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Guitar Game

I’d like to introduce Ezra, one of my favorite nerds:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ezra is a nice Jewish boy who grew up in New Jersey. A bright boy who happens to be the son of a psychoanalyst and grandson of philosopher Richard McKeon. He got into Columbia, Yay! where he majored in English. Upon graduation, he took a job as a middle school English teacher in Brooklyn. Such a nice guy.

Somewhere along the way, he picked up one of these:

 

 

 

 

 

 

And voila!

 

Ezra Koenig, Frontman for Vampire Weekend

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The dude’s now the frontman for Vampire Weekend, one of the hottest, hippest bands on the planet. I’m totally obsessed at the moment with the song Oxford Comma. Check it out:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_i1xk07o4g

 

Not bad, right? When I searched on Ezra’s name for the first time, Google prompted me with “Ezra Koenig girlfriend.” The guy has totally got it made. He’ll probably wind up marrying (because nice boys do get married) a Victoria’s Secret model.

There is no more valuable prop for seduction than a guitar. Vocals are necessary, but you needn’t have a great voice, just a committed, impassioned delivery. I am in no way suggesting that Vampire Weekend is not hugely talented – they are. They draw on many different world music traditions, and their lyrics are insanely clever and catchy. But there’s something about a man with a guitar that makes women throw reason out the window (and snap their knees apart).

What is it about guitar playing troubadors? I don’t think the virtuoso violinist gets any points with women, nor the soulful cellist. Definitely not the opera singer, or even the talented a capella singer, with rare exceptions. Certainly there’s a cultural element, but I think it’s more than that – something about the pouring out of emotion in song form that cuts straight to the heart (and the vag). The contrast of that confessional medium with what is often a complicated emotional nature is total catnip to women.

In This is Your Brain on Music, Daniel Levitin writes that Darwin believed music evolved as a mating strategy, preceding speech as a means of courtship – he equated music with a peacock’s tail.

Jimi Hendrix had sex with hundreds of groupies, and in an era preceding birth control, would have fathered many children. Robert Plant had this to say about touring with Led Zeppelin in the 70s:

I was on my way to love. Always. Whatever road I took, the car was heading for one of the greatest sexual adventures I’ve ever had.

Levitin goes on to observe that even an ugly physical appearance isn’t an issue, citing Mick Jagger as his prime example.

Cognitive psychologist Geoffrey Miller suggested that musicianship would have signaled sexual fitness on two fronts:

  • Singing and dancing advertised stamina and good health.
  • Anyone accomplished at music advertised that the male had enough resources to spend time developing an unnecessary skill.

In contemporary society, wealth and luxury send this message, but the allure of the musician is still powerful. Interest in music peaks during adolescence, and young males are often motivated by the desire to attract young females with their music.

It’s also possible that evolution selected creativity as a marker of sexual fitness. Miller and Haselton’s research has shown that creativity trumps wealth for human females. Wealth may predict who will make the best caregiver dad, but women give additional weight to males who possesses the best genes for fathering. One study showed that ovulating women prefer the creative but poor artist to the not creative but rich man.

There’s also a clear genetic correlation between sociability and musicality. There is some evidence that people who lack genes for inhibition use a larger set of neural structures than others when listening to music. In general, then, we may deduce that highly sociable males are more likely to relate to music, and be inspired to create music. This is another indicator of genetic fitness.

Finally, the fact that musical tones are used frequently in mating by other species lends credence to the theory of music as an evolutionary adaptation. It may be that the male creates music to make a memory – whenever that same sound is heard again, the female will be reminded of that particular male.

Levitin concludes, “As a tool for activation of specific thoughts, music is not as good as language. As a tool for arousing feelings and emotions, music is better than language. The combination of the two – as best exemplified in a love song – is the best courtship display of all.”

 

In contemporary society, the allure of dating a musician includes the real possibility of playing potential muse to a creative genius. I once had a roommate in New York who was dating a famous musician. He wrote a song for an album and called it Celeste, after her. She insisted that he change the name to It’s You, which is how it appeared. I told her she was crazy – who wouldn’t want to be memorialized in that way? (Perhaps it was the fact that her neighbor was his heroin dealer, and she knew the relationship wouldn’t last.)

Allison Schrager, an economist based in New York, recently wrote Where Do Love Songs Come From? for The Economist. In it she explores the “conundrum of the muse,” a role she found herself in when an ex-boyfriend TV writer modeled a character on her in a popular sitcom.

“The role of the muse—someone who can inspire something wonderful, moving and ever-lasting—occupies a romantic space in our psyche… More often than not, if someone creates art about you, it’s probably because the relationship itself was difficult and unfulfilling. Legend has it that the song You Give Love a Bad Name was inspired by Jon Bon Jovi’s brief fling with Diane Lane. Bon Jovi ended up marrying and having four children with his high-school sweetheart, but this lasting romance doesn’t seem to have yielded any memorable ditties.

In interviews with several composers and songwriters about the relationships that inspired their music, few said they wrote about happy, long-term relationships while they were in them.”

Even when a love song is angry or angsty, it provides real evidence to the world that at least for a time, you captured the attention of this prize specimen. It doesn’t matter if he’s really no prize. We all want to be Helen of Troy.

Singing and playing the guitar is a massive Demonstration of Higher Value.

If I had a son today, I’d forego the piano lessons and go straight for the electric guitar. It is perhaps the best signal of evolutionary advantage that modern man has at his disposal. It sure worked for Ezra.

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  • http://blacksub6.blogspot.com Escarondito

    I know a couple in their early 20s who have been on and off for four years. She’s done but he wants another round. Last weekend, after hours of emo talk, at 4 in the morning he picked up his guitar and sang each of the three songs he’s written about her over the years. It’s worked every time he’s tried it before. She didn’t give in this time but the pull was mighty strong.

    lol. So it’s good until a point. Noted.

  • http://www.nomadicneill.com NomadicNeill

    I’ve been playing guitar for more than a decade… I feel like it helps in that I have something that I’m passionate about but I’m sure it could be any other kind of hobby. If anything, standing on stage is the more important thing.

    BTW, I make it a point to never write songs about or for a specific woman. I don’t think it would be healthy for me to have to sing a song about one person over and over again.

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

      @NomadicNeill
      There is no question that women are more turned on by guitar as a hobby than by other things, such as WOW or Lionel trains or even sports. As you point out though, it’s the display that counts – performing is a huge source of social proof. But picking up your guitar and playing it for one person will still be very effective, IMO. Mastery in general is sexy, but music really is in a category of its own.

      I never thought about the downside of writing a song for one person, but I can imagine that might be very burdensome. Especially since most songs are about love gone wrong or nostalgia rather than plain old contentment. One musician said, “When I’m in a relationship and it’s working, I think about buying toilet paper. It’s when I’m bummed that I do my creative writing.”

  • http://ozymandias3.blogspot.com ozymandias

    Is it just me, or are guitarists usually pretty ugly? I theorize that most guitarists are guys who knew their face would be winning over any chicks, so they picked up the instrument historically associated with wet panties. That said, bassists tend to be ridiculously hot.

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

      Hmmm, I think Ezra is cute. So was John Lennon. There have definitely been many hot guitarists. My husband says that smart ugly guys become musicians to get girls, and he admires their strategic thinking. FWIW, the young couple I mentioned that is finally done? That kid was punching waaaaayyyyyy above his weight.

  • whiteboykrispy

    I tried learning back in the day, but I’m about as musically gifted as a cinder block.

    For this reason, I have a seething hatred for dudes who use their guitars to get girls. It’s nothing personal, I’m just jealous.

    That and some of the dudes I know that do this I thought were douchebags before I knew they played, but I digress…

  • ExNewYorker

    Didn’t one of the guys from Kings of Leon just marry a model?

    My two siblings learned how to play guitar, and I can see how it worked for them…

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

      @ExNewYorker
      Kate Hudson just married the lead singer of Muse. She was also married to the frontman for Counting Crows. And let’s not forget Lyle Lovett and Julia Roberts. He couldn’t sustain the attraction, but his music got him into those panties….

  • Rae

    I’m with Neil; a man with a skill he’s passionate about is vastly sexier than a man with no hobby.

    In interviews with several composers and songwriters about the relationships that inspired their music, few said they wrote about happy, long-term relationships while they were in them.”

    I bet this problem is familiar to most artists: happy is not a very dramatically interesting emotion, because it generates no conflict. I write poetry, and people have asked me to write poems about them… but if they really understood what that entailed, they’d stop asking.

    Love, as well as happiness, is responsible for a lot of terrible, unsexy poetry and music. I think people are mostly blind to the real features of their love objects, which paradoxically makes it harder for them to create compelling art. That’s one of several reasons I don’t much fancy being anyone’s muse.

  • modernguy

    Music is about love and so are women’s lives. And they both express themselves emotionally. Music is the most direct way of speaking to women’s hearts.

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

      @modernguy
      That’s downright poetic. I think you’re going a little soft on us – that’s a nice glimpse.

  • http://averagecohabitingchump.wordpress.com/ Workshy Joe

    nice boys do get married.

    Approximately 50% of those nice guys who get married will get divorced and in around 70% of those cases, the wife will initiate the divorce. Nice or not nice, I don’t like those odds much.

    I feel like it helps in that I have something that I’m passionate about but I’m sure it could be any other kind of hobby.

    Neil is right. Roissy once said that there are female groupies for almost every field of male endeavor apart from “World of Warcraft”.

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

      @Workshy Joe

      Approximately 50% of those nice guys who get married will get divorced and in around 70% of those cases, the wife will initiate the divorce. Nice or not nice, I don’t like those odds much.

      In the U.S., the divorce rate for college graduates is 17%. I suspect the 70% still holds, though in the case of rock stars it’s got to be women initiating divorce after tolerating years of groupie sex.

      Neil is right. Roissy once said that there are female groupies for almost every field of male endeavor apart from “World of Warcraft”.

      Are you and Neil saying that women don’t have a special soft spot for rock guitarists? That the number of women they bed is the same as your average pheasant hunter or even rugby player? Come onnnnnnn……

  • SayWhaat

    That said, bassists tend to be ridiculously hot.

    Gah, the hipster musician I dated a while back was a bassist. Such a hottie! Apparently bassists are the best guys to date in a band because they don’t have the egos of the lead singer/guitarist. Although I did go on another date with a bassist whom I didn’t find attractive at all (it didn’t help that he was a struggling musician barely out of college–also, Hipster Musician was still in the picture so poor boy didn’t stand a chance).

    Also, the guitar is considered to be somewhat of a phallic symbol. In the mid-80s Prince played a guitar that would actually ejaculate by squirting water out of its end during the climax of a song.

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

      In the mid-80s Prince played a guitar that would actually ejaculate by squirting water out of its end during the climax of a song.

      Glad I missed that. My very favorite song of his, Little Red Corvette was a hit in 82.

  • Passer_By

    @workshy joe

    “Approximately 50% of those nice guys who get married will get divorced and in around 70% of those cases, the wife will initiate the divorce.”

    Hey, now there’s a fresh topic for discussion on HUS. :)

  • Passer_By

    I wish I had taken up guitar. My brilliant mother made me learn the clarinet – a real chick magnet if there ever was one. I keep trying to get my sons to take up guitar, but they won’t do it. You can lead a horse to water . . .

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

      My brilliant mother made me learn the clarinet – a real chick magnet if there ever was one.

      The only clarinetist I can name is Richard Stoltzman, and he was not exactly hot. Clarinet is definitely a dud. Saxophone is cool though.

  • Blues

    Hey, to the ladies in the audience, how do you feel about the sax in comparison to a guitar?

    @Passer_By

    I wish I had taken up guitar. My brilliant mother made me learn the clarinet – a real chick magnet if there ever was one.

    I hear ya, the flute is suuuuuch a panty dropper instrument too *sigh*.

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

      @Blues
      The story I told about the famous musician and the song It’s You was about David Sanborn, sax player. That instrument made him sexy, even though he had a sort of Robert Dole withered arm.

  • SayWhaat

    Hey, to the ladies in the audience, how do you feel about the sax in comparison to a guitar?

    Incredibly sexy.

    [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GaoLU6zKaws&w=640&h=390

  • Stephenie Rowling

    Hey, to the ladies in the audience, how do you feel about the sax in comparison to a guitar?

    Sorry string girl here. I don’t like sax and I dislike winds generally and I hate modern Jazz with a fire of two thousands suns (it makes no sense there is no pattern and I slowly descent in madness trying to make sense of it nonexistent rhythm) , except on Orchesta where they complement the other instruments but strings (guitar, violin, viola, piano, oboe, ukulele…) I could listen for hours. I also like percussion.

  • http://www.yohami.com YOHAMI

    Man + guitar + microphone + stage = instant value. It doesnt matter if you suck, as long as you perform with confidence.

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

      @Yohami
      I was channeling you and your singing while I wrote this post. I am certain that it accounts for a significant % of your 200 ;)

  • Anonymous

    Money For Nothing by Dire Straits

    Now look at them yo-yo’s, that’s the way you do it
    You play the guitar on the M.T.V.
    That ain’t working, that’s the way you do it
    Money for nothing and your chicks for free

    Now that ain’t working, that’s the way you do it
    Let me tell you them guys ain’t dumb
    Maybe get a blister on your little finger
    Maybe get a blister on your thumb
    ……………..
    Look at that, look at that
    I should have learned to play the guitar
    I should have learned to play them drums
    Look at that mama, she got it sticking in the camera
    Man we can have some
    And he’s up there, what’s that? Hawaiian noises?
    Banging on the bongos like a chimpanzee
    Oh, that ain’t working, that’s the way you do it
    Get your money for nothing get your chicks for free

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

      @Anonymous
      Excellent Dire Straits there, thanks.

  • Aldonza

    I would have this man’s children…even with the whiteman dreads and skanky fingernails.

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

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

      @Aldonza
      Wow, he is very impassioned, I’ll say that. Yeah, he seems like he would really like sex, for hours and hours. Those fingernails have got to go though – nothing worse than an inadvertent fingernail divot on the sensitive ladyparts.

  • http://chuckthisblog.wordpress.com Joe

    There is no question that women are more turned on by guitar as a hobby than by other things, such as WOW or Lionel trains or even sports.

    .
    Yeah, I can vouch for that. Yvonne Strahovski has been dating a Polish rock star for a while now.
    .
    Being a guitar player in college was golden, back then, anyway. In the days when dorms were sexually segregated, the piano players were a little envious. They weren’t able to drag their instrument to the girl’s dorm like I could. ;-)
    .
    And more seriously, I got far more attention playing in a band than I ever did as a martial artist. My first wife married me for both; it even made up for being short.

  • Aldonza

    @Susan

    Wow, he is very impassioned, I’ll say that. Yeah, he seems like he would really like sex, for hours and hours. Those fingernails have got to go though – nothing worse than an inadvertent fingernail divot on the sensitive ladyparts.

    I’ve seen him live…front-row doing that song. Having witnessed that, I’d do him even with the fingernails (and they’re only on his right hand, his fret hand has short nails…maybe he’s a lefty in bed?) He’s totally beta-zoid taken though with his wife Daniella and his two adorable kids.

    Another great guitar/singer/songwriter I’d also do in a minute: Michael Franti. (As an aside, Michael smells wicked good. Like…tingly, recognizing good genetic match, good.)

  • filrabat

    You hit a home run with this article, Susan.

    I’d expand it this could apply to any field or passion. It’s easier for music or anything that’s regularly featured in the popular media, for the simple reason that “popular” is – almost by definition – the majority. Hence the law of averages is in your favor. I’m not saying do something because it’s popular, of course. You’ll end up being a fake, poser, etc. – in which case you’ll get even less respect. Better not to try that field at all, unless you already have at least a second-level passion for it, or simply want to try something new.

    If your interests or passions are more arcane, nerdy, etc. then that can be something of a problem – especially for non-alphas in the field. Still, stick to your passions, the things you do because YOU want to – not because you see think it’ll get you girls.* Ironically, hiding (or worse, dropping) that interest will deprive you of a vital source of potential confidence (should be obvious in light of what I described).

    Summary: be passionate about something, throw yourself into that passion (as in “I’m near-obsessed with this activity, possibly even more than sex itself”, and strive to master it. You may or may not get the girl you want, but at least you’ll have a basis of happiness and pride independent of what society thinks of you.

    *This is one of the blind spots in many PUA’s logic – especially the ones promoting Dark Game, but even to many of those promoting Jedi Game. Far too often, their life philosophy (or at least many people coming to them for help) start with an unspoken but obviously present assumption “having sex, romance, or a girlfriend is the most important thing in life”. I think it best if they are first taught by game advocates to be happy / content with their lives WITHOUT romance, sex, etc FIRST. Surely this’ll get rid of most of the neediness. For this reason, one of my key litmus tests for distinguishing true Jedi game but “well meaning but incomplete Jedi game” is whether they teach guys how to be happy and productive without a woman first.

    I think my reasons for believing this are well established now, so any newbies coming across this article google my username and the hookingupsmart website together.

    Anything that you’re really competent at will generate some kind of confidence. In fact, I’ll say it’s absolutely vital for any sort of confidence.

  • GudEnuf

    Susan:

    If I had a son today, I’d forego the piano lessons and go straight for the electric guitar.

    You’d want your boy to be swamped with girls looking to mate? Most mothers are more protective :P

  • http://www.yohami.com YOHAMI

    Susan,

    I was channeling you and your singing while I wrote this post. I am certain that it accounts for a significant % of your 200 ;)

    It does. Who knows what will happen when I get worldwide fame

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

      It does. Who knows what will happen when I get worldwide fame

      Your dick will fall off!

  • Stephenie Rowling

    Summary: be passionate about something, throw yourself into that passion (as in “I’m near-obsessed with this activity, possibly even more than sex itself”, and strive to master it. You may or may not get the girl you want, but at least you’ll have a basis of happiness and pride independent of what society thinks of you.

    Cosigning this, nothing made me feel more attracted to a man that when I see him with stars on his eyes, when talking about something that consumes them (other than sex or women of course that had no merits coming from a man, IMO), or when they are in the middle of doing what makes their heart tick, completely unaware of anything but their craft. Passion generates passion, IMO.

  • GudEnuf

    While we’re on the subject, anyone care to explain why female rock stars get no lovin’?

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

      @GudEnuf
      Because most men aren’t turned on by women being powerful, masterful and dominant. Passionate is something else – and I suspect that a beautiful, feminine, passionate female singer gets plenty of attention.

      As per usual, the woman in that article put it down to being too intimidating, saying they scare the men away. This implies that if they could only reassure the men, they’d come running. In truth, the men are indifferent, not afraid.

  • Stephenie Rowling

    While we’re on the subject, anyone care to explain why female rock stars get no lovin’?

    Reverse preselection most women see a man with a lot of female admirers and try to win him for themselves, most men see a woman with a lot of male admirers and think the competition is to hard and/or if the woman rejects them it will hurt too much their fragile egos and don’t even try.
    Am I right guys?

  • ExNewYorker

    Hypergamy.
    .
    The article dances around that explanation, but that’s probably a good deal of the reason…

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

      Hypergamy.
      .
      The article dances around that explanation, but that’s probably a good deal of the reason…

      Yeah, I wondered if male groupies is just another way of saying beta orbiter.

  • http://www.triggeralert.blogspot.com Byron

    The Groupie Disparity – which is in itself a fine band name – is a prime example of biological differences between the sexes. It’s not that there aren’t boys waiting at the stage door when a girl rock star finishes playing, it’s just that they are an annoyance rather than a reward. No girl gets into music for the dick.

    My fave (unknown) singer/songwriter:

  • http://www.triggeralert.blogspot.com Byron
  • http://wolfsjourney.wordpress.com Awooolf

    This explains John Mayer. Thanks.

  • http://wolfsjourney.wordpress.com Awooolf

    GudEnuf says: While we’re on the subject, anyone care to explain why female rock stars get no lovin’?

    Because guitars are masculine. Female + masculine energy = boner killer.

  • Blues

    Thank you all for the feedback ladies.

    Are you and Neil saying that women don’t have a special soft spot for rock guitarists? That the number of women they bed is the same as your average pheasant hunter or even rugby player?

    I think she meant that the groupie radio for guitarists is far higher in comparison to just about anything else.

    Reverse preselection most women see a man with a lot of female admirers and try to win him for themselves, most men see a woman with a lot of male admirers and think the competition is to hard and/or if the woman rejects them it will hurt too much their fragile egos and don’t even try.
    Am I right guys?

    To the average Joe? pretty much, to a seasoned gamesman though? that’s more like a huge chance (The Game is a good example), the real problem would be getting close to said female rockstar to be able to run game.

  • http://averagecohabitingchump.wordpress.com/ Workshy Joe

    Are you and Neil saying that women don’t have a special soft spot for rock guitarists? That the number of women they bed is the same as your average pheasant hunter or even rugby player?

    Neil is the guitarist, so you’d have to ask him about his pulling power.

    As for Rugby – Jonny Wilkinson used to a have a female following on a par with David Beckham.

    USA marriage stats:

    50% percent of first marriages, 67% of second and 74% of third marriages end in divorce, according to Jennifer Baker of the Forest Institute of Professional Psychology in Springfield, Missouri.

    Here in the UK, marriage rates are at an all-time low.

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

      @Workshy Joe
      Some marriage info for the US from Pew Research:
      1. The decline in marriage varies enormously by class:

      The Class-Based Decline in Marriage. About half (52%) of all adults in this country were married in 2008; back in 1960, seven-in-ten (72%) were. This decline has occurred along class lines. In 2008, there was a 16 percentage point gap in marriage rates between college graduates (64%) and those with a high school diploma or less (48%). In 1960, this gap had been just four percentage points (76% vs. 72%). The survey finds that those with a high school diploma or less are just as likely as those with a college degree to say they want to marry. But they place a higher premium than college graduates (38% versus 21%) on financial stability as a very important reason to marry.

      http://pewsocialtrends.org/2010/11/18/the-decline-of-marriage-and-rise-of-new-families/

      2. Cohabitation as an alternative:

      marriage rates have fallen and cohabitation rates have surged
      in the wake of the divorce revolution, as men and women’s faith in marriage has been shaken. From 1960 to 2007, the percentage of American
      women who were married fell from 66% to 51%, and the percentage of
      men who were married fell from 69% to 55%. Yet at the same time, the
      number of cohabiting couples increased fourteen-fold—from 439,000 to
      more than 6.4 million. Because of these increases in cohabitation, about
      40% of American children will spend some time in a cohabiting union;
      20% of babies are now born to cohabiting couples. And because cohabiting unions are much less stable than marriages, the vast majority of the
      children born to cohabiting parents will see their parents separate by age 15.

      http://www.virginia.edu/marriageproject/pdfs/Wilcox_Fall09.pdf

      3. Divorce rates are dropping. From the same link as #2

      The good news is that, on the whole, divorce has declined since 1980
      and marital happiness has largely stabilized. The divorce rate fell from a
      historic high of 22.6 divorces per 1,000 married women in 1980 to 17.5 in
      2007. In real terms, this means that slightly more than 40% of contemporary first marriages are likely to end in divorce, down from approximately
      50% in 1980

      4. The divorce rate for college educated couples is 17%. Again, UVA link.

      : College-educated Americans have seen their divorce rates drop
      by about 30% since the early 1980s, whereas Americans without college
      degrees have seen their divorce rates increase by about 6%. Just under
      a quarter of college-educated couples who married in the early 1970s
      divorced in their first ten years of marriage, compared to 34% of their
      less-educated peers. Twenty years later, only 17% of college-educated
      couples who married in the early 1990s divorced in their first ten years of
      marriage; 36% of less-educated couples who married in the early 1990s,
      however, divorced sometime in their first decade of marriage.
      This growing divorce divide means that college-educated married
      couples are now about half as likely to divorce as their less-educated
      peers. Well-educated spouses who come from intact families, who
      enjoy annual incomes over $60,000, and who conceive their first child
      in wedlock—as many college-educated couples do—have exceedingly
      low rates of divorce.

  • http://www.nomadicneill.com NomadicNeill

    @Susan

    I think guitar playing is one of the many things that can help in terms of your overall ability to attract women. But just turning up with a guitar is unfortunately not enough. Either you have to be obviously incredibly passionate about it or perform regularly in public for it to have any real effect. It can’t just be an accessory.

    I wonder how important singing is because I find that women are more impressed by a guy who can play 3 chords and has a good voice than someone who has better guitar playing skills but who isn’t such a great singer. I’m not a great singer but even so there is a big difference in the reactions I get when I’m sitting in the park playing some hendrix song vs on stage playing 3 simple chords but singing.

    Anyway the guitar has a lot going for it; show’s you are creative, maybe intelligent, you can carry it around, has a lot of associations with it ‘sex, drugs, rock ‘n’ roll’.

    I just wanted to warn guys that it does work IF you truly care about making music. It’s that weird paradoxical non-attachment thing, if you play guitar to get girls it’s less likely to happen than if you play because you love it.

    @filrabat

    Totally agree with you. A friend of mine was once asked by his girl-friend playing guitar was more important to him than her, to which he said without hesitation: ‘yes, of course’. I think dating-advice for men should start with… “live an authentic life that you are passionate about as if you didn’t need women”.

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

      @Nomadic Neill

      But just turning up with a guitar is unfortunately not enough. Either you have to be obviously incredibly passionate about it or perform regularly in public for it to have any real effect. It can’t just be an accessory.

      Fair enough! I had to laugh as I pictured a guy bringing a guitar to a party, and then being at a loss when someone asks him to play. No question it takes many hours of dedication and practice to master any form of musical expression. Guitar Game is not going to work for most guys. And its value would obviously plummet if suddenly just about every guy could play and sing.

      Mostly, I am interested in why women love musicians. Our bio programming runs deep.

  • http://www.nomadicneill.com NomadicNeill

    * “it shows you are creative”

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

    Perhaps one factor is that music (especially singing) allows a guy to express deep emotion and vulnerability without appearing *too* vulnerable.

    Also, guitar-playing demonstrates nimbleness of fingers and perhaps feeds female fantasies of *other* ways those fingers could be used.

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

      @david foster

      Perhaps one factor is that music (especially singing) allows a guy to express deep emotion and vulnerability without appearing *too* vulnerable.

      I think this is HUGE, truly. If a guy said the same lyrics to a woman face to face, she’d penalize him for it. But in song form it sends a frisson of attraction up her spine. BTW, I’m away for the weekend, and I’ve brought Age of Longing with me!

  • Stargate Girl

    Loved the sax video SayWhaat! The in-frame advertisement was for the Special Olympics was perfect. Now I gotta forward this vid to everyone…

    I’m a sax player. Those of you near Boston, I’m playing next weekend at the Regattabar (Harvard Square).

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

      I’m a sax player. Those of you near Boston, I’m playing next weekend at the Regattabar (Harvard Square).

      This is so incredibly cool I can’t believe it! I’m going to get right on this.

  • OffTheCuff

    …ugh, last post was me. (She keeps using my browser. Get out!)

  • Bob

    Clarinetist? Benny Goodman was a clarinetist and big band leader. I’m sure had whatever social life he wanted.

    Check out One O’Clock Jump and Sing Sing Sing. Stephenie, I think you would like them.

    For you rock fans I should point out that the former has plenty of cowbell.

    My dad was really into big band jazz. I wish we had shared more. I’m having to explore it on my own.

  • Bob

    Don’t anybody forget that Paulina Porizkova married Rick Ocasek.

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

      @Bob
      I woke up in the middle of the night remembering the Ocasek tidbit. Thanks for sharing that. The Cars just played in Boston the other night. They look really old, but I think My Best Friend’s Girl has timeless appeal. Their stuff sounds fresh today.

      Big band jazz was awesome, and you’re right, those musicians would have had a sweet setup with women. So much of this is dependent on the fashion of the era. Court composers had options too.

  • Höllenhund

    I think guitar playing is one of the many things that can help in terms of your overall ability to attract women. But just turning up with a guitar is unfortunately not enough. Either you have to be obviously incredibly passionate about it or perform regularly in public for it to have any real effect.

    Which seems to be a different way of saying that playing guitar won’t generate more female attraction unless it also differentiates you from the mass of average men by bringing higher social status.

    Say hello to our old friend, female hypergamy.

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

      @Hollenhund
      The point I was making in the post is that guitar confers higher social status. If that’s shallow, or pretense, it’s obviously not going to work for long. But a guy with a guitar case walking through a park could probably approach a woman more successfully than a guy without one. There are many ways of achieving Higher Value, guitar is just one option. To make it work really, really well, like Ezra here, you have to be massively talented. That alone will put you in a tiny minority. Being OK at it, and comfortable playing it for others, is probably helpful, but only if you love it and play it for reasons other than attracting women.

  • http://badgerhut.wordpress.com Badger

    Tasks for this week:
    .
    1. Change out online data photos of me smiling for ones of me not smiling.
    .
    2. Put in pictures of me playing my guitar.
    .
    I’d also add that the guitar beats the piano because you can move around on stage and have more visual appeal as a performer. About the only move you can pull at the piano is to stand up and kick the stool out from under you.

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

      @Badger
      I cosign your online dating tasks.

  • http://forgetfulmuse.blogspot.com/ Thag Jones

    I think it does matter if you suck. I play the guitar myself and some guy standing on stage making an ass of himself because he sucks is not sexy, it’s embarrassing.

    What do you call a guy who hangs around with musicians? A drummer. :P (I dated a pretty good drummer – he was one of the better bfs).

    And don’t forget, jazz musicians taught rock musicians how to party, not the other way around. And Kenny G is not jass, ftr.

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

    Susan..Age of Longing…fantastic! You & I may now be the only people who’ve read this novel in the last 30 years.

  • http://forgetfulmuse.blogspot.com/ Thag Jones

    It does work though – just look at Gene Simmons or Steven Tyler – fugly as hell really but look at the women they get! Actually, all of Aerosmith are pretty hideous but watch this and tell me it doesn’t have an effect if you’re female.

    http://youtu.be/CBTOGVb_cQg

  • http://forgetfulmuse.blogspot.com/ Thag Jones

    I just noticed at 3:12 or so in that video, the very unsubtle angel about to get into his pants. LOL I guess subtle enough that I never noticed it before.

  • http://averagecohabitingchump.wordpress.com/ Workshy Joe

    @Susan: In Britain, marriage is on the way out. Its a dying institution. As the statistics I linked to above show, the trend over the last hundred years is right off a cliff.

    The relatively low divorce rate for college graduate couples in the USA is interesting, especially since the overall divorce rate is so appalling.

    Jane and I are non-graduates so in our case I think we better not risk it ;-)

  • Susan Walsh

    @Workshy Joe
    I’m very interested in understanding what’s going on in the UK. Do you have a sense of the underpinnings of this nosedive in the marriage rates and rampant promiscuity?

  • Stingray

    No offense intended for either Susan or Aldonza, but, while John Butler was good I find Eric Sardinas sexy as hell.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2IDrrQqdvU

    My husband pulled him up on youtube one night, knowing my taste in men and how much I (we) have been reading about game just to judge my reaction. Holy crap! Gina tingle does not even begin to describe.

    Here’s another:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dRE-TjrbKqY

    (BTW: skanky fingernails, yes, but in his defense the length of fingernails has a very audible effect on tone when playing a classical guitar. I would assume the same to be true of an acoustic.)

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

      @Stingray
      It’s very hard to offend someone here, and certainly not by stating your own preferences! I had zero awareness of any of these guitarists. I guess I kinda go for the emo boy types. BTW, chronological age has nothing to do with it. My attraction triggers have not changed one bit since I was in my 20s.

  • Stargate Girl

    Guitar players never did much for me. Most I met were self centered, egotistical jerks with a god complex. Now saxophone on the other hand…… That is one of the sexiest instruments around. My gf and I used to call it a “F__K ME!” instrument. I met a sexy sax player in college. Loved the way he looked getting all ready for gigs. 20 years later I still love the way he and and his sax look. There’ve been times at gigs i felt like he was playing to me. Very sexy. And since I’m a wind player too-primarily clarinet, but I can play sax- we can literally make music together. Gigs together(though few and far between since kids) are always a lot of fun. So, yeah, keep the guitar, I’ll take my SaxMan ANYDAY! :D

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

      There’ve been times at gigs i felt like he was playing to me. Very sexy. And since I’m a wind player too-primarily clarinet, but I can play sax- we can literally make music together

      So jealous!

  • http://forgetfulmuse.blogspot.com/ Thag Jones

    Stingray… Hmmm, not as good as this:

    http://youtu.be/tCmMDd8T5fg

  • Stingray

    Thag,

    I especially like the smile at 0:51. Gets me every single time. Though I still prefer Sardinas. It has a lot to do with how he moves and the style of music.

  • http://forgetfulmuse.blogspot.com/ Thag Jones

    Yeah, the smile is nice. I like that style of music, the Spanish, Antonio is badass. Must be my Romany Gypsy blood. :D

  • http://forgetfulmuse.blogspot.com/ Thag Jones

    Sorry to be an asshole but I just watched a bit of that Ezra whatshisface thing and no, just no. He looks like a little boy and sounds like one too. I might have found that cute about 25 years ago, lol. (Damn that makes me sound old!)

  • http://forgetfulmuse.blogspot.com/ Thag Jones

    Can’t believe no one has posted this…. “All women around the world want a phoney rock star… So play guitar.”

    http://youtu.be/31R_DEC_4SQ

  • Developers! Developers! Developers!

    I don’t think the virtuoso violinist gets any points with women, nor the soulful cellist.
    Are you sure about that? Ever hear how Mstislav Rostropovich met his wife?

    I will tell you the first time we met. I was sitting in the lobby of a hotel in Prague. Suddenly I notice these slender legs walking down the stairs very slowly. I then see this nice midriff – and then these magnificent breasts. I say a quick prayer to God: please give her a beautiful face – and He did! There she was. I immediately wooed her, and I proposed to her four days later, and we became husband and wife. After those four days she was complaining of creases around her eyes as I had been making her laugh so much. Recently, I was asked by a magazine, “Is it true that you married after only four days?” I replied, yes. Then they asked me, “Fifty years later, how do you feel now?” I replied, I wasted four days.

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

      @Developers
      I love that Rostropovich story! Wow, that kind of attraction has to be a very, very rare thing. Lucky them.

  • Stephenie Rowling

    Mostly, I am interested in why women love musicians. Our bio programming runs deep.

    Exception the to rule again, I used to dance for our guests on house parties when I was 7 (and I did dance numbers on my pageant in front of at least 1000 people, a lot of public speaking as well and a won a whole sound system in the Christmas party at work, dancing in front of my coworkers, my boss and their families, in a very sexy way…I blame the beer on that one), performance is something that I don’t find that dominant per se. Not that I haven’t had crushes on singers (well one singer) but is mostly depending on the image they present, if they are singing “I’m lonely, I need you” and their personal life match to this, I’m sold, but I’m a sucker for the lonely type. The rest as sexy as CD player. I’m just in it for the music or the song, not for the man, YMMV.

  • http://ancalgon.wordpress.com ancalgon

    THE ALPHA MALE OF TODAY!

    - Is he an astronaut?

    - Is he a soldier?

    - Is he a Peace Corps volunteer, an engineer, a carpenter, someone who actually contributes to society and improves it?

    Nope.

    He’s a guy who spends his time strumming guitar as a member of a band.

    Colour me bloody unsurprised that Western civilization is going down the toilet. No wonder American jobs are outsourced overseas.

    [Note: BTW, This is not against your article, Susan. Guitar game definitely works today, and you are merely stating that it does, which is a good thing. Still, the social mechanisms that make it possible for it to work aren't sustainable, and are, in my view, going to result in American society consisting mainly of troubadours like this. Fantastic :)]

  • http://badgerhut.wordpress.com Badger

    “I theorize that most guitarists are guys who knew their face would be winning over any chicks, so they picked up the instrument historically associated with wet panties.”
    .
    That’s a very negative way to look at men taking up their passions. In any case it ascribes way too much intentionality to the situation. Guys who take up guitar to get chicks are posers and it shows in their music. Most guitarists I have experience with love playing the instrument – and THAT’S what brings the poon.
    .
    I would say you are really starting to get daft, but I think it’s more that you are 19 and so your mouth is just way ahead of your knowledge and experience.

  • http://badgerhut.wordpress.com Badger

    “One eager young female has rather more ambitious, intimate designs: can she get a photo of singer-guitarist Ezra Koenig planting a kiss on her lips? He politely declines, giving her a big, brotherly hug instead. “I don’t want to get into trouble with my girlfriend,” he explains with a slightly nervous smile.”
    .
    What’s great about this is that he couches his takeaway move as a sign of romantic fidelity. This will get the girls even more hot for him.

  • http://badgerhut.wordpress.com Badger

    “I woke up in the middle of the night remembering the Ocasek tidbit. ”
    .
    So you were dreaming about Ric – or about his wife?

  • http://badgerhut.wordpress.com Badger

    The subtopic of writing/playing songs about a certain person reminds me of my own post on the topic of performance:
    .
    http://badgerhut.wordpress.com/2011/05/13/why-beta-lyrics-make-alpha-musicians/
    .
    The woman wants to be taken into an emotional world, but not necessarily YOUR emotional world. So unless she’s really narcissistic or you are really hot, writing/playing a song about her is a massive DLV in my estimation. And creepy.
    .
    The woman upon which Layla was based has said she can no longer listen to songs written about her (which include Layla, Something and Wonderful Tonight).

  • http://badgerhut.wordpress.com Badger

    “Come onnnnnnn……”
    .
    You ripped this off from my dating lines post.

  • http://badgerhut.wordpress.com Badger

    Aldonza,
    .
    “I would have this man’s children”
    .
    Judging from your picture, it’s far from too late.
    .
    Susan,
    .
    “Fair enough! I had to laugh as I pictured a guy bringing a guitar to a party, and then being at a loss when someone asks him to play.”
    .
    Are you kidding? There was an entire play called The Music Man based around this premise.

  • Stephenie Rowling

    Sing Sing Sing

    I actually like that one, but I probably can only hear it once and no more winds for a day or two. A whole winds concert is unbearable to me.

  • Pingback: Linkage is Good for You: _______ Edition

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

    @Ancalgon
    I couldn’t agree more. In fact, it’s probably fair to ask if Ezra Koenig wasn’t contributing more to society as a middle school teacher than as a rock star. I’m not suggesting he not realize his creative potential – but you are so right, we don’t reward the people who make the engine run.

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

    @Badger
    I love that Ezra K story! Where did you get it? That’s exactly how I would have expected him to behave. He reminds me of Rivers Cuomo in that way, another beta musical genius – he met his wife when she marched up to him at a concert and introduced herself.

    Re dreaming of the Ocaseks – no, I just have a sort of HUS tinnitus with me at all times, even during sleep. It’s very annoying.

    I wonder why Patti Boyd can’t listen to those songs? I love the song Wonderful Tonight and my husband thinks it is absolute crap. Then again, he’s always been on the fence about Clapton.

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

    Aldonza,
    .
    “I would have this man’s children”
    .
    Judging from your picture, it’s far from too late.

    There will be no hanky panky at the HUS reunion.

  • Stingray

    Susan,

    I think you meant to reply to Thag Jones in your comment.

    Same with me regarding the age thing. My triggers have not changed at all, either. They only seem to become more deep rooted as I get older.

  • http://averagecohabitingchump.wordpress.com/ Workshy Joe

    @Susan: This article offers some insight into the British marriage situation.

    Sham marriages may have been responsible for the blip in wedding figures that pushed the numbers up to more than 273,000 in 2004.

    But the tax and benefit system came under most fervent attack. Advantages for married couples have gradually been withdrawn, joint taxation-ended in the 1980s and Gordon Brown withdrew the last tax break for couples, the Married Couples Allowance, shortly after Labour came to power in 1997.

    Benefits such as tax credits now favour individuals living with children rather than couples and the bias against couples is thought to have contributed to the growing numbers “living apart together”.

    That curious phrase “living apart together” means not only that there are strong disincentives for people to get married, but even openly co-habiting is heavily penalised by the tax and benefit system. So many couples claim to live alone when they don’t.

    There are strong local authority housing incentives for unattached teenage girls to get pregnant. Existing single mothers on benefits are also incentivized to have more kids once the youngest child reaches five. That way, they government won’t ask them to look for work.

    Also, the gulf in social attitudes here also means that the British women who still want to get married are some of the worst bridezillas in the world.

    From my point of view, if I had £30,000 to spare I wouldn’t blow it on ONE DAY of mass celebrations, a lavish two week holiday in the carribean and jewellry that costs as much as a new car.

  • http://forgetfulmuse.blogspot.com/ Thag Jones

    I have found that my attraction triggers have not changed either – and I actually made an effort to change them (doesn’t work). My current bf (of the last 2 years) was an old high school crush who found me on facebook! Pathetic!

    I will now go and hang my head in shame after admitting that…..

  • http://forgetfulmuse.blogspot.com/ Thag Jones

    Oh, but age matters to me. I prefer around my age for the most part – or at least looks around whatever age I look, which tends to be younger. It’s hard to find people my age who aren’t fat and old looking. o_O If I were inclined to look at people for nothing more than sex, age would be less important. The boyish look does nothing for me except to think maybe “that would be a nice boy for one of my daughters in a few years!”

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

      Oh, but age matters to me. I prefer around my age for the most part – or at least looks around whatever age I look, which tends to be younger.

      See, that’s what I mean! As I age, my taste in men does not. For me the sweet spot is 28. Like you, I generally redirect this energy to consideration of the prospect as son-in-law material. (I will say that my attraction to my husband did not fade when he turned 29 – he has earned an exemption.)

  • http://forgetfulmuse.blogspot.com/ Thag Jones

    I think men look best around 35-45, assuming they haven’t aged terribly. I think I always did like the slightly older man though, so maybe the sweet spot is just a little older for me. ;) I’ll let you know when I’m 50 if I still like 40YO men, lol.

  • Stephenie Rowling

    Same with me regarding the age thing. My triggers have not changed at all, either. They only seem to become more deep rooted as I get older.

    Genetics used to say that the more you age the more you become yourself. I will say that my nerdy attraction started at 7 and it never faded, regardless of the circumstances.

    As I age, my taste in men does not

    My threshold for age was less than 10 years (older or younger) when I was 25 a guy over 40 (the majority of guy that approached me) was ewww, but once I got older, closer 40 didn’t see so bad, in the other way around when I was 25 a man of 17 didn’t see so bad, as I grew older then it became ewww. Funny thing is that I’m experienced a lot of increasing interest from young boys and I’m like “The only thing I could do in bed with you, is to tuck you in and tell you a story…” God doesn’t hate me, he just enjoy mocking me with my mismatching target audience. Good thing I’m married so is mildly annoying at worst.

  • Anonymous

    I can’t really think of something more denigrating or silly than to reduce music, the only escape hatch of meaning in a meaningless world, to some peacocking strut leaned down to appeal to cackling (or giggling) women. More often I feel inclined towards the dear Ms. Vilar’s assessment:

    “Someday it will dawn on man that woman does not read the wonderful books with which he has filled his libraries, and though she may well admire his marvelous works of art in museums she herself will rarely create, only copy.”

  • Esau

    Can it really be that no one has posted this link yet? Priceless:

    http://www.collegehumor.com/video/3945162/learning-guitar-to-get-laid

  • Stephenie Rowling

    http://www.collegehumor.com/video/3945162/learning-guitar-to-get-laid

    Heh this was so funny and also, my husband used to sent me funny videos like this when we were dating, worked like a charm ;)

  • 108spirits

    My dad was pretty good with a guitar and used it to pick up with decent success. My mum fell for it. :P He stopped playing a few years after marriage though. I should’ve tried learning as a kid, but never got around to it and he never taught me, not sure why.

    As for guys learning the guitar (or whatever else) to get laid, I’d say that might be true at first, but then those guys would actually fall in love with the instrument and picking up chicks would be the last thing on their minds. I’m a dancer, and it’s a common story among the guys that we all started dancing either because of some girl, or to meet girls, but then we developed a passion for the art itself and the girls became simply a bonus. The guys who pursue arts purely to pick up girls never get good at them and drop out eventually.

  • http://badgerhut.wordpress.com Badger

    You know I’m not sure I really want to know the bio/psycho/social reasons music touches us so.
    .
    It’s like the time I did some research on “American Pie,” and learning the meanings of all the bits and figurative language pieces ruined the song for me.

  • http://2centtab.blogspot.com/ Judah

    Talent goes a long way. You have to show something they have never seen before.

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

      @Judah
      Welcome, I really like your blog post on Norah Jones – that sentiment “take off your cool” is great.

  • Höllenhund

    This idea seems to be similar to the one about entering a dance course to attract women: it improves the chances of a tiny minority of guys who will have little difficulty in attracting women anyway, and it’s a high-investment, low-probability-of-reward type of activity, so doing it for the sole purpose of attracting women appears to be a bad idea.

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

      @Hollenhund

      it improves the chances of a tiny minority of guys who will have little difficulty in attracting women anyway, and it’s a high-investment, low-probability-of-reward type of activity,

      To be clear, I’m not suggesting that a person who doesn’t enjoy music take up the guitar. I’m simply pointing out what is patently obvious to everyone – chicks dig guitarists. So if you are musical, and you’re inclined to pick up an instrument, you could do worse than play the guitar.

      I don’t think Ezra Koenig was a chick magnet when he was teaching middle school. As I said, in the post, playing guitar well is a massive DHV. Shouldn’t that be something that guys should be aware of, at least? From there, they can make their own choices.

  • http://2centtab.blogspot.com/ Judah

    @ Höllenhund I get what you are saying but some of society’s greatest wonders were inspired by women. Your right that it shouldnt be the sole purpose but I say most good things men do are about 90% motivated by women.

  • Stephenie Rowling

    Your right that it shouldnt be the sole purpose but I say most good things men do are about 90% motivated by women.

    As a personal anecdote, my boss is a famous poet in my country and he started writing poetry to court a girl on his school. Well the feelings for the girl passed but his love for poetry only grew. So who knows maybe there is a positive feedback effect that can make a man try something and find out he likes it and continue to improve and grow, one never knows where your true passion lies till you try it, IMO.

  • Jamie

    Hi Susan Walsh.
    I’ve been lurking on your blog for some time now, thinking of you as The Cool Mom with the Sage Advice that is incredibly relevant in today’s social climate. I am so incredibly charmed that you like Vampire Weekend.
    Anyway, just thought I’d introduce myself. One day I may join a discussion. Until then,
    Take Care.

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

      @Jamie
      I am so happy to meet you! Do join in whenever the spirit moves you, we have some pretty interesting conversations around here. Yes, I adore Vampire Weekend! My 21 yo daughter in particular feeds me very good music. Another song I’ve been totally crushing on is Naive by The Kooks – do you know it?

  • MRKTGNS

    “Cognitive psychologist Geoffrey Miller suggested that musicianship would have signaled sexual fitness on two fronts:

    Singing and dancing advertised stamina and good health.
    Anyone accomplished at music advertised that the male had enough resources to spend time developing an unnecessary skill.”

    Biochemist MrktGNS suggests that skilled hunting and empire building advertises better genes, health, stamina, vigor, intelligence, and dominance than the above.

    “In contemporary society, wealth and luxury send this message, but the allure of the musician is still powerful. Interest in music peaks during adolescence, and young males are often motivated by the desire to attract young females with their music.”

    In contemporary society and prehistoric society; wealth(productive assets) and luxury(free time) supercedes the musician who entertains the king. To this day, the number of starving musicians outnumbers successful one’s 100-fold.


    “It’s also possible that evolution selected creativity as a marker of sexual fitness.”

    Evolution is a fallacy!

    “Miller and Haselton’s research has shown that creativity trumps wealth for human females. Wealth may predict who will make the best caregiver dad, but women give additional weight to males who possesses the best genes for fathering.”

    You would like to believe the best genes are the one’s most selected for and most prevelent in a society or population, just like you would like to believe the starving musicians are just as talented as the famous one’s, but not selected for.
    It is the creative who acquired wealth that trumps the creative who acquire poverty.

    “One study showed that ovulating women prefer the creative but poor artist to the not creative but rich man.”

    “All studies show that woman will select the wealthy and attractive super-star athlete with no musical talent over the transient hobo with a saxophone!”

    And the reason Mr. Miller’s research in convincing, but non-sense.

    By all means, throw a guitar in your son’s hand or a flute in your daughter’s.

    I’m going to throw my son into the best environment afforded only by wealth acquired by traits that my child will inherit from myself and his beatiful mom who only values my cock because she knew how to keep her legs closed, which will be inherited by my daughter along with the intelligence and discipline to manage an empire and with-hold the masses from obtaining the best genes.

    Hey you never know, they might be entertaining me one day with their creativity :-O

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

      @MRKTGNS

      I’m going to throw my son into the best environment afforded only by wealth acquired by traits that my child will inherit from myself and his beatiful mom who only values my cock because she knew how to keep her legs closed, which will be inherited by my daughter along with the intelligence and discipline to manage an empire and with-hold the masses from obtaining the best genes.

      Well said. Sounds good to me.

  • filrabat

    Back from Memorial Day @ the folks place.

    to Susan’s May 28, 2011 at 7:00 am @ me

    Don’t recall that one – in fact, didn’t even read it because I only came to HUS in September ’10 (that’s a March ’10) post. A great elaboration of what I said, although I put a somewhat different empahsis on it (be happy w/o women first, whereas you, by conforming to your blog mission, assume the guy already is on a mission to seek “her” out). Each of our POV’s have their place though.

    Great minds do think alike :D

  • http://obsidianraw.bravejournal.com Obsidian

    Hey Ms. Walsh,
    Very good article! Of course, there IS one teeny weeny problem with your thesis…

    Hip Hop. Few if any guitar players there, LOL. And yet, rappers and DJs get mad social proof.

    Also, I’ve written a bit about the role of music to a Man’s Game:

    The Seducer’s Playlist: What’s On Yours?
    http://obsidianraw.bravejournal.com/entry/67226

    Good stuff!

    O.

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

      Hip Hop. Few if any guitar players there, LOL. And yet, rappers and DJs get mad social proof.

      True! Jimi Hendrix notwithstanding, rap is where the creative black guys hang out. Back in the day, the jazz musicians were all that. So yes, YMMV – the biggest source of social proof will always be what is most highly valued in the culture at that moment.

  • http://obsidianraw.bravejournal.com Obsidian

    Quoting Ms. Walsh in response to Hollenhund:

    “To be clear, I’m not suggesting that a person who doesn’t enjoy music take up the guitar. I’m simply pointing out what is patently obvious to everyone – chicks dig guitarists. So if you are musical, and you’re inclined to pick up an instrument, you could do worse than play the guitar.

    I don’t think Ezra Koenig was a chick magnet when he was teaching middle school. As I said, in the post, playing guitar well is a massive DHV. Shouldn’t that be something that guys should be aware of, at least? From there, they can make their own choices.”

    O: Ms. Walsh, Hollenhund’s view is that Ezra merely being a teacher should be enough to get a girl. Period. His position is that it is Women who must reign in their desires, in lieu of more sensible mating decisions – and since Women aren’t very good and/or all that interested in doing this on their own, society must reassert its role in basically forcing Women to be more “sensible” along these lines; guys like Ezra being a good provider that loves the kids should be sufficient for her/them. Simple as that.

    If I have misrepresented Hollenhund’s position here, he is more than welcome to correct me and set the record straight…

    O.

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

      @Obs
      I sympathize with Hollenhund’s view to some extent, but that isn’t happening anytime soon. And you know I am working at the micro level here – giving support and guidance wrt individual strategies. Everyone knows that women are attracted to musicians, even unattractive ones. I wanted to delve into that a little bit – is it just fame, or is there something in our programming that draws us to the maker of music?

      I’m just emulating Mystery in a way (admittedly, rather poorly) – any man can take steps to improve his status with women. Ezra Koenig is just one example of a very beta guy cleaning up by demonstrating massive social proof.

  • SayWhaat

    Evolution is a fallacy!

    lol wut

  • daffyyd

    @obsidian…..there is a long history of society reigning in female desire; girdles, burkhas, seraglio and sati….didn’t work too well in my opinion…do you have suggestions?

  • MRKTGNS

    @ SayWhaat,

    Evolution in the term most are familiar with does not occur in nature, it is a mechanism and theory scientists like to toss around in order to explain an idea that they can’t explain.

    The common jellyfish in it’s present form has not evolved in 500 million years, let’s not quible over exact age, but it is perfect in it’s structure and function. The zoologist that believes in Darwinian’s theory of evolution would have you believe that the jellyfish developed poisonous tentacles for some survival advantage and that the jellyfish evolved from some other organism of similar but different DNA.

    The correct term is selective breeding among the same species to acquire advantagous traits that provide increased odds for survival.

    Before the industrial revolution in Great Britain, light-colored moths were abundant and were camoflouged well from preying owl’s within the light bark of the indiginous aspen tree’s. As the soot from coal-fired mills and factories developed, darkening the bark of the tree’s leaving the light-colored moth’s exposed to the predator owl’s, only the dark the moth’s survived and increased the opportunity for these moth’s to reproduce because they survived.

    See the difference?

  • Höllenhund

    Obsidian,

    there are different ways to look at this issue. Conventional wisdom informs us that women generally want two things from men: babies (from alphas, if possible) and resources (from betas, if possible). What men, on the other hand, generally want from women is sex and children (in that order, with paternal certainty ensured). If we believe that reciprocity and fairness are moral principles everyone should adhere to, and if we accept the argument which you appear to propose and most women seem to believe – namely that no man should consider himself entitled in any case to get serviced by a female body (either the vagina or the uterus), so to speak – it logically follows that no woman should consider herself entitled in any case to a man’s sperm and support.

    But do women actually believe that? As far as I can tell, virtually all women consider it self-evident that they are entitled to men’s services either on an individual basis (example: enforced monogamy in a patriarchy) or on a societal scale (example: the current system in Western nations where men prop women up through tax money diverted to AA, welfare etc.). As far as they’re concerned, men should just give them stuff and do stuff for them; they take it for granted. To go back to your example: virtually all women consider it self-evident that a) Ezra is a productive, law-abiding, respectful man (no other behavior is acceptable from a beta) b) this entitles him to absolutely nothing wrt male-female interaction. What would women think if we subjected them to equally strict standards?

    By and large, women also believe all male-female interaction should take place on women’s terms only i.e. women get to decide when a relationship starts and when it ends. It has often been stated on this blog that no man should feel entitled to sex and no woman should feel entitled to a relationship. Then again, what % of women actually agree with the second half of the sentence?

    Let’s examine the way male and female sexuality is perceived. As we all know, female hypergamy is paralleled by the male desire for sexual variety. The very notion of regulating female hypergamy through norms and laws sounds nothing short of tyrannical today and virtually all women would recoil in horror from it. However, virtually all women consider it self-evident that the male desire for sexual variety should be shamed and regulated, and women need robust legal protections from whichever excesses of this desire. Pretty much all women agree that men should “channel” and control this desire in socially acceptable ways i.e. in ways women approve of. All in all, women consider it self-evident that male sexual autonomy should be limited and regulated through laws. One commenter explained it in detail here:

    http://www.inmalafide.com/blog/2011/04/12/kill-your-game-idols-part-2-strauss-schwyzer-and-spengler/#comment-30022

    This raises a rethorical question: why should I treat a social group with fairness and reciprocity if it, by and large, refuses to offer the same treatment to me? Yes, putting restrictions on female hypergamy seems unfair, but what if women are also perfectly willing to impose unfair restrictions on men?

    On a purely theoretical basis, I agree with the traditionalist argument that enforced monogamy is the system which generates the highest possible rate of wealth creation and results in the highest possible level social stability and the best possible environment for raising children. I also accept the PUA argument that it maximizes the reproductive opportunities of betas. But this raises another set of rethorical questions.

    On average, which gender is more interested in the preservation of social stability and intact families? On average, which gender demands wealth, resources and pampering more than the other? Which gender wants to have children more than the other? To ask these questions is to answer them.

    If Western women want to live in the stable, advanced society they take for granted and have the committed, eligible mates they expect, shouldn’t it be them who give incentives to the opposite sex and not the other way around?

  • Höllenhund

    All in all, I believe gender relations are a two-way street. If men are stripped of their sense of entitlement, the same should happen to women. If one gender is allowed to have entitlements, the other should have the same amount. If hypergamy is unregulated, so should be the desire for sexual variety. If one is regulated, the same needs to happen to the other.

    I get what you are saying but some of society’s greatest wonders were inspired by women. Your right that it shouldnt be the sole purpose but I say most good things men do are about 90% motivated by women.

    This argument strikes me as excessively gynocentric. I would argue men do 90% of the good things they do for their children, not women per se. Moreover, I cannot help but notice two trends:

    1. Men are the most productive economically and culturally in societies which strictly regulate female behavior (strictly in comparison to the present situation, that is).

    2. The more freedom women have, the less able they appear to be to motivate men to be productive and show the sort of behavior women say they want from men. Sub-Saharan Africa, the matriarchal ghettos of Western inner cities and the overall Western sexual marketplace are obvious examples. In fact, I was surprised to find that some people are starting to make the argument that basically women should regulate their own sexuality and thus force men to work for sex:

    http://elusivewapiti.blogspot.com/2011/03/sex-is-cheapfor-some-men.html

    The funny thing is that I’m sure more and more women – usually the older ones – think this way. When you think about it, this is a remarkable development. Ever since the Sexual Revolution the common argument in the West is that sex should be an act of mutual pleasure, done for the sake of mutual pleasure itself; good sex should be exchanged for good sex and commitment for commitment. But now that the sexual utopia has failed to materialize, some women are starting to make the argument that women should revert to their standard operating procedure: sex in exchange for commitment, which is another way of saying “use your sexuality as dog biscuits and thus get men to give you what you want”. It will never happen, of course, but it’s kind of amusing to see these arguments.

  • SayWhaat

    @ MRKTGNS:

    The correct term is selective breeding among the same species to acquire advantagous traits that provide increased odds for survival.

    This is natural selection. Evolution is the process by which an organism gradually changes into another complex form, and natural selection is a mechanism through which evolution occurs.

    As mutations and other advantageous traits are selected for in nature, the species experiences a divergence into separate lineages. Humans share a common ancestor with modern African apes, after which the species diverged into two lines. From one of these lines evolved the gorillas and chimpanzees we are familiar with today; from the other, hominids.

    [Aside: humans did not evolve from apes. Likewise, we did not evolve from Neanderthals, which are classified as either a subspecies or separate species of human that was unfortunate enough to have been wiped out, favoring the expansion of homo sapiens sapiens (that's us)].

    Another example: through selective breeding, humans were able to domesticate the wolf into a chihuahua. Dogs as a whole are separate from wolves, and have evolved the capacity to relate to humans far better than the wolf can. Dogs make eye contact with us just as we make eye contact with each other, by first looking at the right side of our faces (which is the side of the face that tends to be better at expressing emotional state). Wolves do not. Furthermore, given a physical task wolves raised with human contact will rely on themselves to figure out the problem, whereas a dog will almost immediately give up and look to the human for assistance. Wolves have the evolutionary advantage in the wild; dogs have the evolutionary advantage in civilized societies. (Perhaps with the exception of China.)

    Finally, to address your jellyfish conundrum…there are species that may in fact already possess the best possible traits that confer survival. The shark is one; it has a fossil record that dates back to more than 200 million years before the earliest known dinosaur. Because the rate of evolutionary change for sharks is a very slow and gradual process, it’s been difficult to determine where one species stops and another begins, which is why sharks are considered to be forms within an evolving lineage. Jellyfish, on the other hand, are soft-bodied animals, which makes them extraordinarily difficult to study given that it’s rare to find fossils. Even so, the fact that families of jellyfish share the same complexity means that either their complexity developed rapidly millions of years ago (Cambrian explosion), or they are even older and existed before then.

    See the difference?

  • MRKTGNS

    Saywhaat is rewording my argument, I can’t find anything that disagree’s with my statements. I used the jellyfish because scientists recently found a fossilized jellyfish estimated to be 500 million years old who’s lineage has remained unchanged to this day.

    Canines and dogs are of the same family. There is no evolution mechanism that suggests dogs evolved from ground squirrels or rodents.

    All animals share a common ancestor because their cellular operations all function the same. That does not mean we are related or evolved.

    All living things were designed and created, adding and deleting genes is what distinguishes them from one another.

    Evolution does not occur in nature and natural selection/assortive mating/selective breeding is not a mechanism that infers evidence of evolution.

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

    Well… here’s the thing. I play both piano and guitar, piano extremely well and guitar well enough. It’s definitely true that being on stage with a guitar is worlds better than sitting behind a keyboard. The guitarist dances around, gyrates his hips, etc, etc. The pianist, if he’s lucky, has a reasonably un-geeky head-bob.

    Frank Zappa once opined on the nature of a rock band. The whole point, he said, was The Blow Job. And there’s a hierarchy. The lead singer is at the front of the line for The Blow Job since he’s — well — the leader. At least in the minds of the audience. And he’s got a big phallic symbol right in front of his mouth all night. Power of suggestion.

    The guitarist is next in line. He’s got a big phallus and moves his hand up and down on the thing all night. Very suggestive. He also tends to have a cucumber, or rolled up sock, or something, in his pants, and assumes “the pose” while soloing on the front of the stage.

    The bass player has a bigger phallic symbol than the guitarist, but he’s usually sulking around in the back, wishing he was talented enough to play the lead guitar. So he’s down a notch.

    The drummer’s next. He’s primal, animal, brutish. He beats things all night. Appealing to lots of women, for sure, but he’s also hidden behind his kit, which suggests anti-social tendencies. But he is in good shape… so it’s a toss-up between him and the bassist.

    The keyboard player would be next if it wasn’t for the sound guy’s cousin… you know, the guy with the drugs.

    Actually, the keyboard player is also after the sound guy, since the sound guy’s got the hookup with the guy with the drugs.

    Unfortunately, the keyboard player doesn’t have much time for The Blow Job, even if he could get it. You see, he has to write the songs, book the tour, coordinate with the merchandising guy, clean up the lead singer’s vomit, drive the truck back to the hotel, call the front desk for a late checkout…
    ****

    The funny thing is that this is only *slightly* satirical. It really is the way things go in a lot of bands (or at least it was when I was playing). I remember many times when a couple of hotties would approach me and say, “Hey! Aren’t you in the band?!” My hopes would go up for just a moment until they said, “Oh wow! Can you introduce us to the singer?”

    (I started answering that question like this: “Oh, sure. He’s backstage with his boyfriend right now, but he never takes very long. Hang around for a minute or two, and I’ll introduce you.”)

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

      @Hamby

      The pianist, if he’s lucky, has a reasonably un-geeky head-bob.

      Ha, put this together with Badger’s suggestion of kicking the stool away and that guy looks pretty cool. I really enjoyed your memories of playing in a band!

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

    Oh.. forgot my main point. (LOL… got caught up in nostalgia…)
    .
    The stage is different than the home, though. Whatever I may have missed playing keyboards on stage is made up for by playing the piano in my living room. And it honestly doesn’t take anything special. Just learn the easy movement of Moonlight Sonata, a couple of Billy Joel/Elton John, and one or two Coldplay. If you manage to get through all of them… she’s a lesbian.

  • Tom

    Smooth Operator by Sade or anything by Nora Jones makes me think of sexy. Those cool whispy voics are awesome….

    By the way Susan, how about a writing about athletes?… Number of women who have thrown themselves at athletes are lgendary….Just saying…(wink)

  • http://forgetfulmuse.blogspot.com/ Thag Jones

    Oh no, not Billy Joel. Otherwise, the piano can be very sexy in an understated way. A glass of wine and some Eric Satie would be pretty nice.

  • Tom
  • http://www.yohami.com YOHAMI

    hamby,

    hahahaha.Thats my experience as well. They keyboardist is usually the best musician and the sober one, trying to make some music while the rest is too busy with drugs and groupies.

  • SayWhaat

    Saywhaat is rewording my argument, I can’t find anything that disagree’s with my statements.

    ….

    Suit yourself.

  • SayWhaat

    The guitarist is next in line…He also tends to have a cucumber, or rolled up sock, or something, in his pants

    AHAHAHA! I’ve been talking to this guy online who is a guitarist in a band, and I googled him to see how legit he was and came across an interview where he and the lead singer talked about how they stuff a kielbasa down his skinny pants during shows! I can’t believe this is a common practice!

  • sandman

    Tom,

    Did you hook up with a few athletes back in the day? You’ve always struck me as a former groupie, no offense.

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

      Tom,

      Did you hook up with a few athletes back in the day? You’ve always struck me as a former groupie, no offense.

      Interesting, the XYs on here clearly suspect Tom of being XX. Just when the issue subsides, someone new offers up the same opinion.

  • Douglos

    This post/thread is awesome. Note to parents to disregard Susan’s advice, though: Start the kid on the piano, then move him to the guitar around age 8 or 9. I started on piano at age 6. Picked up a guitar at 13. The piano provides a solid basis for further musical education unequaled by any other instrument. I could prattle on about why, but you’ll just have to trust me.

    This whole guitar thing is true, though. I’m an intimidating man, kinda downright scary to most girls (to hear them tell it), but when they learn that I’m a musician, you can see their whole attitude change. One of the best lines I’ve got is that I play the baritone guitar (true). “It’s a little bigger and goes deeper than a regular guitar.” If they get the joke, it’s game on – they usually blush and/or laugh and twirl their hair. Sadly, only 3 out of 10 get it, so only 3 out of 10 get it (get it?)…

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

      @Douglos
      Welcome, I can already tell you’re a great addition to HUS. Actually, I have to agree with you about piano. It’s probably the best musical foundation you can give a kid. When my son took musical theory in college, he had compose and play at the piano. He loves his guitar, but he works out melodies on the piano.

      Love your line, and 30% success rate is awesome.

  • Stephenie Rowling

    Interesting, the XYs on here clearly suspect Tom of being XX.

    XX here thinking the same. Although we have not think outside the box, aside from my suspicion that this might be Tom’s daughter or wife trying to look “enlightened” is very possible that Tom used to be a she and is now a he or the other way around. What is the feminist approved term? Cisgendered? Transexual?

  • http://badgerhut.wordpress.com Badger

    “AHAHAHA! I’ve been talking to this guy online who is a guitarist in a band, and I googled him to see how legit he was and came across an interview where he and the lead singer talked about how they stuff a kielbasa down his skinny pants during shows! I can’t believe this is a common practice!”
    .
    I have heard a lot of music stories in my day, and I have to say this is a new one. Thanks for the laffs.

  • http://alpharivelino.wordpress.com/ Rivelino

    “Levitin goes on to observe that even an ugly physical appearance isn’t an issue, citing Mick Jagger as his prime example.”

    has this been brought up already, mick was not ugly when he was young.

    also, can you believe his name was just michael.

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

      @Rivelino

      has this been brought up already, mick was not ugly when he was young.

      I disagree. We all thought he was heinous in the 70s. Didn’t matter.

  • Maura

    Listening to music is also a pasttime that men & women can both enjoy together. So it also serves to bond more couples (even non-musicians) than for example, shopping or basketball.

    I remember that Economist article on music – it was very interesting.

    *Sigh* Lyle Lovitt is a still national treasure. Too bad Julia doesn’t still see it.

  • http://badgerhut.wordpress.com Badger

    “Listening to music is also a pasttime that men & women can both enjoy together. So it also serves to bond more couples (even non-musicians) than for example, shopping or basketball.”
    .
    I like to lie in the dark with a lady and listen to some really good music. Darkening the room heightens the aural sense, at least for me.
    .
    I think we lose a lot listening to music in our cars, in public spaces, etc with lots of distractions.

  • Stephenie Rowling
  • Jonathan Manor

    That’s funny. With the girl I’m dating currently, on our first date we passed by a music store and I played her a song I wrote on acoustic guitar. That was after we passed by a floral shop and I bought her a flower. We were laying in the park when she told me that this was the best first date she’d ever been on.

    I don’t like Vampire Weekend. I hear a lot about it, but every time I go to listen to it, I just don’t find the appeal. Have you heard about “Raised By Swans.” NOW THAT! Is a good band…

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

      Awwww, I love that first date! That is some exellent guitar game, btw. Sorry you don’t like VW – I’ll try Raised By Swans. I like the name.

  • http://blog.lovesoasis.com rebecca b.

    For a nerd – the kid actually has some pretty catchy songs – never heard of them prior to reading this :)