after here is validation from an attractive male. She erring in a couple of ways. First, she mistakenly believes that the sultan's choice to hook up with her indicates significant interest on his part. She thinks he wants to get to know her, and that he may single her out for special affection. She is not realistic about the odds of this.

    Secondly, we must question what is attractive about this guy. The behaviors that enable him to bed women are precisely the behaviors that make him a poor risk for anything more than that. He is likely well beyond confident, is no doubt arrogant, even narcissistic.

    In other words, even if Katherine succeeds in her mission, she has nothing. She is a f*ckbuddy, nothing more.

    I'm heartened that you detect a shift in the scene among people in their 20s and 30s. For now, college is pretty much a lost cause for relationships, but that puts a lot of pressure on a woman in her 20s. The fact that many betas are coming into their own at this time should also help, especially since life after college is not segregated in quite the same way.

  • susanawalsh

    Thank you for the kind words, finsalscollons. It really is about adopting a personal strategy. There have always been those who have found ways to outsmart society's systems and obstacles.

    Of course, the reasons you cite for the new model of female sexual empowerment are all true, and I don't think women would ever go back to that even if they had the choice. I've also read that even in those days, only 40% of men reproduced, while 80% of women did. Both of those percentages are declining today. The potential effects of all this are mind-boggling, as Mike pointed out. I don't know if the dam will burst, or if we'll see new ways of mating. Perhaps women will eventually stop acting against their own best interests, though I agree that it is nearly impossible to expect this from women aged 18-22.

  • Reinholt

    Agreed on several points here. If I were to offer a sort of “meta-critique” on game, as based on the current literature and blogosphere, I would offer the following:

    1 – The majority of game (though not all) tends to focus around your classic bar and/or club pickup; there is major sampling bias in the techniques used. For people who are not into those scenes, the methods that are being used will need to be adjusted heavily. Basically, game is highly context dependent, and there is absolutely no substitute for understand the social context one exists in and adjusting your game accordingly.

    To give a concrete example, if I showed up to a corporate function with dignitaries from foreign nations and C-level executives from Fortune 500 companies wearing a pink feather boa or a giant velvet tophat, I'd probably get escorted out by the police and fired, not necessarily in that order… but if you know the right ways to stand out and the right kind of game to have in these contexts, you can have your pick of the hot interns.

    2 – Most game literature is pretty good at advising men on how to get sex from the kind of women you probably wouldn't want to have a relationship with (again, sampling bias). The volume of approach methods advocated by most game proponents work (sheer random chance is your ally, not your enemy), but they tend to get the women who are easiest to get, as it were… not in the sense of “less attractive”, but in the sense of “most inclined to sleep around with those who appear to be alpha”.

    If we assume women exist on some continuum where we have “sleeping with three different guys a day” on one end and “virgin until marriage, possibly after” on the other end, the volume approach will always pull far more from the first end than the second end, and then the methods get tailored to reinforce success.

    If you want to fuck a lot of women, this is the right way to do it, I might add, so they are on to something here given the goal. However, if that's not the goal, you have to adjust.

    3 – One thing sorely lacking in the game world is how to keep an LTR functional. Dave in Hawaii is one example (though I think he's a lunatic when it comes to some of his conspiracy theories, though I'm sure he'd think I'm a lunatic as well, so fair is fair) of good thought on this. Athol is possibly another. But the bottom line is that the number of people talking about this is very low. This is a hole (though one that is probably of more concern to women than men).

    4 – There's not a law-related game subset, and there really needs to be. There are ways to deal with many of the hurdles (though not all) thrown at you by the system today, but you either have to be a lawyer or be friends with the right kind of lawyers to know them. Obviously, just changing the law to something that's not outrageously fucked up when it comes to bias would be even better, but in the meantime, without this element, you do see a significant pressure to not commit, not marry, and not trust women on the part of men. The cost is simply too high; a good law-related game blog could help reduce this if men were in the know, but the other problem is that law-related issues often also demand money…

    So there's a lot on game out there, but I don't think it covers the whole spectrum, and there are large segments of the population that benefit less from game (without major extrapolation and personal field testing) than others thanks to the sampling issues.

  • finsalscollons

    No, Kat, I think I didn't explain myself. It is hard for me to explain myself in English. In addition, Islam is a very difficult topic to explain to a Western mentality. I have read tens of books, including the Koran and the hadiths (some of Islamic jurisprudence too). I have lived in Muslim neighborhoods for years. I have worked with Muslim co-workers.

    I could be wrong but believe me if I said that my opinion, though politically incorrect, is not simplistic. I will try to summarize in a short comment. But this is my last post about Islam. It is not the place. So I won't reply.

    I agree that Muslim people went to Europe to have a better future. No doubt about that. They didn't went to conquer Europe.

    But these Muslim people attend once a week to a Mosque. European mosques are directed by very radicalized imams, paid by Saudi Arabia, whose brand of Islam (wahabbism) is one of the most radical versions of this radical religion.

    Islam is not a religion in the Western sense. It is a mix of religion and politics. The goal of Islam is not only the transformation of oneself to be a better Muslim but also the transformation of society to create a Islamic theocratic society, where law is Islamic law (“sharia”), non-Muslim are second-class citizens (“dhimmis”) and apostasy of Islam is punished by death (all four schools of Islamic jurisprudence agree on that last point).

    So Muslim people are reminded each week that their religious duty is NOT TO ASSIMILATE but replace Western culture. The problem is made worse because, unlike America, Muslim people tend to form ghettos (this is not Muslim people's fault but a consequence of the European way of life, welfare state and way of treating immigration). In the ghetto, Muslim people control each other lest somebody steps outside the line. The group pressure in Islamic communities to be a good Muslim is overwhelming. The most radical elements (fuelled by mosques) control the rest.

    The result: There are European countries where Muslim people are the third generation and

    1) They have not assimilated.
    2) They have not dropped their high birthrates (Islam forbids contraceptives and, unlike Christians, Muslim people take very seriously their faith).

    In England, there are sharia courts. In Netherland, a Muslim political party proposes that Muslim people should not be submitted to the common civil law but to sharia law and claim for the overruling of Western civilization.

    This is not only an effect of poverty. For example, the Muslim authors of the terrorist attack in London were not poor at all. Western people, who come from a very secularized society, tend to see each conflict as a social conflict. But religions have always produced and still produce conflicts.

    Muslim are rejecting to assimilate to Europe. Whose fault is that? Muslim people? Europe? I don't care. I don't want to make an statement of value. I am only stating a fact.

    Since we have a very low birthrate (our fault, not Muslim's) they will replace us in less than a century. This is a fact and this is what I meant.

    High birthrates of immigrants+Low birthrates of native people+Failure to assimilate = Replacing of the society by the new comers.

    In the United States, Latino immigrants want to assimilate so this problem does not exist.

  • Kendrick

    That claim was posted as a reply to the claim that men had pornography as a substitute for sex.

    Both are used to fill in when you can't get the real thing, but neither is what people actually want. GudEnuf's initial claim was just as absurd.

  • Il Capo

    Your point 4 is misguided. Let me explain why: You are lumping together men from different groups. The prototypical Wii-playing guy is an omega, not a beta. You want to engage the betas.

    Betas are usually guys who have a solid social circle (school, work), go on dates from time to time or even get girlfriends sporadically. They are the guys that girls like to criticize for doing everything wrong while on first dates, for being too passive, or for saying “I'm sorry” too often. They are not recluses, though.

    They may hit on girls regularly, usually when under the spell of “booze courage” and typically in a pack that may or may not include alphas. They buy drinks for girls, hoping it will get them laid. They linger for too long, become insecure if the girl leaves them for a second, and can be neutralized quite easily by an alpha. If they get a phone number out of these interactions, it will usually be a fake number or she will simply not pick up his call upon follow up.

    When these guys go on first dates, they try too hard: chocolates or roses, upscale restaurant, he pays for everything, opens doors, etc. He plans the first date too much and may be a little undecisive when doing so, for eg. asking the girl to pick the restaurant instead of just choosing himself. He may follow up dinner with a movie and drag the first date for way too long.

    At times, these guys may make moves on female friends, as well. Their execution can be described as “too much too late”: by the time they declare their appreciation for the girl, they have been thinking about it so much that they go overboard and do something stupid like write a love letter, poem or song; buy her flowers or tell her he can't imagine living without her. Had he just asked her to “join me and a few friends for drinks” shortly after meeting her and gone for the isolation and kiss, he could have had a much better chance.

    These guys also may even get girlfriends, occasionally. When they do, they usually say “I love you” too fast and freak her out. Or she gets bored and cheats on him. Or they get married and divorced.

    These are the guys who are already showing up, but being ignored and there are plenty of them.

    If you want to affect change, don't focus on the Wii-playing omega. Focus on the guys who are already making some efforts but getting burnt due to awful execution.

  • Pete

    I have two boys and they will be taught how to properly behave in society. They are not going to treat women like dirt if I have any say about it. There are a lot of nice girls out there and I would be *very* unhappy if my sons started sleeping around, leading them on, etc. only to dump them later. That is cruel and wrong.

    That being said… they will also be taught that the State is *not* their friend when it comes to divorce so they better damn well be sure they find a girl who's not going to ditch them, take the kids and leave them with the bill. Just the fear of that happening will keep most of the boys home playing their video games. I strongly suspect my boys will fall in that camp, if they are anything like their old man.

    I've spoken about this before… as have others. Until you fix the divorce problem, marriage is going to continue to decline. I have no idea how, or even if, it will ever bounce back.

  • susanawalsh

    Reinholt, I'm really, really glad to hear your views on this. I think this is a fair and objective assessment of the state of Game. I have said much of this elsewhere and been shot down, probably because, as you say, focusing on LTRs in more likely to appeal to women. Still, most of the men most friendly to the idea of an LTR are in the weakest position to get one in this sexual marketplace.

    Let's face it, the guys who lived at Project Hollywood were all very intense characters. There aren't many guys in the world whose goal it is to achieve 1,000 number closes, never mind the follow-up. And that's probably a good thing. There really is a need for something less outlandish. I think guys could take 50% of Game and improve their lives tenfold.

    Speaking of outlandish, I cracked up at the visual of a corporate executive wearing Mystery garb to a function. There was one SNL skit that had Clinton dressed as Mystery, and I LMAO. Somehow, in that case, it didn't seem that farfetched…

  • susanawalsh

    YES! This is extremely helpful! This is the first good explanation I've seen which describes the differences between betas and omegas. If showing up is 80% of success, and I think it is, then it's much easier for me to coach women, and guys, to manage the balance and timing early in the relationship.

    I personally know of a bunch of instances where a girl has been on the fence about a guy friend. Even after being friends for a while, a guy can shift the dynamic by introducing sexual energy if it's confident. A woman will often rethink these friendships – once she knows the guy can be sexy, she'll go for it. However, too often, girls tell me that their best guy friend is suddenly wearing a lot of cologne, or acting jealous all of a sudden for no reason, or some other lame behavior that I immediately indentify as his being interested. I wish I could be a guardian angel for some of these guys, whispering into their ears over the course of a date. I often say that these guys need to learn that the most important three words in their vocabulary should be “See ya later.” After coffee, after class, they need to convey an attitude of “too hip, gotta go.” Always quit while you're ahead and leave them wanting more, right?

  • susanawalsh

    Pete, this is a very measured and reasonable approach, in my view. You have justifiable concerns about the State, yet you have not translated this into hatred of women. In fact, you are teaching your sons to respect women. I wish more fathers were prepared to take on this responsbility, rather than cheering the worst sort of cad-like behavior from the sidelines. Your sons' female peers will thank you for it, and reward them (but make sure they know how to be assertive and confident as well!).

  • novaseeker

    I also love that most of these comments have been from men. Start teaching your sons to value the girls in their lives and they will be less likely to just go from hook up to hook up. Girls will flock to them. I know my girlfriends and I are all looking for some good betas.

    Except that, as Susan points out, rightly, above, most betas are locked out of the system, for the most part. It isn't the betas who are hooking up and pumping and dumping women — it's the alphas and PUAs.

  • megslife

    We always talk about beta males what about the beta females? I do not like going for Alpha's but when they are the only ones at the bars… Or the fact that beta's try going for the Alpha females. There are nice girls out there looking for nice guys who want to settle down and have a family. There seems to be this idea that all these girls are just going after alpha's because they are so much better and all these beta's are just sitting at home because the girls wont go for them. There are plenty of girls out there that don't go out anymore because they are sick of the alpha's.

    We lock ourselves out of the system, but is the hooking up system what we are looking to get into? The Beta's are getting locked out of the free sex with no emotional connection. I don't think I want to be with a guy who is upset about that.

  • novaseeker

    An interesting letter and set of comments.

    To me, it seems fairly obvious that the current system, whether done deliberately or not, in effect has the following hierarchy of beneficiaries:

    1.Alpha/socially-dominant/pre-selected men. This is a small group, by design (not everyone can be the socially dominant guys in the group by definition) probably 10-20%.
    2.Women attractive enough to attract the attention of the men described in 1, either for sex or more – this is probably the “top” 50-60% of women.
    3.Other women (say 40-50%) and most men (80-90%).

    When you look at it this way, you can easily see the incentives and motivations for people to be behaving the way they are. Taking it from the top down, the guys in group 1 are living the life of Riley, quite literally. The collapse of sexual mores allows these guys free reign with their libidos, and there are more than enough women who are willing to sate their demands, like the young women described in the letter above. The women in group 2 are a confused mixture of hypergamy and oppoprtunity cost, I think, in terms of motivation. Their hypergamous attractions seem to focus them on the “hot” men in group 1 to the exclusion of most other men, and they learn that they can gain “access” to these men through sexuality – sexuality which is, at first at least, exciting and so on. And this is quite understandable. Isn't it every woman's fantasy to be the one who gets and alpha bad boy to give up his womanizing ways and commit to her and her alone? Romance novels suggest that this is the case. So a good number of the women in group 2 will deploy sex to get a chance at flipping an alpha into a boyfriend type. That doesn't happen very often, but it can happen, at least in theory. That possibility, combined with the young age of these women, leads to the opportunity cost problem – if these young women were to abstain from trying to use sex as a means to flip one of these guys into a boyfriend type, she will have lost the opportunity to do so at a time when her ability to deploy her sexuality in that way is pretty much at its peak. She could, in theory, opt out of the alpha chasing scene and opt for other men – and undoubtedly some women in group 2 do this – but a lot, perhaps most, of the women in group 2 won't do so because the opportunity cost of foregoing the chance at an alpha commitment at that stage in their lives is too great. So from the perspectives of hypergamy and opportunity cost it's quite understandable what the women in group 2 are doing, even if it seems like madness from an outsider's perspective. The main question for women in group 2 is how long they will continue to do this. In some cases it's one or two cads and that's that – after that the personal emotional toll begins to outweigh the opportunity cost of foregoing these guys for these women. But there's quite a bit of evidence that the hook-up culture is continuing well into the late 20s and even beyond in some of the bigger cities in the US – at least some subset of women either likes the hookup culture or has a higher tolerance for the downsides of it when compared with opportunity cost, or has become unable to be attracted to other kinds of men. Probably a mixture of those factors.

    The men and women in group 3 are, of course, the ones who are largely left out of the current system. And its a large group of people. I don't see much changing for this group in the near or even the medium term, really. The culture now, more than it ever did, emphasizes raw attraction for men and women alike, and if you aren't able to muscle your way into one of the preferred groups of 1 and 2 respectively for men and women, the current system basically leaves you shut out.

    Looking at it this way also explains a lot of the resentments we see. The women in group 2 can sometimes develop resentments against “men” after having been pumped and dumped a few times by the hot cads in group 1. Understandable, but what gets lost is that most men aren't in group 1, and really don't merit that resentment directed at them for what the hot cads are doing. The women in group 3 can harbor resentments at both men and women, or perhaps the “system” which keeps them limited due to its emphasis on youth and physical appearance for women. And of course the men in group 3 often resent quite a few things, ranging from women, to the system, to other men and so on. Where you are in this Darwinian dating scheme does have an impact on how you feel about things and how you relate to the rest of the world around you in many ways, I think.

    I don't think that this system is subject to being changed in the short to medium term. There are too many structural supports for it now, ranging from the relentless cultural programming favoring casual sex to the persistent gender gap in colleges to the delay in marriage and so on. It isn't something that is very easy to change at this point, and several things would have to change in order for that to happen. In the meantime, individual men and women can opt out of the system and try to find mates “off the grid”, to a certain degree. That means in ways and means that do not involve the Darwinian dating/mating regime. This may involve life choices that are not that easy to make, however, such as living in off broadway cities, or going for extended periods without dates and so on. But it can be done, if the person has decided to look for a different kind of person – a person with different qualities that are important in a mate but which are not valued by the Darwinian regime. That can often mean someone who is not “conventionally” attractive – which is something that some people will have difficulty accepting, I think – and of course it's their choice to decide whether, if they are not able to secure the hottie that the Darwinian system withholds from them, they wish to pursue finding a mate at all. But in any case I do think that the people who are disaffected by the “system” and yet still want a mate need to go about the process in an unconventional way so as to sidestep the Darwinian system.

  • Kendrick

    The problem is that her definition of “some good betas” is “exactly like an alpha, except he doesn't sleep around”. I know women that talk exactly like this who have dumped 3 or 4 good men because they “weren't exciting” and “there was no spark, no chemistry”. I've been the guy dumped for that reason a couple of times.

    I don't believe that she is any more capable of being attracted to a beta than I'm capable of being attracted to a fat woman.

    When she said that if you teach boys to value women that “Girls will flock to them.”, this was just one more case of women telling bald-faced lies about what they actually respond to. She may even be dumb or self-deceiving enough to believe that's what she wants, but watch her actions rather than her words and I guarantee she'll give it the lie.

  • susanawalsh

    Kendrick, you could not be more mistaken about Meg. She's been with me since about Day 1 here, and we've met and been in touch for over a year. She is exactly what a nice guy dreams of. She has zero experience hooking up, she has never dated an alpha type. She is lovely and kind and good. I know for a fact that she has dated guys who are beta through and through – she has a soft spot for geeks like I do, haha. And she didn't dump them for not being exciting. I know at least one was quite impatient to get to the sex.

    You are totally out of line here. I don't know why some men believe that all women are the same. You've definitely been reading too much Roissy or something equally as reductive.

    I dated a quintessential Alpha through college; QB1, frat star, the whole bit. And he was boring. And dumb. And he sucked at sex. By the age of 21 I had learned what I didn't want in a guy, and I never made that mistake again. My actions reflected my desire to marry and have children with a smart, sensitive, good man. Someone attractive, interesting, and well-read.

    Beta does not equal bad. Honestly, some of you beta guys should embrace your nature better. By all means, add some Game, but if you think women are incapable of walking away from a player, you are hanging out in too many bars.

    Note to Meg: Sorry to blow up your spot here, I just couldn't keep silent.

  • susanawalsh

    Yes, Novaseeker, this is precisely the way I see it. What's striking to see when it's laid out this way is how many losers there are. The women is group 2 who hope to flip the Alpha rarely succeed, certainly not before he hits his late 20s. So they're losers, by and large. Also, one thing that's often overlooked is that the most attractive women lose out in this system. They're aware of their natural gifts, and they don't believe they should have to join the harem. They want to be treated well and demand respect. They won't tolerate cheating. They attract sexual attention from Alphas regularly, but even they cannot generally flip those guys into monogamy. And they're viewed as too high maintenance. They've priced themselves out of the market. Ironically, they tend to do less hooking up, and so hopefully will find that their mating value after college is quite high.

    BTW, I just want to point out that this letter is from a college student – no surprise there, it's so outrageous. Even though hooking up does continue after college, the population gets segregated differently. Grad schools are full of betas – that was certainly true of b-school, and I'd imagine it's at least somewhat true of law school. I know it's true of med school, and probably true of most other kinds of graduate programs. I know several guys who were super nerdy in high school, but now they work for Google and they're cute. They're getting plenty of attention from girls. This doesn't solve the dilemma for all of the men in group 3, but a sizable number of them do well, I think. What's changed in the last 10 years or so, and what I hear a lot from men on this site, is that those men are not willing to date the women in group 2 who behaved in any way like Katherine. Which sounds reasonable and fair.

    • Novaseeker

      What's striking to see when it's laid out this way is how many losers there are. The women is group 2 who hope to flip the Alpha rarely succeed, certainly not before he hits his late 20s. So they're losers, by and large. Also, one thing that's often overlooked is that the most attractive women lose out in this system.

      Yes, precisely. As far as I see it the only real "winners" are the alpha males (best time in history hands down to be a natural alpha since we were swinging from the trees, without question) and the relatively small minority of women who really enjoy lots of casual sex (they exist, there just aren't that many of them). Pretty much everyone else, including, as you note, the top women, lose under this system.

      Grad schools are full of betas – that was certainly true of b-school, and I'd imagine it's at least somewhat true of law school. I know it's true of med school, and probably true of most other kinds of graduate programs. I know several guys who were super nerdy in high school, but now they work for Google and they're cute. They're getting plenty of attention from girls. This doesn't solve the dilemma for all of the men in group 3, but a sizable number of them do well, I think. What's changed in the last 10 years or so, and what I hear a lot from men on this site, is that those men are not willing to date the women in group 2 who behaved in any way like Katherine. Which sounds reasonable and fair.

      On your latter point I think that is true — and it's a new development as well. On the former point, my own experience in law school was that while there were a few durable couplings from my law school class, in many ways it was the same as college in that a lot of people were disinterested in tying themselves down geographically and/or socially, knowing that bright lights and big city were coming in a few short years with many more people in terms of opportunities (and perhaps you wanted to be in very different places, too). There was also a very prominent scene among the guys in terms of work hard, party hard. It was different from college, but not *that* different. B-School is more different both because it's shorter and also because people tend to come from the real world jobs first and then go to B-school. For law school a lot of people come directly from college, and so there is much more of a continuity, and also, in academic terms, only the first year *really* counts in terms of jobs and interviewing and so on — so you have two expensive years to kind of study more leisurely and party and so on. So I suspect it's different from B-School in some respects.

      In terms of things getting better for betas as they get older, I completely agree. One thing I advise younger guys is to wait a bit because it gets better as you get a bit older.

  • Kendrick

    I guess I was out of line when I “guaranteed” that Meg would act in a certain way. All women are not the same and a small number fall far enough out of the norm to behave in the way you describe. I don't know her, and shouldn't have made it personal like that.

    What I take exception, massive exception, to is her broader statements claiming that women in general behave like this, e.g. “flock to” guys who “value the women in their lives”.

    This claim is not just false, it's insulting to guys like me who were raised the old fashioned way and then had to deal with how women actually act. I spent eight years, eight goddamn years, believing that, and wondering why I so rarely got dates, never mind sex, while friends and acquaintances who treated women poorly went on three dates a week, or got a new girlfriend the day after breaking up, or dated and slept with two women who knew about each other at once.

    I'm studying game now and if my date doesn't flake on Monday, I'll have had as many dates in the last three months as the eight years before that. The number of women who actually act the way you and Meg describe is vanishingly small, and telling people that they can count on it, that things are gonna change, is destructive.

  • Il Capo

    “If showing up is 80% of success, and I think it is, then it's much easier for me to coach women, and guys, to manage the balance and timing early in the relationship.”

    This is where we disagree. I think showing up is much less than 80% for beta guys these days. It may depend a lot on the location, but in my experience, showing up is more like 20% at the most for beta guys.

    I must disclose that my college days were not in the US, so I'm not completely sure how that dynamic plays out. In the post-college dating/hookup scene, though, I stand by my percentages.

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  • autumnpari

    I resent the implication that women who are not hooking up are not attractive and therefore fall into group 3.
    Plenty of women are attractive and still not hooking up because they want more than just sex from a man. Just because they can get it, doesn't mean they're going to go for it. Unless by attractive you mean “sexually available.”

  • GudEnuf

    “By the age of 21 I had learned what I didn't want in a guy, and I never made that mistake again. “

    If you don't mind me asking, how long did it take you to get married after that?

    (You can delete this post if that question is too personal)

  • GudEnuf

    Porn is a much better substitute for sex than romance novels are for intimacy.

    Indeed, some men would say porn is better than sex.

  • Vjatcheslav

    I wonder how much of the women chasing alpha men chastise men for wanting the hotties…

  • Mike

    I resent the implication that women who are not hooking up are not attractive and therefore fall into group 3.
    Plenty of women are attractive and still not hooking up because they want more than just sex from a man

    I reread what Novaseeker stated:

    2.Women attractive enough to attract the attention of the men described in 1, either for sex or more – this is probably the “top” 50-60% of women.

    Did you miss the “or more” part? I read nothing that “implies” women not hooking up fall into group 3. Novaseeker obviously doesn't need me to refute for him, but this is typical response where you are either projecting or reading alot more into what the words on the page clearly state.

  • Mike

    Grad schools are full of betas – that was certainly true of b-school, and I'd imagine it's at least somewhat true of law school. I know it's true of med school, and probably true of most other kinds of graduate programs. I know several guys who were super nerdy in high school, but now they work for Google and they're cute. They're getting plenty of attention from girls.

    This was certainly the case in my B-school class.

    Regarding plenty of attention, they need to be careful on who they are getting the attention from and for what reasons. Quick personal anecdote. 2nd year of B-school, some buddies go out to Vegas for a trip. I did not go. They came back, and one came back with a girl who apparently had decided to come back with him. After all, he was going to be a top B-school graduate in a few months with potentially a lucrative career beginning. I don't remember exactly what she did back there, but I think it might have been a stripper or cocktail waitress. She was definitely physically attractive, and in the course of interactions there were numerous times she was flirtatious with me. At the time, I was in really good physical shape but still had many of my Beta personality traits so I wasn't able to fully read all the signs she was giving off. Knowing what I know now, no doubt I could have had sex with her. I have no idea if they are still together.

    Bottom line, beta males such as lawyers, MBAs, doctors who make a lot of money need to be careful about who they attract. I purposefully would avoid any signs of wealth display, be fairly cheap, and I would even seriously avoid talking about my job. You want someone who wants to be with you the person, not you the provider.

  • Mike

    I think in the long run it is so hard to pin down that beta male because they are at home on their Wii or to afraid of rejection that women

    Just to reiterate, as Il Capo pointed out, it isn't the beta who is at home playing on their Wii, it is the Omega. Generally speaking, the beta is out there, trying and socializing.

    Also sex is seen as something that makes you more worthy. I think this is demonstrated with the queen bee analogy. It is unfortunate that we place so much value on our sexual appeal.

    Not sure how to explain this as I think it just is what it is, but for a man getting sex does make him feel more worthy or feel more value and esteem. I think somehow our ability to get women as sex partners is hardwired into our mental esteem. Prior to losing my virginity at 22, I was very depressed about my status during college. Just prior to getting divorced, I had gained alot of weight, so when I got divorced I lost my physical attractiveness and had about a 10 month dry spell.

    I can't say for certain because I'm not a woman but I suspect women who go without any steady boyfriends or relationships for a long, long time feel the exact same way where lack of a relationship starts to affect their self-worth.

  • http://FT.com/ VJ

    Well then we finally got around to some thoughts on 'normalizing selection'. But more on that in a bit. For a few quicker thoughts.

    1.) This from Susan; “By the age of 21 I had learned what I didn't want in a guy, and I never made that mistake again. My actions reflected my desire to marry and have children with a smart, sensitive, good man. Someone attractive, interesting, and well-read.” Marks her as extraordinarily smart & perceptive at an early age. There's still some gals out there like this, they're just in the decided minority, especially at those young ages now. And yes, the media has much to atone for her too.

    But again, this expressed desire? “Someone attractive, interesting, and well-read”? [OK perhaps 2 of the 3?] I'll claim is also an ongoing active interest of a vanishingly small subset of the 'dating' population today. Hell, how about for most of the college 'kids' today? There's plenty of interesting guys who know plenty on specialist topics (say baseball stats), that just do not interest many of the 'right' kinds of people. (Most likely the 'right sort' of gals). This can be repeated for almost any venue or realm of human endeavor. Ethologists who know much more than their prospective dates do wind up arguing with Cindy Ann about 'her crazy dog' and how she just knows that he needs her Prozac to calm him down on vacations. Through strange life circumstances, I can argue art (& sometimes do) with most artists. My wife is rarely much impressed with this, although we might imagine that she once was. Perhaps?!

    2.) I know Meg's a lovely sweet gal & all but with this description? “She is exactly what a nice guy dreams of. She has zero experience hooking up, she has never dated an alpha type. She is lovely and kind and good.” Was anyone else hearing the chorus that they sung in the 'Good Witch of the West' in on?

    3.) But I like what Meg & Nova S. had to say here. We're talking about 'Darwinian odds' in a selective landscape, we might as well talk a bit about 'normalizing selection'.

    The adaptive landscape is a bit distorted in ways we see & imagine, bit in time & space. The goals of just 'hooking up' are not quite those of actively searching for a responsible, serious & thoughtful partner to potentially raise a family with. Or at least have some visitation rights.

    Meg's thoughts on Beta's for Beta's etc, has some merits. It's probably simpler in the long run, tries to avoid most 'mismatches' and is automatically cutting down on the number of candidates who might 'fit' into the selection scale. However, this does not take into account the serious issue of people seeking & desiring those 'mismatches' as some sort of fantasy to live out in real life. And yes, most romance novels speak to this yes, hypergamous desire & even 'strategic plan'. So as others & NovaS have noted we've got plenty of Beta females (and others of 'all sorts') who ply the bars waiting to 'poach' an Alpha and possibly ultimately 'tame him' with their charms/athletic ability/secret knowledge of the carnal arts/cooking/knitting whatever. And as others have noted, this is largely a serious problem of mistaking Fantasy for Reality. Ditto the average shlub down at the local repair shop making out with & bedding down with the 'leggy super model type'. Now Bill down at the shop really can not often mistake reality for his deeply elaborate masturbatory fantasies. Unless he's a millionaire or close to it (owning the shop is close in the hinterlands, BTW), he'll never have the opportunity to test out many of these fantasies in real life. For the women? A bit of make up, some strong liquid courage and good luck in a dark room? You too can claim to be part of 'Tiger's entourage'. It's really not that difficult. Unlike the Geishas of yore? You only need a very limited repertoire of talents. Sometimes the more limited the better too. (If you imagine yourself to be the newest Up & coming rap/singing sensation, you'll likely be taking more risks with ever more famously 'connected people').

    But there remains some population of both Beta (& 'below' we imagine) guys & gals, probably more likely more guys than gals for all the traditional & rational expectations of biology.

    4.) What do do? Well for the guys, they need to try and become those 'better Betas', short term. But better? They really need to be running another deeper 'game' that's uniquely counter-intuitive. They need to run & work against 'normalizing selection', if they're able to consciously do so. This might not be as hard as imagined, as I've previously noted.

    Let's go with height. For both. What do we need to look for first? The Opposite ends of the normal height distribution. Most likely scenario? Gals trying to get comfortable dating decent guys under that infamous 5'8″-5'9″ bar, or even [Gasp!] the well turned out exemplary shorty's @ 5'5″. This alone? Might account for yes, much of the 'missing half' of the population all the gals are always whining about. Where are all the smart, decent & kind, serious, hardworking, thoughtful, respectable dudes? They do not all come in the same fantasy package of 'Tall , dark & handsome', or riding in on a white steed either. But that is yes, hard wired into the system, and that objective alone (more leeway on height) would represent probably the most dramatic 'revolution' in modern Western 'mate selection', in a very long time.

    For the guys? On that parameter alone, means that you're looking for either the 'sky scraping woman' or the even more short. Both can work, and I've seen it done. Tall women are seldom approached for dates due to this 'mismatch' and if they're open minded enough (which again is a stretch, we realize), this might be something of a niche to consider.

    But again there are many dimensions possible here. Many young women are not yet clued into how to use make up to their advantage. Nor dress. They can and might learn this skill 'later', and it's not good to give up on those 'natural beauty's' simply because they're not the blond swimsuit models your Frat bros are scoring on at the local pub. Ditto for intellectual women, and especially for those not tied up into the whole creature comforts of the 'Cosmo' & consumerist culture.

    There are indeed plenty of natural 'trade offs' that might be made. So the question remains would you rather be 'right' about Mr/Ms 'Perfect' or would you rather possibly be perfectly happy with Mr./Ms. Low maintenance Beta? As someone who's happily long married to a really smart, low maintenance women? I know I got lucky early. Which is about the best you can manage.

    5.) So in the end, I'd say work the game or whatever you can to 'get in the door', get comfortable & some practice, whatever. But also know that you're not always 'swinging for the fences'. It's the solid steady base hits & on base stats that most will be recalled for. The 'heavy hitters', are rare. The lowly 'utility infielder' who hit the championship winning clean-up home run is even more of a rarity. And he still most likely got traded the next year too.

    6.) So in the end it's the responsibility of both the women & men to bust out of the categories, always be looking for more options and try to meet somewhere.

    Women need to expand their definitions of acceptable. For age, height, income, profession, family background etc. Hypergamy might be the 'natural expectation' of yes, the young & nubile, but it's almost always strictly a game confined to the young and or rich. For everyone else, it's largely a frustrating time wasting exercise. Yes, some gals do this already, but clearly not too early enough to not leave a generation of guys out in the desert for a decade or more.

    The Beta guys need to be constantly looking around the edges of the naturalistic selective landscape that they're playing in. The Alphas will clearly play the filed like no other. The consolation prize for staying on the field and playing them nose to nose for a few quarters straight might be one of their erstwhile 'cast-offs', or a 'secretive tryst' while the Alphas otherwise occupied and that's not much of a win. Yes, you can and might coerce or convince one of these 'big players' (I'm not going to call them 'alpha women) to go with you or down on you. But most likely? This is not a LTR prospect. Now for many? That's fine too. That's a respectable goal. If you're 40 something still playing at these games with no end in sight? You must really, secretly be a glutton for punishment, and/or working for the government in a stupefyingly boring job. Again it's another game with definite time limitations. Doing this & running game @ 50 something? Look around. It's just unlikely unless you've changed venues and you're now very wealthy and you're going after different sorts of prey. For the 'cougars' naturally they might be able to do this for awhile yet, even @ 50 something. And if you doubt that? You don't listen to country music & you've not seen the police reports from our local bars down here!

    Again, sorry for the length. Cheers & Good Luck! 'VJ'

  • Mike

    I do not like going for Alpha's but when they are the only ones at the bars… Or the fact that beta's try going for the Alpha females.

    1. Why would you expect to meet “good guy betas” at bars? Honestly, that is just silly. Bars are the hunting grounds for Alphas. Bookstores are a good place to maybe meet some intelligent betas. Generally speaking, betas tend to be more introverted. They don't really enjoy going to bars. I don't enjoy it all. When I was going to bars for the purpose of meeting women, I would have to get all geared up, get into the right state of mind. I could pull off the sociable Alpha act for a few hours, but it was mentally exhausting. I don't know for certain, but I would guess you could meet a ton of good betas on online dating sites like eharmony where you could specifically look for common interests. But remember these guys generally won't be able to spark chemistry so you'll need to give them 3-5 dates to kind of grow on you (potentially). Very often on date 1-2 they will be nervous as hell like going on a job interview. You need to cut them some slack. Very often they just don't have a polished presentation. I know because that was me before I learned Game. What do you like to do? Horseback ride? Play chess? Alot of good guy betas at chess clubs, and they are obviously smart.

    2. Betas generally don't pursue Alpha females. Honestly, I've read this more then a few times now and I call bullshit. Generally speaking, I think men have a much better sense of where they rank in terms of value across all men, and are usually very realistic about who an equivalent partner is. Guys who are 4-6s aren't approaching nor do they expect to pull a 7-9. They may fantasize about them, but they are under no delusion they can get them.

    Generally speaking, my experience is women engage in an enormous amount of self-delusion about where they rank versus other women. First of all women tend to project their attraction switches on to men. Your educational pedigree doesn't increase your value to a man compared to a high school graduate in terms of sexual attractiveness. Again, fair or unfair, reality is what reality is, and looks is near the top of the list. In my experience, women tend to inflate their looks value by 1-2 points so a 5 thinks she is a 6-7 and a 7 thinks she is 8-9. Secondly, many women tend to overvalue themselves based on purely sexual interest from higher value males so a 6 thinks she is a 8 because an alpha 8 is trying to take her home for a one night stand. So the 5 girl won't go for the 5 guy because she thinks she is really a 7 and can get the 7-8 guy (Katherine above). So that take the 5 girl off the table for the 5 guy, and now he has to go down to a 3, and he just isn't going to do that. Yes, this is a oversimplification and not all individuals act like this but it is true enough to describe what is happening at the macro level.

    • vera44

      Yikes, women OVERestimate how attractive they are? Maybe. But with the media being what it is, I don't think pointing out that women are actually less attractive than they think they are is going to be beneficial — there are too many insecure women already. With the media wanting us all to compare to Adriana Lima & Halle Berry, I know I probably don't overestimate how attractive I am. Every woman I know focuses on how fat she is, the dark circles under her eyes, the fact her hair is frizzy, whatever.

      Do you have specific examples of women who were much less attractive rating themselves higher than you would rate them or is just a feeling you have?

      • Mike

        Do you have specific examples of women who were much less attractive rating themselves higher than you would rate them

        Yes.

        No way to practically test this though. If one wanted to test this, then you could have someone rate themselves and then post a picture on hotornot.com. One could always check out that site to get a sense of what the market consensus is for various levels of physical attractiveness.

        Just for the record, I don't think physical attractiveness should be at the top of the list for a guy seeking a quality LTR. In fact, it should be way down the list after things like loyalty, generousity, kind and giving heart. Forgot who said it, but definitely screen out for any signs of ruthlessness, selfish, or entitlement.

        • vera44

          Okay, my original question was to obviously find out how you know women rate themselves higher than they are, so since you have examples, can you elaborate?

        • Passer_By

          I think you've missed the mark a bit here. I think women are acutely aware of their physical attractiveness relative to other women. I think, however, their hypergamy causes them to essentially treat half or more of the males as completely invisible. In other words, they see this pool of reasonably attractive/dateable guys (that is really a subset of 50 percent or less of the male population – probably much less) and then they try to place themselves in that pool based on their own perception of their attractiveness relative to all women. Obviously, based on the numbers, the outcome is the same as if they wildly overestimated their own attractiveness, but I suspect the cause is that they don't really realize how many men they are treating as simply invisible and nonexistent.

        • vera44

          That actually makes a lot of sense.

  • Mike

    But also know that you're not always 'swinging for the fences'

    IMO, a guy who is smart will definitely not “swing for the fences” especially for a LTR. I think a guy should choose a woman who is actually maybe slightly lower in SMV. This accomplishes a few things. It satisfies the female desire for hypergamy. It increases the odds of getting a sexually loyal partner. If she is smart, she knows she hit the jackpot and will be hard-pressed to do anything that jeopardizes the relationship. The tradeoff for the guy which I think is well worth it, is that he may not be getting someone quite as physically attractive as he could, but he takes competition from other males largely off the table.

  • Mike

    A real wacko who was commenting alot here recently.

    Just for the record, I was NOT referring to you. Susan identified the wacko I was referring to.

  • Mike

    There's really no voice for men that is reaching the ears of women, and that's a problem.

    FWIW, I think that is one of the reasons you've got guys like me, Novaseeker, Il Capo, etc. all posting comments here. We are TRYING TO GET THE MESSAGE across because I think you are right that most women are stunned at the dating/sexual experience of most men, and maybe many lurkers are reading this stuff and starting to think.

    The typical 22-40 year old female isn't going to be reading the Spearhead, or Novaseeker's blog when he was still posting (BTW, still miss it, some of the most thought-provoking stuff ever written on these subjects), or any of the other blogs written by men on these topics. Those are just echo chambers, and people preaching to the choir, and then you've got the numerous wackos who destroy any credibility of the valid parts of the message.

    But hopefully, some of what is posted here is getting across to the intended audience and maybe some goes viral just a bit. Who knows, maybe Katherine read this post and all the comments and is rethinking how she pursues her dating life.

    but how big a difference can it really make? The MSM will need to hop on board for any real traction.

    Who knows, but keep doing what you are doing. I think it is worthwhile. Look at the number of commenters you are getting. People are engaging the conversation.

    The MSM are followers, not leaders. The blogosphere are the leaders. I know this from business/investments stuff where many bloggers were way ahead of the MSM in terms of getting to the reality of stuff happening. You are starting to see a little more in the MSM.

  • Mike

    Il Capo,

    This is so spot-on it is scary. Reading this brought back memories from my past.

    When these guys go on first dates, they try too hard: chocolates or roses, upscale restaurant, he pays for everything, opens doors, etc. He plans the first date too much and may be a little undecisive when doing so, for eg. asking the girl to pick the restaurant instead of just choosing himself. He may follow up dinner with a movie and drag the first date for way too long.

    LOL, you just described just about every first date from my twenties. I didn't get too many second dates despite being tall (6'3″) and fairly good-looking (so I've been told). It really is true that women value personality much more then looks, but where we were misled is on what personality attributes matter. Confident, aloof, and assertive is 10x better then extremely polite, eager to please, and too agreeable.

  • Mike

    You want creepy, I'll give you creepy. :) Check this crazy shit out:

    http://www.metro.co.uk/weird/816601-man-marries

    I'm sorry, but there is something really wrong with Asian culture.

  • susanawalsh

    Kendrick, I hear you on this. What I would point out, however, is that Meg described herself as a beta female. She was raised the old-fashioned way, and perhaps she can't understand why all the guys go for barely dressed girls who are brash and aggressive. Just as there is a great divide between alpha and beta guys, and the way their lives look, the same divide exists between women like Katherine and women like Meg. They live in different worlds, essentially.

    I don't know who you're dating these days, but many men who study Game go right for the Katherines and short-term gratification. Beta females are often overlooked as Beta guys want more than dates, they want to show up Alpha males by dating Alpha females.

  • susanawalsh

    GudEnuf, I'll answer just about anything. My post I Married a One-Night Stand is proof of that ;-)

    I met my husband when I was 25 in grad school. It took me a year to reel him in, haha, and we got married when I was 28.

    One might ask why I dated that guy for three years in college if I found him such a disappointment. The reason is social status. Being his gf made life easy. But the truth is, I never fell in love with him. We broke up after graduation, and my father was very relieved I wouldn't be diluting the Walsh gene pool with that guy. ;-)

  • Vjatcheslav

    Maybe there is also some element of revenge (“you didn't want to look at me before, now I'll pump and dump you, slut”) in the attention that beta males enhanced by Game have for alpha females.

  • susanawalsh

    I was really trying to make the point that if women and men are tucked away in their respective dorms, apartments, whatever, interaction is impossible. Once you start putting people together in the same place, things start happening. This is why beta guys can do well in graduate school, or in the workplace, where they are not in Alpha's shadow in quite the same way.

    But yes, I see your point. In a setting where AMOGs are present, standing around is not going to get it done.

    • Il Capo

      I understand were you are coming from. I'm not disagreeing for disagreement's sake. I'm just helping you understand the beta mindset:

      – Beta guy won't feel confident making a move in an ambivalent situation. He has social fears, like fear of rejection, ridicule, etc. As such, beta guy will be vary wary of running day-game or social circle game. If he put his fears aside, he would realize that he should be much more successful by making moves in such a situation than at a bar or party.

      – Beta guy, on the other hand, will feel a little more comfortable approaching girls at bars or parties. Both booze courage and playing to the social norm that says that approaching is both expected and within the rules in such a setting (unlike in the other cases above), he will approach only then. In such a setting, he will struggle much more: there will be AMOGs aplenty, he will have very limited social value, much worse body language and signs, and he may even be faced with the fact that a few of the quality girls he may have been interested may not attend such events.

      So what do we have? Beta guy showing up at the worst possible venue and NOT showing up where he would get the greatest results, such as in social circle game or day game.

      The next possible step in our discussion would be to define what we consider constitutes "showing up". If we consider showing as showing up in the best possible scenario, then I'd agree with you that just showing up is 80% of the game. If we consider showing up as at least showing up at bars or parties, then I think you'd agree with my assessment.

      • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/susanawalsh susanawalsh

        Yes, this makes total sense. I too focus on daytime encounters when discussing how women can meet guys. The most common ways for future spouses to meet, in order of frequency are:
        1. school
        2. work
        3. introduced by mutual friends
        4. random encounters

        Most women totally discount random encounters, but there's a lot of good potential here. I encourage people to become regulars at the places they like, get to know the other people who are always in your Starbucks at 8am. If you see a man you think is cute, make eye contact for three seconds (the attraction threshold) and smile. People can meet anywhere, if they're open to communicating. The car dealership, the dry cleaners, the dog park. Bars are frequented by confident men looking for sex. As you say, if the nice guys are there, they are not going to be hitting on women in the same way. The AMOGs make everyone else pretty much invisible.

        • Il Capo

          I tried to share this link before, but I guess I got "filtered". I'll share it in almost-URL form.

          hxxp://www.seductionbase.com/seduction/cat/advanced/160.html

          (replace the xx with tt).

          You'll hate the title, but it's actually a good guide for betas who want some attention or success but don't need to become players. It relies on doing some things which would be detrimental to better game (such as becomming buddies with girls, or introducing yourself right away) but which is good enough for some initial success or getting a girlfriend.

          This is the kind of advice the guys who are showing up but failing need.

        • Il Capo

          I've found a Beta guy 101 guide that I think you would appreciate. It is at a "game" site and geared towards getting laid. I think its scope is much broader than that, though.

          You'd probably hate the title, but give it a chance. Note that he suggests being friends first as acceptable given the circumstances (contrary to the much feared LJBF possible outcome). The openers and material are situational and not canned. It's what I'd suggest a beta does if he's serious about getting some attention.

          http://www.seductionbase.com/seduction/cat/advanc

        • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/susanawalsh susanawalsh

          This is a really good link! It's the closest thing I've seen to Game for nice guys who want to stay that way, and I think there's a lot of merit to that idea. Thanks, Il Capo. I'm going to think about posting on this specific angle to Game.

        • Il Capo

          Huh. My posts finally showed up. I tried a few times, so you'll find my spam here and there.

          If your readership includes a few college-aged guys, you could consider a post including dragnet's advice, this link and other useful stuff.

          I must warn you, though, that women usually have a strong bias towards prescribing "inner-game" solutions to betas. The problem is, inner game is hard to develop after a life of beta-tude. Consider routines and the like training wheels for guys to eventually get to the coveted inner game stage. So, despite your probable reservations, it would probably be more helpful if you prescribed standard game as the first step in the right direction.

        • Il Capo

          I've found a Beta guy 101 guide that I think you would appreciate. It is at a "game" site and geared towards getting laid. I think its scope is much broader than that, though.

          I've tried to add the link a few times, but the comment gets deleted/filtered. I'm posting is as my site URL instead. Note that it's not my site, just me trying to circumvent the comments' filters.

  • susanawalsh

    OMG! I know men want hot women, but honestly, what do you think he and she even talked about after sex? That sounds like a complete disaster, especially if she was checking out his friends from the start. That sounds like something Mystery would have done, with equally poor long-term results, no doubt!

  • susanawalsh

    I think you have a good point, autumnpari. Nova says about those women:

    The women in group 2 are a confused mixture of hypergamy and oppoprtunity cost, I think, in terms of motivation. Their hypergamous attractions seem to focus them on the “hot” men in group 1 to the exclusion of most other men, and they learn that they can gain “access” to these men through sexuality

    There are indeed women in group 2 who get attention from the men in group 1, but don't welcome it if it's only about sex. Once a Player figures out that the girl won't play, he'll move along quickly, but often attractive women get hit on constantly by new guys only wanting one thing. If a girl has made a choice not to hook up randomly, this is a frustrating cycle of guys pretending to be interested in getting to know her, then flaking when sex is not offered within a week, or maybe even the first night.

    This goes back to the point I made about not all women being the same, or having the same tolerance for mistreatment. I also stated above how very attractive women are often left out of the scene entirely, as counterintuitive as that sounds because they won't sell themselves cheaply.

  • susanawalsh

    Women may chase Alpha men, but Beta guys are definitely fantasizing about the hotties, and I believe they often fail to even consider a woman who they would consider a 5, even if they are a 5. Because men know that women select for traits other than looks, a lot of guys think they should be the next Neil Strauss.

  • susanawalsh

    This is a great comment, VJ, for both women and men. I think this sums it up pretty well. I agree that the height factor alone could swing things in a different direction. I believe the average male height in the U.S. in 5'10″. Many women consider this their floor. Half the population, gone! In her now infamous book, Lori Gottlieb confessed that although she is 5'1″ she always refused to date any man under 5'10.”

    I can't resist this:

    If you're 40 something still playing at these games with no end in sight? You must really, secretly be a glutton for punishment, and/or working for the government in a stupefyingly boring job.

    Reminds me of a certain DC blogger.

  • susanawalsh

    Sounds like a reasonable strategy to me. However, that means that the woman will spend her time watching more attractive women flirt with him wherever they go. Since he's hard-wired to prefer sexual variety, this is a risky pairing for her, though I agree most women would jump at the chance. It will only work for her, though, with a man of strong character.

  • susanawalsh

    Yes, I understand the motivation of most of the men commenting here. It's altruistic, often, it's guys spending quite a bit of their time talking to young women and the way they need to think about the young men of their generation. It really reflects a desire to make life better for others, and I appreciate that.

    I also am grateful b/c I have learned an enormous amount. You guys are like one big focus group and I feel like I can't take notes fast enough. I recently had a post where I included lots of comments from the guys about when to have sex. I need to do more of that, b/c obviously not everyone reads the comment threads, and there is just such good stuff here.

  • susanawalsh

    Ouch. This last paragraph nails it re women, projection, and self-delusion, all greatly aided and abetted by girlfriends, incidentally.

  • susanawalsh

    Yes, that is my perception. And it's understandable, really. But probably not conducive to long-term success or happiness.

  • Vjatcheslav

    Being the next Neil Strauss is going to require more than the mere fact that women select also for traits other than looks. And to be honest, I think men sometimes tend to underestimate the importance women give to looks (although I've no good idea how important it actually is).

  • susanawalsh

    Agreed. Meanwhile, Tokyo police have had to become a visible presence on subway trains because of a new practice that involves shoving your hand up a woman's dress when it is too crowded for her to get away, or even determine who the perp is. It's become so common it happens hundreds of times every day.

    • PJay

      I used to spend a lot of time in Japan on business and vacation.

      One solution to this problem that was developed there is pretty uniquely Japanese.

      Google “chikan imekura” and you will see what I mean.

  • Vjatcheslav

    Revenge gets old after some time – it's difficult to keep anger up if it is continually drained by the grim satisfaction.

  • Il Capo

    Mike wrote: "This is so spot-on it is scary. Reading this brought back memories from my past."

    Heh. As you have probably realized, the description was partly auto-biographical in nature. I was lucky to be in a setting where I had an inherent DHV due to career and other stuff, so my behavior was somehow tolerated. I also "learned" from some naturals by asking the wrong questions. They were taking girls to dinner at fancy restaurants, so I did so too. Little did I know that it is the details that matter.

  • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/susanawalsh susanawalsh

    Dragnet left an awesome comment during the changeover today, but it went into limbo. Fortunately, I have it as an email, so I'm posting it here for everyone's general edification. For any young guys especially, read and learn. It's clear from what I've read of his that Dragnet has very, very tight Game. Ugh, ID is making me split the comment in two.

    Part I From Dragnet:

    Great post—and a lot of great comments on this board.

    I read the Katherine letter and laughed aloud. I can very much assure you all from personal experience—it's not a parody or a joke. That's basically the scene for pretty much your whole 20s in large-scale urban environments and universities. The alphas & Game-enhanced betas (a smaller number) have 'harems' or 'rotations'…and the ladies are often aware and don't necessarily mind. I just didn't know they were so unabashed to the point of crowing about it in emails and revealing their identities. To be perfectly frank, Katherine seems like one of the kinds of women I hooked up with and then quickly dispensed with. She just doesn't seem like relationship material—not necessarily because she's in a de facto harem, but because she doesn't seem to mind and she strikes me as a bit ruthless—the kind of woman who would trade up for someone more alpha in a heartbeat. You can spot those muchachas a mile away if you know what to look for.

    And I agree—there isn't much in the Game community on LTR Game and I would definitely appreciate a bit more study and literature regarding that topic. Obviously, I don't consider myself an expert on LTR Game (or even pick-up Game, for that matter) but at one point I was in an on-off relationship that lasted 3.5 years. This was before I'd known heard about 'Game' or the online seduction community (these days, I consider myself a natural now intellectually aware of why I was successful with women in the past). Looking back over that relationship a couple things stuck out to me as important:

    1) Picking the right kind of woman: You have a to pick a woman who is LTR material. You may think this means many things, but in my opinion it really doesn't. If you smell a hint of entitlement or ruthlessness or selfishness on your woman, you should know that she's also probably the type who would divorce you and take you to the cleaners if a better offer showed up. Bag her—character matters in LTRs.

    In a practical sense, it also means not necessarily fucking—or even dating—initially. Back where I'm from a lot of times you'd do what was called 'talking' to a girl (Obsidian would definitely know what I'm talking about). You wouldn't fuck her and you wouldn't even go out on dates. You'd just holla at her at times—on the phone or wherever—you'd get to know her character, all the while giving her a chance to fall for you. It's a delicate balancing act that requires solid Game and social skills, but it's highly adaptable and very helpful as to sussing out who's LTR material and who's just hook-up material.

    There are others ways of going about it, of course, but the point is that it's important to make a good choice. This is the most important aspect of LTR Game, in my opinion.

    2) Ambition outside the relationship: Always be making progress in some area of your life— in an LTR quality woman, it will inspire her respect for your provider instinct. And that respect can make the pussy tingle. Whether it's your education, self-improvement, your professional life, or your relationships with family & friends, volunteering or whatever, women like men who seem like they're going places and always striving.

  • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/susanawalsh susanawalsh

    Part II from Dragnet:

    3) Subtle displays of dominance within the relationship: Women are naturally submissive and both the guy and girl need to own that. When I say submissive I don't mean docile, weak, tame, or passive. I mean pre-disposed to yield respect & deference…but only to those who demonstrate worthiness. A way of doing this is by subtle displays of male dominance. One example of this that we're all familiar with: hand holding. When you hold your woman's hand, you instinctively put your hand in front of her and she submits to it. That model can really be applied across a range of behaviors.

    – Don't wrap your arm around her waist in public. I've seen guys do this and it's pathetic and insecure. Instead, place a hand on her casually on her hip (or her ass, but only for a few seconds depending on the situation). A favorite move of mine is to place a hand on the small of her back. I'm a big guy with large hands, so they generally cover her entire back and a bit around the waist. I've had many women tell me it turns them—it makes them feel little, hot, and reminds her who she belongs to.

    -Slap her on the ass when you're just around the apt. Resist the beta urge to shrink or apologize. Sometimes don't even acknowledge that you just did that.

    -Apologize less. Far, far less.

    -Head up, chest out and put a bit of swing in your shoulders when you walk.

    -Be decisive. Always have a plan.

    -Fuck her good, hard, and often.

    -Hold her when cuddling, not the other way around. And you're the Big Spoon 80 percent of the time. Minimum.

    -When you're at a restaurant occasionally place a hand on her thigh or rub her knee. Don't be afraid to order for her—if you're in an LTR you know what she likes. Stop reaching for your wallet as soon as the check arrives—it's okay to let her pay occasionally. Just play it cool and act like it's no big deal.

    And so on…"Playful dominance" are really the watchwords.

    4) Train your woman: Reward the behaviors you want, and discourage the ones you don't. Simple, but not easy. The ultimate point is to establish that your woman can obtain from you by her softness and femininity far more than she could by grrl power or whatever this bullshit is. Femininity is grrrl power—and if you're lucky and you've made a good choice then this is a much easier process because she knows this. But if not then you have some work cut out. In my opinion, this step is easier if the the other three things (making a good choice, male ambition, subtle male dominance) are present.

    Just my $0.02 on the topic. I'll admit that most of my experience is with short-term engagements, so you may take this all with a grain of salt.

    • vera44

      OMG. Number 3 is SO important, at least for me. It's what made the last guy I dated so ridiculously hard to leave — he did all of those, and it always made me weak in the knees.

  • ATS

    Sigh. I get a lot of these from single girlfriends. Two of them who are much younger, while having lunch with me, were tickled pink over the fact that the jerks they were after "had a lot of women after them!" and were basically cads who'd poke anything in a skirt. I could not believe my ears. I basically had to rain on their parade by telling them a couple of harsh truths, which Katherine would do well to heed :

    1.) As per Sherry Argov, competing with other women just lowers your value, period. A man will not value you if you do not value yourself, and being the one doing all the work in this relationship won't let him sit up and think, "Oh, SHE'S special!" It just sets you up for being a doormat.

    2.) You're fighting over a man who's sleeping with other women. So you win him. Great. Hooray for you. But here's a simple fact that's glossed over—if you compete to win a cad, guess what? You've won a CAD! To expect him to change now that you have him when his very behavior was what got you to gunning after him in the first place isn't going to suddenly make him do a total turn around and be the devoted, loyal, commitment-ready boyfriend you're wishing for. HE'LL STILL BE A CAD, because after all, why fix something that for him, ain't broke? So be careful with the prize you aim for, ladies. In the hot melee of trying to be number one in an ostensible harem, the goal of winning might not get you what you really want. You might get to be number one with a jerk, but that won't change the fact that he's STILL a jerk.

    (P.S. : Susan, had to change my name from AT to ATS, since your site told me my name was too short)

    • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/susanawalsh susanawalsh

      YES! These are both good points, but #2 is critical. In this post, I didn't even address the behavior of the guy, but I often say "Be careful what you wish for." Whether you're a woman going for a cad, or a guy lusting after a heartless, entitled woman, IF you can manage to wrangle someone like this into a relationship, you haven't got anything worth having. Cads do have girlfriends sometimes, and if you could see inside those relationships, you'd see how superficial they are. A cad's gf is really nothing more than a glorified f*ckbuddy. And he'll treat you poorly, and cheat, because that's what cads do.

  • Tvulture

    I like this "Susan goes East" series. You're trying to warn people off harems, Susan, so let me help you out…

    Who ends up in harems? Slaves. If you're in a harem, you're a slave. I bet they understood that very well back in the Sultan's day. Would-be volunteers for modern western harems don't. They should think about it.

    If you want a harem, you need slaves, so chances are the Sultan is going to have dealings with more than a few slave traders. Not sweet guys, so the Sultan probably isn't sweet either. Birds of a feather.

    A harem slave can dream that she'll end up as Sultana. That doesn't always work out. In the Ottoman Empire, succession went first to the brother of the Sultan, not the Sultan's son. More than a few Sultanas found out their darling boy wasn't going to be royalty after all. Literally, "bros before…."

    OK, so some women would skip the Sultan and go for a nice Bey or Pasha. Fine, until you find out you're with Stanke Bey…

    • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/susanawalsh susanawalsh

      The metaphor holds! Sex slavery is just about right – if all you provide is sex, and you get zip in return, not even honesty, you've got less than when you were alone. So why would anyone sign up? It makes no sense, despite hypergamy. Why can't this woman just admit to herself that she is miserable?

      • Tvulture

        It's more than determination. It's more like fanaticism.

        They're not fanatically loyal to anyone, so they're fanatically loyal to…debauchery?

  • LAC

    OMG my BFF does things like this CONSTANTLY. It's enough to make me want to lock her in a tower away from men for a few years. It's absolutely unnerving.

    My BFF is a brilliant, gorgeous, cynical, card-carrying member of MENSA, but is the most needy, desperate human being on the planet when a penis is introduced. The men she's most attracted to are the ones who refuse to date her for whatever reason, but spend 90% of their time with her, profess their love for her, and sleep with her at random intervals all the while rejecting an actual relationship. We call this "fake dating" and it has happened to several of my friends in the last few years (the men's behavior that is; the female reaction to it varies). This behavior will go on for YEARS while she's madly in love and spending all of her time: a) taking what she can get; b) pining over the relationship the man won't give her; and c) trying to convince the guy to change his mind. I've given the "you're better than that" speech so many times I want to record an mp3 of it and just email it when I need to. Watching her do this to herself continuously is so personally exhausting.

    There should be a rehab program for this stuff.

    • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/susanawalsh susanawalsh

      I cannot figure women like this out, although there sure seem to be a lot of them around. It's like a terminal masochism or something. How can women so smart fail to learn the most obvious of lessons? I agree, there should be relationship rehab. Hmmm, could be a nice business….

      • LAC

        Actually, come to think of it, there is such a business… That show Tough Love on VH1.

        And you know, I find that every single brilliant, strong woman I know nevertheless falls to pieces over a man (and I have been known to myself). I feel like almost no one with a vagina is immune to some of this behavior, as illogical as it is. My BFF has a saying she usually applies to these situations: "Logic only works when it's not happening to you."

  • Jennifer

    One of your best, Susan. I actually felt pain when reading this tragedy.