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A Yale Senior Worth Emulating

Hi Susan,

Just wanted to say I’ve been a HUS reader for a long time. I’m a senior at Yale and it’s honestly the strangest thing to see a weird minor facet of our sexual culture come up in so many places on the internet. But I wanted to express that not too many girls at Yale think the way Chloe does (it’s so odd, we used to be in the same sorority together), and reading your blog among others was part of the reason I decided to write a column in response to some of the media coverage of these articles. I hope you enjoy, I think it remains true to a lot of the things you express here. 

To the SWUGs, fight for love

Best,

Alex

There is nothing more gratifying than learning HUS has touched lives, helped people understand themselves better, and given them support to speak the truth. Alex Lin’s article at Yale News Daily is well worth a read. I’m so proud of her! Check it out. Here are some of my favorite highlights:

In every article I read espousing the culture of the “senior washed-up girl,” I sense a distressing sadness. Someday, decades from now when the beauty of our youth has faded, I want every Yale woman to be able to say she fought for more than the freedom to hook up indiscriminately and care for nothing as she rode out her final days of college.

…What keeps coming back in all these “SWUG” articles is an abstract dissatisfaction with the amount of attention women receive with regards to hookups and dating. I think everything in the world traces back to a universal desire for love. The current debate is no different. There’s a hilarious notion going around that we’ve lost something desirable since our freshman year in exchange for an undefined concept of “wisdom” which excuses us from being role models for the underclassmen.

…Women today need to stop excusing themselves. The vague culture of “feminism” is becoming a crutch that our generation has been leaning on for too long. Inherent in the conversation is an extremely unattractive and childish sense of entitlement. “I’m a woman, so I deserve it all: casual sex, expensive dates, eventually an adorable family and a high-profile career.”

I don’t want it all because I know the things I most deeply desire explicitly rule out certain experiences in life.

I wish I could more dramatically get across how frustrating it is to see people, not just women, fail to understand that choices become meaningful when you resolve to sacrifice one opportunity in favor of another. At the heart of it, everyone has a subconscious understanding of his or her own internal preferences, and I think the slow realization that pursuing casual sex is a very weak strategy for finding love is what has triggered this intense rationalization for superficial, attention-seeking apathy.

…The contemporary feminist is not the girl who “has it all,” she’s the woman who’s taken stock of her personal preferences and maintained a strong sense of loyalty to her identity as a feminine individual — regardless of what society has told her is “empowering.”

Alex Lin is smart, but so are her SWUG classmates. What sets Alex apart is her maturity, introspection, sense of personal responsibility, and goal orientation. She understands that it’s not possible to split one’s life into segments with a different “you” living each one. Who you are and what you do at 21 will be very much a part of who you are at 30. 

Female underclassmen at Yale couldn’t do any better than model themselves after Lin. Let’s hope the majority understand that, and do not aspire to SWUG status, a distressingly sad thing indeed.

  • http://natewinchester.wordpress.com/ Nate Winchester

    She’s my kind of cute, too. ;)

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

    A big part of having a high emotional quotient (EQ) is understanding that choices have consequences. If you have the self-discipline to focus, you can find success in those areas. If you spread yourself too widely, you may find in ten years that you’ve achieved nothing.

  • Jimmy Hendricks

    Major props to her for writing that. Very well said.

  • J

    What a lovely piece Alexandra Lin wrote! I’m sure she speaks for a far greater segment of both Yale senior women and college girls in general, yet I’ll bet no manosphere or ladies’ auxilliary blogger will feature her. She doesn’t fit the narrative that pins male personal relationship failures on the larger culture or the ladies to feel superior. She has every tight to be disgusted by how college women are perceived.

  • mr. wavevector

    @ Susan,

    She understands that it’s not possible to split one’s life into segments with a different “you” living each one. Who you are and what you do at 21 will be very much a part of who you are at 30.

    Exactly. I read the “Hard to Get” book by Leslie Bell after it came up in the Atlantic and was discussed here. Bell’s subjects (all young women) seemed to regard their 20′s as an exception to their life, not part of it. As if they had a free pass for a decade, or their 20′s was a prolonged trip to Las Vegas.

    Most kids play sports now. Didn’t anyone tell them you “practice like you play”? What you practice in your 20′s is what you will be playing for real in your 30′s.

    Do young men have the same ambitious cognitive dissonance exhibited by these young women, combining very detailed and ambitious future expectations with enormous capacity for self justification in the present? There’s plenty of cognitive dissonance on the manosphere, no doubt, but I don’t think it’s very representative. It’s hard to know -the public discussion of gender is so dominated by women and their issues.

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

      @Mr. wavevector

      As if they had a free pass for a decade, or their 20′s was a prolonged trip to Las Vegas.

      That’s the best metaphor for it I’ve ever seen. Much more comprehensive than “riding the carousel.” These women are living their lives assuming that “what happens in the 20s stays in the 20s.” Sure, many will pull off a new start – their husbands will never know about their SWUG days (unless they wrote about it online, of course). But even if they do, they can’t get away from the fact that their choices shaped them. They will always be SWUGs – it will always be a part of their identity. I don’t understand why women (or men) think that their youthful follies or worse, destructive behavior, will not exact its price down the road.

  • VJ

    There’s some good and useful wisdom there, especially here:

    “I don’t want it all because I know the things I most deeply desire explicitly rule out certain experiences in life”.

    You know what that really is kids? Lost opportunity costs. Basic Economics. The kind of insight ‘Princeton Mom’ Susan Patton was buried under a mountain of feminist vitriol and invective for briefly noting. It has deep meaning and deep roots. And evidently it’ll be extremely hard to purge from the culture somehow.

    And I enjoyed this essay, but really? When Susan says “What sets Alex apart is her maturity, introspection, sense of personal responsibility, and goal orientation”. She well may be right. And that’s all the more evidence of a great tragedy here. Folks, this is Yale. The tuition for these very smart, mostly highly pampered elites is well above the average household income in perhaps 2/3 of the states. And yet those self same qualities were present in most HS grads 2-3 generations ago, and would be common enough to be unremarkable for much of the college output of most graduating classes from most decent State Uni’s for most prior generations.

    I now live in a small Southern town. My plumber who’s a proud HS grad has those qualities that combine to make for a recognizably ‘decent character’ in a fully functional adult human. My electrician has them too. Ditto for my landscaper. These were once the very foundations of the middle class ethos. How is it that after all that fine education, we must need to be reminded of these simple truths? This is not complex stuff here folks. It’s not nuclear chain reactions 101. And yet…

    We evidently need essays akin to Viktor Frankl’s hard won homilies to the discovery of the human spirit lying almost buried but still beating within the hearts of his fellow WW II concentration camp survivors. This has less to do about the SWUG’s (or anyone else’s) ultimate search for love. That will come in ‘due time’ when they’re all finally ready and ‘played out’ from the ‘free fire/casualty zone’ that is/was their 20′s. It has to do ultimately with the degradation of the culture to such an extent that wasting your time at $100′s per hour with wastrels and worse, with ‘partners’ of convenience just to say that you’ve fully explored your freedoms by experimenting with this or that combo of frats/team sports & dudes your daddy & mummy would not approve of. {Not to mention the drugs or drink, which are traditional after all, and perhaps predate Western marriage in some respects}.

    There’s the foolish Frosh fantasy that all there is to ‘full freedom’, is “to hook up indiscriminately and care for nothing” much more than your own narcissistic self absorption and trying on any colorful but ‘yummy looking’ dude on for a size trial. Sorry that’s not exactly a description of ‘procrastination’. It’s a negation of everything you’re there supposed to be learning about character, morals, and ‘enlightened self governance’. And yes, once upon a time, that process of maturation would have been well neigh completed by HS graduation.

    It’s less the “occasional indifference” to such poor but otherwise ‘exciting choices’, but the studied refusal to be governed to any realm of the usual consequences of same. There’s seldom any need for any excuses as so few are being held to any sort of recognizable personal standards. Not morally, or socially really, and even seldom academically, if the truth were told. And yet, there’s a good natured giving soul there that was once engaged in philanthropy and charitable ‘good works’ abroad especially. But strangely rarely on behalf of those poor benighted creatures (and fellow classmates) she might encounter daily all around her. She’ll evidently rarely give them the time of day or a 2nd glance of notice. Still the overweening sense of entitlement that pervades their days must be seen as their most magnificent achievement and the pinnacle of their fondest desires. It’s not the bug, it’s the feature of the modernist design here that rankles and mystifies most.

    But at least she’s got the basics down mostly. My wife came equipped with these insights by grade 12-13. She came with her own Whale oil ‘Students Lamp’ too. Cheers, ‘VJ’

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

      @VJ

      Awesome comment, I cosign all of it!

      It’s less the “occasional indifference” to such poor but otherwise ‘exciting choices’, but the studied refusal to be governed to any realm of the usual consequences of same. There’s seldom any need for any excuses as so few are being held to any sort of recognizable personal standards. Not morally, or socially really, and even seldom academically, if the truth were told.

      This is what rankles me the most. Resenting natural consequences of our very own choices. Or expecting someone influential to get us out of every scrape. Or using the “sex as empowerment” mantra even though we have zero interest in feminism except when it excuses our bad behavior.

  • SayWhaat

    Great article! I’m glad she wrote it, more girls need to speak up about this!

  • Bully

    What you reap is what you sow.

    Ignorance to this truth does not excuse you from its consequences.

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    Spring Break FOREVERRRRR!!!!!!

  • JP

    “I don’t understand why women (or men) think that their youthful follies or worse, destructive behavior, will not exact its price down the road.”

    Because they are stupid.

    Next question.

  • JP

    “Resenting natural consequences of our very own choices.”

    I’m pretty much a professional at this.

    I’m like a living breathing ball of anger, regret, and resentment.

    Really, though, it’s because you don’t understand the choice until it’s too late.

    However, I’m intelligent enough to blame myself for my string of catastrophic failures.

  • Mike M.

    I think the current culture has a lot to answer for. Young people are fed the claptrap about “these are the best years of your life”. High school and college, one great eight-year-long party.

    And then the bill comes due. You’re 23 or so, with a mountain of debt and no marketable skills. I hope that party was good, because they will pay for it the rest of their poor, pale, miserable lives.

    Or there is the other path. Study hard, work hard, master a marketable skill. Yes, it’s deferred gratification. Yes, it’s damned hard. But you’ll go to your 20th high school reunion and realize the party kids have gone nowhere. Bland, boring lives of drudgery. While you’ve earned a good living, done things half your classmates would not believe, and haven’t yet hit your full potential.

    Trust me, it pays off in the long run.

  • JP

    “Or there is the other path. Study hard, work hard, master a marketable skill. Yes, it’s deferred gratification. Yes, it’s damned hard. But you’ll go to your 20th high school reunion and realize the party kids have gone nowhere. Bland, boring lives of drudgery.”

    Most miserable 8 years of my life and I ended up with a bland, boring life of drudgery.

    Stupid chemical engineering degree.

  • jack

    Susan-

    It’s a start, and a good one. But the crux of the issue is whether young women will be willing to forgo the opportunities to flex their SMP muscles.

    Are they willing to understand that their SMP power is very different than their marriage market power? Serious LTRs may only provide a different, slower, but still just as unsatisfying experience.

    A slower moving carousel is still a carousel. And hypergamy will still demand that the eye be kept open for the trade-up opportunity.

    You can eat a whole box of cookies as slowly as you like, and still consume the same number of harmful calories.

    What needs fixing is the means by which women select men, and THAT can only change when women are selecting men for PERMANENT relationships.

    Otherwise, you just run into the paradox of the cartel that you so perfectly explained in one of your posts a couple of years ago. Those who shortcut the process gain the most, and force everyone else back into the game.

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

      @jack

      But the crux of the issue is whether young women will be willing to forgo the opportunities to flex their SMP muscles.

      Are they willing to understand that their SMP power is very different than their marriage market power?

      I think some young women – like Alex – have a strong future time orientation. My guess is that one must have that in spades to even get into Yale. Alex indicates that Chloe’s pride in being a SWUG is a minority view, even in the sorority they belong to. Clearly, some of these women got to college and went hog wild. As did some of the guys – this is a serious problem in the U.S. today. The four-year campus experience is about a lot more than academics. For some kids it’s the only part of college they care about.

      Chloe, Michelle et al have experienced a very predictable cycle – as seniors they are no longer “fresh meat.” That’s the way it works. They had their college peak, they squandered it, and now they text younger guys who don’t bother texting back, even when a hookup is on offer. The shame is that instead of observing (not to mention learning) a simple lesson, they make inane statements like “I’m hot even if guys don’t know it.” Unless you’re a lesbian, that’s an embarrassingly idiotic thing to say. How can such intelligent women be so stupid?

  • Abbot

    ““I’m a woman, so I deserve it all: casual sex, expensive dates, eventually an adorable family and a high-profile career.”

    I don’t want it all because I know the things I most deeply desire explicitly rule out certain experiences in life.”

    Which one on the list has to go?

  • jack

    After reading the story about the freshman who is looking for a girlfriend, all I can say is that there is a certain grim satisfaction I take in knowing that so many of these women are destroying their ability to bond with a man.

    Because by their choices they are proving that they never would have made a worthy wife.

    Some future generation of women might reject the current paradigm utterly, in which case there will be a future for meaningful relationships.

    In the meantime, it will take another 40+ years until all the really awful people slip off into nursing homes and senility.

  • Jackie

    What a great article! Kudos, Alexandra! :-)
    8-)

  • VJ

    Me, I’m not sure when the paradigm got started here, but my wife absolutely refused to be a SWUG. When she saw that she’d have a much lighter load as a senior? She finished a year earlier so she could get out, and get a job to help pay for her grad school & student debts. That’s what decent thinking and planning looks like. The conservation of resources and energy.

    So really, what’s the score here? You’re laying about ‘procrastinating’ with those fascinating ‘cool’ frat kids, ignoring or mocking the introverted Stem or ‘studious’ dudes, and vacationing in luxury Chalets in the Alps belonging to some bankers son.

    Why not just kickstart your life, get that first job, and take on the world with all your great plans? Start a company, provide a needed service, help invent the next new drugs or manufacturing process, discover some new species in Madagascar, find new ways to provide cheap and available drinking water for Africa & South Am, feed more people cheaply and nutritiously, help understand or cure disease? All likely more important and more useful to all concerned than just lounging around in bars looking cute and searching for the next score of drink, drugs or sex? And yes, this certainly applies to the dudes too! Why waste all that $$$ just for entertainment? Yes, we know you’re young & beautiful and you’ll never be that young or good looking again. There’s still time for recreation. Just not years of it.

    That’s what I don’t quite get. How are we able to maintain a goodly population of self described ‘SWUG’s’ if they’ve got so much free time as described in their various forlorn yet largely self indulgent (f slightly amusing) missives? Someone’s paying for a very expensive vacation here, which is not a bad way of going during a lesser depression. But still there’s more to life than drugs, sex and rock & roll. I know, you’ve never heard that before, right? Welcome to the 2010′s More like the 1910′s than ever imagined. And that’ll be of interest to the 2% of history majors who might still be able to barely follow along with the analogies.

    So a nice essay still, but somehow we wish more of the Yalie elites had the good common sense of a decent Aggie/Techie someplace. No really! Cheers, ‘VJ’

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

      How are we able to maintain a goodly population of self described ‘SWUG’s’ if they’ve got so much free time as described in their various forlorn yet largely self indulgent (f slightly amusing) missives? Someone’s paying for a very expensive vacation here

      Boomer Parents, guilty as charged.

  • Robber

    Alex writes beautifully and has wisdom beyond her years. I had to live through a lot and for many more years before I gained her kind of insight on life.

  • Robber

    @Susan
    “This is what rankles me the most. Resenting natural consequences of our very own choices. Or expecting someone influential to get us out of every scrape. Or using the “sex as empowerment” mantra even though we have zero interest in feminism except when it excuses our bad behavior”.

    This thinking doesn’t spring from the culture fully formed. These people (we all know men like this too) have been “bailed out” of the natural consequences of their actions their whole lives. Schools don’t like to fail anyone even with pissweak effort. Every primary school kid gets a medal at school athletics. If you get all the way to Yale (or any other Global top 100 university) there’s a good chance you have been immersed in this culture and don’t even know it. Like a fish doesn’t know it lives in water because it’s always been immersed in it.

    I was a real dickhead as a young man. Went through uni well enough but screwed over a few girls before I met my wife. Feel guilty as hell about it now. I was raised better than that but even my comfortable middle class upbringing to good God fearing humble Catholics didn’t inoculate me from the prevailing culture. I didn’t grow up in the US but I saw something very similar in my peers and although we are in our 30s now some still haven’t grown out of their entitled ways. I know all too well that the world owes us NOTHING. I had to lose my first great love to truly get that.

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

      @Robber

      I was a real dickhead as a young man. Went through uni well enough but screwed over a few girls before I met my wife. Feel guilty as hell about it now. I was raised better than that but even my comfortable middle class upbringing to good God fearing humble Catholics didn’t inoculate me from the prevailing culture.

      You make an important point. Sure, we can and should hold people responsible for their behavior. But as you say, there are outside cultural influences and some people are more vulnerable to them than others. Others are “bad seeds” and happy to have society not holding them accountable. The point is, we’re catering to what is low in human nature, rewarding that, and not exhorting young people to reach for what is noble in themselves.

      Even here, where I tend to ride the hobbyhorse of how important it is to be a productive member of society, I get pushback. Commenters here have actually argued there is no value in work. They’ll have no difficulty finding plenty to agree. Even my own social peers disagree with me – why should we give back anything, or contribute in any way to the greater good? It’s strictly every man for himself. That’s reflected in every area of American (and possibly Australian?) life – including the SMP.

  • JP

    “Chloe, Michelle et al have experienced a very predictable cycle – as seniors they are no longer “fresh meat.” That’s the way it works. They had their college peak, they squandered it, and now they text younger guys who don’t bother texting back, even when a hookup is on offer. The shame is that instead of observing (not to mention learning) a simple lesson, they make inane statements like “I’m hot even if guys don’t know it.” Unless you’re a lesbian, that’s an embarrassingly idiotic thing to say. How can such intelligent women be so stupid?”

    Because you only understand the cycle once you’ve live through the cycle.

    This is how life works.

    You only get to understand what is going on after it’s too late to do anything about it because you have to live through it to understand it.

  • Escoffier

    “Why not just kickstart your life, get that first job, and take on the world with all your great plans? Start a company, provide a needed service, help invent the next new drugs or manufacturing process, discover some new species in Madagascar, find new ways to provide cheap and available drinking water for Africa & South Am, feed more people cheaply and nutritiously, help understand or cure disease?”

    As you must be aware, a great many Yale (and other elite college students) do exactly this. It’s part of the Davos class life trajectory script now. And, I would submit, part of the problem. For a plethora of reasons but not least what it does to these people’s (especially the girls but the boys too) SMP and MMV. And the opportunity cost. And on and on.

    This is not a solution, it’s a high-minded way of making everything worse.

  • JP

    “This is not a solution, it’s a high-minded way of making everything worse.”

    OK. I’ll bite.

    Why?

  • http://www.theredpillroom.blogspot.com Ian Ironwood

    The vague culture of “feminism” is becoming a crutch that our generation has been leaning on for too long. Inherent in the conversation is an extremely unattractive and childish sense of entitlement.

    Isn’t that the most misogynistic,chauvinistic, asinine Archie Bunker-esque thing a bitterly-divorced ignorant old coot who lives in a trailer in Alabama ever said on the Manosphere–?

    Oh. Wait. My bad.

    I know it’s too early for a victory lap, but damn this does my heart good to hear. Next thin you know, some high-profile celebrity is going to admit that the secret of a long and healthy marriage is female submisiveness and male dominance, which will NEVER happen . . .

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/13/gabrielle-reece-laird-hamilton_n_3071594.html

    Oh, crap. It’s starting.

  • Escoffier

    “they make inane statements like ‘I’m hot even if guys don’t know it.’ Unless you’re a lesbian, that’s an embarrassingly idiotic thing to say. How can such intelligent women be so stupid?”

    You could say I’m showing my age here, and maybe so. But at least three GFs (whose age I can clearly remember) were older than me and it never occured to me that they were “washed up” or that I was settling in some way. Hot is hot and 22, generally, is a very hot age. So I find it odd that 22 y/o women can get no sexual interest from any males.

    In fact, I don’t believe it. What must be going on here is the same phenomenon described in that NYT article: “Start from the fact that half the guys we wouldn’t even consider …”

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

      So I find it odd that 22 y/o women can get no sexual interest from any males.

      The SWUGs are completely open about their hypergamy. The SWUG lifestyle examples involve getting wild and crazy in frat houses and bars. They’re not pretending to give nice guys a shot. They’re immersed in a certain scene, and they want those boys only. When they text a handsome, high status sophomore and get no response, I think we can assume he’s got his hands full with/of freshmen girls aspiring to eventual SWUG status, not knowing how depressing it actually is.

  • JP

    “Even my own social peers disagree with me – why should we give back anything, or contribute in any way to the greater good? It’s strictly every man for himself. That’s reflected in every area of American (and possibly Australian?) life – including the SMP.”

    They really feel no inherent responsibility for the greater good?

    As in no Noblesse oblige whatsoever?

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

      They really feel no inherent responsibility for the greater good?

      As in no Noblesse oblige whatsoever?

      Interestingly, some of them are contributing in their own lives, but they don’t want to hold their kids to the same standards. It’s as if the American dream is to give each generation a leg up over the previous one, and high achieving parents can’t do that easily. But they can make things easier for their kids by providing every advantage, every service, etc.

      Once in a while you see a high school kid starting up an organization or cause that isn’t a “fake charity” designed to get them into college. But usually, the ulterior motives are clear, as evidenced by a big show without a sustained effort over time.

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

    Susan…”I think some young women – like Alex – have a strong future time orientation. My guess is that one must have that in spades to even get into Yale.”

    I think the truth of the second statement depends strongly on one’s parents, peers, and schools. If you have parents who both went to Yale, and view you getting into the same place as a life-or-death issue, then it’s quite possible that they’ll push you to do the things you need to do to get in even if your own inherent time orientation is very present-oriented. (And there’s also the alumni preference, of course)

    Whereas if you’re from a small town in the Midwest where it’s not expected that people go to college, and your parents didn’t go either, then yeah, you’d better have a strong future-time orientation if you want to get into Yale.

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

      @david foster

      Good point, and there are plenty of legacy kids who are ushered in by parents. I see that a lot at Harvard. In contrast, you can’t get into MIT that way.

  • Escoffier

    Interesting, though, that hypergamy for them involves dating younger guys. This not usually the case.

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

      Interesting, though, that hypergamy for them involves dating younger guys. This not usually the case.

      They’ve probably already been “used up” by the guys their own age. The thing about hookups is, they generally end awkwardly. People usually don’t recycle them at some future date. Also, having seen these Greeks up close, I can tell you that half of those guys aren’t even considered by the girls. There are frat guys who are popular with their bros who are just not physically attractive, or confident with girls, or whatever. Girls like Chloe are targeting half a dozen guys on campus, total.

  • Escoffier

    The UMC today is all about “maintenance of caste.”

  • Escoffier

    Half a dozen in a four-figure population? That sounds crazy. Are you sure?

    The rest seems plausible, that is, they can no longer get other seniors to look at them b/c the male seniors’ status is now sky high so they have their pick of the underclass(wo)men.

    What surprises me, I guess, is that when these SWUGs–who are not ugly, at least not because of their age–offer what amounts to free pussy to boys their juinior, the younger boys don’t even respond. If that’s true, it’s because the younger boys already have ” better” options. And if THAT’s true, it’s because the only younger boys the SWUGs are targeting are apex alphas.

    Still, it is funny to contemplate from my advanced age a perspective from from which a 22 y/o woman is in any way “washed up,” above all physically. Who can really distinguish 18 y/o flesh from 22 and find something repulsive about the latter by comparison? I can tell you that when I was that age, the idea would have seemed just as absurd to me then as it seems now.

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

      @Escoffier

      Half a dozen in a four-figure population? That sounds crazy. Are you sure?

      Haha, of course I’m not sure.

      My guess is that if you asked Chloe on any given day who she wants to hook up with, she’ll probably only give one name, maybe two. Over the course of a year, six max.

      And if THAT’s true, it’s because the only younger boys the SWUGs are targeting are apex alphas.

      I don’t think your terminology works. What you’re missing is that it’s not the same six guys for every girl. There’s a social scene, a circle, with a range of guys in it. Different women will prefer different guys. The idea that there’s one guy every girl wants to hook up with is a myth, though undoubtedly the handsomest, funniest, nicest, most athletic guys are nearly universally admired. Most colleges only have a couple of Tom Bradys though.

      Also, as evidenced by the photos I posted, these particular SWUGs are very average looking. The author of this anti-SWUG article is actually beautiful. (I had a modeling shot of her up, but took it down at her request.)

      It may be a classic case of female 5s targeting male 7s. Also, the men themselves have certain women they’re especially attracted to, and may be focusing on them, rather than screwing things up by having sex with their older sorority sisters.

      Lots of different factors at play here.

  • pvw

    Regarding being “washed up” and the distinctions between women at 18 and 22, I don’t think it is a matter of physical age, but the young women’s history beyond their mere jadedness with their social and sexual lives. They are washed up and their male peers in their class group are not interested because they already “tapped that!” These young women have been passed around a lot amongst the same few group of men, they have a reputation, and so none of the men–those their age and neither the younger guys–are looking at them.

    I agree, future orientation depends upon family background and the environment. I’d be likely to bet that the scholarship student who has to keep up the grades to stay at Yale would have a different orientation. So, it is important to choose one’s friends wisely; do they have goals, beliefs, etc., that coincide and will be supportive?

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

      @pvw

      They are washed up and their male peers in their class group are not interested because they already “tapped that!” These young women have been passed around a lot amongst the same few group of men, they have a reputation, and so none of the men–those their age and neither the younger guys–are looking at them.

      Exactly.

  • Anacaona

    I was raised better than that but even my comfortable middle class upbringing to good God fearing humble Catholics didn’t inoculate me from the prevailing culture.
    Interestingly I was talking to a friend that lives in Spain with her husband. Before she left she was typically traditional and wanted children. Due to cultural pressures her desire to have children has weaned out to a point that she is thinking on moving back to DR just so she can get back the feeling that having kids while young is okay.
    And by young I mean before 36. Her own doctor told her at 33 that she was too young to have children :/. Is the first world trying to depopulate itself or what?

  • Joe

    Still, it is funny to contemplate from my advanced age a perspective from from which a 22 y/o woman is in any way “washed up,” above all physically.

    Despite the SWUG label, are they really “washed up?” I suspect strongly that it’s really just a numbers game.

    What if, Escoffier, young adults have an upper age limit imposed on them (by psychology, society, whatever). For women, it’s their age plus about three years, give or take, with individual variances. For men, it’s their age plus 3 months, same qualifiers.

    The men have a small pool as freshmen and the women have a small pool as seniors. They’re just disadvantaged at different times (and those “times” aren’t really all that different). The whole SWUG phenomenon is then just simple demographics and not mysterious at all.

  • Joe

    Ack! Sorry. I put that badly. Obviously, college kids don’t have an “upper age limit” on them. It’s on their choice of a partner in a relationship.

  • JP

    “And by young I mean before 36. Her own doctor told her at 33 that she was too young to have children :/. Is the first world trying to depopulate itself or what?”

    More specifically, they want to commit cultural suicide.

    Even more specifically, Italy, Spain, Japan, China, Germany, and Korea.

    Those are the top five on my “countries with *severe* demographic problems.

    …buh-bye…

  • Lokland

    @Susan

    “The idea that there’s one guy every girl wants to hook up with is a myth, though undoubtedly the handsomest, funniest, nicest, most athletic guys are nearly universally admired. Most colleges only have a couple of Tom Bradys though.”

    You realize you just contradicted yourself in the same sentence yes?
    The fact that they are rare does not alter that they exist and that as you said are universally desired.

    You also said women (even the SWUGs) really only want one man at a time.

    This probably lends some credence to the problem of women wanting boyfriends but being unwilling to accept whats available.

    If X% of all girls on campus are focused on one guy at any given time then only the left overs can be focused on actually finding a boyfriend.

    X probably stays constant over time with different women moving in and out of the group.

    This could lend some credence to Davids argument about none of the women actually wanting boyfriends.

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

      @Lokland

      The fact that they are rare does not alter that they exist and that as you said are universally desired.

      I said admired, not desired. Huge difference. There have many men who I’ve been able to admire but whom I personally do not find desirable. Tom Brady is a good example. I see how handsome he is, but his looks leave me cold.

      Even a Brady, though, at Michigan. A high percentage of women might have agreed if asked whether he is attractive to women. A much, much smaller number would have answered affirmatively that they wanted to hook up with him, and only a tiny fraction would say they are “focused” on him.

  • Escoffier

    “What you’re missing is that it’s not the same six guys for every girl.”

    True, but I bet the (much larger) cohort of guys they all reject is more or less the same across all SWUGs.

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

      True, but I bet the (much larger) cohort of guys they all reject is more or less the same across all SWUGs.

      They reject all guys not in frats or on teams (there’s a big overlap in frats). Of the guys they don’t reject out of hand, they will still deem most of the frat guys undesirable.

      We’re in Karen Owen territory here.

  • Emily

    I was never part of the hookup scene, but I can definitely relate to the parts of SWUG life that involve staying home with friends and drinking wine. If we leave out the carousel part of it, I think I was a SWUG all through college (and it was kind of awesome. :P )

  • Tomato

    “Isn’t that the most misogynistic,chauvinistic, asinine Archie Bunker-esque thing a bitterly-divorced ignorant old coot who lives in a trailer in Alabama ever said on the Manosphere–?”

    Nah, there’s been far, far worse from the sphere.

  • angelguy

    “This could lend some credence to Davids argument about none of the women actually wanting boyfriends.”

    Yeah, I agree with you there.
    So they friend-zone boys they aren’t sure about, just because they don’t want to be seen as being alone.

    The status of not having a boyfriend is deterimental to a woman’s image.
    They don’t broadcasting that.

  • angelguy

    They don’ t “like” broadcasting that.

  • Lokland

    Clarification:

    Is a SWUG specifically a senior who partied to hard or is a SWUG any senior who didn’t choose a boyfriend when she had the option of one?

  • JP

    “Is a SWUG specifically a senior who partied to hard or is a SWUG any senior who didn’t choose a boyfriend when she had the option of one?”

    I’ll field this one and see if I can get it.

    It only applies to unrestricted party types.

  • Anacaona

    I said admired, not desired. Huge difference. There have many men who I’ve been able to admire but whom I personally do not find desirable. Tom Brady is a good example. I see how handsome he is, but his looks leave me cold.

    Even a Brady, though, at Michigan. A high percentage of women might have agreed if asked whether he is attractive to women. A much, much smaller number would have answered affirmatively that they wanted to hook up with him, and only a tiny fraction would say they are “focused” on him.
    This bears repeating. Guys still don’t grasp that finding a man attractive doesn’t translate to wanting to sleep with him. We women have a lot more of abstraction on matters of appeal than men, YMMV.

  • Marge

    Hi Susan,

    You say “Who you are and what you do at 21 will be very much a part of who you are at 30.” But what happens if you regret what you did at 21? How can a woman make up for it? How can she hide (or not hide) some regretful behavior of the past? What is best? It’s not that I did something terrible, but some mistakes that I dont know how to tackle at the moment.

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

      @Marge

      Welcome, thanks for sharing a comment with us.

      First, what I’m talking about here is who you are, not how you present yourself to other people. You can hide information from other people, but not from yourself. The mistakes you made changed you in some way, perhaps profoundly, perhaps only slightly. We all make mistakes, it’s part of being human. Your recognizing and taking responsibility for yours is an important first step.

      The girls who proudly call themselves “washed up” have chased casual sex for years. They’re preparing to graduate, revealing their loneliness and feelings of rejection even as they revel in their apathy, their disconnectedness. They aren’t coming to grips with mistakes, they’re staunchly defending their choices. That is their right. But imagine them spending the rest of their 20s with the same attitude – racking up a high body count, avoiding relationships, drinking heavily, etc. At some point (probably already past) they’re not going to be able to capture a different sort of choice or path, like the one Alex Lin has chosen.

      Maturity means being honest with yourself, making amends where necessary, including with yourself, and moving forward with your life a wiser person.

      The goal isn’t to avoid making mistakes. The goal is to learn from them and chart a new course. That is always possible in theory, but the longer one inhabits a self-destructive mindset, the more difficult that becomes.

  • Joe

    Guys still don’t grasp that finding a man attractive doesn’t translate to wanting to sleep with him.

    You’re not gonna believe this, but that applies to a lot of guys too (even the one’s who don’t want to admit it).

    Paris Hilton? Kim Kardashian? Please. The supermodels and celebutants are a lot more desirable in the fantasies than IRL.

  • Sai

    “Or there is the other path. Study hard, work hard, master a marketable skill. Yes, it’s deferred gratification. Yes, it’s damned hard. But you’ll go to your 20th high school reunion and realize the party kids have gone nowhere. Bland, boring lives of drudgery. While you’ve earned a good living, done things half your classmates would not believe, and haven’t yet hit your full potential.”

    I kept telling myself that ever since I became a teenager. (My parents also contributed.) At least I can still use it without intense burning.

    “As you must be aware, a great many Yale (and other elite college students) do exactly this. It’s part of the Davos class life trajectory script now. And, I would submit, part of the problem.”

    I read this as Davros class XD
    (Still jealous of the kids who get to go abroad to nice places)

    “I know it’s too early for a victory lap, but damn this does my heart good to hear. Next thin you know, some high-profile celebrity is going to admit that the secret of a long and healthy marriage is female submisiveness and male dominance, which will NEVER happen . . .”

    I’ve thought long and hard about this like how I thought about having kids… and like with that situation, I don’t think it’s for me (like a job and I have to sleep with the boss). Then again, the guy at Rules Revisited says the more boyish girls tend to need less dominant guys, so…

    “As in no Noblesse oblige whatsoever?”

    Wasn’t that an aristocrat thing?
    Somebody help.

    In summary, papers over penises.
    If you’ve done both… uh, find a guy who doesn’t care about N.