170»

The Best Insurance Against Infidelity

Though the neuroscience of sexual attraction has only recently become a practical field of study, humans have understood that sex is chemistry for thousands of years. Those fortunate enough to have fallen head over heels in love can attest to the potent cocktail that surges through the bloodstream as they enjoy the heady first stages of requited physical attraction and lust.

Marnia Robinson, author of the book Cupid’s Poisoned Arrow: From Habit to Harmony in Sexual Relationships, has written extensively on the topic of our sex lives, believing that if we understand our biological responses, we have more control over initiating and controlling them. She describes herself as someone who “writes books about the unwelcome effects of evolutionary biology on intimate relationships.” Recently, she penned the article Cupid’s Ammo for The Good Men Project.

“When you’re hit by Cupid’s arrow, you effectively become delusional. You don’t realize this, of course, because, well, you’re delusional. You’re convinced that the person you met last week at your buddy’s wedding is The One, and you expect the passion you’re feeling to keep you quivering with interest and ecstasy for a lifetime.”

Cupid’s “ammo” is the jolt of neurological impulses that kickstarts mating in the mammalian brain. That programming is designed to increase the genetic variety of offspring – the greater the diversity of genes, the better the chance of long-term survival. That set of triggers is rather hostile to monogamy, as it turns out.

“The mammalian brain’s mating agenda urges you to:

(1) fall in love recklessly with fireworks that propel sperm to egg,

(2) bond long enough to fall in love with your kids so they have two caregivers,

(3) get fed up with your mate,

(4) look for a new one.

Cold, heartless, but effective.”

We’re not really designed for monogamy. On the other hand…staying in a successful monogamous relationship confers enormous benefits on all parties, including children:

  • Close, trusted companionship protects psychological and physical health.
  • Having two caregivers improves kids’ chances of well-being.
  • One household is also cheaper to maintain than two.
  • Serial seduction can be downright tiring—and expensive.

Unfortunately, realizing the benefits of monogamy over the long-term isn’t possible if you get fed up with your mate and look for a new one, as the divorce rate demonstrates. Yet maintaining sexual attraction for an extended period is not easily achieved – scientists say that the “honeymoon cocktail” of passion and desire lasts two years max. Even worse, the answer is not just having more sex with lots of orgasms – in fact, that may be counterproductive!

Robinson explains that “Intense sexual stimulation can actually dampen the pleasure response in many brains, at least temporarily. This can be a powerful trigger for a mammal to seek greener pastures.”

Fertilization duty done here; time to find this mate less alluring—and respond to any potential novel mate with gusto.

This natural waning of desire has been dubbed the Coolidge Effect because of an incident between the former President and his wife. In his recent book Decoding Love, Andrew Trees shares the story:

“The first couple were separately touring a government farm. Mrs. Coolidge noticed a rooster mounting a hen and asked how often the rooster copulated. The answer was dozens of times a day, to which she replied, “Please tell that to the president.” When Coolidge was later told about this exchange, he asked if the rooster always mated with the same hen and was informed that the rooster copulated with different hens. Coolidge smiled pleasantly and said, “Tell that to Mrs. Coolidge.”"

(As an aside, I’d like to observe that Mrs. Coolidge’s wanting multiple rounds, and Mr. Coolidge’s teasing, sounds like shorthand for an excellent sex life, the Coolidge Effect notwithstanding.)

Experiments with rats have confirmed that dopamine production rises until climax, then subsides. Each subsequent encounter with the same female rate produces a smaller spike, and after several times, it barely rises above normal. It takes a new female rat to produce a strong initial spike again. It is the expectation of a reward, rather than the reward itself, that produces dopamine, and expectation will be highest when the female is still a novelty. The implications for humans are obvious. A woman’s best strategy is to prolong the period of anticipation and expectation as long as possible, thereby increasing her odds of having inspired emotional investment before the highest dopamine spike occurs.

Among long-term couples, the dopamine production is going to level off, and the desire for a new sexual conquest is natural, if not welcome. Robinson believes that the key to staying in love, and keeping the cheating urge at bay, is to actively promote and engage in behaviors that chemically promote bonding.

Since most of us don’t realize that subtle neurochemical shifts are coloring our views, we tend to blame each other. The good news is that the ancient mammalian brain is also home to the only part of the brain that can stay in love. Just as too much sexual stimulation can put lovers out of sync, “attachment cues” can help them look good to each other indefinitely.

Robinson says that bonding behaviors send a message to the unconscious brain to strengthen this emotional tie. They include:

  • Skin-to-skin contact
  • Gazing into each other’s eyes
  • Kissing with lips and tongues
  • Wordless sounds of contentment and pleasure
  • Stroking with intent to comfort
  • Touching and sucking of nipples/breasts
  • Spooning or hugging each other in silence
  • Placing a calming hand on our lover’s genitals
  • Gentle intercourse

These behaviors are not intended to serve as foreplay, as they are not about producing sexual tension or anticipation. They are meant to produce feelings of comfort and love.

While many young readers will feel that they have no need of such advice – they’re still pursuing that chemical cocktail of delusional desire. It seems to me that there are several implications here for new relationships, as well as for casual sexual ones.

1. Anticipation is key.

Both parties are likely to enjoy a higher dopamine surge if they have been in pursuit of a reward that has been challenging to achieve.

2. Getting into a rut where sex is always expected will more rapidly drive down the dopamine rush.

Women should continue to be selective about sex, even with a monogamous partner. Though there’s nothing wrong with having sex to start a good night’s sleep, having rote sex out of habit is not likely to promote bonding. Keep sex special.

3. During casual sex the male will quickly receive the message “My work is done here” before engaging in any of the bonding behaviors that mitigate that message and inspire him to stick around.

4. Women interested in relationships and commitment should carefully evaluate men for their orientation with respect to bonding behaviors.

Many players have learned to feign interest in them, knowing that women are more likely to grant sexual access after being courted with general signs of affection and caring. Though the timeline has accelerated from months to hours in the contemporary sexual marketplace, bonding behaviors are still recognized as important signals of commitment. The longer a woman can observe these behaviors before having sex, the more certain she can be that the man is relationship-oriented.

5.  It’s not uncommon for women to request “just cuddling” on occasion.

If men actively nurture those bonding moments in the relationship, they’re less likely to get requests for bonding instead of sex.

6. Bonding behaviors promote sexual loyalty, as well as trust in one’s partner.

Sex can be wonderful at all ages and stages of a relationship, even after 25 years of marriage. Monogamy is not easy. The sexual relationship evolves and shifts over time, reflecting life’s highs and lows, and there will be times when your relationship is not rewarding in the exact way you want it to be right then.

Good relationships and good sex require strong emotional bonds. Bonding behaviors are our insurance policy against infidelity.

2 Pingbacks/Trackbacks

  • Vincent Ignatius

    A woman’s best strategy is to prolong the period of anticipation and expectation as long as possible, thereby increasing her odds of having inspired emotional investment before the highest dopamine spike occurs.
    Pretty good advice, though I would tell any man dealing with a woman like that to investigate her past.  If she’s a reformed slut, drop her.  If she’s actually quality, decide if you like her enough to put in the investment.
    5.  It’s not uncommon for women to request “just cuddling” on occasion.
    Men should never provide this without significant sexual satisfaction beforehand.  My rule is she has to make me cum before we cuddle.  Even with a quality girl, I would tell a man not to do this if she’s not putting out; he’s putting in a level of investment that she’s not matching.



  • Rum

    Susan

    I know you mean well and I think you make sense about as often as anyone who tries to talk about this subject… however, I would be extra careful about the withold the nookie to enhance the bonding scheme. There is always the large possibility that the guy will not have the desired reaction. It might feel to him like deep rejection. (fair or not) These things can add up.
    If I were to put this as a risk-benefit calculation I would say that the bonding lost by too much easy  sexual satisfaction is almost certainly less than the distance created by having a sexually alluring wife shoot the guy down in his own bed.
    Just do it. Quickies count as well. Your husbands cum is not poison. (Right?) BTW, there is not a straight guy alive who will tell you differently about this.
    Way too many women think right past this.

  • nothingbutthetruth

    I am a man and I love to cuddle: for me, it is one of the best things in the world. If I had to choose between a life without cuddling and I life without sex, I would prefer the latter. I don’t understand why American men are so reluctant to cuddling (I am a foreigner).
    Having said that, I think cuddling often is a REALLY BAD IDEA. By cuddling, even the most alpha man becomes beta in the eyes of his partner. I have experienced that once and again. Cuddling must be done in very small doses. For me, this is difficult (I would love to do it more) but it is necessary. Every time I have followed my instincts and I have cuddled a lot, I have ended up regretting it.

  • http://photoncourier.blogspot.com david foster

    nothingbutthetruth….is the anti-cuddling reaction you’ve gotten specific to *American* women, or have you had the same reaction in other countries? It’s because you mention specifically that *American* men are negative on this that I wonder.

  • nothingbutthetruth

    No, it’s universal. Most of my couples have been non-American women. Foreign women are not feminist and they are usually good girlfriends and wives. They are good-mannered, affectionate and sweet. They respect their men. The traditional woman, if you will (there are exceptions, of course).
    .
    And they like cuddling but cuddling is a betaizing thing for them (for American women, too). Even the most sweetest and romantic girl ends up treating you like a beta. Another thing that I have seen is: the more the cuddling the biggest the shit test that comes afterwards (some hours or days later).
    .
    I don’t know why it is so. But I have a theory: maybe cuddling puts the man in the place of a little boy and the woman in the place of a mother (In fact, women often say childish names when cuddling: “baby” and similar ones). Or cuddling makes you less of a challenge. I don’t know.
    .
    Whatever the cause, use frequent cuddling at your own peril (too bad: cuddling is great).

  • Matt T

    Cuddling is only acceptable post-coitus.  If she wants to cuddle in lieu of coitus, you should do your best Cartman impression and say “Whateva! I do what I want.” and walk out.
     
    I wish I’d known that with my last girlfriend. We used to cuddle all the time, and I was frustrated about the lack of sex. Eventually I stood up for myself and dumped her, and then found the pickup community.

  • 108spirits

    Cuddling without sex prior is like voluntarily asking for blue balls. Nothing screams beta more than that.
     

     

     

  • Bob

    I have to agree with the other commenters on cuddling.  I personally enjoy it, but have seen the massive negative effect it has on a woman’s perception of my Alpha side – and that’s already something I have to carefully, consciously build.  It’s much easier to demonstrate intimacy than to reignite her sexual desire.
     
    I tend to cuddle only after sex.  Fortunately, I trained myself with my first girlfriend so I don’t fall asleep after sex unless I was already tired beforehand, so I can do that and uphold reasonable pillow talk.
     
    As for making the guy wait, I agree that it builds the girl’s value in my eyes.  However, if the payoff for the wait does not include frequent, passionate sex, I’m going to assume she just has a low sex drive, and my investment was wasted.
     
    One last point – this quote: “Placing a calming hand on our lover’s genitals”
    Is that really supposed to be taken seriously?  Do people actually consider a hand on the genitals “calming?”

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

      However, if the payoff for the wait does not include frequent, passionate sex, I’m going to assume she just has a low sex drive, and my investment was wasted.

      Fair enough. Hamby has stated, and I think he’s right, that a woman who is delaying sex needs to make it very clear that she’ll happily wear the guy out once they reach that point. She should also share how tempting she finds him, and how eager she is to get to know him better on the way to sex.

  • Timothy Webster

     
    Guys, was your “beta-izing” cuddling anything like this?

    Skin-to-skin contact
    Gazing into each other’s eyes
    Kissing with lips and tongues
    Wordless sounds of contentment and pleasure
    Stroking with intent to comfort
    Touching and sucking of nipples/breasts
    Spooning or hugging each other in silence
    Placing a calming hand on our lover’s genitals
    Gentle intercourse

    If it was, carry on.  If you cuddle her, and she doesn’t cuddle back, you have problems.  If you put your hand on her genitals, but she doesn’t reciprocate, that is a bad sign.  Just do your regular push-pull game.  Cuddling is good for bonding; do it in the context of game.  Your purpose isn’t to bang, it is for her to appreciate some quiet time together with the man who dominates you.  If you can handle game, you can cuddle in a masculine, yet enjoyable manner.

    Every single thing on that list is good to do, and important to do.

  • Timothy Webster

    To summarize, don’t cuddle more than she wants to.  Don’t short-change yourself on physical intimacy.  Unless you are a psychopath that only wants to rack up “notches”.

  • Höllenhund

    Matt T,
    “Cuddling is only acceptable post-coitus”
    Exactly.

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

      I’ll strongly second Timothy Webster’s take on this post. I think most of the men here are missing the point. This post is not about cuddling as a replacement for sex, nor is it about using cuddling as a reward for a woman’s granting sexual access. In fact, when the only cuddling a couple does is after sex, it’s going to be occurring precisely at that moment when the male is feeling “Mission accomplished.” Yes, there’s the oxytocin rush for both sexes, but men are programmed to sleep after sex. It’s hardly the best time for promoting bonding.
      .
      The advice applies to people who are in love, and who seek to stay that way. This should be well after you’ve established sexual attraction, and in fact, it presumes an already healthy and satisfying sex life. In fact, the advice is specifically addressed to couples who may have passed that 2 year mark where they just can’t keep their hands off of each other. It’s also directed at men as well as women – giving the brain “hooks” in the form of emotional investment as a result of the bonding experience can preserve sexual desire for one’s partner. In some ways, it’s more applicable to men, who have a stronger instinct for sexual variety, and who may need to take active steps to remain focused and satisfied in a monogamous relationship. Sex alone is not going to sustain a relationship.
      .
      To be fair, Robinson never uses the word cuddling – I did. Women do need that bonding experience, and if we’re not getting it, we may be more likely to ask for a hug, or want to cuddle a bit. This doesn’t mean women should turn down sex and ask for cuddling instead. I was referring to a situation where a woman initiates physical or emotional connection separate from sex. All women in love need that, and I believe every relationship needs that.
      .
      As for Robinson’s specific suggestions, some of them easily apply to normal daily activities. Watching TV tucked up under my husband’s arm, or with my head on his shoulder, for example. Sustained eye contact during dinner. An unsolicited stroke on the arm, or a comforting hug after a tough day. It’s all too easy in marriage to limit oneself to just two kinds of kisses – the quick peck when heading off or returning home, and the making out/sex kissing. It’s nice, though, to kiss on the lips for a few seconds for no particular reason other than to express affection or appreciation. Those are the kisses that tend to get lost in relationships. Some of these bonding behaviors are also good during sex – gazing into one another’s eyes (lights on!). Taking time to caress skin, touching breasts in a very unhurried way.
      .
      For those who are newer to my blog, I’m on record many times as saying that I believe women can promote the health of their relationships by agreeing to sex whenever their husbands want it. We desire it less frequently than men do, especially when children are young and we feel harried, but I learned long ago that keeping my husband happy in this way has a very high ROI. I don’t think women should ever use sex as a weapon, refusing to have it as some kind of punishment. If a woman is angry, she can certainly refuse intimacy, but she’d better be prepared to talk about it and resolve it. I also agree that quickies are great – they provide 80% of the benefit in 20% of the time, haha. Another application for the Pareto Principle! I will say, for the record, that if a woman feels unwell for any reason, her husband should not expect sex. I’ve become very angry with my husband in the past when he knows I’m coming down with a bad cold, for example, and he’s getting frisky. I resent having to even say no, when it should be very clear he should just wait a couple of days.

  • PuffsPlus

    Ha, I had the same thought about the “calming hand on the genitals” thing. I doubt any man would find that “calming” unless he were in his refractory period. And even then, would it be calming or just annoying?
    .
    Interesting responses from the guys so far. As a straight married woman, I’m interested in hearing more from the guys on the cuddling and the “avoiding rote sex vs. rewarding him often” issues.
    .
    FWIW, my husband adores cuddling–and just cuddling– in bed and I never saw that as making him beta. I will say that he wants cuddling when I’m not in the mood for it, and I can find that annoying.  Not in how I view him, just that he wants something from me that’s going to require me to stop what I’m doing and get in a semi-sleeping position, and I’m not always ready to just halt everything to do that. Sometimes I’m already tired and trying to do something else, and I worry that cuddling like that would make it too hard for me to get up from the bed afterwards. In that sense, I’d prefer to have a quickie than to cuddle because at least for a quickie I’m not putting myself in a position where I could easily fall asleep. He usually finds that an acceptable compromise. ;-) But, oh noes, if that study is right, then maybe I shouldn’t offer that for fear of making things too rote?
    .
    As for the men fearing being beta-ized by wanting cuddling, I have a hard time understanding that. I keep suspecting that some of this “Don’t ever do THAT, lest you appear beta!” stuff is overblown, or more important early on in a relationship before there’s a good emotional bond between the couple? After all, my husband teared up at the end of the movie Gladiator on one of our first dates, and when he saw I noticed that, he was nervous that it made him look weak in my eyes. It didn’t. I actually thought it was neat that he could be moved like that. But then, I was already quite infatuated with him. If I had barely known him, maybe I wouldn’t have been so moved?

  • J

    @PuffsPlus
    Ha, I had the same thought about the “calming hand on the genitals” thing. I doubt any man would find that “calming” unless he were in his refractory period. And even then, would it be calming or just annoying?
     
    It’s a post-sex move.   My DH once said of it, “That makes me feel like a king.”

    FWIW, my husband adores cuddling–and just cuddling– in bed and I never saw that as making him beta.

    We have times like that too.  I think it’s more frequent in longterm marriages because of both aging and being more relaxed with each other. 

    As for the men fearing being beta-ized by wanting cuddling, I have a hard time understanding that. I keep suspecting that some of this “Don’t ever do THAT, lest you appear beta!” stuff is overblown,

    Ya think?  That seems to be an obsession in the manosphere.

     or more important early on in a relationship before there’s a good emotional bond between the couple?

    If a guy can’t occasionally act beta in front of his wife, who can he act beta in front of?  I’d much rather my husband let down his guard in his own home in fron of me than in front of the sharks he does business with.  Besides, as much as men say they want women to show support, how can you support someone who pretends to never need it?

    After all, my husband teared up at the end of the movie Gladiator on one of our first dates, and when he saw I noticed that, he was nervous that it made him look weak in my eyes. It didn’t. I actually thought it was neat that he could be moved like that.

    That’s the scene where Maximus rejoins his dead wife and son in the afterlife, right?  How can a woman resist that?

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

      I will agree that cuddling with a man who has established sexual attraction is not beta-fying. I know it’s a hard line for men to walk, but women want to see some vulnerability from the men they love. This doesn’t mean supplication – it means that we know that our man trusts us enough to let that little boy out once in a while. For the record, I have never, ever felt maternal when cuddling with my husband.
      .
      I will admit that the calming hand on the genitals threw me. I think it goes hand in hand with “gentle intercourse,” which the author describes as intercourse that doesn’t seek its end in orgasm. I have never even heard of this, but apparently it’s a spiritual sexual practice in quite a few cultures. Here’s what Robinson had to say about it:

      Intriguingly, gentle intercourse without orgasm can be a powerful bonding behavior. In fact, various cultures throughout history preserved this technique under different names: karezza, amplexus reservatus, Daoist dual cultivation, and others.

      So, how do you keep monogamy rewarding over the long haul? Emphasize daily, soothing bonding behaviors (including relaxed intercourse). Keep in mind that by not dampening each other’s sexual desire (at a brain chemical level), you can sidestep the subsequent feelings of dissatisfaction that can send you running for the hills.

  • J

    @Rum

    @Rum

     however, I would be extra careful about the withold the nookie to enhance the bonding scheme.

    Obviously, there’s a point of diminishing returns here.  Men generally don’t bond to women they’ve had easy sex with, and women shouldn’t make the emotional investment in that sort of man.  But once there’s some level of commitment, there’s no pointy oin playing mind games with sex.

    It might feel to him like deep rejection. (fair or not) These things can add up.

    I think that a woman can make it clear to a man that, while she may not feel ready for sex at a particular moment, that good sex is in the offing. 

    If I were to put this as a risk-benefit calculation I would say that the bonding lost by too much easy  sexual satisfaction is almost certainly less than the distance created by having a sexually alluring wife shoot the guy down in his own bed.

    This is something that I hear men going on and on about in ther manosphere, but I don’t know a single woman IRL who does this.   Unless I’m very angry or very sick, I’m pretty enthusiastic as are most of the women I talk to, including older women.  I hear far more women complaining that their husbands are done than I hear women saying they don’t want it.  I think all the male enhancement/low T/ED medication ads we see point to that being a greater problem.

  • Jaded

    I am so sick and tired of hearing this “foreign women are so better” crap.  Half the AMERICAN MEN I see going for women around me treat women like me like crap and go for bitchy women who rule everything they do, act demanding, and constantly yell at them.  These men then marry these women at their demands and continue to deal with their crap until they divorce them because the man couldn’t take it any more.  If men loved foreign women so much, then why is it, that when they meet a nice woman (unfortunately my history) who doesn’t have a lot of demands, doesn’t want to play games, and wants to call him (not all the time) just like a normal person and not always play games and have him call her and do every thing that she wants, they treat this woman like dirt?  I have been in a relationship through most of my 20s and dated before, and I have never gotten any real consistent kind treatment back (for a little while but not much after).
     
    I am tired of men saying ALL american women this and all american women that.  Ever heard of the saying nice guys finish last?  Well, in some cases, nice girls do too.  See, men read nice women with few demands and open discussion about when to call and actually answering the phone (And not PRETENDING to be busy) as desperate.  This is because they have been dealing with so many real bitches or women who play games to be the bitch (and are really nice girls like me–I know them!)  that they think a reasonable and honest woman is desperate.
     
    I think the real thing is here is not how much better foreign women are.  (I basically act like one and am American).  It’s that a lot of the men go over there at around age 50, are overweight and balding, and want some young 20-something.  The women they compare these foreign women to are 50 something American women, not 20 somethings, because  a 20 something American wouldn’t want them unless they were rich.  Therefore, to get the hot little 20 something they so desire.  They go to a poor country where the woman has little choice and take advantage.  Just something I noticed because there are nice American women out there 20-something (me) or older.
     
    I don’t know if it’s just the men my age or what, but they certainly don’t appreciate nice girls.  So I suppose if I don’t want to end up all alone with cats, I should start playing games and being a bitch like many girls I see married did.  I probably will be alone though, as it’s hard for me to be anything but myself.

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

      @Jaded
      Welcome, first-time commenter! Thanks for weighing in. I share your feeling on this issue. Lots of men (especially online) say that feminism has ruined American women for relationships. That POV is strongly reinforced on many blogs in the manosphere. I believe that people have the right to pursue happiness wherever they think they can find it, but as I posted here the other day, the American men who went to Thailand to marry got a lot more than they bargained for – in some cases, families of a dozen or more to support. Also, some of the Thai women had no intention of learning English – verbal communication is apparently not necessary in at least some of these marriages.
      .
      Like you, I have seen many men go for the absolute worst psycho women imaginable. The most narcissistic women are often recipients of male attention – in fact, the women that I’ve seen bring cads to their knees are generally the women who think they’re too good for just about anyone – the ultimate challenge. They may not make good relationships, but they certainly get more than their share of the drama. This may be a subset of the population, but it’s readily apparent on any college campus that the young woman who’s got all the guys acting like idiots is a class A bitch.

  • Jaded

    http://www.redandblack.com/2006/03/03/nice-girls-finish-last/
     
    just wanted to add this link, it sums up the whole nice girl/men want to be treated like crap thing I was saying

  • J

    @Jaded

    Great link.  BTDT!!  But I did eventually find a great guy, so don’t get too jaded.  It just takes longer then you’d like, and it is painful watching the sluts and users get the guys.

  • Bob

    “I keep suspecting that some of this ‘Don’t ever do THAT, lest you appear beta!’ stuff is overblown,”

    Perhaps it is owerblown, but it’s based in real guys’ experiences.  In past relationships, I’ve noticed a major downturn in sexual quality and frequency when I acted too “beta” by manosphere definitions.  Part of the was cuddling without sex.  Maybe it was just the women I was dating – obviously, there are exceptions to every rule, and some women may actuall experience an increase in desire from cuddling.  Good for them, maybe I’ll find one someday.
     
    There is a balance to strike; Athol Kay’s blog seems to advocate that quite effectively.
     
    I’d say it’s more likely PuffsPlus’ husband is naturally Alpha enough that he can get away with more beta displays – if so, I’m happy for both of them.  As I said in my last post, I’m not; I have to work at it.  It all depends on the couple in question, but I feel (from speaking with guy friends and reading this sphere of blogs) that the consequences of too much beta are very real.

  • clarence

    Yeah,  but as a man, I’d take some of this stuff, esp. from Vincent Ignatius , with a grain of salt. Nothing to do with his intelligence or even if he is right or wrong or not, it’s more that he is currently -according to him- seeing 3 girls none of which he really cares about.  What he said up top is probably essential for gaming multiple girls and projecting an uber heman persona. Of course he has to worry about not trading too much intimacy for too little sex(though of course sex itself can be the best form of intimacy) because he doesn’t yet have any emotional trust built up with any of  girls. I’m not sure if alot of this obsession with avoiding being emotional or “vulnerable” and hence “beta” is because these guys want to have multiple girlfriends and cheap , easy, exciting sex or not. But I suppose it’s necessary for that kind of a sexual lifestyle.

  • J

    @SW

    This is such a great post, I took a second, closer look at it

    You said, “the other hand…staying in a successful monogamous relationship confers enormous benefits on all parties, including children”

    Judith Wallerstein did some really intersting work on the effects of divorce on children.  Actually, a “successful” marriage is actually far more than what is necessary to benefit kids.  Children suffer even when less than successful break-up; her research indicates that as long as a relationship is not dangerous or abusive kids benefit from “staying together for the sake of the children.”
    Unfortunately, realizing the benefits of monogamy over the long-term isn’t possible if you get fed up with your mate and look for a new one, as the divorce rate demonstrates

    Marriages ebb and flow.  I think that one thing people don’t realize– because we do run to easy divorce– is that if you stick it out for a while things do get better.  I’m too lazy to look it up, but I believe that Wallerstein found that many couples who wanted to divorce but didn’t reported a high degreee of marital happiness five years later.

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

      I believe that Wallerstein found that many couples who wanted to divorce but didn’t reported a high degreee of marital happiness five years later.

      I’ve seen this happen. My own parents made each other miserable for most of my childhood, but by the time my husband met them he thought they were just a couple of lovebirds. They had made their peace, and were quite companionable once they hit 50 or so.

  • Maura

    @susan “We’re not really designed for monogamy. On the other hand…staying in a successful monogamous relationship confers enormous benefits on all parties, including children:”

    Interesting you mention that we weren’t ‘designed’ as that certainly implies a creator, as opposed to the process of evolution that I’d imagine you favored., which is impersonal and has n design or purpose beyond itself. Anyhow, you seem to be coming from the traditional Western perspective that infatuation, (‘romantic love ‘) is the basis of marriage. Other traditions would disagree and say marriage ought to be based on more practical concerns. They see infatuation as naturL but not a good basis for forming a family .

    I also wonder if you are a fan of Dorothy Parker who said some funny things about president Coolidge.

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

      @Maura
      I’ve been a believer all my life, though I don’t subscribe to the notion of God as a conductor calling all the shots. I think we’re basically on our own. As I get older, I feel more agnostic to be honest, but part of that is my disillusionment with my own church (RC). In any case, I’m a firm believer in evolution, so my world view must incorporate both the scientific and the divine.
      .
      In our culture, romantic love is certainly the expected basis for marriage. Few are willing to marry without it. Personally, I’ll be the first to say that from what I’ve read, arranged marriages can work extremely well, and couples who were matched seem as likely to achieve long-term happiness as anyone else, and far more likely to stay married.
      .
      I love Dorothy Parker – but aren’t familiar with her Coolidge quotes. Share some!

  • Aldonza

    I’m not sure if this advice is more applicable to women or men.  I also think that trying long-term strategies on someone who is clearly short-term will always fail.
    .
    1. Anticipation is key.
    Anticipation doesn’t have to be about withholding sex.  It’s about building up the desire for sex long before you hit the sheets.  When we’re with someone new, we automatically do some of these things, but over time we lose track.  It’s OK to send a sexy text to your long-time partner.  Tease him a bit and get him thinking about what’s at home…while he’s away from home.
    .
    2. Getting into a rut where sex is always expected will more rapidly drive down the dopamine rush.
    This one is a double-edged sword.  Men in long-term relationships frequently complain about lack of sex.  I think there is a happy medium between “sex on demand” and “never”.  There is room in any relationship for “maintenance sex”.  If you wait for it to be fireworks everytime, you’ll be waiting a long time.
    .
    3. During casual sex the male will quickly receive the message “My work is done here” before engaging in any of the bonding behaviors that mitigate that message and inspire him to stick around.
    Here’s a simple newsflash: if a man avoids bonding behaviors…he’s avoiding bonding with you.  This is especially true *after* sex.  A man in love has no problem being wrapped around his lover and even craves it…sometimes even in public (although this varies).  A man in it for the orgasm does not want you to stroke his hair lovingly while his friends watch, smirking, and will exit the bed as soon as he’s sober enough to find his way home.
    .
    4. Women interested in relationships and commitment should carefully evaluate men for their orientation with respect to bonding behaviors.
    See above.  A man who is looking to bond will instinctively engage in bonding behaviors.  In fact, he may not be able to help himself with a woman he is particularly attracted to.
    .
    A man who avoids all physical affection outside of the sexual act…not a good bet.
    .
    5.  It’s not uncommon for women to request “just cuddling” on occasion.
    My personal experience is that cuddling leads to sex and sex leads to cuddling.  It’s all good.
    .
    Further, men who withhold cuddling should be held with the same degree of scorn as women who withhold sex.
    .
    6. Bonding behaviors promote sexual loyalty, as well as trust in one’s partner.
    Trust is nothing more than a feeling of safety created over time by reliable behavior.   We all talk about wanting “excitement” and “passion”, but the fact is, that comes at the cost of feelings of safety.  Show anyone (man or woman)  someone who would be 100% sexually reliable to them, and their rational mind will say “I want that” but their sub-conscious attraction will say “boring!”
    .
    As in all things, it’s a balance.
     

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

      @Aldonza
      Great stuff here.

      Anticipation doesn’t have to be about withholding sex. It’s about building up the desire for sex long before you hit the sheets.

      In fact, anticipation should be welcomed as an investment that will make sex really good at some future point. Even if a couple never has the need to discuss the timing of sex, they will still benefit if they have waited until they’re consumed with the idea of doing it already!

      Here’s a simple newsflash: if a man avoids bonding behaviors…he’s avoiding bonding with you. This is especially true *after* sex.

      Not so sure about this. Remember, we’re talking about couples in love here. The bonding has occurred, but needs to be nurtured to keep monogamy working smoothly. I think most entrenched couples tend to get complacent over time about demonstrating affection in ways that promote bonding. There are some days when I resolve to be demonstrative because I sense that my husband needs that reinforcement. It means more effort, and keeping him company perhaps, when I’d rather bury my nose in a book, but I don’t want us to fall into a pattern of spending the evenings in separate rooms. Also, I’d be curious to see what other guys think, but in my experience, most bonding behaviors make my husband horny – he escalates. Not always the desired effect :-/ but I lie back and think of England.

  • Aldonza

    “…Children suffer even when less than successful break-up; her research indicates that as long as a relationship is not dangerous or abusive kids benefit from “staying together for the sake of the children.”
    .
    It’s a lot more complicated than that.  Her research was restricted to middle-class families who sought therapy, hardly a representative sample to extrapolate out to all of America.  Further, her work is already dated.  The couples she studied split in the 70s, a time when divorce was attached with a serious stigma for the children, a serious hit in the standard of living for the custodial parent, and inadequate support for all parties in how to achieve an amicable split.
    .
    I don’t say this to endorse divorce.  Far from it.  I’m a child of an intact family and still feel this is preferred.  But I also know, for a variety of reasons (some good, some bad) that isn’t always possible, and that kids are not doomed if it doesn’t work out.

  • http://photoncourier.blogspot.com david foster

    J….I think the Red & Black link goes too far. Yes, a certain amount of mystery and uncertainty helps build attraction, but I don’t think too many (sane) guys are looking for an LTR with someone who throws her drink at her boyfriend. Some guys might view a bitch as being an interesting challenge to get into bed, but I don’t think too many want to live with or marry one.
    In general, I think a lot of advice directed at women these days focuses excessively on the need to be tough/mean. For example, I saw a book with the title “Nice girls don’t get rich.” I didn’t read any of it, but of the women I know who *have* made considerable money through their own efforts, most of them are indeed nice.
     

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

      Some guys might view a bitch as being an interesting challenge to get into bed, but I don’t think too many want to live with or marry one.

      I believe this is true. It tends to happen at college, when guys aren’t really in the market for an LTR anyway. So banging a psycho makes life a bit more interesting than your average pump and dump. I know Jaded said nice guys are falling for bitches, but honestly, I think she’s probably referring to “nice guys” who are BMOCs with sexual options and good social skills. Not the STEM majors. Demanding and superior narcissists in college are a sport for guys like that. Whether they succeed in marrying, or marrying well, is another question. My own feeling is that these types deserve each other.

  • Hope

    The Red & Black link is very misguided.

    There are two types of “beta” men: the type who is manly and the type who is doormaty. Manly betas are like the perfect combination of alpha/beta, and they don’t put up with bad behavior from girls. Doormat betas are cowardly, don’t stand up for themselves, and put up with all kinds of horrible behaviors, which just encourages the girl to act even worse.

    When guys on various blogs talk about “betas” they are usually referring to the second type. When girls say they like “betas” we’re usually thinking of the first type. This naturally leads to a lot of confusion. The distinction is not always black and white either, because both types of betas exhibit romantic and bonding behavior. You have to look at their actions and internal beliefs as a whole.

    Very few would think of the husband who likes to cuddle with his wife and sends her “I love you” texts as some “alpha” that girls throw themselves at. But there are degrees of behavior aside from this. Does this husband always let his wife get away with everything, including ballooning up to 200lbs and still tells her she looks beautiful? Or does this husband speak his mind honestly, and lets her know that she should be maintaining her health? Will he let her yell and scream in his face while apologizing profusely? Or will he tell her that’s unacceptable behavior and walk away?

    The manly beta has good self-esteem, is confident of his abilities, and will not put up with crap from other people. He’s also loving, protective, honest, and has good character. The doormat beta has poor self-esteem, pedestalizes the woman, and lets her get away with obnoxious and awful behavior. He can also be dishonest out of fear and will lie to stay out of trouble. It’s fairly obvious which type is appealing to women, and which type wants the “good girl” as opposed to putting up with the “bitch.”

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

      There are two types of “beta” men: the type who is manly and the type who is doormaty. Manly betas are like the perfect combination of alpha/beta, and they don’t put up with bad behavior from girls. Doormat betas are cowardly, don’t stand up for themselves, and put up with all kinds of horrible behaviors, which just encourages the girl to act even worse.

      When guys on various blogs talk about “betas” they are usually referring to the second type. When girls say they like “betas” we’re usually thinking of the first type. This naturally leads to a lot of confusion. The distinction is not always black and white either, because both types of betas exhibit romantic and bonding behavior.

      This explains a great deal of the misunderstanding that occurs online. Honestly, the beta label has gotta go. We need several more categories than that, and not ranging from superior to inferior, either.

  • Jeff

    I have to note that (in connection with the title of the post) “infidelity” and “broken marriage” aren’t identical, there are plenty of marriages that disintegrate without anyone being SEXUALLY unfaithful. There are a lot of other ways to betray someone.

    Effective bonding should reduce the chance of these other behaviors, also, of course.  I think the list may be too “sugar and spice”—-granted that women are bonded by gentle intercourse, aren’t they also bonded by intercourse that’s more on the exciting/vigorous side? Depending on mood?

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

      @Jeff
      You make an important point – sex itself promotes bonding. We know that – it explains why women get attached even after one episode of casual sex with a jerk. I think paying attention to bonding behaviors apart from sex is a way of saying to our partners that we value them for more than that. Even hearing sincere words of appreciation from my husband – “I’m so glad I married you” – is a very different kind of message than his being sexually assertive.
      .
      It’s also true that marriages can get really bad without anyone straying physically, even after sex has stopped in the marriage itself. I would imagine that a marriage counselor would start helping a couple to repair a marriage in that state by getting them to initiate small bonding gestures that they long ago stopped making.
      .
      A reader recently sent along this link, very funny:
      http://www.theonion.com/articles/husband-still-faithful-after-42-years-of-trying-to,2819/

  • Not a 10

    Some guys might view a bitch as being an interesting challenge to get into bed, but I don’t think too many want to live with or marry one.

    I believe this is true. It tends to happen at college, when guys aren’t really in the market for an LTR anyway. So banging a psycho makes life a bit more interesting than your average pump and dump. I know Jaded said nice guys are falling for bitches, but honestly, I think she’s probably referring to “nice guys” who are BMOCs with sexual options and good social skills. Not the STEM majors. Demanding and superior narcissists in college are a sport for guys like that. Whether they succeed in marrying, or marrying well, is another question. My own feeling is that these types deserve each other.                          ”

    I don’t know about bitches but I do know that many men will take an 8.5 reformed slut over a 4.5 without a slutty past as a wife.   This is why hot babes are able to land husbands, no matter what.

  • http://www.theracerx.wordpress.com Racer X

    Robinson says that bonding behaviors send a message to the unconscious brain to strengthen this emotional tie. They include:

    Skin-to-skin contact
    Gazing into each other’s eyes
    Kissing with lips and tongues
    Wordless sounds of contentment and pleasure
    Stroking with intent to comfort
    Touching and sucking of nipples/breasts
    Spooning or hugging each other in silence
    Placing a calming hand on our lover’s genitals
    Gentle intercourse

    There is value in this list, but the last one, “gentle intercourse” is all wrong.
    If you want a woman to love you, you have to fuck her brains out.  Although there is a place for different types and degrees of intercourse, “Gentle intercourse” is for pussy boys who don’t know how to fuck. If you fuck a woman all the time “gently” she will eventually find a man who can fuck her like a man. Woman want strength and power and the most basic way to show them that is through viral, powerful fucking.  Women love to get pounded in bed.  They love to be filled with masculine strength.
    The list overall seems a bit effeminate, as if most women want nothing more than a chick with a dick.
    Also, showing a photo of lions as examples of fidelity and bonding is funny, since male lions have a harem of females, will stray and fuck new females whenever they can, will kill the cubs of unattached females so the females will go into heat and thus be receptive to them, and will kill other males just to get at female lion pussy. In short,  male lions are the ultimate bad boy alpha fucking machines.  The female lions are attracted to the ones who are the most violent, aggressive, and able to maintain a pride.

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

      If you fuck a woman all the time “gently” she will eventually find a man who can fuck her like a man. Woman want strength and power and the most basic way to show them that is through viral, powerful fucking. Women love to get pounded in bed. They love to be filled with masculine strength.
      The list overall seems a bit effeminate, as if most women want nothing more than a chick with a dick.

      Again, I’ll point out that the list is to be added to a satisfying sex life. The list is actually not about sex at all. It’s about bonding behaviors, clearly distinguished from sexual behaviors. Interesting that nearly every single male is jumping on this – erroneously.

      Also, showing a photo of lions as examples of fidelity and bonding is funny

      Yeah, just showing we do have something in common with other mammals, a tendency toward non-monogamy.

  • Mike

    @ Susan
    Way off-topic here, but I thought you might enjoy this article.  What is happening in the SMP has some very real-world, broader big-picture ramifications and implications.  Very few people have connected the dots here:
    .
    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2010/10/11/think_again_global_aging?page=full
     

    Reflecting on the fate of Rome, Charles Darwin’s grandson bemoaned a pattern he saw throughout history: “Must civilization always lead to the limitation of families and consequent decay and then replacement from barbaric sources, which in turn will go through the same experience?”
    Today, however, we see that birth rates are dipping below replacement levels even in countries hardly known for luxury.

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

      @Mike
      Thanks, that is a fascinating and frightening article. The quote you cite here jumped out at me, as did these:
      .
      As for Japan, one expert has calculated that the very last Japanese baby will be born in the year 2959, assuming the country’s low fertility rate of 1.25 children per woman continues unchanged. Young Austrian women now tell pollsters their ideal family size is less than two children, enough to replace themselves but not their partners.
      .
      As recently as the late 1970s, the average Iranian woman had nearly seven children. Today, for reasons not well understood, she has just 1.74, far below the average 2.1 children needed to sustain a population over time.
      .
      One contributing factor is urbanization; more than half the world’s population now lives in cities, where children are an expensive economic liability, not another pair of hands to till fields or care for livestock.
      .
      changing cultural norms appear to be the primary force driving down birth rates — think TV, not government decrees. In Brazil, television was introduced sequentially province by province, and in each new region the boob tube reached, birth rates plummeted soon after.
      .
      China is rapidly evolving into what demographers call a “4-2-1″ society, in which one child becomes responsible for supporting two parents and four grandparents.
      .
      In the not-so-distant future, the United States may well find itself competing for immigrants rather than building walls to keep them out.
      .
      Now, just as the horrors of fascism are passing from living memory, a new generation of Europeans is again feeling demographically besieged, this time by the arrival of Muslim immigrants.
      .
      Just when I was feeling hopeless, Longman offers an intriguing prescription:

      The trick will be restoring what, in the days of family-owned farms and small businesses, was once true: that babies are an asset rather than a burden. Imagine a society in which parents get to keep more of the human capital they form by investing in their children. Imagine a society in which the family is no longer just a consumer unit, but a productive enterprise. The society that figures out how to restore the economic foundation of the family will own the future. The alternative is poor and gray indeed.

      .
      Very interesting food for thought there.

  • The Deuce

    @Susan

    I will admit that the calming hand on the genitals threw me. I think it goes hand in hand with “gentle intercourse,” which the author describes as intercourse that doesn’t seek its end in orgasm. I have never even heard of this, but apparently it’s a spiritual sexual practice in quite a few cultures.

    My wife told me about this recently. I responded that it just proves those people are uncivilized savages to have come up with such a barbaric practice. Nevertheless, I can deal with non-orgasmic sex… provided it is followed immediately by orgasmic sex!

  • Timothy Webster

    All the listed bonding behaviors do usually end up acting as foreplay.
    On the anticipation angle, in many traditional societies, with the most widely known being the Jewish, is that every month man and wife have to abstain from each other for a week.  No touching, no hugging, not even sleeping on the same bed.  Jews noticed the good effects on the marriage.  Absence makes the heart grow fonder.
    And then again, for 40 days after childbirth, similar abstinence.  Tremendously powerful for promoting bonding, of mother and child as well as husband/wife.

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

      @Timothy
      I think in many cultures sex is forbidden during menstruation- the one week per month. A few years back I read a great novel called The Red Tent by Anita Diamant. It told the story of Jacob, Leah and Rachel during the time when Jews were nomads and the women spent one week a month together in “the red tent.” They cycles were in perfect sync to make this possible.

  • Timothy Webster

    In addition, every week, there is at least one day when sex is forbidden for 24 hours. (Sabbath)

  • Timothy Webster

    It isn’t a LOT of abstinence.  But it is enough of a break to make the rest of the time more zesty and amp up the juice.

  • mjay

    I was at the office the other day, and my (female) boss was getting all hot and bothered about delays in completing our department’s TPS reports.
     
    All it took was a “calming hand on her genitals” , and she shortly calmed down.
     
    Never underestimate the “calming hand on the genitals effect”.  It’s priceless.

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

      @mjay
      Haha! I guess this is one technique where I should say “DO try this at home.”

  • http://thetitanproject.wordpress.com/ Jonathan Manor

    “Tell that to Ms. Coolidge!”
    I don’t think I’ve ever had the “I guess my work here is done,” fiasco.  I always thought, and wonders, “So is this it.”  I guess I’m a hopeless romantic.  I like cuddling and waking up with someone special, it really hits me with happy bullets.
     
    Hey Susan, I was wondering if could ask you for a favor that will only take like 6 seconds:
    My friend’s are in a contest to win band of the month in San Francisco and they need people to vote for Commissure on a website called, http://sf.thedelimagazine.com/snacks
    Go to: http://sf.thedelimagazine.com/snacks
    Vote: Commissure
    It honestly takes like 6 seconds to vote. The contest ends October 15. Every vote helps. Thanks, you’re awesome!
    Their website is: myspace.com/commissure
    You don’t have to vote, it’d just be really cool if you did.
     
    I stumbled this post.

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

      @Jonathan Manor

      I like cuddling and waking up with someone special, it really hits me with happy bullets.

      Awww, I love that. Happy bullets! I voted for Commissure and saw that they have a comfortable lead as of right now! Thanks for stumbling – Stumble Upon has been good to me on occasion.

  • Robson

    “My own feeling is that these types deserve each other.”
    Which reminds me of: http://xkcd.com/800/
    R.
     

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

      @Robson
      That’s a great cartoon. I fear game theory has completely taken over the SMP.

  • Badger Nation

    “I believe this is true. It tends to happen at college, when guys aren’t really in the market for an LTR anyway. So banging a psycho makes life a bit more interesting than your average pump and dump. I know Jaded said nice guys are falling for bitches, but honestly, I think she’s probably referring to “nice guys” who are BMOCs with sexual options and good social skills. Not the STEM majors.”
     
    We would be good to remember that most guys are beta, and betas don’t lead, so they are seeking to be led. Add the sexual inexperience and/or insecurity of your average non-alpha campus male and that may explain their proclivity for socially “out” women.
     
    As long as we are on the topic, I think the single most salient description of young American women is not that they go for assholes or whatnot as much as “they seek to be controlled.” (Controlled in a neutral, socially-dominant sense.) I know many women in their 20′s who are still in this mindset. They are smart and well-educated, they are competent on the job and whatnot, but they don’t have any real management capability (yet) and can’t bear the thought of dating a guy who doesn’t either make them weak in the knees or socially dominate them, simply because they seek to be led and controlled. Thus they will clump onto a social leader of either gender – a queen bee, or a man who if he is socially dominant at that age is probably a narcissist or a cad.
     

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

      I think the single most salient description of young American women is not that they go for assholes or whatnot as much as “they seek to be controlled.

      Very interesting idea. I wonder if it could be that women in a society of liberated females are starving for a less gender neutral dynamic. Women have achieved equality and then some, but we’ve lost the balance between the sexes in matters of mating. Because so many women are keeping up with or even outpacing their male peers, dominance is no longer easily displayed in the classroom or the workplace. There’s an androgyny that has crept into every area of our lives – perhaps women compensate by grabbing for dominance wherever they see it. As you say, in a college setting that’s going to be someone with excellent (perhaps too excellent) social skills.

  • Maura

    @ Susan
    Here’s one Dorothy Parker quip on Coolidge: “When told of the death of President Calvin Coolidge  she replied: “How could they tell?” I think there are more but I can’t remember or find them.

    Do like Stephen Jay Gould? I think he gets some stuff really wrong because there were some conclusions he didn’t want to acceot but otherwise he’s good. If you’ve not read his paper on Spandrels I highly recommend it http://ethomas.web.wesleyan.edu/wescourses/2004s/ees227/01/spandrels.html

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

      @Maura
      Hmmm, that’s a pretty funny DP quote. Perhaps Mrs. Coolidge really did have something to complain about.
      I find SJG’s work interesting, but I am definitely on the Dawkins/Pinker/Wilson side of that argument. I do understand his claims of lack of evidentiary support, and I also understand claims from his opponents that evo psych was anathema to him for political reasons.

  • Badger Nation

    I was sympathizing with Jaded – most men would – until she pulled out the shaming “you guys complaining are hypocrites and fat and old and can’t get laid and you have to BUY a third world bride cause you can’t get American women!”
     
    (This after most American women I know demand that a man MUST buy them.)
     
    This does bring up a problem, though – because there are so few good women, they get swept away when men turn away from mostly-unpleasant American girls entirely. Another problem is that for real success, a good woman cannot abide bitchiness in her social circle – one good woman in a batch of harpies will be ruined by them. With so few good women, it’s very hard to find such a social circle.
     
    “I don’t know if it’s just the men my age or what, but they certainly don’t appreciate nice girls.”
     
    I can say with confidence and almost 100% certainty you are dating in the wrong pool.

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

      @Badger and other males who don’t care for American women (that pretty much includes everyone here):
      Why do you say there are few good women? I know many, so I’m curious as to your criteria, your experience with American women, and the sample size from which you draw this conclusion.

  • nothingbutthetruth

    I will agree that cuddling with a man who has established sexual attraction is not beta-fying. I know it’s a hard line for men to walk, but women want to see some vulnerability from the men they love.
    .
    Yes, it’s hard. If women wanted men who cuddled them, books about Game would be full of advice about being a beta, being sweet, buying teddy bears and drawing little hearts. Instead of this, they are full of advice to con women to think that you are that the most aloof, macho, strong, don’t-give-a-shit assh*le. If you give a bit of sweetness once in a blue moon, that’s great but make sure it is only a small dose.
    .
    Women say they want something and they want another thing.  Women don’t understand themselves. If you are a man and are reading this lines, don’t listen to what women say, see what women do. Don’t believe me. Watch your surroundings and see what kind of man women choose and prefer, despite all the prostetations, theories and rationalizations. Actions speak louder than words. If you see that women prefer the cuddly guy, go for it.
    .
    Like you, I have seen many men go for the absolute worst psycho women imaginable. The most narcissistic women are often recipients of male attention
    .
    I have seen this too. But you forgot to mention that all these psycho women are hot or, at least, more attractive than the average. Nobody wants an ugly psycho woman. And hot women can be bitches because they are allowed to do what a homely woman wouldn’t be allowed to do.
    .
    This is the mistake that the “Why men love bitches” book makes. It assumes that men love these women because they are bitches, but men love these women because of other things.
    .
    And I’m sorry. But foreign women are better. I know it by experience. It is not the age (I am comparing similar ages). It is not that they are golddiggers and American women are not. It is not the several rationalizations that American women use.
    .
    It is that American women have been spoiled by Hollywood and feminism. It is that they have worked hard to become worse partners, thinking that this was empowerment and independence. Of course, there are exceptions and there are many American women who are great. But we are talking about averages.
    .
    I know that this angers American women but it is the truth. And it is our duty to stand by the truth.

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

      It is that American women have been spoiled by Hollywood and feminism.

      There is no country in the world that doesn’t show every hit Hollywood romantic comedy. In addition, feminism thrives in western countries. Many countries are more egalitarian than the U.S. The notion that women in Latvia, or Sweden, or Spain haven’t been influenced by these forces is ludicrous. There may be other factors explaining their “desirability” – for example, Latvia has a man shortage, which requires Latvian women to grant sexual access for little reward. Scandinavians have rampant casual sex. Danish women are some of the happiest in the world, because they have the lowest expectations in the world.
      .
      I’ve been hearing this anti-American woman screed on this blog for months, and I think it’s BS. Yes, American women are entitled and narcissistic. So are women in other countires.
      .
      Now, if you want to talk about where to find a submissive female who will fetch your slippers, you’re talking about macho or chauvinistic societies where women are still rewarded (and restricted) for making homes and babies. By all means, go find one, and don’t let the door hit you on the way out. American women were never happy with that. America is a country that rewards initiative, individualism and determination, and has been from the start. Geisha culture could never have thrived here. But you can still find it if that is what you want. That is your preference. There’s no need to make categorical statements about all of us.

  • J

    @Badger Nation

    We would be good to remember that most guys are beta, and betas don’t lead, so they are seeking to be led. Add the sexual inexperience and/or insecurity of your average non-alpha campus male and that may explain their proclivity for socially “out” women.

    I’ve seen a lot of this IRL, and it’s distressing to watch.  There is a couple in my social  circle that is an excellent example of how “nice” or non-controlling women finish last. The husband is a doctor with a big need to love and help others.  The wife is needy, passive-aggressive, controlling, hypochondrical and narcisstic.  The family’s life has been completely rearranged over the last several years aound a number of illnesses that many think are imaginary.  Despite damage to the kids and a lot of financial hardship, the husband continues to efend his wife and insist that the kids and others continue to accomdate the wife’s issues. 

    I used to sort of envy the solicitousness with which he treats her.  Since I am someone who doesn’t seek to control (or to be controlled), I never had a relationship in which a man catered to me in that manner.  I also felt sorry for him as she never seems to reciprocate, even in the most basic ways.  For example, he always seems hungry. 

     This  is a nice-looking, bright, witty and sweet guy–in a high status profession, no less.  If I weren’t married, I’d be happy to cook him a good meal and let him pamper me.   For a while, seeing them sort of revived the old feelings of “How do all the bitched find great guys?” that I harbored before I got married.  Then I realized that he enables her BS,  and I lost respect for him. 

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

      I also felt sorry for him as she never seems to reciprocate, even in the most basic ways. For example, he always seems hungry.

      WHAT??!! It’s obvious she does not respect her husband, including his most basic physical needs. I wonder how many times a year they have sex.

  • J

    @Racer X

    If you want a woman to love you, you have to fuck her brains out.  Although there is a place for different types and degrees of intercourse, “Gentle intercourse” is for pussy boys who don’t know how to fuck. If you fuck a woman all the time “gently” she will eventually find a man who can fuck her like a man. Woman want strength and power and the most basic way to show them that is through viral, powerful fucking.  Women love to get pounded in bed.  They love to be filled with masculine strength.

    I hope that you are intentionally overstating your case.  Otherwise, this is a prescription for some painful and monotonous sex.  It’s all about balance.

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

      Woman want strength and power and the most basic way to show them that is through viral, powerful fucking. Women love to get pounded in bed. They love to be filled with masculine strength.

      I hope that you are intentionally overstating your case. Otherwise, this is a prescription for some painful and monotonous sex. It’s all about balance.

      J, I couldn’t agree more. Extremely physically active sex – pounding – is usually all about the guy’s pleasure. We do like to see that, but another word for that is jackhammer, and a little goes a long way. What keeps sex interesting for women is one time like that, another time slow with unbroken eye contact, another where she controls it on top, etc. Women want sexual variety with a favored male.

  • J

    @mjay

    Never underestimate the “calming hand on the genitals effect”.  It’s priceless.

    And it cures male “road rage” too!

  • J

    @david foster

     but I don’t think too many (sane) guys are looking for an LTR with someone who throws her drink at her boyfriend. Some guys might view a bitch as being an interesting challenge to get into bed, but I don’t think too many want to live with or marry one.

    Oh, I don’t know..I’ve seen it in real life.  See my post to Badger Nation about the enabler doctor.  I’d say that guys who like that sort of thing are similar in character and number to girls who enjoy alpha shenanigans. 

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

      @J
      Thanks, alpha shenanigans is an important new addition to the HUS glossary.

  • http://photoncourier.blogspot.com david foster

    J…but was she that bad when they were first getting together?…or did the bad behavior begin to manifest itself gradually over time and he just really didn’t know how to handle it?
    Also, while there are plenty of exceptions, doctors aren’t generally known for their emotional perceptiveness / emotional intelligence.  This guy may be one of the exceptions, since you cite his need to love & help others….but in general, I’d bet that people in professions with low average EQ tend to find it much harder to deal with bad spousal behavior than those who are in high-EQ professions. (Actually almost a tautology)

  • J

    @david

    …but was she that bad when they were first getting together?…or did the bad behavior begin to manifest itself gradually over time and he just really didn’t know how to handle it?

    I’ve heard from people who knew her as a teenager that she was very needy and attention-seeking even then.

    This guy may be one of the exceptions, since you cite his need to love & help others….

    He is actually the only doctor I know who doesn’t avoid giving advice outside the office.  Most don’t want to be bothered in social situatons, but he will actually approach people who appear to be having problems.

    in general, I’d bet that people in professions with low average EQ tend to find it much harder to deal with bad spousal behavior than those who are in high-EQ professions. (Actually almost a tautology)

    I’d bet that is the case.

  • J

    A few years back I read a great novel called The Red Tent by Anita Diamant. It told the story of Jacob, Leah and Rachel during the time when Jews were nomads and the women spent one week a month together in “the red tent.” They cycles were in perfect sync to make this possible.

    I too read that book and am among the few who didn’t like it.  I found it to be full of historical, anthropological and biological inaccuracies. 

    For starters, it’s highly unlikely that any group of women ever spent one week a month together in “the red tent” in any polygamous culture.  Monthly menstruation for married women is a modern phenomenon.  Most women got pregnant almost immediately after marriage, lactated for 2-4 years during which their menses were suppressed or irregular, weaned, and got pregnant again.  Rinse and repeat till menopause. 

    A typical married woman had a couple dozen periods over the course of a lifetime!  Those barren or single women who did menstruate regularly would not have influenced the cycles of others as each married women each had her own tent.  The husband moved from tent to tent; he didn’t live with his wives in one big tent.

    The research on synchronized periods comes from young, well-nourished college dorm dwellers who have regular periods.  Diamont was wrong to apply it to Bronze age nomads.  She was intentionally constructing a fable about a goddess-worshipping cadre of Jewish women who never existed in order to provide a fictional history or tradition for Jewish feminism.  If she wanted to write accurately about those women, she would have used the Bedouin as a model, not American co-eds.  Instead, like many manosphere bloggers, she cherry-picked her science to prove a point.

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

      @J

      Monthly menstruation for married women is a modern phenomenon. Most women got pregnant almost immediately after marriage, lactated for 2-4 years during which their menses were suppressed or irregular, weaned, and got pregnant again. Rinse and repeat till menopause.

      A typical married woman had a couple periods over the course of a lifetime!

      I had no idea – that is fascinating. I confess I willingly suspended disbelief to enjoy that book, and you’re not the first to say it’s grossly inaccurate. Neither did I realize it had a feminist agenda.

  • J

    @Timothy

    And then again, for 40 days after childbirth, similar abstinence.  Tremendously powerful for promoting bonding, of mother and child as well as husband/wife.

    It’s also roughly the same amount of  time (6 weeks) that a modern OB/GYN will tell a new mom to abstain from sex.  It takes that long to heal.

  • Hope

    Well Susan, I’d actually disagree. There are lots of women right now who would be happier staying at home being wives and mothers rather than working minimum wage for some low-skilled job. The kind of work that is creative, independent and intellectually stimulating is only a small portion of the overall job market.

    Unfortunately it now takes two incomes to begin to make ends meet, especially in the working class families that make close to minimum wage. There are women who work very hard every day as a cleaning ladies or nannies for richer families. Wouldn’t they rather be staying at home, cleaning their own homes and taking care of their own children instead? It’s not just immigrants who do this kind of work either. A lot of long-established American families are struggling right now.

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

      @Hope
      Sorry, I think you misunderstood me. As someone who spent 15 years as a full-time mom at home, I’m not knocking it. As you point out, it’s a luxury that more women would love to have. What I meant was that in the U.S. women have a choice. They are not the lesser sex. There are many cultures where women are still considered inferior to men, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that men often rave about those places as being good for finding foreign women. Southeast Asia and South America especially.

  • Badger Nation

    “I’ve been hearing this anti-American woman screed on this blog for months, and I think it’s BS. Yes, American women are entitled and narcissistic. So are women in other countires.
    .
    Now, if you want to talk about where to find a submissive female who will fetch your slippers”
     
    Oh for crying out loud. Every time somebody dares to suggest American women aren’t the be-all, end-all of wives, there has to be a response like this – “you just want a submissive woman to be your slave!” It’s like it’s programmed in before college. Fortunately it’s easy to see why: female SMP competition, the same reason girls call each other sluts to cut down the competitor’s value and, by extension, the man’s value.
     
    I have seen these US-foreign couples up close, both young and old. The characteristic profile actually tends to be that the woman is very assured and dignified, exercising considerable soft power (the “neck” of the family if you will) in a situation where she is by no means submitting to anybody.
     
    FTR, Susan, I’m not planning on pursuing a foreign woman so I am not in that category. As far why I think there are few good ones stateside, I’ve lived in four major cities and 80%+ of them have at least one if not multiple of the following traits:

    -Entitled (lecturing about men’s “responsibilities” and their material and pedestalization requirements for suitors)
    -Uninteresting (brain filled up with celebrity gossip and brand whoring instead of anything in the ballpark of constructive mental activity or intelligence)
    -Self-absorbed (uninterested in supporting a man’s passions and hobbies, or outright ridiculing them)
    -Clueless about where money and power (i.e. status) come from, and how to actually be happy (i.e. happiness is not 2.5 floors and a two-car garage with new Benzes)
    -Histrionic (cannot bear to be disagreed with or opposed in opinion)
    -Paranoid (hard to be friends with because they think every guy is trying to get into her pants)
    -Lack of reasonable attention to their bodies (stuffing their faces with heavy drinks and fast food)
    -Misandrist (presumptions of female superiority, stereotyping men as unemotional/incapable of love/defective women/uncommunicative/uncaring/easily manipulated/etc, but at the same time characterizing men with these traits as wimpy or gay)

     
    Now have I always checked all these boxes myself? Not at all times in my life, but then again I have never thought myself to be God’s gift to women. These don’t make them bad people per se, but it makes them poor relationship material and often unreliable friends.
     

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

      Every time somebody dares to suggest American women aren’t the be-all, end-all of wives, there has to be a response like this – “you just want a submissive woman to be your slave!”

      I don’t think any of us are looking to be proclaimed the be-all and end-all for marriage. I’m responding to men on this blog saying there are few good American women, American women have been destroyed by feminism, blah blah. That’s really just an echo of the Roissy/Roosh POV, and I assume that you can understand that it’s not my favorite refrain on a blog read by a lot of American women.
      .

      I have seen these US-foreign couples up close, both young and old.

      In what numbers? Did you see the NY Times story I linked to recently re American men marrying Thai women?
      http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/25/world/asia/25iht-thai.html?_r=1&pagewanted=1
      These guys sound more henpecked than any man I know.
      .
      As for your list of undesirable female traits, I agree, and I don’t doubt many American women are guilty as charged. My point is that so are many foreign women, provided their culture gives them the power to say boo.
      Finally, I would just mention that the 20% that is smart, and interesting, and fit, and cordial are unlikely to be found in the same places as the women you describe. Stay away from loud women who drink too much in bars or write obnoxious online profiles, and seek out women pursuing intellectual interests or bettering themselves in some other way. They may not have DDs on display, but they’re more likely to be relationship material.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t think it’s a coincidence that men often rave about those places as being good for finding foreign women. Southeast Asia and South America especially.

    .
    Correct.  It’s not “non-American” women.  It’s some South American countries, some Eastern European countries and some Southeast Asian countries.  You’re not finding a lot of men going to Africa because they don’t find those women as attractive.  Ditto with Scandinavian countries, as those women aren’t overly impressed by American men with a job.  It’s a simple equation where the relative “value” of a man is much higher there because of the lack of men or men with resources in those countries. 
    .
    It has very little to do with the actual women as the same (but opposite gender) phenomena can be seen with the relative worth of men in Alaska.  Or at any base in the Middle East, for that matter.
    .
    American women have financial resources and can be choosier about mates because of it.  Can they be as choosy as they think they can?  That remains to be seen.  But they certainly have more good options than a 19yo waitress in Phuket.
     

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

      @Anonymous
      That makes sense. Supply and demand, just like everything else!

  • Hope

    Ah okay Susan. Your previous post made it sound like you think women who want to be rewarded for being wives and mothers are wrong. I guess you were a bit ambiguous in your wording.

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

      @Hope
      I was ambiguous, sorry about that. I really welcome clarifications like yours because when they don’t occur I invariably find myself answering to someone weeks later who found some quote by me that isn’t what I meant to say at all! For the record, I believe that the most important thing I’ve ever done is birth my children, and the most important job I ever had was raising them. Not because they’re extraordinary or anything. It’s just what I think my life is about.

  • filrabat

    @Aldonza
    “We all talk about wanting “excitement” and “passion”, but the fact is, that comes at the cost of feelings of safety. ”
    You hit what’s practically the watershed of the problem, addiction to excitement.  Totally aside from romance, we as a society and (many, at least) individuals insist on having excitement. In fact, we’re addicted to it (google “addicted to excitement”) and you’ll see lots of entries.  Feelings of excitement, created by a surge of neurochemicals of all sorts, truly is addictive.  Right now, it’s at the point where we confuse it with true, sustainable happiness (which is characerized by a steady-minded, calm, emotionally neutral but not robotic feeling of simple contentment with one’s self).  Excitement? That’s like a really really good pizza: feels great to imbibe, but in the long run it’s unhealthy.  Naturally, this spills over into relationships, which creates unrealistic expectations (like expecting every day to like the first 5 minutes of the Year 2000 in Times Square).
     

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

      @filrabat
      I saw an article today comparing Western marriage to arranged marriages, and there was a graph for each. Can’t reproduce it here, but in the Western model, the couple expects bliss from start to finish. In the arranged marriage model, the happiness level is neutral at best to start, then gradually increases over time. The latter is more successful because the expectation for “bliss” in not there at all. It’s a lot to expect for more than a year or two, much less 25+.

  • Höllenhund

    “As recently as the late 1970s, the average Iranian woman had nearly seven children. Today, for reasons not well understood, she has just 1.74, far below the average 2.1 children needed to sustain a population over time.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Family_planning_in_Iran

  • My Name Is Jim

    Getting back to the title question, i think there is a simpler, more effective way to protect yourself from infidelity. Choose someone without a history of cheating and/or short term partners. Among the women I’ve dated, only one had such a history. She was the one I was most physically affectionate with. She was most comfortable with physical affection, so it was easier with her. Oh, and I’ve only had one woman ever cheat on me too. Gee, which one would that be. Yup. That one. She said she had changed, she was a good person now, we werent seeing anyone else. But she did.

    Women dont like it when guys indicate they dont want ex-hookup queens, they like to think it indicates some kind of hangup on his part. But it is for a reason. When you want a woman to stay with, choose one who’s wired that way. Ex hookup queens dont usually make the best wives, even if they like to cuddle

  • (r)Evolutionary

    Whoa… for a minute there, I thought I was reading Athol Kay’s blog… the tone, the writing style, and most definitely, the subject matter. Not a slam, the MarriedManSexLife blog is one of the better blogs out there, certainly one of the most balanced.
    Love that Vinnie Ignatius the Misadventurer was the numero uno poster.
    Keep up the great work, Susie.

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

      (r)Ev
      Haha, I was kind of disappointed Athol didn’t come here and weigh in on this post. I was most definitely channeling Athol when I wrote it. MMSL is definitely worth imitating. Re Vincent I, I am quite find of him – he’s a lovable rake. But yeah, definitely coming at relationships from a very different perspective.

  • (r)Evolutionary

    Er, I meant Vinnie was the first commenter. But you knew that. Vinnie’s blog is great too.. but way edgy compared to this one and Athol’s.

  • Anon-E-mous

    The either-or of “Alpha or Beta (and maybe Omega)” is an easy categorization, which may explain it’s popularity.  Problems arise when you try to bin 3.5 billion males into a binary system, and then try to get a majority to agree where that demarcation line between the groups exists.  One size (or two) may not fit all.
    .
    Others have tried a finer hash of the male species.  Vox Day took a stab at slicing the male tribe into seven parts rather than two or three:
    .
    http://voxday.blogspot.com/2010/01/roissy-and-limits-of-game.html.
    .
    I don’t know if I necessarily subscribe to either model, but if I had to choose, I suspect we’d be better able to describe the true shape of the curve that encompasses Males with a few more subdivisions than two.

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

      @Anon-E-mous
      Great Link! I’d missed it somehow – even though I am a fan of Vox Day’s. I think he has done an excellent job of breaking down the various ways of being male. He respects Roissy highly, but rightly points out that the binary system is simply designed to differentiate men who score from men who don’t score. For the purposes of this blog, that binary is meaningless. VD definitely offers some interesting alternatives.

  • Anon-E-mous

    Susan -
    Vox has a veritable library of great stuff to peruse.  It’s no surprise that you might miss one of two of his articles.  ;-)   Even if one doesn’t agree with all he has to say, he’s demonstrated himself to be incredibly insightful and incisive on many topics.  His stuff is well worth the effort read and digest.

  • My Name Is Jim

    How about we just can the classification of men into petty objectified classes of greek letters? I like people varied and interesting, women are more fun to date that way too. Now I remember what I disliked about dating. Well my wife doesnt call me beta or delts, so I’m just glad I dont have to care what little box single women want to throw me in anymore!

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

    @Anon-E-mous

    To be completely honest, I’m partial to Vox Day because he’s linked to me three times and sent me hundreds of readers….That’s actually how I discovered him, and now I am in awe of his intelligence.

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

    @My Name is Jim

    FWIW, I took a stab at this:

    http://www.hookingupsmart.com/2010/09/03/relationshipstrategies/is-social-dominance-a-prerequisite-for-female-attraction/

    It’s about male archetypes throughout history, and I find it a much more interesting way of looking at maleness. In truth, many of these are a mix of alpha and beta type traits. I’d be very happy to leave the Greek letters behind.

  • Anon-E-mous

    Jim -
    I’m no more a fan of “binning” individuals than you, but people in general (and scientists in particular) do it all the time.  It’s how we come to grips with understanding the world around us.  The problem arises when we assume the simple model we use to form an understanding of the larger reality actually represents reality to a large number of zeros to the right of the decimal point without evidence to back it up.  That’s when we start dehumanizing people in these types of discussions.
    .
    Apologies if you took my comments that way.  It certainly was not my intent.

  • nothingbutthetruth

    Classifying men between alpha and beta is not more simplifying than distinguishing between rich and poor people, big and small companies, religious people and secular guys, American and foreign girls, conservative and liberal people, blue and red states, shy and extroverted guys, hot and ugly chicks. Every person, every thing is complex and non-reductible to a name, but thinking is to reduce trends to name.
    .
    The Spanish philosopher Ortega y Gasset once said: “To simplify is to think”.
    .
    That is, if we don’t use categories and generalization, we cannot think. A generalizing sentence like “Alphas get more women” is only 80% true (this is the problem of categorization) but a non-generalizing sentence like “You cannot classify men when it comes to dating and you have to consider everybody as a single case” is only 20% true.
    .
    If we were not able to classify, categorize, simplify, 95% of posts of Hooking up smart could not have been written. So, Jim, I am not impressed.

  • My Name Is Jim

    Okay, so I dont have to be a beta anymore, but now I’m a professor or warrior instead. Though my profession is quite definitely not listed there at all. B-b-but I have to be one of those right? All men are, right? How would people ever understand me unless they knew I was an alpha-greater bera amyloid professor hunter? Funny how I never threw women into little bins like that, least of all my wife, yet I feel like I understand her just fine. I dont do it all the time. Oh well, maybe Ive said too much. I have to get up in the morning cause I work for a living, I have other things to think about. So what does that make me, an omega-3 fatty acid reflux un-charmer?

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

      @My Name is Jim
      Whoa, cool your jets. I wrote an identical post about female archetypes, fwiw. Archetypes have been part of legend since man started telling stories. They serve as characters in tales designed to teach us about morality and human nature. No one is telling you that you have to be one thing or another. It’s fine to say that you don’t fit into any easy classification. But NBTT is right – we must classify to bring order to chaos. We can’t even discuss mating behaviors without the most basic classification of genders, and it obviously gets more complicated from there.

  • nothingbutthetruth

    I’m responding to men on this blog saying there are few good American women, American women have been destroyed by feminism, blah blah. That’s really just an echo of the Roissy/Roosh POV,
    .
    Well, it is not an echo of Roissy POV. It is only the truth. The goal of feminism was to poison the relationship between sexes by making women worse partners than their foremothers (or foreign women). Women bought it and this is why the relationships in America are so hard.
    .
    and I assume that you can understand that it’s not my favorite refrain on a blog read by a lot of American women.
    I don’t agree that a blog read by American women is not the place to say that. I think the dissenting voices are the most interesting in a blog. Even if I am wrong, you can give me arguments to prove that I am wrong so your point of view is strengthened. And, if I am right, the ugly truth is better than the beautiful lie.
    .
    Without dissenting voices, a blog becomes an echo chamber. Everybody gets reinforced in their views. There is no learning and I guess that women come here to learn how to “hook up smart”.

    .
    (Of course, American women can reply that American men are worse than their European counterparts -for example-, that men are male chauvinists or Peter Pan, that only want submissive wives (maybe there is some grain of truth in this). They can say that I am a 55 y.o. obese man with small dick  that only want to have foreign prostitutes because I feel threatened by a Strong Independent American woman (TM). This is the beauty of free expression. I don’t feel threatened by that).

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

      The goal of feminism was to poison the relationship between sexes by making women worse partners than their foremothers (or foreign women). Women bought it and this is why the relationships in America are so hard.

      It is not possible to make sweeping generalizations and remain accurate. Classification is appropriate here too. A specific woman’s experience of feminism as she grows up in the U.S. is profoundly influenced by her parents, other authority figures, her community, etc. It’s true that women may have more opportunities in the U.S., but whether that makes them worse partners is debatable.

      I think the dissenting voices are the most interesting in a blog. Even if I am wrong, you can give me arguments to prove that I am wrong so your point of view is strengthened. And, if I am right, the ugly truth is better than the beautiful lie.

      I agree that dissent is good for a blog – in fact, it’s the lifeblood of a blog in some ways. We can and do debate these issues. However, neither of us gets to claim to be the sole purveyor of absolute truth. As for how American women feel about foreign men, few have the personal knowledge to weigh in on the matter. Those who have studied abroad may have an opinion on Italian men in Florence, for example, but I’ve never heard a woman here criticize men according to their nationality at all.

  • nothingbutthetruth

    There is no country in the world that doesn’t show every hit Hollywood romantic comedy. In addition, feminism thrives in western countries. Many countries are more egalitarian than the U.S. The notion that women in Latvia, or Sweden, or Spain haven’t been influenced by these forces is ludicrous.
    .
    Well, Susan, I happen to be Spanish (from Spain not from Latin American) so believe me when I say that I know what I am talking about (and I bet you know far less about Spain than me). Yes, Hollywood movies are very popular in Spain. The difference is that Spanish women see Hollywood movies as fantasies not as a blueprints about how to have a relationship. Believe me, I know Spanish women: my two sisters, my mother, my female cousins, my niece and most of my female friends are in this category.  When I explained the romantic fantasies of American women in my blog (for my family and friends), Spanish women didn’t understand how grown-up women could believe that.
    .
    Yes, American women are entitled and narcissistic. So are women in other countires.
    .
    False. Most women in the world are not entitled or narcissistic. Many American women are not so either.
    .
    Now, if you want to talk about where to find a submissive female who will fetch your slippers, you’re talking about macho or chauvinistic societies where women are still rewarded (and restricted) for making homes and babies. By all means, go find one, and don’t let the door hit you on the way out. American women were never happy with that. America is a country that rewards initiative, individualism and determination, and has been from the start. Geisha culture could never have thrived here. But you can still find it if that is what you want. That is your preference. There’s no need to make categorical statements about all of us.
    .
    Well, Susan, you make a lot of wrong categorical statements in the previous paragrah about foreign women, statements that they can be labelled as racist (and the worse strand of feminism). Believe or not, foreign women are not submissive slaves, machines to make babies, slippers slaves or geishas (that is, glorified prostitutes). American women don’t have the monopoly about initiative, individualism and determination (I just dined with a woman who is the CIO of a Bank here, for example). I guess you are saying this in a moment of anger and you don’t mean it, because you have said you are not feminist and I don’t think you are racist.
    .
    I guess Susan will forbid me after this post (in fact, I only write it for her, because I know that she is usually an open-minded woman). It is sad that a woman who I admired and thought she was reasonable ends up writing a paragraph that seems written by Amanda Marcotte or Jessica Valenti.

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

      @NBTT
      Surely you can understand why an American woman would question the qualifications of a Spaniard to weigh in on what terrible partners we make! Where does your expertise come from? I trust your representation of Spanish women – and I’m curious, in fact, to know how they distinguish fantasy in the media from reality. It really is something that American women fail to do. Is it because these are “foreign flims?” I would agree that many European films about relationships are grittier, more realistic, but there are plenty of happy endings there too.
      .
      I did not say anything racist, though I did criticize certain cultures as affording women very limited opportunities. I didn’t say that all foreign women are submissive slaves or baby machines, but even if I had, it’s a reflection of the role of women within a particular culture, not the women themselves. I can criticize the restriction of women in Iran, for example, without being a racist.
      .
      I do not espouse a feminist view, though I don’t long for the 1950s either, and I don’t want my bottom pinched at the office. I’m grateful to have lived in a society where I was able to succeed according to my abilities – in other words, a meritocracy. That is not feminism – it doesn’t make women superior or grant special privileges. If you were under the impression that like many in the manosphere I would like to take the vote away from women, you are mistaken.
      .
      I’m sorry that you find me unreasonable. I will certainly not ban you and hope you will continue to comment here.

  • Mike

    I can’t speak to American women VERSUS foreign women because frankly my dating sample size isn’t large enough to make a comparison.  I never dated a single foreign woman. I only know what I’ve read and/or heard.
    I know there are quality American women, because I found one.  Two parents, stable home, parents still married, didn’t meet in a bar and we shared common interests of working out and clean living.
    That said, I can’ t help but think there is a sizable contingent of women that are essentially worthless for LTRs/marriages because their attitudes are so fucked up.  They are a group that believes they are the center of the universe.  This article is a perfect example:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/12/AR2010101202523.html
    “I have to have a guy who cooks,” Jenna said bluntly, “because I can’t.”
    For me, a guy has to at least know of ‘The Daily Show’ and ‘The Colbert Report.’ If they don’t, well, they’re really out of it.” — Jenna
    The check shouldn’t even hit the table if you’re out to dinner — he should grab it out of the waitress’s hand.
    Not only should they pay, but if you meet them somewhere, they should be there first — and ready.
    These young women have a well-honed concept of gender equality, yet they still want a man to step up in a traditional way.
    .
    Almost surreal the princess mentality that is literally dripping from their words, and what drives the sort of stereotype of the “typical American woman”. These are the kinds you run asshole game on hard.
    These two are pump and dump material, not marriage material.

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

      @Mike
      OMG, that article is unbelievable. Did you click on the link? The author wrote it in 1982, and it’s basically an endorsement of ruling people out for whatever arbitrary reason you like. Here’s the conclusion:

      Scientific Proof

      In 1976, the University of Pittsburgh marriage counseling center conducted a study of 131 couples to determine, among other things, what initially attracted the spouses-to-be to each other.

      The results showed that those who had checked off such things as “the relationship was never dull; physically attractive, beautiful or handsome; sexually exciting; romantic; and life of the party,” were still happily married.

      Couples who married on the basis of such things as “intellectually challenging; dependable; maturity; financial security; and common interests,” were seeking marriage counseling.

      “Not very many things surprised us about that survey, but that those results was surely one of them,” said Dr. Ellen Frank. “The people who selected the more romantic, as opposed to cerebral, reasons for marrying were happier by far. Personally, those results influenced the way I counsel now. These tests really can’t be ignored.”

      It’s very interesting to read this 28 years later. I can’t help but wonder what Mr. Holmes is like. He married a woman like this, then raised two daughters just like her. The mother closes with this:

      These young women have a well-honed concept of gender equality, yet they still want a man to step up in a traditional way.

      That’s the problem, right there.

  • J

    @Anon-E-mous

    I like the Vox Day schema a lot better than the Alpha/Beta/Gamma schema.  I think it’s more descriptive.  Personally, I’ve gotten some real help in understanding  my both husband and younger son since reading VD’s descriptions of Sigmas and how their characteristics dovetail with those of INTPs. 

  • J
  • J

    J:  also felt sorry for him as she never seems to reciprocate, even in the most basic ways. For example, he always seems hungry.
    SW:  WHAT??!! It’s obvious she does not respect her husband, including his most basic physical needs. I wonder how many times a year they have sex.

    J:  If he’s lucky, none.  (I know that’s mean, but she is also rather unattractive and demanding.)

  • J

    SW:  What keeps sex interesting for women is one time like that, another time slow with unbroken eye contact, another where she controls it on top, etc. Women want sexual variety with a favored male.

    J:  Absolutely!
    SW: Thanks, alpha shenanigans is an important new addition to the HUS glossary.

    J:  Any time! 

    SW: As someone who spent 15 years as a full-time mom at home, I’m not knocking it. As you point out, it’s a luxury that more women would love to have.

    J: I took some time off too, then went back to work part-time once the kids were both in school.  Being home with them was the best!  Before, I had kids,  I’d have never guessed how much fun and how rewarding it be to stay home with them.  I really treasure those years now.

  • ExNewYorker

    I like the Vox Day schema a lot better than the Alpha/Beta/Gamma schema.  I think it’s more descriptive.
    It might be more descriptive, but at the cost of additional complexity that adds little additional explanation to the larger phenomena in question.  And the additional complexity just adds more room to navel gaze and self-delude…as can be seen by the large number of self-described “sigmas” that showed up to comment.   I think this is the case where the simpler schema gets it 80% right.  That’s pretty damn good for a first order guesstimate.
    .
    But if each of us is a special snowflake, of course we want a more complicated schema…

  • http://Ft.com VJ

     
    Susan said “Danish women are some of the happiest in the world, because they have the lowest expectations in the world”.

    And hence seemingly are the most intelligent too! .Susan further notes: “I’ve been hearing this anti-American woman screed on this blog for months, and I think it’s BS. Yes, American women are entitled and narcissistic. So are women in other countries”.
    Other Rich Western Countries that is!
    .Moreover, “Now, if you want to talk about where to find a submissive female who will fetch your slippers, you’re talking about macho or chauvinistic societies where women are still rewarded (and restricted) for making homes and babies. By all means, go find one, and don’t let the door hit you on the way out. American women were never happy with that. America is a country that rewards initiative, individualism and determination, and has been from the start. Geisha culture could never have thrived here. But you can still find it if that is what you want. That isyour preference. There’s no need to make categorical statements about all of us”.
    I dunno. I bet some might recall this, though it’s been seemingly stricken from the C&W ‘oldies’ playlists for perhaps most of your lives, it was real popular once!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9wO_6wMRS7A
     
    There really is a mate for each felt desire, need & want. Just make doubly certain that this is what you want. Women want to be Led? Sure. How much? Do you want to be issuing orders on how to boil rice a few 100 times a season? (Or similar requirements)? Do you really want someone with the understanding of a child &  supervision requirements of same? That does get old fast. So there’s got to be some semblance of balance, right? Negotiating that balance is the provence of every adult seeking an adult relationship. With peers, colleagues or mates etc. Even foreign ones.
     
    So there’s no shortcuts here either. The foreign route might get you a few years of relative seemingly peace while they bide their time and look for an escape route. Which is what you were most likely. A way out. They might be and remain supremely grateful for this advantage & favor  afforded them. They might still be gone in ~5-7 years like everyone else too.
     
    Just some thoughts. I heard the tune in my head while reading the protestations too… Cheers, ‘VJ’

  • J

    @ENY

    Wow, you sound really invested in the alpha/beta schema..or really against complexity.  Even over at CR, people find the alpha/beta categories limiting.  That’s why you see sub-categories like lesser alpha, greater beta,  alpha-leader of men vs. alpha-attractor of women. 

    As to being a “special snowflake,”  I had an “aha” moment when I first read the sigma description that the alpha/beta categories just don’t give me.  I’ve been able to use that knowledge in ways that have made both the husband and me happier, so it’s all good.

  • J

    @VJ

    So there’s no shortcuts here either. The foreign route might get you a few years of relative seemingly peace while they bide their time and look for an escape route. Which is what you were most likely. A way out. They might be and remain supremely grateful for this advantage & favor  afforded them. They might still be gone in ~5-7 years like everyone else too.

    I think that really is the case.  There are few men here who think that IMBRA is some sortof feminist conspiracy but it was motivated by the abuse/murder of two Russian women who were killed by their American husbands, both men with previous histories of violence who went ballistic when they realized that they indeed were taken advantage of as a “way out.”

    From Wikipedia:  “The impetus for its introduction was several high-profile cases (including the Susanna Blackwell case in 1995 and the Anastasia King case in 2000) in which foreign women had been abused and eventually murdered by the men who had used international marriage brokers to bring them to the United States.”

  • Pingback: Tweets that mention The Best Insurance Against Infidelity | Hooking Up Smart -- Topsy.com

  • Badger Nation

    Mike has written most of what I would have had I the time last night, but this was a cheap shot by Susan, who appears to have lost her rational side when discussing the rotting urban American social situation:
     
    “They may not have DDs on display, but they’re more likely to be relationship material.”
     
    It’s an unfortunately typical assumption to men who have trouble finding good women – “you’re just looking for hot babes and ignoring plain janes!” – and I know you are better than that. This is not the case for most men who are serious about finding a mate, including me, so I don’t appreciate being slandered as superficial. Although I’m sure you hear plenty of “dude why are these hot chicks so crazy” from your typical playboy wannabe.
     
    (In a paradox noted by Tom Leykis and others, homely women seem to have better self-esteem than hot girls. Probably they are more inured to the withdrawal of male attention and have had to make it on other merits. This is neither good nor bad, but in urban America it seems to induce a female beta-bitterness that produces massive settling anxiety and Sweeping Rejection Syndrome. My point being that plain Janes are hardly “easier” for relationships and in some cases seem to have even higher standards.)
     
    Susan, I know you counsel young American women, and plenty of them are good-hearted and want a solution to the dating problem. But I would advise you to remember there are two sides to every story. For every person who says they are being assertive, someone thinks they’re being a jerk, for every guy who says he is leading, someone will think he’s arrogant, etc etc. And for every dating choice or behavior there are a dozen ways to view it from the outside that are wrong. This confirmation bias is especially common when it comes to men dating foreign (or Asian) women – Shakespeare was right, and a woman scorned will deliver an unimaginable calumny on the woman a man chose instead of her. (Whereas men, generally speaking, have been taught to accept losing as a part of competition, and will give a new man grudging respect.)
     

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

      @Badger
      Yeah, that was a cheap shot, sorry. I think part of the problem is that while there are two sides to every story, they’re not equally represented here often. That’s my responsibility, as I need to figure out a way to get more women commenting, especially the ones who are most affected by these dynamics. Several young women have expressed that the “expatriate to find a worthy woman” argument has become tedious, and I agree. I think it’s because it’s a dead end – we American women are not in a position to say whether foreign women make good wives or not. We’d like to think we would make good wives! So it really does get quite frustrating when men repeatedly make the claim and it’s “you’ll just have to trust me on this.” The recent article about American men moving to Thailand painted a very different picture than the one presented here by various American men.
      .
      I will never refuse to condemn entitled or narcissistic behavior, and it is often displayed by American women. I don’t dispute that. I also see and know American women behaving in ways that will make their future husbands very fortunate. In any case, the free market will prevail. A very small percentage of men will expatriate to wed, some will stay here and refuse to marry, some will marry well, and others not so well. Expatriation is one strategy, but it’s just silly to claim that the only rational choice an American male can make is between expatriating and remaining single.

  • The Deuce

    @Mike:

    These young women have a well-honed concept of gender equality, yet they still want a man to step up in a traditional way.

    Which is another way of saying that feminism has been all about women trying to get all male privileges for themselves, but none of the associated responsibilities, and without sharing any female privileges in the process.

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

      @The Deuce
      I think it goes even farther than that – these women want to compete with men in the workplace, no holds barred, but to be treated with chivalry when socializing. It automatically puts men in a one-down position. It’s the opposite of equality, unless they’re willing to state up front that they can’t wait to cook and clean for a man.

  • Badger Nation

    “OMG, that article is unbelievable. Did you click on the link? The author wrote it in 1982, and it’s basically an endorsement of ruling people out for whatever arbitrary reason you like…it’s very interesting to read this 28 years later. I can’t help but wonder what Mr. Holmes is like. He married a woman like this, then raised two daughters just like her.”
     
    Like most female-oriented dating columns, it enraged and disappointed me. My two problems with the story were (1) she interviewed her daughters and no men of the same age, and (2) the “dealbreakers” they said weren’t that bad, it was the bitchy, unforgiving way they phrased them. One of them wants a guy who reads a lot. OK, so she slams a former beau who watched golf, as it’s “the most boring sport in the world.” Here’s a tip – reading is great but a lot of literature is boring as hell too. Why can’t he have his relaxing hobbies? Methinks she might be more interested in the idea of a reader than what he reads. (I knew of a guy who put lit on his shelves strictly for the image.)
     
    The jump-through-hoops demands about going on dates (gotta show up early, she demands to be paid for, etc etc) stand on their own without further comment, and are a major reason guys who want to get out of the hookup culture are loath to re-start the “traditional” dating process.
     
    The guy who shamed a girl because she didn’t know a word definition committed an insulting move so I don’t have any problem with docking him for that.
     
    Marc Rudov calls the equal at day, unequal at night demand straight up “nonsense.” To paraphrase Barack, it’s something a false choice…you don’t have to be entirely SAHM or career feminist – women have been splitting the difference for generations and many have done just fine. But it’s borderline hypocrisy to tell a man “you have to treat me as an equal, unless I want to be treated as a subordinate, in which case you have to do all this pampering which presumes I’m higher value than you, and if you don’t I’ll shame you as not a real man.” Not to mention it promotes cognitive dissonance and pretty lies that make the dating world nonsensical.
     

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

    @Badger

    I agree, the tone was offensive. It’s fine to observe that a guy doesn’t own any books, but if you’re reading nothing but chick lit, you’re no scholar yourself. Requiring a guy to be a good cook as a prerequisite? Fine, but then be happy with bachelor food – don’t expect a guy to whip up quinoa pilaf and planked salmon. There’s an air of entitlement, and something tells me these women are not exactly perfect themselves. Just looking at the photo, it’s clear they live in a large, brick house in the DC area, and they’re texting while sitting at a beautiful teak table. They’re super privileged, and they won’t settle for anything less in a guy.

  • (r)Evolutionary

    Susan,
    Great reply to Badger  You’re right, they’re privileged to a fault in their expectations of men. This is the trouble with hypergamy; when a woman’s socioeconomic status is already at the top of the heap, and her hypergamous instinct drives her to mate or marry up, the pool of men eligible for such treatment contracts to a tiny fraction of men; and precisely because the men who do meet the criteria for wealth, status & power, these men have a wide and deep pool of women to choose from. This is a recipe for disaster, because it’s a cruel  mismatch of reality versus fantasy. However the cruelty is self-inflicted; it’s caused by a lack of awareness of the realities of the dating market, and an ego-driven hyperinflation of their own market value. This is the essence of ignorance becoming karma. I’ve seen numerous women from upper middle-class and wealthy families in this position reject man after man because they don’t meet their hypergamous need for the ‘gina tingle generated by a higher status man (higher than hers) ; while they may get into relationship with a guy for a while, they ultimately leave from lack of thrill, and end up mid-thirties, or beyond, and single, wondering where all the good guys went.

  • dbj

    Let me try to approach the foreign vs. western woman debate in as nonjudgmental way as possible, with the hope of spurring honest conversation.  I don’t think women in general, and American women in particular, want to understand this, but it will become more pressing as demographic changes in other countries, and hopefully some economic reform in the U.S., will lead to greater numbers of skilled foreign women entering the American work force.  Generally speaking, the one quality most valued by any man seeking a LTR with a woman is sexual loyalty.  While some may prioritize LTR qualities a little more idiosyncratically, I would argue that this general proposition holds true in most cases.  Very few men want to marry a woman who is not sexually loyal.  It is interesting that the foreign vs. homegrown debate arises in the context of bonding, because I think this is at the root of the problem with marriagability in the West.  I like to think of it in equation form:  Family Breakup + Early First Instance of Sexual Intercourse + Long Periods of Casual Sex = Impaired Female Pair Bonding.  When you combine impaired female pair bonding with female sexual autonomy, as we have in the West, you have a witch’s brew of issues that make marriage unpalatable to many men.  Some of these issues are the results of choices we made as a society, and some result from simple geographic factors.  Women leave their home to go to college.  Before that time, however, most American women live at home, often without a stable two-parent family enforcing female chastity.   In contrast, many educated women in China, for instance, go to boarding schools from elementary through college.  Some live at home until they are married.  In either case, adults and fellow students enforce a code of female chastity, though that is weakening even in China.  This is mere continuation of family life, as almost all women in the marriagable-age cohort in the Far East and Latin America were raised in two-parent families with a strong male presence.  Because of these cultural and social dynamics, women in the Far East at least have sex at a later age than in the West, and may even appear to us as sexually immature.  In addition, there is a definite “shelf-life” when it comes to marriage in non-Western societies.  Thus,  women don’t go through extended periods where neither partner is seeking sex without commitment.  In China, it is commonly accepted that marriage goes through its greatest strain when the man is doing well financially.  That is because middle-age men tend to take mistresses as soon as they are financially able to.  There are whole cities of mistresses in China.  In the West, marriage comes under its greatest strain when the man is not doing well financially.  It is at this time that a woman is more likely to exercise her sexual autonomy and end the marriage as part of her general trend towards hypergamy.  Both instances speak to which sex has the relative sexual autonomy in their respective societies.   A women in the marriagable age cohort that comes to the U.S. from a non-Western society  to work or study will still tend to have that code of chastity imprinted on her, even though she is educated, strong-will, independent, and culturally aware.  This is not always the case, as J and others point out, but based on averages, I would strongly argue that it is the general case.  Now, we can talk about how to choose the right person for a LTR in a period of rampant casual sex, and this is the point, as I see it, of this blog.  But this does not solve the problem, because society must of necessity have certain rules that limit autonomy.  You don’t want a Dickensonian future of penniless children running the streets.  However, the nub of the issue in every society is which sex will bear the brunt of these limitations on autonomy.  Right now, marriage is deemed egalitarian in the West, though I would argue that it is in fact more akin to Matriarchy.  Contrary to common opinion, matriarchies are filled with sexual tension as women seek investment in an environment where men are disincentivized to provide such investment.  Go to Africa, the ex-slave colonies in the Caribbean, and most of America and you’ll see this is obvious.

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

      @DBJ
      I agree with r(Ev) – great commentary, and that equation is right on.

  • Chili

    “I think part of the problem is that while there are two sides to every story, they’re not equally represented here often. That’s my responsibility, as I need to figure out a way to get more women commenting, especially the ones who are most affected by these dynamics. Several young women have expressed that the “expatriate to find a worthy woman” argument has become tedious, and I agree. I think it’s because it’s a dead end – we American women are not in a position to say whether foreign women make good wives or not.”
     
    You hit on something here. The problem isn’t whether these kinds of comments are true or not, its the pov they grow out of. Criticism versus critique. When someone says something like “American women are worthless and ruined by feminism,” I feel as though my only options are to agree that my gender is hopeless or to fight fire with fire with every feminist trick in the book. That’s just not good for discussion…maybe if there was more cooperation/understanding between the sexes…I don’t know how to make that happen.

  • J

    Hi Badger,

    It’s an unfortunately typical assumption to men who have trouble finding good women – “you’re just looking for hot babes and ignoring plain janes!”…This is not the case for most men who are serious about finding a mate, including me, so I don’t appreciate being slandered as superficial.

    Yet, when I suggested on CR that perhaps some of the less physically attractive men should look for women more “in their league”  and mentioned that  in most marriages, both spouses are roughly of equal attractiveness, I was called a  raging feminist and (Heavens!) a hater of game.   A few men simply said, “I can’t get a chub for less than a (insert HB number here), so no chub, no relationship.”  I was also assured that whatever it was I mistakenly thought I had to offer my husband of over 20 years, he really only ever loved me for looks, which are fading anyway now. 

    Can you understand why a woman might make the “typical assumption” you feel (justifiably) slandered by?  Your confreres have assured us gals that deep down inside you are all stupid pricks, evidence to the contrary not withstanding.

    In a paradox noted by Tom Leykis and others, homely women seem to have better self-esteem than hot girls. Probably they are more inured to the withdrawal of male attention and have had to make it on other merits.

    In part it’s the healthy decision to base one’s self-esteem on something other than looks, but some of it’s just bravado.  OTOH, girls whose self-esteem is based only on looks know that their looks will eventually fade.  On yet another hand, a nice – looking older woman can say to herself, “Damn, I look good for 40!”  I personally like myself better at 50+  than I did at 30.  I didn’t expect to, but I do.  I’m less worried about small flaws and more appreciative of/grateful for what I still have going for me.  And I find men do respond positively to that attitude.

    There’s male corallary to this, BTW.  How many posters at CR revel in saying, “I’m ugly but I still score?”  Or check out some of the pix posted by the regulars at CR.  There are a number of  self-proclaimed alphas whom I would not touch with a ten foot pole, but who see themselves as handsome.  I assume that women who find them attractive like their confidence (or in a few cases, their cash ;-) ).

  • (r)Evolutionary

    DBJ–epic comment, succinct and lucid extrapolation of US v. Asia in the gender wars.
    Chili–<blockquote cite=”"> “I feel as though my only options are to agree that my gender is hopeless or to fight fire with fire with every feminist trick in the book. That’s just not good for discussion…maybe if there was more cooperation/understanding between the sexes…I don’t know how to make that happen.”
    My sense is that for women & men to learn to cooperate, it’s on women. The men are already here talking, discussing in the manosphere, figuring out how to be better men (in the way that men want to be men, not necessarily as women want them to be).   A woman reading  Susan’s work is a good start, but what really needs to happen is that women need to get their heads together and figure out how to be empowered, modern women AND be feminine and supportive of, not competitive with their man, in essence reigning in the hypergamous instinct.
    DBJ’s comment contains some instructive material: <blockquote cite=”"> ” In China, it is commonly accepted that marriage goes through its greatest strain when the man is doing well financially.  That is because middle-age men tend to take mistresses as soon as they are financially able to.  There are whole cities of mistresses in China.  In the West, marriage comes under its greatest strain when the man is not doing well financially.  It is at this time that a woman is more likely to exercise her sexual autonomy and end the marriage as part of her general trend towards hypergamy. ”
    The <i>Eat, Pray, Love </i> sollipsism shows the degree to which women are disconnected from the basic human drives that create the sexual tension & dating marketplace.  Modern American women will drop their husbands for greener pastures instead of sticking by her man, through thick & thin. In essence, it’s a lack of integrity, it’s the disposability of marriage vows and their total lack of meaning that separates Marriage 1.0 from Marriage 2.o.
    Another perhaps fruitful discussion would be the rise of “girl game,” in the style of MarriedManSexLife, versus that of Roissy. We already have a few writers like Arden Leigh who are writing female seduction articles, but she’s not far from a female Citizen Renegade, writing about  husband stealing, doing workshops on boyfriend snatching, etc.  There is enough ruthlessness in game already. We need more heart, especially on the female side. Who, besides Susan, is the female Athol Kay?
     

  • Clarence

    r(Evolutionary) :
    Why do we need more than one “female Athol Kay”?
    Isn’t one enough provided she is as insightful as Susan is?

  • Clarence

    Susan:
    In regards to the Washington Post article:
    Since women -whether via ignorance, apathy, or selfishness- refuse to make a push for marital reforms , one must wonder constantly what they bring to the table. The young ladies in that article, to put it bluntly, do not represent well. Ironically, it’s possible Karen Owens has a more respectful attitude towards men in general, though of course its impossible to know. We know them for their abhorrent dating views, we know her for abhorrent sexual behaviors.
    Those young ladies might appeal to the Female Supremacist set or a very conservative “traditional” young man, but to no one else.

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

      @Clarence

      Since women -whether via ignorance, apathy, or selfishness- refuse to make a push for marital reforms , one must wonder constantly what they bring to the table.

      I think all three come into play, but the greatest of these is apathy. I don’t think it’s realistic to expect women to lobby for marital reform – we’re all creatures of self-interest, in the end.

  • J

    @SW

    I will never refuse to condemn entitled or narcissistic behavior, and it is often displayed by American women.

     I’ll go you one better.  A sizeable majority of all Americans under 40 are ridiculously entitled and unbearably narcissistic. 

    </crankiness>  I’ll go knit by the fire now. ;-) 

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

      @J
      In the increasing pile of evidence that we are twins tragically separated at birth, I needlepoint by the fire. Not knitting, but close enough.

  • (r)Evolutionary

    Clarence,
    No.  Susan is amazing, but she is  one voice. Many perspectives are needed to create a cogent movement.
    Look at the manosphere, in addition to Athol, there’s Entropy, the Solomon Group, Ulysses (Hidden Leaves), VK, Obsidian, Vinnie Ignatius, Ferdinand Bardamu (InMalaFide), Roissy, Dalrock, Deansdale, Assanova, and sooo many more, many, I’m sure, that I’m not aware of, though I think I’ve listed some of the better, more insightful ones. On the female side, we have Susan, Grerp (Self-Preservation for Women), Aunt Halley, Girl Game, Arden Leigh and a few others. But it’s not nearly such a momentous movement as the manosphere. Heh.
    More to the point, neither discussion is very public. There’s little of this talk in the mainstream media, besides some triteness on VH1.  Men who think this way are viewed as misogynists (some are, bluntly), and women who think this way are viewed as regressive. Yet we need a larger scale, broader, and more public discussion if this is to go anywhere promising.
    As much as I enjoy reading & commenting in these spheres, life is pushing me to just do what I can do (game with integrity and authenticity) and let the chips fall as they may.

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

      @(r)Evolutionary

      life is pushing me to just do what I can do (game with integrity and authenticity) and let the chips fall as they may.

      You’re a good man, and I wish you the best. A woman will be lucky to get you.

  • J

    @dbj

    Very few men want to marry a woman who is not sexually loyal. 

    Easy to understand, but despite your well-written and well-reasoned argument, I’m not convinced that foreign brides are more loyal than Americans.  The motive for many of these women to come to America is to seek a better life.  A woman who will cross an ocean in order to find a man who can provide that strikes me as more hypergamous than average, not less.   While I won’t discount the existence of cross-cultural love, I’ve seen a number of marriages of my male cousins to women from the “old country where women are still women” blow up when the wife left for someone richer, younger, etc.
     

  • Aldonza

    These two are pump and dump material, not marriage material.

    The two girls in the Washington Post article are at the *height* of their value in the SMP and they’re acting like it.   They’re young, pretty, not overweight, high-socioeconomic status, reasonably intelligent and…oh yeah…young.  These girls have so many dating options that they almost *need* to differentiate among dates based on arbitrary criteria because it’s impossible to get into deeper criteria with everyone they meet.
    .
    Simple fact: if a person is higher than you in SMP value, they’re probably going to act like it.  Poor women from other countries act sweet and submissive because they know they have lower value on the local SMP.  An average guy dating a beautiful, younger woman will have to fight his natural instincts to placate her with meals and gifts.   A young, hot, co-ed who has guys hitting on her day and night is going to act like a princess to most of them…because she can.  Put that same hot, young co-ed in a room alone with a handsome, professional athlete and she’s suddenly as sweet as pie.  Age that hot co-ed 20 years and slap 40 pounds on her ass, and she also will be much sweeter to a lot of the guys she treated like crap before.

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

      These girls have so many dating options that they almost *need* to differentiate among dates based on arbitrary criteria because it’s impossible to get into deeper criteria with everyone they meet.

      I’m not so sure. The sophomore at GW probably has hookup options, but if she’s got a guy willing to fetch for her he’s got to be a wuss. Also, I don’t think she’s very attractive at all. The older one is far prettier, IMO.
      .
      There are many women who display an attitude commensurate with what they think they deserve, even if it bears no resemblance to reality.

  • Aldonza

    I’m not convinced that foreign brides are more loyal than Americans.

    .
    Nor am I.  Further, I think their loyalty only extends as far as the level of support provided to them and their (sometimes very extended) families.  They look at the husband transaction as a simple financial trade of sexual resources for financial.  I doubt so many of them would stay loyal if they thought they had a real shot at trading up.  I’d say the most successful of those marriages were where the husband moves to the local country, thereby limiting her hypergamy options.  The least successful would be if they moved back to the US, she started working, and/or he foundered on his financial obligations as she saw them.

  • J

    @Badger

    2) the “dealbreakers” they said weren’t that bad, it was the bitchy, unforgiving way they phrased them. One of them wants a guy who reads a lot. OK, so she slams a former beau who watched golf, as it’s “the most boring sport in the world.”

    No, that actually is a really stupid dealbreaker.  Golf is in fact “the most boring sport in the world.”  I know this because my DH watches it incessantly.  OTOH, I am addicted to SVU reruns which he hates for reasons that I can’t understand.  Somehow, we’ve managed t0 adjust.
     
    The jump-through-hoops demands about going on dates (gotta show up early, she demands to be paid for, etc etc) stand on their own without further comment, and are a major reason guys who want to get out of the hookup culture are loath to re-start the “traditional” dating process.

    Actually, the “traditional” dating process involved some reciprocity.  The guy paid for dates to show his ability as a future provider; the girl made dinners, picnic lunches and assorted goodies or sewed buttons on suit jackets, etc. to show her abilities. 

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

      @VJ
      From your second link:

      Marrying, dating, or becoming emotionally and/or sexually involved with foreigners is one the few open avenues to social and economic betterment for middle and lower class Thai women.
      Thai women have a long tradition of finding happiness and improved lifestyles through marrying, dating, and having consensual and, sometimes, commercial sex with foreigners.
      They have an equally long and parallel tradition of combining sex and the weak Thai legal system to scam money from foreign men.

      It seems that Thai women who marry foreign men expect a significant ROI – they’re not responding to “game” or a guy’s natural charms. They’re in it for the dollars.
      I must say, you have an uncanny ability to find relevant links – not only that, but they’re usually only a day or two old. I don’t know how you do it!

  • Chili

    “My sense is that for women & men to learn to cooperate, it’s on women. The men are already here talking, discussing in the manosphere, figuring out how to be better men (in the way that men want to be men, not necessarily as women want them to be).   A woman reading  Susan’s work is a good start, but what really needs to happen is that women need to get their heads together and figure out how to be empowered, modern women AND be feminine and supportive of, not competitive with their man, in essence reigning in the hypergamous instinct.”
     
    You obviously missed my point because this is exactly the kind of NONCOOPERATION that I mean. Men are bitching together in the manosphere, women are bitching together in women’s studies. A whole lotta bithcing, a whole lotta nothing.

  • Clarence

    Chili:
    Women aren’t just “bitching” in women’s studies.
    They are actively fucking things up by refusing to remember there are two sides to every story and two sexes instead of one. So while they don’t get everything they want from our legislatures when they do win a victory – through courts, cultural pressure, whatever – the policy being one eyed is almost always more harmful than good.
    Your complaint might have more validity the day Roissy takes up his city council seat. Until then, mostly all us men can do is structure our lives around the legal and cultural reality.

  • Hope

    I was born and raised in a foreign country (China), but I consider myself American (I’m an American citizen).

    From what I understand, there’s a whole new generation of women in other countries who are downright mercenary. They will do surgery to reconstruct their hymens, and do all kinds of other plastic surgery. In China there are some women demand the guy to have a car and a house before engagement. Marriage has never really been about love there, and so, despite the flaws, I find the western model more to my own liking.

    Just because things are more hidden from view in other countries doesn’t mean they are really wonderful.

  • Chili

    “So while they don’t get everything they want from our legislatures when they do win a victory – through courts, cultural pressure, whatever – the policy being one eyed is almost always more harmful than good.”
     
    I’m not really sure what you are referring to here. Feminism as it exists today is more about changing cultural and social perceptions of women, not laws. That fight has basically been fought with the exception of maybe one or two waaay overblown things (ahem roevwade ahem).
     
    In any case, my comment was about men and women cooperating on this blog. Not in the universe.

  • http://photoncourier.blogspot.com david foster

    Aldonza…”so many dating options that they almost *need* to differentiate among dates based on arbitrary criteria because it’s impossible to get into deeper criteria with everyone they meet”
    Similar to the situation with companies seeking to fill jobs who are so inundated with resumes that they develop long lists of screening criteria, some of them not really that important to the job.  In both cases, the effect can be that a long series of checklist items reduces the chance of finding someone who is best on the really important factors.  I discuss this in my post http://chicagoboyz.net/archives/12370.html the five-pound butterfly revisited.

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

      @david foster
      Somehow I’d missed it until now that you are a blogger – I really enjoyed looking over your blog. The 5 lb. butterfly concept is very common in dating today. It’s so bad that many of these “dealbreakers” sound like jokes – unfortunately, the women are serious. I do think men can be rigid on the looks question – but at least they keep it simple – no woman is expected to demonstrate amazing wine knowledge.

  • Mike

    @Chili
    .
    In any case, my comment was about men and women cooperating on this blog. Not in the universe.

    .
    OK, I’ll bite.  You are a young woman if  I recall (early 20s).  In your view, what do you think would constitute “cooperation on this blog” or even just cooperation amongst men and women in general.  Please be specific here.
    .
    I’ll be honest.  From my vantage point, no doubt, there are some extreme guys posting here.  At the same time, you’ve got some very reasonable guys really getting into analytical nitty-gritty like Brendan, Badger, DJB, Deuce about the current state of affairs.  And I don’t know, but my sense is it mostly falls on deaf ears.  At the risk of repeating myself from past comments, and simutaneously offending, I can’t help but think there is a very real reluctance on the part of younger women to even for one second step into the shoes of the average guy in this current SMP and society and the really treacherous path the average guy has to sort of navigate.  The two “princesses” in the Post article is really emblematic of the overall situation.
    .

    “I need a guy who can cook because I can’t”.  Really?  Sorry, fuck off is the first thing that comes to my mind.  They need A,B,C, X, Y,Z.  How about this?  WHAT DO YOU BRING TO THE TABLE IN A RELATIONSHIP?  Why would any guy want to be in a relationship with you outside of the fact that you have a vagina.  Maybe I’m off-base, but it seeps through alot of what I read where you really get the sense that the female feels like all she needs to bring to the table is the vagina.  For alot of guys that will be enough, but many guys are getting less naive about that.

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

      @Mike
      I hear everything you are saying, but I do think it’s important to remember that the media is serving up what it thinks is most intriguing. Ms. Romano wrote an article about dealbreakers in 1982 and now her daughters have the same dealbreakers – interesting! This family may be fairly representative. I do think there are plenty of women like this out there in the SMP. I just want to point out that the women who don’t demand gourmet cuisine, a wall full of great books, and other arbitrary qualifications are unlikely to be profiled in the Washington Post.

  • Mike

    The guy paid for dates to show his ability as a future provider; the girl made dinners, picnic lunches and assorted goodies or sewed buttons on suit jackets, etc. to show her abilities.
    .
    Right, reciprocity.  You think those two in that article even know the meaning of that word.  Of course, if I questioned that, it would be a dealbreaker. :)
    .
    The one says she can’t cook.  I’d bet a million dollars neither can sew a button, and I’d be skeptical of their ability and/or desire to pack a picnic basket.

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

      The one says she can’t cook. I’d bet a million dollars neither can sew a button, and I’d be skeptical of their ability and/or desire to pack a picnic basket.

      This is the problem in a nutshell. The women demand chivalrous behavior – a script from a bygone era – yet they insist on inhabiting a post Women’s Movement role. This is a schizophrenic approach to relationships, and one that is unlikely to succeed. The men who would willingly provide this behavior are not the men these women would be attracted to, and they don’t even realize it.

  • Mike

    Further, I think their loyalty only extends as far as the level of support provided to them and their (sometimes very extended) families.  They look at the husband transaction as a simple financial trade of sexual resources for financial.  I doubt so many of them would stay loyal if they thought they had a real shot at trading up.
    .
    FWIW, I think you are probably right on this point, and again for the guys reading it really speaks to the issue of whether you are going to market yourself as the lover archetype or the provider archetype in order to get women.  If you cannot successfully pull off or learn the lover role (which is really what Game is all about), then the provider role (wine and dine, buy dinner, buy gifts, demonstrate material resources) is probably better then being celibate but it is definitely not ideal.
    .

    My guess is the majority of American men going for foreign women for LTRs and marriage are going the provider route because it “works” given the disparity in economic resources between even a middle class American man and a typical third world/emerging country woman.

  • Mike

    The two girls in the Washington Post article are at the *height* of their value in the SMP and they’re acting like it.   They’re young, pretty, not overweight, high-socioeconomic status, reasonably intelligent and…oh yeah…young.  These girls have so many dating options that they almost *need* to differentiate among dates based on arbitrary criteria because it’s impossible to get into deeper criteria with everyone they meet.
    .
    Mostly agree.  No doubt, they have alot of “dating options”.  But again, they really are not marriage material for any guy with half a brain unless he wants a life of misery like the the doctor husband J has been talking about who is married to the harpy.
    .
    Honestly, these are types of girls who are the reason negs exist.  I’d run asshole game on these two and dial up the negs.  The key with young women like those two is you have to massively DHV right away.  You absolutely have to flip the script of them being the prize to you being the prize.  Either it will work, or you will get blown out.  If you get blown out, no big deal, because it isn’t a big loss.  But the guy who willingly jumps through their hoops really hasn’t won anything.  See the concept of “The Winner’s Curse” in economics where companies bid too high for overpriced companies, and the deal never adds value.  You win the battle but lose the war.

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

      Honestly, these are types of girls who are the reason negs exist. I’d run asshole game on these two and dial up the negs. The key with young women like those two is you have to massively DHV right away. You absolutely have to flip the script of them being the prize to you being the prize.

      You’ve addressed the question of what this is worth, but I have to second that. Why even bother with women like this? Assuming you can bring bitches to heel, you’re still left with bitches.

  • Aldonza

    The one says she can’t cook.  I’d bet a million dollars neither can sew a button, and I’d be skeptical of their ability and/or desire to pack a picnic basket.

    .
    Do people really need to cook or sew buttons anymore?  I mean, most men used to be able to fix things around the house and do automotive work themselves, but who really changes their own oil these days when JiffyLube will do it for $20?
    .
    That said, at age 20, I had no idea how to cook more than a few simple college foods (most of them involving a microwave and a box), and while I could sew on a button, I certainly drew the line at any real sewing.  But I learned.

  • Aldonza

    But again, they really are not marriage material for any guy with half a brain unless he wants a life of misery like the the doctor husband J has been talking about who is married to the harpy.

    .
    You don’t know that.  If a guy sells himself too short and lets the balance of power in the relationship slip that far off, then yeah, he could end up like the Dr. guy.  But the same thing happens when women sell themselves too short and end up on the wrong side of the balance.  That’s why I told my nieces that I’d wouldn’t want to marry a billionaire.  He’d likely want youth and beauty, but those assets isn’t appreciating, while his assets likely are.  Even if we were “even” when we married, we’d likely be out of balance after a decade or two.
    .
    Bill Gates didn’t marry for youth and beauty.  I mean, he married younger than himself, but not by an outrageous margin.  He also married someone who, by all accounts, was highly intelligent, capable, and actually turned him down for the first date.  They are still married, and seemingly happily so.

  • Brendan

    The problem with the cooperation/understanding angle is that the relationship between men and women as *classes* in our society is currently rather broken.  There really isn’t that much common ground or common interest at this point in time, sadly.  We’re competitors, with different agendas, different needs, different goals, and in many cases, different worldviews.  One only needs to look at the gaping gender gap in our political system to discern quite easily how most men and women are rather alienated from each other in terms of worldview, each “class” rather strikingly aligned with one or the other view.
     
    Communication is good because it facilitates an understanding of the perspective of those in the other “class”.  But true cooperation is expecting too much.  Men and women are competitors in this culture, not collaborators.  That’s done and dusted at this point, really, because you can’t change that when men and women are competing with each other in the economy, and that fact isn’t going to change either.

  • Höllenhund

    “Women’s liberation, if not the most extreme then certainly the most influencial neo-Marxist movement in America, has done to the American home what communism did to the Russian economy, and most of the ruin is irreversible. By defining relations between men and women in terms of power and competition instead of reciprocity and cooperation, the movement tore apart the most basic and fragile contract in human society, the unit from which all other social institutions draw their strength.”
    - Ruth Wisse
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruth_Wisse
    I’m sure you’re familiar with this quote, Brendan, but I guess it bears repeating here.
     

  • dbj

    Despite my earlier comment, I would never go abroad  seeking marriage.  First, I’ve been happily married for ten years.  Second, you are self-selecting for the most mercenary of women.  Hope is right;  all is not roses and wine in China, especially in Shanghai.  There’s a famous comment made by a women on one of those popular Chinese dating shows:  “I would rather cry in the back of a BMW than smile on the back of a bicycle.”  After all, the mistresses come from somewhere.  If a man is to go the foreign route, then choose a foreign-born U.S. citizen, or a foreign woman that is already over here for education or the like.  More and more are coming.  I don’t doubt American women prefer the American SMP, just as Chinese men prefer the Chinese SMP.  There has to be a middle ground.

  • filrabat

    @Mike
    If you cannot successfully pull off or learn the lover role (which is really what Game is all about), then the provider role (wine and dine, buy dinner, buy gifts, demonstrate material resources) is probably better then being celibate but it is definitely not ideal.
    filrabat:  That assumes that being celebate is such a bad thing.   The notion that a guy has to have sex in order to be worth more than gum sticking to one’s shoes is just pop culture propaganda. Contrary to popular opinion, it’s not that hard to be happy and celebate.   Monks and others who take vows of celibacy are proof positive of this (and I’m not talking about Priests involved in sex scandals either).  The Shakers also didn’t believe in sexual relationships under any circumstances, yet I never heard anything about their men being upset for not having sex.
    Given all this, plus the very high risk that unscrupulous women will go out with the “provider” types only to get a free meal*, I’d say the guy’s better off being celibate than used like that
     
    *Note very well I do not say women in general will not be interested in exploring the possibility of a relationship but rather just desire a free meal at the guy’s expense. I do not believe the majority of women are like this.  Even so, I fear there is a fairly sizable minority who are like this, so a “provider” type will have to get to know the woman before he even considers asking her out.  He may be put in “the friend” category in many cases, but better “the friend” category than “the used” category.

  • J

    @SW

    the increasing pile of evidence that we are twins tragically separated at birth, I needlepoint by the fire. Not knitting, but close enough.

    My father always swore that I was an only child, but where do we send the cheek swabs?

  • J

    Aldonza,

    Some great posts today!  Enjoyed reading them.

  • Badger Nation

    “Somehow I’d missed it until now that you are a blogger – I really enjoyed looking over your blog. The 5 lb. butterfly concept is very common in dating today. It’s so bad that many of these “dealbreakers” sound like jokes – unfortunately, the women are serious. I do think men can be rigid on the looks question – but at least they keep it simple – no woman is expected to demonstrate amazing wine knowledge.”
     
    Kudos to Aldonza for turning us on to this aspect of the discussion – it’s choice addiction, as Dalrock puts it. They have lots of men at their door so they feel the need to put up “high standards” to feel like they are making a well-considered choice, instead of just choosing a quality choice and accepting the consequences of that choice, to be reconsidered in the face of real objectionable traits.
     
    There are a few problems with this:
     
    1. It’s dependent on the seemingly-infinite stream of options, so you can reject a quality guy because he reads comic books or has a pastel wardrobe and depend on immediately grabbing another dude in the hopper. Obviously this doesn’t last forever (paging the cat ladies).
     
    2. Even homely young women will probably have lots of suitors, esp when you include beta men trying to “punch at their weight,” so even though they have average SMP value they are pumped up in the head. This corrupts the overall market as the girls reinforce their behavior in an echo chamber (paging Cosmopolitan magazine), and the men reinforce their loneliness in the manosphere.
     
    3. The biggest problem is one I have just recently observed…choice addiction leads to a series of short flings, or staying totally single and just going out on a ton of first/second dates. Because of (1) you never have to compromise your desires – either way you never have a real, protracted couplehood, and so you lose the habits and ability to be in a partnership. You don’t have the opportunity to practice, for lack of a better phrase, so you lose sight of how to choose where to eat, what movie to watch, push/pull give and take, why you should lose weight, etc.
     
    Expanding on (3): if I can say this without judgment, just as a statement of fact, in my experience young urban women under 25 are singularly clueless about how the real world works – where money comes from, how men work and what they want, what makes a couplehood a fulfilling enterprise, that they are not the center of the universe, they don’t look “fabulous,” you can fill in other things here. They hang around other sub-25ers so they don’t get good advice, and if they even have any real hobbies or life goals they haven’t figured out how to go about pursuing them. You get a lot of Cartman-esque “I’ll do what I want!”
     
    I believe this complex is because they consume large amounts of junk pop culture. Many young men are clueless too, but to a smaller degree since they haven’t been pedestalized and pampered. Young men also tend to combine inexperience with brash confidence, which helps expose them to the real world anyway and gives them immediate feedback if they go too far. Young women’s poor choices won’t bear bitter fruit until their late 20′s, when it may be too late for them to get the things they figure out they want. That’s if they ever do – sometimes they are just older, more desperate versions of their entitled selves.
     

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

      Because of (1) you never have to compromise your desires – either way you never have a real, protracted couplehood, and so you lose the habits and ability to be in a partnership. You don’t have the opportunity to practice, for lack of a better phrase,

      This lack of relationship practice has enormous implications in addition to the day-to-day ones you mentioned. Since people still want to marry by or around the age of 30, at what age will they decide to experience relationships for the first time? How much practice will they deem sufficient before marrying? How will they know if the relationship they’re in at 27 is good or bad, if they have little basis for comparison? How will expectations for relationship behaviors shift as fewer people observe them? I could go on – I don’t see how we avoid an increase in divorce and/or a further drop in marriage rates. People in their 20s are just not going to be as good at relationships. Add to that the long-term effects of all the soulless sex and it looks even more troubling.

      I believe this complex is because they consume large amounts of junk pop culture. Many young men are clueless too, but to a smaller degree since they haven’t been pedestalized and pampered.

      I agree with this. Sex and the City alone caused a tectonic shift in adolescent girls’ perceptions and expectations of the SMP. Those girls are now graduating from college. All of the rom coms, chick lit, etc. perpetuate the fairy tale.
      Men also consume lots of junk culture, but it doesn’t address mating. I think I’ve read that young males (18-25) spend more money at the movies than any other group, but they’re targeted with superheroes, action movies and the like. The romances tend to be superficial and ancillary to the plot.

  • Pingback: Linkage is Good for You: Return to Normalcy Edition

  • Doug1

    Aldonza–
    It’s a lot more complicated than that.  Her research was restricted to middle-class families who sought therapy, hardly a representative sample to extrapolate out to all of America.  Further, her work is already dated.  The couples she studied split in the 70s, a time when divorce was attached with a serious stigma for the children, a serious hit in the standard of living for the custodial parent, and inadequate support for all parties in how to achieve an amicable split.
    .
    I don’t say this to endorse divorce.

    Rubbish.  You apologist for American divorcing women — who divorce more for less reason than any other women on the planet.

  • MQ

    The two girls in the Washington Post article are at the *height* of their value in the SMP and they’re acting like it….

    True enough…but isn’t this the very definition of superficiality? Obviously young, attractive women are going to use their power of choice to seek out men they find attractive. But keeping a healthy, skeptical distance on unearned sources of entitlement is important if you don’t want to turn into a shallow jerk. Women who keep a healthy perspective on their own position in the sexual market are much more likely to find a genuinely good man instead of getting fooled by a shallow fantasy.

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

      @MQ

      keeping a healthy, skeptical distance on unearned sources of entitlement is important if you don’t want to turn into a shallow jerk. Women who keep a healthy perspective on their own position in the sexual market are much more likely to find a genuinely good man instead of getting fooled by a shallow fantasy.

      Very important point here. Both sexes suffer from the self-esteem movement, though in different ways. Unearned rewards have a detrimental effect on character for everyone. It’s important to stay grounded in reality – and for parents to make sure their kids grow up with zero sense of entitlement. Now that women have caught up to men in displaying narcissistic traits (it’s now 50/50) there are more parenting couples where both are entitled, raising their kids to be just like them. I don’t know where or how this ends.

  • Aldonza

    and for parents to make sure their kids grow up with zero sense of entitlement

    Not quite.  What some people refer to as “entitlement” is actually a healthy sense of what you deserve in a relationship and in life.  True, we should all have to earn everything we get, but fact is, the more we expect from life the more we’re likely to get.

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

      True, we should all have to earn everything we get, but fact is, the more we expect from life the more we’re likely to get.

      I’m a big believer in going after what you want, which means being an active participant. Many entitled kids expect the rewards to come to them, via connections, parents, or just by virtue of their own “specialness.”

  • Xander

    People cheat on good relationships because they miss passion. 

    The problem is that the long-term bonding behavior only works as one-half of a strategy to prevent cheating.  Of the three categories of love (intimacy, commitment, and passion), “bonding” would encompass only the first two.  Bonding can’t *replace* passion (the thrill of sex).  It can only serve as the thing a man/woman doesn’t want to lose.  I.e., “I have a crush, but I could never hurt my wife/husband, and I don’t want to lose her/him.”  That means people are likely to cheat — **even if they’re happy in their marriages** — if they think they won’t get caught.  See: business trips.

    The only sure-fire way to stop cheating is to combine long-term bonding with enough passion to satisfy someone’s need for the thrill of new sex.

    A lot of studies have shown that whereas security is good for long-term bonding, passion is associated with anything that gets the adrenaline going.  Passion also depends on newness / novelty.  That’s why men are well-advised to think of ways to show off their alpha qualities in new lights.  And to scare the hell out of their wives occasionally, heh. 

    Ride a roller coaster, get drunk, and screw each other in a seedy hotel — because Sunday morning sex on your king-sized Beautyrest is getting old. 

    Women are well-advised to go along with it when their husbands attempt any of the above.

    The PUA guys talking about alpha vs. beta only have it half correct.  The same old alpha routines won’t keep a woman passionate.  The same old girlie routines won’t keep a man passionate.  People need to find ways to expose their SO’s to newness.  That means inventive dating.

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

      People need to find ways to expose their SO’s to newness. That means inventive dating.

      Agree 100%! Change things up, surprise each other. Even a small but unexpected new move in bed can really charge the sex. Another thing I’ve found is that I find my husband very attractive when we socialize with other people. Put your partner in a situation where they can excel – competence is very sexually appealing.

  • Wudang

    I made a couple of posts about Karezza in a thread over at fastseduction.com

    THey clear up a bunch of misunderstandings people here have about what it is. Almost no one here has understodd how it works. So read this:

    http://www.fastseduction.com/discussion/fs?action=9&boardid=2&read=108513&fid=105