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Kate Taylor Pimps Penn’s Hookup Culture

Kate Taylor’s article describing the hookup culture at Penn has attracted a lot of criticism, most notably from Penn students themselves, including some who participated in her research. They disagree with her characterization of women as fueling a no-strings sex norm, and reject the featured “mysterious A.” as typical of Penn women. They appear perplexed by her motives, which are rather transparent upon inspection. 

However, Taylor’s article is useful in that it does tap into a very real subculture on campuses that offers little support and sometimes actively discourages the formation of relationships in college. Her error is in failing to realize the full array of female attitudes, which offer a nuanced and diverse view of sex and relationships on campus. 

Taylor begins by highlighting the largest obstacle to long-term relationships in college, the peripatetic nature of the contemporary college education:

They envisioned their 20s as a period of unencumbered striving, when they might work at a bank in Hong Kong one year, then go to business school, then move to a corporate job in New York. The idea of lugging a relationship through all those transitions was hard for many to imagine….Moreover, by senior year, the looming prospect of graduation and job applications made many students leery of dating…These women said they saw building their résumés, not finding boyfriends (never mind husbands), as their main job at Penn.

While Taylor exaggerates by focusing on the top 1% here, it’s true that many college students – both women and men – face the threat of a looming expiration date on any serious relationship. Couples are often from different parts of the country, and have limited say in where they may work or live once they graduate. In addition, they prefer to keep their eyes on the prize; they are getting an Ivy League education to maximize their future options and opportunities. Amanda Wolkin, a Penn student who responded to the article in Philadelphia Magazine, remarked:

$50,000+ a year would be a pretty hefty price for a dating service. Sorry, Susan Patton.

It’s no wonder that students feel ambivalent about commitment:

There’s this hypothetical, ‘I would like to be in a relationship, because it’s like comforting and stable and supportive,’ ” a senior, Pallavi, said of her friends’ attitudes. “But then, the conversations that I’ve had, it’s always like, ‘Well, then what do I do when we get to May, because we’re graduating, and so where do we go from there?’ That uncertainty is a huge sort of stop sign.

…Hypothetically, if I were to enter into a serious relationship with someone right now,” she said, “would I honestly say to them: ‘We’re going to spend two years in Philadelphia, and then with some kind of crazy luck I’m going to spend eight years somewhere else? And God knows what you would have been doing for the two years that we were still in Philadelphia — you either would have to up and leave with me, or we’d have to do a long-distance.’ That’s just too much to even ask anyone to commit to.

These concerns are real and shared by a large number of students. However, there are some students, including women, who are clearly not wired for commitment in any case, and here is where Taylor goes seriously off the rails. By generalizing from A., an alpha female who appears to meet the criteria for the Dark Triad cluster of personality traits, she mischaracterizes the culture. Consider the commentary of A., her “typical” female student, as she describes her casual sex arrangement:

“We don’t really like each other in person, sober,” she said, adding that “we literally can’t sit down and have coffee….But there are so many other things going on in my life that I find so important that I just, like, can’t make time, and I don’t want to make time…As A. explained her schedule, “If I’m sober, I’m working.”

“‘I’ve always heard this phrase, ‘Oh, marriage is great, or relationships are great — you get to go on this journey of change together,’ ” she said. “That sounds terrible.

“I don’t want to go through those changes with you. I want you to have changed and become enough of your own person so that when you meet me, we can have a stable life and be very happy.”

“I definitely wouldn’t say I’ve regretted any of my one-night stands. I’m a true feminist. I’m a strong woman. I know what I want.”

“Ten years from now, no one will remember — I will not remember — who I have slept with,” A. said. “But I will remember, like, my transcript, because it’s still there. I will remember what I did. I will remember my accomplishments and places my name is hung on campus.”

As I highlighted in my most recent post, only 5% of college graduates identify strongly as feminists – A. is anything but typical. That doesn’t mean she’s a problem, though. I see no need for hand wringing and fretting that women like A. are present on campus, or that they enjoy their sex drunk and without small talk. A. and her hookup buddy sound perfectly matched –  it’s true assortative mating. Neither would be a suitable relationship partner in any case.

Researchers have found that certain women are prone to seek casual sex from the time they arrive at college. Here is the key finding from a recent study of 500 female freshmen:

Our findings suggest hooking up during the first year of college is influenced by pre-college hookups, personality, behavioral intentions, the social and situational context, family background and substance use patterns – particularly marijuana use.

In my experience speaking with hundreds of college women, a typical sentiment mirrors the one offered by M. to Taylor:

“I could be here for four years and not date anyone,” she said she realized. “Sometimes you are out, and there’s a guy you really are attracted to, and you kind of want to go back home with him, but you kind of have that underlying, ‘I can’t, because I can’t just lose my V-card to some random guy.’ ”

“It’s kind of like a spiral,” she said. “The girls adapt a little bit, because they stop expecting that they’re going to get a boyfriend — because if that’s all you’re trying to do, you’re going to be miserable. But at the same time, they want to, like, have contact with guys.” So they hook up and “try not to get attached.”

In particular, the fear of not having a boyfriend or even a date for the whole four years is one I’ve heard many times. As M. notes, this is precisely how the experimentation with hooking up begins, particularly among freshmen.

Most women find the casual hookup experience unsatisfying – in a recent study of 14,000 college females, women in relationships were much more likely to say they enjoyed their most recent sexual experience “very much,” perhaps because they are far more likely to orgasm than a woman in a casual sexual experience.

How many women in college get to experience relationships? In a 2013 “love” survey of Penn students, about a third of seniors and 20% of freshmen described themselves as “taken.” 

Love-Survey-Graphs-v2-02-1024x943

Interestingly, Penn students starting out feel optimistic about entering relationships. They certainly don’t appear to be trying to avoid them:

Love-Survey-Graphs-v2-05-1024x713

Arielle Pardes, a Penn student who was interviewed by Taylor, responds in Cosmo:

Plenty of us do have boyfriends, or sex lives that we consider meaningful.  In fact, when Taylor interviewed me, I told her about how I had been seriously dating someone I met at Penn for the past two and a half years (and I still made the Dean’s List). Weirdly, Taylor doesn’t include any examples of girls with boyfriends in her piece, despite the fact that relationships definitely exist on campus.

Another recent college survey found strong evidence of relationships on campus. At Georgetown, 267 women and 250 men responded to a survey about sex and relationships there. 77% of men and 65% of women reported that they were sexually active, defined as having had sexual intercourse within the past year. 

 A full 64 percent of Georgetown students report that they are either “often” or “always” in a committed relationship with their sexual partners. Only 11 percent report engaging in exclusively random hookups, although this is a more common phenomenon among men than women. 

Near the end of her article, Taylor hedges her bets with this caveat:

For all the focus on hookups, campuses are not sexual free-for-alls, at Penn or elsewhere. At colleges nationally, by senior year, 4 in 10 students are either virgins or have had intercourse with only one person, according to the Online College Social Life Survey. Nearly 3 in 10 said that they had never had a hookup in college. Meanwhile, 20 percent of women and a quarter of men said they had hooked up with 10 or more people.

While Pluralistic Ignorance remains a problem, increasingly students are becoming aware that women like A. are outliers, the alpha darlings of the feministas. (Though the feminists have little use for the alpha douchebags who objectify A. and women like her, and who regard her as slutty even as they bang her on request.)

It may not be easy to find a relationship in college – both women and men fear sitting on the sidelines as the years go by. But the desire is there – plenty of women and men want something real, and meaningful, and all that good stuff. 

Let A. and women like her do what they gotta do. Because they probably are well suited to focus primarily on career achievement, their strategy makes sense for them. They probably are the future Sheryl Sandbergs and Melissa Mayers, and more power to them. But when it comes to relationships, they’re a sideshow. 

An editorial in Penn’s student newspaper sums up the student response:

We are not challenging every aspect of Taylor’s article, or declaring any of her anecdotes to be fabricated. Some of us may agree with, or fit, the fraction of responses she included in her article. But in the end, we cannot let her depiction of Penn slide, considering the choices she made in selecting the voices to feature in her story. We refuse to allow Taylor to misrepresent Penn students in this way because we each hold unique experiences we have — or haven’t — had with the “hookup culture.” We can play that game, too.

The truth will out, despite efforts to spin and distort it for political purposes.

2 Pingbacks/Trackbacks

  • CrisisEraDynamo

    Then there’s the small matter of 60/40 female/male ratios in a lot of colleges. Alpha males (note that I didn’t say “men” in general) have it even better in that environment.

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

      Alpha males (note that I didn’t say “men” in general) have it even better in that environment.

      All college males are better off with this sex ratio.

  • http://bastiatblogger.blogspot.com Bastiat Blogger

    http://www.dailycal.org/2012/06/03/hook-up-double-standards

    …a view from the West Coast perspective, complaining about the slut/player dichotomy

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

      @BB

      rigidity of socially constructed gender roles…

      When are these people going to enter the 21st century? That theory is dead.

  • JP

    “All college males are better off with this sex ratio.”

    Yes, because instead of meeting 3 women you would consider dating over the course of four years, you might meet 4.

  • JP

    Look, half the problem here is that the entire concept of in locos parentis was dialed back too far.

    College students have way too much freedom and have no idea what to do with it because they are too immature.

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

      Look, half the problem here is that the entire concept of in locos parentis was dialed back too far.

      Agree 100%. As you could see in the flowchart I made yesterday, this is the main problem.

  • Abbot

    Wow, now she resorts to explaining it as “man training” with a vagina. It can be assumed she thinks dudes break your girl in better for being commitment-worthy later.

    “By having some fucking standards and not trying to turn “texts you for a beej and boots you out the door” guy into your boyfriend, these young women are probably speeding up the process that turns a belligerent young man who is afraid that intimacy will make him grow vaginas to a young man who puts all that behind him to enjoy the pleasures of actually hanging out with and enjoying the company of women you have sex with.”
    –Amanda Marcotte

    .

  • JP

    There is something seriously wrong with Amanda Marcotte.

    However, she seems to lack the insight into her own condition.

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

      There is something seriously wrong with Amanda Marcotte.

      However, she seems to lack the insight into her own condition.

      Quite an understatement.

  • CrisisEraDynamo

    @ Bastiat

    The reasons for the double standard are easy.

    First off, the double standard only matters when it comes to relationships, not casual sex.

    As for why it exists, it’s easy.

    1) Women prefer men with options. A high N indicates sexual prowess, so the women are drawn to that. It’s not logical, but it’s there.

    2) Men, on the other hand, prefer lower N, especially for commitment. Committing to a high-N woman feels like one is being cheated, since she “gave it up” so easily for other men, some of whom didn’t pursue a relationship.

    Also, there’s the matter of sexual loyalty; promiscuous people, whether male or female, are likely to be sexually disloyal. A sexually disloyal female can also bring you a child that isn’t yours.

    Thus, the double standard comes from women projecting their attraction triggers onto men; they find high-N men attractive, so they figure that men should find high-N women attractive, and if they don’t, they’re evil chauvinist pigs. It’s the same mistake nice guys make: they like nice women, so they figure that women should like nice men, and if they don’t, they’re ballbusting harpies.

  • Abbot

    “Committing to a high-N woman feels like one is being cheated, since she “gave it up” so easily for other men, some of whom didn’t pursue a relationship.”

    Women may choose to feel this way about men. Thus, it is not a double standard. Its just a standard women don’t like.

    .

  • Passer_By

    “A. is anything but typical. That doesn’t mean she’s a problem, though. I see no need for hand wringing and fretting that women like A. are present on campus, or that they enjoy their sex drunk and without small talk. ”

    Perhaps, unless your the poor sap who mistook a B. for an A., only to find out the next day that, despite acting just like A. when drunk, she regrets her drunken sex and is taking it up with the Campus Court of the Star Chamber, err I mean the Campus Discipline Committee.

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

      Perhaps, unless your the poor sap who mistook a B. for an A., only to find out the next day that, despite acting just like A. when drunk, she regrets her drunken sex and is taking it up with the Campus Court of the Star Chamber, err I mean the Campus Discipline Committee.

      Very true. I told my son never to have sex drunk, but I knew that I was being ridiculous – there was 0% chance he would heed that advice. Thankfully, nothing bad ever happened, at least that I’m aware of.

  • Abbot

    “There is something seriously wrong with Amanda Marcotte.”

    She is encouraging women to have “standards” aka values but clearly to not include their “sexuality” as anything with value. Then it all somehow reverses years later?

    Marcotte really is all for women using their bodies to get what they want from men at any given time. She is essentially a pimp.

  • http://sunshinemaryandthedragon.wordpress.com sunshinemary

    Mrs. Walsh,

    I wrote a post on this article today, and in the comments I wondered aloud if it was a shock piece or if it was accurate. To that end, I have a few questions – and these are questions, not attempt at backhandedly criticizing you or making some kind of snarky point. I am genuinely interested in your thoughts.

    1. If the hookup culture is not as extensive as portrayed in the article, what do we make of those date rape statistics? It seems to fit with the narrative that Ms. Taylor relates, with extremely drunk young people going home together and engaging in risky behavior.

    2.From the article: “..according to the Online College Social Life Survey. Nearly 3 in 10 said that they had never had a hookup in college. Meanwhile, 20 percent of women and a quarter of men said they had hooked up with 10 or more people.”

    So, less than 30% have never hooked up, but over 70% have. I really don’t know exactly what that means, but it doesn’t sound like a positive thing to me. And 20% appear to be making a regular habit of hooking up. Does that not support Ms. Taylor’s version of hook up culture?

    3. The fact that average age of first marriage continues to edge upward, while percent of the population who are married continues to fall, fits with the idea of a hook up culture and career-focused woman. Would you say that these two facts are related or unrelated?

    I appreciate your insight into this article.

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

      @sunshinemary

      . If the hookup culture is not as extensive as portrayed in the article, what do we make of those date rape statistics?

      I’m not sure which date rape statistics you mean?

      But I do have a couple of thoughts about date rape. First, if most women were like A., consent would be a trifling matter – these women do not hesitate to have sex with any guy they’re attracted to. They’re unlikely to go for the makeout and then put on the brakes.

      Second, hookup culture is a term that comprises everything from kissing to intercourse. We know that 87% of college students have a hookup in college, but we also know that 25% of them are virgins at graduation. And the median number of sexual partners is less than one. In this post I cite the finding at Georgetown that only 11% of respondents regularly hook up casually.

      I suspect that often times kids go into a hookup situation with different ideas about where it’s going to end. I said earlier today on another thread that many states have laws stating that consent is impossible with any level of incapacitation. A drunk woman cannot legally consent to sex. This is a legal definition, not a cultural one. I raised the point that if an incapacitated woman cannot consent to sex, then an incapacitated man cannot properly assess whether consent has been granted. This drunken sex accounts for most date rape claims, IMO, both false and real. Statistics show that just 2-6% of males on college campuses rape in a premeditated way, and they tend to rape repeatedly. I suspect their preferred method is slipping roofies into girls’ drinks, or just coercing girls into drinking a lot. Women have responsibility to drink responsibly (or not at all) to keep themselves safe, but there are cases where they are deceived by false reports of what is in a drink, whether their drink was topped off, etc. In general, I would say freshman women are naive and inappropriately trusting of men hosting parties.

      And 20% appear to be making a regular habit of hooking up. Does that not support Ms. Taylor’s version of hook up culture?

      I have arrived at the same estimate – 20% – after reviewing many data sources and studies on this topic. You might like this post:

      The Definitive Survey of College Students’ Sexual Behavior By Gender

      It contains a wealth of information about who’s having sex and how much.

      In my view, Ms. Taylor presents A. as sort of a poster child – she uses her to describe female attitudes at Penn. As I indicated in the post, several of the women she interviewed have noted that their feedback was omitted. She interviewed 60 women, but focused on A. in her article, quoting another 3 or 4 in total. If her sample was as diverse as she claims, then women who hook up regularly would have numbered 12 or so, though I doubt many of those would have exhibited the rather extreme attitude A. does. I can say that in five years of blogging, reading emails and meeting with focus groups, I have never encountered another A. They exist, certainly, but it is inaccurate at best to use them as an example of the typical female mindset in college. At worst, it’s propaganda, which I do believe is the case here.

      The fact that average age of first marriage continues to edge upward, while percent of the population who are married continues to fall, fits with the idea of a hook up culture and career-focused woman. Would you say that these two facts are related or unrelated?

      Marriage is being postponed rather than avoided. You are correct about the average age at marriage climbing upward. In 1960, only 8% of women and 13% of males married after age 30. Today, 33% of women and 40% of males do. But the percentage likely to marry eventually has not declined. Further, marriages delayed until age 25 between two people who have college degrees are very likely to succeed, so to the extent that people delay marriage somewhat, they contribute to a lower divorce rate.

      In my view, the delay of marriage means that few women will go to the altar as virgins. Today the average person spends 15-17 years between puberty and marriage. However, most men and women will not indulge in casual sex regularly, accumulating a large number of sexual partners. The strategy of that 80% is much more likely to reflect a series of LTRs, not unlike the way we dated boyfriends in succession in the late 70s and 80s. Personally, I think this is a good thing – the odds of finding your best match as a teenager or on the first try are very low, though it is possible of course.

      However, as I state in the post, expiration dates loom large in the minds of college students. Everything from summer break to study abroad and ultimately graduation make it highly unlikely for people to start dating in March or April, for example. People obviously do have relationships, but they try and manage the timing to increase the odds of success, which is the relationship “taking” and lasting indefinitely.

      Some women and men will avoid relationships in college – both the party hard crowds and the very studious crowds, for different reasons. But research shows that more than 75% of men and women would like to be in a relationship in college. Women like A. and men like her hookup buddy are in that 20% minority.

  • JP

    I wanted to join the Campus Court of the Star Chamber.

    I was rejected.

    :(

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

    “Ten years from now, no one will remember — I will not remember — who I have slept with,” A. said. “But I will remember, like, my transcript, because it’s still there. I will remember what I did. I will remember my accomplishments and places my name is hung on campus.”

    Not a word to suggest that she will remember the *knowledge* that she was supposedly gaining during her educational experience. It’s all about the gold stars.

    And she really can’t remember who she slept with, she will be able to remember the meta knowledge of not remembering…

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

      Not a word to suggest that she will remember the *knowledge* that she was supposedly gaining during her educational experience. It’s all about the gold stars.

      Yeah, she really is terrible. The narcissism throbs off the page. I’ve known several moms like A. – unfortunately they do marry and reproduce.

      And she really can’t remember who she slept with, she will be able to remember the meta knowledge of not remembering…

      This is brilliant.

  • CrisisEraDynamo

    @BB

    rigidity of socially constructed gender roles…

    When are these people going to enter the 21st century? That theory is dead.

    It’s more comfortable for them to think that way, even if it is untrue. :)

    On a tangential point, I finally understand that “there are more differences within the sexes than between them” is true. This is because the only differences there can be between the sexes are those that distinguish them in the first place.

    As for variation within the sexes, there’s an easy way to see it: look at all the different races there are. It’s not the only example of variance within the sexes, but it’s the easiest to see without studying genetics or neuroscience.

    All right, digression over. :)

  • JP

    “Not a word to suggest that she will remember the *knowledge* that she was supposedly gaining during her educational experience. It’s all about the gold stars.”

    That’s because your inherent worth as a human being is best reflected by your grade point average and whatever accolades you receive from the university.

    Until you become a BigLaw partner. Then your inherent worth as a human being is best reflected by your book of business.

  • Abbot

    “percent of the population who are married continues to fall, fits with the idea of a hook up culture and career-focused woman”

    Like many things cheap and easy with little headache, people tend to do it a lot, if possible. Casual sex for women is exactly that. It certainly cuts down on the motivation to marry. Men who want to marry wisely will avoid this set of women so even if the women want to make a “shift” they will have few options. The casual sex track runs parallel to the career track, pretty much for good.

  • JP

    “There’s a schism (in the rigidity of socially constructed gender roles) that’s a problem because it doesn’t give sexual agency to anybody,” Ervin concluded. “It sets up an impossible double standard for both genders.”

    This sentence isn’t even wrong.

    It’s actually incoherent.

  • J

    Weirdly, Taylor doesn’t include any examples of girls with boyfriends in her piece, despite the fact that relationships definitely exist on campus.

    Of course not, that doesn’t sell papers. “Girl Attends Concert with Boy;Gives Cookies as a Thank You” isn’t news.

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

      “Girl Attends Concert with Boy;Gives Cookies as a Thank You” isn’t news.

      I remember when I read Laura Sessions Stepp’s book Unhooked – back in 2006 or so. It was the first real look at hookup culture, and I learned a lot from it. In the back, she offered suggestions for how to relate to boys on campus without hooking up. She suggested that baking muffins for them was something they would love. I recall thinking “Uh oh” and sure enough, the book reviews from feminist media types were brutal and focused on that one suggestion. It damaged her credibility quite a bit, even though she was a Washington Post reporter who did excellent work with that book.

  • http://www.justfourguys.com/feminists-and-raunch-queens-are-the-dominant-alpha-mares/ HanSolo

    This article is a good example of how a feminist “alpha mare” tries to send out a selective message and make it seem like casual sluttery is the norm and the way to happiness.

    But rebellion is in the air perhaps? Some of the women in the Penn are speaking up against Taylor.

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

      @HanSolo

      This article is a good example of how a feminist “alpha mare” tries to send out a selective message and make it seem like casual sluttery is the norm and the way to happiness.

      But rebellion is in the air perhaps? Some of the women in the Penn are speaking up against Taylor.

      Yes, I take comfort from that. Bit by bit, the facts are seeing the light of day. Of course, most people who read the NYXs article will never see the rebuttals, but it doesn’t matter, because the college students are more likely to see those than the article itself. When women who were part of Taylor’s research stand up and cry foul, it lends support to other women who want a relationship.

      This is the most important thing – to make wanting real emotional intimacy something to be proud of rather than a source of shame.

  • J

    But rebellion is in the air perhaps? Some of the women in the Penn are speaking up against Taylor

    Why wouldn’t they? Taylor cherry-picked and misrepresented.

    When I was a high school student, one of my classmatres was stabbed off campus. An “expose” of the school, written by a local journalist, proclaimed it a dangerous place populated by young thugs. He neglected to mention the school’s gifted and talented program. We all wrote letters protesting our having been misrepresented.

    Of course, “Honor Student Writes Paper on Romantic Poetry, Baby-sits for Teacher’s Kids” isn’t news.

  • http://sunshinemaryandthedragon.wordpress.com sunshinemary

    @ SW
    Thank you for the information. I will have a look at the links.

    We are in agreement about date “rape”; it is two people who are too drunk to be doing what they are doing. It is unfortunate that one of them can have their reputation completely destroyed by it, however.

    25% of them are virgins at graduation.

    I am surprised by this statistic, but a quick google search shows that it is accurate:

    …latest data finds that by senior year, 72% of both sexes reported having at least one hookup, with the average of 9.7 for men and 7.1 for women. Just under one-quarter (24%) of seniors say they are virgins, she says.The percentage of those who claim virginity appears to be increasing, according to a National Center for Health Statistics study released this month of 2006-08 data. Among 18- and 19-year-olds, about one-quarter of men and women said they hadn’t had sexual contact with another person, up from 17% of women and 22% of men in 2002. Among those ages 20-24, 12% of women and 13% of men said they were virgins, up from 8% for both sexes in 2002.

    source: http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/health/wellness/dating/story/2011/03/more-hookups-on-campuses-but-more-virgins-too/45556388/1

    It’s quite startling that, according to that study, more college graduates are virgins than non-college graduates in the same general age range. I would have expected the opposite.

    What is your opinion of the description of the fraternity parties, with girls being lead down into dark basements and told to get on their knees? I went to the University of Michigan but was not in a sorority nor did I attend frat parties, and this was quite awhile ago, so I don’t know if what the article describes is accurate.

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

      @sunshinemary

      A reader alerted me that you thought you had been banned. Not so, and I apologize. Since I redesigned the site last week, the spam filter has been a bit wacky, and others have gotten caught in it as well. I have whitelisted you, in hopes this does not happen again.

      We are in agreement about date “rape”; it is two people who are too drunk to be doing what they are doing. It is unfortunate that one of them can have their reputation completely destroyed by it, however.

      I agree. I’m extremely disappointed that the Obama administration has instituted a more lenient standard. Instead of reasonable doubt, the new standard is 51% likelihood. This means that more males will get caught in the net of false rape accusations.

      I have seen this in action. The daughter of a friend of mine roomed with a girl at college who hooked up with a guy (went all the way) and was very disappointed not to hear from him over the weekend. On Monday, she told my friend’s daughter (Tory) that she might claim she’d been raped. Tory was friends with the guy and alerted him that this accusation was in the works. This wound up coming to light, at which point Tory was brought up before the disciplinary committee for “violating a confidence.” She was suspended. This wound up being a significant problem when she was looking for a job. The deck is totally stacked against males.

      What is your opinion of the description of the fraternity parties, with girls being lead down into dark basements and told to get on their knees? I went to the University of Michigan but was not in a sorority nor did I attend frat parties, and this was quite awhile ago, so I don’t know if what the article describes is accurate.

      I was so disgusted at that report! And honestly, I felt saddened that the woman felt that it was easier to go ahead and fellate him, that it “would be over soon enough.” I recall a statistic that 12% of women feel that it is easier to have sex than to make small talk with a guy they don’t know. I am very troubled by this.

      There are many reports that frats have whiteboards in the basement keeping track of slutty behavior. Guys get points for getting girls to do certain acts. It is disgusting. One commenter here was a football player at Dartmouth, and shared that his teammate has publicized getting a rimjob from a female student. There is no question that these things happen, but I believe they are unusual. Few women actually do these things, but the ones who do wind up getting a lot of publicity. Which is probably the point, sadly.

  • J

    However, as I state in the post, expiration dates loom large in the minds of college students. Everything from summer break to study abroad and ultimately graduation make it highly unlikely for people to start dating in March or April, for example. People obviously do have relationships, but they try and manage the timing to increase the odds of success, which is the relationship “taking” and lasting indefinitely.

    I see this even with sons. No serious datinging in high school because going of to colege will split up reationships. No desire to find a woman in college, despite my promoting it as the place where pickin’s will be least slim, because things will break up after college. A lot of group activiity, no real boyfriend-girlfriend stuff.

    IME, there a lot of girls pining for relationships, but few college guys feel ready for that.

    The last few marriages I’ve attended where put together with the informal help of middle-aged people who knew of mid-20-somethings who wanted to settle down. We may end up going back to matchmaking, IRL as well as on the net.

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

      The last few marriages I’ve attended where put together with the informal help of middle-aged people who knew of mid-20-somethings who wanted to settle down. We may end up going back to matchmaking, IRL as well as on the net.

      I encourage all young people to consider this way of meeting. I’ve described before a very beautiful young woman I knew who at 30 was very discouraged, not having met a life partner. She was in a design field largely populated by women, so she met very few men at work. I set her up a couple of times with men, but they had much lower SMV and nothing took. I couldn’t blame her, she really is extraordinary looking. Finally, she shared her frustration with her rabbi, who told her of a guy in his early 30s who was interested in meeting a woman to marry. She went on a blind date, expecting little. In walked a gorgeous guy with a lucrative law practice! It was love at first sight for both of them, and what I think is really important about this story is that both of them shared their objective with someone who knew a lot of young people, and was in a position to broker a meeting. Clergy make good wingmen! Julie and I have lost touch, but recently I bumped into her – she now has three kids and is so happy. If she hadn’t shared what she was thinking with her rabbi – she might be single today at 40.

  • Benton

    I agree with Susan that Kate Walsh’s article was intended as propaganda, and I am disgusted (but not surprised) that it was printed in the NY Times. There is clearly an effort to normalize dangerous sexual behavior, with a blissful ignorance of the harm of alcohol, marijuana, and recreational drugs.

    The NY Times would never publish an article that focused on the 30-40% of students that don’t have sexual intercourse in college. I could live with that, but too often feminists are trying to make the environment less comfortable for those students. I was a college student who studied hard, and I realized that I didn’t have time for a relationship. Luckily, I went to Georgetown, so there were social options that made it comfortable for me to meet people without the pressure to hook up. Unfortunately, those opportunities are less common, and students who choose them are being labelled as old-fashioned, closed-minded outcasts.

    It is truly disgraceful to see how major media outlets (e.g. NY Times) distorts reality in order to advance their agenda, and how they hurt people who don’t live the type of lives they want them to. So much for “respect others.”

  • Escoffier

    No girl I wasn’t already dating ever baked anything for me but I would have been quite smitten by such a gesture. My college GF, bless her kind soul, baked for me a lot.

    I am really a softie, Susan, the Cato the Elder thing is just a pose.

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

      @Escoffier

      I am really a softie, Susan, the Cato the Elder thing is just a pose.

      Oh I know. You’re a total romantic. Incapable of cheating and other agentic behaviors. Escoffier is a total catch.

      You probably think I’m teasing you, but I’m not. I love your stories about Mrs. E because what always comes through is your total commitment to your marriage and your family. You remind me very much of Mr. HUS in that way. Also, she sounds spunky and smart. I suspect I would like being friends with her.

      Re baking, I have had excellent results cooking for men. I recently made a note to post on this. There is something elemental and very sensual about feeding someone you love.

      P.S. I need a rec on a 7″ Santoku knife. I have a cheap one, and I find I’m reaching for it more than any other knife. I want to invest in a good one. What do you suggest?

  • CrisisEraDynamo

    @ Susan

    I remember when I read Laura Sessions Stepp’s book Unhooked – back in 2006 or so. It was the first real look at hookup culture, and I learned a lot from it. In the back, she offered suggestions for how to relate to boys on campus without hooking up. She suggested that baking muffins for them was something they would love. I recall thinking “Uh oh” and sure enough, the book reviews from feminist media types were brutal and focused on that one suggestion. It damaged her credibility quite a bit, even though she was a Washington Post reporter who did excellent work with that book.

    Girls doing something nice to show appreciation for their guys is forbidden, according to feminists. In their eyes, it manifests oppression.

    When doing something nice for a guy damages your credibility, the problem is with the critics, not you.

    It’s just Exhibit #54785948 for why I dislike feminism.

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

      When doing something nice for a guy damages your credibility, the problem is with the critics, not you.

      I agree. No generous gesture should be criticized.

      And I have news for feminists – take a look at Pinterest. Women like crafts. We like cooking, and sewing, and knitting, and all sorts of girly stuff. Because we’re girls.

  • Joe

    So, the take-away is that Taylor and the NYT didn’t get it exactly right? Quelle surprise! Oops. My sarcasm key is stuck again.

    More seriously, Susan, you said “All college males are better off with this sex ratio.” and fully realizing that I must sound like a broken record, I have to take issue with that, at least, a little. There are and will always be that bottom X% (some say 5, some say 20) of men that are not going to be advantaged, no matter what the conditions. And for them, the situation goes from bad to worse as it gets (seemingly) better for the majority of men. They are dying of thirst in the middle of an ocean.

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

      @Joe

      I have been thinking of you all day, wishing you to comment, as it has been awhile. Isn’t that strange? This happens very often. I do think the universe is conscious in some way.

      There are and will always be that bottom X% (some say 5, some say 20) of men that are not going to be advantaged, no matter what the conditions. And for them, the situation goes from bad to worse as it gets (seemingly) better for the majority of men. They are dying of thirst in the middle of an ocean.

      Of course you are right, but a sex ratio that favors men will get more of those guys in the mix. There will always be men who do not have the opportunity to be sexually active. And there will always be women who do not inspire the love of a man. But when the sex ratio shifts toward an imbalance, in either direction, new possibilities arise! I can feel hopeful for those men even as I realize and lament the loss of options for women.

  • CrisisEraDynamo

    Re baking, I have had excellent results cooking for men. I recently made a note to post on this. There is something elemental and very sensual about feeding someone you love.

    TV Tropes has something to say about that. :)

  • Escoffier

    My advice is not to get a santuko but a gyuto. 7″ is a bit small, I would recommend a 210 mm. Personally I prefer 240 but if you like small 210 is better.

    http://korin.com/Masamoto-VG-Gyutou?sc=27&category=280096

    Send it me when you need to and I will put an edge on it that will take the hair off your arms with a vague pass.

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

      @Escoffier

      Wow, I can order a left-handed knife? That is awesome!

      Send it me when you need to and I will put an edge on it that will take the hair off your arms with a vague pass.

      That scares me. I have cut chunks off my fingers so many times. I’m always amazed how fingerprints return.

      My friend the ER doc says she sees chefs every single weekend. And of course lots of knuckleheads who slice bagels and cut right through their palms.

      I appreciate the offer, though. I may take you up on it. For some reason I find myself wanting to mince things by hand rather than in the Cuisinart. I like wielding a knife.

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

    Susan, re my comment….”she will be able to remember the meta knowledge of not remembering…”

    Thanks!…I wasn’t sure it was even intelligible, let along brilliant.

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

      @david foster

      Thanks!…I wasn’t sure it was even intelligible, let along brilliant.

      There’s something about it that captures the zeitgeist perfectly. I can’t say how, just that I read it and thought “perfect.”

  • Escoffier

    Here is another Mrs. E story, OT, but so be it.

    So, as noted, I went out west to teach a seminar a few weeks ago. These were all kids with their BAs, on their way to grad or prof. school. My slot this year was Machiavelli (Nick and I have known each other very well for about 25 years).

    There was a girl who seemed, well, interested. Now, I am a dense man and IOIs have to be really blatant for me to notice. I noticed.

    But, coincidentally (?) this girl had red hair, was a Harvard grad, and really knew her Machiavelli. All three data points fit Mrs. E.

    I mentioned this to her casually after I returned. She asked, in a nonchalant voice, “Was she into Star Trek?”

    I said, “I don’t know, it never came up.”

    Her: “Well, you think about that.”

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

      @Escoffier

      First thing: finally you picked up on IOIs – I’m sure it helped that you were in a position of authority. I hope this means we will not hear any more of your nonsense re failing to elicit attention from women.

      I mentioned this to her casually after I returned. She asked, in a nonchalant voice, “Was she into Star Trek?”

      I said, “I don’t know, it never came up.”

      Her: “Well, you think about that.”

      Mrs. E has mad Girl Game.

  • Escoffier

    Yes, you can get a LH knife. There is a premium, as you can see, because the 70/30 profile has to be reversed by hand.

    Chefs who know what they are doing should not be in the ER. I have been twice (from kitchen accidents). One was a freak occurrence so bizarre that it might as well have been a lightning strike. The other was cleaning a mandoline (d’oh!).

    Food processing bruises veg and herbs and extracts the liquid. If you are doing a long simmer or braise, fine, no harm done, but anything else, it is way better to do it by hand.

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

      The other was cleaning a mandoline (d’oh!).

      I use the mandoline occasionally, but am neurotic about using the “guard.” It’s awkward, so I only use it when paper thin slices are necessary. I get weak in the knees about this stuff.

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    The deck is totally stacked against males.

    Subconscious filtering! The winners must be REALLY awesome!

    I have this image in my heads of feminists shooting up a line of men, then throwing down their weapons and having sex with the survivors because they MUST be gods.

    I call it Live-Fire Shit Testing.

    “LFST that, girl!”

  • JP

    “I agree. I’m extremely disappointed that the Obama administration has instituted a more lenient standard. Instead of reasonable doubt, the new standard is 51% likelihood. This means that more males will get caught in the net of false rape accusations.”

    I don’t think that it’s the smartest move on the part of a woman to falsely accuse a man of rape in today’s world.

    I think that a lot of women are going to learn that lesson the hard way.

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

      I don’t think that it’s the smartest move on the part of a woman to falsely accuse a man of rape in today’s world.

      I think that a lot of women are going to learn that lesson the hard way.

      Interesting. How so?

  • JP

    “Couples are often from different parts of the country, and have limited say in where they may work or live once they graduate.”

    Myth!

    You can rest assured that if they want to follow you to a different state after you break up with them that they are fully capable of doing so.

  • Joe

    @Susan

    I have been thinking of you all day, wishing you to comment, as it has been awhile. Isn’t that strange? This happens very often. I do think the universe is conscious in some way.

    That’s so nice of you to say! I’ve been reading the posts and most of the comments all the while, but didn’t have much to add.

    It’s so odd that this is the second time in about 24 hours that the sentiment was sent to me.

    I have to say something here that’ll get me forever labeled beta, but so be it. The other person who sent me those words was a girl – now a woman – I knew 45 years ago, in high school (and isn’t the Internet a wonderful thing?). She was my first major crush, with all the adolescent joys and heartbreak that implies.

    We’ve been writing, e-mailing, on and off for a few years now, always respectful of our respective marriages and spouses. I can’t tell you how much it means to be able to say that, even after 45 years, she thinks of me, remembers who I was and knows more than a little of who I am. It’s amazing that she’s willing to share a bit of her life.

    It’s not exactly friendship on steroids, but it does put the passions of youth in a different perspective. Sex is great stuff but it’s got nothin’ on companionship, knowing (I mean, really knowing) somebody and seeing each other through the changes. That’s what we should work towards in a marriage too. At least, I think we should.

    Gee. I thought this was going to be off-topic, but it really isn’t. In Taylor’s article, A. is depriving herself of exactly that, it seems – as are all the people who are putting aside relationships completely for some other goal. I guess the fear was they’d do the opposite. I’m surprised balance is so hard to find these days.

  • Abbot

    Alright. Its about time. Here it is. This is how your decision to avoid certain women for commitment leads to all sorts of angst, especially among feminists. The takeaway? Be quiet about it!

    This from the comments section:

    “Now let’s be fair. If the fact that a woman has had many prior sexual partners is a dealbreaker for you, that’s your standard and you have every right to it. I’ll laugh at you for it, because it’s a silly one and there’s many other ways to base respect for a partner that are far superior, but that is up to you. (Examples, hobbies, the way they treat others, their ambitions)

    Remember when I said “if only you fuckers were quiet about it”? That was me pointing out the problem: you AREN’T quiet about it, and you ARE noisy about it in a way that, put simply, reinforces the narrative. It’s not “I don’t respect”, it’s “men don’t respect” or “people don’t respect”, with the ultimate message being “if you sleep around you’re worthless”, never mind that a lot of people, you know, sleep around.

    And as it turns out, when women get told repeatedly that if they have multiple sex partners they’re not worth respect when the a significant number of women have had multiple sex partners, they tend to get a little sick of it. Particularly when it is used to wave away the times when women didn’t want to have sex. Like, you know, rape.”

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/07/17/women-want-good-boyfriends-not-just-any-boyfriends/#comment_disclaimer

    .

  • JP

    “Interesting. How so?”

    Because they’re playing Russian Roulette.

    5 out of 6 times, it goes the way the woman accuser wants and the man is cowed or jailed or whatever.

    1 out of 6 times, she learns that that particular man has no particular problem with using his fists to solve his problems and has no particular problem with “hitting a girl”.

    If you’re going to falsely accuse someone of rape, it follows that common sense and looking toward possible poor outcomes are your strong suits.

    So, if you increase the number of false accusations, you increase the number of times that you play Russian Roulette.

    (See J’s story about her parents for a recent historical example of men who use women as punching bags)

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

      1 out of 6 times, she learns that that particular man has no particular problem with using his fists to solve his problems and has no particular problem with “hitting a girl”.

      Wow, I never thought about retaliation, but you’re right it’s a definite risk.

  • JP

    I meant are *not* your strong suits.

  • Escoffier

    Here’s another one.

    So, Athol talks about how when he starts a new workout routine, Jennifer just starts one too, there never has to be any conversation about it. Something similar happens with us on an intellectual level. (Our exercises are very different, I am a swimmer, she is a figure skater.)

    Whenever I start to read something, she tends to want to pick it up too. So, recently I started going through Livy again. She started too, taking the volumes after I finished them.

    One night we were in bed (no, not that—yet—mind out of the gutter, people), each reading our volume of Livy and I had this flashback. It was my second year of grad school and her first. She had the most fabulous apartment in our little college town and she had a party for our whole sect. She, at that time, had a large menagerie of stuffed animals. So, slightly strange for someone 24 (at that time) but chicks are into stuffed animals, so, OK …

    What was initially intriguing was that they were all named after luminaries in classical literature and history. That was kind of cool. But even better … there were these two mooses … meese? .., anyway they were named Hannibal and Scipio, the latter she said was known for his excessive mercy, the former for his inhuman cruelty. This is right out of Prince 17. I was very taken by this.

    So flash back forward to the present, we are in bed both reading Livy, but different volumes, I am on the second Punic War, reading about Hannibal and Scipio and I have that flashback.

    And I say, “Remember when we first met and you had those stuffed meese named Hannibal and Scipio?”

    And she says, “Yes. Is that when you know that you loved me?”

    And I said, “No, not quite then, it was too early, but it planed the seed.”

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

      And I say, “Remember when we first met and you had those stuffed meese named Hannibal and Scipio?”

      And she says, “Yes. Is that when you know that you loved me?”

      And I said, “No, not quite then, it was too early, but it planed the seed.”

      This needs to go into an anthology of stories about how people fell in love. Or something.

  • JP

    (Remember kids, there are two major kinds of psychiatric ideation that they ask you about in the emergency room! Suicidal ideation. And *homicidal* ideation. One of your goals in life is to *never* become the subject of a person’s homicidal ideation through your poor life choices. That’s can result in a “sub-optimal life outcome”.)

    (Because psychiatric commitment requires that you be a danger to either yourself, or *to others*)

  • J

    @SSM

    It’s quite startling that, according to that study, more college graduates are virgins than non-college graduates in the same general age range. I would have expected the opposite.

    Susan’s forte is sussing out the facts and debunking the myths. You should read here more often. I suspect this wouldn’t be your last surprise.

    You might also be interested in knowing that the out-of-wedlock pregnancy rate is much lower for girls who are college-bound. In general, kids who goals and plans for their futures are much better at delaying gratification than those who do not. College may look like a fine place to get into trouble, but there is a cadre of serious kids who still don’t. OTOH, if you have no post-high school goals, high school can also be a great place to get into trouble. I say this as one whose professional life has revolved around providing various services to adolescents, but I could easily find stats to bear this out.

  • J

    I think is really important about this story is that both of them shared their objective with someone who knew a lot of young people, and was in a position to broker a meeting.

    Such a sweet story!

    There’s a lot of research about the how people meet their spouses. The friend of a friend intro is an amazingly good and common way. As I’ve sad before, DH was an aquaintance of my BFF’s co-worker. The best advice for anyone searching for anything is to build themselves a social netwok. Someone always knows someone who knows someone.

  • modernguy

    She went on a blind date, expecting little. In walked a gorgeous guy with a lucrative law practice! It was love at first sight

    Lol, true love.

  • JP

    “I think is really important about this story is that both of them shared their objective with someone who knew a lot of young people, and was in a position to broker a meeting.

    Such a sweet story!”

    I see it as a tragedy.

    She married a lawyer.

  • modernguy

    She went on a blind date, expecting little. In walked a gorgeous guy with a lucrative law practice! It was love at first sight

    When you read shit like this it just makes you wonder…

    Like how many mercenaries are running around selling their services to the highest bidder, while telling themselves and everyone around them that this bidder is the one to fight for because he’s got truth and justice on his side?

    What the fuck is up there in women’s heads? Is it just a birdsnest of crossed wires or what? Stop trying to make a fairy tale out of base, and basic, impulses.

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

      What the fuck is up there in women’s heads? Is it just a birdsnest of crossed wires or what? Stop trying to make a fairy tale out of base, and basic, impulses.

      OK, folks, this is where the loser who can’t get laid accusation comes from.

      Someone reads that two good looking people fell for each other, had three kids and are very happily married ten years in, and he just can’t take it.

      There’s nothing base about two 9s falling in love at first sight. I’m sure no one would say it was base if they were both 4s, and that happens too. Assortative mating – it’s not just for unattractive folks.

  • Zach

    As a Penn ’09 graduate, I have to say this story is utter BS. I was as deep in the hookup scene at Penn as anyone (fraternity member, no serious girlfriends, practically all my female/male friends were Greek), and I never once heard a girl claim that her post-collegiate goals were why she wasn’t in a relationship. Not once. I heard plenty of complaints about the lack of a traditional dating culture on campus, but that didn’t stop almost every single girl I knew from having at least one relationship during the course of her time at Penn. Of course there were concerns about how graduation and distance would affect that, so most people didn’t START dating close to the end of their time at school, but that covers only one class (seniors) at the end of the academic year. In fact, the trend during college was towards more relationships as people got older. Junior and senior year girlfriends became more common, not less so. To this day most of my friends who are in relationships (male and female) are still dating the same person they were dating in college. Sorority and fraternity formals and date parties were almost always a 50/50 split between couples and singles.

    One other thing that gives the lie to Taylor’s depiction of the hookup scene is her claim that these women “don’t have time” for relationships. Penn kids are high-acheiving, but one of the aspects of that is they are excellent at balancing work and play. It was the norm for someone to spend 5-9 at the library and then hit the bars/frat parties from 10-2, while still nailing a 3.8. People may think that Ivy students spend their lives studying, but anyone who’s recently attended one of these schools (or has kids who have) knows that’s BS. Penn kids are in a lot of ways like most college students: do well enough with the most amount of partying and the least amount of studying possible. Let’s take the stories of two of my good friends, both of whom are now traders at Goldman Sachs. One of them skipped over 50% of his engineering lectures when we were roommates sophomore year, and even hid in a different room when one of his group partners tried to find him for a study session. The other was asked to attend a banquet for prospective Wharton students; when he was introduced as a top student in an attending professor’s class, the professor didn’t even recognize him because he’d skipped every single class that semester (he ended up with an A). The workload is not so hard that the kids have to kill themselves. In the grand scheme of things, a girlfriend or boyfriend is not going to replace studying hours; if anything they will replace hours spent watching TV, playing video games, or drinking.

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

      @Zach

      Hooray, I was so hoping you would stop by and comment on this post! As the only young Penn alum here (that I know of), I was very curious to hear your take on it. It matches exactly what I hear from students in general, both at Ivies and elsewhere.

      It was the norm for someone to spend 5-9 at the library and then hit the bars/frat parties from 10-2, while still nailing a 3.8.

      I was always amazed that my daughter’s sorority had an extremely high GPA – they basically all graduated with honors. I believe the frats can make the same claim. However – and this is a biggie – she told me that it is very, very rare for the Engineering school kids to go Greek, at least at her alma mater. The workload is just too heavy. Similarly, those students rarely study abroad. Your sophomore roommate must be a genius to blow off that curriculum at Penn.

      At least two of them (including the bouquet girl) are fine with and engage in casual sex. Another was a president of the Harvard abstinence club, and the bride herself as a virgin until meeting the groom. I guess sex-positives and conservatives can get along well :) .

      I find that surprising too! Especially the mixing between the leader of the Anscombe Society and the promiscuous women. Good for them.

      PPS What do you make of the fact that I’m actually excited to get to a setting (bschool) where the atmosphere will be more tilted to relationships (older crowd, 65/35 male/female ratio)? I’m actually excited to be entering that dating scene for exactly that reason.

      I am not at all surprised. You’ve been ready for a while. Don’t kid yourself though – you’ll have plenty of opps for casual sex if you want them. You’ll still need to exercise self-discipline to avoid it. :)

  • J

    @JP

    I don’t think that it’s the smartest move on the part of a woman to falsely accuse a man of rape in today’s world.

    I think that a lot of women are going to learn that lesson the hard way.

    I suspect though that malicious false accusations are much rarer than what I’ve been calling “soft” rape. The next morning both parties may be confused about what happened the night before.

    (See J’s story about her parents for a recent historical example of men who use women as punching bags)

    Just to clarify this for anyone who did not see my original comment, my father did NOT beat my mother, though he came from a background in which this was business as usual. I think he would have been too frightened of her leaving to try that. His sisters however were beaten by their husbands. My father would then go “straighten things out.” This often involved flying lessons.

    I see it as a tragedy. She married a lawyer.

    You crack me up! So deadpan.

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

      I suspect though that malicious false accusations are much rarer than what I’ve been calling “soft” rape. The next morning both parties may be confused about what happened the night before.

      I agree – it’s usually very murky and facts are very difficult to discern. That’s why disciplinary action is actually rarely taken. It’s almost always he said/she said. We’ll have to see how Obama’s lowering the standard of proof affects outcomes.

  • J

    I have whitelisted you, in hopes this does not happen again.

    LOL. You know it will. It seems like WordPress picks a new victim at random every few days.

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

      It seems like WordPress picks a new victim at random every few days.

      True. The fact that the filter is “intelligent” creates a lot of false positives. For example, spam comments are often very long, so the filter is suspicious of long comments, which are quite common here. Links are also suspect. And once I’ve deleted comments by one user, the filter remembers them as a troublemaker, lol.

  • Zach

    @Susan

    I haven’t posted on here in a while. Now that I’m retired until bschool, I don’t spend as much time in front of my computer on the internet. I have a little bit of recent news that might interest you. Last weekend I was at the wedding of one of my best friends. I caught the garter belt, and then ended up sleeping with the girl who caught the bouquet that night. Does that double my chances of getting married soon, or does action B negate action A? P.S. The bride and bridesmaids were/are a strange group. All best friends, all went to Harvard. At least two of them (including the bouquet girl) are fine with and engage in casual sex. Another was a president of the Harvard abstinence club, and the bride herself as a virgin until meeting the groom. I guess sex-positives and conservatives can get along well :).

    PPS What do you make of the fact that I’m actually excited to get to a setting (bschool) where the atmosphere will be more tilted to relationships (older crowd, 65/35 male/female ratio)? I’m actually excited to be entering that dating scene for exactly that reason.

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

      @Zach

      P.S. Stop by when you can and let us know how you’re doing. I am very interested to hear about your experience in b-school.

      And good for you for stopping work early! I did the same thing and traveled around. It was awesome.

  • BuenaVista

    Escoffier, I’m curious what you use to sharpen your knives. I abandoned machines a few years ago and use whetstones, or if in a rush, a SOG (SOG is a tactical knife manufacturer) manual device that is incredible, if aggressive in how much steel it takes off. (I do not use stainless knives; they’re either vintage or 1095 steel, so they’re a bit softer). The SOG thing is partly responsible for my losing half of the sensation in my right index finger, which I sliced to the bone.

    http://www.amazon.com/Garrett-Wade-Universal-Knife-Sharpener/dp/B004SSURQW

  • JP

    @Susan:

    “OK, folks, this is where the loser who can’t get laid accusation comes from.

    Someone reads that two good looking people fell for each other, had three kids and are very happily married ten years in, and he just can’t take it.

    There’s nothing base about two 9s falling in love at first sight. I’m sure no one would say it was base if they were both 4s, and that happens too. Assortative mating – it’s not just for unattractive folks.”

    It’s just standard issue envy.

    Other people getting what you want but that you can’t have.

    I’m still trying to figure out if you are a 4, how you can stomach being with a 4. If you’re a 4, it’s not like *you* think you’re attractive.

    I could personally never date someone as physically unattractive as I am, so I understand this problem.

    I’ve tried this and it’s always failed.

    Because I was *physically repulsed* by the woman in question.

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

      I’m still trying to figure out if you are a 4, how you can stomach being with a 4. If you’re a 4, it’s not like *you* think you’re attractive.

      People’s tastes and attraction triggers vary. Most people do marry, including unattractive people, and I don’t think they hold their noses as they walk up the aisle or agree never to have sex with the lights on.

      Human beings are built to reproduce and to pair bond. Mostly, people find a way to do that.

  • JP

    @J:

    The lawyer joke is only half deadpan.

    I’ve seen enough “successful” people (generally doctors or lawyers) blow their brains out or have complete nervous breakdowns.

    The last suicide in my personal group of local acquaintances was a (formerly) successful doctor about 50. It was kind of rude to do it in the back yard so that his 14 year old daughter found the body.

    One “successful lawyer” in the neighborhood next to mine got his license yanked. Divorce followed soon after.

    I keep a running list of suicides/breakdowns in the local professional community.

    That is, after all, how I make a living. Meaning by representing people who have breakdowns (cardiology seems particularly prone to this). When your innards are bleeding all the time from the stress, it’s time to find a new line of work.

  • Pingback: She is going to submit to someone; it is only a matter of whom. | Sunshine Mary

  • Escoffier

    BV, i use a 1000 waterstone to sharpen and a 6000 to polish.

    I also have the edge pro system for reprofiling, for the bird’s beak and other tricky profiles. It is outstanding and infallible.

    I hone with an 80 Rockwell ceramic from Mac. Also highly recommended.

  • Bully

    “Now let’s be fair. If the fact that a woman has had many prior sexual partners is a dealbreaker for you, that’s your standard and you have every right to it. I’ll laugh at you for it, because it’s a silly one and there’s many other ways to base respect for a partner that are far superior, but that is up to you.”

    You’re living in a world with men in it, and in that world, men’s desires matter.

    It’s not the place of either gender to dictate what they should and should not be attracted to.

  • Bully

    And I realize I’m not directing that at the person who quoted it, but the original writer of that comment.

  • Abbot

    “It’s not the place of either gender to dictate what they should and should not be attracted to.”

    Then why do the feminists constantly dictate exactly that? Its almost as if they see men as a defect that needs fixing. Wait, aint that sort of a women thing overall? Now they are going for a group fixing but instead of gently nudging, they come at you with battle axes and spears.

  • Bully

    “I could personally never date someone as physically unattractive as I am, so I understand this problem.

    I’ve tried this and it’s always failed.

    Because I was *physically repulsed* by the woman in question.”

    Same.

    And then you think about what you’d be giving up for marriage – men sacrifice the most in marriage, after all – and all of a sudden celibacy doesn’t look too bad.

  • JP

    @Bully:

    The “world with men in it” was kind of what I was pointing out with my Russian Roulette comment.

    I mean, I’ve had my head smashed into the ground and had fists connect with my face.

    However, I’m pretty durable, being that I’m a man.

    And in the case of the fist connecting with my face, it was because of something I said earlier to the owner of said fist (for which I have a now permanently displaced nose bone).

    And that “something” was far, far less than a false accusation of rape.

  • JP

    “And then you think about what you’d be giving up for marriage – men sacrifice the most in marriage, after all – and all of a sudden celibacy doesn’t look too bad.”

    Well, my wife is actually the most attractive woman that I ever dated, so I solved the problem by dating people I actually found physically attractive.

  • JP

    (Note: All of my physical altercations occurred within either a high school or university setting)

  • Brian

    What is crazy is these articles don’t stop to ask what happens when women are giving lots of sex to exactly the kind of men “they can’t stand” while the ones they will be looking to marry in 10 years when they are settled are not getting rewarded at all for the traits that will later make them “marriagble” but not attractive at all now – especially when these guys mate value will go up and they will have a pick of the “smart” 20-somethings not playing that game. When you are rewarding with sex (the only thing men care about) behavior you don’t like, you will get more of that behavior. And so these women waste their high libidos and youthful looks on one kind of guy, and expect another kind to hang out and wait for them to “age out” of their hotness and settle for them, when , statistically, they will have lower libidos and be less concerned about staying attractive. If I was a 22 year old “nice guy”, I wouldn’t ever marry the exact kind of girl at 33 who wouldn’t hook up with me when I was 22.

  • JP

    @Brian:

    Previously asserted and adequately rebutted.

    About 100 times now.

  • Brian

    Actually posted my comment before finishing the piece. Brilliant line, the irony of which is lost on Marcotte and company:

    “While Pluralistic Ignorance remains a problem, increasingly students are becoming aware that women like A. are outliers, the alpha darlings of the feministas. (Though the feminists have little use for the alpha douchebags who objectify A. and women like her, and who regard her as slutty even as they bang her on request.)”

    When are Marcotte and her ilk going to figure out that, for a guy, a bartender who gets laid by a variety of hot women regularly is MORE SUCCESSFUL then a workaholic schumck who goes to an office and makes 100k but can’t get laid. And guys who are tired of celibacy will do what works rather than waiting for the magical day when these women will suddenly “mature” or whatever virtue-of-necessity rationalization they give to try to meet nice guys. And note how these women will use the last of their looks to snare this “nice guy” then promptly let themselves go – the nice guys aren’t worth staying hot for.

    I am really loving Walsh’s tone on the blog lately – all the good nuggets of truth and realism you get from people like Roissy, but also acknowledging that there are indeed maybe 20% of women who were kept from flourishing by the “old system” and perhaps there is room to accommodate outliers while harnessing the power of norms for wider flourishing and the social capital it underwrites. I also like the tone of “unintended consequences” owing to incentive structures rather than bad actors.

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

      I am really loving Walsh’s tone on the blog lately – all the good nuggets of truth and realism you get from people like Roissy, but also acknowledging that there are indeed maybe 20% of women who were kept from flourishing by the “old system” and perhaps there is room to accommodate outliers while harnessing the power of norms for wider flourishing and the social capital it underwrites. I also like the tone of “unintended consequences” owing to incentive structures rather than bad actors.

      Thanks for this specific feedback!

      You know, when I started the blog in 2008, I had bought into articles like Taylor’s. I figured my own daughter was a bizarre outlier who would never fit in at college. And that no guy wanted relationships, etc.

      Over time, and a lot of research, I’ve developed a much fuller picture, and to be honest, I realize I was rather foolish and uninformed at the start.

      So while there’s still plenty of bad news – that cultural piece is a killer – there’s also good news. Though it makes them feel uncool, most students do reject the culture. Most want relationships and most are not promiscuous. That is a far better outlook than I previously believed. That means the task is helping that 80% get together. Lots of them are figuring it out, and I want to create a culture of support for them rather than championing women like A.

  • Brian

    @JP

    I hadn’t even read your comments but will address. Of course there are still some “smart” girls who aren’t buying the full buffet of “you go girl” feminism and instead see the world as a collection of tradeoffs (as men have always had to) and balance their desires toward dating boyfriend material. But data adequately shows both the greater frequency of male satisfaction with hookup sex, the way it bifurcates the mating market into a handful of big winners and more losers, and what is happening to men as a result. If you haven’t read it, this Baumeister/Vohs piece explains it:

    http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs12115-012-9596-y#page-1

    I can email it if you aren’t at an academic institution that can proxy it.

    It doesn’t take “everyone doing it” – it just takes a critical mass to be felt culturally. When women switch to short-term mate preference (rationally, given the incentive structure, not out of some meanness or badness), they reward different mate traits than when they are in LTR mode. And when LTR mating for women puts a premium on hypergamy while their own status is going up, their are defacto fewer marriageable men, and since men are rewarded for not being marriageable, in addition to the loss of male jobs that pay money (and female social styles are suddenly more valuable in making money), you have a mate market problem.

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

      It doesn’t take “everyone doing it” – it just takes a critical mass to be felt culturally. When women switch to short-term mate preference (rationally, given the incentive structure, not out of some meanness or badness), they reward different mate traits than when they are in LTR mode.

      You are right about the cultural piece – there is massive pluralistic ignorance. Though just 10% or so of students regularly engage in casual sex, most students estimate the number to be far higher – between 65 and 80%.

      The fact is that most women – 80-90% remain in the LTR mindset. A. and women like her are extreme outliers.

      As JP says, we’ve been over all the data many times, so I won’t debate it here.

  • Brian

    My wife shares pics of her college friends with me and they all were hot hookup girls, kept their looks just long enough to net a provider male in their 30s, and the rapidity of their looks decline just after marriage was appalling in some cases a downright breach of contract (like if a girl married a surgeon and a year later he announced he was tired of being an MD and just wanted to work in a coffee shop). .

  • Brian

    @JP an Susan

    Why is it that only American college students (and perhaps Brits and Aussies) are too immature to be without parental-type structure at 18? I mean, I think it is quite the reverse – 18 year olds SHOULD be mature, but for some reason in Anglo-phone countries are not. I mean, we send 18 year olds to war, 100 years ago 18 year olds were married and holding jobs. I agree with like 90% of SW’s stuff, but we don’t need to go back to dorm mothers and crap like that. The changes and incentives are largely structural. GIven women having high earning power (and men’s dwindling except for the top 10% of the broader/flatter male talent distribution), you are already in a situation of short-term mating coming to the fore, whether or not men and women share a dorm or have some nun keeping them apart. We give enobling names to changing incentives like “maturity” which are really just the rationalization hamster trying to make sense of changing emotional and structural incentives. When Tracy Clark Flory claims she has “matured” in starting to think there is something to this LTR thing, her reason is just lawyering up to explain to herself what are really just rightly perceiving changed incentives and options.

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

      Why is it that only American college students (and perhaps Brits and Aussies) are too immature to be without parental-type structure at 18?

      I don’t know that it is only Anglo kids. But there is no question that college culture changed rapidly with the end of in loco parentis. That 18 year olds need supervision seems blatantly obvious.

  • JP

    @Brian:

    And men go bald.

    Does this story have a moral?

  • Angelguy

    [\QUOTE]True. The fact that the filter is “intelligent” creates a lot of false positives. For example, spam comments are often very long, so the filter is suspicious of long comments, which are quite common here. Links are also suspect. And once I’ve deleted comments by one user, the filter remembers them as a troublemaker, lol.[QUOTE/]

    @Susan

    How do you find Word Press as a blogging tool, if you don’t mind me asking?
    I am interesting is starting my own blog(Nothing Manosphere or related to these subjects).
    Is the filter tools very reliable.
    You can e-mail if you don’t feel comfortable answering here.

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

      @angelguy

      I use self-hosted WordPress, and I think it is excellent. But it requires a fair amount of technical maintenance. You can get a blog “out of the box” at wordpress.com. You can’t do much to it, but it doesn’t require much either.

      The spam filter is a plugin called Akismet – considered the best out there but certainly not perfect. I get so much spam on this site I could never survive without it, though. For every error it makes, it catches about 500 spam comments.

  • Angelguy

    “When you are rewarding with sex (the only thing men care about) behavior you don’t like, you will get more of that behavior. And so these women waste their high libidos and youthful looks on one kind of guy, and expect another kind to hang out and wait for them to “age out” of their hotness and settle for them, when , statistically, they will have lower libidos and be less concerned about staying attractive. If I was a 22 year old “nice guy”, I wouldn’t ever marry the exact kind of girl at 33 who wouldn’t hook up with me when I was 22.”

    @Brian

    I pretty much agree with everything you said. The one problem though with aging is that if you have that mindset now, it will be more difficult to have the desire to get married. The older you get, the more difficult it is to change.
    Because as a young guy, when you are exposed to that kind of behaviour enough, subconsciously you think AWALT.

    The best thing to do, is avoid these “type” of women, but keep an open dialogue with others. Find women that aren’t that way, not to date or sleep with, but keep you from getting locked in that mindset.

    As a guy, I know how difficult it is.

  • Angelguy

    @Brian

    Later on, you can decide if you want to pursue Women to have a relationship with. It is really about clearing up all that bad emotion.

    I meant to include this in my last post.
    Just ran out of time.

  • Abbot

    “Previously asserted and adequately rebutted.”

    “I wouldn’t ever marry the exact kind of girl at 33 who wouldn’t hook up with me when I was 22.”

    If that was rebutted then women now get to determine how men feel about them or does that remain, as always, a fantasy?

  • Angelguy

    Later on, ONE can decide if you want to pursue Women to have a relationship with. It is really about clearing up all that bad emotion.

    sorry, my internet connection is slow here.
    Sometimes all the posts don’t come up right away.
    Didn’t see that you were married.

  • JP

    @Susan:

    The problem is actually more likely to be that the 50 year old (male) specialist doctor burns out and quits practice, leaving his wife in the lurch.

    It’s on my tracking list (as in I know them and it actually happened).

    Two months ago.

    Medicine appears to be shifting to financial bloodsport (where attorneys have been for years).

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

      Medicine appears to be shifting to financial bloodsport (where attorneys have been for years).

      Hmmm, I wonder how Obamacare will affect this.

  • Pericles

    I am also a Penn alumn (class of 2007) and what Taylor described did not reflect anything close to my own experience. I largely concur with Zach that the article is bullshit. Unlike Zach, I was not very involved the hookup scene, but I dont think I met a single girl at Penn who avoided relationships because an LTR was too much work.

    To bolster the point, I thought I would provide a diferent sample of Penn alumni: myself and 12 friends, all from the classes of 2006 and 2007. All 13 of us recently met at a bachellor party. The groom will be the fifth (and last) in the group to marry his girlfriend from Penn. 11 of the 13 had LTRs for some part of their time at Penn. Most of us where engineers or other STEM majors (with a couple econ majors and Wharton guys thrown in); none of us was greek. This is not a representative sample of campus, but I dare say its a lot more representative than A’s perspective.

    As Zach pointed out, even at Penn students have a lot of free time, so relationships do not really compete with your studies (even for engineers). After my girlfriend and I started dating on sophomore year, I simply watched less TV and played less Halo. I actually studied more. The article is simply absurd, and I greatly resent that it casts a false and unfavorable light upon my alma mater in order to promote casual sex. Ms. Taylor should be ashamed of herself (but she surely will not be).

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

      @Pericles

      Welcome, thanks so much for offering your own perspective and experience!

      I don’t blame you for feeling angry – Penn is a great school, and she found it convenient to portray it in that way to fulfill her political agenda. FWIW, I think she has received a lot of criticism.

      I’m sure it won’t hurt Penn at all, but if my very talented kid were considering applying to Penn right now, I’d have some concerns. To a concerned parent, that article reads like a horror story.

  • J

    I’ve seen enough “successful” people (generally doctors or lawyers) blow their brains out or have complete nervous breakdowns.

    Yeah. Me too.

    The last suicide in my personal group of local acquaintances was a (formerly) successful doctor about 50. It was kind of rude to do it in the back yard so that his 14 year old daughter found the body.

    Weirdly, he was probably trying to not contaminate the home by doing it outside. A man in my neighborhood committed suicide in the garage–private enough for no one to see and stop him, but in the thouse where the family still lives.

    That is, after all, how I make a living. Meaning by representing people who have breakdowns (cardiology seems particularly prone to this). When your innards are bleeding all the time from the stress, it’s time to find a new line of work.

    Yeah, I hear that. A woman in my congregation woke up one morning next to the corpse of her neurosurgeon husband. Heart attack from stress. Left two kids a bit older than mine, both in college. Sad.

  • Brian

    @Susan

    I think the problem is a bit more complicated as I think people, men especially, “want” two things at one time and at different levels and there is a gender difference to this want, and, as a man, I can tell you in my 20s, I “wanted” sex with random hot girls AND “wanted” a relationship AND also didn’t want to be a jerk or a liar or a cheater or hurt people. Men are used to making tradeoffs between competing wants and never were deluded by “you can have it all” cheerleading – we can’t have sex with lots of girls and have a meaningful relationship and which we choose will have something to do with the choice architecture and our options. For guys with these competing wants, your hookup preferences may be swinging a large number of “tweeners” to the easy side.

    It is kind of like wanting to eat cake all the time vs wanting to eat a nice healthy paleo meal – the latter is ultimately more satisfying and leads to more day to day flourishing (and the ease of the former curtails the latter.), but cake is pretty good and if it is just lying around all the time makes choosing the ultimately better thing harder.

    But the best framing for all this is tradeoffs and, not being that attractive as a short term mate partner then, my options made the decision for me. I have no idea how hard it would be to settle on what is ultimately better if you can easily get a variety of hot girls frequently and I want to avoid making my necessity a virtue. Complicating the picture is how it is easier for men to meet girls when you are already dating someone (preselection bias in women).

    I suspect while more men want relationships than one might think, I suspect men are more compartmentalizing than women (note data on infidelity – cheating men are actually slightly more happy on average with their primary relationship than women – unhappiness with marriage is only a predictor of infidelity in women) and there are more men that can be happy or distracted with short term sex.

    What Marcotte and crew don’t want to tell people is that premarital sexual experience is an honest indicator of infidelity risk in women at a much lower point than in men (hence the so-called double standard, which is really a better-than-chance accurate statistic in a low information, high risk environment – as all sterotypes are!).

    I can tell all the ladies out there lurking who are interested that some of those guys you are blowing off now in favor of jerks are going to grow into their looks, not gain weight and stay fit, and get good jobs and what we are going to do when we are in our 30′s and 40′s is take our pick of the “smart” girls who are interested in relationships and work-life balance who are 10 years younger than us (and thus will not statistically grow out of their sex drive and looks before we do) and not waste any time on the girls our age who are finally ready to settle who ignored us or friend-zoned us before. I couldn’t care less what a potential LTR partner does for a living so long as she is bright, interesting, active, and attractive, so your PhD, MD or JD doesn’t make you more attractive to us than the cute barista ate Peet’s who reads Schopenhauer and likes to hike and would rather “lean out” and enjoy life, the way it makes us more attractive to you. It just implies you will be harder to please economically (again, another “not fair” stereotype that has better-than-chance value in a low information environment).

  • Angelguy

    “The spam filter is a plugin called Akismet – considered the best out there but certainly not perfect. I get so much spam on this site I could never survive without it, though. For every error it makes, it catches about 500 spam comments.”

    @Susan
    Thanks I do appreciate this. My knowledge of web design is very much archaic now. It is difficult to keep up with all this new technology.
    I haven’t even heard of Akismet until you mentioned it now.

    I have heard that Word Press takes time to learn. I was just questioning the time and effort it takes to learn it. But seeing the benefits of your blog is making me think about it.

  • J

    And I have news for feminists – take a look at Pinterest. Women like crafts. We like cooking, and sewing, and knitting, and all sorts of girly stuff. Because we’re girls.

    I like all that stuff, but I also like camping, fishing and horse backriding. I used to watch boxing with my dad. I think a lot of women have a broad range of interests. I think that’s fun. It makes the world a bigger place for me.

  • Brian

    @Angelguy

    I am married and have been for 12 years (15 if you could living together in an exclusive relationship) to a lean, fit, athletic professional, feminism-skeptical woman (like me, except the woman part!). One thing that likely makes my situation different is that we don’t have and don’t want kids, so we probably have to make fewer mating tradeoffs than others. I feel badly for people who really want kids because it really forces you to make hard mate choices that often end up with sexless, frustrated men who feel badly about being bitter about not getting part of what they want (see Eric Anderson’s book The Monogamy Gap), I hate to say, when one must balance “mommy” or “daddy” qualities with mate qualities. The statistics don’t lie and men want frequent sex with non-obese women badly (who do you think is using all that porn?). One of many ways evolution selects what is good for offspring, not good for “us” perse.

  • JP

    @Susan:

    I’m not getting any indications that Obamacare is going to really hurt doctorworld.

    Just saw the local $600K DINKS a few days ago.

    No worries yet.

  • JP

    @Brian:

    “One of many ways evolution selects what is good for offspring, not good for “us” perse.”

    Incorrect.

    Baby regulates the father’s hormones because evolution selects for “good for us”.

    http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/under-the-influence/201307/the-daddy-chronicles-what-happened-my-testosterone

  • J

    The article is simply absurd, and I greatly resent that it casts a false and unfavorable light upon my alma mater in order to promote casual sex. Ms. Taylor should be ashamed of herself (but she surely will not be).

    it’s not about promoting sex as much as it’s about sensationalism for profit. Kids are an easy target for that.

    I’ve spent most of my professional life working with kids–both well adjusted and troubled. Kids IMO get a bad rap. People love to clutch their pearls and tut-tut about teens and college kids, but most grow up to be decent people despite what ever goes on around them. And, frankly as a mom of teens it pisses me off to hear idiots talk as it they were born at 40.

  • Bully

    All this talk about highly paid professionals keeling over in their 50s is just reinforcing my decision to work a solid, well paying (yet not so high end/stressful 1%) job and live for myself. I certainly have no plans to work myself into the grave like that. Honestly, I’m planning on being outright retired by then.

  • http://bastiatblogger.blogspot.com Bastiat Blogger

    High quality posts from Brian

  • J

    I’m still trying to figure out if you are a 4, how you can stomach being with a 4. If you’re a 4, it’s not like *you* think you’re attractive.

    Perhaps you are forced to look at the person’s personality. The best marriage I know of is between two 3s. There are both as ugly as homemade sin, but are also two of the kindest people I know. And I doubt that think of each other as ugly.

  • Brian

    @JP

    The “good for you” part of that is good for baby – not selected for your benefit. Selected to increase your chance of sticking around for baby. How about women dying in childbirth before modern medicine? A big brain helps more than many mothers dying hurts. If it is bad for us and helps our reproduction through mate competition (think elk antlers that leave males predated on 30% more often or peacock tails that make males slower fliers/runners) it is selected for. Our happiness and even our longevity isn’t the point. Intuitions that lead to reproduction is.

    The hypothetical controlling kid is the tyrant of all our contradictions, miseries, tradeoffs, etc., especially in our contradictory and self-defeating intuitions about mating. It is why men cheat more than women (low investment parent = higher sex drive that many of us would like to do without), why men do risky foolish Jackass nonsense, etc. It is why women cheat mostly when ovulating, it is why their mate preferences change when they are most fertile, etc. etc. etc. You just picked one instance where there is some proximate good for males (good narrowly and questionably defined as neutered health/longevity) from the ultimate good for the kid.

  • Brian

    @JP

    I am not even sure why we are arguing as I mostly agree with you as mating is a game of strategies and there are many – one you describe well. But these strategies don’t occur in a vacuum and thee is gene-culture interaction (see “life history theory” as it relates to mating preference as a great and startling example).

  • Brian

    @Abbot

    it is a real and painful dilemma for men who want kids. You want a woman with a durable sex drive, but the data is painfully uniform in detailing post-kid sex drive dimunition as well as good mommy types are generally lower in psycho-sexuality than not so good mommy types. And if you want a woman far more likely to not cheat on you, you want one with little premarital experience if you play the percentages (which would also mean lower sex drive). Premarital sexual experience is not a strong indicator of infidelity risk in men (opportunity is the biggest predictor!) There is great data that it is men not getting as much sex in marriage as they want and this is nearly uniformly dictated by kids and women simply can’t appreciate that a man having sex 5 minutes a month is like a woman seeing her 5 month old 5 minutes a month and men feel bad about that and are ashamed that their libido doesn’t mesh with their moral commitments.

    http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/cultural-animal/201012/the-reality-the-male-sex-drive

    Not wanting kids lets you select for what you want, not your kids. I’ll take the risk of infidelity for a high-libido spouse that has time and interest to stay fit because, when you don’t have kids, infidelity just ain’t that costly, especially when your spouse out-earns you. People who want kids can’t take that risk and they have the emotional intuitions to match that error management imperative.

    http://www.amazon.com/The-Monogamy-Gap-Cheating-Sexuality/dp/0199777926

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

      You want a woman with a durable sex drive, but the data is painfully uniform in detailing post-kid sex drive dimunition as well as good mommy types are generally lower in psycho-sexuality than not so good mommy types.

      There is no question that sex nosedives when the baby arrives. And all relationship sex decreases over time. That’s what the data says. For many people, the years when the kids are very young do include less sex, but our friend oxytocin helps. Still, for many couples, the frequency may go from daily to a few times a week.

      And if you want a woman far more likely to not cheat on you, you want one with little premarital experience if you play the percentages (which would also mean lower sex drive). Premarital sexual experience is not a strong indicator of infidelity risk in men (opportunity is the biggest predictor!)

      I assume your first statement refers to the Teachman study, the only source of premarital partner/divorce data that I am aware of. That study has some design problems as it applies to this question – mostly that they were not seeking to measure this. If you refer to other data, I’d love to know about it.

      Re premarital sexual experience for men:

      The more women a man has had sex with, the lower the odds that he can be sexually gratified by one woman. Ever.

      I. You’re likely to experience a more dramatic drop in your physical attraction to a woman after having sex with her.

      Males get a huge dopamine rush upon “getting it in,” and that fades once orgasm has occurred. In general, men find their partners less attractive after sex, while women find their partners more attractive.

      Evolutionary psychologist Martie Haselton explains that high-count men lose even more attraction for their mate after sex:

      For men who pursue a short-term mating strategy, first-time sex signals both that a goal has been achieved and that there is a possibility of becoming entangled in an unwanted long-term relationship. After first-time sex, the feelings men and women experience do indeed differ. Women more than men experience a positive affective shift toward increased feelings of commitment for their partners (Haselton & Buss, 2001), whereas, men who have had many sex partners (defined as 6+), (and therefore successfully pursue a short-term strategy) experience [an especially] negative affective shift marked by a drop-off in physical attraction to their partners (Haselton & Buss, 2001). These effects are hypothesized to prompt behaviors to secure investment (for women) or to extricate oneself from a potential romantic entanglement (for short-term oriented men).

      II. Marital sexual satisfaction declines more than 5% for every partner a man has been with other than his spouse.

      As far as I know, there has only been one study that looked at partner count and sexual satisfaction, which I first referenced in the post Manwhores: For Casual Sex Only. The study measured the effect of promiscuity on later degrees of marital sexual satisfaction. The sample was national and random, from the National Health and Social Life Survey. It included 313 married men and women, aged 18-40, all with their first spouse.

      88% of males and 85% of females indicated that they were “very satisfied” with their marital sex life. However, results indicate that for every additional premarital sexual partner an individual has, not including the marital sexual partner, the likelihood that they will say their current marital sexual relationship is extremely satisfying versus only being moderately satisfying goes down 3.9%.

      When running models separately for males and females, the male model was more significant at 5.3%. This means that a man with a number of 10 before marriage is 53% less likely to be describe himself as extremely satisfied in marriage. By implication, all men with 20 previous partners will feel moderately sexually satisfied in marriage at best.

      Women’s partner count had a lesser effect, with the likelihood of being extremely satisfied decreasing 4.6% for each partner. The females’ result did not meet the criteria for statistical significance, while the males’ did. From the study:

      This may be due to the evolutionary biological theory that males tend to be more invested in or notice more the physical aspects of the sexual relationship, while women tend to be more invested in or notice more the emotional aspects of the sexual relationship (Buunk, Angleitner, & Buss, 1996). Due to this difference, premarital sexual promiscuity may not influence females as much because the past emotional connections are no longer salient and the focus is on meeting the needs of the current relationship.

      Further, women tend to be aroused more and are more likely than men to report attraction increasing in long-term relationships, indicating that having previous sexual experiences may in fact lower the overall comparison levels and comparison level for alternatives for women in a marital sexual relationship (Knoth, Boyd, & Singer, 1988).

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

      Not wanting kids lets you select for what you want, not your kids. I’ll take the risk of infidelity for a high-libido spouse that has time and interest to stay fit because, when you don’t have kids, infidelity just ain’t that costly, especially when your spouse out-earns you. People who want kids can’t take that risk and they have the emotional intuitions to match that error management imperative.

      People who don’t want kids are most likely to be attracted to other people who don’t want kids, and these folks would not make good parents in any case.

      For those who prioritize having a family, the opposite is true. Attraction triggers differ, so the man who wants kids will find feminine nurturing attractive, or even hot.

      Helen Fisher talks about this in her personality typing work. It sounds like you and your wife are both Explorers, and Explorers are the least likely to raise young, especially together.

  • Angelguy

    “I hate to say, when one must balance “mommy” or “daddy” qualities with mate qualities. The statistics don’t lie and men want frequent sex with non-obese women badly (who do you think is using all that porn?). One of many ways evolution selects what is good for offspring, not good for “us” perse.”

    @Brian

    That does make a difference, when you have kids, the mate qualities change.
    Not all women who have children stay obese. I have seen some very good looking Mom’s. Since I am single, I am not in that situation.
    But I have noticed that all the focus seems to be on the children which really drives couples apart.

  • http://www.justfourguys.com/feminists-and-raunch-queens-are-the-dominant-alpha-mares/ HanSolo

    “That 18 year olds need supervision seems blatantly obvious.”

    What they need is responsibility and consequences. Many students (of the 18-21 y/o variety) don’t have any survival challenges. College isn’t like a job where they have to show up and perform or get fired. If they had to show up to every class and get at least, say, a C+ in every single class then they’d work harder. If they a C in any class would cause immediate expulsion they’d take it a bit more serious.

    Basically, adults let the kids extend their adolescence into their 20′s and so they’re taking the path of least resistance and acting like adolescents. Put some real survival pressure on them and they’ll soon act like adults.

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

      What they need is responsibility and consequences.

      +1

  • http://bastiatblogger.blogspot.com Bastiat Blogger

    Going along with what Han said, a lot of modern parents form symbiotic relationships with their kids and “helicopter” them in order to keep them dependent. So we get one 20-year-old directing JDAM bombings in a combat theater and trying to limit civilian deaths while another 20-year-old from the same high school needs his mother to tell him that he shouldn’t place his penis in a toaster full of bullet ants to amuse his dorm friends.

  • Brian

    @Bastiat nails it! 18 year olds shouldn’t be as immature as they are. I work daily with students in higher ed and I see this all the time.

    @Angelguy

    I didn’t mean to sound moralistic or judgemental – I ain’t no Roissy. I was just saying that statistically (that is, across population data) having kids changes women’s priorities vis a vis sex and appearance concerns (as it logically should!) and men are left in a bind because they love their wives, but also want sex, and they feel badly about the disconnect between the competing values. Men want things and also know it isn’t “fair” that they want those things. It is cognitively and emotionally stressful. The only way I could explain it to a woman is if you married a surgeon expecting that as part of the deal and one day he suggested you cut your lifestyle by 90% because he is tired of all the stress and hard work and wants to brew beer for a living. You might well both understand his desires and resent the bait and switch.

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

      I was just saying that statistically (that is, across population data) having kids changes women’s priorities vis a vis sex and appearance concerns (as it logically should!) and men are left in a bind because they love their wives, but also want sex, and they feel badly about the disconnect between the competing values.

      Newsflash, lots of women want sex too, even after kids.

  • Brian

    The tragedy of the universe – people making situationally logical decisions and un-faultable for wanting what they want leading to unintended outcomes that diminish their overall flourishing and alter the choice architecture for everyone. Bad overall outcomes without bad actors. So much more accurate and tragic than moralizing or judging. This is why I am NOT a libertarian – people are notoriously bad at balancing desires, knowing what they want, conceptualizing their future selves, and highly susceptible to treating positional gains as if they were absolute ones and finding themselves in unwanted arms races for positional advantage that give nobody added benefit and everyone added costs.

  • Emily

    >> “And as it turns out, when women get told repeatedly that if they have multiple sex partners they’re not worth respect when the a significant number of women have had multiple sex partners, they tend to get a little sick of it. Particularly when it is used to wave away the times when women didn’t want to have sex. Like, you know, rape.” ”

    Urgh, rape is like the Godwin’s Law of feminism. They drag it into EVERYTHING!

  • JP

    “What they need is responsibility and consequences. Many students (of the 18-21 y/o variety) don’t have any survival challenges. College isn’t like a job where they have to show up and perform or get fired. If they had to show up to every class and get at least, say, a C+ in every single class then they’d work harder. If they a C in any class would cause immediate expulsion they’d take it a bit more serious.”

    You don’t even have to do anything in law school.

    Up to age 24, the only quality I required to “succeed” was my intelligence.

    I had a better work ethic when I was a high school student than I did in college and law school.

    *Because* succeeding in high school made college free and the most important thing for law school was the LSAT. Which utilized….intelligence.

    It’s called K-JD.

    You pick a career the same way you pick college and grad school. Which means that you are operating a vending machine.

    This only becomes a problem when you are actually required to produce something.

    Huh?

    What you do mean I have to “be productive”?

    (This seems to be different for med students. I went into law because I *didn’t* put any effort into college. So, that choice of career was the result of failure and sloth, not productivity.)

  • JP

    My problem certainly wasn’t caused by helicopter parenting.

    If anything it was caused by *lack* of parenting.

    So, I don’t think that parenting is the issue here.

  • http://bastiatblogger.blogspot.com Bastiat Blogger

    Today I heard this reaction from a female who had read the NYT article: “I am extremely uncomfortable in the knowledge that my husband may soon be going on transoceanic business trips with young women like ‘A.’”

  • Brian

    Everyone I know thinks I would make a great parent as I am high in conscienciousness and resillience. I don’t want kids partially because I am convinced it isn’t ethical (a hard sell, to be sure). Love my kids so much, I chose not to have them:

    Not wanting kids isn’t “selfish” – it is the exact opposite. People don’t reproduce for their kids, the reproduce for themselves. Not trying to start a discussion about antinatalism, but if one is interested in suffering reduction as a moral good, I can’t see how having kids meets that end (you can’t harm non-existent people by not “giving” them life, but by “giving” them life, you force suffering on them, often great suffering and at very least some. Saying “the good stuff makes up for it” does no good because you can’t harm non-existent people).

    http://www.amazon.com/Better-Never-Have-Been-Existence/dp/0199549265

    I would love to adopt. I just want parents to be careful not to moralize their desire for kids as “willing to give up stuff” rather than “not feeling the loss of that stuff as keenly as others”.

    “Attraction triggers differ, so the man who wants kids will find feminine nurturing attractive, or even hot.”

    Susan, you are awesome and I love your blog and recommend it to everyone, but I think your advocacy makes you a act a bit naive about men in general. Men are hopelessly bifurcated and conflicted and like irreconcileable things at once. Men would take a bullet for a woman they would cheat on and most men simply don’t have the opportunity. You read Buss, et al, so you know that infidelity is NOT a predictor of marital dissatisfaction in men and they tend to cheat under much different parameters than women do. To quote Dylan “If my thought dreams could be seen, they’d probably put my head in a guillotine”.

    Saying that people who don’t want kids wouldn’t make good ones is skirting awfully close to the kind of activism driven empiricism that Marcotte is guilty of. Perhaps those who don’t want kids are so conscientious that they are more aware of what it really takes to be good parents and have such an eye toward suffering (which parents grossly underestimate – check the causes of death for young males especially) that we seek to avoid playing Russian Roulette with the gun pointed at someone else’s head.

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

      @Brian

      People don’t reproduce for their kids, the reproduce for themselves.

      Of course! That may be the primary function of the ego! How on earth could you be motivated to do something for someone who does not yet exist? I had children so that I could mix my genes with my husband’s to create two awesome creatures. I dreamed of the gratification of all that love and family closeness. I made them, and then I gave and gave and gave to them. And now I look forward to their repaying me by having children of their own, which is something they eagerly anticipate.

      Susan: “Attraction triggers differ, so the man who wants kids will find feminine nurturing attractive, or even hot.”

      Brian: You read Buss, et al, so you know that infidelity is NOT a predictor of marital dissatisfaction in men and they tend to cheat under much different parameters than women do.

      I’m sorry, I do not understand how your response relates to my statement. Re infidelity, it is correlated to numerous factors, including sociosexuality (especially desire for sexual variety and ability to separate sex from emotion), dopamine sensitivity, Dark Triad traits (high narcissism, low empathy), poor character in general, low agreeableness and low conscientiousness. I agree that male cheating is often, though not always different from female cheating, and that many men will happily cheat and want to stay married. Most women, when they cheat, are looking to trade in their zero for a hero. However, women like A. will no doubt behave more like a male, as she has sex like a male.

      Saying that people who don’t want kids wouldn’t make good ones is skirting awfully close to the kind of activism driven empiricism that Marcotte is guilty of.

      You essentially said that yourself – I was just expanding the thought. You said that you selected high libido, and the risk of infidelity, instead of good parenting traits. You married a woman who doesn’t sound like she’s wired for motherhood. Nothing wrong with that – just like there’s nothing wrong with A.’s strategy if it’s right for her. This stuff is largely genetically determined, so why fight it?

  • JP

    “Not trying to start a discussion about antinatalism, but if one is interested in suffering reduction as a moral good, I can’t see how having kids meets that end (you can’t harm non-existent people by not “giving” them life, but by “giving” them life, you force suffering on them, often great suffering and at very least some. Saying “the good stuff makes up for it” does no good because you can’t harm non-existent people).”

    I really wish we could lock down the entire reincanation issue so that we could put this to rest.

    Because if I’m waiting in line for a specific body in about 100 years, I’m not going to be happy if all of a sudden half the population jumps on some sort of “antinatalism” bandwagon and all of a sudden I have to wait another 100 years.

  • JP

    That’s reincarnation. Not whatever word I used up there.

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

      Re reincarnation, I highly recommend Kate Atkinson’s new novel Life After Life.

  • JP

    I mean, yeah I’m immortal, but still, that’s just rude!

    (Nobody talks about this in abortion debates or transsexual debates either. Why is it *my* problem to pay for or care about *your* sex change operation when *you* were too impatient to wait for the sex you wanted to be? Yes, I know you like being a girl and wearing dresses. If you choose the body with a penis, you don’t get to wear dresses. That defeats a significant point of this entire exercise.)

  • Brian

    “The more women a man has had sex with, the lower the odds that he can be sexually gratified by one woman. Ever.”

    Male infidelity is mediated by opportunity (it tell me nothing when a man with low status and low attractiveness is faithful since it is much harder for men to get short-term sex – virtue of necessity and all that) female by marital dissatisfaction (that is in Shirley Glass’s infidelity book, I believe, but I need to doublecheck). Women clearly have far more opportunity for infidelity as for sex in general. How about the studies that show men report less satisfaction with their primary relationship merely if they work in a career where they are around younger, hotter women (say college professor) all day, independent of psychosexuality. How about ovulation studies that show female long-term maters are situational short-term maters. I don’t believe the short-term, long term mater is a fixed category for most people but an opportunistic one. A distribution of course with most people in the middle. Women can’t appreciate the male problem since opportunity for us is spotty and as all creatures we like to dress up ascribed characteristics as achieved. ;) I have never cheated on my wife and never really wanted to (of course I check out girls all day) but I have never had it fall in my lap either. I’d liked to think I wouldn’t but who knows – don’t want to be guilty of the optimism bias, given that lots of other “good people” have cheated and it would be naive to think I am just better than others rather than just less tempted.

    Some researchers have found evidence that
    men and women engage in different types of
    infidelity. For example, Spanier and Margolis
    (1983) investigated the experiences of recently
    separated and divorced individuals in which
    either the research participant or the ex-spouse
    had had an affair. Women who had been involved in an affair tended to be more emotionally involved with their affair partners than the
    men who had been involved in an affair (40.5%
    of women vs. 11.5% of men reported that their
    most recent extramarital relationship was a
    “more long-term love relationship”), and the
    involved women also reported greater feelings
    of guilt. Similarly, Glass and Wright (1985)
    showed that men are more likely than women to
    have “sexual-only” affairs, and women are
    more likely than men to have “emotional-only”
    affairs.

    Also see Schmidt, Buss, Shakleford et al 2001 and some of their references (Hrdy, for example) on the short-term or dual mating preferences of men having different correlates than in women.

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1475-6811.2001.tb00049.x/abstract

    Men frequently do things women would rarely do – serially cheat on a woman they would sell a kidney or take a bullet for because we have hopelessly gnawing and self-damaging conflicting desires. Women with nice guy husbands should swim around in their heads for a while (remember, these dudes speak openly around their male friends!) and realize what they find doesn’t stop them from being nice guys.

    Two books I was wondering if you have read. Eric Anderson’s Monogamy Gap and the Geher and Kauffman book Mating Intelligence Unleashed:

    http://www.amazon.com/Mating-Intelligence-Unleashed-Role-Dating/dp/0195396855

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

      @Brian

      I have not read the Anderson book. I happen to be reading Mating Unleashed now. I’m finding it dense, but every bit of it is fascinating! I have corresponded with Scott Barry Kaufman in the past.

      There is no question that opportunity affects the likelihood of infidelity, but I can tell you we’ve heard many accounts here of successful men who have been offered opportunities, been tempted by them, and refused them. I know this is true of my husband as well. Some people are just more likely to cheat than others. For a whole host of reasons.

      Good looking men of restricted sociosexuality are less likely to cheat than ugly men of unrestricted sociosexuality. The ugly dudes just cheat with ugly women.

  • Brian

    Theories about faithfulness that are lurking in this conversation:

    1) The faithful aren’t really interested in other partners

    2) The faithful are proximately interested in other partners but weigh the tradeoffs of indulging infidelity vs wrecking the primary relationship they cherish but don’t have the opportunity (or studiously avoid it) to make the choice easier.

    3) The faithful person gets just enough sex at home to mute his latent desire for other partners that is completely independent of his dedication to his current one.

    I think number 2 and/or 3 is the fact for most men. I like to be honest about this with my spouse because only the optimism bias, given all the data we have about infidelity and its correlates, would delude us into thinking we are different. Willpower is some, of course, about moralizing the true fact of not being truly tempted, but ala Baumeister, it is mostly about setting up protective systems so you never have to actually exercise it. And this is what most “nice guys” do.

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

      @Brian

      You’re assuming a static level of the desire for sexual variety for all men. In fact, it’s on a spectrum. When men are asked how many sexual partners they want over the remainder of their lifetimes, the median response is 1.

  • http://bastiatblogger.blogspot.com Bastiat Blogger
  • Brian

    @Bastiat

    Have you seen the series Chris Rock, Evolutionary Psychologist by the great Barry Kuhle?

    http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/evolutionary-entertainment/201206/chris-rock-phd-honorary-professor-evolutionary-psychology-par

  • JP

    From the article:

    “As has been thoroughly discussed by Pinker (2002), to conclude that something evolved or natural is inherently acceptable or permissible is to commit the naturalistic fallacy, and is, quite simply, moronic.”

    I really like this article. He has quite the way with words.

  • Bully

    “Not all women who have children stay obese. I have seen some very good looking Mom’s”

    I absolutely cannot fathom dating someone obese in the hopes that they will one day decide to slim down.

  • Pericles

    @Brian

    “I think number 2 and/or 3 is the fact for most men. [...] Willpower is some, of course, about moralizing the true fact of not being truly tempted, but ala Baumeister, it is mostly about setting up protective systems so you never have to actually exercise it.”

    Very insightful comment.

    I wonder, when you speak of protective systems do you largely mean temptation avoidance? That is usually very effective (if available). Also, to what degree have we dissolved the external protective systems (reputation, morality, etc) over the past few decades?

  • Joe

    @Brian

    Not wanting kids isn’t “selfish” – it is the exact opposite. People don’t reproduce for their kids, the reproduce for themselves.

    Brian, has anyone challenged you on this? Ever? Have you even challenged yourself on this line of thought?

    First of all, I’m sure you know that you’re going against the tenants of every organized religion ever practiced. That means you’re going up against a rather large catalog of thought – not the thoughts of just one person, but the thoughts of generations of people, some of whom were pretty smart and more who considered what they said and were impressed by those ideas.

    Then you’re going against about 10,000 years of practices that organize civilization(s) everywhere on the planet. – In other words, pretty much everybody who’s ever survived excepting the insane, deranged, profane and criminal (and for the sake propriety, I’m leaving out the stupid, which include a large part of my generation who bought into Paul Ehrlich’s stuff).

    If you insist on following the dictums that follow from your words, you really should “know your enemy.” You should be intimidated in fact, because you’ve chosen a daunting task. It’s pretty audacious, in fact.

    I’m just sayin’.

  • Escoffier

    “When men are asked how many sexual partners they want over the remainder of their lifetimes, the median response is 1.”

    Well, it’s more complicated than that, though.

    1 would certainly be my answer–my heart’s and my brain’s answer. Mr. Willy however has his own answer. Since he is irrational and unreliable, he doesn’t get to make any decisions.

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

      @Escoffier

      1 would certainly be my answer–my heart’s and my brain’s answer. Mr. Willy however has his own answer. Since he is irrational and unreliable, he doesn’t get to make any decisions.

      So you’re saying that men, when asked anonymously, like kids in a candy shop, what their ideal number of sexual partners would be, are so disconnected from their sexual nature they give a knee jerk answer of 1? Whether they’re young or old, married or single?

  • Gin Martini

    JP/Bully: “I’m still trying to figure out if you are a 4, how you can stomach being with a 4. If you’re a 4, it’s not like *you* think you’re attractive.”

    Here’s where we part ways in attitude. I’m perfectly fine being with a 4 and I’m know perfectly well where I rate. It’s like a reverse-apex fallacy… I don’t even *see* the hottest women because I’m not elite, and so they never are around me.

    When I go into Boston, I literally turn into a hunchbacked, limping monster.

  • Escoffier

    No, I would believe that this is an honest answer for a lot of men. That doesn’t mean that the biological desire for variety is not there, it just means that they have enough sense to know that indulging it would be bad. Bad for themselves, bad for everybody, bad all around.

    I don’t know what is the age range is of people responding to this question but if you were to ask a dude at 18, he is likely to respond with a much higher number.

  • ExNewYorker

    “So you’re saying that men, when asked anonymously, like kids in a candy shop, what their ideal number of sexual partners would be, are so disconnected from their sexual nature they give a knee jerk answer of 1? Whether they’re young or old, married or single?”

    Uhh, Susan, this is dangerously close to that long gone thread with where some were surprised at men “mindf*cking women they just met :-)

    One thing that even us restricted guys implicitly understand is you avoid putting yourself into circumstances where the “irrational and unreliable” side has a shot at being the main influence. That I rationally understand a Carl’s Jr. super baconator isn’t good for me or what I want or even like doesn’t mean my stomach won’t growl if I I’m starving with the damn burger in front of me. Even if I throw the burger uneaten into the trash…

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

      One thing that even us restricted guys implicitly understand is you avoid putting yourself into circumstances where the “irrational and unreliable” side has a shot at being the main influence.

      I totally get that. I think what we’re talking about here is the difference between reality and fantasy. We all have fantasies, and most of us don’t act on them.

      I’d have to see how the question was worded in the survey.

      If you could name the ideal number of sex partners in a lifetime, what would it be?

      vs.

      What do your values suggest the ideal number of lifetime sex partners to be?

      vs.

      What number of sexual partners in your lifetime would be “a dream come true?”

      etc.

      Also, and I find this interesting – the mean was much higher than the median. There were a small percentage of men who gave answers like 1,000 or 10,000.

      I’ll see what I can find out.

      Although, to be honest, I have no appetite for a debate about male sexuality. That thread where Mike C aka Morpheus described his constant mindfucking of strangers gave me a serious blog hangover that lasted days.

      The nature of male sexuality is what it is – it doesn’t change any of my advice to women. If anything, it suggests that women should filter on the basis of restricted sociosexuality and evidence that a man will avoid temptation rather than create it.

  • JP

    “So you’re saying that men, when asked anonymously, like kids in a candy shop, what their ideal number of sexual partners would be, are so disconnected from their sexual nature they give a knee jerk answer of 1? Whether they’re young or old, married or single?”

    The answer is, of course 1.

    You want to be so absolutely into one person and on such an emotional high that you could not even conceive of having sex with any other woman permanently for as long as you live and you would never, ever again develop a crush on anyone else. Ever.

    That is the “ideal”.

  • JP

    At least, this has been my ideal goal since the age of 13.

    Complete romantic perfection.

  • Pericles

    @Susan

    “So you’re saying that men, when asked anonymously, like kids in a candy shop, what their ideal number of sexual partners would be, are so disconnected from their sexual nature they give a knee jerk answer of 1? Whether they’re young or old, married or single?”

    No. Men give a knee jerk answer of 1 because that is the socially approved ideal number (for both men and women). To answer otherwise would imperil your self-perception as a morally good person. It is like anonymously asking people: “Are you a racist?”

    You can guess what the answer to that is.

    Men are largely giving a knee-jerk answer that makes them look good in front of the mirror.

  • JP

    The *problem* is that you get married to lock in the high and then later it goes away.

    At which point you realize that you aren’t actually going to get that high back.

  • Gin Martini

    Pericles, exactly. Susan has scoffed that people would never lie on anonymous surveys, but they do, because they are lying to themselves. As a person who leans unrestricted, I don’t think she understands the ego-investment in giving that socially approved answer. But it happens.

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

      As a person who leans unrestricted, I don’t think she understands the ego-investment in giving that socially approved answer.

      First I do not believe I have ever “scoffed” at the idea that people lie to themselves, or lie on anonymous surveys. I’ve given examples of it myself, e.g. the woman who insisted that her N of 36 was “really” a 6.

      I think you’re right about my not understanding the desire to give a socially approved answer. But it’s not about being unrestricted, it’s about being a very straight shooter, and outspoken in general. That’s my personality.

      I also question whether “1″ is a socially approved answer. For young people it most certainly is not. A guy under 30, it seems to me, would view double digits as the minimum for social approval. I think that people who had your experience of a rigid religious upbringing where sex is shameful are outliers. I don’t doubt that students at Bob Jones university would say “1″ across the board, but most kids would not, in my view.

      In any case, the question of lying on anonymous surveys about N has been researched, and I’ve shared that here. Both sexes lie. Men round up to the nearest 5 or 0, and women reduce their N by one or less. So both sexes lie with the same frequency, but the rounding up is a much greater exaggeration. This would appear to counter any claim that men are ashamed of high N.

  • jack

    Off topic but…

    Susan, do you have statistics on marital infidelity? How rampant is it? My guess is that it is very dependent on education and social class. (what isn’t) But the manosphere makes it out that EVERY marriage is subject to infidelity. That can’t be right. They overstate everything.

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

      Susan, do you have statistics on marital infidelity? How rampant is it? My guess is that it is very dependent on education and social class. (what isn’t) But the manosphere makes it out that EVERY marriage is subject to infidelity. That can’t be right. They overstate everything.

      You know, I don’t think I’ve ever written a post on who cheats. There’s some new research that indicates women are cheating more as their earnings increase. Let me get back to you on this – if I can get a post up today I will, otherwise Monday.

  • Escoffier

    I don’t know that infidelity has ever been broken out by SES.

    The studies I have seen say that about 20% of men cheat and about 15% of women.

  • http://www.justfourguys.com/feminists-and-raunch-queens-are-the-dominant-alpha-mares/ HanSolo

    The studies are all over the place. Some as low as 20% in men and 12% in women up to 70-75% in men and some high number in women. Google it. You’ll see.

  • Pericles

    @Jack

    I have read it is about 15% on average. As for SES, I would guess that infidelity is more common among lower class people. They have much less to loose from infidelity, both financially and in terms of reputation. Also, high conscientiousness (in the Big 5 sense) is a correlate to both fidelity and high SES.

    And no, the manosphere is not right on this. “Wife is faithful to husband” is not something that would merit a post on CH, because it is irrelevant to his agenda.

  • http://en.gravatar.com/jimbocollins MM

    @HS

    The studies are all over the place.

    A few straightforward searches over at the GSS suggest that cheating is fairly consistent across income backgrounds and education levels:

    Question: Have you ever had sex with someone other than your husband
    or wife while you were married?

    Men (by family income at age 16):
    http://imageshack.us/a/img20/1883/68e5.png
    Men (by highest degree earned):
    http://imageshack.us/a/img827/1249/ijsh.png

    Women (by family income at age 16):
    http://imageshack.us/a/img69/6241/o8n.png
    Women (by highest degree earned):
    http://imageshack.us/a/img199/8298/b4qm.png

    Of course, these surveys include all respondents ages 18 and over. When I excluded Baby Boomers from the sample, rates of cheating dropped by about 1/3 for both men and women.

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

      @MM

      And now I have no excuse for not getting a post up sooner rather than later! MM to the data rescue!

  • http://www.justfourguys.com/feminists-and-raunch-queens-are-the-dominant-alpha-mares/ HanSolo

    @MM

    I do think the surveys in the 70% range seem much too high but then who knows? Beyond having large samples, anonymous polling and similar safeguards, how do you know which survey is better than another?

    As to the numbers dropping by excluding the baby boomers, it’s not just that bb’s were much greater cheaters, it’s also that the younger cohorts haven’t lived as long as the bb’s so their eventual rates will rise as they age, though perhaps not reaching bb-esque levels.

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

      it’s also that the younger cohorts haven’t lived as long as the bb’s so their eventual rates will rise as they age, though perhaps not reaching bb-esque levels.

      I’m not sure about this. I recall a study of cheating among college students that mirrored the stats in the general population. My guess is that cheaters do so early and perhaps often – in that 4-7 year window. I don’t see the rate climbing dramatically with age.

  • Esau

    Emily at 127: “Urgh, rape is like the Godwin’s Law of feminism. They drag it into EVERYTHING!”

    Yes; and I think you’re on to something really profound here, as to why the loud radfems seem so discordant and screechy — a “freakshow” as J. put it in the previous thread.

  • http://en.gravatar.com/jimbocollins MM

    @HS
    True, though who knows what the future holds? There’s only value in looking at large, random, anonymous surveys on infidelity if you believe the respondents are being candid. That said, these results seem realistic IMO.

    Trivia (all age groups): Statistically, the men with the lowest reported rate of cheating (13.6%) were those who had a junior college degree and grew up in a family with “average” income. For women, the lowest rate (8.7%) was for those who only had a high school diploma, but were from a family with income “far above average”. :shock:

  • Anacaona

    Urgh, rape is like the Godwin’s Law of feminism. They drag it into EVERYTHING!

    You know who likes rape? HITLER! :p

    Newsflash, lots of women want sex too, even after kids.

    Don’t take away my outlier label like that Susan. I though I was the only mother that still wants sex with my husband. :( ;)

  • Vitor

    …plenty of women and men want something real, and meaningful, and all that good stuff.

    Of the few pleasurable interactions I have had with women, they usually belong to this group.

  • Gin Martini

    Sue: ” A guy under 30, it seems to me, would view double digits as the minimum for social approval.”

    It depends on your social crowd. If your social crowd is the football team, then maybe. If your social crowd is your parents, family, scouts, and church, then NO!

    Sue: “I think that people who had your experience of a rigid religious upbringing where sex is shameful are outliers.””

    It wasn’t shameful. It was wrong outside marriage, and I wasn’t married. Millions of Christians subscribe to the same exact idea… on paper.

    My family wasn’t Jesusy or rigid. I was the rigid one. If someone gave me a rule I tried to follow it, not tried to find a way to break it. I never cut class, had detention, sneaked out a night, and so on.

    Apparently I’m abnormal.

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

      It depends on your social crowd. If your social crowd is the football team, then maybe. If your social crowd is your parents, family, scouts, and church, then NO!

      We know that is not true for kids in college at least. That’s what Pluralistic Ignorance is about – it’s a sense that everyone else is doing something and enjoying it while you can’t and you’re not. It creates feelings of insecurity and depression in people. That’s why the churchy types are likely to feel fine at Bob Jones U or BYU, and pretty damned lousy at Penn.

  • JP

    “There’s some new research that indicates women are cheating more as their earnings increase.”

    Some of this has to do with being a corporatista and spending all your time working with your affair partner.

    Are we counting cheating where the single associate is having an affiar with the married partner?

    Because that seems to happen about as much as the standard affair (at least in law firms).

    Sometimes the partners trade wives or take breaks from their wives to have affiars with the young associate (which then makes the other woman partner mad because the young associate is getting benefits in terms of corporate goodies and the woman partner isn’t getting preferential treatment so she gets mad and storms off to a new firm taking her book of business with her).

    Are we counting that too?

  • JP

    “My family wasn’t Jesusy or rigid. I was the rigid one. If someone gave me a rule I tried to follow it, not tried to find a way to break it. I never cut class, had detention, sneaked out a night, and so on.

    Apparently I’m abnormal.”

    You aren’t abnormal. It was apparently a Lutherany thingy during that time.

    *Nobody* was Jesusy or had a problem with evoltion.

    Granted, they *did* teach you about Luther. At which point you realized that your religion was “founded” by somebody who was a bit off his rocker.

  • JP

    I often wonder if the Islamic Fundamentalists completely miss the point that the West had their own militant Puritanish movement.

    Granted Europe dealt with this problem by exporting their armed religious wackadoos.

    To places like New York.

    (So, naturally, if you are Islamic Extremists, you attack the place where the European armed religious wackadoos were originally shipped. Because that’s only common sense, right?)

  • BuenaVista

    Brian, 141:

    Brian, your comments are very thoughtful. This one is in error and warrants a response. I would add a fourth item to your list:

    “4) Because it would be wrong, having promised someone lifelong devotion and fidelity.”

    Seriously, your depiction of male behavior is pragmatic, biological — and nihilistic. It’s not a big deal to forego random sex with random beauties because one values life on a different plane. (This should be true for women as well as men.) I guess your point of view remains that all men are as Teresa Kerry describes them: able to think only with their dicks, and unable to make choices. This biological imperative ignores the bulk of western literary, religious and philosophical work product (all of which got produced despite most of the authors being unable to think except with their dicks).

    It’s fine with me if people wish to live in a world with no boundaries save those introduced by their unthinking biology. This Kate Taylor person, whom no one will recall in 36 months, certainly thinks so. To assert that a), b) and c) of your comment comprise the sum of male human behavior ignores millenia of counter-evidence.

    Taking this matter outside the socio-sexual realm, let’s assume that all employees steal (on the basis of “opportunity”). Therefore all managers should speak frankly with their staff, who have committed to help build a company, about how not to steal from their employer. This is simply a matter of pragmatic, realistic management: help the employees understand that they should not give themselves the “opportunity” to steal. It has nothing to do with an employee’s commitment to be loyal and true to the enterprise.

    Another way to handle the above: tell all staff that they won’t be managed to prevent deceit. That the company doesn’t have time to create systems that reveal theft and deceit, and that moreover it doesn’t believe in managing to prevent deceit. But tell them that if they lie once, even a white lie (“my wife was sick and the car broke and then the furnace failed”), they’re on probation. And if they lie twice, egg timer rule. (“here’s a box and here’s an egg timer. fill it up with your shit before it rings and buh-bye.”)

    I am a proponent of the egg-timer rule in pro and personal endeavors, having found that it attracts unusual people who are tired of the equivocators and manipulators, and those who would ascribe their deceit to “opportunity” rather than personal weakness. I think “honor” is a realized, and realizable, human trait.

    OTOH, taken to its extreme (perhaps) your logic requires the Fort Dodge dentist to fire his hot hygienist because his wife said he would have too much “opportunity.” (Which he did.) How about the dentist tells his wife to shut up because he hired the best girl for the job — and her suspicions are demeaning to the relationship that they (husband/wife) have constructed?

    I’ve had pets and livestock that evince more self-control, given “opportunity”, than you’re describing.

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

      @Buena Vista

      Thanks for sharing so thoughtfully a response to Brian’s depiction of maleness that I had neither the inclination nor the words to write myself.

  • http://en.gravatar.com/jimbocollins MM

    @SW

    And now I have no excuse for not getting a post up sooner rather than later!

    I can certainly send you the raw data in an XLS spreadsheet this weekend, w/accompanying charts. Pretty wild stuff.

    The best part about the GSS that I’ve found out recently; you can see how survey responses have changed over time, going back as far as 1972 in some cases!

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

      @MM

      That would be awesome if you would send that along. I’m away this weekend anyway, and can look at it first thing Monday. I can’t believe I’ve never dug into the infidelity data in depth. I’ve touched on it tangentially, as in posts about sociosexuality or personality traits, but I don’t think I’ve ever done a comprehensive look. Of course, it’s notoriously difficult to track – that really is something people don’t want to admit.

  • http://bastiatblogger.blogspot.com Bastiat Blogger

    That “Monogamy Gap” book is a very good recommendation by Brian. IIRC, the author looks critically at monogamous structures and finds that men are usually unprepared for Coolidge Effect-type problems that arise after a period of time.

    Men initially tend to believe that the problem is merely a sexual interest gap between the man and his partner—he wants it a bit more frequently or exotically than she does. The “male sex deficit” becomes a source of frustration. The man can deal with this by stoically accepting a lower-quality sex life than he would ideally want, but he can also barter/negotiate over the sex deficit with his partner.

    She may use this bartering phase as an opportunity to reward him for particularly romantic gestures, self-improvement, good behavior, etc. She could actually come out ahead from all of this if she strategically rations sexual access, and according to books like “Superior Wife Syndrome” this turns out to be what happens in many couples in which the woman is an educated professional.

    The man can also cheat, of course, and solve his sex deficit by finding another woman, but that’s normally a last-ditch desperate measure after 1 and 2 have failed. In this scenario, he’s not so much interested in other women as he is in having more sex with his partner, so cheating would not be addressing the core problem.

    …but there is another problem that is much more difficult to solve, and that is the well-studied tendency in mammalian males to lose sexual interest in familiar partners (from a gene’s perspective, having sex with a pregnant partner is largely a waste of time, and the system seems to equate “had sex with her a lot already” with “she’s probably pregnant—who else can I knock up?”).

    The author of “The Monogamy Gap” talks about how males may not be conditioned to deal with this properly, and may mistakenly feel that their desire for “extradyadic sex” indicates a lack of emotional connection with or love for their partners. They thus believe that something must be wrong with the relationship if they find themselves wanting to fuck other women. A man may break things off with the partner because he feels that he must not love her anymore. But this is not necessarily the case at all, his emotional and somatic needs may just be going in different directions and a belief that “true love” will negate this may create unrealistically high expectations for sexual satiety and cause disharmony within a perfectly good relationship.

    The men who engage in this form of cheating are primarily doing it for recreational sex (vs. the first type of “sex deficit” cheating, which may be much more complex emotionally and involve real frustrations and anger towards the partner).

    Intra-relationship, a major issue may be that the normal options of stoicism, bartering/negotiation, and finally cheating may be reduced to just two—stoicism and cheating. Bartering may serve no real purpose in the case of a man dealing with his hardwired desires for sexual variety, and of course the woman may find it deeply traumatic to hear her husband or BF admit that he has been having recurring sexual fantasies about the hot barista at the coffee shop, the cleavage-blessed waitress at the sports bar, the sexy new analyst hire from U of Penn. He’s not an idiot; he’s going to keep his mouth shut and keep these fantasies private.

    Unfortunately, if he does lose his discipline and break it means that this is the kind of hidden sexual activity that may strike a woman completely off guard if she discovers it, since the man may never have mentioned anything about his disappointment with sexual activity in their relationship. He may have dealt with it quietly for an extended period of time, realized that it was by no means an indictment of his partner, and then took an opportunity when it presented itself.

    If anything, he may seem quite happy with a relatively low level of sex with his partner and may say that he is “perfect satisfied” on surveys and so on. He just does not really view her as primal object of lust anymore, and instead seeks this kind of excitement elsewhere.

    My guess is that a reason why co-hab before marriage may end up with the man pulling the plug is because of this, but when marriage is involved the man may be more inclined (or threatened by legal, social, and economic consequences) into just dealing with this stuff stoically and putting irrational amounts of aggression and energy into competing with the neighbors on home improvement projects or playing golf or whatever.

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

      @BB

      I believe the rate of male marital infidelity is about 21%. Wouldn’t it be much higher if the monogamy gap scenario was typical?

      And women cheat at about 15% – they’re obviously not immune to acting on their own romantic fantasies. Many woman feel that their husbands become considerably less emotionally attuned over time. Research has substantiated this by noting that most men are focused more on physical comfort and gratification in marriage, while most women are focused more on emotional comfort and gratification.

      Once again, it looks like an 80/20 split….

  • JP

    “Another way to handle the above: tell all staff that they won’t be managed to prevent deceit. That the company doesn’t have time to create systems that reveal theft and deceit, and that moreover it doesn’t believe in managing to prevent deceit. But tell them that if they lie once, even a white lie (“my wife was sick and the car broke and then the furnace failed”), they’re on probation. And if they lie twice, egg timer rule. (“here’s a box and here’s an egg timer. fill it up with your shit before it rings and buh-bye.”)”

    What if they are stealing periodically and everybody knows and nobody lies about it because the stealing employee is providing more benefit that she’s removing in terms of cash and it’s too much stress to hire somebody else?

    (In fact, our embezzling employee fit in better than the current one. I think we all liked her more.)

  • Pericles

    @BuenaVista

    IMO Brian 141, is about the temptation to cheat, not cheating itself. The moral constructs you describe are barriers to prevent temptation from turning into infidelity.

    For instance, I am constantly tempted by women other than my gf (which is to say, I find them very attractive). This does not lead to cheating, not only because of the rational calculations described by Brian in points 2 and 3 (i.e. cheating will damage the relationship, and I am getting enough sex anyways), but also becauseof the moral/ethical buffers you describe, Cheating would produce intense feelings of shame, it would imply a powerful betrayal of someone very close, it would make you look bad to yourself. If exposed it would damage your reputation. If you are religious, then God is watchig, and you will look bad before him. Etc.

    Men are very much able to make choices about behavior, but they cannot make choices about temptation. Opportunity is there, and on some level they want to seize it. They may choose not to. Moral and ethical considerations help make that choice and make it easily and often subconsciously.

    Morality is a mechanism which disuades men (and women) from cheating and lead them to ignore temptations (as well as encouraging dozens of other prosocial behaviors). Our evolutionary drive to produce offspring is very real, but our moral constraints are just are real – and they too are evolved.

  • JP

    “”That’s why the churchy types are likely to feel fine at Bob Jones U or BYU, and pretty damned lousy at Penn.”

    I would have been far more miserable at either Bob Jones or BYU.

    At the time, I was just as much against both Mormonism and Christian Fundamentalist as I was against pre-marital sex.

    We’re *moral* fundamentalists, not *religious* fundamentalists. And we’re not very “churchy”. In fact, I never really liked the church experience. It’s pretty boring to me.

    In fact, we aren’t *Jesusy* at all.

  • JP

    Here’s a way of putting it:

    I wasn’t at college to be changed *by* college culture.

    I was there to reshape college culture into what *I* thought it *should* be.

    (Abstract idealism at it’s finest.)

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    Agreed with JP, moral fundamentalism and religious fundamentalism are often at odds because the underlying frameworks are different. This creates a wedge issue where two fundamentalists cannot agree on fundamentalists which creates a fundamentally antagaonistic relationship.

    I was the same way with religion when I was younger. Not until I was older and “chilled out” a bit was I able to really understand and appreciate the religious outlook on things.

    I even listen to Christian music sometimes!

    The GF has been trying to rekindle her interest, and tried her hand at reading the Bible this morning, but she apparently fell asleep. This heatwave in the MidWest does not help with that, either.

    BB,

    Interesting insights on the dynamic of a relationship that has entered “Coolidge Effect” territory. Is this one of those GI Joe Specials where “Knowledge is half the battle”? IE, a man who is prepared for these sorts of issues can assess what is going on and create battle-plans as needed.

  • http://bastiatblogger.blogspot.com Bastiat Blogger

    Susan, many of the studies end up using the Standard Social Science Model of creating a Joe Average template and then extrapolating from that to make generalized statements about aggregate behavior—i.e., Cathy Typical marries Joe Average and should assume approx. 20-25% chance that he will fuck another woman during the course of the marriage.

    But the SSSM gains its statistical tractability at great cost. I’m honestly not sure how many men just don’t have the opportunity to engage in extramarital sex, but would do so if they did. Accurate reporting is clearly another issue. I’m also not sure how often the cheating is the Type 1 vs. the Type 2. Perhaps higher N men may be more likely to engage in the Type 2 “sexual variety for recreation” type stuff, but men who are more restricted are more likely to engage in the emotionally-charged Type 1 affairs. That’s just a guess based on associated personality clusters.

    Obviously the:

    1) more physically attractive and/or socially confident men who…

    2) regularly travel long distances for work…

    …are going to have many more opportunities to think they could get away with a new sexual encounter than will the guys who are less likely to be approached by women on sexual terms and who lack the same travel lifestyle. One of the dangers of this sexual-variety-type cheating from a female perspective is that the man who engages in it may not display any warnings in terms of emotional distancing from his partner at all. These guys often seem like they have great marriages, speak in endearing terms about their wives, are upbeat about marriage in general, etc. In contrast, the guys who have sex-deficit marriages are usually tired from feeling rejected and on the verge of becoming melancholy about the whole institution, if not bitter.

    I think that most guys will use porn and fantasies of being with other women as attempts to deal with this and in many cases the defenses will be successful and nothing will happen outside of the guy’s imagination. As stated before, the trick is usually to avoid—outright—the more dangerous situations to begin with; the man’s SMV will dictate the danger level of even banal situations, as will the travel tempo, the presence of “alpha female” co-workers with mate-poach strategies, the influence of single guy friends still in The Life, etc.

    IMHO, what is important for the guy to realize is that he will have these variety-seeking urges even if he is perfectly content with his partner. The cognitive dissonance that emerges when he fails to understand what is going on may lead to him blaming the relationship/the girl or misdiagnosing the problem as a straightforward sex-deficit one rather than a sexual-variety one.

    What do you all think? Brian, it’s been a year or so since I read “The Monogamy Gap” so please keep me honest on the author’s comments and results.

    .

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

      IMHO, what is important for the guy to realize is that he will have these variety-seeking urges even if he is perfectly content with his partner. The cognitive dissonance that emerges when he fails to understand what is going on may lead to him blaming the relationship/the girl or misdiagnosing the problem as a straightforward sex-deficit one rather than a sexual-variety one.

      That makes sense. We’re all vulnerable to temptations of all sorts, and we benefit from introspecting in order to identify our weaknesses and how we might guard against bad behavior.

      I don’t see how the male desire for sexual variety is any more problematic than a woman’s desire to ditch her zero for a hero.

  • Brian

    @BuenaVista

    “Brian, your comments are very thoughtful. This one is in error and warrants a response. I would add a fourth item to your list:

    “4) Because it would be wrong, having promised someone lifelong devotion and fidelity.”

    Yeah, I think that goes without saying or why would one go to the cognitive effort to avoid infidelity. Exactly my point, it isn’t that one on some level doesn’t want to screw around as opportunity presents, it is one wants more to have a good image of oneself as a good person and would feel like shit for being a jerk. This is the only thing that separates us from the dark triad cheaters. It isn’t that we don’t want to cheat on some level (we aren’t fully satisfied with monogamy), we just accept a tradeoff between cheating and maintaining our sense of ourselves as a good person and knowing that such cheating would likely irreparable hurt the person we love, even if they didn’t find out (as in changing our behavior, causing us cognitive and moral stress, etc.).

    @Susan

    I should have to explain what is wrong with this logic:

    I believe the rate of male marital infidelity is about 21%. Wouldn’t it be much higher if the monogamy gap scenario was typical?

    And women cheat at about 15% – they’re obviously not immune to acting on their own romantic fantasies

    Male opportunity to have sex even when single is quite low – most single guys are having way less sex that they would ideally like. Women just can’t mentally inhabit a guys world where sex isn’t just a phone call away, so to speak. Women enjoy more opportunity, but do it less. Most men just don’t have the opportunity to cheat because they simply don’t have the opportunity for sex period that women take for granted. A chick puts a “no strings’ add on Craigslist and will get tons of responses. A guy does it and will get none (except maybe from the Fat Acceptance community). If a guy and a girl go to a bar and see who can get laid first, the girl always wins. If 21% of guys cheat, you have selected for ones with both the opportunity and a willing partner. Women just don’t get it ain’t easy to find willing partners whenever one wants if you are a (straight) guy. Just look at the gay community – when guys don’t have to rely on the fickle female sex drive, thy invent Grindr.

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

      Most men just don’t have the opportunity to cheat because they simply don’t have the opportunity for sex period that women take for granted.

      Women generally don’t cheat for sex, they cheat for emotional connection. However, I would point out that opportunity is not static either, based solely on SMV. For example, studies have shown that Dark Triad males have a higher number of sex partners, but they’ve also shown that they work tirelessly to acquire new partners, and avoid LTRs, so they’re never off the market. In addition, Dark Triad males may be perceived as more attractive than average, but they also spend enormous effort on appearance, and tend to rate themselves as far more attractive than they are.

      In short, it’s practically useless, IMO, to talk about the sexuality of either gender as something hard-wired and identical across the population. There are strong genetic links to various kinds of mating behaviors, as well as preferences and patterns of desire. This is equally true for men and women.

      The SOI highlights quite tidily the enormous range in sociosexuality, which varies far more intrasexually than intersexually.

  • Gin Martini

    Sue: “We know that is not true for kids in college at least. That’s what Pluralistic Ignorance is about – it’s a sense that everyone else is doing something and enjoying it while you can’t and you’re not.”

    You are mixing up a few entirely different things.

    The question was: if asked, what was the desired number of lifetime partners? Of which the median is 1. I would have responded that way until a few years ago. And, since it is the median 1, then many agree. It also depends on who is asking.

    Then there is PI: how many other people are getting laid this weekend? Of which I would have probably guessed 50%. Totally irrelevant to the partner count.

    Then there is lying: what is your N? Nobody ever asked directly, but if people were talking about girls, I certainly wouldn’t chime in and say “HI I HAVE NEVER DONE IT” I’d simply change the subject, while giving the vague impression I probably did. If forced, I would say I have (n=1) and refuse to give details.

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

      Then there is PI: how many other people are getting laid this weekend? Of which I would have probably guessed 50%. Totally irrelevant to the partner count

      No, that question was just one study. PI refers to the belief about what the behavioral norms are, as well as the extent to which most people enjoy them. It’s been used as the basis for campaigns to curb binge drinking very successfully. Duke did a study asking students what percentage of kids on campus were having casual sex. I think they estimated around 70%, and Duke found the number to be 10%.

  • http://bastiatblogger.blogspot.com Bastiat Blogger

    ADBG, yes, I think “Knowledge is Half The Battle!” Great way of putting it, actually.

    PS: YO, JOE

  • JP

    “IMHO, what is important for the guy to realize is that he will have these variety-seeking urges even if he is perfectly content with his partner.”

    What about the one-woman man?

    Meaning the people who can only be into one specific woman at any one time?

  • Brian

    @Joe,

    Of course, evolution would never select for instincts that limit evolution and group selection would never select for cultural memes that discourage it (except in some situations as anthropologists can cite). It isn’t a matter of thought, of course. Reason isn’t a decider – it is a post hoc lawyer to argue our moral intuitions. (see Argumentative Theory of Reasoning). Religions are of course, functional (see Durkheim) and generally exist for cultural competition purposes (see Atran).

    People don’t have kids out of selflessness and it is quite easy to get them to admit it – they will quickly talk about how their life would be empty without kids, etc. “How does your life have meaning without kids” (note, religious people say the same thing, quickly showing why they really believe) Now adopting – that is quite another matter. Selfless parents should always adopt.

    So when I see a family in India with 9 kids living in a cemetery and sending their kids tot he dump at age 5 to pick garbage to sell, that is selfless? I mean, it is clearly a boneheaded move to reproduce in those circumstances and pointing out that the majority still do tells me nothing. People just aren’t thinking about the potential kid’s chances for flourishing when they reproduce – we are prone to tons of cognitive biases that evolved for reproductive utility, not for efficacy in anything else.

    Not really interested in discussing anti-natalism – just read Benatar’s book – he deals with every objection you can think of and you will simply reach a point of moral dumbfounding where you run out of reasons to support your intuitions, which isn’t really surprising. People don’t have moral beliefs because they thought them out first.

  • JP

    “Reason isn’t a decider – it is a post hoc lawyer to argue our moral intuitions. (see Argumentative Theory of Reasoning). Religions are of course, functional (see Durkheim) and generally exist for cultural competition purposes (see Atran).”

    Yes, religions are “functional”.

    I found that out the hard way, so to speak.

    (And thus ended my skepticism. Prior to that, I would have made a wonderful Richard Dawkins.)

  • Brian

    Stratigies to avoid ever having to use willpower to get out of an infidelity situation:

    1)Don’t have friends that aren’t friend of your marriage. If it would be weird to take your wife along on an outing with a female friend, she ain’t just a friend and you know it. (I wouldn’t do stuff with just female friends)

    2)Don’t write anything on email you wouldn’t want your spouse to see

    3) This is a hard sell to some people but my wife and I have access to each other’s phones – she will use mine all the time and I will use hers.

    4)My wife has my email password and I have hers. I don’t use it, but she knows I could.

    5)Never EVER badmouth your spouse around anyone.

    6)Admit you find other girls hot and in a proximate level would have sex with them “in a vacuum” if you could but make damn sure your wife knows your values and she can see your are trustworthy and reliable and that your attention to your values is more important to you than anything.

    7)Don’t lie about small things. This makes it easier to lie about big things. If you believe something or did something, own it. Don’t get yourself used to lying to save your ass about anything.

    I am lean and fit and work around 20-30 year old girls all day, so it is imperative that I stick to this stuff because, for some reason, when girls see how attractive my wife is, they get more flirty, not less.

    I want to know how many men, if a really hot chick wanted to have sex with him and he was on the once a month sex plan at home, and he was sure nobody would find out and there would be no consequences at all, if he would not only leave the situation, but also not have any thoughts about it being hard and go home and sleep soundly without revisiting the situation in his mind again. I would wager not many.

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

      Stratigies to avoid ever having to use willpower to get out of an infidelity situation:

      1)Don’t have friends that aren’t friend of your marriage. If it would be weird to take your wife along on an outing with a female friend, she ain’t just a friend and you know it. (I wouldn’t do stuff with just female friends)

      My having a male friend independent of my husband is unthinkable and has been since we got together in 1982. Same goes for him.

      2)Don’t write anything on email you wouldn’t want your spouse to see

      Don’t say or do anything you wouldn’t feel comfortable sharing with your spouse. Do not flirt with anyone outside the marriage. Do not seek attention from the opposite sex.

      Be Eric Taylor.

      3) This is a hard sell to some people but my wife and I have access to each other’s phones – she will use mine all the time and I will use hers.

      Totally unnecessary in a trusting relationship.

      4)My wife has my email password and I have hers. I don’t use it, but she knows I could.

      Again, totally unnecessary.

      5)Never EVER badmouth your spouse around anyone.

      This is an issue of basic respect, and has nothing to do with infidelity.

      6)Admit you find other girls hot and in a proximate level would have sex with them “in a vacuum” if you could but make damn sure your wife knows your values and she can see your are trustworthy and reliable and that your attention to your values is more important to you than anything.

      It is unnecessary to discuss any attraction to the opposite sex. Sharing opinions about beautiful women or handsome men is of course natural and non-threatening. You vow to be faithful at marriage, and should demonstrate via your behavior that you continue to uphold this promise. For example, it is not OK to stare at other women in the company of your wife, report that you find someone hot, etc.

      7)Don’t lie about small things. This makes it easier to lie about big things. If you believe something or did something, own it. Don’t get yourself used to lying to save your ass about anything.

      Again, a basic issue of honesty and respect. Relationships with small lies are unstable.

      but also not have any thoughts about it being hard and go home and sleep soundly without revisiting the situation in his mind again.

      That’s the definition of sociopathy.

  • JP

    @Brian:

    “I want to know how many men, if a really hot chick wanted to have sex with him and he was on the once a month sex plan at home, and he was sure nobody would find out and there would be no consequences at all, if he would not only leave the situation, but also not have any thoughts about it being hard and go home and sleep soundly without revisiting the situation in his mind again.”

    “No consequences at all” is an inane possibility for the one-woman man.

    You can’t avoid the internal consequences.

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

      You can’t avoid the internal consequences.

      People with mental disorders can.

  • Gin Martini

    Sue: “I don’t see how the male desire for sexual variety is any more problematic than a woman’s desire to ditch her zero for a hero.”

    I’m not sure anyone is claiming both aren’t problematic.

    BB, I think you are spot-on with the variety/deficit thing. Put me in the “happy” crowd.

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

      I’m not sure anyone is claiming both aren’t problematic.

      I wouldn’t even agree with that. Evolved sex differences are part of getting the reproduction job done. If men didn’t want variety, we’d think you were all supplicating creeps. If women didn’t want the best man possible, we’d be having babies who don’t make it to adulthood.

      There are very good reasons for all of these instincts. Women have, since the dawn of time, been weighing the tradeoff between “good genes” and partnering ability.

      Men have been weighing the tradeoff between STRs and commitment. Evo biologists still aren’t entirely sure why men marry – there are not obvious incentives to do so.

      We should all be honest about human nature, which is really all the red pill is. I don’t feel the need to demonize the sexuality of either gender. It’s an entirely futile conversation.

  • Anacaona

    You can’t avoid the internal consequences.
    Damn voices in my head still remind me of minor things I did as a kid even if I’m the only one that knows. Can’t imagine what is like not to have a conscience. Must be fun.

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

      Can’t imagine what is like not to have a conscience. Must be fun.

      I’ve read that people with low empathy, which is not quite the same thing, report much lower levels of happiness and higher levels of discontent in life. They know something is wrong with them, because they can’t make good relationships. It’s sad, but they really are dangerous to others.

      I have an old post on narcissism that has sort of turned into its own forum and support group, and the stories from mates of people with NPD are very disturbing.

  • Vitor

    Women/girls, usually introspective, who like children: there is not bigger attraction trigger for me. It brightens my day when I see or interact with one. For instance, I have seen twice recently a young woman/girl cuddling her little nephew in the restaurant helping her sister. It brightens my day. She’s also naturally beautiful, feminine and I like the delicate way she dresses. It’s just a pity she was wearing an engagement golden ring. :) It’s not the first time this happens (2nd). Anyway I made sure she got the message how attractive I feel she is.

  • Brian

    @JP

    Yeah, the internal consequences would quite well stop someone from doing something like that, but I bet in their little head at night it would be mixed with regret, fantasy, etc. This is why we shouldn’t “thought police” our partners and just be happy enough with good behavior

  • Brian

    @Susan

    I don’t see how the male desire for sexual variety is any more problematic than a woman’s desire to ditch her zero for a hero.

    Because sex drive is more univariate and physiological than that and (certain) men don’t need to (and dont want to!) ditch anyone to indulge the urge for sexual variety and frequency. It is way easier to have your cake and eat it to with sexual infidelity than with emotional infidelity and easier to find a partner who doesn’t mind th arrangement – men don’t like to screw women who are screwing other people!). A few gut constants in gender preferences at the group level destroy the “double standard” argument.

    And, of course, wanting to ditch your zero for a hero can be easily framed by the female mind in other, more enobling terms because we instinctively see the unfaithful woman as an “eat pray love” victim and instinctively see unfaithful men as assholes. (this, of course, extends to the general way we frame bad behavior by women in their contexts while men are just jerks – see unequal treatment in the judicial system for the same crimes – far more sensitive to extenuating factors for women).

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

      Because sex drive is more univariate and physiological than that and (certain) men don’t need to (and dont want to!) ditch anyone to indulge the urge for sexual variety and frequency.

      Well as you’ve noted that works well for gay men. It is not acceptable to most women. Them’s the breaks. As you say, you can always seek a partner who doesn’t mind sharing.

      My husband has always understood that infidelity means immediate divorce, and he feels the same way. Neither one of us has ever subjected the other to a whisper of threat in that regard.

      And, of course, wanting to ditch your zero for a hero can be easily framed by the female mind in other, more enobling terms because we instinctively see the unfaithful woman as an “eat pray love” victim and instinctively see unfaithful men as assholes.

      That’s not true. Elizabeth Gilbert didn’t have an affair, she left her husband first. Society is extremely hard on females for infidelity, especially if they are mothers.

  • Brian

    Can’t imagine what is like not to have a conscience. Must be fun.

    The thing is that not having a conscience probably isn’t fun (just like having all this endless personal freedom and choice isn’t, in the end, much fun) because the tradeoff is you are immune to the pleasures of groupishness (which doesn’t work without reciprocal responsibility) and social capital.

    We have to balance out individual well-being with our groupishness and we evolved with competing intuitions. Hence all this freedom and choice leading to more opportunity, but also more anxiety and less social cohesion. I am politically the opposite of a libertarian – at least my internal musings are – I am intrigued by both liberally and conservatively valent arguments about social cohesion and groupishness as a value wrongly sacrificed on the alter of freedom and choice (see Boehm’s Hierarchy in the Forest).

  • http://bastiatblogger.blogspot.com Bastiat Blogger

    Susan, re: cheating risks, I think that we can use that Motive + Opportunity framework to anticipate where likely problems will arise.

    In the Sex-Deficit Scenario, the man has “Motive” because he is feeling physically rejected by his wife or GF. The rejection may be perfectly valid on her part, but that’s not the point because, as they say at RADA, “every great villain is the hero of his or her own story.” He’s angry, he feels disconnected, etc.

    My understanding is that men in these scenarios often turn to other women first for emotional support, compliments, etc. The cheating may occur in a kind of mindlessly mechanical way as the guy just starts catching feelings and following a romantic algorithm.

    Both restricted and unrestricted men can undergo this. Restricted men may be even more vulnerable in some circumstances because the emotional connection with sex is, by definition, very important to them. Everyone should keep in mind that this is a two-way street, and that restricted males who are denied sex may then lose the emotional connection more easily—and take it more personally—than will unrestricted males who separate sex and emotions readily. No free lunch, etc.: a man who takes sex very seriously will also take *lack* of sex very seriously.

    Many of the studies which focus on sociosexuality seem to assume that you could take the restricted man and throw a really sexy, aggressive chick at him and he’d turn her casual sex offer down, and take an unrestricted man and throw a really sexy, aggressive chick at him and he’d take her up on it. So if 20% of the male population was scored as “unrestricted”, the assumption would then be made that this means that 80% of men would be relationship-safe, non-slutty, non-cheater guys who would turn down the offer. I personally think that would be a very dangerous way of looking at it.

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

      Many of the studies which focus on sociosexuality seem to assume that you could take the restricted man and throw a really sexy, aggressive chick at him and he’d turn her casual sex offer down, and take an unrestricted man and throw a really sexy, aggressive chick at him and he’d take her up on it

      Really? I can’t recall a study using the SOI that used hypothetical temptation. Do you have a link?

      So if 20% of the male population was scored as “unrestricted”, the assumption would then be made that this means that 80% of men would be relationship-safe, non-slutty, non-cheater guys who would turn down the offer.

      I keep saying that sociosexuality is on a spectrum – it never seems to take. There is not a bin for restricteds and a bin for unrestricteds. The findings tend to be presented in quintiles. For example, the top quintile of the SOI cheats at something like 4Xs the average rate.

      FTR, any woman who denies her husband sex is a fool. And vice versa, I’ve heard of plenty of that too. In my view, if one party is not sexually satisfied, it is incumbent on them to express that, and state clearly what the consequences will be if the problem continues. It is perfectly reasonable for a person to threaten to leave a relationship, including a marriage, due to a partner’s refusal to have sex. In no way, however, does a sex deficit justify deceit in the form of cheating.

  • Brian

    @Susan

    It would be weird to me if my phone wasn’t just sitting out where my wife could pick it up if she wanted – they stay plugged in next to each other and I have a better phone that my wife will use for the camera, etc. It isn’t like we have a rule – it is just natural that our phones are just “household” phones. We shared a phone for a few years before we each got our own, so it is natural.

    Also with email, it isn’t a rule, we just happen to have each other’s password as it was convenient in the past to access each others email to fetch pics or something we wanted to show the other. I haven’t logged in to my wife’s mail in forever nor she mine as far as I know, but I could and she could. I don’t think about it one way or the other.

    When I said “go home and not think about it” – I meant when they TURNED DOWN an opportunity, not if they pursued it. I am pretty sure I wouldn’t cheat even if it fell in my lap, but I sincerely doubt I wouldn’t go home and part of me be thinking “aw, man, I could have had sex with that chick” and imagine what it would be like.

  • Brian

    @Vitor

    That is the focusing illusion – what you see is not all there is.

  • Richard Aubrey

    Susan,
    OT. Ref women’s organizations and prog/lib:
    http://minx.cc/?post=341785

    As somebody said, the republicans keep losing to these people????

  • Abbot

    The yellow markers represent the location of women’s studies programs. Thus, the pandemic is somewhat contained.

    https://maps.google.fr/maps/ms?msid=209347412185574762938.0004de2eea020e44e1f4f&msa=0&ll=26.431228,-1.933594&spn=115.668117,270.527344

    .

  • JP

    “The thing is that not having a conscience probably isn’t fun (just like having all this endless personal freedom and choice isn’t, in the end, much fun) because the tradeoff is you are immune to the pleasures of groupishness (which doesn’t work without reciprocal responsibility) and social capital.”

    What are you talking about?

    I avoid “groupishness” when at all possible *because* of my conscience.

    Yes, it feels good, but when you are part of a group, you engage aspect of the lower mind that causes “them” and “us”. You turn *toward* the members of your group and *away* from the people outside.

    (This is my primary problem with family. It tends to *restrain* the ability of people to engage in positive actions because they think of the group first. But again, I don’t know how to solve this problem.)

  • JP

    The anti-groupishness is also one of the problems that gives rise to the issue of the person who will go to Africa to help poor people, but not people locally.

    This leads to treating strangers (who cannot reciprocate) better than your family (because they might reciprocate).

    The goal being that all of your aid cannot possibly come back to help you personally in any way. So, it is completely self-sacrificial.

    You become poor by donating everything you have to somebody half the world away who will never know you.

    This also leads to the thinking that you should leave all your money to the church and none to your children, since the “goal” is “poverty”.

  • Angelguy

    “My understanding is that men in these scenarios often turn to other women first for emotional support, compliments, etc. The cheating may occur in a kind of mindlessly mechanical way as the guy just starts catching feelings and following a romantic algorithm.”

    I think many women underestimate the emotional need for connection in Men.
    Some think just because we see a sexy woman, our penises are going to grow like Pinnochio on the spot. While that might be the case in some senarios, I think the fact that a Woman takes interest and responds to us, is what drives us to move closer to them.

    I believe its because so often we are programmed to put our “emotional needs” in check. Feelings are a luxury for some guys. Some don’t have that emotional support. It is even worse when the person they marriage denies them that.

  • Angelguy

    ” It is perfectly reasonable for a person to threaten to leave a relationship, including a marriage, due to a partner’s refusal to have sex. In no way, however, does a sex deficit justify deceit in the form of cheating.”

    @Susan

    That’s a good case, I should put that in a pre-nup.
    Lol.

  • JP

    “In my view, if one party is not sexually satisfied, it is incumbent on them to express that, and state clearly what the consequences will be if the problem continues. It is perfectly reasonable for a person to threaten to leave a relationship, including a marriage, due to a partner’s refusal to have sex. In no way, however, does a sex deficit justify deceit in the form of cheating.”

    I’m not seeing how threatening a divorce will strengthen a relationship.

    That’s like opening up a can of worms.

    If you don’t do “X”, I will divorce you.

    (Meanwhile, the other party is thinking, uh, oh, divorce is on the table. I’d better act first! How much am I going to lose? We have three children…what’s child support in this state? Will I owe palimony/alimony? I’d better get my ducks in a row….should I start dating immediately?)

  • JP

    In other words, I would think that threatening to leave the marriage would make cheating much more likely.

    Threatening to leave the relationship cannot possibly have good outcomes in most marriages.

    In addition, now that you have threatened divorce, the *other* person is going to start threatening *you*.

  • http://bastiatblogger.blogspot.com Bastiat Blogger

    Susan, I agree 100% re: honest discussion to address the “sex deficit” issue. I think that this one is much easier to solve than is the more insidious “variety” problem. At least the man who has a sex deficit complaint by definition still has strong sexual attraction for his mate, and there is a barter opportunity or talk-it-out opportunity there.

    The guy who comes under the Coolidge-effects stuff and who physio-psychologically finds himself wanting variety may not be able to bring this one up for a discussion. Even if he did, who knows what the woman would be supposed to do with this revelatory news, as simply giving him more sex would solve a sex/deficit problem but would not solve a sex/variety one. So I believe that men tend to just stay quiet about it and use fantasy materials to try to manage the stuff, which is probably not a bad approach insofar as it works. I suppose that it does follow an ethically dubious “noble lie” logic in that the man is strategically choosing to not disclose something that the woman might find quite important.

    Sociosexuality definitely plays a part in all of this, I think, but so does the fact that an average woman may ovulate at most 400 times between menarche and menopause, while an average man may produce a million times that in spermatozoa *every day.* The extraordinarily vast asymmetry between male and female gamete production, to say nothing of differential parental investment if a child results, have consequences that men need to understand less they misdiagnose things and believe that a strong physiological attraction to other women means a lack of emotional attachment to the partner (in women this may be a more accurate depiction of underlying cheating motivations).

    I’ve known men who were so romantic as to feel that they would never be sexually tempted again once they found The One (so, following this logic, if they do feel sexual temptation regarding other women, it indicates that these men haven’t found The One and should move on), and many others who rationalized sexual temptation as a failure on the part of their mates.

  • The Dude

    “In walked a gorgeous guy with a lucrative law practice! It was love at first sight for both of them.”

    “Love at first sight” for the girl and the lucrative law practice or for the girl and the guy?

    I still can’t figure out how you “walk in with a lucrative law practice”. Do you wear it around your neck? On a finger like a gold pinkie ring? On your wrist like a diamond studded Rolex?

    I truly am not familiar with Jewish courtship traditions.

  • BuenaVista

    JP, 185:

    “What if they are stealing periodically and everybody knows and nobody lies about it because the stealing employee is providing more benefit that she’s removing in terms of cash and it’s too much stress to hire somebody else?

    “(In fact, our embezzling employee fit in better than the current one. I think we all liked her more.)”

    Well, it means that your organization values thieves. That’s ‘what if.’ I guess it means that your organization competes and wins better with people who lie, cheat and steal.

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    Thanks for the recommendation, Susan! I’ll take a look at it this weekend.

    Ugh. Seriously. This weekend could not come soon enough…although I imagine next week is going to be even tougher. Damn busy season…

    BB,

    I think you touch on a good point wrt introspection. If you have an incorrect “frame” for processing things, it is not better to talk with yourself, than it is to talk to a set of stupid friends who poison your mind with nonsense.
    To abuse an analogy I used here before and stole from heinlen: If you have a rifle with broken sights, the harder you aim, the more you miss.

  • Vitor

    @Vitor
    That is the focusing illusion – what you see is not all there is.

    Well, I take what I see as an indication of what there might be. Women in general seem to be so focused on career, hookups and other things. It’s just hard to come across a delicate one, who seems to genuinely appreciate children and motherhood and yet be gracefully and naturally beautiful, feminine. For that moment, it was all there was… They are my focus. :)

  • Brian

    @Susan

    I hope you are not thinking I am arguing with you. I am in “discussion” mode if my tone doesn’t communicate it well. I am learning a alot!

    I think society is situationally harder on male cheaters. When a woman cheats, the presumption is they had a good reason – their husband was abusive or inattentive or whatever. A man could never write Eat, Pray Love. I do think for moms the rules are probably a bit different. But I sort of think that is a reflection of actual facts and not a double standard – maybe women DO usually cheat out of a legit grievance just like maybe the legal system being lighter on women for the same crime IS because it rightly perceives that women need crazy circumstance to act as anti-social as men do routinely. I call this the Susan Smith treatment – women who kill always have their crimes contextualized – especially killing their own kids. Men who are even suspected of killing their kids get executed, even when innocent:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cameron_Todd_Willingham

    I wonder who is harder on cheating women – men or other women? My guess would be other women. Peripheral data would suggest this.

    FTR, any woman who denies her husband sex is a fool. And vice versa, I’ve heard of plenty of that too.

    Again, though, not nearly as common. Was it Baumeister (I know he quotes the data but not sure if he originates it) that pointed out that way more married men answer negatively to the question “I am getting the amount of sex I want” and it turned out half the women who answer negatively were getting MORE than they wanted!

    Like any good liberal, though, I have to squelch my victim sacralization intuitions to see this clearly. I feel bad for the whole situation of women who simply aren’t that into sex being pressured to do something they don’t want to do – I sincerely doubt they are being mean or anything. Just a tragedy all around with nobody doing anything “wrong” perse. Some married guys (mostly with kids) confide this stuff with me and it really tears them up because they feel badly about resenting it because they know it isn’t fair.

  • Brian

    @Susan

    Argh, my writing was unclear again:

    Well as you’ve noted that works well for gay men. It is not acceptable to most women. Them’s the breaks. As you say, you can always seek a partner who doesn’t mind sharing.

    I meant you can find a cheat partner, if you are a guy, who at least at first doesn’t mind sharing. Not a primary partner! I think women are more comfortable as the “other woman” than men are as the “other man” – given greater male jealousy over sexual exclusivity than women are. For chicks, if you are sure your married lover really “belongs to you” you are fine with him banging the wife. For a guy, it would drive you crazy for your married lover to be banging the husband (forgive the colorful language – it is intended for emotional clarity of the sentiment). I need to see some data, but I bet far more women would be fine having sex with a married man than men having sex with a married woman (not least of all to avoid having a shotgun in their face, but also out of simple sexual jealousy).

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

      For chicks, if you are sure your married lover really “belongs to you” you are fine with him banging the wife.

      Oh, I don’t think so. I admit I haven’t been in this position or even heard a second hand account. In the popular culture the other woman is usually extremely angry when she finds out the husband is banging the wife. Of course, he has previously assured her that the marriage has been bad for months and “we never have sex anymore.”

  • BuenaVista

    Pericles, 189: “The moral constructs you describe are barriers to prevent temptation from turning into infidelity.”

    Not really. What you do here is, in essence, parrot deeply restrictive religious behavior (covered women, red tent, no attractive hygienists). This behavior within the religious conservatives (“we must erect barriers to sin”) and biological determinists (“my dick made me do it, it likes novelty, nothing I can do about my DNA”) comprise a negative assumption, *negative* agenda, about men.

    What I’m saying is that people who finish the buildings they start, finish the novels they start, finish the marathons they run, advance a *positive* agenda. In this case the building they set out to construct is a volitional monogamous structure in which they wish to live. It’s something they want so they build it. (It’s a struggle once in awhile to present the positive, but some mornings I’m hungover and I don’t want to do situps, either.) They don’t have to take cold showers every morning and eavesdrop on their spouses’ conversations to discipline themselves.

    In short, there is no human endeavor (no human endeavor that raises us above animals) that does not make demands upon us. To which I say, And? I’ve a tin ear when it comes to people arguing that to lie or cheat or steal is “just the way we are.”

    I also find the concentration of thought on male sexual novelty interests to be misleading and, frankly, deeply unfair to men (good luck in any relationship in which it is assumed that men and women are unequal in their capacities to deceive). But I haven’t read all of these books that detail the male v. female in their manifestations of deceit. It’s just all deceit to me. Best avoided.

    My oldest friend (met him when I was 5) and I had dinner last night in DC. I was his best man. He’s been married a long time. Wife’s a poet, children are angels. His wife spent a year sending me inappropriate emails, when I was first divorced. She’s very literary and southern and sexy and I like her. My friend was making repeated, dumb remarks (the kind married men make about a hot female they’ll never spend any time with) to me about the hot server last night. Shall I conclude that his marriage is bust? No. I don’t think these things are that important. Action is character, character is fate. The people who die with an obituary their children save are people of character. They do something with their lives and throttle themselves when distraction rears its head. Honestly, I don’t see why this is a big deal or in-obvious.

    I’m a guy, deeply competitive, and a couple times a month I want to put my fist through some guy’s face. Does that mean I should set up elaborate behavioral barriers to my hurting people? I don’t think so. (And actually, I do the opposite: I carry. Data show that the safest place to live is that which has the highest density of concealed carry.) Everyone needs to figure out what they want out of life, and turn their concupiscible passions potentiometer to the correct setting. Just because my compass points north (the waitress did have long legs) doesn’t mean I can’t take my range and bearing — and go west.

  • Brian

    @Amaconda RE: Women’s studies

    Which is a shame, because Women’s Studies could be a legit field of inquiry if it didn’t lead with its ideological activist baggage. No different, of course, that doing Bible Study at a religious university – what are the chances they are really going to study it and not just have all the answers up front in their pre-existing ideology?

    @RichardAubrey RE: Republicans

    Of course the Republicans are just as bad or worse about letting ideology drive interaction with evidence (Religion, free-market worship, ignoring of behavioral economics, etc.). While some liberals have victim sacralization as such a moral imperative that they can’t see good data or appreciate the value of social institutions as a competing good, Republicans have free market worship and hyper sensitivity to threats to social order that they can’t accept data. No “team” based political inclinations can do a very good job of putting emotional and in-group commitments to the side to grapple with hard questions of legitimately competing moral goods.

  • Brian

    @Susan

    It is perfectly reasonable for a person to threaten to leave a relationship, including a marriage, due to a partner’s refusal to have sex. In no way, however, does a sex deficit justify deceit in the form of cheating.

    I totally agree, but sadly people are great rationalizers and often can’t perceive the real roots of discontent (this is easy to see in studies where you can isolate “risk factors” for divorce such as a higher-earning female, older female, etc.) when you know what the “real” causes are because you have experimentally manipulated them, but this ain’t the reasons people give to themselves or others. Think about “priming” literature where they change unconscious stimuli and thus change peoples’ opinions and behavior and when debriefed, people give every reason under the sun except for the variable the researcher manipulated. We are rationalization hamsters with little access to the real reasons for out feelings.

  • Brian

    @BuenaVista

    and biological determinists (“my dick made me do it, it likes novelty, nothing I can do about my DNA”)

    This is sort of a parody of EP. The idea is biology is a major part of a conflation of causes, necessary, but not sufficient, conditions and all that.

    However, I know it doesn’t sit well, but honestly, any other view is just moralizing. You can’t really think (because it is far too self serving) that the only reason why you do “good” and others do “bad” is because you have the exact same type and strength of urges, but you are just strong enough to fight them and they aren’t? How would you know? So I don’t do drugs not because I have no inclination, but because I am actually stronger and tougher? And even if that were true, I WILLED MYSELF to be stronger and tougher (rather than just being that way by natural deteministic factors)? That is just far too morally self serving and there would be no way to tell.

    We can both be determinists (there is no such think as free will) and hold people responsible for their actions – this is how morality worked for centuries before Christianity appeared on the scene to insist life wasn’t tragic, but actually just.

    Luck Swallows Everything:

    http://www.naturalism.org/strawson.htm

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

      @Brian

      you have the exact same type and strength of urges

      Seriously, you need to stop saying this. It’s very wrong. It’s so preposterous that I can’t understand why such an intelligent man keeps saying it.

  • JP

    “My friend was making repeated, dumb remarks (the kind married men make about a hot female they’ll never spend any time with) to me about the hot server last night.”

    Number of times I’ve made a comment about a hot server?

    Number of time I’ve ever made a comment about a hot woman?

    Zero on both counts.

    This confused my father to no end.

  • Brian

    @BuenaVista

    But I haven’t read all of these books that detail the male v. female in their manifestations of deceit. It’s just all deceit to me. Best avoided.

    Come over to the dark side and learn about real people in the real world :)

    http://www.amazon.com/The-Folly-Fools-Deceit-Self-Deception/dp/0465027555

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2011/oct/07/deceit-self-deception-robert-trivers

    All deception has its roots in self-deception. Trivers is a genius.

  • BuenaVista

    Brian, again: “Yeah, I think that goes without saying or why would one go to the cognitive effort to avoid infidelity. Exactly my point, it isn’t that one on some level doesn’t want to screw around as opportunity presents, it is one wants more to have a good image of oneself as a good person and would feel like shit for being a jerk.”

    I’m sure I’m inarticulate on this subject and also I worked all night, so who knows what the modafinil is doing to me. But I am not in any way agreeing with you. You posit a kind of CBT manipulation of the self (“…go to the cognitive effort to avoid infidelity”). I’m suggesting that every day a person has the opportunity to add or subtract value to anything, and if the definition of relationship value involves a statement of sexual loyalty, it doesn’t take “cognitive effort” to put in a good day’s work.

    My back hurts if I spend too much time in a desk chair. It doesn’t hurt if I sit in the Eames lounger and drink rye. This doesn’t mean I say, “It’s my nature, so fuck it, mornings are the best time to drink rye.”

    I really don’t get the gyrations that are suggested as a way to control Mr. Happy. And I’m single and unlikely to ever marry again. It doesn’t take “cognitive effort” for me to say, “Down boy. She’s your best friend’s wife.”

  • JP

    “We can both be determinists (there is no such think as free will) and hold people responsible for their actions – this is how morality worked for centuries before Christianity appeared on the scene to insist life wasn’t tragic, but actually just.”

    Except that we’re not prisoners of our own neurology.

    Which is the entire point of being human.

  • JP

    “All deception has its roots in self-deception. Trivers is a genius.”

    And the truth is often catastrophic.

    (As in catastrophe theory)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catastrophe_theory

    So, the truth is often defended against.

    Sometimes for very good reasons.

  • JP

    It doesn’t take “cognitive effort” for me to say, “Down boy. She’s your best friend’s wife.”

    Yeah.

    Unless you go limerant for your best frend’s wife.

  • JP

    @BV:

    “I’m suggesting that every day a person has the opportunity to add or subtract value to anything, and if the definition of relationship value involves a statement of sexual loyalty, it doesn’t take “cognitive effort” to put in a good day’s work.”

    This statement makes no sense to me whatsoever.

  • Brian

    @JP

    We are prisoners of causes, though. Biology + environment is all their is. No such thing as free will – a logical impossibility. Read Strawson and you’ll have no argument (we just hate determinism because we fear it deprives us of things we value – it doesn’t).

    Nobody causes themselves, you are who you are because of the deterministic factors that created you. You make choices, but those choices come from somewhere, I do what I do because of who I am and I didn’t intentionally bring about who I am. If you exercise what you think is “control”, none of the factors leading to that control are self-willed. We are so wired into this moralistic way of thinking, it is hard to get people to see what it is. We don’t have a firm view of the things that cause us to think and act so we think nothing causes us to think and act.

    Again, Luck Swallows Everything:

    http://www.naturalism.org/strawson.htm

    There is nothing you can say that Strawson doesn’t deal with. In the end, people believe in free will for ideological reasons – they aren’t sure we can enforce morality without it. But of course we can. Read the Illiad.

  • BuenaVista

    Brian comes clean, 239:

    “but honestly, any other view is just moralizing. You can’t really think (because it is far too self serving) that the only reason why you do “good” and others do “bad” is because you have the exact same type and strength of urges, but you are just strong enough to fight them and they aren’t?”

    Later: “there is no such thing as free will.”

    Well. As C.S. Lewis might put it, since we’re offering up sources, one of us might be in hell.

    But peace out. I’ll check out your booklist. I’m definitely a moralist, a quality of which is my stubbornness. (Moralists fight happily for their abstractions, such as love.) I see that I will make no sense to you.

    To remove the discussion from the plane that you reject (moralism, free will; the abstractions of faith, art and love), and return it to the world of men who will happily fuck sheep if they’re in sex deficit with their betrothed (provided no one will find out): what, exactly, does one live for in a life driven solely by unmediated appetite? I’ve found dinner much more pleasant when it is a meta-dinner: a ritual, an offering, a construction, a piece of a longer pattern. I don’t think that makes me a ‘rationalization hamster’; I think it makes me conscious.

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

      I think it makes me conscious.

      Yes, I do think consciousness is very much the issue here.

      Also, I’m struck by the similarity between Bastiat Blogger and Brian – in several ways. The latter seems like a married copy of the former. Has anyone else noted this?

  • Brian

    @Susan

    I think the robust finding of men and women with regard to emotional and sexual infidelity clears up which gender is more content with being the Other Person intruding on a marriage. Would be neat, though to get data specific to being a cheat partner rather than relying on the peripheral data about sexual vs emotional infidelity.

    @BV

    I have been reading lots of stuff lately in how maintaining a moral image of oneself is of prime importance to even decidedly immoral people and that genocidaires (see the new film “The Act of Killing” http://theactofkilling.com/ ), cheaters, etc. go to great internal lengths to preserve their image of themselves as good people.

    Also, I would love to see this data, seeing as how the South is the most murderous part of the country. Does your data include like, I don’t know, the rest of the world (Sweden, Norway, Gemany, France, etc.). Not that I am anti-gun or really all that interested in gun rights, but this is preposterous of course. Once can both believe that a society full of guns is a dangerous society, but also believe that it isn’t fair to punish individual gun owners based on group data.

    And actually, I do the opposite: I carry. Data show that the safest place to live is that which has the highest density of concealed carry.

    My question is, is your interpretation of the data driven by your pre-existing pro-gun position. That is, is this hypothetically falsifiable and, if it was, would it chance your opinion about guns and or your behavior? If not, then why even bring up the data that plays no role in your decisions re: guns? Reminds me of vegans who say eating meat is unhealthy when they know damn well health isn’t why they are vegans – see my previous stuff about the Argumentative Theory of Reasoning.

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

      I think the robust finding of men and women with regard to emotional and sexual infidelity clears up which gender is more content with being the Other Person intruding on a marriage.

      Forgive my slowness, but I don’t follow. It may be true that men care more about sexual infidelity, but women care very much indeed. I assume that men also care very much if their partners have emotional affairs or fall in love with someone they cannot or do not have sex with.

  • Brian

    To remove the discussion from the plane that you reject (moralism, free will; the abstractions of faith, art and love), and return it to the world of men who will happily fuck sheep if they’re in sex deficit with their betrothed (provided no one will find out): what, exactly, does one live for in a life driven solely by unmediated appetite?

    How can you tell the difference between a person with mediated appetite and one who just doesn’t have the appetite? On the surface, they look the same and MRI data suggests those with strong “will” simply have countervailing assets that others don’t. No self-creation or self-overcoming involved – just a more complicated self to start with.

    I think the idea is that people have competing wants and sometimes strong ones. I really don’t like moralizing – I could do some of my own. I am 6’4″, 160, 7% bodyfat and can bench 200 and still run a 4:40 mile (0ver 40) and don’t get why so many people are obese and make such a big deal about food and find exercise so hard Should I assume I am “overcoming” a desire properly felt, or just not feeling it in the first place? The former is the moralizing assumption, the latter likely the true one (precisely because it is less self-serving). Tons of people want to moralize other’s weaknesses, but naturalize their own. I say they are all natural, but we can moralize about the results. We can identify bad people without imagining they could have done otherwise as easily as we can.

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

      MRI data suggests those with strong “will” simply have countervailing assets that others don’t.

      I believe there are vast differences between people in how much the dopamine reward center lights up. Regardless of “will,” or strength of character, we’re all dealt different hands wrt impulsivity, novelty seeking, and many other traits, as I suggested earlier. So there’s stimuli, and there is response to stimuli, with infinite permutations possible.

  • JP

    “In fact, nearly all of those who believe in strong free will do so without any conscious thought that it requires ultimate self-origination. But self origination is the only thing that could actually ground the kind of strong free will that is regularly believed in.”

    This is one of the most ridiculous statements that I have ever read.

    “In order for one to be truly or ultimately responsible for how one is in such a way that one can be truly responsible for what one does, something impossible has to be true: there has to be, and cannot be, a starting point in the series of acts of bringing it about that one has a certain nature; a starting point that constitutes an act of ultimate self-origination.”

    Um, yeah.

    Not buying what you are selling.

  • Brian

    Actually, probably even better we can identify good or complicated people who situationally do bad things. And it is scary how many seemingly normal, good people do very bad things, then never do them again. This makes us very uncomfortable for good reason.

  • Anacaona

    Seriously, you need to stop saying this. It’s very wrong. It’s so preposterous that I can’t understand why such an intelligent man keeps saying it.

    Intelligence =/= regurgitating information read in a book or two.

  • JP

    “I have been reading lots of stuff lately in how maintaining a moral image of oneself is of prime importance to even decidedly immoral people and that genocidaires (see the new film “The Act of Killing” http://theactofkilling.com/ ), cheaters, etc. go to great internal lengths to preserve their image of themselves as good people.”

    If I felt like going on a massive genocide, I would first fully embrace depravity and evil. In fact, I would call myself an evil person. I mean, trying to lie to myself that I was “good” would take more effort. Effort that I could otherwise dedicated to genocide and wholesale slaughter of innocent people. Since I might be able to kill a million more people without *that* cognitive effort.

    In for a penny, in for a pound I always say.

  • Brian

    @JP

    Then what do you mean by free will? Making choices? That is a proximate phenomena (fish make choices!). I want to know where the choices come from. Not thin air.

    This question was settled long ago. You have a brain and that is all there is and you don’t create anything in it. To be ultimately responsible for what you do (not legally responsible or responsible as an agent), that is, you have to have created yourself. From the moment of the big bang, everything in the world was caused by what existed immediately before – the second of the big bang, all the threads were in place that would lead to everything you do and everything that will happen. One second was the natural outgrowth of the previous. Complicated variate causes, but causes nonetheless.

    Of course, people can believe in determinism and also believe in reward and punishment. Ever read the Illiad – people are ashamed of behavior (or demand reward for behavior) that they explicitly recognized was caused by the gods with no cognitive stress at all.

  • JP

    ” On the surface, they look the same and MRI data suggests those with strong “will” simply have countervailing assets that others don’t. No self-creation or self-overcoming involved – just a more complicated self to start with.”

    Nobody’s self-created.

    You don’t even understand what free will is.

  • JP

    “Then what do you mean by free will? Making choices? That is a proximate phenomena (fish make choices!). I want to know where the choices come from. Not thin air.”

    I have a personality that is a function of my spiritual topography (meaning a soul). It’s mine. It makes me me and not you. If I had *your* spiritual topography, I would *be* you. And there’s only ever one of each of us. And we are all different. Yet we are also all similar.

    My choices come from me to the extent that this brain and body are functioning (really the two things are thoroughly interconnected). Mostly my choices are decisions about habits that I make and habits that I break. I spend 99% of my time on autopilot, letting my brain and body do what they feel like doing. I *like* autopilot.

    I’m going back to work.

  • Brian

    @JP

    I mean, trying to lie to myself that I was “good” would take more effort.

    You should read some of the new scholarship on genocide. This isn’t how it works. Most genocidaires are not psychopaths (that is what is so damn scary!) – they have a clear moral vision that condones the killing and don’t kill in any other context.

    See Mary Fulbrook:

    http://newbooksinhistory.com/2012/12/19/mary-fulbrook-a-small-near-town-auschwitz-ordinary-nazis-and-the-holocaust-oxford-up-2012/

    And Jan Chodakiewicz:

    http://newbooksinhistory.com/2012/11/08/marek-jan-chodakiewicz-the-massacre-in-jedwabne-july-10-1941-before-during-after-columbia-up-2005/

    It is scary stuff because these people were not psychopaths clinical definition and would not have been flagged as such by any diagnostic measures before or after the war. Even the Old Testament moralizes genocide. We don’t even want to talk about the new findings of how common it was for American soldiers to rape French women (our allies!) in WWII after Normandy.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/21/books/rape-by-american-soldiers-in-world-war-ii-france.html?pagewanted=all

  • Brian

    @JP

    Nothing you just described is free will. It is just agency. Or compatibilism:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compatibilism

  • Brian

    @JP

    Yeah, philosophers who specialize in the free will question don’t get what it is (Check the Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy and its entries on Free Will, Determinism, Compatibilism, etc.)

    This is authoritative.

    http://www.rep.routledge.com/article/V014

  • Brian

    @Susan

    I should probably quit posting in the comments on this piece and free up Susan to continue the good work of helping folks find their way to what may prove superior flourishing. I anxiously await the next insightful, well modulated, tone-perfect post.

    Brian

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

      I anxiously await the next insightful, well modulated, tone-perfect post.

      Brian

      Oh, you charmer. Ha, it’s going to be about infidelity, but I’m not even looking at the blog over the weekend!

  • Fish

    @Susan
    “I don’t see how the male desire for sexual variety is any more problematic than a woman’s desire to ditch her zero for a hero.”

    I think both of these are, to degrees, fallacies. Being a guy of high N, my desire is not for variety but quality. I don’t cheat, but I will end a relationship over subpar sex (in my book, anything below a B). I do agree 100% that it is better to discuss a sexual defficit first rather than cheating. I find however, that most people are how they are and like what they like, so rather than discuss, it is easier to just end the relationship. That is part of the reason why I have a high N. Sleeping with a girl is part of my filtering process.

    I have actually seen a lot more people unhappy with their mates & situations and unwilling to make a change (both of the sexual and zero to hero variety). I don’t understand peoples’ unwillingness to end unfulfilling relationships. I must surmise that either I am broken in my thought process (a definite possibility), they are over-stating their unhappiness, or they are just gluttons for punishment.

    re: cheating spouses
    I will agree on the women being furious a guy slept with his wife (not me in this example obviously). One of my friends who was sleeping with a married man felt outright betrayed when she found out her “boyfriend” slept with his wife. On the flipside, I must side more with the female side of this equation as with the married woman I slept/am sleeping with, I don’t get jealous when she sleeps with her husband, I know she is more emotionally invested in me.

    I think that a lot of people cheat to escape the damages (either to their families or finances) that would come from an actual split. It has been brought up frequently that a man who divorces will get raped financially (whether this is true or not, there is a widespread perception of it). My friend’s married “bf” told her this was his reason for not divorcing. My married friend will not divorce due to the effect it will have on her kids. Only two examples, but I believe them to be typical from people I have talked to. If you think about it, there is no incentive to divorce before cheating if the worst-case penalty of cheating is divorce. I’m not encouraging it, but if a person cheats and isn’t caught, they are getting some kind of utility. If they cheat and it ends in divorce, they’re no worse off than if they asked for a divorce at the beginning. . .

  • JP

    “Yeah, philosophers who specialize in the free will question don’t get what it is (Check the Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy and its entries on Free Will, Determinism, Compatibilism, etc.)”

    I’m pretty sure that they don’t know what it is.

  • JP

    “The Compatibilist will often hold both Causal Determinism (all effects have causes) and Logical Determinism (the future is already determined) to be true. Thus statements about the future (e.g., “it will rain tomorrow”) are either true or false when spoken today.

    Hume adds that the Compatibilist’s free will should not be understood as some kind of ability to have actually chosen differently in an identical situation.”

    Well, my kind of free will (the kind that actual exists) is specifically the ability to choose differently in identical situations.

    So, there’s that problem.

    For example (having explained to someone with some talent in precognition in the past), when he has a precognitive dream, it is simply the outcome that will occur that the people involved in that decision have currently decided.

    If they change their minds, then that outcome will not occur, but at that moment, the future that has currently been chosen is the one that he saw.

    However, when one of the participants changes their minds, the outcome changes. When a precognition fails, it is because of this reason. The problem of choice.

    What has specifically occurred is that someone *chose differently* in an *identical* situation for some reason.

    This has nothing to do with the fact that I have a specific identity that I did not create.

    The cosmos is shot through with free will.

    Minority report is an example of the issue of free will. The issue I have with the movie is not that there is precognition. It is that one of the precognitives sees something different (because I simply lack the theoretical framework or reported data to even have a guess as to the accuracy of the existence of a minority report in precogs – it is a “known unknown”).

    However, the concept of “minority report” is an example of free will.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minority_Report_(film)

  • http://bastiatblogger.blogspot.com Bastiat Blogger

    Susan, I think that Brian and I probably share some interests, most notably evo psych’s implications for human sexuality, but we have apparently ended up as polar opposites on the political spectrum (I am libertarian—simultaneously pro-free market and socially liberal on most issues. On a more adolescent level I tend to be suspicious of groups and political hierarchies and “planners”).

    Brian seems to favor using evo psych in order to gain better understanding of potential vulnerabilities and to address these as a part of his desire to maintain a monogamous relationship with his wife, while I tend to use it in a rather transparent attempt to provide intellectual top-cover and rationalizations for controversial activities that I happen to find to be fun, amusing, etc. in other words, I give the material to my hamster so that he can grow saber teeth, run faster, etc.

    I also personally find the free will/determinism debate to become recursive at a certain point of analysis and the policy implications to be slippery, but I recognize that others find it worthwhile to discuss it in more depth, and I often enjoy reading their posts even if I don’t feel up to participating.

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

      @BB

      Well, what you and Brian have in common is a spectacularly well-read perspective and an unfailing gracious manner. Whether I agree on specific points or not, these are always very welcome traits in a commenter.

  • Joe

    @Brian

    So when I see a family in India with 9 kids living in a cemetery and sending their kids tot he dump at age 5 to pick garbage to sell, that is selfless? I mean, it is clearly a boneheaded move to reproduce in those circumstances and pointing out that the majority still do tells me nothing.

    Thanks for the cogent and thoughtful response, but I have to point out that the argument was addressed about two decades ago (and thoroughly at that) by Mother Terresa of Calcutta. She talks directly about those very people you described and ponders why they could ever be happy. It is a mystery beyond comprehension – certainly beyond mine.

    But I gotta say, the answer isn’t that having children is a selfish act under those circumstances (because those very children still have meaningful lives).

    When the conundrum was given to me, it came with the admonition to try again.

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

      @Joe

      But I gotta say, the answer isn’t that having children is a selfish act under those circumstances (because those very children still have meaningful lives).

      I think it’s very important to understand that we first world types cannot fathom was puts a smile on a child’s face in a very different world. In preparing this comment, I went to google “the poor are…” intending to complete the search with “as happy as the rich?” Because I recall research of this nature. Google, though, based on common searches, wanted to complete my phrase as “the poor are lazy” and “the poor are jealous.” WTH?

      This week I had an anxiety dream. This is not unusual, I often dream that I have failed to complete the requirements for my major, don’t know where the final is being given, etc. Only this time I dreamed that when I landed in Paris on an Air France flight, I realized with horror that I had not completed French Level 3 of Rosetta Stone, and my French would therefore not be up to par in the way that I had hoped. Knowing this was ridiculous, I texted this to my kids, and my son’s response was “First world problem!”

      Perhaps I am more clueless than average, but I don’t think that we have the slightest clue what makes live worth living for people living on less than a dollar a day. If I had to guess, I would say it’s relationships – emotional intimacy. Everything else is just window dressing.

  • DME

    I went to grade school with a girl who had some type of bone disease that prevented her joints from forming cartilage or some shit. Her house was right across the street from the school’s playground and during recess her overprotective mother would come out and watch her, To make sure she wasn’t hurting herself I guess. On the days when her Mom wasn’t around she would play tag and run around with the other kids. Even though she couldn’t run for shit, and she was in pain the entire time, she still had a smile on her face. If you were to ask her what was “best” for her, I imagine not being in constant pain would be #1. I doubt non-existence would even make the list.

  • Joe

    @Susan

    Perhaps I am more clueless than average, but I don’t think that we have the slightest clue what makes live worth living for people living on less than a dollar a day. If I had to guess, I would say it’s relationships – emotional intimacy. Everything else is just window dressing.

    Wow. I agree. I know I have no clue.

    My near-nightmare is probably more common. I start to fly like a bird, first thrilled and exhilarated by the freedom of flight. But then I discover I can’t find my way home – it’s lost in the maze of new experiences. The feeling of loss is overwhelming, but it’s almost always about the loss of family and relationships.

    But is that not also a first-world problem? I wouldn’t think so, but I don’t know any other life.

    Maybe somewhere in there is a bit of understanding.

  • J

    Of course! That may be the primary function of the ego! How on earth could you be motivated to do something for someone who does not yet exist? I had children so that I could mix my genes with my husband’s to create two awesome creatures. I dreamed of the gratification of all that love and family closeness. I made them, and then I gave and gave and gave to them. And now I look forward to their repaying me by having children of their own, which is something they eagerly anticipate.

    Beautifully said!

    1 would certainly be my answer–my heart’s and my brain’s answer. Mr. Willy however has his own answer. Since he is irrational and unreliable, he doesn’t get to make any decisions.

    LMAO

  • J

    That’s not true. Elizabeth Gilbert didn’t have an affair, she left her husband first.

    Yeah, I’m not sure about how Elizabeth Gilbert becomes the poster child for cheating or even abandonment. Her ex wanted kids; she didn’t. They broke up. He remarried and has two kids. She got her freedom and her new husband. I’m not a fan, but win-win. I’m sure that the ‘sphere is more broken up about the divorce than the first husband was.

    Society is extremely hard on females for infidelity, especially if they are mothers.

    I’m pretty non-judgemntal, but even I have contempt for a woman who does things that screw up her kids.

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

      I’m sure that the ‘sphere is more broken up about the divorce than the first husband was.

      LOL

      I do recall reading that she emptied their bank accounts and moved money offshore before she dumped him. She sounds like a Dark Triad type – terrible. But she’s about as representative of married women as A. is of college women.

  • J

    Perhaps I am more clueless than average, but I don’t think that we have the slightest clue what makes live worth living for people living on less than a dollar a day. If I had to guess, I would say it’s relationships – emotional intimacy. Everything else is just window dressing.

    I could bear to lose anything but my kids. I expect to lose DH since women generally outlive men and the in-laws died young. I don’t expect to lose the kids. I’d die of a broken heart if I did.

  • Fish

    I can’t imagine what causes a person to want to have kids. I can think of a ton of reasons not to and no benefits to them. . .

    (i stole this list, and it seems from a female point of view, but I agree with most of the reasons listed)
    http://kids-no-thanks-en.tumblr.com/post/35115577671/the-top-100-reasons-not-to-have-kids

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

      I can’t imagine what causes a person to want to have kids. I can think of a ton of reasons not to and no benefits to them.

      Proof that we don’t all have the same type and strength of urges. I think most of this is in the DNA.

  • Dreak

    Um, yeah.

    Not buying what you are selling.

    What are you buying?

  • Anacaona

    I think it’s very important to understand that we first world types cannot fathom was puts a smile on a child’s face in a very different world. In preparing this comment, I went to google “the poor are…” intending to complete the search with “as happy as the rich?” Because I recall research of this nature. Google, though, based on common searches, wanted to complete my phrase as “the poor are lazy” and “the poor are jealous.” WTH?
    This week I had an anxiety dream. This is not unusual, I often dream that I have failed to complete the requirements for my major, don’t know where the final is being given, etc. Only this time I dreamed that when I landed in Paris on an Air France flight, I realized with horror that I had not completed French Level 3 of Rosetta Stone, and my French would therefore not be up to par in the way that I had hoped. Knowing this was ridiculous, I texted this to my kids, and my son’s response was “First world problem!”
    Perhaps I am more clueless than average, but I don’t think that we have the slightest clue what makes live worth living for people living on less than a dollar a day. If I had to guess, I would say it’s relationships – emotional intimacy. Everything else is just window dressing.

    Thank you for this. :)

    1 would certainly be my answer–my heart’s and my brain’s answer. Mr. Willy however has his own answer. Since he is irrational and unreliable, he doesn’t get to make any decisions.
    “Mr Happy is not stupid so he is not allowed to be in charge.” Hubby’s quote.

  • Anacaona

    I meant is stupid

  • Vitor

    For those who prioritize having a family, the opposite is true. Attraction triggers differ, so the man who wants kids will find feminine nurturing attractive, or even hot.

    Interesting coincidence! I hadn’t even read this comment by Susan when I wrote my comment no. 212. :) Very good, Susan.

  • Maggie

    Susan, that anxiety dream is very common. I’ve been reading “The Complete Dream Book” by Gillian Holloway and she says this is the classic overachiever’s dream. I was surprised that some repetitive dreams I have, like finding out I have a baby I’ve forgotten about or finding extra rooms in my house are actually common among women. Men have some dreams that are just more common to them.

    I’ve actually gotten a lot of good books that were recommended on this site. Thanks to everyone.

  • http://www.rosehope.com/ Hope

    Fish, that list of 100 reasons not to have kids? I thought #11 was interesting and sticks out like a sore thumb.

    “11. Your pets will get all the love and attention they deserve.”

    Pets are much more of a pain in the butt than kids, dogs especially. And they never grow out of it like kids do. They are also expensive to feed and care for, and health insurance doesn’t cover them if they get sick.

    A lot of things that can be applied to kids can be applied to pets, if you properly take care of them instead of locking them up inside all the time. Take up lots of time? Check. Plastic toys? Check. Destroying household items and furniture? Check. Hurdle for vacations? Check. Increased carbon footprint? Check. Not able to eat meals in peace? Check. Depression when they get sick and pass away? Check.

    Flip it on its head, the list is also about “why my parents should have never given birth to me.” I don’t think such people should have kids either, but damn, I feel bad for their parents.

  • J

    I do recall reading that she emptied their bank accounts and moved money offshore before she dumped him.

    I had no idea. That IS a crappy thing to do.

    She sounds like a Dark Triad type – terrible. But she’s about as representative of married women as A. is of college women.

    Yeah.

  • http://www.rosehope.com/ Hope

    Oh and please don’t get me wrong. If you don’t want kids, don’t have kids! I am not trying to change anyone’s mind about this. Really, avoid having kids if that’s how you feel!

    But don’t be all smug that pets are superior. I could write a list just as long about pets. :P

  • Richard Aubrey

    Talked to a couple of people about anxiety dreams. Most of the dreams involved not being able to find your final exam location. Mine include discovering, most of the way through a semester, I haven’t been attending one of my classes. One was, back in the Army, we had an alert. I was wandering through the equipment shed with only half my uniform, no parachute, missing one boot, couldn’t find my unit and the other guys were all giving me the dirty eye.

    Question about a guy having options and thus being attractive, or more attractive than if it seemed he did not:
    In one case, the guy could be seen to have the options. Good looking and socially adept, the woman sees him talking cheerfully with another woman. Maybe she sees him on a date with another woman. Maybe she sees another woman looking at him as if thinking about emitting an IOI.

    Or, good looking and socially adept, she does not see his opportunities. It just seems as if he must have them. Perhaps they see each other on weekends and wherever he is during the week must provide opportunities. Maybe he speaks of visiting friends in the nearest high-end resort community. She knows he works in a circumstance which includes a number of women his own age but doesn’t actually see him at work.

    Difference in attractiveness due to difference in apparent options?

  • Anacaona

    But don’t be all smug that pets are superior. I could write a list just as long about pets
    I’m sure after the antinatalists breed themselves out of existence we will have a antipetism movement that will be smug about not having pets. Just wait for it.

  • Anacaona
  • Lokland

    @Susan

    | I often dream that I don’t know where the final is being given, etc.

    Ha ha. Try doing it. More than once.

  • Fish

    @Hope
    “But don’t be all smug that pets are superior. I could write a list just as long about pets. :P”

    ironically enough, my pets are “oopsie” pets. I am actually allergic to cats. I take zyrtec every day. My ex had 2 cats when we met, a boy and a girl. I have the kittens we couldn’t find homes for. That was about 6 years ago.

    If I accidently got a girl pregnant, i honestly have no idea what I’d do. But i am naturally soft-hearted and have a weakness for animals. They have made my life more difficult, but I can’t handle the thought of them not being taken care of. My friend is actually taking them for a couple years when I move (its not viable for me to take them with me to grad school).

    I do prioritize my pets over hypothetical future babes. i didn’t really WANT pets in the first place, but now that they are here, I love them dearly. However, cats are generally self sufficient, they don’t eat much, they don’t need to college and unlike dogs I can leave them alone for a couple days and they’re fine.

    Some children I am reasonably ok with. i just know that I don’t want any of my own. I think that is one of the reasons things ended with my ex, she was getting into the “i want a baby” mode. I do hear constantly “you’d be such a good dad” which I think is code for “you are not a horrible person.” I think susan is right, maybe it is genetic.

    I have said repeatedly, making children is the only thing in life I enjoy failing at. . .

  • Fish

    @Ana
    Re: that blog

    i don’t really think of my cats as confined. i’m keeping them safe. i have left the door open before and they really have no desire to go outside. They were born in my old house, I have literally had them their entire lives.

    However, I didn’t really choose pet ownership. i had dogs growing up and I agree my lifestyle is not conducive to them. I didn’t choose the kitties either, but I guess I am pro-life with cats.

  • Anacaona

    @Fish
    The point I’m making that if people want something they will use all their brain power for arguments to justify it and if people don’t want something is the same.
    That guy is anti-pet ownership and has sound reasons and you have sound counter arguments for his reasons. Is the same with having children or not having children, vanilla vs chocolate, republican vs democrat, virgin or slut, sleeping with a married person or not and so on…You can be all smug you want for your personal choices but someone will be smug for the exact opposite is just the way it works.

  • http://www.rosehope.com/ Hope

    Fish “I am actually allergic to cats. I take zyrtec every day.”

    I love cats, and so does my husband, but he is extremely allergic to cats. He already takes a lot of allergy meds daily, and is still unable to be around cats for long. He has a pet frog.

    “If I accidently got a girl pregnant, i honestly have no idea what I’d do. But i am naturally soft-hearted and have a weakness for animals. They have made my life more difficult, but I can’t handle the thought of them not being taken care of.”

    I think if you did get a girl pregnant, you would love the baby a lot. We are hardwired to love babies and animals — most “normal” dogs and cats are gentle with babies and protective of them.

    But it does not mean you would love the girl a lot. Some women don’t understand this, so they get knocked up on purpose to try to keep a guy, which then backfires on them.

    For a long time people were not really able to decide whether or not they got pregnant or not, and so a lot of kids were born but were “unwanted.” I don’t think that’s a good thing.

    Anyway, the point I’m making is that people who have a nurturing instinct for pet animals, especially mammals, and enjoy that interaction, should really not give a bunch of crap to people who have a nurturing instinct for babies.

  • Fish

    My point was that I don’t understand the mindset to proactively have kids. I didn’t set out to have kids or pets. I understand the “oops” mentality. I don’t understand the mindset of “lets decide to create a child.”

    If you look back, I didn’t really say I got any benefit from the kitties. I don’t really, but they are mine and I love them. To me, kids seem like the equivalent of me wanting an Audi: I just want one.

    Thankfully, I think I have aged out of the women who would get preggo to keep a guy. Although, that is among my biggest fears. I’m not to the point of vasectomy yet, bit hoping strongly for a male birth control pill…

  • Fish

    Btw Im not trying to be smug. I genuinely would like to understand…

  • Hope

    Fish, I didn’t have the active, primal desire to have kids until I met my husband. Before then, I would actually be terrified of getting pregnant because I didn’t want to have kids with the ex. It was one of the reasons why I left, because I just could not see starting a family with that guy. I think that would have been a big “oops.”

    With my husband, it was this deep desire to “give” him a legacy, if that makes sense. Like I actually understood why some women would have kids with a donor egg and their husband’s sperm. I look at our little baby boy and see so much of my husband. It is a feeling of overwhelming love that multiplies my feeling for our sweet baby and for my husband.

    I suspect for my husband, it was less of a big deal before I gave birth the first time, because he just really didn’t have a concept of how he would react to having his own child. Then it happened, not planned, but our firstborn was stillborn, and that just threw everything upside down. And then, yes, it was a fervent desire to have a healthy, living baby, and we planned for it. I took prenatals, avoided toxins, did not have alcohol or caffeine, etc.

    It is one of the reasons that even though it will be more difficult, more expensive, more of a pain, we still want another baby. We don’t want to be in that position again of being parents but without a living, healthy child. I know we have a really strong and wonderful marriage, and we can be good to our kids, be in a position to teach them well and provide for them, and really, 20, 30, or however many years from now, we’d look back and I’m certain we wouldn’t regret having two kids. Two is our max though.

  • Hope

    Also, no man who says he doesn’t want children actually goes for a woman who looks obviously like she can’t have children. Everything that makes a woman attractive and sexy to men is an indicator of her health and readiness to have a baby. Or multiple babies.

    Everything about the process is physiologically and psychologically taxing, from pregnancy to giving birth to taking care of a newborn. Youth is attractive because a younger woman still has more healthy eggs left. Feminine faces and demeanor are signs of high estrogen, necessary for ovulation. A 0.7 waist to hip ratio is attractive because it indicates proper body fat and hormone balance for conceiving and carrying a pregnancy, and a hip that can accommodate a baby. Women who are obese or too skinny have documented problems with pregnancy.

    And, of course, if you’re into smart, kind, sweet, loving and emotionally stable women, all of these are good mothering traits. It doesn’t matter that you don’t want babies. On a primal level, you want the woman who is the best candidate for having your babies.

    So you think you’re out smarting something by not reproducing, but really, you are just being fooled by your own selfishness and another mammalian species which makes you feel like raising its young is more important than raising your own genetic children. This is what the cuckoo does to other birds species. Their young hatch first and have bigger mouths, and push the other eggs out of the nest. This is where the term cuckold originates.

    But if you’re a hardcore, selfish, rugged individualist who has no time to raise pets or form lasting human bonds, but possess amazing genes of high intelligence, outstanding symmetry and great looks, like some commenters here, then sell your sperm to the sperm bank and let other people carry on your genes for you. :)

  • Big Bill

    1. “Plenty of us do have boyfriends, or sex lives that we consider meaningful. ”

    What in heaven’s name is a “meaningful” sex life? And, worse, what is a “sex life” that you only “consider” meaningful?

    2. QUESTION: “Do you think you will find someone at Penn?”

    What does it mean to “think” you will “find someone” at Penn? Find them for what? A quickie in the stairwell? A FB? FWB? A date for prom? A husband?

    Meaningless comments. Meaningless questions. Meaningless responses.

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

      @Big Bill

      What in heaven’s name is a “meaningful” sex life?

      If you have to ask the question, no answer I can give will make sense to you.

      What does it mean to “think” you will “find someone” at Penn? Find them for what? A quickie in the stairwell? A FB? FWB? A date for prom? A husband?

      Again, hard to respond to a basement EQ sort of question.

      Google the word “love” and see if you learn anything.

  • Fish

    @Hope
    I wish you luck, I would never try to tell anyone what the right decision is “for them”. You do seem like you would be a very good parent, I hope for the best for you.

    As a follow up, would you have felt differently if your husband didnt want kids?

    i guess in my brain, even with my commitment issues, I can still see committing to the right person, because it is just an extension of a relationship you already have, you should know what you’re getting. Kids, total crap shoot . . .

  • Fish

    @Hope
    “So you think you’re out smarting something by not reproducing”

    I dont think I’m fooling anything, I don’t want kids. Its funny, my neighbor would seem to be prime baby maker (hips, busty, in good health), has a blog about not wanting kids.

    I understand what you’re saying from a biological perspective, but as humans, we have figured out how to game the system and beat nature. I have been reading about this RISUG trial in india, it sounds awesome, i would be totally on board for something like that. Hell, if I had the $$, I’d fly to india to have it done.

    With all this having been said, if my unicorn were to really want kids, I dunno if I could deny her at least one. But likely i would try to persuade her to not. I just find the DINK standard of living too appealing. . .

  • Fish

    @Abbott
    For the unrestricted types, or people for whom quality/quantity of sex is important, it makes sense to have sex on the first date. For me, it is part of the filtering process, so the only one night stands I have are people who didn’t pass the test (well, I did have an accidental one night stand this year where the girl found out she was pregnant at the time and got back together with the dad. She was actually pretty good in bed).

    I do agree, for people with low N, it makes no sense to filter this way. If your N is over 30, why not? I look at the time value of dating, if I have good sex on the first date, I will be likely to continue, if I have bad sex on the first date, I saved myself 2 more dates to find out the same info. . .

  • http://www.rosehope.com/ Hope

    Fish “As a follow up, would you have felt differently if your husband didnt want kids?”

    I screened for that very early on, before ILUs were exchanged. So if my husband didn’t want kids at all, I wouldn’t have pursued things further. But maybe the truth of the matter is that he was more ambivalent towards it, and I was more enthusiastic. I always knew I wanted kids, and I was looking for guys who displayed a certain level of maturity since I was in high school. I had this goodie-two-shoes attitude about taking care of my body, and I didn’t get into the party scene at all. My husband did more of the party scene. He was actually a smoker when we met, and he quit for me.

    Thing is, I think men will never really care that much about BABIES the way some of us women do. My husband is a great father, and he plays with our son well, but he is just not the type to enjoy feeding and caring for the baby. Admittedly, I’m not thrilled with changing diapers, but I am very much the “responsible caretaker” type, and I don’t mind it. Many women have this idea that the dad should do half the childcare, but I didn’t have that mentality. I kind of knew that men don’t really “do” babies, and that they do better with older kids. So I do the bulk of the childcare, and that’s fine by me.

    “Kids, total crap shoot”

    Not totally. A lot goes into it — combination of genetics, epigenetics, nutrition, environment, upbringing, culture, and random chance/fate/luck/whatever. Sometimes, yeah, bad things happen, and you end up with a child with special needs. But the younger and healthier the parents, and the more the mother minimizes exposure to bad things during pregnancy, the less likelihood of those bad things happening. I sometimes work with genetic counselors and read up on this stuff. Less inbreeding is also a good thing.

    “I have been reading about this RISUG trial in india, it sounds awesome”

    Why does it matter if it’s reversible? Why not just get a vasectomy if your mind is made up? Then there wouldn’t be any persuading. It would be a done deal. I personally knew a couple like that, where the guy got a vasectomy before they got married. I don’t know all the details, but this was almost a decade ago, and they were just regular middle class people.

    “I just find the DINK standard of living too appealing.”

    Been there. It was boring to me. I am naturally frugal, so DINK just meant I saved a ton in my bank account. That it was great when it came time to do certain things, like buying a house, but doing those things without kids… seems pointless to me. Again, it’s personal opinion. Some people love things like vacationing in the Carribeans and dropping money on luxury goods. Not me.

    Thanks for listening to my “reasons.” I try to be a good parent, although I know I’m not great. I mean, our baby’s in daycare, and I feel bad about it at least several times a day. Since my husband was a daycare baby and didn’t mind it, he tells me that it’s better I work. Kids grow up fast, and before we know it he’ll be in school.

  • Anacaona

    @FISH
    I’m surprised you haven’t figured out. You have commitment issues, nothing is more of a commitment than parenting. You cannot give the kids away to other people if you move for work, for example. Is as simple as that.

  • http://agalltyr.wordpress.com/ Matthew

    3 reasons you SHOULDN’T Have Sex on a First Date:

    1. Pregnancy
    2. Herpes
    3. Depression as a result of low self-esteem

  • Fish

    @Ana
    Oh I know I have commitment issues. I can’t figure out why anyone actively wants kids besides “I just do.” I’ve heard the explanation “it’s the two of you combined in one little person” it just doesn’t make sense to me.

    I have a lesbian friend who wants kids, but she is semi baby crazy and down about it, so I can’t ask her. My sister had my nephew because her ex husbands mom had cancer & wanted a grandkid, that whole situation has been nothing but drama. My married friend has 2 kids, both oops babies, one she had in high school, the other is 5, she said if she could have prevented both, she would have.

    If the real answer is “I always just wanted one/some”, I can put it to rest.

    Re: vasectomy
    I had Lasik a couple years ago, it was unpleasant for a couple days but totally worth it. I have a friend who had it done & he seemed pretty miserable after. As I have not produced any kids yet, what I have been doing for the last 18yrs has worked so far…

  • Fish

    @Mathew

    That’s a pretty unrealistic list. The first two can happen on any date, I’ve had plenty of sex on first dates and successfully avoided both. Low self-esteem is often a cause, not an effect of early sex.

    If you don’t want to do it, don’t do it. There are plenty of women who will happily go on any number of dates and not bang you…

  • http://www.rosehope.com/ Hope

    Fish “I can’t figure out why anyone actively wants kids besides “I just do.” I’ve heard the explanation “it’s the two of you combined in one little person” it just doesn’t make sense to me.”

    Well I can’t logically understand why vulvas are so interesting to men, because I’m straight. In simple terms, evolution means that those with certain adaptive traits tended to pass those traits on to their offspring, due to maladaptive traits having a tendency to die off. In the old age, that meant guys who liked sex and got to have lots of sex were able to pass those genes onto the next generations. In the modern age, that’s not necessarily going to be the case, as your own history indicates. So the set of genes will be passed on will likely be of those of people who are too careless to bother with contraception, and people who actively want to have children.

    People are born with a certain set of instincts, which come and go at certain ages. Puberty for example is a complex set of changes that prepare a person for reproduction. Doing research as a new parent has opened my eyes to a whole set of knowledge. Babies seem pre-programmed to do certain things, at least if they are healthy. Those teeth sprout at certain times and certain intervals. Motor skills and cognitive skills develop predictably along a timeline. Even newborns which seem like little ragdolls come with their own tricks:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Primitive_reflexes

    As a aside, men seem to love big “projects,” investigation, invention, etc. They are the ones who ultimately made the modern civilization around us possible. These seem to satisfy some innate desire to “create.” To some extent, we women seem to get the desire to “create” satisfied by making babies. Yes, intellectually speaking, it is silly because it’s not some unique thing. Just about every woman who is healthy can make babies. But it is a huge endeavor, undertaking, and “long-term project” so to speak. Most other mammals have it pretty easy compared to humans. But perhaps this is part of what it means to be human.

  • Fish

    @Abbott

    “Penis discrimination” isn’t really a problem. If someone has enough SMV, they will be able to get first date sex from the majority of women. So “penis discrimination” is another way of saying “i don’t have enough SMV to get what that guy over there got.” It all comes down to the time value of that particular resource. What are you giving up to chase a particular woman?

    Don’t like it? Set an ultimatum and stick with it. “I don’t see this relationship moving in at a pace I am comfortable with” works both ways. Women have the right to withhold sex, men have the right to drop them like a bad habit for their sluttier friends if that is what they are looking for. . .

    There are around 57,000,000 women aged 18-44 in the country, there are plenty of women out there who will put out early. . .

  • Fish

    @Hope
    That both makes sense and yet doesn’t at the same time. I will accept it is an urge that i can’t understand or quantify that defies reason.

    Basically, it is the same as “I really want an Audi”

    Except that I can’t get drunk one night and wake up with an Audi (legally). . .

  • Hope

    Fish, it makes perfect sense why you want an Audi. It is an expensive brand of vehicle (which incidentally I didn’t know this until my husband told me), and a sign of wealth and status. These are attractive to women, and on a both conscious and subconscious level men know this as well.

    I knew a guy who didn’t want to get married or have kids until he was at a certain financial level. Actually my husband felt this way about having kids as well. He wanted to send his kid or kids to private school, and he also wants a nice middle class lifestyle. Money and kids are very much connected, and this is another reason why women tend to find wealthier men attractive.

    If you dig into red pill knowledge, it all comes back down to evolution and children. Women’s attraction triggers are so all over the place because they want sexy genes in addition to a man who is able and willing to protect and provide for her and her children.

    In my own case, because I grew up in a poorer country, I didn’t require nearly the same amount of material wealth that other educated western women tend to want, and I mainly looked for good father and protector material. This is due to my upbringing which gave me a different set of environmental cues. Women who don’t want kids got defective cues from society and mass media, because they think they need to live the celebrity lifestyle. That becomes more important than kids.

    And to me, that’s a bit of a modern disease, but that is just my personal opinion.

  • Fish

    @hope

    “It is an expensive brand of vehicle (which incidentally I didn’t know this until my husband told me), and a sign of wealth and status”

    Its a sign of “success” for me. From this conversation and ones I have had with various people with children, they seem to derive some sort of meaning through their kids. I do the payroll for the nanny for one of my friends. She conceived later in life (relatively speaking, I think she had the kid at 30), from her second marriage. She is successful (owns her home, master’s degree, good job), but everything in her life is this kid. Hers and her husband’s facebooks are nothing but kid pictures. I was over there the other day to have her sign some tax forms and she was all about the kid (I don’t think their daughter is “cute”, and I can’t even fake it when she constantly asks).

    I think between the way my brain is wired and my experiences, I will never see children as anything other than an inconvenience. I understand bettering ones career. I understand the desire for sex. I understand becoming addicted to activities or substances. I don’t understand the desire for kids.. . .

  • http://en.gravatar.com/jimbocollins MM

    Abbot + Fish = Abbott and Costello?

  • Hope

    Fish, the way evolution worked, it was more efficient to make people want to have sex than to make them want to have kids. Then once the kids arrive, the desire to care and keep the kids. I don’t think the active desire to have kids really kicks in for women until they become close to not being able to have them, I.e. biological clock ticking. Maybe men don’t get it at all, or they only feel it toward late middle age.

  • http://www.justfourguys.com/just-four-opinions-the-trayvon-edition/ HanSolo

    Hope, I’ve always wanted to have kids. Part of that was likely due to my family-loving Mormon upbringing but part of it is innate. I always liked babies when I was younger. None of those feelings or thoughts has changed either after leaving the church.

  • Gin Martini

    Fish: “. I do hear constantly “you’d be such a good dad” which I think is code for “you are not a horrible person.””

    I think it’s code for a few other things, speaking as someone who heard this all my life.

    I relate to how you feel about children. I love my kids, of course, because I have them – but never had any burning desire to have them. I’d be perfectly fine with no kids, honestly.

  • Anacaona

    @Fish
    This person has 12 of those little things and 100 reasons :p
    http://inashoe.com/2010/07/reasons-children/

    I don’t think the active desire to have kids really kicks in for women until they become close to not being able to have them, I.e. biological clock ticking. Maybe men don’t get it at all, or they only feel it toward late middle age.

    I think there is a similar imprinting process with parenthood that happens during the early years of our lives. In spite with the issues I had with my mom I was always proud of her as a mother. She used to do a lot of personal sacrifices for our sake (both my parents did) along with all the games, the food she made for us, teaching me how to read and all that and I wanted nothing but be like her someday and do the same for my own kids. My opinion is that there is certain rejection or regret of motherhood done by the parents at some point that cue the offspring into not going down the same route.
    Of course it could one of those evolutionary things the same way after a war or a pestilence people start breeding like crazy maybe when there is a high population some members of our species start forsaking childbearing while others keep their desire alive, YMMV.

  • Gin Martini

    Sorry. That should read “already have them now”. I didn’t have any burning desire to create new ones. While I abstractly wanted kids, I never did anything concrete to make it happen, other than have sex with a person who very much did.

    Someone will try to twist these words to imply I don’t want my own kids.

  • Anacaona

    Reason 101 in the list I linked:
    Homemade friends. My children are some of my favorite companions.

    Rings very true for me. Growing up my play time was from the moment I woke up until the moment I went to sleep and I was always happy to have my siblings and my parents playing cards, bingo… and since my mom is not very social we were the only company for her. I am social but waking up in a rainy Sunday to play games while eating homemade food were the most joyous memories of my childhood. In fact I had more fun playing with my family, or watching movies with then than going to clubs, or doing pretty much anything except for reading and writing.
    I’m thinking people that prefer adult entertainment to family entertainment also probably will see kids in the way of their fun, not a vital part of it.
    I have a friend teaching his son to play Minecraft and write simple video games and you can see how happy he is. I love my baby as a baby but I can’t wait until he can join us in our crazy journey in life with games,trips and books.
    Oh boy now I want to be pregnant again :p

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

      @Anacaona

      I love my baby as a baby but I can’t wait until he can join us in our crazy journey in life with games,trips and books.

      It is such a blast! Now in their 20s, we enjoy our kids so much, and spend a lot of time with them and their SOs. We are all going on vacation together soon. Every age is so much fun, but honestly, it just keeps getting better and better. And now I have baby rabies for grandchildren.

      I have to say, the couples we know without kids started to look sort of sad by 50 or so. Most of their friends are busy with family, and now that their own parents have died, their holidays are solo affairs. They’re continually inviting people over for big gatherings (sans children), but most people send regrets. Family life is just too busy to join DINKS in all their “fun.”

      Of course, these are the folks who have the most advice to offer on raising children. :P

  • Fish

    @Ana
    Your link didn’t work :-( I think there might be something to adult vs kid fun. I have a good relationship with my family but it was post childhood. As a kid my sister & I were the only kids of our age. I do very much see kids in the way of my preferred lifestyle. In a cost/benefit analysis I see all cost, no benefit…

    @GM
    You sound much like my friend with the “oops” kids. She loves them but she never wanted kids & her life would be easier without them…

  • Hope

    Han Solo, I think you’re in a minority of men who do actively want kids. Family is a major influence on the kids thing, but it’s probably not the whole story.

    Gin Martini, sorry but you’re not like the anti-natalists. You abstractly wanted kids, which is opposite of not wanting kids whatsoever and taking active steps to prevent having kids. If you really didn’t want kids, you would have left her, told her to have an abortion, not worked to provide for the kids, disappeared off to nowhere land, etc.

    Anacaona, I have fond memories of playing games with my family as a kid as well. I also grew up on amazing homemade Chinese food, which is like unbeatable. My husband claims my cooking is better than any Chinese restaurant in America he’s had, and I guess I got some of that from my family.

  • Hope

    Fish, seriously, you don’t have to justify yourself. Just don’t have kids. It sounds like you would hate them and think they ruin life and fun.

    I also think people who have siblings that have kids feel less pressure to have their own kids. The term nepotism refers to nephews for a reason. People invest in their sibling’s children as well, which is the next best thing genetically speaking.

    So you have a nephew, and you don’t feel the desire to have a kid of your own. That’s totally your decision, your life, and makes some amount of sense from an evolutionary perspective as well.

  • Hope

    By the way, my uncles (who were my mother’s brothers) acted as surrogate father figures to me, in addition to my grandfather. I credit them with helping to raise me with such a positive and loving attitude toward men, despite my absent father.

    Family is important to some people. Not everyone.

  • Fish

    @hope
    Yeah, I use my sister as kind of a “what not to do” guide. I actually skipped nephews bday party today to pack (I hate moving).

    I feel like I do need to justify my decision because I keep thinking “there’s something I’m not seeing.”

    @Ana
    Finally got the link to work. Wow, that lady reads crazy. I guess there might be reasons on there to have kids but it reads like a lot of the Christian fundamentalist sites that talk about gods will.

    I will say, after over 100 reasons with none of them compelling, I am going to basically say my mind is made up, good luck to you parents…

  • Anacaona

    @Hope
    I think asking how do you feel about family is probably the same answer about how do you feel about children.

    Finally got the link to work. Wow, that lady reads crazy. I guess there might be reasons on there to have kids but it reads like a lot of the Christian fundamentalist sites that talk about gods will.
    You are an atheist I suppose. The antinatalists read fundamentally crazy to me in contrast. :/

    I will say, after over 100 reasons with none of them compelling, I am going to basically say my mind is made up, good luck to you parents…
    Your mind has been made out for a while. This is mostly trying to put yourself on parents shoes not to change your mind, you asked for more reasons I just provided a lady that has one. There are plenty of more from different people Here is one from one atheist
    As far as I can see, there is pretty much one good reason to have kids. And that’s that you want them. You love kids. You like kids. You think kids are interesting. You enjoy their company. You want to share your ideas and ideals with them, and to learn from them yourself. You want to bring them into the world, and participate in the difficult and rewarding process of helping them become autonomous adults. Every child a wanted child, and all that.
    It would be the same for you. Again this is just an exercise. Like Hope say you don’t want kids, get a vasectomy and live happily ever after with like minded women. Is really simple.

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  • Fish

    @Ana
    “You are an atheist I suppose. The antinatalists read fundamentally crazy to me in contrast. :/”

    I was raised jewish, I guess I identify more with atheism these days. My issue is that appeals to have children for religious reasons pre-suppose religion. I should have asked for GOOD reasons that are neither religious (because of the above point) or financial (because anyone who says it isn’t a financially poor decision doesn’t understand finances). She has some that don’t fall into those categories, but I found them not compelling.

    “As far as I can see, there is pretty much one good reason to have kids. And that’s that you want them.”

    That was my original point. Its exactly the same as I want an Audi. Maybe not from a biological perspective, but as an expensive luxury good that I just want, they are the same. . .

    I would never begrudge anyone’s right to have as many children as they could support. I’m not saying all people should stop having kids, just it seems like a poor decision from my point of view.

  • Hope

    Fish, I actually agree that having children is a bad idea for dysfunctional people. When I was younger, I often wished my parents never had me. I was a suicidal little seven year old. My parents were awful, and I don’t even keep in contact with them.

    But, well, I’m still here. And my husband is, too, despite his parents’ divorce and his past. And we have a strong, wonderful marriage, which is something we really wanted our kids to have, in some ways to rectify the wrongs of our own upbringing.

    There are more things in life than logic and materialism. I will spare you the fluffy bunny talk. But I will say this. If you think of kids as inconveniences, burdens and money sinks that get in the way of your life, rather than human beings as you yourself are, then don’t ever even put yourself in a position to father a child. The child of a father who was never there will thank you.

    Get that vasectomy.

  • Fish

    Believe me, when there is a better male birth control option than condoms and vasectomy, I will be the first one in line.

    I agree with you 100%, there is definitely more to life than logic and materialism. I just don’t include kids in the list. Its not that I don’t see them as human beings. I LOVE my friend’s 6yo daughter. They just require a level of responsibility that I don’t see being worth it. Poor return on investment.

    However, like everyone, I reserve the right to change my mind, and at some point the equation could change. I wouldn’t eliminate the possibility that someone may come along who is “worth” having kids with. Thats my major issue with vasectomy. I might be male IUD sure (which I know is ridiculous because men don’t have a uterus), but I’m not permanent surgery sure. . .

  • Gin Martini

    Hope: “Get that vasectomy.”

    Don’t ever say that to a man. Really.

    It amazes me how women are so cavalier about permanently sterilizing oneself, from person who has so many options to do it safely and reversibly and doesn’t have to face that choice.

    Maybe I should just start saying “woman, get that hysterectomy”.

  • Gin Martini

    Hope: “If you think of kids as inconveniences, burdens and money sinks that get in the way of your life, rather than human beings as you yourself are”

    Awww… you’re still in the honeymoon of having children, where everything is still Super Easy.

    They are clearly both. :)

  • Hope

    Gin Martini, my mother in law had a hysterectomy, and I knew a girl not too much older than me who had one as well. My MIL loved it, because she was certain she didn’t want to have more children, and didn’t like the scare of pregnancy possibility. Vasectomy is far less complicated than hysterectomy, too. It’s the equivalent of getting the tubes cauterized.

    As for everything being super easy, no. I could complain, if I were the type to do so, but my problems are first world problems, or momentary things like illnesses. I honestly would rather spend money on my loved ones than myself, and I’ve always been this way, since before the baby. I just don’t try to argue against people who don’t want kids. Instead I support them in their anti-natalism. I knew a bunch of guys who really like vasectomy and hate that doctors won’t perform it. Apparently encouraging this is also wrong.

    Oh well. Not my decision.

  • Gin Martini

    Tubes cauterized. Fair analogy there. I’ll use that one in the future.

    Trust me. Babies are easy. Even if you did complain all the time I’d say the same thing.

    There’s nothing wrong with supporting a man who doesn’t want to have kids, but El Fisho doesn’t want the snip, and not wanting children is different than suggesting someone permanently sterilizes themselves.

    My wife used to rather cavalierly suggest the same thing. I tell her that I’ll do it… if she gets tubes fried. We can both be sterile together.

  • Fish

    To me, its the difference between prison sure and electric chair sure. I’m prison sure i don’t want kids. I dunno if I’m death penalty sure yet. . .

  • Yahzooman

    These are alpha women at an Ivy League school and they can’t speak without using the word “like?”

    Like, heaven help us.

  • http://www.rosehope.com/ Hope

    Fish “I agree with you 100%, there is definitely more to life than logic and materialism. I just don’t include kids in the list. Its not that I don’t see them as human beings. I LOVE my friend’s 6yo daughter. They just require a level of responsibility that I don’t see being worth it. Poor return on investment.”

    I’m confused by this. If there’s more to life than logic and materialism, and you are able to feel “LOVE” for a child, then why are they a “return on investment” (phrasing implies they are not end onto themselves)? This is regarding Kant’s philosophy regarding material things as a “means” (instrumental value) and people as “ends onto themselves” (intrinsic value).

    But given your history with the kittens (btw I LOVE kittens), and what you’ve said, I won’t worry that you will abandon your own child. And despite Gin Martini’s protestations, I also wanted to see if you were strong in your no-kid convictions. I’ve known guys who were a lot more certain and have no regrets post vasectomy. I think some part of you knows you want to leave that path open, “just in case.” Don’t blame you.

  • Anacaona

    @Fish
    I consider kids a worth it investment of my time and money and my emotions,intellect and feelings. Like Hope I’m frugal and I was raised to spent money in my loved ones. Spending money on material goods looks pointless to me since that doesn’t make me happy to own things but to make other people happy. I was happy just to have my parents around even if there was no electricity or didn’t had fancy clothes and shoes. The same feeling with my husband when he stays at home during his vacations just knowing that he is just in the house with me makes me happy even if we don’t do anything special, just keeping his coffee mug (that I made myself for him BTW) full makes me happy. Now I add my son to whose only presence makes me happy and who I make happy so easily, just a hug and he is overjoyed. The same for the second one when it comes. How much does happiness cost for you? For me is priceless.

  • Gin Martini

    Slick, Hope. You tested Fish. Very feminine.

    I think this possible to think there’s more to life than materialism and still not want kids. It’s certainly possible to want to have meaningful connections with other adults, value them more than things, and, children can certainly put a damper in that.

    You choose your friends. You don’t choose your family.

  • http://en.gravatar.com/jimbocollins MM

    @Hope
    Though we’ll never know what’s in someone’s heart of hearts, it’s pretty clear from the research that men who’re interested in having and raising kids tend to have grown up in intact families, are moderate-to-conservative politically, and religious to some degree. Also, their N is in the median-to-low range of the spectrum (presumably restricted). I can’t say I see very many guys with that kind of character profile in popular culture anymore…

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    Fish, dammit. We need to beat the SCO. That’s India, China, AND Russia.

    This isn’t about you. You don’t matter.

    BREED!!!!!!! >:/

  • Gin Martini

    Mega, they’re definitely in pop culture… someone has to be the butt of the jokes.

  • http://en.gravatar.com/jimbocollins MM

    @GM
    Cartoon characters do not equal reality. So no, they’re not to be found in popular culture, for the most part…

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    Your description sounds like Hank Hill

  • Fish

    “I think this possible to think there’s more to life than materialism and still not want kids. It’s certainly possible to want to have meaningful connections with other adults, value them more than things, and, children can certainly put a damper in that…You choose your friends. You don’t choose your family.”

    This.

    @MM
    You’re right, that is like the textbook anti-me

    @Beta guy
    OK, I will make with the breeding because you said so. Bring on the Low-N vag!!!

  • http://www.rosehope.com/ Hope

    Fish/GM, I consider my husband to be my real friend, best friend and — yes that awful cringe-inducing term — soulmate. I don’t have a lot of other meaningful adult interactions that having a kid gets in the way of, and my second closest friend is my mother-in-law whom I can talk to about the kid and a lot of other things. Maybe that’s a sad life for the social butterflies, but it’s my ideal life.

    Yes, it’s very possible that if my husband had never met someone he considered his soulmate, he would have continued his life of MGHOW and not had any kids. We have talked about his, and he said that he had basically made his “peace” with it.

    On the other hand, he has never implied kids would be a burden. He was the kind of guy who enjoyed watching kids movies, and he asked me to watch them with him after we met. I even thought it was a little strange at first, but then I totally got into those Pixar/animated movies.

    Incidentally he is not the guy that people normally meet and go “you’d be such a good father!” He is from a divorced family, totally independent politically, not religious and considers himself spiritual. Girls would often call him immature/silly, because he was the class clown type. He had a “typical dude” social mask, a kind of chameleon, and very few people would know how deep and interesting he is.

  • Emily

    >> Cartoon characters do not equal reality. So no, they’re not to be found in popular culture, for the most part…

    I’d include cartoon characters in the “popular culture” umbrella. And there are also lots of “dumb dads” in various tv commercials (often ending with the “smart wife” using X product and saving the day).

    It’s a pop culture stereotype that I really hate. I’m sure very few guys want to be Homer Simpson, and I for one have no intention of being married to him.

  • Anacaona

    “I think this possible to think there’s more to life than materialism and still not want kids. It’s certainly possible to want to have meaningful connections with other adults, value them more than things, and, children can certainly put a damper in that…You choose your friends. You don’t choose your family.”
    The only adults that don’t connect meaningfully with you when you are raising kids are the ones that are not raising kids themselves, specially if they are not merely not interested but downright hate kids. Parents are adults too and they actually can become friends and allies in the journey during your years of raising your kids. And before you say I’m new at this some of our friends have pre-teens and they have the kind of connections you mention with other friends including us. Unless the connection you seek is sexually of course.

    Maybe that’s a sad life for the social butterflies, but it’s my ideal life.
    I have three times that friends and I’m craving for more. I don’t think having kids will be a problem but if anyone does has a problem with accepting our friendship because of William is their lost.

  • Fish

    @Ana
    There is only so much of any resource to go around. I don’t see them as my best use of time, money, etc. I have friends with kids and my relationship with them has degraded in quality after they had kids. It has nothing to do with me, it has to do with them focusing their time and energy on their kids. I don’t begrudge them that, but I don’t want to be that guy.

    As i said, perhaps my mind will change on meeting the “right” person, where y other relationships and potential expenditures of $$ will become less important. I want to leave that contingency open just in case. . .

  • http://obsidianraw.bravejournal.com Obsidian

    @Ms. J:
    “There’s a lot of research about the how people meet their spouses. The friend of a friend intro is an amazingly good and common way. As I’ve sad before, DH was an aquaintance of my BFF’s co-worker. The best advice for anyone searching for anything is to build themselves a social netwok. Someone always knows someone who knows someone.”

    O: I must respectfully beg to differ: http://obsidianraw.bravejournal.com/entry/135235

    “Social Circle Game” comes, at best, with quite a bit of fine print; it fails a heck of a lot more than it works. At least that’s been my experience. I prefer to bag my own honies, thank you very much.

    Oh, and if Ms. Walsh is reading along, I love what you’ve done with the place.

    O.

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

      “Social Circle Game” comes, at best, with quite a bit of fine print; it fails a heck of a lot more than it works. At least that’s been my experience. I prefer to bag my own honies, thank you very much.

      “Friends of friends” is one of the top 5 ways that spouses meet. All strategies fail more than they work, the key is to have a diverse portfolio of strategies.

      1. School
      2. Work
      3. Friends of friends
      4. Online dating
      5. Random encounters

  • http://obsidianraw.bravejournal.com Obsidian

    As for the topic at hand, I would be most curious to get Ms. Walsh’s and the forum’s reaction to the following:

    http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2013/07/hookup_culture_for_the_white_wealthy_and_beautiful.html

    Looking forward to your responses.

    Thanks!

    O.

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

      @Obsidian

      I concur with Lisa Wade’s assessment of hookup culture – in fact, I’ve cited her many times as a source. Here you can see just why it’s Pluralistic Ignorance that is the issue, not the actual sexual behavior:

      Let me lay out some statistics that, considered together, seem quite improbable. First, 91 percent of college students agree that their lives are dominated by the hookup culture. Second, the median number of hookups for a graduating senior is seven. That’s fewer than two hookups a year. Only about 40 percent of those hookups include sexual intercourse so, technically, the typical student acquires only two new sexual partners during college.

      …So what we are seeing on college campuses is the same dynamic we see outside of colleges. People with privilege—based on race, class, ability, attractiveness, sexual orientation, and, yes, gender—get to set the terms for everyone else. Their ideologies dominate our discourses, their particular set of values gets to appear universal, and everyone is subject to their behavioral norms. Students feel that a hookup culture dominates their colleges not because it is actually widely embraced, but because the people with the most power to shape campus culture like it that way.

      I’ve also been aware for years that hooking up is less common at traditionally black colleges.

      This is why I have always maintained that it is useless, even misleading, to talk about one SMP. The SMP is bifurcated first by education and SES, not race.

  • http://obsidianraw.bravejournal.com Obsidian

    @Ms. Walsh #211:
    “I’ve read that people with low empathy, which is not quite the same thing, report much lower levels of happiness and higher levels of discontent in life. They know something is wrong with them, because they can’t make good relationships. It’s sad, but they really are dangerous to others.”

    O: Interesting. I’ve always been of the view that “empathy” as its currently defined, is vastly overrated and highly selective in terms of who is to be deemed “worthy” of it. The current events of the past week or so is a case in point, and much of the point of discussion that undergirds the various permutations of the Manosphere is yet another.

    I am curious if you wouldn’t mind posting a link or two as to where you’ve read about “people with low empathy”? I’d like to take a closer looksee myself.

    Thanks.

    O.

  • Vitor

    If men didn’t want variety, we’d think you were all supplicating creeps… Evo biologists still aren’t entirely sure why men marry – there are not obvious incentives to do so.

    What is a supplicating creep? Those male romantic characters we see in chick-flick movies, a monogamous minded guy or, instead, any guy a woman is not attracted to is eligible to be a supplicating creep? I often wonder if there is a kind of feminine double standard here on play as well.

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

      @Vitor

      I used the term supplicating creep to describe a man who had zero potential interest in any woman save one. Because he does not have any desire for sexual variety, he is not someone whose commitment must be earned – he is willing to commit fully and for life to the first woman he is sexually attracted to.

      This is an extreme example, meant for illustrative purposes only. The point is that evolved sex differences are necessary for reproduction – vive la difference, as the French say.

  • Richard Aubrey

    Vitor.
    Ref supplicating creeps. That puzzled me.
    Could it be related to the assertion that women want to beat other women to the guy? That they relish competition?
    Could it be that a guy who is not looking at other women is too easy a catch? No fun?
    Presumably, relating to an earlier question, a guy who has opportunities is at least somebody who’s got a few things going on which is better than having nothing going on. Otherwise, nobody would bother with him. So having opportunities is at least a first-level filter.
    Beyond that…don’t get the supplicating creeps thing.
    I referred earlier to going to a party with a woman who had a splendid figure, as they used to say, and had apparently borrowed her scrawny niece’s sweater. I presume–too far back to recall details–that the other guys’ dates were at pains to make themselves valuable.
    Maybe that’s what Susan was referring to.

  • Sai

    @Fish

    Have you seen this?

    http://www.parsemusfoundation.org/vasalgel-home/

    I like what these guys are doing. (I’m not just saying that, I made a donation.)

  • Vitor

    @Richard: I also had always been “puzzled” by this double standard against us. Incidentally, seeing a recent comment at HUS, I found out that Susan had already covered this subject at: http://www.hookingupsmart.com/2010/04/28/hookinguprealities/its-about-time-the-new-reverse-double-standard/. So, thanks, to this article I know it’s technically called social proof, i.e., a man is supposed to prove that he’s attractive by his sexual history.

    This really always puzzled me because I would think: are women really so dumb like that? I have to admit that the most logical conclusion I got to is that indeed many of them are. But after careful analysis I also came to the conclusion that it’s way overexaggerated by men. And, yes, not all women are like that.

    So, I am inclined to agree with you on this:

    Presumably, relating to an earlier question, a guy who has opportunities is at least somebody who’s got a few things going on which is better than having nothing going on. Otherwise, nobody would bother with him. So having opportunities is at least a first-level filter.
    Beyond that…don’t get the supplicating creeps thing.

    But, also, likewise any guy (woman or man) who is chasing someone who’s not just into them, will end up being viewed as a supplicating creep. It just happens, it seems, that guys will be more subject to the label early on, as they approach girls and get rejected.

    Whatever, these days I was pondering about this issue, and I think that this feminine double standard really helps to explain, justify and reinforce the male one, especially if one takes into account that many of these supplicating creeps are just regular guys looking for a relationship.

    As far as my experience is concerned, as the regular invisible low-N guy, I think the feminine double standard is well and live. I am usually approached only by single mothers or women who don’t have many options anymore. That lead to conclude that many of the women I am usually interested in, are either way too passive, or they are just not into me… until they have no options anymore. I also tend to be friendly towards women, in my interactions with them in general, even if I am not interested at all in a relationship with them. Sometimes I find that some of them seem to have negative reactions to that: perhaps they just prefer distance, or don’t like friendships with men, or read any male interaction as a sign of sexual interest. Yet, as even for friendship sometimes I got and get rejected, it makes wonder if I am being rejected for falling in their supplicating creep radar (even though I was not romantically interested in them).

    Finally as the usually invisible loner, I was once hanging out with a very hot feminine acquaintance and got a few looks of some beautiful women who were seemingly interested in me. Later I rationalized it was mostly because I was hanging out with the hot girl.

    So all in all, I think that this feminine double standard is well and alive, at least instinctively. This is one the reasons I try to focus on girls who show empathy and are the nurturing type. I think I hold better chances with them and they are also the type of girls I find the most interesting/attractive.

  • Anacaona

    There is only so much of any resource to go around. I don’t see them as my best use of time, money, etc. I have friends with kids and my relationship with them has degraded in quality after they had kids. It has nothing to do with me, it has to do with them focusing their time and energy on their kids. I don’t begrudge them that, but I don’t want to be that guy.
    Except that is not the kids the issue is the change in priorities. If they had taken birdwatching it would had been the same unless you become a birdwatcher yourself. Every change in life is a test of friendship. I had lost several over changing religions for example. Blaming the reason for change doesn’t do justice to a perfectly normal human process.

  • Vitor

    Because he does not have any desire for sexual variety, he is not someone whose commitment must be earned – he is willing to commit fully and for life to the first woman he is sexually attracted to.

    This is an extreme example, meant for illustrative purposes only.

    Thanks, Susan, for the clarification. I definitely do not fit this paradigm :) and I think I am actually quite the opposite. It just happens so that sometimes the girls we’re willing to commit to are not so interested in commitment with us: it’s part of the mating dance, as I see it. :) And I like the differences between us. God thanks I am a man and that there are women. :D

  • Richard Aubrey

    “”I used the term supplicating creep to describe a man who had zero potential interest in any woman save one. Because he does not have any desire for sexual variety, he is not someone whose commitment must be earned – he is willing to commit fully and for life to the first woman he is sexually attracted to”

    Susan. Suppose we modify this to end with “the woman he is currently sexually attracted to”? With no known history of other attractions, I suppose.
    I can picture issues with a supplicating creep that are mainly icky. If he’s really supplicating as opposed to being focused only on one woman, that is.
    Do I take it that women–some women–want to earn commitment or not have it at all? Or that unearned commitment is unsatisfactory?

    I don’t get the segue to evolved sex differences necessary to reproduce. Of course we have the sperm/egg/uterus for nine months issue. But in the context of supplicating creep or not, I don’t see it. Presumably supplicating creeps are fertile, mostly. And what is the evolved sex difference between when talking about supplicating creeps?

    I have to admit that talking about supplicating creeps gives me a picture of the desired guy being an alpha asshole. No commitment, baby, give it up anyway. Which, of course, women all deny.

    The original reference to supplicating creep came in the context of a guy wants–damn’ well had better want–variety or he’s a supplicating creep. I expect a guy who’s fixated on the first woman whose mere presence gave him a boner is a pretty rare type. Not much point talking about him. Hell, it was probably a Playmate, anyway.
    How about the guy who gave up the general chase when the Right Woman showed up? Does a guy, even in an LTR, have to seem to be always looking around? Maybe even if he isn’t, he has to fake it?
    I think it’s still the case, was back in the day, that a guy in an LTR didn’t get caught looking around. Didn’t get caught by his SO checking out other women, nor would he comment on them. From which, according to my shrink buddy twenty years ago, the women in the LTR might actually question his sex drive. “The problem with politeness,” he called it. Included married couples, too.
    “What’s the matter with you? Marge, up the street, has a terrific figure and you don’t stare, even when she’s doing yard work in her swim suit, and you never say anything about her.” Pretty much a quote from one of his cases.
    So common politness and manners gets you thought of as a version of a supplicating creep.
    Hard to keep up.

  • Anacaona

    @Richard
    Consider the source. A shrink is bound to have crazy accounts just by virtue of their profession.

  • Richard Aubrey

    Ana.
    Of course, but they are mostly exaggerated examples of what is considerably more common. So if it’s that bad in counseling, it’s not as bad in couples not in counseling which is not the same as entirely absent.
    But the question remains: At what point can a guy give up being seen as at least somewhat interested in the general chase when he’s in an LTR and not be seen as some, possibly moderate, version of a supplicating creep?
    At what point do women want to stop having to fight to keep a guy’s attention away from other women, is another way of putting it.

  • http://bastiatblogger.blogspot.com Bastiat Blogger

    Re: Lisa Wade and pluralistic ignorance. I think that most students actually do realize that only a small group is really hooking up regularly, but note that those students who are fully immersed in the party culture are part of a particularly elite, glamorous, high-profile, trendsetting segment of the campus population. Thus there can be an aspirational “in crowd” quality to the culture that lets it punch well above its pure numerical weighting.

    If a handful of very hot, affluent girls band together in a high school clique, they can effectively become the “Heathers” or “Mean Girls” and dictate many social and fashion norms at the school. A similar dynamic may be in play on college campuses.

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

      @BB

      Early in the year you inspired this post, which is very much along the lines you mention:

      http://www.hookingupsmart.com/2013/01/29/personal-development/the-rising-influence-of-the-alpha-female/

      I would note, however, that rather than depending strictly on the innate attractiveness or glamour of the individuals, social dominance often reflects both pro-social and coercive behaviors. Which is why these populations are often viewed as a mean girl/douchebag mix of folks.

  • Richard Aubrey

    BB.
    Some campuses are pretty big. The in-crowd would have to advertise by dress, which of course can be copied and would be.
    Yeah, it’s aspirational. That’s where the fun is, that’s where the money is and you can dream about it.
    Much advertising is aspirational. See the Budweiser ads. Consider the participants have to be seen to be old enough to drink. Good-looking guys and gals having all-American fun, which the most fortunate of us had the opportunity to do for maybe three months after college, maybe, if we had the time and our friends were that kind and weren’t getting married and moving off or enlisting or whatever. Wouldn’t everybody want it?
    Ditto the in-group. But does the in-group advertise hooking up, or just social separateness and superiority?
    How do you tell the hooking-up in group as compared to the student government in group, the Greek or nearly-Greek social set, etc?

  • Angelguy

    I also tend to be friendly towards women, in my interactions with them in general, even if I am not interested at all in a relationship with them. Sometimes I find that some of them seem to have negative reactions to that: perhaps they just prefer distance, or don’t like friendships with men, or read any male interaction as a sign of sexual interest.

    @Vitor

    I think friendships with Women after a certain age detoriate.
    After 30, most are either married, divorced or have become indifferent to Men.
    A man offering friendship to a Woman, especially one that is currently not in a relationship is viewed by females as a failure.
    You may be a good man and have everything going for you.
    However, if the social dynamic is shown that you are anti-social, your personality is suspect.

    I tend to think the exposure of mass media, and constant warnings about anti-social men fuel this Feminine Double standard.
    Many Men convicted of rape or serial killing fall into this catergory of being a loner or anti-social.
    Even though, this is not true of all men in this social standing.

  • http://obsidianraw.bravejournal.com Obsidian

    @Ms. Walsh #363:
    “I believe you are confusing empathy and sympathy. Empathy is not something people are worthy of. Empathy is simply the ability to understand and care about the emotions of others.”

    O: I think the problem here is that our culture is “confused” since I’m following their lead here. As I’ve said earlier, we don’t seem to have much “empathy/sympathy” for guys in our time, indeed, those who talk the meanest game about “empathy/sympathy” have nothing but scorn, mockery and derision for guys like those at the center of the Nice Guys of OKCupid debacle last year, “Creepshaming” and the like. And don’t even get me started with the ongoing War on Pickup…

    “I would recommend reading the work of Simon Baron-Cohen, the world’s foremost authority on empathy.”

    O: Yes, I found his Time interview by Googling your phrase “people with low empathy” earlier this morning; the following statement by him I found to be most interesting:

    “I think if we take seriously the idea that behavior is the result of the brain — that having low empathy [is] the result of the way the empathy circuit is functioning or has developed — it does raise moral questions. When someone is acting with low empathy, why do we judge them as bad and punish them? It does shift the locus of where [they should be treated] philosophically, from the criminal justice system to health care.”

    Hmmm…

    Even more to the point here, the following quote merits focus:

    “That’s really interesting. I think brain maturation is one thing and also just the experience of relationships. I think that empathy has to have an environment in which to work, and that environment is relationships. Making mistakes in relationships is all part of learning to empathize.”

    Looks like the fierce opposition to Pickup, NGOKC, the “anti-Tom Brady” (SNL), etc, all serve to rob so many guys of the very thing the Feminist Lobby and their allies have been clamoring for – “empathy”.

    Oh, the irony…

    Anyway, thank you for the links.

    O.

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

      @Obsidian

      “I think if we take seriously the idea that behavior is the result of the brain — that having low empathy [is] the result of the way the empathy circuit is functioning or has developed — it does raise moral questions. When someone is acting with low empathy, why do we judge them as bad and punish them? It does shift the locus of where [they should be treated] philosophically, from the criminal justice system to health care.”

      Baron-Cohen studies autism, which he has called “extreme male brain.” So if someone is on the spectrum, it is perhaps not reasonable to expect empathy, as emotional perception and intelligence is often lacking. The implications – that genes determine behavior – are indeed enormous. It’s been said that we’ll get to a point where we it will be possible to know based on an infant’s genome whether that person will become a serial killer down the road. Already there is discussion about whether we should preemptively remove such people from free circulation in the population. Very controversial, obviously.

      Looks like the fierce opposition to Pickup, NGOKC, the “anti-Tom Brady” (SNL), etc, all serve to rob so many guys of the very thing the Feminist Lobby and their allies have been clamoring for – “empathy”.

      It’s no accident that a large percentage of PUAs, Nice Guys TM and Fred Armisen-like employees are people who lack the empathy gene themselves. Since they give off a vibe of having very limited ability to comprehend another person’s emotions, they repel rather than attract.

  • Vitor

    @Angelguy: Wow, It looks like we are not given many choices, if any: supplicating creep, rapist, serial killer or gay. It looks like a quad standard. :)

    As far as friendships are concerned, I think it could be seen also that the woman/girl in question was also perceiving this as a failure on her part as well, because she might want to be chased. Supplicating creeps also serve a purpose for and if a guy is not a supplicating creep it can also be frustrating for some women. In general, however, I also subscribe to the idea that friendship between men and women are quite unmanageable because sexual tensions tend to develop over time.

  • http://obsidianraw.bravejournal.com Obsidian

    @Ms. Walsh #360:
    ““Friends of friends” is one of the top 5 ways that spouses meet. All strategies fail more than they work, the key is to have a diverse portfolio of strategies.”

    O: Since we’re talking about yours truly here, I can say that what you’ve stated above does NOT apply to me, even while I freely admit that what you note above is the pat script. We both know that there is precious little written, studied or quite frankly cared about such things when it comes to demographics like mine.

    Let’s take each of your items in turn, again, applying them to me:

    1. School

    O: Nope. School was an absolutely horrid experience for me, I couldn’t get outta there fast enough. Given the dropout rates of boys who share my same demographic, I don’t think its that big a leap to say that I may not have been the only Black schoolboy who felt/experienced the same thing.

    2. Work

    O: Again, nein – as a lifelong Union card carrier – and by “union” I mean, Dickies and Timberland boots – Women were few and far between, and on those chances were I did find myself among them on the job I came to the conclusion to adhere to Biggie’s Rule #7 from his famed Ten Crack Commandments (look it up). Not only worth the hassle, it’s often more trouble than it’s worth, and I knew/understood this well before SNL did…

    3. Friends of friends

    O: See my previous comment to Ms. J above – I can fill up a whole page of horror stories where socalled well meaning “friends/family” seemed to go out of their way to fix me up with the most busted chick around. What was so deeply insulting about the whole thing was, it was clear that they didn’t know me enough to know what turned my crank (and what most assuredly did NOT). In fact, it was those horror stories that led me to fly solo. Never looked back.

    4. Online dating

    O: Jon Millward, along with OKCupid itself, prior to being gobbled up by Match.com, has confirmed that “Online Game” is a nonstarter for most guys. Will post up links if you’re interested. As for myself personally, I’d say that the the online/telepersonals thing was almost as bad as “Social Circle Game”, at least the online piece you can chalk up to truly random unknown stuff.

    5. Random encounters

    O: Can’t say much about this; I don’t do “random”. One of the things I truly love about Game, is its singularity of focus, intention and deliberation. I am not going out to “have a good time”; I am not going out to hangout with or make new “friends”; I am specifically, with focused intention, looking for a mate, be it short or long term. I’ve found it to be a highly effective approach, if for no other reason than because it puts personal agency at the forefront of a Man’s mating strategies – very important in an uncertain social world.

    So, no Ms. Walsh, I personally do not relate to what you’re saying here.

    O.

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

      @Obsidian

      The top 5 ways that spouses meet reflects the largest percentages of how couples meet in the population, according to some research that has been done in this area, both in the U.S. and Europe. No doubt there are innumerable other ways of meeting someone, e.g. church, live next door, etc. The fact that your personal experience varies says nothing about how other people meet their spouses.

      FTR, the phrase “random encounters” does not signify lack of focus – a man approaching a woman at Starbucks can be both focused and random, in that they are strangers, and did not have plans to meet. Call their being in the same place fate, luck, accidental or random, it doesn’t matter. All cold approaches are random encounters.

  • Anacaona

    Wow, It looks like we are not given many choices, if any: supplicating creep, rapist, serial killer or gay. It looks like a quad standard.
    I think is part of the whole brainwashing that “men are the privileged class” why would any men look nervous when approaching you unless he is up to no good? It kinds of forgets to judge men as individuals instead of putting them together in one group. Is sexual profiling if you want to call it something.

  • Fish

    @Ana
    If someone was as into birdwatching as people were with their kids, it would cause degradation of the relationship (and people would call them crazy). There are only so many hours on the day, I get it. Kids aren’t a hobby and require tremendous expenditures of time & effort. That amount of time and effort put into anything besides work (and MAYBE fitness) is seen as unhealthy by our society.

    Re: nervousness
    Privaleged or no, women control the sex supply. Anytime you are competing for a resource, it is normal to be nervous.

    @Sai
    Vasagel IS that risug thing. It seems awesome to me. Non invasive & reversible.

  • Fish

    Did my comment get lost again?

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

      @Fish

      I’ve whitelisted you. Shouldn’t happen again.

  • http://obsidianraw.bravejournal.com Obsidian

    @Ms. Walsh:
    “The top 5 ways that spouses meet reflects the largest percentages of how couples meet in the population, according to some research that has been done in this area, both in the U.S. and Europe. No doubt there are innumerable other ways of meeting someone, e.g. church, live next door, etc. The fact that your personal experience varies says nothing about how other people meet their spouses.”

    O: Yes, it does say something, because as I made clear to Ms. J that I simply do not fit into that box. It says something because it speaks to my personal experience, which was what I was talking about, not some abstract graph or grid. My real life experience does not jibe with all of that, and I am by no means alone.

    FTR, the phrase “random encounters” does not signify lack of focus – a man approaching a woman at Starbucks can be both focused and random, in that they are strangers, and did not have plans to meet. Call their being in the same place fate, luck, accidental or random, it doesn’t matter. All cold approaches are random encounters.”

    O: Who said I was doing such an approach, Ms. Walsh? I said that I step to Women with intention, who may already may know me; in fact, Social Proof/Peacocking/Preselection can and often does carry a Man a long way; having the ladies step up front is a beautiful thing.

    I’m a witness.

    Also, with all due respect, I’ve actually gone out Sarging, a lot; you, have not. The very definition of the term is at variance with the idea of “random encounters” no matter how you or anyone else may wish to slice it. The point is that I, and a significant portion of the American population simply don’t fit into the box no matter how hard you try; and no matter how much you may want to poo-poo it when it doesn’t work, well, won’t work either.

    Think outside the box. ;)

    “It’s no accident that a large percentage of PUAs, Nice Guys TM and Fred Armisen-like employees are people who lack the empathy gene themselves. Since they give off a vibe of having very limited ability to comprehend another person’s emotions, they repel rather than attract.”

    O: See the SBC quote I pasted in above; seems to be the Feminist Lobby isn’t trying to wait for a century to put their Eugenics scheme into action; like I said, oh, the irony…

    O.

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

      @Obsidian

      O: Yes, it does say something, because as I made clear to Ms. J that I simply do not fit into that box. It says something because it speaks to my personal experience, which was what I was talking about, not some abstract graph or grid. My real life experience does not jibe with all of that, and I am by no means alone.

      I’ve already explained that the box does not comprise 100% of all married couples – which, btw, excludes you in any case unless you’ve married? It’s just a statistic – the top 5 ways married folks meet. Your experience is different, if you were married perhaps you’d fall into the second quintile or the fourth. Shrug.

      The point is that I, and a significant portion of the American population simply don’t fit into the box no matter how hard you try; and no matter how much you may want to poo-poo it when it doesn’t work, well, won’t work either.

      I have zero investment in how people meet. I’m simply quoting the research. AFAIAC, the important takeaway is that people meet many different ways – it’s not enough to assume you’ll meet your SO at school, or put all your eggs in the online dating basket. (Though online dating now accounts for about 19% of American marriages, so that’s a whole lot of men and women who have been successful with it.) Again, that may not by your personal preference, but newsflash: This isn’t about you or your experience. Anecdotal data is fallacy.

  • http://www.rosehope.com/ Hope

    Anacaona “Parents are adults too and they actually can become friends and allies in the journey during your years of raising your kids.”

    Yes, I find that my friendships with females have increased since becoming a mother. Three of my female coworkers have given birth within a 6-month span of me having Aidan, so we’re exchanging notes and have a lot to talk about.

    Fish “That amount of time and effort put into anything besides work (and MAYBE fitness) is seen as unhealthy by our society.”

    http://ns.umich.edu/new/releases/2765-time-u-s-children-spend-with-their-fathers-and-what-they-do

    According to that study, half the time the father is just around doing other things, and keeping an eye on the kid and on “standby” mode. So 2.5 hours on weekdays, 6 hours on weekends, divided by half, comes out to 12 hours per week actively engaging with the kids.

    I don’t think that’s so crazy that it takes over the guy’s life. My husband still does his own thing most of the time. For me it’s different, but I enjoy it most of the time. If I need help, I ask for it, and my husband gladly helps. But to paint this bleak, awful picture of fatherhood is really kind of silly. Maybe some fathers hate being fathers. But I know plenty of men who love fatherhood.

  • http://obsidianraw.bravejournal.com Obsidian

    @Ms. Hope:
    “I don’t think that’s so crazy that it takes over the guy’s life. My husband still does his own thing most of the time. For me it’s different, but I enjoy it most of the time. If I need help, I ask for it, and my husband gladly helps. But to paint this bleak, awful picture of fatherhood is really kind of silly. Maybe some fathers hate being fathers. But I know plenty of men who love fatherhood.”

    O: I’ve always said that the day Roe For Men becomes a reality is the day we all find out what Men enmasse *really* think about fatherhood; something tells me we’re in for quite the eye-opening experience.

    Which explains why the strange bedfellows of the Social Conservatives and the Feminist Lobby, just to name a few, are out in full force fighting this thing. If Men truly do have Choice, they know they won’t like the results.

    None of that is to takeaway anything from those Men who want to be or are already dads, and love it; more power to em. I’m just sayin though…can we honestly say, that *any Man* “loves fatherhood” under the present circumstances, where they have no say in the matter, and are pretty much forced into it? Would this even be a question if the genders were reversed? I think we all know the answer to that question…

    O.

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

      : I’ve always said that the day Roe For Men becomes a reality is the day we all find out what Men enmasse *really* think about fatherhood; something tells me we’re in for quite the eye-opening experience.

      That will never happen.

      None of that is to takeaway anything from those Men who want to be or are already dads, and love it; more power to em. I’m just sayin though…can we honestly say, that *any Man* “loves fatherhood” under the present circumstances, where they have no say in the matter, and are pretty much forced into it?

      Men are not “pretty much forced into” fatherhood. That’s a ludicrous claim that I consider trolling. If you’re going to make claims, you’d better have stats to back them up.

      Again, I would point out that as someone who has not reproduced, and who has lived a PUA lifestyle, you are not qualified to discuss how fathers feel about their children.

  • Anacaona

    That amount of time and effort put into anything besides work (and MAYBE fitness) is seen as unhealthy by our society.
    There is a term called workaholic for a reason. Also what Hope says so far after the adjustment period hubby and I had managed to go back to our routine now including William in it of course.
    I understand that is a matter of taste of course but is not like parents stop being themselves after having kids. I haven’t neither hubby.

  • Vitor

    I think is part of the whole brainwashing that “men are the privileged class” why would any men look nervous when approaching you unless he is up to no good? It kinds of forgets to judge men as individuals instead of putting them together in one group. Is sexual profiling if you want to call it something.

    Probably… Whatever the reason might be, I do not really spend too much time trying to understand another party’s motives or reasons. I do not see it as my problem, generally, unless I have made something wrong, or treated the other person unfairly. Borrowing Susan’s words, I am not an emotional tampon.

    I just evoked this discussion of the so called “double standard” because I see it as kind of natural reaction and mating strategy into which guys are sort of conditioned by women’s own standards (or excuses). So, to my mind, there is no such a thing as a sexist double standard on men’s part. It’s just a matter of normal attraction cues and mating strategies/instincts into which the genders have adapted to each other along the time, much like the feminine strategy of preferring guys with good empathy and parenting skills for a stable relationship or to form a family.

  • Fish

    Re: time management
    I’ll use a good parallel; World of Warcraft. If you had a friend, all they talked about was awesome stuff they did with their character and could only hang out at certain times for limited duration because they had to be home at a certain time to raid, would you would question their dedication to your friendship? Would you listen to them talk endlessly about how awesome their character was and things they had accomplished? Thats how parents sound to non parents.

    12-24 hours a week with kids is “healthy and commendable”, 12-24 hours a week of world of warcraft is an addiction. I’m just saying based on expenditure of time, there is a double standard here. . .

  • Richard Aubrey

    Still not getting the connection between the supplicating creep and the desire for variety, or lack thereof.

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

      Still not getting the connection between the supplicating creep and the desire for variety, or lack thereof.

      A man needs options in order to make a choice. Women want to be selected for commitment over his other options. If a man has no options, or doesn’t even want to be aware of his options, then his making a lifetime commitment holds less value.

  • Vitor

    Also, I was reading this article on AntiGame and what comes to my mind is: being rejected is not so bad after all. Sometimes it’s just one of the best things it can happen to a guy. I mean, faking “AntiGame”, in order to avoid rejection, still looks like weakness and compliance. Got burned: move on. Unless the guy wants to be, of course, a masculine version of the Women Who Love Too Much phenomenon. :)

    I know a guy who went just through that: got rejected so many times and was thinking that he wouldn’t make it. One thing I found very interesting is that he didn’t lower his standards. He would tell me often: “I may stay alone forever, but I will only marry a virgin.” At the the time, I was just another dumb feminist minded guy and I used to find funny his “simplistic” or “sexist” way of viewing relationships. He was actually dumped before by a non-virgin girl he was infatuated with. I think this had an influence. But the fact is that he got what he wanted. Eventually a “virgin” got interested in him. He was not so interested in her: so he was in a natural position of not being supplicating. Eventually they married and they are well.

  • Vitor

    @Richard: I think that when Susan was referring to desire for variety, she was writing mostly from a female perspective. I mean, she was acknowledging a man’s sexual need for variety, which sort of end up making it hard for women to earn his commitment.

    As far as the male perspective is concerned, I think you’ve made the right questions at #367. And to sum it up, I would say: some (or most) women just cannot feel attraction at all to guys who chase them, or who are emotionally insecure. But I also see this as a mating dynamic. Sometimes she is chased, other times she is the chaser. Actually I myself have rejected already quite a few, who were interested in me and I was not in them. I just don’t label them as supplicating creeps. I respect them for their courage to take the initiative and share their feelings. In this aspect, I think that women are being disrespectful to guys, referring to them as supplicating creeps. Or just absolutely losers, when viewing them as potential rapists, serial killers or something of the sort. Why trying to make up so much excuses for the fact that they just don’t feel attracted to them? Female cowardliness? :)

  • http://www.rosehope.com/ Hope

    Fish “12-24 hours a week with kids is “healthy and commendable”, 12-24 hours a week of world of warcraft is an addiction. I’m just saying based on expenditure of time, there is a double standard here. . .”

    You are talking to the girl who played 40+ hours a week of World of Warcraft, farmed an epic mount in the first month of vanilla release, and met her husband playing WoW. I also played a ton of other online video games, most of which non-gamers have never heard of.

    In all that time I maintained a full time job, did some freelance web design on the side, saved enough money for a house down payment, and had a long-term relationship. I managed to shower every day, cook homemade meals 95%+ of the time, and I even averaged 15 minutes of exercise per day. I don’t know what you’re talking about with this addiction thing. :P

    Still do most of those things, except instead of 40+ hours devoted to a video game, it’s more than 30 hours spent on baby per week, and less than 10 hours on video games and personal time, i.e. blogs and reddit.

  • http://www.rosehope.com/ Hope

    Also, about the double standard thing. I’m not one who complains about double standards.

    I also get that nobody wants to listen to me talk about video games, so I don’t talk about it. I never bring it up with my female friends. I confine it to game forums. I also don’t talk about the baby incessantly to people. In real life, most people think I’m quiet and unassuming, and I just don’t really talk about myself all that much.

  • Anacaona

    @Fish
    That is the most stupid comparison you could had picked.
    Do you get that kids are born completely dependent on the adults that surrounded them and if an adult tend to them less than they need they can die or get severely emotionally damaged?
    This is the definition of addiction per wiki:
    “Behavioral (non-chemical) addiction is a form of addiction which does not rely on drugs like alcohol. Increasingly referred to as process addiction[1] or non-substance-related addiction[2][3] behavioral addiction includes a compulsion to repeatedly engage in an action until said action causes serious negative consequences to the person’s physical, mental, social, and/or financial well-being.[4][5] One sign that a behavior has become addictive is if it persists despite these consequences”
    Unless your friends are parenting themselves to death then “annoying me with their babbling about children I don’t want” doesn’t count as an addiction to children.

  • http://www.rosehope.com/ Hope

    Anacaona, I think of this conversation as partially preparation for future discussions, when our son is 20-something and thinks he knows better than his parents, and decides to be “child-free.” I would hope to raise him to think of family as a good thing, but all kids go through a rebellious phase. :p

  • Anacaona

    Still do most of those things, except instead of 40+ hours devoted to a video game, it’s more than 30 hours spent on baby per week, and less than 10 hours on video games and personal time, i.e. blogs and reddit.
    I recently started a new character on WOW and I got her on level 12 in 3 days. I had taught myself at least 3 new programs for personal projects aside from the writing, homemaking and my two blogs… I guess my babymaster is lenient towards my time :p

  • Anacaona

    Anacaona, I think of this conversation as partially preparation for future discussions, when our son is 20-something and thinks he knows better than his parents, and decides to be “child-free.” I would hope to raise him to think of family as a good thing, but all kids go through a rebellious phase. :p

    Heh I think being child-free will stop being ‘cool’ by that time. Also you live in Utah land of the family values. In my case visiting a third world country regularly will surely show him a thing or two about family values. I also think there is some strong genetic component in the search for genetic legacy. My husband left his last girlfriend before me because she didn’t wanted children so I think I’m safe in that aspect too.

  • Crouchback

    I think Lisa Wade misses one key detail about class and hook up culture. White women from upper middle and upper class backgrounds come from communities where husbands and fathers are taken as a given and it is assumed a woman with some effort can find a man willing and able to be a husband and father and probably even let her stay at home with the kids. Single motherhood may be praised in theory but almost never practiced. Those students most likely assume they can find a husband when they want one and until then can have their fun in college. Poor and minority women are much less likely to take such men for granted. If a woman from a less privileged background makes it to a good college, she may not only aim at getting a good education, she may try to make certain she will find a husband sooner or later. That’s a pretty strong incentive not to sleep around.

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

      @Crouchback

      Single motherhood may be praised in theory but almost never practiced.

      It’s not praised by educated women, only 8% of whom have children OOW. A very, very small number of women go the turkey baster route at 40 or older if they don’t find or want a man.

      Those students most likely assume they can find a husband when they want one and until then can have their fun in college.

      Yesterday I read an article where the author said he has no doubt that A. and her type will be featured in the New York Times wedding section in 10 years. I agree – nearly all the promiscuous women who want to marry will, most likely to promiscuous men, who view their N as rounding error.

      If a woman from a less privileged background makes it to a good college, she may not only aim at getting a good education, she may try to make certain she will find a husband sooner or later. That’s a pretty strong incentive not to sleep around.

      I don’t think it’s about finding a husband, it’s about becoming self-supporting. An affluent young woman has a safety net – she can probably get a good job even without decent grades via her connections. If all else fails, she can move back to Westchester with mom and dad until something turns up. She may work for a few years, then marry and stop working while she keeps her own home in Westchester.

      A woman at college on financial aid has to keep her grades up and has no safety net. She must be able to find a job upon graduation using only her wits and qualifications. I suspect you’d also see a big difference in majors by SES.

  • http://obsidianraw.bravejournal.com Obsidian

    @Crouchback:
    “I think Lisa Wade misses one key detail about class and hook up culture. White women from upper middle and upper class backgrounds come from communities where husbands and fathers are taken as a given and it is assumed a woman with some effort can find a man willing and able to be a husband and father and probably even let her stay at home with the kids. Single motherhood may be praised in theory but almost never practiced. Those students most likely assume they can find a husband when they want one and until then can have their fun in college. Poor and minority women are much less likely to take such men for granted. If a woman from a less privileged background makes it to a good college, she may not only aim at getting a good education, she may try to make certain she will find a husband sooner or later. That’s a pretty strong incentive not to sleep around.”

    O: Boom!-you ain’t saying nothing but a word. I think Ms. Wade’s piece raises many questions, yours above being among them. Indeed, I said something very similar last Fall:

    “No one here needs me to tell them the simple fact that, out there on the open dating market, White Women have a higher mating value, than do Black Women – that’s just the plain truth of it. Indeed, if anyone knows the truth of this, Black Women know it. We can quibble over whether that’s right or wrong, good or bad, etc, et al – but what it comes down to is this: White Women can afford themselves certain notions and ideas that the vast majority of Sistas, simply cannot. One of them is the notion that a Prince Charming is only the next guy away. I’ve seen LOTS of mightily overly-entitled Beckys, Jennifers and Emilys out there – but you know what? In the end, at least until very recently, their attitude was justified, because they know that when it all shakes out, their Brett, Chad or Seth, can and will show up. Sistas simply cannot be as certain this is going to happen, and every Black set of eyes reading this knows this to be 100% true. White boys are still gonna chase these Women down, say what you will about all of that, but it’s true. Brothas on the other hand, are chasing Sistas, less and less. Fact.”

    http://obsidianraw.bravejournal.com/entry/105484

    O.

  • Sai

    “White boys are still gonna chase these Women down, say what you will about all of that, but it’s true. Brothas on the other hand, are chasing Sistas, less and less.”

    He’s probably right. Good thing for me the only two attractive guys I ever came across were Jewish.

  • BuenaVista

    SW: “Yesterday I read an article where the author said he has no doubt that A. and her type will be featured in the New York Times wedding section in 10 years. I agree – nearly all the promiscuous women who want to marry will, most likely to promiscuous men, who view their N as rounding error.”

    Perhaps. The reason I disagree is that monogamy is a learned behavior, and sustaining an intimate relationship over time is a skill. Promiscuous men and women, after 15 years of blurred, boundary-less sexual activity don’t actually know anything about sustaining relationships over time. Nor are the behaviors that support such a relationship over time practiced, known, studied, acquired.

    So maybe they’ll pair off, as you describe, but I seriously doubt it. There are just too many practical problems. It’s like a lawyer deciding at 35 to become a guitarist or chess master: from whence do the new skills arrive? I took 18 months off after my last company and even that interregnum made the process of going back to work more difficult than I ever imagined. I had lost the habit of working. Here we’re talking about people trading, arbitrarily, a lifetime of casual sexual activity for a lifetime of commitment. (The flip side is the longterm married guy who gets divorced, and his only instinct is to immediately remarry: that, in turn, is all he knows.)

    Moreover a male who has played the field far and wide and successfully for a decade or two will, if he decides he’s going to turn over a new leaf and be someone he’s never been, is going to choose as his mate a woman significantly younger. This puts A (at age 35) in an untenable position: high N men who might want be attractive to her, and be attainable to her, are going to be 45. And how many guys, after 20 years of playing, are going to turn into successful domestic betas who put their families first (much less know how to do that)? I think there’s a point of no return for people who assert current actions do not circumscribe the future content of one’s character.

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

      @BV

      Promiscuous men and women, after 15 years of blurred, boundary-less sexual activity don’t actually know anything about sustaining relationships over time.

      I agree with you. I suspect those marriages will occur after dating for a year or two, and will have a high divorce rate.

      Here we’re talking about people trading, arbitrarily, a lifetime of casual sexual activity for a lifetime of commitment.

      In my experience, even the sluttiest people say they want to marry, and quite a few plan to have kids. Helen Fisher has wondered how this makes sense as a mating strategy, because they often don’t stay together long enough to raise kids. She theorizes that the strategy is one of sequential LTRs or marriages that produce blended families.

      This puts A (at age 35) in an untenable position: high N men who might want be attractive to her, and be attainable to her, are going to be 45.

      I don’t think A. is going to wait that long. She’s going to take herself off the market in her late 20s and marry by 30. Why would any guy want to wife her up? I don’t know, but I know some real bitches whose wealthy husbands made similar deals back in the day.

      In no way am I saying these relationships will be quality, or even last.

  • BuenaVista

    On reflection, maybe someone like A marries someone 20 years older — some divorced guy who is just transfixed by her relative youth and virtuosic sex skills. I don’t see it, but I suppose sometimes fools rush in, and men can be convinced that a commitment-free sex-positive harridan can be managed with a pre-nup. (Not in a million effing years, would be my reaction.)

    I’m trying to think of such situations, but all I’m coming up with are men who take someone like A as a mistress (while staying married), or men who have a soft harem. I don’t know of a single slutworld graduate who paired off, in the end.

    A’s Hear Me Roar sexuality is fine for her, but I can only see her pairing off down the road with a naive man. (Since she prioritizes financial/professional success, she will need a naive, successful man (who’s sexually hot). Exactly where do you get those guys?) Otherwise she’s going to be used — as she so proudly uses men now — with an ever-older, more cynical crew of men. 35 or 40 is pretty old to just flip a switch and start living for love.

  • http://obsidianraw.bravejournal.com Obsidian

    @Crouchback:
    To follow up on my previous comment, I’ll say this: its a fact that Black Men are the least likely of all American Men to marry, and that’ss even after you account/control for SES/education level – in fact, and Ralph Richard Banks discusses this in his book, Black Men of higher education/income levels aren’t in a big rush to marry either; per US census data, 25% of Black Men aged 40 and above have never been married. This is, make no mistake about it, a HUGE issue of concern in the Black community among Black Women, discussed with great fervor on their part. Here’s my take on the matter:

    http://obsidianraw.bravejournal.com/entry/133856

    OK, but what does any of that have to do with this audience? Simple – ever heard of mission creep?

    “Add to this the fact that, for Brothas on the lower end of the SES totem pole, their ability to woo Sistas and put a ring on it has greatly diminished over the past three decades or so, making them less attractive marital options in the eyes of their assortative Sistas (and which is something that is now being written about and discussed among Whites; see Charles Murray’s “Coming Apart” and Hannah Rosin’s “The End of Men” for more on this point), and, well, we get what we get.

    But, since SBM, like VSB and the vast majority of the Afrosphere is a venue that caters almost exclusively to the Bougie Set, let’s not spend too much time fretting about the Charles Ramseys of Black America; what the Sistas really wanna know, is why those handsome, educated, eligible Brothas aren’t walking down the aisle – right?

    Well ladies, as yours truly so often says, to ask the question, is to answer it – and indeed I have, on more than one occasion. Repeat after me: anyone, or anything, that is highly desirable, is also very likely to be in short supply – and as such, is in a position to demand their “price” – in this case, handsome, eligible, highly educated and professional Black Men who have, either naturally or studied, GAME, are able to get all the lovin’ they want from Black (and other) Women without having to put a ring on it (or if they already have, they can get “extra” relatively easily), in some cases, indefinitely. Think George Clooney with a Denzel-tan.

    In short, and as longtime reader and frequent commenter Dragnet puts it so very well – there is little incentive for many Black Men – especially the kinds of Black Men so many Sistas want most – to tie the knot. If anything, the disincentives are just as numerous and depending on who you talk to, much more so. They can put off marriage for the same reasons a dog lifts up one leg to take a leak – because he can.

    Not pretty I know, but then, the Truth, rarely is.”

    I have argued, and I maintain right now, that as goes Black America, so too, go the rest of the nation. Don’t take my word for it, check the stats along these lines for yourself.

    O.

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

      I have argued, and I maintain right now, that as goes Black America, so too, go the rest of the nation. Don’t take my word for it, check the stats along these lines for yourself.

      You just got done pointing out that people behave differently according to SES. There’s an overlap with race, but they are not the same thing. The best predictor of marriage and divorce is education.

  • JP

    “A man needs options in order to make a choice. Women want to be selected for commitment over his other options. If a man has no options, or doesn’t even want to be aware of his options, then his making a lifetime commitment holds less value.”

    This doesn’t make much sense to me.

    I only ever really had one option at a time (generally spaced apart by a couple of years) because that’s the way I am.

  • Vitor

    Still, about the supplicating creep issue, I have found a piece of text which purportedly teaches guys how to approach women without being supplicating. It looks like PUA material, but it’s actually quite sarcastic to my mind: http://justpaste.it/approachandseduction. I find it hilarious.

  • http://obsidianraw.bravejournal.com Obsidian

    @Ms. Walsh:
    “I’ve already explained that the box does not comprise 100% of all married couples – which, btw, excludes you in any case unless you’ve married? It’s just a statistic – the top 5 ways married folks meet. Your experience is different, if you were married perhaps you’d fall into the second quintile or the fourth. Shrug.”

    O: LOL, now you want to discount the experience because it don’t fall into box, right? Newsflash – *I never said a mumbling word about “marriage” – *I was specifically responding to Ms. J’s wonderous notions of the “friend of a friend” approach, which she based on her personal experience, countering it with my own. YOU, were the one to make a statistical stink about it, when *it was never at issue to begin with.* Why can’t you just let a Man live? Social Circle Game didn’t get it done for a Brotha, end of. Doesn’t mean Ms. J or that beautiful Jewish lady you know didn’t make out like bandits with it, they did. Viva la difference, right?

    “I have zero investment in how people meet.”

    O: If that were true, we wouldn’t be having this conversation, LOL. Remember, it was YOU who stepped with all the grids and graphs, when neither Ms. J nor I didn’t so much as allude to any such thing. Again, she was relaying her personal experience, and I countered with mine. Why not just leave at that?

    “I’m simply quoting the research.”

    O: WHY??? The convo had nothing in the least to do with “research” – it had to do with personal experience, Ms. J’s and mine. What about that is so threatening to you?

    “AFAIAC, the important takeaway is that people meet many different ways – it’s not enough to assume you’ll meet your SO at school, or put all your eggs in the online dating basket.”

    O: OK – then why the need to run down a checklist, especially when nobody, not me, not Ms. J, even went there? What is up with that?

    “(Though online dating now accounts for about 19% of American marriages, so that’s a whole lot of men and women who have been successful with it.)”

    O: LOL, yea, let’s see how long any of those guys keep their gigs with that kind of success rate – not much better than the the “friend” strategy (80% failure rate for guys, which is why I don’t “do” female friends, in part)

    “Again, that may not by your personal preference, but newsflash: This isn’t about you or your experience. Anecdotal data is fallacy.”

    O: LOL – nice strawman! Let’s try this again:

    1. Ms. J made a personal argument for Social Circle Game

    2. Obsidian counters her personal testimony with his a testimony of his own

    3. Neither Ms. J nor Obsidian ever made their statements on the basis of “the research”

    4. Yet, Ms. Walsh hauls out “the research”?

    What does NOT fit here?

    ;)

    “That will never happen.”

    O: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/06/12/is-forced-fatherhood-fair/#postComment

    Comment and reply, holla.

    “Men are not “pretty much forced into” fatherhood. That’s a ludicrous claim that I consider trolling. If you’re going to make claims, you’d better have stats to back them up.”

    O: LOL, see above…

    “Again, I would point out that as someone who has not reproduced, and who has lived a PUA lifestyle, you are not qualified to discuss how fathers feel about their children.”

    O: Why not? I’m not a PUA, never have been, never claimed to be, and has zilch to do with the Roe For Men issue in any event. Moreover, please note the part of my comment to Ms. Hope where I specifically “more power to” those Men who wanted to be dads and liked/loved it.

    Additionally, your argument falls apart for the simple reason that it would never fly if it were applied to Women; no dice, I’m afraid.

    Nice try though…

    O.

    O.

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

      1. Ms. J made a personal argument for Social Circle Game

      2. Obsidian counters her personal testimony with his a testimony of his own

      3. Neither Ms. J nor Obsidian ever made their statements on the basis of “the research”

      4. Yet, Ms. Walsh hauls out “the research”?

      Personal anecdote is not data.

      There is data available to settle the question. The debate is actually pointless.

      Still shrugging.

      I am not threatened by any of your claims, but I am going to keep the debate on-topic. Roe for men stops right here.

  • Richard Aubrey

    Susan.
    The definition of supplicating creep you gave is succinct and makes internal sense. However, it could describe a guy who says to a woman, “There’s nobody better.”
    However, it leaves the question of the point at which women don’t want to fight fofr the guy’s attention any longer. Marriage? Marriage plus 10? Getting close to engagement?
    Clearly, a guy who has nothing of value–lousy manners and hygiene, no ambition, no job, overweight, soft couch potato, no curiosity about anything but NCIS, isn’t going to have many options no matter what. Presumably, this isn’t te guy we’re talking about.
    At some point, a guy who has a lot of options, or potential options given his characteristics which we will describe as the opposite of the preceding description, might make it clear that his other options are off the table. At what point does that become a good thing rather than a bad thing?
    The picture here is of a pretty desirable guy wandering around rationing his attention in microbursts to at least a dozen women, all of whose interactions are visible to some of the other women. He’d have to wear armor, right?
    If true, it’s easily done. In fact, if true, it’s so guaranteed to work it ought to be illegal.
    I could almost see it, when I was not getting what, in retrospect, were IOIs. Must have looked as if I had too many options to take up the most recent offer. Kind of an exponential thing, possibly.

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

      @Richard

      However, it could describe a guy who says to a woman, “There’s nobody better.”

      Well, presumably that guy has evaluated his other options and decided that woman is his choice.

      However, it leaves the question of the point at which women don’t want to fight fofr the guy’s attention any longer. Marriage? Marriage plus 10? Getting close to engagement?

      I stopped competing when we fell in love. At that point my husband made it clear all other options were off the table for good. However, that doesn’t mean I fail to realize he has options, even now. I just feel secure in his attraction and love for me.

  • Maggie

    Well, Tracy Flory Clark, the big cheerleader for hooking up, is engaged: http://www.salon.com/2013/07/21/i_was_supposed_to_end_up_alone/. So we are all wrong, lol.

    Her “In Defense of Casual Sex” five years ago was pretty arrogant, but she seems to be mellowing a little. It will be interesting to see what her views will be if she ever has a daughter.

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

      @Maggie

      Interesting quote from TCF:

      Clearly, sleeping around didn’t stop me from settling down. In fact, I think it helped. Not in a 1-to-1 ratio; it’s not like my likelihood of getting married increased measurably and incrementally with each hookup. Experience and perspective rarely work like that. It was a circuitous path with a lot of doubling back and many U-turns. That’s how growing up goes. I was scared of intimacy and commitment until I wasn’t.

  • Anacaona

    Perhaps. The reason I disagree is that monogamy is a learned behavior, and sustaining an intimate relationship over time is a skill. Promiscuous men and women, after 15 years of blurred, boundary-less sexual activity don’t actually know anything about sustaining relationships over time. Nor are the behaviors that support such a relationship over time practiced, known, studied, acquired.

    So maybe they’ll pair off, as you describe, but I seriously doubt it. There are just too many practical problems. It’s like a lawyer deciding at 35 to become a guitarist or chess master: from whence do the new skills arrive? I took 18 months off after my last company and even that interregnum made the process of going back to work more difficult than I ever imagined. I had lost the habit of working. Here we’re talking about people trading, arbitrarily, a lifetime of casual sexual activity for a lifetime of commitment. (The flip side is the longterm married guy who gets divorced, and his only instinct is to immediately remarry: that, in turn, is all he knows.)

    Moreover a male who has played the field far and wide and successfully for a decade or two will, if he decides he’s going to turn over a new leaf and be someone he’s never been, is going to choose as his mate a woman significantly younger. This puts A (at age 35) in an untenable position: high N men who might want be attractive to her, and be attainable to her, are going to be 45. And how many guys, after 20 years of playing, are going to turn into successful domestic betas who put their families first (much less know how to do that)? I think there’s a point of no return for people who assert current actions do not circumscribe the future content of one’s character.
    +1000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000.

  • http://obsidianraw.bravejournal.com Obsidian

    @Ms. Walsh:
    “Personal anecdote is not data.”

    O: No one argued as much.

    “There is data available to settle the question.”

    O: It wasn’t a matter of whether data existed.

    “The debate is actually pointless.”

    O: I’d say so, since you essentially agreed with my position by acknowledging that Social Circle Game failed more than it worked.

    “Still shrugging.”

    O: If you had did that right from the rip, there’d be no need to haul out grids and graphs…

    “I am not threatened by any of your claims,”

    O: Riiight…

    “but I am going to keep the debate on-topic.”

    O: The “debate” was about Ms. J and myself giving our personal takes on Social Circle Game. “Data” had no place in it.

    “Roe for men stops right here.”

    O: The NYT – argued in the affirmative by Feminist scholars, one of them legal, begs to differ, I’m afraid; moreover, the discussion between Fish and Ms. Hope was on the question of parenthood, with the latter arguing strongly in the affirmative. My comment to Ms. Hope was, therefore, quite on topic.

    Please note that I am neutral on whether Men should or should not be dads; my position is that they should be able to make that choice for themselves.

    RFM is about this.

    O.

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

      @Obsidian

      This is not the venue for a discussion of Roe, for either sex. Please respect that.

  • Hope

    I am all for men who don’t want to be fathers not becoming fathers. I am not for forcing medical procedures on a woman. That might lead to imposing surgeries on others.

    I do think a man should be able to give up all legal rights to his biological spawn up until the woman is no longer able to have an abortion. It’s permanent, and he has no right to see or have contact with the child.

    But deep down, I wish that men had something like vasagel or whatever, some form of semi-permanent, reliable and cheap birth control, so that all men who wish to remove themselves from the possibility of parenthood can do so.

    Every child should be a wanted and loved child.

  • Abbot
  • Vitor

    I stopped competing when we fell in love. At that point my husband made it clear all other options were off the table for good. However, that doesn’t mean I fail to realize he has options, even now. I just feel secure in his attraction and love for me.

    Interesting. I think there is a lot of “grey area” around this issue, specially depending on whom took the initiative. The fact that you had to compete for him and that he has options, even now, gives you a sense of being more valued as you feel secure in his attraction and love for you, which means: you won, you’re special. :)

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

      The fact that you had to compete for him and that he has options, even now, gives you a sense of being more valued as you feel secure in his attraction and love for you, which means: you won, you’re special. :)

      Exactly. I think the key to long-term relationship success is twofold:

      Make the other person feel special.

      Attempt to be and stay special/high value.

  • http://obsidianraw.bravejournal.com Obsidian

    @Ms. Maggie:
    “Well, Tracy Flory Clark, the big cheerleader for hooking up, is engaged; So we are all wrong, lol.”

    O: Not necessarily; as the Wise Man once so famously said, a Fool and his money are soon parted…

    “Her “In Defense of Casual Sex” five years ago was pretty arrogant, but she seems to be mellowing a little. It will be interesting to see what her views will be if she ever has a daughter.”

    O: Fate, it seems, is not without a sense of irony…

    O.

  • http://obsidianraw.bravejournal.com Obsidian

    @Ms. Walsh:
    “Interesting quote from TCF:”

    *Clearly, sleeping around didn’t stop me from settling down. In fact, I think it helped. Not in a 1-to-1 ratio; it’s not like my likelihood of getting married increased measurably and incrementally with each hookup. Experience and perspective rarely work like that. It was a circuitous path with a lot of doubling back and many U-turns. That’s how growing up goes. I was scared of intimacy and commitment until I wasn’t.*

    O: As we say in the hood – the Thirst, is Real…

    O.

  • http://obsidianraw.bravejournal.com Obsidian

    @Ms. Walsh:
    “This is not the venue for a discussion of Roe, for either sex. Please respect that.”

    O: Fair enough. Done.

    O.

  • Jimmy Hendricks

    @Abbot

    How is a girl going to hide it now?

    http://nymag.com/thecut/2013/07/texting-exes-social-media-generation.html

    Good lord. That’s 10 minutes of my life I’m never getting back.

    .

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    For the record, stories like TCF’s are the reason I hate that dumb-ass Racal Flatt’s song “God Bless the Broken Road”

    You were a fuck-up and you were immature and eventually you managed to fix your life.

    Join the club, there’s a lot of us. Don’t glamorize your dumb-assery.

  • Anacaona

    Good lord. That’s 10 minutes of my life I’m never getting back.
    Thanks for the warning :D

  • Travis

    @Susan,
    OT:
    Just found this interview with Christina Hoff Sommers. It would fit perfectly as a companion piece to your recent “Feminism’s New Marketing Strategy” article. She spends a good deal of time talking about how feminism has alienated a majority of young women. I’m sure you’re familiar with her work, but I’m wondering how big of an influence she had on your views. The two of you sound so similar in respect to your views on feminism, that if the title had been “An Interview with Susan Walsh”, I wouldn’t have questioned for a second that the responses were yours.

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

      @Travis

      CHS has indeed influenced my thinking – she and I are quite similar in that we support gender equity, and feel that feminism has gone way beyond that. I especially appreciate her work on boys.

      Anyway, you forgot the link :) I’d love to have a look.

  • Jimmy Hendricks

    @BuenaVista

    prioritizes financial/professional success, she will need a naive, successful man (who’s sexually hot). Exactly where do you get those guys?)

    You vastly underestimate the sheer number of naive & stupid guys out there, even amongst the successful crowd.

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    Ana,

    I thought the article was interesting. Mostly it’s about how the age of Social Media makes it difficult to really dis-entangle yourself from previous romantic jaunts. It fosters an era of weak connections and that means you are more or less permanently connected to people with whom you shared a “special” intimacy.

  • http://obsidianraw.bravejournal.com Obsidian

    TCF is a living proof, prima facie example of everything Ms. Ward, Ms. Taylor and myself have said and argued: if you’re White, female and of a certain class*, YES, you CAN be a straight-up Ho and *still* get your Chad. Flory did all kinds of stuff *and wrote about it for the whole world to see*, but as Ms. Maggie and Ms. Walsh have noted, here she is, engaged and primed to walk down the aisle.

    *Of course, you knew there was some fineprint, right? The trick is, *you also have to be at least passably cute/attractive – at least a 6 or so – for this kind of thing Flory has done, to work. Personally, I’d rate both her and Ms. Valenti in the 6 range or so, and thus were able to garner the interest of Chads willing to put a ring on it regardless. White ladies of the same class who do the same or similar things BUT are busted, are to put it frankly, SOL. Rachel Kramer Bussell comes to mind…*shivers*

    Now, allow me to explain how this will have most likely played itself out in the Black community:

    The only way a Sista could have pulled off what Flory/Valenti, et al have done, is, basically be the bomb. We’re talking Kerry Washington/Megan Goode/Esther Baxter/Amber Rose/Gabrielle Union and yes, Beyonce’ level hot – the upper 30% attractiveness range on the scale. 8 and above. Anything approaching “6″ level or lower, forget about it.

    Now, to be sure, many Brothas will most definitely hit it, kick it with you, even let you do the live-in wifey thing, even go half on a baby with you – but actually putting a ring on it? With Flory’s kind of mileage?

    Not. Gonna. Happen.

    Make of that what you will, and I’ll be the first to freely admit that Black Men can be a bit hard on the ladies in this regard; I’m just sayin’.

    So, it seems, that Hooking Up, as with anything else in American life: Race, Class, and to a certain extent what your “number” is, matters.

    It just do.

    O.

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

      Rachel Kramer Bussell comes to mind…*shivers*

      LOL, I recall when you “discovered” her photo. She recently had a piece at the Frisky admitting that when her gyno asked her for her number, she halved it. Even professional sex workers with female gynos know the deal.

      The thing that surprises me is that TCF has shared how she had a ONS with her favorite porn star, and faked orgasms throughout her 20s – none of the casual sex was any good. I think she sounds like a hot mess, and I don’t see why any guy who’s known her for five years would go there.

  • BuenaVista

    Abbot on texting:

    Has anyone met a woman in the past five years who is *not* obsessive and often unthinking in her texting?

    A psychiatric social worker friend has to be scolded once a week to stop texting me; most recently she wanted to text about my philosophy of love, who I was secretly in love with, and how my mother influenced my relationship with her. WTF? It’s rude to ignore that stuff, but what is one’s choice?

    Given that they can’t put the phone down, and seem to prefer half-duplex, 50 baud communications with a smartphone keypad, they don’t seem capable of understanding what an out-of-the-blue “Hey, what are you up to?”, after a six month hiatus, means. (It means I WANT SOME, PROVIDED YOU GIVE ME 10 MINUTES OF FACE-SAVING WINDOW-DRESSING FIRST.) The NYMag writer seems to think this is just how the smart set lives now.

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

      Has anyone met a woman in the past five years who is *not* obsessive and often unthinking in her texting?

      That’s unfortunate. There is zero upside to texting.

  • BuenaVista

    A spin-off move to the texted “Hey, remember me?” text now seems to be the Linked-In “Recommended For …” endorsement. This seems to be somewhere in between the “Liked” button on Facebook and the transparent booty-calling of a surprise text.

    I think I would drop everything if I received a handwritten note someday from an old flame who remarked fondly on some shared experience. I am guilty of hand-writing or … typing … a letter and mailing it, if I am feeling fondly toward an old flame. Just such an archaism seems to represent herculean effort, to other people.

  • Sai

    I GIVE HER 6 MONTHS.

    (Also, at the risk of being called bad names, could somebody please clarify what Obsidian is saying? Some of it I understand, but some of it I find confusing.)

  • Anacaona

    @ADBG
    You owe me 10 minutes of my life. Jimmy was right.

  • Abbot

    Why does this aggravate “sex poz” feminists so much despite it being about getting sex?

    http://nymag.com/news/features/sex/pickup-artists-roundtable-2013-7/

    .

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    I owe you NOTHING, caveat emptor baby, BWHAHAHAHAHHAHHAHAHAHAH!

    The tone of the article infects the soul, that refuted cannot be. She speaks as if she is some sort of savant of the digital age, that she is modern, so advanced, and yet troubled with burdens far beyond those of the unelightened, simple brutes that crawled the earth prior to 2004.

    You know the ones who landed on the moon and shit like that. BRUTES!

    Rather, that’s the fun of it. As long as you don’t take it seriously. Some pathetic Gen Y girl who thought she knew the world better than the people who landed on the Moon, and is now running into completley predictable problems that she must glamorize in order to make herself feel better. She cannot control them, and indeed her glamorization of them PREVENTS her from containing the issues.

    Is not our TCFriend in the same boat? ;)

    @ Sai
    Obs is saying that Carousel Riding is a luxury good affordable only by high SMV girls in good social standing.
    TCF is actually decently high in SMV and is in good social standing, so even the degradation of her value, a little bit, can’t hurt her too bad. Good White College Boys want girls like TCF and will stomach a lot to get her.
    Good White College Boys would not be going for her if she were fat, or black, or not college-educated.

  • Anacaona

    Rather, that’s the fun of it. As long as you don’t take it seriously.
    That is right there the problem. I’m a firm believer in the power of one every idiot that is obviously screwing herself and others is part of the problem and adds to it. I cannot find the death of civilization funny can I?
    That being said one big take away from HUS is that I’m learning to let go. It is hard because I wish everyone could be both good for society long term well being and happy at the same time. But it seems like the quest for the ultimate fried ice. Meanwhile YOU STILL OWE ME 10 MINUTES! :P

  • Travis

    @Susan,
    Haha. Whoops. Here it is…

    http://www.scottlondon.com/interviews/sommers.html

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

      @Travis

      That interview is gold! It has no date on it – do you know when it was written? She published Who Stole Feminism way back in 1995!

  • Vitor

    Exactly. I think the key to long-term relationship success is twofold:
    Make the other person feel special.
    Attempt to be and stay special/high value.

    Just out of interest, do you think is always referenced in relation to third parties? I can very clearly relate to that as a man, by the desire of having a mate who would always take proper care of her beauty and not, say, slacken after marriage (not necessarily for me, but it’s just that beauty is sort of an intrinsic value associated with being a high value woman). I think that all men can relate to that. I think that women might think that I would be assessing her value in relation to her desirability to other men, which would sort of boost my own value by having her as a mate, although I would actually be more concerned about her staying special/high value for me (and so make me feel special). I just wonder, thinking of the reverse female scenario, what makes a woman feel special/high value within a relationship?

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

      I just wonder, thinking of the reverse female scenario, what makes a woman feel special/high value within a relationship?

      My husband makes me feel special by virtue of his focus on me, his loyalty, his thoughtfulness, his devotion to family, the delight he takes in sharing stuff he finds interesting, etc. IOW, I know he’s into me because he shows me every day.

  • Richard Aubrey

    I hope I’m not wearing this out.
    Okay, you got the guy because, of all the hot women in his world, he chose you. You’re special. Clear enough.
    I guess I still don’t get it. Is a guy with options actively using them and you have to drag him to you by virtue of unique qualities? Or is a guy with options one who has the chops should he choose to exercise them but isn’t because he’s decided you’re the one? Or is it both?
    Having options seems to be a major attractor, so when the One gets him, does the attraction decrease?

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

      Is a guy with options actively using them and you have to drag him to you by virtue of unique qualities? Or is a guy with options one who has the chops should he choose to exercise them but isn’t because he’s decided you’re the one? Or is it both?

      First one, then the other.

      Having options seems to be a major attractor, so when the One gets him, does the attraction decrease?

      No, unless your strategy is strictly short-term. Women want to pair bond with the best man they can get, so once they identify him, then lock him down, that is victory.

      And as I’ve often said, if the man has to prove he has options by trying to create anxiety or make his partner jealous, he isn’t the real deal. That’s also a short-term gambit.

  • BuenaVista

    SW, 447: I note that no one has reported meeting any woman in the past 5 years who does not obsessively text.

    The woman I referenced has had a broken radio on her phone for two weeks, but it’s simply not a priority for her to fix it so we can, like, talk. This is someone who is trying to win me. Evidently she runs her life on SMS. And she is a *shrink.*

    The last text I got from her was “Got it. No texting. I’m a bad girl. Are you going to spank me?”

    And one ignores these things and get more of them as a result. What I want to know is: what comes after texting?

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

      @BV

      And she is a *shrink.*

      LOL, the town next to me has the most shrinks per square capita in the U.S. I have never met so many neurotics in any one place. In fact, I have shrink friends who come to me for advice (unrelated to mating) – Doctor, heal thyself!

      And one ignores these things and get more of them as a result.

      Oy, she has no Girl Game.

      Sounds like she is not going to win you.

  • Fish

    Re: carousel riders
    Amongst my female friends, the one with the highest N has actually been married for years. I also have low N divorced friends. Although there may be a correlation, the stats are not absolute and I doubt their accuracy.

    Re:wow
    Don’t do it Ana!! I’m actually glad I quit wow. My illustration was that most people do not think of that as a healthy hobby at that level. Hope, you seem to be the exception to the rule, able to maintain that level. Wow is designed to be a huge time sink & it is successful at that.

    Re:anti kids
    I know plenty of parents who dislike other people’s’ kids.I’m not anti kids, i just dont see the value-add from them. There are kids I like on a case by case basis. For a lot of people, they seem to be a priority and major life goal. That’s fine, i just don’t see it. As far as my family is concerned, I’m self sufficient, working on degree #3 and never divorced, they don’t bother me about the kids thing(well, my grandma does occasionally, and the fact that I don’t date Jewish girls).

    I agree 100% on the vasalgel. Eliminating oops babies is awesome.

  • Travis

    @Susan,
    I’m glad you liked it. Like I said, the two of you seem to be of the same mind in regards to feminism. Sorry, I don’t know when it was published. I was just following links and happened to stumble upon it, and her outlook seemed to mirror your own. Thought you would enjoy it.

  • Anacaona

    Don’t do it Ana!! I’m actually glad I quit wow. My illustration was that most people do not think of that as a healthy hobby at that level. Hope, you seem to be the exception to the rule, able to maintain that level. Wow is designed to be a huge time sink & it is successful at that.
    I already quit before is not that addictive to me. If it gets on the way of my life I’ll just quit again. No big deal. The same for hubby.
    You still miss the part where kids NEED adults attention pretty much 24/7 to survive that is no comparison with any addiction people might have.

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    @BV

    I have met some that do not obsessively text. My sister does not obsessively text. My girlfriend does not text anyone besides me, and her best friend does not text all that much either.

    However, the majority of girls I meet are constantly having conversations with…I don’t know…I wouldn’t be that glued to my phone if Ronald Reagan were on the other side.

    To be fair, most of the men I know are also glued to their phone, practically perpetually plugged into whatever stupid game they are playing or funny video they are watching.

    It got to the point where I simply cannot go to lunch with the other Gen Ys in my office. They do nothing but play on their phones. One guy comes out, doesn’t even eat lunch, and stares at his screen for at least half the lunch break.

    Unbelievable.

    For this reason I have absolutely no games on my phone. None. Zero. Zip.

  • Fish

    @Ana
    I’m only looking at the time requirements. I’m not saying kids don’t require it. Like any other luxury good (children are not a requirement for your existence, you are for theirs), you can look at the opportunity cost of children and that cost can be quite high, much like many other activities people consider unhealthy. However, raising children is considered socially acceptable and “worth it”.

  • Fish

    @beta guy
    I prefer texting. It allows me to have multiple conversations at once with minimal investment. I actually far prefer it to talking on the phone. It keeps me in contact with people and I can respond when I get time. I am also ADD, so I enjoy having multiple things to occupy me on a surface level vs having to concentrate on just one thing…

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    @Fish

    I agree with you, I am a huge texter. We calculated it out once and my peak month was a text sent or received every 3 minutes for every waking hour.

    Easy for me to maintain a lot of communications and still be able to do my own thing. Most people drain me down to a zero energy level REALLLLLLLYYYY damn quick.

    I even text my girlfriend a lot, because it’s easy to stay in contact with her that way. Focusing 100% of my attention on her is gonna drain me fast cause she likes to dance around to Disney Music and play card games and I like to read about nuking large nations.

  • http://www.rosehope.com/ Hope

    Fish and Anacaona, I get bored of video games very quickly. WoW bored me after a month or two, and the longest I played it was with my husband after we met, and only to play with him. I often get very intensely into something, become “pretty good” at it in a short time, and then I stop bothering. I moved between games a lot.

    I guess you could say my game N is very high. :p

  • Anacaona

    However, raising children is considered socially acceptable and “worth it”.
    Do you realize that everything you have (cars, computers, books, toilet paper…) was produced by people that were birthed, didn’t die or became criminals because their parents invested time and money on them and grew up old enough to create them? Children investment pays off always. Hence healthy societies encourage and support parental choices. You need people to create things an Audi was created by people you know? Again wrong parallel.

  • Anacaona

    I guess you could say my game N is very high. :p
    I’m similar with pretty much any mentally stimulating activity, maybe we are mental whores :p

  • Fish

    @Ana
    “Do you realize that everything you have (cars, computers, books, toilet paper…) was produced by people that were birthed, didn’t die or became criminals because their parents invested time and money on them and grew up old enough to create them?”

    I would never argue this point, but if there are other people willing to assume this burden it even magnifies the gain of not having kids because I can reap the benefits while assuming no cost (apart from the government marginally subsidizing childbirth, which I am somewhat ok with, the government subsidizes a lot of things I don’t agree with).

    There will always be people being born. Even as we approach zero population growth, there will be replacements for current workers. However, that doesn’t disprove the advantages of being childless. It does still carry a high opportunity cost which cannot be argued and if other people are willing to pay that cost, the benefits of not doing so are further magnified because I can receive all of the benefits with no output of labor myself.

    ” Children investment pays off always.”
    Sure, I will happily accept free dividends on your investment.

    You use your justification for choices, I will use mine, but strictly speaking, we’re just talking about best allocation of resources . . .

  • Vitor

    And as I’ve often said, if the man has to prove he has options by trying to create anxiety or make his partner jealous, he isn’t the real deal. That’s also a short-term gambit.

    This is VERY important and makes a whole lot difference.

    My husband makes me feel special by virtue of his focus on me, his loyalty, his thoughtfulness, his devotion to family, the delight he takes in sharing stuff he finds interesting, etc. IOW, I know he’s into me because he shows me every day.

    The same.

  • Richard Aubrey

    Susan.
    I can see a guy in the top half of the SMP, possibly 6+ anyway, physically, with energy, adequate social skills, into one thing or another or two or three, moderately take-charge type. Lots of those guys around.
    If we add to this mix a complete obliviousness to IOI, he’d have to wear armor. Because his not getting the IOI indicates, most likely answer, that he’s got more than enough of that sort of thing (options), that he’s not even bothering to put the current offering into his Rolodex. What could be hotter?
    Call David d’Angelo. Ummm. Maybe somebody already did.

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

      Call David d’Angelo. Ummm. Maybe somebody already did.

      Some guys rave about his stuff, but honestly, he totally creeps me out. Eben Pagan’s wedding video was truly the epitome of American culture crap, with he and his ugly hooker bride shouting that there was no such thing as doing wrong or blaming in their relationship, which sounds to me like one big excuse for not being monogamous. It was so bad it was good.

      Yes, that’s ad hom, but the guy got really, really bad results in his own life.

  • http://www.rosehope.com/ Hope

    Fish “I would never argue this point, but if there are other people willing to assume this burden it even magnifies the gain of not having kids because I can reap the benefits while assuming no cost”

    Isn’t this basically what you tried to argue against, that people consider raising children to be “socially acceptable” and “worth it.” Are you backtracking on this point?

  • Anacaona

    Sure, I will happily accept free dividends on your investment.

    I actually think you won’t gain anything. If more people keep forsaking childbearing in our generations the few young people in the future could just decide to take care of their own elders or demand high costs for the care of the ones with no family. I hope you are aware that supply and demand rules will also work for fresh blood if it becomes scarce enough.
    Of course japanese are working in robots to take care of the elderly so you could just use your savings to have a robot pretend she/he feels for you when you reach 90′s, your choice but I wouldn’t be paying for that.

    You use your justification for choices, I will use mine, but strictly speaking, we’re just talking about best allocation of resources . . .
    You were arguing that society has a double standard about how much time is devoted to childrearing vs anything else. I’m just explaining that society has good reasons to do so and your comparison makes no sense.
    I don’t really care about your personal choices but you cannot claim society is in the wrong in this.

  • Fish

    @Ana
    I had a long reply, my internet ate it. . . (not your fault this time Susan!)

    There are enough people creating kids that we don’t need more. For society as a whole, enough people are raising them regardless, there is not any additional utility from more. The individual doesn’t gain from there being more kids. We have enough people of all ages currently to take care of any needs we would have for our lifetimes. Your example of being elderly is extremely questionable as most elderly people are not cared for by family.

    Basically we need people, we have people. Perhaps in the future there will be robots and we’ll need people even less.

    You just want kids and think its an awesome investment, i don’t. I don’t see any benefit to having kids for the individual, you do. Maybe you are getting utility out of them that I wouldn’t that changes the equation. Just because I think its a losing investment doesn’t mean its not one that people will continue to make. Hence, I can benefit both from not having kids and purchase things made by people wasted a minimal amount of resources on raising.

  • http://en.gravatar.com/jimbocollins MM

    Although there may be a correlation, the stats are not absolute and I doubt their accuracy.

    The statistics do show a strong correlation, but it’s neither absolute nor inaccurate. They apply to populations, not individuals.

    Svegliarsi e sentire l’odore del caffè!

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    How do you define “enough” people having babies? Most of the industrialized West is below replacement rate, as in, like, everyone except for Israel and the US, IIRC.

  • Anacaona

    There are enough people creating kids that we don’t need more. For society as a whole, enough people are raising them regardless, there is not any additional utility from more. The individual doesn’t gain from there being more kids. We have enough people of all ages currently to take care of any needs we would have for our lifetimes. Your example of being elderly is extremely questionable as most elderly people are not cared for by family.
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/joelkotkin/2012/08/21/americas-baby-bust-how-the-great-recession-has-jeopardized-our-demographic-health/

    Maybe you are getting utility out of them that I wouldn’t that changes the equation.
    First I have long term thinking like 40 years in the future both for me and for society, read the Forbes article.
    Second I’m getting utility out of the interaction with my baby. Probably nothing that you would enjoy yourself but I am and most parents do, hence why they can’t stop talking about it nonstop. :p

    Hence, I can benefit both from not having kids and purchase things made by people wasted a minimal amount of resources on raising.
    So your philosophy is “Things are nice now and forever will be even if I do nothing to cooperate to the continuation of the society I belong to”? Oh okay, you are wrong, you have the right to be wrong of course, but you are.

  • Fish

    1 child = approx 1.1 million. Thats a pretty large opportunity cost. . .

    http://business.time.com/2012/06/26/million-dollar-babies-what-it-really-costs-to-raise-a-child/

  • Fish

    @Ana
    “So your philosophy is “Things are nice now and forever will be even if I do nothing to cooperate to the continuation of the society I belong to”?”

    Why does anyone care if the society continues after they pass? i’ll be dead, I certainly won’t care. I’ll also be using my increased resources to contribute to the economy. $1 million extra (probably more so in my case).

    When did this become about morality? It has always been about efficient use of resources. you think your kid is worth a million bucks, I don’t think any kid is worth that.

  • Fish

    @Beta guy
    We don’t need replacement rate. At least we who are born and in our adulthood now. The article Ana linked talked about 2050. I may not even be alive then. There will be people, and we don’t necessarily need the same amount as we currently have. It will come down to $$ and my bet is that any increase in taxes and/or care costs won’t equal the return on the extra million I’d have for not having a kid.

  • Lokland

    @Susan

    “Make the other person feel special.
    Attempt to be and stay special/high value.”

    By definition very few people can be high value at any given time. Otherwise it would be average in value.

    Yet there are far more successful relationships than there are high value individuals (to which there is a hard limit).

    Therefore you cannot possibly be correct.

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

      By definition very few people can be high value at any given time. Otherwise it would be average in value.

      The goal is not to be the highest value person in the population, but of high value to your specific partner. Everyone can do that.

  • Anacaona

    1 child = approx 1.1 million. Thats a pretty large opportunity cost.
    OMG you are right. I’m going to return William ASAP! :D Just kidding
    Did you read the original article?
    “A family earning less than $59,410 per year can expect to spend a total of $169,080 (in 2011 dollars) on a child from birth through high school. Similarly, middle-income parents with an income between $59,410 and $102,870 can expect to spend $234,900; and a family earning more than $102,870 can expect to spend $389,670.”

    Read more: http://business.time.com/2012/06/15/kids-now-more-expensive-than-ever/#ixzz2ZvcjztCF

  • Lokland

    @ADBG

    “I have met some that do not obsessively text. My sister does not obsessively text. My girlfriend does not text anyone besides me, and her best friend does not text all that much either.”

    My wife doesn’t text unless its an emergency/to make plans.
    When I learned that I thought I’d died and gone to heaven.

    ———

    As a funny story.

    I remember writing finals in high school and I went home and took a nap. My first (crazy) girlfriend had texted/called me like 12 times over 2 hours.

    Hindsight tells me that should have been a red flag.

  • http://en.gravatar.com/jimbocollins MM

    1 child = approx 1.1 million.

    I noted from the actual source article, that $800,000 of the $1.1 million in costs to raise a child were hypothetical lost wages from the mother not working full time. While correct that women (and some men) forgo some income to raise kids, this doesn’t represent actual cash expenditures; rather, young parents no doubt tighten their budgets and do without certain luxuries in the early years of raising children.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203917304574413792994350108.html

    No accounting is made of the relative differences in standards of living across different areas of the country, nor the tangible assistance in raising children provided by extended family.

    Also, it’s presumed in the article that children go straight to a state-run or other private university and pay tuition out-of-pocket. Absent is the fact that about 35% of students go through the community college system at substantially lower cost. Also, there’s no mention of grants, scholarships, or other taxpayer-subsized education benefits that help defray the cost of higher education.

    It’s a specious estimate, to say the least. Methinks a good portion of the country finds raising children to be quite affordable in the long-run.

  • Anacaona

    Why does anyone care if the society continues after they pass? i’ll be dead, I certainly won’t care.

    I care now.

    When did this become about morality? It has always been about efficient use of resources.

    Is not about morality but reality, you are part of society no matter what you do. You are whether part of the problem or part of the solution the only people that is neutral are the death ones. You are not death yet, your choices matter.

    you think your kid is worth a million bucks, I don’t think any kid is worth that.
    I think everyone is worth a million bucks or whatever is need to give them a chance to a productive life. You, me, my husband, Susan, Hope, ADBG…I don’t think of kids as some sort of separate species but as humans with infinity potential.

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

      Why does anyone care if the society continues after they pass? i’ll be dead, I certainly won’t care.

      I care now.

      This is the dividing line right here. Nihilists vs. everyone else.

  • http://www.rosehope.com/ Hope

    Fish “Why does anyone care if the society continues after they pass?”

    So you think your parents’ generation shouldn’t care about the society you live in, with zero interest in its continuation after they pass?

    Lokland “Yet there are far more successful relationships than there are high value individuals (to which there is a hard limit).

    Therefore you cannot possibly be correct.”

    Different people value different things. Problem solved.

  • Richard Aubrey

    Susan,

    d’Angelo says to be cool about women. It attracts them. Treat them as the bratty little sister you stilll love.
    So being cool about IOI, or oblivious, would seem to be in his territory, and yours. The implication is that you have options. Just as good, almost I suppose, as an explicit demonstration. So you’re hot without much effort. Ought to be illegal.

    As to kids, the way we’re going in the west, somebody had better have them unless somebody invents a robot to wipe your ass in the nursing home.

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

      @Richard

      I have never read any of DD’s work – I know him as Eben Pagan the online marketing huckster. He may be very good at instructing PUA – but the guys here who have raved about him are not in good relationships, even if they want to be. I suspect his methods are most effective for short-term mating.

  • Anacaona

    As to kids, the way we’re going in the west, somebody had better have them unless somebody invents a robot to wipe your ass in the nursing home.
    Well Japan is already dabbling in butt robotic technology https://plus.google.com/+MikeElgan/posts/128w3qS4iRd
    I also cosign the Why? Japan why?

  • Fish

    The flip side of the “cost” of children is the opportunity cost of investing the money. Returns on that kind of money invested over 20years+ probably gets us back to that 1million mark. (True cost has to include opportunity cost, which is the majority of my argument in the first place).

    To say that the entirety of our parents’ generation cares about the future would be ammisstatement. This problem and solution of which you speak isn’t a problem for our generation. The next generation ALWAYS inherits the problems from the one before. If it’s not one thing, it’s another. Personally, I think a declining birth rate is the least of their worries, but if you want to make mountains put of molehills, go ahead.

    Again, kids are neither moral nor immoral, they are s LUXURY GOOD, a choice you are making with your resources. I think they do not offer sufficient benefit to offset cost. Your valuation is obviously different. I stand by my comments that yourecrationalizing and the only point you could make for which there is not a counter argument is “I just want one.” Fine, spend your resources however you want…

  • Richard Aubrey

    Susan.
    DD’s biz is short term mating, afaict, but from little acorns….
    Point is the same as yours; demonstrating options is attractive. One way to do that is to not be a supplicating creep, which I suppose is circular, and another is to not show interest to the extent of giving up other possibilities.

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

      Point is the same as yours; demonstrating options is attractive. One way to do that is to not be a supplicating creep, which I suppose is circular, and another is to not show interest to the extent of giving up other possibilities.

      Yes but I suspect in his world a man never lets his guard down, never considers the woman “won.” It’s a lifetime of push/pull. That’s where we differ.

  • Vitor

    Yes but I suspect in his world a man never lets his guard down, never considers the woman “won.” It’s a lifetime of push/pull.

    How can he win, if he was faking who he was all the time?

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

      @Vitor

      How can he win, if he was faking who he was all the time?

      He cannot, for he can never be himself.

  • Lokland

    @Susan

    “The goal is not to be the highest value person in the population, but of high value to your specific partner. Everyone can do that.”

    No, that’s not possible as high value is above average. Not everyone can be above average…even to their partner because in that case their partner would be lower in value than them meaning their partner is low value.

    By definition most people will get equal value, not higher or lower and also by definition most people will be getting average not high value partners.

  • Escoffier

    Susan may have overstated the case slightly but I think her general point is correct. We can’t all be above average by definition. But the pool of people who can be high value to their own spouse is far, far larger than the pool of people who will be considered high value to society at large.

    I also don’t think it’s quite so simple to say that if you are high value to your spouse, then she must be intrinsically low value. The math does not require this outcome, for one thing. Beyond this, and more important, let’s not forget “complementarity.” A man might be high value to a woman for different reasons than the woman is high value to the man. We are not comparing and ranking two identical things here.

    For all the ways in which nature screws us over, it also seems have planned a number of things rather well.

  • Lokland

    @Susan

    “I have never read any of DD’s work – I know him as Eben Pagan the online marketing huckster. He may be very good at instructing PUA – but the guys here who have raved about him are not in good relationships, even if they want to be. I suspect his methods are most effective for short-term mating.”

    Actually he specifically writes about getting and maintaining a relationship for the better part of his book (if I remember correctly, its been nearly a decade).

    Note: Only ever read the first one not the subsequent material.

    Its also useful to know that his ‘cocky-funny’ is a sliding scale. Hotter guy uses more funny to as not be intimidating, uglier guy uses more cocky because being funny isn’t good enough.

    “Yes but I suspect in his world a man never lets his guard down, never considers the woman “won.” It’s a lifetime of push/pull. That’s where we differ.”

    There is no push-pull in his stuff past the creating attraction (first few meetings) phase.

    The only really ‘gamey’ technique is to choose a time to respond to a woman the following day after getting her number.

    The reason is partially to create suspense or w/e the hell its called but its mainly to prevent a guy from appearing needy and texting every 4.5 mins.

    Last. Its very specific that the techniques used to create attraction are not the same as those required to maintain it or IOW dial it back for relationships.

    ———–

    Now I will go back to enjoying my horrible relationship.

  • http://en.gravatar.com/jimbocollins MM

    They are a LUXURY GOOD.

    I don’t believe the demand for children increases more than proportionally as income rises, per the economic definition of a luxury good. Quite the opposite: wealthier people have fewer kids, or none at all, certainly more often than the general population. While not an absolute necessity good, children are nevertheless viewed as beneficial by a majority of Americans.

    As to the $1.1 million dollar figure being made up of future investments, again no: at the peak of the economy in 2007, the median home price was only $300,000, which is the single largest investment most Americans ever make. And the median 401(k) plan balance for even the highest earners was only $100,000. It was lower for everyone else, with children or not, as well as those who’d retired.

    The WSJ article very clearly states that $800,000 of the $1.1 million was hypothetical future earnings. The problem with that assumption is, one cannot know with certainty if employment will continue into to the future, or at the same salary level. Many people found that out in 2008-2009.

    A married couple with children could very well out-earn a couple with no children, and very often do, if one person in the no-kid household loses his or her job, or goes out on disability, for even a couple of years.

  • Escoffier

    “wealthier people have fewer kids, or none at all”

    I don’t know what the numbers say about society overall, but the really rich in New York are having lots of kids these days. There have been several articles about how having 3 or more is now a status symbol which says “In this super high cost environment, I am so successful I can afford a brood.”

  • Angelguy

    ” This problem and solution of which you speak isn’t a problem for our generation. The next generation ALWAYS inherits the problems from the one before. If it’s not one thing, it’s another. Personally, I think a declining birth rate is the least of their worries, but if you want to make mountains put of molehills, go ahead.

    The declining birth rates matches the downsizing and decline of jobs disappearing in this day and age. My generation(X) did not get all the luxuries the previous generation did. Now, I am not whining or complaing about it here, but there is something to point out.

    Since there is less children and less work, people still have to pay into the system to support the elderly through pensions. So our problem is debt, which we’ll be stuck with because of the Baby boomers.

    Rich people have less children because they are at a greater risk of divorce.
    So marriage for them, they treat it like a business deal.
    If they do have children, they either have the time for them, or not.
    So I don’t think being Rich is a guarantee that they will be a wonderful parent.
    They might have the resources, but not the Love.
    Only Love can keep a family going.

  • BuenaVista

    SW, 463: “Oy, she has no Girl Game.”

    This is thought-provoking because I’m trying to think of a single woman who has ever practiced ‘girl game’, or even ‘the rules’, on me.

    There is one, sort of: airline pilot, total amazon, never-married, occasional lover since my divorce. Now she appears to be hitting the wall as she is no longer the exotic slender 30 year-old in the left seat of a 767 (she’s 37) and her camp followers are diminishing in number and appeal. She’s tried to create jealousy, be ‘hard to get’, made brief gestures in the direction of demonstrating a desire to be ‘the supportive wife’, then mimicked my taste in machines (Italian motorcycles and air-cooled German cars) to demonstrate concentric interests. Each gambit just backed me up another step. Especially now that I’ve known her so long and I have experience with so many of these brief episodes.

    And all this is hard to pull off when periodically she sends me nudey pictures or loses her shit and yells at me for not falling on my knees and proposing. She’s all over the map. I had no idea what hypergamy was even when I was staring it in the face over breakfast while my life blew up, but now her efforts at manufactured scarcity raise the hair on the back of my neck.

    So I’ve never experienced ‘girl game.’ I think the over-35 cohort does one of three things: cut their investment losses ruthlessly and vanish, in pursuit of higher value targets; they friendzone you so they have company while they invest elsewhere in higher value targets; or they go berserk and carpet bomb you with LTR and sexual availability. They.want.marriage.now. Some girl game would be a welcome relief.

    Susan, have you ever met someone over-35 who practices Girl Game? I’d be happy to make a donation for the Foundation for Girl Game, if someone would create one.

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

      @BV

      So I’ve never experienced ‘girl game.’ I think the over-35 cohort does one of three things: cut their investment losses ruthlessly and vanish, in pursuit of higher value targets; they friendzone you so they have company while they invest elsewhere in higher value targets; or they go berserk and carpet bomb you with LTR and sexual availability. They.want.marriage.now. Some girl game would be a welcome relief.

      Susan, have you ever met someone over-35 who practices Girl Game?

      I must confess I know few women in this demographic. It’s not been a focus on this blog. But you, BB and Tasmin all report similar dynamics in this cohort. It seems like women 35+ have unique characteristics and behaviors, apparently based on an attitude of scarcity – maybe I should coach these women, who could benefit from “doing the opposite.”

  • BuenaVista

    I must say, but won’t elaborate for once, that I simply feel sorry for people who evaluate children in a total cost of ownership context. My life would be truly meaningless absent the challenges, personal development, and rewards of fatherhood. The rewards mushroom in richness as the children mature. There is astonishing freedom to be discovered in parental obligation. A friend of mine is managing a parental kidnapping (he just found out last week that his ex- has now taken their child to Asia). He questions everything, and has to ‘game’ himself into showing up each day.

  • JP

    “Since there is less children and less work, people still have to pay into the system to support the elderly through pensions. So our problem is debt, which we’ll be stuck with because of the Baby boomers.”

    Taxes will go up and benefits will go down.

    Debt that cannot be paid back won’t be paid back.

    Next question.

  • Hope

    The entire financial system is a gigantic illusion.

    I don’t pay social security, opted out of it because my employer can. Everyone else, I don’t know.

  • JP

    “The entire financial system is a gigantic illusion.

    I don’t pay social security, opted out of it because my employer can. Everyone else, I don’t know.”

    No, it’s not an illusion.

    However, there is always a Bezzle.

    And I recommend everyone pay into Social Security (at least to get their credits), for the sole reason that it gives you Medicare if you get disabled.

    Social Security = Current Ticket to Medical Care (break glass in case of emergency…warning, glass may be unbreakable)

  • Hope

    JP, I pay Medicare separately. It shows up on my w2 as Medicare tax withheld. Just not social security. That says 0.

    But I don’t expect to see any return on that either.

  • Anacaona

    @FISH
    I think everyone here has answered many of your points in better ways than you I could.
    Children are good for society and good for the individuals in more ways than money is. Kids are not a pair of Manolo Blaniks so comparing them to luxury goods is again missing the whole point.
    It might be that you always calculate how much money you invest in a person versus the return you get for their company/friendship, but you are in the minority, hopefully, most people value other people, children included, for the emotional connection and shared experiences.

  • Hope

    Anacaona, how is William doing by the way? Haven’t heard updates in a while. Would love to see new pictures!

  • Anacaona

    Anacaona, how is William doing by the way? Haven’t heard updates in a while. Would love to see new pictures!
    He is doing very well, four teeth and in the edge of walking. I will sent you some by email! :D

  • Fish

    100k is not a realistic 401k balance. When I separated from my former employer I had over 50k after 5 years. I was making literally half what I will after graduate school. In my former job, I regularly saw 401ks of over a million dollars. If invested correctly, a million dollar bump for not having kids is totally reasonable in my case.

    I follow one of my good friends’ advice on this subject (he’s married with 2 kids, ages 10 & 13) “having kids teaches you a lot of things. But they are things you wouldnt need to know if you didn’t have kids.”

  • Fish

    @Ana
    “It might be that you always calculate how much money you invest in a person versus the return you get for their company/friendship, but you are in the minority, hopefully, most people value other people, children included, for the emotional connection and shared experiences.”

    I don’t look at people that way at all (sometimes relationships). However, children are takers, they take resources. Friends are give and take. Friends, you can decide you just want some alone time and not see for periods of time. There are no breaks with parenting, its all or nothing. i see my friends when it is convenient for both parties, that is pretty much ideal for me…

    Children are luxury goods in that they are not necessary for YOUR survival, period. In earlier times, they were definitely helpful for farming and manual labor, but we are past those times now. Money on the other hand is a necessity because you literally cannot live without it. However, when I said “resources”, I wasn’t just referring to money. Time is probably the most precious resource we have and children require a LOT of it.

    No matter what anyone’s opinion is, there will be people who happily choose not to have kids and people popping out litters like the blog you linked. Everyone has the right to use their resources as they see fit. . .

  • http://www.rosehope.com/ Hope

    Fish “No matter what anyone’s opinion is”

    Yeah, opinions are like buttholes. Everybody has one.

    You know what’s a really big waste of resources? Fireworks.

    The one thing I really dislike about Utah is Pioneer Day. The rest of the country gets 4th of July. We get the 4th and the 24th. Every year, for a whole month, people set them off at all hours of the night.

  • Anacaona

    I don’t look at people that way at all (sometimes relationships). However, children are takers, they take resources. Friends are give and take. Friends, you can decide you just want some alone time and not see for periods of time. There are no breaks with parenting, its all or nothing. i see my friends when it is convenient for both parties, that is pretty much ideal for me…
    Did you read that paragraph? If you are in a ‘convenience’ relationship with your friends you are weighting them out as investments, period. Most people don’t take break from friends, or from people in general, and if they do they find themselves friendless really soon.
    People cannot be used and kept in a box to be used again when convenient. If people perceive they cannot rely on someone they will move on to find reliable people as well.
    Had you ever done something for someone just to make him/her happy and no expected anything in return maybe except a smile?

    Children are luxury goods in that they are not necessary for YOUR survival, period. In earlier times, they were definitely helpful for farming and manual labor, but we are past those times now. Money on the other hand is a necessity because you literally cannot live without it. However, when I said “resources”, I wasn’t just referring to money. Time is probably the most precious resource we have and children require a LOT of it.
    So is sex do you go around asking people why they try to get laid?

    No matter what anyone’s opinion is, there will be people who happily choose not to have kids and people popping out litters like the blog you linked. Everyone has the right to use their resources as they see fit. . .
    When did I suggested otherwise? You keep going back to this point. You asked to understand and I’m just showing you how us breeders think. Children are the return of the investment of having them around. You think they are not but you are in the minority and you seem not to like people unless they have an specific trait you like and don’t demand anything you wouldn’t make time to give in your own terms. I love people so making more of it is like a no-brainer.

  • Anacaona

    You know what’s a really big waste of resources? Fireworks.
    My personal waste of resources is Reality TV. Those people make money out of doing nothing/being assholes in TV… How can that be? Watching the neighbors is free people.

  • Superwoman Returns

    JP says:
    July 23, 2013 at 11:15 am

    “A man needs options in order to make a choice. Women want to be selected for commitment over his other options. If a man has no options, or doesn’t even want to be aware of his options, then his making a lifetime commitment holds less value.”

    This doesn’t make much sense to me.

    I only ever really had one option at a time (generally spaced apart by a couple of years) because that’s the way I am.
    _________________________________

    Doesn’t make sense to me either.

    How many “options” does your average Joe or Jane have at any given time?

    I don’t think the average woman is fighting off a slew of women from the average guy she’s interested in. I also don’t think she cares. What I do think she cares about is whether or not SHE finds him to her liking.

    That is all that matters.

  • Richard Aubrey

    “”I don’t think the average woman is fighting off a slew of women from the average guy she’s interested in. I also don’t think she cares. What I do think she cares about is whether or not SHE finds him to her liking.””

    Superwoman

    This sounds reasonable. But Susan would, I think, make the point that if there are no other women in the scene with actual or potential relationship with the guy, he’d be less attractive. She, Susan might say, wants to think she’s more attractive to him–possibly by virtue of her actions and certainly by virtue of herself in toto–than others. If there are no others, she’s not better/hotter/more desirable than anybody else, there being no anybody else in sight. Or, it would be as if they’re on the desert island. If she’s the only one, so what?
    Nope. Not getting it.
    But, as I may have said long ago…. Forty plus years ago, finishing up an intense field project, a guy with a MS in psychology on his way to Yale to do his PhD remarked to me, “Aubrey, you’re logical and rational. That’s good for you, but not for dealing with other people.”
    Funny thing was, my BA was in psychology. Bad idea. All I can say in the realm of psychological advice is, “I told you what to do, you moron, and you didn’t do it.” Then I’m out of tools. I needed a degree for OCS and what it was didn’t much matter.
    Point is, it’s hard for me to grasp that people actually do and like doing, and defend doing, irrational things. I don’t like it, don’t like to see it. We didn’t come up from the apes in a million years of struggle to be run by the lizard brain. It’s offputting.
    However, as I’ve come to find out here and elsewhere, the on/off switch characteristic of the more primitive parts of the brain can be used in the SMP with good chances of success. Which is also depressing.

  • Vitor

    He cannot, for he can never be himself.

    +1

    It seems like women 35+ have unique characteristics and behaviors, apparently based on an attitude of scarcity – maybe I should coach these women, who could benefit from “doing the opposite.”

    Are you thinking about coaching them on PUA techniques for women? :)

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

      Are you thinking about coaching them on PUA techniques for women? :)

      I think they sound like a handful – entitled, brazen, aggressive and desperate. No thanks.

  • Gin Martini

    Ana: “Parents are adults too and they actually can become friends and allies in the journey during your years of raising your kids. And before you say I’m new at this some of our friends have pre-teens and they have the kind of connections you mention with other friends including us. ”

    You have one baby.

    I’m vacation right now with 5 kids, my three, and another couple’s two. I know what it’s like to bond with other couples. It’s constant interruption and never having a moment to yourself… unless they are asleep. (And even then I don’t get it, because we are up all night monitoring diabetes.)

    A night of dancing? Dinner? Movie? A show in the city? Art exhibit? Forget it.

    If you want to do an activity, like, have dinner with friends without a constant stream of whining and fighting, you pay a babysitter, which means you then can’t afford dinner.

    This looks like complaining, I’m just saying its not as easy everyone thinks it is. If you have one easy-going kid or a baby, plus a huge supply of free babysitting, then maybe.

    When I get home from “vacation”, I will be exhausted!

  • Vitor

    …unique characteristics and behaviors, apparently based on an attitude of scarcity.

    As far as guys are concerned I think that it is not uncommon that such characteristics and behaviors, apparently based on an attitude of scarcity, sort of express as being emotionally needy. I have been there myself, especially when younger. In such cases, the attitude of scarcity derives mostly from an internal state. For me this is a mystery. Why do you think some people suffer from such neediness while others seemingly don’t? Something related to one’s uniqueness such as, e.g., being introvert or extrovert, nurturing or expansive, etc.? Or instead it is related to experience and maturity?

  • Anacaona

    A night of dancing? Dinner? Movie? A show in the city? Art exhibit? Forget it.
    I know I only have him now but my friends with kids older than him still do this things, not as often but occasionally.

    This looks like complaining, I’m just saying its not as easy everyone thinks it is. If you have one easy-going kid or a baby, plus a huge supply of free babysitting, then maybe.
    My parents raised 4 kids and my aunt had 3. We had all 7 in the summers no babysitters just us entertaining each other and being supervised into no setting the house on fire. Is not easy, but then what is easy? Not even cooking or writing, some of my personal favorite things to do can be called easy. I still do it and enjoy it.
    I think the question Fish has is if we parents find it worth it? I do, Hope does, Susan does, BV does, do you?

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

      @Anacaona

      My parents raised 4 kids and my aunt had 3. We had all 7 in the summers no babysitters just us entertaining each other and being supervised into no setting the house on fire. Is not easy, but then what is easy? Not even cooking or writing, some of my personal favorite things to do can be called easy. I still do it and enjoy it.

      It’s funny, because I’m always saying that being a SAHM mom was a harder job than working 80 hrs/week as a consultant, and Gin Martini disagrees – he thinks it’s easy.

      Here the opposite is true – we have often socialized and vacationed with other families and found it to be enjoyable and relaxing. My kids came to view those kids as cousins. The kids amuse one another – yes, it requires more adult supervision than when they are not present, but I have never found that exhausting.

  • Gin Martini

    Wait, SS is optional?

    Am I really this stupid?

  • Gin Martini

    Ana, PJ is back, so all my posts now must be sarcastic. Maybe ask me over email.

    So your parents and aunts had they joy of coralling 7 kids, but you haven’t. Maybe ask them how easy and relaxing it is?

  • Gin Martini

    Sue: “A man needs options in order to make a choice. Women want to be selected for commitment over his other options. If a man has no options, or doesn’t even want to be aware of his options, then his making a lifetime commitment holds less value.”

    Yes. Optionless men are worthless creeps. You read it here!

    This is why they MUST be alpha (according to my definition) and must have real, tangible, parallel options at any point. High value is not enough.

    I wonder how all all legions of deltas and gammas who have no options, then get married. Are the women slumming?

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

      I wonder how all all legions of deltas and gammas who have no options, then get married. Are the women slumming?

      I don’t believe they have no options – and most women perceive that a man they find worthy will be found worthy by other women as well.

      I do believe that they don’t like their options, however, which is a different thing.

  • Anacaona

    So your parents and aunts had they joy of coralling 7 kids, but you haven’t. Maybe ask them how easy and relaxing it is?
    I was the oldest I did corralling duties as expected in my culture.Also I’m not saying kids are supposed to be relaxing am I? Just that parents wishing to connect with other adults can do it with some planning.
    Maybe the planning instead of being spontaneous is harder to let go for some people. But again even when my friends were childless we still needed to plan get together because everyone had other friends, family, jobs and school to attend. Kids are just another thing to take in account but very few people can just wake up and say “Let’s do a road trip” without having to do any planning, YMMV.

  • BuenaVista

    Woman needs some Game:

    http://www.jammiewf.com/2013/former-nyu-professor-stalked-citigroup-exec-via-e-mail-after-breakup-what-can-i-do-to-make-it-right-shall-i-lick-your-b-s/

    I’ve just cautiously emerged from my bunker after three weeks of similar emails — and not from some lowlife adjunct, but an SVP at a national retailer.

    I think the issue here is two-fold: a) women have absorbed feminist culture, even if they deny that they are “feminist”, and believe that they are entitled to their Eat Pray Love transcendental experience; b) women don’t realize they won’t be chased around the block at 44 the way they were at 24 — so they’re really mad, or something.

    Get a personality, lady, it might work out better.

  • Anacaona

    Here the opposite is true – we have often socialized and vacationed with other families and found it to be enjoyable and relaxing. My kids came to view those kids as cousins. The kids amuse one another – yes, it requires more adult supervision than when they are not present, but I have never found that exhausting.
    I think my parents actually preferred to have other kids in the house than only the 4 of us. We could do things like make believe little plays and it was easy for everyone to have a role.
    I think this is one of those that some parents get obsessed with certain behavior and get stressed out if their kids are not doing what they dream they should. Once in a birthday party we had an annoying parent not only talking about his kid being top the class all the time but then spending all the time interrupting the kids playing to check on him instead even though it was a safe zone for kids and we only needed to keep an eye on them. He is probably the kind of parent that likes to brag about parenting the most stressed job ever! Well duh!
    I already told my husband he is allowed to slap me if I let my paranoia get the best of myself when William starts being more independent which happens faster than one would think.

  • Gin Martini

    I didn’t say it was easy. I said that when I was home watching the three kids alone (when my wife was out of town or bedridden, not even coming home to help), I had more free time than I work full time.

    The time you have is fragmented and scattered and less satisfying, but the total free time is more.

    Maybe I’m just an awesome kitchen bitch.

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

      Maybe I’m just an awesome kitchen bitch.

      I think so! And you deliver in the sack as well. Well done, Stargate Girl!

  • Gin Martini

    I know tons of parents who don’t have tons of money, single income, low income. Nobody that has ever had a catered party.

    They all agree that each kid acts as a multiplier. Two kids is 2x the of one. Three kids is 2x the effort of two. And so on.

    I don’t know what planet you live on, where kids are fun and relaxing, and i certianly have no responisble teenagers to help corral them. I was on Fire Island yesterday with five kids, trying to keep them from drowning and sliding into the Atlantic, despite our repeated protestations to not do stupid shit like… lay down in the face of eight foot waves.

    This why today I corralled them into the backyard while we drink beer.

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

      I was on Fire Island yesterday with five kids, trying to keep them from drowning and sliding into the Atlantic, despite our repeated protestations to not do stupid shit like… lay down in the face of eight foot waves.

      Well to be fair, I’ve always done it with the other parents present – you’ve got all five on your own?

      I’m not sure what catering has to do with it…

  • Gin Martini

    Well, done ME.

    No, 5 kids with 4 adults, with various ones taking breaks, but always outnumbered.

    FTR, my kitchen bitchetude is limited to a few weeks per year max, due to my vacation/leave policy. So it’s a rare thing to be treasured.

  • Escoffier

    8′ foot wave is not insignificant. Been a while since I’ve even seen one, I haven’t been to Santa Cruz in winter in a while.

    I watched the movie “Chasing Mavericks” twice this week, it’s a bad movie but the location shooting was like crack for me.

  • Gin Martini

    Maybe I can’t measure them right. I don’t surf. But they were big enough from the bottom of the swell to the top.

  • http://www.rosehope.com/ Hope

    Gin Martini “When I get home from “vacation”, I will be exhausted!”

    Do people really think vacations are relaxing? My husband and I both think traveling and vacations are anything but relaxing. They can be interesting, sure, but not relaxing. We prefer staying in our own home and sleeping in our own bed, doing our normal routine, and eating our normal food. When we’ve gone places and stayed at hotels, before we had a baby, it wasn’t relaxing either. Our idea of a relaxing time is staying at home playing video games.

  • Anacaona

    Do people really think vacations are relaxing? My husband and I both think traveling and vacations are anything but relaxing. They can be interesting, sure, but not relaxing. We prefer staying in our own home and sleeping in our own bed, doing our normal routine, and eating our normal food. When we’ve gone places and stayed at hotels, before we had a baby, it wasn’t relaxing either. Our idea of a relaxing time is staying at home playing video games.
    I think different people have different ways to relax I definitely I’m always tired after vacations baby or not baby.Vacations is more to break the routine and go to a new place. I only relax visiting family because I stop thinking about ‘things to do at home” also I can take a break from the Internet :p

  • http://obsidianraw.bravejournal.com Obsidian

    @Ms. Walsh #468:
    “Some guys rave about his stuff, but honestly, he totally creeps me out. Eben Pagan’s wedding video was truly the epitome of American culture crap, with he and his ugly hooker bride shouting that there was no such thing as doing wrong or blaming in their relationship, which sounds to me like one big excuse for not being monogamous. It was so bad it was good.

    Yes, that’s ad hom, but the guy got really, really bad results in his own life.”

    O: Wow, shots fired? Although I’m familiar with D’Angelo’s work I don’t consider myself a student of his; but, all that said, I’m really not getting WHY you’re going so hard in the paint here. By all accounts, DD is one of the more “safe” PUA instructors, and the fact that he married puts to bed the lie that all guys looking to learn/teach pickup do so with only a bedpost count in mind. I’ve met dozens of guys personally who simply wanted to meet/attract a girlfriend/spouse, and the plain truth of it is that there was nothing out there to assist Men along these lines until Game came along. And I think at least part of the hateration is a recognition of this ugly fact. DD is living proof that Game can indeed be useful in getting a wife/LTR. In a forum that places such a pride of importance on such things, one would think DD would be getting props, not scorn.

    Why the hate?

    O.

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

      one would think DD would be getting props, not scorn.

      Why the hate?

      Like I said, his real name is Eben Pagan and he’s a snake oil salesman. I’ve never seen him in any other capacity, but he is not respectable.

      Personally, I don’t care one way or the other whether people use him for Game advice. I’ve never brought him up. I’m just responding to other people pimping him on my blog. Based on what I do know, I would not recommend him for anything.

  • Richard Aubrey

    Obs.
    “Why the hate?”

    IMO, it’s because Game, in any of its versions, implies or is explicit in that some of the moves are irresistible because women….cannot resist. IOW, a button is pushed and something happens and the upshot is that women are seen as lacking in agency and autonomy when the right combination of cocky, funny, kino, and eye contact is slung at them.
    To accuse women of being the puppet of some neural connection thingy over which they have no control–but men do if they pop $129 for The System–is not something to please, among others, women. Or feminists.

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

      IMO, it’s because Game, in any of its versions, implies or is explicit in that some of the moves are irresistible because women….cannot resist.

      Nah, I have no problem with Game. I’ve endorsed it. It’s straight up CBT for guys who need some social skills work. Nothing wrong with that.

      What I object to is cads and slimy hucksters.

  • http://obsidianraw.bravejournal.com Obsidian

    @Ms. Walshs #510:
    “I must confess I know few women in this demographic. It’s not been a focus on this blog. But you, BB and Tasmin all report similar dynamics in this cohort. It seems like women 35+ have unique characteristics and behaviors, apparently based on an attitude of scarcity – maybe I should coach these women, who could benefit from “doing the opposite.””

    O: While this cohort may not be your target demo it is clear HUS attracts quite a few of their number, so the question is indeed quite interesting and apt.

    My own take on the matter is what BV has observed is indeed the case, and raises all kinds of interesting questions for whether “girl game(?)” can indeed “work” for them.

    Hmm…

    O.

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

      While this cohort may not be your target demo it is clear HUS attracts quite a few of their number, so the question is indeed quite interesting and apt.

      That’s not the case. My largest group of readers is females 18-24, then females 24-30. Third largest group is males 18-24, then males 24-30.

      However, it is correct to say that the commenters – about 1% of the readership – include several men and women over 35.

  • http://obsidianraw.bravejournal.com Obsidian

    @Rich:
    “IMO, it’s because Game, in any of its versions, implies or is explicit in that some of the moves are irresistible because women….cannot resist. IOW, a button is pushed and something happens and the upshot is that women are seen as lacking in agency and autonomy when the right combination of cocky, funny, kino, and eye contact is slung at them.
    To accuse women of being the puppet of some neural connection thingy over which they have no control–but men do if they pop $129 for The System–is not something to please, among others, women. Or feminists.”

    O: *shrugs* Sounds to me that the Game haters have a problem with the fact that it works more than anything else, and would sound at least as silly as a group of Men bemoaning the fact that Women who make themselves attractive tend to get much more interest from Men than those who don’t.

    In any event, its not a problem I nor anyone else can or should solve…

    O.

  • Gin Martini

    Vacations can be relaxing if you build in lots of downtime, almost 50%, to do nothing specific. Some people like to fill it end to end with activities, but that’s too much for me.

  • http://obsidianraw.bravejournal.com Obsidian

    @ADBG:
    “Obs is saying that Carousel Riding is a luxury good affordable only by high SMV girls in good social standing.
    TCF is actually decently high in SMV and is in good social standing, so even the degradation of her value, a little bit, can’t hurt her too bad. Good White College Boys want girls like TCF and will stomach a lot to get her.
    Good White College Boys would not be going for her if she were fat, or black, or not college-educated.”

    O: Boom!-thanks loads for making these very good points. I think they, along with my own observations, and Ms. Wade’s researches, raises some very interesting questions surrounding the hookup issue.

    Let’s consider a few:

    1. Ms. Wade makes crystal clear in her piece, that only a very narrow slice of the American population are hooking up; here’s what she says, in her own words:

    “Only 14 percent of students hookup more than 10 times in four years and these students are more likely than others to be white, wealthy, heterosexual, able-bodied, and conventionally attractive, according to quantitative studies of hookup behavior. Students who do not fall into these categories hook up significantly less and are more likely to disapprove of or be uninterested in the whole endeavor.”

    http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2013/07/hookup_culture_for_the_white_wealthy_and_beautiful.html

    This has powerful implications for the HUS set, if only *because* the above factors haven’t been made so explicit. We now know, for certain, who’s hooking up, and who ain’t: it’s the White, the Wealthy and the Hawt. This is very important to point out here, because it raises key questions about Ms. Walsh’s “Pluralistic Ignorance” argument. How so?

    Because, as Ms. Ward states in the piece and Ms. Walsh confirms herself, we know that, for example, Black college students ain’t hooking up; PI would be a nonstarter there.

    But it would also seem to be problematic for the PI argument to fly for the simple reason that it’s hard to see other White college students trying to ape what the White UMC/UC students do; I mean, the Black students know and understand the deal – they ain’t hooking up. And Ms. Wade mentions White working class students who ain’t hooking up either – so, where does that leave Ms. Walsh’s PI theory?

    Which brings me to the next question:

    WHY is there such intensity, focus, and resources being brought to bear on this issue, if by all accounts, it applies to such a small slice of the American college-going population? What purpose, ultimately, does it serve, especially those of us who were never a part of said cohort to begin with? How is all the man-hours, millions of words written here and elsewhere online, the prestigious online (and print) media outlets, the books, etc, et al, helping anyone? As we’ve all agreed, if you’re a White gal “in good social standing” hooking up won’t cost you; you’ll still get your Chad at the end of the day – so it’s hard for me at least, why there has been such intensity of focus on this question, given what we now know.

    Moreover, the “Chad” aspect of this question merits closer consideration, too…

    As you point out above, the Chads are quite willing to wife up the TCFs/Valentis of the world regardless as to their histories. Ms. Walsh has argued this is due to a kind of sorting out based on at least partly genetic grounds, but I’m not so sure. For example, it’s been said that Valenti’s hubby is hardly the prototypical Alpha guy, and in fact is more in line with the “Herb” archetype mentioned by Roissy. Flory’s hubby-to-be doesn’t, based on what she’s written about him, seem to be cut from the same cloth that the pornstar guy she got with is made of. In other words, he sounds quite a bit “Herb” too.

    What does that then say about Ms. Walsh’s “assortative mating” theories?

    Questions, questions…

    O.

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

      @Obsidian

      Because, as Ms. Ward states in the piece and Ms. Walsh confirms herself, we know that, for example, Black college students ain’t hooking up; PI would be a nonstarter there.

      But it would also seem to be problematic for the PI argument to fly for the simple reason that it’s hard to see other White college students trying to ape what the White UMC/UC students do; I mean, the Black students know and understand the deal – they ain’t hooking up. And Ms. Wade mentions White working class students who ain’t hooking up either – so, where does that leave Ms. Walsh’s PI theory?

      I don’t think you understand what PI is. Kids who are not hooking up assume that just about everyone else is, and that everyone else feels comfortable about it. It may well be that black students know that black students do not hook up – IDK. There are certainly a lot of black women here at HUS who are grappling with the issue for real.

      In any case, PI has been measured at several universities – and the gap between the % kids estimate to be hooking up and kids who are hooking up is very large – from around 60-80%. That gap is PI.

      WHY is there such intensity, focus, and resources being brought to bear on this issue, if by all accounts, it applies to such a small slice of the American college-going population? What purpose, ultimately, does it serve, especially those of us who were never a part of said cohort to begin with?

      Again, please read up on PI. The problem is the popular perception that everyone is doing it. It’s a form of peer pressure, and it makes kids feel like losers for not even wanting casual sex, much less getting it.

      There is plenty of research exploring how students wish the culture was different – more opportunities for dating.

      PI prevents alternatives from taking hold, or even being explored.

      Re assortative mating theories, they’re not mine – nor are they theories. There is abundant data available that tells us who marries whom.

      WADR, you’re out of your depth here, Obsidian. You do not understand the college culture, and you appear to consider data the enemy. It’s hard to get at the facts when you deliberately choose ignorance.

  • Vitor

    Nah, I have no problem with Game. I’ve endorsed it. It’s straight up CBT for guys who need some social skills work. Nothing wrong with that.

    Still I wonder which is the real world applicability. Even if we would know for sure that those guys know what they are writing about and are indeed very successful with women, it would be more or less the same as learning how to speak in public by imitation of a good public speaker… Or girls learning how to be good in bed by imitating a famous pornstar.

    Even if it might work, they would not be acting out from a basis of authenticity and spontaneity. Sort of, me thinks, it’s just better to go out there and try to speak in public (or becoming a pornstar, instead of learning how to be good in bed with them). Every context, person and their needs and personality are unique.

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

      Even if it might work, they would not be acting out from a basis of authenticity and spontaneity.

      BINGO

      There is something to be said, perhaps, for “fake it till you make it.” That’s what CBT is, after all. It’s practice. However, if the changes you’re making are inauthentic or incongruent with your personality or values, it’s not going to “take.” You’ll be faking it forever, and that’s something most people don’t want to have to do.

  • http://obsidianraw.bravejournal.com Obsidian

    @Ms. Walsh:
    “Nah, I have no problem with Game. I’ve endorsed it. It’s straight up CBT for guys who need some social skills work. Nothing wrong with that.”

    O: Yes, there is something wrong, because “CBT” ISN’T SPECIFICALLY GEARED FOR MEN SEEKING MATING OPTIONS. It is very generic, and hence another reason why I personally am a big fan of Game: because of its specifity of focus. Again: prior to Game coming along, Men had NO options to get actionable, and accurate mating advice, counseling or information, and what was extant was virtually female-dominated.

    More here: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-urban-scientist/200908/turning-pickup-artists-gentlemen

    I have areas of contention with the author of the article, but his central argument along these lines applies to the point I make here.

    “Like I said, his real name is Eben Pagan and he’s a snake oil salesman. I’ve never seen him in any other capacity, but he is not respectable.”

    O: Based on…what, exactly? Strong claims require strong evidence, yes?

    “Personally, I don’t care one way or the other whether people use him for Game advice.”

    O: Oh, you absolutely care, or you wouldn’t have gone out of your way to blast the guy, AND his wifey…

    “I’ve never brought him up. I’m just responding to other people pimping him on my blog. Based on what I do know, I would not recommend him for anything.

    O: Please enlighten me? By all accounts, the fact that he married, ostensibly using his own system at least in part, is a powerful argument in his and Game’s favor…

    “What I object to is cads and slimy hucksters.”

    O: BY definition, DD isn’t a cad – he’s married – and his advice is considered to be among the better going out there, based on its utility. Doesn’t sound much like a “slimy huckster” to me, I’m afraid.

    “That’s not the case. My largest group of readers is females 18-24, then females 24-30. Third largest group is males 18-24, then males 24-30.”

    O: That may be, but only you can confirm/deny that; I am going by actual commenters.

    “However, it is correct to say that the commenters – about 1% of the readership – include several men and women over 35.”

    O: Indeed – and again raises some interesting questions on the utility of “girl game” especially for the demo under examination…

    O.

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

      Yes, there is something wrong, because “CBT” ISN’T SPECIFICALLY GEARED FOR MEN SEEKING MATING OPTIONS. It is very generic, and hence another reason why I personally am a big fan of Game: because of its specifity of focus

      You misunderstand.

      CBT: Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a psychotherapeutic approach that addresses dysfunctional emotions, maladaptive behaviors and cognitive processes, and contents through a number of goal-oriented, explicit systematic procedures.

      Examples of specific kinds of CBT applications:

      Social anxiety
      Mood disorders
      Eating disorders
      Substance abuse
      OCD
      ADHD
      PTSD
      Desire improvement in attracting women, i.e. Game

      BY definition, DD isn’t a cad – he’s married – and his advice is considered to be among the better going out there, based on its utility.

      Well, he shouts during his ceremony that his is a marriage where there can be no wrongdoing – all behavior is A-OK. That sounds pretty cad-like to me, though admittedly the hooker goes for it.

      If people find his advice useful they can buy it. I will not be a party to marketing his stuff. That’s my right.

      That may be, but only you can confirm/deny that; I am going by actual commenters.

      Actually, anyone can look it up. As I said, commenters account for 1% of the readership. Extrapolation of any kind from this group is not advised. I actually can’t think of any single female commenters here over 35. IOW, I won’t be addressing the concerns of the 35+ female set. My advice, which is about focusing strategically at an early age, is moot for them.

  • Anacaona

    Vacations can be relaxing if you build in lots of downtime, almost 50%, to do nothing specific. Some people like to fill it end to end with activities, but that’s too much for me.
    We mostly fill half of it with activities and sight seeing then let the last 3 or 4 days to relax. Problem is when you are in your hotel room you start to feel you are missing out in a new place. Is hard to relax and just let go and filling the empty time with just one more thing before you go is hard. So there is no relaxing for us even in the down time. I rather visit relatives and friends on the weekend no pressure to do much but connect that is a lot more relaxing, specially since it feels like you are no neglecting the place or your real life, YMMV.

  • JP

    @Susan

    “I don’t believe they have no options – and most women perceive that a man they find worthy will be found worthy by other women as well.

    I do believe that they don’t like their options, however, which is a different thing.”

    I think that the problem they have is that their options don’t actually work, so they aren’t *really* options.

    There’s no “compatibility rule” that says that you will be compatible with your so-called options.

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

      I think that the problem they have is that their options don’t actually work, so they aren’t *really* options.

      There’s no “compatibility rule” that says that you will be compatible with your so-called options.

      Well the person is making a choice not to exercise his or her options, based on lack of appeal.

  • Vitor

    There is something to be said, perhaps, for “fake it till you make it.” That’s what CBT is, after all. It’s practice. However, if the changes you’re making are inauthentic or incongruent with your personality or values, it’s not going to “take.”

    I would add that it might inauthentic and incongruent also with the mate’s personality or values, and the relationship/moment. Whatever… you get it.

  • http://obsidianraw.bravejournal.com Obsidian

    @Ms. Walsh:
    “I don’t think you understand what PI is. Kids who are not hooking up assume that just about everyone else is, and that everyone else feels comfortable about it. It may well be that black students know that black students do not hook up – IDK.”

    O: Precisely – “you don’t know” – and that is key, given your advocacy of the PI theory. Per Ms. Wade’s piece however, it raises serious doubts about PI.

    For example, and again going back to Wade’s article, we also know that working or otherwise lower class Whites aren’t hooking up either – again, how does thiss jibe with the theory of PI? Surely there more kids from the lower rather than upper classes on campus, yes? How would PI apply here – or do you know? We’ve already established that you don’t when it comes to Black campus students – yes?

    “There are certainly a lot of black women here at HUS who are grappling with the issue for real.”

    O: Please quantify “a lot”? Are we talking hundreds? Thousands? Tens of thousands? Please explain, and how this jibes with your previous comment(s) about how Black college kids don’t hookup?

    “In any case, PI has been measured at several universities – and the gap between the % kids estimate to be hooking up and kids who are hooking up is very large – from around 60-80%. That gap is PI.”

    O: Has Wade discussed this? Because if so, it would then raise questions in light of her current article and the claims being made in it.

    “Again, please read up on PI. The problem is the popular perception that everyone is doing it. It’s a form of peer pressure, and it makes kids feel like losers for not even wanting casual sex, much less getting it.”

    O: But again, per Wade’s piece, that cannot be true; Black and White lower class kids clearly do NOT feel this way, Ms. Walsh. And so, my question stands: WHY should we care so very much, about the casual mating lives of such a small slice of the American population? Why is there so much being written about them? What purpose does it serve? What difference does it make?

    “There is plenty of research exploring how students wish the culture was different – more opportunities for dating.”

    O: Does that research include Black students – or White students who are NOT wealthy and conventionally attractive? Do you know? If so, please clue me in; I’d very much like to see it.

    “PI prevents alternatives from taking hold, or even being explored.”

    O: See above; Black and White students from lower class backgrounds seem to take a differing view.

    “Re assortative mating theories, they’re not mine – nor are they theories. There is abundant data available that tells us who marries whom.”

    O: Yes, I am aware of a good bit of it, and remain skeptical, largely for the same reasons we are discussing right now.

    “WADR, you’re out of your depth here, Obsidian. You do not understand the college culture, and you appear to consider data the enemy. It’s hard to get at the facts when you deliberately choose ignorance.”

    O: LOL, this is interesting – when have I ever “considered data the enemy”? As I recall, I merely was sharing my personal experience, *which more often than not is NOT reflected in “the data” – THAT’s the whole point of Wade’s piece(!) that YOU, by your own admission, recognizes insofar as PI is concerned*. Moreover, I don’t know if Wade expects everyone to be expert on campus life in order to read her work. From what I read, hooking up is very much a function of a particular class of folk, defined in the main along race, class and conventional attractiveness lines – by definition a small(er), and self-selecting group. It therefore calls the entire premise of PI into question, because if you don’t grok that you’re not White, Wealthy and Hawt and think you can hookup too, you’ve got a much bigger problem than trying to be down with the in crowd.

    At any rate, no offence taken.

    Looking forward to your findings on Black students along these lines…

    O.

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

      @Obsidian

      I suggest you take a look at Ms. Wade’s blog and her considerable body of work. It’s a much more sensible approach than my explaining it here. She and I are in agreement on the nature of hookup culture at college campuses, and she is very much on board with PI, which again, is not a theory, but a real world phenomenon that has been repeatedly observed and documented, not just with regards to casual sex, but also with smoking and binge drinking.

  • http://obsidianraw.bravejournal.com Obsidian

    @Ms. Walsh:
    “You misunderstand.

    CBT: Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a psychotherapeutic approach that addresses dysfunctional emotions, maladaptive behaviors and cognitive processes, and contents through a number of goal-oriented, explicit systematic procedures.

    Examples of specific kinds of CBT applications:

    Social anxiety
    Mood disorders
    Eating disorders
    Substance abuse
    OCD
    ADHD
    PTSD
    Desire improvement in attracting women, i.e. Game”

    O: No, actually you have made my point for me; I reiterate: CBT is a much more generic remedial approach to a whole range of problems; whereas Game is much more specific in its intent and application. THAT, is hugely important, because upends a number of ideological apple carts and pours water on many assumptions when it comes to mating, as well as raising a number of very interesting questions. Again, the link I posted above delves into a few of them.

    BY definition, DD isn’t a cad – he’s married – and his advice is considered to be among the better going out there, based on its utility.

    “Well, he shouts during his ceremony that his is a marriage where there can be no wrongdoing – all behavior is A-OK. That sounds pretty cad-like to me, though admittedly the hooker goes for it.”

    O: LOL. Ad hominem will get you everywhere, Ms. Walsh. Let’s consider the facts:

    1. DD is indeed married – pouring water on the notion that Game or its practitioners, is “only” useful for short term mating. This is important due to DD’s place of importance on the seduction community.

    2. DD cannot be a “cad”, since he has, by your own admission, an open and honest(!) relationship with his wife. In that she appears to have consented, he cannot be deceiving her, and by all accounts such relationships have a higher success rate along these lines than those who pursue a more conventional route; as your current post makes clear, infidelity in American marriages today is quite a concern.

    3. I asked for specific evidence that supported your claim of DD being a “slimy huckster” and thus far you have failed to do so; meanwhile your personal assaults against him and his wife have been quite extensive. A colorful, but hardly convincing case.

    “If people find his advice useful they can buy it. I will not be a party to marketing his stuff. That’s my right.”

    O: No one was marketing his products; I for one specifically said that I was not a student of his.

    “Actually, anyone can look it up. As I said, commenters account for 1% of the readership. Extrapolation of any kind from this group is not advised. I actually can’t think of any single female commenters here over 35. IOW, I won’t be addressing the concerns of the 35+ female set. My advice, which is about focusing strategically at an early age, is moot for them.”

    O: Which would seem to suggest that “girl game” has limited applicability then…yes?

    O.

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

      No, actually you have made my point for me; I reiterate: CBT is a much more generic remedial approach to a whole range of problems; whereas Game is much more specific in its intent and application.

      I’ll try one last time. CBT is a treatment approach. For each condition it is applied to, it must be highly specific and customized. In precisely the same way that Game is. Precisely.

      A CBT approach to anorexia, for example, will have very specific assignments, including highly specific behaviors, observations, and subsequent field reports. I imagine Mystery simply used his own therapy experiences to codify Game in the same manner.

      I asked for specific evidence that supported your claim of DD being a “slimy huckster” and thus far you have failed to do so; meanwhile your personal assaults against him and his wife have been quite extensive. A colorful, but hardly convincing case.

      LOL, I am not making a case. To quote a t-shirt I saw recently, “You cannot imagine the immensity of the fuck I do not give.”

      I have worked hard to separate this site from the seduction community. Discussing DD interferes with that. I have my opinion, based on my own observations. If you want to know more about him, search on his real name.

      Which would seem to suggest that “girl game” has limited applicability then…yes?

      I don’t even know what you mean by girl game. If you mean making oneself more attractive to men, everyone can practice that. I see no reason why the concepts would not apply at any age. I’ve been using them for about 50 years now. I choose to write for a particular demographic, and therefore rarely if ever address online dating, dating after divorce, dating with children, dealing with infertility, etc.

      The 35+ dating advice market is heavily saturated, and of little interest to me. I’ll decline to discuss it further.

  • http://obsidianraw.bravejournal.com Obsidian

    @Ms. Walsh:
    “I suggest you take a look at Ms. Wade’s blog and her considerable body of work. It’s a much more sensible approach than my explaining it here. She and I are in agreement on the nature of hookup culture at college campuses, and she is very much on board with PI, which again, is not a theory, but a real world phenomenon that has been repeatedly observed and documented, not just with regards to casual sex, but also with smoking and binge drinking.”

    O: Both of which have been proven to be much lower among Black college students (as is drug use), again, which raises questions about PI, etc. Thank you for the reference; perhaps she can explain why we need to be so terribly concerned about what the White, Privileged and Hawt do…

    O.

  • https://www.facebook.com/obsidian.files Obsidian Files

    @Ms. Walsh:
    “I’ll try one last time. CBT is a treatment approach. For each condition it is applied to, it must be highly specific and customized. In precisely the same way that Game is. Precisely.

    A CBT approach to anorexia, for example, will have very specific assignments, including highly specific behaviors, observations, and subsequent field reports. I imagine Mystery simply used his own therapy experiences to codify Game in the same manner.”

    O: I’m afraid you have failed; again, the article I linked to earlier explains how and why Game is hugely relevant, in large part because of the therapy community’s failure to meet the specific mating needs of males in our time. In short: Game shows a lot of “experts” up and makes them look bad.

    Also, I am curious: have you read The Game and The Mystery Method in their entirety?

    “LOL, I am not making a case. To quote a t-shirt I saw recently, “You cannot imagine the immensity of the fuck I do not give.””

    O: That much is becoming increasingly clear on a number of levels over the course of our dialogue; myopia suits you well.

    However, I was asking for evidence to back up claimss YOU made; I’ll take your non-answer to mean that you have no such evidence to put forward – only personal opinions drenched in moralistic rantings. Noted.

    “I have worked hard to separate this site from the seduction community. Discussing DD interferes with that. I have my opinion, based on my own observations. If you want to know more about him, search on his real name.”

    O: If I did, I would; I was asking YOU to back up YOUR statements.

    Moreover, why do you find it so very necessary to distance yourself from a community that you have so liberally appropriated so many ideas and concepts? Please explain?

    “I don’t even know what you mean by girl game. If you mean making oneself more attractive to men, everyone can practice that. I see no reason why the concepts would not apply at any age. I’ve been using them for about 50 years now. I choose to write for a particular demographic, and therefore rarely if ever address online dating, dating after divorce, dating with children, dealing with infertility, etc.”

    O: I mean the numerous references – and posts – by you where the term is prominently referenced/displayed. I believe the question about older Women speaks to a larger question of the utility of “girl game” works as you and certain others have defined it. I find it all to be a very interesting area of inquiry.

    “The 35+ dating advice market is heavily saturated, and of little interest to me. I’ll decline to discuss it further.”

    O: Odd, considering that such a market, when it comes to online dating, et al, is actually a lot less so when compared to its younger cohort…

    O.
    O.

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

      @Obsidian

      I honestly have no idea what you are arguing. I have never said that Game is not relevant or judged its value. I simply observed it is a form of CBT, which is also hugely relevant, though not successful for everyone, just as not every guy is successful with Game.

      That much is becoming increasingly clear on a number of levels over the course of our dialogue; myopia suits you well.

      You took your permanent leave of HUS a while back because I wouldn’t dance to your tune. You’re setting up the same dynamic again now. Why are you even here? How does this blog interest you?

      However, I was asking for evidence to back up claimss YOU made; I’ll take your non-answer to mean that you have no such evidence to put forward – only personal opinions drenched in moralistic rantings. Noted.

      If it’s a moralistic rant to say I don’t like shysters, so be it. I feel no need to explain myself, as EP is well known in the online marketing community. I’ll let others judge for themselves.

      Moreover, why do you find it so very necessary to distance yourself from a community that you have so liberally appropriated so many ideas and concepts? Please explain?

      Appropriated in what way? Appropriate means to take something for one’s own use without the owner’s permission. Who is the owner of Game? I don’t teach Game, nor have I recommended that women use tactics resembling Game.

      As for why it has been necessary to distance my blog from PUAs and Game bloggers, I’ve explained this many times. The ones who have visited and referenced this site have by and large admitted to using unethical tactics, normally by saying they are willing to do “whatever works.” The level of sociopathy is quite high, in my experience, which may explain the extreme misogyny many of them spew. There are exceptions, of course, and I remain on friendly terms with a few.

      Odd, considering that such a market, when it comes to online dating, et al, is actually a lot less so when compared to its younger cohort…

      I am not aware of a single other blogger who writes about hookup culture. There is a dearth of information available to young women. Whereas the large blogs like Slate, HuffPo and Salon have many articles each week about dating over 35.

      Again, you may find this fascinating but I do not. That’s not my niche. I enjoy my target market, and it’s worked well for me so far. I don’t anticipate making any big changes here.

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

        FYI I am in trouble with Google, and the offense is duplicate records created by comment pagination. Sorry, folks, but if Google search doesn’t like me, there is no HUS.

  • Escoffier

    Susan, since I mentioned this movie up-thread, I will tell this story here. Might also lighten the mood.

    So, as noted, we were watching this rather dumb movie called Chasing Mavericks, but it was filmed on location in Santa Cruz and up the coast to Pescadero and Pillar Point, which is where Mavericks is (northern part of Half Moon Bay). The cinematography was really good, but the script was dumb, dumb, dumb.

    Now, I never surfed Mavericks, obviously, which is one reason why I am alive to type this. It’s really that dangerous and you have to be badass to go out there. (They do show some breaks in SC that I did surf, however, ah the memories …)

    Anyway, the shots of Mavs were totally real, all captured from cameras on boats, jet skis and surfboards. Spectacular stuff. I said, sort of absent mindedly, during one of those scenes that it would be really cool to be able to surf that wave.

    Mrs. E. said “Only bachelors can take stupid risks like that.”

    I thought, Ah! A chance to dispense some Red Pill wisdom! So I said, “You know, this is one way that nature is kind of perverse. It designed women to be really attracted to daredevils like this more than to guys would never go out there, even though the latter make better husbands.”

    Her eyes narrowed and she gave me a steely look and said “Not all women are like that.”

    Exact quote. I do not think she has read this or any related blog or even knows that statement is so hallowed it has its own acronym.

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

      Her eyes narrowed and she gave me a steely look and said “Not all women are like that.”

      Exact quote. I do not think she has read this or any related blog or even knows that statement is so hallowed it has its own acronym.

      Bless you that does lighten my mood. Which needs lightening because I broke my stupid site design!

      Obvs, Mrs. E. shares very little DNA with your typical hypergamous bar skank.

  • https://www.facebook.com/obsidian.files Obsidian Files

    @Ms. Walsh:
    “I honestly have no idea what you are arguing.”

    O: That’s funny; I was going to ask you the very same thing… ;)

    “I have never said that Game is not relevant or judged its value. I simply observed it is a form of CBT, which is also hugely relevant, though not successful for everyone, just as not every guy is successful with Game.”

    I quote: ““I have worked hard to separate this site from the seduction community. Discussing DD interferes with that. I have my opinion, based on my own observations.”

    Care to explain how you reconcile the above two statements?

    “You took your permanent leave of HUS a while back because I wouldn’t dance to your tune. You’re setting up the same dynamic again now. Why are you even here? How does this blog interest you?”

    O: I was hoping you’d get around to asking this question – what took you so long? ;) I’ll answer in a separate comment, hang tight…

    “If it’s a moralistic rant to say I don’t like shysters, so be it.”

    O: It is if you say something without attendant evidence to support your statements, laced with personal invective about people you don’t even know, YES.

    “I feel no need to explain myself,”

    O: Apparently not…

    “as EP is well known in the online marketing community. I’ll let others judge for themselves.”

    O: By all accounts, the only one making a stink is YOU.

    “Appropriated in what way? Appropriate means to take something for one’s own use without the owner’s permission. Who is the owner of Game? I don’t teach Game, nor have I recommended that women use tactics resembling Game.”

    O: Fair enough; nevertheless, you frequently refer to Game concepts, like “IOIs” for just one example. Given your aversion to the community, I find this “borrowing” most interesting…

    “As for why it has been necessary to distance my blog from PUAs and Game bloggers, I’ve explained this many times. The ones who have visited and referenced this site have by and large admitted to using unethical tactics, normally by saying they are willing to do “whatever works.” The level of sociopathy is quite high, in my experience, which may explain the extreme misogyny many of them spew. There are exceptions, of course, and I remain on friendly terms with a few.”

    O: Noted – and yet, as Buss points out in TEOD, deception in mating tactics is rife throughout the animal kingdom, and is in evidence in BOTH HUMAN SEXES. What I have alwayss found fascinating about these kinds of discussions is that “ethics” is only disscussed when it involves the seduction operations of males; females only get scrutiny when prompted. Hence my view, that outrage – like “empathy” – is overrated.

    “I am not aware of a single other blogger who writes about hookup culture. There is a dearth of information available to young women. Whereas the large blogs like Slate, HuffPo and Salon have many articles each week about dating over 35.”

    O: I disagree about the notion that young Women simply have nowhere to go for dating advice; a quick perusal of what’s on offer in the checkout line at the market makes this much clear. As for hookup culture, I’ll concede you are singular, but even there the utility is questionable, since we know that hooking up doesn’t hurt you, *so long as you’re White, Wealthy & Hawt* – as Ms. Wade makes clear in her recent article, and as Ms. Flory’s recent engagement, among a great many others, bears witness to.

    “Again, you may find this fascinating but I do not. That’s not my niche. I enjoy my target market, and it’s worked well for me so far. I don’t anticipate making any big changes here.”

    O: To be frank, I would be a bit disappointed if you did…

    ;)

    O.

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

      @Obsidian

      You can’t borrow something that has no owner.

      I can appreciate the concepts of Game while disliking many of its proponents. Game is amoral, and many of its advocates are immoral. Such is human nature.

  • Escoffier

    Mrs. E. doesn’t drink. At all. Ever. She said, when we got married, “You just doubled the lifespan of your wine cellar.”

  • https://www.facebook.com/obsidian.files Obsidian Files

    @Ms. Walsh:
    “”You took your permanent leave of HUS a while back because I wouldn’t dance to your tune.”

    O: Actually, this isn’t quite true; you moderated my comments because what I was saying – which you didn’t fundamentally disagree with, I might add – was upsetting to certain of your audience.

    “You’re setting up the same dynamic again now. Why are you even here? How does this blog interest you?”

    O: The Afrosphere is, in a word, inferior when it comes to in-depth inquiry about the kinds of questions along the lines of human mating that is commonplace in White online venues. Trust me, I get on their nerves more than I do you and other White bloggers, mainly for their lack of curiousity and rigor. Despite all their education, they just don’t seem moved to apply it to how and why, we Black folk mate in the ways we do.

    When I’ve questioned certain folks in the Afrosphere as to why they never seem to get into these topics in an academic way, I’ve gotten a number of, frankly, unsatisfactory responses – “White folks have more money/leisure time to ponder this stuff”, quickly followed up with what Glenn Loury and John McWhorter called “the Black Man’s Burden”: http://bloggingheads.tv/videos/15533, that “we have bigger fish to fry”, i.e., dealing with racial questions of varying stripe.

    Personally, I see these excuses as just that – rationales to explain away the lazy and uncurious nature of many of my brethren along these lines.

    So, I have to turn to White sources, of which you are one, to inform my own content. I have a great deal of respect for you, and other White writers, bloggers, researchers and the like, who want to know WHY humans mate as they do; and since I can’t get that “back home” I have to come to places like this one to do so.

    That, is why I’m here.

    :)

    O.

  • https://www.facebook.com/obsidian.files Obsidian Files

    @Ms. Walsh:
    “@Obsidian

    You can’t borrow something that has no owner.”

    O: OK.

    “I can appreciate the concepts of Game while disliking many of its proponents.”

    O: You most certainly can…

    “Game is amoral, and many of its advocates are immoral. Such is human nature.”

    O: Morality has no place when it come to human mating, and as Buss notes, often such notions are really rationales for the preferred mating strategies of those making all the righteous ruckus.

    Like I said, #OutrageIsOverrated…

    O.

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

      Morality has no place when it come to human mating, and as Buss notes, often such notions are really rationales for the preferred mating strategies of those making all the righteous ruckus.

      In my view, morality is central to every aspect of human behavior. It evolved just as sex drive did. I don’t see how one could justify honoring one set of evolved traits while dismissing the other.

      In any case, I truly don’t have a wish to debate this. After innumerable debates along these lines, I have found that it’s simply more efficient to invite the amoralists to move along. This reflects the hard-wired inclinations of most of us – which is not something that debate can address.

  • Vitor

    Susan, for your information, since I started to read your blog, I have come to understand women better. Now I even start to notice that there are plenty of fish in the sea :) and that some of them might even be interested in me. Just yesterday I felt the vibes coming from a girl I was sort of flirting with. She’s cute. I wouldn’t be surprised if I soon end up hooking up (smart) with one. :)

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

      @Vitor

      Susan, for your information, since I started to read your blog, I have come to understand women better. Now I even start to notice that there are plenty of fish in the sea :) and that some of them might even be interested in me.

      Thanks so much for that gratifying feedback! I am glad HUS helps. The part that really makes my heart sing is your increasing awareness of how women perceive you. Connecting is so much easier when we’re not oblivious! This goes for both sexes – I think we’ve lost a lot of our ability to detect signs of interest from the opposite sex if it isn’t aggressive.

  • http://en.gravatar.com/marellus Marellus

    Obsidian wrote :

    I have argued, and I maintain right now, that as goes Black America, so too, go the rest of the nation. Don’t take my word for it, check the stats along these lines for yourself.

    I once heard a story of an old Black Man who told his boss, that he can understand, why the young kids in the townships, are drinking hard liquor.

    “Why do they do it, Silas ?” his boss asked him.

    Silas replied, “Because when they fall asleep, their tummies are full, and they feel warm all over …”

  • Superwoman Returns

    “I have argued, and I maintain right now, that as goes Black America, so too, go the rest of the nation. ”

    We are all weaving now.

  • Lokland

    @Susan

    “I don’t believe they have no options – and most women perceive that a man they find worthy will be found worthy by other women as well.

    I do believe that they don’t like their options, however, which is a different thing.”

    Yes its all the men’s fault. The reason the bottom 60-70% of women cannot get relationships is because there are no men willing to buy the product. (Deltas are by definition 50%+ of the population.)

    Women have no agency in the matter and must therefore just become better so they don’t have to deal with the creeps.

  • https://www.facebook.com/obsidian.files Obsidian Files

    @Ms. Walsh:
    “In my view, morality is central to every aspect of human behavior. It evolved just as sex drive did. I don’t see how one could justify honoring one set of evolved traits while dismissing the other.”

    O: LOL. It’s not about “honoring” anything, and it’s abundantly clear that you prefer one form of mating over another, hence the repeated references to “right and wrong” on your part.

    Steven Pinker, a name I think you’re famililar with, has written (and spoken quite a bit on morality, its evolutionary origins, and how if we’re not careful, it can do us in – a case in point, he noted, was in the cases of homicide. The single biggest motivator for it was acting out of a sense of retribution, of being wronged, of being “dissed”. Morality, strikes again.

    “In any case, I truly don’t have a wish to debate this. After innumerable debates along these lines, I have found that it’s simply more efficient to invite the amoralists to move along. This reflects the hard-wired inclinations of most of us – which is not something that debate can address.”

    O: There is nothing to debate; I’ve clarified the matter in my previous comment, and if anything your position is as “hard wired” as those you disagree with.

    As for myself, and as you well know, I am neutral on all these matters and have no particular problem with your “mission” in this regard. Again, as Buss clearly notes and as your recent post on infidelity makes crystal clear, humanity was optimized for BOTH long AND short term mating, no matter how disconcerting that revelation may be to some of us. I accept it as part of the human condition rather than engaging in a futile effort railing against it.

    O.

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

      Again, as Buss clearly notes and as your recent post on infidelity makes crystal clear, humanity was optimized for BOTH long AND short term mating, no matter how disconcerting that revelation may be to some of us. I accept it as part of the human condition rather than engaging in a futile effort railing against it.

      It doesn’t make sense to argue blank slate and quote Buss in the same breath.

      You are correct that humanity includes both ST and LT strategies, and there is ample evidence that people are wired differently. Some people are strictly ST in their orientation, others are strictly LT. Many personality disorders are highly correlated to promiscuity – these are likely the descendants of the males who were not able to adapt to pair bonding when it evolved. It is a viable reproductive strategy, obviously, because there are women who choose them.

      I personally don’t care how people mate – my own bias/wiring is towards LT mating, so I offer advice and information for like-minded people. The worst thing a LT-oriented female can do is pair with a ST-oriented male.

      Some ST-oriented guys have accused me of trying to get them into relationships or even married. The horror! That couldn’t be further from the truth. From my POV, the ideal outcome is for them to remain very much in circulation, pairing off ST with similarly wired women.

      HUS is written to address the concerns of LT-oriented folks.

  • https://www.facebook.com/obsidian.files Obsidian Files

    @Ms. Walsh:
    “Connecting is so much easier when we’re not oblivious! This goes for both sexes – I think we’ve lost a lot of our ability to detect signs of interest from the opposite sex if it isn’t aggressive.”

    O: If I may, I think the problem, at least on the male side of things, has more to do with the increased costs of acting on a perceived mating opportunity, than some mysterious “loss” of ability to “detect signs of interest”. You are well aware of the tick in male sexual psychology to be ever vigilant for mating opportunities, which can often be wrong, but nevertheless served the purpose of helping males securing mating opportunities. Those who did so are our (male) ancestors; those who did not, are not.

    Creep-shaming, street-harassment, railing against Nice Guys, et al, all have the unintended(?) consequence of raising the costs of a male for “noticing” an IOI – if unwanted, it could result in reputational and social damage, loss of job and even potential criminal prosecution. Males are extraordinarily sensitive to such things, and explains how and why, fewer guys are approaching Women in our time. I’ve explained how this has happened in Black America, and sure enough we’re starting to see early signs of it taking place in White America, as it least some guys rightly weigh the bennies vs. costs of stepping to a Woman in the midst of a fullcourt cultural/social/legal press on the part of the Feminist Lobby and their allies (many of whom are male themselves: Hugo Schwyzer, John Scalzi, the guy who got the “Above The Game/Kickstarter” controversy started, et al.) and rationally conclude that it isn’t worth the (vastly increased) risk(s).

    As a result, ironically enough, at least some Women will *have to be* more “aggressive” in their mating effort to compensate for the unintended(?) sharp increase of costs to Men in approaching Women in our time. As one who is formally trained in economic matters, I am sure you would agree with the idea that all things carry with them tradeoffs.

    Yes?

    O.

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

      @Obsidian

      As a result, ironically enough, at least some Women will *have to be* more “aggressive” in their mating effort to compensate for the unintended(?) sharp increase of costs to Men in approaching Women in our time.

      Yes, I do agree. The cost of approaching has increased for men and decreased for women. However, I think there is an increase in cluelessness, or a decrease in mating intelligence that has taken place as gender roles have become blurred.

      This runs counter to the studies of Buss, et al; notions of imputing “something’s wrong with thus and so” for being what some would be promiscuous is again a function of attempting to “police” their mating behavior for our own benefit.

      Remember, Buss’ SST is a theory, and it’s not the only evo theory out there. It’s 20 years old now and there has been a lot of work done in the meantime. A lot of research runs counter to the studies of Buss, as it turns out. That’s not to devalue Buss’ work – I agree with you that his EOD is a very important book. But since he wrote it, we’ve learned more about what we know, and what we don’t know. I’ll be writing a post on this soon.

      That may not necessarily be true; many LT Women rightly calculate that they have bennies to reap from a ST liason with (the right) Man. It has happened numerous times down through human mating history, with no signs of abating anytime soon.

      What bennies are those? Good genes theory is out the window in the modern era, which was always the primary argument for going with a ST-oriented male.

      People of one supposed “orientation” pair off with people of “another” all the time, and clearly they do so because they perceive, rightly or wrongly, the bennies for doing so. Such is the complexity of human mating behaviors

      Not really. This is not to say that LT-oriented people never have ONSs, or that ST-oriented males never settle down. But by and large, people self-regulate to mate assortatively, including on the sociosexuality dimension.

  • https://www.facebook.com/obsidian.files Obsidian Files

    @Ms. Walsh:
    “It doesn’t make sense to argue blank slate and quote Buss in the same breath.”

    O: I didn’t reference Pinker’s book of the same name, and actually I was thinking about a YouTube video where he discuesses morality along the lines of this current convo. If I can find the link I’ll post it.

    “You are correct that humanity includes both ST and LT strategies, and there is ample evidence that people are wired differently. Some people are strictly ST in their orientation, others are strictly LT. Many personality disorders are highly correlated to promiscuity – these are likely the descendants of the males who were not able to adapt to pair bonding when it evolved. It is a viable reproductive strategy, obviously, because there are women who choose them.”

    O: This runs counter to the studies of Buss, et al; notions of imputing “something’s wrong with thus and so” for being what some would be promiscuous is again a function of attempting to “police” their mating behavior for our own benefit. Humans are incredibly sensitive to context and as a result we have evolved software that aids us in taking advantage of those contexts along mating lines. We are much more fluid than we’d like to believe.

    “I personally don’t care how people mate ”

    O: Oh, you most definitely DO care how (and why) people mate, otherwise HUS would not exist…

    “– my own bias/wiring is towards LT mating, so I offer advice and information for like-minded people. The worst thing a LT-oriented female can do is pair with a ST-oriented male.”

    O: That may not necessarily be true; many LT Women rightly calculate that they have bennies to reap from a ST liason with (the right) Man. It has happened numerous times down through human mating history, with no signs of abating anytime soon.

    “Some ST-oriented guys have accused me of trying to get them into relationships or even married. The horror! That couldn’t be further from the truth. From my POV, the ideal outcome is for them to remain very much in circulation, pairing off ST with similarly wired women.”

    O: The problem with your argument is it assumes that such things can, have, should and will happen, when your most recent post belies this romantic notion. Humans are fairly ruthless (if cryptic if at all possible – deception has evolutionary bennies as well, especially in a mating context) cost/benefit calculators, and this is especially true in the mating arena. People of one supposed “orientation” pair off with people of “another” all the time, and clearly they do so because they perceive, rightly or wrongly, the bennies for doing so. Such is the complexity of human mating behaviors.

    “HUS is written to address the concerns of LT-oriented folks.”

    O: No doubt; but that won’t change the truth of human mating, that it is optimized for both LT and ST mating, and that people can and will select either depending on the particular context(s) they find themselves in.

    O.

  • Superwoman Returns

    Richard, I don’t know why Susan things that but she’s wrong.

    Obviously the vast majority of women manage to couple with the vast majority of men without having to fight off other women.

    The vast majority of people just don’t have a lot of “options” yet they still manage to be loved by someone.

  • Superwoman Returns

    Look, half the problem here is that the entire concept of in locos parentis was dialed back too far.

    Agree 100%. As you could see in the flowchart I made yesterday, this is the main problem.
    ___

    But how could that be re-instated? What would it look like, practically? How do you think students would respond?

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

      But how could that be re-instated? What would it look like, practically? How do you think students would respond?

      Oh, there’s no going back. Another solution will have to be found. Or not.

  • Vitor

    The part that really makes my heart sing is your increasing awareness of how women perceive you. Connecting is so much easier when we’re not oblivious!

    I think it’s also a two way process. The way I am perceiving them is changing as well. Only yesterday I was in a shop buying some clothes and the clerk was so beautiful and cute. I guess she perceived my bright eyes and happy composture in the way I was talking with her and asked me if I was from the same neighbourhood of hers as it looked like she had seen me before.

    Actually I was so used to either being oblivious or not receiving attention at all from beautiful/interesting girls that I still feel a little ackward in approaching and talking with them in a response to some indication of interest. This is something I am not used to… because actually I have never done (I mean, in response to an indication of interest and especially if coming from a beautiful/interesting woman). But I think I am likely to learn it quickly. :)

  • Richard Aubrey

    Superwoman.
    WRT Susan and options. If I may.
    An exaggerated example would be if you and a guy were on a desert island and never getting away. He chooses you. Big deal. You needn’t display any qualities. Might as well be a life-size sex doll with homeothermic capabilities and a sound track. You feel good about being “chosen”?
    Or if the guy shows up in your world–campus, employment, apartment complex–is hooked on you immediately and never looks around. Creepy. He remind you of his mother? His favorite Playmate from when he was in jr. hi.? Creepy. Even if you’re a ten who’s managed to surround herself exclusively with fours and down, it would still seem creepy. Even if you have Marie Curie’s mind in a bikini model’s body…creepy.
    In a more normal setting, creepy still.
    I don’t know that women relish a fight, so to speak, but I’ll defer to women in general and Susan in particular.
    Still, if he never looks around, never looks at options he may clearly have…something’s not quite right.
    If he clearly has options, it means other women have favorably vetted him, which is a useful datum.

  • Vitor

    Connecting is so much easier when we’re not oblivious! This goes for both sexes – I think we’ve lost a lot of our ability to detect signs of interest from the opposite sex if it isn’t aggressive.

    I was giving further thoughts to this and I feel that it’s definitely true for me. I have been through all the possible shaming ways with the opposite gender in my younger days, out of deep emotional neediness. I have acted out the supplicating creep with three different girls, and I have probably been seen as weird, crazy or something of the sort by some of them.

    Mistakes of youth, but which leave emotional scars and little traumas. Sometimes I still have difficulties dealing with this, I mean, perceiving women in non aggressive/threatening ways.

    I think I am able to tell the difference nowadays, and that’s also why I tend to get along better with girls who are empathetic and nurturing, but there is a grey zone between perceiving a threat and/or projecting my own fears where otherwise there might be just an opportunity for a meaningful relationship.

    Whatever, I start to see that overwhelming pluralistic ignorance was playing a major role in the way I perceived most women/girls. HUS has helped to understand women better and tell the difference, and even also realize that many of them might be looking for the same things I value in a relationship and, most importantly, that many of the qualities I possess might be deeply appreciated and sought for.