Understanding the Nature of Male Attraction

November 9, 2010

In an era where casual sex is perhaps more commonplace than relationship sex, at least among young people, intrasexual competition is fierce. This is particularly true for women, who prefer to mate with high status males. Because the number of such males is necessarily limited, there is a fixed percentage of men (15-20%) who are likely to attract the attention of many females.

However, male preferences are at odds with female priorities, and vary according to relationship goals. Men select for very different traits depending on whether they seek short-term sex or a long-term commitment. It is essential for women to understand the nature of male attraction, so that they can maximize their chances of success in attracting the kind of relationship they want, from a man with compatible objectives.

Not surprisingly, men are much choosier in selecting a woman for a relationship than for a one-night stand. For the random hookup, the prevailing philosophy is “beauty is only a lightswitch away” as men pursue the objective of “getting it in.” This means that they are willing to have sex with most women. To enter into commitment, men have a very different set of criteria.

A “mate preferences” study published last year from the University of Iowa looked at what men want in a partner. The researchers surveyed 1,100 college students and asked them to rank various traits in order of importance. This was a continuation of annual mate-preference studies since the 1930s, when, according to study author Christine Whelan:

Marriage used to be a practical arrangement. Getting married for love or attraction was considered foolish and perhaps even dangerous.


Today, Americans don’t even contemplate marrying without those things. In fact, priorities have changed significantly in 75 years:

What Men Want (2008)

Essential characteristics:

  • Mutual attraction and love.
  • Dependable character.
  • Emotional stability.

Important characteristics:

  • Education and intelligence.
  • Good looks.
  • Ambition.

Desirable characteristics:

  • Good financial prospect.
  • Good cook and housekeeper.

Unimportant characteristics:

  • Similar political background.
  • Chastity.

I find the finding about chastity interesting. In 1939 it ranked tenth, but came in dead last in the 2008 survey. Chastity is defined “abstaining from sexual intercourse before or outside of marriage.” Apparently, very few men prioritize virginity in a marriage partner, perhaps because it is rare today.

“When we administered the survey, several female students snickered at the idea that we even included the chastity item,” Whelan said. “This is consistent with the widespread hook-up culture on college campuses.”


This study looked at what men want in committed relationships. But how can women trigger initial attraction? What makes a man decide to go for a hookup? Is it strictly a matter of proximity and convenience? How might that kind of attraction differ from a man’s interest in wanting to get to know a woman better, possibly with the intent of becoming a couple?

Pamela Paul wrote For Long Term, Men Favor Face Over Figure for the New York Times on Sunday. She reported on a study: “More Than Just a Pretty Face: Men’s Priority Shifts Toward Bodily Attractiveness in Short-Term Versus Long-Term Mating Contexts” by Jaime C. Confer, Carin Perilloux and David M. Buss, Evolution and Human Behavior.

“To determine how men and women rank the relative importance of face versus body, the authors showed 375 heterosexual college students an image of a person with head [or] body covered up, and described the person as either a potential short- or long-term mate.

Women treated bodies and faces alike, independent of short- or long-term interest. Men, however, made a distinction between face and figure, depending on their intent…

Here is how the authors explain it: a woman’s face and body signify different things, they say. To put it in clinical terms, facial features are cues of youth and health, and features like large eyes are feminine because “they are sensitive to the rise in estrogen levels that accompanies puberty and persists through a woman’s reproductive lifespan.” This would indicate long-term reproductive value; that is, the time a woman has left to reproduce.

The body, meanwhile, signifies fertility in the here and now…Evolutionary psychology theory holds that men value current fertility (body) more in a short-term mate and reproductive value (face) in the long term.”

Roy Baumeister, another evolutionary psychology expert, said “The face is a signifier of emotion and character. Men who want a long-term relationship aren’t just interested in reproductive value; they’re also looking for emotional intimacy.”

David Buss, in his book The Evolution of Desire, devotes a chapter to what men want, and how it differs from what women want. The differences are critical, and women who project their own priorities onto men are likely to experience missteps and confusion as they display traits they’re looking for instead of traits that men seek. Buss explains that men evolved mechanisms to sense cues to a woman’s reproductive value. Cues for youth imply a long, fertile period ahead:

  • Full lips
  • Clear, smooth skin
  • Clear eyes
  • Lustrous hair
  • Good muscle tone
  • Behavior:  bouncy, youthful gait; animated facial expression, high energy level.

These are the physical cues to youth and health, which comprise the ingredients of male standards for female beauty. These cues are critically important to male reproduction, which explains why men prefer women 2.5 years younger than themselves on average, who display the above fertility traits. Buss found in his research, however, that for long-term relationships American men consider faithfulness and sexual loyalty the most important of 67 desirability traits.

Men worldwide want physically attractive, young, and sexually loyal wives who will remain faithful to them until death. These preferences are universal across all cultures and absent in none.  Beauty is not skin deep, it reflects internal reproductive capabilities.


Dodai Stewart of Jezebel is unhappy with the “culture of lookism” that forces women to focus on their appearance in order to attract men. She takes umbrage at an Amy Alkon essay published at Psychology Today:

“The gist of it is that men care about packaging. Your heart and mind matter, but won’t get you anywhere without some Pilates, eyebrow tweezing and lipgloss. And: “While we wish things were different, we’d best accept the ugly reality: No man will turn his head to ogle a woman because she looks like the type to buy a turkey sandwich for a homeless man or read to the blind.”

…Alkon basically supports every negative message ever sent by a woman’s magazine — and most sent by men’s magazines. You’re not good enough just the way you are. Alkon clearly chafes against the idea that lookism is wrong, stating: “Looks matter a great deal. The more attractive the woman is, the wider her pool of romantic partners and range of opportunities in her work and day-to-day life. We all know this, and numerous studies confirm it — it’s just heresy to say so.”

You know a little heresy never stopped me, so I’ll just remark that of course looks matter! They matter for both sexes, though more for men, and researchers say they have come to matter a very great deal more in the 20th century. We have embraced a “culture of lookism” and once again, I doubt the ability of feminists to reeducate men to find large, hairy women sexually appealing.

Dodai continues:

“None of those surface enhancements can make a person happy, and none of those things guarantee a fulfilling life. Plenty of beautiful people live sad, confused and lonely existences. Furthermore, the culture of lookism thrives on competition and exclusion. It creates an atmosphere in which things a young woman has no control over — acne, a big nose, a non-hourglass figure — trump the things she does have a say in: Sense of humor, book smarts, kindness. We’re left with a system in which those who luck out in the genetic lottery win at life, hard work and merit be damned.”

Her logic is faulty here, in the classic feminist manner – instead of addressing the role looks may play in mating strategies, Stewart points out that beauty doesn’t guarantee happiness, which is an entirely different point.

She is correct to say that mating involves competition and exclusion – that’s biology. In fact, many women embracing a steady diet of casual sex are doing so as a form of competition for desirable men. According to Buss:

Most women can obtain a more desirable temp. mate if they are willing to forgo commitment.  Men of high status typically insist on more stringent standards for a spouse than most women are able to meet.


It’s true that all human beings have “design flaws” over which they have no control. The good news is that for each one of us, there are many others of the opposite sex of similar attractiveness, and studies have shown conclusively that marriages are most likely to succeed between people who match up physically. Additionally, Stewart is wrong about some facets of appearance – in each of the cases she gave a woman can take action if she wishes to improve her appearance and make herself more desirable to men. She is not required to, but blaming men for not liking her “as is” will not be an effective strategy.

What strategy should you follow? Easy peasy!

A. Short-term Relationship

If you are looking for a short-term fling, pile on the makeup and go light on clothing. Display your sexual assets aggressively. When communicating with men face to face, animate your features with sexually explicit gestures such as lip licking, pursing your mouth, flipping your hair, and tilting your head to expose your neck. This will ensure that you are sending a clear sexual invitation. There are no “barriers to entry.”

But remember: You are in the short-term box, and movement to the long-term box is unlikely.

B. Long-term Relationship

If you are seeking a long-term relationship, dress modestly. No need to go the Amish route – you can follow the 1 of 3 Rule. Use your choice of outfit to signal that your physical assets are not for public display, but are reserved for an exclusive partner. Animate your features through conversation. Display friendliness, curiosity and generosity. Use your eyes to say CCMU (Come Chat Me Up) instead of CFM (Come F*ck Me). This will ensure that you are sending a clear message of selectivity and approachability to a particular male.

But remember: You are in the long-term box. Men interested in a quick hit are unlikely to target you for attention.

The choice is yours. Pursue a strategy compatible with your objectives.

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

    Haha, yeah, this is about as close as I get to girl Game. What do you think? Do you focus on either face or body depending on what you’re looking for?

  • http://lgfonevolution.blogspot.com Mats

    I can’t believe anyone still takes “evolutionary psichology” serious these days.

    Interesting article, as always, Susan.

    God bless.

  • Joe

    Great article, Susan.

    But let me suggest that, when considering the list of things men are looking for in long-term mate selection (you know – those things that suggest we’ve evolved a “culture of look-ism”), women of any age need not be completely disheartened. It used to be widely accepted that 60-70% of all marriageable women satisfied the criteria for 70-80% of the men (that would be from Warren Farrell). Seeing that human nature changes slowly, I think it’s still true, even with the current dating environment being what it is.

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

      @Joe
      I agree that there are ample potential pairings where both parties would be satisfied, and yet it seems to me that many matches don’t get made. There’s a disconnect between the women and men who are naturally oriented toward long-term relationships. I suspect this sorts itself out somewhat after college, but I wish there was more interaction between men and women who don’t do short-term flings. I think it’s difficult because many people are intimidated by those who appear to be very sexually successful. We need an alternative.

  • http://lgfonevolution.blogspot.com Mats

    What do you think? Do you focus on either face or body depending on what you’re looking for?

    If I were into the dating game, it would be like this:

    Short term – 20% face, 80% body.
    Long term – 40% face, 60% body

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

      @Mats
      Interesting breakdown. Thanks for sharing even though you don’t believe in the premise of evo psych :)

  • Escarondito

    Ain’t this a subject

  • Octavia

    The site that provided the video seems quite interesting. The FWB advice isn’t relevant to me. I wouldn’t be happy in that kind of situation. It would go downhill quickly. LOL However, I thought what the advisers said was straight-forward and useful. At any rate, I’ll have to review some of their other topics. Good find!

    As for David Buss’ book, I read the synopsis of it and I’m glad he looked at a variety of cultures. Race, ethnicity and culture will influence factors that are considered desirable. For example, for some people, lustrous hair automatically equals blond, whereas for others, it equals shiny jet black. I haven’t had a chance to read Buss’ book but perhaps he addresses this. I’m also curious about if he explores the impact of being a minority and not fitting the definition of “attractive” in the mainstream society. However, that might be outside the scope of his work and there are certainly others who address it.

  • Kurt

    Susan, I often see articles where the argument is made that men prefer women with “full lips.” What are considered to be “full lips”? Is Angelina Jolie the standard for what full lips look like? I personally think that Jolie’s lips are too big and have never found them to be attractive.

    I think you are correct that women who seek a long term partner need to dress a little more conservatively/classy. They also do need to appear to be friendly. The type of guy who would make a good partner is probably not the type of guy who hits on anything that moves and would appreciate some signals of interest.

    Women who want a long term mate also need to realize that the things that they discuss during initial meetings can affect a man’s view of them as potential partners. Women who bring up sex right away or come across as very raunchy can come across as somewhat dirty/slutty and that can be a big turnoff.

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

      @Kurt
      Personally, I think Angelina’s lips are gross! They are all wrinkly, not smooth, ew. However, in general I think the “full lips” standard is about what happens to women’s lips as they age. They get thinner, and also paler. So a woman with nice plump, red lips is by definition a young woman.
      .
      I am working hard to communicate to women that they do need to signal interest. This is something that continues to surprise women – the ones who are not sexually assertive will quickly assume a guy has no interest if he doesn’t make moves.
      .
      You also make a good point about the topics a woman pursues. Being raunchy or swearing send strong signals. Also, as Badger mentions, being catty or gossipy is not attractive to men. Save it for the time when you’re dishing with the girls.

  • Badger Nation

    We have long established looks are critical. Thing is, so many people are overweight these days that simply eating right and exercising moderately is a differentiator.

    One of grerp’s earliest “pieces of advice” involved staying slim…she said very simply “There is no way to pussyfoot around this one: if you are fat and you want a decent future, you have to lose the weight…neither men nor women respect women who are overweight. And all of the fat positive propaganda in the world isn’t going to change that. Women like to feel superior to each other, and nothing makes that easier than having a fat friend.”

    Let me double up her words and say that few things make a marriage-minded man question a young woman’s long-term fitness for mating and matrimony than if she doesn’t take care of herself. Jennifer Lopez is never going to look like Cindy Crawford, but if a guy’s J-Lo doesn’t do her damndest to be the best-looking J-Lo body she can be, he’s eventually going to resent it. It communicates to a man, “you’re not worth my effort to look good” or possibly “I’ve got you hooked so I don’t have to care.”

    This goes triple if you partied it up with alphas in your youth (verifiable via Facebook photos these days) and then put on some padding afterwards. It just adds to GBFM’s “you want me to pay for what you gave away for free to the guys who wouldn’t commit?”

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

      @Badger
      A sorority sister of mine in college was very fit – a lifeguard in the summers. At one point she started dating a guy that was obviously going to go to fat when he stopped playing sports. In fact, his nickname was “Tundo.” At first, she laughingly joked about how “gross” his fat belly was, but then she started putting on weight. I still get Christmas cards from her. Both of them are enormous, and they have five obese kids. I heard through the grapevine that one of their teen daughters just had a child. (BTW, I just saw an article that links teen motherhood to obesity.) I really can’t understand it. It’s as if they gave each other permission to get really big and unhealthy, and then they fed their kids the same way! She won’t attend reunions or anything, and everyone knows it’s b/c she is ashamed of her appearance. Not ashamed enough to stop eating, apparently.

  • Badger Nation

    Susan, I often see articles where the argument is made that men prefer women with “full lips.” What are considered to be “full lips”?

    Well for God’s sake don’t do #5 on this list!

    http://vincentignatius.wordpress.com/2010/04/21/girls-need-to-stop-doing-these-things/

    “When a man does it, it’s called punch face. When a girl does it, she looks like a stupid bitch. Want a man to think you’re pump and dump material? Make pouty lips. Seriously. You look like fool.”

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

      @Badger
      That punch face is the worst. There was a period of several years where nearly all young women were doing that exaggerated pout in photos. Another popular move was sticking out your tongue. I have seen so many women features pics of themselves doing this, and I don’t get it. A beautiful face with a tongue fully extended looks terrible, both foolish and juvenile. In general, any exaggerated facial expressions like that are intended to signal sexual availability, I think. Maybe the focus on the mouth is supposed to get guys thinking about oral?

  • Kurt

    Can someone explain to me how Evan Marc Katz is a dating coach? He looks like a little troll and it appears as though he last washed his hair about a month before that video was shot.

  • GudEnuf

    Switch “Good cook and housekeeper” with “Similar political background” and I would agree with the whole list.

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

      @GudEnuf
      I was kind of surprised to see “cook and housekeeper” on the list. I would have figured it would rank about the same as chastity, probably from the same men. I also share your view on political background. Perhaps college students are overall not very political, so don’t put much stock in this. But aside from James Carville and Mary Matalin, I haven’t ever heard of successful marriages between people of strongly opposing political beliefs. Interestingly, my husband has made me more liberal over the years, and I have made him more conservative. We’re in the same independent, moderate camp at this point.

  • filrabat

    If I were still in the dating scene, I’d still rate looks important, but only to the extent of “go for the least desirable you know you’ll be turned by on in the long run”. For intellect, for me, it’s only necessary that she be fond of exploring high IQ topics continuously. In this case, education doesn’t prove anything – it can only suggest such a fondness. Money’s important too but ONLY to the extent that she can support herself at a minimally humane level.

    What I would find of vital importance is (a) how she treats others, especially the lowest status/least desirable people, (b) openmindedness, tolerance (c) compassion toward others, and (d) capacity for independent thought. Women who have all four points in great abundance are much more likely to deal with my own>i> day-to-day concerns in a civilized way, even if she doesn’t always agree with me.

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

      @filrabat

      What I would find of vital importance is (a) how she treats others, especially the lowest status/least desirable people, (b) openmindedness, tolerance (c) compassion toward others, and (d) capacity for independent thought.

      This strikes me as an excellent list. I always observe (a) in people I spend time with. If someone is rude to a server, valet, teacher, cashier, anyone at all, I nearly always decide to exclude them from my life. Really, all of these traits exemplify good character, the most important thing in a mate.

  • jess

    My take is that attraction is complex and variable. I have been attracted to a variety of men in my time from both real life and the telly.
    There is a uk comedian called Michael McIntyre who I wouldnt look twice at normally but he is possibly the only man in the world who could tempt me from partner (who is fully aware of this).
    and why? …a devasting sense of humour…and a particlular type of gentle, zany, off beat humour that catches me every time. The guy is short, chubby and effeminate but I adore him.
    I also think that after a while phsyical beauty wears thin- the internal chemistry can be much more powerful.
    Then there is the male drive which is so visual. I always dress pretty grungy- normally I’m invisible to males. Stick on a dress, just a normal one, and the effect on men is ludcirous- quite intimidating actually. When I was young I rarely wore a dress because I felt like some sort of target. Whether this is a deep anthropological thing I dot know- although I assume neo woman didnt wear bearskin mini skirts.

  • jess

    My take on attraction of women to males
    Genetic: Sense of humour (I dont think this can be learnt), jaw, hair, eyes, skin, height, shoulders, buns, ability to dance, hands, legs
    Teacheable: Dress sense, game, kindness, affection (up to a point), pecs, 6 pack, arms
    .
    Different people like different mixes of th eabove which is just as well. I guess for shortterm hook ups some aspects are more valued than others. I have always found funny men get the girl. Look at Woody Allen. A face only a mother could love. (although it turned out his daughter could love it too!)

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

      @Jess
      Your list of what women look for in males made me laugh because it’s so very different from the way I arrived at finding my husband attractive. For me, it was love at first sight, or at least crush at first sight. It took me months to get his attention, but I can still recall exactly what I liked about him that day, and as I got to know him better:
      Individuality – this was an orientation for 650 b-school students, and he stood out in the crowd. His hair was a bit long, his style was a bit edgy in a very preppy era.
      Eyes – he wore rimless glasses over light blue-green eyes. He had crow’s feet. His eyes signaled intelligence and sensitivity to me.
      Smile – he had an idiosyncratic smile, with a slight space between his front teeth. He laughed readily.
      Physicality – he is 6’3″ and at that time weighed 160 lbs. The first shirt I ever bought him was a tab-collared shirt (like George Harrison on the Beatles ’65 album cover) and I had to find it in a 15-35. And yet, he was quite comfortable in his body, and moved gracefully. He was an especially good dancer.
      Social Proof – the morning after Halloween, I saw him walk of shaming back to his apartment.
      .
      Overall, I would say the appeal was smart, interesting, kind eyes, and comfortable with himself. Not a single moment was spent checking out his buns (minimal), skin (fine), jaw (average), shoulders (slender) or legs (unbelievably long).

  • TeflonExpat

    Its a wonder if German men even have a criteria for attraction to local females, the bulk of whom must certainly possess a comparatively unappealing relationship paradigm. Well, at the very least, men there can hoist a few brews, have some good back slapping laughs and head east on the weekends to their girlfriends in Bulgaria.
    .
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/nov/09/german-feminist-alice-shwarzer

  • http://dalrock.wordpress.com/ Dalrock

    Outstanding post Susan! We can always use more data in a land of assumptions.

    I’m surprised to see that chastity ranked so low, but I guess I shouldn’t be. As I’ve shown on my own blog (Marriage strike? ), men seem to still be pretty much marrying whatever comes their way. I do wonder if that won’t change though, especially for the current 20 somethings who are eschewing marriage at a sudden and striking rate. Do you have any thoughts on their likelihood of marrying at rates similar to the women who proceeded them by 10 years?

    If the census data didn’t prove me wrong, I would suggest that people aren’t always reliable when answering surveys. It isn’t necessarily that they intentionally answer incorrectly, but that what we do and what we think we do can be quite different. Survey women on whether they go for a-hole players vs beta nice guys and you might end up scratching your head. Many women would answer beta nice guys and pass a lie detector test, only to go out and find herself a player after the test.

    I know that if you had surveyed me before I met my wife I probably wouldn’t have ranked chastity that high. I probably would have earnestly explained the feminist line about sexual double standards and how unfair they were. But I know that promiscuous girls turned me off, and I wasn’t interested in marrying before I met my chaste wife and fell madly in love. I wasn’t a player, but I did have options. And as a guy there seems to be a time in your life when women hide in the bushes wearing wedding dresses and a preacher in tow. It can get downright scary! I wouldn’t have told you I turned my other options down because they had a sexual past, but I don’t have any question now that it was a huge subconscious issue.

    Reading the opinions of other men with even greater options, I wonder if this isn’t an issue for the 10-15% of men you mention most women want.

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

      @Dalrock
      Re marriage, I have read your posts, as well as the Social Pathologist’s and others with interest. Honestly, I’m not sure what to expect. The indicators are poor. With college enrollment 60%F, 40%M there is bound to be fallout on marriage. Additionally, as the average age of marriage rises, it may increase marital stability, but we’re pushing up against female fertility now. The average age of marriage for women with a college degree is actually later than the first major dropoff in fertility. If childbearing decreases as a priority, or even an option, we might see less marriage. On the other hand, the vast majority of college students today signal they want to marry. I think it’s close to 90% for women. For men, the number has dropped below 80% for the first time, and that is problematic. Overall, there’s not much to indicate that marriage will thrive in the next 10 years or so. That is partly why I advise women to think intelligently about mating and dating from the start.
      .
      Re chastity, my sense is that no man would find it a detriment. I wondered in the post if it isn’t a priority because men know it’s not realistic. I’m really not sure. On the other hand, while there is still a sexual double standard, it has been diluted somewhat. Most men in college will not penalize a woman for having had sex within committed relationships. An exception is when the man is not sexually experienced – the research is pretty clear on men not wanting women with more experience than they have. Not surprising.

      Reading the opinions of other men with even greater options, I wonder if this isn’t an issue for the 10-15% of men you mention most women want.

      Well, just to be clear, I said 15-20% will attract the attention of many females. I continue to believe that many women will actually avoid players and select intelligently. I don’t think that most women want to date Duke lacrosse players for example, though there is certainly a loud and flashy subset of women who do. Re how men with lots of sexual partners feel about chastity, I’m not sure. I’ve heard some men say that those guys will eschew the women they banged during college. Others have said that for a player, a woman with 20 partners is nothing – it’s rounding error. And some women have shared with me that their sluttiest friends have successfully “reformed” after college and married very good men. (It’s not clear whether these men were aware of their pasts or not. I suspect not.)

  • Hope

    Have you seen this, Susan? It’s based on 3,000 interviews, and rather pertinent to the topic of this post.

    http://bookoutlines.pbworks.com/Why%20Men%20Marry%20Some%20Women%20And%20Not%20Others

    I thought this was interesting:

    “Most men decide within 10 minutes of meeting a woman if she’s appropriate for marriage, or just for a casual affair.”

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

      @Hope
      Thanks, that’s a great link. I haven’t seen it before or heard of his research. I’ve bookmarked it for reading later. Certainly the idea that men know within ten minutes is consistent with the research I’ve highlighted in this post. I’ve also heard that men know within 10 seconds if they are attracted, though I don’t think this explains why familiarity actually breeds attraction.

  • TeflonExpat

    “Reading the opinions of other men with even greater options, I wonder if this isn’t an issue for the 10-15% of men you mention most women want.”
    .
    All else being relatively equal between two women seeking marriage, why would ANY man choose the one with the more prolific sexual past?

  • TeflonExpat

    @Hope
    .
    Page 39 of that book has this statement:
    .
    “A majority of men who were about to marry put a woman upon first meeting into one of two categories: those they bedded and those they wedded”
    .
    Got a feeling that view aint never gonna change. So lets all continue being used to it.

  • Escarondito

    @ Susan

    It’s whatever attracts me first. Whichever is the part that instantly makes me look. Like that sass latina had a crazy body. Thin waist. Juicy top and bottom. But she had a super cute smile that also said innocent and open. So she is a best of both worlds.

    But, I generally notice body first almost always.

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

      @Esca

      I generally notice body first almost always.

      Evidence that the theory is correct ;)

  • Pedalman

    I’m a 22 year old male and my personal preference for the short term is 40% face 60% body and for the long term is the opposite. While both are important to me. I do tend to value the face a bit more. I also haven’t done anything on the short term. I do not fall into that 15-20%

    I do have to comment on the David Buss work you reference. I just finished Sex at Dawn and I’m currently about 9 chapters into the the Evolution of Desire. Sex at Dawn is much more current and explains things much more accurately. The issue with Desire is that the study was done in the late 90’s and mostly done on college students. Which doesn’t account for a large majority of the dating population. We all know that from the time we turn 18 to the time we come into the real world, lets say 25. Our preferences and how we move about the world greatly change. I’m still changing. On top of that the study was done more then 10 years ago. Things change. Things change even faster in our modern age then they did in 1939, and you should know that Susan.

    So is Buss’ work even accurate anymore? Was it a accurate sample of the dating world back when it was published?

  • Joe

    Hope:

    I thought this was interesting:

    “Most men decide within 10 minutes of meeting a woman if she’s appropriate for marriage, or just for a casual affair.”

    I generally enjoy and agree with what you say in this forum, but this one caught my eye. 600 seconds seems to be about 600 times the length of the consideration most men receive most of the time.
    .
    I hope it only feels that way!

  • http://gameformarriage.blogspot.com/ Augustine DeCarthage

    Susan, very good post. Very good.

    A few brief thoughts:

    1) All of these samples are from college aged folks. It’s illuminating, but it would be even better if we could get longitudinal studies on these guys at 25, 30, and 35. (Get on that, Susan, will ya?) A man learns much between 18 and 22 and 27 and 32.

    2) For those girls choosing the CCMU route, I encourage you to persevere. It very well may not be easy. Things may not get better quickly. Guys may be oblivious and may not pick up what you’re laying down. Or worse, they’re not oblivious but they’re still not picking up. This is not a test of your character, but it will test your character. There are no easy answers here but to trust in Providence. If it’s any consolation, many of your male peers are suffering too, perhaps even the man you will marry, if that’s the way things work out.

    Good luck to all and God Bless.

  • Joe

    Gack! That last comment of mind came off bitter and cynical! Sorry – not my intent. I’m mostly just amused to see how universal are some parts of the dating experience. ;)

  • GudEnuf

    After I finished the video, YourTango reccommended this video:

    “Why successful women don’t get second dates”
    http://blip.tv/file/4333090

    Basically says that all the things that make a woman sucessful in work make her unsuccessful in relationships. Some advice for single women:

    1) Dress like a woman.
    2) Turn your phone off.
    3) Let him take the lead.

    Obviously I’m distressed by this movie. #2 shouldn’t be limited to just successful women, everyone ought to know not to take calls in middle of a date. #1 and #3 make me even more angry though, because of the sexism. Basically what the video is trying to say is, it’s okay to kick-ass at work, but if you’re a woman, tone it down on a date (all you men though should keep acting macho.)

    FWIW, I would definitely find be more attracted to a corporate lawyer woman than a hair stylist woman. I don’t know why YourTango decided to host such a sexist video.

  • Mike C

    Related to the face versus body thing, I’d mention that make-up and how a girl does her make-up subcommunicates alot especially about being a short-term versus long-term prospect. My GF is a make-up artist so I’ve seen a ton of different looks and make-up styles on just her alone, and certain ways of doing make-up can look very sexualized while others can be more about emphasizing natural beauty in a classy way. Many young women really have no idea how to do their make-up right. Unless you want to be a “Guidette” definitely stay away from that horrendous Jersey Shore look.

    Take a look at the difference between a more classic look and the smoky eye look as an example.

  • ExNewYorker

    @Susan,

    I think my experience parallels Dalrock’s. I too did not really rank chastity in a potential partner while in my college years as a must, and I’ll admit the reasons for that were twofold: I’d fallen under the feminist idea that women should be as promiscuous as the cads (it would be “hypocritical” to believe otherwise), and I had a fair amount of white knight in me, so women making stupid choices wasn’t their fault, it was the cads’ fault.
    .
    Suffice it to say, I spent enough time as a beta orbiter that it’s somewhat embarrassing to admit it now, but eventually the reality just couldn’t be ignored. It became pretty clear that some amount of chastity was an indication of self-control, of long-term thinking, of being able to take responsibility for one’s own actions, and for being able to ignore the peer pressure out there, of being a grown up.
    .
    When I met my future wife’s friends, and saw they were all that type of “chaste” woman, it was a kind of a shock. But from that point on, I knew I was likely to marry her. So, like Dalrock, I subconsciously turned down other options because they had a past, and I’ll admit I’m glad I did, because it kept the thrill of discovery as something I could share with my wife.

  • terre

    Who would fall for someone who “bought a turkey sandwich for a homeless man or read to the blind”? It sounds nice in theory, but be honest: in practice, the people who go out of their way to perform formal charity are usually the most self-serving busybodies on the planet. Charity is an aspect of character and not just a bunch of ‘activities’ like this chick seems to think.

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

      @terre

      in practice, the people who go out of their way to perform formal charity are usually the most self-serving busybodies on the planet.

      Agreed. The really generous people tend to contribute under the radar. In particular, I don’t understand the very expensive charity balls. Give rich people a chance to party and dress up, and charge them a lot for the privilege? I know it helps the recipient organization, but there’s something rather awful about it. And I always respect anonymous donors.

  • http://www.colonzone.org Henway

    I think evolutionary psychology is important, but nothing to just take lightly. Ignore it at your own peril – it pretty much does an excellent job of explaining divorces, cheating, and why men select certain mates, and mating strategies.

  • Badger Nation

    Yeah, I find Evan Marc Katz unctuous. Have you actually read his stuff? It’s beta bait to the max.

  • Badger Nation

    WHOA WHOA WHOA WHOA – just watched the video; why are they set up with the premise it’s the woman who wants to turn the FWB into a relationship and it’s the man who doesn’t have the “feelings”? Susan’s last post involved the opposite, via essays published in a college newspaper. I guess we’re supposed to think “everyone KNOWS women have the feelings and men just want the sex,” but as the MRM is continually pointing out, often “what we know just ain’t so.”

    Susan may want to note this comment: most of these woman-wants-to-make-it-more-serious cases I’ve seen involve a woman who had “feelings” to begin with and tried to suppress them. In reality, it’s a long-form, extended-cut version of “maybe if I hook up with him he’ll be my boyfriend.” Susan writes about this flawed strategy ad nauseum, and women try it ad nauseum with little success. The first thing the woman needs to do is admit to herself “I’ve been dishonest with myself, and so I’ve put both of us in an emotionally risky position.”

    But I think the clip has good advice:
    -It’s unfair to EXPECT the other person to reciprocate your feelings
    -Back away from the FWB, you are liable to get yourself hurt
    -If you want a relationship, go date someone else.
    -Be straight with your FWB partner and accept that the odds of success are low; there is a chance they will consider a relationship once you have put that expectation on the table.

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

      @Badger
      Good point about the sexes there! I do have to say, though, that research shows that something like 85% of men in FWBs are perfectly contented with the arrangement, LOL. Women are in fact more likely to prefer a relationship. I agree that this is often a result of faulty wishful thinking on the woman’s part. Women grant sexual access in an effort to get a guy interested, and then find it quite difficult to get him invested. It can and does happen the other way around, though. Basically, this follows the Principle of Least Interest, and it certainly can be the woman.
      .
      I included the video because like you, I thought it made some very rational points. I haven’t seen Evan Marc Katz before – is he a well known figure? I did find the other guy and Andrea Syrtash more compelling.

  • Badger Nation

    Stewart is just dumb.

    “The gist of it is that men care about packaging. Your heart and mind matter, but won’t get you anywhere without some Pilates, eyebrow tweezing and lipgloss. And: “While we wish things were different, we’d best accept the ugly reality: No man will turn his head to ogle a woman because she looks like the type to buy a turkey sandwich for a homeless man or read to the blind.”

    This is rich…whereas men are biologically programmed to use looks as a proxy for the biological imperative of mating fitness, homely feminist women always dismiss that as “packaging.” You can’t even chalk this one up to projection, because you can be damn sure if the shoe was on the other foot, she’d be going for the hottest guys and not the plain-looking guys who hand out sandwiches to bums.

    Here’s the truth, for men (social dominance) and women (looks), your attraction characteristics are what get you “in the door.” You really won’t be considered as a partner without reasonable attention to those items. After you’ve got the attraction hook going, THEN you can go on and on about sandwiches, your miserable corporate job, whatever.

    This is, in effect, the fundamental theorem of game – for all the “just be yourself” advice, game actually allows a guy to “be himself” by actively building attraction and thus bypassing the standard rejection process. Once you’re past that you can actually be yourself without worrying you are disqualifying yourself.

    “…Alkon basically supports every negative message ever sent by a woman’s magazine — and most sent by men’s magazines. You’re not good enough just the way you are.”

    Here’s a newsflash: most people are NOT good enough the way they are. EVERYBODY has something they can improve on and should. Most people need to keep a close eye on their faults and control them for the good of their life at large. If you think just “being yourself” even as yourself becomes fatter and bitchier is going to make good LTR/marriage material, you’ve got another thing coming. You’re probably the type of person who posted this bitch-positive (did I just coin that term?) nonsense on your facebook wall: http://grerp.blogspot.com/2010/11/facebook-nonsense-example-1.html

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

      @Badger
      That grerp post was great. That post seems to come from a pit bull. Who would want to spend any time with such a woman? I can’t even stand platonic friendships with women that sassy and aggressive. Not to mention lacking self-awareness.

  • Clarence

    Argh.
    Now we have people worrying about pics with tongues sticking out. What next? Will someone attack Einstein for the pic of him with his tongue out?

    A tongue out isn’t a middle finger. Personally , if done in an obvious funny setting, it looks cute.

  • Höllenhund

    Somewhat off-topic – this neg is PERFECT:

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

      @GudEnuf
      From the Northwestern study:

      “If you were to tell me that you prefer physically attractive romantic partners, I would expect to see that you indeed are more attracted to physically attractive partners,” said Eastwick. “But our participants didn’t pursue their ideal in this way. This leads us to question whether people know what they initially value in a romantic partner.”

      This is key, it seems to me. Studies are interesting and potentially useful, but there is the very real question of what one says vs. what one does. Men often say that women often do the opposite of what they say, especially when it comes to choosing jerks over nice guys, and there’s definitely some merit to that claim. In the study I covered in this post, 1,100 college students were surveyed. But all that tells us is what college students think they will want when they get ready to settle down. Based on the current average age at marriage, that won’t be for 5-8 years for many of them. Obviously, priorities can and will shift as people graduate into full adult responsibilities. These studies always need to be taken with a grain of salt – I think they are useful however, for indicating a general mindset, or for comparing responses in 2008 to responses in an earlier year.
      .
      I don’t see how your second link supports your claim about men enjoying submission.

      it was hypothesized that highly agentic, dominant women prefer forceful submission fantasies (more than subordinate women) as a means to connect them to agentic, dominant men.

      What this says to me is that all women crave dominant men, and that dominant women fantasize being forced to submit to the male. In other words, they want to have their strength and power trumped by the male.

  • forcho130

    Great post again! Reading the results made me feel that I’m not just old-fashioned in my views, but I must be antediluvian. Although I am now atheist I was raised in a fairly religious environment and I think that those values have stayed with me over time.

    I wish that there was data on “What Men Want” for a whole range of men. Rich/poor men, religious/non-religious men, liberal/conservative men, graduate educated/HS educated men, etc… Having such a survey available would even allow women to aim for their desired type of man and adjust their relationship/dating strategies according to what that traits the man most likes. (Vice-versa for a “What Women Want” survey.)

    I’m a man in his late 20’s, master’s degree holder, 6’0 tall, income in the high 5 figures, never have gone for the hook-up culture nor participated in one-night stands, bilingual, child-free, living in my own apartment, slightly shyer and more quiet than the average man, loves pets, participates in community events, and overall a solid beta-male without the beta-attitude (nice but not supplicating). Personally, this is how I’d rank those traits for long term relationships (since that is what I’m only interested in).

    Essential characteristics:

    * Dependable character.

    Important characteristics:

    * Chastity.
    * Good cook and housekeeper.
    * Good looks.
    * Emotional stability.

    Desirable characteristics:

    * Education and intelligence.
    * Mutual attraction and love.

    Unimportant characteristics:

    * Ambition.
    * Good financial prospect.
    * Similar political background.

    I listed “education and intelligence”, “ambition” and “good financial prospect” low on the chart since I already make enough money and would prefer to have a wife who takes care of the household while I work. Perhaps if I made less money I would have rated those aspects higher.

    @Susan
    One of these days, it’d be great if you made a survey that covered these traits and accounted for one’s own social background and tastes. Even if just your readership replied I’d be very interested in seeing the results.

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

      @forcho
      Thanks for that feedback. I think you raise a good point – so often we tend to talk in terms of the entire population, when it really makes little sense. SES and cultural background, as well as education, play important roles in mating choices. For example, we talk about a 50% divorce rate. Actually, it’s about 40% overall, but there are wide swings by culture, race, education, etc. College educated couples have a divorce rate under 20% for example. Any survey I undertook would be highly anecdotal and unscientific, but it’s an interesting thought. In any case, I’ll keep my eyes open for this kind of data.

  • http://asinusspinasmasticans.wordpress.com Mule Chewing Briars

    I swear, Susan. It seems to me that Common Sense died sometime in the mid 90s and since everybody was too busy with Loose Association, Self-Promotion, and Outrageousness, nobody even attended the funeral.

    I read through Amy Alkon’s article and Dodai Stewart’s response. Amy’s was just simple Common Sense – nothing, absolutely nothing, will pay out a higher ROI to women than careful attention to their appearance. Stewart’s response was just as commonsensical – looks are important, but they shouldn’t dominate a woman’s life. Taken together, they would be a well-rounded dose of advice for young women.

    Nevertheless, I think a lot depends on whether Dodai is trying to attract a Morris Chestnut or an Alfonso Ribeiro. The man with more options is going to be more discriminating, and looks is how men discriminate. What, do we need some kind of government intervention to assure that the Dodai Stewarts of this world get their innings with the Morris Chestnuts?

    That would be horrifying.

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

      @Mule
      Haha, don’t say that bit about government intervention too loudly. That could be next on the feminist agenda. There’s probably a good scary novel in that idea – a dystopian future where feminists have the power and authority to make rules about all aspects of mating, education, the workplace, etc. *Shudder*

  • Badger Nation

    “Agreed. The really generous people tend to contribute under the radar. In particular, I don’t understand the very expensive charity balls. Give rich people a chance to party and dress up, and charge them a lot for the privilege? I know it helps the recipient organization, but there’s something rather awful about it. And I always respect anonymous donors.”

    The Good Lord was ambiguous and evasive about a lot of things, but he was pretty damn clear on charity vanity: “do not look bedraggled when fasting, and do not let your right hand know what your left hand is doing.” At some point publicity is part of functional charity work, but charity balls are pretentious bull**** – just an excuse to use needy people as a pretext for the lifestyle of high socialites. And to function as a sort of forgiveness of their lifestyles – “it’s OK for us to party it up and be shallow because it’s for a good cause.”

    ” I continue to believe that many women will actually avoid players and select intelligently. I don’t think that most women want to date Duke lacrosse players for example, though there is certainly a loud and flashy subset of women who do.”

    I didn’t have the time to comment on that Duke frat email post, so here goes. While you, Susan, hit a big target addressing women who want relationships and need help navigating the young adult social scene, I think you misunderestimate the number of young women who actually *seek* such crudity, not just pursue hot, high-status men *in spite of* such lowlife behavior. It’s not as simple as “high-status men can get away with treating women poorly.”

    People in college are curious. Especially young women who, as we have noted, frequently lack the social agility to go get what they want and instead must hide out in groups of women or “borrow” the strong will of a socially-dominant person. Curiosity about both sex and alcohol is rife in college. This means people seek an atmosphere to experiment.

    It’s difficult to get them to come right out and say it, but I’ve gotten it from several young women that they sought out a semi-sociopathic man to deflower them. They didn’t WANT an emotional kick and all that baggage. They wanted somebody to root them out and not feel bad about it the next morning. (This is related to the oft-discussed phenomenon of young women using alcohol as an excuse for things they don’t want to be thought of as doing while sober – the alcohol provides a pretext to ditch their social inhibitions before it truly reduces their cognitive ones).

    So say what you will, but those Duke frats are advertising their product in plain sight…they provide over-the-top social dominance games, status-base social proof for the girls, AND a licentious, amoral atmosphere wherein the women can commence their experimentation and sate their curiosity. And the girls go there, BECAUSE of what has been advertised.

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

      @Badger
      Ha! That gospel is one of the most powerful for me. I Remember learning it as a child, and reflect on it often. I almost referenced it but didn’t want to bring religion into the discussion. I’m glad you did, though. I believe that true giving requires abandoning the ego.
      .
      Re the question of what % of women will happily become lacrosstitutes, I hear you. I don’t disagree with anything you’ve said. It’s really hard to come up with any real numbers. I tend to hear from women who do not want to go that route, obviously. And I do have some sources at Duke in sororities who have the inside scoop on this. They say that lots of girls do avoid those guys, but they still have all the girls they can handle. I cannot argue with your claim that those douchey emails are effective in getting hot girls to attend their parties. In fact, I have heard that since they got in trouble, the SAEs sent out an email saying, “Sorry, not sorry bitches.”

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

    I though that video was going to be some douchey idiot crap for mainstream obvious “feel good” interpretations on love, but it wasn’t. It was actually cool

    Good explanation.

    Good reasoning.

    Honest about the possibilities.

    And most importantly, they find a way to drive people’s lives forward.

    Most people give advice and they get stuck talking all highly about themselves for no reason, and how they’re the greatest relationship people. I’m not talking about you Susan, I just see a whole self valiance with a lot of dating blogs.

  • http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/ hambydammit

    Her logic is faulty here, in the classic feminist manner – instead of addressing the role looks may play in mating strategies, Stewart points out that beauty doesn’t guarantee happiness, which is an entirely different point.
    Thank you, thank you, thank you.
    This is THE biggest gripe I have with a lot of feminist positions. They are assuming (for no good reason I can think of) that our brains are wired for our happiness, and for the success of our long term relationships. Nothing could be further from the truth. We are hardwired for the mating success of our children. Any happiness we attain beyond that which furthers our children’s reproduction is not evolution’s direct concern. (In fact, from both the male and female perspective, there’s a LOT of value in not having a lifelong monogamous happy relationship. From an evolutionary perspective.)
    And here’s the rub. While beauty may not ensure the happiness of a relationship (it probably works in reverse), it most certainly DOES help the children reproduce better, because beauty is a measure of symmetry, which is a measure of health, which is directly correlated to reproductive success. Which is why we like to have sex with beautiful people. Which is why the appeals to “inner beauty” are only typically successful with people who have a need for appeals to inner beauty. That’s as tactful as I can be about it.

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

      @Hamby
      That is very tactful. From a strategic standpoint, a person who has a strong need for appeals to inner beauty probably has nothing to lose by advocating that position, though as far as I know, they have nothing to gain either. We’re all guided by self-interest when mating.
      .
      BTW, as far as I can tell, the extraordinarily beautiful people do have difficulty establishing and maintaining relationships. In a culture of lookism, they are assigned all kinds of traits and characteristics based on their looks. A lot of beautiful people are kind of effed up, as far as I can tell.

  • Höllenhund

    Excellent point, hambydammit. As Roissy correctly stated: your genes don’t care about your happiness and well-being – they just want to be reproduced at all cost.

  • Hope

    I’ve been reading a book called Brain Rules for Baby, which really emphasizes the point that kids flourish when parents are together and home life is good. Even babies as young as 6 months old are affected when parents have frequent fights, as it shows up in their chemical profiles.

    There is a need for both outer and inner beauty for women in acquiring long-term relationships, and there’s plenty of evidence to back this up. Without one or the other, and the chances of it working or being stable years down the road are slim.

    From a “raising healthy kids” perspective, it is neurologically important for the child(ren) to have that stability and love between parents as well as from parents. Monogamy accomplishes this the best, which is why it persists. It actually raises a child’s IQ to be born into and raised in a stable marriage. Given the importance of intelligence and human brain size in shaping evolution, this is not something that should be overlooked.

  • Snowdrop111

    Sometimes when this subject is discussed, people sound like there is no middle ground between a super-hot woman with all the desired physical characteristics and a “large hairy” woman who just doesn’t try at all.

    That’s not what I see in real life. I see plenty of girls-next-door who try to look pretty and succeed but aren’t cover-of-Maxim material.

    I can think of a super-super-hot movie star who has thick ankles!!! but she has world-famous another feature.

    Even movie stars have bad features. I saw a critically acclaimed movie where the critically acclaimed movie star did a nude scene not using a double because, well, this was a critically acclaimed movie–and the movie star with the face that launched a million-dollar ad campaign had a terrible body!

    I wish people would not sound like there is no middle ground between a person who isn’t conventionally hot in every possible feature and a “large hairy” person who isn’t trying.

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

      @Snowdrop
      I agree with this. There are very few 10s in the world – very few women who look close to perfect. There are also very few women who are so unattractive one cannot bear to gaze at them. Nearly all of us fall somewhere in between. I’ve always wondered if we’re made in such a way that we will be drawn to someone of similar attractiveness. I think we are. I wouldn’t have any idea how to handle a man who looks like Tom Brady. I find my husband attractive, but he’s not Jon Hamm. The truth is that we can all have love with a partner if we can find what’s appealing in another person by going beyond the superficial. Tom Brady and Giselle Bundchen can’t just sit and look at each other all day. Even for the beautiful, other qualities must take precedence in a relationship. So many young people won’t settle for a person with many attractive characteristics if they don’t perceive the person as “eye candy,” someone who can reflect positively on them. It’s just another outlet for narcissism, it seems to me. And the price of that is loneliness.

  • Obsidian

    Hi Ms. Walsh,
    As always, interesting discussion! Here’s my question for you, in light of what you’ve written:

    What’s the gal who’s more homely to do? I don’t recall you specifically addressing this very real fact of life for a goodly number of ladies.

    Comments?

    O.

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

      Hi Obs,
      Good to see you! As I said in the post, for a woman or man of any level of attractiveness, there are plenty of people of the opposite sex in the population who are a potential match. If female hypergamy prevents women from “settling” for a man of similar physical assets, they would do well to reassess their strategies. Perhaps after numerous pumping and dumpings they will notice that hot guys are not keeping them around. Women are guiltier of over-estimating their looks than men are, possibly because men are so visually oriented. To put it bluntly, a gal who’s more homely needs to get with a dude who is more homely.

  • GudEnuf

    @Susan

    Re:Looks

    The study took into account the disconnect between what we say and what we do. That’s why the results are so relevant.

    “But in reality men and women were equally inspired by physical attraction and equally inspired by earning power or ambition.”

    So men and women aren’t as different as Badger made them out to be.

    Re: Dominance

    I forgot the part of about men was in the article, not the abstract. Here’s the free version:

    http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Social+dominance+and+forceful+submission+fantasies%3A+feminine…-a0216682530

    Men preferred the submissive themes more so than did women. Yet, the findings for women have historically been the target of theorizing. Indeed it was submission in men, not women, that was positively associated with neuroticism. Not surprisingly, women do not favor dominating a man in fantasy (not even dominant women). This finding has been repeatedly anticipated by learning theorists and evolutionists alike. Bi-strategic women, historically the most aggressive group of females (childhood through adolescence), preferred forceful submission to domination–that is, her private thoughts entertain themes consistent with the behavior of dominant men (e.g., “warrior lovers”). ”

    Basically, both sexes enjoy submission fantasies; and within the sexes, the more powerful people enjoyed them more. (This might explain why social dominance works best on hot girls, they are used to men ceding power to them.) The fact that men enjoy submissive fantasies more than women is evidence that men have more power in society.

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

      @GudEnuf

      OK, thanks for that clarification.

      Basically, both sexes enjoy submission fantasies; and within the sexes, the more powerful people enjoyed them more. (This might explain why social dominance works best on hot girls, they are used to men ceding power to them.) The fact that men enjoy submissive fantasies more than women is evidence that men have more power in society.

      Wow, this is fascinating. In other words, there is an innate human desire to submit, at least some of the time, to someone more powerful. And those with the most power fantasize the most about ceding it sexually.

  • The Deuce

    @Susan:

    Re chastity, my sense is that no man would find it a detriment. I wondered in the post if it isn’t a priority because men know it’s not realistic. I’m really not sure.

    I suspect it’s just because men are told that they’re not supposed to hold a woman’s partners against her, that to do so is to be an ignorant, outmoded, judgmental square who hates equality, the type of unenlightened hick that all of right-thinking society left in the Dark Ages long ago. Note that many women laughed at the question, reflecting the view that such concerns are just ridiculously outdated, like believing in bad humors. So it’s not surprising that few men would admit to holding that view without embarrassment.

    On the other hand, men still rank sexual loyalty very high. No amount of feminist shaming or indoctrination can erase that. Of course, as Social Pathologist has shown (and as common sense would assume in the absence of cultural dogmas to the contrary), sexual history and likelihood of sexual loyalty are strongly related, but your average college guy has been told the opposite, and so doesn’t know it, or at least wouldn’t admit to knowing it.

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

    @Augustine deCarthage
    Sorry, I think I plagiarized your point without realizing it! Agree 100% that an 18 year-old college kid is going to have very different priorities about what is desirable in a partner than he will in 10 years. In fact, the researchers need to take that into account when comparing years. In the 1930s, marriage followed college graduation closely. Not any more.

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

    @GudEnuf
    Completely agree that phone etiquette should apply to everyone equally. Re the women acting more feminine – I recently read an article by a woman where she talked about hating to meet men right after work. She said that she needs time to transition out of her work persona and into her social persona. I think it depends on what industry a woman works in, but for example, a woman on a trading floor spends the day yelling, rushing, generally being very aggressive. She probably doesn’t want to come across that way on a date, and so may need some time to decompress. On the other hand, if she does feel comfortable coming straight from work, then she needs to find the right match – a man who will appreciate her drive and success.
    The truth is that men who seek those qualities in a woman are less common than men who seek women with a decidedly feminine demeanor. What’s important is that a woman find a man with whom she can be herself. Pretending is burdensome, and only effective in the short term.

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

    @ExNewYorker
    I had a fair amount of white knight in me, so women making stupid choices wasn’t their fault, it was the cads’ fault.
    Ha! How far you’ve come!
    .
    It became pretty clear that some amount of chastity was an indication of self-control, of long-term thinking, of being able to take responsibility for one’s own actions, and for being able to ignore the peer pressure out there, of being a grown up.
    Indeed, it seems to me that a woman who makes this choice and sticks with it is deserving of great admiration. She has stood against cultural pressure, political pressure and peer pressure. It seems like a reasonable proxy for character overall, and for having a moral backbone.
    .
    it kept the thrill of discovery as something I could share with my wife.
    This is huge, I think. I don’t buy into the notion that to be good in bed someone has to have had a bunch of different partners. I’ve always believed that two people who are into each other can figure out how to have mind-blowing sex in a weekend with enthusiasm, focus and good communication. Once you’ve had that experience, the idea of halfwaying it with some stranger is repugnant, at least to me. Sharing that thrill of discovery can’t be experienced many times. It should be reserved for a special relationship.

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

    @Pedalman
    Thanks for commenting. I think David Buss would say that evo psych speaks truth about the last 100,000 years, not the 1990s. Obviously, there is some shift in priorities as society changes – we have seen enormous changes in the SMP since the Sexual Revolution. Changes in incentives drive changes in behavior, and the fact is there is much more casual sex than ever before. Hence the demotion of chastity to the level of “unimportant.”
    .
    As for Sex at Dawn, I have some reservations about that book. The authors practice polyamory, if I recall correctly, so their academic neutrality is questionable at the very least. In interviews I’ve read with them, they were fairly aggressive in proselytizing for open relationships, alternative groupings, etc. It doesn’t mean they’re wrong, and there is much evidence that humans are probably designed for minimal polygyny (2-3 female partners per male). However, their having an axe to grind is unfortunate.

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

    @Hollenhund
    That video is great! No one does humor like the Brits. Yikes, that is really quite a neg.

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

    @Deuce
    You’re right. Devaluing chastity and valuing sexual loyalty are unlikely to coincide in the same person. Unless many men, for reasons you state, do not equate a small number of partners with disloyalty. Only 4% of women are virgins by the age of 26, the average age of marriage. So it may also be that men hedge their bets, using whatever justification is necessary, to accept that their future wife is very unlikely to be a virgin, statistically speaking.

  • Mike C

    As for Sex at Dawn, I have some reservations about that book.

    I wouldn’t even be that generous. I’ll admit I haven’t read it, but I’ve read some reviews of it by those who have. My sense is the book is a polemic replete with shoddy inaccurate science. The authors clearly had an agenda with the book. I don’t remember with certainty but I believe it was commenter Gorbachev that ABSOLUTELY DEMOLISHED the book in a comment elsewhere.

  • Obsidian

    Hi Ms. Walsh,
    Thanks for all the support, and take heart – The Obsidian Files will return…

    Replies below:

    SW: Hi Obs,
    Good to see you! As I said in the post, for a woman or man of any level of attractiveness, there are plenty of people of the opposite sex in the population who are a potential match. If female hypergamy prevents women from “settling” for a man of similar physical assets, they would do well to reassess their strategies. Perhaps after numerous pumping and dumpings they will notice that hot guys are not keeping them around. Women are guiltier of over-estimating their looks than men are, possibly because men are so visually oriented. To put it bluntly, a gal who’s more homely needs to get with a dude who is more homely.

    O: Yes, that’s true, but in light of the points you made in your post about the Feminists and the “large, hairy Women”, we have to ask – what of such or similar Women? and recall, please, that I asked YOU, if/when you intend to deal specifically with this topic. Look, I know the kind of audience you aim for, and while I know they and you are sensitive to this, it does none of them any good to mince words here – I am quite certain that a goodly portion of your target audience ain’t all that comely. How can what you offer here at HUS assist them? That’s a very real and brutally honest question that I’ve yet to see you grapple with head on, and I think it would be a wonderful post to have, because there’s a real need to put the blatant, upfront truth out there for these young ladies. The reason why things are different for guys is because guys find out very early on in their romantic lives what they can and can’t get, due to what they bring to the table; this doesn’t happen for Women in the same way, like you said, it usually only happens after quite a few trainwrecks of pump and dumps, they’re considerably older by then, and as we all know, most guys with any backbone not only won’t want any Man’s sloppy seconds, but he also won’t want a considerably older gal who’s quite a bit up on her “sell by” date.

    No disrespect here, Ms. Walsh, but I find that you tend to proceed with many of your discussions from a lot of assumptions – that the gals you’re talking to are at least moderately attractive, are coming from a particular sociometric background, and so forth. You don’t seem to consider the fact that it is indeed quite possible that say, 20% of the gals who read you regularly just may not be all that hot looking, yet they live in a time where they too are told they can have it all, and if they’re willing to put out for the Tucker Max’s of the world, they can indeed have him for a night or a few hours. But that doesn’t help them in the longrun, as we all know.

    I see you as the Big Mama figure that tells Women what they need to hear, even if it means they won’t like it or even if it may hurt their feelings at first. It is for this reason that I’d really like to see you focus at least one post on those young ladies who just aren’t that good looking.

    Thanks!

    Holla back

    O.

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

      @Obsidian

      I am quite certain that a goodly portion of your target audience ain’t all that comely.

      This is really a remarkable statement. I wonder what evidence you have to support this claim. However, assuming it were true, it doesn’t change anything. As you yourself have said many times women who “ain’t comely” mate all the time. A trip to your local Wal Mart will confirm this. The truth is that half the population would be lucky to Be considered “average looking.” They do find a way to mate. In fact, I mentioned above that there is a strong correlation between female obesity and teenage OOW births.
      .
      I do not find your comment disrespectful particularly, but I do find it presumptuous. Who I write for and what I say are entirely my choice – I am not obligated to explain that. In fact, I do not write particularly for beautiful women, nor do I target wealthy women. I do write for college women, and others. In general, I would say that my readers are intelligent and educated. (Do NOT tell me this is how you know that they are unattractive. That’s a non-starter.) My readers find me, tell their friends about me, and keep returning to this blog because I’m telling them stuff they’re not hearing anywhere else. It’s tough love for many of them, and they appreciate the idea that they can improve their lives by making better, more informed decisions. I do think it’s fair to say that women who want 5 minutes with Tucker Max are extremely unlikely to be readers here. You can find them at Hooking Up Stupid.

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

    @Esca
    Interesting analysis. It raises the question of how looks are distributed in the population. Why not an even distribution, with 10% for each ranking? Or is it a bell curve distribution? In that case, 68% of the people would be within one standard deviation of the mean (5.5), and 95% within two SDs. That’s still lower than your 80%.
    Of course, looks are not easily measured in an absolute sense. A person’s attractiveness can be easily altered, and not everyone has the same taste in women, obviously.
    .
    So, the 6 and 7′s who wants something real or more real to their desire come to this site.
    In general, the women who come here are looking for something real. No one sits down and googles “had an awesome hookup with QB1 last nite.” People go online looking for information, for answers. They come here to make sense of things they don’t understand. Why didn’t he call? What do guys want? Why do slutty girls get boyfriends? Why do psycho bitches have a ton of guys after them? How can I tell what he’s thinking? What does this behavior mean? Does he like me?
    .
    Most of the women here, at least the ones who write or comment, have ongoing interaction with guys. Women who struggle to engage the opposite sex in any way are more likely to find solace elsewhere (see Feministing et al).

  • Obsidian

    Good morning Ms. Walsh,
    Looks like we have the makings for one heck of a discussion – but then, what else is new when you and I have a sit, hmm ;)

    Replies below:

    “I am quite certain that a goodly portion of your target audience ain’t all that comely.”

    SW: This is really a remarkable statement. I wonder what evidence you have to support this claim.

    O: I don’t think its at all “remarkable”; just upthread you cosigned Snowdrop’s observation that there are very few “Dimes” as we would call them in the hood. Is it so bad to simply acknowledge that there are indeed Women out there, on America’s elite campuses, who ain’t that great looking? And is it so bad to simply acknowledge this?

    As you know, I have no daughters, but I’ve often wondered what the parents of not so comley girls say to them as they grow into adulthood. I suspect many of them don’t have the kinds of brutally forthright discussion that I am calling for you to conduct here, and I suspect that’s for a number of reasons, both personal and social.

    For one thing, who wants to admit that the product of their own loins ain’t all that great to look at? Especially when you belong to a sector of society where expectations, accross the board, are so strong?

    Secondly, let’s face it, looks matter to Women a heck of a lot more than we’re willing to openly admit. We have all manner of easily observable evidence for this, the multi-billion dollar per year beauty business is just one huge example among many. Simply put, who wants to tell their girl that they’re not all that hot to look at, and therefore has to develop alternate ways with which they an appeal to a good Man?

    Now, I can’t produce any peer-reviewed studies either way here Ms. Walsh, LOL, but my gut tells me that this is so. And again, I don’t think it’s helping anyone, least of all the young ladies you mentioned in your leadoff post above. I maintain that you are uniquely positioned to do something many of these gals’ parents either can’t, or won’t do. Of course, the choice is yours as to whether you want to go there or not.

    Time, will tell…

    SW: However, assuming it were true, it doesn’t change anything. As you yourself have said many times women who “ain’t comely” mate all the time. A trip to your local Wal Mart will confirm this. The truth is that half the population would be lucky to Be considered “average looking.” They do find a way to mate. In fact, I mentioned above that there is a strong correlation between female obesity and teenage OOW births.

    O: Yes – but I think you would agree with me, that your target demographic isn’t likely to shop at Walmart, am I correct? Moreover, yes, we both agree that a less than comely gal can indeed “mate” – we’ve both agreed that Rachel Bussell has no problem getting guys into her bed (Ugh). But that’s markedly different from getting commitment from the Guys Who Matter, now isn’t it? And besides, how many of the gals in your target audience are willing to get with Walmart Guys? Come on. Finally, we’re not discussing teenagers, since by definition, since your blog focuses on the college aged, we’re talking about people primarily in their early 20s if not older – yes? Those “large, hairy” gals you mentioned above weren’t teenagers I don’t think.

    SW: I do not find your comment disrespectful particularly, but I do find it presumptuous. Who I write for and what I say are entirely my choice – I am not obligated to explain that. In fact, I do not write particularly for beautiful women, nor do I target wealthy women. I do write for college women, and others. In general, I would say that my readers are intelligent and educated. (Do NOT tell me this is how you know that they are unattractive. That’s a non-starter.) My readers find me, tell their friends about me, and keep returning to this blog because I’m telling them stuff they’re not hearing anywhere else. It’s tough love for many of them, and they appreciate the idea that they can improve their lives by making better, more informed decisions. I do think it’s fair to say that women who want 5 minutes with Tucker Max are extremely unlikely to be readers here. You can find them at Hooking Up Stupid.

    O: Nevertheless, what I said is quite plausible, and if you take any time to discuss the matter with the guys who attend or are otherwise familiar with these schools, they’ll confirm what I’ve said – a goodly portion of the gals on campus simply aren’t nice to look at, end of. I really don’t think what I’m saying here is all that off the mark – but it IS deeply politically incorrect.

    Which is why I am not heartened that you’ll go there. Like I said above, what else is new? ;)

    Holla back

    O.

  • SayWhaat

    Why do slutty girls get boyfriends?

    Yeah, why do they? Has there been a post that addressed this? If so, I missed it.

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

      @SayWhaat
      No, you didn’t miss it because I don’t have all the answers on that one. I do have some theories, but need male input. Perhaps I’ll writing a post posing the question and asking for it.

  • GudEnuf

    @Susan

    You’ve probably seen this post before, but men on OK Cupid do see attractiveness as a bell curve. (Women, on the other hand, rate 80% of men as below average)

    http://blog.okcupid.com/index.php/your-looks-and-online-dating/

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

      @GudEnuf
      I had forgotten that! Very useful. And I really am amazed at how harsh the women are. In that article, they put up the pics of 4 guys who were judged as unattractive. I think the guy with the guitar is cute! And the others are fine. There are some serious problems with female expectations, obviously. Incidentally, I feel sorry for those guys who were singled out. Awkward.

  • Escarondito

    In the interest of this discussion and framing a perspective, I believe most of us can agree that the majority of women and men in this world are 6-7’s. 8,9, and 10’s and 5,4, and 3’s (I don’t rate 2’s or 1’s because it would be almost mean to even rate them) take up 20% of the population.

    So if 80% of the women are 6 or 7. It is a good chance that the young ones still believe that they can pull the higher up men and the majority of them do not come here. So, the 6 and 7’s who wants something real or more real to their desire come to this site. I think obs might be right in thinking those 5,4, and 3’s are coming to this site as well. Because if those 6 and 7’s are not getting what they want in the hook-up scene then they are hooking up stupid. Those 5,4, and 3’s? They’re definetely not getting what they want and must feel like they are hooking up retarded. So I can see them coming to your site for help.

    In case of retaliation I love the Special Olympics.

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

    @Obsidian
    It’s clear you’ve never been a parent. Every parent believes their child is beautiful. After I had my first child, we met another Lamaze couple and their newborn for brunch. The couple was not good looking, but the baby was the ugliest I’d ever seen. It was hard to know what to say. As the meal progressed it became very clear that they believed their brand new daughter was destined to be a total heartbreaker. I can assure you that as she aged and failed to break any hearts, her parents found many reasons for this, none of which had to do with her looks.
    .
    Evolution has insured that parents fall in love with their babies. No loving parent would ever sit their child down for a talk to say “you’re ugly.” I cringe at the thought of it.

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

    @Esca
    No I haven’t, please explain! And how does that mesh with men valuing sexual loyalty and faithfulness in a partner above all else? Why all this fuss about a woman’s number if a guy is happy to turn a ho into a housewife?

  • Obsidian

    Ms. Walsh,
    Now you’re spinning, which I find you have a tendency to do when I bring up uncomfortable points with you, LOL. So, let’s get this straight: are you saying that there simply aren’t any less than average looking Women in the demographic from which your blog comes? Granted, they may not be HERE, but are you arguing they simply don’t exist?

    Secondly, let’s say that they do indeed “find solace” with the Femosphere. OK, now what? Clearly, that path isn’t helping them; if it did, YOU would not have gotten such a workout from them in recent months, yes?

    Again: do parents of girls who aren’t good looking, ever have a brutally honest heart to heart talk with them? I would say no, and its for a number of reasons, some of which I’ve laidout in my comment above. And I think not doing this, makes for some pretty bad consequences.

    I have a sister who runs her own daycare business out of her home. Her place is filled with kids all day, everyday, LOL. And when I go to visit, it just raises all manner of questions for me. One of those questions, are things like these. How many of the parents of some of these girls, are going to flatout tell their daughters, “look, you’re not gonna be able to compete with some of the other gals out there, because you simply don’t have the looks for it, but here’s what you can do to attract a good guy”? Again, I don’t have daughters of my own, but something tells me such conversations – particularly among the upper middle class set that your blog tends to focus on and attracts, Ms. Walsh – aren’t likely to happen. It occurs to me that a number of assumptions just kind of hangs out there, dangerous ones in my view, that actually winds up hurting quite a few gals in the longrun.

    Again, lets go back to your theory of the less than comely gals going to Feministing and the like for “solace” – clearly, they’re coming from the same demo as your gals, yes? So, would we agree that they’re not getting such talks from their parents – and given your response to my comment above, they’re not likely to get it from you either? If so, is it any wonder that they would turn to the Femosphere for “solace” – even if the advice is woefully wrongheaded?

    I personally am of the view that there is a kind of way of thinking in certain classes of folk that assumes a heck of a lot, and doesn’t want to look head on at some of the harsher realities of life, and this has ended up creating an entire generation of people who in turn, can’t hack life on its own terms. What we’re dealing with right now, is one such example.

    Among a great many others.

    Holla back

    O.

  • Obsidian

    As for why slutty gals get boyfriends, that’s easy – because slutty gals put out and with less effort and time invested than gals who don’t, that’s why. Slutty gals will never want for a stiff one, the trick is whether they can get a guy worth having around to stick around for the long haul after the party’s over. On that note, they don’t have a great track record, not historically, and not for the foreseeable future either.

    And while we’re talking about guys, and since I know just how strong the egalitarian thing is among the ladies is, let me say that what I’ve noted above isn’t something that only applies to the girls. There are plenty of boys whose parents must know don’t have what it takes to really compete out there on the open SMP. Do they have brutally honest talks with their sons about this? If the Rise of Game is any indication, we already know the answer to said question.

    The truth of it is, that Bill Cosby was onto something when he castigated Americans for not parenting six years ago – he was just wrong as to which group of parents and the actual topic. The truth is, that parents accross the board aren’t preparing their kids for the harsh realities of the mating world, in a time when it hasn’t been freer in modern history. And the simple truth of that is, there WILL be winners and losers, and that’s no respector of class or social rank. And we have utterly failed to prepare our kids, especially those who come to the playing field with noted disadvantages, to deal with, cope with and hopefully have some measure of peace and fulfillment, to say nothing of love, out there in the dating and mating world. Parents just refuse not only to discuss sex and relationships in general with their kids, but they definitely refuse to come to grips with their less than average kids in this regard.

    And that, comes with huge costs.

    I’m just saying.

    Holla back

    O.

  • Obsidian

    As for what some in the Gamesphere calls the Attractiveness Bell Curve, the theory goes something like this:

    For Women, the majority of them will tend to clump in the middle, ranking from say, 5, to about 7 or so. The 8s and 9s will tend to be to the right of the “hump” of the curve, and the Dimes will be on the extreme rightend of said curve. Of course, 4s on down will be on the left end of the curve.

    For Men though, it’s a bit different – very few “hunks”, and a bit more “Omegas” will inhabit the tails of the curve, while the vast middle can and will be a kind of hodgo podge of middling guys – anywehere from say, 4s to 8s. The trick in their case is, because Women have a broader set of critieria as to what it takes to make for an attractive mate, they have more wiggle room than do most Women; this is why Game is so helpful. But make no mistake, such “curves” are real – and again, I find it fascinating that parents don’t discuss such things with their kids, especially those who are less than average.

    O.

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

    When it comes to looks, the truth is subjective. I don’t doubt for a minute that Rachel KB’s mother thinks she is extremely attractive. So if that’s denial, all parents are going to stay there. I have known some extremely attractive mothers whose daughters look more like alpha dad. Roissy has written about this I believe. The hot mom has a high-testosterone daughter. In the cases I’ve witnessed, the mother took it out on the daughter in the form of haranguing her about getting thinner, encouraging plastic surgery, and other extremely unhealthy kinds of pressure. The mothers were mostly afraid of the daughters reflecting poorly on them. What I would do in that situation is encourage my daughter to think realistically about what constitutes attractiveness in men. A woman who is a solid five and wants a relationship will marry a solid five guy. Despite all the claims about female hypergamy, this happens ALL THE TIME. I was walking my dog through a nearby park last weekend, and there were many young families there playing. I was struck by how ordinary and average everyone was. Just average or even below average looking people out with their average looking kids on a beautiful fall day.

  • karen

    Uh, most parents don’t have to tell their kids that they aren’t attractive. Society, especially high school, will take care of that. Other people will let those kids know, either through their words or their actions, that they aren’t attractive. I know of one unattractive girl in college who invited a male classmate to a dorm dance. The guy flat out rejected her because he was afraid that his friends would make fun of him for going out with her because she was unattractive. This terribly hurt that girl’s feelings. And she wasn’t even that type of girl who thought she was beautiful or had been repeatedly told she was beautiful. She just wanted to go to her dorm dance and have a good time.

  • GudEnuf

    @ Obsidian The sooner a person realizes they are ugly, the sooner they can either accept it or work to correct it. I personally think that anyone can become an 8 or a 9 (for their age group) with enough fiscal and temporal investment. In fact, I would go further and say that access to money is more important than genetics for good looks. High end clothes, makeup (even for men), cosmetic surgery, hairstyling and personal trainers can fix just about anything.

    Of course, some people think that their time and money is better spent elsewhere, and we should respect that decision. But ugly children should know their options and the trade-offs between them.

  • Escarondito

    @ Susan
    Have you not heard the term, “Turning a hoe in to a housewife”?

  • Mike C

    Ouch. Here’s the weird thing about that. Women and men look down on men who intimately hang out with ugly girls. It’s like social death. You can usually make it up with guys but with girls I noticed it’s just uneasy the way they look at you afterwards. So, I do understand where he is coming from.
    .

    SO VERY TRUE!!!
    .

    Back to my bouncing days in 2005-2006. I’ve ALWAYS had a soft spot for unattractive people because I knew what it felt like. In early high school, I was short, wore glasses and braces, and looked like the complete nerd. Senior year of high school/freshman year of college someone spiked my milk I think and I shot up to 6’3″. The braces were gone, lost the glasses for contacts, and picked up bodybuilding in the post college days and resumed it hardcore during the bouncing days. Suffice it to say, I was physically attractive but I never forgot where I had been.
    .

    So anyways, when I first started bouncing, I was friendly to the fat, ugly girls. No reason to be rude, unfriendly, or impolite because someone isn’t attractive or even average. They glommed on to that, and would hang all over me during my shift because the “hot bouncer” was giving them attention (I couldn’t go anywhere else but my stool by the door) and no other guy would. I was still learning Game at the time, and not the most socially savvy.
    .

    I definitely started to get a weird vibe at times from the hot girls, and the hot bartenders and waitresses. I truly had no idea what the hell was going on. Finally, another bouncer, a true natural alpha, total player, who had taken a liking to me and sort of under his wing, told me flat out “dude, you’ve got to stop talking to the fatties and ugly chicks, you are screwing yourself “. As ALL OF US know who have studied Game, women judge you by your social status (social proof) and other women you associate with is a BIG COMPONENT of that.
    .

    If you are a physically attractive male, and you associate with or are friendly to unattractive women, unfortunately, attractive women will assume there is something else very wrong with you. Unfortunately, you can’t really be seen in public with them, especially not anything that hints at romantic, sexual, or flirtatious.
    .

  • Anonymous

    “Despite all the claims about female hypergamy, this happens ALL THE TIME.” I don’t see the contradiction. It’s like saying the fact that most men do not have multiple wives refutes the concept of male tendency toward polygamy. Both are instances of wanting for oneself what is clearly impossible on a large scale, which naturally means that a lot of people are not going to get what they desire.

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

      @Anonymous
      I agree with you, but one of Obsidian’s favorite arguments is that women won’t choose men who are their equals, they’d rather stay single. To be sure, this is true of some women, but I maintain that it’s not true of the vast majority. And by the way, I don’t believe that most women think of this as “settling.” People of similar attractiveness fall in love frequently. If 80% of the male population is “beta” and 80% of those guys marry, that’s a lot of people going about the business of making a life without ever even knowing what female hypergamy is.

  • Escarondito

    @susan

    Yeah you definetely haven’t heard it. Because the full term is “You can’t turn a hoe into a housewife”. A male leaning beta will try that. An alpha leaning male is more discerning. The point I’ve always gleaned from this term via stories and personal experience(my former Heroin addict model chick), is that even if you succeed in turning her into a housewife you still know mentally she was a hoe. Internal conflict. Plus, she is a hoe. She can never really be a housewife.

    @obs
    Yeah there is only one mother I ever know who was able to tell their child she was ugly. And she didn’t outright tell her through words but actions. She is the sister of one of the girls on real housewives of x city, and her sister castmember was going to her house for her daughters bday party. Her whole family beleives her daughter is so ugly that she made sure her daughter didn’t even see the waiver to sign it and be on tv. All the other children did though. So when you see the episode the daughter is hugged out of frame, you see the parents talking, the kids singing happy birthday to her, but never her. I’m friends with her brother and have met her and I wouldn’t be that harsh to her, but she does look like her brother with long hair.

  • Obsidian

    Ms. Walsh,
    It seems that we’re in agreement about the fundamental denial so many parents are in in this regard. So the question then becomes – is it better to foster such denial, and allow our less than average kid to go out there and discover the hard way, that they are indeed less than average? What does evolution have to say about such a strategy? Surely, that can’t be parental love or simple respect for our kids. Can it? How can fostering such denial, be better than our kids finding “solace” in the Femosphere, for example? Please explain?

    And, if I may, please allow me to make it personal – you have a daughter, whom I presume is at the very least, moderately good looking, if not outright hot.

    But, what if she were more like Rachel Kramer Bussell – how would YOU approach such a situation, Ms. Walsh? Would you too, remain in denial, as the couple you discussed did? Or would you do the seemingly uncharacteristic thing, and love your daughter enough to tell her the truth not only about herself, but about how the real world works, and what she would have to do to overcome it?

    Your response?

    O.

  • http://grerp.blogspot.com grerp

    The four men in those OK Cupid photos are at least 5’s, and I’d rate two of them as at least a 7. Based only on their looks, I’d have gone out with any of them when I was single. One of the saddest thing about men’s looks is that many women judge them on what their friends will say about them rather than whether they themselves find them attractive. I’m sure this is why short women cross short men off their list prematurely.

    Another sad thing: many of the women out there really aren’t correspondingly more attractive or even as attractive as those four men. So many women have trashed what they had going for them with excess weight, tanning, and tattoos/piercing. Or repulsive clothing/weird hair.

  • Locard

    Maybe I’m just a throwback but “chastity” was one of my most desireable features in my wife. It is not what drew me to her at first, looks were important, but kept me interested. Sometimes we have to differentiate between what guys say they look for and what guys value and want to keep once they have, or want to take to the next level.

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

      @Locard
      It sounds like chastity is not on the short checklist for a lot of men, but is sincerely appreciated once it’s discovered. It may be a factor in leading a man to consider marriage, for example. That makes sense to me – I routinely tell women to keep their number low, as I expect that when they confess having had 0, 1 or 2 partners, their SO can only be pleasantly surprised, even relieved.

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

    @Obsidian
    A fellow mom once said to me, “Sorry, but all our kids can’t be the top 3%. My kids need tutoring in math just to keep up. I’m not going to make my kid feel stupid just because he’s not at the top of his class.” I saw this too in the college selection process. There was always a group of parents pushing their B average kids to apply to Penn or Princeton. It’s masochism or sadism, depending. I also saw parents of really accomplished kids support their children’s decision to go for a smaller, less competitive environment.
    .
    My generation of parents is way too invested in what our children’s accomplishments say about us. Objectivity is rare. However, even if I had total objectivity about my kids, I would never tell them what their future is, what they can’t have in a mate. I have been surprised many times. If parents instill good values and character in their children, as a countereffect to popular culture, they should both offer and seek traits that will make for a good match. Far too few parents have done that. I’ve certainly made plenty of mistakes.

  • GudEnuf

    @Obsidian

    Oprah is gorgeous, at least from the next up. Easily hotter than 80% of the women in her age group. If she could quit stuffing her face, she’d be in the 95th percentile.

    Susan Boyle’s ugliness is just a gimmick. People buy her records to pretend beauty doesn’t matter. As you can see in her debut performance, she used her ugliness to elicit sympathy and make her voice sound better by way of contrast.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxPZh4AnWyk

    Sure she could get a makeover and throw away that hideous dress. But then she’d lose her record-selling status as the token ugly.

  • http://grerp.blogspot.com grerp

    I’m not so sure you can make a natural 4 an unnatural 8 or 9. The Clintons threw a lot of money into remaking Chelsea, and she looked attractive enough at her wedding, but nowhere near the “beautiful” they were calling her at Feministing and other outlets. I think a personal trainer, a cosmetic surgeon, a professional hairdresser and makeup artist were all involved at the minimum.

    I volunteer at my son’s elementary school. There aren’t that many strikingly pretty girls, but there aren’t that many strikingly handsome little boys either. If the MSM was at all representative of the real population we probably wouldn’t watch so much TV. It wouldn’t appeal.

  • Obsidian

    Ms. Walsh,
    I think its important to keep in mind what we’re talking about wrt age here. We both agree that people and especially Women, marry at later ages, yes? If that’s true, then its also true that they’re a bit removed from the “hotness” that is the younger set and dating and the like. In other words, passions have cooled somewhat, and the Women in particular, have a bit more perspective on things. which may lead them to seekout “similar” mates. But I don’t think that necessarily conflicts with what has been noted as hypergamy, because really young and otherwise nice looking Women can and will go for the top guy on the totem pole.

    At any rate, I think you would be a rare parent to talk to your daughter in such a way. As you rightly noted, either such a convo doesn’t happen at all, or it does from a standpoint that certainly is not healthy. No doubt, such realizations are a statement about the parents – how could it not be – and that brings a lot more pain into the picture than otherwise.

    In a society that loves a winner, its very difficult to openly admit that your kid may not be. But it doesn’t make it any less an important, however painful, conversation to have. In fact, it may be the height of parental love.

    O.

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

    @Karen
    You’re right. The peer group ranks women by middle school. Both sexes do it – in fact in junior high there is usually a reshuffling of popularity as girls who get attention from boys become allies, and girls who boys don’t find attractive get pushed aside. The world is cruel. The idea that girls should come home to their parents for a stern lecture about their looks is repugnant. What is far more likely is that girls come home begging for a nose job, lipo, etc. Then it’s perfectly reasonable for a parent to have an honest and open conversation about reality and whether it can be altered. If communication between parents and kids is open, they’ll let you know when they’re feeling insecure. There is a productive way of responding, and an unproductive way. Personally, sitting down to tell my daughter she is not attractive is something I would never, ever do.

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

    @grerp
    As a fellow fan of British drama, I wonder what you think about the way Brits cast their actors. Yes, Richard Armitage is hot, hot, hot. But in general, I think they do a much better job of casting normal looking people in leading roles. They select their leading actors from the RSC, where we tend to cast good looking airheads here. Furthermore, some of their actors are sexy without being good looking. That’s less common in the U.S., and virtually unheard of for women. I think this is why American remakes of foreign films are usually terrible. The acting takes a back seat to looks.

  • Escarondito

    @Karen

    Ouch. Here’s the weird thing about that. Women and men look down on men who intimately hang out with ugly girls. It’s like social death. You can usually make it up with guys but with girls I noticed it’s just uneasy the way they look at you afterwards. So, I do understand where he is coming from. And I do think that girl will get it alot more as she grows older. But it’s mad hard to tell someone get used to being alone or have alot of meaningless sex in the dark.

  • karen

    First we have to accept that most parents are not objective about their kid’s looks, academic potential, athletic skills, etc. I know that I have been around some babies that were just so beautiful that I couldn’t stop looking at them and holding them. I have also been around other babies that I thought were not even cute. Let’s just say I was never asking the parents of the not-cute babies if I could hold their babies. I have also been around parents who brag about how brilliant their kid is, except no one else can see it, myself included.

    I have been where the unattractive girls are today. I had bad hair, acne, no fashion sense, etc. and was invisible to many guys in high school and college. Now, I can walk into a room and both men and women turn to stare at me. That doesn’t mean that I have forgotten what it is like to be unattractive. So I don’t judge an attractive guy harshly if he hangs out with an ugly female. In fact, I usually have a better opinion of such a guy rather than one who is only surrounded by attractive females. I tend to judge the latter guy as a superficial jerk who will never like me for myself but for my looks only. So I would totally go out with the attractive guy who has some unattractive female friends.

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

    @Obs
    I think this is the kind of thing guys seem better equipped to handle, as a group, than are the gals.
    That’s because guys have more “wiggle room” as you put it. What women hear constantly is that looks matter more than anything else, in fact to the exclusion of everything else.
    .
    it disappoints me, but doesn’t surprise me, that so many moms don’t discuss these matters in an earnest, caring way with their less than attractive daughters.
    I’ll just say you’re barking up the wrong tree here. You just don’t get it. I don’t know why it should disappoint you particularly, unless you’ve been hounded by ugly women. Life is the best teacher, always, and what parents predict is often incorrect. That’s not their job. Their job is to teach their children what’s important in selecting a life partner.
    .
    I think Susan Boyle knows that she is no heartbreaker. Nor has she been marketed as one. Women can be famous without being gorgeous, no? Your comment would make sense if there was a Susan Boyle pinup calendar on the market, but her most recent CD just has a nice groomed and earnest looking face.
    .

  • Badger Nation

    Susan,

    More bad news for Duke’s party reputation…the 14-year old brother of a student was found passed out drunk in a porta john before a Duke football game, leading the school to ban student tailgating.

    http://msn.foxsports.com/collegefootball/story/Duke-officials-ban-student-tailgating-for-football-110910?gt1=39002

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

      @Badger
      OMG. Not only that, I just read that a Duke senior has been arrested for the illegal acquisition and possession of child porn. In this case, preteen boys having sex. They need to shake that place up fast. Maybe Larry Summers is available.

  • GudEnuf

    @ Escarondito

    I didn’t say that people can buy supermodel looks. I didn’t say you could buy youth. All I said was that

    I personally think that anyone can become an 8 or a 9 (for their age group) with enough fiscal and temporal investment.

    So when I said Oprah was gorgeous, all I mean was that if you looked at ten random 56 year old women, Oprah would look better than 8 or 9 of them. It’s disingenuous to compare a wealthy woman to two other wealthy women who also have great genes and are a decade younger.

  • Obsidian

    GudEnuf,
    I think this is the kind of thing guys seem better equipped to handle, as a group, than are the gals. Rightly or wrongly, bang, there it is. But for Women, this is a very, very hard thing to accept, and it disappoints me, but doesn’t surprise me, that so many moms don’t discuss these matters in an earnest, caring way with their less than attractive daughters. They shouldn’t have to go to highschool or get rejected as a date (after asking) for the dorm dance, to know what they’re up against as they begin their own young adult lives, of which sex and relationships will play a big part, for better or worse. I think, personally, that it is cruel for a parent NOT to prepare their kid along these lines.

    But that’s just me.

    And no, with all due respect I cannot agree with your notion that with enough money, anyone can be hot. Oprah has billions and still is not considered hot by just about any guy. The singer from Scotland, her name escapes me right now, has mad success and money, but she will never be attractive to the vast majority of guys out there. At some point these things need to be honestly discussed so that so many people don’t wind up really hurting themselves for the rest of their lives, and I just don’t think we’ve done a good job as a society doing that.

    O.

    PS: Susan Boyle, that’s the name I was trying to remember…

  • Escarondito

    @Mike C
    It’s sucks right. Same story with me. Was skinny as toothpick, glasses, uber nerdy even though I was into athletics. So when I came into my own was nice to the untouched ones because that’s how I felt. BURR!! WRONG! Even girls who were my friends and I thought were sweet as wholesome pie, were like, “why were you talking to that girl?”

    I won’t stop being nice to people I feel deserve it because of social pressure. That’s girl shit and I don’t roll that way. But I don’t hurt my chances anymore with hot girls by being friendly with the big, or ugly girl while we wait for drinks at the bar.

  • Escarondito

    @gudenuf

    I know you can’t be serious witht hat “Oprah is gorgeous” comment. You are joking right? I agree with your Susan Boyle remark, but you are SERIOUSLY joking with that remark right? You can’t be that silly correct? That unknowing of what turns a male on? That unwilling to look at the truth of women at that age and know monica bellucci is gorgeous, catherine zeta-jones i gorgeous, oprah is….

  • Badger Nation

    “It sounds like chastity is not on the short checklist for a lot of men, but is sincerely appreciated once it’s discovered. It may be a factor in leading a man to consider marriage, for example. That makes sense to me – I routinely tell women to keep their number low, as I expect that when they confess having had 0, 1 or 2 partners, their SO can only be pleasantly surprised, even relieved.”

    My expectations for “chastity” would be along the following lines:
    1. Sex with long-term boyfriends is legit
    2. At most one “fling” or short-term relationship that got hot and heavy quickly (no carouseling)
    3. One-night stands and drunken “don’t know what happened” sex should not be on the CV. (Again no carouseling)
    4. Absolutely no extra-relationship sexual behavior (anywhere on the basepaths) – none of these “well it was already over in my mind” or “I used cheating as a pretext to dump by bf” (not that someone would admit to that but we know it happens)

    As important to me as these is a woman who has chosen good partners. If she tells me every guy she dated before me was an asshole, I’m concerned she has a blind spot for picking dudes or seeks dysfunction. It also subconsciously causes me to up my “alpha”/Roissyness since I know she responds to that kind of stuff.

  • http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/ hambydammit

    There is a need for both outer and inner beauty for women in acquiring long-term relationships, and there’s plenty of evidence to back this up. Without one or the other, and the chances of it working or being stable years down the road are slim.
    From a “raising healthy kids” perspective, it is neurologically important for the child(ren) to have that stability and love between parents as well as from parents. Monogamy accomplishes this the best, which is why it persists. It actually raises a child’s IQ to be born into and raised in a stable marriage. Given the importance of intelligence and human brain size in shaping evolution, this is not something that should be overlooked.

    Hope, you’ve missed the point. Even if all this is true (and some of it is highly suspect), it still addresses the happiness of both the parents and the children, which is a variable quite independent of the reproductive success of the children. Unhappy people still manage to reproduce quite well. Undereducated people reproduce more than well educated people.
    So you’re not addressing the main point, which is that beauty is a strong motivator for men biologically because of its high correlation with reproductive success. Beautiful people have more sexual options than ugly people. It’s just a fact. And more options is better for reproductive success.

  • Obsidian

    Grerp,
    Excellent point wrt Chelsea Clinton, I was thinking about her when I was writing earlier, and some may think that, because she married well, presumably, their not so comely girls will, too. Of course, they fail to take into account the fact of Clinton’s social position and all that comes with it, as you noted.

    Look, I get this is a very, very difficult conversation to have, and Ms. Walsh is right, for Baby Boomer parents, this is virtually a taboo topic, because of what it will ultimately say about them. But it doesn’t help those who need to be told the real deal out there before they find out the hard way.

    Btw grerp, just read your most recent post and thought it was excellent. And yes, the fellas are most certainly enjoying the comeuppance some of these ladies are getting…

    O.

  • Escarondito

    @ Karen
    So which is better for you friday or saturday? Actually friday will be bad it’s a battlestar galactica marathon. I’m free saturday night to sunday morning. Sound good?

    @gudenuf
    Ok. True. Decade makes a difference. How about Michelle Pfeifer age 52? Sharon stone age 51? Madonna (not to me but some). Even jamie lee curtis still look good in their 50’s.
    I see what you’re saying about being 80% better than her age group amongst random americans, but you gotta realize that’s also because we’re obese as hell.
    I can’t remember whether you are a girl or not but I think you are. And if you are a guy I’m not understanding you. You see the word gorgeous is reserved for the monica’s, catherines, pfeifers, sharon’s of the 40-50’s. Gorgeous is like the noble woman who is sexy and sophisticated. The Mrs. Sarkozy. Oprah is not that at all. She may be sophisticated, and she must be to amass the wealth she has. But there is not a bone in my body that would get hard if she took her top off. And with all the money in the world you think would make her sexy it won’t. Sucks but it’s true.

  • dream puppy

    Don’t the “MY BABY is the most beautiful” blinders also affect our spouses? To me they do. I do honestly think my husband is the most handsome and the smartest….he thinks I’m fairly dopey, but gives me a full 100% on the attractive scale. Are we just delusional saps? We’re able to see each other’s many many personal flaws, just not physically….

    I can’t believe you guys are arguing about how attractive Oprah is…she’s not. wtf.

    @Susan, I like your blog. Have been reading it for quite some time.

    @Badger My husband was completely brainwashed by the feminazis and his liberal arts degree (“i feel like i’m oppressing you when you cook”) in the beginning of our relationship and even he appreciated the fact that I was not a big slut before we met. My inability to flirt and nervousness around being approached sent out a certain message. (Of course, I certainly was no saint but you get the point.)

    My husband said to me recently, “I like it that you don’t notice men noticing you.” A woman who is not flirtatious or looking to see who’s checking her out is a better bet. She won’t be making you raise no other man’s kids!!!

  • Anonymous

    hambydammit, I never refuted that beauty confers more options. I did argue that long-term, loving and monogamous relationships benefit children in many ways. And if you think that the research is suspect, look up the effect of not having parental attention on Romanian children (adoption studies). If human babies really didn’t need empathy, love and all that cuddly “inner beauty” crap, then a baby factory style of producing babies would be just as successful, and you can simply combine the sperm and eggs of gorgeous, symmetrical, healthy people and leave the babies in a big daycare to grow without such useless things as love, just impersonal schooling. In practice (the Romanian government tried to do this to up the birth rate), things completely fall apart. Children NEED love as much as they need air, water and food. Argue about how beauty is an advantage all you want, but what comes after with pregnancy and childrearing are also important — yet you disregard these with a mere “well they’re reproducing a lot.”

  • Hope

    Above post was me. To elaborate, childrearing is a large part of why men instinctively look for and prefer sweet, loving and nurturing women as girlfriends and wifes, despite what modern society says about how men love “bitches.” A mother who is mean, vicious and abusive will not give a lot of needed love to her children, not to mention how she would treat the man. Do a quick survey, and the number of men who would “settle” for a 6-7 in looks with a great deal of “inner beauty” will most likely be greater than the number of men who demand the 9-10 beauty every time, disregarding all personality.

  • dream puppy

    @Hope- what happened w/ the Romanian kids?

  • Hope

    @dream puppy: Tons of Romanian kids were piled into orphanages, given a bed, food, water, baths and basic necessities, but no loving attention from parents or the people running the place, due to massive overcrowding. A lot of them never went outside or played, and stayed in this condition for years. There was a story about an American couple that adopted a 7-year-old Romanian boy who never saw the outside world, and he had massive behavioral and psychological problems that took many years to resolve. The boy beat up the adoptive mother and took a knife to her throat, but finally with some intensive therapy the boy started coming around.

    Other studies show that if the Romanian babies were taken to be adopted before a certain number of months of age, they were able to be as well-adjusted as other kids, but after this critical age they were basically lost. Their emotional faculties and other developmental indicators were dismal. Even though they were fine “physically,” a lot of them would appear basically mentally retarded or psychopathic. It’s really quite sad, but it starkly illustrates the fact that humans need more than just physical nourishment.

  • karen

    For those complaining that parents won’t tell their unattractive children that they are unattractive, why don’t you mention the friends of unattractive people. As a female, I have observed how other females tell their unattractive females that they are HOT. As in “You look so hot” on the way to the local club/bar. After being repeatedly told that they are hot by their female friends, these unattractive females actually start to believe that they are hot but then wonder why guys still don’t ask them out. One girl who does this told me that she is just being a good friend by telling her unattractive friends that they are hot. And she actively encourages them to pursue high status males that have no interest in them. Yet she is annoyed when her unattractive friends complain that the high status males don’t pay attention to them. I’ve told her to stop lying to her friends but she said I was a bad friend and she was a good friend for giving false compliments. And she isn’t the only female I know who engages in this type of behavior. I think it is cruel to tell a person they are ugly but at the same time, I also think it is cruel to give a person such false compliments.

  • dream puppy

    “Hope, I’m a guy and have NEVER heard other guys talk about how they’re pining away for “bitches”.”

    @Obsidian. You’re just intimidated by strong women ;)

    As far as the advice is concerned…I don’t know. My mother and especially my stepfather were fairly critical in terms of my looks- very specific too. All it did was give me a complex and lead me to want to change things I cannot fix. It didn’t make me more realistic- just an odd mix of superficial and insecure. Life will take care of an overly inflated ego, no need for parents to want to drop the kids down a notch.

    I agree with my husband. He says the best thing to do is to not even mention the kid’s level of attractiveness….to not place any importance on it. Not going along with the whole self esteem movement is important too. I will reward my kid for accomplishments, not for existing.

  • http://grerp.blogspot.com grerp

    Obsidian – I’m not sure how exactly a mother would approach the kind of hard talk you’re suggesting. Should she just say to her homely daughter, “Look, let’s face it. You’re ugly, and you’re going to have to settle for what you can get.”

    The fact is that no one does want to talk about the 1s and 2s because we all know about what they can expect. And we all pray our kids come out better looking and better endowed in all ways so they don’t have such limited options. I do know one little girl who is quite homely and she is also autistic, I think. She’s had some physical and social issues her parents have had to work through with her. I don’t know what’s in store for her in the mating market, but I can bet they’ll never have that kind of convo with her. And I’m not sure it would be productive even if it was chock full of truth.

    For what it’s worth both of the social pariah girls I graduated high school with got married. I don’t know anything else about them because their FB accounts have limited amount info and no pictures, but I know they married. And good on them because they were both really nice.

  • Obsidian

    Hope, I’m a guy and have NEVER heard other guys talk about how they’re pining away for “bitches”. I think this is yet another area of concern that Women have, a particular subset of them especially. I won’t go much further than that for offending Ms. Walsh or her readers, LOL.

    while I can see what you’re saying, what Hamby said can’t be denied either, and again goes back to my point, and which I notice once again, we shying away fropm asking those hard questions and coming up with the tough answers we need in order to navigate the brave new world in which we live. Not only are failing all our kids by not discussing the realities of sex with them, but when it comes to those kids who come to the SMP at marked disadvantages, we’re not talking to them about that and how to deal with it. And that goes for girls AND boys. In fact, I would even argue that its worse for the latter in so many ways. For more on this, read Neil Strauss’ The Game.

    I’m not about sitting a girl down and telling her that she’s dog ugly as a parent, LOL. What I am saying is, sitting her down and with a heck of a lot of care, point out to her the realities of this world, and how she will have to compensate in order to land a good mate. I think the real reason so many parents don’t do things like thisis because of what Ms. Walsh noted about the parents themselves and how it reflects on them, but also because our culture has a notion to it that everyone’s above average like Lak Woebegone. And it’s just not true.

    It’s true that I don’t have a daughter, but I would like to think that if I did, I would have enough love, and balls, to tell her these things. Better me than people out there who don’t give a damn about her one or another.

    Holla back

    O.

  • Escarondito

    @Karen
    You do realize how your comment is just another clear case of the illogical female mind?

  • http://grerp.blogspot.com grerp

    Oh – and I’m glad you liked the blog piece. :) Thanks.

  • Obsidian

    Esca,
    Indeed. I think Karen, like so many here, simply doesn’t want to squarely confront what I’ve said, and then attempts to toss anything in the path to keep from having to grapple with this harsh reality. Actually, I can dig it. But it still doesn’t address what I’m saying, nor the veracity on which it is based.

    O.

  • Obsidian

    Karen,
    What you’re talking about is a completely different matter. Women are fiercely competitive in terms of rating their sexual attractiveness in relation to others. This is in part why they form cliques with a rather clearly defined hierarchy of hotness, from the Queen Bee on down to the…well, you know.

    Here’s a good question for you: ever wonder why just about every group of gal friends has at least one such blatantly unattractive gal member in it? Actually, there are several reasons for it – part of it is to act as a Cock Blocking Mechanism for the hotter gals who either can’t or won’t blowoff the tons of guys that potentially hit on them through the night.

    But another reason is because the ugly gal acts as assurance to the rest that they ain’t her. Gals are so much more cruel in this way than any guy can be.

    But still, this is different from what I am talking about, which is the role of parents in coming to grips with the brutally cold fact that their kids ain’t all that. Its something we need to be talking about a heck of a lot more than we do…

    Holla back

    O.

  • karen

    On another post I did talk about parents who were in denial about their kid’s lack of academic achievement. Parents shouldn’t tell their kids that they are ugly because that is going to scar a kid like nothing else. One college friend of mine had a sister who was referred to as “the pretty one” growing up. All she got from her mother were criticisms about her own looks. She had inherited her burly father’s physique. I can tell you that this girl had issues in romantic relationships because of this. Personally, I believe that parents shouldn’t focus on their kid’s looks. They should instead focus on the development of their kid’s character. Seriously, who wants to have a good looking kid who is as messed up as Lindsay Lohan?
    Besides, many people who are honest with themselves recognize how they rank in the attractiveness scale. They don’t need their parents to tell them how beautiful or ugly they are, society will already do that for them. If a 4 wants to believe that they are a 10, then I say let them. How is this any different than a person in a bad relationship who is denial about being in a bad relationship? Personally, I have known plenty of not so attractive females who do manage to find loving relationships while some attractive females only seem able to date cads.

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

    @dream puppy
    Welcome, and thanks for coming out of the shadows!
    .
    My husband said to me recently, “I like it that you don’t notice men noticing you.” A woman who is not flirtatious or looking to see who’s checking her out is a better bet.
    .
    I think this is a very common mistake for women to make. They have no interest in cheating, or even flirting with other men, but they enjoy attention from other men, especially when they don’t encourage it. There’s nothing wrong with letting one’s husband be reminded of your attractiveness to other men, but he’ll notice that by himself. Making one’s partner feel secure is very important. It’s a gift, really.

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

    @Obs

    I won’t go much further than that for offending Ms. Walsh or her readers, LOL.

    Gee, that never stopped you before!
    .
    I disagree that Karen is refusing to grapple with what you’ve said. What nonsense. We struggle with the harsh realities here regularly. If I’m not telling it like it is, I don’t know who is! You just don’t like it that my priorities aren’t your priorities. You want me to have a blog dedicated to the eternal solipsism of the female mind, female hypergamy, the female tendency to erect strawmen, use ad hominems, blah blah blah.
    .
    Obsidian, I don’t think you understand very well how women think. We don’t discuss things like men, and here’s the thing: we don’t want to. We actually like being female. Sometimes, men and women have productive conversations, but those usually don’t happen when the men accuse the women of “spinning,” refusing to answer the question, avoiding harsh reality, etc.

  • Lurky Lu

    Those on the less fortunate side of the curve on attractiveness learn where they stand early on, making any straight talk unnecessary and likely counterproductive. And I think Susan is right about parents being terrible prognosticators of their child’s potential.

    Besides, when you suggest to the less attractive girls that they scale back their expectations, how would you suggest they do that? If you assume that female hypergamy is about going for a mate with more wealth, then do you recommend that less attractive women should only hope to find love with poorer men? That would be bad advice — there are plenty of smart unattractive women married to smart unattractive men (and quite a few less attractive women married to poor attractive men). There’s not much support for female hypergamy in terms of looks (even if OK Cupid found that women more likely give lower ratings of male attractiveness than when the situation is reversed, their data on initiating contact suggests that men are the hypergamous ones as far as looks are concerned, with women initiating with men from a broader range of attractiveness, whereas men clustering around the most attractive women).

    As for “spinster shadenfreude”, it’s unfair to assume that if an average to attractive woman is single past as certain age, it’s because she’s wasted her years riding the “alpha carousel”, as a lot of women will just stay chastely single rather than date someone they are not interested in, AND interest isn’t always about “alpha” characteristics, but can be about more “lateral” characteristics as well. Remember that nature’s perogative to men to be the pursuers mean that women’s choices are limited to choosing only among those who are pursuing THEM.

    So, if Obsidian is right about the “Attractiveness Bell Curve” (that less unattractive men outnumber less attractive women) AND Susan is right that most men are attracted to most women (but not so much in the reverse), THEN, it stands to reason that a lot of the less attractive women will be refuseniks. And who could blame them, but the less attractive men?

    The advice to women to appraise their options in an honest and timely manner is good, but the Shadefreude towards less attractive women as they get older is just adding insult to injury.

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

      @Lurky Lu
      Good insights here. I have often said the whole “cock carousel” thing is grossly exaggerated. The number of women who have, say, 30 partners is small. A woman riding the carousel through her 20s would have racked up numbers higher than that. College alone could get a girl to 30 or 40.
      .
      We talk about the increasing age at marriage. The average age today is 26 for women overall. However, college educated women marry at 28, on average, and women with Master’s degrees marry at 30. The truth is that in this era where women are outpacing men in education and early career success, many women put off serious relationships, sometimes deliberately, sometimes by default. But most of them have not been picking up strangers in bars. I went to b-school with about 150 other women, nearly all of whom were single. At least half of them did not marry, but it’s not because they hung out with the bad boys. They were hanging out in the board room. They left it too late. One good friend of mine was the first female to make Managing Director at Merrill Lynch, but her life afforded little time to interact with men who were not subordinate to her. All the men at her level were married. She retired at 40, resigned to remaining single. This is not an unusual story. For lots of women, it just doesn’t happen – the stars don’t align. You may accuse these women of making bad choices, but not of the sexual variety. One should not assume that a single woman in her 40s was a slut. She may have been working for most of the last 20 years.

  • Lurky Lu

    “chastely single”: read: for the most part celibate, but not necessarily virginal, since statistically, that is quite rare past a certain age.

  • Anonymous

    “Secondly, let’s say that they do indeed “find solace” with the Femosphere. ”

    I would counteract this. I would say that many women who (shall we say) have an unfortunate feature such as maybe look like Olive Oyl, bug eyes, receding chin, what have you, but want to date, gravitate to The Rules. Some Rules blogs I know of are hidden so people who disagree with the Rules won’t come there to say mean things. Whatever else about the Rules, the Rules very much emphasize femininity in dress and manner.

    The “large hairy” women I have known, just do not give a flying flip about attracting men. They are large and hairy because they have (what do you want to call it) “given up,” or never wanted to take the time to fix up. My sister is a total geek–skinny and hairy. I cannot get her to fix up to save my life. She is married to a Catholic guy from Mexico who wanted a virgin and he found one. I know plenty of large women who don’t seem to wear anything but jeans but they are rocking the low-cut tops and the curly hair … in other words, I wouldn’t put them as totally given up–who are happily married to large schlubby men and it seems to work for them–go to a folk concert! — but the ones who have totally given up, in my experience, don’t want male attention. They don’t necessarily hate men, but they don’t want to put in the time and effort and maybe they are a bit intimidated and just want peace and quiet and to watch Miss Marple on PBS. I know many large women who probably don’t want to take the time and trouble to lose down to a certain size, because they are sensual beings with appetites, and yes we all know there is a smaller subset of men who will be attracted, but these women are not the same women who just don’t give a dang and wouldn’t fix up at all. These large women often wear dangly jewelry, low-cut tops, makeup, and many times are with men, and very feminine.

    Now, as for whether women’s mothers tell them they are ugly? Yes-sirree you better bet they do. Sometimes this creates in the daughter a need to prove to her mother that she is better than her mother thinks. A very direct recipe to hookup-land.

    What does Obsidian think such a conversation would produce? A daughter who agrees with Mom, “Mom is right, I am ugly, I had better be extremely mousy and humble and cower in the corner?” Sometimes that is the result, and sometimes the result is a raging case of anorexia or a raging hookup spree to “show Mom.”

    Many, many mothers ride their daughters mercilessly about their flaws because the moms kind of see their daughters as an extension of themselves and are taking out their own self-hate or something like that. Whoever solves this will get really rich. And maybe that will end hookup culture once and for all–moms who actually build their daughters up rather than set up competition. Excuse me, my issues are showing, but Obsidian is totally mistaken that moms do not point out their daughters’ flaws. If they did so a little less, maybe the daughters wouldn’t be determined to “show Mom” by … now that I mention it I would love to know what Karen Owen’s relationship with her mom was. Did her mom tell her she could never get a guy? Was her whole Duke list a subconscious way to show Mom she wasn’t undesirable after all? Just a thought. Usually people look at the girl’s relationship with her Dad when it’s a case of abandonment issues, clinging, etc. but when it’s “see who can get with the lacrosse team” maybe that’s trying to show Mom instead of replace Dad?

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

      I wouldn’t put them as totally given up–who are happily married to large schlubby men and it seems to work for them–go to a folk concert!

      Snowdrop, you crack me up. You really have a wonderful wit. I agree that there are women who are feminine and sensual and large. And I think they get guys! More power to ‘em. If everyone’s happy I won’t argue. I think it has a lot to do with the way a woman feels about herself.
      .
      Your point about unattractive daughters hooking up with men to prove their mothers wrong sent a chill up my spine. No child wants a parent’s disapproval or judgment, and telling a daughter she’s not attractive enough is just that. I can imagine that it would lead to all kinds of poor choices just to prove a point.
      .
      Re Karen Owen, I don’t know if you saw that her father is a Baptist preacher. I have never heard anything about her mom, but I bet there are some deep issues there. It reads like a textbook, albeit extreme, case of rebellion, not unlike Katy Perry’s marrying Russell Brand. Word is her evangelical preacher father did not attend the wedding.

  • Obsidian

    Karen,
    Let’s be brutally honest here. In our world, what does having a great character get you -when you’re in your 20s? for guys, not very far, I can promise you that, don’t believe me? Ask the many guys right here in this very forum. “Character” only matters when you get older, and to be frank, that’s small comfort to offer so many guys. I can only imagine what it must be like for the gals who wind up resembling the Rachel Kramer Bussells of the world.

    Also, if Ms. Walsh is reading along, while i certainly don’t want her blog to reflect my values at all – I wouldn’t have any fun giving her and her readers agita if that were the case – there’s no denying that I am truly an alien here. I came from a working class black family in Philly, my dad was a Marine and saw life through that lens. He saw his job as making sure I made it to manhood alive and in one piece. He wasn’t my friend, homie, we didn’t go to football games together or do the On Golden Pond thing. We certainly didn’t do the kinds of things people of Ms. Walsh’s class do.

    As harsh as all that may sound, here I am, alive and well and there are far too many Black Men who can’t say that. When I visit the graveyard, I am reminded of this stark truth. I get that Ms. Walsh, and perhaps a goodly number of those reading these words as I speak, simply can’t relate to that. It’s not good or bad…it just is. The experiences that have shaped my life are things that few if any here can or care to relate to, and I’ve come to accept that as the cost of doing business. My dad didn’t hesitate to disabuse me or my siblings of the kind of rose colored views of the world any of us had, and much of what he had to say in this regard have been vindicated over time. I can tell anyone, without any fear of contradiction, that had he not been in my life and was constantly putting a foot where the sun don’t shine, that I’d either be dead or on death row, right now.

    Next month will mark the 12th anniversary of my dad leaving this world, and in the years since his death I’ve come to learn that being a parent, and a dad specifically, has a great deal to do with doing the unpleasant things wrt your kids and especially sons, to prepare them for what they will invariably face. Most of you reading this arent Black, aren’t male and arent working class, so much of it will come off as Chinese arithemetic, but for me, I “get” exactly what he was doing back then. What he did, and what he taught me, has kept me literally alive.

    My dad would not hesitate to let me know if I was on some other ish wrt to some idea or notion in my head, and again, usually, he was right on the money about it, regardless as to whether I was hurt or offended. I think we pay too much attention to feelings and not enough to what we know to be true on the ground, and we do our young people nothing good by BSing them in this way.

    But, as Ms. Walsh rightly points out, that’s just me.

    I give thanks for my dad being a no BS kind of guy. It saved my life.

    O.

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

      @Obs
      Haha, you really are not jonesing for Racher Kramer Bussell. She is by no means the ugliest of the women we’ve talked about (I nominate Jaclyn Friedman) but she is clearly not your cup of tea!
      .
      Your dad sounds like an amazing man, and I honor him on this Veteran’s Day, as I know he served as a Marine. Your mom, too, was an amazing woman by your account. Yes, your experience is certainly different from mine. I appreciate your willingness to bridge the divide, and engage with a slightly neurotic, white woman in her 50s ;-)
      .
      There is a place for tough love. I give that to my own kids, and sometimes it does hurt their feelings. I just can’t imagine doing it re their appearance. When my son was in high school, it was clear he was going to be 5’9″ or so. This is the height of my father and brothers. My husband is 6’3″. My son came home from school one day and told me that he had been ridiculed on the hockey team for being small. He said he was really bummed that he was going to be short. I actually apologized – I explained that he got the Walsh genes in that department. Then I asked him if it was so bad to be like his beloved Gramps and uncles. I didn’t softpedal it, but I didn’t tell him his options were limited either. He figured out early on that he wasn’t going to be dating anyone over 5’8″. His gf is about 5’1″. I think we all get a sense of our market value if we’re paying attention. BTW, my daughter is 5’7″, and fell hard for a guy who is 5’6″. There are no hard and fast rules.

  • http://ft.com VJ

    While much of what Obs says above is certainly true for his life & circumstances, as they say on the blogs, YMMV (your mileage may vary). Yep, most of the folks reading along are not likely to be either ‘working class’ or black, or both. So expecting those hard & fast rules of life to apply somewhat universally to a wildly different audience of mostly white college aged kids or adults? Is well more than a bit foolish. Yes, those middle class cuties (and yep, even the Uglies) are all pampered & spoiled rotten compared to your upbringing. That might be fine for stoking resentment somewhere (hey, try sharing these thoughts with any gent or even many women over the age of 50 or so), but not much use might come of this common but self indulgent sentiment. I mean how do we ‘operationalize’ this belief, other than using ‘Game’ when you go out hunting in bars & the like? Or ‘adjusting’ the Games for the local population/situation, which is indeed needed & necessary in all of life’s endeavors?

    So again while Obs says over & over again: “Women are fiercely competitive in terms of rating their sexual attractiveness in relation to others. This is in part why they form cliques with a rather clearly defined hierarchy of hotness, from the Queen Bee on down to the…well, you know”. And that someone Needs to tell all the uglies where to get off (early!!). But really? We’re forgetting lived experience in the long term here too. And as Grerp and others have noted, real life is a bit more complicated & forgiving than all that, happily. (And again here I’m speaking about mostly white folks, but some of which are certainly barely ‘middle class’ too).

    1.) So it’s my contention that this ugly issue is yes, largely irrelevant in some important dimensions. There’s probably not a woman ugly and/or fat ‘enough’ that she can not reasonably & easily somehow get pregnant, as long as she got started young enough. And this is proved time & time again almost anywhere one cares to look. So Darwinian fitness advantage? Answer: Teen pregnancy! And yeah, it’s mostly the white middle class folks who’ll look down upon such developments, in many other ‘poor communities’? It’s a natural course of events, and it’s even sometimes recognized as the females using whatever advantage youth confers upon them to beget kids early (and sometimes often).

    And yes, this happens in all sorts of communities, both black & white & several ethnicities too. And it’s still true for even older women who really truly want & desire to be a mom And/Or a married mom. I’ve seen it done. So the obvious answer for some young women who might recognize the severe limitations of their relative beauty/smarts/education/class/status/money has always been through their more/better willingness to be amenable to most obvious male come-ons through their more openly expressed sexuality OR even just being more friendly, open & approachable to most or even Some male attention. And Just a little bit? Will go a very long way, almost everywhere. At almost any time. And they have a name for that throughout history. Tradition! It can work…

    2.) So what exactly are we talking about here? Basically (I imagine) ‘ugly’ or ‘average looking’ College educated folks. (Mostly women though, I guess). As Susan notes, many (yes even most) of those ‘average’ gals do manage to do just fine & meet and marry average looking guys with not too much difficulty and even do go on to reproduce. And some of those ugly people? Do manage to beget really good looking kids. Surprisingly so too. Call it the magic of recombination. [BTW? The daddies are much more happy if this happens to their daughters (being very good looking) rather than the sons. For whatever reasons].

    3.) So again what’s our ‘target population’ here: college aged/educated younger folks Who Want to Either Marry or Enjoy a LTR Leading to Marriage? If so, that that’s a particular ‘audience’ that yes, does need it’s own rules & have their own outlooks & opinions. And there’s now scads of ‘studies’ on same. No where can you find that a.) the ‘fatties’ (Females Only!) ‘don’t get no sex’. Or that b.) they’re ‘incapable of finding relationships and/or sexual partners’. So ‘ugly’ is really relative, and if you’ve got half a brain? For Most females? This is not either a ‘crippling’ limitation, nor even a severe impediment to most of the goals of later life (including child bearing, motherhood & marriage). Ditto for the college educated glas who are even better informed, and have alternative ways of overcoming those ‘disadvantages’.

    [Again I think the equation is far different for guys, but this is already to long to get into that here].

    4.) So what’s the point here? I’ve got to tell my ‘homely/merely average’ daughter that she better, …well What? Not get a good education? Glom onto the 1st bit of male attention that comes her way? Be careful of being played by cads? (As ever!) To get the plastic surgery early & often, (the rich woman’s/man’s solace)? Be hard working, thrifty & humble? That really should be a given in any decent household, but then again I’m showing my age too!

    5.) What is annoying I guess is to have some ‘average’ looking bloke/gal in front of you who somehow obviously thinks that they’re just much better than you or the crowd and who’s also stuck up, conceited & ‘entitled’. And you know what? As dirt common as that might be? Until that changes? They’re really poor prospects for both any serious adult LTR, marriage, or partnership & parenthood. Typically worse in fact than most of the uglies of the world. And now you know why more of the uglies reproduce more often that all the ‘beautiful people’ combined! Cheers, ‘VJ’

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

      VJ, that might be your best comment ever! Just brilliant. I will note that indeed unattractive parents can beget gorgeous kids and vice versa. I have a good friend whose brother and sister in-law are salt of the earth, professional people, excellent values, but NOT attractive in the least. And they produced a daughter who gets paid to sit in restaurants in LA to bring in customers. She’s been in Entourage, Verizon commercials, Modern Family, etc. In other words, she’s gorgeous. Just a crazy mix of genetic material! His cheekbones, her full mouth. His wide set eyes, only symmetrical in her case. His skinny body and long legs. Mom’s thick black hair. Just the best possible outcome, really. And you know what? She’s a really screwed up young woman. She has struggled with anorexia and cutting. She chooses the worst men imaginable, and lets them act as Sugar Daddies. This comes under the heading of be careful what you wish for.

  • karen

    @Obsidian,
    I get that your experiences have shaped you but you must understand that not every female fits into your view of how women are. Are there women out there who fit the most negative stereotype of women? Of course there are and I’ve met some females who come very close to that stereotype. But I can also guarantee that there are a lot of good women out there who are just looking for a good man. And they are old hags who are looking for just any male with a pulse. In college I met one very nerdy looking guy who had no trouble getting female attention because of his attitude. While most guys were trying to live the frat boy lifestyle, he was involved in community activities and drawing attention to things like poverty in Africa. He wasn’t good looking or rich, but didn’t lack for female attention. And it was all because he was a do gooder who spent his free time helping others. And this was in college, might I add. For women looking for a loving, stable relationship, character does indeed matter. No woman with healthy self-esteem is going to want to be with a guy who treats her badly, etc. I can guarantee you that the women you see going for cads have issues themselves. They are definitely not loving, stable relationship material. I don’t know what happened to you in your life that has led you to have such negative views of women, but you must understand that not all women fit that negative view. That is just my two cents.

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

      For women looking for a loving, stable relationship, character does indeed matter.

      Yes it does, and yes, they are common.

  • karen

    Correction…They are NOT old hags looking for any male with a pulse.

  • http://ft.com VJ

    The family I was thinking of with the really beautiful daughter is also a ‘salt of the earth type’ and I think a SAHM now. Of course married and doing fine, and just about the nicest person you care to meet. And you do a double take every time you see her & her parents too. (She’s adopted, right?) In any case it can work out well & who knows why? Cheers, ‘VJ’

  • Obsidian

    Karen, Ms. Walsh,
    Wrt the question of “character” mattering in a Man’s life at an early age as it relates to dating and the like – I don’t mean to pull rank here, but the simple truth of the matter is I’ve been there, and neither of you haven’t. Keep in mind now – so many guys have said the exact same thing I’m saying, *right here in this very forum*, yet I’ve never met them, and we have virtually nothing in common. Hollenhund, Mike C, Ex NYer and others, have basically said a lot of the very same things I’ve said. Ask them if you think I’m making this up – having a good “character” simply doesn’t account for much in a young Man’s life when you’re in your 20s. It just doesn’t. It matters as you get older, no doubt. But let’s face it, for most young Men, the SMP sucks. It just does.

    I have a nephew who’s tall, good looking and is a star wideout on the football team at Temple U here in Philly. Everyone here knows what Temple is, and the team is D1, though they’ve never been a powerhouse team, LOL. Anyway, you know what my nephew calls the girls interested in him? “Whores, smuts and jumpoffs” – and do you want to why he says this? Because, in response to my questioning him about all this, “these gals wouldn’t give me the time of day if I was just a regular guy taking up mechanical engineering on campus. They give my all kinds of play because I’m a good looking guy and on the squad.”

    Yea, tell me all about how “character” matters.

    As for your son Ms. Walsh, I think you did the right thing, because the reality is in sports size matters. it just does, and it does no parent any good to lie to their son whose barely 5’9″. Simply put, he will have to find other ways to actualize himself. And I think we should do the same wrt our daughters.

    Speaking of which, glad you brought up Freidman, whew! I mean, if she were my daughter I’d have a serious talk with her about going into the nunnery. Really. And as for RKB…I think I’m still dealing with the after effects of catatonic shock after seeing her photos last earlier this year…

    As for this whole “hatin’ on spinsters” deal – look as far as I am concerned, I really couldn’t care less as to WHY they’re spinsters at this point, and truth be told, I really don’t think a lot of the guys you’re talking about care either – the truth of the matter is, that many of these guys have been through Rejection Hell – something few if ANY Women, ANYWHERE can ever understand – and when these guys see Women are either were those who rejected them out of hand when younger, or Women who are like said Women, yea, they take a goodly degree of pleasure in their discontent and torment. We can debate the morality of such a thing all day, but the fact of the matter is, I can dig it. It is, what it is, and its only likely to increase. As Ms. Walsh and perhaps a few others know well, I happen to come from a segment of the American population that knows about these matters very well – at present, there is a movement afoot called “No Marriage, No Womb” thats attempting to get the marriage rates up in the Black community. Personally, I think it’s yet another joke foisted on the rest of us by our Clever Black Sillies because not only will it fail miserably, but it will because they’ve failed to take into account how and why things got to where they are in Black America along these lines to begin with. When my blog is back up and running I’ll delve more in to all that. But my point is, that at present, SEVENTY PERCENT OF ALL PROFESSIONAL BLACK WOMEN ARE SINGLE. Half of all Black Women NEVER marry in their lifetime. And of course, no one here or anywhere else needs me to tell them about the out of wedlock birthrates in Black America. For those in the audience reading along at home, who are relatively young and female but just happen to be White, take a good, long, had look at what I just said, because it’s coming to a lilly White suburb near you. And yet, we either don’t ask the hard questions as to why we got here, but we never, ever, ask about the one factor that’s sitting in the middle of the room:

    We never ask or consider the Male side of the equation. Clearly, there’s more going on here that meets the eye and it seems brutally clear to me, that Black Men are avoiding marriage in droves, for good reasons.

    But, because we’re silly little lot, we Americans are, we’ll continue to use a butterknife when we should be wielding Occam’s Razor instead.

    *shrugs*

    O.

  • dream puppy

    I thankfully don’t know who these chicks are but Rachel Kramer is uglier than Jaclyn Friedman. At least Friedman has good hair. They’re both not cute and they’re vile attitudes make them really ugly.

  • http://grerp.blogspot.com grerp

    @Susan
    As a fellow fan of British drama, I wonder what you think about the way Brits cast their actors. Yes, Richard Armitage is hot, hot, hot. But in general, I think they do a much better job of casting normal looking people in leading roles. They select their leading actors from the RSC, where we tend to cast good looking airheads here. Furthermore, some of their actors are sexy without being good looking. That’s less common in the U.S., and virtually unheard of for women. I think this is why American remakes of foreign films are usually terrible. The acting takes a back seat to looks.

    I’ve found it refreshing how not gorgeous most of the women are on Spooks, actually. They tend to be average at best, and the men – apart from Richard Armitage and the other male leads like Rupert Penry-Jones – aren’t either. For me it’s almost easier to enjoy what’s going on when I’m not thinking, “How come I don’t have mile-long legs and a perfect jawline?”

    Did you watch The Office on BBC? The four leads – not terribly attractive people and just right for the point the show was making. Martin Freeman is going to be the Bilbo Baggins in the Hobbit.

  • karen

    @Obsidian,

    You seem to be talking about the Karen Owens of the world. With regards to your nephew, at my college we had the same thing going on. The African American football players, no matter how unattractive they were, were getting the attention of the Karen Owens of the world along with some alpha females. This caused tension between them and the non-athlete African American males. Both groups were competing for alpha females and the football players were winning. And the non-athlete guys would turn their noses up at the beta females, because they believed that only alpha females were good enough for them. Talk about being delusional about your worth on the dating market!
    Nobody here denies that there are females out there who only go out with high status males. On the other hand, what types of females were you going after in your youth? If I had to guess, I would say you are a beta male who feels entitled to alpha females. I have run across several beta males in my life who not only feel that they are entitled to alpha females but are actually quite obnoxious to the beta females who approach them, because they think such a female is beneath them. I think that many guys who complain about being ignored by women are really complaining about being ignored by high status females. They aren’t complaining that some plain Jane ignored them in favor of a cad, they are complaining that the hot girl ignored them in favor of the cad.

  • Escarondito

    @grerp
    If that damn funding could ever get off the ground

  • Obsidian

    Grerp,
    Yea, Brit ladies aren’t exactly known for their hotness, that’s for sure, LOL. Btw, I’ve watched the show Spooks and liked it a lot.

    You should checkout my comment above wrt “hatin’ on spinsters”. Lemme know what you think…

    O.

  • Badger Nation

    “And you know what? She’s a really screwed up young woman. She has struggled with anorexia and cutting. She chooses the worst men imaginable, and lets them act as Sugar Daddies.”

    It seems a general rule of the SMP that hot women are WAY more likely to be crazy. Don’t know how that works but it seems to be that good looks bring insecure vanity and low self-worth with them. Just went to a wedding for a hot woman who played doormat for an abusive jackass for years (then married what appears to be a well-dressed herb). She has a sister who is plain looking – the sis is pretty down to earth.

  • Pingback: Linkage is good. | Dalrock()

  • Obsidian

    Karen,
    First off, there is no such thing as an “alpha female”. This “his/hers” line of (un)reasoning that pervades our culture in our time has no meaning or application in terms of human sociosexual dynamics. Please stop the madness. Read The Game.

    Second, let me repeat what I said for the umpteenth time: “character” has little utility for young guys in the SMP, for a very simple reason – because they, and the gals they tend to gun for, are, let’s all say it together now: YOUNG. And, being young, one doesn’t tend to have a keen understanding of or care much about, what “character” or what it means. When you’re young, what matters are things that are much more apparent like LOOKS. And this applies for both sexes, although we all know how important it is for guys.

    So, no, a kid barely into his 20s isn’t gonna have his sights set on that quiet, demure gal over in study hall with the heart of gold. When they’re both in their 30s, the story might be different. But that’s just not the way world works when they’re younger. Like her male counterpart my nephew spoke of, such a gal will at best be noticed just long enough to be given an unceremonious kissoff. Most likely she probably won’t be noticed much at all.

    You still haven’t addressed what my nephew actually said, and this is understandable, since I had a hard time giving him the old college try spiel. He had seen the very same things I had seen, and I knew too much and cared about him too much to attempt to shovel a load of BS into his brain. It is, what it is.

    When you’re young, things like hotness MATTERS. It just does, and there aint a blessed thing you or I or anyone else can or will do about it that will make a hill of beans’ worth difference out there on the ground where it matters. The SMP is brutal, especially for those who are simply unable to compete. Which brings us back to the matter I’ve broached…

    Telling nice guys who don’t have the options my nephew has – mind you, he’s able to tell these gals TO THEIR FACE that they’re whorse, smuts and jumpoffs AND STILL GET LAID by those same gals-that “character counts” is not only a cruel joke, but it denies the stark reality of life AT a very brutally difficult time of life for said guys. Yea, yea, I know – not all gals are having a ball, either. But you know what, at least they can, if they choose get something out of the deal. Most of these guys get NOTHING, and my nephew was hip enough to see it for what it is. Mind you, I never said that I agreed with or endorse his views; simply that I couldn’t in all fairness, tell to his face that he was simply and flatly wrong accross the board. When you’re young like that and in an evironment where social dominance and hierarchy matters, it is, what it is, and theres no good in me trying to BS him otherwise.

    So, the issue isn’t whether the Karen Owens’ of the world exist or not, or whether that’s a good thing or not. The issue is what my nephew said, and its basically unassailable. Me telling him to look for the quiet demure gal kooped up in the library on the weekends is the same thing as me telling Ms. Walsh’s readers they need to be giving Jeremy the STEM Guy mad fever. Just not gonna happen, because that’s not how the real world works when you’re YOUNG.

    Get it?

    O.

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

      Re character, it is never the concern of the young. Sluts get boyfriends, jerks are the most popular guys, the coldest women get hot guys pursuing them. In today’s SMP short-term gratification dominates. The young women who abstain from hooking up are in exactly the same boat as the frustrated males, regardless of their looks. Once the word gets out that they’re “prudes” their sexual market value goes to zero. Let’s face it – Game is about “getting beautiful women into bed.” If you don’t want to get into bed, you’re a waste of time. I have seen this happen plenty of times even with ugly guys or guys who have zero social proof. Those guys aren’t going to go on traditional dates when the BMOC is getting it for nothing. They want to be him, so on the off chance they get the opportunity, they say, just like the players do, that they’re “not looking for a relationship.” There used to be a saying that “boyfriends are ugly” but these days I hear more “boyfriends cheat.” (See the Karen Owen 13 – all of whom were in “committed” serious relationships.) What I tell women is that their reward for avoiding promiscuity will come in a few years, even though they’ve priced themselves out of the market for now. So both sexes are in that boat. One voluntarily (reluctantly), one not, but the result is the same.
      .
      Re the question of “alpha” females: It’s just nomenclature, and Karen is describing a valid divide among women. There are high status females on every campus – they’re the girls that guys want to get with. Social proof strongly affects men too – Buss discusses it extensively. Men want the girl on their arm (or stumbling into their room) that other guys want. These women are the fuel for the fantasies of most of the guys on campus, including the engineering students. Nice girl Betty who is reserved and studious will never be one of these girls, even if she is pretty. I agree with Mike C that it will benefit these women to learn the art of signaling interest and even approaching guys. Some guys will turn down a “regular” girl, but the guys seeing less action are far more likely to exchange commitment for sex.

  • Obsidian

    Karen,
    Moreover, your attempts to suggest that I’m just some bitter guy crying foul and sour grapes couldn’t be more laughable. You should ask Ms. Walsh about me before spouting off such nonsense. Of course, the reason why you do this is simply because, you can’t address what I’m actually saying, so you address ME. Ad hominem, anyone? LOL!

    I could cue you in on the deal with me personally, but I have no need or desire to qualify myself to you. Focus on my words and the arguments made, and then come back with a better argument. Theres a dear…

    O.

  • Mike C

    Wow…..
    .
    A ton here to respond to and comment on but unfortunately I am short on time. Very quickly, on the “character” issue for young men (under 30 and absolutely everyone under 25) let’s really break this down to the most simple components. What is character indicative of? What is it reflective of in terms of dating/mating/the SMP.
    .
    IT IS REFLECTIVE OF THE POTENTIAL TO BE A GOOD HUSBAND/DAD!
    .
    OK, now take the typical 20-year old female, 22-year old female, or even 25-year old female (not all but probably 95-99%). They aren’t looking for husbands….fathers of their children. They are still young and there is “fun to be had”. Marriage and kids is for 5-10 years down the road.
    .
    So Obsidian is absolutely right. Character is a non-starter for young guys in the SMP. Good for your other relationships and career, but pretty much irrelevant to success in the SMP.
    .
    On a different note, really I get annoyed with the comments that guys ignore the Plain Janes, beta females, etc. Firstly, I think that is mostly BS. Unless you are butt ugly, a regular guy isn’t going to blow-off a regular girl who shows some interest. It just isn’t going to happen. Generally speaking, guys are alot more realistic where they sit on the totem pole, and sure the Average Joe would like to bang the 8-9s but he knows that is mostly out of reach so he’ll gladly go for the Plain Jane if she even shows the slightest hint of interest. BUT YOU HAVE TO SHOW SOME INTEREST….SOMETHING!!!
    .
    Susan has mentioned a few times that many young women appear completely oblivious/ignorant to the fact that although they aren’t the pursuers, they have to do at least something to get the guy to potentially pursue, especially the average Joe who might not be as bold and forward as Mr. Hot Alpha.
    .
    On a different note, the Plain Janes really need to take the bull by the horns to improve their physical appearance. Really, most chicks can bump themselves 2 points easy, maybe 3. Very simple. Lose the bodyfat, lose the bodyfat, lose the bodyfat. Get extremely toned. Go see a top-notch make-up artist. Spend $300-400 to learn how to exactly do your makeup to hide your flaws and accentuate your positive features. Get a new wardrobe. Learn to walk right. Some chicks just have the thing with their hips when they walk. This is the parallel to guys walking with good posture, a little swagger, and slowing it down.
    .
    Look, I’ve done both. The physical transformation (working out, getting muscular, etc.) and the personality transformation (learning Game). I can absolutely, unequivocally, without a shred of doubt say the physical transformation is easier. It is formulaic and simply requires discipline of changing your daily habits. Changing your personality, communication style, demeanor, is alot more ambiguous.
    .
    In terms of self-improvement/elevating your status in the SMP, women actually have it much easier because improving your physical appearance is 100x easier then improving your psychosocial dominance and status.

  • Obsidian

    Ms. Walsh,
    You ran right past the part where Mike C exhorts the nice Bettys to make themselves hotter looking, why am I not surprised there? LOL. That sort of thing MATTERS out there on the SMP ESPECIALLY for young folks. It just does, and there’s really no way of getting around that. And some Women are better able to get this done, for reasons that are all but taboo to discuss here and elsewhere. I can dig it. But that doesnt change the facts. I don’t know how else to explain this to you: there is a marked difference btw what guys, keyword here, find “pretty” and what they find “hot” and again, was have to keep this in mind of the guys my nephew’s age are likely to see it. That’s neither right or wrong, it just is.

    I personally find the whole Karen Owen thing to be a red herring, because it really doesn’t have alot to do with the discussion here.

    Guys suffer more out on the SMP than Women do, when they’re both younger. Theres simply no getting wround that fact. How to deal with that fact is another matter, though its little comfort to tell a guy it’ll get greater later. No wonder more and more guys are just taking their ball and going home altogether.

    O.

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

      @Obsidian
      You do not listen. Here’s what I said:

      Nice girl Betty who is reserved and studious will never be one of these girls, even if she is pretty.

      Pretty isn’t enough. Pretty and quiet doesn’t get a girl anywhere. When you say “hotter” do you mean “sluttier?” I would not encourage any woman to make herself hotter by lowering her neckline, or trying to make herself look cheap, e.g. Kim Kardashian.

      I disagree that guys suffer more in the SMP. There’s plenty of suffering to go around. 80% of guys can’t get laid, and 80% of girls can’t get a boyfriend. If guys can’t hack it, let them go home with their balls. The women and men that stick it out are the ones whose genes will stick around.

  • Escarondito

    @Karen
    I was actually anjoying reading your argument until you began the ad hominen attacks. It makes you look like the average girl who just tries a spiteful attack when she can’t win the argument. You were completing your point right?

    @Susan
    Chic noir tries to say this too and I really think that this is another woman projection that women and men like the same things. Do we look at that hot girl who every guy wants on his arm? Yes. But not because every guy wants her. it is because she is hot. Pure and simple. The difference is that women want the guy who all the women want because his hotness derives fromt he fact that all the women want him. Not the same with men. Her hotness is derived because of her beauty. Chanel iman is not beautiful because every dude is wanking to her victoria secret ads. She is hto to men because she is hot. See what I’m saying?

    And 2 other things:

    1) In your response to prudes, just because you don’t put out doesn’t mean you don’t get male attention, it just means you don’t get the male attention you want. Honstly alot of guys in college are douches(cause it works) but dudes do want some real women. You are right to tell the girls give a little hint. I’ve always wondered why women are afraid to do this but through reading your blog I think I kind of understand. Because all women can easily get male attention if you try to initiate something on it and it fails in your face must be a huge blow to self-esteem. Super neurotic but I get it. Because here is the silver lining to rejectionf or a girl. It’s guaranteed that there are 5 other guys in the bar who are gonna bite the hook.

    2) The odd thing that I notice about todays society and culture in general, is that as a women, as long as you are not ugly to the range of butt ugly, you have so many options in this world. Especially f you’re white. The only thing that holds most back is what people will think of them. Her faimly won’t ehre abotu what happens in college but her friend s will call her a slut. Her friends will condone her actions but she gets a reputation around the dorm. But if a woman truly doesnt care what others say and wishes to do whatever she wants, she is in a wolrd were she has a sexual embarassment of riches. For men, this is completely different. We have to fight for every interaction we get. It’s why I always wonder why women actually expect their man not to cheat. I actually am beginning to feel men of a certain stats are meant to cheat. The reason alot of guys will understand this and many ladies on this board willc ry foul is because we deal with sex differently. Women are offered the pathway to sex from the moment they wake up to the moment they close their eyes(if they aren’t busted: I hope I don’t need to keep saying this). Even ugly ones will get laid if the liqour and self-control are high and low on a man. Men get no love or looks daily. So when a man gets a little swag going and the girls start checking him out, even when they see you on his arm, how can he not cheat? Look at all this attention coming to me? It’s easy for women to say brush it off, but it’s like how can I brush this off? I just came from the third world and I found out you guys have chocolate, how the hell can I go back to eating bootlebee root? That’s why I am fully outright saying there is no such thing as a double standard when it comes to sex between men and women. None. To say there is, is to imply that there is equal scenarios in both cases of acquisition and rate of close and there isn’t. The only double standar could be if ugly girls got mad ass and where still called a slut.

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

      @Esca
      You’re wrong about social proof. Check out this post and the accompanying comments:

      http://www.hookingupsmart.com/2010/07/26/hookinguprealities/the-power-of-social-proof-in-dating/

      “The men’s interest in the women was generally positive after watching the videos but it increased significantly if the male peer in the video appeared to be interested in that woman and if the online men were considered as attractive or more so than the study participant. When the men in the video seemed uninterested, however, the male participants’ interest didn’t change much.
      An intriguing finding involved the sway men had on each other. Place found that the interest of male study participants in the women in the videos increased in relation to the good looks of the men in the video.
      “For men, relative attractiveness of the people they’re watching matters — not just anyone can influence their behavior, just other men they think are at least as attractive as they are,” Place said.”
      .
      Clearly, men take their cues from dominant men. They determine who’s hot according to what the most socially dominant males find attractive. This functions as social proof for women, but it also raises the question of whether men are realistic in their hopes. In the old paradigm of dating, during an era when men exchanged commitment for sex, 10s dated 10s and 5s dated 5s, more or less. With female sexuality unleashed, we understand that many women are gunning for the men with the most social proof. This can be easily observed on any college campus. This study suggests that perhaps men are falling victim to the same unrealistic long-term expectations. Because women are the gatekeepers to sex, they have found it relatively easy to gain sexual access to the men with the most social proof. For men, it’s a very different matter. They may desire a woman with considerable social proof, i.e. the campus hottie, but if they don’t have social proof of their own they’re unlikely to succeed in attracting her attention. Everyone has set their sights on the most attractive members of both sexes. The end result is that many young women are romantically frustrated, and many young men are sexually frustrated.

      Women are offered the pathway to sex from the moment they wake up to the moment they close their eyes(if they aren’t busted: I hope I don’t need to keep saying this). Even ugly ones will get laid if the liqour and self-control are high and low on a man.

      .
      Men in the manosphere try to say this too and I really think that this is another man projection that women and men like the same things. When, oh when will men stop saying that we’re lucky because we can get laid twice a day? WE ONLY WANT TO GET LAID WITH A FAVORED MALE. Do you understand? Cat calls, come ons, etc. are not enjoyable. 99% OF US DO NOT WANT SEX WITHOUT LOVE. IT IS WORTH LESS THAN NOTHING.

  • Jack Arthur

    Henway:
    “I think evolutionary psychology is important, but nothing to just take lightly. Ignore it at your own peril – it pretty much does an excellent job of explaining divorces, cheating, and why men select certain mates, and mating strategies.”

    Staring into the past will only explain those who live there and will never give you a clue how to get out… if you’re one of them.

  • Jack Arthur

    hint: less time trying to line oneself up with what other people seem to have loved… and more time loving in your own right.

    The reason that ‘slut’ and ‘beta’ behaviours are a turn-off is because they are insubstantial, extracting, depleting behaviours.

    Their opposites would be radiance from women, and penetrative, originative love, from men.

  • Hope

    Susan, I think pretty is enough for a girl, provided she’s not after a “Prince.” I was decent looking, studious, never the party girl and still very quiet, but I did more than fine with men. I went for nerdy and geeky guys, who were more my type anyway. Every now and then I’d get attention from a “normal” guy, but he usually realizes quickly that I’m too strange, reserved and nerdy.

    I have only had serious relationships, and I didn’t have to go out, flirt or date to get them either. They mostly just happened with little effort. Maybe that means I’m more attractive than I think I am, but I think it really means that there are a whole lot of guys who want meaningful relationships, but who get consistently overlooked.

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

      @Hope
      I wonder if it really helped that you were a nerd yourself. You were presumably interacting with guys in class, labs, on projects, etc. So a guy interested in you might be able to get to know you over time and then make a move when he feels confident. Those same guys would most likely find it much more difficult to approach the cute history major in the dining hall, having had zero interaction with her.

  • karen

    I just want to be clear that I am not talking about which gender has an easier time picking up strangers at a bar on a Saturday night for a one night stand. I am talking about the fact that plenty of women are overlooked because they don’t fit the porn fantasies of many young men. In my college, I heard many females lament the fact that they couldn’t get boyfriends for LTRs. All they were getting was the hookup culture. Many females were willing to engage in the hookup culture with certain males in the hope that they could snag a boyfriend for a LTR that they could take home to meet the family. And these were decent looking females who just didn’t dress provocatively and did not want to engage in behavior that would have them labeled as sluts, like sleeping with several athletes. And they weren’t trying to snag alpha males either. My point is that plenty of males, alphas and betas, ignore decent females who would make great girlfriends in college because they are going after the hot alpha females and then they complain that they can’t get a college girlfriend when what they really mean is that they can’t get a hot alpha girlfriend.

  • Mike C

    In my college, I heard many females lament the fact that they couldn’t get boyfriends for LTRs. All they were getting was the hookup culture. Many females were willing to engage in the hookup culture with certain males in the hope that they could snag a boyfriend for a LTR that they could take home to meet the family.

    Here is the problem Karen, and really IT IS WHAT IT IS. The vast majority of young guys are simply not going to be interested in LTRs and monogamous girlfriends. I could type an exposition on why that is, but IT IS. A girl is going to have to go pretty far down the “guy with very little options” chain to get a committed, steady boyfriend, but that isn’t the guy she wants.

    There is this thing about “unintended consequences” and the deal is the past 50 years of the “womens’ movement” has resulted in some unintended consequences. At least, unintended from the female point of view.

    Not sure what to tell the 20-22 year old college woman but for the 23-25 year old, I’ve said it before, but if you want a boyfriend, you’ve got to go older. At a certain point, a guy just transcends the party boy, drink, get laid with different chicks mentality. The desire for sexual variety is always there, but other things become more important. That isn’t true for the 23 year old guy. Why would he commit to you to be his boyfriend when he just wants to get laid by different girls and if you won’t put out someone else will.

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

      @Mike C

      Not sure what to tell the 20-22 year old college woman but for the 23-25 year old, I’ve said it before, but if you want a boyfriend, you’ve got to go older. At a certain point, a guy just transcends the party boy, drink, get laid with different chicks mentality. The desire for sexual variety is always there, but other things become more important. That isn’t true for the 23 year old guy. Why would he commit to you to be his boyfriend when he just wants to get laid by different girls and if you won’t put out someone else will.

      Indeed. This is truth. I tell college women to study, enjoy friends, and meet as many new people as you can. I encourage them to act as gatekeepers and be selective about hooking up. Very selective. It stinks but it’s the best strategy for long-term success.
      .
      I strongly second your advice to go older. I recall your saying that different bars attract different crowds. Women just out of college and eager for a relationship should avoid getting crazy at bars for recent graduates (and underage kids with fakes). They need to go to bars where one might order a martini, not a PBR.

  • ExNewYorker

    @Susan,

    I wish I could disagree with Mike C. and Obsidian, but for you average young male, character isn’t particularly high on the list of SMP valued traits. There are some exceptions, of course. Some of my close undergrad friends were “picked” off by clever women who wanted an LTR early on, and their good character was probably a factor. But, the numbers who fall in this category are small. Most of the rest of the time, I wouldn’t say character helped in the SMP at all. Heck, having a less than sterling character actually helps, because it allows a guy to do some of the more “dark side” parts of Game without any pangs of guilt. And as was true in Star Wars, the “dark side” is quicker and easier…
    .
    Now this becomes less true later on. Some subset of women eventually learn that character might actually be a good thing in a long term partner (or they get better at faking that character matters), and character can also help in gaining the respect of male peers.

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

      @ENY

      Now this becomes less true later on. Some subset of women eventually learn that character might actually be a good thing in a long term partner (or they get better at faking that character matters), and character can also help in gaining the respect of male peers.

      I think/hope I am writing for that subset. If my readers ignore my advice, I will be happy to say “I told you so.” I don’t think women fake that character matters, at least I hope not. I do think that many women get burned a couple of times, and that experience can teach them important lessons about character, if they are willing to learn. Inexplicably, there are some women with so little introspection, and perhaps such a desire to be mistreated, that the lessons never take hold. The experiences may even fuel the addiction to the bad boys.
      .
      I think your point about the respect of male peers is interesting. I would think that in college, the cads get the most respect from male peers, but perhaps it depends on whom one is friends with.

  • Jack Arthur

    Obsidian–

    “Please stop the madness. Read The Game.

    Second, let me repeat what I said for the umpteenth time: “character” has little utility”


    Character has no utility but is its own reward. Plato’s Republic anyone? (character for the purpose of utility is not character but selfishness masquerading and reinforcing its own doubting mindset. etc. etc)
    .
    I know you and others like you have fought hard to leave “beta” mentalities behind but here is another remnant… you see women as some kind of authority. Can’t it be that they are even more confused than you are? Why look to ‘hypergamy’ and evo psych and all of their supposed failings to explain the simple fact that they, too, are desperate to be included in the ranks of the ‘worthy’… and in their urgency they overemphasize the surface of things and misunderstand the deeper things.
    .

    .
    .

    Escarondito and Mike C – –

    ..
    “If you are a physically attractive male, and you associate with or are friendly to unattractive women, unfortunately, attractive women will assume there is something else very wrong with you. Unfortunately, you can’t really be seen in public with them, especially not anything that hints at romantic, sexual, or flirtatious.”
    .
    .
    It’s easy to hate the shallowness of it but helps to recognize that people are just afraid. Women are terrified of being ‘deep’ if it means the potential of being deemed unworthy. They chastise you for dealing with the ‘outcasts’ because they’re afraid of becoming one. The beta male is cautious and nice around his woman because he’s afraid of becoming one.
    .
    There’s nothing especially ‘feminine’ or ‘masculine’ about it… it’s gender neutral. It’s just the prevalent fearful, validity seeking mentality. Are you good or bad? etc. Where people must pretend to be more shallow than they are, to fit in to the superficiality of the culture of which to be deemed unworthy might mean suffering, it might mean facing their weaknesses… it might mean a lot, in a place where emotional value and worth of character is constantly attached to where one fits on some imaginary hierarchy.
    .
    Don’t try to explain it with science. This is confusion. Understand it within yourself and you won’t need any more studies.

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

      @Jack Arthur

      Can’t it be that [women] are even more confused than you are? Why look to ‘hypergamy’ and evo psych and all of their supposed failings to explain the simple fact that they, too, are desperate to be included in the ranks of the ‘worthy’… and in their urgency they overemphasize the surface of things and misunderstand the deeper things.

      Many women are confused about what they themselves want, vs. what they are supposed to want. Women who say, “I don’t like jerks, I want a nice guy” aren’t being disingenuous. I believe that nearly all women would make this claim. Then they proceed to rush to a party hosted by jerks, and men understandably reply, “Don’t ever listen to what a woman says, watch what she does.” This is fine advice, but it doesn’t address the question of why women respond to jerks. It’s not the jerkiness per se, it’s the confidence/social dominance. They emphasize dominance (surface) as it is immediately evident, to the exclusion of character (deeper), which takes some time to assess. This is not smart, but it’s a trap that women fall into again and again, romantics that we are.

  • Escarondito

    Men in the manosphere try to say this too and I really think that this is another man projection that women and men like the same things. When, oh when will men stop saying that we’re lucky because we can get laid twice a day? WE ONLY WANT TO GET LAID WITH A FAVORED MALE. Do you understand? Cat calls, come ons, etc. are not enjoyable. 99% OF US DO NOT WANT SEX WITHOUT LOVE. IT IS WORTH LESS THAN NOTHING.

    @susan

    Don’t use all caps. It’s internet angry and is unbecoming.

    Also, you’re pulling the not reading card.

    Susan:
    “WE ONLY WANT TO GET LAID WITH A FAVORED MALE. Do you understand? Cat calls, come ons, etc. are not enjoyable. 99% OF US DO NOT WANT SEX WITHOUT LOVE. IT IS WORTH LESS THAN NOTHING.”

    Esca:
    “In your response to prudes, just because you don’t put out doesn’t mean you don’t get male attention, it just means you don’t get the male attention you want.”

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

      @Esca
      Apologies for the caps. Bah, I was not internet angry, I just wish I could raise my voice a little to express frustration. I did read your entire comment, though, and while you do acknowledge that women get male attention they don’t want, you don’t indicate that you understand the attention they receive is designed to get men sex and can be crass at times. The point is that saying women can have sex whenever they want it, as if they are fortunate, makes no sense. It’s like saying guys can have two-hour long heart-to-heart talks on the phone every single night!

  • Escarondito

    @karen
    KK. I get you. I don’t know all the reason behind that but there’s one reason I did overlook them. After going through and doing crazy shit with some of those alpha girls, I honestly felt upon meeting those good girls, “I don’t want to corrupt you”. Because the fact is, and Susan knows I hate this, but the games you have to play and the dumb shit that is done to get those alpha females becomes ingrained in you. And I don’t want to do any of that to that type of girl but fear and know that I will. I won’t lie the girls you are talking about I have actually gotten to the verge of starting something with them, then broke it off. I could pump and dump them, but that’s not what my moral fiber is.

  • Hope

    “Those same guys would most likely find it much more difficult to approach the cute history major in the dining hall, having had zero interaction with her.”

    I actually majored in a BA degree, not history, but not too far from history either. I was also approached once in the dining hall by a totally random guy, and we became friends later. Maybe I just have a nice look that says “I won’t be mean to you if you talk to me,” because I did not get the jocks approaching me, but the slightly nerdy kind of guys.

    Incidentally, I was always an outcast, was comfortable being an outcast, and had no problems talking to, befriending and loving other outcasts. This might have had something to do with it.

  • Escarondito

    @Susan
    LOL. Can you explain a little better. The analogy was a wee bit weird.

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

      @Esca
      Haha, it was a bit weird. And I wasn’t even tipsy when I wrote it. Basically, saying that women are fortunate because they don’t risk rejection for sex is pure projection. It’s only an incentive for a woman who makes casual sex a priority, and as we’ve seen, the sky’s the limit for those girls. The overwhelming majority of women do want a relationship, or if they are too busy with work, school, etc. and least an emotional connection of some sort. That is as elusive to women as sex is to men. It’s like saying that men are really lucky because they have a good shot at a committed relationship once they’ve had sex with someone.

  • http://grerp.blogspot.com grerp

    Obsidian – I understand the schadenfreude. I think it’s unfortunate, but a natural reaction to pushing the age of marriage way off into the distance. I don’t think women get how painful the approach/get shot down dance can be for men; I’m not sure I get it and I’ve heard about it plenty from men I know. I’ve seen a lot of dismissal of this – “Men are bitter.” Implying that they are just losers and should get over it or “man up” or not have emotions. But 1) men are a critical component in the mating game; if they stop showing up there is no mating game and 2) shouldn’t we care that we are raising our boys to face this/shouldn’t we care that so many men feel this way?

  • http://grerp.blogspot.com grerp

    What I hope women lurking here get out of these sort of threads is the message to look harder at the men around you. I think Susan is right in her advice to wait out college because the scene there seems all about transitory exploration of sexuality and not forming real relationships now. But the more I read from the male perspective the more I realize that I have forgotten the indications of interest I had when I was young and single. I remember being what is described here – cute but quiet. I could not compete in the big leagues; I did not even register on the radars of the BMOCs. And I remember feeling like there were NO GUYS out there, but in reality there were men I could have encouraged and didn’t. When at 25 I finally felt like I was ready to look around for relationship material and get serious about encouraging interest, it didn’t take that long before I met my husband. At the time I thought this was a lucky break. Now I wonder if my perspective on the dating market was accurate.

    I know a man who gave up on women years ago because he couldn’t get the time of day out of any of them. He is not attractive. But he is talented, easygoing, smart, reliable and terribly funny. I once brought him up as a prospect to a woman I know who at the time was single and in her early thirties. She looked at me in horror. But from what I can tell he would probably make someone a great husband. She, in comparison, would probably be a challenge to live with as she is emotionally up and down and can be quite manipulative. She has a couple of other strikes too. It’s fortunate for him that that idea was a non-starter.

    My grandfather was 5’4″ tall, barrel-chested and not handsome. He was freckled and bald by his mid-twenties. He was an outstanding man of character – hard-working, generous, kind, morally upright. He would frequently say to my grandmother and others that he “got the prettiest girl in the neighborhood” although my grandmother was not above average looking. When I think of how he might have done today on Match.com, it depresses me.

  • ExNewYorker

    @Susan

    I don’t think women fake that character matters, at least I hope not.

    I wasn’t clear with that phrasing. I mean to say the they may “fake” themselves into believing it matters, along the lines of “what she does, not what she says”.

    I think your point about the respect of male peers is interesting. I would think that in college, the cads get the most respect from male peers, but perhaps it depends on whom one is friends with.

    Yes, it does depend on your circle of peers. I was in a fraternity, but at a STEM school, so there weren’t as many cads as you might see at a fraternity. But there was admiration, however grudging, of cads who were successful with women.

  • http://FT.com VJ

    You know I hate to break your hearts folks, but Character Counts. Everywhere. At all times.

    Now it may not be especially helpful to you very often in your ‘average’ SMP/dating situations. But people? You’ve got to find the Market Audience that Conforms to your own Desires. Not only can this be this true for ‘dating & mating’, but it’s also true for business too.

    Now it’s true, much of the time in many places this may mean that most of your 20’s is going to be spent offering up the ‘unpopular’ to the ‘unwilling’ or slightly better the ‘disinterested’. But as they say, the real Long Term game for most gals is not mating with as many alphas in the end. Sure it’s pleasurable, and it’s fine enjoyable entertainment for many. Some will easily spend a decade or more chasing down those dark alleys of heady heedless desire.

    But at the end of her days on her grave stone are listed not the ‘wild hummers’ she gave which lovely NFL teams & when, or what MLB outfielders she did in the grass next to 3rd base a few hours after the lights went down for the 1955/1974 World Series. No. What’s on the tombstone, that last indelible record of her life & even ‘achievement’? ‘Loving Daughter, Sister, Wife, Mother, Aunt, Grandmother… ‘ and her dates & perhaps even the names of her kids & hubby too.

    Now this is not to say that when you got ‘Granny’ deep in her cups she’d might tell you a bit of her ‘wild days’ down on the farm, following the carny/circus/Dead/Dodgers whatever. But what Defined Much of her life? Was her Family. How she made it, came to grips with it, functioned within it, survived the turmoil & trouble from without & within it, and ultimately & typically those were the folks still around who cared enough to yes bury her & memorialize her.

    Why? Because that’s what ultimately Most Women Want & desire in the end. To finally create a family somewhere, with someone they love. Some may take a very long while to get there (more than half of their lives if they reach 40 something), and some will define it a bit differently (cats/dogs/GF/partners/droids whatever). But it’s what they want out of life in the end. That’s important to understand. Even if they blow off most of their 20’s on the largely fruitless ‘Big Dick/Whale/Mr. Big’/Cute ‘plyable’ Alpha hunt.

    Because most people are not beautiful & famous forever. Only a very select few. Because Home is where you go & they’ve (usually) got to take you in & care for you. And home is with your family. And where’s your family? And how do you ‘get’ or ‘create’ one? There’s many, many answers to that simple seeming question. But again, it’s usually not measured precisely by the length or girth of any sterling sized body part, or even by the ‘motion in the ocean’ using same. That might even be the ‘key’ that gets you in the door, but it’s not typically the secret to life. No not really.

    So Character. Real fine, good Character. Counts. It counts even & especially when the chips are down and you’re broke and looking for work, and the wife knows what to do to manage to garner some extra income. And hangs on. Dutifully. Uncomplainingly for years. It counts when the wife gets very sick soon after your wedding, and that lovely tall & handsome young groom hangs on & does the cooking & cleaning & most of everything else, for love & commitment. Because character counts. It counts when your erstwhile BF/but really only a dude you’ve been dating for awhile takes care of you for weeks after coming home from the hospital after a dangerous bout MRSA. And you suddenly realize at almost 30 that even though you felt ‘meh’ about him when you described him to friends? Despite his ‘geeky looks’ and almost ‘autistic’ manner and you worrying about ‘no zing & little chemistry’? You knew & you could recognize that character within him. And that & that alone really, really attracted you to him. And it turned your head around. Maybe just maybe his ‘faults’ were just quirks you could live with…

    Now those may sound like some rom-coms, perhaps written a while back (but no one really does ‘suffering’ or ‘troubles’ much anymore, right)? But those are real scenarios from real life I know of. So no. This will not work in bars. It works in the predictable places you might expect. But it needs time & a receptive audience to nurture too. Perhaps even Beta to Beta for a better mach up. But again, you’ve got to know & be working for & with the right receptive audience. Once I figured that out? It was a piece of cake.

    And with a little ‘game learned? Geesh the things I can do. Like find the prettiest gal in a room in an very crowded art show, strike up a conversation with her, find all about her life, perhaps even get an email too, and then gently deposit her at where my wife is invariably sitting waiting for me. Retriever like. I’ll wink & she’ll smile back at me and ask about my new ‘friend’ and we’ll make introductions. Smile, greet & wave goodbye. What attracted me to my now wife was her smarts & character & personality. And on a good day, she was a solid 6. With some work, perhaps a 7, but she never went in for much of that. Now? She’s about average. You’d not be able to pick her out of a crowd, just to look at. But in too many other ways to count? She’s literally off the charts. I could not & would not change or ‘trade’ her in for a harem of younger 8’s or 9’s. And to know them Really? They’re almost all seemingly mostly silly, troubled or lost & drifting kids. Not my honey. Never. She had character. Real, intrinsic intelligence & character. And it’s kept her & me mostly out of much trouble ever since. Sorry for the length. Hope the paragraphs ‘work’ this time! Cheers, ‘VJ’

  • Clarence

    I think grerp @ 11:50 followed by VJ have posted two of the best and most touching posts I’ve seen here in awhile and full of good advice too.

    In the current college SMP character does not matter. But all you have to do is take ONE step back and your chances of a relationship go up exponentially. “Game” is real, but the hookup culture in which game is the only thing rewarded is only one aspect of reality. It is a game, and you DO NOT have to play.

    My only advice to the girls is you are going to have to put yourselves in guy’s shoes for a bit and not try to shame them or otherwise manipulate them into being with you. Instead, merely look for indicators of character, and follow your nose.

    Will enough young females get this message to make a big difference? Probably not, but I’m willing to bet a few will – and for those lucky few things will work out better in the end.

  • TeflonExpat

    @Escarondito
    .
    “That’s why I am fully outright saying there is no such thing as a double standard when it comes to sex between men and women. None. To say there is, is to imply that there is equal scenarios in both cases of acquisition and rate of close and there isn’t.”
    .
    Exactly. Since women state that there is a DS (and its always women who promote the notion of a DS) then it is a form of shaming language and this is what it really means:
    .
    A standard that I do not agree with.
    A standard that puts me in a bad light.
    A standard that (gasp) could make me feel bad about how cheap and easy it is for me to access casual sex.
    A standard that could undermine my ability to secure a future husband or at least love and commitment from one man
    .
    The sexual DS is harmful to women, not men. Therefore, the two standards of access to sex is harmful to women who now or one day desire to garner the discriminating interest of a man worth marrying. If the goal of women is to eliminate the sexual DS then they should keep their “partner” count very low or just deal with it. Changing men is NOT an option.

  • Julius

    Come to think of it, I’m not convinced the mere existence of a double standard is something worth complaining about. It’s simply the border between having your cake and eating it too, and having nothing. Don’t expect much sympathy from those who have nothing.

  • OffTheCuff

    When, oh when will men stop saying that we’re lucky because we can get laid twice a day? WE ONLY WANT TO GET LAID WITH A FAVORED MALE. Do you understand? Cat calls, come ons, etc. are not enjoyable. 99% OF US DO NOT WANT SEX WITHOUT LOVE. IT IS WORTH LESS THAN NOTHING.

    When said women have the fortitude to stop having sex without love, since it’s their *choice*.
    .
    I really disagree with this. I think if it really was less than nothing, as you say, women WOULDN’T DO IT.
    .
    I posit that women DO like the attention, the flirting, and yes, even the sex. The only way I can accept the average women has it as tough as the average man, is if they simply do not go out, flirt, enjoy their whims to experience social dominance and attention and pursuit and sex, even if vapid and loveless. At all. Then, and only then, are they equals to the hordes of beta men in misery.

  • Jack Arthur

    Nice post Susan.

    It’s funny how quickly men in the blogosphere seem to think that men are only beta because they haven’t learned game, while women are this and that terrible thing because it’s just “their nature”. I suspect this is just latent bitterness.

    Anyway as for “character” vs “jerks” and “nice guys” vs “assholes”… I suspect it is exactly as you suggested: it isn’t the jerkiness that attracts women, but the strength.

    We have to be a little careful when we talk about “character”. I believe that many modern men use a mask of niceness, goodness and virtue to cover up their fears and insecurities, and this is not good character in my books. Then to blame women for liking assholes? At least assholes aren’t terrified of having their ego bruised.

    I think this is nasty behaviour. For hundreds of years the Western world has downplayed and minimized femininity, and it’s because of attachment to self-image. From Luther, through the ‘enlightenment’ (note that the Romantics loved women), to the modern era… the fact is many men are so emotionally invested in their ideas, their thoughts, their self-image… that they are terrified to recognize and admit how powerful women’s intuitive capabilities truly are. Women must be messed up, they say; they have hypergamous traits; they are defective.

    Surely, they say, a reasonable and rational rendition of things is far superior to some woman’s ‘feel’, or ‘intuition’. And now they even have many women believing this lie and feeling bad about liking ‘bad boys’… “Why can’t I be attracted to that guy who is nice and polite to me all the time?” … maybe because his lack of courage is palpable. But to admit that power is frightening (even more frightening to these males, who might actually have to suffer, quit arguing for awhile and face who they really are.. or arent)

  • Jack Arthur

    The truth is a feminine woman can see all the way through a man… even when they don’t know it or at least, don’t know how to say it.
    .
    An honest man is not “trying to secure access to sex”. He is pursuing the rhythms of life manifested in the movements of the corporeal womb of man, the beautiful remnant of his forefathers’ love, the inspiration which whispers to him about who he really is and hints at a promise to break him free from the chains that bind him to the flat, dry earth on which his mind resides.

  • Jess

    Vj
    I wanted to say I totally agree with your take on the gravestone acheivment thing
    Wits needed often is a bit of perspective
    You seem to have it in spades

  • Clarence

    Oh, Jack Arthur, you poor little feminist you.

    It’s because some males aren’t very confident that women will often date men who string them and 5 other women along.
    It’s because some males aren’t confident that some women will repeatedly go back again and again to men who physically abuse them.
    It’s because some males aren’t confident that girls often compete to see (as detailed on this very blog) who can have the most stringent and yet arbitrary criteria to refuse to date a guy.
    It’s because some males aren’t confident that 10 women will chase after 4 men.

    Yep, it’s all those socially awkward males faults.
    And of course if these awkward males learn game they are merely putting on a front, not learning social skills or how to present their best parts in a way congruent with what women enjoy. I suppose they should curl up and die while the young women make stupid decisions that will leave many of them heartbroken and never able t have a true ltr with anyone.

    You seem like a sociopath who hides behind poetry.

    Your schtick is rather old and has been refuted on this blog time and time again. The basic premise of this blog is that there are several problems with the current sexual market place and that these problems don’t entirely lay at men’s feet. If you don’t believe that, this blog isn’t the place for you.

  • Höllenhund

    “When, oh when will men stop saying that we’re lucky because we can get laid twice a day? WE ONLY WANT TO GET LAID WITH A FAVORED MALE. Do you understand? Cat calls, come ons, etc. are not enjoyable. 99% OF US DO NOT WANT SEX WITHOUT LOVE. IT IS WORTH LESS THAN NOTHING.”

    This interpretation is way too simplistic for my taste and is apparently designed to instill a false sense of optimism into men with no success in the current SMP by presenting a false image of female sexuality. Women value their sexual freedom and want casual sex as well – the difference wrt male sexuality is that they only favor a small cadre of men for that. After all, the sexual revolution was driven by women, not men.

    Plenty of women are obviously getting laid by favored men (= the alphas). They do it over and over, and no amount of reasoning will change their minds – because such behaviour is driven by their hypergamy. It is indeed “worse than nothing” – in the sense that this will largely destroy their LTR potential for obvious reasons (men avoid pair-bonding with sluts, and women who got the taste of alpha will always want to go back).

    All in all, the majority of women are at least getting something out of the current SMP (sex with alphas) whereas the majority of men aren’t.

  • Höllenhund

    Just to make myself clear: humans have no inherent desire for lifelong commitment. We haven’t evolved that way. Monogamous marriage is a cultural construct of the West. I believe Western women’s apparent desire for lifelong monogamy with an “eligible” man is largely a leftover from the patriarchy’s rather heavy cultural conditioning, which goes back to centuries. Needless to say, an advanced civilization is difficult to maintain if people don’t form monogamous marriages. But an advanced civilization is not humanity’s natural state.

  • Jack Arthur

    So Clarence you think it is good to pretend to be good and hide fear behind niceness, and that women should respond to that, yes? But they are what, too messed up? To love fear? What are you saying? I am saying don’t blame women for not liking “character” where character is synonymous with bitterness, fear, and hate.
    .
    It is good to learn to be masculine. But it has nothing to do with complicating the mask… it has to do with having the courage to leave it behind. Blaming others for your problems and nurturing threats and doubt in your head won’t serve you.
    .
    I know how hard it is. The whole world flees from suffering. But do you think feminists, or women, or whomever… that they are different from you? They “get sex” and that is perhaps all you ever long for (I don’t know you but using an example). You are intelligent and that is all some people have ever longed for. On and on. But it’s all a lie, a mask and trust me when I say increasing your comfort zones in life do not increase your happiness.
    .
    It is no one else in the world’s responsibility to get over yourself but you. Feminism is just another in a long line of revolutionaries that blames everyone else for what it sees is wrong with the world. It removes femininity and replaces it with a cold, flat image.
    .
    For one thing, I am a traditional Catholic and everything feminists seem to loathe, the very image of the “patriarchy”…. but trust me when I say I know what it is to love a woman and I know also that that is all you need.
    .
    The basic nature of both men and women is wonderful and there is no need to complicate that with baggage yes? Or extract from each other in an effort to shore up the very part of us that keeps us in chains.
    But you will do what you like. You are doing what you like, arent you.. (I hope you’re not doing what you dont like)

  • Jack Arthur

    Hey Hollehnhund…
    .
    Did you know that “cultural constructs” can reflect the metaphysics of reality better than what you pretend is evolution’s brain, or “inherent desire” as you call it.
    .
    Or do you think swimming in the ocean without feet is more natural than dancing too?

  • Jack Arthur

    (sorry for the triple post :))
    .
    PS Clarence if there is a problem nowadays with the sexual market it is that we don’t encourage femininity in females and masculinity in males anymore. This is a natural way of heightening eros between opposites without any need for conscious interference.
    .
    I sympathize with the socially awkward male. Truly. I was like that too. The best thing is learning to be masculine and learning to accept the darker dichotomies, forgive others’ and your own darkness……. but I dont want to sway you either way. Good luck

  • http://sexypterodactyl.wordpress.com Sexy Pterodactyl

    Re dear Aunt Enid’s dating advice: Or, you could flicker your nasal appendage to send the message: “I’m great at hunting small animals!”

    That’s what initially attracted me to the hypergamous foreign babe Amy. I think she was attracted to my alpha dominance, and insouciant dangling cigarette.

    Alpha alpha alpha alpha,
    Sexy Pterodactyl

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

    I believe Western women’s apparent desire for lifelong monogamy with an “eligible” man is largely a leftover from the patriarchy’s rather heavy cultural conditioning, which goes back to centuries.

    Some in the manosphere would debate whether women truly have this desire, but the point I wanted to address was the origin of these impulses. I was hearing recently (from a geneticist at a dinner party, no link, sorry) that there is evidence that behaviors adopted even over just a short while may change our genetic print permanently. So for example, a person who behaves with extreme promiscuity can and will change their own genes, in this case possibly the D4 receptor gene length, and pass that “promiscuity” gene along to offspring. The possibilities are mind-boggling. I will try to research this.

  • Jess

    Hollenhund,
    On this issue you write with great clarity- I agree with you on the civilisation thing.
    I think people dont like to admit it as they derive great comfort from tradition and history.

    Susan,
    I await your genetic research with some interest, I had no idea about a specific gene controlling sex behaviour. that could be quite explosive data.

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

    @Jess
    There is a gene called the D4 receptor. (D stands for dopamine here.) Thus far, only men have been studied, but those with a “long” version of the gene have 20% more sexual partners and are more likely to cheat. At some point, we may demand testing for this the way we do now for STDs! It is hypothesized that women probably have a similar marker for sexual variety and infidelity, but that still needs to be tested.

  • Jess

    Its an interesting concept. The 20% thing- could it be that the gene allows for some phsycial characteristc like height or jawline etc that might make them more attractive and that might account for the 20% increase?
    As opposed to the gene meaning the person is more likely to be dishonest/unfaithful/disastisfied?

  • Jess

    I just read up a bit on genetics- I couldnt find anything on behaviour affecting genes.
    Your genes come from both parents and reside in the nucleus of most cells.
    The only thing that can change your genes is radiation, chemicals or a disruption during cell division.
    The genes in your eggs/sperm are what you pass onto your children and they also can only be effected by the 3 things I just mentioned.
    So how would me suddenly leaving my partner and participating in a year long orgy effect my genetic code? Have I misunderstood this?

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

      @Jess
      Some links about the D4 receptor:
      .
      http://www.srm-ejournal.com/article.asp?AID=7099&UID=
      Heritability estimates were 41% for infidelity and 38% for number of sexual partners. A strong genetic correlation between infidelity and number of partners was reported (0.47), showing a genetic link between the 2 traits.
      .
      http://www.nature.com/ejhg/journal/v15/n3/full/5201763a.html
      Among the male young adults, possessing one or two alleles of the 10R is associated an 80–100% increase in the number of partners as compared with those possessing two alleles of the 9R. This finding is not evident among females. An equivalent interpretation can treat one or two 10Rs as the ‘wild type’, which amounts to about 91% of the individuals in the sample. Then the homozygotes for 9R can be considered as the ‘conservative’ or ‘undaring’ type whose reported number of sexual partners is about one half of the number reported by the wild type.
      .
      Re your understanding of altering the genetic code with behavior, as I mentioned I heard about this from a geneticist at a recent dinner party. This is cutting edge stuff, and all hypothetical at this point. I’m not aware of any completed studies. FWIW he treated this as a foregone conclusion, and would say, “Yes, if you leave your partner and engage in a year’s worth of orgies, you would alter your genes. So that a child conceived pre-orgy and one born post-orgy would be dealing with two different sets of genetic code.” It really is mind-blowing.
      .
      This is entirely independent of physical characteristics as determined by testosterone, for example. The D4 receptor gene is thought to determine the propensity for “novelty-seeking” in an individual. It is a gene for temperament.

  • TeflonExpat

    Its called epigenetics. For a woman, it probably includes a gene for skillful dishonesty. She would have be a real natural at hiding all knowledge of that year-long orgy in order to secure a man worth marrying and have any chance to put a curse on the next generation of girls.

  • Jess

    Well, putting aside your intended offence, how would the scenario you describe alter the genetic code in a womens ovums?

  • TeflonExpat

    Its only an offense if she succeeds. But its inconsequential as few men would give her the chance. That’s how the population of such women are kept in check as a tiny minority…solely by mens’ selection choices. You would need to research epigenetics for a description of how the genetic code is altered.

  • jess

    i actually meant the offence you intented, not the imaginary girl
    .
    and susan is going to get back to us on her rearch

  • jess

    thanks for this susan
    I read the links. I found them highly interesting although I confess they are quite heavy going for a lay person (why cant scientists write in plain english?)
    i think a gene for temprement and ‘risk taking’ is perfectly feasible.
    And a 0.47 correlelation is massive so there must be something in it.
    I couldnt find anything about what your dinner guest said in the links or elsewhere.
    I did read several times that your eggs (several 100 or so) are actually manufactured when you are a foetus so that means the genetics are fixed during the lifetime of the female. Behaviour itself cannot effect the genes nor the order of ovulation of particular ovums.
    Do you think he might have meant that a certain gene might pervade the gene pool over several generations?
    Or did he count ‘a walk through the Chernobyl disaster site’ as a possible behaviour due to a gene for risk taking? (sorry- i stole that joke from one of the sites i read)

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

      @Jess
      All good questions. If I get the chance I will try to learn more from this man. That makes sense about the eggs already being fixed, of course. I will certainly report back if I learn more.

  • TeflonExpat

    ” a child conceived pre-orgy and one born post-orgy would be dealing with two different sets of genetic code.”
    .
    Another extremely good reason for a man to choose the mother of his children wisely. VERY wisely. You deserve better. Screw locally, marry globally.

  • Höllenhund

    “When, oh when will men stop saying that we’re lucky because we can get laid twice a day?”

    Well, realistically speaking, average women ARE lucky – WHEN compared to average guys on campus who cannot even get casual sex without serious investment and effort (read: learning Game). Sorry, Ms. Walsh, that’s just a fact. Something is still better than nothing.

    “WE ONLY WANT TO GET LAID WITH A FAVORED MALE. Do you understand? Cat calls, come ons, etc. are not enjoyable.”

    In other words, they are not enjoyable IF done by males that aren’t favored (read: betas). Cat calls and come-ons are not enjoyable when done by attractive alphas? You mean women don’t enjoy it when alphas validate their sense of sexual attractiveness. Come on, Ms. Walsh, you know that’s pure BS.

  • Jess

    I think you may have overstated your case.
    Yes women like compliments from an attractive man sometimes.
    They are less likely to appreciate them coming from a 60 yo drunk in the street.
    .
    Also women differ in their preferences.
    I have always found men stare in a lewd fashion if i wear a dress.
    And I find that invasive, irritating and disconcerting so I dress down. Always have.
    But I know some women who revel in male attention, even the overt type, so poor guys don’t know how to play it I guess.
    .
    Generally speaking a subtle hint of a compliment is usually ok.
    Overt sexual overtones and the man risks offending.
    Wolf whistles are very risky. I know a lot of guys and girls that think guys who do that are morons BUT I have seen the tactic work. I’m afraid attractive guys can get away with a lot. I would not dispute that Hollenhund.

  • Höllenhund

    “They are less likely to appreciate them coming from a 60 yo drunk in the street.”

    I made it perfectly clear that I’m not talking about such men.

    “I have always found men stare in a lewd fashion if i wear a dress.
    And I find that invasive, irritating and disconcerting so I dress down.”

    Since you’re talking about “men” in general, I assume the reason for your reaction is that you don’t find the majority of them attractive.

  • Cercando di capire

    “Well, realistically speaking, average women ARE lucky – WHEN compared to average guys on campus who cannot even get casual sex without serious investment and effort (read: learning Game).”

    The social and biological risks for casual sex are higher for women compared with men, on average.

    I also fail to see how learning game is any more or less of an investment—time-wise, psychologically or physically—than the current levels of consumerism/consumption for products, interventions and activities to appeal to a beauty standard.

    Men can decrease their mating efforts with women for whom the social and biological risks of casual sex are lower; mating effort for either sex is highly dependent on gender ratios as well.

  • terre

    “I also fail to see how learning game is any more or less of an investment—time-wise, psychologically or physically—than the current levels of consumerism/consumption for products, interventions and activities to appeal to a beauty standard.”
    .
    In that case, you probably don’t know much about game.

  • Höllenhund

    “The social and biological risks for casual sex are higher for women compared with men, on average.”

    That had been the case until the invention of the Pill, the legalization of abortion and the disappearance of slut-shaming. I concede that STDs are a higher risk to women for biological reasons. But you should also keep in mind that men assume an enormous risk when engaging in casual sex that women don’t: the possibility of a false rape charge.

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

    Some interesting new comments on this old thread!
    @Hollenhund
    I think you fail to fully take sex differences into account. Obviously, for some women casual sex is better than nothing – or we wouldn’t have a hookup culture. For other women, though, the promise of physical intimacy without emotional intimacy holds no appeal. Still others are tempted but understand that way lies misery. This may be true regardless of the attractiveness of the male, though it’s no surprise that attractive males will fare better than unattractive ones with all women. Physical attractiveness is not correlated to alpha/beta, IMO. I do agree that favored status is more often granted to socially dominant males.
    .
    The women most likely to be approached and cat-called are the women least likely to desire or need the sexual validation. Most women feel genuinely uncomfortable being stared at. The most beautiful women I know walk down the street with their eyes straight ahead, effectively wearing blinders, so that they don’t even notice the way people stare at them. Of course, narcissistic women are a different story.
    .
    @ Cercando di Capire, @terre
    I think an argument can be made that women work extremely hard to achieve the cultural standard for beauty. It is a different set of tools than Game, perhaps easier to implement, but still very high stakes emotionally. A woman who is deemed unattractive in this culture is SOL. Game offers the possibility of success with women regardless of one’s genetic code. Women do not have this option.

  • Jess

    I agree with Susan mostly here.
    It’s certainly true that staring gets tiresome.
    When younger my friends and I would get asked for dances or drinks offers 20 times a night.
    It was maddening. And drunk guys feeling horny are not very seductive.
    .
    I slightly disagree on susans last point. Women can use a bit of game to improve their sexual value.
    Playing hard to get, ( or not), the right shoes, the right dress, being flirty and engaging.
    I know women who have ‘landed’ men that might be considered more hot than they were.
    But ‘game ‘ probably is easier for guys generally.

  • Höllenhund

    Most women feel genuinely uncomfortable being stared at. The most beautiful women I know walk down the street with their eyes straight ahead, effectively wearing blinders, so that they don’t even notice the way people stare at them.

    Maybe the reason is that the majority of people doing the staring and cat-calling are unattractive men?

    My point is that your argument is inconsistent. You say women want to get laid by the favored men. Fair enough. You imply that “favored men” = “men that women fall in love with”. Well, the standard behavior of women in the SMP makes this unlikely. Do alpha men have lots of casual sex because women fall in love with them all the time? I don’t think so.

    And then you say women aren’t advantaged by their ability to have casual sex pretty much whenever they want, yet you also say that women want to get laid. I concede that women run into difficulties when trying to achieve the best-case scenario (committed relationship and regular sex with a favored man), but the fact is that something is still better than nothing.

  • Fred

    “But you should also keep in mind that men assume an enormous risk when engaging in casual sex that women don’t: the possibility of a false rape charge.”

    Then stop raping women.