Does Hooking Up Lead to Relationships?

August 26, 2010

There’s a new study out that takes a look at relationship quality in a variety of different scenarios. Here’s how the press has responded:

I. Tracy Clark-Flory, Salon:

Surprise! Hookups Can Lead to Love

That one-night stand might turn into a perfectly happy relationship, a new study warns

II. Kay Steiger, Feministe:

Another Defense of Hooking Up – This Time With Science!

III. Anna North, Jezebel:

Yes, Reader, You Can Find Love After All Those One-Night Stands!

IV. Zachary Goelman, Reuters:

Better to Wait If You Want Real Love

Hmmm, my second-grade standardized test-taking memories alert me that one of these headlines does not belong with the others. Let’s see, three women, one man. Three feminist blogs, one worldwide impartial news organization. I hypothesize a) bias, b) analytical ineptitude, or a combination of the two. I decide to go straight to the source material and tackle the analysis before reading any of the articles.

Anthony Paik, a sociologist at the University of Iowa just published a study entitled “Hookups, Dating and Relationship Quality: Does the type of sexual involvement matter?” The full study is not available online, so there’s minimal information, mostly gleaned from the university’s press release, which begins:

Relationships that start with a spark and not much else aren’t necessarily doomed from the get-go, new University of Iowa research suggests.

We may now conclude that bias is a factor in the first three headlines. I proceed with my own analysis of the article.

The Methodology

1. Paik surveyed 642 heterosexual urban adults living in Chicago. In analyzing the data, Paik controlled for marital status, children and social embeddedness.

  • The first two factors suggest that the sample group included heads of intact families, as well as single parents.
  • The age distribution of the study subjects is unknown.
  • No mention is made of students, so we may deduce that at the very least the survey was not targeted to the college population.
  • In Paik’s previous study, which assessed the risk associated with concurrent sexual partners, he used 1995 data from 700+ adults in the Chicago area. If this comes from the same data source, it’s very old data, especially with regard to hookup culture, which has intensified dramatically in the last ten years. This data source was considered a limitation in his previous study.

2. The analysis compared two distinct groups of people.

  • In Group A were subjects in committed relationships who had delayed sex until the relationship became serious.
  • In Group B were subjects engaged in hookups, FWB arrangements, or casual dating relationships.
  • Hookups were not specifically defined. The generally accepted definition includes anything from making out to sexual intercourse.
  • Casual dating relationships were characterized as romantic in nature.

3. Relationship quality was measured by asking about the extent to which each person loved their partner, the relationship’s future, level of satisfaction with intimacy, and how their lives would be different if the relationship ended.

    The Findings

    1. Average relationship quality was higher for individuals who waited until things were serious to have sex compared to those who became sexually involved in “hookups,” “friends with benefits,” or casual dating relationships.

    This is hardly surprising. One wouldn’t expect high scores for love, future expectations, intimacy or degree of involvement in Group B. However, even within Group B there is potentially much diversity with respect to relationship goals and expectations.

    2. Having sex early on wasn’t to blame for the disparity.

    The timing of sex did not explain why Group A had higher relationship satisfaction. (On a personal note, I’m relieved to hear this, as I married a one-night stand, as you know.)

    3. When Paik factored out people who weren’t interested in getting serious, he found no real difference in relationship quality. That is, couples who became sexually involved as friends or acquaintances and were open to a serious relationship ended up just as happy as those who dated and waited.

    Eliminating subjects seeking a casual sexual relationship evened the scores between Groups A and B. In other words, the essential ingredient producing relationship satisfaction is intent to enter a serious relationship. Those who began casual sexual relationships with the hope of achieving a serious commitment were ultimately as happy as those who had waited until they were serious to have sex. This is in keeping with other research, which shows that hookups lead to relationships 12% of the time, and that on college campuses, hookups are the primary pathway to relationships.

    4. “People with higher numbers of past sexual partners were more likely to form hookups, and to report lower relationship quality. Through the acquisition of partners,” Paik said, “they begin to favor short-term relationships and find the long-term ones less rewarding.”

    Does a higher number of casual partners lead to impairment in the ability to bond? Or does a person incapable of or disinterested in bonding seek a higher number of casual partners? Paik implies that short-term relationships are habit forming, or at least lead to a disinclination to committed relationships. Either way, these folks report lower quality in their relationships.

    5. “It’s also likely that people who are predisposed to short-term relationships are screened out of serious ones because they don’t invest the time and energy to develop long-term ties,” Paik said.

    Those who pursue a promiscuous, or short-term mating strategy demonstrate inferior relationship skills, perhaps as a result of their disinterest in a commitment, perhaps as a result of little experience with intimacy in relationships.

    6. “While hookups or friends with benefits can turn into true love, both parties typically enter the relationship for sex and the expectations are fairly low,” Paik said.

    This is hardly an endorsement of a strategy to hook up if you are seeking true love. Yes, it happens, but it requires that both parties share the goal of a serious relationship. If that can be determined early on in the “hooking up” period, the prognosis for a satisfying relationship is high. However, spending time in a short-term arrangement focused on sexual gratification is a waste if the objectives of the parties differ, especially for the party seeking a relationship.

    7. In a study of Chicago-area adults published earlier this year, Paik reported that being involved with a friend increased the likelihood of non-monogamy by 44 percent for women and 25 percent for men. Involvement with an acquaintance or stranger increased the odds by 30 percent for women and 43 percent for men.

    Clearly, there is a correlation between number of sexual partners and the propensity for non-monogamy.

    The Headlines

    So who got it right? Do we have a case of bias, ineptitude or both?

    I. Tracy-Clark Flory

    “It isn’t so much the type of sexual relationship that determines its quality, but the relationship readiness of the people involved. Casual sex doesn’t deaden one to the possibility of falling in love or becoming happily romantically committed. I hate to be a jerk and quote myself, but … as I wrote in my defense of casual sex for Salon: “Like innumerable 20-somethings before me, I’ve found that casual sex can be healthy and normal and lead to better adult relationships…Maybe, just maybe, young women can pursue sex without delaying or losing out at love.”

    A fair and balanced analysis. By no means does it advertise casual sex as a means to lasting happiness, but rather a crap shoot that may work out. The content of the article is directly at odds with the headline, and I suspect TCF didn’t sign off on the latter.

    B+ Little evidence of bias. No unsupported claims.

    II. Kay Steiger

    “It shouldn’t be all that surprising that research shows that hooking up after meeting someone by chance at a bar or a party is just another way to meet someone. Sometimes you meet a dud and sometimes you meet someone worthwhile. It’s also worth remembering that this is related to the study a while back from the University of Minnesota that showed casual sex wasn’t emotionally damaging.”

    That study was crap, debunked here by moi.

    “Granted, there are several problems with this study: They only examined 642 heterosexual adults. As we all know, LGBT folks have experiences with hooking up (and not hooking up) too.”

    Yup, and studies of hooking up generally focus on heterosexuals, because THEY ARE 90% OF THE POPULATION. Deal with it. Furthermore, let’s take gay males out of the equation, as they invented hookup culture and know better than anyone how it works.

    “It is the very existence of this amorphous laundry list of sexual expectations that leads some young women into thinking that sex equals love…The good thing is that I think this narrative is slowly changing. People these days (at least most normal, rational people I meet) are starting to view hooking up as a natural part of their general sexual experiences.”

    Oh boy, we’re in trouble here…

    “Now that’s not to say that women don’t suffer emotionally sometimes because of a bad hook up. Sometimes they do. (I’d almost argue that encountering an asshole or two in the realm of hooking up is necessary for young women so they can improve their bullshit detectors later on.)”

    The rationalization hamster wheel is spinning so fast here, it appears to be a blur…

    C-  Nonsensical emotional claptrap. No evidence of intelligent thought. However, no nefarious motives either. She’s a rookie.

    III. Anna North

    “A new study finds that — shocker — people who have casual hookups aren’t destroying their chance of long-term relationship. But that hasn’t stopped the slut police.”

    Full Disclosure: Jezebel linked to me with the term slut police. Thanks to my mom and dad, and my fifth grade teacher Mrs. Ryan, who told me to never sell myself short. Thanks to the readers of this blog, who have stood with me through thick and thin, so that I can now enjoy being vilified by Gawker Media. Never in my wildest dreams did I think this could happen to me!

    “Paik’s research doesn’t seem to address the fact that many people go through phases of sexual preference in their lives, some of them relationship-focused and some of them not. However, it does back up what a lot of us have been saying all along — in the absence of assault or coercion, people (including fragile ladyfolk) are capable of choosing the kind of sexual behavior that’s right for them. Women don’t have casual sex because they’re desperate and damaged — often, they do so because they want casual sex.”

    Right. And Paik says those women are less happy than those in serious relationships.

    “…sex and love are incredibly complicated things and we can’t even agree on what a hookup is, so what’s the point of making blanket pronouncements about what sex does and doesn’t mean? As the Iowa study points out, it’s not even always possible to separate casual sex from relationship sex, since one can become the other. So why are we still arguing that the former will destroy your soul?”

    “It’s not even always possible” – yeah, I don’t like those odds so much. Typical backdoor, tortured logic.

    F   The worst kind of deceitful, trashy journalism. Conclusions do not follow from supporting evidence. The political agenda is transparent – not even a modicum of effort is made to objectively analyze the study.

    IV. Zachary Goelman

    “Most of the 56 percent of 642 adults questioned in the study who said they had waited until they got serious before they had sex reported having a high quality relationship. The number was higher than for the 27 percent of people who had sex while dating casually and the 17 percent who were intimate while in a non-romantic relationship…There’s something about the characteristics of people who wait before sex that is linked to higher-quality relationships,” said sociology professor Anthony Paik of the University of Iowa.

    Quotes the stats, a very good start.

    “The debate is ‘why can’t we have sex now?’ The expectation is that sex should occur very quickly. But doing so, you’re losing out on some information that might be useful,” he explained in an interview. It’s almost an economic equation, he added. On average, the more costly the process leading into the relationship, the more likely it is to work. That’s what the data would suggest.”

    Did someone say economics? Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes…..And for the record, let me just say that anticipating sex is incredibly pleasurable, and in my experience heightens sexual tension immeasurably. It’s the difference between a 1 and a 7 on the Richter Scale.

    “When he filtered out people who said they had frequent non-romantic or casual dating sexual relationships he found that the gap in relationship quality between serious and nonserious contexts of sexual activity disappeared.”

    OK, so there is clearly a correlation between non-romantic relationships and lower relationship quality. Paik is saying that people who pursue non-romantic relationships are not really relationship material.

    A-   No axe to grind. Just balanced reporting with appropriate attention to the stats, and quotes from the academic who conducted the study. Motives appear professional.

    There you have it. In two cases, strong bias and shameful ineptitude. One unbiased male reporter. One hopeful female writer cheering on the sex positive agenda, but unwilling to sell her soul to do it.

    • VJ

      Mathematicians meeting @ International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM) in Hyderabad, India together issued a statement again affirming the Possibility of ‘someone’ ever winning the lottery, but still insisted that the Likelihood of Your doing so is so remote as to be nonsensical in most instances. They hereby instituted a rule that said any Field Medal recipient found recklessly & uselessly gambling in such a manner would be stripped of their prize for errant idiocy. Reporters from Jezebel were not immediately available for comment as they we’re still giggling over the entire concept of ‘so many Math Nerds in one place’ in between doing lines of coke from discarded Warhol 70’s something affectations. Elon Lindenstrauss & Stanislav Smirnov were seen quietly chortling over their obvious silliness while doing so.

      They also added, ‘sure hooking up can lead to something serious’. And ‘How about it?’ while derisively laughing while deeply in their cups from several rounds of great port & scotches.

      http://www.ams.org/home/page

      Cheers, ‘VJ’

    • Reinholt

      The sad part is that this is actually more fair and balanced than usual for the middle two outlets…

      Though they are ‘fair and balanced’ in the same way Fox News is ‘fair and balanced’, which is to say white and not falling over in the case of Fox News.

    • I don’t know if you read the comments in the feministe article, but I am the “Sarah” in question that tried and tried to get my point across, but ultimately gave up, because people only hear what they want to.

      Needless to say, that Web site has been taken off my Google Reader, while yours remains.

    • Someguy

      I met my ex-girlfriend in a bar. We were together for three and a half years. She is a wonderful person and I still love her, although we think that we are ultimately better off not being together. It CAN happen.

    • Someguy

      Granted, I’m not recommending that Susan’s premises are wrong and people should look for love at the bottom of a shot glass. I just wanted to say that it isn’t 100% impossible either.

    • @VJ
      You made me snort coffee toward my laptop. If I destroy another laptop with liquid damage I’m sending you the bill. And no, it has not occurred to me to stop eating and drinking while working.

    • @Someguy
      Welcome, thanks for commenting. I agree! Obviously, you went into that bar open-minded about getting into a relationship if you met the right person. And the same was true for your ex. What this study shows is that if you both felt that way, and had sex the first night, you could expect to be just as happy in the long-term as a couple that waited ages. The key to avoiding disappointment, especially for women, is to try to ascertain the other party’s feelings on the matter before having sex. I hear from many women who pursued this strategy, only to find out 1-5 sexual encounters in that the guy is “young and just wanting to have fun!”
      BTW, I think it’s rare for people to wait until they are serious to have sex. These days even the three date rule is considered conservative by some. This study’s results may hold for college-aged students, but that would need to be tested.

    • @Sarah
      Wow, thanks for your comment. I hadn’t read any of the comment threads, but just went and did so. Interestingly, of the 47 comments at feministe, there were nine hard-core dissenters in the group. Of course you got shot down, and I’m not surprised. But you’ll always be welcome here 🙂
      I’ve left comments at all of the feminist blogs – we’ll see if any get through moderation. Jezebel at least should allow it, since they linked to me in the piece. But we’re not really talking about reasoned and civil discourse here – more like mean girls in junior high. Sigh.

    • J

      Jezebel linked to me with the term slut police.

      LOL. Now you have a job thas you can fall back on if this whole blogging thing doesn’t work out for you. Susan, you’ve done marketing, right? Tell me, is there such a thing as bad publicity?

      • Tell me, is there such a thing as bad publicity?

        I’ve been thinking a lot about this. Yes and no. Controversy does drive blog traffic, but just as in marketing, it’s important to consider whether these are future customers. Or are they just hooligans who will come into my “store,” break stuff, and flee? I think it’s a mix, frankly. It’s quite time consuming cleaning up after some of these folks, especially as I don’t moderate comments.
        .
        On the other hand, I believe that I’m obviously striking a nerve in capturing the attention of the mainstream feminist media. A link from Jezebel is no small matter, even if they hate my guts. I do welcome the debate, because I think many of their ideas are harmful to women, and I want to get my own message out there as much as possible. Until now, they haven’t really had too many enemies – mostly they attack women like Laura Sessions Stepp – people who have written books critical of hookup culture. I’m not aware of any other blogger who’s writing continuously on the topic. In a way, that’s great – I have something close to a monopoly in this niche at the moment. Still, I’d like some company……

    • Someguy

      All true, Susan. We both understood the setting we were in, and she was experienced enough to know that a late-night hook-up in a bar is usually no gateway to romance — at all. We just really liked each other and kept calling each other. Things developed from there. We were lucky.

      This reminds me of another issue which may be off-topic, but I have wanted to raise it for a while. Fortunately, I have never been caught up in the madonna-whore complex that I feel plagues the minds of many young men. The fact that my ex-girlfriend went home with me that first night did not necessarily make me think that she was unethical or a “fallen woman”. I understand that your blog is targeted at young women who want relationships, and as such there is a lot of criticism of female dating behavior and how it can be changed (or challenged) to help them get what they want. Fair enough, and I support that and think you do a good job at providing solutions. But I’ve been reading this blog for a while and one thing that has bothered me in some of the comments (not all, just some!) are occasional (and unspoken) allusions to the madonna-whore complex among men. There seems to be an assumption that all men who hook up a lot automatically disrespect the women they “conquer”. Maybe I’m an outlier here, because I do hook up a lot and yet always strive to do it in a respectful way, being up-front about everything from the beginning, and I think no less of the women who choose to enjoy my company. But there does seem to be something puritanical going on among some men in society at large, as if they secretly thought sex was dirty too, and so any woman who does it with them is immoral and a nasty slut.

      To any guys reading this, please: the madonna-whore dichotomy is pure poison, and every bit as silly as the impossible dreams of those women who always fall for the bad boy hoping their transformative love can save him. There is a lot of criticism of those women here, but not much for the guy who puts women in this ridiculous category.

      Anyway, off-topic rant over, but I feel that this may be an important underlying issue and I wonder if you would be able to willing to tackle it in a future post.

      • @Someguy
        That’s actually a really good topic for a future post. I welcome your voice to the debate, because I do believe that many men feel the way that you do. As you probably saw in the post, my own relationship with my husband started out as a ONS. To be honest, he read that as a signal that I was interested in short-term sex, and it was really several months before we got on the same page, and got together. I think his question was a fair one – why was I having ONS’s if I wanted something more? This was 25 years ago, and much has changed, but perhaps not with regard to the sexual double standard for women.
        There is actually quite a bit of research that shows a correlation between a high number of sexual partners, and later infidelity in marriage, as well as lower relationship satisfaction, also alluded to in this study. It begs the question – is there a certain amount of casual sex that begins to interfere with bonding to one partner? Paik thinks so.

    • Aldonza

      FROM THE ORIGINAL STUDY PRESS RELEASE:

      “While hookups or friends with benefits can turn into true love, both parties typically enter the relationship for sex and the expectations are fairly low,” Paik said. “In the casual dating category, some people think they’re headed for a long-term relationship, but there are also people who are only in it for sex. It basically brings ‘players’ and ‘non-players’ together. As a consequence, it raises the question of whether casual dating is a useful institution. This paper would suggest not really, because it doesn’t screen out the non-romantic types.”

      .
      And *everybody* ignored the part that suggested that hookups aren’t great, but really, dating isn’t much better. LOL!

    • Aldonza

      @Someguy

      To any guys reading this, please: the madonna-whore dichotomy is pure poison, and every bit as silly as the impossible dreams of those women who always fall for the bad boy hoping their transformative love can save him.

      .
      Amen! The madonna-whore dichotomy is as helpful as the alpha-beta dichotomy. Labeling people is not a good way to start a relationship, even if you are lucky enough to find the “virgin-madonna-with-a-high-libido” or the “bad-boy-who-loves-you-enough-to-become-a-good-guy”. Fact is, labeling people changes *your own* behavior more than that of the person you label. Because you’ve categorized them in your brain, you treat them “as if” and they may respond similarly.

    • Aldonza

      There is actually quite a bit of research that shows a correlation between a high number of sexual partners, and later infidelity in marriage, as well as lower relationship satisfaction, also alluded to in this study. It begs the question – is there a certain amount of casual sex that begins to interfere with bonding to one partner? Paik thinks so.

      .
      Now Susan, that was *your* interpretation of Palik’s statement. What he said was “People with higher numbers of past sexual partners were more likely to form hookups, and to report lower relationship quality. Through the acquisition of partners, Paik said, they begin to favor short-term relationships and find the long-term ones less rewarding.
      .
      It’s also likely that people who are predisposed to short-term relationships are screened out of serious ones because they don’t invest the time and energy to develop long-term ties, Paik said.”
      .
      He didn’t say “they can’t bond after a certain number of partners.” Even he was open to possible explanations for the data. He didn’t address things like “maybe they started out liking short-term relationships” or maybe “she got fat and old and could only get casual sex” or “he got so good at pickups, he forgot how to have a relationship, even though he wanted one”. I’d also love to see Palik do his analysis along gender lines.

    • J

      However, it does back up what a lot of us have been saying all along — in the absence of assault or coercion, people (including fragile ladyfolk) are capable of choosing the kind of sexual behavior that’s right for them. Women don’t have casual sex because they’re desperate and damaged — often, they do so because they want casual sex.”

      When the sturm und drang dissipates, the above is the crux of the debate.

      Yeah, sure, a small percentage of hook-ups lead to relationships when both people are looking for that. But most don’t. The real decisor is whether or not women go in blind. If, like many of the young women who write in to this blog, you think a hook up will lead to relationship, you’ll be hurt and disappointed. It probably won’t permanently damaged your ability to have a relationship if you are a reasonable resilient person who can learn from hurt.

      OTOH, most of us aren’t built to withstand that much hurt on a constant basis. If you want a relationship, why take a 12% chance repeatedly on getting one by hooking-up. It’s a risky strategy with a low chance of success.

      If all you want is casual sex, then, OK, you’re in business. I just find it hard to believe that casual sex is all most women want, though I can understand how the hook-up culture has lowered the expectations of young women. I think that “slut pride” is a reaction to those lowered expectations. Ever see a cat fall down or trip? Notice how they shake themselves off and act as though they meant to do that? Slut pride is like that. It’s hurt women saying to themselves, “I meant to do that. I’m in control.” It’s bravado.

    • J

      But there does seem to be something puritanical going on among some men in society at large, as if they secretly thought sex was dirty too, and so any woman who does it with them is immoral and a nasty slut.

      The manosphere tends to divide into two camps: slut lovers and slut shamers.
      Some of the guys really seem to appreciate the existence of women who just want casual sex; others are quire derogatory about “sluts” and say they will onlyh marry a virgin. In part, it’s disgust with themselves, as in “Who but the lowest slut would have sex with me?” Others believe in the magic penis theory, as in “I will use my magic penis to initiate an oxytocin cycle that will bond a woman to me permanently. Then I will not have to fear her hypergamous instincts and she will always be faithful.” It’s silly either way.

    • J

      And *everybody* ignored the part that suggested that hookups aren’t great, but really, dating isn’t much better. LOL!

      The best part of marriage is that you get to stop dating.

    • And *everybody* ignored the part that suggested that hookups aren’t great, but really, dating isn’t much better. LOL!

      I think I did address that, though I didn’t use that quote. He is saying that players don’t make good relationship prospects, and that many players engage in casual dating. Therefore, it’s imperative for both parties to understand one another’s objectives while dating. Which I said. Because many dating couples do not address this question, mostly because women are loathe to initiate that conversation, casual dating is a mixed bag.

    • J

      There is actually quite a bit of research that shows a correlation between a high number of sexual partners, and later infidelity in marriage, as well as lower relationship satisfaction, also alluded to in this study. It begs the question – is there a certain amount of casual sex that begins to interfere with bonding to one partner? Paik thinks so.

      I’d love to see more research done in that area. It’s not clear to me what’s causation here and whatg is correlation. Do people who accumulate a lower number of sexual partners have a set of values that also leads to less infidelity in marriage and higher relationship satisfaction? Is the oxytocin rush that big a factor in bonding to one partner? Does having a lot of relationships lead a person to value relationships less? DO ther accumulated hurts of multiple “pump and dumps” simply make people less likely to fully commit emotionally in marriage?

      I’d bet it’s complicated and multi-factorial.

    • @Aldonza
      Through the acquisition of partners
      Implies causality. Again, as I stated in the post, there is very limited data provided. However, would you agree that the feminist headlines of the findings are biased and inaccurate?

    • J

      Why would you like company?

      • @J

        Why would you like company?

        Well, I do have lots of company. grerp is an awesome colleague. And there are many women commenters that I value and respect, like you. I wish there were more women who have lived through the women’s movement, and the sexual revolution, and are willing to express their alarm at what’s going on with young women today. I know they feel it – honestly, it’s hard for me to get through a dinner party without HUS hogging the conversation. But there just aren’t a lot of female voices in the blogosphere addressing this real issue. I started this blog less than two years ago for a handful of young women. I remember just about falling off my chair the first time I got 50 visitors in a day. It meant that strangers had found me. We need more sources of support for young women, IMO.

    • @J
      Great description of the dichotomy in the manosphere. That’s been my experience as well.
      Also, I agree 100% on the research. It’s going to take a long time for a really good body of work to be produced, precisely because it is so multi-factorial, and studies generally look at one small piece of the puzzle. I believe research relating specifically to the practice of hooking up (separate from casual sex) only began about 10 years ago.

    • J

      Thanks for the kind words.

      I think it’s great that you would see new voices as colleagues, not competitors.

    • @Someguy
      ” But there does seem to be something puritanical going on among some men in society at large, as if they secretly thought sex was dirty too, and so any woman who does it with them is immoral and a nasty slut. ”
      @J
      ” The manosphere tends to divide into two camps: slut lovers and slut shamers.”
      .
      I’ve been reading a free online book about “Right Wing Authoritarians” (25% of the population, overlapping with the 40% who are Conservative).
      http://www.electricpolitics.com/media/docs/authoritarians.pdf
      He describes how the Authoritarian followers will support “leaders” even after corruption is exposed and proven, if the leaders will just SAY the words that reassure the RWA’s that their beliefs are correct.
      So, I think we’re seeing something similar in the manosphere: non-conservative guys boasting about all the women they’ve fucked, which in a twisted way supports and reinforces the RWA’s (who would never actually go to a bar and pick up a girl and have Same Night Lay), who then say, “Yeah, just what I thought, modern women are such sluts.”
      .
      Like the Leftists in the post above, they love science – when it supports what they want to be true.

    • J

      @Jeffrey

      I tihnk you’re right.

    • Aldonza

      @Susan

      @Aldonza
      Through the acquisition of partners
      Implies causality. Again, as I stated in the post, there is very limited data provided. However, would you agree that the feminist headlines of the findings are biased and inaccurate?

      .
      In discussions of his study (not the actual study) he stated two possible theories for this finding, one of which you chose to quote, the other I quoted above. He proved neither of these theories. He also ignored hundreds of other possible causes for the correlation. Personally I’d love to know what the study author’s own relationship past was and how he got interested in the topic. 😉
      .
      My opinion is that *all* of the headlines were biased, with the exception of yours, which at least allows for possible answers other than the one the writer has in mind when he/she wrote the headline. Part of the reason that academic journal titles are drier than a mouthful of crackers is that they try very hard to avoid showing any bias. But the fact is, casual readers *like* biased headlines because it gives them something to agree with (confirms what they believe) or fight against (disagrees with their beliefs.)

    • Aldonza

      @J

      Others believe in the magic penis theory

      .
      That is a great one! Isn’t that right up there with the “magic pussy theory”?

    • Anonymous

      That is a great one! Isn’t that right up there with the “magic pussy theory”?

      It could be. Tell me about the “magic pussy theory”?

    • the magic penis theory
      not to be confused with the detachable penis
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=byDiILrNbM4

    • Jimmy Hendricks

      I don’t have anything against sluts. More often than not, they’re pretty fun as people…
      But c’mon, it’s likely that a slut (male or female) is impulsive, risk taking, and easily bored with routine… All significant risks in a stable relationship (let alone marriage, when money is on the line).
      It seems to me that guys are simly better at recognizing the risks, and girls are better at rationalizing them away. That’s why the double standard exists.

    • Snowdrop111

      I read the Salon article the other day, and wondered at the time…”Did the study make any distinction between couples who already knew each other…” (the words used were “friends and acquaintances”) …”versus couples who met at a bar/club/party and had sex on the first date as complete strangers.” To me, there is a huge difference, and here’s why:

      1) If the couple socializes regularly in the same circle, they are less likely to lie as to their intentions and hurt someone they and their social circle are going to see again and have to interact with again.

      2) If someone sees someone as a friend, part of their social circle, worthy equal, heck, even a PERSON more than just a body, they will probably think twice about misrepresenting their intentions even in the heat of the moment.

      3) If a couple who already knew each other as friends or part of the same social circle did get carried away one night and have sex, they can talk about it and make sure there are no hard feelings or awkwardness that makes complete strangers avoid each other forevermore. I know one such couple that are married and happy as bugs in rugs. They were roommates and the girl got home from partying one night and had sex with the roommate/friend guy. The next day things were awkward. So she brought it up. She has a heart of gold and is very caring and also very personable, warm and funny. She doesn’t guard her ego. She is from the working-class and no-nonsense … also beautiful and college-educated. This kinda goes back to my whole subject of social classes. I think she didn’t guard her ego too much because she was originally from the working class. Anyway, things were awkward the next day so she brought it up and said, “Look, we got drunk and hooked up. Might happen again might not. But no hard feelings. We don’t have to be awkward.” Or something like that…the way she said it would have been warm and funny not scary or bossy in other words. Well, the awkwardness melted away, and one night not too long after that she came home from a night out and said to herself, “You know, there ain’t nothing better out there” so she told friend/roommate “I want you to be my boyfriend” and he said “OK” but it was not like a case of her having to drag him into a relationship. He was ready and eager to have a relationship with her. They were already friends, hooked up, but treated each other with warmth and kindness is what I mean. It wasn’t a complete stranger hookup where when the awkwardness ensued they never wanted to see each other again.

      4) If a couple knows each other from a group or social circle for a while, even if they are not dating or trying to date, they probably know each other’s intentions whether they are into casual and nothing more or whether they are open to a relationship. When you meet online (I had bad experiences there) you may count the first meeting as a “date” or the second meeting as a “date” but you really don’t know their intentions or habits or emotional makeup. They can misrepresent their emotional makeup and dating habits. People online know to say “not looking for serious but who knows…” and leave room for others to interpret that they are open to a relationship…they may be but not with YOU, and if you already know them from being part of the same social circle, you might have more information to tell whether you are seen as a “slampig” or whether they could consider you a person worthy of square dealing.

      5) If you know someone from the same social circle and will see them again and you do decide to have sex just for sex’ sake, the couple is probably more likely to say before the sex, “I don’t want to mislead you.” Guys in my day used to say that, even the players. Or maybe I didn’t meet out and out players in my day because I didn’t go to bars and there wasn’t online dating. But guys in my day would say “I’m not a good bet for a relationship.” They didn’t act like they were looking for a relationship and then a few weeks later, “I don’t know what I want” but it was also OK to wait till you could tell a bit more. Because it was OK not to want to get hurt. I remember this movie with Terri Garr (was it Tootsie? what?) where they had sex and she goes “Give me my pain now, tell me you don’t want a relationship” Fine, that was after they first hooked up, but it was OK for her to admit she was emotionally vulnerable. Back in my day since women didn’t mind saying they were emotionally vulnerable if the guy didn’t want to ever see them again, guys were perhaps more likely to say, “I’m not a good bet for a relationship” or “We’re both adults.” Back in my day “We’re both adults” meant, “This is just sex, and I don’t want to mislead or hurt you, Deal?” Now that it’s the supreme worst thing for anyone to be any kind of vulnerable, I agree with J. that slut pride is a kind of bravado to try to stuff these feelings but I am off topic.

      I think there is a world of difference between if a couple knew each other as friends or same social circle EVEN IF THEY HOOK UP AND IT DOESN”T GO FURTHER, than a straight drunken or even sober (if that ever happens) hook up with someone who sees the potential partner as an ego boost, a way to keep score, a way to settle scores, whatever goes on with really random stranger or just-met hookups.

    • Snowdrop,

      You raise an excellent question, and I’m pretty sure it was not addressed in the study. I expect that this study is of very limited value due to old data, and a population sample (older, with kids) that looks very different than where hookups are happening as a matter of routine. It’s hard to know how that would have affected the results, but I’d be hesitant to extrapolate.

    • Snowdrop111

      Well I will say this. Even though the study was done in Chicago, and the researcher is in Iowa, if any guy is looking for beautiful women a bit on the old-fashioned side (not living like Sex and the City) but not backwards or uneducated,
      they should definitely get on the next plane or train to Iowa post-haste. It is a wonderful state and if people think it’s like hicks they see on TV, they are missing out.

    • Snowdrop111

      “mostly they attack women like Laura Sessions Stepp – people who have written books critical of hookup culture.”

      Laura Sessions Stepp’s book was terrible. It was okay until the advice at the end, which was so old-fashioned as to make me throw it across the room except it was an audiobook. Now, I don’t disagree with the main gist of her book, which was that college women today know they don’t want to settle down for X number of years because it will take that long to get their careers going, so they steel their hearts for a few years of casual sex not looking for relationships because it takes so much and so many years these days to get young people’s careers going. Fine, I agree, although I think a better solution would be to take up pitchforks and march on Washington demanding jobs that don’t take a Ph.D. and ten years of unpaid internships. But where was I.

      At the end, Stepp has this ridiculous list of advice and she actually says college girls should get boyfriends by BAKING COOKIES.

      That didn’t work when I was in college. Baking cookies was like carving DESPERATE on your forehead and standing outside the guys’ dorm in the rain crying “Please Like Me!” Guys didn’t fall in love with women for baking cookies in the 70’s if they EVER did.

      People make fun of the Rules but the Rules does NOT advise BAKING COOKIES, good grief. I have nothing against a nice home-cooked meal and the kind of man who likes a home-cooked meal but that is just not most single men and it certainly is not college men. Why doesn’t Laura Sessions Stepp know this? I listened to a book about Patrick Henry College…the extreme extreme extreme strict Christian college for home-schoolers and THEY make fun of the Gothardites (girls in the denim jumpers who want to be a homemaker) The guys there probably all go for the ones who want to be movers and shakers.

      This will sound like I’m knocking cookie-baking…I love to cook and I only wish my boyfriend liked me to cook but even he gets the heebie jeebies when I want to stay home and cook instead of going out. GUYS LIKE ADVENTURE , I guess something got in their DNA when they didn’t get enough adventure just risking their lives farming all day. Guys do not like cookies baked for them anymore, and what rock has Laura Sessions Stepp been living under. She hates women because she wants them to get LAUGHED AT FOR BAKING COOKIES by the very men they like.

    • @Snowdrop
      That “baking cookies” bit was a disaster. It destroyed all her credibility. I too recall being thoroughly disgusted when I read that. Which was a shame, because her stories of real women were quite moving and authentic, IMO. I don’t view her as someone who offers a good prescription, but I do think she did an excellent job capturing what hookup culture looks like on just about every college campus. I remember being particularly horrified that a new freshman girl was not only going to an older boy’s frat house room for regular sex, but he’d send her out in the wee hours to walk herself back to her dorm, which was on another campus. This despite the fact that he owned a car.

    • The Deuce

      But I’ve been reading this blog for a while and one thing that has bothered me in some of the comments (not all, just some!) are occasional (and unspoken) allusions to the madonna-whore complex among men. There seems to be an assumption that all men who hook up a lot automatically disrespect the women they “conquer”.

      The disrespect makes sense to me. There is a big difference between respecting someone and liking them. The things that inspire respect are signs of strength and fortitude – of muscle, will, character, etc. Few predators can respect a prey that’s easy to catch, even if they like the taste. Or imagine a salesman who’s always getting talked down to the lowest rock-bottom price in short order, with little effort. You might like him, and you’d probably buy from him a lot, but you sure wouldn’t respect him.

      So yeah, I can understand why guys often lose respect for the women they conquer. Women are the gatekeepers after all, and it’s pretty tough for a gate-crasher to have any respect for a gatekeeper that just lets them waltz right in.

      The contempt is a little harder to explain, but I think it’s two-fold. For one, I think a lot of players on some level want women, or at least some women, to live up to the ideal they were taught about. They want to be able to respect them. They want that ideal to exist. Every woman who gives it up to them with little effort causes them to lose a little more faith that any women are truly respectable, and so they hold their discouragement against them (of course, while such women are increasingly rare, the players’ strategy all but guarantees that they’ll never meet them, and that even if they do, the possibility of a relationship will already be poisoned).

      Secondly, I think a lot of players come to loathe themselves for what they do, and by extension, the women who enable them.

      • For one, I think a lot of players on some level want women, or at least some women, to live up to the ideal they were taught about. They want to be able to respect them. They want that ideal to exist. Every woman who gives it up to them with little effort causes them to lose a little more faith that any women are truly respectable

        I often hear evidence of this. It’s very difficult for those women because while they might earn a player’s respect, they are viewed as prospects for much later, when a guy really might want to bring someone home to mom. For now, they just can’t compete with the buffet of sex a player has available to him.

        Secondly, I think a lot of players come to loathe themselves for what they do, and by extension, the women who enable them.

        If this is true, it’s fascinating. We often hear about women and the rationalization hamster wheel, and how men are honest, objective and analytical about their own behavior. Why wouldn’t a man recognize his behavior as loathsome, and alter it?

    • Average Joe

      WRT: Men and our madonna-whore dichotomy…

      LMAO. Another ridiculous feminist myth about male sexuality that now even dudes are repeating. Ugghh.

      I don’t know too many American males that see women as only either Virgins or Non-Virgins
      Even the most simple minded of guys differentiate between a woman who has had 0 partners, one who has had 5 and another that has had 30. Can’t we at least go for trichotomy next time we do some “man hating”.

      And Mr. some guy, please watch the move clerks so you can get a clue about what men mean by “slut”

    • J

      @Snowdrop111

      I missed your post of August 27, 2010 at 5:34 pm before. Those are some great insights into why friend/acquiantance are morely likely to develop into relationships than stranger hook-ups.

      @Jeffery

      Funny song! I loved the ending where after all that trouble he stills wants a detachable penis.

    • And *everybody* ignored the part that suggested that hookups aren’t great, but really, dating isn’t much better. LOL!

      THANK YOU!

      Every website I’ve read heralding this study has conveniently left that out. Many also left out links to the actual press release where all the findings were discussed.

      To me, casual sex isn’t the issue. It’s frequent to almost exclusively casual sex that concerns me. The women I hear touting this study are not twentysomethings on a path to self-discovery. They’re 35+ years old with almost no actual relationship history to speak of besides casual sex arrangements. There’s a difference between someone who engages in casual sex from time to time and someone who doesn’t seem to ever engage in anything else.

    • @ATWYS
      Welcome, thanks for leaving a comment. You’ll fit right in here! This debate has been raging here of late, you might like to check out the Recent Posts. Also, if you comment again, feel free to sign up for Comment Luv, which will feature your latest blog post.

    • Thank you!

      This is a constant topic for debate on our blog. What has me most annoyed about how viral this study went is how so many websites and blogs not only only featured the parts of the study that defend casual sex, but most didn’t even bother to link to the study’s press release itself. Instead they just quoted parts of the study and linked to websites that align with their particular view in an attempt to justify their own lifestyle choices. When you have to go to such lengths, then that put sin to question just how secure and confident you are with your choices.

      To reiterate…I couldn’t give a shit if a woman chooses to have casual sex on a regular basis. Their choice to have casual sex isn’t what I question. What I question is why some women appear to ONLY have casual sex, and their knee jerk defensiveness when someone points out said pattern.

    • Yes it could lead to relationships if both people are honest with themselves and each other. The problem becomes when one of the people assumes that constant hookingup= relationship because the other partner hasn’t set any real guidelines or are confused as to what exactly he/she wants in the realtionship. If you are honest and u want to just be a oNS, FB’s or develop into a realtionship say it, dont assume it and yes hookups can lead to very good realtionships based on honesty not assumptions

    • J

      @Susan

      For now, they just can’t compete with the buffet of sex a player has available to him.

      And that’s why it’s time for the majority of women, who think that they are trading sex for relationships, to stop putting out for players. If women truly only want casual sex, then that’s fine. But I strongly suspect that most womenwho want relationships are currently settling for hook-ups–which in my mond is far worse than “settling for some beta.”

      We often hear about women and the rationalization hamster wheel, and how men are honest, objective and analytical about their own behavior. Why wouldn’t a man recognize his behavior as loathsome, and alter it?

      Because the old hamster wheel turns for men too–even for those who don’t want to admit it. So many of the negatives ascribed to women by the PUA words are really just a part of the human condiition, not exclusively female foibles.

    • And that’s why it’s time for the majority of women, who think that they are trading sex for relationships, to stop putting out for players. If women truly only want casual sex, then that’s fine. But I strongly suspect that most women who want relationships are currently settling for hook-ups–which in my mond is far worse than “settling for some beta.”

      I seriously love you right now. This is what’s going on out there. If you read many of the dating related blogs, these women in their thirties and forties are constantly using the empowerment excuse to justify why they continue to engage in sexual relationships with men who, based on what these women reveal, couldn’t care less about them or are otherwise obviously unavailable. The way these women rationalize their choices, mostly due I suspect to their need to be perceived in a certain light, is truly mind blowing.

      I see this far more in women of my generation than I do in women in their twenties.

    • Women and their silly hamsters! Tchyeeahh!

      Sometimes the problem in mismatched expectations is hanging out with people who are more feminine and thus emotionally delicate than you. Like how I used to hang out at Game PUA theorist Roissy’s, but ended up hurting his feelings:

      I’m sorry Roissy, I didn’t mean to hurt you – I didn’t mean to make you cry
      But tomorrow I’m cleaning out your closet (your Mom stashed our Dungeons and Dragons toys there)

      Hugs,
      Sexy Pterodactyl

      P.S. Check out my PUA Game demonstration video (at the lake)

      —–Some Female Says

      The dating-world mindset that one glimpses in the manosphere, and even to an extent at presumably more moderate/reasonable places like HUS seems to be a combination of the nastiest aspects of club culture (if you’re a virgin you’re weird, if you’re not you’re a slut; in either case, submit – put out by the 6th date or else) and “traditionalism” (now you’re definitely a slut, submit to my housework).

      This seems like a deranged and unpleasant way to view life, and like a less-than-fun way to spend one’s free time (trying to achieve “victory” over an adversary via pump-and-dump or The Rules)

      ——End Some Female

    • J

      @Sexy Pterodactyl

      Look your blog. You are hysterically funny. Hysterical, of course, relating to having a womb. LOL. Keep writing.

    • Brendan

      Why wouldn’t a man recognize his behavior as loathsome, and alter it?
      Because the old hamster wheel turns for men too–even for those who don’t want to admit it.

      Perhaps, but, as with many things between the sexes, it works differently.

      When PUAs speak about the hamster wheel, what they are observing is that it is easier to get a woman to do what you want (e.g., sleep with you) if you provide her with a ready rationalization for her actions — in other words, an alternative to her thinking “this isn’t right” or “I’m running a reputation risk here” or something like that — what the PUAs call “anti-slut defenses”. So the theory runs that if a guy artfully provides a (preferably somewhat appealing) rationalization, hopefully in the form of some kind of compliment, the ASD fades away as the hamster wheel is fed, and matters proceed as the PUA wishes.

      It’s true that men rationalize, but not in that way, because men aren’t generally trying to think — even subconsciously — how they can rationalize their actions subsequently both to themselves and others. Instead the foible men have is being clueless — in other words, not having enough rationalization going on that they don’t recognize what they are doing wrong in terms of not being able to attract women. Women can harp on about how loathesome the behavior of PUAs is, but we all know that the % of men who are successful PUAs is only between 5 and 10%. The rest of the men are often wondering what they are doing wrong, and perhaps rationalizing their own behavior away on the basis of feelings of either entitlement, or as a result of having been well and truly misled by parents, teachers and others about what attracts women. And that’s where guys like the Prince of Darkness himself have their “in” to these guys. There’s a couple of generations of guys who simply have no clue, for the most part, about how to attract women — for various reasons, but the reasons appear to be culturally stubborn ones. That provides an opening for the PUAs to encourage different behaviors, because by the time the guy turns to the PUAs the other sources of guidance have already mostly all failed in flying colours.

    • The Deuce

      If this is true, it’s fascinating. We often hear about women and the rationalization hamster wheel, and how men are honest, objective and analytical about their own behavior. Why wouldn’t a man recognize his behavior as loathsome, and alter it?

      Rationalization is a universal human flaw. I do think that women are much more prone to rationalizing away the immediate motives for their actions and what they’re almost certain to lead to, but nearly everybody wants to think that they’re better than they really are, and hardly anyone ever engages in cold, hard self-assessment.
      .
      As for the idea that a lot of PUAers develop a self-loathing, read between the lines of these two well-known posts from Roosh (his value, imo, is that he at least occasionally engages in some self-reflection):
      http://www.rooshv.com/the-perfect-woman
      http://www.rooshv.com/the-dark-side
      .
      Clearly, in those two posts, he feels that he’s forfeited some part of himself that he regrets losing on some level. He understands that he’s become less of a person, that sex has been reduced to a mechanical act for him.
      .
      Another example is this report from a guy who got into game and then quit it:
      http://www.amnation.com/vfr/archives/015828.html
      .
      Note the similar language to Roosh. Roosh sees sexual relations as mechanical, and this guy started to see himself and the women as mere robots. And he flat-out says that he had become disgusted with both himself and the women he slept with.
      .
      And as for Roissy and all the rest, you don’t have to read much to notice the vibe of bitterness so many of them show, even when they’re successful and have supposedly come to terms with the nature of women. There seems to be a common undercurrent of PUAs experiencing it as dehumanizing for everyone involved, diminishing their view of themselves as human beings, even as their pride in themselves as lotharios grows.

    • Average Joe

      “Another example is this report from a guy who got into game and then quit it:
      http://www.amnation.com/vfr/archives/015828.html


      So this Daniel guy spends a year and a half being a PUA only to finally concur with Amanda Marcotte that he now sees women as “pussy vending machines”

      Well, It appears you can take the New Yorker out of feminism, but you can’t take the feminism out of the New Yorker. And as for Daniel’s understanding of robots….
      Robots respond the same every time(frequency, intensity, duration etc.) given the same input… women do not. And even more, the game/inpout doesn’t work on a specific percentage of women…and not just the church going girls he inexplicably lists. So much for his “robot” delusion.

      I spent a good deal of freshman, and sophomore year on the prowl and I have a completely different take on “pursuit” that isn’t so irrational.

    • The Deuce

      Er, I think it’s clear that he doesn’t literally think that women, or himself, are robots, but that, while he was still doing it, that’s how it started to seem to him. He’s pretty clear that he’s been disabused of feminist indoctrination about how women think and what they want. My guess is, he probably exempted the church-going girls because he simply didn’t run into them much in his hunting grounds.

    • J

      @Brendan and the Deuce–Interesting and helpful posts. Thanks!

    • J

      @ Brendan

      Those posts by Roosh are truly amazing in their emotional depth; it’s interesting that they did NOT lead to a change in behavior.

    • Average Joe

      “Er, I think it’s clear that he doesn’t literally think that women, or himself, are robots…

      Ya think? Cause like how else could Daniel’s word choice be likened to Amanda’s rhetoric. The thing is, her ” vending machine” reference actually makes for better imagery than his “robot”. Either way, both are in the same political category. And I wouldn’t be surprised if certain sections from Daniel’s email made it onto one of the feministing type blogs as a “See, I told you so” post about PUA’s.

    • The Deuce

      I thought the Feministing position was that Game simply doesn’t work. If female psychology works the way that Roissy et al say it does (and Daniel concurs that it does – as do I), then the Feministing position is simply false.

      Anyhow, if Daniel saying that sexual relations seemed (past tense) robotic to him provides some sort of “smoking gun” to the feminists, then Roissy’s self-described reductionism and nihilism (his words) provide a cannon.

    • @J
      ” Because the old hamster wheel turns for men too–even for those who don’t want to admit it.”

      It was named The Interpreter by its discoverer, brain scientist Michael Gazzaniga.
      Basically, you observe yourself engaging in various behaviors, and The Interpreter manufactures explanations designed to maintain your perception that you’re in control. Unfortunately, the explanations are usually bullshit.
      http://pegasus.cc.ucf.edu/~fle/gazzaniga.html
      I’ll grant that “rationalization hamster” is more catchy.

      • @JOT
        That link is clearly satirical, so I assumed Gazzaniga is some kind of fraud. Turns out he is the real deal. I guess he has his detractors…

    • ExNewYorker

      @AndThatsWhyYoureSingle: It’s an interesting blog you have there. What’s amazing is how so many of your letters are from women in their 30’s and 40’s. You’d figure they’re no longer high school girls mooning over the football captain, but it’s kind of scary to see that age often doesn’t always grant wisdom. You’re also more, ahem, “tough love”, than Susan, which is funny considering how Susan has been demonized recently as being some sort of reactionary…

      @The Deuce: Those Roosh posts were almost haunting. I’ve heard my own brother echo such sentiments, but the self-analysis passes, and he goes back to a lifestyle he clearly enjoys. Now that he’s in his 30’s, he’s happier doing short stints of serial monogamy (with the occassional side dalliances, if an opportunity presents itself), since he has more entrepreneurial issues to deal with than in his 20’s. The disdain of women (bordering on misogyny) in his 20’s has faded to some degree. He still doesn’t really respect women, but he’s happy enjoying them “as they are”, until they wise up and break up with him. As he would put it, “it’s not like he has to marry them”.

      @J: It’s not surprising Roosh’s introspection didn’t lead to changes. It’s revealed preference. It usually takes some significant life event or realization for a large change like that.

      • Re Roosh:
        Roosh’s “outing” of a woman he treated abominably, where he plastered her humiliation online for consumption by the Game community, revealed his character. His occasional bouts of conscience, or introspective glimpses into what’s missing in his life, are probably not unusual, even among sociopaths.

    • slumlord.

      Susan as result of the Heritage Study, I’ve done a bit of a literature review and hope to put up a post in the next week or so on the matter.

      Unfortunately all the studies show that there is an increase in risk of relationship breakdown proportional to the number of partners one has had in their lifetime. The odds overwhelm things like socioeconomic status and intelligence.

      The two biggest factors that protect a relationship are:

      1) Not sleeping around before hand.
      2) Having religion and and practicing it.

      And yes, I really do think that the sleeping around impairs the ability to bond. Whether it is through personality or other factors that’s yet to be conclusively determined but it does appear that there are qualitative differences between people that sleep around and those that don’t.

      Still about 15-20% of the promiscuous form stable relationships.

      • @Slumlord
        Good to see you! I will be extremely interested to see your post, it’s extremely relevant to my own work. If you think of it, come back and let us know with a link once it’s up.

    • VJ

      Little know fact, there’s many sides to ‘gaming’. One illustration: Tales of the babysitter:

      http://www.vidivodo.com/281149/the-babysitter

      Cheers, ‘VJ’

      • @VJ
        Agree with Mike, that was great. Honestly, I can’t imagine how you find all these links!

    • Mike

      Thanks VJ. That was hilarious.

    • Average Joe

      @ The Deuce.

      Can’t remember Valenti’s official position, but I do know Marcotte’s… and it goes like this:
      Game works not because of technique but odds. And the “real” reason that students of the game get laid is because they have never been able to approach women before… but now approach women in bulk.

      Of course the sneaky little feminist lie in there is that AFC’s are just scared of women, not that they become frustrated because women reject them. Amanda could never go on record as assigning women any blame in creating Average Frustrated Chumps because that goes against her “women’s shit don’t stink” position. Of course it never crosses her tiny racist, “man hating” mind that lots of guys who use “game” do so for efficiency… ie to save time and money. Even a guy with a perfect 3rd date close record would welcome a 100% 2nd date full close record.

      And you are damned right about Roissy. That’s why he is a favorite ahem “target” for haters like Lady Raine and Sexy Pterodactyl. Of course rather than let him wallow in his own nonsense a feminist should (because they say they are ethical) highlight that his personal issues are not those of most men who are sexually successful. Yet they are really not that ethical, so they label him the norm and then crucify him… on the tallest hill they can find.

      Roissy’s most controversial musings such a his proclamation that “gamers” develop an inability to view women as ” equal human beings” are just plain bullshit . I don’t know what Roissy’s problem is but the more women you meet the more nuanced you should become, not the other way around. It’s called being an expert! I can often recognize cars at night.. in the distance… by just their tail lights… because I have a lot of exposure to automobiles. To my lady, ALL cars look alike. And she can’t differentiate a cop car from a clown car. Familiarly should beget distinction, not aggregation. As they commonly say “eskimos have 15 words for snow “… or something like that.

    • Aldonza

      Unfortunately all the studies show that there is an increase in risk of relationship breakdown proportional to the number of partners one has had in their lifetime.

      I’d love to know what studies you read. I’ve also done some looking and found mostly citations pointing back to the same study from the Heritage foundation.

    • dragnet

      “And as for Roissy and all the rest, you don’t have to read much to notice the vibe of bitterness so many of them show, even when they’re successful and have supposedly come to terms with the nature of women. There seems to be a common undercurrent of PUAs experiencing it as dehumanizing for everyone involved, diminishing their view of themselves as human beings, even as their pride in themselves as lotharios grows.”

      This is because, deep-down, these guys really didn’t like women before coming PUAs. Some guys learn Game as a way to exploit and get back at women. And like any tool is can be harmful to others if you decide to use it that way. I don’t know anything about Roissy, but I know Roosh was a total loser with women before mastering Game. I’m guessing he grew to despise women because they rejected him, and this didn’t change after finally being able to bang them by the dozen. They’re essentially in permanent grudge-fuck mode. In a way, Game has made them hate women more because now they recognize how simple the whole thing is and that they spent years miserable or celibate when they didn’t have to.

      Being a PUA isn’t dehumanizing. Having lots of sex with hot women isn’t dehumanizing. However having lots of sex with hot women while harboring a deep antipathy for their gender? Dehumanizing.

    • J

      @Average Joe

      Game works not because of technique but odds. And the “real” reason that students of the game get laid is because they have never been able to approach women before… but now approach women in bulk.

      While approaching a lot of women, especially if it’s a new behavior for a man, certainly does increase the odds of success, I think that game, judiciously applied does work. Even for women. I’ve spent the last few months gaming my husband. More affection, more date nights, more fun together!! It’s been great!

      “Of course the sneaky little feminist lie in there is that AFC’s are just scared of women, not that they become frustrated because women reject them.”

      I’m sure there are men in both circumstances. I’ve known a few men who were afraid of women, or at least of being hurt, shown up or rejected by them. It takes all kinds….

      a feminist should …highlight that his personal issues are not those of most men who are sexually successful. …they label him the norm and then crucify him… on the tallest hill they can find.

      I’m not sure many women readers, feminist or not, see Roissy as the norm. He does though conscientiously present himself as the norm or as a standard to be emulated. Comments that present a different view of reality or differing experiences are often called “beta” or “outlier” on the forum. That and the misogyny get him satirized and hated.

    • J

      @VJ

      The video wouldn’t run for me. 🙁

    • J

      @dragnet

      However having lots of sex with hot women while harboring a deep antipathy for their gender? Dehumanizing.

      For sure! And the most angry “alphas” there–all divorced, with a few admitting to having been charged under VAWA.

    • ExNewYorker

      @Susan: Even sociopaths are human too 🙂 Of course, I would never condone such Dark Game as Roosh pulled off with the woman he outed. And truth be told, such lack of conscience tends to translate to all human interactions, not just gaming women, so I can imagine it would be hard to even be friends with such a guy. But if that isn’t a cautionary tale to women about avoiding the cads, then I don’t know what else is. It doesn’t take sticking your arm into the fire to know that it burns pretty bad. But then, it seems there’s a large crowd in line to get the burns extra crispy…

    • dragnet

      “For sure! And the most angry “alphas” there–all divorced, with a few admitting to having been charged under VAWA.”

      I don’t think less of a guy for falling afoul of VAWA. Lots of women level completely baseless charges of domestic abuse to obtain leverage against their partners. It really sucks for the women who have actually been abused.

    • Being a PUA isn’t dehumanizing. Having lots of sex with hot women isn’t dehumanizing. However having lots of sex with hot women while harboring a deep antipathy for their gender? Dehumanizing.

      Agree 100%. This comment actually anticipated the post I just put up, where I define three different layers of player behavior. That antipathy makes all the difference, IMO.

    • @ExNewYorker

      But then, it seems there’s a large crowd in line to get the burns extra crispy…

      Haha, you have the best tag lines of any commenter here!
      When you say sociopaths are human too, I think you unwittingly describe the mating strategy of those women in line.

    • J

      @dragnet

      My experience of people who have been charged with anything is that odds are good that they are guilty. While false accusations do famously occur, it costs the prosecution money and resources to go after people. They don’t really like to waste.

      I grew up with a girl, now a dreaded woman lawyer, whose father was one of the most famous and effective defense lawyers in the state. He even argued before the Supreme Court. As a kid, I thought he could have gotten anyone off. He used to say though, that his odds of success were actually very poor. His job was to protect the guilty and get them the best deal possible, sentence-wise. Few innocents are formally charged. Prosecutors won’t bother without enough evidence to justify going to court; they don’t want to fight losing cases. Even cops don’t like to arrest without good evidence; it pisses off the DA’s office.

    • dragnet

      @ J

      Not many false accusations of the domestic violence make it all the way through the legal system wasting time and money. But that’s not really the point. Many of them are lodged solely to increase a woman’s leverage in family court. Even though most times the false charges are dropped before prosecution has begun, the damage has been done and the man has been forcibly removed from his home for a period of time and still may be barred from returning. I maintain that this is more common than we think.

    • J

      I maintain that this is more common than we think.

      Perhaps. I know of a few cases personally, where police have threatened to charge a man accused of domestic violence unless he moves out for a few days, but I don’t know of anyone barred from their home long-term. I do have a friend who does family law, but, while she does discuss divorce law with me in a general way, she has never talked about using the VAWA to leverage anyone out of the family home. (She tends to be actually fairly non-adversarial for a lawyer.)

    • slumlord.

      @Aldonza.

      Here are reports from the CDC. It is a non-partisan organisation and one of its functions is collecting unbiased health statistics. The data is drawn from the National Survey of Family Growth. The survey is meant to be representative of the U.S. population an is used by the government in planning for the provision of health services, education, programs etc.

      The data is also a legitimate source for academic research and you will frequently find it cited as primary source material in scientific papers.

      The findings of the Heritage foundation report were drawn from the 1995 national survey.
      The report can be found (a href=”http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/series/sr_23/sr23_019.pdf”>here.) The relevant table is Table 31, Page 42.

      The is a 2005 report based on 2002 data and the results can be found (a href=”http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/ad/ad362.pdf”>here. The tables of interest are Tables 10 and 11 on pages 28+29.

    • slumlord.

      Oops, the link to the 1995 study is here.

      The link to the 2005 study is here.

    • Someguy

      Dear “Mr.” Average Joe,

      Thanks for the insult!

      I saw the movie “Clerks” in the theater back in 1994. I remember it as a funny, low-budget movie about slackers working at a video store. There was a hockey scene on the roof that I particularly liked. However, I was not aware that it was an authority on how men feel about sluts.

      I think “slut” is an unfortunate word and I wish we could be rid of it. Some have proposed leveling the playing field by talking of “male sluts”, or “man whores”. This preserves the stigma while extending it to both sexes. Perhaps that’s the way to go. But since I’m not into the stigma myself, “promiscuous” will do for me, for men and women alike.

      I should mention that I live in Spain and have so for years, so I certainly have a different perspective than most Americans who have never spent a long time outside the United States. There is a different take on sexuality in Europe than there is in the United States. I know that it is fashionable to pigeonhole European-style sexuality as “depraved” or “immoral”. On the other hand, I read “The Scarlet Letter” in high school, which is a critique of extremely tortured people who can’t enjoy themselves if not feeling morally self-righteous about someone else. And, to my understanding, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s classic has had greater cultural repercussion in the United States throughout the ages than “Clerks”.

      I used the term “madonna-whore complex” because it has certain currency. I did not say that any men (including the “most simple-minded”) have an all-or-nothing binary approach to the concept, but I do feel that it has cultural weight. Reality lies somewhere between 0% and 100%, but that doesn’t mean that the madonna-whore concept does not color some men’s thought.

      It’s like this “numbers” thing. If she has three partners, it’s permissible, but over five and some men won’t trust her anymore. Naturally I understand the interest in risk-reduction indicators, and that the “number” may very well be indicative of something; I only argue that it isn’t always determinative. A man who likes to bet on sports may also be viewed as impulsive and high-risk. Is he automatically ruled out as a potential husband and father? Besides, young women who know that some men are hung up on “numbers” may lie, and rightly so in my opinion.

      I’m not saying that young American women who long for a long-term relationship should ignore Susan and Grerp’s advice. It is good advice and they should take note. I’m also not arguing with the results of the studies cited and I’m curious to learn more about them. Perhaps there truly is a direct correlation between the number of people you sleep with and your ability to commit to a long-term relationship. Perhaps the correlation is indirect, and there is a third, as-yet-to-be-identified factor which must be present in order for the first two to overlap. Who knows? I’m also aware of Europe’s low birth rate, although I also know many people in Spain who could be described as “promiscuous” based on their “number” and who are now in loving relationships with a single and exclusive partner.

      I’ve never been told I’ve engaged in “man-hating” before, and I’m hardly a water-carrier for feminism. As for the notion that promiscuous women are bound to get pregnant by some other man and pass it off as their partner’s (which has been discussed quite a bit on this blog), I actually have personal experience with this, as I am one of those children. See, it’s not just theory for me! So of course that can happen, but it’s hardly inevitable. And this isn’t just something that happens to promiscuous women, but to women you might not otherwise expect. Go back to “The Scarlet Letter” for evidence of that.

      For the record, despite my relative success with women, I never lead them on and I have never cheated on a girlfriend, even when things have been rocky. And that is not theoretical either, as I was once offered a direct invitation to cheat by someone when I had left the house to get a drink by myself after fighting with a girlfriend. I turned it down, on the principle that I had a girlfriend, even if we were fighting. See, lotharios can have principles too. I’ve also never been obsessed with “the chase” and don’t view women I sleep with as “prey”. If men are going to think in those terms –- and I accept that many do -– then of course what The Deuce says makes sense. (Actually, The Deuce, I did enjoy your comment.) I mean, I am aware that I am probably an outlier here, and the fact that I live in a different cultural climate with regard to sex and relationships probably makes my contribution largely moot for many US-based readers. Still, that doesn’t make me clueless –- just different.

      Signed,

      Someguy

      • @Someguy
        FWIW I have really enjoyed your comments and your perspective. I think you’ve added a lot to the discussion. We need balance here, I have no interest in hosting an echo chamber. I agree with your views – I do think over-reliance on the number is problematic. I also strongly appreciate your commitment to ethical behavior. I have no patience with men who are all about “banging sluts” and then want to marry a virgin so that she “imprints” on them. And as far as the sexual double standard goes, I personally warn women, especially sexually inexperienced women, about men who have a reputation for promiscuity. That is unlikely to end well, especially at college age.

    • Aldonza

      @Slumlord
      I’ve read those CDC summaries before, and while I don’t question the veracity of the data, I don’t see where it confirms your opinion about number of partners and success of marriage. Further, the same set of data can be analyzed to produce amazingly different conclusions, depending on who is doing the analysis.
      .
      Do you have any other studies, other than the Heritage one, that address this issue?
      .
      Also, please note, I think there probably is a correlation between long marriages and low number of partners. But the data you provided does not show the difference between total number of partners and number of partners before marriage. It also doesn’t connect the people with unsuccessful marriages with number of partners.

    • @ the Deuce

      I enjoyed your comments on this thread, especially about rationalization and on guys who dedicate themselves to getting something from women and then having contempt with women for giving it to them.

    • slumlord.

      @Aldonza

      Hmmm.

      The CDC data shows a pretty clear link between the two, corresponding socioeconomic variables also shows that there is a minimal effect of these parameters on numbers.

      Anyway, here’s another study done by Jay Teachman:

      Journal of Marriage and Family: Vol. 65, No. 2, pp. 444–455.
      Premarital Sex, Premarital Cohabitation, and the Risk of Subsequent
      Marital Dissolution Among Women.

      Executive summary:

      Premarital cohabitation is not increased with a risk of divorce provided that a woman’s partner is her only partner.

      But one or more extra partners increases her risk of divorce by 53%-166%.
      Divorce rate in the study was 34%.

      34 x 1.53= 52%
      34 x 2.66= 90%

      It’s a bit more pessimistic than the Heritage foundation study and better controlled for other variables.

      More coming.

    • Robin

      It’s funny – I’m playing catch up with posts and see this post just after I watched the following YouTube video….
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pq4r6oIfsHs

      • @Robin
        Wow, that is a really good video. It’s pretty clear who has all the power in FWBs.
        Welcome back!