Some Men Just Can’t Keep Their Monogamy Genes On

May 9, 2013

brain monogamyThere is now excellent data available via brain imaging demonstrating that some people appear wired for monogamy, while others are not. Cindy Meston and David Buss, both of the University of Texas – Austin, brought men into the lab for MRIs and watched their brain activity while the men looked at three sets of pictures. The first set was of neutral scenes like sunsets. The second set was of romantic bonding scenes like holding hands and gazing, and the third set was of erotic scenes, like couples making love. (Note: While the initial research focused on men, they believe the findings hold true for women as well.)

They found that the dopamine reward centers of the brain basically went crazy in all men when the sexual imagery was shown. However, some men had similarly increased brain activity while looking at romantic pictures, and others did not. These responses correlated to the men’s descriptions of their own sociosexuality on the restricted to unrestricted scale. 

The reward areas in monogamous men’s brains lit up like Christmas trees in response to the sexual photos and the emotional bonding photos. In sharp contrast, the nonmonogamous men’s brains lit up only to the sexual stimuli; they showed very little activation in the rewards areas of the brain to the emotional bonding photos.

Additional research by Hasse Walum at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden examined the gene coding of 500 heterosexual men for a vasopressin receptor. The researchers also investigated the quality of their relationships.

They found that variation in a section of the gene called RS3 334 was linked to how men bond with their partners. Men can have none, one or two copies of the RS3 334 section, and the higher the number of copies, the worse men scored on a measure of pair bonding.

Not only that, men with two copies of RS3 334 were more likely to be unmarried than men with one or none, and if they were married, they were twice as likely to have a marital crisis.

These guys are clearly not cut out for committed relationships. It’s in your best interest to avoid men boasting two copies of RS3 334! No doubt we’ll have access to genetic testing one day  – we may ask a guy for his genetic profile before we agree to coffee. In the meantime, Peter Jonason and David Buss have studied what strategies nonmonogamous college men and women use:  Avoiding entangling commitments: Tactics for implementing a short-term mating strategy.

1. Practices simple forms of inaction.

  • Ignores the short-term partner.
  • Fails to respond to calls or messages.
  • Cuts off communication after a sexual encounter.

2. Avoids intimacy.

3. Avoids integrating the person into one’s social  life.

4. Is blunt and honest about intentions.

  • Declares interest in sex and nothing more.
  • Bluntly states a lack of interest in a relationship.
  • Lets the person know he’s having sex with others.

5. Actively pushes the sex partner away by using verbal or physical abuse. 

Buss and Jonason found that there were three factors that strongly correlated with the avoidance of “entangling commitments”:

  1. Dark Triad personality traits.
  2. Unrestricted sociosexuality.
  3. High mate value.

Obviously, women seeking relationships are at low risk of falling for a man who displays all of these tactics as part of a short-term mating strategy. But many guys softpedal their long-term rejection for a variety of reasons, including preserving their reputations as “good guys,” and hedging their bets to keep the supply of sex coming. They’ll typically use elements of Strategies 1-3.

In my view, you’re better off seeking the guys who display a romantic streak. Whether it’s remembering the day you met, planning “pair bonding” moments, or generally demonstrating affection, rewarding those behaviors is an excellent way to filter in guys who are capable of monogamy. Of course, if you’re the kind of girl who likes good looking narcissist assholes who don’t bond, go for it. I wish you all the best. Just know what you’re getting into.

In closing, I’ll point out that genes alone do not determine behavior. The prefrontal cortex is available to us for decision making. It’s by no means a certainty that a man wired for nonmonogamy will cheat on you if you happen to snag him for commitment. But I don’t like those odds. Early and comprehensive filtering is the best tool a woman has in her search for a life partner. You’re much better off with false positives (the one that got away) than with false negatives (you marry a double dose RS3 334 man, yikes). 

 

  • Plain Jain

    “They found that the dopamine reward centers of the brain basically went crazy in all men when the sexual imagery was shown. However, some men had similarly increased brain activity while looking at romantic pictures, and others did not. ”

    “The reward areas in monogamous men’s brains lit up like Christmas trees in response to the sexual photos and the emotional bonding photos. In sharp contrast, the nonmonogamous men’s brains lit up only to the sexual stimuli; they showed very little activation in the rewards areas of the brain to the emotional bonding photos.”

    Got this far and thought, “just because a brain lights up to a romantic bonding scene in addition to a sexual scene doesn’t indicate monogamy. Remember, a lot of cheating is emotional cheating, or sexual + emotional cheating, because people feel there emotional needs are not being met with their current partner.

  • Zach

    “No doubt we’ll have access to genetic testing one day – we may ask a guy for his genetic profile before we agree to coffee.”

    I suggest you watch the movie Gattaca.

  • Erik L

    We should all be very skeptical of both studies. No one knows what “lighting up” means in practical terms. As for the genetic study that showed a relationship between monogamy and a vasopressin receptor? Sounds like a good candidate for extinction. It will probably turn out not to be reproducible.

    • @Erik L

      No one knows what “lighting up” means in practical terms.

      True, but it’s very interesting that for some men, images of people in love “do nothing for me,” while other men get “turned on” by that. I’d much rather marry the latter type of man.

      As for the genetic study that showed a relationship between monogamy and a vasopressin receptor? Sounds like a good candidate for extinction. It will probably turn out not to be reproducible.

      Well, the Dark Triad should also not be reproducible, and ultimately it probably won’t be. But it’s taking an awfully long time to get those “sneaky fuckers” out of the population.

  • tilikum

    anecdotally, i meet one man in thirty that admit to cheating.

    every female ive met in 4 years under 35 and married has been willing to cheat.

    oops.

    • anecdotally, i meet one man in thirty that admit to cheating.

      every female ive met in 4 years under 35 and married has been willing to cheat.

      oops.

      And that’s why anecdotal evidence is the biggest logical fallacy.

  • J

    Ha! A few years ago, Dalrock had a post on whether or not it was natural for women to be monogamous. I commented that I thought it was easy for some people to be monogamous for genetic reasons and genes for monogamy were probably distributed to people of either gender in various proportions. IOW, the non-monogamous, male or female, probably don’t haave the genes for it. This study proves half my thesis; I’d love to see a similar study done on women.

    I just tried to find my post at Dalrock because I wanted to quote it. I googled “Dalrock monogamy,” but the second I typed in the m, Goggle suggested “Dalrock misogynist” as a second option. LMAO

  • chris

    False positives don’t harm a woman in a legal system that favors her.

  • Escoffier

    I believe I am wired for monogamy but I do hate holding hands.

    • I believe I am wired for monogamy but I do hate holding hands.

      LOL you are such a curmudgeon.

  • Big Jim

    I’m not sure this is all that relevant.

    As a man I commit to woman worthy of commitment. Currently such women are hard to find in America.

    • As a man I commit to woman worthy of commitment. Currently such women are hard to find in America.

      What’s irrelevant is your comment on a blog addressing American women. Why bother?

      Furthermore, we’re not talking about commitment. Unfortunately, plenty of men not wired for monogamy do make commitments, marry, have marital crises, usually in the form of infidelity, and have a divorce rate double those who are more monogamously inclined.

  • J
  • So how many partners does a man have before getting dubbed a whoreperson Susan?

    • So how many partners does a man have before getting dubbed a whoreperson Susan?

      Good question! I don’t think it’s about whoring – which describes behavior, not necessarily sociosexual orientation (though they’re obviously correlated).

      I think the more worrisome thing, from a female perspective, is that a guy wired for polygyny is very unlikely to be satisfied with you over time. You can’t win.

      The good news is that there are women wired the same way – so theoretically, all the unrestricted types could hang out together for a lifetime, which already seems to be happening. That keeps poor marriage prospects out of the marriage market – those men don’t even have to consider marrying in order to get sex.

  • Plain Jain

    “So how many partners does a man have before getting dubbed a whoreperson Susan?”

    Welcome Athol. We’ve discussed this before and collectively concluded that it is not raw numbers per se that determine slutitude but rather the REASONS behind those numbers and the MANNER in which those numbers were accumulated.

    A lot has to do with motive and manners.

  • Sassy6519

    It’s funny how quickly people come out of the woodwork simply to attempt to shoot your posts down Susan. It’s amusing to me, and thoroughly predictable.

    Aside from that, another great post Susan. 🙂

  • Plain Jain

    J, I clicked on your link to your comment at Da Rock’s and came across this exchange between you and Uncle Fred.

    uncleFred says:
    July 1, 2011 at 9:32 am

    @J
    “If relationships break up primarily because women lose attraction t6o a partner after four years, why are lesbian relationships more stable in duration than heterosexual relationships? Shouldn’t two women be more fickle than one. Why are gay male relationships the least stable?”

    On balance they well may not be, but I can offer some observations made by a lesbian friend who ended what she and her partner thought was a permanent relationship of 15 years. They mutually owned a house and a vacation property. One was more controlling, my friend was the more “compliant” partner. Eventually she found her partner to be overly controlling and after a long period of trying to sort out their issues decided to leave the relationship. Her partner adopted a bitter attitude and made the division of property as hostile as possible.

    At one point my friend told me that she had been very unhappy for a number of years. I asked her why she had not decided to leave earlier. Here is a summary of her answer.

    She and her partner lived in a mutually supportive lesbian community. I don’t mean that they lived in a commune, rather that they knew many other lesbian couples in the area. They socialized far more with members of the community than outside it. The community placed heavy social pressure on couples to stay that way. Poaching was strongly discouraged. When one mentioned that their relationship was having problems, members would rush in to offer support, not to end the relationship, rather to look for ways to compromise. Unlike when a woman complains to her friend about her husband and they commiserate about how lousy men are, the friend would defend the other woman. One reason that I heard all about her break up was that she felt utterly unsupported by other friends that she had known for many years, and turn to me for objective advice. At the conclusion of her separation, she was ostracized from the entire group.

    I can’t speak to other lesbian couples, but if this is common and lesbian couple are more stable it may well be simply because there is heavy social pressure to stay together. Exactly the opposite of heterosexual marriages today.
    ________________________

    Some food for thought!

  • Escoffier

    S, a story on this point.

    Many years ago (Triassic Era) I was walking along Union Street with my college GF and my parents. Keep in mind that my mother did not even like my college GF. Not that she disliked her, she was a very nice girl, but my mother thought she was dull and dumb and wrong for me.

    Anyway, the GF kept trying to grab my hand and I kept swatting hers away until a little tiff ensued and my mother, exasperated, shouted, “Esc, hold ____’s hand!!”

    And I said, “No way, that’s gay.”

    Keep in mind, this was San Francisco in the 1980s.

    She said, “How can holding your GIRLFRIEND’S hand possibly be GAY??”

    I had no answer because she had me on the facts, but I still didn’t hold her hand.

    • @Escoffier

      I’d love to have known you as a little kid. You must have been very interesting and quirky.

      I’m glad your mother wanted you to marry a smart girl. 🙂 She must be very happy with your choice. I’ve mentioned this before, but guys that my daughter has dated have shared that their mothers were very eager to assess her intelligence. Mothers of smart boys want smart grandchildren.

  • Lokland

    @Susan

    “But it’s taking an awfully long time to get those “sneaky fuckers” out of the population.”
    “The good news is that there are women wired the same way – so theoretically, all the unrestricted types could hang out together for a lifetime, which already seems to be happening.”

    They will never be entirely gone nor does it make sense for them to group together.

    An exploitative strategy is only useful if it occurs at a low frequency in the population.

    If everyone is stealing from one another theft provides no advantage and the civilization dies and/or no on trusts each other making theft impossible.
    If a few people steal then its good for them bad for others because no one bothers to check for theft closely.

    The he whores and she whores are not focused on each other because thieves don’t steal from one another but those don’t expect theft.

    • The he whores and she whores are not focused on each other because thieves don’t steal from one another but those don’t expect theft.

      Damn it.

  • Plain Jain

    Look what someone said about our blog hostess –

    “Second wave feminists like Walsh were able to have the best of both worlds. They were able to boldly declare their uncompromising feminist politics in their youth and yet somehow end up directed into both marriage and motherhood. They didn’t expect to “have it all”, but it just somehow happened.”

    • @PJ

      Stop trolling, you know that comment is about a different Walsh.

  • Jackie

    @Esco

    “Keep in mind that my mother did not even like my college GF. Not that she disliked her, she was a very nice girl, but my mother thought she was dull and dumb and wrong for me.”
    ===
    Esco, did your mom see any of her good qualities? She was very loyal, loving and extremely devoted to you, IIRC.

    You’ve had no hangups sharing how much she wanted to marry you plus what she was like in bed. And, to me, that is somehow worse than being not-so-bright but kind and devoted.

    I find myself wondering, when I read your posts, what your life would be like if you valued kindness more.

    When you write something education (like a response to SW re: credentialism & Plato), I feel like. Wow, Esco is *so* awesome! And I feel really captivated by what you are writing about.

    Do you feel like kindness is just too much of a hassle, especially when people are not as intellectual as you are?

  • Plain Jain

    “Stop trolling, you know that comment is about a different Walsh.”

    Ha! I went back there and read the whole thing and saw that it was. But you must it admit, it describes you to a tee.
    A game of golf after martinis anyone?

    😉

  • Jackie

    @Plain Jain

    PJ, if you don’t mind sharing, could you tell us why you are here? You, like many of us, spend a significant amount of time at HUS. Thanks in advance–

  • Revo Luzione

    If the predilection for sexual variety is genetic, and hard-wired, like homosexuality, then men who have that gene are also a special class and deserve special societal protections against discrimination just as other genetically different classes of human beings.

    After all, no one would consider discriminating against a black person, a Jew, or a homosexual. Players are people, too. Lest we forget.

    Here’s to the “Genetic Player Protection Act of 2013.” The double entendre in its name also indicates that it will offer these men free condoms, just like women get free birth control under Obamacare. Parity: achieved.

    We can ask Congressional Representative Mark Sanford to sponsor the bill. The fact that he won the election, against a Colbert nonetheless, means that we have a pretty good shot of getting this bill passed. Players! Contact your congressional representatives immediately. Make sure to neg them gently when you call, do a brief backturn, and then run some comfort before you escalate. Namaste!

    • If the predilection for sexual variety is genetic, and hard-wired, like homosexuality, then men who have that gene are also a special class and deserve special societal protections against discrimination just as other genetically different classes of human beings.

      You’ve actually hit on something here that’s going to be an enormous challenge for society in the next century. The day is not far off when we’ll be able to identify an Adam Lanza or Tamerlan based on DNA alone. Allowing for the possibility that environment plays a role, we’ll still be faced with cases where the odds of mass murder by an individual are extremely high.

      Today some women have double mastectomies while they’re healthy because they learn from genetic testing that their odds of getting breast cancer are close to 100%. Once we learn about genes and behavior, we’re going to have some very difficult ethical choices to make.

  • Escoffier

    Jackie,

    She was a very kind girl.

    In the end, however, my mother was right. She was not right for me.

    For myself, I make an effort to be kind, but I do value probity more.

  • Sai

    You lot know I have no use for players… but I’d want to see a LOT more research before turning a guy away just because of something they found in his DNA. There are already enough factors people can’t control…

    I suggest you watch the movie Gattaca.
    I knew somebody would say this. I just didn’t know it would be #2. XD

  • Anacaona

    Oh some data behind my observations. I should feel validated but somehow I’m not, is like things are harder for some people by virtue of their blood and maybe I should be more compassionate for winning the genetic lottery. Need to ponder my position on this. Of course I’m still not sleeping with any of them EWWWW.

    Mothers of smart boys want smart grandchildren.
    I think it might me one of those evolutionary things. The smarter or more educated the mother the more likely the children will survive and thrive is the Smart Daughter in love thesis :p

    • is like things are harder for some people by virtue of their blood and maybe I should be more compassionate for winning the genetic lottery. Need to ponder my position on this. Of course I’m still not sleeping with any of them EWWWW.

      It’s true that people not wired for monogamy “can’t help it.” But how would forcing them into it show empathy? Note that the post doesn’t describe players sitting around saying “I wish I had a girlfriend.” These guys are using strategies 1-5 to keep their single status. This is the way they want it. More sex, less cuddling! If we pity them, we’re projecting.

  • tilikum

    PJ is here because like the majority of psych majors, she is trying to cure her disease.

  • Plain Jain

    Revo,
    “If the predilection for sexual variety is genetic, and hard-wired, like homosexuality, then men who have that gene are also a special class and deserve special societal protections against discrimination just as other genetically different classes of human beings.”

    – Who’s discriminating against players? They are free to try and ply their trade. Many women are willing to play right along with them.

    “After all, no one would consider discriminating against a black person, a Jew, or a homosexual. ”

    – You’ve not been exposed to the Manosphere yet, have you?

    • “After all, no one would consider discriminating against a black person, a Jew, or a homosexual. ”

      – You’ve not been exposed to the Manosphere yet, have you?

      LOL, he’s a regular. His feelings are hurt by the post.

  • Jackie

    @Esco

    Re: Kindness vs Probity

    Esco, why would one have to preclude the other?

    I mean, if you are going to hold yourself up as this impeccable paragon of morality, wouldn’t it be best to be telling the truth in kindness? If you wanted to have your words to actually have some effect, you know? Otherwise, aren’t you just kind of shouting into the wind, “told-you-so’ing” and wasting your breath?
    ===
    Esco, I think I got some insight into your thought process and you can tell me if I’m wrong:

    In my observation, when you write a post like cred/Plato to SW, you require a TON of backstory (pre-information, I mean) before you can even present your argument.

    Having to perennially present prerequisite info is probably frustrating to you and, also, takes a lot more time than to just throw some shade, disdain or contempt . Specifically, with a comment designed to stop the discussion.

    This appears, to me, to be your M.O.

    Do you ever feel badly about the disdain you display towards others? I ask because I experienced something similar today: I was *beyond* frustrated with someone who could just not “get it.” It was like my patience had been burned up to a little crisp. I wanted to say or do something to 1) vent my anger and 2) make it all JUST. STOP. and go away.

    (Interestingly, I wasn’t very happy and I didn’t like myself very much in the middle of all this.)

    I wonder if you have self-selected to be surrounded by “get its” for so long that your “patience muscle” (for lack of a better term) is atrophied? Anyway, I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts on the subject, Esco. Peace–

  • Passer_By

    @susan

    Good post! I think this is the whole K vs. R thing. I can never remember which is which. Sort of like being “on the wagon” or “off the wagon” – can never remember which one means you’re sober and which one means you’re binge drinking.

    A few comments (because I’m a curmudgeon like Esco, but not as philosophical)
    “4. Is blunt and honest about intentions.
    ■Declares interest in sex and nothing more.
    ■Bluntly states a lack of interest in a relationship.
    ■Lets the person know he’s having sex with others.”

    They really needed a study to conclude that people who only want sex and not relationships often say they only want sex and not relationships?

    “I think the more worrisome thing, from a female perspective, is that a guy wired for polygyny is very unlikely to be satisfied with you over time. You can’t win.”

    Maybe, but I wouldn’t assume that guys who respond strongly to pair bonding aren’t wired for polygyny. They would just enjoy pair bonding in LTRs with multiple women at once. Even the restrictive guys around here have (I believe) acknowledged that they could be down with that.

    The guys who don’t respond to pair bonding are just of the “hit it and quit it” mentality (or hit it 20 times and quit it).

    • @Passer By

      They really needed a study to conclude that people who only want sex and not relationships often say they only want sex and not relationships?

      Haha, I thought the same thing. I guess they couldn’t leave it out, in the interest of thoroughness. I think it’s more accurate to say that people who only want sex are very unlikely to be that honest unless they have other alternatives for sex lined up. This would be the case with people of high mate value, presumably.

      Maybe, but I wouldn’t assume that guys who respond strongly to pair bonding aren’t wired for polygyny. They would just enjoy pair bonding in LTRs with multiple women at once.

      You’re quite unrestricted, aren’t you? 🙂

      Actually, the males whose brains lit up at romantic images the most were very restricted on the sociosexuality scale – to the extent that they reported not fantasizing about having sex with other women.

  • Plain Jain

    “Maybe, but I wouldn’t assume that guys who respond strongly to pair bonding aren’t wired for polygyny. They would just enjoy pair bonding in LTRs with multiple women at once. Even the restrictive guys around here have (I believe) acknowledged that they could be down with that.”

    Restrictive women also. Its called “progressive love” and its not just about the sex or about the sex at all, but about forming genuine relationships concurrently. Some of those don’t even include sex.

    http://www.jujumamablog.com/2012/06/02/progressive-love-tenets/

  • szopen

    @revo luzione

    If the predilection for sexual variety is genetic, and hard-wired, like homosexuality

    It’s far from certain whether homosexuality is hard-wired and gene-based. There is literally a dozen of theories which try to explain why homosexuality exists and none of those theories explains everything. Environment – well, then why gay couples may raise heterosexual kids, and heterosexual parents may have homosexual kids? Genes – then why homosexuals have been not extinct? The “nephew” theory (homosexuals have no children, but provide for their nephews etc) – cool at the first sight, but after digging through the numbers, it does not make any sense and it is not confirmed by real-world data. The “germ” theory – Is a pure speculation, and offending at that.

    @The genes and everything you want to know about monogamy
    It’s good that Mrs Walsh added the final paragraph. Genes make the risks for the population, but they do not determine the individual risk.

  • tilikum

    Kin preference is very real, but it doesn’t explain homosexuality nearly as logically as a defective gene or artificial hormones in the environment (food and water supply) suppressing testosterone in utero.

    • artificial hormones in the environment (food and water supply) suppressing testosterone in utero.

      If this were the cause, we wouldn’t see masculine women, though, right?

  • mr. wavevector

    Maybe, but I wouldn’t assume that guys who respond strongly to pair bonding aren’t wired for polygyny. They would just enjoy pair bonding in LTRs with multiple women at once. Even the restrictive guys around here have (I believe) acknowledged that they could be down with that.

    Definitely. I would want another wife if I were in a culture that supported polygamy. Or a mistress in a society that condoned that. In fact, if I could have pursued a second relationship without losing the one I’ve got, I would have done it years ago. I like relationships with women, and I am fairly sure I am capable of loving (and being committed to) more than one woman.

    But I don’t live in that type of society, so it’s just fantasy. Having a relationship with another woman would destroy my marriage, and that I won’t do. Given the chance to roll double or nothing, I have passed. The risk of “nothing” is far greater than the rewards of “double”.

  • mr. wavevector

    It’s far from certain whether homosexuality is hard-wired and gene-based.

    There are recent epigenetic theories of homosexuality that purport to explain how homosexuality can be hardwired without being strictly inheritable.

  • mr. wavevector

    We can ask Congressional Representative Mark Sanford to sponsor the bill. The fact that he won the election, against a Colbert nonetheless, means that we have a pretty good shot of getting this bill passed.

    Actually, Mark Sanford is a man who exhibits strong pair bonding, not a player. After all, he risked it all for twu wuv. And he’s now engaged to his Argentinian “soul mate”.

    Being strongly inclined to pair bonding does not guarantee a long and successful first marriage.

    • Being strongly inclined to pair bonding does not guarantee a long and successful first marriage.

      Very true. In fact, it probably indicates that any extramarital involvement would end the marriage. He’s a “one woman man.”

      I think the key point is that women should avoid men without the romantic gene. If a man does not express emotional vulnerability or create pair bonding opportunities via romantic scenes in the early stages of lust and limerence, he’s never going to.

      We have no guarantee of what works, but we can be pretty sure what doesn’t work.

  • mr. wavevector

    The day is not far off when we’ll be able to identify an Adam Lanza or Tamerlan based on DNA alone.

    We already can make good guesses, based not only on DNA but neurophysiology.

    The Criminal Mind:
    Advances in genetics and neuroscience are revolutionizing our understanding of violent behavior—as well as ideas about how to prevent and punish crime.

  • Interesting post. I can totally see in the future articles being written about on “what date should you share genetic profiles”. It’s almost like the “how many people have you had sex with” question. I think there is validity to the story, but like you said, I don’t like putting people into a box. Just because you are “wired” that way, doesn’t mean you will necessarily act on it. We can still make our own choices. The question becomes are you willing to throw the dice at the chance he won’t cheat.

    • The question becomes are you willing to throw the dice at the chance he won’t cheat.

      Well, it’s a bit more than that. There is a correlation to the Dark Triad personality traits – narcissism, Machiavellianism and sociopathy. These guys are no picnic.

      Also, these men are the most unrestricted sexually – that implies a high body count, and expresses a belief that sex and emotional intimacy are not related.

      There are various reasons why these men make very poor partners.

  • Escoffier

    Jackie, I am at a loss to understand how that story about holding hands is any way unkind. Even if everyone knew who it was about, which no one does, I still wouldn’t understand. If the story shows anyone in a bad light, it is me–not that I am particularly ashamed. I thought it was funny and that Susan would think it was funny, which she did.

  • I think that there is an important element about responding to incentives. I remember being an undergrad and thinking that 40 year old guys were just ancient. My strong feeling was that the resources, emotional and economic, that I would need to put into a sexual relationship would increase over time as my looks faded, and this in turn would drive my commitment status.

    So as looks declined, I felt that I would be like a hamster having to run faster and faster at the wheel—i.e., expending more and more energy—to get approximately the same results. At a certain point, the resource commitment level would cross a certain hypothetical dotted line and I would need to get married in order to have a romantic relationship with the type of girl that I tend to be extremely attracted to.

    So I have always felt that I would be forced to adapt to market conditions and that there would be a canary in the coal mine to warn me that I was entering a more commitment-centric phase of my life. The environment would let me know when it was naturally time to settle down.

    When I crossed 33-34 yo, I recall becoming annoyed that the frequency and type of attention that I got from women was markedly declining from the social world of my 20s. At that point, it becomes important to try to age gracefully and to dress more elegantly while simultaneously fighting the clock as much as possible through better neurotransmitter and hormone regulation, Strength & Conditioning, sleep (I have a spare room set up with a high-tech hammock and I sleep in it while listening to ambient thunderstorm sounds 3-4 nights per week), martial arts, outdoors adventure activity, etc.

    Totally anecdotal, but I’ve found that guys who have read very widely and enthusiastically their whole lives seem to maintain a youthful spirit far more than guys who don’t invest in themselves this way.

    Re: 40-50 yo guys with 20something females. Outside of really wealthy hedge fund buddies who just love having young women around and essentially pay for them, I have seen this dynamic happening with professors who, by my reckoning, are not hot alpha-physicality template guys at all. I suppose that they enjoy a status advantage that may trigger sexual competition among the captive audience of females, and presumably the profs come across as worldly and intelligent, but beyond those attributes I don’t get what the girls see in them. One guy married a student he was dating soon after she graduated, but the other things have seemed to be short-lived.

    I personally do not date or have sex with students, but I could tell some stories about their overt aggressiveness that might shock a few readers.

    • @Bastiat Blogger

      Women are strongly attracted to intellectual men. Professors have always been able to punch above their weight that way. Naturally, there’s a pecking order there too – the temperamental sort-of famous painter is going to do better than the statistics prof. However, at b-school the three profs most popular with women taught Operations Research, Corporate Finance, and Marketing, so it’s relative. (Oof, just thinking about Jean Marc teaching OR is speeding up my pulse a bit. Even his BO was sexy. I wonder what he’s doing now.)

  • Man

    In my view, you’re better off seeking the guys who display a romantic streak. Whether it’s remembering the day you met, planning “pair bonding” moments, or generally demonstrating affection, rewarding those behaviors is an excellent way to filter in guys who are capable of monogamy. Of course, if you’re the kind of girl who likes good looking narcissist assholes who don’t bond, go for it. I wish you all the best. Just know what you’re getting into.

    +1 I just would add that usually women know what they’re getting into because they have a lot of resources to gauge whom they’re dealing with. A lot of them plan life into stages, sort of having a lot of fun and excitement when young and beautiful and then make the transition or settling down when getting old and less beautiful.

    True, but it’s very interesting that for some men, images of people in love “do nothing for me,” while other men get “turned on” by that. I’d much rather marry the latter type of man.

    If the latter type describes your husband you probably have a high natural EI, which really seems to be the case from your article on the failed splitting the life strategy. I know that there is a distinctive difference with regard to women too: some seem to have a natural high EI and are more inclined to choose bonding inclined males. I actually know two stunningly beautiful and feminine ones who fit into this category. Others prefer to play games, the excitement of the competition, the challenge of taming the wild horse, etc. This gives them more pleasure than romantic bonding, which they deem boring, old fashioned, etc. If they fail along the process then they resort to victimization, complaining, male shaming, etc.

    The good news is that there are women wired the same way – so theoretically, all the unrestricted types could hang out together for a lifetime, which already seems to be happening. That keeps poor marriage prospects out of the marriage market – those men don’t even have to consider marrying in order to get sex.

    I don’t know if this is good news, but I think that nowadays it’s quite easy for both men and women identify guys with dysfunctional behavior, simply observing their history, family background, circle of friends, etc.

    It’s true that people not wired for monogamy “can’t help it.” But how would forcing them into it show empathy? Note that the post doesn’t describe players sitting around saying “I wish I had a girlfriend.” These guys are using strategies 1-5 to keep their single status. This is the way they want it. More sex, less cuddling! If we pity them, we’re projecting.

    Exactly. Trying to convert them through empathy is co-dependence at the least (serious self-esteem issues) or indicative of very, very low EI (and IQ too).

  • Erik L

    @Susan- you misunderstand. I don’t mean extinction as in the trait will disappear from humans. I mean the findings of the study are subject to extinction and will not be reproduced in future studies. This is remarkably common in science and especially in social science. A really interesting result is touted and tweeted. No one ever bothers to try to reproduce the original experiment. Often (maybe even usually) when people try they find that the results get weaker and eventually disappear.

    I’m saying, just because you see something cool sounding from a legit scientific journal, don’t assume it will remain true. You should be very suspicious of results that are meaningful to you, whether they reenforce an existing belief, or provide opportunity to take (illusory?) action to control your life, or even because they just plain make you angry.

    • You should be very suspicious of results that are meaningful to you, whether they reenforce an existing belief, or provide opportunity to take (illusory?) action to control your life, or even because they just plain make you angry.

      Oh, I agree! This is a trap that all humans fall into. There’s rampant bias in all of us.

      Re the results not being duplicated, I cited three separate studies in the post. They’re not identical, but all conclude that we’re genetically predisposed to certain styles of relationships. I don’t find that the least bit surprising, bias or no.

  • Man

    I don’t get what the girls see in them. One guy married a student he was dating soon after she graduated, but the other things have seemed to be short-lived. I personally do not date or have sex with students, but I could tell some stories about their overt aggressiveness that might shock a few readers.

    The first feminist woman (Eve) is the mother of all prostitutes. It’s all about gaining power, status, prestige, money, sadistically causing envy in other women and showing them that they are sexual goddesses… and, in this case, also getting higher grades, using their looks, pussy, ass and mouth as currencies.

    A man’s weakness: Lust
    A woman’s weakness: Arrogance

  • SayWhaat

    Re: homosexuality, I think there was a study somewhere that found that the bio mothers of gay men were highly fertile and so probably the embryo was exposed to higher-than-normal levels of estrogen.

  • Lokland

    @Susan

    “Damn it.”

    They (we) will forever remain a part of the human race (assuming they are smart enough to stop taking the pill or have an oops pregnancy).

    Detection and prevention is a better strategy.

    “Once we learn about genes and behavior, we’re going to have some very difficult ethical choices to make.”

    We’re a society of care bears. Environment plays a large role in all behavioural traits (approximately 50%).

    Prevention of those traits will be a far more likely case than breeding them out. (Or drugs, we really seem to like paying for drugs…here is your daily monogamy pill.)

  • SayWhaat

    presumably the profs come across as worldly and intelligent

    Ding ding ding!!!

    The allure usually fades once they graduate and enter the real world.

  • SayWhaat

    But I don’t live in that type of society, so it’s just fantasy. Having a relationship with another woman would destroy my marriage, and that I won’t do. Given the chance to roll double or nothing, I have passed. The risk of “nothing” is far greater than the rewards of “double”.

    WV, suppose you lived in a fantasy society where polygamy/affairs were not looked down upon, and no punitive legal system. BUT, you know that it would destroy your wife if you did pursue another woman. Nothing is holding you back besides her.

    Would you still do it?

  • Sam

    PJ (1) – “Got this far and thought, “just because a brain lights up to a romantic bonding scene in addition to a sexual scene doesn’t indicate monogamy.”

    And the one sentence you left out that fell right between the sections you quoted was:
    —>>>These responses correlated to the men’s descriptions of their own sociosexuality on the restricted to unrestricted scale. <<<—

    I think this would reasonably indicate a monogamous trend. Of course there are always exceptions and people make mistakes, but its all about general patterns, not universalities.

    ——

    If you are a woman looking for this kind of man wired for monogamy/restricted, what this article has to say is why there is no benefit to sexualizing yourself or trying to sell yourself or tempt a guy with your sexuality at all in the early stages of acquaintance. You don't need to do this, we know darn well the sex side of things is there and will only add cherries on top in due course, you are far better off in my eyes if you do not do it at all. I am far more attracted to mature women with class and femininity, and the ones who do not need to rely on their sexuality to get and hold male attraction, which as I see it is crass, base, a desperate last resort that will work to attract any man – just as this study indicated. Get man who like you for who you are, and THEN blow his mind with your jedi bed tricks, because any man will fall for your jedi bed tricks, but even those get old after a while if thats all you have going between you.

    When girls do play the sex/sexual card (that is being sexually suggestive in dress, action, or speech), it is generally uncomfortable, unsavory, and it certainly doesn't make me feel special because the main concern (read: red flag) running through my little noggin is that you do this with everyone (which is not always the case and makes it difficult, I know I sometimes even push my boundaries of appropriate flirting and risk such a judgment when I meet someone I have really good chemistry with, so tread carefully). That judgement is very real and very hard to undue, I promise you. Even between restricted, quality guys, the conversation about a provocatively clad lady has gone like this many a time:
    "Damn, she is so hot. It's ok to stare right?"
    "Yeah, thats all she wants, anyway, why else would she dress like that."
    The ONLY value there is as a sexual object. Get it?

    Remember, the most attractive person is the one who is selectively attractive to us.

    So often the fun girls out there seem or are unrestricted with their sexuality and bodies (whether or not you are unrestricted, if you seem that way, the damage has been done), but you do not have to be sexually suggestive to be fun and engaging, and if you can be as fun and flexible as these girls WITHOUT that stuff, OMG I can't even begin to describe how much more attractive you would be than these girls, leaps and bounds and leaps and bounds and leaps and bounds! It would be agony waiting for the day you wanted to "define the relationship." Get it? Please get it and be true to yourselves, I need more of you out there.

    Sorry if this is rife with value judgements, I'm only trying to give an honest opinion from a restricted male's POV.

    • @Sam

      what this article has to say is why there is no benefit to sexualizing yourself or trying to sell yourself or tempt a guy with your sexuality at all in the early stages of acquaintance. You don’t need to do this, we know darn well the sex side of things is there and will only add cherries on top in due course, you are far better off in my eyes if you do not do it at all.

      Great advice, I missed that point entirely.

      So often the fun girls out there seem or are unrestricted with their sexuality and bodies (whether or not you are unrestricted, if you seem that way, the damage has been done), but you do not have to be sexually suggestive to be fun and engaging

      More awesome advice! I know this is a trap many young women fall into. They are indeed restricted, do not hook up with randoms, etc., but their dress or makeup says they just might. This is part of congruence, and I think a lot of girls misunderstand the effect of the message they’re sending with their appearance. While my daughter was growing up we had many a fight over this issue, but I can assure you that most mothers aren’t willing to tow the line constantly. Many of her sweet, chaste girlfriends looked kind of slutty in high school. They used to all come over to our house to get ready to go out, and I’d nix outfit after outfit. I’d stand there and pronounce: Slutty! Half the time they changed into my daughter’s clothes.

  • Escoffier

    Susan, what would you make of someone who definitely has the pair bonding gene and seems quite wired for monogamy yet also seems to lack any romantic inclination?

    I would put myself in this camp. Lucky for me (and her) I married a woman who also cares nothing for romantic gestures and who, if she were made tyranness of the world, would ban all gift-giving holidays. (I have never done anything for her on V-day, for instance, and if I did, I think the reaction would be total contempt.)

    Before you concluded that we are like Sarek and Amanda, I will say that she is quite affectionate and does want attention. She will occasionally complain that I am being too Vulcan, and I do my best to meet her halfway.

    • @Escoffier

      Susan, what would you make of someone who definitely has the pair bonding gene and seems quite wired for monogamy yet also seems to lack any romantic inclination?

      I don’t know what to make of it! I suspect that you are romantic, just not in a “big gestures” kind of way. For example, if you prefer sex with a big dose of emotional intimacy, that’s romantic. I don’t think it says anything that you don’t like holding hands (Mr. HUS and I rarely do it either, he’s too tall and I feel like a little kid). I think the more important question is whether you desire closeness, or find it an annoyance.

      Based on what you’ve shared here, you’re hardly the type to employ “avoiding entanglement” strategies. You are clearly very invested in your family.

  • Riffing off of Escoff’s remarks—I am “pair-bonding” challenged yet given to bursts of grandiose romantic gestures.

    • I am “pair-bonding” challenged yet given to bursts of grandiose romantic gestures.

      Ha, that’s why you’re the most dangerous man ever!

  • Jackie

    @Esco

    Esco, I can’t help laughing my head off at the image of your wife’s contempt of gift-giving. Imagine a scene….

    A VERY SPECIAL VALENTINE’S DAY
    ====
    Suitor: Oh my dearest beloved, to symbolize the beauty of our relationship I have brought you 5 dozen roses, a champagne fountain and will be releasing live doves to fly towards the heavens to represent–

    The Future Mrs. Esco: (interrupting) Go die in a fire! And consider yourself DUMPED!

    Suitor: But…? Wha–? Huh?
    ====
    FINIS
    (Credits Roll)

  • Jackie

    @Esco

    Escoffier, my post wasn’t about the hand-holding comment– it was your “posting persona” here, as observed over the course of quite some time.

    Specifically:
    *Taking shots at MM’s masculinity. (“You fight like a girl”– and it wasn’t even a compliment. 🙁 )
    *Feuding with, oh, I don’t know, *everyone*, including me. When you said MEOW, you didn’t even mean it nicely. 🙁

    Maybe I am totally wrong, but I’ve never seen you be the first to show empathy or cut anyone any slack. Maybe being a curmudgeon is mad-fun and I’m totally oblivious to its rewards.

    I’m saying that you enjoy a level of privilege afforded to the very few and you don’t ever seem to appreciate it much or want to share its happiness with others. Or even think about other people’s feelings.

    Maybe I’m wrong about the whole thing, but that is how your reams of virtual ink from the comments here read to me.

  • Escoffier

    Jackie, I am not feuding with anyone. Sometimes I do think you are feuding with me, but if so it is one-sided. I do my best to dodge the bullets.

  • Jackie

    Esco, I’m not feuding with you! (What metaphorical bullets have I fired?)

    But what do you call the back-and-forth with SW on the other thread? And the MEOW stuff?

  • mr. wavevector

    @ SayWhaat,

    WV, suppose you lived in a fantasy society where polygamy/affairs were not looked down upon, and no punitive legal system. BUT, you know that it would destroy your wife if you did pursue another woman. Nothing is holding you back besides her.

    Would you still do it?

    No. I would not.

    The purpose of fantasy – a polygamous society in this case – is to remove consequences. Once you put consequences back into the picture, the bubble bursts. So, thanks for nothing, SW 😉

    And there are consequences to supporting polygamy. Devaluation of women is one, social/sexual inequality among men another. It is not something I wish for.

  • Escoffier

    SW took a cheap shot and I responded. The Meow thing I have explained many times.

    Jackie, as I have noted before, you seem to hold me to a unique standard here. I suppose it is flattering, even though I know I can never live up to your very high expectations. But it is good to try, so I thank you for that.

  • Escoffier

    Every 4-5 years, I give her a birthday present.

    I also cook a lot of fish for her.

    • I also cook a lot of fish for her.

      Well, there you go. Cooking is an incredibly romantic activity. Only a sensual man could enjoy it. If you give that energy to her, that’s quite romantic. (Even if she doesn’t care for the butter and cream laden sauces.)

  • Jackie

    @Esco

    It is a compliment! 😀 “To whom is given, much is expected.” 😎 You can squash us all like grapes, intellectually. If you talked about philosophy (on a level we could understand), the commentariat would be educated inside of a month!

    I guess I just hate waste, on any level.

    Also: If you look back, I am pretty much equal-opportunity mean to most guys here. I was mean to Desi and, currently, I’m being mean to Zach. (Lost causes [RIP, INTJ] I will send helpful links like finding the treasure trove of violin sheet music to Final Fantasy, Smooth Criminal and video game transcriptions.)

    The interesting thing is that Susan is WAY more generous than me, but my emoticons serve as camouflage and buffer. :mrgreen:

  • SayWhaat

    SW took a cheap shot and I responded.

    Not really. The point I was making is essentially the same as Jackie’s. You have a history of bad commenting behavior, so who are you to lecture anyone else on proper behavior?

  • Escoffier

    Really, a “history”? One incident with Susan is now a “history”? She’s over it, shouldn’t you try to get over it too?

    Anyway, it wasn’t a lecture, I made a very small point. If you want to keep trashing posters, fine, Susan appears to have endorsed the activity this case, so have at it.

    • Susan appears to have endorsed the activity this case, so have at it.

      I’m not endorsing anything! I don’t want to enter squabbles if I don’t have to. 😛

  • SayWhaat

    No. I would not.

    The purpose of fantasy – a polygamous society in this case – is to remove consequences. Once you put consequences back into the picture, the bubble bursts.

    Well that is very helpful to know. 🙂

  • SayWhaat

    Really, a “history”? One incident with Susan is now a “history”? She’s over it, shouldn’t you try to get over it too?

    That was just one example, Jackie has pointed out others.

    If you want to keep trashing posters, fine, Susan appears to have endorsed the activity this case, so have at it.

    Ha! So holding others accountable for their actions is now “trashing”, is it? This isn’t such a sore point when discussing women. Hmm…

  • Escoffier

    Yes, SW, when four different women in the space of about 30 seconds used the tired old “loser who can’t get laid line”, I did say “meow” as a joke. What sort of person would do such a thing!

  • Anacaona

    Kin preference is very real, but it doesn’t explain homosexuality nearly as logically as a defective gene or artificial hormones in the environment (food and water supply) suppressing testosterone in utero.
    That doesn’t explain sexual orientation but sex drive and sexual behavior. I think there is probably a complex matrix of genes, uterine conditions and environment and maybe something else that explain homosexuality.

    It’s true that people not wired for monogamy “can’t help it.” But how would forcing them into it show empathy? Note that the post doesn’t describe players sitting around saying “I wish I had a girlfriend.” These guys are using strategies 1-5 to keep their single status. This is the way they want it. More sex, less cuddling! If we pity them, we’re projecting.
    Don’t get me wrong I pity them intellectually like I do with drug addicts or alcoholics. I would still keep them as nothing more than friends and warn any woman about trying to ‘save them’ or accept them for what they are. I don’t throw pearls to pigs.

    Actually, the males whose brains lit up at romantic images the most were very restricted on the sociosexuality scale – to the extent that they reported not fantasizing about having sex with other women.
    Wow so is not only me. Good to know I though I was weird.

    I personally do not date or have sex with students, but I could tell some stories about their overt aggressiveness that might shock a few readers.
    We are not denying that it happens we are just telling that there is usually an obscure motive. Little girls don’t dream with marrying the old king mature they dream with the young prince charming.

    Susan, what would you make of someone who definitely has the pair bonding gene and seems quite wired for monogamy yet also seems to lack any romantic inclination?
    Romance is cultural and very subjective. My husband has given flowers maybe three times tops but he hides candy for me and I randomly find them in my desk or he sometimes throw them at me. And we both hate poetry.

  • Escoffier

    I like to read epic poetry but the idea of writing a love poem makes me want to puke.

    I believe I told the story of the nicest gift anyone ever gave me (it was from my wife). Here is the second nicest, also from her.

    We had not been together long and were not yet married and I had to fly somewhere for a job interview. When I got there to unpack there was a small stuffed seal in my luggage. She knew from my stories of home that I grew up around marine life and I love seals. Their barking used to put me to sleep at night. At that time she had a small menagerie of stuffed animals named after figures in Machiavelli (including a pair of mooses–meese?–named Hannibal and Scipio), so she named the seal Cyrus. It has sat on top of my computer monitor ever since. It may be the only stuffed animal I have ever had, I don’t recall having a teddy bear as a kid.

    Years later our daughter got a little stuffed seal and asked for suggestions for a name, and I said Panthea, which she used.

    • Awww, Escoffier, you’re just a teddy bear in a grizzly suit. You’ve got a soft core under that crusty exterior.

      I forget the story of the nicest gift – refresh my memory?

  • Jackie

    @Esco

    Escoffier, a golden opportunity lurks in your path! Instead of feuding with SW, you could make a different choice.

    You could make the same point in a way that would have us marvelling at your intelligence and wit. And it would 1) make your point more meaningful 2) stop the feud. It’s strange (to me) that you are so smart and yet don’t do this.

    Right now you remind me of a sibling who is fighting in the backseat of a car on a very, very long roadtrip. (I never got those kind of fights. Weirdly enough, my siblings and I liked to stage epic fake battles that we hoped would distract fellow drivers. We also watched fellow drivers for the slightest infraction of traffic rules and begged my dad to make a citizen’s arrest. He never did. I totally digress. 🙂 )

  • Jackie

    @Esco

    Wow, it was like my mind powers worked when you wrote post #82! AWESOME 😎

  • Escoffier

    Despite growing up on the ocean, I always hated fish. My wife loves fish. I basically learned to cook fish for her. Now I like it, but not as much as she does.

    Pretty much every Saturday she gets a fish. Tomorrow it will be rouget.

    • My wife loves fish. I basically learned to cook fish for her.

      You are getting more romantic by the minute! The truth is, it’s in there, you just don’t want us to see it! (Or didn’t want to, before.)

  • SayWhaat

    Yes, SW, when four different women in the space of about 30 seconds used the tired old “loser who can’t get laid line”, I did say “meow” as a joke. What sort of person would do such a thing!

    And you accused me of misrepresentation, lol.

    That particular discussion concerned male insecurities and I don’t recall anyone resorting to that particular line.

    The women here are very in tune with the male sentiment in this blog and are very understanding of where the men here are coming from. If even they think that you’re whirling yourself into a tizzy, maybe you should take notice.

  • Anacaona

    So I have always felt that I would be forced to adapt to market conditions and that there would be a canary in the coal mine to warn me that I was entering a more commitment-centric phase of my life. The environment would let me know when it was naturally time to settle down.
    BB you should write “Memoirs of a Casanova” and we should make it a YA mandatory reading. Many girls see a man like you and dream to be the special snowflake that will send you that signal. They all fail as we know. Is good for them to leave this fantasy as something to enjoy in books and movies and not to attempt in real life.
    I also think there is a balance between SMV and MMV that should be reached before anyone can successfully have a monogamous relationship. Too much SMV and little MMV and there is not enough incentives to settle down or even the inclination.
    Too much MMV and little SMV and you fail to attract a mate to settle down.
    A bit of a balance of both and you are in a good position to settle down and be happy with your lot. Although I will recommend anyone with both low SMV and MMV to work in the MMV first and then the SMV. It seems that most of the PUA’s end up making the SMV higher and out of consequence end up thinking all women are sluts when they lack the attraction cues of good girls thus is a vicious circle, YMMV.

  • mr. wavevector

    Right now you remind me of a sibling who is fighting in the backseat of a car on a very, very long roadtrip.

    There’s a lot of that here.

  • Escoffier

    The line was resorted to.

    Funny, too, because the whole tenor of the thread was a few of us (guys) saying “Here are some things many guys are insecure about,” and the response was … over the top. We had essentially made what the lawyers call an “admission against interest” and then got accused of several things for our troubles. Which tended to suggest that the “irrational overconfidence” meme is not baseless.

  • SayWhaat

    Right now you remind me of a sibling who is fighting in the backseat of a car on a very, very long roadtrip.

    There’s a lot of that here.

    And it’s mostly from middle-aged men! Funny, they even run to Mom (Susan) when they want it to quit. 😛

  • Jackie

    @Esco
    #93 🙁

    It was good while it lasted. Guess my psychic powers are back on the fritz. 🙁

  • SayWhaat

    Funny, too, because the whole tenor of the thread was a few of us (guys) saying “Here are some things many guys are insecure about,” and the response was … over the top.

    And from the other POV, a LOT of guys were getting really emotional and the girls were saying, “whoa, calm down, you’re frightening yourself for no reason.” Which was met with an even greater emotional response.

    Meh. Agree to disagree.

  • Emily

    >> ” Many of her sweet, chaste girlfriends looked kind of slutty in high school. They used to all come over to our house to get ready to go out, and I’d nix outfit after outfit. I’d stand there and pronounce: Slutty! Half the time they changed into my daughter’s clothes.”

    That’s impressive that you were able to do this while maintaining your status as the “cool” mom. I think there are a lot of mothers out there who could learn from you.

    • That’s impressive that you were able to do this while maintaining your status as the “cool” mom.

      I’m not sure how that happened. I was very irreverent, which helped. And not easily shocked – I didn’t judge them as sluts, just suggested that was the vibe they were giving off. Also, I gave them a ton of praise and reinforcement when they got it right.

      I think they actually wanted limits set – they were only around 16-17 at the time. They were disappointed none had been, and they felt a little out of control.

  • mr. wavevector

    And from the other POV, a LOT of guys were getting really emotional and the girls were saying, “whoa, calm down, you’re frightening yourself for no reason.” Which was met with an even greater emotional response.

    “Calm down, you’re frightening yourself for no reason” is rarely the right answer to someone who’s upset – of either sex.

  • Doc

    @BB
    “40-50 yo guys with 20something females.”

    The advantage of 20 something females is they aren’t looking for anything serious, and if you have a life-style that brings you into contact with a lot of them, it tends to just be easier to move around enjoying what’s available to you, and let’s be honest they look better. Universities are excellent places for this type of dynamic and if you do things which young women tend to be drawn to, they are readily available.

    I’ve never really hit the point of diminishing returns since I’ve tended to get involved in different things, and each has pluses and minuses when it comes to meeting women. I doubt that I will ever marry – mostly because the odds are so poor, and the laws are draconian. So as a man, you really have to be poor at math to even consider it. Of course, having children is completely separate from marriage – except that you have to consider “where” and the legal implications of such a decision.

    I would say that the legal aspects of relationships, (e.g., taxes, alimony, child-support) has the largest negative impact today – so even if a man tends to want a relationship – a cost benefit analysis argues against it. Of course being male – you don’t have that reproductive-clock counting down like women do, so it’s a lot easier to “wait and see”…

    • I would say that the legal aspects of relationships, (e.g., taxes, alimony, child-support) has the largest negative impact today – so even if a man tends to want a relationship – a cost benefit analysis argues against it.

      Doc, I bet you’re a double whammy RS3 334 kind of guy, amirite?

      The problem with your C/B is that you don’t perceive the same benefits to marriage that most men do.

  • Escoffier

    SW, I suppose we are on the verge of re-hashing the whole debate, but the question of whether the underlying reason was sound was fraught for many reasons. And beyond that, on another level, it didn’t matter to the main point. Which was that, here was something a lot of guys FEEL and can’t help feeling–not something they go around seeking to feel–whatever the final rational truth may be in this or that case.

    It’s just info on a certain aspect of the male psyche, of which you can make what you will. Seems to me that it’s better to know what it is and how it works than not to know. And, if your conclusion is that you don’t want a guy who has or has ever had this feeling, then it’s still useful–even essential–to know what it is and how it works.

    • Which was that, here was something a lot of guys FEEL and can’t help feeling–not something they go around seeking to feel–whatever the final rational truth may be in this or that case.

      Fair enough. I agree that it’s useful for women to understand and anticipate this. Just as it may be useful for men to understand that we see it very differently. I think it’s fair to say that the whole Price Discrimination thing had never occurred to a single female commenter here. Nor have I ever heard a woman speak of it as a strategy.

  • Escoffier

    “Nor have I ever heard a woman speak of it as a strategy.”

    No, I would not expect this, because I don’t believe it is actually a “strategy.” It’s far more subconscious than that.

  • Anacaona

    I’d stand there and pronounce: Slutty! Half the time they changed into my daughter’s clothes.
    Heh my favorite thing to do to my mom was asked her if I looked like a slut after doing my make up/clothes. She said YES! and I will answer GOAL REACHED! and leave. 🙂

    • @Ana

      She said YES! and I will answer GOAL REACHED! and leave.

      Haha! Those must have been your wild days – I didn’t know you’d had those!

  • Heh my favorite thing to do to my mom was asked her if I looked like a slut after doing my make up/clothes. She said YES! and I will answer GOAL REACHED! and leave.

    LOL, I definitely do that. I aim for high end escort in general when it comes to night time socializing dressing. It just means you’re sexy but no vulgar.

  • mr. wavevector

    I think it’s fair to say that the whole Price Discrimination thing had never occurred to a single female commenter here. Nor have I ever heard a woman speak of it as a strategy.

    No, I would not expect this, because I don’t believe it is actually a “strategy.” It’s far more subconscious than that.

    I disagree with both of you. Women are conscious of the behavior that we call “price discrimination”. Furthermore, they do speak of it as a strategy. But they call it by another name and conceive of it very differently – something that puts them in a favorable light.

    They call it “reformed”.

    A woman who has given it up easily to cads does not see herself charging the nice man she wants to marry a higher price. Not at all. She’s matured, learned from her mistakes, and has improved her behavior. She’s not like that any more.

    Both perspectives contain an element of truth. She may very well have learned and changed. But the nice man is still having to pay for what she gave away before.

  • Man

    Which was that, here was something a lot of guys FEEL and can’t help feeling–not something they go around seeking to feel–whatever the final rational truth may be in this or that case… It’s far more subconscious than that.

    Are you suffering from it?

    And, if your conclusion is that you don’t want a guy who has or has ever had this feeling, then it’s still useful–even essential–to know what it is and how it works.

    All men have it. It only happens that feminism successfully shamed men (good boys) into feeling guilty about it, just like they successfully shamed good boys to feel guilty even about being men in the first place.If they feel guilty about it it’s because they are good men, i.e., they suffer because they did not choose to feel that way. It’s just how they are wired to be.

  • Jonny

    I take exception on the initimacy definition to include “Avoids the ‘‘relationship talk.’’ ”

    I think all men should be wary of this. An insecure woman will not be satisified with any answer. A sensitive man would not like the intrusion and the doubting of his intentions.

  • Man

    She’s matured, learned from her mistakes, and has improved her behavior. She’s not like that any more.

    Just a word of caution: this is a dangerous and often flawed assumption. How could you know on Earth that she regrets her “mistakes” and that she’s not like that anymore?

  • Lokland

    @Mr. WV

    “A woman who has given it up easily to cads does not see herself charging the nice man she wants to marry a higher price. Not at all. She’s matured, learned from her mistakes, and has improved her behavior. She’s not like that any more.

    Both perspectives contain an element of truth. She may very well have learned and changed. But the nice man is still having to pay for what she gave away before.”

    +1

  • mr. wavevector

    Which was that, here was something a lot of guys FEEL and can’t help feeling–not something they go around seeking to feel–whatever the final rational truth may be in this or that case.

    I agree with this statement, and we had a 2-week long discussion on this theme not long ago, with an excellent follow up post from Susan. I don’t want to go down that rabbit hole again. But let me say what I think the wrong and right responses are from a woman who likes a man who has these concerns. I can find examples just in the last few comments:

    “Calm down, you’re frightening yourself for no reason.”
    Bad choice. That is dismissing his concern as irrational. That will backfire – he will just dig in and defend his position, thereby reinforcing his concern in his own mind. And it makes it look like you are defending something he perceives as an injustice, which makes you one of the ‘bad guys’.

    The problem with your C/B is that you don’t perceive the same benefits to marriage that most men do.
    A bit better – at least it introduces the potential benefits into the discussion. But still flawed, because it looks like you’re trying to hide the bad behind the good, and it shows no empathy with his concerns. It still seems dismissive – “all these other guys don’t have a problem with it, why should you?”

    I agree that it’s useful for women to understand and anticipate this.
    Getting better! An element of empathy is now involved. A woman who is trying to understand my perspective? What a novel occurrence!

    Best answer?
    Sympathize with his concerns. Acknowledge that the things he is afraid of are real and bad and are indeed frightening. Bonus points for saying they unjust and should be changed.

    Here’s a good example: an article by a feminist critiquing women who “seem to be living by the principle of ‘don’t get mad, get everything’ ” in lopsided divorce settlements.

    Is everything about this article factual and balanced and representative? No, not at all. And I am not linking to it to start any arguments about divorce settlements. Rather, it is a good example of a woman, and a feminist at that, seeing the problem in terms of how it affects men. She is saying that this is real, it really sucks for some men, and it is unjust. If I were dating her, I would be a lot more at ease than if I was dating a woman who was dismissing my concerns and defending the status quo.

    The key thing to remember is that these are emotions. They don’t have to make sense. Put reasoning aside and empathize.

    • @Mr. WV

      it shows no empathy with his concerns. It still seems dismissive – “all these other guys don’t have a problem with it, why should you?”

      Context may help – Doc is a commenter who is strictly a STR guy, expatted IIRC, now bangs women decades younger than himself with impunity. His concerns are primarily around getting his dick wet.

      I don’t know about him, but I suspect a lot of guys who can’t connect emotionally and who are truly cads hide behind Marriage 2.0 as a justification for their lifestyle. In fact, I know that some do.

  • mr. wavevector

    @ Man,

    Just a word of caution: this is a dangerous and often flawed assumption.

    Well yes. I was describing how she sees herself. People rarely are as good as they think they are.

  • Escoffier

    Mr. wave, I think for it to really qualify as a “strategy” it would have to be completely overt in her own mind. But how many women consciously say to themselves “I am going to fuck hot alphas in my college years and into my 20s and then try to lock down a beta before I hit 30”?

    Susan’s biggest problem with this meme, I think, is the manospherical notion that this calculation is at the front of every woman’s brain. She finds that dubious and I think she’s right.

    Where she and I would disagree is, I think the script does often play out that way on a subconscious level. “My 20s are for finding myself, getting established, and having fun. I’ll settle down when I’m ready.” The net effect may be as you describe but the level of conscious intent is different. The one (key) similarity being the conscious intent not to be husband shopping until the late 20s at the earliest.

    • @Escoffier

      Where she and I would disagree is, I think the script does often play out that way on a subconscious level. “My 20s are for finding myself, getting established, and having fun. I’ll settle down when I’m ready.” The net effect may be as you describe but the level of conscious intent is different. The one (key) similarity being the conscious intent not to be husband shopping until the late 20s at the earliest.

      I agree with this. Where I disagree is that I don’t think her attraction triggers change. She’ll try to snag a guy for commitment who is very much like the guys she’s always liked before. There is no changing lanes from high dominance, high status to low dominance, low status.

  • mr. wavevector

    @ Escoffier,

    I think for it to really qualify as a “strategy” it would have to be completely overt in her own mind. But how many women consciously say to themselves “I am going to fuck hot alphas in my college years and into my 20s and then try to lock down a beta before I hit 30″?

    Let’s rephrase it as a woman might see it:

    Q: How many women consciously say to themselves “I am going to explore my sexuality, meet some hot guys, and have some fun while I’m in my twenties, then find the guy I’m going to marry and have children with by the time I’m 30”.

    A: A whole lot of them.

  • Plain Jain

    “Our wedding reception was filled with underage drinking and boys wearing their father’s suits. I danced to Top 40 with my friends; he got drunk in a corner with his. We met at the entrance of the country club just before midnight to be sent off through a sea of bubbles, to consummate our marriage. There is nothing that can kill a mood faster than my Colombian grandfather knowingly winking at the man I was about to sleep with. Except for maybe the dashboard covered in condoms, a send-off gift from my new husband’s grooms boys.

    He carried me through the door of the hotel room and immediately placed me down in a chair. If my 120-pound body wasn’t too heavy, the 30-pound dress covering it was. Rose petals were scattered on the bed surrounded by a dozen lit candles. I had never been more romanced and less interested in having sex. Was I tired? Was I hungry? Shouldn’t we have been pouncing on each other? I slowly changed into an ivory silk nightgown. When I came back into the bedroom, he was lying down, half undressed, completely hopeful.

    “Are you not exhausted?” I yawned into a pillow. “Is having sex tomorrow an option?” I asked, only half-kidding.

    “Really? You only get one wedding night, Jess.” Even then, I doubted that would be true.

    As he began to kiss me, my mind shut off. I felt his movements and I heard heavy breathing but I thought nothing, it was as if it was something that was happening next to me, or to someone else entirely. It didn’t hurt, I remember that much. Three minutes later when he finished he appeared pleased with himself and I was glad that it was out of the way. I smiled and asked if we could get something to eat. My wedding day began with my face leaning over a toilet and ended in a Waffle House.

    Then, as if Jesus were punishing me for moving on, I got a urinary tract infection on the second day of our honeymoon. I sighed in relief when the doctor told me that I should not engage in any sexual activity until I had finished the antibiotics. Seven days later, my wifely duties resumed and almost every time our clothes came off, my mind seemed to check out. I soon noticed that during those few-minute intervals of sex, my mind was focusing on something else, anything else.

    “Do you like that?” he would ask after light repetitive movements.

    “Yep,” I answered. Lettuce, milk, paper towels …

    “Are you close?” he was anxious to know.

    “Uh-huh,” I lied. Buy stamps, get my oil changed, send thank-you cards …

    This was not lovemaking. There was no bond, no sanctity – this was not the amazing sex I was promised from the pulpit. This was disappointment three to four times a week.

    Not long into our marriage, my mother coyly asked how it was going. I joked that there were some women who needed it and some who prioritized it underneath quilting. But I accepted sex as part of the gig and though it was regular, it was regularly awful for me. It wasn’t all his fault. I admit that I was not a willing student but he was no teacher, either. Our bodies wanted different things from one another, so what we ended up with was a horizontal battle. I would hear married girlfriends talk about the joys of make-up sex and continue to sip my coffee in silence. We would fight, and then have bad sex and then fight some more. Every flaw in our marriage and in him seemed much more miserable when combined with the possibility of faking orgasms until death did we part. There was no relief.

    Before we got married, I used to love kissing him. We would spend hours attached at the mouth because aside from occasional drunken foreplay, it was all we had. In our marriage, we stopped kissing because who needs kissing when sex is on the table? Me, I did. I needed assurance that some physical aspect of our relationship was working. And when I didn’t get that assurance I pinned it on myself. Maybe I was just that woman you hear about, who doesn’t particularly care for sex. She just slowly dries up until she dies alone. For months I believed that might be me and rather than try something different, he began to believe it too.

    Six months into our marriage, the idea of separating seemed more appealing than feigning headaches for the rest of my life.

    Had we had sex before our relationship transitioned into a contract, I would have known that there was no passion, no spark, nothing happening between our bodies. I would never have agreed to marry him because sex is a significant part of a relationship and therefore a significant part of our relationship was failing. With the failure of our sex life, I felt like less of a woman, no longer a sexual creature but more of a plant. Sitting there, day in, day out, wilting while I waited for someone to take care of me.

    Without having sex before marriage, I blindly walked up an aisle and committed myself to a man who didn’t know me and gave my long-held virginity to someone with whom I had no more chemistry than a second cousin.

    Soon after our divorce, he got remarried to someone who suits him better than I ever could have. And years later, I can confirm that I am not that woman who has no interest in sex. I don’t quilt. I haven’t compiled a grocery list in bed in years, and I now know that sex can be amazing … with a bartender who only knows your first name, a pilot you meet on vacation in Costa Rica and yes, with the right guy – sex in a marriage can be beautiful. The key is to figure that out before you find yourself walking down an aisle in a dress that costs more than the family car (my mother has since reminded me). It isn’t the most important thing when it comes to love. But for me, I learned that sex is important enough not to wait.”

    More here;
    http://www.salon.com/2013/05/06/my_virginity_mistake/

  • Plain Jain

    “The first feminist woman (Eve) is the mother of all prostitutes.”

    Actually her co-wife Lilith was the Feminist while Eve was the “submissive helpmeet.”

  • Sassy6519

    LOL, I definitely do that. I aim for high end escort in general when it comes to night time socializing dressing. It just means you’re sexy but no vulgar.

    Haha, it’s the same for me too.

  • HanSolo

    @mr. wavevector

    Reading that article about divorce settlements made me glad I don’t live in the UK.

  • Plain Jain

    Traditionally polygyny was a way to absorb widows and weaker women into society through shared marriage.

    Weaker meaning the ugly little sister who most likely would not fetch a large dowry or be able to attract a man on her own merits, the one missing a finger, etc.

    The men who got the hot babes and concubines were royalty. Even then they would also do charity marriages by absorbing the ugly little sister but probably wouldn’t have progeny with her.

    POLYANDRY –
    There’s a hundreds of years old polyandrous community in Nepal that still marries women off to a set of brothers to keep property and resources in one family. I saw a documentary and the family (wife, her 5 husbands, their kids) interviewed were very happy. There were actually saddened that their traditional way of life is dying out with increased modernization.

    There are also some other polyandrous communities scattered throughout South and East Asia. Even in the Middle East there is at least one town where it is common, and they are Muslims too.

    Saw the documentary.

    What is to be noted in all traditional poly settings is that they are not in it for the sex, the fun, the hot babes or hot hunks (no one in this documentary was particularly attractive). They do it for practical, even philanthropic reasons.

    Contrast that with polyamory and open marriage in the West which tends to be all about either sex or “personal fulfillment”.

  • mr. wavevector

    @Escoffier

    Continuing from the last comment:

    Where she and I would disagree is, I think the script does often play out that way on a subconscious level. “My 20s are for finding myself, getting established, and having fun. I’ll settle down when I’m ready.” The net effect may be as you describe but the level of conscious intent is different.

    I think the women’s behavior is a deliberate and conscious strategy, not a subconscious choice. I see it not so much as a difference in conscious intent but as a difference in how that intent is framed. For example, rather than “fuck alphas” it’s “explore my sexuality”. It’s the same behavior, done with the same intent (to have exciting sex), but interpreted in a different framework: the former in a sexual-economic frame, the latter in a personal, subjective frame.

  • Escoffier

    wave,

    Perhaps I am naïve but I think that “explore my sexuality” is a phrase that is close to exclusive to crazy academic contexts and the like. That’s not to say that it has no influence, only that for it to have influence, it has to be filtered out to the masses in a more palatable way.

    I doubt many girls actually think that to themselves. The net effect may be the same, as you say, but what they are thinking is different.

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    I know a guy who was in a poly-amorous relationship. He was on this blog. I think he got fed up because the girl in the relationship basically wanted to use him as an emotional provider and another guy as the fucker.

    Just thought it was a funny observation, given the topics are occurring right next to each other, lol.

  • mr. wavevector

    @ Susan,

    Context may help

    I should have added a disclaimer. I didn’t mean to suggest those quotes are representative of you or your opinions. I was using them in isolation as examples of different perspectives – so, taking them out of context on purpose.

    So I don’t mean to imply that you don’t express empathy – rather, that response alone would not be expressing empathy.

  • Plain Jain

    Nescafe:
    “Where she and I would disagree is, I think the script does often play out that way on a subconscious level. “My 20s are for finding myself, getting established, and having fun. I’ll settle down when I’m ready.” …”

    — Question: do young men see their 20s as the time to settle down and get married?

    Aunty Sue Bee:
    “I agree with this. Where I disagree is that I don’t think her attraction triggers change. She’ll try to snag a guy for commitment who is very much like the guys she’s always liked before. There is no changing lanes from high dominance, high status to low dominance, low status.”

    — Yep. We all have our “types”.

  • Plain Jain

    High Definition Beta Guy:

    “I know a guy who was in a poly-amorous relationship. He was on this blog. I think he got fed up because the girl in the relationship basically wanted to use him as an emotional provider and another guy as the fucker.

    Just thought it was a funny observation, given the topics are occurring right next to each other, lol.”

    — Hi Def! I’ve seen more than a few poly relationships play out now. The ones where the guy gets caught cheating and then suggests “we open up our relationship”…… BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU ASK FOR!

    The female partners ALWAYS got much better side dishes than their main squeeze and dude always ended up jealous. The females were jealous too, but they were jealous in the “what the heck does she have that I don’t?” way, while the guys were like, “Oh shit! He’s gotta helluva lot more going for him than I do” way.

    Mos def u wanna be careful what u ask for, boys.

  • Gin Martini

    My father would have beat the fucking shit out of me, if I ever mouthed off to either of them like that. He had guns and rifles and bows and arrows. He never hit me, not even once. I don’t know how you got away with that crap and laugh about it.

  • Anacaona

    Haha! Those must have been your wild days – I didn’t know you’d had those!
    It was more of a joke I was going to book releases and intellectual meetings discussing Balzac and Carlos Fuentes. Nothing ‘wild’ unless you consider discussing the merits of Victorian Literature wild.

    • @Ana

      Nothing ‘wild’ unless you consider discussing the merits of Victorian Literature wild.

      Ah, that makes more sense!

  • i’m glad my *ahem* “ho days” are behind me. this is why i think men should wait until they hit 30 before marrying. most men just need to get the poison out of their system.

    as a single guy, i CAN excersize all my options, but i prefer to be in a committed relationship.

  • mr. wavevector

    The female partners ALWAYS got much better side dishes than their main squeeze and dude always ended up jealous.

    That’s what I would expect, especially if the couple is under 30, where the female SMV is particularly high. A woman who wants something on the side is more likely to find a high value partner. A lot of SMV guys are happy to spread the love, while high SMV women tend to be more selective than low SMV women.

    Polyamory and polygamy benefit the top guys and the hypergamous girls, while the rest pay the price.

  • mr. wavevector

    @ Sue,

    Where I disagree is that I don’t think her attraction triggers change. She’ll try to snag a guy for commitment who is very much like the guys she’s always liked before. There is no changing lanes from high dominance, high status to low dominance, low status.

    It may be true that women who have a clear “type” they are attracted to tend to stick with that type. But I know women who don’t have a clear type and need to learn from experience. I’ve seen several women date an arrogant jerk for a short while when young, date a “nice guy” wimp after that, and end up with a good well balanced man in the end.

    I suppose the guys they end up with could be paranoid about “price discrimination” and “changing lanes” and “alpha fux / beta bux”, because the behavior of these women could be forced into those templates. Or they could just assume that they’re better men than those other guys and not worry about it.

    One of the deficiencies of the manosphere concept of masculinity is its obsession with dominance/status hierarchies. Dominance is an important element of male fitness but it is far from the only one. A woman has to balance that attribute against others when choosing a mate. It may take some experience to get the right balance. But often the women who look for that balance make better matches in the long run than those who are stuck on one type and won’t change.

    • @mr. wv

      I suppose the guys they end up with could be paranoid about “price discrimination” and “changing lanes” and “alpha fux / beta bux”, because the behavior of these women could be forced into those templates.

      It it precisely that forcing that I constantly argue against. There are no templates. Women don’t even know what alpha and beta are. There’s a huge amount of randomness to it – you meet a guy, you get acquainted, familiarity breeds attraction, etc. Most women don’t have a physical or even behavioral type. The exception would be extremely hypergamous women, the ones who openly admit they always go for the “wrong” guys – guys they are well aware will not commit.

      Those women never seem to learn any lessons. I think a much more common scenario is that a girl gets burned by a cad or two before she’s twenty – that may or may not have included sex – and she then gets a lot more cautious and selective about character. The data on hooking up (primarily freshman year) and college relationships (half the student body at any one time) appears to confirm this.

  • mr. wavevector

    @ PJ,

    Question: do young men see their 20s as the time to settle down and get married?

    For those who are the marrying type, yes – either late 20’s or early 30’s. But they primarily view it not as “settling down and getting married” but as establishing themselves – going to grad school, establishing a careers, getting promoted, moving jobs and/or location for better opportunities, saving some money, possibly buying a house. Along the way they’re in LTRs, and they’re starting to think about getting married. Then they find a woman who has what they’re looking for in a woman and they know that she’s “the one”. So they pursue her without ambivalence because they know what they want, and they want her.

    The men I know who follow this path don’t look on their 20’s as an exception or a free pass to the rest of their lives – they look at it as the time where they work on becoming the men they want to be.

  • Lokland

    @Sue

    “Where I disagree is that I don’t think her attraction triggers change. She’ll try to snag a guy for commitment who is very much like the guys she’s always liked before. There is no changing lanes from high dominance, high status to low dominance, low status.”

    Why would you assume this?
    Anecdata? The manosphere could provide some in the opposite.

    Evopsych would lend credence to the idea that women have STRs with men of higher value (physically) than themselves and lower value (physically) than themselves for LTRs.

    Merely the trade off between the two strategies.

    What is the reasoning behind your POV?

    • @Lokland

      Why would you assume this?
      Anecdata? The manosphere could provide some in the opposite.

      First, my own anecdata is far more credible (to me) than anonymous online reports. I can say as a woman of 56 that I have never changed lanes, never seen another woman my own age change lanes, never seen or heard of a young woman change lanes. In contrast, I have known many women who dated and ultimately married good guys, and a smaller number of women who have dated assholes again and again. Some of them ultimately married assholes, and you can bet those are the marriages that end with his infidelity.

      Second, the data simply does not support the claim that many women marry men they are not attracted to. It’s not in the marriage or divorce data. There is some data that suggests men are more likely to do this.

      Third, women no longer need “beta bux.” Once you remove the financial incentive, you’re left with the stigma of being unmarried as the only reason to marry a guy you’re not attracted to. That’s decreasing rapidly, and will continue to do so as the number of unmarried women grows. There was a time when women married men they didn’t love – like musical chairs, they grabbed who was left standing at the end. But those social dynamics are long gone.

      Evopsych would lend credence to the idea that women have STRs with men of higher value (physically) than themselves and lower value (physically) than themselves for LTRs.

      Merely the trade off between the two strategies.

      The sexual strategies theory is controversial even within evo psych. Increasingly, the research focuses on unrestricted vs. restricted sociosexuality, and indicates people are very likely to be consistent in that regard. In fact, this post is an example of several studies looking at behavior according to hardwired characteristics.

      Just as there are cads and dads, and they don’t change their stripes, there are “moms and sluts.”

  • Rickenbacker

    @Sue
    “If this were the cause, we wouldn’t see masculine women, though, right?”

    The body strives to maintain homeostasis when facing outside changes. When estrogen-similar compounds are introduced in the body one of the ways it tries to counteract their effects is by increasing testosterone production.

    If these compounds are just molecularly similar enough to trigger this response but not enough to give an feminizing effect on the body, which is quite common since they’re an unwanted uncontrolled by-product of most modern production, you’ll end up with a skewed estrogen/testosterone ratio and correspondingly increased masculine physical traits.
    And when this happens to a fetus or child whose body hasn’t developed a robust mature system to deal with fluctuating hormonelevels yet, well….things can get real ugly real fast.

    There is, and have been for a very long time, a chemical cocktail brewing in our bodies with ingredients from many different sources that no one can accurate gauge the long term effects of that is changing our very nature. Both body and mind.

    • @Rickenbacker

      Thanks for that explanation, I think. That sounds very scary. Since I am utterly powerless to change it, I’m going to enjoy my ignorance as long as I can.

  • mr. wavevector

    @Susan,

    Those women never seem to learn any lessons. I think a much more common scenario is that a girl gets burned by a cad or two before she’s twenty – that may or may not have included sex – and she then gets a lot more cautious and selective about character. The data on hooking up (primarily freshman year) and college relationships (half the student body at any one time) appears to confirm this.

    Yes, this is the scenario that I was describing too. I also see women make the opposite error – get in LTRs with a “nice guy” who is too diffident, unassertive or passive aggressive to satisfy her. On the other hand, I’ve seen those timid men (whom the manosphere loves to deride as hopeless losers) find their match with timid women who find the more aggressive, dominant men too scary.

  • Richard Aubrey

    WRT dress:
    Men, or boys, think women make a conscious, well-thought-out choice when they reach into the closet. After all, there are mirrors, right? If her top emphasizes her bust, she must be wanting to emphasize her bust. As in, draw attention to it. Is there a reason to do this? Well, yeah. She wants somebody to notice, to ….
    So, it would be churlish not to notice, right? But, on the other hand, she could dress in such a way as to de-emphasize, but it’s still there. So it’s not like she doesn’t have one. She wants you to see it. For some reason….
    And, having come to that conclusion, the next question is why she wants to be seen as…..
    Well, it’s perfectly obvious.
    Oops. No? Damn.
    I suggest women who, inadvertently or not, dress to attract beyond the norm for that time and circumstance understand WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE TO MEN.
    And if they do it on purpose, some equanimity with the result would be creditable.

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    Hopefully I don’t get jumped here, but the stats indicate something that is “end-result” of a million things going on, not a preference, necessarily.

    So you could look at who college women marry and say that women are hypogamous as much as hypergamous? I don’t think that’s fair. I think it would be fair to say that most women are hypergamous but are capable of making compromises to get other things they like.

    Not trying to be a stats nit-picker! But I like to tell stories! 😛

    Overall I would agree with you on the end result but I kind of wonder how we get there and what we can glean from that. Do we have longitudinal or case studies about the relationship patterns about specific women and men? I can’t remember any specific ones off the top of my head.

  • Gin Martini

    Sue: “Third, women no longer need “beta bux.””

    Maybe not in principle, but they sure seem to in practice.

    My wife stays at home, as you. Lots of women work part time where they earn money but it’s not enough to carry the family, or, even themselves in the area they live at. (My buddy’s wife, who hyphenated her name, works in the arts. There’s no way should could afford to live on her own here, doing what she does, let alone as a single mom with a kid. So, her husband’s STEM bux enable her fun job. If she wasn’t married, she’d have to work full time at a much less fun job.)

    And didn’t you post some survey where women were mad at the husband for not earning enough somhe could stay at home?

    Gotta have those beta bux to ‘bate!

    • @Gin Martini

      Maybe not in principle, but they sure seem to in practice.

      Economic capacity is one of the strongest female attraction cues, it does get factored in. I believe most women do not see this as the purview of the beta – but as the reward for a smart, ambitious, driven male. The woman who snags a high earning beta is not “settling” – she most likely would have been rewarding those same qualities in males all along.

      And didn’t you post some survey where women were mad at the husband for not earning enough somhe could stay at home?

      The Forbes survey said that 84% of mothers aspire to stay at home with kids and consider it a luxury. I think someone else may have cited a stat re anger and resentment, but I don’t have it.

  • Escoffier

    Susan, I think you’re also significantly underestimating the societal pressure to get married, especially in the UMC it can be overwhelming. And if you want a kid, it is simply required.

    Plus, to the extent that the pressure is parental, who are mom&dad going to be more pleased to see Jenny bring home? A nice beta with a good, stable job or rockbanddrummer?

    There definitely is pressure, both to get married and on whom to marry. How many women succumb to the pressure (v. get married when they would have anyway, to whom the would have anyway) is another question.

    • Susan, I think you’re also significantly underestimating the societal pressure to get married, especially in the UMC it can be overwhelming. And if you want a kid, it is simply required.

      Plus, to the extent that the pressure is parental, who are mom&dad going to be more pleased to see Jenny bring home? A nice beta with a good, stable job or rockbanddrummer?

      To be frank, the problem – to the extent it exists – is least prevalent in the UMC. Kate Bolick had no use for drummers, and all her past relationships were with beta types (not players, very cerebral, etc.). The typical UMC woman who remains unmarried is not an alpha widow – she’s more likely to have pursued the unfortunate life splitting strategy, and delayed serious commitment until an age where it becomes more elusive.

  • Abbot

    “Evopsych would lend credence to the idea that women have STRs with men of higher value (physically) than themselves and lower value (physically) than themselves for LTRs.”

    The former becomes a STR -only- because the dude had no intention of sticking around with a filler-girl aka your future wife

  • My question would be how a young woman’s mate selection criteria is affected when you tell her that she should be spending years 18-27 (approx.) focusing on education and career. After appropriate merit badges have been achieved, she can then, according to this script, choose between three popular options from a position of strength: 1) hardcore career focus (family subordinated); 2) softcore career focus with work-family balance; 3) family focus (career subordinated).

    So somewhere around 25 to 27, we know that husband-type qualities should be prioritized in the mate search. But what traits should be prioritized between 18-25, if marriage during this period is being explicitly or implicitly discouraged?

    From a young woman’s standpoint, it may seem perfectly reasonable to impose a more stringent and extended courtship phase on a relationship that is meant to end with a lifelong partner and provider (there is an argument that this type of woman needs a “provider/security” marriage more than her peers do because she is leveraged—her student debt load will not be self-liquidating should she decide to take the non-career focus path).

    Just as a thought experiment (I am not claiming that people actually think this way systematically, although it would not surprise me at all if some did this intuitively): you are a young alpha female and know in advance that a relationship is going to last approx 6 months before your Rhodes Scholarship kicks in and you are off to Magdalen to study, meet foreign boys with convertibles, and enjoy the deer park and the punting on the Isis. You loosely figure that pre-sex “courtship” should last 1/10 of the relationship duration, or in this case 18 days. The last 1/10—before you leave for England—will probably be very difficult emotionally, so you shoot for 80% of the relationship to be the kind of exciting, sex-filled monogamous adventure that you need right now.

    Ok, fast-forward a few years. The young woman is now husband-shopping. Assume that divorce is complete anathema to her—she plans on being married for approx. 60 years. Does she impose the same same pre-sex courtship timeline that she did for the six-month pre-Oxford disposable “LTR”, or does she now want to kick the tires a bit more vigorously because this guy might be the father of the children she is increasingly willing to have?

    I personally believe that a certain amount of price discrimination is baked into the underlying strategic logic of the “splitting” script that young professional women have been given, and that this discrimination will be nigh-impossible to dislodge.

    I am not sure that the mate preferences are evolving over time, although there probably is less emphasis on campus markers of status (looks, athleticism, elite friends, social proofing in a relatively closed environment) and more emphasis on markers of husband/family-orientation, but this would happen simply because the SMP would have changed and more information would be available to the woman about, say, a man’s economic capacity. However, I can see how the splitting thing can start to look a lot like GBFM’s “alpha fucks, beta bucks” policy description, and I think women should be realistic about how this could be perceived by men, even if it is not a truly accurate depiction of what is going on.

    I don’t think the woman is consciously trying to sexually price-discriminate. I just think that she’s not looking for a husband for awhile and that has some predictable downstream results.

    FWIW, I do see the stirrings of the so-called “male marriage strike” that is starting to enter the national dialogue. IME, it is really only happening at the margins among the young men who currently have the most SMP options. The strike is not over-determined because these guys will generally say that they would like to be married eventually, but when you push a bit further you find that their standards for a would-be wife basically converge on an heiress version of Brooklyn Decker with >600cc breast implants, a PhD, bartender and executive chef and masseuse qualifications, the loyalty of a German shepherd war dog, and a pornstar sexual repertoire. In other words, they perceive a higher opportunity cost for marriage and as a result are becoming more and more entitled, and they extend the campus social dynamics they are enjoying forward in time and believe it will continue.

    I suppose that you could say that a young woman, when following the splitting strategy, could bail on her self-improvement-oriented Phase 1 and get married at age 20 if some absolutely extraordinary man came around. Failing that, however, they would switch to the marriage market modality around 25-29. This switch may be a response to biological realities re: the female reproductive clock. Now imagine that this biological sound barrier did not exist, and you have a possibly emerging male POV—“Ok, so she needs to switch. But I don’t. Why not continue Phase 1 for a lot longer?”

    I am not arguing for or against this approach, but I think that it needs to be considered as part of a two-punch combo: 1) the college guys who currently enjoy many sexual options think that the party will continue, possibly even grow, for quite a long time after women in their peer group are ready to settle down; 2) the college guys who do not currently enjoy those same options are going to be very sensitive to price discrimination, as they at the very least believe that everyone else was having casual sex as part of a wild hookup culture bacchanalia.

    • @Bastiat Blogger

      From a young woman’s standpoint, it may seem perfectly reasonable to impose a more stringent and extended courtship phase on a relationship that is meant to end with a lifelong partner and provider

      I believe it’s reasonable and commonly practiced. A girl in college doesn’t have as much to lose, obviously. She can and will take risks by partnering with “reluctant boyfriends,” guys who get bad grades, have been in rehab, etc. I’ve known college girls who’ve done those things. One fell for a guy who was a junior, learned he had a kid by a girl he’d impregnated freshman year, and didn’t dump him, which amazed me. Clearly, she knew that she would never be in a position where that would affect her much.

      But what traits should be prioritized between 18-25, if marriage during this period is being explicitly or implicitly discouraged

      From what I can tell, both sexes get more serious about dating a year or two after college graduation. I urge women to focus on finding their life partner right away – if they meet him at 23 and date for 3 years, they’ll marry at 26 or so. That’s good timing. This will probably not happen if they pair up with a guy their own age – they would be wise to go for a guy who’s 26-29 during the same period.

      There are some women – I don’t know the percentage – who follow the “life splitting” strategy. They don’t begin that earnest search for a spouse until they’re coming up on 30.

      does she now want to kick the tires a bit more vigorously because this guy might be the father of the children she is increasingly willing to have?

      I personally believe that a certain amount of price discrimination is baked into the underlying strategic logic of the “splitting” script that young professional women have been given, and that this discrimination will be nigh-impossible to dislodge.

      I agree. Keep in mind, the woman has aged 7-10 years or so since she arrived at college. During that time, her brain development has advanced dramatically and fully matured. She is literally not the same creature she was at 18, just as the 30 year old male hardly resembles his 20 year old self. Both sexes make big changes in their preferences as they mature, and as they begin “playing for keeps.” No doubt they both bring a history of boneheaded choices and youthful indiscretions to the table.

      1) the college guys who currently enjoy many sexual options think that the party will continue, possibly even grow, for quite a long time after women in their peer group are ready to settle down

      The truth is that there are very few I-CAME types around. They’re rare as hen’s teeth! As one of them, you undoubtedly know others, but as a percentage of the male population, you’re an outlier, and only the SHB 10s are likely to resent your taking your sweet time. They are indeed facing a question of whether to settle, in many cases.

      Remember, the most successful men on campus – the top 10 or 20% – are getting with three girls per year. The guys with many sexual options account for only 1-2% of the population.

  • Abbot

    ” women should be realistic about how this could be perceived by men,”

    Note the plethora of articles, rants and diatribes puked out by feminists that attempt to ensure that women do no such thing

  • szopen

    @Abbott
    You seem to think that evolution is logical and it’s something like planned. In reality, if in the past girls followed one strategy and it worked, then girls following that strategy had more children. In other words if girls would try to LTR a guy whoul wouldn’t have intention to stick around, then those girls would have lower chances of surviving children that those who choose guys who WOULD stick around.

    @tilikum
    kin preference is real, but a) it doesn’t seem that homosexuals really provide for their kinenough to increase their chances to survival b) the math does not seem to be allright (each nephew would have what, 1/4 of their genes, so they would have to increase the chances of 4 nephews for each child they had not create.

    @Susan
    This is not just interesting question, it;s very important question.
    One of my favourite HBD writers, jayman (SayWhaat inserts ewww here) is afraid of hbd knowledge going mainstream for exactly this. Most people don’t really get the statistics, and they don’t really grasp what “higher risk” or “mean” means.

    The higher risk is just that – higher risk. It means something only when discussing groups of hundreds of people. Genes interact both with other genes and with the environment. Even if our traits would be determined completely by the genes, you would have still milliards and milliards of possible combinations and interactions. To reliably evaluate each of that combination, you would have to have hundreds and hundreds of people with that particular combination, and almost every cmobination of genes is unique. Meaning this always will be just a risk assesment.

    Moreover, increased risk does not mean much. MAOA variants illustrate this. There are at least: three variants MAOA-4R, 3R, 2R (3R and 2R are usually lumped together as MAOA-L) . A lot of research indicates that 3R has higher risk than 4R, and 2R has a lot of higher risk than 3R. On the other hands, it seems that there is a complex interaction with other genes and with environment, leading some scientists to conclude that all MAOA literature is just a garbage, since it seems that correlation with criminal behavior does not hold in all ethnic groups! Moreover, it seems that effects were mediated by IQ – one guy I read suggested that maybe it was “low IQ guys with this genes: criminals, high iq – firefighters, policemen, commandoes”.

    Why this is important? Since always genetic profiles will be just assesments of risks, reliable only when dealing with POPULATIONS, but never, when dealing with a PERSON. Just to illustrate my point and make it painfully obvious, why using assesment of risk alone is wrong: Assume that MAOA-2R variant really is linked to much higher criminality. 0.1% of whites ave this variant of gene. 5.5% of blacks have this gene. I would call racist anyone (not to mention stupid), who would filter his friends on the color of skin basis, trying to justify this by “higher risks” resulting from the MAOA studies. Wouldn’t you?

    The moral is that if someone exhibits some behavior, then it is likely that he won’t change it, since it may have biological basis. OTOH, if someone has biological basis for something, it would be absurd to judge him on that and avoid him even when he does not exhibit that behavior.

    • @szopen

      Why this is important? Since always genetic profiles will be just assesments of risks, reliable only when dealing with POPULATIONS, but never, when dealing with a PERSON.

      True. And yet the study on the RS3 334 gene found that the divorce rate was much higher in that group. Other studies have found that men with unrestricted sociosexuality are twice as likely to be divorced, and much more likely to cheat. It makes sense – if a guy or girl brings a history of casual sex, cheating and failed relationships to the table, they’re probably not a great risk for marriage. There are many fish in the sea – why risk it? Both sexes are better off filtering out such people right away.

      The moral is that if someone exhibits some behavior, then it is likely that he won’t change it, since it may have biological basis. OTOH, if someone has biological basis for something, it would be absurd to judge him on that and avoid him even when he does not exhibit that behavior.

      Agreed – behavior should be the basis for a decision, not a genetic test.

  • Liz

    @WV

    I suppose the guys they end up with could be paranoid about “price discrimination” and “changing lanes” and “alpha fux / beta bux”, because the behavior of these women could be forced into those templates. Or they could just assume that they’re better men than those other guys and not worry about it.

    I agree. We all have to learn to discern. Resentful attitudes towards these women – or god forbid, snarky comments about them”finding religion” – are not helpful to you or potential partners.

    One of the deficiencies of the manosphere concept of masculinity is its obsession with dominance/status hierarchies. Dominance is an important element of male fitness but it is far from the only one.

    Yeah, lots of women are a little baffled by this whole pecking-order thing. The evo-psych needs to take a rest occasionally. We aren’t cavemen raiding females from the neighboring tribe anymore.

  • BuenaVista

    Bastiat: “I do see the stirrings of the so-called “male marriage strike” that is starting to enter the national dialogue.”

    Under pressure, humans revert to behavioral and emotional models they acquired as children. They leave these behind with roughly the same frequency that major league baseball pitchers convert successfully to field positions.

    Also the data (cf. Chas. Murray) show that there is a full-on marriage strike now in white blue collar cohorts, who for some odd reason is not well-represented in blogs about young women navigating the SMP. But one cannot dismiss the data. I recognize that it is the position of this blog that no marriage strike is underway, though I don’t know what data that statement foots to.

    If my premise about behavioral models is correct, a son and daughter of the same busted marriage, which is half of them, may react to the idea of marriage very differently. For example, if there are multi-generational examples of women hypergamously leaving their husbands and successfully re-marrying, before dropping the family law/child estrangement anvil on their ex-husbands, the boys are going to have a very different idea of marriage than their sisters.

    I don’t think it is popularly intuited that all markets are priced on the margin, and that is true of the SMP. A rule of them I used to use, with pricing models, is a 7% disruption in demand will cause a 30% collapse in pricing (this is exactly what happened on the NYSE in 1987; trading was suspended). IOW, a blip, let alone a secular trend that reduces demand can create a market panic. Thus I suspect that people, even if they resist the Pew numbers (i.e., 27% of 30-50’s men saying they are on strike), need to consider what happens to a woman’s SMP value (more kindly, her possibilities for monogamous happiness) if even one-quarter of the quoted Pew men are on strike. There’s no regulator available to suspend trading in hopes and dreams.

    • Also the data (cf. Chas. Murray) show that there is a full-on marriage strike now in white blue collar cohorts, who for some odd reason is not well-represented in blogs about young women navigating the SMP. But one cannot dismiss the data. I recognize that it is the position of this blog that no marriage strike is underway, though I don’t know what data that statement foots to.

      Marriage is in trouble everywhere but in the college educated population.

      In the Season of Marriage, a Question. Why Bother?

      Marriage Disappearing? Only If You Don’t Have a College Degree

      Barely Half of U.S. Adults Are Married – A Record Low

      Tie the Knot

      When Marriage Disappears: The New Middle America

      I fully acknowledge that my approach to the marriage question has a sort of “let them eat cake” quality about it – I’ve never pretended to focus on anyone but the educated. I started this blog for my daughter (who is probably a lot like yours), when she got her first glimpse of hookup culture – a college phenomenon.

      FWIW, I believe that working class men do not feel financially stable enough to marry, though they express a strong wish to do so. It’s a reflection of the increasing wealth gap in America.

  • BuenaVista

    “…*are* not well-represented …”

    “A rule of *thumb* …”

    Sorry.

  • Here is another way of looking at it:

    A) Young college woman faces mate selection choice between 4 guys. She knows in advance that she won’t marry any of them and that traditional dating is essentially dead in this environment. None of the guys have much money right now, and by the time they do break out into differentiated economic trajectories she will be long gone. What traits should she reasonably select for?

    B) Young post-college woman faces mate selection choice between 4 guys. She believes that she may marry one of them. Traditional dating with extended courtship is now possible—some men are so inclined. Two of the guys have some money or at least good prospects for same, but two have been found to be rather career-challenged. What traits should she reasonably select for?

    Are the hypothetical mate selection trait checklists that are generated by Scenarios A and B the same? Why or why not?

    • @BB

      Are the hypothetical mate selection trait checklists that are generated by Scenarios A and B the same? Why or why not?

      Female attraction cues will not change radically, though it is certainly likely that as a woman matures, she will change the weighting on certain factors. This is especially true because a college guy is largely an unknown quantity – even if he’s at a great school, it may not be clear whether he individually is going to succeed.

      So there are several things going on here:

      The woman matures, and her choices reflect that. She may learn via experience what is for “show” and what is “real.”

      The woman learns important life lessons from any bad decisions, and is less likely to repeat them.

      The man changes a great deal between age 18 and 25.

      But her general profile of attraction cues is not likely to change dramatically. She doesn’t go from being highly sensitive to status cues to not caring about status. She doesn’t go from caring deeply about honesty to not caring about it. The 18 year-old who craves a relationship with deep emotional intimacy will become the 25 year old who does so. I think that what goes on is more of a fine-tuning, not a 180.

  • Abbot

    “We all have to learn to discern.”

    What do women have to learn to discern regrading a man’s sexual past?

    Men don’t have to learn to discern; its merely an option that promiscuous women pray men start doing en masse.

  • BV, as an aside, I really like the way that you organize your thinking. Erudite, thought-provoking, etc.

    • @BB

      BV, as an aside, I really like the way that you organize your thinking. Erudite, thought-provoking, etc.

      Ha! I told BV he is a hybrid of you and Esau. I’m not at all surprised – and I concur. BV is a great addition.

  • Abbot

    “Are the hypothetical mate selection trait checklists that are generated by Scenarios A and B the same?”

    Do men go through such self inflicted trauma when it comes to selecting women or are they true equal opportunity fuckers?

  • szopen

    @Abbott
    Agreed.

    BTW, you could easily destroy my argument 🙂

  • szopen

    @Liz

    We aren’t cavemen raiding females from the neighboring tribe anymore.

    Yeah, but does our subconscious mind know about that? P-D

  • Lokland

    @Susan

    “That’s decreasing rapidly, and will continue to do so as the number of unmarried women grows.”

    Who do you suppose this group of woman will be having sex with?
    Without commitment might as well have quality, no?

    “In contrast, I have known many women who dated and ultimately married good guys, and a smaller number of women who have dated assholes again and again. Some of them ultimately married assholes, and you can bet those are the marriages that end with his infidelity”

    Does your social group include no men/women unable to secure a mate?
    I can think of multiple bachelors in their 50s now who were definitely never players.

    From a guys perspective,

    You already said yourself that the number of married women is going to shrink. For some unidentifiable reason 😛 so to will the number of married man.

    Since good men make up the larger portion of men who get married it makes sense that they will be the ones not getting married in larger numbers as well.

    Which leads us back to what I said earlier about who women choose for sex in the absence of commitment.

    Which leads us back to the 50yo bachelors I mentioned. I honestly think a few of them have never been laid, ever in their lives.

    Should those bachelors now in their 50s be elated to fall in love with a woman unable to bear him children who only wants commitment after pursuing whatever it was that was more important?

    Should your average beta guy in his late 20s/ early 30s?

    Theres an entirely separate issue about a larger number of people being lonely their entire lives which is somewhat disheartening as well.

  • HanSolo

    @BuenaVista and Bastiat Blogger

    It is fascinating to think about the “price elasticity” of supply and demand for both men and women entering into hookups, LTRs and marriage.

    I think men’s demand for sex is fairly inelastic, meaning that they will pay the price required to get it, up to their ability to do so. In previous generations, that meant marriage and being a decent-enough provider and man. In today’s, environment, the “price” demanded has changed to needing more charisma, game, fame or badboy aloofness.

    Many men were slow to adapt their “product” and they acted in an “inelastic supply” fashion. Even though the price they could get for their beta-commitment behavior dropped a lot (meaning women were looking more for alphas and badboy flings in their 20’s), they were unaware of this or incapable of rapid change and kept on “pumping out” beta behavior.

    Finally, after realizing their inventory kept mounting, some beta males realized that they have to change their product. Even though free love really got going in the 60’s and 70’s it wasn’t until the early 2000’s that game started to gain momentum, and not until the late 2000’s that the amalgam blogs of PUArtistry and manosphere musings such as Roissy/Heartiste, etc. took off.

    It is fascinating to see how from 2007-2012 that the percent of 25-29 y/o never-married white women went from 39% to 47.5% and the 30-34 y/o cohort went from 18.5% to 25.1%.

    I agree that the mating market is influenced at the margins and that is why a change in a small % of the population can have a large effect on the rest.

    An example is some % of women providing “cheap” sex (usually to men 1-2 pts higher) and this makes some of these men postpone looking for commitment with women at their level. In some cases this is because they’re enjoying the pussy possy at their beck and call, in other cases because the women at their level are fucking out-of-their-league men and so they’d rather have some sex (with lower looks value women) than none at all and don’t want to commit to a lower-value woman.

    There’s a lot more to explore in this framework of supply and demand and (in)elasticity of supply and demand.

  • Man

    Actually her co-wife Lilith was the Feminist while Eve was the “submissive helpmeet”.

    Eve symbolizes the fallible human woman, with vanity and pride. The Divine Woman is represented by the Holy Mother. I would agree that Lilith symbolizes the feminist goddess.

    Just as there are cads and dads, and they don’t change their stripes, there are “moms and sluts.”

    With regard to mating and bonding potential I also think so. Both LTR seekers should avoid cads and sluts.

    “Price discrimination”: the ultimate SMP standoff. 🙂

  • mr. wavevector

    @BV,

    Also the data (cf. Chas. Murray) show that there is a full-on marriage strike now in white blue collar cohorts, who for some odd reason is not well-represented in blogs about young women navigating the SMP.

    The data shows that the marriage rate in this cohort has declined drastically. It does not show that there is a strike – i.e. a deliberate withdrawal from the market with the intention of forcing better terms. Furthermore, if there is a strike, it is unclear who is initiating it – men or women.

    There is a very strong correlation between unmarried mothers and male unemployment. Obviously the economic conditions are a big factor, possibly more than social or legal conditions.

    Are those women rejecting the fathers of their babies and choosing to go it alone? Or are those men choosing not to propose marriage to the mother of their babies based on their poor economic prospects?

    I would like to see some data that answers these questions.

  • mr. wavevector

    @Liz,

    Yeah, lots of women are a little baffled by this whole pecking-order thing.

    True, but I also think a lot of women are also not consciously aware of the role that dominance plays in what they find attractive in men. I’ve listened to single female friends tell me about the things they find attractive in the men they date (yes, I’m in their friend zone – on purpose) and I’m thinking “dominant, dominant, dominant” to the things they say. But they never use that word. I also see that women vary widely on the amount of dominance that they find attractive in a man – from almost nothing to way too much.

    I think the manosphere’s obsession with dominance is largely a reaction to feminism, which has been preaching the evils of male dominance for a half century. Like feminism, the manosphere holds some truths, but these are often distorted into caricatures.

  • Abbot

    “Both LTR seekers should avoid cads and sluts.”

    Its much easier for women to avoid high Nrs for commitment as their threshold for N is much higher and there are very few such men out there anyway.

  • Anacaona

    In some cases this is because they’re enjoying the pussy possy at their beck and call, in other cases because the women at their level are fucking out-of-their-league men and so they’d rather have some sex (with lower looks value women) than none at all and don’t want to commit to a lower-value woman.

    You forgot a third the men are carousel watching for the hot ones, thinking they are a minute away from entering the sexual paradise.

  • Han, excellent analysis as always. To add to your comment re: marginal impacts–

    I have mentioned this one here before, but… Auction theorists have put together experimental “Marriage Games” in which 20 men and 20 women negotiate in man-woman pairs to find a clearing price. The objective question is how to split an asset (say, $100).

    So 20 M and 20 F begin negotiating in little pockets of social activity. If a couple is able to find a deal, they go to the front of the room, collect their $100, and then split it as agreed. They are then considered a “successfully married” couple and leave the room.

    With equal numbers of M and F and a typical Western culture, the average split is 50/50.

    Let’s run the game experiment again and remove a single man from the pool. 19 M and 20 F now. Experimenters figured that the male scarcity advantage would cause the men to enjoy some new bargaining power—perhaps the new average split would be 55/45 favoring the men.

    Imagine their surprise to find that the removal of just 1 man (or a 5% supply constraint) led to male shares of the take increasing to a 90/10 split. It appears that if a single woman realizes that she will be left without a chair when the music stops, she undercuts the others and this starts a cascade of hypercompetitive bargaining behaviors. Men rationally learn to stand aside and remain aloof in order to let the frenzy continue and to get the best deals possible.

    The situation is arguably even worse than this for women if we consider that men may be less time-sensitive at the “female fertility margins” at which the current marriage game is being played (wherein women are told to begin husband shopping later in their fertility windows), and if also consider that more men than women would consider mating outside of the pool (men being generally more tolerant of differences in SES, ethnicity, etc.).

    Small % changes in the margin will have very serious results on the overall pricing system. If UMC women find that an increase of even 5% of the eligible men in their cohort chooses to delay or avoid marriage, the consequences may well be an extraordinary increase in felt competitive pressures among the females as they enter that stage of their reproductive windows. ((I don’t have a solution))

  • Joe

    BB if that is so, (your game simulation in comment 167) then why did I just read above about a “marriage strike?” I mean, if the benefits are 90 to 10 in men’s favor with only a 5% male deficit, why isn’t the deficit self-correcting?

    Yeah, I know about the differences between closed and open systems and the problems with simulations, but still, you’re alluding to a powerful force that’s either negated or, in fact, over compensated in real life. What could be doing that?

  • HanSolo

    @Anacaona

    Such men exist but they are a rather small %. Sooner or later, if they can’t get the hot ones they want, then most of them readjust their expectations lower. This can then play out in (at least) 4 ways.

    1) If they are not into casual but can’t get the type of woman they want for marriage then they just go celibate.
    2) Others that aren’t into casual will lower their marriage standards and get married.
    3) If they are into casual then they will dip down in quality for casual while maintaining high standards for whom will accept to marry.
    4) Lower both casual and marriage standards.

    Of course, another scenario is where they attempt to up their own value.

  • Joe, that’s an excellent q. The auction game spreads the benefits of male scarcity around equally among all of the male participants, but that may be highly unrealistic IRL. In a real world scenario, you might expect to see some smaller % of the men enjoying the full scarcity benefits, at least at first, and these men would simply be default marriage-delayers because they would conceivably be able to get much of what men want from marriage—ready sex, companionship, etc.—without legal commitment.

    This is a cynical model because it suggests that marriage is not a bombproof, bedrock social institution that can withstand all manner of shocks. Instead, it would suggest that marriage is one of several equilibria in a game that is sensitive and potentially unstable (I don’t know if that is a serviceable approach or not). So the story would be that a guy would get married because, in part, he did not want to lose the girl to another man; he would be coming from a relative scarcity mentality in which she was the prize.

    With the 60/40 split on campuses and college-educated women facing time constraints and seeking a provider-capable male, hopefully of at least equal education and tolerable physical attractiveness, from among a shrinking pool of such candidates, the power dynamics *may* be shifting and high-SMV educated young men may sense their pricing powers and adopt prima donna behavior. The theory would anticipate that these men would be less agreeable towards marriage until their demands—the 90/10 split, as it were—were met.

    Let’s say that we just write off these men and that a small percentage simply says they are NEVER getting married. The knock-on effect of this is that the men who are still willing to get married are even more scarce and of course they begin to behave differently. You change one part of the whole system and the whole system changes, perhaps in unpredictable ways.

    So the “marriage strike” at the margins may be the aggregated male way of forcing changes in the SMP and trying to get female concessions. What those concessions would be is another interesting q. That dramatic increase in 30-50 yo men who claim that they are not interested in marriage at all may be the canary in the coal mine.

    I have read that marriage rates and fertility rates are normally highly correlated and that the case for marriage/value of inviting the regulatory state to participate in your LTR decreases if the union produces fewer children (the idea being that marriage is fundamentally a social vehicle for stable and secure childbirth, not for “personal expression” or “emotional growth”). UMC marriages are already reproducing at lower than the replacement rate and demographers tend to agree that fertility rates below about 1.5 tend to become locked in.

  • Escoffier

    Yeah, I too am not sure that what Murray writes about constitutes a “strike” by men. Rather, it seems like the whole WC/LMC culture–male and female–has just decided that marriage either doesn’t matter or it’s a “nice to have” once every other element of the good life is in place. Cherry on top.

  • Zuckercorn

    169
    Speaking as an almost 33 virgin, there is at least one other option. My standards are the same for casual and marriage with the exception that I would want the woman I marry to be able to produce healthy offspring.

  • HanSolo

    @Bastiat

    Thanks.

    The marriage games experiment is fascinating. To apply that finding to the current environment we need to determine what is the prize and who are the men and women involved.

    I suspect that in the game that the specific amount of money gained was not the only prize that the women were pursuing. They also (perhaps, subconsciously) valued the actual marrying off, and I am speculating, because that was the assumed goal that all the women had there and so the desire to achieve the herd-approved goal contributed.

    The power of the herd is great. Look at what happened when the herd leaders told women to get education and value career–they did it! (At least many did, to the point of more women than men graduating college now).

    Another area is related to hypergamy, either directed at the Mr. Darcy kind (as seen in educated, decent earning women wanting a man with more than herself) or the badboy rockstar kind (as seen by groupies or the more watered down local version). Here there is a male supply-constraint and so women will lower the price to be with them. And what price do they lower? That of them giving up sex.

    With the rockstar types it’s almost explicitly understood that it’s just a ONS. With the Mr. Darcy, out-of-her-league type men, some women actually are trying to get a relationship with them. The 7 is trying to get the 9. NAWALT and so on (I actually think about 1/2 of women are fairly realistic but another 1/2 are fairly hypergamous, especially in their 20’s).

    As to marriage, there are a lot of other factors going on but it will be interesting to see what happens since it only seems that PUA and manosphere ideas have recently stirred (within the last 10 years, really) and haven’t had time to spread sufficiently and be adapted, though PUA stuff has had more time to spread and is likely starting to have widespread effects.

    My point is that for most of the last 50 years it has been more women than men leading the change in delaying marriage and switching more to hookup mode. Now, in the last 10 years and going forward, men are awakening to the new reality and it will be interesting to see in the next 20 years what happens, even if it is a marginal decrease in the number of men that want to marry or have a very-LTR.

    I think there is some truth to the meme that women just thought men would keep on doing what they’d always done (providing that inelastic supply of good or tolerable husbands) in spite of the lowering price being bid.

  • HanSolo

    @Bastiat

    Some further related thoughts:

    In a few cases, I have played the role of the hotter-than-her guy that she just wanted to have sex with and she was very happy to do so. But more of my N has come from women that were pursuing a relationship with me.

    Now I’m no Mr. Darcy but there has been more than a time or two where I played the role of a poor-man’s (or woman’s) Darcy, namely someone seen as being a very-well educated, economically successful, good hearted man–a good catch.

    There was a time, in the days of less discriminating taste, where I had sex with a good number of women that I would rank about 1-2 points lower than myself and virtually all of them had sex with me pretty quickly and virtually all of them wanted a relationship with me (the few cases mentioned above excluded).

    Overall, I would say about 1/2 of my N have been with women anywhere from 0.5 lower than my self-perceived value up to 0.5 higher, with a couple 1 pt higher as well. With the vast majority of these I was at least open to considering a relationship.

    But the other half, not really (1 pt lower than me) or not at all (1.5-2.0 pts lower). And, I’m embarrassed to admit that I did “slum it” a couple of times with a couple of women that were 2.5-3 pts lower than myself (this is all according to my perception and ranking scale). And, yes, I do have an ego in case anyone is wondering.

    My point is that the vast majority of this lower half seriously thought they had a chance at a relationship with me and in my mind I was like “are you fucking kidding me????” and sooner or later they brought it up and I told them I wasn’t. And I wasn’t leading them on to begin with false promises of LTR bliss. Over time I switched into being quite upfront about never being willing to LTR them and eventually moved away from the women more than 1 pt lower, just because it wasn’t that rewarding and I didn’t like them getting attached to me even when I told them not to.

    So, from first-hand experience (double-digit experience at that), I definitely believe there are many women that have inflated expectations of who they can get for an LTR. Part of this is due to the fact that higher-value men will have sex, flings and few-month relationships with them and they aren’t able to realize that that’s as far as it’s going to go with those men.

    OTOH, the women in my large social network that have tended to have more realistic expectations are the ones that have been able to find good partners and marry.

  • HanSolo

    @Zuckercorn

    That’s interesting to hear. Are you more on the restricted side of the spectrum? Or you’d be open to tons of casual if the women were attractive enough?

    It is interesting that even in your case, you are more demanding wrt who would be your wife, meaning she has to be fertile.

  • BuenaVista

    @163, Mr. WV: Two problems with your summary:

    First, you reference an Atlantic piece that looks at all social groups, and Murray (because of what happened to him for writing The Bell Curve) limited his analysis of Fishtown, and the white working class. In short, the Atlantic piece says that because unemployed blacks in South Chicago aren’t marrying, it’s for the same reason that working whites in Philly aren’t marrying. That’s just ideology, not analysis.

    It’s fine to describe the correlation of generic male unemployment with illegitimate birth patterns, but it’s analysis as flawed as saying that more guns create more gun crime. In fact the opposite is true, except in neighborhoods that are dominated by one or two disadvantaged social groups (i.e., *not* white working class). Some behaviors track subcultures.

    Second, I question if you’ve read Coming Apart. Murray explicitly assigns to Fishtown residents an abandonment of marriage. I don’t mind if you prefer to refer to the catastrophic decline in men marrying to “abandonment” or some other term, other than the one I use. “Abandonment ” “strike action” or “Gee, I just forgot to get married” all result in the same outcome, which we are living.

    Were I to accept the socio-economic policy angle in The Atlantic, which is to somehow restore the 1940’s industrial economy, which, btw, only lasted for the 25 years it took the rest of the world to retool after the devastation of WWII, I and you would still have one major problem. We’d need to test our hypothesis while also controlling for the social and legal changes that have occurred (since 1975) that make marriage a bad deal for men. Our study would create two groups, both with 1955 industrial jobs, but only one living under the present family law regime. So if, in one cohort, there were shipfitting jobs in great number, again, in Philly, and the social and economic penalties for men were NOT removed from the family law sphere, and THEN marriage activity were restored to just the group that still operated under the current family law system, you’d have a point.

    Also, as a footnote, your point ignores the fact that working class whites married prior to the post-WWII industrial boom. How could they have if the Atlantic writer is correct? They did so without the economic and government assistance conditions that the Atlantic guy says should be our social baseline.

    In general, people do what they’re paid to do, and don’t do what they’re punished for doing. Consequently, I’m unconvinced that the huge disparity in male-female marriage intentions is because marriage treats both parties equally.

  • mr. wavevector

    @BB,

    So the “marriage strike” at the margins may be the aggregated male way of forcing changes in the SMP and trying to get female concessions. What those concessions would be is another interesting q. That dramatic increase in 30-50 yo men who claim that they are not interested in marriage at all may be the canary in the coal mine.

    Susan and I were debating on whether millennial men are more or less interested in marriage than millennial women. She said men are, I said women. I found a Pew research study to support my claim, she found a Match.com survey to support hers. So it was a draw.

    Do you have source for the “30-50 yo men who claim that they are not interested in marriage at all”?

    I’ll add one more source to the mix:

    One in Five Men Not the Marrying Type

    What might be surprising to most women is how the men made the list. They are not the unemployed, living in their mother’s basement; they are not the guys who can’t stay home from the bar even one night a week. They are eligible bachelors between the ages of 25 and 34 who simply have a “low personal desire” for being married and have a negative attitude about women in general.

    When one out of every five men is simply uninterested in marriage, particularly when the number of women already outnumbers the number of men, it certainly reduces the available life partners for women who do want to be married. According to the study, co-directed by Barbara Dafoe Whitehead and David Popenoe, these anti-marriage guys don’t mind dating and are heterosexual, but do not want to be married.

    The marriage-phobic group had plenty in common: they tend to come from nontraditional and nonreligious families in which the father figure did not play a large role in raising them. Marriage minded men, on the other hand, tend to be raised in traditional family homes with an actively involved father figure.

    • Mr. WV

      That matches something Megaman sent me a while back. The 2004 report of the National Marriage Project classified 22% of men as hardcore commitment avoiders.

      However, it’s also a good guess that a significant minority of SYMs are the sort you wouldn’t wish on your friends and relatives. Twenty-two percent of the men in the National Marriage Project’s survey were “relatively hardcore marriage avoiders,” mistrustful of women, and highly skeptical of lifelong commitment. The years they’ve spent prowling the dating savanna only reinforce their cynicism. Neil Strauss, the author of The Game, says that during his PUA years, he saw enough lies and infidelity to make Darwin look like an optimist. “Losing all hope is freedom,” snarls the blogger at Eternal Bachelor.

      In fact, some people would wager that the Darwinian answer to dating chaos is our future normal. “I have lived in many places, countries, and cultures,” Douglas Gurney from Montgomery, Alabama, writes. “This is a worldwide phenomenon. The behavior of men is simply a response (which is actually a quite logical one) to the changing behavior of women. Simply put, men are a breeding experiment run by women. You reap what you sow—and when a man can sow all he wants and leave the reaping to others, well, why not?”

      http://www.city-journal.org/2008/18_4_darwinist_dating.html

  • Man

    I’ve listened to single female friends tell me about the things they find attractive in the men they date (yes, I’m in their friend zone – on purpose) and I’m thinking “dominant, dominant, dominant” to the things they say. But they never use that word. I also see that women vary widely on the amount of dominance that they find attractive in a man – from almost nothing to way too much.

    I think the manosphere’s obsession with dominance is largely a reaction to feminism, which has been preaching the evils of male dominance for a half century.

    The “manosphere” is obsessed with dominance because of all this alpha-beta talk and because they have zero sexual value for modern women and there is a general perception that if they are not “dominant” they will end up as lonely eunuchs. It may be true on some level, because most women do not feel attraction to common men, but I think this is over-exaggerated.

    About the idea of dominance most women have in general I think it is about she staying passive and men taking the risks (of approaching them, facing rejection and meeting their standards). A lot of men are not so willing to artificially increasing their value to meet such standards.

    Well too much theoretical talk for my taste, but what I mean is that eventually women control the rules on the SMP and the root of the problem is that they were so empowered that they do not feel attraction for most men.

  • MWV, my source is the same Pew study. I have heard that men on dating sites are more prone to give “socially correct responses”, but who knows.

    Re: lack of understanding of marginal effects. It infects campus attempts to “deal” with hookup culture, too. If 10% of students are actively having sex and 90% are abstaining, the price of sex is being set by the 10% who are in the market. I have heard administrative proposals to deal with the scourge of casual fucking on campus by having officially-subsidized, alcohol-free, well-lit “anti-hookup” mixers in which participants could enjoy soft drinks and cakes, conservative dress codes would be enforced, and sexually explicit music/dancing would be prohibited by actively interventionist chaperones.

    • I have heard administrative proposals to deal with the scourge of casual fucking on campus by having officially-subsidized, alcohol-free, well-lit “anti-hookup” mixers in which participants could enjoy soft drinks and cakes, conservative dress codes would be enforced, and sexually explicit music/dancing would be prohibited by actively interventionist chaperones.

      FAIL. Let’s hope that won’t be happening with taxpayer dollars.

      The solution is to burst the bubble of Pluralistic Ignorance. It worked with binge drinking, and it will work here.

  • Man

    @Anacaona;@Mireille:

    Heh my favorite thing to do to my mom was asked her if I looked like a slut after doing my make up/clothes. She said YES! and I will answer GOAL REACHED! and leave.
    LOL, I definitely do that. I aim for high end escort in general when it comes to night time socializing dressing. It just means you’re sexy but no vulgar.

    If you want a boyfriend, you should dress and behave more like marriage material. If you just want to play games and have fun with cads, then dress like a slut. By the way, if you dress like a slut, a lot of men won’t even approach you.

    Men judge everything about a woman’s character by her appearance and the way she behaves/looks: if she is a hooker, if she is a porn star, if she likes cads, if she likes cocky men, if she is too demanding, if she’s looking for a boyfriend/relationship and sometimes even if she’s virgin or not. The assessment may not be true, but that’s how it works before they even attempt to approach you.

  • mr. wavevector

    @ BV,

    First, you reference an Atlantic piece that looks at all social groups, and Murray (because of what happened to him for writing The Bell Curve) limited his analysis of Fishtown, and the white working class. In short, the Atlantic piece says that because unemployed blacks in South Chicago aren’t marrying, it’s for the same reason that working whites in Philly aren’t marrying. That’s just ideology, not analysis.

    First of all, the Philip Cohen blog I linked to doesn’t say any of the things you say it does. It shows a numerical correlation between illegitimacy and unemployment across the US. The author makes some speculations at the end – that’s fine, we all have our hypotheses – but what’s important to me is the data.

    Second, I question if you’ve read Coming Apart.

    I have. Murray provides the statistics, and also makes some speculations to explain them. He posits a decay of moral values and social structure due to the liberalization of society that in former days channeled people who didn’t have good decision making abilities into doing the right things.

    – Is that your point – that changes in social structure are a significant factor in the breakdown of marriage? I agree.

    – You mention disparities in family law. I agree that’s a factor too – although I’ve never seen any study that tries to quantify it.

    – And there’s the economic factor, which was the data I was pointing to. The correlation is clear, though causation is not. But there’s a lot of sociological data to back it up. Women don’t tend to marry (or stay married to) men who don’t provide.

    So we have three significant factors in the decline of marriage. What’s the disagreement?

  • BuenaVista

    @BB, #154:

    No, of course not, their selection traits are different because their *objective functions* are utterly distinct. We can’t learn anything about the time-stamped cohorts, because their optimal selection process solves for unrelated objective functions. Maybe I misunderstand the post (I’m a decision scientist, not a social scientist).

    Also, the cohort (A) can be impugned as not really being a market of any sort, because it’s only a market in the sense of a consumer (girls ‘consuming’ men) being given ‘free’ use of the men’s utility, and there is zero expected feedback (market information) being produced by having a few laughs for a few months prior to heading to grad school.

    (I disagree that anything is ‘free’, though. Smoking is a low-cost pleasure, until you’ve done it long enough; some costs are hidden and emerge over time. This is really the point of the Princeton mother’s suggestion that the girls date more seriously while in school, so that real information and reward are produced, and why the femmesphere went berserk over her revanchist heresy. College really has been a good place, historically, for educated women to size up their men; that they don’t may present longterm penalties. They’re just looking for a fun loaner car, not actually evaluating (at the cost of less short term tingles) a set of cars for fun *and* reliability, under controlled conditions, even though it meant not being able to drive one to Daytona for some kewl sexy fun).

    The longterm penalties for the destruction of the undergrad marriage test market now affect Cohort (B). Now the OK Cupid rule comes into play, in conjunction with the maturing insight of the men into what actually happens, 50% of the time, to married men. And suddenly, the top 20% (not your 50%) are the only pre-qualified males to our modern woman. Given that at least 1/4 of the top 20% would rather cut off their packages with a chain saw than repeat their fathers’ experiences, the marriage-minded women are bidding irrationally high for male attention (practicing hook up culture). There’s essentially no price being paid by the top 15% for companionship.

    It’s the same thing that will happen if we have another drought in the midwest this summer: Get ready for $12 corn. Corngrowers aren’t suddenly going to stop planting and selling corn, just because the market is throwing $2000 free cash flow per acre at them (men aren’t going to take responsibility for women throwing themselves at them.) People will pay anything, at the margin, to get what they believe they need to survive (female biological clock). That won’t be a bubble, that will be a market panic, with the Chinese and the ethanol producers (the marriage-minded women) paying absurd amounts for what they don’t want to live without.

    My view is that the feminist social reengineering of marriage over the past 35 years has broken the institution and created a hookup culture disastrous for almost all women, and any man not assigned to the OKC top 20%.

    Anecdote alert: I know a guy with an accomplished, educated urban daughter in her mid-20’s. Her mother and grandmother were Vogue models, she runs marathons, carries a p&l for her multinational employer, and she’s … nice. His advice, which caused her jaw to drop, was to think seriously about re-dating her first boyfriend, who is a short, somewhat pudgy and brilliant hardworking man from a great family (parents still married, Dad bearing few evident bad habits, a charming interest in religious life). She currently has him parked in her longterm friendzone. I think she’s dated enough 32 year-old assholes, though I’m sure it was a thrill to pick up a copy of the Times and flash a byline and say, “I’m dating *that* guy.” Oddly the thrill dissipated when he broke up with her in a text message.

    Apologies if I misunderstand the point of your exercise, and thanks for the compliment. I find your comments well-structured too. (I don’t want your phone number, however.)

  • BuenaVista

    Mr. WV, the blog certainly conflates all demographic groups. Throughout. Therefore it offers nothing in an examination of Coming Apart, which is professionally specific about its study’s sample. And it offers a political ambition, not economic history, to build context for its ambition. So we disagree about that (it is ‘analysis’ corrupted by the ideology that would give us a statist managed economy). Otherwise, peace out. See, I can post something shorter than 12 column inches long.

  • mr. wavevector

    @BV,

    Mr. WV, the blog certainly conflates all demographic groups. Throughout.

    Yes it does. That doesn’t necessarily make a statistical correlation invalid however. I do agree that it would be useful to see if bastard babies correlated to unemployed men in all the different demographic groups or not. That might show the relative influence of economic vs cultural factors.

    Therefore it offers nothing in an examination of Coming Apart, which is professionally specific about its study’s sample.

    True, but Coming Apart didn’t look at this relationship either, IIRC. Charles Murray doesn’t claim to explain every factor involved.

    And it offers a political ambition, not economic history, to build context for its ambition.

    I don’t care about that. I linked to it for the chart.

    So we disagree about that (it is ‘analysis’ corrupted by the ideology that would give us a statist managed economy).

    We don’t, actually, because that ideology wasn’t why I linked to it. I’m no fan of statist managed economies either.

  • Escoffier

    Really, you see the least amount of pressure to marry in the UMC? I see quite a lot.

  • BuenaVista

    @HS, #174: “I definitely believe there are many women that have inflated expectations of who they can get for an LTR.”

    That is definitely true, and a true cad could skate along until he croaks, merely dangling marriage in response. Feminism doesn’t help here, because it has convinced women that personal appearances and sexual ranking are the last refuge of the damned, and that “good” men will mate in order to bask in the aura of being beta-feminists. Emotional porn like EPL (not the author’s actual life experience) or 50 Shades feeds this error enormously as well. In my case I tell women the first time the subject comes up that there is no scenario in which I re-marry. They ignore it! Every one! I have never had a single woman ever tell me, “Darn, well I guess we shouldn’t go out then, because I am working a plan.” Not a one.

    Action is character, and character is fate. A man who has not organized his life and behavior to find a mate is not a match for a woman who has. And the men who wake up at 40 or 45 and decide, like some of the PUAs, that life in the hookup scene is meaningless, are waking up too late. They’re freaks, and they have none of the habits or skills to qualify them as mates. They’re as lost, for different reasons, as Katie Bolick.

  • mr. wavevector

    @BV,

    As I remembered, Murray does not address the relationship between illegitimacy and unemployment. But he does discuss marriage and employment. This is his conclusion:

    The meaning of all this is that the labor force problems that grew in Fishtown from 1960 to 2010 are intimately connected with the increase in the number of unmarried men in Fishtown. The balance of the literature suggests that the causal arrow for the marriage premium goes mostly from marriage to labor force behavior— in other words, George Gilder was probably mostly right. But some causation goes the other way as well. In the 2000s Fishtown had a lot fewer men who were indicating that they would be good providers if the woman took a chance and married one of them than it had in 1960.

    The biggest effect of marriage is that it makes men work harder, which results in higher employment among married men. But he also sees evidence for the reverse effect – men aren’t getting married because of a lack of industriousness makes them unsuitable. (He doesn’t say if it’s women rejecting men or men walking away).

  • BuenaVista

    @SW: “FWIW, I believe that working class men do not feel financially stable enough to marry, though they express a strong wish to do so. It’s a reflection of the increasing wealth gap in America.”

    You were nice to me but I am a flawed human and still must point out how in error this opinion is. Working American men have never been as economically advantaged as they are today; the physical, medical, educational conditions of a middle class family in 1965 are grossly inferior to those of a family on welfare today. Dial back to 1935 or 1875 and the conditions under which people lived, and the economic uncertainty with which they coped, are incomparably inferior.

    Yet men still married. Not now. Something else has changed, other than working men having more money and less risk.

    For it hasn’t been the economic resources of the poor and middle class men: household spending on housing, utilities and food has declined from 53% of disposable income in 1950, to 32% today. Give anyone a 40% raise tomorrow, and they are not going to say they are going backwards. Men today are more secure, have more social insurance, have better health care and live longer lives than ever before. Plus we have cable sports and drive-thru liquor stores and online dating.

    The logical flaw in your argument is that the wealth of the top 1% is irrelevant to anything not ideological, *if the objective economic status of the 99%, much less the bottom 47% is dramatically improved*. Improved, that is, from earlier times when economic uncertainty was an order of magnitude higher than it is now — and men married.

  • HanSolo

    @BV 190

    It is interesting how some women believe they can change the man they are really into, either into a better man or into one that loves her. I love the Simpson’s episode where Lisa dates Nelson and tries to turn him into a good boy. He puts on the sweater and says, “but I look like such a tool!” lol

    I suppose the beta orbiter is somewhat similar in holding out hopes for winning her over. The one difference is that the women will have sex with the man she’s trying to change while the beta orbiter rarely will with the woman he worships.

  • HanSolo

    @BV 197

    It is a key point that most people’s bitching about the economy and how bad it is is relative to astronomical expectations in the first place. The vast majority of poor in the developed world aren’t poor by any reasonable standard.

    One of the chief determinants of happiness is how high one’s expectations are. Perhaps it’s simply human nature to always want more but it seems that that is exacerbated in our consumerist culture.

  • BuenaVista

    Source for my #197:

    http://mercatus.org/expert_commentary/myth-stagnant-middle-class

    If I’m trying to decide whether to plant corn, beans — or pinot noir — at my farm in Iowa, it makes *absolutely no difference* if some guy in Santa Barbara county has the weather and soil to plant pinot. I may be jealous of the vineyard owner because he gets better weather, soil and female tourists; I have to look at my own particular circumstances, and my envy for the more fortunate vineyard owner, if I am influenced by it, paints my decision making as idiotic. So I plant corn and beans, wear jeans from Wal-Mart, and hope that some girl’s BMW breaks down out front so I can give her a ride on my big green tractor. And I’m okay-happy with this, because I’m better off than any farmer in 1965, 1935, or 1875.

    Working class guys are not the ideological baitfish of the intelligentsia, which may resent *their own* economic subordination to concentrated capital, but not for material concerns. These ideological objections to our corrupted capitalism should not be projected onto working men who know that a single divorce will destroy them permanently, financially, while denying them relationships with their own children. This didn’t happen in 1965, 1935 or 1875.

    I’m fine with hating on hedge fund guys, but there weren’t any working class men joining the Occupy movement.

    • @Buena Vista

      From the report Knot Yet at the National Marriage Project at UVA:

      So why are young people putting off matrimony so much later than did previous generations, and perhaps even later than they themselves would prefer? One reason is money: the economic foundations that girded marriage in the mid-twentieth century have collapsed. In 1970, a man could count on finding a blue-collar job that paid an honest wage, where he could continue to work until he retired on a comfortable pension. At that time, a quarter of Americans, almost all of them men, still worked in the manufacturing sector; another significant percentage were in sectors requiring little formal education, like construction, mining, or utilities. The large majority of workers had, at best, a high-school education; college was financially unrealistic and largely irrelevant to their stable, decent-paying job. By their early twenties, or even their late teens, they were ready to support a family.

      Now, this world is all but gone. Good jobs for less-educated Americans have withered on the knowledge-economy vine. For years now, men without a high-school diploma have had little hope for a stable job that could support a family. Obtaining a pension is like winning the World Series. Now, especially since the Great Recession, the same hard luck has come to those who have completed high school. In 2010, the national unemployment rate for people sixteen to twenty-four with only a high-school diploma was 24.6 percent, compared to a rate of 8 percent for the college educated.25 “I don’t see a future or an ability to retire,” Brian Haney, 31, an unemployed high-school graduate in northeast Philadelphia recently told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “There’ll be one low-wage job after another ahead of me. It’s just a nightmare.”26 Under these circumstances, it is no surprise that growing numbers of Middle Americans are postponing marriage to their late twenties or thirties, or foregoing marriage altogether, as they search for jobs that will provide them with a middle-class lifestyle.

      Jobs that do support a middle-class lifestyle require more training, and many more years of it, often in the form of college. The college premium—as economists refer to the financial edge that comes with a college degree—has grown dramatically. By 2011, not only were jobs disappearing, but the average salary earned by a college graduate was 84 percent higher than that of a high-school-only graduate.27 Young people who can manage it are flocking into college classrooms, at least for a year or two.

      …In this new environment, marriage is transformed from a cornerstone to a capstone of adult identity. No longer the stabilizing base for the life one is building, it is now more of a crowning achievement. Ninety-one percent of young adults believe that they must be completely financially independent to be ready for marriage, and over 90 percent of them believe they should finish their education before taking the big step. Fifty-one percent also believe that their career should be underway first. In fact, almost half say that it is “very important” to work full-time for a year or two prior to getting married. Some go further: 33 percent report they ought to be able to pay for their own wedding. Just short of a quarter even believe they should have purchased a home before tying the knot.

  • mr. wavevector

    @ Susan,

    You reap what you sow—and when a man can sow all he wants and leave the reaping to others, well, why not?

    The manosphere is feminism’s bastard child.

  • BuenaVista

    @HS, 198: I don’t think, with someone my age, they think they’re going to convert me or upgrade me or re-engine me or whatever. I think it has been so long since they’ve heard anyone challenge the received ideas of feminism amidst this political culture of solipsistic entitlement and totally weird emotional porn literature that there are both policy and cultural habits of non-thought at work. The facts just don’t matter. There’s total cognitive dissonance.

    We see this evidenced on the blogs or in dating. Describe the facts or mechanics of divorce with most women and the first response that most make is an irrelevant ad hominem: the “angry and bitter” shaming macro. Or, if the facts don’t sustain the narrative, SHUT UP.

    Anyway, the 27% – 8% trending up gives me cause for optimism. Most women disparage the term “feminism” now, even while manifesting many of its characteristics. After another generation of boys is sent through the school-and-marriage meatgrinder, I suspect we’ll all get back to doing what’s natural. Prohibition was repealed, too.

    • @BV

      Describe the facts or mechanics of divorce with most women and the first response that most make is an irrelevant ad hominem: the “angry and bitter” shaming macro. Or, if the facts don’t sustain the narrative, SHUT UP.

      It makes no difference to me, but I think that if divorced men want women to actually hear and absorb what they have to say, they would do well to work on their presentation skills. Imagine attending a lecture where the speaker yelled, cursed and railed for an hour. You can say that it’s only the message that matters, but that’s naive. It’s marketing that determines whether an idea spreads and finds acceptance in the larger population.

      There are good reasons why women recoil from men who seem extremely angry, or even unhinged.

      Of course, if the facts don’t sustain the narrative, then it is just venting from a highly unreliable narrator. Why should strangers be obligated to listen to that?

  • mr. wavevector

    BV,

    Working American men have never been as economically advantaged as they are today; the physical, medical, educational conditions of a middle class family in 1965 are grossly inferior to those of a family on welfare today.

    That’s true. However, a lot of research has been done on how people perceive wealth. Their absolute wealth is almost irrelevant. It is their relative wealth to those they see around them that matters.

    In the U.S., you have can be “poor” and still have cable TV and a microwave and a cell phone. But you feel poor because you can’t buy a house in the suburbs.

    This is another point Murray makes. Back in the 1960’s the society was fairly homogeneous. I grew up in a new subdivision of modest ranch houses in the 1960’s. I had 2 doctors, an engineer, a tavern owner, a mechanic, a janitor, a store clerk and a fireman as neighbors, and my parents were professors. You wouldn’t find all those people buying houses in the same neighborhood now.

  • Man

    Female attraction cues will not change radically, though it is certainly likely that as a woman matures, she will change the weighting on certain factors…. But her general profile of attraction cues is not likely to change dramatically. She doesn’t go from being highly sensitive to status cues to not caring about status. She doesn’t go from caring deeply about honesty to not caring about it. The 18 year-old who craves a relationship with deep emotional intimacy will become the 25 year old who does so. I think that what goes on is more of a fine-tuning, not a 180.

    This is a very important factor for men to consider. Perhaps you could expand this further in a new article? And also possibly debunk some of men’s “pluralistic ignorance” (as you or women view it).

  • Richard Aubrey

    HanSolo
    When Reagan’s policies were improving the economy (“they’re not calling our policies ‘reaganomics’ any longer), CBS did what it could with a film called “People Like Us” featuring a supposedly homeless guy named Bill. Went through all the difficulties facing the ordinary people under the fascist reign of Reagan.
    It was for international distribution.
    Turns out, after the fall of the USSR, that the Russians who’d seen it thought that moving to the US and becoming poor was a hell of an improvement.
    “The poor and elderly have to eat cat food.”
    “Wait. They have special food for cats?”
    It’s all about perspective, I guess.

  • Gin Martini

    BB-HS-BV

    Some excellent stuff there, especially with the price disruption. Almost like HUS conversations of old. Now go away, you icky old men! This blog is for gurlz.

    • @Gin Martini

      Almost like HUS conversations of old. Now go away, you icky old men! This blog is for gurlz.

      That’s not fair. All three of the men you mentioned are reasonable, rational and civil debaters. No snarky throwaway lines like this one. If you miss the angry old guys, I daresay you know where to find them.

  • mr. wavevector

    In the Season of Marriage, a Question. Why Bother?

    ROFL. Here’s every manosphere meme in four paragraphs:

    “Why would you want to be in a stable relationship with somebody who is unstable?” asked Ketny Jean-Francois, a never-married 30-something from the Bronx who has supported her 3-year-old son on her unemployment check and food stamps since leaving her job as a security guard a year ago. “It’s a myth that all women want to marry.”

    Ms. Rudolph has sworn off blue-collar men. For a man to be marriage material, “you have to have a job; you have to be educated; you have your own apartment and a car,” she said. “Both have to contribute something.”

    She speaks from experience. She married her high school boyfriend right after graduation, a 2-week-old baby in arms. But her husband, who never graduated, was unemployed for most of their marriage, and the couple broke up after six years.

    Determined to find a man who had better prospects, Ms. Rudolph entered a relationship with a basketball player and had three children with him. It ended when she learned he was married to someone else, a revelation that left her badly shaken. “I don’t trust men to marry them,” she said.

    • @Mr. WV

      Determined to find a man who had better prospects, Ms. Rudolph entered a relationship with a basketball player and had three children with him. It ended when she learned he was married to someone else, a revelation that left her badly shaken. “I don’t trust men to marry them,” she said.

      On Friday, I heard a story on NPR – 16 years ago they had teenagers talk about their lives, and they recently followed up with them. This segment was about a woman named Melissa. Her mother abandoned her at age 2 and she was bounced around the foster system till she was 15, when she ran away. At 17, she had a son – no man on the scene. She worked all sorts of jobs, including stripping, but she put herself through college and now works as a telephone customer service rep for a cable company. At 27, she had another son – still no man. At one point she says she chose the wrong men to be fathers.

      Describing the life of the older boy, now 15, she talks about his struggles and mentions that he has an IQ of 79. She is clearly bright, so I assume she chose to have sex with a dumb thug. She says that no one wanted her to have the baby, but she said she had him so that she wouldn’t be lonely any more. To her credit, she sounds like a good mom.

      It was a frightening and disturbing look into the motivations and mentality of the typical unwed mother.

  • Escoffier

    ” It worked with binge drinking, and it will work here.”

    It did? How so?

    • @EScoffier

      Re PI and drinking:

      The case I am most familiar with is UNC:

      http://www.alanberkowitz.com/articles/social_norms.pdf

      “At the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Foss and his colleagues (2003, 2004)
      conducted a social norms marketing campaign for first-year students with the theme:
      “Whether it’s Thursday, Friday, or Saturday night, 2 out of 3 UNC students return home
      with a .00 blood alcohol concentration.” A unique feature of the study was that the BAC
      data was collected using breath samples of students coming home to their residence halls.
      The program was thoroughly evaluated and at the end of five years, the mean number of
      drinks on the night of the interview decreased from 5.1 – 4.3, the proportion of drinkers
      with a BAC above .05% on the night of the interview decreased from 60% to 52%, and
      the percentage of respondents who could be classified as heavy drinkers on the night of
      the interview decreased from 14% to 10% (representing an overall decrease of 29%.) By
      using actual BAC measures, this study addresses concerns raised about social norms
      campaigns that rely on survey data to document effectiveness because it demonstrates
      that the reductions in use are not due to potential response bias or the possibility that
      students are taught by social norms campaigns to answer surveys differently.

      Social norms marketing campaigns have also been successful in reducing smoking
      prevalence and delaying smoking onset. For example, in a seven county campaign
      directed at 12-17 year olds in Montana, only 10 percent of non-smokers initiated smoking
      following the campaign, while 17 percent in the control counties began smoking. This
      represents a 41% difference in the proportion of teens initiating smoking in the
      intervention counties as compared with those in the rest of the state (Linkenbach &
      Perkins, 2003A). At the University of Wisconsin at Oskosh, a 29% decrease in smoking
      rates was achieved from a multi-component intervention including a social norms media
      campaign, while rates at a control campus did not change significantly (Hancock, et al,
      2002)”

      A History Lesson

      “Prentice finds that students discussing pluralistic ignorance in a peer setting are less likely to binge drink. Correcting student perceptions is a crucial social science-backed strategy to curb risky behavior and age-old issues with alcohol on campus.

      The Trustees’ final report included a proposal to implement a “social norms marketing campaign” to help counteract pluralistic ignorance and curb binge drinking. Similar campaigns at Northern Illinois University and the University of Virginia have had consistent successes in reducing the rate of risky drinking behaviors; at NIU, the binge drinking rate halved after a decade of social norms marketing and at UVa., the rate dropped 20 percent within two years of the campaign’s introduction.”

      http://psych.princeton.edu/psychology/research/prentice/pubs/Exposing%20Pluralistic%20Ignorance.pdf

  • Lokland

    ” No doubt they both bring a history of boneheaded choices and youthful indiscretions to the table.”

    What does someone do when they have no boneheaded mistakes and/or youthful indiscretions in their past?

  • BuenaVista

    Mr. WV, your comment is the essence of what I believe to be one of Murray’s key insights, which will be studied 200 years from now: the so-called meritocratic society that emerged in the 1960’s created rigid social divisions, is profoundly self-reinforcing, and we’re about to go to the third-generation isolation of working people from the cognitive elite. When was the last time a college kid had a prof who was a vet? I attended one of the most socially liberal colleges in American history, and the two advisers I had were vets. My father only was able to get there, because the USN sent him there in 1944. All this is highly destructive of democracy. I think the 20 somethings here must think you’re wacky, but this was, truly, how it was. We used to be in the same boat. Now, not true.

    In my case, I grew up in a company town. The company was a university. I was surrounded, socially and physically, by profs and children of profs. No janitors on my street. (Instead, Bourjaily, Roth, Salter, Mary Robinson, John Irving … all within walking distance.) However, because of too much Kerouac and Hemingway, and because I’m a sigma, I saved myself (a certain female would disagree) with ten years of feeding cattle, driving fork lifts and trucks, humping furniture, roughnecking offshore in the Gulf, working Georges Bank, and writing. And then there was a small matter involving the USNavy aviation wing, but I’m being self-indulgent, and I’m sure Susan is about to ban us all because none of this shit has anything to do with how girls escape hookup culture and find a decent man and a B+ life.

    Son#1, however, took his $400K college degree and is painting houses and cooking, because what matters to him is writing and rocking the mountains. Is he thinking matrimony? Highly doubt it. But perhaps all is not lost, if the women decide a man is defined neither by his dough or the 17 minutes of fun he might provide after a speed date.

  • Richard Aubrey

    BuenaVista
    But perhaps all is not lost, if the women decide a man is defined neither by his dough or the 17 minutes of fun he might provide after a speed date.

    Something about that statement….
    I think Susan is trying to make the case that women should think of other things besides those, but is describing a world in which many/most of them don’t. OTOH, a guy who’s deficient in either or both is a non-starter. I think I get it.
    I suppose a guy who can do it but isn’t doing it at this time is presumed to be able to switch to the dough track any time his matrimonial situation, or his prospecting situation, require it.
    Actually, it’s worse than merely a meritocratic society. Assortative mating is vastly increased with vast increases in opportunity. A guy from a small town who won’t get ten miles away from it except to fight for it–h/t The Stage Manager–doesn’t have a lot of prospects compared to the guy who goes to a university with fifteen thousand women within, say, three years of his age, all qualified to at least get into school with parents who want it, too, and can handle at least some of the expenses. And of his friends he can expect accidental or deliberate introductions to other women of the same sort at different schools. And his summer job might be roughnecking–we used to try to outdo each other about how tough our summer jobs were–but it might also put him in touch with yet other women.
    My son was in that situation, graduated in 2000. Doing well. We went to pick up our granddaughter at dance class at a school in an upscale ‘burb of a large city. Of the, say, fifteen moms there, I’d say about fourteen looked as if they’d qualified for Homecoming Court back in their day.
    I can’t say there were no helicopter parents, or no overprotective or overpushy parents. I know some of them, but not all. However, the kids’ development is always on their minds. The “in-between game”. Count from four to nine leaving out one number. What is it? Do that twice while waiting for the Happy Meal. Et cetera.
    Meanwhile, the underclass is not bothering.

  • Zuckercorn

    Han @ 174 (These numbers keep shifting)

    I don’t believe I have enough data to answer meaningfully. I have declined offers of sex for various reasons(a few times it was situational ignorance due to inexperience*). The most I’ve ever done is gotten to third base while under the influence of beer goggles.
    I also seem to have peculiar criteria for attractiveness and I have quickly lost interest after discovering a woman isn’t very bright. Physical attraction does enter into the equation though(I felt really shallow when I realized that I would want to date a certain friend but for her body).

    *Seriously, talk about a Catch 22

  • Anacaona

    If you want a boyfriend, you should dress and behave more like marriage material. If you just want to play games and have fun with cads, then dress like a slut. By the way, if you dress like a slut, a lot of men won’t even approach you.
    Men judge everything about a woman’s character by her appearance and the way she behaves/looks: if she is a hooker, if she is a porn star, if she likes cads, if she likes cocky men, if she is too demanding, if she’s looking for a boyfriend/relationship and sometimes even if she’s virgin or not. The assessment may not be true, but that’s how it works before they even attempt to approach you.

    HEY! I’m a whore with just one customer thank you very much. :p

    PS
    That was my joking way to say that I’m married to a nice nerdy guy that I love like crazy and who I’m having a family with. You need to remember that this is more complex than just make up and clothes and attraction. I attracted my nerdy guy by being a hot nerd myself.
    Also I think the guys approach women using whatever tricks worked to get them laid in the past. I used to dress like a nun before I started modeling and I was a magnet for married men anyway. The same after I was modeling it was just that I was surrounded by cheating bastards once I moved out of it got what I wanted, YMMV.

  • Anacaona

    Such men exist but they are a rather small %. Sooner or later, if they can’t get the hot ones they want, then most of them readjust their expectations lower. This can then play out in (at least) 4 ways.
    I had been hearing that since I came to HUS. But then you said yourself that many men orbit women forever. You don’t think those men get offers from more homely women and reject them for the sake of one day getting their ‘dream girl’ to declare their love? Because that is what I had been seeing here after a few years of observing some of this men. They don’t learn their lessons, they will orbit and try to be friends with the hot manipulative bitch that keeps messing with them and other women are invisible.
    Some men are like women hoping for the Alpha as you said above, YMMV.

  • Plain Jain

    How do we quantify alphas and betas? Alphas have blogs while betas only comment on them?

  • HanSolo

    @Anacaona

    Where did I say they orbit forever?

    Also, being a beta orbiter to one woman doesn’t mean he is not pursuing or indulging in other women at the same time. That’s how I’ve been at times, while orbiting one or more girls I am also pursuing others that are into me.

    The beta orbiter might reject the homelier girls for a relationship but he may very well have sex with one of them.

    I don’t think most beta orbiters are “faithful” to the desired woman forever.

    Who are the men you’ve seen that are beta-orbiting forever without readjusting their expectations?

    Yes, there are the celibate variety of MGTOW and the herbivores who basically throw in the towel but they are more guys that have decided that it’s not within their power to get sex/women on the terms they want. But they aren’t beta orbiters since they have given up on women all together.

    You also have men that might just masturbate and view porn forever instead of adjusting to the kind of woman they could get.

    Outside of Japan, these men seem like a small minority, though. But, yes, they are an exception to the majority of men that will do what it takes to get sex–and I should probably limit that to men under 60 or so since after that more and more men can go without.

    Yes, some men are wanting the woman out of their league. But the big difference is that they can’t get sex with such women. I think that sooner or later the beta orbiter moves on or was always pursuing other options.

    Men don’t get tons of attention from women 1 or 2 points higher than them–in fact, they get very little. Women do. That’s why the woman pining for the out-of-her-league guy has more impact on the S/MMP than men pining for women. Plus, since men are the ones that have to approach and initiate they’re more aware of who they can get and who they can’t, even though some men keep the delusional hopes alive for a while.

  • HanSolo

    @Zuckercorn

    I don’t think it’s shallow to like physical beauty. Of course, we can take it to an extreme, but physical attraction is an important part of why people like each other.

    Why is it more profound or acceptable to like someone’s personality than their looks? I think a lot of people’s personality is just as much in or out of their control as their looks, though perhaps not as much.

    What’s your biggest sticking point in attracting women?

  • HanSolo

    @Richard

    That is interesting how they thought it seemed like a pretty good deal. lol

    @GinMartini Thanks.

  • HanSolo

    @Zuckercorn

    Finding a woman who has everything we might like, and then that likes us, can be a difficult thing. I think that we need to get realistic about our own value and how high our expectations are. If we’re not getting the kind of person we want then we need to improve (a good thing in its own right) or lower our expectations or both. Along with that, get out and interact with good potential candidates.

    Applies to both men and women.

  • HanSolo

    @BV 202

    I wasn’t implying that a woman would try to better you. In your case it would be the 2nd option of change I gave, of trying to change your feelings for her, into a man that loves her and will want to marry her, in spite of your making it very clear that there will be no marriage.

    I agree that there is a lot of entitled attitudes.

  • BuenaVista

    HS, I am guilty of being a professional writer in my secret life so I may be misreading too literally your “changing feelings” comment. (If so, disregard the following.) But it’s not a case of ‘changing feelings’ with guys like me.

    If anything I am too enamored of women and hence I have more women friends than men. I am in the OKC 20% and my options are going up, not down, at a staggering rate — the moreso, apparently, when I declare my unavailability for marriage. My parents are married and that is what I know, subrationally. I had sexual relations with one woman for 23 years before she terminated the family, and even now we can’t have those weird blended family events because she ignores her husband at them to talk to me, causing him to bolt without warning in the middle of a celebratory graduation meal with son#1 because she just ignored him to the point that our two children were staring at each other and going “WTF is up with mom?” I have access to much younger women and there is a stupid, stupid BV who wants to marry one of them and relive/rewrite/replace the last few years, which I have lost while being schooled by the divorce and child protective services industry. After all, Clint Eastwood has eight children by five wives, I believe. I truly loved being married. I love raising children, I love building homes for them and teaching them how to fly and what to read and how to cook: it’s the easiest thing I’ve ever done.

    I loved everything about marriage except the part of being clear cut and strip mined by the family law industry, and having my relationship with one of my children criminalized by the state, and being reduced to a charming uncle with the other two. So I’m not getting married again. Serial monogamy is the only thing that makes any sense. And I think son#1 is observant and there is a reason he isn’t working in a cubicle and polishing his resume in order to create the life that he had in our home, before there was no home. In the matter of love, he carries with him a palpable existential grief. No fairy tales for that boy.

    Just as I was way too stupid while married to recognize what was happening and how I should change to pre-empt it, and I was too stupid to realize I next was targeted by a woman with baby fever and that the chasm between what she said she wanted and what she promised had nothing to do with what she did. So I think most educated women today are cognitively unable to understand what feminism has done to their own needs and desires. Therefore they can’t process the information that a man who is not what they term “a player” will not subject himself to marriage. Virtually all of the red pill stuff is true, in my experience, especially so if one discards the parts about being rude and having nihilistic sex with strangers. Politely stating that I am unavailable for marriage appears to increase, not diminish, my appeal. This is totally irrational.

    This blog is interesting to me because it seems to advance an agenda that will not produce a female population of Katie Bolicks or, worse, Judith Grossmans or Naomi Wolfes. Have I met any who have transcended the 30 years of brainwashing? No, I have not. Not a single one. I met two who INSISTED they got it, but one got married, and one just got engaged, within months of our separation. Both to betas, both my inverse. Do Susan Walsh or Dr. Helen get more airtime than Hannah Rosin or Lena Durham? No, they do not. Is Mamet performed more in college theater than The Vagina Monologues? I doubt it, especially now. But apparently some of these insights are creeping across the landscape, like Sandburg’s fog. Alas, a man can’t land a plane in the fog, and must divert.

    • In the matter of love, he carries with him a palpable existential grief. No fairy tales for that boy.

      This breaks my heart. It is an all too familiar outcome of a series of cultural changes that began with key parties and wife swapping in the Updike era. We’re two generations in, and the effects are evident. The problem is that even if Millennials want to have good marriages, many haven’t been raised with a model of intact family security. They’ll have to invent it for themselves or take a pass.

  • BuenaVista

    My point is that merely describing how the system works, in any tone of voice, is considered outre, counterfactual, and results in the shaming response. Of course there is no reason listen to unhinged ranting and venting.

    The same thing occurs with other subjects in the political sphere. Social censorship is very powerful, and usually defends a status quo that the majority prefers to keep in place. It is the primary form of criticism, these days, e.g., that is directed at David Mamet, since he wrote Oleanna, and became focused on the moral and social contradictions of the intelligentsia. He is now unfit for polite company, now that he no longer writes about the charming vulgarity of working class people the intelligentsia do not know. Same is true of Chas. Murray, or this week, Jason Richwine.

    • @BV

      My point is that merely describing how the system works, in any tone of voice, is considered outre, counterfactual, and results in the shaming response

      Yes, very true. I’ve been on the receiving end of that many times myself, vilified at Manboobz, etc.

      Re Vagina Monologues, I was recently on a panel at a college lecture on female body image. Two of the panelists were students who had just starred in the VM. They were so ridiculously brainwashed it compromised the quality of the discussion substantially. People can believe whatever they like, but critical thinking skills were entirely absent from their ranting. I could only hope that most women in the audience shared my perception.

  • Escoffier

    That story has not gotten into the MSM. I was under the impression that binge drinking was as bad as ever.

    • That story has not gotten into the MSM. I was under the impression that binge drinking was as bad as ever.

      It is bad. The material I linked has some success stories, but this needs to happen on a grand scale. There are only a few schools who have even attempted this, which is crazy. I know Tufts has cancelled its annual Fall and Spring festival days because of the number of kids who go to the ER with alcohol poisoning. I can’t blame the university, but I’d like to see some effort on the front end. Those kids will just stay home and drink, just like they do every other weekend.

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    Man, BV, your story is so painful to read 🙁

    I hope you find some better days soon.

  • BuenaVista

    #222.

    The YNOT excerpt ignores both of my principle points: working class men have much, much higher standards of living and disposable income than 50 years ago, and that working class men prior to the USA industrial boom of 1945 – 1975, married at substantially higher rates while enjoying none of the financial benefits of a union card and a defined benefits pension plan. (The 1945 – 1975 period is a historical anomaly for this country, and for any study of marriage.) Consequently, it’s just a political screed. Social envy is not economic disadvantage. Rueing the passing of one 30-year period does not explain why for 200 years working class men married, but for the past 30 years they increasingly decline to.

    It’s transparently simple for a guy to move out of the minimum-wage job cycle. Today you just go to community college for two years, instead of getting a union card and walking into the Ford plant. You might have to move somewhere jobs are being created, instead of destroyed by government policy. Anyone with one functioning eyeball and two hands sporting a total of seven fingers and the ability to read at a sixth grade level can make $100K a year right now in North Dakota or Texas. (There are negative unemployment rates for tradesmen in the majority of states.) More if you have spent six months acquiring the rudiments of a trade. It takes six months of training to make oneself a professional welder. This is a red herring. It’s a tired appeal for a paternalistic government industrial policy, which hasn’t worked anywhere in the world. It’s not going to reopen the Akron tire plants.

    • @BV

      I don’t disagree with anything you say about the most promising path for a motivated and enterprising young man. Unfortunately, young American men are demotivated – one male writer described them as being in a “prolonged batting slump.”

  • BuenaVista

    ADBG: sympathy is for losers and coffee is for closers. My point is just that I drank the kool-aid until I discovered it was laced with poison — this being my fault — and that even now women cannot process the information that men might have a rational response to the recent feminist re-engineering of marriage. I have a very interesting life and children I love. I worry about what we all have bequeathed to our children, particularly the boys, and wonder if women will move to stop the slide. If not, men will continue to GTOW.

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    @BV

    ADBG: sympathy is for losers and coffee is for closers. My point is just that I drank the kool-aid until I discovered it was laced with poison — this being my fault — and that even now women cannot process the information that men might have a rational response to the recent feminist re-engineering of marriage.

    We all pull a losing card on occasion. One thing I’ve learned is that it’s quite pleasant that other people will be there to help you bounce back and still believe in you.
    Drinking the kool-aid and getting burned for it is a painful experience. I see what you are getting at, though. In fact, Dogsquat addressed this once a while ago, and I saved his quote. Not on this computer, but it went something along the lines of this:
    “I know the tastes of a glock, a mauser, etc, intimately. There were some other things going on at the time, but the girl trouble seemed the worst. It’s a lot to ask of a man to simply trust after something like that.”

    Knowing how the system can tear you up and spit you out produces extreme hesitation, and for good reason, I agree with you. I don’t know how other young women think about this to be honest: I haven’t asked them that much about it.

    @ Susan

    Unfortunately, young American men are demotivated – one male writer described them as being in a “prolonged batting slump.”

    Step One: Stop watching sports all the time and pick up some other interests

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    Anyways, as per usual with the gender differences, if women are all one thing, men are all the reverse.

    Or as one thing my GF said was a “pleasant” surprise, it’s how open I am to new experiences, especially ones that might be “gender-opposed.”

    Or, if women are all active and do lots of things, most of the guys I know are laid back, and just want to drink beer and watch sports and work out, with no real schedule. Anything that reeks slightly of sophistication or girliness is opposed as vigorously as sex with another man or perhaps self-castration.

    And they are so anti-planning that it is impossible to get them to commit to watch a Bulls-Heat playoff game with free tickets .

    I am of the opinion that if the government scheduled a huge sex orgy with nothing but world class super models but placed it in, say, Kansas, 90% of the young men I know would shrug their shoulders and go back to watching sports on TV. If you probed them about it, instantly the hamster would start running.

    These are no more “men” than jellyfish are men.

  • Escoffier

    Susan, why do you think other schools don’t try to stop binge drinking, given that they now appear to have a workable model? Maybe not to stop it, that’s the wrong word, but at least reduce it …

    • Susan, why do you think other schools don’t try to stop binge drinking, given that they now appear to have a workable model? Maybe not to stop it, that’s the wrong word, but at least reduce it …

      It’s a big commitment – a costly campaign requiring monitoring, tracking, etc. Still, like all preventative measures it would seem to save a lot of money in the long run. I really don’t know the answer.

      I do know of a few schools who are applying the model to hookup culture, e.g. Duke. But they had to run a big survey to figure out what percentage of kids was hooking up on campus first. It’s a large undertaking.

  • Sassy6519

    If you want a boyfriend, you should dress and behave more like marriage material. If you just want to play games and have fun with cads, then dress like a slut. By the way, if you dress like a slut, a lot of men won’t even approach you.

    Men judge everything about a woman’s character by her appearance and the way she behaves/looks: if she is a hooker, if she is a porn star, if she likes cads, if she likes cocky men, if she is too demanding, if she’s looking for a boyfriend/relationship and sometimes even if she’s virgin or not. The assessment may not be true, but that’s how it works before they even attempt to approach you.

    I think the only problem I’ve had with this is that after forming exclusive relationships with some of my previous boyfriends, these same guys would begin pressuring me to change my style of dress. I don’t “let it all hang out”, per se, but I’m not afraid to play up to my strengths. I always found it really annoying whenever a previous boyfriend would say things like “You’re wearing that?”, “I don’t want you wearing that top”, “I don’t like the fact that men always stare at you”, or “Would you mind changing your outfit?”.

    In my mind, these men knew how I dressed when they first met me. It’s not like I dressed like an “innocent flower” during the initial stages of dating, then suddenly switched to vixen attire after commitment. Some of these men met me in nightlife spots for crying out loud. I understand that men may not like it, but I become very annoyed whenever a guy tries to exert control over my wardrobe. My style of dress won’t change for any guy. I dress the way I want to dress, and pressuring me to change how I dress to soothe your worries won’t help matters.

  • Jackie

    @Buena Vista

    BV, you are a writer professionally? Did you graduate from the UI Writers Workshop? (I think you alluded to being from Iowa City in a prior comment?)

    May I ask, who is your editor? Or your publishing house?

    I ask because there are constant themes in your writing that really surprised me:

    1) Your use of the passive voice for all negative events (“I was targeted by baby-hungry women”), while using the active to paint yourself in very heroic colors.
    2) Your reduction of women, at least one you’ve known intimately for decades, to the point of caricature for their mercenary evilness. We know nothing about any of their inner motivations other than their obsession with you.
    3) The constant use of name-dropping, price-dropping and brand-dropping to ascribe status, along with consistent self-reference to your own attractiveness. I’m not saying that any of it is untrue — I’m sure it is! — but I can’t believe an editor wouldn’t have spotted this rhetorical device and not called it out ASAP.

    If this was a conscious choice to play to the ‘Sphere– holy cow, it was pitch perfect. Alternatively, if this is a conscious choice to invoke the possibility of the unreliable narrator, to get readers to seek the complexity behind your situation– also a fascinating choice. I’d be really, really interested to know who your main advisor was, if you were at the UI Writers Workshop.

    In any event, it is not unsurprising that you ended up in a BPD relationship since your posts bear every hallmark of narcissism, and the two tend to be pretty symbiotic in relationships.

    Thanks for giving me a lot to think about, BV. Good luck–

  • Sassy6519

    @ Anacaona

    I had been hearing that since I came to HUS. But then you said yourself that many men orbit women forever. You don’t think those men get offers from more homely women and reject them for the sake of one day getting their ‘dream girl’ to declare their love? Because that is what I had been seeing here after a few years of observing some of this men. They don’t learn their lessons, they will orbit and try to be friends with the hot manipulative bitch that keeps messing with them and other women are invisible.
    Some men are like women hoping for the Alpha as you said above, YMMV.

    I’ve seen this happen a lot too. You are not alone.

  • Sassy6519

    @ HanSolo

    Finding a woman who has everything we might like, and then that likes us, can be a difficult thing. I think that we need to get realistic about our own value and how high our expectations are. If we’re not getting the kind of person we want then we need to improve (a good thing in its own right) or lower our expectations or both. Along with that, get out and interact with good potential candidates.

    Applies to both men and women.

    I agree.

  • Gin Martini

    You missed the point in my goofing on PJ, and a few of the younger posters who say pretty much that all the time.

    Everytime someone asks “why the hell are there middle aged men here” then they are lumping the good as well as the bad. Some men are angry, and they should go. But they should go because they’re angry, not because they’re old.

  • Sassy: I’ll personally go against the grain a bit and suggest that you continue to wear the sexy/glam type outfits, as I believe it is attractive to the type of man who you yourself are attracted to. I think you have the right intuition on this.

    Granted, I am probably not playing with a full deck, but I quite like it when a girl I am with gets a lot of visual attention from other men.

    Susan: outstanding job handling all of the various comments and questions posed by your little “HUS Boys Condottieri”!

    BV: I don’t know many other professors who are military veterans (I served in the Navy), but IMHO those who did should shoulder some extra responsibility and use those experiences to spice up their teaching. I am trying to spend about 5 minutes in each class discussing a different male role-model “badass of the week”. Both male and female seem to love talking about legends like Richard Meadows and Robin Olds—honorable, heroic, ass-kicking alpha males of the old school variety.

    A quote from Olds that some may enjoy, as it perhaps epitomizes the “dangerous gentleman” persona that I think is true alpha:

    “Fighter pilot is an attitude. It is cockiness. It is aggressiveness. It is self-confidence. It is a streak of rebelliousness, and it is competitiveness. But there’s something else—there’s a spark. There’s a desire to be good. To do well in the eyes of your peers, and in your own mind.”

  • Gin Martini

    Sassy, sounds like the “paper alpha” type again. I’m like BB in that I think it’s great when my wife dresses up and guys are sneaking glances at her chest. We laugh at them. I guess it’s because I know they have zero chance with her.

  • HanSolo

    @Sassy

    Boobs are the bait.
    You caught the fish.
    The fish wants you to stop fishing.

    I personally don’t get worked up if a woman dresses sexy–but I don’t care as much about N or past alphas as most guys may–but just offering you the likely perspective of the men that liked being lured in (in part) by your sexy attire but then didn’t want other men being lured in.

    That’s the interesting thing on here. Many of the females want men to have the nonjudgemental and permissive attitudes that more player-esque and high-N guys have yet combined with the faithfulness and low N of the restricted types. Though these traits can exist in one man, they often don’t.

    • Boobs are the bait.
      You caught the fish.
      The fish wants you to stop fishing.

      Exactly. I advise women in new relationships to dress a bit differently, to avoid confusion. Their appearance should not say “available” or “on the market.” They need to put away the bait, stop advertising.

      My daughter took this advice and about a month in, her bf said, “I really like the way you dress. It’s attractive but very classy.” Translation: no one gets to see what’s under there except me.

      This works better if it’s something women do voluntarily, along with no longer chatting up strange guys, encouraging eye contact, etc. If a guy has to ask a woman to do this, they’re probably not compatible. She needs a man with ironclad security, who will enjoy other guys checking her out.

  • Sassy6519

    @ Gin Martini

    Sassy, sounds like the “paper alpha” type again. I’m like BB in that I think it’s great when my wife dresses up and guys are sneaking glances at her chest. We laugh at them. I guess it’s because I know they have zero chance with her.

    I guess the men I’ve dated have suspected that other men do have a chance with me. Maybe I just emit a vibe that screams “This broad will cheat on me/leave me if I don’t keep her on a tight leash”.

    Maybe I am a cheating risk/flight risk. I don’t know.

    @ Bastiat Blogger

    Sassy: I’ll personally go against the grain a bit and suggest that you continue to wear the sexy/glam type outfits, as I believe it is attractive to the type of man who you yourself are attracted to. I think you have the right intuition on this.

    Granted, I am probably not playing with a full deck, but I quite like it when a girl I am with gets a lot of visual attention from other men.

    The weird thing is that although my previous boyfriends have complained about my manner of dress, I know for a fact that they enjoyed parading me around their friends and acquaintances. Overall, it was weird.

    It’s like they mentally “got off” showing me off, but would also become hyper-aggressive and territorial if any other man so much as looked at me too long. It’s all very confusing to be honest. I put effort into my appearance, and the men I date love it, but they then complain about my desire to put effort into my appearance. I usually want to scream at that that they can’t have it both ways.

  • BuenaVista

    Jackie, thanks very much for the free analysis, and reminding me why most psychotherapy or marriage counseling is a waste of time. I have found it useful to ignore the comments of people I dislike or distrust in places like this, and recommend that you consider not reading mine.

  • BuenaVista

    BB: I loved the Olds autobiography, and found it useful as a leadership model (leading from the front). For my purposes I have found the lives of Bud Day (alpha) and John Boyd (sigma max, more my style) instructional. I encouraged my son, who skis well enough to have been paid for it, and is the sort of kid who rides a single speed bike 50 miles into the mountains while humping his gear on his back, to consider the Marines or Navy special ops, but the anti-military culture in which he grew up made that a nonstarter. With him and his mother. In 20 years, Oberlin went from housing V-12 units like my Dad’s, to rioting at the presence of recruiters. This is a problem.

  • Jackie

    @BV

    Interesting reply, Buena Vista. My questions were about your writing choices, though I can see why you felt threatened. Writing is extremely personal and, whoever the writer is, there is subtext.

    I actually find your comments fascinating for the reasons detailed above, and don’t dislike you in the least. Thanks for the advice, though.

  • Sassy6519

    @ HanSolo

    Boobs are the bait.
    You caught the fish.
    The fish wants you to stop fishing.

    I personally don’t get worked up if a woman dresses sexy–but I don’t care as much about N or past alphas as most guys may–but just offering you the likely perspective of the men that liked being lured in (in part) by your sexy attire but then didn’t want other men being lured in.

    How would toning down my dress/appearance to not elicit outside male attention (*I think that this would be nearly impossible for me unless I suffered horrible disfigurement or literally put no effort into my appearance whatsoever) help anything?

    If the boyfriend/husband in question is primarily attracted to me because of my looks, diminishing my attractiveness would also likely diminish his attraction to me. I think men would be better suited to understand that unwanted outside male attention directed towards their women likely comes with the territory.

    If they want less or no outside male attention directed towards their women whatsoever, they should probably date less attractive women.

    That’s the interesting thing on here. Many of the females want men to have the nonjudgemental and permissive attitudes that more player-esque and high-N guys have yet combined with the faithfulness and low N of the restricted types. Though these traits can exist in one man, they often don’t.

    Although it may be harder to find, it would be nice to meet a man who has not racked up a significant body count that can also be confident and content in his interactions with women. Maybe I’m asking for too much. If I have to date a high N “player-esque” guy in order to avoid scrutiny of my clothing choices, I might as well throw in the towel right now.

    • @Sassy

      How would toning down my dress/appearance to not elicit outside male attention (*I think that this would be nearly impossible for me unless I suffered horrible disfigurement or literally put no effort into my appearance whatsoever) help anything?

      Dressing in a more modest way does not make you less attractive, necessarily. The outline of your body may still be perceived, your face is visible, etc. If anything, most women overplay their hand and would benefit from reining it in a bit.

      I see it as a gesture of love and respect. Your man may know that you’ll elicit attention from other men no matter what, but he’ll appreciate that it won’t be something you’ve encouraged.

  • HanSolo

    @Sassy

    Exposed cleavage will usually though not always elicit more male attention than covered boobs. Just pointing out the obvious fact that boobs (or whatever other thing you want to replace that with) act as bait to attract men.

    Continuing to dangle the bait will continue to attract men.

    Many men will have competing urges of mate guarding (e.g. cover them damn knockers) and mate parading (enjoying the adulation or status of having a big-boobed babe at his side). Madonna-whore complex is another example for men. Devoted-player complex is one that some women have.

  • HanSolo

    Also, to answer your question more directly, the bf would have access to your boobs in private so he wouldn’t need to have them out and about in public.

    Though covering up a bit in public might reduce the attraction instilled in other men I don’t see why it would affect the bf’s attraction that much since he’ll be having full access to them at home.

    Anyway, as I said, I don’t care that much but was just pointing out the argument on the other side.

  • Anacaona

    Yes, some men are wanting the woman out of their league. But the big difference is that they can’t get sex with such women. I think that sooner or later the beta orbiter moves on or was always pursuing other options.
    Han you are projecting your own approach to date on Betas, that you are not a Beta remember. Betas don’t approach.
    One of the first exercises in Game is “approach everything and everyone” to lose that fear of rejection and is one of the hardest things to overcome.
    Combine lack of approaching with access to porn to ‘alleviate’ their need for sex and a hottie that can play the ‘friends game’ for as long as she wants. A kiss once in a while, a “you will make a perfect boyfriend’ comment here and there and even some pity fucks (and this do exist) and that guy can stay around for a long time and any other girl that is brave enough to sent IOI’s or plain out ask goes off radar.
    The other example is the guy that has been taken to hell and back, by hot crazy bitch and doesn’t connect that the problem was that she was more crazy than hot and once recovered goes and dates another hot crazy bitch, instead of trying to target a bit less crazy even if she is less hot.
    I had seen a couple of men dating their crazy exes clones to a point I though it was the same woman, no kidding there. Everyone around them was facepalming but they were convinced they got it right this time.
    Some men only think with their dicks and it will take forever for them to actually see what is wrong and adjust. As in everything, YMMV.

    @BV
    I’m sorry for your loss. Hope things improve for you and your family sooner than later.

  • Man

    Ladies, next time someone asks you, “are you a Feminist?”. Reply, “Define Feminism for me please”.

    No woman admits she’s a feminist. We tell so by their behavior: if she’s more like a mom or like a slut. If she is balanced or hysterical/narcissistic. See NAWALT. Also, if the woman often talks proudly about feminism or brings up related topics, then it’s a big red flag. There’s no such a thing as good feminism. All feminism is evil.

    Feminism: free pass to an amusement park in love and life (at men’s expense); contempt for traditional feminine qualities and motherhood; women’s gay and slut movement.

  • Cast from the garden

    There are plenty of men and women that are prone to polyamory. My only beef with them is when they deceive in order to get the “good ones” collected all to themselves. I have witnessesd way too many of these types that portray the honest, monogomous types, only to find out later that they have been lying to several “good girls” or guys.
    So my only plea to the real players out there: if you want to play, be honest about your intentions. There are enough players to match you… Leave the monogomous ones alone. Else we get bitter and more untrusting, and I hate that…

    • @Cast from the garden

      So my only plea to the real players out there: if you want to play, be honest about your intentions. There are enough players to match you… Leave the monogomous ones alone.

      If only! One unfortunate thing is that many players thrive on despoiling the “good girls.” Sluts like players more than players like sluts.

  • Sassy6519

    @ HanSolo

    Also, to answer your question more directly, the bf would have access to your boobs in private so he wouldn’t need to have them out and about in public.

    Though covering up a bit in public might reduce the attraction instilled in other men I don’t see why it would affect the bf’s attraction that much since he’ll be having full access to them at home.

    1. I don’t think merely covering up my boobs will detract unwanted outside male attention. I don’t have them on display all that often anyway.

    2. I don’t dress myself with the primary goal of attracting male attention. It’s a nice by product, don’t get me wrong, but my clothing choices are more an expression of my personality and self than intentional bait.

    3. My boobs are not my boyfriends boobs. They are my boobs, and I allow him to have access to them. Whether or not “he wouldn’t need to have them out and about in public” is irrelevant to me. My boobs will be out and about on the rare occasions that I do want them out.

    I guess I just want similar treatment to how I treat my boyfriends, in such instances. I know that other women find the men I date attractive, but I don’t ask them to alter how they present themselves for fear of attracting unwanted attention. Maybe this is one sex difference that I will never understand.

  • Escoffier

    Sassy, my guess would be that the kind of guys you like would be not so threatened by revealing clothing. More beta-ish types are the ones who have a problem. Since this is not what is happening in your case, my guess could be wrong.

  • Man

    @Anacaona: Correct. Most men nowadays want a porn star who’s like a mom. And in great part men are not also so interested in most women because they are dreaming with Cinderella porn star girls, just like most women dream of a Prince Charming riding on a white horse with a jerky attitude. I think think is also one of the unintended consequences of women’s “liberation” and reflects the so called “SMP”.

  • HanSolo

    @Anacaona

    I don’t deny that the scenarios you present happen. They do. I’m just saying that eventually most of the men wise up and go where they’re wanted (some don’t). In terms of sex, most men adapt to the market in order to get some (even if it’s just a little bit here and there).

    This is born out by the stats that the vast majority of men eventually have sex, even by their early 20’s. So, whatever the case may be about their pickiness, they were either attractive enough or eventually adapted to get sex.

    According to this link http://www.kinseyinstitute.org/resources/FAQ.html

    46% of males have had sex by 17 and 89% by 22-24. Those who haven’t tend to be really awkward, unattractive types or highly religious types (like I was). Fast forward another decade and probably 95% of men have had sex (don’t know the actual number).

  • Man

    I know that other women find the men I date attractive, but I don’t ask them to alter how they present themselves for fear of attracting unwanted attention. Maybe this is one sex difference that I will never understand.

    Men like exclusivity. They’re territorialists. By definition all men are afraid of women who do not give clues of exclusivity and faithfulness; or who expose themselves to other males attention. Watch documentaries about wild lions and you will understand a lot.

  • Sassy6519

    @ Escoffier

    Sassy, my guess would be that the kind of guys you like would be not so threatened by revealing clothing. More beta-ish types are the ones who have a problem. Since this is not what is happening in your case, my guess could be wrong.

    Your guess is as good as mine, to be honest. I mentioned in a recent comment upthread that perhaps I come off as untrustworthy to the men I date, Alpha or not, and maybe they try to enforce boundaries/limitations around me to combat that. It would explain why the men I date try to keep me on lockdown most of the time.

  • Escoffier

    I think most men are torn about this. On the one hand, there is something thrilling about being with a hot girl and showing her off. On the other hand, the jealousy instinct also can kick in. I suppose it depends on which instinct is stronger in the particular person.

    It would also depend on what, exactly, you are wearing. Speaking only for myself here, I can enjoy being out with a woman whose clothes go only “so far” but there is a point beyond which it would bug me. I suspect also that this point is different for everybody.

  • Sassy6519

    @ Anacaona

    Combine lack of approaching with access to porn to ‘alleviate’ their need for sex and a hottie that can play the ‘friends game’ for as long as she wants. A kiss once in a while, a “you will make a perfect boyfriend’ comment here and there and even some pity fucks (and this do exist) and that guy can stay around for a long time and any other girl that is brave enough to sent IOI’s or plain out ask goes off radar.

    This description reminds me of the interactions between Scarlett Johansson’s and Kevin Connolly’s characters in the movie “He’s Just Not that Into You”.

  • HanSolo

    Sassy, I meant that he doesn’t need to have them out in public anymore to feel attraction to you. He’s not likely to say, “Hey, no fair, you had your boobs out when we met, causing additional attraction, but now you cover them in public so I don’t feel attracted to you anymore.”

    You seem to be saying that “the world should be how I want it to be.” I’m talking about how it is. Simple fact: boobs draw male attention. Simple fact: some bf’s get jealous when gf’s boobs draw stares at her chest. Simple fact: Sassy doesn’t want a man that gets jealous about.

    Well, maybe you should only date men that don’t get jealous. Just don’t be surprised about some of the other qualities that come along with that laissez-faire attitude.

  • Sassy6519

    Men like exclusivity. They’re territorialists. By definition all men are afraid of women who do not give clues of exclusivity and faithfulness; or who expose themselves to other males attention. Watch documentaries about wild lions and you will understand a lot.

    I’m guessing that this mindset can also cross genders. I’ve been worried before for a few guys who have dated women of the “bunny boiler” variety that monitor their behaviors practically 24/7. It’s like they think that if they lose track of their men for one second, their guys will instantly go cheat on them. I don’t know how peaceful relationships can exist with that much suspicion and territoriality.

  • Anacaona

    This is born out by the stats that the vast majority of men eventually have sex, even by their early 20′s. So, whatever the case may be about their pickiness, they were either attractive enough or eventually adapted to get sex.
    You are correct question is how many of this men have had sex Casually with the less attractive girl and continuing their orbiting ways and try to snag the hottie? They still delay commitment because of this. Which was the point of your analysis. A man that thinks he has the slightest chance with a hottie won’t commit to a hot less girl,IMO.

  • HanSolo

    @Anacaona

    Pity fucks of hot girl to lower-value men exist but they’re not that common compared to men fucking down. That’s why prostitutes exist, because of the imbalance in desire for casual sex. That’s why women usually fuck up(wards) or at worst at their level if they’re going for casual. And a lot of the casual sex is with women trying to get the man to commit, often a higher-value male.

    And my original point was about a man doing what it takes to get sex, so if (and it’s a BIG IF) he’s getting sex with an out-of-his-league woman then he is getting sex (and doing what it takes).

  • HanSolo

    @Anacaona

    Yes, some men do delay seeking the women they could get for commitment in hopes of snagging a higher-value woman. This delays the formation of some potential relationships.

    However, I believe that more women are doing this than men, for the reasons stated, the largest being that there is far more higher-value-male-to-lower-value-female attention than vice versa.

  • Sassy6519

    @ HanSolo

    You seem to be saying that “the world should be how I want it to be.” I’m talking about how it is. Simple fact: boobs draw male attention. Simple fact: some bf’s get jealous when gf’s boobs draw stares at her chest. Simple fact: Sassy doesn’t want a man that gets jealous about.

    No, what I’m saying is that it would be nice to meet a man who conducts himself in ways that are congruent with my idea of a compatible mate for myself. I don’t expect the entire world to act this way. What I want won’t necessarily work for other people. I’m aware of this.

    Well, maybe you should only date men that don’t get jealous. Just don’t be surprised about some of the other qualities that come along with that laissez-faire attitude.

    Ah, but here’s the rub. I never said that I don’t expect a man to ever feel jealousy. That would be a tall order to fill for any man. What I do expect, however, is for a man to react to his feelings of jealousy in a reasonable manner. Just because he feels something does not give him the right to act on that feeling any way that he pleases without potential negative consequences. I don’t kill every person that I’m upset with. A man doesn’t have to demand that I change my style of dress just because he is feeling jealous.

    @ Susan Walsh

    This works better if it’s something women do voluntarily, along with no longer chatting up strange guys, encouraging eye contact, etc. If a guy has to ask a woman to do this, they’re probably not compatible. She needs a man with ironclad security, who will enjoy other guys checking her out.

    I agree. It does need to be a voluntary choice on the woman’s part. If she wants to maintain her style of dress, she need to find a guy who is okay with it.

  • Anacaona

    And my original point was about a man doing what it takes to get sex, so if (and it’s a BIG IF) he’s getting sex with an out-of-his-league woman then he is getting sex (and doing what it takes).

    Nope your point was describing why cheap sex makes men delay commitment:
    An example is some % of women providing “cheap” sex (usually to men 1-2 pts higher) and this makes some of these men postpone looking for commitment with women at their level. In some cases this is because they’re enjoying the pussy possy at their beck and call, in other cases because the women at their level are fucking out-of-their-league men and so they’d rather have some sex (with lower looks value women) than none at all and don’t want to commit to a lower-value woman.

  • Anacaona

    However, I believe that more women are doing this than men, for the reasons stated, the largest being that there is far more higher-value-male-to-lower-value-female attention than vice versa.
    Again I’m not so sure men are not doing this on the same level.Most single people I had seen men and women alike have had chances of dating in their levels and forsake it, while ‘hoping’ for someone clearly higher or not interested. I think the baseline for commitment has risen for both genders given that we have access to artificial ways to relief ourselves and in HUS you have many men stating clearly than fapping to porn with a 10 is a better alternative than having sex with whatever they can get in real life, YMMV.

  • Sassy6519

    @ Susan Walsh

    With situations like this, I’m pained to wonder what is more important: being my authentic self, or subjugating my authentic self for the sake of another person.

    Call it naive or selfish, but I can’t imagine letting another person dictate how I dress myself. If I ever want to change my sense of fashion of my own free will and accord, I will do so. Changing my style of dress solely to appease some guy doesn’t sit well with me.

    • @Sassy

      With situations like this, I’m pained to wonder what is more important: being my authentic self, or subjugating my authentic self for the sake of another person.

      I understand why you feel that way. I think that it has to come from you, something you do to make him happy. If you don’t want to, his demanding it is obviously not going to sit well.

      It’s analogous (in a much weaker form) to a woman covering her hair after marriage. It’s a way of reducing your sexual availability to other men.

  • HanSolo

    @Anacaona

    LOL

    Nope your point was describing why cheap sex makes men delay commitment

    My main point was that (most) men will do what it takes to get sex. Proceeding from that point it is easy to see that since casual sex is offered to some men (usually by lower-valued women than them)–meaning they are getting sex–then they don’t need to offer commitment to get what they are most seeking, namely sex.

  • Anacaona

    Call it naive or selfish, but I can’t imagine letting another person dictate how I dress myself. If I ever want to change my sense of fashion of my own free will and accord, I will do so. Changing my style of dress solely to appease some guy doesn’t sit well with me.
    I think is more like when you are in love with a man other men paying attention to you is not pleasant anymore and even feels uncomfortable, so you naturally dress to avoid unwelcome attention by the opposite sex, at least that is how I feel. Had you ever being in love? BTW.

  • Sassy6519

    @ Anacaona

    I think is more like when you are in love with a man other men paying attention to you is not pleasant anymore and even feels uncomfortable, so you naturally dress to avoid unwelcome attention by the opposite sex, at least that is how I feel. Had you ever being in love? BTW.

    I’ve been in love once. Even during that relationship, I never changed my style of dress. I didn’t think that I dressed in “slutty” fashions, so I found his complaints unfounded.

  • HanSolo

    @Anacaona

    However, I don’t mean to say that most men just want to have casual sex forever. I think most men would love to have a great wife. And in a fantasy world, they would also like to have flings on the side or a live-in harem, where all the female parties were willing and encouraging participants, but that is not the reality for most men, and certainly less so for women liking it.

  • Sassy6519

    @ HanSolo

    My main point was that (most) men will do what it takes to get sex. Proceeding from that point it is easy to see that since casual sex is offered to some men (usually by lower-valued women than them)–meaning they are getting sex–then they don’t need to offer commitment to get what they are most seeking, namely sex.

    If what they are most seeking is sex, why are such men even orbiting other women to begin with? Wouldn’t the energy they spend to orbit “higher SMV women” be better spent sleeping with the “lower SMV women” who already desire them to begin with? Why waste energy unnecessarily if one’s objective is already being met, namely acquiring sex?

    It would seem that these men would be better served committing to the “lower SMV women” because the “higher SMV women” don’t want them.

    Realistic expectations, yada yada yada, etc.

  • HanSolo

    @Anacaona

    Well, I’m assuming you mean people in the DR? It seems that the men there are more unrestricted and so they actually might be quite happy getting casual with lower-value women while holding out hopes for a relationship with a higher-value woman than themselves. This would explain why they weren’t accepting relationships with their equal-value peers but not too sad about that. They value variety enough that to give it up (or at least get into a relationship that would possibly limit their tomcatting) would require a woman of a value higher than they could attract.

  • HanSolo

    @Sassy

    Sex with an 8 is perceived as x times more value than sex with a 7, which is y times better than with a 6, and so forth. Not sure what x and y would equal but 3 might be a good guess and will vary from man to man, depending on his value as well. For a 3, there might not be much difference between the 6 and the 8 because they’re both so out of his league that either would be pussy paradise.

    Trying for the higher-value woman is like playing the lottery. You don’t make a living off it but the hope of striking it big draws people in.

  • Sassy6519

    @ HanSolo

    Trying for the higher-value woman is like playing the lottery. You don’t make a living off it but the hope of striking it big draws people in.

    Yes, and that is why the lottery is humorously known as a “tax on stupidity”. Men or women with unrealistic expectations are not doing themselves any favors. This is how I see it.

    If all you attract are “unattractive people”, perhaps you yourself are unattractive as well. If you attract both attractive and unattractive people, you are attractive. If all you attract are attractive people, consider yourself lucky.

    If the 8-10s won’t commit to you, but the 5-6s will, you are a 5-6 yourself. If you weren’t, you most likely would have experienced an 8-10 individual being willing to commit to you before.

  • Anacaona

    However, I don’t mean to say that most men just want to have casual sex forever. I think most men would love to have a great wife. And in a fantasy world, they would also like to have flings on the side or a live-in harem, where all the female parties were willing and encouraging participants, but that is not the reality for most men, and certainly less so for women liking it.
    Ahh the Fellini fantasy!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b7egw53YKEM
    Sorry Han I think this is more of a unrestricted men fantasy, YMMV.

  • Anacaona

    Well, I’m assuming you mean people in the DR?
    Actually this is my observation in USA. In my country the dynamics are more lie to everyone to have sex with them so they can get as much sex as they can with all sorts of women.

  • HanSolo

    @Anacaona

    Based on just sex itself, I would personally rather have sex with any woman that passed the boner test than fap to a 10. However, for other reasons, I have never had sex with the lowest of the boner-passing women and am even more picky now with regard to the lowest I’ll go for casual. One reason is that by focusing less on women that definitely wouldn’t be pretty enough to be no the LTR ladder I can focus more attention on those who are.

    However, I suppose if the only women a man could get were below the boner threshold then it would not even be possible to have sex with them and so fapping might be a better option.

    I think most men would rather have sex with a real woman than masturbate but some men perceive it as impossible or too hard to do. Others may have wrecked their arousal mechanisms via too much porn use at a young age.

  • Bully

    @HanSolo

    Not to mention that porn quite often beats sex with a 3 woman. It essentially provides a sort of floor on the SMV continuum past which it is unlikely that one will find a decent mate. This has always existed for men due to the nature of hypergamy; but with freely accessible porn the shoe is now on the other foot.

    I described this in another thread, though; it’s hard to feel sorry for 1s/2s/3s of either gender because with hard work it’s possible for pretty much everyone regardless of genetic dice or upbringing to at least make it to a 5, though it may take some more work than others.

  • HanSolo

    @Anacaona

    Once again, the stats show that most men eventually get sex. Most men eventually marry. So most men are able to adjust their attractiveness or their expectations to “make the sale” and get sex or marriage. So, in the US, men are probably less players/cads than in the DR and so more men will do the beta orbiter strategy and perhaps often without getting sex on the side, but eventually they adjust to what they can get.

    However, I do think that more women are pickier than men are and it’s more the women causing the delay in marriage or very-LTRs than men.

    The interesting thing is that during the last 10 years some men have started to awaken and not just assume the old script anymore. Going forward it won’t surprise me if growing numbers of men (especially those on the unrestricted half of the spectrum) choose to not pursue marriage as much and stick to some casual with some STRs or short-LTRs.

  • Anacaona

    @Han
    You have laid dozens of women. You can afford to be picky. For the average guy is not a ‘perception’ to think that getting sex with hot women is harder than faping to porn with hot women.

  • Anacaona

    However, I do think that more women are pickier than men are and it’s more the women causing the delay in marriage or very-LTRs than men.
    That makes no sense if you say that most men marry then most of their peers are accepting their marriage proposals. They are not marry other men so both sides most be delaying in equal numbers and adjusting on equal numbers.Which is what stats support.
    So the real conclusion should be that most women would adjust for the sake of a relationship at the same rates their male peers are willing to offer them.

  • HanSolo

    @Bully

    I think male 3’s can get it up for female 3’s. I have a friend who’s probably about a 2 in looks and his wife is about a 3 and they had a kid. But I don’t know that much about the lower boner limit for low SMV men.

    I would disagree that most 1-3’s can become a 5. But some could. If it’s just due to being really obese then it’s possible because lying underneath that is a physically more attractive person. However, if there face is just ugly then it’s going to be hard. Also, I think a lot of the male 1’s and 2’s have some kind of handicap like fetal alcohol syndrome that makes them unable to really have more than a menial job and their social skills are quite lacking and hard to develop. My family has helped out a couple of such young men–one was worse than the other. The worse-off one I just can’t really see any woman going for–he might be a 2 in MMV, while the better-off one is probably more like a 4 and could probably find someone.
    The 2 I mentioned just doesn’t have the mental capability to improve much.

  • HanSolo

    @Ana

    Of course, for most men, it is harder to get sex with a hot woman. But I’m trying to say that most men would rather have sex with a woman that passes his boner test than just masturbate, if even for the simple reason that he can fap to porn 365 days a year whereas sex with a boner-inducing woman isn’t that accessible.

  • Sassy6519

    @ Anacaona

    You have laid dozens of women. You can afford to be picky. For the average guy is not a ‘perception’ to think that getting sex with hot women is harder than faping to porn with hot women.

    Han can be picky because he does have high SMV. He can demand more because he has experienced receiving more. It’s not stupid for him to believe that he can date high SMV women because he has done so in the past, so he says. It’s different for low SMV males with unrealistic expectations, however. Low SMV men also have “the right” to be picky, but it’s very stupid and naive, and most likely won’t show favorable results.

    The new credo should be “If you have to orbit someone, they don’t want you. Your energy is better spent doing something else”.

    As you said Anacaona, some men only have the “perception” of being choosy about their mates. In truth, however, they end up with their equal counterparts because the women they would choose, if given the choice, don’t want them. This also goes for misguided women, lest we forget them.

  • Zuckercorn

    Han @ 217
    “What’s your biggest sticking point in attracting women?”

    I’m unsure what you are asking here.

    If you are asking what I think is holding me back, the first two issues that come to mind are my inexperience(the Catch 22) and a personality that initially comes off as eccentric bordering on bizarre(I look like Wayne Coyne and often sound like Abed Nadir). Talking to women has never been an issue. As long as I can remember, I’ve spoken to everyone without regard to gender. However, I have no idea how to flirt. I’ve read about it and it feels as if there is something I’m just not getting. I’m great at making friends when there is something to talk about.

    If you are asking what my minimum threshold is for dating a woman, off the top of my head I would say I want someone with intelligence close to or greater than my own, free of mental defect(especially BPD), interesting enough to share engaging conversation, and preferably at least average physical appearance.

  • Anacaona

    @Sassy
    +1

  • Jonathan

    Lokland:
    Should those bachelors now in their 50s be elated to fall in love with a woman unable to bear him children who only wants commitment after pursuing whatever it was that was more important?

    I’d frame this more charitably to the women. It’s not like they were following a plan to end up middle-aged and single. But the outcome is the same as if they had been. It’s an unhappy fact that female SMV declines rapidly in middle age and there is nothing that can be done about it. OTOH a 50-ish bachelor who was never a player may have had fixable issues (career, money, behavior) that suppressed his SMV when he was younger. But now that he’s older, even if he has his act together, the mating pool consists mostly of older women with histories of poor relationship decisions that make them bad bets for commitment.

    [. . .]

    Theres an entirely separate issue about a larger number of people being lonely their entire lives which is somewhat disheartening as well.

    Yes.

    —-

    Mr. WV:
    I think the manosphere’s obsession with dominance is largely a reaction to feminism, which has been preaching the evils of male dominance for a half century. Like feminism, the manosphere holds some truths, but these are often distorted into caricatures.

    Yes. Other biases of the manosphere include excessive cynicism (probably caused by sampling bias, since emotionally grounded, happily coupled people tend not to blog about relationship issues), excessive biological determinism, and groupthink. Still, there is a great deal of truth in the manosphere, which is why its ideas are rapidly becoming mainstream. “Red pill” theories explain better than anything else the reality that many men see.

    Feminists are stupid because they ignore massive evidence that contradicts their models. But feminism didn’t cause the problem. The causes are contraception and increased economic productivity of women, that together changed incentives for female behavior by making women less dependent on men. Like other bad theories, feminism will die out with the last generation that bought into it.

    —-

    Man:
    Well too much theoretical talk for my taste, but what I mean is that eventually women control the rules on the SMP and the root of the problem is that they were so empowered that they do not feel attraction for most men.

    Right. The problem may be self-correcting on a societal level, but alas only through much individual pain. We will not return to the 1950s, nor will western women convert en masse to Islam as some manosphere commentators predict (it is more likely that Muslim societies will start treating women better in order to have a chance to be competitive with the West). There will probably be a gradual adjustment as young women become more clued-in to the long-term costs of short-term mating strategies. On a societal level it is very important to reform divorce laws and to reduce tax rates, nanny-state subsidies and other disincentives to family formation.

    —-

    BV:
    Action is character, and character is fate. A man who has not organized his life and behavior to find a mate is not a match for a woman who has. And the men who wake up at 40 or 45 and decide, like some of the PUAs, that life in the hookup scene is meaningless, are waking up too late. They’re freaks, and they have none of the habits or skills to qualify them as mates. They’re as lost, for different reasons, as Katie Bolick.

    I think you are being too harsh. While many well-known bloggers appear to be head cases there are plenty of LTR-oriented middle-aged guys who are single for trivial or remediable reasons, or who simply decided late that they want to be coupled, and have the potential to be good relationship partners. The problem more typically lies with the women who either won’t consider these guys or who have devalued themselves by making poor decisions.

  • Gin Martini

    “Orbiting” can be done a healthy manner — its just called flirting.

    It’s only orbiting when you’re celibate, plus pinning all your hopes on that one person, and being totally asexual to boot. Just keep a sexual/flirty frame with a woman from the beginning. The most successful men “game everyone” and then pick from the bites.

  • mr. wavevector

    @ Jackie,

    You’re doing psych / writing analyses? Cool. Do me next!

  • HanSolo

    @Zucker

    Yeah, that’s what I was asking. Not that you’re necessarily asking for advice but here are a few questions or suggestions:

    1) Do you have any male or female friends that will give you the unvarnished truth? Without knowing much about you or seeing how you’re interacting with women you like it would be hard to say what you should do. But getting a few people to give you some feedback (and tell them to be blunt) could be helpful. Try to choose people that have a clue about things, though.

    1a) Any good guy friends you hang out with that are good with women and could serve as both examples of some things to emulate as well as mentors or givers of feedback as in point 1?

    2) Perhaps you could just start dating a bit lower than you might like and get better with women. You may find you end up liking the girl but at least you can gain more skills. Don’t engage in any leading on to do this.

    2a) As to wanting someone to engage in conversation with, average or better looks and no BPD, it doesn’t seem like you’re asking for the moon but it might be better to focus on the lowest range of what’s acceptable to you and see if you have any luck. If not, then either lower your standards more or improve your value.

    3) In order to attract women you have to be attractive to them–kind of a truism but something that many people ignore. This raise the age old issue of just being yourself vs changing. I think that there are ways to change that stay true to your better self. You say you come off as a bit eccentric or bizarre. So, is being that way when giving someone a first impression so important to you that it’s worth driving them away? If so, carry on. If not, then tone it down.

    Often some of our quirks can be endearing once we’re liked but offputting beforehand.

    Thoughts?

  • BuenaVista

    “It’s attractive but very classy.”

    Jackie O, Audrey Hepburn, Susan Sontag, and Diana (when she was sober) did not walk around with their mammaries on display. Today, I have no idea who mimics this; Anniston’s side boobs just tell me she’s a 40+ teenager.

    I’m immediately suspicious when I see women displaying cleavage in a professional or dating situation. At work, where this is common, it’s the worst. And of course, there’s always a shiny object sitting right in the middle of that cleavage, too. A woman who does this thinks men are dogs. That means the woman I am trying to talk about serious matters thinks *I’m* a dog. There’s a reason why Joan, on Mad Men, is single.

    I will compliment a woman who is dressed well, and I will never compliment a woman who is going Lindsay Lohan on me (I think Lohan is a good actress, incidentally, and I would love to go out with her, but if I did I’d tell her to put some clothes on). Oddly, the fewer the compliments, the more skin that is exposed. The reason is that I resent the overt effort at base manipulation. I could care less if she is trolling for a new guy, because if she is doing that, I’m pleased to know and head for the exits pronto.

    The place to be Madonna (Madonna the tramp) is at home. Women forget also that a great many men want to walk upstairs or ride their bikes behind their girl, and really don’t care about decolletage. Squats, lunges, and spin class are wonderful things.

    Somebody convince me that Jackie O wasn’t a woman of legendary appeal and desire. Even I have 10 black turtlenecks after looking at a few hundred pictures of her.

  • Man

    @Anacaona;Sassy: I like #296. Just out of interest: why do you think men are the most consumers of porn and prostitution? You also mentioned “pity fucks”. Are women really capable of feeling pity for a man, to the point of offering him sex out of “pity”? I don’t really think that the female soul is so generous.

  • mr. wavevector

    @ BV,

    Just as I was way too stupid while married to recognize what was happening and how I should change to pre-empt it

    How about a brief description of what was happening and how you could have changed?

  • HanSolo

    @Anacaona

    mr. wv mentioned a form of that fantasy too and he is restricted in behavior over the last many years he’s been married, I believe. I can’t speak to what score he would get on the attitude/beliefs and desire portions of the test.

    I think it’s more truly restricted guys like Ted that wouldn’t want a harem in an alternate reality where women really wanted such a thing.

  • BuenaVista

    @Jonathon. 298. On the action is character, character is fate trope.

    “I think you are being too harsh. While many well-known bloggers appear to be head cases there are plenty of LTR-oriented middle-aged guys who are single for trivial or remediable reasons, or who simply decided late that they want to be coupled, and have the potential to be good relationship partners.”

    I am being harsh. Life is harsh. By the time you are 40, if you don’t have a body of work, and a set of skills and habits, it’s too late to turn the page. Being a good mate is a skill. No one takes up baseball, chess or physics at 40, and performs well. The ones who try are playing at an 8th grade level. I don’t care if my daughter goes out with someone 20 years older; I care a lot if he is Taki.

  • Man

    I like #296.

    I actually wanted to mean #295.

  • mr. wavevector

    @ Han,

    mr. wv mentioned a form of that fantasy too and he is restricted in behavior over the last many years he’s been married, I believe. I can’t speak to what score he would get on the attitude/beliefs and desire portions of the test.

    High in desire, restricted in attitude/beliefs. Hence an active fantasy life.

  • BuenaVista

    Incomplete, above.

    I care a lot if he is Taki, and more if he is so retarded in his development that he couldn’t get his shit together sufficiently to cobble together an incomplete or imperfect complex relationship with a live human woman. The latter is a man looking for a mommie, not a woman. Obviously I worry more about Taki.

  • Richard Aubrey

    Decades ago, in a field project, I had a colleague–we were a team of two in about fourteen teams–who had what is known as a “stunning figure”. She dieted against it, which affected the rest of her. Had great bone structure. Had it going on, iow. She wore shapeless shifts. No fitting around the waist. In fact, the hem was perfectly horizontal when she wore the things, which must mean they were several inches longer in front when on a hanger. Lot of planning, iow. Still, some things were obvious.
    It was in a dicey area and it drove me half crazy to look off the buttheads. Worked. The point is, in some circumstances it doesn’t matter what you think you’re doing, or even if you’re doing it as well as it can be done. Sometimes what is just is.
    The upside, for her, was that she moved in a column of fresh, if not cool, air, which was nice, seeing as we were in Mississippi.

  • Sassy6519

    @ Man

    Just out of interest: why do you think men are the most consumers of porn and prostitution? You also mentioned “pity fucks”. Are women really capable of feeling pity for a man, to the point of offering him sex out of “pity”? I don’t really think that the female soul is so generous.

    Men are the largest market for porn probably because:

    1. Men like looking at naked chicks.
    2. Men like variety.
    3. It’s easier to look at porn to see a naked woman, for most men, than it is to get a real live woman naked in from of them.
    4. Men like masturbating, and porn offers a good source of visual stimulation for the task at hand.

    As far as pity fucks are concerned, I have known a few women who have been willing to offer them. I could never do it, but I’m not surprised that some women do.

    I actually asked one woman I know about her reasoning behind it, and she explained it for me. She said that if she thought a guy was “nice” enough, but unfortunate with women, she would be willing to “bite the bullet” and have sex with the guy. The particular guy in question was a 25-26 year old virgin. He was pretty bland, and he had a very eccentric/quirky personality that turned women off.

    Mostly the motivation to sleep with him came as a result of feeling very badly for him. I guess such women see it as a form of “benevolent suffering”, on their parts. These women would never date these men, and really don’t have any visceral desire to sleep with the men either. It seems to me that they treat it like a chore of some sorts. They engage in the physical action of sex, but their hearts are not in it. Talk about being a martyr for a “noble cause”.

  • mr. wavevector

    @Sassy,

    Talk about being a martyr for a “noble cause”.

    Maybe there should be a religious order to save the souls of all those poor incels: the Sisters of the Mercy Fuck.

  • J
  • Man

    Talk about being a martyr for a “noble cause”.

    Maybe there should be a religious order to save the souls of all those poor incels: the Sisters of the Mercy Fuck.

    @WV: 🙂 I think we’re in bad need of such order nowadays. If we think about it deeply, even child care has been kind of abandoned by post-feminist women. So why not create institutions to take care of male’s sexual needs (informally this is done by prostitution by it’s an unregulated and too expensive market).

    Personally, I don’t believe much in such “pity fucks”. Women have a sort of “inverted” logic of their own: being the easy to get and hence sort of giving sex for free for a cad, it’s not considered a “pity fuck”, because the gratification comes from the competition, etc. But offering sex for a “nice guy” is considered a “pity fuck”. However, they are more willing to offer sex for the nice guy when they are, e.g. a single parent or when their SMV has diminished drastically (this is very common). And there’s nothing so noble about this, but still they think so. This reminds me Susan commenting before that women never change lanes with regard to sexual attraction. And this is so true.

    @Sassy: About porn, #312, I agree with your points. I think that men sort of want immediate gratification and are also wired to be visually excited. Porn kind of provides best of both worlds, even though being only virtual. So, I think that the most important point is number 3: “It’s easier to look at porn to see a naked woman, for most men, than it is to get a real live woman naked in from of them.” And, in fact, it’s much easier for men to resort to porn or even prostitution than jumping a lot of hurdles just to have the DTR talk.

    All in all it actually amounts to the fact that men have sort of zero sexual value for women and so they have to pay for it, directly or indirectly. Could we say then that the sex that is being offered by a woman in the context of a relationship with a man she is in love with is a “gratitude fuck”?

    • Sounds like it’s time to tell my mercy fuck story.

      I had a good guy friend in college named Paul. He was serious about his high school girlfriend, who was a couple of years younger than him. I had a boyfriend, in a different frat. So we had a strictly platonic friendship that worked well. I was never attracted to him, but we shared a similar sense of humor and gravitated toward one another whenever our organizations shared a social event.

      Shortly after graduation, I had broken up with my college bf, and I lived in an apartment by myself. Paul was still with his gf. One night, as I was watching Mork and Mindy (1978!), Paul showed up at my apartment. I was not expecting anyone and was in a bathrobe. He was quite distressed. I urged him to sit down and tell me what was on his mind.

      He explained that his gf was talking more and more frequently about their future married life, the children they would have, etc. He loved her, but at 22 just not sure he wanted to marry her. He said that he had always felt strongly attracted to me, and this was increasingly on his mind. He wondered whether we might be meant for each other – true soulmates. I said point blank that we were not, that I was not attracted to him in that way. He was disappointed, but said that didn’t change his own ambivalence about committing to her.

      He told me that he had fantasized about our being together thousands of times, and that if we had sex, he felt certain he would know what to do. I said again that I was not interested in having sex with him, and I also distinctly remember being aware that my legs needing shaving. He said, “We have been good friends for a long time. My future hangs in the balance here. I don’t think I will ever know if I love her unless I can experience what it’s like to have sex with you. Whether you want to be with me or not, I really need to figure out what I really want.” This conversation went on for two hours. Finally, worn down, I said OK. “OK, Paul, I’ll have sex with you.”

      It was truly a mission of mercy. I can remember not feeling the least bit aroused. I was totally passive, just resigned to getting it over with. It didn’t last long. When he’d finished, he rolled off of me, heart pounding, sweaty. We lay there, both looking at the ceiling for several minutes. After a while, he turned on his side and looked me in the eye. He said, “I really do love her. Thank you for helping me realize that.”

      Womp womp womp

  • BuenaVista

    Mr. WV, I don’t know. You didn’t get the memo, eh? As Jackie has already explained, I’m making all of this up because I’m an angry-bitter delusional clinical narcissist who should have known what he was getting into at 42, when he was 19. DSM-V material. And this blog is about women, not men.

    However, I would advise the young women who choose to stay at home, not to complain to the feminist marriage counselor, that their husbands, who are working 80 hours a week already, should do more housework, cook all the meals on the weekend, stop with the Cotes du Rhones at dinner, and jettison the cigars in the study, get more exercise, stop flying (which is the single activity not requiring them to take shit in order to get money or sex), elevate their income to Goldman partner levels, and finish their books. Their husbands might just be drinking feminist kool-aid and think they really are supposed to be the hero in a romance novel. And so they’ll shrug, make a checklist, start getting up at 3 to clean toilets, outdo their wives in the kitchen, write poetry before sunup, become so skinny they’re wearing jackets from college, and be so wired from alcohol deprivation that they want to take up a new hobby with their women. Because he read all of that in the NY Times.

    Which will make their women despise them more.

    A better approach for her: “I think you are close but selling yourself short and I want to help you get over the finish line and make us some more dough. Then we’ll have the time to figure the rest of it out. Also, in the meantime, let’s fuck a lot like we used to, that was fun. The important thing is to honor our children’s innocence and suck it up personally for a few years. What say we take a weekend at the Plaza or the Motel 6 and get stupid for a few hours.”

    A better approach for him: “Baby, give me a list of 10 things you want but are not getting. Don’t give me a list of 10 things you don’t think I can or will do, just so you have an excuse to punch out, because I’ll just do them and you’ll just be more, not less, pissed. We can hire out anything involving toilets. I just need 8 hours a week by myself, because the other 120 are in service to other people. Also, in the meantime, could we fuck a lot like we used to?, because that was fun. The important thing is to honor our children’s innocence and suck it up personally for a few years. What say we take a weekend at the Plaza or the Motel 6 and get stupid for a few hours.”

    Pastors — Lutheran country pastors — used to counsel their parishioners in bland versions of this. “A woman needs this, a man needs that. Ecclesiastes: nothing new under the sun. Farming is difficult stuff. God wants you both to be happy, well, some of the time anyway.” But that was when an entire society hadn’t been engineered to assert the need-equivalence of men and women.

    No passive voice was abused (prior to this disclaimer) in the creation of this PSA.

  • Escoffier

    Sassy, curious, have you ever had a BF who either didn’t show any concern about the way you dressed or who even enjoyed it (that is, enjoyed the “arm candy” aspect of other men envying him)?

    If so, how did his personality differ from the ones who got upset?

  • J

    Ana: But then you said yourself that many men orbit women forever. You don’t think those men get offers from more homely women and reject them for the sake of one day getting their ‘dream girl’ to declare their love? Because that is what I had been seeing here after a few years of observing some of this men. They don’t learn their lessons, they will orbit and try to be friends with the hot manipulative bitch that keeps messing with them and other women are invisible.
    Some men are like women hoping for the Alpha as you said above, YMMV.

    Sassy: I’ve seen this happen a lot too. You are not alone.

    Me: Me too. I’ve had female relatives like this–MIL, a couple of cousins including one named Mary Ann, who has four kid,s all with different dads, but has managed to land a millionaire husband. I once ran into some guys who went to her high school and mentioned her name. They told me that she was the class slut and advised me to keep the relationship to myself. Her mom , who is my first cousin but 20 years my senior, also had a similar track record. Both were/are quite beautiful though.

  • HanSolo

    @mr. wv

    Just one data point but is consistent with the hypothesis that mainly the most restricted (and likely some middle of the spectrum) men wouldn’t love that fantasy if women totally were wanting him to do it and wanting it with him so that he didn’t have to lie or hurt anyone.

  • Jonathan

    BV:

    @Jonathon. 298. On the action is character, character is fate trope.
     
    “I think you are being too harsh. While many well-known bloggers appear to be head cases there are plenty of LTR-oriented middle-aged guys who are single for trivial or remediable reasons, or who simply decided late that they want to be coupled, and have the potential to be good relationship partners.”
     
    I am being harsh. Life is harsh. By the time you are 40, if you don’t have a body of work, and a set of skills and habits, it’s too late to turn the page. Being a good mate is a skill. No one takes up baseball, chess or physics at 40, and performs well. The ones who try are playing at an 8th grade level. I don’t care if my daughter goes out with someone 20 years older; I care a lot if he is Taki.

    Not harsh: too harsh, too rigid, too limited. There are many examples of middle-aged men marrying, for the first time, successfully. You’re confusing inexperience at marriage with lack of relationship skills. Certainly there are men who profoundly lack such skills but I was specifically not talking about them. Not everyone who isn’t married is unmarriageable. Far from it.

  • Sassy6519

    @ Escoffier

    Sassy, curious, have you ever had a BF who either didn’t show any concern about the way you dressed or who even enjoyed it (that is, enjoyed the “arm candy” aspect of other men envying him)?

    If so, how did his personality differ from the ones who got upset?

    All of my ex-boyfriends have exhibited both of the following behaviors:

    1. They enjoyed the “arm candy” aspect. They also complimented me all the time about my appearance.
    2. They also complained about not only my clothing choices, but also my styling choices.

    Here are some of the best quotes I’ve heard regarding this issue.

    -“I don’t want you wearing that shirt”. (The shirt was a dress blouse that I decided to put on before picking up my carryout order from a local restaurant)

    -“Why are you wearing that? Are you trying to get a promotion at work or something?” (I was wearing a blue dress that came slightly above the knee. The dress did not expose any cleavage, and I paired the dress with knee-high boots. That’s pretty tame, in my opinion)

    -“Why do you always wear makeup? You don’t need to put on that much since you already have me.”

    -“I don’t want you shaving anything” (This was a particularly interesting incident. I kid you not. I had a boyfriend who demanded that I did not shave any of my body hair. When I asked him why, he said that it would deter other men from looking at me or potentially being intimate with me. Talk about “ironclad” logic).

    Despite all of the complaints, these same men had absolutely no trouble parading me around their friends and acquaintances. I’ve even had to sit and watch as an ex-boyfriend received several high-fives from his buddies and pats on the back when I was introduced to them for the first time. They asked him how much of an age difference existed between he and I as well. When he told them that I was 7 years younger than himself, one friend loudly proclaimed “Dude, you are so lucky man”.

    I don’t understand how they can complain about something and enjoy it at the same time.

    • @Sassy

      It sounds like your exes have been extremely controlling, because your dress is not the least bit suggestive.

  • Man

    See #312. Still about “pity fucks”. These really don’t exist. This is fallacy. A “pity fuck” would be for instance, if a woman saw a mendicant, took him to her home, washed him and gave him a fuck. I would classify this is a “pity fuck”. This just doesn’t exist in the real world. It can be, but it’s next to impossible.

    One of the greatest feminist fallacies is that women are so generous, romantic, pining away to offer commitment, etc. While there are of course some cases in which a woman is capable to genuine love, this is not the rule.

    Unwittingly or not, Sassy in her comment #312 described perfectly how women feel about having sex with “nice guys”. This exposes perfectly the megalomaniac mind of the 21st feminist woman. Most women have such a cosmic superiority complex and “inverted logic” that they deem sex with a “nice guy” an act of being a “martyrdom” for a “noble cause”, even if she’s got older, she’s not as beautiful as before and, worse, if she has kids from cads. In fact, she should never have sex with a guy she’s not attracted to. What I mean, is that even when they’re doing so for not so noble causes, they still view it this way because of their superiority complex.

    Susan has got it again: there is no lane changing for women. They never change lanes in terms of sexual attraction. Their superiority complex don’t allow them to view it this way. So, even if her SMV has diminished drastically, she will lower her standards to get a relationship, a provider, etc. but still will view having sex with such poor men as acts of “martyrdom” for a “noble cause”. This is the feminine superiority complex in a nutshell. Guys, watch out! Women never change lanes in terms of sexual attraction.

  • Zuckercorn

    Han @ 301

    1. Despite having signs of schizoid personality disorder, I’m flush with friends of both genders and always seem to be making more. I’d like to think that my closer friends would offer honest feedback and I should probably ask them more often. A lot of them are baffled that I haven’t found anyone. I’ve also been asking them to keep me in mind to mention to their single friends.

    1a. I’ve recently started doing this and I think it’s given me some insight.

    2/2a. I’ve thought about this and the thought that keeps coming to mind is that if I dated someone to whom I was not attracted for the express purpose of improving these skills I would be exploiting them per se and possibly leading them on as well. As for improving my “value”, I’ve been branching into more lucrative cases(personal injury), renovating the house, trying to get in better shape (when I can find the time), and dressing better.

    3. I’ve undergone profound changes in the past completely inadvertently. (In my last year of high school, I went from creepy violent psycho to literally the most popular guy in school. I was completely ignorant of this until the superlatives were announced.) While I would dispute the assertion that I’m off-putting, I understand your meaning and I do tend to modulate my demeanor based on the people present. It sometimes feels disingenuous though.

    Thanks for the advice.

  • Anacaona

    Just out of interest: why do you think men are the most consumers of porn and prostitution?

    All that Sassy said but also because it requires little effort. A whore doesn’t need sweet talk or display of confidence or mastery. You give her whatever her rate is and she gets to be your dream girl for an hour some men even fantasy date them with candle light dinners and flower. Freed from the anxiety of knowing they are going to get laid no matter what. Of course some other men used them to have sex acts that very few women will willingly engage no matter what and is easier than find such a woman.
    Most porn is about a woman that gives away sex on command without asking anything prostitution is the clossest thing for the guy that hasn’t conquered a woman’s heart and/or for the guy that needs more than ‘one in the kitty’, YMMV.

    You also mentioned “pity fucks”. Are women really capable of feeling pity for a man, to the point of offering him sex out of “pity”? I don’t really think that the female soul is so generous.
    If Beta orbiters were completely safe men wouldn’t get their trousers in a bunch out of male friends. Chris Rock said it best a male friend is an emergency dick for a woman. The pity fuck doesn’t need to be pitied. Emotional women can ‘think’ they want to have sex with a friend under the right circumstances a bad break up, feeling unwanted by the guys she wants, feeling ugly, another woman showing attraction to her Beta orbiter spiking her competitive streak. I mean there are stats of relationships that had started friend first so it does happens is a bit more complex than just ‘pity’, YMMV.

    mr. wv mentioned a form of that fantasy too and he is restricted in behavior over the last many years he’s been married, I believe. I can’t speak to what score he would get on the attitude/beliefs and desire portions of the test.
    I think it’s more truly restricted guys like Ted that wouldn’t want a harem in an alternate reality where women really wanted such a thing.

    That is what I mean the restricted guys dream with having the best woman they can get and that is it. I think some men find women too much energy consuming to handle more than one. Probably is a combo of restricted + introverted to get the “No harem for me, please”, YMMV.

  • Sassy6519

    @ Man

    Still about “pity fucks”. These really don’t exist. This is fallacy. A “pity fuck” would be for instance, if a woman saw a mendicant, took him to her home, washed him and gave him a fuck. I would classify this is a “pity fuck”. This just doesn’t exist in the real world. It can be, but it’s next to impossible.

    A man does not have to be homeless for such an interaction to be considered a pity fuck. The key word here is pity.

    If a woman views a man as helpless, disadvantaged, unfortunate, or pathetic, she may decide to fuck him as a form of condolence.

    Just because a guy may be viewed as just an average guy by fellow men, such men can easily be viewed as pitiable by women. It may not be a nice sentiment, but it is what it is.

  • Gin Martini

    J: “You don’t think those men get offers from more homely women and reject them for the sake of one day getting their ‘dream girl’ to declare their love?”

    Dream girl? No.

    I rejected offers from moderately attractive (not even homely) women, because they weren’t people I saw as girlfriend material, not “dream women” (my standards are much lower than that). So, misguided as I was, I decided not to have sex with them, rather than have sex with them for a limited duration and then leave. I thought this was “being good”, but now I realize that it was wrong, I simply should have had uncommitted sex with them like they wanted.

    In short, I was unable to have sex, just for sex sake. No, it had to be tied to something higher. Dumb!

  • J

    @Sassy

    I think the only problem I’ve had with this is that after forming exclusive relationships with some of my previous boyfriends, these same guys would begin pressuring me to change my style of dress. I don’t “let it all hang out”, per se, but I’m not afraid to play up to my strengths. I always found it really annoying whenever a previous boyfriend would say things like “You’re wearing that?”, “I don’t want you wearing that top”, “I don’t like the fact that men always stare at you”, or “Would you mind changing your outfit?”.

    In my mind, these men knew how I dressed when they first met me. It’s not like I dressed like an “innocent flower” during the initial stages of dating, then suddenly switched to vixen attire after commitment.

    the night I met my husband I was wearing jeans (formfitting, but not tight), a fluffy angora sweater and boots that looked sort of like these:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/WOMENS-NINE-WEST-HIGH-HEEL-CUFF-ANKLE-SLOUCH-BLACK-LEATHER-BOOTS-SIZE-9M-/200921452582

    The first Xmas of my marriage, I put on the same outfit to wear to my MIL's house and was told to "take off the whore boots." Once they've committed they just don;t want you to wear the same stuff that attracted their attention. It's just a fact of life.

  • Sassy6519

    @ Susan Walsh

    It sounds like your exes have been extremely controlling, because your dress is not the least bit suggestive.

    That’s why I always got upset with them. Their complaints always seemed very unfounded to me. The quotes I posted above were in regards to some of my daytime or work outfits. I haven’t even begun to recount some of the comments these same guys have uttered at my nighttime/nightlife attire.

    This is the problem I run into. I like dominant, assertive, moderately aggressive, and masculine men, but I tend to date guys with too much of those qualities. I need to calibrate better, I think. Going for the uber-masculine, high-T guys that I like only leads to such situations.

    In a sense, I need to dial back on the “alpha” a bit if all of their testosterone -fueled aggression and territoriality is going to manifest in such ways.

  • Sassy6519

    @ J

    Those are some cute boots. It’s weird that he would view them as “whorish” though.

  • Sassy6519

    @ Susan Walsh

    *Regarding your pity fuck story*

    Wow. I can’t imagine doing that, and I’m definitely not surprised that you were apathetic and passive about it. Your heart was not in it, understandably so.

    • @Sassy

      Wow. I can’t imagine doing that, and I’m definitely not surprised that you were apathetic and passive about it. Your heart was not in it, understandably so.

      It’s funny – I was sooooo not into it, but I also didn’t like the lousy performance review. 🙂

      I consoled myself by acknowledging that had I put some effort in, he might have decided not to stay with his gf. That would have been most unfortunate.

      That was the end of our friendship, shocker.

  • HanSolo

    @Zucker

    I don’t mean so much have them as a gf. More, of just casually dating and let them know you’re not looking for anything serious. If they want to hamster it into thinking they can win you over, that’s their problem.

    Well, having a big friends network is a good start. I think that picking a couple of friends, say one male and one female to give you some honest feedback on how you come across, what is and isn’t attractive about you, whether you’re aiming too high, etc. could be really useful.

    I wouldn’t take the absence of feedback as absence of need. Most people just stay quiet and might try to hint around the edges unless explicitly asked and explicitly guaranteed that revealing harsh truths won’t end the friendship.

    Good luck. Feel free to ask me if you want my input on anything.

  • BuenaVista

    Sassy, anyone who tells someone like you what to wear is a frightened little boy, not a dominant male. DISCARD. The shaving thing is pretty weird, to boot, though I am a fan of black stockings like those the french women wear all winter.

  • This is the problem I run into. I like dominant, assertive, moderately aggressive, and masculine men, but I tend to date guys with too much of those qualities. I need to calibrate better, I think. Going for the uber-masculine, high-T guys that I like only leads to such situations.

    The man you need, will never approach you.

  • Suzan,

    Blackdragon ran a survey on his readers. Now I’m pretty sure you won’t like this fellow, but these stats of his were interesting :

    My Myers Briggs personality style is…

    (42% of respondents skipped this question. The results below are the 58% who answered it.)

    INTJ 38%

    ENTJ 15%

    ENTP 10%

    INTP 9%

    INFJ 6%

    ENFP 6%

    ISTP 4%

    INFP 3%

    ISTJ, ENFJ, ESTP, ESFJ All 2% each

    ISFP, ESFP, ISFJ 0% (none!)

    It seems that 72% of his readers are NT’s. I’d hazard that a similar phenomenon exists at HUS.

    I’d also hazard that most of the commenters here are NT’s with an introverted streak.

    • It seems that 72% of his readers are NT’s. I’d hazard that a similar phenomenon exists at HUS.

      I’d also hazard that most of the commenters here are NT’s with an introverted streak.

      Yes, I think you’re right. My ENFJness has caused some friction with some commenters in the past. But my husband and son are introverts – I do OK with INTJ if the I and T are soft.

  • RealityBites.com

    Most Men Want A Relationship…Just Not With You.

    If you are constantly running into situations and men as described above, the problem is not the men – it is you.

    Men are fairly simple creatures. We want a “hot” woman who inspires us to keep her in our life. Notice that I did not write: complains that we do not spend enough time with her, complains that we are avoiding the relationship talk or complains that the relationship is not progressing as the woman wants. Complains being the common thread here. I define “hot” as any woman that a man is physically AND emotionally attracted to. Some men like ’em plump, some like ’em skinny, some like ’em dark, tall, short – whatever. Two notes to women: 1. if you are not the type of woman he likes, you will not “shame” him into liking you; 2. notice the AND in the sentence above. Despite what the man-haters will tell you about us – we want an emotional connection with the women we call our “lovers”.

    Again, if you keep getting a cool reception by men – you are dating the wrong ones. You will need to do some “soul-searching” as to why you are attracted to men who have little to no interest in you. I can tell you that body shape is important to most men, but varies from man to man. You might try asking a man what he finds attractive if you have interest in him – there’s a novel concept.

    Here is another one: try losing 20-pounds. I did this myself and it worked for me. I could not attract the women I wanted, yet attracted plenty of the women I did not want. Solution: I lost 20-pounds. This is not a lot of weight (I am 6’1″ tall) but it seemed to do the trick. Women seem to worry about thier weight much more than men. For all of the worrying, I would expect the world to be filled with skinny women – but it is not. Let’s put some action to your search for that quality man, ladies. The complaining and worrying don’t seem to be working for you guys.

    • Again, if you keep getting a cool reception by men – you are dating the wrong ones. You will need to do some “soul-searching” as to why you are attracted to men who have little to no interest in you.

      +1

      Let’s put some action to your search for that quality man, ladies. The complaining and worrying don’t seem to be working for you guys.

      +another one!

  • Sassy6519

    The man you need, will never approach you.

    Yeah, most likely not. I know that I need to be more open to initiating interactions with men I am interested in, especially if they may be of the more shy variety.

  • Yeah, most likely not. I know that I need to be more open to initiating interactions with men I am interested in, especially if they may be of the more shy variety.

    hehehe … I’ll propose marriage to PJ, if you can pull this off …

  • Anne

    @Susan:
    Have you written something about compatibility between different personality types before? As in ENFJ with INFJ and so on. I have always been of the belief that opposites attract in terms of personality (whereas “birds of a feather..” applies to background).
    I tried to find a link to the Myers Briggs test among your posts, but couldn’t find it. I found the Pierley/Redford personality test though, which was interesting (and very accurate..) but not as professional I believe.

    • @Anne

      Have you written something about compatibility between different personality types before?

      I haven’t because I’m no expert on MB. Far from it. Hope knows a lot about it – perhaps she’d do a guest post if her schedule ever allowed…

  • mr. wavevector

    @ HanSolo

    Just one data point but is consistent with the hypothesis that mainly the most restricted (and likely some middle of the spectrum) men wouldn’t love that fantasy if women totally were wanting him to do it and wanting it with him so that he didn’t have to lie or hurt anyone.

    That’s it exactly, at least for some portion of restricted men. They value relationships over sexual desire, so prioritize a high quality relationship with one woman over the pursuit of their sexual desires with other women.

    I have known other restricted men who either just either don’t have a lot of desire for any women, or their desire is naturally focused on one woman only, or they have personal or sexual hangups that inhibit them from initiating with women.

  • Sassy6519

    @ Marellus

    hehehe … I’ll propose marriage to PJ, if you can pull this off …

    That would be a sight to see, for sure.

    Challenge accepted.

  • mr. wavevector

    So, misguided as I was, I decided not to have sex with them, rather than have sex with them for a limited duration and then leave. I thought this was “being good”, but now I realize that it was wrong, I simply should have had uncommitted sex with them like they wanted.

    I’ve done the same thing, but I don’t regret my choices. The one or two times I’ve had sex with a woman I wasn’t into, it was awkward and uncomfortable and not very pleasurable.

  • LOL @ “Mork & Mindy” reference at #323

  • Re: revealing clothing, cosmetics. Not only do I actively encourage these things, but I will purchase them as gifts. My reasoning: “IF she feels sexy, THEN I probably get hot sex.”

    Has this ever backfired? Yes.

    Sassy, IMHO those guys had some tremendous emergent-insecurity issues and were ultimately confused about what they wanted. Maybe they enjoyed having you in full arm-candy mode in one context that they deemed “safe”; and became distressed about it when you were in an “unsafe” context around strangers…?

    • @BB

      My reasoning: “IF she feels sexy, THEN I probably get hot sex.”

      That’s sound reasoning. I’ve read that one of the most powerful triggers for female arousal is being desired. If you make her feel very desirable by dressing her in the way you like, that is likely to arouse her.

      One young woman I know was walking down the street with her bf and suddenly pulled him into Victoria’s Secret. She told him he could choose any two items in the store, her treat. He was psyched that she sought his opinion, psyched that she was getting something sexy just for him. She told me that one of his items was a thong that was no larger than a rubber band, lol.

  • Sassy6519

    @ Bastiat Blogger

    Re: revealing clothing, cosmetics. Not only do I actively encourage these things, but I will purchase them as gifts. My reasoning: “IF she feels sexy, THEN I probably get hot sex.”

    Has this ever backfired? Yes.

    Oooh, I love stories. Do tell, do tell.

    Sassy, IMHO those guys had some tremendous emergent-insecurity issues and were ultimately confused about what they wanted. Maybe they enjoyed having you in full arm-candy mode in one context that they deemed “safe”; and became distressed about it when you were in an “unsafe” context around strangers…?

    Hmmm, interesting thought. There may be something to this.

  • Man

    @Susan: #323: You are a saint. 🙂

  • mr. wavevector

    The patron saint of the SoMF!

  • Sassy6519

    @ mr. wavevector

    The patron saint of the SoMF!

    Hahahahahaha!!!

  • mr. wavevector

    Sassy, IMHO those guys had some tremendous emergent-insecurity issues and were ultimately confused about what they wanted.

    That’s a potential problem with game. A guy manages to impersonate an alpha convincingly and lands the hot chick. Now what? Inside, he’s the same schmuck he always was. He knows he’s just an alpha impersonator, not a true alpha. He’s in danger of being out-competed by the real thing. His insecurity motivates his mate guarding behavior.

    Men’s mate guarding, relative to that of women’s, is strongly triggered as a consequence of being mated to young and physically attractive women Sassy, being confronted by interested rivals who have superior economic resources or prospects, and having a mate who displays signs of sexual involvement with a rival.

    What about the women?

    Women’s mate guarding, relative to that of men’s, is triggered as a consequence of being mated to men high in income and status striving, rivals who are more physically attractive, and having a partner who shows signs of emotional involvement with another woman

    • That’s a potential problem with game. A guy manages to impersonate an alpha convincingly and lands the hot chick. Now what?

      Sassy has always been open about her desire for alphas, and her having dated only alphas. I confess I’m having trouble reconciling this current discussion with that claim. I wonder if you’ve nailed the problem here. Or whether Sassy’s definition of alpha is different than game would imply. In game terms, alpha is uber confident, even cocky at all times.

  • Man

    @Anacaona: #325 I agree about women often using male friends as emotional backup. With regard to prostitution, with the possible exception of sex obsessed men looking to increase their number (which are few I think), usually men who are looking for hookers are in a pitiable state of mind. They often look hookers to medicate other emotional issues, and hookers actually know that. I saw once a blog of a girl who was working as hooker and she seemed to have a psychology bachelor’s degree. She ended up giving up because of the few sexually obsessed ones, but came to the conclusion that most clients have emotional issues and should instead work on their relationships.

  • Suzan,

    He told me that he had fantasized about our being together thousands of times, and that if we had sex, he felt certain he would know what to do.

    I knew a preacher’s daughter that went to visit some lost soul in some youth hostel. They talked a lot. Ultimately the scaly bastard ‘invited’ her to come and lay naked with him in bed, because then he wouldn’t feel so sad and lonely.

    Sadly, there are men that rely on the pity and graces of women, to gain advantage over them.

    They come at you with twists and turns. They make you feel guilty. And the funny thing for me, from those that I’ve seen, is that all of them had an infantile way of speaking.

    Weakness is strength.

    • And the funny thing for me, from those that I’ve seen, is that all of them had an infantile way of speaking.

      Weakness is strength.

      It’s true. Paul was literally begging me during that conversation. He could not have been less attractive. Yet he got sex. Sneaky fucker.

  • mr. wavevector

    More on mate guarding behaviors, from Human Mate Guarding by David M. Buss:

    One common strategy is the concealment
    of mates from intrasexual competitors [4]. Concealment
    is usually accomplished through one of three means –
    removing the mate from the vicinity of rivals, producing signals that mask the attractant signals of the mate,
    and muting the conspicuousness of courting and copulation to evade detection by rivals

    So let’s look at Sassy’s boys:

    -”I don’t want you wearing that shirt”. (The shirt was a dress blouse that I decided to put on before picking up my carryout order from a local restaurant)

    -”Why are you wearing that? Are you trying to get a promotion at work or something?” (I was wearing a blue dress that came slightly above the knee. The dress did not expose any cleavage, and I paired the dress with knee-high boots. That’s pretty tame, in my opinion)

    -”Why do you always wear makeup? You don’t need to put on that much since you already have me.”

    -”I don’t want you shaving anything” (This was a particularly interesting incident. I kid you not. I had a boyfriend who demanded that I did not shave any of my body hair. When I asked him why, he said that it would deter other men from looking at me or potentially being intimate with me. Talk about “ironclad” logic).

    Sassy, your boyfriends are exhibiting mate guarding concealment tactics. They want to show you off just enough to get creds, then hide you away and keep you for themselves.

    As for “producing signals that mask the attractant signals of the mate” – that’s the guy who didn’t want you to shave anything. Did he ask you not to shower too? 😉

    It sounds like you are dating down in SMV. These guys aren’t at your level, or they wouldn’t be parading you around like they hit the jackpot. If they were at your level, you wouldn’t be any hotter than the other girls they’ve dated.

    I don’t understand how they can complain about something and enjoy it at the same time.

    Girl, you are more than they can handle.

    But ask yourself this – are you are doing this on purpose? You are choosing these guys, after all. It must give you some real validation to be blowing these guys minds, to see the full fury of their hamsters in mate guarding mode. If you date an equal whose been pulling girls as hot as you, you won’t have that power.

    @BuenaVista

    Sassy, anyone who tells someone like you what to wear is a frightened little boy, not a dominant male. DISCARD.

    I can’t recall ever behaving like Sassy’s boys, and I’m no alpha. I think the difference is I always picked girls I could top reasonably easily – that is, girls who found me suitably attractive and dominant for their tastes. Sassy’s boys may be more alpha than me, but they are trying to punch above their weight class.

  • Sai

    @Richard Aubrey
    “But, on the other hand, she could dress in such a way as to de-emphasize, but it’s still there. So it’s not like she doesn’t have one. She wants you to see it.”

    Anyone who dresses trampy should know exactly what she’s doing, but I thought de-emphasizing was the same as hiding. What’s it called when she doesn’t want you to see it?

    @Man
    “Men judge everything about a woman’s character by her appearance and the way she behaves/looks: if she is a hooker, if she is a porn star, if she likes cads, if she likes cocky men, if she is too demanding, if she’s looking for a boyfriend/relationship and sometimes even if she’s virgin or not.”

    How can you guys tell if she’s a virgin?

    Some go further: 33 percent report they ought to be able to pay for their own wedding.

    But that’s the smart thing to do, isn’t it? Better yourself than the bank (or parents who have other things they need their money for).

    @Zuckercorn
    Good luck!

    To all who are this: Happy Mother’s Day!
    (To the fathers: Happy early Father’s Day.)

  • Sassy6519

    @ mr. wavevector

    Sassy, your boyfriends are exhibiting mate guarding concealment tactics. They want to show you off just enough to get creds, then hide you away and keep you for themselves.

    As for “producing signals that mask the attractant signals of the mate” – that’s the guy who didn’t want you to shave anything. Did he ask you not to shower too?

    Surprisingly, no.

    It sounds like you are dating down in SMV. These guys aren’t at your level, or they wouldn’t be parading you around like they hit the jackpot. If they were at your level, you wouldn’t be any hotter than the other girls they’ve dated.

    This is what confuses me. These same men who have acted this way are objectively high SMV males. This is why their behavior baffles me. They had all the fancy aspects and trappings of “Alphas”, but then they pulled stunts like this. I’ve even submitted a photo once of one of my exes to Susan so that she could see what I was working with. She too commented on how physically attractive he was (I believe she said that he resembled a blonde Jonathan Rhys Meyers, which I thought was a very apt description of him). These guys, according to what I have heard and witnessed firsthand, had a lot of female admirers/previous girlfriends/past conquests. I honestly don’t understand why they acted the way that they did.

    Girl, you are more than they can handle.

    But ask yourself this – are you are doing this on purpose? You are choosing these guys, after all. It must give you some real validation to be blowing these guys minds, to see the full fury of their hamsters in mate guarding mode. If you date an equal whose been pulling girls as hot as you, you won’t have that power.

    I don’t really like the over-the-top mate guarding displays, to be honest. I like that they were excited about me, but such excitement was often too much for me as well.

    I feel like I’ve been dealing with men who have significant insecurities despite their typical “Alpha” looks, status, dominance, and charm. They had the outward trappings of “Alpha”, but they also had fragile/brittle egos on the inside. This begs the question of whether or not a man can be “Alpha” without having a rock solid ego or sense of confidence. Can an “Alpha” have insecurities or act irrationally with women? I think that they can.

    Even the strongest or bravest individuals have weaknesses, despite any attempt they make at trying to hide them. I don’t believe that “Alphas” are an exception to this.

    • I’ve even submitted a photo once of one of my exes to Susan so that she could see what I was working with. She too commented on how physically attractive he was (I believe she said that he resembled a blonde Jonathan Rhys Meyers, which I thought was a very apt description of him). These guys, according to what I have heard and witnessed firsthand, had a lot of female admirers/previous girlfriends/past conquests. I honestly don’t understand why they acted the way that they did.

      Sassy, you’ve dated emo hipsters. Those guys are not alpha. They’re attractive betas. Girl, you like betas! The whole narrative needs to be revised!

  • szopen

    Very interesting comments in this thread! I really enjoyed reading them all.

    @Buena Vista

    ignores both of my principle points: working class men have much, much higher standards of living and disposable income than 50 years ago, and that working class men prior to the USA industrial boom of 1945 – 1975, married at substantially higher rates while enjoying none of the financial benefits of a union card and a defined benefits pension plan

    Seems to me that you assume that people are rational beings. This is a very risky assumption, to say it most delicately. For one thing: 100 years ago people were thinking: to be responsible, i must assure my children won’t die from hunger before having them. So, they were having children when they got stable job, no matter how bad-paid.
    So, no people are dying from hunger in my home country. There is no danger of child dying because their parents have no money to fed them. There is public health care, public schools. But now people are thinking: I can’t have children until I have a house, a car, and some money to ensure they can get to the best private school available.
    Similarly, it doesn’t matter whether working males are better off compared to their grandfathers. WHat it matters is how they compare to the possible mates, and to the possible competition.

    It like wondering why Dell does not sell much more computers, since after all today’s dells are thousand times better than dells two decades ago.

    @Bastiat Blogger
    I really enjoyed your marriage game experiment description. That, and further comments, nicely capture the intuition we all have: everything goes better for the top 20% and worse for the low 80%.

    But I feel all that analysis misses one more thing. For starters, in every society more boys are born than girls. Because there is higher mortality amongst boys, usually there is parity by the puberty. Thanks to better health, more boys survive and we there are already more boys than girls without correcting for girls’ expectations. This alone can produce results as you have described in the marriage game, am i right?

  • szopen

    @Sassy

    . My style of dress won’t change for any guy.

    I will never cut my hair for some women, said my friend. I won’t change my style of dressing. Ties and jackets are for those mindless zombies in corporations, he growled, as he was torturing my ears with the Tool.

    When we met recently, he first thought I was joking. I never said that, he said, with his face quite straight, not even a trace of smile in it. After some thought, he added: besides, I was right. I have not cut my hair for my wife. I did it because I felt like it would suit me more, since I am now more matured and better man.

    I nodded. I do not have that much friends, you know; in English you don’t even had this kind of emotional loading on “friend” word we have. That’s why I haven’t laugh. Until I went back home, that is.

    I am sure, Sassy, you won’t ever change for any guy. But there may come day that you will think “mhmmm I think I should dress differently, and this is not because of this guy I am dating. It’s just I am a different person now”.

    • After some thought, he added: besides, I was right. I have not cut my hair for my wife. I did it because I felt like it would suit me more, since I am now more matured and better man.

      That started my day with a hearty laugh! Thank you szopen!

  • szopen

    @man

    There’s no such a thing as good feminism. All feminism is evil.

    The only things common to all strands of feminism is that females and males should have the same legal rights, and no one should be judged basing on what he has in his trousers. If you think this is evil, I think we have some serious disagreement here.

  • szopen

    @Anne

    I have always been of the belief that opposites attract in terms of personality

    I believe that this is true for STRs, while for LTRs it’s not. Or rather: the more different you are on one aspect, the more similar you must be on some other aspect.

  • mr. wavevector

    @Sassy,

    I feel like I’ve been dealing with men who have significant insecurities despite their typical “Alpha” looks, status, dominance, and charm. They had the outward trappings of “Alpha”, but they also had fragile/brittle egos on the inside. This begs the question of whether or not a man can be “Alpha” without having a rock solid ego or sense of confidence. Can an “Alpha” have insecurities or act irrationally with women? I think that they can.

    That’s a very good point, and something I was thinking about earlier too. I think the brittle ego comes about when someone has an unrealistically high internal self image. But they also experience insecurity, because life experience tends to poke holes in their self image and tells them they aren’t all that. Cognitive dissonance results, where one part of their mind is holding onto and defending the inflated self image against the other part that knows that self image is unrealistic.

    I have some experience with that state when I was younger. My brittle ego concerned my own estimation of my intelligence, not my SMV. I was usually the smartest kid around growing up, and I got a fat head about it. I was kind of arrogant and a know-it-all. But another part of me was insecure, because it realized that I wasn’t quite the super-genius I thought I was. So I tended to avoid situations that would really put my smarts to the test because I was afraid of failing and having my bubble burst.

    What cured me was going to MIT for a doctoral program. The most valuable thing I learned in my 5 years there was an accurate self image. First of all, I got to see what seriously smart people are like – Nobel laureates, MacArthur genius award winners and the like – and it was obvious that I wasn’t at that level. At all. But on the other hand, I was successful and got my Ph.D., which gave me a lot of confidence. So I ended up with a healthy and realistic self image, with an accurate understanding of my strengths and limitations.

    It seems to me your boyfriends have a similar issue. They know they’re hot, part of them has a big head about it and thinks they’re super studs, the other part is insecure because it senses they aren’t quite all that. When they’re with you, it puts them to the test and brings to mind the possibility of failure – of being out-competed by an even hotter & studlier man. As I tended to avoid situations that might reveal I wasn’t a super genius, they avoid situations that might reveal they aren’t the superstud who can keep the hot chick without worry.

  • mr. wavevector

    One young woman I know was walking down the street with her bf and suddenly pulled him into Victoria’s Secret.

    One young woman I know was walking down the street with her roomate’s bf (which was me) and suddenly pulled him into Victoria’s Secret.

    Talk about mate poaching.

    • One young woman I know was walking down the street with her roomate’s bf (which was me) and suddenly pulled him into Victoria’s Secret.

      Talk about mate poaching.

      Wow! Bold move. I hope your gf ended that friendship immediately.

  • mr. wavevector

    Wow! Bold move. I hope your gf ended that friendship immediately.

    Eventually. The risk was mitigated by the fact that we were in an LDR at that point.

    I was thinking more about that story. It’s a good example of how the behavior of a well adjusted restricted beta boyfriend differs from the manosphere myths of masculinity – in a good way.

    First of all, my gf’s roommate was hot – an 8 or 9, which was a good 2 point higher than my gf and the other girls I dated. She had been coming on to me the whole day while my gf was at work and I was spending the rest of the afternoon in her company. There was motivation and opportunity. So by manosphere standards I was a total loser beta for passing on an obvious seduction attempt from a highly attractive female. This is what I recall:

    1) I played it cool in the lingerie store, like it was a perfectly normal thing for us to do. I discussed the pros on cons of various pieces she showed me like I was her gay best friend. I put my self in the friend zone.

    I have never seen any discussion about guys putting themselves in the friend zone on purpose to dampen the sexual dynamic with a girl, but I just realized that this has been a part of my repertoire of “performance of masculinity” for a long time. I turn my “alpha” up or down depending on the situation.

    2) The emotional trumped the physical. Despite this girl’s superior hotness I had no real urge to respond to her seduction attempts, because I really liked my girlfriend. I like talking with her, doing things with her, being with her. She was smart and funny and feminine. I really, really liked having sex with her, and she was DTF all the time. That +2 points of hotness couldn’t beat all that.

    3) There was no way I would hurt my girlfriend like that. There was no way I wanted any part of the soap opera drama that would ensue.

    4) The girl wasn’t my type. At the time I would have called her “flaky” and “slutty”. In other words, she lacked the emotional stability and the restricted sexuality that I valued in women.

    5) She was out of my league physically. Whatever her passing interest in me was (it might have had something to do with the motorcycle and leathers I rode into town with), I had no doubt that if I dumped my gf for her that it would end badly for me. She would soon find a guy who was hotter / higher status / bigger wallet / bigger dick than me, and I would be history for her. Like I said earlier, I chose girls whom I could fairly easily top – who would look up to me and be happy to have me as a bf. I had the instinct to make hypergamy work for me.

    6) I didn’t want to be Peter Pumpkin Eater who could have the girl but couldn’t keep her. My dating strategy was to get a girl I liked and lock her down with my mad relationship skillz. That wasn’t going to work with this girl.

  • Man

    The only things common to all strands of feminism is that females and males should have the same legal rights, and no one should be judged basing on what he has in his trousers. If you think this is evil, I think we have some serious disagreement here.

    There is something very wrong about feminism. Many of the assumptions about gender inequality were wrong since the beginning, which didn’t account for gender differences such as men always taking the risky tasks and jobs, protecting children and women, developing techonology; and the passive-aggressive emotional/psychological violence that women are capable of. It has morphed into a movement of female supremacy, which promotes hatred and contempt for men and traditional female roles/motherhood. All societies who have allowed for and embraced feminism are dying (even though it’s not the only factor behind the problem it’s a main one): CIA Factbook – Total Fertility Rate.

    So I don’t see anything good about something that’s basically helping with the downfall of the Western civilization and its foundations. We need something different that accounts for essential gender differences and helps to promote harmonious relationships and stable families.

  • Man

    Right. The problem may be self-correcting on a societal level, but alas only through much individual pain. We will not return to the 1950s, nor will western women convert en masse to Islam as some manosphere commentators predict (it is more likely that Muslim societies will start treating women better in order to have a chance to be competitive with the West). There will probably be a gradual adjustment as young women become more clued-in to the long-term costs of short-term mating strategies. On a societal level it is very important to reform divorce laws and to reduce tax rates, nanny-state subsidies and other disincentives to family formation.

    Probably there won’t be a mass convertion to Islam. But Muslims are making on average much more babies and, to my mind, Western Europe at the least is already in a strategic weak position for the long term.

  • Man

    @Sai

    How can you guys tell if she’s a virgin?

    Actually it’s really difficult, but I will relate to an example. In the restaurant I use to go there was a girl who came from the countryside to work in the city. I used to talk and kid with her sometimes, because I am also from the countryside and I like to talk with simple people. She had a very angelic and pure face expression, look. After a while, she changed jobs and already had a boyfriend. Her gaze changed: she looked more serious, as if she had lost her innocence. I could tell she was not virgin anymore. Actually men are like that too, to some extent. 🙂 The bottom line: choose very well when and whom you want to lose your virginity with. 🙂

  • Escoffier

    Susan is right, Sassy’s BFs would seem to be, by and large, alpha in appearance but have some significant beta personality traits.

    I am thinking back about how the same issue has affected–a thoroughly beta personality. And, really, it never has. My college GF dressed very prim and preppy, so I never had occasion to be concerned about her clothes. My grad school GF, who was distinctly hotter, dressed like a grad student. I think her style would today be called “hipster.” But we didn’t have that term back then. I recall only one piece of tight clothing, a dress she got in France, that as far as I can remember she never wore out. She just owned it and modeled it for me a couple of times. Most of the time it was jeans, t-shirts and cardigans, but not sweater-set cardigans, more like thrift shop finds from the 1950s. She would wear short skirts, but not tight, and everything else was quite plain. She was so pretty that she got stares anyway but that never bothered me.

    My wife dresses very conservatively and always has. In grad school she wore a dress every day. Pants are kind of a new thing for her. A couple of years ago she got a shortish dress (for her; meaning, to the knee) that shows some cleavage. Not like Vegas hooker but noticable. Rather 1940s in style. It was by far the most risque thing I had ever seen her in. I called it the “boobie dress.” She wears it a few time a year when we go out to a fancy restaurant or whatnot. Doesn’t bother me at all.

    She will always get looks no matter what she is wearing because of her rather impressive mane of wavy red hair.

  • Sassy6519

    @ Susan Walsh

    Sassy has always been open about her desire for alphas, and her having dated only alphas. I confess I’m having trouble reconciling this current discussion with that claim. I wonder if you’ve nailed the problem here. Or whether Sassy’s definition of alpha is different than game would imply. In game terms, alpha is uber confident, even cocky at all times.

    These men were uber-confident/cocky most of the time though. They conducted themselves in uber-confident/cocky ways probably 85%-95% of the time. When they were not being overly confident/cocky the majority of the time, they were either complaining about my appearance or trying to physically fight other guys.

    I honestly don’t know how to categorize them now. “Glass cannon” Alphas perhaps? Overly aggressive Sigmas?

  • Sassy6519

    @ Susan Walsh

    Sassy, you’ve dated emo hipsters. Those guys are not alpha. They’re attractive betas. Girl, you like betas! The whole narrative needs to be revised!

    Hahahahaha!!! If only it were that simple.

  • Sassy6519

    @ Escoffier

    Susan is right, Sassy’s BFs would seem to be, by and large, alpha in appearance but have some significant beta personality traits.

    If this is true, does that mean that I need to demand even more confidence, cockiness, aggression, and dominance from the men I date? Do I need to date men with even less “Beta” traits than they already have?

    That seems like it would add even more problems than I have already experienced.

  • Sassy6519

    @ mr. wavevector

    That’s a very good point, and something I was thinking about earlier too. I think the brittle ego comes about when someone has an unrealistically high internal self image. But they also experience insecurity, because life experience tends to poke holes in their self image and tells them they aren’t all that. Cognitive dissonance results, where one part of their mind is holding onto and defending the inflated self image against the other part that knows that self image is unrealistic.

    I have some experience with that state when I was younger. My brittle ego concerned my own estimation of my intelligence, not my SMV. I was usually the smartest kid around growing up, and I got a fat head about it. I was kind of arrogant and a know-it-all. But another part of me was insecure, because it realized that I wasn’t quite the super-genius I thought I was. So I tended to avoid situations that would really put my smarts to the test because I was afraid of failing and having my bubble burst.

    It seems to me your boyfriends have a similar issue. They know they’re hot, part of them has a big head about it and thinks they’re super studs, the other part is insecure because it senses they aren’t quite all that. When they’re with you, it puts them to the test and brings to mind the possibility of failure – of being out-competed by an even hotter & studlier man. As I tended to avoid situations that might reveal I wasn’t a super genius, they avoid situations that might reveal they aren’t the superstud who can keep the hot chick without worry.

    Hmmm, that’s a very interesting take on this. This would coincide with the idea of a “glass cannon” Alpha.

    So it seems that I would need to find a man with a well calibrated and more realistic self-image. He would be more secure in his SMV/MMV, but he wouldn’t be plagued with unfounded views of grandiosity. Perhaps I’ve been dealing with men who have had “more bark than their bite”.

  • Escoffier

    I don’t know, Sassy. I think the answer is not to look for more outward signs of confidence, etc. and for more inward, or “inner game.” How you spot that early on, I could not say.

    But I generally agree that a “true alpha” personality would not be so threatened by your clothes. There is some level of insecurity at play here. More outward signs of cockiness could just mean a great effort to overcompensate for a known inner weakness, in which case, looking for those outward signs could end up getting you more of what you don’t want.

    “Equanimity” is the name of the game here.

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    I believe that a definition of Alpha that contains “never feels insecurity” is not a useful definition of Alpha.

    Alphas should absolutely be aware of socio-sexual competition, socio-sexual hirearchy, the opportunity of mate poaching, etc. They should also be capable of feeling emotional attachment and anxiety as a result of this attachment, particularly if the person in question might fritter away in the wind.

    In this context, you would expect an Alpha to react exactly as Sassy’s boyfriends did: extremely controlling behavior. Probably irrational outbursts of rage, too.

  • Man

    If this is true, does that mean that I need to demand even more confidence, cockiness, aggression, and dominance from the men I date?

    I find it so painful when I see a woman looking for a relationship and she seemingly just cannot get it. So I will give my take:

    1. Define what you want (relationship? adventure? sex? long term partner?) and adjust your expectations.
    2. Be your best feminine version: The Essence of Femininity.
    3. Be receptive to potential candidates that are interested in you and/or make the first move.

    Good luck!

  • Jackie

    @Sassy

    Sassy, since you are deliberately choosing these partners that you are (initially) very attracted to, what do you think your role is in this?

    Is it possible they are reflecting back your own insecurities?

  • Sassy6519

    @ Escoffier

    I don’t know, Sassy. I think the answer is not to look for more outward signs of confidence, etc. and for more inward, or “inner game.” How you spot that early on, I could not say.

    But I generally agree that a “true alpha” personality would not be so threatened by your clothes. There is some level of insecurity at play here. More outward signs of cockiness could just mean a great effort to overcompensate for a known inner weakness, in which case, looking for those outward signs could end up getting you more of what you don’t want.

    “Equanimity” is the name of the game here.

    Hmmm. Looking for signs of strong “inner game” does seem like a great thing to do. How to spot such signs, however, does seem somewhat tricky and difficult. They are not as outwardly noticeable, which seems like a no-brainer.

  • Escoffier

    “Never shows insecurity” would be more like it.

    A guy worried about losing his girl all the time, for whatever reason, will come off as needy and therefore unattractive. I’ve been there, though in my case it wasn’t about clothes. Effect was the same.

    Sassy’s BFs appear to lack sufficient inner confidence that they deserve her and have the goods to keep her.

    BUT–that judgement is based on the assumption that there is truly nothing all that risque about her clothing. I think all but the most confident (or worse, uncaring/uninvested) guys will have a threshhold beyond which certain styles are just “too much.” All we have are Sassy’s descriptions, which while no doubt are accurate to her perception, might nonetheless to most guys’ eyes be considered “too far.”

    In any case, since she doesn’t want to change her style, she has to look at the other half of the equation, which is the guy. Presumably she doesn’t want a guy who doesn’t care about her clothes simlpy because he doesn’t care that much about her. So that leaves finding a guy who doesn’t care because he is so-self confident he believes that no one could possibly compete with him. Unfortunately that trait tends to go hand in hand with a lof of other negative traits. Not that it must necessarily, but finding a guy with that frame of mind and none of the attendant vices is going to be hard.

  • Lokland

    @Sassy

    Looked at your exes comments on your clothes choices.

    One suggestion.
    Perhaps this is just amongst my friends group but we universally refer to knee high and/or heeled boots as hooker shoes.

    Just a thought.

  • Sassy6519

    @ ADBG

    I believe that a definition of Alpha that contains “never feels insecurity” is not a useful definition of Alpha.

    Alphas should absolutely be aware of socio-sexual competition, socio-sexual hirearchy, the opportunity of mate poaching, etc. They should also be capable of feeling emotional attachment and anxiety as a result of this attachment, particularly if the person in question might fritter away in the wind.

    In this context, you would expect an Alpha to react exactly as Sassy’s boyfriends did: extremely controlling behavior. Probably irrational outbursts of rage, too.

    I agree with you ADBG. I can’t see how being “Alpha” means never feeling insecurity ever, or never acting out on that insecurity. I try to remember that “Alphas” are human too. Heh. 😛

    @ Escoffier

    A guy worried about losing his girl all the time, for whatever reason, will come off as needy and therefore unattractive. I’ve been there, though in my case it wasn’t about clothes. Effect was the same.

    Sassy’s BFs appear to lack sufficient inner confidence that they deserve her and have the goods to keep her.

    BUT–that judgement is based on the assumption that there is truly nothing all that risque about her clothing. I think all but the most confident (or worse, uncaring/uninvested) guys will have a threshhold beyond which certain styles are just “too much.” All we have are Sassy’s descriptions, which while no doubt are accurate to her perception, might nonetheless to most guys’ eyes be considered “too far.”

    In any case, since she doesn’t want to change her style, she has to look at the other half of the equation, which is the guy. Presumably she doesn’t want a guy who doesn’t care about her clothes simlpy because he doesn’t care that much about her. So that leaves finding a guy who doesn’t care because he is so-self confident he believes that no one could possibly compete with him. Unfortunately that trait tends to go hand in hand with a lof of other negative traits. Not that it must necessarily, but finding a guy with that frame of mind and none of the attendant vices is going to be hard.

    True. Such traits often do come hand-in-hand with negative traits.

    Also, I honestly don’t think that my manner of dress is that risque. Of course men might view my wardrobe differently though. Just as Lokland said below:

    One suggestion.
    Perhaps this is just amongst my friends group but we universally refer to knee high and/or heeled boots as hooker shoes.

    Just a thought.

  • Escoffier

    Those boots are on every Manhattan career wench under 40, and maybe under 50, from roughly Sept to June, every year, and whenever there is a drop of rain. They can’t all be whores.

    • Those boots are on every Manhattan career wench under 40, and maybe under 50, from roughly Sept to June, every year, and whenever there is a drop of rain. They can’t all be whores.

      Ha, remember when Condoleeza Rice caused a flurry of excitement when she work stiletto boots?

  • mr. wavevector

    @ Sassy,

    Hmmm, that’s a very interesting take on this. This would coincide with the idea of a “glass cannon” Alpha.

    So it seems that I would need to find a man with a well calibrated and more realistic self-image. He would be more secure in his SMV/MMV, but he wouldn’t be plagued with unfounded views of grandiosity. Perhaps I’ve been dealing with men who have had “more bark than their bite”.

    Exactly.

    If this is true, does that mean that I need to demand even more confidence, cockiness, aggression, and dominance from the men I date? Do I need to date men with even less “Beta” traits than they already have?

    No. Alpha/beta is a different thing from inner confidence. You have insecure alphas and confident betas. You need to select for these qualities independently.

    Alphas may be prone to insecurity because they take a high risk approach to life. “Alpha” is characterized by a will to power, a continuous drive to compete, and a refusal to back down from a challenge to status, and taking big risks for big rewards. That’s a tough way to live. There’s always someone trying to take you down.

    @Escoffier,

    I don’t know, Sassy. I think the answer is not to look for more outward signs of confidence, etc. and for more inward, or “inner game.”

    +1

    How you spot that early on, I could not say.

    That’s what shit tests are for!

  • Sassy6519

    @ Man

    I find it so painful when I see a woman looking for a relationship and she seemingly just cannot get it. So I will give my take:

    The problem is not that I cannot get a relationship with the men I like. That couldn’t be further from the truth. I easily get into relationships. The problem is that I tend to pick the wrong type of men to be in relationships with.

    I tend to follow my “tingles” first and foremost, and I end up with men that have a lot of incompatibilities with me because I let my attraction to them override my sense of judgement.

  • Lokland

    @Esc

    Perhaps.
    I hate NY though.

    They are rare(r) up here which is why I suggested it might just be amongst my friend group.

  • Escoffier

    I do not see those boots in San Fracisco but that’s because everyone there dresses like complete shit. Except maybe five guys, all of them personal friends of mine. The women are awful.

  • Sassy6519

    @ Jackie

    Sassy, since you are deliberately choosing these partners that you are (initially) very attracted to, what do you think your role is in this?

    Is it possible they are reflecting back your own insecurities?

    I don’t believe so.

    Initially, within the first 3-6 months of the relationships, these men never let any of their insecurities shine through. I was attracted to the high levels of confidence that they initially presented with. When they “dropped the act” so to speak and revealed their insecurities later, I was caught off guard.

    Had they shown that level of insecurity early on, I probably wouldn’t have dated them to begin with. It’s a weird sort of “bait and switch”.

  • Lokland

    @Esc

    Lol, I don’t like the coasts in general.
    Water is full of salt and sharks.
    Lake country is much, much better.

    On another note, I hate the way those boots look in general.

  • Sassy, I think the secure-alpha frame re: hot clothing is that the girl is dressing in a sexy manner because she wants to keep HIS attention in the face of the things that other girls will do to try to poach/attract/seduce him. He sees himself as the valuable, scarce commodity that women will compete for.

    The insecure frame is that the hot clothing will attract other men and some of these men might be hotter or more interesting or whatever.

    You probably “need” either a borderline narcissist who feels little threat from other men (even if he should—i.e., delusional self-confidence), or a true superman who feels little threat from other men because they in fact pose little threat to him (i.e., accurate self-appraisal).

    Do you feel that your estimates of male SMV tend to reflect the way that the typical female also estimates male SMV, or is it possible that you have a niche type that you are attracted to who may not be quite as hot in the mainstream, conventional sense…? What kind of N counts do these guys tend to have (if this data is available)?

  • Anacaona

    When we met recently, he first thought I was joking. I never said that, he said, with his face quite straight, not even a trace of smile in it. After some thought, he added: besides, I was right. I have not cut my hair for my wife. I did it because I felt like it would suit me more, since I am now more matured and better man.
    Heh I can top that one. I had a neigbor (here in USA) whose only child was 12, one day she was talking about how horrible her whole pregnancy was. Sick the whole nine months, long labor, painful, couldn’t keep her food down and closed the story “I’m never getting pregnant ever again”. Her new baby is 3 months older than William. When she was pregnant I couldn’t help but ask her “Should I congratulate you?” She said “Yes why not”. “You said so and so” “Did I said that?!…” Change is the only constant in life. No to pile up in Sassy just adding an anecdote.

    I believe that this is true for STRs, while for LTRs it’s not. Or rather: the more different you are on one aspect, the more similar you must be on some other aspect.
    There should be an equilibrium in which you have enough similar traits that you can bond, but not so similar that you get bored of talking to yourself and there is no challenges in the relationship. The level of one or another to make it work depends on the personality. Hubby and I for example are 70% compatible. Which I think is probably the best mix for both of us. Some people probably would find that too dissimilar and others too similar. Finding a husband/wife should be a college course. It is really very complex.

    Her gaze changed: she looked more serious, as if she had lost her innocence. I could tell she was not virgin anymore. Actually men are like that too, to some extent. The bottom line: choose very well when and whom you want to lose your virginity with.
    This is a myth. I was a virgin until I was 27 and no one except my closest female friends and one male friend, that actually asked, knew. I had a very promiscuous male friend that used to mock women that “obviously never sucked a dick in their lives’ in front of me. He assumed that I had sex at least twice and was holding out for a good man at that point. Men can’t tell who is a virgin or who is not. Is like the orgasm thing, they think they can tell, no of them can, for what I gather from my other more experienced female friends, YMMV.

    • Her gaze changed: she looked more serious, as if she had lost her innocence. I could tell she was not virgin anymore. Actually men are like that too, to some extent. The bottom line: choose very well when and whom you want to lose your virginity with.
      This is a myth.

      Totally. So is the vaunted “thousand cock stare.”

  • Sassy6519

    @ mr. wavevector

    No. Alpha/beta is a different thing from inner confidence. You have insecure alphas and confident betas. You need to select for these qualities independently.

    Okay, yeah, that makes sense.

    Alphas may be prone to insecurity because they take a high risk approach to life. “Alpha” is characterized by a will to power, a continuous drive to compete, and a refusal to back down from a challenge to status, and taking big risks for big rewards. That’s a tough way to live. There’s always someone trying to take you down.

    True. My exes were always competing with other people and engaging in “pissing matches”. I always thought that the hyper-competitive streaks that they had were somewhat unnecessary, but they truly seemed to enjoy/thrive on competition.

    That’s what shit tests are for!

    See, I don’t recall ever shit testing these men. Perhaps that is indeed where I went wrong.

    Hmmm (*rubs chin*).

  • Lokland

    @Ana

    “Men can’t tell who is a virgin or who is not. Is like the orgasm thing, they think they can tell, no of them can, for what ”

    +1
    I had no idea that my wife was a virgin until about 10 seconds after I pulled the condom out.

  • Jackie

    @Sassy

    Sassy, my question was actually about you, not them. You are co-creating these relationships: What has been your role in this? It appears that their confidence issues mirror your own:

    Going by your posts: You are petrified by vulnerability, attachment and emotions. It sounds like you use sexuality to temporarily masquerade for love, just like they use a false front of confidence to temporarily fake authenticity.

    I know it has totally sucked for me to take responsibility for my role in relationships. Extremely painful to look at my part, as much as I’d rather put the other party under the magnifying glass. But it did me no good until I was willing to look at my own issues.

    You seem very invested in your conviction of your attractiveness. Have you connected this with you substituting sexuality for love? How do you conceive of a relationship where the superficials are removed– where you are loved, regardless of appearance?

  • Lokland

    @Gin Martini

    “I rejected offers from moderately attractive (not even homely) women, because they weren’t people I saw as girlfriend material, not “dream women” (my standards are much lower than that). So, misguided as I was, I decided not to have sex with them, rather than have sex with them for a limited duration and then leave. I thought this was “being good”, but now I realize that it was wrong, I simply should have had uncommitted sex with them like they wanted.

    In short, I was unable to have sex, just for sex sake. No, it had to be tied to something higher. Dumb!”

    +1, with the added caveat that expecting your partner to have done the same is not forgiving of past mistakes which makes you a horrible person.

  • Sassy6519

    @ Bastiat Blogger

    You probably “need” either a borderline narcissist who feels little threat from other men (even if he should—i.e., delusional self-confidence), or a true superman who feels little threat from other men because they in fact pose little threat to him (i.e., accurate self-appraisal).

    Do you feel that your estimates of male SMV tend to reflect the way that the typical female also estimates male SMV, or is it possible that you have a niche type that you are attracted to who may not be quite as hot in the mainstream, conventional sense…? What kind of N counts do these guys tend to have (if this data is available)?

    I believe that I do have a pretty “mainstream” or typical view of how women appraise the SMV of males.

    Most of the men I have dated have had N counts of around 10-30 people. I was not very surprised by their N counts, to be honest. I assume that it comes with the territory.

    I could also tell that these guys indeed did have high SMVs due to the fact that other women were always coming onto them. It didn’t bother me because, once again, I believe that it comes with the territory.

    When we went out, other women would nonchalantly flirt with them. The men would politely turn them down, and I would just watch the interactions with amusement. I see unwanted outside female attention directed towards them as something that cannot really be avoided. I understand that to date such men, I have to be secure in their feelings for me. I also have to be secure in my appeal to them. If I didn’t, I would drive myself nuts trying to beat all other women away from them with a stick.

    From some of the stories you have recounted, it seems that you have experienced similar unwanted attention from women as well.

  • mr. wavevector

    Initially, within the first 3-6 months of the relationships, these men never let any of their insecurities shine through. I was attracted to the high levels of confidence that they initially presented with. When they “dropped the act” so to speak and revealed their insecurities later, I was caught off guard.

    Had they shown that level of insecurity early on, I probably wouldn’t have dated them to begin with. It’s a weird sort of “bait and switch”.

    Wow. Those two paragraphs sure punch a lot of hot buttons:

    1) Men conceal weakness because they know women judge negatively for it.

    2) Men perform “irrational self confidence” for STR game but can’t maintain it indefinitely in an LTR.

    3) In an LTR men want some level of security and support from their woman …

    4) but they won’t get it from a woman who was sold on their superman act.

    Sassy, it seems like part of the problem is your ability to compromise and negotiate terms of the relationship when the STR starts to turn into an LTR. You are hoping to screen for the perfect guy up front, but that strategy is doomed. All men have their weaknesses which will out sooner or later.

    If you want a solid LTR you will have to accommodate those weaknesses through The Care and Keeping of Potential Husbands. The accommodation should not be all on your part however. You can provide reassurance while also communicating that these displays of jealous insecurity are unattractive, and that you know your guy can act with confidence because you have every confidence in him. Set the bar high, but help him over it.

    • Sassy, it seems like part of the problem is your ability to compromise and negotiate terms of the relationship when the STR starts to turn into an LTR.

      Dr. Susan’s .02 is that Sassy balks in the transition to LTR. It’s essential to her to get out of the relationship, and she self-sabotages to achieve that. No guy can make the cut. Sassy herself has admitted to having an avoidant attachment style. Enough said.

  • Escoffier

    Lok, I like the boots, though my wife does not have any. Would be shocking for me to see her in them.

    There are sharks out there, I’ve seen them a couple of times, but attacks are rare. Not worried about it. It’s the seals who have to worry.

    • Lok, I like the boots, though my wife does not have any. Would be shocking for me to see her in them.

      I have pairs of knee high boots in black and brown suede that I wear all winter long. They’re sleek, sophisticated and warm. Wearing them at 56 is not the least bit unusual. Calling boots “whorish” is ridiculous.

      I also am craving a pair of Frye boots with a square toe – I’ve decided I can pull it off. Will probably wait till the fall though.

  • I would also add that confidence can be domain-specific. A man who is extremely confident with women based on rational self-calibration may have been approached by many high-SMV women in the past. They have always competed for him, so he views provocative clothing on a woman as her attempt to win him over or to deal with ever-present female competition, rather than as a signal to other males that she wants to be approached.

    He may be relaxed in this context, but still not be confident at all if the task was to give a seminar lecture to 70 graduate students, to get in a cagefight against a combat athlete, etc.

  • Lokland

    @Esc

    “I like the boots, though my wife does not have any. Would be shocking for me to see her in them.”

    Are you talking about the boots J linked to?
    Ughh those look like something my mother would wear.

    As for knee highs, my wife bought a pair recently–> light brown leather, slight pump heel. Looks very good on her.

    ————-

    “There are sharks out there, I’ve seen them a couple of times, but attacks are rare. Not worried about it. It’s the seals who have to worry.”

    I once had a trout swim uncomfortably close to my leg…….yup……thats about it. 😛

  • mr. wavevector

    That’s what shit tests are for!

    See, I don’t recall ever shit testing these men. Perhaps that is indeed where I went wrong.

    A shit test in this case would be useful. The idea is to challenge his aura of confidence and composure with some challenge to his status, and see how he reacts. Low inner confidence will reveal itself either through withdrawal to the challenge (an insecure beta response) or an aggressive attempt to reassert dominance (an insecure alpha response). A confident man will nonchalantly parry the challenge, find humor in it, or might not even notice it.

  • Jackie

    @mr. wavevector (#300)

    I appreciate the request, but maybe you should read my response again to BV! Questions are not analyses, especially questions to a self-professed professional in his field.

    There are a million routes he could have taken in response. However, BV chose to dismiss and shut down. Again, for a professional writer who’s probably used to a crap-ton of criticism — he referenced growing up by the UI Writers Workshop which is structured almost entirely around group critique for 3 hours at a time!– it’s a pretty strange response. If it was me, I would have said: Cheever! Roth! Narcissistic writing and Pulitzer Prizes!

    That’s cool, though. His posts are his and he doesn’t owe anyone anything.

    There is a cool generator, mr wv, that tells you which writer you are most like. (iwl.me) I put your last post through….
    *drum roll please*

    Mr. Wavevector most writes like DAVID FOSTER WALLACE.

    Congrats! Now go write Infinite Jest 2: Even MORE Infinity! 😉

  • Sassy6519

    @ Jackie

    Sassy, my question was actually about you, not them. You are co-creating these relationships: What has been your role in this? It appears that their confidence issues mirror your own:

    Going by your posts: You are petrified by vulnerability, attachment and emotions. It sounds like you use sexuality to temporarily masquerade for love, just like they use a false front of confidence to temporarily fake authenticity.

    Oh, okay. I didn’t know what you were really asking me originally.

    I have admitted multiple times, just not on this thread, that I do initially tend to filter for physical/sexual attraction first instead of emotional attraction. I find it safer that way, considering my avoidance of emotional vulnerability. I know that I play a part in these relationships. That is why I have currently taken myself off of the dating market. I’m trying to hash through my own issues so that hopefully, if I meet a great guy, I won’t let my fear of emotional vulnerability hinder the relationship.

    You seem very invested in your conviction of your attractiveness. Have you connected this with you substituting sexuality for love? How do you conceive of a relationship where the superficials are removed– where you are loved, regardless of appearance?

    Honestly, I don’t see how such a relationship could come about for me. I conduct myself in ways that men respond positively to.

    Most men that I’ve come in contact with have primarily been interested in me/pursued me because of my appearance. I don’t know if it’s possible for a man to love me regardless of my appearance. I would hedge my bets and say no, but all things are possible.

    I feel like men are initially snagged by my appearance, but they then grow to love my personality more and more over time. Maybe I shouldn’t lead with my appearance, but I can’t imagine being that successful without it.

    Remember, I was once a very ugly duckling. I wasn’t even fit for a man to spit on back then. It wasn’t until my appearance improved dramatically that I became successful with men. I’d like to believe that a man could love me despite my appearance, but I’ve yet to experience it.

  • Sassy6519

    @ mr. wavevector

    Sassy, it seems like part of the problem is your ability to compromise and negotiate terms of the relationship when the STR starts to turn into an LTR. You are hoping to screen for the perfect guy up front, but that strategy is doomed. All men have their weaknesses which will out sooner or later.

    If you want a solid LTR you will have to accommodate those weaknesses through The Care and Keeping of Potential Husbands. The accommodation should not be all on your part however. You can provide reassurance while also communicating that these displays of jealous insecurity are unattractive, and that you know your guy can act with confidence because you have every confidence in him. Set the bar high, but help him over it.

    That is some great advice mr. wavevector. Thank you! 😀

  • Escoffier

    I’ve been quite close a blue shark. Thankfully, they don’t seem to like the taste of people.

    I saw a GW once, but I was on land. That was cool.

    As for Infinite Jest 2, once was more than enough!

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    I couldn’t make it through more than 40 pages of Infinite Jest. Vox’s “review” seemed spot on to me.

    I understand a little bit of how you feel Re: appearance, Sassy. A couple months ago, I found my senior year video. There was a small segment I was in, Q&A about favorite movies. About 5 seconds in I had to close the window because I looked absolutely disgusting.

    Oy.

    It is highly unlikely we will be loved no matter what we look like or how useless we are, but I don’t think that necessarily means another person can’t love us. Or give us some space when we aren’t looking quite our best.

    Here’s a question: do you think these guys would stop liking you if YOU gained 10 pounds, or started wearing over size tshirts and torn blue jeans?

  • Jackie

    @Sassy

    “Remember, I was once a very ugly duckling. I wasn’t even fit for a man to spit on back then. It wasn’t until my appearance improved dramatically that I became successful with men. I’d like to believe that a man could love me despite my appearance, but I’ve yet to experience it.”
    ===
    Aw Sassy, that second sentence makes me SO sad. No one is in that category, because it isn’t supposed to exist. 🙁

    Besides that, is it possible your memories are shaped by negative experiences? Believe me, I understand– my grandmother would put me in front of the mirror, point out imperfections/assymetry until I cried, then ask “How can you stand to look like that?”

    Interestingly, when I went back and found pics from that time, I was not NEARLY as awful as I thought I was. Is this possible for you?

    Lastly, I know you are against marriage at this time, but you know, we’re all going to get old and die eventually. I’m sure if anyone is a hot 120-yr old it will be you 😉 but this loss is a part of life.

    I think Susan and J are really good role models for talking about the “love goggles” they have in their marriages after decades. Also, I saw my mom, a beauty who was put in Cotillion and pageant-like stuff her entire life, lose *everything* during her illness. Her skin –even her eyeballs– turned yellow, and my dad still thought she was beautiful in way that had nothing to do with the physical. We all need this, I think.

    GL Sassy, I am sure you will figure this out!

  • Jackie

    @ADBG, esco

    Don’t you guys harsh on my beloved DFW! 👿

  • Jackie

    @mr wv

    I put my own post through the generator:

    Apparently I am HP Lovecraft, creator of Cthulthu (sp?) and originator of the “cosmic horror” genre! 😎
    😀
    😛

    I am so doing ABbott next!

  • mr. wavevector

    @ Jackie,

    Questions are not analyses, especially questions to a self-professed professional in his field.

    Don’t be so modest. You were being slyly Socratic and you know it.

    So how about it? Ask me some questions, Socrates!

    There is a cool generator, mr wv, that tells you which writer you are most like. (iwl.me) I put your last post through….

    I tried it on this comment which was a fairly self contained exposition and got this:

    I write like
    H. P. Lovecraft

    Just great. I was going for equanimity in the face of mortality, and got horror instead. Fail!

  • mr. wavevector

    Jackie,

    Hah. You too!

    I guess we both need a psych / writing evaluation.

  • Sassy6519

    @ ADBG

    Here’s a question: do you think these guys would stop liking you if YOU gained 10 pounds, or started wearing over size tshirts and torn blue jeans?

    I don’t know really.

    I could probably scrape by okay if I were to gain 10 pounds or started wearing unflattering clothing. I don’t think that I would be able to attract or date the type of guys that I can now, however.

    @ Jackie & mr. wavevector

    I just used the writing analysis tool that you both did, and it said that my writing style is the most similar to an author by the name of Cory Doctorow.

    I’m not familiar with his work though, so I really can’t be sure.

  • Escoffier

    Socrates, or Freud?

    In any case, Jackie, this is gossip so take it FWIW. But I heard from a “reliable source” when IJ came out that its length was in certain respects a marketing trick. DFW was torn about it and thought it was too long and convinced himself that he had to a major rewrite and cull a lot of material. And his first editor agreed. But then someone higher up got wind and said, no way, keep it as long as possible, in fact, add more, we are going to market this as the Next Big Thing by the Next Writer-Genius/Voice of His Generation.

    You have to admit, it worked. The book sold incredible well. For “literary fiction” in the 1990s, very few did as well and of those they were all either by established authors (De Lillo, Pynchon, Wolfe) or else had Oprah on their side (Franzen, Chabon). Well, Franzen got into a fight with Oprah, but that didn’t hurt his sales.

    • DFW was torn about it and thought it was too long and convinced himself that he had to a major rewrite and cull a lot of material. And his first editor agreed. But then someone higher up got wind and said, no way, keep it as long as possible, in fact, add more, we are going to market this as the Next Big Thing by the Next Writer-Genius/Voice of His Generation.

      That is so Ellsworth Toohey.

  • Jackie

    @Esco

    Esco, you write like JD Salinger (long post)! 😛 Your short post about wenches and whores said that you write like James Joyce.

    Now you can write “Damn Phonies: Holden Caulfield’s Revenge” or else “Portrait of the Artist as a HUS Curmudgeon” 😉 . (Or Ullyssees 2)

  • Man

    I was a virgin until I was 27 and no one except my closest female friends and one male friend, that actually asked, knew. .. Men can’t tell who is a virgin or who is not. Is like the orgasm thing, they think they can tell, no of them can, for what I gather from my other more experienced female friends, YMMV.

    @Anacaona: It’s really difficult and murky, but women are not so mysterious, and we are not so fool either (as you think). As you said, YMMV. It’s nice to know you were still virgin at 27. I think I want to marry a virgin. 🙂

  • Jackie

    @Esco

    Wow, that is really interesting (and, UGH– what a “super size” mentality of the publisher!).

    I actually didn’t read any of his stuff until I read his obit in the NYT, then started with “A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again” and his essays. It kind of sucks that people have to be marketed as geniuses or supra-humans when the most powerful thing DFW wrote was This Is Water, which is all about humanity in the midst of the mundane. 🙁

    Thanks Esco, you are the go-to for intellectual inside information! 🙂

  • Jackie

    @Sassy

    Sassy, CD is an influential blogger (Boing Boing, I think) and sci-fi writer. That’s cool!

  • Escoffier

    “A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again” was great, I must admit.

  • Lokland

    Based on wikipedia IJ is 1049 pages.
    Am I missing something because that doesn’t strike me? That doesn’t strike me as particularly over the top?

    • DFW was torn about it and thought it was too long and convinced himself that he had to a major rewrite and cull a lot of material. And his first editor agreed. But then someone higher up got wind and said, no way, keep it as long as possible, in fact, add more, we are going to market this as the Next Big Thing by the Next Writer-Genius/Voice of His Generation.

      The best book I’ve ever read of that length is A Suitable Boy.

  • Lokland

    @Susan

    “Sounds like it’s time to tell my mercy fuck story.”

    Since no one else has done it (that I have seen.)
    Helping someone else cheat on their partner was a horrid thing to do.

    • Helping someone else cheat on their partner was a horrid thing to do.

      Psshhh. I don’t buy it. The moral responsibility belongs entirely to the person who’s committed. I feel that same way about people who have affairs with married folks. They’re stupid, but not morally wrong.

      I didn’t know or care about his gf. Why should I make a choice based on her needs?

  • Anacaona

    @Anacaona: It’s really difficult and murky, but women are not so mysterious, and we are not so fool either (as you think).
    In HUS we have had girls confessing losing their virginity to guys that had no clue they were virgins. I also heard countless tales of non-virgins faking it their wedding night. But if it makes you feel better to think you can based on ONE case, more power to you.

  • Anacaona

    Since no one else has done it (that I have seen.)
    Helping someone else cheat on their partner was a horrid thing to do.

    I hope you see the irony of you, of all people, focusing on this aspect of the story.

  • Man

    @Anacaona: I can also ask and observe her reactions. 🙂

  • Anacaona

    @Anacaona: I can also ask and observe her reactions.
    Hey believe what you want. Not my problem.

  • Don’t hate on the boots, I bought this pair this winter and they are just kick ass sexy, and over all very warm

    Briallen Boots

    Nothing is a worse than fake confidence. I have been disappointed once on that point.
    Talking about BMD, Mr WV, you never answered my question, do you have a brother between the ages of 30 and 40 and that is available at the moment? Really doubt he’d still be available if you both are of the same caliber though, just asking…

  • Lokland

    @Ana

    “I hope you see the irony of you, of all people, focusing on this aspect of the story.”

    Yeah. I’m surprised I’m the one that had to say it…

  • I can also ask and observe her reactions.

    You know nothing, Man guy!

  • Man

    You know nothing, Man guy!

    OK, woman girl. Take care.

  • mr. wavevector

    @ Mirielle,

    Talking about BMD, Mr WV, you never answered my question, do you have a brother between the ages of 30 and 40 and that is available at the moment? Really doubt he’d still be available if you both are of the same caliber though, just asking…

    No, sorry! I have one brother, but he’s happily married with kids.

  • mr. wavevector

    @ Mirielle,

    Thanks for the compliment though. 🙂

  • SayWhaat

    I didn’t know or care about his gf. Why should I make a choice based on her needs?

    I don’t know, Susan. While it’s not true in your case, it’s said that he who does not honor the commitments of others, does not honor his own.

    I was really disappointed to hear that story.

  • Man

    Come on guys, let’s give Susan a break. I think that Susan’s story was really fun and a true example of what a “mercy fuck” really is. She was able to put things into proper context.

    The moral responsibility belongs entirely to the person who’s committed…They’re stupid, but not morally wrong.

  • Gin Martini

    That story skeeved me out a bit, the guy begging. Yuck. On the other hand, now I’m gratified to know that I’ve never come even close to such a thing.

    However, knowingly helping someone else to cheat is pretty grey, ethically speaking, since you are assisting the deception of a third party. It might even be Dark. (Lest you think I’m all hoity-toity, I don’t claim to be better – guilty as charged.)

  • I like the mercy fuck story.

  • Escoffier

    “I feel that same way about people who have affairs with married folks. They’re stupid, but not morally wrong.”

    This will not stand 15 minutes worth of scrutiny. Come now.

    • Ah, the always controversial debate about who’s responsible for cheating. As you can imagine, I have given this a great deal of thought over the years.
      My position is probably best explained this way:

      Cheating is wrong, and responsibility for it must be assigned. If my husband cheated on me, and tried to share the responsibility with the other woman, I would not accept that excuse. She tempted me, she kissed me on a business trip after a long workday, I was drunk and she came on to me…No. All illegitimate excuses. The responsibility for damage to trust is 100% on the cheater. In which case, there is no remaining responsibility to be assigned to the accomplice.

      In my view, I did nothing wrong. Paul had thought carefully about his choice for some time. He took full responsibility for it. I did not know his gf, so could not possibly risk trust or loyalty. My only allegiance was to Paul. My intentions were free of harm toward any individual.

      If I had liked Paul, would I have done it? No. I would have been pinning my hopes on a cheater, and so would have potentially wound up with someone untrusthworthy. I would also have been taking a large risk, as the odds of Paul leaving his gf were quite low, in my assessment. But that has nothing to do with ethics, it just would have been stupid.

      I will say that I would not defend this choice if the other person has children. Children cannot possibly be guilty of anything, and their family stability is very important. I would not behave in a way that might make children collateral damage.

      it’s said that he who does not honor the commitments of others, does not honor his own.

      What does that mean? How can I honor a commitment I don’t participate in? I googled this proverb but did not find anything.

  • The only time a guy should be begging in the bedroom is if he’s tied up and you’re pulling the strings or other things…

  • Cooper

    Sassy,

    Step one: believing a man can love you for more than your appearance.

  • …and I personally like the look of those square-toed boots with the whole Lululemon paramilitary yoga chic thing and a warm, inexpensive urban vest of the Uniqlo variety. Add a cute bohemian hat and a (red) scarf and a nice tote and I think it’s a very nice look for a girl to wear on a cold day out among the coffee shops, bookstores, museums, etc.

  • Lokland

    @Susan

    “The moral responsibility belongs entirely to the person who’s committed. I feel that same way about people who have affairs with married folks. They’re stupid, but not morally wrong.”

    May I have access to the comment section of the thread that shalt not be named? (I also can’t remember the name.)

    • May I have access to the comment section of the thread that shalt not be named? (I also can’t remember the name.)

      Do you mean the male sexuality post? If so, then no, that has been taken down. What is it you are looking for?

  • Emily

    They’re not Hooker Boots, they’re Equestrian Boots! >:(

  • Escoffier

    Susan, if cheating is wrong, how can participating in the wrong not be wrong?

    You are basing your entire case here on contract theory. A&B have a contract, if C is not party to the contract, then C cannot be blamed for helping A or B to unjustly break the contract. Even that is not sustainable to dialectical critique but that aside, the morality of such relationships transcends contracts.

    As to your first point, of course no enticement by the home-wrecker could possibly excuse or justify your husband. That is not the issue or the contention. She would still be guilty, just of a somewhat different immoral act. And, if it came to that, I doubt you would hold her as blameless as you can claim to do when the issue is entirely hypothetical.

    I hope you are not taking this as some personal attack. Many of us here have shared stories in which we are not the hero. Your story is illuminating for various reasons and valuable for those reasons. The point (for me) is not to flay you for whatever you did in 1978. It is to try to show that in 2013, as a person of intelligence and moral sense, you are defending an indefensible position.

    • Susan, if cheating is wrong, how can participating in the wrong not be wrong?

      Because I am not the cheater, I do not engage in any cheating behavior. I am not responsible for the moral choices of someone else.

      I hope you are not taking this as some personal attack. Many of us here have shared stories in which we are not the hero. Your story is illuminating for various reasons and valuable for those reasons. The point (for me) is not to flay you for whatever you did in 1978. It is to try to show that in 2013, as a person of intelligence and moral sense, you are defending an indefensible position.

      I’m not the least bit offended. I am not invested in defending my behavior in 1978. I’ve done worse things than that.

      I have voiced this same opinion to the young women of my acquaintance. Someone else’s relationship is not my problem, nor my moral responsibility.

      I honestly don’t see how it’s immoral for anyone who is free and unattached to consort with any other individual. Their relationship status is no concern of mine.

      Is it admirable? No. But I don’t think you can say it’s unethical, as I have no responsibility to the third party. Why should they influence my decision?

  • Gin Martini

    Sue: “Cheating is wrong, and responsibility for it must be assigned.”

    That’s a different question entirely. While indeed, you’re not *culpable* for his cheating, it doesn’t mean your actions are automatically ethical. It’s possible for two wrongs to independently happen at the same time.

    Whether that is the case, I leave to far better minds than my own. But my gut feeling is that the same reasoning can easily lead to (dum dum DUM)… “dark game”.

    • While indeed, you’re not *culpable* for his cheating, it doesn’t mean your actions are automatically ethical. It’s possible for two wrongs to independently happen at the same time.

      Of course it doesn’t mean my actions are automatically ethical. Nor are they automatically unethical. My actions have nothing to do with a person I don’t know.

      The argument you and Escoff are making does not stand up. By those standards, then a male friend of Paul’s who doesn’t alert his gf to Paul’s cheating is morally wrong for staying silent. Yet I have never once seen a guy tell his buddy’s gf that his friend was stepping out. Their loyalty to their friend trumps concern for the gf, even if they know her well. And I don’t think you can say they’re ethically bound to refuse to participate in maintaining the deception.

  • Emily

    Sorry Susan, I have to agree with everybody on this. Paul’s actions were far worse, but yours were still wrong. I really hope that he didn’t end up marrying this poor girl.

  • mr. wavevector

    I was just writing something very similar to what Escoffier wrote in 456. Rather than finish it I will just endorse his post.

    But we’re all agreeing, which isn’t any fun, so let me throw out an alternative viewpoint. Many feminists would claim that event was rape (according to their ever expanding definition of that crime) as Sue consented to sex with Paul only after two hours of emotional browbeating, which constitutes a form of coercion. From that perspective, Paul is not only a cheating bastard but a cheating bastard rapist.

    • @mr. wavevector

      I think you’ll all still be agreeing – I don’t see anyone buying the rapist theory.

  • Escoffier

    Really then you would, to be consistent, have to say that about any sort of accessory to any crime. Helping any person commit a wrong–even committing it with him–leaves you blameless as long as you are not the trigger man.

    An indefensible position both intellectually and untenable for a functioning society.

    • Really then you would, to be consistent, have to say that about any sort of accessory to any crime.

      There’s a difference between driving a getaway car – presumably for some share of the booty – and not benefiting in any way. Here’s a recent example. After the FBI posted pics of the Boston bombers, many of Zohar’s friends from both college and high school recognized him. It was reported that none (or few) of them called in. The college friends interfered with evidence, as we know. They are clearly accessories to the crime.

      Is a girl who went to high school with Zohar and recognized him but did not call the FBI guilty of a crime? Because there were hundreds of people who behaved in exactly that way. Was it immoral of them to not intervene? Clearly, it wasn’t heroic. But was it unethical? Are they accessories to the crime?

  • Escoffier

    I would go further here, actually.

    The non-attached cheater helps hurt the cheated-on. The cheated on in no way participated in the cheating, wasn’t “asking for it” and may not even know the cheater. Yet the cheater has helped inflict pain on an otherwise innocent party.

    You see no harm in this. Yet when women willingly succumb to dark game–no third party, no coercion, no bolt from the blue infliction, just their own bad choice–you have plenty of blame for the man who seduces them.

    This also is inconsistent and untenable.

  • Emily

    Somebody who knowingly helps another person cheat isn’t responsible for the other person’s relationship, but they do bear partial responsibility for the pain that they’re inflicting on the cheater’s partner. That’s why it’s wrong.

    • They do bear partial responsibility for the pain that they’re inflicting on the cheater’s partner. That’s why it’s wrong.

      Why should they be responsible for the pain of someone they’ve never met? Paul is clearly prepared to act in a way that may cause his partner pain. That does not change regardless of whether he gets to carry out his mission on that occasion.

      IMO it’s important to have this debate so lurking HUSSies don’t add mate-poaching to their Book of Strategies.

      Mate poaching is setting out to snag someone with the express purpose of separating them from their mate. This was not mate poaching – the mate was the one initiating the behavior.

      I’m sorry to break it to you, but a very large number of relationships end because one party finds someone they like better. Females routinely compete for their mates, and must continue to compete to keep their mates.

      • I am happy to be condemned by anyone who finds my behavior unethical. Rest assured I will not be writing any posts on how to steal someone’s boyfriend. I do believe that the responsibility for cheating rests with the cheater alone, but I would condemn anyone who sought to tempt or steal someone in a relationship.

        From a practical POV, I think people should be able to trust their friends and family to have their back. Trusting strangers to look out for your best intersets is idiocy.

  • Emily

    Whoops! Cross-posted with Escoff (who worded it way more elegantly than I did :P).

  • Escoffier

    “By those standards, then a male friend of Paul’s who doesn’t alert his gf to Paul’s cheating is morally wrong for staying silent.”

    No. Such a person is in both a moral and practical dilemma. I would agree that he is being immoral if and to the extant the he enables the cheating. However, not telling is not in itself simply immoral. Butting in to matters so private and sensitive can have all kinds of negative consequences. There is no obligation in that case to commit an act that might make everything worse and nothing better. It’s hard to know the right thing to do in that case, and the right thing probably varies from case to case based on all the circumstances and all the individual parties.

    In any case, the gap between knowing about cheating and not telling is an order of magnitude smaller than being a participant in the cheating.

  • Emily

    >> “. The point (for me) is not to flay you for whatever you did in 1978. It is to try to show that in 2013, as a person of intelligence and moral sense, you are defending an indefensible position.”

    Also: I just wanted to cosign this as well. IMO it’s important to have this debate so lurking HUSSies don’t add mate-poaching to their Book of Strategies.

  • Escoffier

    In that case, they are not accessories, but what they did is unethical.

    The cheater’s case quite obviously goes much farther. S/he is a PARTICIPANT in the act. Without them, there is no act. Someone might say, “if it hadn’t been me, s/he would have cheated with someone else.” This is hardly a moral sentiment and in any case could be applied to anything. “If I hadn’t robbed that bank, Willie Sutton would have, so it might has well have been me.”

    RE: Emily’s point on mate poaching, it’s quite valid. No community could function under the rule you propose. And in real life, home-wreckers–male and female–are shunned. (Exceptions being, in the modern world, if everyone is rich and famous enough, then you get on the cover of US and get a reality show. But to the extent that we take our moral bearings from such sources, to that extent we hasten our doom.)

    Average Joes and Janes know that the cheating spouse has done something worse but the enabling cheater is also guilty, and not of a little sin. It’s a sin that hurts others terribly. That is destructive of communities. Of the family. Of relationships. Of trust and love.

    Honestly, your principle is at root semi-Spartan, which I am happy to explain at greater length, suffice it to say that the same general idea did not work out well for them and was successfully critiqued some 2,500 years ago.

    • Honestly, your principle is at root semi-Spartan, which I am happy to explain at greater length, suffice it to say that the same general idea did not work out well for them and was successfully critiqued some 2,500 years ago.

      No thank you. I am not available (or interested, truth be told) in an hours long debate on this. As I said, feel free to censure me for my behavior. Have your say.

      I can honestly say that if I had been in love with Paul I would have gone for it and given him a night to remember. I would not have taken the chance of telling him to end his relationship first, as the odds of that working would have been low.

      This “overlap” that occurs when relationships are ending is quite common, by the way. People are often not motivated to break up unless they have found someone new. I agree that “no overlap” is the ideal, but it’s not typical when attraction is present. And I maintain that it’s not possible to cheat on a stranger.

  • Escoffier

    “Why should they be responsible for the pain of someone they’ve never met?”

    Susan, step back, re-read that and ponder it for a moment.

    [waiting …]

    OK. Two ways to interpret that. One is as a kind of anti-utopian/universalist statement. I can’t save the world or all the children, so it’s best if I pour my energies into self-improvement and taking care of my own. People who obsess about the whales and ignore their own children are kind of sad and also bad parents (fill in any other example along these lines you wish), and I am going to avoid that.

    Perfectly reasonable.

    And LIGHT YEARS away from ACTIVELY HARMING someone you’ve never met. And then saying you are blameless just because you don’t know them. What I am about to say might upset you, but it needs to be said: That is the EXACT excuse one hears from mobsters about their crimes. “I didn’t know them.” Not making this up, look into it.

    • And LIGHT YEARS away from ACTIVELY HARMING someone you’ve never met.

      I did not actively harm anyone. He did. All the responsibility for the harm lies with Paul.

  • This is a very interesting discussion. Just to add two hypothetical layers of complexity that do come up in the real world with some regularity:

    Scenario 1: Susan really likes Paul, perhaps even loves Paul. Paul is in a relationship with someone else. Susan tells Paul how she feels and explicitly and implicitly states that she would have hot sex with Paul—repeatedly—if he was single. Paul muses over this and then breaks up with his GF (in many chick flicks, the scenario involves a person breaking off an engagement).

    GF is devastated. Susan and Paul are happy. How are we to categorize the morality of Susan’s behavior?

    Scenario 2: Paul’s GF cheats on him and he learns of it. Paul is devastated and unsure what to do about the relationship. He goes to his friend Susan’s place for comforting and Mork & Mindy. Paul tells Susan about his emotional pain, and then at some point makes a sexual overture to her. Susan has sex with Paul. Does this scenario change anything re: Susan’s ethical position?

    • @BB

      Very interesting hypotheticals, but I never knew a guy to watch Mork & Mindy.

      Here’s another, which may have happened, in fact:

      Paul leaves Susan’s disappointed that Susan was not more invested and responsive. Yet the thought of returning to his gf seems intolerable. He would have liked to dump her for Susan, but now that that’s out of the question, he can’t bear the thought of another conversation about baby names. She’s choking the life out of him, and he’s only 22! He loves her, but who marries their high school sweetheart? It will be years before he marries, and he wants to get his N above two! He does love her, how could he not? But clearly, he’s dissatisfied in this relationship, and that’s not going to get better.

      And another:

      Paul can’t imagine what he was thinking. It was awful having sex with Susan, and it just makes him want to go straight to his girlfriend and commit to her forever. Sure, they’re young, she won’t be out of college for another two years. But other people marry early – he will shop for a ring this weekend! She will be overjoyed!

      By the way, I’ve also shared here that two of my good friends’ fiances declared undying lust to me in the weeks leading up to their weddings – both showed up at my apartment in much the same way Paul did. I was a bridesmaid in both of those weddings. Of course I refused, but I also decided not to tell my friends. Both of those couples are at 30+ years now. I’m glad I kept silent.

  • Escoffier

    “Trusting strangers to look out for your best intersets is idiocy.”

    Another side issue.

    The question is not whether we should naively trust everyone. We all know where that can lead.

    The question is solely for YOU (any of us, as individuals), whether doing X is right or wrong. Its rightness or wrongness is never dependent on whether the victim is astute or a sucker.

    You are arguing for an essentially predatory shame culture. Do what you can get away with. Loyalty to the clan, and perhaps the tribe, and to nothing else. All others are prey.

    Leaving aside a whole host of objections one could raise against this, I repeat that is totally incompatible with your often heated statements against various forms of game that you find morally bad.

  • Escoffier

    BB: Scenario 1 is defensible, barely.

    Scenario 2: mitigation, not justification.

  • Escoffier

    No, it does not. You participated in the harm. The only “harm” Paul could have accomplished alone was masturbation. By definition there could be no harm without the participation of a third party.

    • The only “harm” Paul could have accomplished alone was masturbation

      You think Paul harmed his gf when he masturbated? Escoff, you and I are not even on the same planet.

  • Jackie

    FROM THE DESK OF BRIENNE OF TARTH

    Let the record show, as the sworn defender of Lady Catelyn (Susan), that I am extremely uncomfortable with using Susan’s life as an example here.

    Did Brienne disagree with Catelyn’s decision to let Jaime, aka Kingslayer as he was known at that time, free? Answer: Probably! But did she talk about LC’s choice and its morality in her home? NO. Would this be appropriate at a house party or salon? There is no chapter in this in Emily Post, but I’m thinking NOT ESPECIALLY.

    We ALL — every one of us — have done things that are not pure or of pure intentions. Me, I will tell lies about being “sick” instead of being honest that sometimes my battle with depression is THAT bad. Some of us are mean behind closed doors. Others have no mercy in their lives for others (but “understanding” for their own situations).

    Susan is kind and supportive — even to people who are not ever nice to her. She is empathetic and I see her continually trying to cajole the sunshine out of even the most sour grapes. (Sorry for mixed metaphor!)

    She does all this work on the blog, devoting hours upon hours to help people and make their lives better. She remembers our birthdays, anniversaries and weddings. She supported me when I believed my Dad was going to die. And I can never forget that. NEVER.

    Sometimes it’s okay to just have a story be a story and not to pick the person apart. Especially in her virtual home.

    I would rather fight a bear with a wooden sword than continue in our present vein. *drops mic*

  • Escoff, is Scenario 1 not classic mate-poaching? It does seem defensible to me as well, but I find myself having to say that Susan would be initiating the controversy and using the allure of sex to deliberately destroy a man’s relationship.

    This somehow seems like it might be as bad or worse than the mercy fuck scenario, even though A) “she’s just being honest and letting him decide” and B) it is the promise of sex rather than the actual physical act that is used (but of course this withholding could easily be for purely strategic and pragmatic reasons) .

  • Lokland

    @Susan

    “Why should they be responsible for the pain of someone they’ve never met? ”

    By this logic the Boston Bombers are innocent as long as they were not personally acquainted with any of the victims.

    ——————

    As a general rule society can only function when contracts are enforced.
    Not knowing the victim does not make a crime legal nor being an accessory to it.

    Now that doesn’t make the accessory responsible for the same crime (at least here). There is a separate set of crimes that enable a criminal to perform crimes.

    I fully believe the fidelity of a relationship is between the two individuals in that relationship however if one cannot be assured that others will not try to disrupt that partnership trust breaks down within that partnership as well as in society.

    The one thing a society requires to function is trust (or fear).

    I trust my neighbour to not come in and kill my family as well as not being targeted by some random. I also trust that if someone does me wrong those that know about it will come forward to see justice done.

    If one does not trust in that then one might as well bar their windows and buy a steel door because their is 0 chance that justice will be done should they become a victim.

    ———

    I imagine one of the differences here is whether one expects to become the victim or the actor or the bystander (your position).

    Most people will fall into the victim position whereas relatively few others would be the actor or bystander. (Note that criminals are a minority in the population.)

    ——

    The Doug Post.

    I remember presenting the same argument as you (I am not responsible for the fidelity of another couples relationship) and one of the women rebutted it by saying I was ethically out of line.

    Thought it would be amusing if it just happened to be you.

    ——

    I’ve told the girlfriend of one of my friends that she was being cheated on.
    Of course he was also fucking my other buddies girlfriend so that was for group defence.

    • @Lokland

      I fully believe the fidelity of a relationship is between the two individuals in that relationship however if one cannot be assured that others will not try to disrupt that partnership trust breaks down within that partnership as well as in society.

      No one “tried” to disrupt that partnership except Paul.

      Trusting the population at large not to use a mate poaching strategy, which is after all very common, is so naive as to invite disaster.

      I remember presenting the same argument as you (I am not responsible for the fidelity of another couples relationship) and one of the women rebutted it by saying I was ethically out of line.

      That may be, but I don’t think it was me.

    • By this logic the Boston Bombers are innocent as long as they were not personally acquainted with any of the victims.

      Murder is a crime in and of itself. The Boston bombers intended to kill innocent people.

      Having sex is not a crime, even if it is with someone who has a gf. And I had no desire to injure anyone.

  • Escoffier

    BB: Is that classic mate poaching? I suppose it is. But people break up all the time for lots of reasons and hearts get broken over it often. All those broken hearts is one of the reasons I have misgivings about “reforming” the current SMP to make it more favorable to a series of finite LTRs leading (some hope) to marriage. That would be better than what we have now but it’s not without its downsides.

    Perhaps it hurts more to be dumped for another person than to be dumped for some other reason (move across country, loss of interest, “want different things”, whatever). And, I suppose it does. But without marriage vows and without cheating, the immorality of that one is far, far lower than the other scenarios we are talking about.

    Reminds me of The Small House at Allington, actually, very similar scenario with Adolphus Crosby and Lilly Dale. Crosbie “gets his” in that he ends up miserable with Lady Alexandrina.

    In any event, your scenario 1 is not really the mercenary principle Susan is trying to maintain, in which we have no responsibility to strangers (an absurd thing to say) and all strangers are potential prey (I know she would deny she thinks this but that’s where her comments here necessarily lead).

  • Lokland

    @Susan

    “Trusting the population at large not to use a mate poaching strategy, which is after all very common, is so naive as to invite disaster.”

    Possibly.
    I’m surprised your defending it however.
    Regardless of the effectiveness of a certain strategy some should simply not be used because they are unethical.

    Ex.
    Dark triad game.
    Polygamy (spouse with side flings).

    ———-

    Question.

    Those two fiances who declared undying love to you.
    What if your husband had done the same in reverse?

    Or.

    Have you considered that that did not occur probably because you are in a higher value position than your friends.

    For this reason it was highly unlikely that you would be Paul’s girlfriend and would therefore have no problem defending your own set of actions in it.

    What if you could only ever be Paul’s girlfriend (based on your value) and not the other woman?

    Also, do you think Paul’s girlfriend should just be happy he went back to her? Or should and is she morally justified in breaking up with him?

    • I’m surprised your defending it however.
      Regardless of the effectiveness of a certain strategy some should simply not be used because they are unethical.

      I wasn’t defending mate poaching, just pointing out that it is extremely common. I’m not sure mate poaching is unethical. Mating is a competition – intersexual and intrasexual. Mate poaching is like a Yankee swap – sometimes you prefer someone who’s already been taken. If you can offer that person a better deal and you know it, why should you subvert your own happiness to maintain the happiness of a stranger?

    • Also, do you think Paul’s girlfriend should just be happy he went back to her? Or should and is she morally justified in breaking up with him?

      No one needs a moral justification to break up. Certainly his having had sex with someone else would be grounds to end the relationship. My guess is that he never told her, so she remained blissfully ignorant.

  • Lokland

    @Susan

    “Having sex is not a crime, even if it is with someone who has a gf. And I had no desire to injure anyone.”

    It is in some places.
    Ex. You could have spent time in jail if you were in S. Korea. (Yes, I checked 🙂 )

  • Escoffier

    “You think Paul harmed his gf when he masturbated? Escoff, you and I are not even on the same planet.”

    No.

    The point is, the injury or sin or crime or immoral act in this case is sexual infidelity. That is an act that by definition can only be accomplished with two or more people. Unless, indeed, one believe masturbation qualifies, which is not what I said. I said that the only way Paul could have committed an act of sexual betrayal on his own is if one in fact does believe that.

    Which I know you don’t. So, Paul’s act by definition–by YOUR definition–MUST have involved someone else. It makes absolutely no sense to condemn the act as immoral but hold the 3rd party blameless. How can an act X require two participants, but only one of them can be guilty and the other blameless? It can’t.

    • How can someone betray a stranger? This is not possible.

  • doomwolf

    Personally, I’m with Jackie #480 – can we just agree to disagree on this and move onto something that’s less likely to lead to hurt feelings within the HUS community? We’ve all stated our positions and it doesn’t look like anyone is going to change their mind.

  • I personally think we should just switch it to a discussion of “Mate Poaching” as a general strategic framework and take Susan’s mercy fuck story out of it.

    We seem to have a few ethical variables at play:

    1) Do you know the target’s partner?

    2) Do you have sex before the target’s partner has been notified that the relationship is over?

    3) Does it matter if you initiate vs. the target initiates the sexual encounter?

    4) If the target makes you aware that he/she is unhappy in the current relationship, does this authorize mate poaching operations?

    5) If you *really* love the target and would marry the person in a heartbeat, does this create a “true love conquers all” justification as it does in many romantic-comedies?

  • Jackie

    @doomwolf & Bastiat

    Doomwolf and BastiatBlogger, I have long thought of you as devastatingly intelligent men. This only strengthens that belief in a CONVICTION. :mrgreen:

    In the words of Eleanor Roosevelt:
    “Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people.” Let’s strive for greatness. 😎

  • mr. wavevector

    I think you’ll all still be agreeing – I don’t see anyone buying the rapist theory.

    It appears you’re right. Where are all those Jezebels when you need them? 😉

  • Plain Jain

    “Cheating is wrong, and responsibility for it must be assigned. If my husband cheated on me, and tried to share the responsibility with the other woman, I would not accept that excuse. She tempted me, she kissed me on a business trip after a long workday, I was drunk and she came on to me…No. All illegitimate excuses. The responsibility for damage to trust is 100% on the cheater. In which case, there is no remaining responsibility to be assigned to the accomplice.

    In my view, I did nothing wrong. Paul had thought carefully about his choice for some time. He took full responsibility for it. I did not know his gf, so could not possibly risk trust or loyalty. My only allegiance was to Paul. My intentions were free of harm toward any individual.

    If I had liked Paul, would I have done it? No.”

    — Have I missed something? Susan, did you mate poach at some point in your life?!

    Anyway, cheating means the relationship has just transitioned from exclusive to open. If you wanna go down that road, be prepared for traffic.

  • Plain Jain

    “When they were not being overly confident/cocky the majority of the time, they were either complaining about my appearance ”

    I hoped you nipped that bullshit in the bud the second it happened by dumping them. Complaining about your appearance? WTF?

    I’d complain about their you know whats and then kick their asses to the curb.

  • Plain Jain

    Susan Walsh May 12, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    Susan, why do you think other schools don’t try to stop binge drinking, given that they now appear to have a workable model? Maybe not to stop it, that’s the wrong word, but at least reduce it …

    It’s a big commitment – a costly campaign requiring monitoring, tracking, etc. Still, like all preventative measures it would seem to save a lot of money in the long run. I really don’t know the answer.

    I do know of a few schools who are applying the model to hookup culture, e.g. Duke. But they had to run a big survey to figure out what percentage of kids was hooking up on campus first. It’s a large undertaking.
    ______________

    I saw a trailer for an upcoming movie entitled “The Purge” where for 12 hours per year, American citizens are allowed to commit crimes with no consequences. All police and hospital emergency wards are in-operational for that 12 hour period. Its every man/woman for him and herself.

    So, if students want to continue drinking with impunity, despite knowing the ill effects of such on their own health and the health and peace of others, let them. But they get no help when they do. After a few months of Scared Straight, they’ll stop drinking.

  • Jeremy

    Cross-posted:

    Ah, the always controversial debate about who’s responsible for cheating. As you can imagine, I have given this a great deal of thought over the years.
    My position is probably best explained this way:

    Cheating is wrong, and responsibility for it must be assigned. If my husband cheated on me, and tried to share the responsibility with the other woman, I would not accept that excuse. She tempted me, she kissed me on a business trip after a long workday, I was drunk and she came on to me…No. All illegitimate excuses. The responsibility for damage to trust is 100% on the cheater. In which case, there is no remaining responsibility to be assigned to the accomplice.

    Ah, the always controversial debate about who’s responsible for government corruption. As you can imagine, I have given this a great deal of thought over the years.
    My position is probably best explained this way:

    Corruption is wrong, and responsibility for it must be assigned. If my representative took a bribe, and tried to share the responsibility with the bribe-giver, I would not accept that excuse. He tempted me, waved money in front of me while I was broke… No. All illegitimate excuses. The responsibility for corruption is 100% on the bribe-taker. In which case, there is no remaining responsibility to be assigned to the bribe-giver.

    • @Jeremy

      Your analogy is invalid because in it both the bribe giver and the bribe taker benefit. In my sexual encounter with Paul I neither expected nor derived any benefit. I showed him “mercy” – it was a gesture of friendship and loyalty to him. Since his interests were at odds with his gf’s, and since I didn’t know his gf, I took his side.

  • Man

    Well, guys, I will side with Susan. Paul is the sole responsible for breaking his commitment. Susan was just a generous friend. If all women were like that, the world would be a better place for us.

  • doomwolf

    @ Jackie #493

    Thank you very much for the compliment, the more so since I don’t really post that much.

    Reference mate poaching, I’ve always been of the thought that, if you can steal them, so can someone else, and I’d rather not spend the rest of my life looking over my shoulder. I suppose this would be the inverse of the golden rule (don’t do to others what you don’t want done to you).

  • Escoffier

    “How can someone betray a stranger? This is not possible.”

    That is not the question. The question is, Can someone wrong a stranger? The answer is obvious.

    • That is not the question. The question is, Can someone wrong a stranger? The answer is obvious.

      How did I wrong her? Was Paul her property? They were not married. Should we not be allowed to compete for mates on the chance the loser will feel badly? If she cannot keep her man from straying, is the relationship not doomed? What exactly did I take from her that she had not already lost?

  • Lokland

    @Susan

    “why should you subvert your own happiness to maintain the happiness of a stranger?”

    Sums up the difference between how beta males and the rest of society were raised.

    “Mate poaching is like a Yankee swap – sometimes you prefer someone who’s already been taken. If you can offer that person a better deal and you know it”

    So at no point is loyalty owed to a partner?
    If there is, when?

    Note: Marriage is not acceptable as a demarcation. Paper is easily broken.

    ——

    You did not answer my question about relative values which is important.
    If you wouldn’t mind could I please have an answer?

    • So at no point is loyalty owed to a partner?
      If there is, when?

      Yes, he owes loyalty to his partner. I did not have a partner, so have no obligation to be loyal to anyone but him, who was my friend.

      You did not answer my question about relative values which is important.
      If you wouldn’t mind could I please have an answer?

      Please rephrase it and keep it simple – I could not understand what you were asking.

  • Escoffier

    OK, S, suppose you drove the getaway car but didn’t get a cut. You did it solely out of loyalty to your friend the thief. You didn’t know the owner of the liquor store. Would that be OK?

    • @Escoff

      It’s not valid to use legal crimes with tangible losses as a comparison. Society has no problem with people breaking up in instances where one person has fallen for someone else. What if we hadn’t had sex, but he dumped his gf b/c of his feelings for me? Isn’t that what dating is for? So you don’t marry a person who isn’t right for you?

      I’m not defending his cheating – he should have dumped her first. But that is his problem, not mine. I did not target him or seek to steal him away from his gf.

  • Lokland

    @Susan

    “Please rephrase it and keep it simple – I could not understand what you were asking.”

    I hate this language sometimes.

    Okay,
    Two of your friends fiancés declare undying love to you shortly before their weddings.

    Do you think your husband did the same to another woman?
    If so, why? If not, why?

    I would assume not.
    Based upon your descriptions of your past its obvious that you were very high value.

    So, is it possible that you are more likely to favour this mercenary like view of relationships because you are more likely to win?

    What if you were one of the people that usually lost. Would you still favour such a system?

    (Last comment explained why these groups are somewhat well separated.)

    ———-

    Also, you said that you were happy you did not inform your friends of these events because it did work out.

    Would you have said the same if it were a situation similar to Paul?
    Or
    IOW, should his girlfriend be accepting of his past just because it worked out? (Working in an alternate reality in which it did.)

    Also, it sounds like you are saying infidelity (emotional in the case of your friends husbands) is okay so long as it works out in the end. Yes?

    ———–

    “Yes, he owes loyalty to his partner. I did not have a partner, so have no obligation to be loyal to anyone but him, who was my friend.”

    Thats fine I disagree but its not particularly problematic to me.

    • OK, Lokland, heading out for the day, saved the best for last.

      Okay,
      Two of your friends fiancés declare undying love to you shortly before their weddings.

      It was lust, not love. A very important distinction. Neither one had any desire to call off the wedding or shake things up.

      Do you think your husband did the same to another woman?
      If so, why? If not, why?

      I would assume not.

      Of course not. He was 30, not 22. He’d been with a number of other women before we met. We’d been living together for over a year, and we were clearly into one another and in love.

      Based upon your descriptions of your past its obvious that you were very high value.

      So, is it possible that you are more likely to favour this mercenary like view of relationships because you are more likely to win?

      What if you were one of the people that usually lost. Would you still favour such a system?

      Actually, one of those guys was marrying my friend Beth who had higher SMV than me. I think her fiance found me sexy for some reason. Men always perceive me as very passionate, which is true.

      I don’t think I have a mercenary view of relationships. I acknowledge that mating is a competition. I didn’t steal anything from Paul’s girlfriend. She’d already lost when he decided to ring my doorbell and tell me that he thought we were meant to be together forever.

      IOW, should his girlfriend be accepting of his past just because it worked out? (Working in an alternate reality in which it did.)

      Also, it sounds like you are saying infidelity (emotional in the case of your friends husbands) is okay so long as it works out in the end. Yes?

      His girlfriend should not accept his past, at least I wouldn’t. I would call off a wedding if I learned my fiance had propositioned my good friend.
      I don’t think infidelity is OK at all, but that’s between them. I was not party to their agreement, I don’t even know what constitutes disloyalty, though obviously I assume she didn’t know. Perhaps she did know, I didn’t ask.

  • Lokland

    @Susan

    “Isn’t that what dating is for? So you don’t marry a person who isn’t right for you?”

    But there is always someone who will be more right or better at a given moment in time.

    I should have dumped my wife twice now under this system of judgement.

  • Escoffier

    You wronged her by helping her mate cheat. The cheating is one of the worst things that can happen to any person. She was not hurt by the cheating only to the extent that she did not know. No one wants to be cheated on, but also no one wants to be ignorant of being cheated on and living as a dupe. So either way, she was grievously wounded.

    The instant she knew (if she ever did) the mere fact of it would hurt like hell. Sure, she would be hurt far more by his betrayal than by his partner-in-cheating, whoever it was, but the fact is, he HAD to have a partner in order to cheat, hence the partner by definition is party to the injury. A knowing, willing party.

    The rest of what you wrote could be applied to any bad act. “He left the door unlocked, what did he expect?” Etc.

    Again, I think you can only say this because you were not injured. If this happened to you, no doubt you would blame the person who betrayed you far more than the person who merely enabled it. But you would not hold the enabler blameless. Even if it was someone you didn’t know and had never met. Same as if it happened to someone you love. You would be most angry at the spouse/SO who did the betraying, but you would have to be a robot not to also feel anger at the person who enabled the betrayal. The idea that you could hold that person wholly blameless is … well, like I said, you would have to be a robot.

    Beyond this, if you think cheating is wrong, then you want to see less of it, right? Do you think a general teaching which says “All you unattached people out there, go and mate poach all you want, you are blameless”–will that encourage more cheating or less? More heartbreak or less? More mistrust or less? More instability or less?

    You want to draw some imaginary line between being a participant in cheating and participating in theft, but there is no line. In fact, in a way, cheating is worse. Cheating, as I have said, requires two or more people. Or else the act cannot take place. But anyone can (say) steal on his own. Fred may rob a bank and Jim may drive the getaway car, but without Jim, Fred could still steal. If Jim does drive, he is partly culpable but without him there could still be a theft.

    But Jenny without John cannot cheat (and vice versa). Both of their participation is essential to the existence of the act. Hence they are both, of necessity, culpable.

    • @Escoffier

      You’re so pedantic about morality. Give it a rest.

      Do you think a general teaching which says “All you unattached people out there, go and mate poach all you want, you are blameless”–will that encourage more cheating or less? More heartbreak or less? More mistrust or less? More instability or less?

      I never have said I favor this. Nor did I poach someone else’s mate, which is defined as deliberate, leading behavior.

  • @SW

    Is it admirable? No. But I don’t think you can say it’s unethical, as I have no responsibility to the third party. Why should they influence my decision?

    Certainly not admirable, though you’ve admitted to being more unrestricted back when you were single. I suppose that’s my particular POV: I’d prefer not to remain in such a precarious situation, especially if it involved a friend. Something about being an enabler of bad behavior strikes me as… dishonorable? And inasmuch as I hope to never have a cheating SO, the other party couldn’t completely separate himself from the “offense” IMO unless he honestly plead ignorance.

    Two hypothetical bad outcomes come to mind: 1) The involvement was the final nail in the coffin of a friend’s relationship with another, and the friendship also ends as a result; 2) Involvement with the cheating friend is the start of a new relationship with said friend, and as such one personally benefitted from enabling the aforementioned cheating. You obviously didn’t start dating this guy, and I may have missed whether you were still friends? But either outcome strikes me as being (unfortunately) too common these days. Not to mention skating on very thin ice, ethically-speaking…

    • Following Bastiat Blogger’s lead, I find the topic of mate poaching quite interesting. I found this:

      According to one study, up to 20 percent of long-term relationships begin when one or both partners are involved with others. Evolutionary psychologists call this “mate poaching.” This figure holds steady across age groups and among couples who are married, living together or dating, according to psychologists who polled some 16,000 individuals in 53 countries as part of the International Sexuality Description Project. Most surprising to researchers: Sweetheart-stealing is prevalent across continents and cultures, although it is notably less common in East Asia.

      In North America, 62 percent of men and 40 percent of women say they’ve attempted to entice another’s mate for a short-term fling. Some 47 percent of men and 32 percent of women say they’ve succumbed to such attempts. The more sexual equality in a culture, the closer women come to matching men in the number of poaching attempts.

      …Schmitt has found that certain personality traits are more common among poachers and poachees, regardless of whether they are Estonian, Brazilian or Moroccan. The most prolific mate thieves—both male and female—describe themselves as open to new experiences, sexually attractive and willing to talk about sex. Men and women who have received the most poaching attempts also tend to have these traits. One of the key ways that poaching seems to happen,” says Schmitt, “is that you get two people together who are open to talking about their sexual feelings. It’s a slippery slope.”

      http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200406/stolen-kisses

      So Megaman is right – this is correlated to unrestricted sociosexuality. As I recall, Athol mate poached Jennifer. 🙂

      And here’s David Buss (who coined the term mate poaching) commenting at the NYXs:

      Abhorrent though it may be judged, mate poaching is clearly one strategy in the arsenal of human mating strategies. And given the reputational damage a mate poacher can incur, its prevalence is undoubtedly underreported. Many don’t interpret their actions as “mate poaching.” Some just think “we fell in love with each other” or “we were just acting on our mutual sexual attraction” or “he wanted to leave her anyway.”

      The nature of the human mating system matters. Although we have a presumptively monogamous mating system, it’s not “effectively” monogamous. Rarely do modern humans mate with one and only one person for their entire lifespan. Premarital mateships, mate switching, and divorce are all common, as are affairs.

      http://tierneylab.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/08/27/why-poach-anothers-mate-ask-an-expert-or-brangelina/

  • J

    Stop trolling, you know that comment is about a different Walsh.

    Actually Susan, when I first saw that comment I thought the commenter meant you. There was a lot of sniping about how the other Walsh must be your sister, etc. I thought they were sniping at you. After all, it would not have been the first time they did it.

    • @J

      Yes, they couldn’t resist making hay out of the last name coincidence. Such sad little men. Stupid too – Walsh is the third most common name in Ireland.

  • J

    @Gin Martini re post #327

    I was quoting Ana.

  • Jackie

    Ugh, I should have stayed off this thread while the staying is good. 🙁

    Has anyone here commenting ever been cheated ON? Because I have. Here’s what that’s like:

    The pain is staggering, blinding even. And it is physical. In my case, I couldn’t stop throwing up until even the bile at the bottom of my stomach was depleted.

    After that, I was still too physically devastated and stunned to move. So there I lay, in my vomit, sleepless and in a kind of pain that I had not experienced until then. Even with everything else that had happened.

    The worst part isn’t that. It’s the shattered trust. I can’t do justice to the experience other than to say that this kind of betrayal, by someone who you believes loves you leaves scars for life. You just can’t trust again. Verify, verify, verify and even then, how do you know?

    Cheaters are, to me, the equivalent of child molesters and people who torture animals. They gain gratification at the scarring expense of others. While cowardly denying them what they need to know the most.

    Why not just break up? Or go poly? Why is that SO hard? The needless infliction of pain makes it worse– this NEVER needs to happen.

    As to the “other woman” — why would I hate the knife that someone stabbed me with? The blame and anger is directed solely at the one who stabbed. I don’t think I am a robot– if it hadn’t been her, it would have been someone else.

    I probably should take a break– this is detrimental and I have so many other better things in my life to focus on besides someone so pathetic.

  • J

    @Sassy

    Those are some cute boots. It’s weird that he would view them as “whorish” though.

    They were actually cuter than the ones in the pic with a somewhat wider cuff, but I wasn’t going to search for the exact boot. His point really had little to do with the boots–which were freakin’ adorable! He was mate guarding. On some level, he thought I looked terrific in those boots and didn’t want anyone else to think so.

    A few years ago, he made the same sort of remark as I was leaving with the boys for services. I was wearing a brown blazer and rust sweater with a green, brown and rust paisley challis skirt that feel just below my knee, 2 inch heels, light make-up and hair in a bun. I hardly looked slutty, but I did look good. His motives were so transparent even the boys laughed.

  • Given the whole 60/40 college ratio thing and the need for UC/UMC girls to find appropriate (re: provider-capable, similarly educated) husbands if at all possible, it seems to me like so-called mate poaching behaviors—meeting someone who is in a relationship and making a persuasive case for the person to leave said relationship in favor of a new one with the “operator”—is only going to increase.

    I wonder if there is a quasi-ethical approach to this, or does talking about it from a realpolitik perspective at all inevitably lead to a Machiavellian view of the SMP…? From a female strategist’s POV, it would seem like this would be an important skillset to have, as in this environment a high-SMV/MMV young male probably will not be fully, free-and-clear single for very long unless he is single by quite deliberate design.

  • Susan,
    One word and then I’ll duck out. One of the primary tenets of your argument seems to be this idea of not concerning oneself with the well-being of a stranger. I’m not sure why the concept of adopting a gracious attitude towards strangers is so foreign here. People spend oodles of money donating to charitable organizations that help strangers across the world. Several of the Girl Game challenges have been centered on doing nice things for strangers. It seems so harsh to suddenly say “why should I care about someone I don’t know?” If everyone had that attitude, we wouldn’t be thinking about global issues like climate change, hunger, or the HIV epidemic. We would scoff and say “what does that have to do with me, if I’m not actively contributing to the suffering of some person I’ve never seen?”

    Cheating isn’t necessarily the issue I’m addressing, but it’s the underlying attitude that made me sit up and take notice.

    • One of the primary tenets of your argument seems to be this idea of not concerning oneself with the well-being of a stranger.

      I am not suggesting that we should not concern ourselves with the well beings of strangers, or to love our fellow man. At the same time, human beings are motivated by self-interest. Few of us would lay down our lives for a stranger, for example. If a woman falls for a guy and he’s got a gf, then learns that he returns her feelings, why should she not act in her own interest rather than sacrifice her own happiness for a woman she doesn’t know and feels no loyalty to?

      Working for charitable organizations or to keep the planet healthy for future generations is not the same as competing for a mate.

  • Anacaona

    Given the whole 60/40 college ratio thing and the need for UC/UMC girls to find appropriate (re: provider-capable, similarly educated) husbands if at all possible, it seems to me like so-called mate poaching behaviors—meeting someone who is in a relationship and making a persuasive case for the person to leave said relationship in favor of a new one with the “operator”—is only going to increase.

    I wonder if there is a quasi-ethical approach to this, or does talking about it from a realpolitik perspective at all inevitably lead to a Machiavellian view of the SMP…? From a female strategist’s POV, it would seem like this would be an important skillset to have, as in this environment a high-SMV/MMV young male probably will not be fully, free-and-clear single for very long unless he is single by quite deliberate design.
    A word of warning. If you lower the bar of mate poaching and add it to the acceptable behavior the mate guarding standards will rise. If you ask me you shouldn’t even consider this as a real solution for the gender imbalance. Just check how women’s jails sexual competition for the few masculine lesbians that most of the other find more attractive works. Is not pretty. Mate poachers are counting that the other party will take the defeat with crossed arms. It might be or it might be not, depends on how much the other party has to lose if she/he acts irrationally or if she thinks she can find a similar or superior mate in due time, YMMV.

  • J

    Are you talking about the boots J linked to?
    Ughh those look like something my mother would wear.

    LOL. Well, no surprise there. I wore them about 23 years ago with the straight leg jeans that were in style then. Not surprised they are back though since leggings have roughtly the same silhouette.

  • Jeremy

    @Jackie

    Please tell me you’re joking when you compare yourself to Brienne of Tarth. If she had questioned Catelyn’s orders instead of blindly following them, the two innocent Lannisters would still be alive and Robb Stark would not have lost half his army.

    • If she had questioned Catelyn’s orders instead of blindly following them

      Is Catelyn in the habit of seeking wise counsel from Brienne?

  • J

    SW: “I feel that same way about people who have affairs with married folks. They’re stupid, but not morally wrong.”

    Esco: This will not stand 15 minutes worth of scrutiny. Come now.

    Me: I think this varies a bit from the typical cheating story in that Susan’s goal was not to “steal” the guy but to set his mind at ease about what he thought he was missing.

    In general though I agree with Susan’s point. The primary sinner in an adulterous situation is the person who broke their vows. Were my husband to cheat on me with a single woman, I would blame him, since he hadp romised fidelity to me before God and everyone, more than I would blame her. OTOH, I can’t imagine that the woman would be my new best friend.
    Likewise, if I choose to break my vows with a single man, I would be primarily at fault. It wouldn’t be good behavior on the guy’s part, but no vows would broken.

  • Jeremy

    @Escoffier

    You’re so pedantic about morality. Give it a rest.

    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/RefugeInAudacity

    • @Jeremy

      Ha, I’m hardly audacious. I took no pride in the story I told, nor did I derive any benefit, then or now. Interestingly, I have shared that story a few times before on the blog, but there was no indignation. Perhaps because Escoffier was not a reader yet, IDK.

      I have a whole bucketful of wrongs I’ve committed and regret in my life. I recall them with clarity and expect to be held accountable. This is not one of those sins.

  • J

    Walsh is the third most common name in Ireland.

    Does it mean Welsh?

    And yeah, it was pathetic–and predictable–they jumped on that.

    • @J

      The name Walsh in Ireland was brough to the country by Norman settlers from Wales. The word Wales is the literal meaning of the name which is the fourth most frequently found in the country. Walshe, Welsh, Brannagh and Breathnach are variations of the name which is most common in Mayo and Kilkenny.

      Oops, fourth most common. I guess we fell in the rankings. Interesting, at least to me, that Branagh is the same name.

  • @Dr. Buss (via SW)

    Abhorrent though it may be judged, mate poaching is clearly one strategy in the arsenal of human mating strategies. And given the reputational damage a mate poacher can incur, its prevalence is undoubtedly underreported. Many don’t interpret their actions as “mate poaching.” Some just think “we fell in love with each other” or “we were just acting on our mutual sexual attraction” or “he wanted to leave her anyway.”

    I can attest to “reputational damage”. Not quite related to your anecdote and probably increased my SMP risk-aversion, but I’ve seen couples legitimately break up (i.e. no apparent cheating), some of whom then began dating others in the same social circle, which ended up completely decimating the group. People took sides, feelings were hurt, things got nasty, and the circle of friends was permanently broken.

    In your situation, it sounds like a case of FWONB (friends-with-one-night-of-benefits), irrespective of the cheating issue. One could say: “Oh, he’ll just cheat with someone else.” Fine, but at least your conscience would be clear. But you’ve discussed these things often enough around here; when sex is involved (cheating or not), friendships tend to have a high casualty rate. Cautious advice from the real world: that’s the *minimum* that could go wrong…

    • But you’ve discussed these things often enough around here; when sex is involved (cheating or not), friendships tend to have a high casualty rate. Cautious advice from the real world: that’s the *minimum* that could go wrong…

      Yes, that event ended our friendship. I have no idea whether he confessed, cheated with other people, married her, or all of the above. That was my first experience with “casual” sex – and it sucked in every way. Not at all recommended.

      However, I’ve admitted that had I really been into him, it might have played out differently. I didn’t know her, had never met her – she was someone “from home” – so there were no repercussions beyond our friendship.

  • SayWhaat

    it’s said that he who does not honor the commitments of others, does not honor his own.

    What does that mean? How can I honor a commitment I don’t participate in? I googled this proverb but did not find anything.

    Ha, I couldn’t find it either. I wonder where I heard it?

    What I meant was that if someone didn’t respect the relationships of others, then one can reasonably assume that person probably doesn’t respect his own relationships. It all boils down to respect, and self-respect, really.

    By the way, I’ve also shared here that two of my good friends’ fiances declared undying lust to me in the weeks leading up to their weddings – both showed up at my apartment in much the same way Paul did. I was a bridesmaid in both of those weddings. Of course I refused, but I also decided not to tell my friends. Both of those couples are at 30+ years now. I’m glad I kept silent.

    Honestly, this makes me feel like I can never trust a man, ever. 🙁

    • @SayWhaat

      What I meant was that if someone didn’t respect the relationships of others, then one can reasonably assume that person probably doesn’t respect his own relationships. It all boils down to respect, and self-respect, really.

      That makes sense to me, actually. I definitely did not respect myself in that situation, and I certainly didn’t respect Paul. If I had, I wouldn’t have done that. But I maintain that I couldn’t respect a woman I didn’t know, nor a relationship that wasn’t mine. What commitments two people share is between them. No third party can ever know what’s going on inside a relationship.

      Honestly, this makes me feel like I can never trust a man, ever.

      Interestingly, one of those guys was and is a total slimeball. However, in all honesty I should share that my friend, a woman I knew from work, had a long affair with a coworker while they were living together, but before they got engaged. My guess is that the marriage has had plenty of infidelity on both sides. I don’t know, we’re no longer in touch. But I do know they’re still together – lots of photos on Facebook.

      The other guy was a different story. A big, lumbering football player with the nickname Tundo, Mary was his first and only girl. I think he was really scared to get married, and undoubtedly was thinking about the fact that he would never be with another woman. He showed up and asked me very diffidently if I would have sex with him. I don’t know what he was thinking. Anyway, they went on to have five kids, and I believe their marriage has been a long and happy one. My guess is that he never cheated on Mary.

      People are behaving badly everywhere you turn. Most of us have no idea just how badly people behave in private.

  • SayWhaat

    Taking a step back from Susan’s story and only discussing the general ideas going forward.

    The primary sinner in an adulterous situation is the person who broke their vows.

    No one is disagreeing on this point. There is no disagreement about who holds the majority of the blame in the situation.

    The question is, is someone who enables a cheater behaving unethically? I am with Megaman on this. It is dishonorable. If I find out a guy I’m seeing had cheated on his girlfriend, that would be a dealbreaker. If I found out that he enabled a girl to cheat on her boyfriend, that would also be a dealbreaker, because he could not put himself in the other guy’s shoes. He demonstrated a lack of empathy, which is something that could really bite me in the butt were I to be in a relationship with him!

  • @SW

    I am happy to be condemned by anyone who finds my behavior unethical.

    Oh, even leaving aside this particular incident, which dates back to the year I was born (!), you’ve disclosed enough about your personal life to be considered non bonne à marier, per the rather conservative and inconsistent male standards @ HUS. And yet you’ve continued to dispense dangerous advice to impressionable young women. Have you no shame? 😉

  • szopen

    @Man Re: Feminism
    Remember that what you think it feminism, is avtually the most vocal and most radical part of it. You don;t get news posts and popular blogs by writing “I support the same voting rights for women and men”. It took me time before I find out that there is a lot of feminism which accepts natural differences between males and females. It’s just it’s not fashionable today.

    Basically, almost everyone now is feminist (Except Vox Days and neoreactionists). Do you think men and women should get the same voting rights? Well, you are feminist. It’s exaclt because everyone now is feminist, “feminist” started to mean “radical feministic nut”.

  • Escoffier

    Susan, I repeat what I said above, and which you noted and claimed to take no offense at. The point here is not your story or you personally. I’m glad you shared it just as I am glad you (and others) have shared a lot of stories in which the teller is not the hero. I think that’s valuable.

    The point here is the assertion that an unattached party to cheating is blameless. That does not withstand scrutiny.

    To Jackie’s analogy, the knife does not have free will.

    • The point here is the assertion that an unattached party to cheating is blameless. That does not withstand scrutiny.

      Well, I really have given this a lot of thought. As I always do on ethical matters, I consider intent. Since I had nothing to gain, and no intent to poach someone else’s mate, I find that I do not feel guilt. I am not responsible for his breaking his promise, if he’d made one.

      I’ll leave it there. I’m just not going to get to mea culpa on this one.

  • Lokland

    @Susan

    “People are behaving badly everywhere you turn. Most of us have no idea just how badly people behave in private.”

    Affirmation of SWs fear?

    “Honestly, this makes me feel like I can never trust a man, ever.”

    ———–

    You still haven’t answered my question.

  • Escoffier

    Not asking for a mea culpa. How many times do I need to say that?

    I’m saying that the principle you stated is A) wrong and B) incompatible with the high (if sinking) level of civilization we enjoy in the “advanced west.”

    On point B, I suggest two books. Not ancient philosophy either! (Though they are compatible with it and in a sense derived from it.) The first is The Moral Basis of a Backward Society by Edward Banfield. The second is Trust, by Francis Fukuyama. Both are “recent”, Banfield from the 50s or early 60s, Fukuyama from about 10 years ago.

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    The ethical quandries of you mere mortals astound me sometimes.

  • Man

    Honestly, this makes me feel like I can never trust a man, ever.

    @SayWhaat: Rest assured that most men, even more than women, are quite honest in this regard. I mean, looking for another boyfriend while having one at hand is a typical female strategy whereas this is not a typical strategy for men, especially if he is mating/bonding orientated. Paul was sort of a cad. He was to blame for cheating his girlfriend and abusing of Susan’s generosity and friendship. He acted just like those girls who use male friends as emotional backup. That’s is really unethical.

  • Karl

    >>> This conversation went on for two hours. Finally, worn down, I said OK. “OK, Paul, I’ll have sex with you.”

    Many different flavors of game. Great Players focus like a laser on pushing every particular slut’s particular buttons.

    Please introduce him to me, so I can learn from him.

  • @SW

    However, I’ve admitted that had I really been into him, it might have played out differently. I didn’t know her, had never met her – she was someone “from home” – so there were no repercussions beyond our friendship.

    That’s the ultimate roll of the dice WRT relationships. Hypothetically-speaking, someone who mate poaches and benefits from another’s 11th hour cheating, well, they have to be supremely confident that their new love won’t do the same thing all over again. I certainly wouldn’t be (REM) sleeping very well.

    Relating this back to the present day, this may be the reason relationships are so unstable in a college environment. No single ethical compass (if any) to follow anymore, cheating is relatively easy and without much stigma, the belief that “hooking up” is the only way to go, etc. Seems like there’s plenty of overlap in questionable behavior, and sufficient norms on campus to deny responsibility for one’s actions.

    College stats seem to suggest a significant minority (including married students) who appear to be taking relationships very seriously. Plus a promiscuous minority that have no interest in serious relationships. And then some % of students lost in the middle. Most of them would probbly choose to be in the “serious” camp, but the environment is so damned discouraging, it makes sense to me why so many either sit out dating altogether (I did) or just go with the unrestricted flow.

  • Plain Jain

    Cooper May 13, 2013 at 4:09 pm

    Sassy,

    Step one: believing a man can love you for more than your appearance.
    _____________

    Of course a man can love Sassy for more than just her appearance alone, but without the appearance, would he love her? Its the appearance PLUS the other stuff, like character, personality, etc, that he will love her for. NOT just character, personality – without the appearance.

  • Plain Jain

    Psshhh. I don’t buy it. The moral responsibility belongs entirely to the person who’s committed. I feel that same way about people who have affairs with married folks. They’re stupid, but not morally wrong.

    I didn’t know or care about his gf. Why should I make a choice based on her needs?

    I’m not the least bit offended. I am not invested in defending my behavior in 1978. I’ve done worse things than that.

    I have voiced this same opinion to the young women of my acquaintance. Someone else’s relationship is not my problem, nor my moral responsibility.

    I honestly don’t see how it’s immoral for anyone who is free and unattached to consort with any other individual. Their relationship status is no concern of mine.

    Is it admirable? No. But I don’t think you can say it’s unethical, as I have no responsibility to the third party. Why should they influence my decision?
    ____________________________

    I get what you’re getting at here Susan, the only thing is that you are the creator of a blog that says “sluts” are ruining the mating market for “restricted women” and therefore we should “shame” them.

    It does seem hypocritical then that you would feel no shame in this previous behavior of yours.

  • One of the reasons that I feel that practical guides to this mate-poaching grey area may be important is because the strategy is almost guaranteed to be used more and more as female intrasexual competition increases.

    I personally have not—at least in the last 5 years—dated a woman who was not in some kind of quasi-relationship with someone else when we started. Sometimes that other relationship is long-distance. There just always seems to be this admittedly-unpleasant and complex overlap period. It’s at a point where I don’t ask; I just assume that she’s been dating 1 or more people and that it probably isn’t too serious, but if she’s gone out with the guy on more than, say, 5 dates I would assume that they are fucking.

    Combat dating is just brutal and it turns us all into cynics, but I would not want the stereotypical “good girl” of HUS to go out into the SMP bringing a knife to a gunfight.

    • @BB

      One of the reasons that I feel that practical guides to this mate-poaching grey area may be important is because the strategy is almost guaranteed to be used more and more as female intrasexual competition increases.

      I personally have not—at least in the last 5 years—dated a woman who was not in some kind of quasi-relationship with someone else when we started.

      Agreed.

      Combat dating is just brutal and it turns us all into cynics, but I would not want the stereotypical “good girl” of HUS to go out into the SMP bringing a knife to a gunfight.

      I wish to make it very clear that my story was not intended as advice for young women! It was to illustrate how pity fucking does not work. I also told it at my expense, though I didn’t realize the cost when I shared it.

      It’s very clear that I am (or was) left of center on the sociosexuality scale as a young woman. Certainly I’m far more unrestricted even today than a lot of men who comment here. I think this may explain some of the disagreement, IDK.

  • Kinda ‘dark’ for you, dontcha think?

    Haha! I actually thought to myself last night, “Too bad Rollo’s boys don’t hang around here any more, how will he learn of this opportunity?”

    For the record, I have defined dark tactics many times as including deceit and manipulation, neither of which I engaged in.

    and this sounds positively dreadful.

    Real competition make invoke dread in someone else, but that’s not the same as deliberately trying to make a loved one feel anxious and insecure.

    Nice try, Rollo, but no dice.

  • Escoffier

    “It was to illustrate how pity fucking does not work.”

    I thought it was more to show that PFing actually exists, contrary to the insistence of some that it never happens. That’s what was initially interesting to me because the (male) argument that PFing is a myth was persuasive to me. Now, one instance does not make a trend, but one instance is proof of existence and therefore raises other questions.

    I did not take it to be a story about mate-poaching at all. And the general question which started the debate began later.

    • I did not take it to be a story about mate-poaching at all.

      It wasn’t! How could it be when I didn’t want him and was totally blindsided by his confession? I viewed the whole thing as doing him a favor. I wasn’t out to steal someone’s man. I’ve never done that, actually. I did have a boyfriend who kissed me the night we met, then told me he had a gf that he would break up with. He contacted me a week later, free, and we dated for about a year. I felt no guilt over that either.

  • Man

    For the record, I have defined dark tactics many times as including deceit and manipulation, neither of which I engaged in.

    Are you talking about the 5 Ways to Make a Smart Guy to Move On (or at least me) ? 🙂

    Thanks, by the way, for sharing the “pity fuck” story. I think it was pretty witty given the context of the discussion which was going on at the moment.

  • Man

    It’s very clear that I am (or was) left of center on the sociosexuality scale as a young woman. Certainly I’m far more unrestricted even today than a lot of men who comment here.

    Where is the scale? I am curious about it.

  • Cooper

    @Susan
    “I don’t think I have a mercenary view of relationships. I acknowledge that mating is a competition. I didn’t steal anything from Paul’s girlfriend. She’d already lost when he decided to ring my doorbell and tell me that he thought we were meant to be together forever.”

    What if you had? (All fair?)

    In the above quote you seem to be saying “I didn’t steal anything from Paul’s girlfriend.” At the same time saying, [But even if I had] “she’d already lost when he decided to ring my doorbell and tell me that he thought we were meant to be together forever.”

    Regardless of the Paul story, it seems like you are saying all is fair in love and war, in terms of mate poaching?
    “Mating is competition” – how far/long does that go on?

    What about the saying “you lose em the same way you got em”?

    • @Cooper

      “Mating is competition” – how far/long does that go on?

      Obviously, ethics are important, but there is clearly some disagreement on where the line gets drawn. Personally, I can’t muster up any sense of responsibility for the happiness of a woman I don’t know. If I compete for a man, I want to win, regardless of how brokenhearted that leaves the loser. I’ve been the winner and the loser both, that’s life. You don’t forfeit your prize, especially since in that case the guy wouldn’t be the least interested in the loser.

      What about the saying “you lose em the same way you got em”?

      I believe it. I have told many young women that if you get a guy to cheat, and he breaks up with his gf, congratulations, you’ve now got a cheating boyfriend. That’s why I said the strategy is a poor one. But that’s a different question.

  • Cooper

    I’m not trying to keep this debate going for longer than it needs to, but..

    What if the scenario was a young girl, in a similar scenario, on HUS asking before advice. (Young male friend confides undying affection, ect. while having a girlfriend)
    The one major difference being this girl thinks she feels the same..

    Wouldn’t the advice be not poach, make sure he has a clean break before the two of them get any more involved?
    I’m having a hard time differentiating how you knowing ahead of time that you wanted no relationship with Paul, how that changes the scenario..

    • Wouldn’t the advice be not poach, make sure he has a clean break before the two of them get any more involved?
      I’m having a hard time differentiating how you knowing ahead of time that you wanted no relationship with Paul, how that changes the scenario..

      I’ve given the advice many times, and it’s NO OVERLAP. Take the Angelina Jolie approach. He has to decide what he wants, and you’re not available to be something on the side.

      As you say, I didn’t want Paul, for a relationship or even a ONS. At the time it seemed like just doing a favor for a friend, equivalent to picking up a pizza for someone. That’s rather pathetic I know, which is what I was trying to highlight with the story.

  • Lokland

    @Susan

    “A very important distinction. Neither one had any desire to call off the wedding or shake things up.”

    So its all right to cheat so long as one is willing to return to ones partner afterward and/or not mess up the flow of a wedding?

    Note: Perhaps I am mistaken but this is seems similar to another argument I’ve heard from both men and women that whatever happens at the bachelor(ette) party does not count as long as the wedding and subsequent marriage is okay.

    “He’d been with a number of other women before we met. We’d been living together for over a year, and we were clearly into one another and in love.”

    Were your friends not in love when getting married?

    “I don’t think infidelity is OK at all, but that’s between them. I was not party to their agreement, I don’t even know what constitutes disloyalty, though obviously I assume she didn’t know. Perhaps she did know, I didn’t ask.”

    One of your initial arguments for it being okay was because you were not friends with Paul’s girlfriends.

    Why were you not morally obligated to help your friends in such a situation? Or was it that you were better friends with their husbands than the women themselves?

    “He contacted me a week later, free, and we dated for about a year. I felt no guilt over that either.”

    Very important question.
    Were you ever the loser in the mate poaching game?

    • @Lokland

      So its all right to cheat so long as one is willing to return to ones partner afterward and/or not mess up the flow of a wedding?

      You’d have to ask the guys that. I certainly don’t think it’s all right. At least they could both say they didn’t wind up cheating, at least with me. But you’re right – the intent was there.

      Were your friends not in love when getting married?

      Well, as I’ve said, one of them had already cheated on her fiance – in a two year affair. I think the other guy was in love, but just very young and terrified.

      Why were you not morally obligated to help your friends in such a situation? Or was it that you were better friends with their husbands than the women themselves?

      I wrestled with this a great deal, and in the end sought the advice of a member of the clergy. I had to decide which behavior would cause the least harm based on what I knew. As I said, both couples are at 30+ years. I have no doubt that I made the right choice.

      Very important question.
      Were you ever the loser in the mate poaching game?

      I never played, so never failed. I have never had a man stolen away from me. Ha, not a chance. I’ve been rejected up front, but no man has ever left me.

  • Working for charitable organizations or to keep the planet healthy for future generations is not the same as competing for a mate.

    I never claimed it was. It’s just that you seemed so weirded out that anyone would expect you to have empathy for a person you’d never met. I was merely pointing out that empathetic feelings towards strangers have motivated people to do all kinds of things. I don’t feel that respecting the significant other of someone who is open to cheating is so over-the-top or unheard of.

    • I was merely pointing out that empathetic feelings towards strangers have motivated people to do all kinds of things.

      Having empathy is not the same as taking responsibility for someone else’s happiness. As if I could possibly know what would make two other people happy in their relationship.

      Also, I can have empathy for the person I’m competing against, and beating.

      I don’t feel that respecting the significant other of someone who is open to cheating is so over-the-top or unheard of.

      I agree. I’m certain there are many women who would refrain from getting with a guy while he was committed elsewhere.

  • It occurs to me that I don’t see mating as a gigantic competition. I guess that’s obvious in my dating habits, as I’ve chosen guys who were generally not considered by other girls (heh, until they dated me).

  • Plain Jain

    ” Working for charitable organizations or to keep the planet healthy for future generations is not the same as competing for a mate.”

    “I never claimed it was. It’s just that you seemed so weirded out that anyone would expect you to have empathy for a person you’d never met. I was merely pointing out that empathetic feelings towards strangers have motivated people to do all kinds of things. I don’t feel that respecting the significant other of someone who is open to cheating is so over-the-top or unheard of.”

    – – Someone mentioned this before, that it demonstrates a lack of respect for relationships. I guess that could be taken further and said to demonstrate a lack of respect for the concept of relationship in general.

    Of course, I’m of the opinion that all relationships are open until otherwise explicitly stated and mutually agreed upon, not “implied”.
    However we know many people don’t operate like that. If they have been dating someone regularly then they automatically assume exclusivity. I think a lot of Americans do this in fact. And it seems that both Susan and Paul felt that Paul was in a relationship that at least Paul’s girlfriend assumed to be exclusive because Susan used the word “cheating” in context to Paul.

  • Man

    Basically, almost everyone now is feminist (Except Vox Days and neoreactionists). Do you think men and women should get the same voting rights? Well, you are feminist. It’s exaclt because everyone now is feminist, “feminist” started to mean “radical feministic nut”.

    Perhaps I am a “neo-reactionist”. But actually I am not. I thought I was feminist, but instead I realized I never made a conscious choice for feminism in the first place. So I just think I am not a feminist. It’s not possible for me to be a man and be a feminist at the same time. I do not apologize for being a man. And I do not apologize either for mistakes or actions I am not responsible for.

    We need something new to promote more understanding and cooperation between genders, but not feminists. We need more feminine women, and less feminist ones, because after all we are essentially different, we need each other, and I celebrate our differences.

  • Moral, moral toil and trouble
    Fire burn and cauldron bubble

    O well done! I commend your pains;
    And every one shall share i’ the gains;
    And now about the cauldron sing,
    Live elves and fairies in a ring
    Enchanting all that you put in.

    By the pricking of my thumbs,
    Something wicked this way comes.

    … a paraphrase from Macbeth.

  • J

    Interesting, at least to me, that Branagh is the same name.

    A distant relation, perhasp.

  • Jeremy

    Your analogy is invalid because in it both the bribe giver and the bribe taker benefit. In my sexual encounter with Paul I neither expected nor derived any benefit. I showed him “mercy” – it was a gesture of friendship and loyalty to him. Since his interests were at odds with his gf’s, and since I didn’t know his gf, I took his side.

    The analogy is valid in showing that blame is not zero-sum. Assigning full responsibility to one person does not absolve another person.

    As for not personally benefiting, do you really believe that it absolves someone of moral responsibility for his or her actions? There have been numerous traitors, terrorists, and lynch mobsters who would love to take the “I didn’t benefit from it” defense that you seem to permit.

  • Cooper

    I’m still curious what categorization would you have given your night with Paul – did you count it as a ONS, ect.?

    The reason I ask is cause, IIRC, your position has always been that women rarely (never?) “change lanes” in terms of STR/LTR. (Not saying that you did!)
    I just find it curious that you only go as far as to consider the night, that for you sounds like what was loveless copulation, akin to picking up a friend some pizza. Almost as if, since you never intensionally had it part of a LTR-stragety (meaning you knew it wasn’t going anywhere), that the night doesn’t count, at all.

    *tongue in check*
    It’s like asking “have you ever had a ONS?” isn’t enough.. You also have ask “have you ever picked up pizza for a friend? (Which involved sex)”

    • @Cooper

      I’m still curious what categorization would you have given your night with Paul – did you count it as a ONS, ect.?

      The reason I ask is cause, IIRC, your position has always been that women rarely (never?) “change lanes” in terms of STR/LTR. (Not saying that you did!)

      That’s a fair question. I did it because we had been close friends for three years and he begged me to. It counts, in terms of my number – and it was clearly casual sex. To be honest, I never worried about my number, nor did I suffer any ill effects from that night.

      Re changing lanes, that has to do with female attraction cues. I don’t think alpha chasers becomes beta chasers as they approach 30. In this case, I was not attracted to him, and he knew that. He prevailed upon me using loyalty and his need to figure his life out. I could have said no, but I gave in. Still, that had no effect on my taste in guys. I think that is the only time I had sex with someone I wasn’t into.

  • Gin Martini

    Man, I posted the SOI but it’s in moderation for some reason. Try: http://www.larspenke.eu/pdfs/SOI-R%20Manual.pdf

  • Jeremy

    Re changing lanes, that has to do with female attraction cues. I don’t think alpha chasers becomes beta chasers as they approach 30. In this case, I was not attracted to him, and he knew that. He prevailed upon me using loyalty and his need to figure his life out. I could have said no, but I gave in. Still, that had no effect on my taste in guys. I think that is the only time I had sex with someone I wasn’t into.

    LOL changing lanes is about actions, not attraction cues. You had a ONS with an asshole, and whether or not you were attracted to him is not the main point.

    The “I wasn’t attracted to him” defense wouldn’t be accepted by most guys.

    Reminds me of the old “why don’t you rape me so then I won’t be cheating on my boyfriend?” line lol.

    • You had a ONS with an asshole, and whether or not you were attracted to him is not the main point.

      He wasn’t an asshole. I knew him very well, he was a very sweet beta boy.

      The “I wasn’t attracted to him” defense wouldn’t be accepted by most guys.

      I never used it as a defense. In fact, I’ve never defended or explained my sexual history to anyone, including my husband. In fact, I’ve never been asked about it.

  • Escoffier

    No one has suggested that anyone “take responsibility for someone else’s happiness.” The suggestion is that we all need to take responsibility for our own actions, which includes not participating in the harm of another person.

  • Lokland

    @Susan

    Have some thoughts on your response to me, later though.

    But;

    “He wasn’t an asshole. I knew him very well, he was a very sweet beta boy.”

    Rofl, in that case so am I. More so because I was honest about it 😛

  • Jeremy

    He wasn’t an asshole. I knew him very well, he was a very sweet beta boy.

    A very sweet beta boy doesn’t cheat on his girlfriend and relentlessly pressure his friend into sleeping with him. He was an asshole, not a nice guy. Well, you could call him a nice guy ™ lol.

    I never used it as a defense. In fact, I’ve never defended or explained my sexual history to anyone, including my husband. In fact, I’ve never been asked about it.

    So you successfully changed lanes. Alfa fux beta bux is usually pulled off successfully lol.

    • So you successfully changed lanes. Alfa fux beta bux is usually pulled off successfully lol.

      Sigh, it’s exhausting to bring the newcomers up to speed.

  • Man

    Thank you for your encouragement and support these last couple of days. 🙂

    You’re welcome. A lot of assholes here. I wish I had a supportive friend like you. 🙂

    Actually when you wrote about you being on the center left of the scale, I was thinking about this: 🙂

  • Man

    Actually when you wrote about you being on the center left of the scale, I was thinking about this:

    SMP Roles

  • Man

    @Susan;@GinMartini:

    About the restricted/unrestricted types, I prefer this article:

    Individual Traits Trump Sex Differences in Determining Relationship Success

    Very good and practical information to my mind. And also the cad-dad/slut-mom analogy.

  • Lokland

    @Susan

    “Well, as I’ve said, one of them had already cheated on her fiance – in a two year affair. I think the other guy was in love, but just very young and terrified.”

    Ohh, I missed that. Sounds lovely.

    “I wrestled with this a great deal, and in the end sought the advice of a member of the clergy. I had to decide which behavior would cause the least harm based on what I knew. As I said, both couples are at 30+ years. I have no doubt that I made the right choice.”

    Hind sight is 20-20 at the time what possible reason could there have been to not inform them?

    I’m trying to imagine a scenario in which I would not inform my friend of such a thing and am coming up with a blank.

    “I never played, so never failed. I have never had a man stolen away from me. Ha, not a chance. I’ve been rejected up front, but no man has ever left me.”

    *Important Part*

    Yes I gathered as much. Most people favour systems in which they can win.

    You have mentioned previously the daughter of an acquaintance whom said something along the lines of wishing a guy would propose a hook up or anything because she receives zero attention.

    How do you think she would feel about the mate poaching strategy when single vs. in a relationship? Or would there be no difference?

    Also, most people will be the losers in these situations. (Or the same people who poach and are poached are the smaller minority than those who are the cheated on party.)

    Just think that you should keep in mind that by definition most of your readers (those looking for a boyfriend/girlfriend) are not the winners in the mating game (yet!) and are unlikely to be the winners in the mate poaching game either.

    Lack of empathy doesn’t look good on you.

    • @Lokland

      Hind sight is 20-20 at the time what possible reason could there have been to not inform them?

      Because I knew that I was dealing with the male desire for sexual variety, that their actions were impulsive and reckless, and that I had never known either one to treat my friends badly, get with other women, etc. And of course, no one cheated, to my knowledge. Attempting a crime never carries the same sentence as committing it.

      Most people favour systems in which they can win.

      It’s funny you should bring this up. I ran this question by my focus group last night, and the results were interesting. To a woman, the ones in serious relationships had nothing but hatred and disgust for women who flirt or hook up with a guy who has a girlfriend. The single women were far more liberal in their views – pretty much echoing what I said here. In one case, a woman who claimed the moral high ground is with a man she essentially poached from someone else. When I pointed this out, she gave me several reasons why “it’s not the same.” As always, incentives drive behavior.

      Just think that you should keep in mind that by definition most of your readers (those looking for a boyfriend/girlfriend) are not the winners in the mating game (yet!) and are unlikely to be the winners in the mate poaching game either.

      Geez, I’ve never advised or recommended poaching. You’ve gone very far afield of the original story.

  • @SW

    I also told it at my expense, though I didn’t realize the cost when I shared it.

    Yes, I’ll say. Not a surprise, though, considering the slap on the wrist the guys gave poor Mr. Deti for admittedly doing much, much worse in his youth. I said it before and I’ll say it again: HUS suffers from a dearth of proportionality. Or just collective memory loss…

  • Escoffier

    Actually, “Paul” does sound beta (not to say “sweet”). Begging somone (who’s obviously not into you) for sex for two hours is not alpha by any definition we’ve ever contemplated here.

    • Actually, “Paul” does sound beta (not to say “sweet”).

      Yeah, he was. I agree he was not sweet in that incident. But he was a generous and loyal friend for three years – it was disappointing to learn he’d been inhabiting the friend zone like a chump that whole time! In his defense, he was very young. I have little doubt he went on to become a full-fledged “dad.”

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    Doesn’t matter: had sex
    Got to keep girlfriend, too

    Sneaky Fucker Dark Game succesful

  • Lokland

    @Susan

    “Because I knew that I was dealing with the male desire for sexual variety, that their actions were impulsive and reckless, and that I had never known either one to treat my friends badly, get with other women, etc.”

    So is attempting infidelity only wrong if
    a) a person was not a good partner prior?
    b) a natural drive?

    Or IOW,

    Since men have a natural drive for variety is it acceptable for them to pursue such an instinct up to the point of trying to attain but not actually physically cheating?

    “And of course, no one cheated, to my knowledge. Attempting a crime never carries the same sentence as committing it.”

    That does not mean there is no sentence or that the sentence is not harsh.

    “It’s funny you should bring this up. I ran this question by my focus group last night, and the results were interesting.”

    Not surprising really. You could probably produce a similar result with men who are in vs. not in serious relationships and trying to pursue partnered women.

    I think you misunderstood my point thought.

    The people who have trouble getting a bf/gf (your readers) are also the ones that are more likely to lose them (at least that is the assumption I am making and feel is correct), for one reason or another, including mate poaching.

    My only point is that a lack of empathy with Paul’s girlfriend could be misconstrued as a lack of empathy towards SOME of your readers.

    Because as you said mating is a competition and the losers should feel bad.

    “Geez, I’ve never advised or recommended poaching. You’ve gone very far afield of the original story.”

    I like to wander around topics I find interesting. If you are offended feel free to ask me to stop.

    • @Lokland

      Since men have a natural drive for variety is it acceptable for them to pursue such an instinct up to the point of trying to attain but not actually physically cheating?

      You’re putting words in my mouth. I never said it was not wrong, or acceptable. My decision was whether to tell based on what I believed would be best for my friend. I made a judgment call, and time has proved me right.

      Because as you said mating is a competition and the losers should feel bad.

      I did not say losers should feel bad. Mating is a competition, it’s not a tea party. Intrasexual female competition is fierce, I don’t know about the male variety. Girls go head to head in winner takes all competition from puberty on. If women find themselves repeatedly losing in that competition, they can up their game or lower their standards. Regardless of what empathy I have or show, that’s the reality. And a lot of my posts are designed to address it.

      I like to wander around topics I find interesting. If you are offended feel free to ask me to stop.

      I’m not offended, but I am tired of this topic. Moving on.

  • Escoffier

    I have to say, Lok, I don’t know what I would have done that situation (that is, the pre-wedding proposition). It’s not so easy.

    I don’t want to list every possible way that speaking up could go wrong (they are legion) but here’s one: you have a “he said, she said.” You assert, s/he denies. Since it sounds crazy that somone about to married would do such a thing, the denial is likely to be believed and you assumed to be a gigantic a-hole.

    Anyway, it could have been booz, drungs, panic, the times (swinging ’70s), or some combination that came together quickly like a tornado and passed. Possibly if S had said “yes” the guy would have backed out, realizing how bad it was.

    Then there is the larger, deeper point about how appropriate it is to meddle in the most private dealings of other people, even if you happen to get roped in. There’s never an easy answer to this one.

  • Lokland

    I left a post earlier.
    I fear the internet gods were hungry…

    • I don’t have it – into the ether it went.

  • mr. wavevector

    @ ADBG,

    Doesn’t matter: had sex
    Got to keep girlfriend, too

    Sneaky Fucker Dark Game succesful

    I hereby declare ADBG the winner of this thread.

  • mr. wavevector

    In one case, a woman who claimed the moral high ground is with a man she essentially poached from someone else.

    So among all this piling on Susan (who did not mate poach), has any one admitted to mate poaching?

    I have.

    I poached my first serious girlfriend from my best friend. It was totally worth it too (had 1st sex!).

    I think there are other moral issues concerning poaching married mates that go beyond the impact to the individuals involved – the mate poacher is undermining the institution of marriage, which is still important to society. But those don’t apply to mere dating.

    Mating is a competition, it’s not a tea party. Intrasexual female competition is fierce, I don’t know about the male variety.

    Likewise. Let the best man and woman win.

  • Man

    Intrasexual female competition is fierce, I don’t know about the male variety. Girls go head to head in winner takes all competition from puberty on. If women find themselves repeatedly losing in that competition, they can up their game or lower their standards. Regardless of what empathy I have or show, that’s the reality.

    The male version? The best despoil the most virgins, fuck the most beautiful women and build a harem? It looks like so.

  • Lokland

    @Susan

    “If women find themselves repeatedly losing in that competition, they can up their game or lower their standards.”

    What if there was a women whom by lowering her standards mated with a man who would give her children whom no one else would consider touching with a 10′ pole triple wrapped? (And she is incapable of improving further.)

    Or what about the woman who has no men display interest in her? Is there any way to lower standards in that situation?

    “I don’t know about the male variety. ”

    Larger, higher quality harem wins. Something you have advised women to avoid.

    “Girls go head to head in winner takes all competition from puberty on.”

    Then most of your female readers should not expect fidelity from their partners.

    Note:

    My previous response was far better. This is a quick off the top of my head bit.

    • @Lokland

      Or what about the woman who has no men display interest in her? Is there any way to lower standards in that situation?

      If she’s already upped her game as much as possible, and she’s willing to mate with a man of equal, i.e. very low, SMV, then she’s exhausted all possibilities. I don’t think many women are in this group, but sadly, some people will never find love or even sex in their lifetimes.

      “Girls go head to head in winner takes all competition from puberty on.”

      Then most of your female readers should not expect fidelity from their partners.

      That’s why it’s important to choose a man of good character who will remain faithful and keep his word (in marriage). Believe it or not, there are very high SMV men who remain faithful to their wives.

  • Man

    @Lokland: I think her answer was contextual to what was being discussed. She just wanted to put things into proper context. She made clear this was in her past. She might have made mistakes, but she is helping girls out there not do the same. I don’t think her answer should be over scrutinized from a philosophical standpoint, now “n” years ahead. She said that what she did was stupid. She acknowledged that.

  • Lokland

    @Man

    I’ve been here a long time.

    Susan knows I’m merely an inquisitive person and will continue to pursue something that interests me until I am satisfied I understand all the details. I threw out the asking me to stop option to ensure I didn’t push it too far.

    And frankly I find the mindset interesting and I’m positive asking Esc about it would provide me with no insight I wasn’t already aware of (in as much as I agree with him).

  • Lokland

    @Susan

    “Believe it or not, there are very high SMV men who remain faithful to their wives.”

    I don’t think I have ever doubted this.
    I’m doubting your application of the ‘sweet beta boy’ label to Paul and the husbands of those wives.

    It seems very ‘have cake, eat cake.’
    (And I completely realize the irony in that statement.)

  • Emily

    >> “I’m doubting your application of the ‘sweet beta boy’ label to Paul and the husbands of those wives.”

    If anything, the Paul story serves as a reminder that not all snivelling betas are good people.

  • Lokland

    @Emily

    Clarification.

    All betas are snivelling and not all of them are good people?

    or

    The betas that are snivelling (Nice Guy TM) are not all good people?

  • Emily

    The second one. Although I’m sure there are many non-snivelling betas out there that also suck. One of the big problems with the Alpha/Beta dichotomy is that it assumes that all high SMV people are jerks and all low SMV people are honourable.

  • Lokland

    @Emily

    “One of the big problems with the Alpha/Beta dichotomy is that it assumes that all high SMV people are jerks and all low SMV people are honourable.”

    It represents social hierarchy, no more, no less.
    Betas are lower than alphas.
    That doesn’t mean they are honourable.

    (I’ll admit I’m slightly confused by Susan’s labelling these men as sweet lil betas because infidelity is not sweet. At least based on my perception she seems to be saying beta is good regardless.)

    Thank you for offering me a better way of making my point.

    • @Lokland

      (I’ll admit I’m slightly confused by Susan’s labelling these men as sweet lil betas because infidelity is not sweet. At least based on my perception she seems to be saying beta is good regardless.)

      I don’t know if you get confused or deliberately misstate my comments. I only said Paul was a sweet beta boy and I’ve explained why. He was a generous and true friend for three full years. We were close friends. His behavior that night does not negate the years of friendship we shared. He was a good man who did a bad thing. I am not claiming that it was sweet of him to cheat on his gf.

      The truth is controversial enough, I don’t know why you magnify things. It leads you to leap to conclusions that are way off the mark.

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    @WV

    I hereby declare ADBG the winner of this thread.

    Bout time I got some respect!

    This thread has reminded me that a lot of people take a more cut-throat attitude towards the mating market than I do. Although, to give credit where credit is due, it might be a fair bit better than “okay, we’re in a relationship, now I am going to gain 50 pounds because I don’t care anymore.”

    FWIW, the gf seems more or less convinced that I would never cheat on her. Dump her unceremoniously? Yes. Possible growing emotional affair? I guess because I talk non-stop to everyone. Cheat? More likely I would invest in penny stocks.

  • Lokland

    @Susan

    “I don’t know if you get confused or deliberately misstate my comments.”

    *Raise eyebrow
    Am I a troll for disagreeing with you and/or seeing a different meaning in your commentary than you intended?

    “The truth is controversial enough, I don’t know why you magnify things. ”

    One of your reasons as to why betas are better than alphas is because they do not cheat (as much).

    It seems silly to me to label a person who does as a beta when one of the core reasons for (Vox) Beta > Alpha is fidelity and a long lasting relationship.

    I’m not thinking about this from your perspective btw. Should Paul’s girlfriend have thought of him as the nice beta?

    • @Lokland

      Am I a troll for disagreeing with you and/or seeing a different meaning in your commentary than you intended?

      Not a troll for disagreeing. Seeing a different meaning and asking about it is OK, I guess. Constantly misconstruing and rephrasing my statements is not OK, because you do not acknowledge having misquoted me.

      One of your reasons as to why betas are better than alphas is because they do not cheat (as much).

      It seems silly to me to label a person who does as a beta when one of the core reasons for (Vox) Beta > Alpha is fidelity and a long lasting relationship.

      And for all we know, Paul has never cheated on anyone to this day. I certainly would not say beta = never cheats. Just as I would not say alpha always cheats.

  • Man

    Once in a while I see this alpha-beta talk here. I also don’t like this dichotomy. So, for the sake of clarity I think we should define what dominance is. Characteristics of a dominant (alpha) male:

    1. Beauty (above average, athlete body, good hight and good proportions)
    2. Corporal dominance (strong muscles, slim and ripped belly, ripped chest and thick voice)
    3. Wealth (cars, houses, expensive clothes and trips)
    4. Fame (men popular among other women and exhibitionists)
    5. Emotional dominance (intimidating power, dominant behavior and attitude, aggressive leadership)
    6. Sexual dominance (big penis, hard rock and long erection)
    7. Behavioral dominance (lack of insecurity, haughtiness,
    light psychopathy, extroversion, sexually aggressive and shameless)

    If you don’t have these characteristics you’re not an alpha. It’s useless to have philosophical discussions with them, because “sense of justice”, “judgements of moral order” and “reason” is not an inherent female characteristic, especially if she is the unrestricted/slut type. These women instantly lose all reason, sense of justice or of morality for alphas. For them, “sense of justice” is all about playing easy to get to the alpha types with these characteristics, and keeping all the other males in the friend zone for occasional emotional and financial backup, playing the hard to get to them. Women never change lanes… never change lanes, says Dr. Susan. And I agree. 🙂

    • “sense of justice”, “judgements of moral order” and “reason” is not an inherent female characteristic,

      Uh oh. You take that back.

      We don’t do misogyny around here.

  • @WV

    I think there are other moral issues concerning poaching married mates that go beyond the impact to the individuals involved… But those don’t apply to mere dating.

    No, that kind of utilitarianism just isn’t in my personality profile. I was never that ambitious nor confident. When two adults were in a relationship, I always considered that a quasi-proprietary situation. Especially if one or both were friends, and they ended up parting ways. My guys pals and I were able to maintain a pretty solid honor code: no woman, regardless of attractiveness, shall come between the friendship. I suppose that’s a self-imposed disadvantage of sorts.

    Add to that the ancillary risk that a poacher may become the victim of a poaching at any time, it seems like that double-edged tactic is just one of numerous questionable activities that have collectively made the dating scene all the more unpleasant, for some folks anyway. I would’ve preferred to stay single in the absence of other attractive single women, given the choice. Come to think of it, that kind of describes my post-college dating (or lack thereof) experience…

  • Liz

    @Man

    [lost list of alpha indicators]
    If you don’t have these characteristics you’re not an alpha. It’s useless to have philosophical discussions with them, because “sense of justice”, “judgements of moral order” and “reason” is not an inherent female characteristic, especially if she is the unrestricted/slut type. These women instantly lose all reason, sense of justice or of morality for alphas.

    Can you clarify what you mean by “these women”? And it’s useless to have philosophical discussions with whom?

    What you call Alpha sounds like a freak of nature to me. There are lots of guys with the behavioral and physical traits who don’t have the brains and/or work ethics to be high earners and therefore don’t have the wealth or economic status. Plenty more who act dominant and entitled but don’t have the “beauty” and aren’t popular. More successful dickheads who are not exactly popular. [I’m on a roll this morning! ;-)]

    I don’t think I know a single man who fits all seven of your traits.

    The “mild psychopathy” thing hit home, however, because I was married to one. He was a partial fit to your list: 1&2, only average-to-good (certainly not model / star athlete material); #3, made good money but wasted most of it, definitely not ostentatious; 4-7, spot on. I blame it on too much testosterone and uninvolved parents.

    Incidentally, of my big complaints was that I could not ever have a philosophical discussion with him. He had a degree from a good university, but was not a man of ideas. Everything always came back to the how-does-it-affect-me angle and a need to reinforce his worldview. This is now a major red flag for me.

    Come to think of it, most alpha traits are a red flag, although I’m a sucker for athleticism because I play sports myself. I’m now involved with a man I was on two teams with a number of years ago, which goes to show that a common involvement is a great way to meet people.

    • I blame it on too much testosterone and uninvolved parents.

      That’ll do it.

      Incidentally, of my big complaints was that I could not ever have a philosophical discussion with him. He had a degree from a good university, but was not a man of ideas.

      I like that phrase – a man of ideas. It’s not just about being intelligent. It’s also about intellectual curiosity and creativity. Those three things have always been at the top of my list.

      Come to think of it, most alpha traits are a red flag, although I’m a sucker for athleticism because I play sports myself.

      Is testosterone correlated to athleticism? Obviously, it’s high in meaty football players, but what about runners, cyclists, tennis players, etc?

  • mr. wavevector

    @ Megaman,

    My guys pals and I were able to maintain a pretty solid honor code: no woman, regardless of attractiveness, shall come between the friendship. I suppose that’s a self-imposed disadvantage of sorts.

    That’s an altruistic behavior that benefits group fitness at a cost to the individual. In a population those altruistic behaviors exist in some equilibrium with more selfish behaviors which have a benefit to individual fitness at a cost to the group.

    Mate poaching behavior would seem like a prime subject for game theory analysis – but a quick google didn’t find any.

  • Liz

    I meant “LONG list”…

  • Liz

    And I forgot to end-quote. The 2nd half of the post is my reply, although it appears to be quoting somebody else.

  • Gin Martini

    Is poaching just someone cheating with you, or that, plus actually stealing them from the other person? I’ve never mate-poached, which implies the latter. It’s not poaching of you never intend for that, right?

    However, I’ve been involved with married people, and it seems to be a moral dark-grey area. It feels pretty wrong, in my gut. But then again, it used to feel very wrong to have sex outside marriage, too, and so I was wrong about feeling wrong before.

    It is interesting to see the thought differences between those who view cheating as a) off-limits entirely, b) wrong, but enabling cheating is OK, and those c) who think cheating is fine. They’re all just different degrees of rule-breaking, it just depends on which set of rules you subscribe to.

    My suspicion is the higher SMV people gravitate towards thinking B is just a morally fine part of the game. Whereas only us uglier folks need the babyish handicap of mongamy? Higher stakes, higher risk, higher reward, perhaps?

    • It’s not poaching of you never intend for that, right?

      Mate poaching is behavior designed to capture the attention and attraction of a person who is with someone else. I don’t think it’s important whether one wants to get into a relationship with that person – lots of people poach just for the fun of it.

      It is interesting to see the thought differences between those who view cheating as a) off-limits entirely, b) wrong, but enabling cheating is OK, and those c) who think cheating is fine.

      B is not my position. I maintain that I did not enable cheating – that Paul’s relationship had nothing whatsoever to do with me.

      Originally I stated that only for children would I bow out, but Mr. WV made a good point about maintaining the institution of marriage, so I’ll add that. Fortunately, that’s a dilemma I never faced.

  • Man

    Uh oh. You take that back. We don’t do misogyny around here.

    I don’t take misandry lightly either and we men don’t control the rules of the SMP. 🙂 I never categorize men and women alike into alpha-beta. So let me re-phrase it:

    There is no “sense of justice”, “judgements of moral order” and “reason” in the way a woman is attracted to the so called “alpha” male, i.e., her attraction cues.

    Actually men and women are alike in this regard are quite “cruel” if we think it deeply in philosophical terms. What I really don’t like is the double standard: men’s attraction cues are frowned upon and socially accepted as being bad. But women’s not so noble and quite screwed standards (to my mind) are not only accepted but exalted as a kind of superior intelligence. Give me a break, please. Part of my job is to denounce women’s equally not so honorable standards. As long as the “alpha-beta” dichotomy goes on misoginy will rise, even though I don’t like or endorse it. Only women really to think that the so called “betas” will stand passively accepting humiliation after humiliation on a societal level for such a long time. I am only a grain of sand in the sea…

    By the way, I also meant that usually women operate on a different frame of mind, centered in their emotions and not reasons. But in reality I think women are distributed in a spectrum of different levels of IQ and EI, just like men some being more, say, “rational” and so being the equivalent of a high EI man and others being less rational and more emotional/instinctive. Women with a higher EI tend to be more pro-active and have a higher sense of “moral” and “justice”, which is usually linked with motherhood rather than territorialism and/or private property in the case of males. Bottom line: everybody is alpha and beta at the same time, with different shades in between. Cornering people into extremes is inhuman and a reaction is certain to happen. There is really nothing noble about all this.

    • @Man

      Thanks for that rephrasing!

      What I really don’t like is the double standard: men’s attraction cues are frowned upon and socially accepted as being bad. But women’s not so noble and quite screwed standards (to my mind) are not only accepted but exalted as a kind of superior intelligence.

      That is not true here. Do you refer to feminism? Can you give some examples of the double standard?

      By the way, I also meant that usually women operate on a different frame of mind, centered in their emotions and not reasons. But in reality I think women are distributed in a spectrum of different levels of IQ and EI, just like men some being more, say, “rational” and so being the equivalent of a high EI man and others being less rational and more emotional/instinctive

      Agreed.

  • Man

    @Liz:

    What you call Alpha sounds like a freak of nature to me… Come to think of it, most alpha traits are a red flag, although I’m a sucker for athleticism because I play sports myself.

    Exactly. But that’s what more and more men are thinking about what being an “alpha” really means. What I am trying to convey is that this is really not working for women’s best interests (or the good women’s best interests).

  • Man

    Can you clarify what you mean by “these women”?

    I was referring more to the narcissistic, manipulative/slut type, if you get it. It does not apply to honest, caring women with good motherhood instincts.

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    Man, were you working this into Susan’s pity-fuck story? I wasn’t really playing that close attention.

    It seems to me you are suggesting that a male mind would be more inclined to think “You screwed up, BIG TIME, you are now a bad a person.” coupled with maybe “REPENT YE SINNER!”

    Whereas a feminine mind would take into account how the “sinner” in question here makes the woman feel, and thus possibly more tolerant of occasional sin.

    The Male Mind is guilty of not taking people in their completeness and pigeon-holding them based on isolated incidents, the Female Mind is guilty of judging people primarily on how they make the person feel.

    Is that what you are suggesting?

  • Man

    Whereas a feminine mind would take into account how the “sinner” in question here makes the woman feel, and thus possibly more tolerant of occasional sin.

    @ADBG: I was just following the reasoning of Lokland and his discussion with Susan. This really complex and I do mean to get into philosophical discussions. But answering your question, I would say that in women’s world there are only their emotions and the consequences “a posteriori”. They view everything and themselves from this perspective, unless she’s, say, good natured, compassionate (out of her strong motherhood intincts) and sense that after all, there is nothing noble about feeling attraction for an “alpha”, in which case she might not consciously feed or follow this “temptation” and so give preference to a “man of good character who will remain faithful and keep his word (in marriage).” Very often, however, this only happens “a posteriori”, when her sexual value has diminished or when she feels the social or male reprobation of her past actions. In such cases, there was no “true repentance” in the sense of the word. Actually most often than not, they never truly “repent”, because they tend to view themselves as victims rather than protagonists of their history (this explains feminism in great part by the way), and resort instead to male shaming and blaming, because deep inside they do not equate their sexual attraction and past sex experiences with “sin”, but their own legitimate right. In this sense that a woman who keeps virginity might be considered by males as being more valued than the “unrestricted” ones. Let’s remind however that many good women are unwilling or misguide “victims” of SMP rules created by feminist standards. In closing, remember this: The Divine Mother, who represents the highest aspects of the feminine soul, was virgin, had immaculate conception and is the symbol of motherhood (the higher aspect of the feminine soul). That’s all. I’m out. 🙂

  • Escoffier

    Lok, I think it is a fallacy to say that since Paul cheated, that automatically makes him not a beta. Everything Susan has described about him makes him sound archetypally beta in both the good (loyal and understanding friend) and bad (instance of supplication and begging) senses of that term.

    It’s not that betas never cheat, it’s that they cheat less, both from relative lack of opportunity and from greater disinclination. The vast, vast majority of guys biologically want to bang lots of hot women; most of them simply can’t. Some of them (I would hope “most” but that’s less clear) will refrain for moral or other high-minded treasons.

    One can be a beta in both sense and simply succumb to temptation like anyone else, the same way a resolute dieter and ascetic might pig out in a moment of weakness. That doesn’t change their basic character.

    • One can be a beta in both sense and simply succumb to temptation like anyone else, the same way a resolute dieter and ascetic might pig out in a moment of weakness.

      You just endorsed my notion of sexual gluttony!

  • @Man

    But in reality I think women are distributed in a spectrum of different levels of IQ and EI, just like men some being more, say, “rational”…

    Hmmm… methinks the “sterotype threat” may be largely responsible for that perception:
    http://steinhardt.nyu.edu/news/2008/1/29/Stereotype_Threat_Affects_Women_in_Highlevel_Math_Courses_Aronson_Study_Finds

    Regardless of the test itself, how its presentation is framed appears to affect the results. This stereotype threat also seems to be at the root of the “Asian students do best” phenomenon…

  • Escoffier

    D0uble standard would be:

    Men attracted to big boobs, tight butts, flowing blonde locks = shallow, possibly even piggish. Look to her inner qualities, you brute!

    Women are not criticized by society (the culture, the “commanding heights”) for what they find attractive. Worse, some of what they find attractive is simply denied. The general statement that lots of women will be attracted to loser bikers will be heatedly denied. And then instances in which it is undeniable will be explained away as of no consequence, certainly not indicative of anything endemic to or characteristic of female nature.

    When was the last time you heard a woman called “shallow” for the type of male she was attracted to?

    But you are right that this is by and large not true here, howevever it remains true most everywhere else.

    • @Escoffier

      OK, I see. Feminists howling about men objectifying women, while we do the exact same thing to men.

      I have heard some guys say they would love to be objectified – so I think this does get at the male desire to be viewed as a sexual object and the female desire to be viewed as a commitment-worthy object.

      Even women with killer bods and long flowing locks generally want to be appreciated for other qualities.

      Where beta orbiters go wrong is that they want to be appreciated as commitment worthy even if they’re not perceived as sexually attractive. And sluts seek sexual objectification, even though they’re not perceived as relationship material.

  • @WV

    Mate poaching behavior would seem like a prime subject for game theory analysis – but a quick google didn’t find any.

    Yeah, I don’t know how it would fit into neat little boxes like the Prisoner Dilemma, but there’s definitely intersections between introversion/extroversion, friendship-value/risk-aversion, shorter vs. longer time orientation. Hypothetically-speaking:

    Person A is an extrovert, very out-going, large group of friends (quantity over quality). Social interaction is largely for personal validation, maybe even business-like; friends may come and go with regularity; and relationship-interest is driven by personal satisfaction.

    Person B is an introvert, less sociable, small group of friends (quality over quantity). Social interaction is largely for companionship and true appreciation, maybe customized for each friend; perhaps it’s taken quite some time to build up a strong group of pals; and relationship-interest is as much about giving as receiving.

    Person A might poach with impunity; after all, he or she will obtain the mate desired, and his or her social circle might shrink by a little bit. Benefits outweigh the costs: obviously a much more “means to an end” view of other human beings.

    Person B would be very reluctant to poach at all; after all, he or she might obtain the mate desired, but a valuable friend will definitely exit the social circle; and if the relationship fizzles, it’s a one-two punch. Costs outweigh the benefits: clearly more introspection and consideration of other peoples’ feelings are in order here.

  • Escoffier

    I never rejected your notion of sexual gluttony, I just said that we already had a word (or words) for it so the new term was not necessary.

    Anyway, doens’t necessarily sound like Paul was a glutton, just a guy with a gnawing case of one-itis who tried to satiate it the only way he knew how (begging). In 99 out of 100 cases, that would not have worked. So, you too are an outlier in that story! (Though in taking forever to be worn down, I suspect that you would be in the middle of the curve, very few are going to repsond to beggin positively from the outset.)

    • So, you too are an outlier in that story! (Though in taking forever to be worn down, I suspect that you would be in the middle of the curve, very few are going to repsond to beggin positively from the outset.)

      I found the begging very unattractive, needless to say. It was our history of friendship and his pleas that his future hung in the balance (what crap) that made me agree. I really did see it as a mission of mercy at the time. I was pretty stupid at that age too.

  • Escoffier

    “so I think this does get at the male desire to be viewed as a sexual object and the female desire to be viewed as a commitment-worthy object.”

    This is a very important statement, it seems to me, especially when paired with this:

    “Even women with killer bods and long flowing locks generally want to be appreciated for other qualities.”

    The beautiful woman who wants to be appreciated for her inner qualities as it were can “afford” to have such a concern. She does not have to worry about not being found attractive. That’s a given. And, she is in the driver’s seat in that her ability to attract lots of men allows her to filter for those who DO see her inner qualities. It can certainly be annoying for a beautiful woman to have to fend of legions of drooling men to find the one who actually appreciates her for who she is but a lot of people would consider that a “high class problem.”

    The flipside, however, is not so clear. A man with all the commitment-worthy traits also certainly wants to be considered attractive. But it’s not as if he can “afford” such a concern the same way that a beautiful woman can “afford” hers. Without that initial attractiveness, he may never get the chance to display his commitment-suitability. Plus, the bar for what women find attractive in men is a lot higher than what men find attractive in women. More women pass the boner test than men pass the tingle test (I know you will say the latter term is used imprecisely, but it’s just shorthand in this case).

    • The flipside, however, is not so clear. A man with all the commitment-worthy traits also certainly wants to be considered attractive. But it’s not as if he can “afford” such a concern the same way that a beautiful woman can “afford” hers.

      Right. The male version is avoiding the beta bux problem – he wants to be seen as more than a meal ticket, he wants a woman who finds him sexy. There was a time when men in this boat could afford to be pickier. Today women do not really need a meal ticket, so they have the luxury of holding out for a man they’re attracted to, at least in the UMC. Of course, some women solely chase the tingle, which never really ends well. Even if you get the guy to marry you and have his kids, he can have 30 affairs.

  • Man

    Hmmm… methinks the “sterotype threat” may be largely responsible for that perception

    I don’t think so. We’re biologically and also mentally different, with different skills (on average). Women on average have the skills more tailored for motherhood: multitasking, they are fast with perceiving emotions, etc. Men on average are far superior intellectually (spacial and logical reasoning) than women. Men have a deep, penetrating intellect. Even though very slow, their intellect is much stronger. Look around you: do you see anything invented my women? Feminism: a big stab on the back of mankind. 🙂

  • Man

    That is not true here. Do you refer to feminism? Can you give some examples of the double standard?

    Not true here, mostly for you I think. One of the reasons I support your work. We have few women allies nowadays. We have to protect and spare the few who support us. 🙂

    Double standard: I think this happens on a societal level, because feminism has successfully forced many assumptions. For instance, men prefer virgins, beautiful and young women (for sexual attraction) and women who do housekeeping, are good mothers, nurturing, etc. Also, men do like to be the provider for kids of cads or other men. But then I see that most men were successfully shamed of their instincts by the massive brainwashing feminist propaganda over the last few decades.

    On the other hand, women’s attraction for the so stereotyped (positive in this case) “alpha” is not only socially accepted, but also incentivized. Everybody nowadays is trying to teach the purportedly inferior betas to be a superior alpha. This is ridiculous. Women also thrive on men desperately trying to do everything they command they to do only to have the chance to get into their panties. I mean, women love pulling the strings in this alpha-beta dichotomy because that’s how they control and manipulate men, and also how they confirm their superiority complex, which they derive from the fact that they do not need men sexually as much as men need them (an unfair use of biological differences to my mind for claims of superiority). Male sexual desire is not inherently bad as it has been socially accepted.

    So I think that it’s OK for men to value virginity and also prefer young, beautiful and feminine women with motherhood instincts. I actually see a positive value in this, because this sort promotes stable families, while giving free reigns to women seems to be an unmitigated disaster on a societal level. Women control the SMP, after all. Don’t you think so? 🙂

    Even women with killer bods and long flowing locks generally want to be appreciated for other qualities. Where beta orbiters go wrong is that they want to be appreciated as commitment worthy even if they’re not perceived as sexually attractive.

    Agreed. Nobody can force anyone to feel attraction for himself/herself. Women can fuck whoever they want. But they shall be accountable for their choices. I mean, they should not try to shame men into accepting or approving their behavior. Men have the right to decide and think whatever they want.

    As far as I am concerned, whenever I see a man who seems to be struggling with feminist induced shame about what he feels is right for him, I try to help him to unlock his hidden potential and get him free. 🙂 Do you think this is bad?

    • @Man

      Everybody nowadays is trying to teach the purportedly inferior betas to be a superior alpha. This is ridiculous.

      Well, everyone in the sphere is and I agree it’s ridiculous. Even if it were successful, you’d just wind up with a population of low EQ men who suck at relationships. We might as well return to the savannah in that case.

      Women also thrive on men desperately trying to do everything they command they to do only to have the chance to get into their panties. I mean, women love pulling the strings in this alpha-beta dichotomy because that’s how they control and manipulate men

      There are women who cultivate these eunuch-style friendships and I encourage all men to walk away. There is no percentage in sticking around once you’ve been friend-zoned.

      As far as I am concerned, whenever I see a man who seems to be struggling with feminist induced shame about what he feels is right for him, I try to help him to unlock his hidden potential and get him free. Do you think this is bad?

      Not at all. You’re very much like HanSolo in that regard. And like him, you don’t find it necessary to be confrontational and combative, which I appreciate. I also think it’s a more effective way of communicating to people who actually have a shot at making changes.

  • Man

    Also, men do like to be the provider for kids of cads or other men.

    Correction: …men do NOT like…

  • mr. wavevector

    And, she is in the driver’s seat in that her ability to attract lots of men allows her to filter for those who DO see her inner qualities.

    It occurred to me during my discussions with Sassy that this isn’t entirely true. The reason is this: a lot of men self-filter and never initiate with a highly attractive woman. A hot, big-breasted woman attracts a lot of attention from tall, handsome, aggressive and competitive men. Men who are lesser in status, aggressiveness or competitiveness figure their odds against that competition are low and may even be dangerous, so they look elsewhere.

    As a consequence, that woman is primarily presented with a limited set of self-selecting men. Her choices will be severely limited unless she actively pursues men outside of this set herself (which is unlikely for a woman who receives such attention).

  • Anacaona

    My suspicion is the higher SMV people gravitate towards thinking B is just a morally fine part of the game. Whereas only us uglier folks need the babyish handicap of mongamy? Higher stakes, higher risk, higher reward, perhaps?
    I don’t know if sociosexuality is related to looks (it seems to be) but we already showed that the unrestricted had degrees of taking risks they find enticing while us restricted folks hate the risk/reward loop and only engage on it with the hope that we only have to do it once. Get our mate and get out of the dating game forever. Of course in an spectrum and with other risk taking qualities at work.

  • Escoffier

    wave, true to some extent, but not to the extent that beauty is “severly limiting.” The definition of “attrative” after means that people are attracted. They gravitate to you. There might be a point beyond which good looks begin to draw fewer men because of the intimidation factor. I.e., perhaps a 9 gets approached less than a 7 because men are scared off. But she still has way, way more options that most other women, and certainly more than 99.9% of men.

    Plus, her innate quality means that she doesn’t necessarily have to be passive. There are very ways, not all of them even overt, that she can calibrate the type of man she wants to attract.

  • Man

    There are women who cultivate these eunuch-style friendships and I encourage all men to walk away. There is no percentage in sticking around once you’ve been friend-zoned.

    Agreed. Just a side note, I think this is going on a societal level. The alpha-beta dichotomy purportedly benefits women, but on a deeper level is causing tremendous havoc on relationships. I feel usually concerned for innocent women. We need more to women to stand out for what is right and correct the mistakes of feminism.

    Not at all. You’re very much like HanSolo in that regard. And like him, you don’t find it necessary to be confrontational and combative, which I appreciate.

    Well, I’m surprised. 🙂 Sometimes however, I have to resort to language which might be considered inappropriate, but which is necessary for men to better understand what’s going on.

  • Man

    The reason is this: a lot of men self-filter and never initiate with a highly attractive woman.

    The very concept of what is attractive to men is very much twisted in the first place. As rule of thumb, feminine is more attractive. But the very sense of what is feminine is quite lost.

    A hot, big-breasted woman attracts a lot of attention from tall, handsome, aggressive and competitive men.

    I always wonder if there are really men who find big breasts attractive. There might be. But I prefer natural and proportional. And sometimes smaller is even sexier. As the saying goes YMMV…

  • mr. wavevector

    I.e., perhaps a 9 gets approached less than a 7 because men are scared off. But she still has way, way more options that most other women, and certainly more than 99.9% of men.

    Statistically speaking that doesn’t make sense. Hypergamous mating penalizes the highest value females and the lowest value males. The people who have the largest set of options are the high value males who are willing to indiscriminately date down. And in the broad middle of the distribution, the number of people of both sexes are so large that even with a hypergamous price premium for females, there are approximately the same number of females and males.

    As someone in the broad middle, I never perceived that my female peers had any advantage over me in the number of options.

    • Mr. wv et al

      I’ve just put up a new post that actually addresses SMV and hypergamy. That comment thread should be fun. 🙂

  • Escoffier

    Hypergamous mating does not penalize the highest value women. The current SMP does (to some extent) but that is a different issue.

    To maintain the first assertion, you would have to equate options with value or “winning” or that is what BOTH sexes most want. But it’s not. Men value a plethora of options far more than women do and men benefit from it more, too (preselection, etc.).

    If hypergamy means anything, it means that a woman wants a man who is A) the highest quality she can get and B) higher by some metrics than she is. Clearly, the most attractive women are in the best position to secure A. B sounds more complicated at first glance, and it might be solely in terms of looks or SMP (how can a 10 “date up”?). But since women are attracted to a broader range of traits than looks, a guy can make it up in other areas and still come off to a high value woman as someone who “outranks” her and therefore satisfies her hypergamy.

    “As someone in the broad middle, I never perceived that my female peers had any advantage over me in the number of options.”

    That experience runs counter to my own and to what most of the guys report. And, I would say, to the inherent logic of the SMP. Perhaps your SMV was higher than you thought.

    • But since women are attracted to a broader range of traits than looks, a guy can make it up in other areas and still come off to a high value woman as someone who “outranks” her and therefore satisfies her hypergamy.

      This is worth pulling out and restating for the benefit of guys here. This is a key point that is easily observed every day wherever one may live. This is also an area where guys have an advantage, it’s good strategy to make the most of it.

  • Lokland

    @Man

    “As someone in the broad middle, I never perceived that my female peers had any advantage over me in the number of options.”

    Guys number of potential options is bounded by the number of women he is willing to approach and the proportion he can convert into sex/relationship.

    The first is basically unlimited if a man can face a lot of rejection. From a practical perspective most mens weak point is either both or the second and improving the second will yield good gains.

    Women’s number of options is bounded by the number of men who approach them and the number they find acceptable.

    ———

    Its just way easier for a guy to find someone suitable because he has full and direct control over the number of women he approaches.

    Women have less control (though not none) over who and how many men approach them.

  • Lokland

    @Susan

    ” Seeing a different meaning and asking about it is OK, I guess. Constantly misconstruing and rephrasing my statements is not OK, because you do not acknowledge having misquoted me.”

    Allow me to apologize.
    I have a bad habit of continuing forward and ignoring the pleasantries of saying ‘okay I was wrong’.

    It is implied.

    Also, I haven’t been in an excellent mood so I’m probably not reading without bias.

    • @Lokland

      Apology accepted. I can’t stay mad at you – I’m fond of you and wind up going down the rabbit hole more than I should!

  • @Mr. Man

    I don’t think so. We’re biologically and also mentally different, with different skills (on average).

    Right, certainly nothing unreasonable there. Everybody’s entitled to an opinion. Could you then reconcile it with the article I linked to on female math testing?

  • Man

    Guys number of potential options is bounded by the number of women he is willing to approach and the proportion he can convert into sex/relationship.

    I noticed you used the proportion he can convert to “sex/relationship”. Converting to “relationship/sex” is more difficult? As far as I am concerned I was looked for a relationship first.

    Only recently, however, I’ve mustered enough motivation to start approaching more women. I have approached a few beautiful ones and then I started to realize that there are a lot of “available” beautiful women out there.

    However, I am not really sure I can “convert” to relationship/sex. For me it still looks and feels like a numbers/luck game in a “mating dance” of destiny. That’s what reflects my current state of mind, more or less. I also think that I prefer to learn everything the hard way. 🙂 I mean I usually do not view a potential mate as a “premium”, but as a complement to myself. Hence my focus on relationships.

  • mr. wavevector

    @ Esc,

    B sounds more complicated at first glance, and it might be solely in terms of looks or SMP (how can a 10 “date up”?). But since women are attracted to a broader range of traits than looks, a guy can make it up in other areas and still come off to a high value woman as someone who “outranks” her and therefore satisfies her hypergamy.

    I interpret that as saying a woman of top SMV can find a lot of ways to rationalize why she had to mate assortatively or hypogamously. The nature of hypergamy implies that most of her male peers will be mating women of somewhat lower SMV. The odds of her mating hypergamously are vanishingly small; as her value approaches 10, the number of available men men of higher value approaches zero.

    That experience runs counter to my own and to what most of the guys report. And, I would say, to the inherent logic of the SMP.

    It doesn’t when your peers are generally restricted people who date assortatively. Even if women date up a point or two, the numbers of males and females are very close in the middle of the curve.

    Perhaps your SMV was higher than you thought.

    I don’t think so. I think I was realistic and was aware of the nature of hypergamy (although I didn’t know that word), so I was willing to date down a notch. Not necessarily in looks, but also in things like education, age, and status. “Making hypergamy work for me” would have been my motto, had I known what hypergamy was. I was well aware that I needed to be 1-up on a girl to get her panties off.

    I did notice that a lot of the guys complaining of their hard luck spent a lot of time chasing girls who were out of their league. It’s not only girls that have trouble with “settling”.

    So I have a counter proposal – perhaps you and most guys overestimate your SMV. This could take two form: an outright overvaluation of your overall attractiveness; or forgetting the hypergamous price premium women command. The ideal date for a man isn’t a woman on his level – it’s a woman on his level minus one.

  • Escoffier

    “I interpret that as saying a woman of top SMV can find a lot of ways to rationalize why she had to mate assortatively or hypogamously.”

    Not at all. It means that the woman who is a genuine SMV 10 by definition cannot date hypergamously based on looks alone–she can in that case only date her equals at best. However, in OTHER respects she can date “up”: more status, more money, more dominance, more charisma, etc. For queens and such, the supply is small. But for merely beautiful women who are not queens, the supply of suitable men is far larger. Such women may not all require a 10 in looks if they can have 10 in money, status and dominance but (say) an 8 in looks. Bottom line, looks are not as important to women as they are to men, therefore a man’s SMV/MMV depends less on looks. So it’ far easier for him to be an overall 10 even if his looks are not 10.

    And, to be clear that this is not all about numbers, women care about the status of their men more than men care about the status of their women. Which is why a 10-looking woman can still feel hypergamously satisfied with an 8-looking male IF she perceives his status as sufficiently higher than hers.

    Thus, to the extent that female 10s want to settle down, they have the most and best options. The only options they don’t have are the guys who won’t settle down with any woman no matter what. But if a hard-to-please apex male is going to commit, he’s only going to commit to women at the tippy top. Which is why her options are far less bleak than you make them out to be.

  • Jackie

    I have a question:

    Repeatedly we have talked on this site about how love is NOT a zero-sum game, giving without expectation and similar sentiments.

    How do we reconcile this with “mating as competition”? How can zero-sum and competition co-exist?

    Maybe I’m a weird, but the idea of “competing” for a guy, with winners and losers, feels not right. It feels “mean girl” to me. I mean, I’m sure most of us –even me!– could force ourselves through some hoops and end up married.

    That is not the same as a good marriage, though. Are we conflating these SMP “winners” with happiness?

    • @Jackie

      If a man is attractive, he has options. If you are one of those possibilities, and you want to “win” his heart, he must value you more than the others. You may not be competing actively by derogating other women or manipulating him in any way. But you are competing for his attention in at least a passive sense, whether there are other girls on the scene or not. In fact, you will often be competing with the status quo – his single status. If you like him, you’ll want to be the one who succeeds in taking him off the market. There is always an element of competition.

  • Jackie

    Oops, I mean “NOT zero sum and competition” in the above post! 😳

  • Escoffier

    “Are we conflating these SMP ‘winners’ with happiness?”

    Not really, mostly what we’re doing is talking about the former to the exclusion of the latter.

  • Jackie

    @Esco

    Well, “happiness” requires a way more complex discussion than “Did you marry and pass on your genes?”

    Even if you gathered the greatest philosophers of all time (in Kanye West voice, OF ALL TIME!) would they agree?

  • Lokland

    @mr WV

    “The ideal date for a man isn’t a woman on his level – it’s a woman on his level minus one.”

    Relationships are more stable when the woman is slightly prettier.
    I would assume the man makes up for that in some other way to still be top.

  • J

    Relationships are more stable when the woman is slightly prettier.
    I would assume the man makes up for that in some other way to still be top.

    I’ve seen studies that say relationships are happiest when the woman has the nicer looks and the guy has money.

  • Lokland

    @Man

    “I noticed you used the proportion he can convert to “sex/relationship”. Converting to “relationship/sex” is more difficult? As far as I am concerned I was looked for a relationship first.”

    Just the way it works.
    Most men will accept sex sans relationship. I don’t know any who would take relationship sans sex.

    “For me it still looks and feels like a numbers/luck game in a “mating dance” of destiny.”

    Yeah. Try and keep that POV with a stroke of ‘I can control my destiny’ through it.

    Believing one maintains complete control over their destiny is painful.

    @J

    “I’ve seen studies that say relationships are happiest when the woman has the nicer looks and the guy has money.”

    Just cash or any of the 14 attraction cues? (Or only some?)

  • Escoffier

    “Even if you gathered the greatest philosophers of all time (in Kanye West voice, OF ALL TIME!) would they agree?”

    Many ways to answer this but the shortest is simply to say, yes they would.

  • Richard Aubrey

    Back then….long time ago, I knew two women who were ten-plus, so to speak.
    The number of even 9-10 guys who approached them had a grossly high proportion of buttheads.
    The reason, I surmise, is that a certain SMP level puts off almost any usual guy, even a 9-10 guy, but not buttheads who were, mostly, pretty high. Perhaps buttheads lack a kind of fear. Or something.
    But the result was a strongly off-putting public self-presentation.
    I knew one of them pretty well and she was personable and cheerful and not at all affected when one-on-one with friends or colleagues she could trust. But leave the one-on-one venue and go to a staff meeting and she’s the Ice Queen.
    Too many buttheads in her world.

    • Perhaps buttheads lack a kind of fear. Or something.
      But the result was a strongly off-putting public self-presentation.

      Beautiful women really draw the sociopaths. These are the guys who are impervious to social norms and have incredibly inflated views of their own appeal. They’re the obnoxious guys in bars – the alpha asshats who are just gross. For every 10 guys who approach high SMV women, 9.75 are meatheads.

  • Man

    @Megaman:

    Could you then reconcile it with the article I linked to on female math testing?

    For me it looks the research is not conclusive. I also have serious doubts of the scientific methods which were employed and if there isn’t any bias in the way the research was prepared (how candidates were selected; which tests were selected). By the way, the research was conducted by a woman.

    It looks like just one more of the thousands of (sexist) feminist studies, usually financed with government funds, to promote the idea of the female superiority. We need to stop that. This is really sexist. What about giving men the same treatment and exposing the ugly misandry and discrimination that most men are subject to on a daily basis?

    That said, I am really against stereotypes. But sometimes they just reflect biological differences: men will never make good moms. Women will never make good soldiers.

  • Sassy6519

    The reason, I surmise, is that a certain SMP level puts off almost any usual guy, even a 9-10 guy, but not buttheads who were, mostly, pretty high. Perhaps buttheads lack a kind of fear. Or something.
    But the result was a strongly off-putting public self-presentation.
    I knew one of them pretty well and she was personable and cheerful and not at all affected when one-on-one with friends or colleagues she could trust. But leave the one-on-one venue and go to a staff meeting and she’s the Ice Queen.
    Too many buttheads in her world.

    It’s a self-defense mechanism used in order to boost self preservation. I think that almost every woman has a “bitch shield”, but the size of the shields vary significantly.

    The more that a woman has reason to believe that male attention has dubious motivations, the larger the bitch shield she has and the more often she puts it up.

  • Man

    Just the way it works. Most men will accept sex sans relationship. I don’t know any who would take relationship sans sex.

    It’s not about being without sex. It’s about building a love foundation before sex. I think that most women are just not prepared to do that, even though they claim they want “love and commitment”. I mean, it seems that most women usually want sex and then afterwards they will think about a relationship. But in my case I am not into casual sex as a way to find a relationship. Sounds weird for a seemingly “unrestricted” type? 🙂

  • Man

    @Mr.WV:

    So I have a counter proposal – perhaps you and most guys overestimate your SMV.

    I know that my sexual value for a woman is close to nothing, i.e., she will value only my attributes. Should I accept so any woman? I think you’re still missing the point, WV. Women, lead by feminists, sort of bet all their stakes that they could have the freedom to chase the top of the top “alpha asshats” of the world and that the multitude of “betas” of the world (they decided by the way who’s alpha and who’s beta) would have to conform, accept that they are inferior and content themselves with the remains left by the so called “alpha asshats”. Do you think that this really works?

  • mr. wavevector

    @ Esc,

    However, in OTHER respects she can date “up”: more status, more money, more dominance, more charisma, etc.

    I see the source of our disagreement. I consider the SMV to include all of those things already. So my 10 is already tops overall. You are using it more specifically for sexual appeal. So your 10 can still be topped in a host of other areas.

  • mr. wavevector

    @Man,

    So I have a counter proposal – perhaps you and most guys overestimate your SMV.

    I know that my sexual value for a woman is close to nothing, i.e., she will value only my attributes. Should I accept so any woman?

    Well, my sexual value is not close to nothing. It’s pretty high. My wife wants sex with me all the time and often initiates herself.

  • Man

    Well, my sexual value is not close to nothing. It’s pretty high. My wife wants sex with me all the time and often initiates herself.

    Happy you are! 🙂

  • mr. wavevector

    @ Richard,

    The reason, I surmise, is that a certain SMP level puts off almost any usual guy, even a 9-10 guy, but not buttheads who were, mostly, pretty high.

    Exactly. You would think that those 10’s would have it made, but not necessarily. A nice 7 or 8 might have a much better selection of guys to choose from.

  • mr. wavevector

    @ Lockland,

    Relationships are more stable when the woman is slightly prettier.
    I would assume the man makes up for that in some other way to still be top.

    Yes, that probably works best. Women want to be the pretty one. They don’t want to cede that advantage to their mates. They would rather concede something else like status, wealth, intelligence. And men have the same value system – they want a pretty wife but to be top in something else.

  • mr. wavevector

    @ J,

    I’ve seen studies that say relationships are happiest when the woman has the nicer looks and the guy has money.

    I guess we’re all just hookers and johns.

  • Man

    Yeah. Try and keep that POV with a stroke of ‘I can control my destiny’ through it. Believing one maintains complete control over their destiny is painful.

    Yep. I think that it’s sort of a tripod: [ Individual Will + Destiny/God’s Will + Environment/Others’ Will ] From all these, only our “Individual Will” (self-initiative) is under our control. We may not have complete control over destiny, but for sure in this ever-evolving moment now, we are participating in the ever-evolving creative process of the fabric of our lives.

  • @Mr. Man

    That said, I am really against stereotypes.

    Uh, huh. I’ll take that as a NO to my original question.

    BTW this wasn’t written by a woman:
    http://www.amazon.com/Whistling-Vivaldi-Stereotypes-Affect-Issues/dp/0393339726/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1368755156&sr=1-1&keywords=sterotype+threat

    And he’s employed at Stanford University. Not that gender or source of funding are even relevant to the merits of anyone’s research. Thank you for clarifying your position, though. I know exactly where you’re coming from now.

  • Man

    @Megaman: are you a woman?

  • Are you a woman?

    No, my attractive wife can attest to that. Are you an child?

    Or better yet, a former regular? :mrgreen:

  • Man

    @Megaman: is your attractive wife a high-end mathematician? I just wonder why you seem to be so preoccupied with discriminating stereotypes against women when in fact I think there are a lot more about men. Women nowadays are considered living goddesses on planet Earth in the Western world. By the way, women on average are way much more sexists and have a lot more stereotypes than men. Sites like these only prove it.

    Have you seen the movie A Beautiful Mind with Jennifer Connelly (very feminine beauty and class to my mind, by the way)? Most women are like that: they are not really interested in being high-end mathematicians, but instead more interested in marrying high-end mathematicians and just having the right to be a normal woman.

  • @Mr. Man

    I just wonder why you seem to be so preoccupied with discriminating stereotypes against women when in fact I think there are a lot more about men.

    Ain’t preoccupied. I just have the bad habit of bringing a little data to the discussion, which have apparently put your opinions on rapid defense mode. The fact that you interpreted the study as merely advocating female superiority, and attacked the source but not the conclusion, tells to me that you didn’t even bother to read it.

    Well done, that’s par for the course around here…

  • Man

    @Megaman: I didn’t read the study, but I did read the article. For me it doesn’t really look like it’s conclusive and I am really suspicious of the scientific groundings of the study. This has been pretty common for decades now. Every now and then a study is ordered with a pre-determined biased conclusion to prove that women are superior than men, or can equal them. 6000 or so of human history and the overwhelming number of scientific inventions made by men, noble prizes, etc. don’t prove anything? There might be some outliers but I really doubt of the scientific credibility of this study. The sample is too small to come to any valid conclusions. It was conducted by a woman, who certainly had a clear purpose in mind. This is just another feminist joke, at the least.

  • Lokland

    @mr WV

    “They don’t want to cede that advantage to their mates. They would rather concede something else like status, wealth, intelligence. And men have the same value system – they want a pretty wife but to be top in something else.”

    Another possibility.
    Men demand looks above all else.
    Whereas women value multiple traits.

    Women have to lower their standards wrt looks in exchange for money because men won’t lower their standard wrt looks for anything.

    That doesn’t mean the two theories are incompatible however. Both could occur. (Ie. men won’t lower looks standards and women are happy to and maintain power via looks in exchange for weakness elsewhere.)

    @Man

    “It’s about building a love foundation before sex. I think that most women are just not prepared to do that, even though they claim they want “love and commitment”. ”

    Men escalate sexually.
    Women escalate emotionally.

    Learn the dance. One can be a guy and be overjoyed with emotional escalation but its still not your job.

  • Man

    Men escalate sexually.
    Women escalate emotionally.

    Learn the dance. One can be a guy and be overjoyed with emotional escalation but its still not your job.

    Alright. I will be looking for my porn star Cinderella then.

  • @Mr. Man

    There might be some outliers but I really doubt of the scientific credibility of this study.

    Perfectly defensible position, provided you bother to even look into the study in question. And what about Mr. Steele’s book, which summarizes numerous research on this phenomenon? Let me guess, he’s cross-dresser. Oy, you’ve got a bad case of something…

    From the original article:
    In over 200 published experiments, females as young as first graders and as old as 22 have been found to perform worse on math tests whenever the testing environment cues them to think about their gender, a phenomenon named “stereotype threat” by the psychologists Claude Steele and Aronson in the mid 1990s.

    I know, I know, it’s one big academic conspiracy or something.

    BTW, I don’t care much for Hollywood biopics. They tend to omit unsavory events in a person’s life, if the subject is meant to be portrayed positively that is. In Nash’s case, that would’ve included antisemitism and indecent exposure at RAND (possibly due to his mental illness), and the fact that he fathered a child with a nurse in the 1950s and then abandoned them both after he learned of the pregnancy.

  • Man

    @Megaman: I would have to examine further these studies to discuss them with you. But to my mind, numbers, history and common sense often convey much more truth. I see where you come from. So let me make my standpoint clear: I don’t support gay marriage, feminists and the like. Minorities are minorities and to my mind they should not impose their will, via biased studies, on the overwhelming majority who are not like them. Whatever, we’re already under the dictatorship of feminism, gay movement, etc. There is nothing much for you to worry about (or to discuss with me about).

  • mr. wavevector

    @ Lokland,

    Another possibility.
    Men demand looks above all else.

    But they don’t.

  • @man

    Minorities are minorities and to my mind they should not impose their will, via biased studies, on the overwhelming majority who are not like them.

    Yes, and I’d normally agree. Unfortunately, you haven’t demonstrated where and how that’s been done in this particular case. For the record, I wasn’t arguing one gender was better or worse at math than the other. I just find research like this fascinating; test scores can be affected by the expectations placed on the individuals taking the tests, and the environment they take them in. It certainly contradicts to some extent the oft-repeated: “reason is not an innate female quality”. There’s no better test of reasoning skills IMO than mathematics. Ironically, you alluded to that very belief at the same time claiming you were against stereotypes…

  • Man

    I just find research like this fascinating; test scores can be affected by the expectations placed on the individuals taking the tests, and the environment they take them in. It certainly contradicts to some extent the oft-repeated: “reason is not an innate female quality”.

    OK, Megaman. But I think you also didn’t get my point. How on Earth can one single experiment contradict other 200 which stated otherwise, as cited in the article? How on Earth could they know a priori that in all the other 200 tests there were gender bias? Whatever we’ll get nowhere with this. But I get your point about stereotypes: so, what is your suggestion about how to deal with stereotypes? I see that you linked to this book. What’s the main idea behind the book? To my mind, nowadays, there are a lot of stereotypes everywhere. Particularly, as we’re often discussion relationships here, I think that white European men, suffer from a very strong negative bias and stereotypes nowadays (and very often from their own peer women). Think about: Scandinavian feminists support Islamic immigration, with a lot of brilliant Scandinavian gentlemen there struggling to find a wife. I know a very successful one who ended marrying a woman from Malaysia.

  • Man

    @Megaman: other prevailing stereotypes we often talk about here: “nice guys”, “gentlemen”, “relationship-orientated guys”, “eager to commit men”, “restricted socio-sexuality”, “religious people”, etc.

  • Man

    So I have a counter proposal – perhaps you and most guys overestimate your SMV.

    @Mr.WV: Just for records, I know where you’re coming from. But actually men sort of always knew this. Almost every men I know is aware that they hold no or very little chance with a woman from his same or above social-economic status. I know a lot of guys who ended up marrying a woman from a lower social economic status. This might be a psychological phenomenon, but it’s rooted in the deep ways men and women are wired in their attraction cues. In this way is that I think you were still missing the point of my discussion about sexual value, and how the (over-stimulated) feminine superiority complex through gender equality bias in socio-economic policies affects relationships. But overall I understand you’re a gentleman of sorts and I appreciate your insights. 🙂 I also don’t think we hold such a great shot to make any changes, especially when I see Susan putting all this effort to convince women to trade sex for non-casual (random) sex. 🙂 But knowledge itself is a tool for change and nature will and is taking its course to correct the imbalances over time.

  • Gin Martini

    Jackie: “Repeatedly we have talked on this site about how love is NOT a zero-sum game, giving without expectation and similar sentiments.”

    If monogamy is a goal state, then each person that commits, can’t commit to another person, so it is zero-sum there. However, in your relationship itself, love is not zero-sum, in the sense that you need to keep score about the good things you do.

    Some people might think that if we abolish monogamy, that the competition goes away. But that seems to be wrong, because what happens is it gets more cut-throat, as women compete for an smaller pool of men who are only happy to have multiple prospects.

    Perhaps old-school courting was a way to place some rules to slow down the competition, and make it less cutthroat?

  • Liz

    @Susan

    Come to think of it, most alpha traits are a red flag, although I’m a sucker for athleticism because I play sports myself.

    Is testosterone correlated to athleticism? Obviously, it’s high in meaty football players, but what about runners, cyclists, tennis players, etc?

    Oh, I don’t think so. A natural athlete attracts me with grace, quick reactions, quick thinking, and “court sense.” Strength has very little to do with it.

  • @man

    How on Earth can one single experiment contradict other 200 which stated otherwise, as cited in the article?

    You appear to have completely missed the point of Aronson’s study and Steele’s book: Tests where “stereotype threat” was present, women performed worse in mathematics. Tests where “stereotype threat” was neutralized, women performed on par in mathematics. That conclusion was clear enough to me. If reading comprehension is a test, you performed exactly as I expected!

    Other prevailing stereotypes we often talk about here…

    “We”… who are you speaking for? Though I’m not in the business of reading minds, it wouldn’t surprise me if your opinions on a host of other issues are boil down to stereotypes that are popular on the internet…

  • Escoffier

    wave, the “recipe” or formula that determines SMV (and MMV, for that matter) is differnt for men that it is for women. And, of course, it also varies by individual. But since that topic is endless, let’s stick to the broader point.

    It is possible to generalize about what combination of traits attracts MOST men, and also MOST women. Without going into great detail, we may that to some extent, there are traits that both sexes are looking for (looks above all) and some that one sex wants but not the other (women want dominance, men want feminity). Of the ones that both want, the emphasis is different. The main point here is that the recipe for men is much more heavily looks-weighted than is the forumal for women.

    So a woman by definition cannot be an SMV 10 without being stunningly beautiful, while a man can. In fact, a man who is 10 by looks alone may have a SMV that is several points lower if he falls short in other crucial respects. The same is true for women, of course, but it’s a lot less common.

    Getting back to the early point, Susan has explained many times how SMV 10 females who want commitment have a disadvantage in THIS screwed-up SMP. I don’t deny that at all. But only compared to prior eras, or what we may call “functioning” SMPs, not relative to their peers. Such apex women still have the most “options” in that, among those men willing to commit (the % of which is lower owing the bad incentives of this SMP), they still have the greatest chance of snagging the one they want.

    The only ones who have absolutley no choice but to marry an equal would be women who are at the top in every sense, queens and such. Or, to use slightly anachronistic terms, “debutantes.” Rich, pretty girls from “good families,” sent to the best schools, the whole nine yards. The best they can do is marry a man who is their status equal. So, no hypergamy for them, but most would also consider that a high class problem.

    In fact, I suspect that a lot of “hypergamy” was in the past simply satisfied by gender roles and not much by status-disequilibrium. If I think back to my own family and all the families I have known, nearly all of them married almost identically in “caste” to their own. The exceptions would be UMC women who reached down a bit and married and up-and-coming man because it was clear he had potential. And in all those cases, their guess panned out, the men did very well and earned their way into the UMC.

  • Man

    @Megaman: Having an unilateral vision of the world and being unable to view other people’s problems and develop an honest conversation about it looks like a very stereotypical vision of the world to my mind. You didn’t even answer my question about the book, but instead are always bringing up this article which does have very limited scientific evidence to my mind.

    …it wouldn’t surprise me if your opinions on a host of other issues are boil down to stereotypes that are popular on the internet…

    Still you avoided to answer how to deal with stereotypes, given that they are overwhelming everywhere. As far as women are concerned, it’s not necessary to be a genius or do scientific researches to know that there is a positive gender bias favoring them everywhere. This has been for decades now. And now, on your own words, they have just been entitled, by a definite and conclusive scientific study, that they are even more intelligent than men on high-end mathematics. Well, I wish good luck to them. No problem on my part.

    I always wonder why women need so much these kind of positive reinforcements, incentives, protection, etc. if they were always strong, independent and very intelligent in the first place? The conditions for equal competition were not present in over 6000 years of human history? Or perhaps, gender roles were just a way in which both sexes could optimally cooperate with each other and build civilization in the first place.

    Back to the study: so, OK, women are even more intelligent than men on high-end math, etc. What’s the next problem which needs to be fixed? Who needs to do the fixing? Why?

  • Liz

    @Man

    Very often, however, this only happens “a posteriori”… when she feels the social or male reprobation of her past actions. In such cases, there was no “true repentance” in the sense of the word. Actually most often than not, they never truly “repent”

    The word “repent” gets used a lot. The religious overtones are a little off-putting. Who except a deity even has standing to insist that we “repent”?

    I feel that if I’ve hurt other people (which, in my history, I probably did, unintentionally) then repentance is called for. If I was being manipulative or had bad intent, then that’s wrong. But the actions of consenting adults at their level of understanding are not automatically wrong. They may be examined for purposes of personal growth, but repentance? There’s an authoritarian, judgmental streak that runs deep on this subject.

    What if, like me, she later realizes on her own that she’d been misinterpreting male motives, that less-restricted behavior was a poor strategy, that there are no shortcuts to a relationship, and/or that she’d been acting out a bad script and taken some unwise chances? If she naturally came around to more self-respect and a longer-term view, seeing her younger actions as youthful, unknowing mistakes? Is that a true change in attitude? I say yes. The Moralist apparently says no.

  • Liz

    Hmmm, still getting used to tags. Didn’t mean to italicize that whole paragraph.
    More @Man

    Let’s remind however that many good women are unwilling or misguide[d] “victims” of SMP rules created by feminist standards.

    That’s more encouraging to those of us who are feeling shamed and judged decades later. I have surveyed my friends from that time period and they all think we did nothing “wrong,” that “everybody” made those sorts of mistakes because few of us who came of age in the 1980s got much relationship instruction from our parents. Accepting sex before intimacy was misguided, but I can’t agree with those who label it as ethically wrong or who make sweeping judgments about my character based on that alone. I happen to have strong “motherhood instincts” and raised a wonderful daughter despite a difficult marriage (and yes, I stayed faithful).

    Some of those “princess” 10s out there don’t strike me as the most nurturing types.

    Real people are more complicated than the labels we bandy about.

  • Man

    There’s an authoritarian, judgmental streak that runs deep on this subject.

    @Liz: I used the word “repentance” because most of times men are really being judgemental. But this “judgement” is often based in their own inner feelings and attraction cues. For instance, a man idealizes the love of his life and then she rejects him because he’s purportedly “too eager to commit”, “clingy”, etc. For him, that feels like very unfair, because his intentions were to commit to her and be happy forever (at least in his own idealized view of the object of his love at the time). Later this same woman plays the easy to get to a cad. The former feels deeply unjustified and so he becomes “judgemental”.

    But look: don’t expect men to much understanding really. Feminism successfully shamed men into feeling guilty of their deep instincts. But instincts are there, very alive and looking for ways for expression. So very often, they give false excuses for not feeling able to love deeply a woman and feel a kind of “frustrated love”, unconsciously. Love cannot be forced upon and demanded from anyone. Men are humans too.

    Actually, women and men operate in very different frames of mind. It’s very difficult for them to truly understand one another. Here in HUS, to my mind, only Susan has a good understanding of how men’s minds work. So I think you’d better address any personal questions to her. She actually understands better than a lot of her own male readers. 🙂

  • Man

    Accepting sex before intimacy was misguided, but I can’t agree with those who label it as ethically wrong or who make sweeping judgments about my character based on that alone. I happen to have strong “motherhood instincts” and raised a wonderful daughter despite a difficult marriage (and yes, I stayed faithful). Some of those “princess” 10s out there don’t strike me as the most nurturing types. Real people are more complicated than the labels we bandy about.

    True. Everybody has the right to love and feel loved. And true love can transcend many “labels”.

  • mr. wavevector

    @Escoffier,

    In fact, I suspect that a lot of “hypergamy” was in the past simply satisfied by gender roles and not much by status-disequilibrium.

    I agree. Hypergamy was strongly suppressed in the past (in what you call “functioning” SMPs). The goal of society was to promote universal assortative monogamous marriage, which by its nature entails suppression of hypergamy. This was accomplished by sexual, economic and political constraints on women and severe sanctions for out-of-wedlock birth. That’s why your ancestors and mind mated assortatively – their options were limited.

    What you call “THIS screwed-up SMP” is the result of the elimination of those constraints and sanctions – in other words, a free sexual market where hypergamy is a powerful market force. That perhaps is an acceptable price to pay for women’s emancipation.

    Here’s a good paper that describes all this: Genes, Legitimacy and Hypergamy: Another Look at the Economics of Marriage. You may have seen it already – we’ve discussed here on HUS before. And it supports my contention that the mating opportunities of upper echelon females are impaired:

    A key consequence of the trade-off faced by women is that marriage markets will naturally tend to be hypergamous – that is, a marriage is more likely to be beneficial to both parties relative to remaining single, the greater the man’s human capital, and the lower the woman’s human capital. As a consequence, it is shown that the equilibrium can only be of two types. In the “Victorian” type, all agents marry somebody of the same rank in the distribution of income. In the “Sex and the City” (SATC) type, women marry men who are better ranked than themselves. There is a mass of unmarried men at the bottom of the distribution of human capital, and a mass of single women at the top of that distribution.

  • mr. wavevector

    @ Man,

    But actually men sort of always knew this.

    Sure. A lot of what we’re doing here is trying to unlearn a lot of stupid ideas that have dominated our society since the 1960’s. Just relearning what people always knew is big progress!

    I think you were still missing the point of my discussion about sexual value, and how the (over-stimulated) feminine superiority complex through gender equality bias in socio-economic policies affects relationships.

    I do think I understand your point. I agree that the mating marketplace has been distorted by feminist ideologies and attitudes that have denigrated the value of men and masculinity and promoted a sense of female superiority and entitlment. I have some confidence that this will be rectified over time, because these ideologies are opposed to some very powerful human mating instincts. Nature always wins in the end.

  • @man

    You didn’t even answer my question about the book, but instead are always bringing up this article which does have very limited scientific evidence to my mind.

    I honesty don’t feel obligated to answer any questions when my original one (#654) has gone totally unaddressed. I’m actually in the midst of reading Steele’s book right now. Very interesting stuff, especially WRT to the “Asian Americans do better academically” stereotype. If you care to educate yourself on what a “stereotype threat” is, I linked to Amazon.com where you can order it. Of course, ignorance of the subject matter has never stopped anyone from voicing his or her opinion.

    Boy, the handles may change around here, but the prejudices seem to remain the same…

  • Lokland

    @mr WV

    “That perhaps is an acceptable price to pay for women’s emancipation.”

    Yeah its wonderful for everybody. Especially all those guys who can’t get a wife and the ones who go without and then pick up someone else’s kid with their wife.

    Woo-fuckin-hoo. Go nature.

  • SayWhaat

    @ Megaman:

    I’m actually in the midst of reading Steele’s book right now. Very interesting stuff, especially WRT to the “Asian Americans do better academically” stereotype.

    Can you give me a brief summary of Steele’s take on this stereotype? I’m very interested.

  • @SayWhaat

    Can you give me a brief summary of Steele’s take on this stereotype? I’m very interested.

    No problem, I’ll paraphrase two experiments he highlighted:

    Aronson, Lustina, Good, Keough, Steele, Brown (1999)
    Researchers administered a difficult math test to “highly competent” white males. Control group: the test was taken normally without any qualifications. Experimental group: test takers were told that one reason for the research study was to figure out why Asians performed better on similar math tests. Results: test takers in the experimental group solved significantly fewer math problems and felt less confident about their performance than those in the control group.

    Shih, Pittinsky, Ambady (1999)
    Researchers administered a difficult math test to Asian women under three scenarios. Experimental group #1: test takers were “subtly” reminded of their Asian ethnicity only. Experimental group #2: test takers were “subtly” reminded of their female identity only. Control group: the test was taken normally, and test takers were not given any identity cues. Results: test takers who were reminded of their Asian ethnicity performed better than the control group. Test takers who were reminded of their female identity performed worse than the control group.

    Fascinating stuff, though not without caveats. “Asian” was a single, self-identified label. They didn’t break it out by nationality: Japanese, Indian, Filipino, etc. Also, the point was not to suggest that Asian American students aren’t outperforming other groups. They are, that’s a statistical fact. IMO the experiments showed how preoccupation with the stereotype can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Non-Asians taking standardized tests who believed that AAs do better might be triggering psychological stress that impairs their own test results.

  • Man

    @Megaman: You were originally stating that I was being stereotypical when I said that “…women operate on a different frame of mind, centered in their emotions and not reasons. But in reality I think women are distributed in a spectrum of different levels of IQ and EI, just like men some being more, say, “rational” and so being the equivalent of a high EI man and others being less rational and more emotional/instinctive…”. So you think that women are men are essentially equal, the differences all being about “stereotype threats”?

    But I do acknowledge that there are “stereotype threats”. I see, for instance, this in action in the case of the “alpha-beta” dichotomy which is a common belief nowadays. For sure, a lot men feel “threatened” and paralyzed in the dating scene because of this “stereotype threat”. I mean, the idea that women only desire “alphas” and the perception that they themselves might be “beta” is affecting millions of men nowadays and their decisions regarding relationships. So I think I do understand and acknowledge what a stereotype threat is.

    But I also believe in diversity. I do not think that everything in the world can be explained by “stereotype threats” especially if such threats are recognized as existing only for specific groups. I do not think that it’s a stereotype threat to state that men and women are essentially different. For instance, I do acknowledge that women are much better at multitasking and recognizing and dealing with subtle emotions on the fly. I also see that a lot of women have difficulties with spacial orientation and logical reasoning. In fact, if in 200 studies mentioned in the article they performed worse than men (on average), which was my initial claim, it looks like I have enough sample data to support my claim and that the “stereotype threat” might not explain the difference of performance in those 200 tests and the lesser number of women in sciences and high-end mathematics, even though there might be outliers, i.e., women with exceptional spacial and logical reasoning capabilities.

    Indeed, to my mind, the great challenge is how to deal and recognize what a “stereotype threat” really is and how to correct that without degenerating into unfair and weird/unnatural “social engineering”. In other words, if “stereotype threats” are studied and recognized only for specific groups, then we might actually be inadvertently introducing other “stereotype threats” (negative bias) for the groups which do not receive the same treatment and attention.

    Realistically though, as far as women are concerned at least in the Western world, I think they’ve never been so much favored with a positive gender bias in social-political policies (often in detriment of men) for decades. So I really do not see how this “stereotype threats” might actually be operating in an environment where women have so many rights and are considered so special, intelligent, superior, etc. To mind, men are actually under much stronger “stereotype threats” nowadays.

    Of course, ignorance of the subject matter has never stopped anyone from voicing his or her opinion.

    What is the truth? You seem to be speaking as if in a position of authority and knowing the truth. I never claimed that. Common sense, practical observation and observing the patterns of nature often conveys the truth much better than scientific studies. In other words: it’s not necessary a scientific study to claim that women will always make better mothers than men, simply because men CANNOT be mothers. It’s that simple.

  • Man

    #711: There are so many variables in a math test, such as the education of the candidates as well. I would not be surprised if the average Chinese student would perform better than the average Western student if Chinese education is much stricter and disciplined than the Western one.

  • @man
    Oh, I’ve never declared myself an authority on anything. Just passing along relevant information, which is value-neutral, though I’ve observed some folks who have personal problems with data they don’t like. I’m certainly not a “truthseeker”, which would describe other guys who frequent HUS, and probably agree with your style of diatribe.

    Apologies, but you remind me of certain ghosts that used to haunt this place. You’ve followed their predictable patterns almost exactly:

    1) Make extraneous noise by criticizing everything except the substance of the issue (#667, and #683, and #687, and #700, and #712).
    2) Go after the individual personally by questioning why he or she even bothered to bring up the information in the first place (#681).
    3) Briefly return to the original issue, and misunderstand the implications of the data in inglorious fashion (#692).

    Even back in high school 20 years ago, I knew enough about critical thinking to be able to conclude: 3 Strikes and You’re Out…

  • Man

    @Megaman: I don’t have any problems with data I don’t like. I just made quite clear that the data you presented is not only quite irrelevant, considering the other 200 studies, but you’ve also completely avoided all my relevant questions and critical thinking, and even my attempt to initiate a constructive dialogue about “sterotype threats” and how to deal with them without introducing artificial imbalances in the system.

    But you are entitled to believe what you want, including some flawed assumptions like ; among other specially selected and chosen which are purportedly under the threat of stereotypes. I am not a ghost either. But I can leave you in peace if you want.

  • Tom

    Pretty simple, really.

    We know people are wired differently. Some men want, no strike that, NEED variety to get the same sexual satisfaction, the same charge, if you will, time after time. Having sex with the same person and only the same person quickly loses it`s sexual excitement for those men. Otherrs are perfectly content to make love with the same woman for life.