From Schedules of Mating:
There are methods and social contrivances women have used for centuries to ensure that the best male’s genes are selected and secured with the best male provisioning she’s capable of attracting. Ideally the best Man should exemplify both, but rarely do the two exist in the same male (particularly these days) so in the interest of achieving her biological imperative, and prompted by an innate need for security, the feminine as a whole had to develop social conventions and methodologies (which change as her environment and personal conditions do) to effect this.
Years ago, when I was writing this post, my emphasis was on how an evolved dynamic (female pluralistic sexual strategy) translated into evolved social dynamics (feminine primary social conventions). My focus then was on how the feminine creates and normalizes social conditions that favor hypergamy by covertly manipulating social expectations – not only of the men who would facilitate that hypergamy, but also for women themselves in how their own self-rationalizations (hindbrain, hamsters) can be socially justified (i.e the myth of the feminine mystique).
I wrote Schedules of Mating in 2005 (on SoSuave) in an effort to explain the rudiments of hypergamy in a more accessible way for guys who were still struggling with understanding why women would say they wanted “a Nice guy with a good heart” yet would behaviorally opt for Bad Boy-Jerks as their sexual partners of choice. I still think it’s a pretty good essay, which is why I revised and included it in the earliest posts at Rational Male. However, even at the time I was writing, I knew that the concept of an evolved hypergamy and its social implication still had a lot more under the hood to explore.
My point of departure for today’s post is this study on hormones and brain activity from the Kinsey Institute. I’ll be quoting the 2008 study, but do read it, it’s fairly brief.
“One area of the brain in which we observed a difference in activation in response to masculinized versus feminized faces — specifically during the follicular phase — was the anterior cingulate cortex, which is a region involved in decision-making and the evaluation of potential reward and risk,” said neuroscientist Heather Rupp, research fellow at the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction. “Activation in this region has been previously reported to correlate with ‘high risk’ nonsocial choices, specifically monetary risk, so it is interesting that it is observed to be more active in response to masculinized male faces, who may be both riskier but more rewarding to women.”
Previous studies have shown that women’s sexual preference for facial characteristics vary depending on their menstrual phase. These fluctuating preferences are thought to reflect evolutionarily founded changes in women’s reproductive priorities. Around the time of ovulation women prefer more masculinized faces — faces with features that indicate high levels of testosterone. These facial cues predict high genetic quality in the male because only such males can afford the immune-compromising effects of testosterone. Testosterone may be costly for the males’ mates as well because high testosterone levels also are associated with high rates of offspring abandonment.
Around the time of ovulation, a female’s preference apparently shifts from avoiding negligent parenting to acquiring the best genes for her offspring. At other points during the cycle, women will prefer more feminized male faces, as they might signal a higher willingness of the males to invest in offspring.
Alpha fucks and beta bucks is a biologically hard-wired feature of the female mind. Studies like this aren’t unknown to the manosphere, and even the early PUA teachers had an almost instinctual(?) understanding of how a woman’s ovulatory cycle could affect a guy’s odds of a successful hookup without ever having read them. There’s a plethora of practical applications a man might use with a firm knowledge of how a woman’s cycle affects her mood, her susceptibility to his influence and how her rationalization will be altered as a result of the particular phase she happens to be in.
In his blue pill years, I think a lot of what accounts for a guy’s sporadic successes with women can be attributed to the woman’s ovulatory phase and favorable circumstance. Right phase, right place, right time and a guy who gave off just enough subconscious Alpha cues to get the lay – or the brief girlfriend status until her subsequent follicular phase peaked and he wasn’t the Alpha she thought he was 3 weeks prior.
From a Game perspective, using the this illustration as a guide, the latter half of the folicular (proliferative) phase – the period between day 7 to about day 14 – might be called the Alpha Phase for Men. The Kinsey study (and many similar ones) would indicate that this 7 (maybe 10) day window predisposes women to (Alpha) sexual influence and would be the optimal period for a man to make a lasting Alpha impression. ‘Gina tingles are most commonly born in the proliferative phase.
I’ve caught a lot of grief in the past from angry women for suggesting that all women have an ‘inner slut’ and that all a guy need do is be the right man at the right time to bring this out in them. I think understanding a woman’s cycle kind of puts a punctuation on this. The hot coed on spring break in Cancun who fucks the hot guy in the foam cannon party is probably in her proliferative phase. Add alcohol and you’ve got the chemical formula for sexual urgency – even from the ‘good girl‘. When she thinks or says “I don’t know what came over me, I’m not usually like that.” she’s observing her behavior from luteal phase perspective. She really isn’t “like that” the other 21 days of her cycle.
As the Kinsey study reports, it’s during this part of a woman’s cycle that she become subconsciously attuned to masculinized traits and makes subliminal efforts to capitalize on her concurrent ovulation. In other words, this is the period in which hypergamy doesn’t care the most. It’s “fuck me now, I’ll rationalize it out later.”
About now you’re probably wondering, “That’s all well and good Rollo, but how the fuck do I determine what cycle phase a woman is in?” If all a guy were doing was cold approaches I could understand the confusion. There are countless ‘tells’ women will display when they are in their proliferative phase. Dr. Martie Hasselton has done some excellent studies on female ornamentation coinciding with ovulation and also how women’s vocal pitch shifts lower (sultry voice) during this phase, but if you’re still unconvinced, listen to your gut – men instinctually know when women are in the pro phase of ovulation. If you have the patience to learn, pay better attention to the behaviors of the women in your immediate social circle, or to the behaviors of the girl you think you may want to target at some point. Since women living in close proximity tend to synchronize their menstrual cycles, more likely than not they’ll covertly infer when it’s ‘rag week’.
If the proliferate phase is the Alpha Phase for Men, then the luteal phase could be considered the Beta Phase. Again using the Kinsey study as our guide we can infer that women become drawn to more feminine features in men during the 14 day down side of their cycle. The attributes of attraction (not arousal) that define this stage are associated with comfort, familiarity, empathy, etc. meant to reinforce the perception that a man is a good choice for parental investment.
Again, this is nothing novel in the manosphere. Even Roissy has written posts regarding the applied use of beta-side Game – in context. Far too many men believe the WYSIWYG myth about women and their advertised attraction requisites as being predominantly beta-associative. As I illustrated in Wait for It?, the girl who spontaneously banged the hot guy in the foam cannon party is the same girl who’ll tell you you need to earn her trust because she needs to be comfortable with you before you have sex. Betas believe this at face value and don’t strike while the iron’s hot (the proliferate phase), wait her out and wonder why they get LJBF’d at the end of her luteal phase.
I think where most beta men lose the trail is in the belief that Beta attraction is (or should be) synonymous with Alpha arousal. Each of these concepts is representative of a different facet of women’s pluralistic sexual strategy – Alpha seed, Beta need. Women’s sexual imperatives can be defined by the degree to which her short term mating strategy can be justified, or offset, by her long term mating strategy.
Nowhere is this disparity more obviously manifested than in the biological reality of a woman’s menstrual cycle which creates it.
The Hypergamy Link
One aspect of hypergamy that I’m not certain most men really understand is that hypergamy is a biological phenomenon in origin. I sometimes wonder if Game-aware men confuse hypergamy with being a social construct. Women almost certainly do, but more from a need to protect the rationalizations that result from confronting the uncomfortable internal conflict that hypergamy causes for them – “why am I not hot for the sweet beta who’d give me the world, but am tingly all over for the hot guy who’s casually indifferent to me?”
The base truth of hypergamy as a dynamic is that it is the logical result of women’s innate, hormonal and neural condition. This root-level disparity of a plural sexual strategy led to the evolution of the feminine psyche – to be covert, to be excusably duplicitous, to be better communicators on more varied levels, but also to be the nurturers and empathizers.
Since the sexual revolution began, the biological rationale for social feminization has been men’s biological proclivity for violence and aggression. We were told that we’re poisoned by our testosterone; we’re controlled from youth to repress that in school to the point where teachers expect boys to ‘act out‘, so we drug them. Yet, the biological rationale for hypergamy could also be said to lie in women’s biological (menstrual) impetus that motivates their sexual pluralism.