Giving Hookup Culture a Makeover

October 2, 2012 122 Comments

Hooking Up Smart aims to help people figure out how to navigate the hostile terrain of the contemporary sexual marketplace. I support both women and men in their search for meaningful relationships by providing strategic insight, guidance, and perspective as they manage their social and sexual interactions. 

Hooking Up Smart Mission Statement

 

Regular readers know that I think of myself as working on the margins here. Thoughtful people seeking relationships come here for sensible, strategic and actionable advice that they can put to use immediately. They get it in the posts, and the comment threads have a great deal of valuable information as well. That is the “bread and butter” of Hooking Up Smart. One relationship at a time.

There are also many other related topics I explore here, including:

1. Biological sex differences

2. Demographic trends around mating and marriage in the U.S.

3. Feminism

4. Hookup culture; environmental analysis and data

On this last point, I have never set my sights on actually changing the culture, as it seems impossibly entrenched 50 years after the Sexual Revolution. How might one be a catalyst for change? But after thoroughly analyzing hookup culture, and comparing it with actual hooking up behavior, it’s clear that there’s a lot less hooking up going on than most people believe, especially of the P in V variety. At the very least, there’s an opportunity to correct some misimpressions, and HUS is a potentially effective platform from which to achieve that. 

Ironically, feminists have used the low participation in hookup culture to discredit those of us who are concerned about its effect on young people. Even Hannah Rosin, in her recent column Boys on the Side, highlights the research of Stanford’s Paula England, who has gathered data from over 20,000 students:

  • Only 11% of  students enthusiastically enjoy hookup culture.
  • 50% hook up, but do it rather ambivalently or reluctantly, some with extremely negative experiences.
  • 38% opt out of hooking up altogether.

I write for the unenthusiastic 89%. I first began writing HUS for young women that got a good look at the culture and blanched, and that group is still the largest share of my readership. I’m a lot more concerned about the men and women who are sidelined, ambivalent or reluctant than I am about those who are promiscuous by choice. (They’ve already got what they want – let them go at it like rabbits.)

In a recent article The Art of Crowdshiftingauthor Leon Neyfakh observes:

Culture, the mix of rituals, values, and traditions that defines a group, is tenacious and sticky. Whether the culture belongs to a sports team, a neighborhood, or a country, it persists because it’s one of the main ingredients in the glue that holds the group together–because it exists in the space between people, rather than residing in any one individual. 

…What researchers have found is that there are techniques for changing a culture that appear to work, but they are not always the obvious ones. Doing so in a way that produces lasting results, but doesn’t involve destroying the group entirely, requires finesse, subtlety, and patience. It also requires a certain suspension of optimism about human nature. To really change how a group of people thinks and behaves, it turns out, you don’t need to change what’s inside of them, or appeal to their inner sense of virtue. You just have to convince them that everybody else is doing it.

“The inner conformist is stronger than the inner activist,” said Michael Morris, a psychologist at Columbia University who studies the role of culture in decision-making.

Of course, this is precisely what makes hookup culture so pervasive on college campuses. One study revealed that college students prefer dating to hooking up, but continue to hook up rather than go on dates. 

[The study author]…says it comes down to something called “pluralistic ignorance.” Essentially: Everybody’s doing it, so it must be good.

One of Kahn’s previous studies on the topic found that both men and women overestimated the degree to which the opposite gender enjoyed hooking up — described in this study as “a sexual encounter, usually lasting only one night, between people who are strangers or brief acquaintances.”

Furthermore, students overestimated how much members of their own gender liked hooking up. “Because everybody else is hooking up you assume that they do it because they like it. Whereas you know that you don’t like it that much, but you do it to go along,” Kahn explains. “College students are very conformist.”

Neyfakh addresses the leverage of the human desire to conform:

We may need to stop trying to tap into people’s desire to be good or virtuous, and instead take advantage of something less lofty and, frankly, harder to admire: the powerful drive to be normal.

Alternatives include the scorched earth approach, where you destroy a culture in order to end it. Obviously, the downside is that one throws away the good with the bad. Shaming has also been used at times, but it is limiting to punishing wrongdoers rather than eliminating the deeply ingrained beliefs that produced them. 

Neyfakh:

 Luckily, researchers say there’s a workaround that produces lasting change, but doesn’t call for somehow reprogramming people’s inner values. What it does seem to require is changing their perception of what everyone else thinks.

A 2010 New York Times article about the sex ratio at the University of North Carolina featured students interviewed in bars. Hypergamous sorority chicks lamented that girls steal each other’s boyfriends, that guys don’t respond to texts after ONSs, and that they have to let cheating slide because there are so few dateable guys on campus. The message is clear: Drinking and hooking up define the scene at UNC. However, Neyfakh shares an interesting story:

The idea that we’re often mistaken about our compatriots’ beliefs and behavior has been deployed in anti-binge-drinking campaigns on college campuses, which aim to reduce the pressure students feel to drink by showing them that their peers don’t drink nearly as much as they assume. A poster campaign at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill presented students with hard data about their classmates: “Whether it’s Thursday, Friday, or Saturday night, 2 out of 3 UNC students return home with a .00 blood alcohol concentration.” The program worked: After five years, people at the college were drinking less.

By educating students about what their peers were really doing, the norm was redefined, and behavior changed. This approach has also been used to encourage voter turnout:

When told about low voter turnout and encouraged to “buck the trend,” people were actually less likely to vote. A more effective approach, the study found, was to tell people that turnout had been higher in the previous election than at any in history. In other words, more people were voting — so if they wanted to be normal, they should vote.

After decades of publicizing the health risks of smoking, adults knew that their efforts had had little effect on teens, according to an article in the New York Times.

Any teenager could explain why. For them, a cigarette is not a delivery system for nicotine. It’s a delivery system for rebellion. Kids take up smoking to be cool, to impress their friends with their recklessness and defiance of adults. Teenagers don’t care about lung cancer — they’re immortal. They know that smoking is dangerous. In fact, they overestimate the chances of getting lung cancer. Danger is part of a cigarette’s appeal.

Since 1997, we’ve learned a lot about how to prevent teenage smoking. The best strategy? Make smoking uncool.

By depicting smoking as profitable for the big, bad tobacco companies, the strategy dubbed Truth cut teen smoking in half in the U.S. between 1998 and today. Kids want to rebel against adults, but they wish to conform within their peer groups.

There’s something a bit circular about the idea that we change people’s behavior by tweaking their perceptions about the behavior of others. It’s a self-reinforcing process: The more people believe that smoking is atypical, for instance, the less typical it becomes, which in turn provides further evidence that it’s atypical. The most challenging part is kicking off the cycle, by convincing enough people that deviating from existing norms will not leave them shunned by the rest of society.

This is precisely the challenge we face in trying to change the culture of no-strings sex in college. Students are ashamed to admit they haven’t hooked up, and both sexes can expect a round of high-5s on a Sunday morning as they report their exploits of the previous night. Letting students know the real facts about hooking up makes non-participants feel normal rather than the odd one out. I have witnessed great surprise (and some skepticism) when sharing consistent findings across many studies and institutions with young people. There is great potential here for cultural change.

Institutions are beginning to do their own research on hooking up behaviors among their student populations. Duke University surveyed 1,450 freshmen and seniors anonymously online and found the following:

  1. Only one-third in each grade had ever had a hookup.
  2. Less than half of the hookups involved oral sex or intercourse.
  3. 60% of freshmen were virgins.
  4. One-third of students were in committed relationships.
According to researcher Wendy Brynildsen:

Our findings call into question some popular accounts as well as some social scientific ones. We find a diverse mix of campus relationships at Duke. We also find a strong association between previous relationship behavior and current relationship behavior for both freshmen and seniors.

The findings show that, of those at Duke who had hookups, many had hookups in earlier relationships, and for freshmen, that meant in high school. Drinking as well as having friends who hooked up has a strong effect on hooking up.

…A lot of this hooking up is what we used to call ‘making out.’ 

That’s hardly the impression one was left with when Karen Owen published her infamous Sex List. Observe the power of the media!

The Truth will out, and I intend to be a part of that effort. It should prove interesting to watch. 95% of women and 78% of men express a preference for dating over hooking up, so we should expect a gradual but decisive shift in the culture within the next ten years. 

Hooking Up Smart: Where Dirty Lies Perish

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  • Ramble

    A more effective approach, the study found, was to tell people that turnout had been higher in the previous election than at any in history. In other words, more people were voting — so if they wanted to be normal, they should vote.

    “We’ve always been at war with Eastasia”

  • Ramble

    Hooking Up Smart aims to help people figure out how to navigate the hostile terrain of the contemporary sexual marketplace.

    Btw, you should probably insert somewhere in your mission statement that you are much more focused on what girls want and that you will consistently lean that way.

    Personally, I have no issue with that, but it is a common point of contention here (with some guys complaining that you really focus on girls, more than guys) and stating your bias/focus clearly in the mission statement could probably stem the tide some.

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

      @Ramble

      Btw, you should probably insert somewhere in your mission statement that you are much more focused on what girls want and that you will consistently lean that way.

      Personally, I have no issue with that, but it is a common point of contention here (with some guys complaining that you really focus on girls, more than guys) and stating your bias/focus clearly in the mission statement could probably stem the tide some.

      The original statement only included women, as that is how I started the blog. Over time I thought it only fair that I acknowledge a pretty sizable male readership. It is true that I generally address my posts to women, but I don’t believe I lean toward women in terms of getting them what they want at the expense of men.

  • Tom.s

    I have noticed that there are lots of males that comment here with the attitude that they are set up to lose with women. I am personally one of them, but I know it’s my own fault, and I am trying to better myself through your posts.

    I wonder if there is some data here that could “crowd-shift” men’s thoughts on approaching women. How many women out there really DO want a good guy KNOWING that he won’t be “bad”.

    I’ve seen lots of lame and laughable excuses on here for not approaching women. There needs to be some responsibility on our (male) side. Do you think you could build some confidence for us betas?

  • Abbot

    “95% of women and 78% of men express a preference for dating over hooking up, so we should expect a gradual but decisive shift in the culture within the next ten years.”

    Then why, according to Amanda Marcotte, women will not go beyond hooking up if men are not “fixed” and become better boyfriends?

  • Plain Jane

    “…What researchers have found is that there are techniques for changing a culture that appear to work, but they are not always the obvious ones. Doing so in a way that produces lasting results, but doesn’t involve destroying the group entirely, requires finesse, subtlety, and patience. It also requires a certain suspension of optimism about human nature. ”

    Yes! I’ve been saying this all along, that despite the doomsday scenarios from the M-sphere that you read about the “collapse of Western Civilization” and actually cheering on from the sidelines a projected misery for the masses, that I see Western Civilization transitioning into a mix of the best of the Eastern and Western cultures.

    As the population turns more to meditation, Yoga, Buddhism, self-control and inner growth, we will see a lot less social and relationship dysfunction. I see it already.

    Healthy mind, healthy body, healthy relationships!

  • Sai

    Where is the conservative think tank with its multi-million dollar ad campaign? Put it on TV enough, people will buy it, I think.

  • Ramble

    I don’t believe I lean toward women in terms of getting them what they want at the expense of men.

    I didn’t mean to imply that you did.

    I simply meant that where the rubber hits the road, you are much more concerned about the things that girls are likely to desire over what guys are likely to desire, and that is not a bad thing. However, it might help reduce the amount of blowback you get from (some) guys if that were specified in the mission statement.

    I understand few guys will bother reading the mission statement before starting some screed, but, at the very least, you could point them to it and help them understand your focus.

    Either way, it is just a suggestion.

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

      I understand few guys will bother reading the mission statement before starting some screed, but, at the very least, you could point them to it and help them understand your focus.

      Either way, it is just a suggestion.

      It’s a good one, thanks.

  • Plain Jane

    ” Btw, you should probably insert somewhere in your mission statement that you are much more focused on what girls want and that you will consistently lean that way.

    Personally, I have no issue with that, but it is a common point of contention here (with some guys complaining that you really focus on girls, more than guys) and stating your bias/focus clearly in the mission statement could probably stem the tide some.”

    This is not the Spearhead, or Roissy’s or Roosh’s.

    On the about page Susan explains it was talking to her daughter’s female friends that inspired her to created this site.

  • INTJ

    @ Sai

    Where is the conservative think tank with its multi-million dollar ad campaign? Put it on TV enough, people will buy it, I think.

    They’re too busy worrying that taxes aren’t low enough.

  • Joe

    Susan, from your focus group, do you have any sense that the kids will be alright? I don’t think I would have been convinced of that 30 or 40 years ago, even for myself. But when I look at my contemporaries, they pretty much did turn out to be reasonably happy, well adjusted adults, even the ones I just knew were on the wrong path.

    The young never seem to listen to optimistic happy-talk, but have you been able to get a sense that time will heel these wounds?

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

      @Joe

      The young never seem to listen to optimistic happy-talk, but have you been able to get a sense that time will heel these wounds?

      I am reminded of Groucho Marx: “Time wounds all heels.” Let’s hope so.

      It’s interesting about the focus groups – I am not really in touch any longer with any of the women who were quite promiscuous. AFAIK, they’re still up to the same stuff, at around age 24-25. Of the remaining 20 or so, about half are in relationships where marriage is a distinct possibility. A couple have gotten engaged recently. The other half is dating with an eye toward settling down if possible.

      These women got out of college and did the bar scene thing for a year or two, but were very happy to give it up when they met someone. Among them, the high status move is to “stay in” with your guy on the weekend.

      It occurs to me that the groups follow the 80/20 rule.

  • http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-attraction-doctor Dr. Jeremy

    Regarding the discussion of HUS “focus”…

    I’m new to the discussion here. But, HUS has quoted my work before. So, I have read some of Susan Walsh’s work from time to time.

    From my perspective…when you are focused on “meaningful relationships”, the process benefits both men and women. Yes, you can predominantly write to a female (or male) audience. Either way though, when one wins, they both do. Their outcomes are joined…not independent. It is a win-win.

    This contrasts with other blogs and ideologies out there. Many are focused on gender relations and relationships as a “war” (or game). From that vantage point, there is a winner and loser. Therefore, it seems necessary to declare and take a “side” to those who consume that information. After all, when you feel you are at war, you need to be able to tell the friends from enemies. It is important to note though, just asking someone about their “bias” and gender-focus makes this assumption of war and picking sides. You have already jumped to conclusions and employed a frame – without checking to assess whether it is applicable.

    I get this same “what side are you on?” question at my own blog in various forms (or outright assumed). My answer is that I’m not on a side…because I’m not fighting a war. I’m looking for a solution, not a one-sided victory. I’m a problem-solver, not a soldier. When we’re solving relationships problems, by helping men or women, both benefit.

    Given that, I would generally encourage readers to put a different emphasis on the HUS mission statement too. IMO, the important part is “meaningful relationships”…not men and women. Whichever gender is the main focus of the the concrete “support” and advice, if it builds fair, equal, win-win relationships…then both men and women benefit.

    It also might help the confusion if people would check whether their frame is applicable in different situations too. Again, “what side are you on” implies and assumes war. When you enter a truly neutral country, looking for diplomatic and balanced solutions, that question no longer applies.

    Finally…the frames of “war” and “battle of the sexes” is also one of those pesky socially normed beliefs that this article is about! Ask yourself…how true is it? Is EVERYONE really fighting for a one-sided win? I don’t see much of that here, except for a few staunch “soldiers”, looking for a scuff-up… For the rest, don’t confuse loud minorities for a majority. They are not the same thing.

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

      @Dr. Jeremy

      Re gender relations, you have said so succinctly and articulately what I have been trying to say for months without success! That is exactly how I feel – I don’t want to keep score, have Team Woman or Team Man, and I certainly don’t want to catalogue the faults of each sex for discussion and debate.

      There’s been a lot of talk lately in the ‘sphere about how I censor debate here. The fact is, I never censor anyone for their ideas if they are civil and on-topic. I aim for a climate of respectful consideration of one another’s ideas. I do delete comments that are adversarial enough to amount to a declaration of war. I’m trying for a virtual salon here, not the Battle of Agincourt.

  • INTJ

    Dr. Jeremy

    Finally…the frames of “war” and “battle of the sexes” is also one of those pesky socially normed beliefs that this article is about! Ask yourself…how true is it? Is EVERYONE really fighting for a one-sided win? I don’t see much of that here, except for a few staunch “soldiers”, looking for a scuff-up… For the rest, don’t confuse loud minorities for a majority. They are not the same thing.

    I agree with your post in general, but need to point out the caveat with this bit.

    However, the truth is that a loud minority can and often does change the entire society. “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”

  • Plain Jane

    “From my perspective…when you are focused on “meaningful relationships”, the process benefits both men and women. Yes, you can predominantly write to a female (or male) audience. Either way though, when one wins, they both do. Their outcomes are joined…not independent. It is a win-win.”

    When I was going transitioning from ugly ducking to swan I read a lot of books on how to win friends and influence people and one of the relationship books I read said when you’re not entirely happy in a relationship to stop trying to change your partner and instead focus on changing yourself. The logic was that by becoming a happy person yourself, you’d be bringing that positivity into the relationship and there would be at least a minimum of a 50% improvement (your half) in the relationship.

    I tried it and it did work to a great extent.

  • http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-attraction-doctor Dr. Jeremy

    @ INTJ

    Excellent point:

    However, the truth is that a loud minority can and often does change the entire society. “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”

    I agree wholeheartedly. In fact, I think our whole gender mess (and country mess) is the result of the majority listening to and overly-accommodating loud minority opinions. That’s why we have situations that now favor the few at the expense of the many.

  • Samael

    Susan I get that you started this blog to help girls, but come on.. a lot of us guys don’t want to bash women.. we wanna hook up smart too! Don’t leave us out in the cold! You’ve got a good thing going here IMO.

    Also, with all this college data you post, is there any consideration to the fact that the ratio of college enrollment is skewed towards women? Also that fact that many college women would not date a guy with just a high school diploma could be adding to the to something the data reflects that real life does not.. just thinking out loud..errr…typing….something

  • Höllenhund

    The “battle of the sexes” is a myth, probably invented by feminists to justify their ideological struggle and embellish their own importance. You can’t have a battle when one side doesn’t bother to show up on the field, can you? Men didn’t invent the phrase “the personal is political”, did they?

    A more accurate description of the current state of affairs is “gender terrorism” i.e. a small, militant minority is resorting to any and all methods in order toimpose its rule set on a population psychologically beaten into submission.

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

      A more accurate description of the current state of affairs is “gender terrorism” i.e. a small, militant minority is resorting to any and all methods in order toimpose its rule set on a population

      I presume you mean the angry and bitter MRAs here?

  • Robber

    Aargh I shouldn’t look at your site so late at night! Just wanted to drop by and say thanks Susan for helping me to navigate this bizarre US dating world. I came from a world where meeting women involved getting drunk and approaching girls on a dancefloor. Since reaching SF I have discovered things are much more nuanced here.

    An update – I’ve been on two dates with a lovely Californian. A brunette, same height as me (5’10”), blue eyes, very clever. A lawyer. She’s very beautiful, much more attractive than any woman I’ve been involved with, and she’s also quite friendly and affectionate. No sex has happened yet. However, I can’t shake a feeling in my gut that something’s not quite right. I’m quite analytical and don’t usually give much credence to such feelings but I can’t shake the feeling she’s bad news. I’ll keep you posted.

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

      @Robber

      However, I can’t shake a feeling in my gut that something’s not quite right. I’m quite analytical and don’t usually give much credence to such feelings but I can’t shake the feeling she’s bad news. I’ll keep you posted.

      Give credence to that feeling! I hope you’re wrong, but keep your emotional distance until she proves herself in a variety of ways. OTOH, you may be just having “she’s too good to be true” jitters. There are beautiful people of excellent character, but we are very reluctant to admit that and loath to believe we could actually win the lottery. In any case, your caution is worth respecting.

      Definitely let us know what happens!

  • szopen

    As the population turns more to meditation, Yoga, Buddhism, self-control and inner growth…

    Is it polite to burst out with a wild laughter after reading something like this?

  • http://marellus.wordpress.com Marellus

    Suzan.

    So there are 89% of women that are not really getting anywhere with men. And why is that ?

    Approach Anxiety.

    The men are not approaching. And yes, there are women that do approach men (like Ana … God bless that gal), but most women do not, and cannot approach. It’s just not done. The times that I were approached by women, I was immediately on my guard.

    So what is a girl doing to get NO approaches from men ?

    Things like this :

    1) You’re Surrounded by Lots (I mean LOTS) of Friends.

    2) You’re Too Hot.

    3) Getting Too Tipsy.

    4) Looking Sloppy.

    5) Downer Demeanor.

    6) You’re With Another Guy In Any Capacity.

    7) You have a Ring.

    8) You seem Busy.

    9) You’re Literally TOO Tough To Catch.

    10) You’re a Wall Flower.

    But *most* women will not change their behaviours in that regard, even after this is all pointed out. Why ?

    Fear.

    So what are signals that men must pick up on, to realize that it is ok to approach ?

    Things like this :

    ACCIDENT. Things being dropped, bicycle accidents and similar mishaps.

    BODY POUT (OBSERVATION ACKNOWLEDGE). A part of the female’s body is protruded or displayed.

    BODY TREMOR. The body is rocked from side to side to emphasize the breasts.

    BRIGHTENING. The female becomes alert, her posture stiffens and becomes more upright, she smiles or intensifies her smile and in this manner indicates her receptive state as a target male enters her vicinity or advances.

    COLLISION. A female attempts to intercept a target male with the intention of initiating a conversation in response to the encounter.

    Typically the female’s eyes are set in a vague direction and she walks on an intersecting course in order to collide with or interrupt the course of the male, thus provoking a conversation.

    A comment might be made and the conversation then extended. In advanced form the female can deliberately collide with a male carrying a pile of papers and then help him pick them up.

    DIRECT LOOK. Females tend to reserve direct eye contact for attraction and can go to quite absurd lengths to avoid eye contact, including using shop windows and mirrors for indirect observation.

    Occasionally there was accidental eye contact followed by a display of nervousness or embarrassment. A common occurrence was the very subtle and proficient ‘merging away’ of a female’s eyes if a male returned her look or stare (see Rapid Look Away).

    There were also exaggerated swings of the head as a female eagerly sought my image in a shop window as I passed by.

    Females tended to only meet the eyes of a male when they were accompanied by one or more males, were behind the wheel of a car or were pushing a pram.

    DROPPING SOMETHING (LADY GROUP OF SIGNALS). An item is dropped to the floor for a target to retrieve, intended thereby to initiate a conversation.

    This is a member of a large subset of signals intended to evoke the caretaking instinct in a target male. The set is called the Lady Group. The archetype is intentionally dropping a handkerchief on the ground as a Gentleman passes.

    EXAGGERATED LAUGHTER. Forced or over-enthusiastic laughter within hearing of a target male. It is often emitted by one of a group of females in a bar or café.

    JOSTLE. A target male is aggressively jostled or nudged. Two memorable instances of this signal are detailed. On the platform of Falmer station, after a visit to Sussex University, a girl signalled but I did not respond.

    When the train arrived I stood to one side to allow her past through the crush of people trying to get on, and she jabbed me violently in the ribs with her elbow.

    The second example took place during the period I was working for M45DE. I had gone out to buy office coffee, was standing in a supermarket checkout queue and a woman behind nudged her shopping trolley into my back.

    On the first shove it occurred to me to respond, but I could not think of anything to say, or at least a polite and non-facile response to the shove. It was repeated and as the shoves intensified I started to feel angry, thinking

    ‘Why can’t she be the one to have to think of something to say to a complete stranger, for a change?’

    They became progressively fiercer until I was being aggressively rammed from behind. After five or six times she eventually gave up. Later I caught a glimpse of her on the other side of the checkouts and she appeared rather embarrassed.

    In both instances I had looked at the female at the outset, if only briefly, and failed to approach.

    And this writer has identified some more of them. I mentioned these, because this is what I have seen in my life.

    But these signals are ambiguous Suzan, so if the guy responds, she can dismiss him with plausible deniability if he makes a fool of himself. And how many men can really interpret these signals ?

    Not many.

    We’re back to Approach Anxiety then.

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

      They became progressively fiercer until I was being aggressively rammed from behind. After five or six times she eventually gave up. Later I caught a glimpse of her on the other side of the checkouts and she appeared rather embarrassed.

      WTF? It sounds like I could make a fortune running bootcamps for women on how to approach and number close.

  • Desiderius

    Marellus,

    “But these signals are ambiguous Suzan, so if the guy responds, she can dismiss him with plausible deniability if he makes a fool of himself. And how many men can really interpret these signals ?”

    More than are letting on, but they’d rather be apathetic than pathetic. Problem is, the only way to get to be non-pathetic is to start out pathetic, then learn from one’s mistakes.

  • Lokland

    “They became progressively fiercer until I was being aggressively rammed from behind. After five or six times she eventually gave up. Later I caught a glimpse of her on the other side of the checkouts and she appeared rather embarrassed.”

    ROFL, went in a totally different direction with this.

  • Desiderius

    “WTF? It sounds like I could make a fortune running bootcamps for women on how to approach and number close.”

    Yeah, LTR-focused women don’t have to rely on IOI’s – you can actually be interested because (unlike the STR-focused women) you’re likely to be interesting yourself. Just get to know the guy, for chrissakes.

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

      Just get to know the guy, for chrissakes.

      That would make a great tagline.

  • Desiderius

    HH,

    “A more accurate description of the current state of affairs is “gender terrorism” i.e. a small, militant minority is resorting to any and all methods in order toimpose its rule set on a population psychologically beaten into submission.”

    We’ve been to some extent divided and conquered. What’s your plan for bridging the divide, other than spraying friendly fire all over your own troops?

  • https://en.gravatar.com/jimbocollins Megaman

    @SW

    Duke: One-third of students were in committed relationships.

    Admittedly it’s a small survey on a single campus, but if this was done on a larger-scale at many colleges and universities, and included sophomores and juniors, I suspect this figure would be significantly higher.

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

      Admittedly it’s a small survey on a single campus, but if this was done on a larger-scale at many colleges and universities, and included sophomores and juniors, I suspect this figure would be significantly higher.

      Yes, the percentage of seniors in relationships was much higher than freshmen, so we can assume that the percentage increases according to year.

  • http://marellus.wordpress.com Marellus

    @Desi

    More than are letting on, but they’d rather be apathetic than pathetic. Problem is, the only way to get to be non-pathetic is to start out pathetic, then learn from one’s mistakes.

    And then there is hindsight.

    I was standing in a shopping line checking out some stuff on my cellphone. When my turn came to pay, the pretty cashier asked me if I wanted to buy airtime for my cellphone. I said no, and then I asked her why she’s asking this question.

    She didn’t know what to say. Not really. And as I looked askance at her, she gave a *look* and a self-conscious smile.

    It’s only as I left the shop that I realized she was checking me out in the shopping line, and was probably giving me some kind of signal when she asked about the airtime … I should have asked her for a number methinks … in hindsight …

    … hindsight is a real bitch.

  • http://marellus.wordpress.com Marellus

    @Suzan

    WTF? It sounds like I could make a fortune running bootcamps for women on how to approach and number close.

    Suzan, why oh why do I get the distinct impression, that after those “boot”-camps of yours, some of the attendees are going to have very sore backsides …

  • Doc

    What I find interesting is women are the ones who created the present dynamic, and they are also the ones who complain about it the most – yet really control it. One of the tenets I live by is “the woman chooses” – of course she doesn’t know why she chooses what she does. But from my perspective it doesn’t matter all that much as long as I can identify the interest and benefit from it.

    Being older than my target age group 18-25 I often hear about how much these young women hate the present dynamic – yet it is often the morning after I met her… A lot of them say, “I’ve never done this before.” which I’ve come to interpret as – “I do this a lot more than I will ever admit.”

    I think that is the reason these statistics don’t jive with reality – women often regret their actions, and will not admit to their own proclivities. Now because I’m a lot older, I tend not to do much “hooking up” via the bar-scene – it just isn’t my thing, but I tend to create the environment which benefits me. I’ve found I get a much better return on my investment by controlling the dynamic, and being the obvious man-in-charge with a lot of young women available to choose from. It is pretty easy to set up – most college professors have that arrangement, which is one of the un-talked about “fringe benefits” of being a college professor.

    So colleges are ideal – especially, now that there are more women then men, and women tend to find older men more attractive. Of course for the men – that works well, but not for the ladies as they start to look for someone to “settle down” with and find there are no takers – that is why I have the 25 limit. I suspect that is where the complaints come from that we hear the most.

    Just my perspective….

  • Jonny

    Redefining the culture is a good endeavor, but how about changing the definitions. We have blurred what is considered hookup and sex. Surely, not all hookups and sex are what they are. They could be many things of sexual nature and intimacies without commitment. The bad part of it participation in it reduces marriage (the biggest definition of commitment).

    I’m not so optimistic anything will change. There is another aspect of the manosphere that bothers me. Many don’t believe the statistics you cite are real. (“I write for the unenthusiastic 89%.”) I happen to think there is validity in them, but I’m in the minority. I have real life experience that these low/no N count women exist, but there are reports that men marry women with experienced backgrounds that didn’t work out or have much difficulty. The risk is real, but my feeling is they have compromised their standards (settled) when they should not have.

    Nonetheless, the divorce culture remains and this is where the risk of marriage breakups is the biggest hinderance to marriage. Even so, it’s not like all marriages fail, but a significant number does. Is a 30% divorce outcome acceptable? Or is the 50% divorce percentage the truer number and the most accurate? I’m no divorce virgin. I’ve been there and now I’m married again. Oh well.

    I personally know of divorces where the women causing the divorce were not sluts. They simply abandoned their husbands and children (in some cases). In my case, my wife left me after 4 years. The women are still alone and they seem to like being alone. Perhaps intentional spinsterhood is the new normal as women cannot get along with men.

    Women are not like men.

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  • Desiderius

    “So colleges are ideal – especially, now that there are more women then men, and women tend to find older men more attractive.”

    For parents reading along who are pressuring their (especially female) children to leave the communities that raised them behind to pursue that magical degree (that nowadays often comes with crushing debt and few career prospects to pay it back): this is the endgame for the Babe Drain.

    College is no safe harbor – far from it.

  • Zach

    @Susan 27

    It’s true, most women have NO idea how to get guys to approach them. It’s so bad I find it cute and amusing. Problem no 1 is definitely girls in groups. And by that I mean girls who go out, stand in circles of 5+ girls facing inward, and then complain that guys don’t talk to them. No guy, except the borderline desperate/insanely cocky, is going to enter that situation. It’s a suicide mission. You’re a) interrupting what they’re doing, which is immediately negative, and b) you now have to impress 5 girls, not just one.

    I find the most common girls’ “approach” is the “stand next to him” move. All the time (mostly at bars, where people are close together), girls will walk over to where I’m trying to order a drink, and stand (usually with 1 friend) less than a foot away from me, when there is PLENTY of space for them to be elsewhere (and they’re not trying to order a drink). I’m not sure if they’re hoping I’ll notice them, or if I’ll accidentally bump into them, but I find it hysterical.

  • Zach

    @Doc

    1. How old are you?

    2. “I’ve never done this before” is one of the ALL time classics. Translation “I actually have done this before”

  • http://7thseriesgongshow.blogspot.com Mr. Nervous Toes

    In my personal experience, there’s also a lack of dating experience among young women today. This might be the converse of approach anxiety, in ‘date anticipation anxiety’, leads to rejections to dates when hanging out with friends would be ok, or similarly flaking. I’m mind-reading of course, so I could be quite wrong.

  • Ion

    Mr. Nervous Toes

    “I’m mind-reading of course, so I could be quite wrong.”

    Nope, what you’re saying sounds about right.

  • Höllenhund

    “I presume you mean the angry and bitter MRAs here?”

    Of course not. I’m referring to the feminist culture warriors like Marcotte, Steinem and their ilk. The current SMP is their creation. They’re the ones who stifle real debate about sex relations and differences, and threaten anyone who fails to toe the party line with excommunication from “polite society” and persecution for “hate speech” and whatnot.

  • http://www.4stargazer.wordpress.com Anacaona

    Is it polite to burst out with a wild laughter after reading something like this?

    I did so we are both impolite if is not the case.

    And yes, there are women that do approach men (like Ana … God bless that gal), but most women do not, and cannot approach.

    Heh I was at the end of the line when I finally forced myself into it, it was approach or become a spinster and God knows I would had been the bitterer spinster on the face of Earth… I will say that it gets better after you get rejected/embarrassed a couple of times you stop taking it personal. But you need to survive the first bad experiences to come out of the other side and modern women can’t stand anything that hurt their feelings for a split of a second, it looks like *lesigh*

    … hindsight is a real bitch.

    Oh yeah total bitch that one

  • http://marellus.wordpress.com Marellus

    @Ana

    Oh yeah total bitch that one.

    … we the willing are led by the knowing to do the impossible for the ungrateful …

  • Thin-Skinned

    “I have never set my sights on actually changing the culture, as it seems impossibly entrenched 50 years after the Sexual Revolution.”

    Why be so modest? OK you may be fighting the good fight and you are right that the establishment is formidable. But with your influence you have the power to mobilize thousands of readers.

    If enough of these are more than passive whiners, they can get active and accomplish something.

    So if you are going to instigate a revolution I really like the idea of the kind of manifesto you’ve been developing HUS. The vanguard of the revolution needs something to go on. Perhaps it’s time to feed your readers that book they’ve been asking for? Tweak, tighten, package and publish?

    I’m not really crazy about what might be your new slogan; “Where dirty lies perish.”
    That reminds me a little too much of something I read some other place – even if that guy is your alter-ego.
    No matter what it’s too negative. Something more positive and hopeful would inspire more. Sure were all against self-deception, but what I always liked about the spirit of your message is how you always managed to put some heart in – no matter how bleak the truth.

    Perhaps more important than a slogan or catch phrase would be a symbol? The early Christians had symbols so that members of that young movement could recognize each other. Gays too have displayed symbols, some secret, others well-known, so that they could meet the like-minded. Maybe the big-hearted people that are fans of your message would benefit from some kind of discrete symbol that shows that they share the values and spirit? Make it a nice fundraiser if you have to.

    The revolutions of the past two generations destroyed quite a bit in order to liberate from certain bonds. Of course we can’t rebuild the old order. I would rather that the next movement work towards some attractive vision. But you are probably right that people are more motivated by the negative and would more likely mobilize to “oppose” something they don’t like (eg Hooking Up) than to “create” something they prefer.

    Maybe you are right that we should frame it so the youths do something contrary to what their parents did or do. Show ‘em that their parent’s generation were already hooking up (and smoking) like fools and watch if they’ll do just the opposite?

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

      @Thin-Skinned

      Thanks, I appreciate the support and feedback. You’ve made some great suggestions!

  • Thin-Skinned

    Had enough hate. Most of all give us Hope, Susan!

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

      Had enough hate. Most of all give us Hope, Susan!

      It’s nearly midnight, I’m about to turn in, and this is the most gratifying thing I’ve read all day.

  • Plain Jane

    Zach @ 39,

    Funny.

    Grade school through high school I used write notes and leave it in their desks/lockers. Making that first phone call (junior high) was an ordeal.

    Its not easy. I really empathize with what guys have to go through.

  • Plain Jane

    Nonetheless, the divorce culture remains and this is where the risk of marriage breakups is the biggest hinderance to marriage. Even so, it’s not like all marriages fail, but a significant number does. Is a 30% divorce outcome acceptable? Or is the 50% divorce percentage the truer number and the most accurate? I’m no divorce virgin. I’ve been there and now I’m married again. Oh well.

    I personally know of divorces where the women causing the divorce were not sluts. They simply abandoned their husbands and children (in some cases). In my case, my wife left me after 4 years. The women are still alone and they seem to like being alone. Perhaps intentional spinsterhood is the new normal as women cannot get along with men.

    Women are not like men.

    Jonny, sorry to hear that. Its true. Many people do divorce here for hardly any reason, or no reason, at all. I also concluded that they just would rather be single parents than married parents.

    Very hard to understand.

  • Plain Jane

    Robber October 3, 2012 at 4:41 am

    Aargh I shouldn’t look at your site so late at night! Just wanted to drop by and say thanks Susan for helping me to navigate this bizarre US dating world. I came from a world where meeting women involved getting drunk and approaching girls on a dancefloor. Since reaching SF I have discovered things are much more nuanced here.

    An update – I’ve been on two dates with a lovely Californian. A brunette, same height as me (5’10″), blue eyes, very clever. A lawyer. She’s very beautiful, much more attractive than any woman I’ve been involved with, and she’s also quite friendly and affectionate. No sex has happened yet. However, I can’t shake a feeling in my gut that something’s not quite right. I’m quite analytical and don’t usually give much credence to such feelings but I can’t shake the feeling she’s bad news. I’ll keep you posted.
    —–

    This is called self-sabotage.
    Keep it in check before you ruin a good thing.

  • Desiderius

    the big-hearted people

    Magna Cardia

  • Lokland

    @Susan

    “Hooking Up Smart aims to help people figure out how to navigate the hostile terrain of the contemporary sexual marketplace. I support both women and men in their search for meaningful relationships by providing strategic insight, guidance, and perspective as they manage their social and sexual interactions. ”

    I’d like some clarification in lieu of arguments taking place on the other thread.

    What is your definition of meaningful relationship?
    What are the characteristics of the parties involved?

    More specifically. Is your intent to encourage women to choose dad over cad? Or is it to encourage women to simply focus attention from the 20% of the cad population onto a different 20% segment labelled dad?

  • JP

    “Alternatives include the scorched earth approach, where you destroy a culture in order to end it.”

    This is honestly always my favorite approach because it ends the problem once and for all.

    Dead cultures never trouble you again.

    The problem is that it’s morally inappropriate to use the abattoir.

    The solution to divorce is simple.

    Recriminalize divorce.

  • Plain Jane

    “The solution to divorce is simple.

    Recriminalize divorce.”

    I lean toward agreeing with you, in the case were kids are involved and there is no abuse, insanity or addictions. This is an unpopular opinion but I don’t even think infidelity is a good excuse. Other arrangements can be worked out but staying together for the sake of the kids is a lost value that needs to be reintroduced.

  • http://x OffTheCuff

    Lok: “What is your definition of meaningful relationship?”

    I was wondering this myself. I think she means “strictly monogamous LTR, lasting at least as many months as you are old or until you graduate, whichever comes first”.

  • JuTR

    Marellus, great link on the listing of The Theory and Practice of Signals.

    Have you ever encountered this one?

    OBSERVATION ACKNOWLEDGE. THE MOST COMMON SIGNAL. GRIMACE RESPONSE. Observation Acknowledge is a response to the attention of another person. A driving instructor once asked me “What is the most common signal you see on the road?” and I replied “The turning signal.” “Wrong” he said “It’s braking, the brake lights.” Similarly the most common signal is looking at someone and after that, the response to being looked at. Females in Amsterdam appeared to be able to tell and would react the instant they became an object of attention; if they did not respond directly they could be seen to suppress their reaction, often by an involuntary twitch of the head or a switch to using peripheral vision. Many would actually grimace in response, as if in physical pain. The females were exceedingly quick to show displeasure.

  • Desiderius

    “It’s nearly midnight, I’m about to turn in, and this is the most gratifying thing I’ve read all day.”

    The “I Will Survive” comment wasn’t the best idea you’ve ever had…

  • yareallypua

    @Ana

    “Heh I was at the end of the line when I finally forced myself into it, it was approach or become a spinster and God knows I would had been the bitterer spinster on the face of Earth… I will say that it gets better after you get rejected/embarrassed a couple of times you stop taking it personal. But you need to survive the first bad experiences to come out of the other side and modern women can’t stand anything that hurt their feelings for a split of a second, it looks like *lesigh*”

    …no one has a problem with her making things awkward for men she doesn’t know? Maybe they have important things to do or are catching up with their friend and don’t want to be bothered. But it’s okay for her to impose on them and USE them to numb herself to rejection so that over time she gets more comfortable with approaching? What about all those poor men she practically paychologically raped by saying hello awkwardly, hiding behind the obvious lie that she simply wants to avoid ending up alone as an excuse to allow her to get away with this selfish dark triad behavior? She couldn’t possibly have good intentions, she just wants to pump n dump a bunch of poor low self-esteem men.

    …wait, what? You mean learning to approach people isn’t something freakish that leaves a trail of nightmares and destruction? And not wanting to grow old alone is a valid reason to risk making a few people’s day awkward for a couple minutes for the sake of one day becoming better at socializing and finding a mate?

    …HUH…where have I heard of a process like that before, hmmm……lol

  • Robber

    @plain Jane (50) you may be right. I’m not long back on the dating circuit and have contended with some bad stuff in recent years so have a tendency to see the downside sometimes. Still I will tread carefully.

    Another date arranged for Sunday night (only night I could get baby sitter and wasn’t working). I like her. Hope she’s not too good to be true.

  • Höllenhund

    “What’s your plan for bridging the divide, other than spraying friendly fire all over your own troops?”

    You don’t get it. There’s no war and there are no troops. It’s every man for himself, while a large segment of women band together and demand that the state solve the problems and complaints they have with the men in their lives – in other words, “the personal is political”.

  • szopen

    @Plain Jane
    “staying together for the sake of the kids”

    Musick K, Meier A., Are Both Parents Always Better Than One? Parental Conflict and Young Adult Well-being,

    Hm… how to do quotes here?

    Children whose parents often argue fare worse than those whose
    parents get along: parental conflict is associated with negative schooling
    outcomes (Hanson, 1999), behavior problems (Morrison & Coiro, 1999), early and nonmarital family formation (Furstenberg & Teitler, 1994; Musick & Bumpass, 1999), lower quality adult relationships (Amato & Booth, 2001; Booth & Edwards, 1990), and lower psychological well-being

    Should parents stay together for the sake of the children….In half of our outcomes, high conflict, stepfather, and singlemother families are statistically indistinguishable in their associations with young adult wellbeing

    I would say that people should not divorce if they can keep things civil. If they start to fight over trivial things, then they may divorce.

  • VD

    I can’t shake the feeling she’s bad news.

    That’s because she’s a lawyer. She’s not so much bad news as radioactive.

    I’ve been saying this all along, that despite the doomsday scenarios from the M-sphere that you read about the “collapse of Western Civilization” and actually cheering on from the sidelines a projected misery for the masses, that I see Western Civilization transitioning into a mix of the best of the Eastern and Western cultures. As the population turns more to meditation, Yoga, Buddhism, self-control and inner growth, we will see a lot less social and relationship dysfunction. I see it already.

    And here I thought female solipsism was the previous thread.

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

      That’s because she’s a lawyer. She’s not so much bad news as radioactive.

      Care to explain? I actually know a ton of married couples where both are lawyers, the dynamic is positive, the kids are high achieving, everyone seems to have good values. Lawyers marry and have families, and most of them do corporate law. Why the hate?

  • Just1X

    Combining Desi’s ‘Magna Cardia’ with ‘Carpe Diem’, I guess we get

    Carpe Cardia

    Seize the heart

    (in a good way, not Last of the Mohicans, you know when Magua rips the heart out of Madeleine Stowe’s Dad’s chest, thought I’d clarify)

    Anyway, I think that’s a go-er

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

      @Just1X

      Anyway, I think that’s a go-er

      Your wife? Does she go? Wink wink nudge nudge

      I love the idea of “seize the heart.”

  • http://marellus.wordpress.com Marellus

    @JutR

    No, I can’t say I’ve seen that one. Have you ?

    What I can say though, is how I happened onto that link :

    There was this time when I was descending an escalator, minding my own business, when I suddenly heard a loud clap behind me. I turned around to look, and what should I see ?

    A pretty blonde, standing very close to me, smiling at me … and then picking up her keys which she had dropped.

    I thought nothing of it.

    And later in another shop, I saw another pretty blonde (not the same one as mentioned above) which I glanced at briefly, and when she saw me, I gave her a quick smile.

    So there I was in a shopping line, when I felt someone behind me, standing a bit too close. It was the same pretty blonde. I’ll admit that I was a bit dumbfounded by this.

    What’s going on here ? I couldn’t understand this. I really couldn’t.

    So my turn came to pay up, and then what should I see this pretty blonde holding ?

    A soft and cheap 1 liter bag of milk.

    It was one of the cheapest items in the shop. I knew she had left the shop when I had smiled at her. So why was she back for this cheap milk ? Two liters of milk in a hard plastic container is just so much better to buy.

    And then she dropped her keys on the floor as well, and proceeded to pick them up.

    It was only later that I started wondering about these two events. So I did some googling and came onto that link you mentioned.

    So in hindsight ( … oh yes … hindsight … that bloody cruddy deplorable damnable bovine mendicant flatulent corpulent freakin bitch !!! … ) I might have had some come-ons which I didn’t take advantage of.

    *Sigh*

    So JutR, if you’ve had similar experiences, let me know will ya.

  • pvw

    @ Susan: Care to explain? I actually know a ton of married couples where both are lawyers, the dynamic is positive, the kids are high achieving, everyone seems to have good values. Lawyers marry and have families, and most of them do corporate law. Why the hate?

    Me: I know we have chatted about this before, but I see the same thing all the time, and the most important example I can think of is one where the husband was quite delighted to be dating a female lawyer when he was facing a major legal issue which could have caused him much expense. She handled it free of charge, and gave his case the level of professionalism that she would have given any paying client. Even now, she is at his side, helping him out as he needs it. Isn’t that what a good wife is supposed to do? I know he isn’t complaining!

    But it seems that this is the manosphere view, that female lawyers are aggressive she-devils…”whatever…”I say, shrugging my shoulders.

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

      But it seems that this is the manosphere view, that female lawyers are aggressive she-devils…”whatever…”I say, shrugging my shoulders.

      I think Roissy popularized this meme, describing them as manly women with large, hairy forearms. I gather he did not enjoy (succeed?) with female lawyers in DC (way to rationalize one’s fail rate!).

      It’s odd because female lawyers are probably the least solipsistic women around – I would think men would enjoy women who view the world is such a logical and analytical fashion. Also, the sheer number of lawyers, both men and women, is so large in this country, that any generalization seems absurd. I think a very high percentage of them marry each other. Same with docs. The women who have the most trouble marrying, I suspect, are those in business.

  • J

    I actually know a ton of married couples where both are lawyers, the dynamic is positive, the kids are high achieving, everyone seems to have good values. Lawyers marry and have families, and most of them do corporate law. Why the hate?

    You know, I almost typed the same, but I figured I’d be called solipsistic if I did.

    I believe that the original hater of female lawyers, or “lawyer cunts” as they are know in the ‘sphere, was Roissy.

  • VD

    Care to explain? I actually know a ton of married couples where both are lawyers, the dynamic is positive, the kids are high achieving, everyone seems to have good values. Lawyers marry and have families, and most of them do corporate law. Why the hate?

    Lawyers are among the most useless, parasitical, and unethical scum on the planet. They are a shameless guild in the medieval sense that uses influence with the government to erect artificial barriers to competition, they are fundamentally and intrinsically dishonest about what they do and for whom they work. Talk to a lawyer sometime about what “the law” truly is… and if you can catch one being honest for a change, he’ll tell you “whatever a judge declares it to be”. Nota bene: if one doesn’t know the difference between written law and case law, and understand how the latter trumps the former, it’s not even possible to have an informed opinion on the issue.

    No one who works in an industry based on “billable hours” and charges fees based on the time they’ve supposedly put in rather than concrete results delivered can claim to be even remotely honest. One thing I’ve noticed in my dealings with lawyers in five countries is that if you make the mistake of trying to hire a reputable, top-notch lawyer to actually do something, the first thing he usually tries to do is hire another lawyer to do the actual work for him. Now, the domesticated form of lawyer, the in-house counsel, can be all right, mostly because they can’t pull all the usual stunts since they’re on salary… even though they try to hire outside counsel every time they’re not kept on a tight leash.

    Finally, lawyers are the larval form of politicians.

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

      @VD

      No one who works in an industry based on “billable hours” and charges fees based on the time they’ve supposedly put in rather than concrete results delivered can claim to be even remotely honest.

      As a former consultant, I have to concur. Obviously, your perspective is not unique:

      Dick:
      The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.

      Cade:
      Nay, that I mean to do.

      Henry The Sixth, Part 2 Act 4, scene 2, 71–78

      (Cade alleges that all lawyers do is shuffle parchments back and forth in a systematic attempt to ruin the common people.)

      Still, we need lawyers. Not as many as we have perhaps, but imagine a world without them. I agree that many are scumbags, particularly the politicians.

  • J

    @pvw

    A good friend of mine does real estate law, among other things. Her longtime BF (Both are divorced and leary of a second marriage.) is a landlord and property manager.

  • http://www.4stargazer.wordpress.com Anacaona

    So in hindsight ( … oh yes … hindsight … that bloody cruddy deplorable damnable bovine mendicant flatulent corpulent freakin bitch !!! … )
    The key with defeating stupid bitch hindsight is using it before it becomes hindsight. Go out and try to pay attention to girls and IOI’s that is again another principle of Game never miss the chance to caught an IOI. As mentioned before only the most aggressive slutty women approach plainly (hence what they get dibs on the dating market) so the rest of 80% are going to be doing all those little games and guess who notice this right away or even approach when they don’t see any just to try? You guessed right. Being proactive is important to bridge the disconnect between the majority, YMMV.

  • Just1X

    @Susan
    “Carpe Cardia”

    glad that you like it, but you’d better get someone who did more latin than I did, and more recently. It could well be Carpe Cardiam or some such. After *cough* *cough* years all I can remember is (errors included)

    Caecilius est pater
    Grumio est coquus.
    Ego sum coquus, ego cenam coquit

    there was a son and a dog and they lived in Pompeii… I’m tapping out

    (yes, the infamous orange series of latin books)

  • http://Marellus.wordpress.com Marellus

    @Ana

    Thanks Ana … send me a bill ;-)

  • Plain Jane

    szopen October 4, 2012 at 3:22 am

    @Plain Jane
    “staying together for the sake of the kids”

    Musick K, Meier A., Are Both Parents Always Better Than One? Parental Conflict and Young Adult Well-being,

    Hm… how to do quotes here?

    Children whose parents often argue fare worse than those whose
    parents get along: parental conflict is associated with negative schooling
    outcomes (Hanson, 1999), behavior problems (Morrison & Coiro, 1999), early and nonmarital family formation (Furstenberg & Teitler, 1994; Musick & Bumpass, 1999), lower quality adult relationships (Amato & Booth, 2001; Booth & Edwards, 1990), and lower psychological well-being

    Should parents stay together for the sake of the children….In half of our outcomes, high conflict, stepfather, and singlemother families are statistically indistinguishable in their associations with young adult wellbeing

    I would say that people should not divorce if they can keep things civil. If they start to fight over trivial things, then they may divorce.
    ——

    Sigh. Every time I state that parents should stay together for the sake of the kids, whether on line or in real life, someone comes back with this argument. When I make my statement, it is done so with the already knowledge that a chaotic household is not good for children. There is the assumption that the staying together entails staying together civilly.

    Surely you can’t think I suggest staying together and screaming at each other day and night in front of your kids!

    That this even has to be clarified in our American culture, which is a therapy culture, astounds me. There are thousands of programs out there to choose from to help people learn how to manage their anger and get along like normal human beings. There is actually no excuse in a therapy culture such as ours to spend one’s life arguing with a spouse.

  • JP

    @VD:

    “No one who works in an industry based on “billable hours” and charges fees based on the time they’ve supposedly put in rather than concrete results delivered can claim to be even remotely honest. One thing I’ve noticed in my dealings with lawyers in five countries is that if you make the mistake of trying to hire a reputable, top-notch lawyer to actually do something, the first thing he usually tries to do is hire another lawyer to do the actual work for him. ”

    That’s because the goal in law is to become a rainmaker so that you don’t have to do the actual legal work anymore. The job of the rainmaker is to bring work into the firm. You use the grunt lawyers to do the actual work. Doing work is not very prestigeous because anyone can do the work. Not everyone can have a $2,000,000 book of business, which is table stakes in BigLaw right now.

    If you are actually doing the legal work, then you are a commodity, an income partner, and you will be thrown onto the scrapheap. Like my good friend who was just fired after 12 years with a firm. Excellent lawyer. The problem was that he wasn’t good at bringing in work so he was dumped into the trash can.

    I probably spent 12 hours a day doing 5 billable hours worth of work. Part of it was because I despised the work, and avoided it, and part of it was because I was honest.

    I don’t bill hours anymore. In fact, when the court demands a timesheet, I send them one and basically tell them “I looked at the file and kind of guessed how much time I put into it.”

    One judge called this the “Best Guess” system.

  • JP

    Most people in law had no idea what legal work was like until they started actually working.

    Because when you are K through JD (20 years of straight school) you really have no idea as to what you are good at, what you want to do in life, or whether you have any interest in being a lawyer.

    As I tell my wife, I didn’t go to law school because I wanted to practice law.

  • Samael

    @ Susan

    Could you imagine a world without lawyers…..?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0u9JAt6gFqM

  • Plain Jane

    “As I tell my wife, I didn’t go to law school because I wanted to practice law.”

    A common line in many movies is, “I became a lawyer because I’m passionate about law”.

    I guess that’s supposed to make movie goers think lawyers are noble.

  • INTJ

    @ VD

    And here I thought female solipsism was the previous thread.

    ROFL.

  • Tasmin

    @VD
    “Finally, lawyers are the larval form of politicians.”
    LOL. Classic. And all of the non-practicing lawyers in politics like to believe they are the good ones, honorable in their selfless public service.

    @Susan
    “It’s odd because female lawyers are probably the least solipsistic women around – I would think men would enjoy women who view the world is such a logical and analytical fashion.”

    I must disagree. The statement above is not only a generalization as well, but one that is not at all supported in my experience. While “the sheer number of lawyers, both men and women, is so large in this country, that any generalization seems absurd.” I accept wholly, IME female lawyers are no less solipsistic than average. Perhaps solipsistic tendencies at work are constrained by the fact that they are accountable to numerous clients/partners/timelines and must be responsive to thier needs or their position will suffer. Don’t know. But when they are off the clock, there is often some serious overcorrecting. I’ve been shocked on several occasions by the sheer lack of any kind of external orientation in female lawyers I have met and/or socialized with outside of the office.

    Same goes for the logical/analytical view. I agree that law tends to attract those with a more analytical approach in general, but it also attracts plain old *smart* folks who aren’t sure what to do after undgergrad, follow the status-money-track, and grind it out – maybe even enjoy it. Law is logical/analytical and linguistic at its roots, but the roots of a profession do not necessarily mean there is a corresponding mindset or worldview in its participants. What I can get behind is that most female lawyers are probably accustomed to and comfortable with the more commonly male logical and analytical approach. Which can be a good thing.

    I worked with several incredibly sharp, interesting, kind, and even sweet female lawyers in the corporate-transactional practice groups. I often preferred them to their male counterparts when it came to a working relationship but could never imagine them as a romantic partner. Granted I was “taken” at the time so my radar was not attuned…but there was always something a little ‘off’.

    Maybe working in a highly adversarial, competitive, argumentative, ego-driven profession instills an extra layer of skepticsm, analysis, posturing, etc. in people. And within an already adversarial SMP, these traits might just send a certain vibe that men pick up on in women in law. The men certainly are not immune from emitting those vibes, but the vibes are probably overshadowed by the status boost and are picked up on later on, if at all.

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

      @Tasmin

      Maybe working in a highly adversarial, competitive, argumentative, ego-driven profession instills an extra layer of skepticsm, analysis, posturing, etc. in people. And within an already adversarial SMP, these traits might just send a certain vibe that men pick up on in women in law.

      I don’t count any lawyers among my close friends – not sure why not, it just didn’t happen that way. So I’ll defer to you re female lawyer not being less emo than other women.

      I don’t doubt what you say is true above re aggression, especially as displayed at work. One woman who works on a trading floor in NYC said that she had to stop going out directly from work. She was too aggressive in social situations. She learned that if she went home, showered and changed, she could get her persona back to non-work mode. Her dating life improved once she started doing this.

      I think over time, people do change. I know that living in NYC made me more aggressive, and when I relocated I became very aware that I was more combative than others. I had to consciously dial down the aggression to fit in.

      Perhaps this is all part of women acting like men to succeed in arenas where men have generally been much more successful.

  • Glasse

    Hey Susan, I came across this dissertation title, and thought you might find out more.

    Sara Asher – Faculty Mentor – Brandon Hill, Research Associate, The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, & Reproduction

    Dissertation title:
    Would You Say You “Had Sex” If…? An Analysis of Behaviors and Attitudes

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

      @Glasses

      Thanks, I’ll check it out.

  • Glasses

    *Glasses, not Glasse

  • JP

    I think I’m basically a social worker.

    I seem to deal with lots of homeless and suicidal clients.

    I do like this better than dealing with megacorporations but I still generally wonder how on God’s Green Earth I ended up here and generally want to gnaw my arm off.

    Fortunately, I will get to retire in 30 years or so.

    I think the vibe I give off is “I no longer care about anything and I am simply marking time until I get to die.”

  • JP

    And the major problem with women attorneys is that they are simply unattractive, on average.

    The most attractive women are generally not going to law school.

    You sit in law school, look around, and realize, “I am not really attracted to any of these women.” The better the school, the less attractive the woman, or so it seems.

  • BroHamlet

    @Zach (#39) and Susan

    Cosign your comments about girls approaching indirectly. I also have some funny “approach fail” stories too, usually from girls trying to be too bold. I’ve been hit with ice cubes, poked only to turn around and see no one, and “accidentally” hit with a handbag. I find that a lot of girls haven’t figured out that middle ground of being just direct enough to get a guy’s attention who’s not paying any at all, without feeling unnatural about it.

  • Tasmin

    @JP
    “Most people in law had no idea what legal work was like until they started actually working.”
    Yep. So true – for many professions. I was an I-banker and PE investor in my prior life. Ended up participating in some college recruiting/screening at my alma mater and saw the blind ambition of the college kids to become “x” full knowing that they had no idea what “x” entailed. I had to choke back the memory of my own moment of disenchantment as I ushered these bright minds into the abyss. Those first moments when I realized how the “x” world really worked – and worse, what my current role really was, and even worse, what I would have to become in order to elevate my role to that of my bosses, is something that is so visceral for me yet also so difficult to translate into something that a college kid can understand.

    It remimds me a lot of what we discuss here at HUS. Our meditations and contemplations on our body of experience, our decisions and thier corresponding costs, benefits, risks, and rewards are extremely difficult to put into terms that can be understood by the primarily young, female target audience of HUS. This is just part of why I commend Susan for what she does here every day. Plus it lets old cats like me lurk about and catch up on some valuable insight on attraction, relationships, the SMP, and women – however young or old. Some of the many things that I subordinated/ignored in favor of my own pursuit of “x” when I was a young lad donning my first (and quite horrible) suit I bought on credit at JC Penny’s.

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

      @Tasmin

      I was an I-banker and PE investor in my prior life. Ended up participating in some college recruiting/screening at my alma mater and saw the blind ambition of the college kids to become “x” full knowing that they had no idea what “x” entailed. I had to choke back the memory of my own moment of disenchantment as I ushered these bright minds into the abyss.

      I know several people who went into PE a year or so upon graduating from college. Every single one is totally depressed and overworked. They do not date or have any kind of social life. Their classmates in the same city never see them. They are all counting the days and considering applying to b-school instead. A very expensive escape.

  • Höllenhund

    Since this thread has already gone off-topic, here are Brendan’s latest lengthy observations on the current SMP:

    socialpathology.blogspot.com/2012/09/as-if-on-cue.html?showComment=1348845418333#c3205245391889675424

    socialpathology.blogspot.hu/2012/09/as-if-on-cue.html?showComment=1349376794563#c5928462765153852203

  • JP

    “One woman who works on a trading floor in NYC said that she had to stop going out directly from work. She was too aggressive in social situations. She learned that if she went home, showered and changed, she could get her persona back to non-work mode.”

    I’ve always found this hard to do because my moods tend to be very sticky and slow to change.

    When I’m in a really horrible mood (for example, feeling a general sense of hatred toward life itself), even after I go home it takes me five or six hours to feel any better and it’s midnight by then.

    I also generally am who I am wherever I am, meaning that if my mood means that I’m incapable of quality work on any given day, then I’m just going to be incapable of quality work that day.

    There is no on/off switch for me.

  • Tasmin

    @JP
    Dude your job/career does not own you, even if you did go long on loans and get the JD. That vibe you speak of is much more than “I am not satisfied by what I do for a living”. It is poison. It is radiation that will queitly and maybe even slowly kill you from the inside out. You do not want to become an island. Women want no part of that vibe and it will weaken and stress your existing relationships. Getting the JD is an accomplishment. Start with that. When I opted out of my old life, I repeatedly said to myself “if I was successful at something I didn’t really like – hell, even despised at times, then I can certainly be “ok” at something that I enjoy.” That was over 3 years ago. I am often broke as a joke and I’m still paying the fiddler for those years of ingesting that poison, but I wouldn’t trade my current life for the old one in a second. I am still an island from time to time – but there are all kinds of islands. Right now you are the Bikin Atoll in the 1950’s.

    Ripcord that shit. Until you square that away, all of the information on this site re: relationships will only entrench you further in your own self-absorbed, pity-party. And I will tell you from experience that I was a boy scout at 17 1/2, often wore thick as hell glasses, didn’t own a car until I was 23, and was in band longer than I’ll admit – but all of that combined is nowhere near the “birth-control” that your defeatist attitude is likely to afford you.

    Change is tough. No shit about it. It doesn’t always work or lead to where we want it to. When in doubt, be a man of action. You have to find ways to fall in love with yourself, if even just a little. I am sure you know all of this already. Perhaps how/why you found your way here. Off my soapbox now, but I’ve got my eye on you.

  • http://7thseriesgongshow.blogspot.com Mr. Nervous Toes

    I’ve been direct approached by woman. It’s usually a poorly phrased offer for casual sex, although I can think of at least a couple of cases where the woman appeared interested in a romantic relationship. My experience is I don’t reciprocate when a woman direct approaches, mostly because they’re way too aggressive in selling themselves (these are day approaches) and they are usually out of their league. Literally they act like a used car salesman, where a woman gives me a list of how awesome she (lots of talk about degrees and education and such) is and I’m expected to swoon.

    I’ve never had a woman ask me out on a date that she planned, but I’ve had women basically invite me to ask them out, if the difference is significant to anyone. I.e., “I’d like to do X sometime,” where X is something I’m good at and she has no experience in. My responsibility is then to actually setup the date, if I want to. It’s relatively rare but it is effective, because even if my first impulse is to reject the offer, I often change my mind after I think about it.

    P.S. I know lots of hot female lawyers. The good ones are all in committed long-term relationships, the crazy ones not so much.

  • JP

    Oh, I’m married with kids.

    I’m pretty sure that I just resent the fact that I have to work, since I was able to just be more intelligent than everyone else in order to succeed before being thrown into the real world at 26. They don’t pay you to just be intelligent in an actual job. You have to actually do things, not just take tests.

    I’m not here for the information from the site. I’m just bored out of my skull and this site has a fascinating comments section.

  • JP

    “Literally they act like a used car salesman, where a woman gives me a list of how awesome she (lots of talk about degrees and education and such) is and I’m expected to swoon.”

    The degrees and education are somewhat helpful.

    I was always more interested in whether the women I wanted to date where in the top 1% in terms of intelligence. Ideally, the top 0.1%.

  • JP

    “P.S. I know lots of hot female lawyers. The good ones are all in committed long-term relationships, the crazy ones not so much.”

    Did they go to T14 schools, HYS, or some generic law school?

    I’m talking about T14-level women.

  • Tasmin

    @Susan
    “I know several people who went into PE a year or so upon graduating from college. Every single one is totally depressed and overworked. They do not date or have any kind of social life.”

    It is laughable, but PE actually “saved” me from I-banking – which was a special kind of hell. I found the investor mindset to be much more aligned with my values and disposition than that of the trader/intermediary/broker/salesmen mentality of IB, though I did witness the PE industry and my own shop devlove – converge with the IB mentality to the point where it was all the same nonsense. That was when I knew there was no place for me in that mess. Our analysts & associates in PE were much better treated than their counterparts in IB – but yeah, we ran incredibly lean and those kids got jammed in all kinds of ways.

    The ones that hadn’t already been to B-school all went on to “top” B-schools right-quick. I only know of one who has returned to the shit-show, but he was truly a special guy. And it didn’t hurt that he played ball at harvard just like the big boss. During my tenure, he was literally the highest ranked analyst in the firm – big firm too, so his path was cut. Most of the others were pedigrees, putting in their time, building their CV.

    My own upbringing in the biz was just as you report above. Social life was a joke. And certainly led to my inexperience in dating/SMP which led to my (probably) coupling up much too young, my underdeveloped sense of self and direction, evenutally leading to the deminse of said relationship. I ended up with a bit too much of that vibe that JP mentions here. Which is why I dish it to him.

    It saddens me to see so many beautiful minds get trapped in those places, both figuratively and literally. It isn’t a value judgement, i.e. finance or law is not “bad” of “good” but I do feel like young people are so keyed in on achievement and the pursuit of status that they don’t even realize how limiting those pursuits can be if they are not aligned with their core values.

    What we “do” is a kind of relationship. A relationships that is best served by employing the same kinds of introspection, honesty, strategy, and actions that we all discuss here in pursuit of a GF/BF/partner/spouse. It all starts with the self.

  • Tasmin

    @JP
    “Oh, I’m married with kids.” “I’m not here for the information from the site. I’m just bored out of my skull and this site has a fascinating comments section.”

    LOL. Noted. Still, send out bad, bad comes back. I had a wife once too. Best of luck. And I’m still going to pull for you to find your way, if only for those who might be in your shoes and just lurking about here.

  • JP

    Plus, I’m in law because I failed, not because I achieved or succeeded. I basically withdrew from life in college and ruined my GPA, partially on purpose.

    At this point, I don’t have any goals, since I gave up on life some time during college.

    My current situation is at least better than college where I was completely lost in life and hopeless. At least I have somewhere to go every day, even though I feel lost, there’s some basic structure.

  • Robber

    Wow, mention you’re interested in a lawyer and look at all the comments it generates! For the record the woman in question specialises in environmental law – I’m in cleantech developing new industrial processes and met her at a recent cleantech conference. She works mostly for little companies like mine, not in a big skyscraper. She just made partner but I would guess that’s less lucrative when the firm is small. Her car is quite modest so I suspect she prefers to save and invest rather than spend.

    I’ve had a little contact with lawyers in my former work in environmental consulting. Mostly positive but I guess I’m not meeting the ball busting corporate lawyers. America seems to be awash with lawyers and very light-on with local engineers. Most of my engineering colleagues here in SF are foreign born like me though many trained in the US.

  • JP

    I majored in chemical engineering.

    So, part of it is that engineers become lawyers because being a lawyer does not involve exposure to industrial chemicals.

  • JP

    ” She works mostly for little companies like mine, not in a big skyscraper. She just made partner but I would guess that’s less lucrative when the firm is small. Her car is quite modest so I suspect she prefers to save and invest rather than spend.”

    Awwww. She works for a baby law firm.

    Those tiny firms are so darn cute and cuddly!

  • Robber

    I did chem eng too JP. I love it. Couldn’t ever be a lawyer, too many words, not enough diagrams!

  • JP

    I did industrial patents for a few years. Mostly aircraft engines and industrial burners. Big mechanical thingies.

    Now I represent people with schizophrenia and colostomy bags. Go figure.

  • Robber

    JP I don’t know how you managed patents for a few years. I have been dealing with patents attorneys here as its critical to protect the tech we are developing. My god it’s boring! I am quite happy to pay someone else to do that.

  • JP

    I had to pay off $120,000 in student loans. Which I did.

    And yet, it makes you want to gnaw off your arm. It’s kind of like eating sawdust.

  • JutR

    Marellus, yes, I have seen it.

    As tall, but fat young man making his way up in the world, I spent a good deal of time around very attractive females in college, bars and clubs, I experienced it a few times, usually around what I would now recognize as hypergamous, promiscuous women. Back then, I just chalked it up to my gaze scaring women (men are lustful, dirty and scary!), and not so much as a physical turnoff. My response was to try to drop eye contact quicker so that I wouldn’t intimate them. Lol.

    I don’t see it so much these days, though.

  • Dinkney Pawson

    A lawyer is a hired gun.

    Some hired guns are picky about which jobs they take. Some are not.

    All hired guns have to eat, so if there isn’t work available, they invent it.

    That’s why people dislike lawyers as a class despite the existence of lawyers they may personally like and respect.

  • Plain Jane

    Robber, where are you from?

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

      Robber, where are you from?

      He’s recently relocated from Australia to San Francisco.

  • Desiderius

    Hellhound,

    We’ve been to some extent divided and conquered. What’s your plan for bridging the divide, other than spraying friendly fire all over your own troops?

    “You don’t get it. There’s no war and there are no troops. It’s every man for himself, while a large segment of women band together and demand that the state solve the problems and complaints they have with the men in their lives – in other words, ‘the personal is political’.”

    That’s the problem with being a butthurt asshole. Not only does the assholishness indicate you’ve been wasting your time playing dominance/negative-sum games rather than building alliances/positive-sum games, but the butthurt means that you’ve been catching more than pitching, so you’re a double loser.

    Every man for himself? Are you serious? You may well be the first human being I’ve ever met with a negative EQ. If there ever were such a thing as every man for himself, as soon as two men with more than one brain cell to rub together decided to band up, they’d put your sorry ass six-feet under and there’d be no one to mourn your passing.

    You might as well tape a sign to your own back reading “moral retard”.

  • Höllenhund

    You fail to comprehend what I’m saying, plus you’re unwilling to argue in good faith. You’re just another run-of-the-mill misandrist, circling the wagons around womyn and throwing other men under the bus. I won’t have anything to do with you and your ilk.

  • Desiderius

    “You fail to comprehend what I’m saying”

    Nice theory, wrong commenter. I comprehend exactly where you’re coming from, the problem is where you’ve come to.

    “plus you’re unwilling to argue in good faith.”

    Damn straight. Don’t bring bad and expect good. Tit-for-tat, dipshit.

    “You’re just another run-of-the-mill misandrist”

    Your solipsism is showing. I’m in general a philanthropist. But in your case, I am a misHollenhundist. You’ve earned it.

    “Throwing other men under the bus.”

    You threw yourself under the bus. I’m the one driving it, and I’ll back it up and run you over again if you don’t change your tune or leave. Alphas (highest MMV, which is all that ultimately matters, i.e. Susan’s target audience) don’t do nihilism.

    “I won’t have anything to do with you and your ilk.”

    Promises, promises.

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

      @Desi

      You threw yourself under the bus. I’m the one driving it, and I’ll back it up and run you over again if you don’t change your tune or leave. Alphas (highest MMV, which is all that ultimately matters, i.e. Susan’s target audience) don’t do nihilism.

      Well you just AMOG’d yourself right to the front of the line. A memorable moment at HUS, well done.

  • Plain Jane

    “Alphas (highest MMV, which is all that ultimately matters, i.e. Susan’s target audience)”

    LOL!!!!!!!!! Where is this “target audience”?!

  • Desiderius

    Susan,

    I’m not the alpha male of this group – that’s, ahem, you.

    He did try to suggest dominance over me, and that wasn’t happening, not with that needle dick.

  • Desiderius

    “LOL!!!!!!!!! Where is this “target audience”?!”

    Reading this blog.