Eat, Prey, Love

idealism

It started with a girl I met at summer camp and ended with the woman for whom I left my first wife. In between, I bounced from one girl to the next — dozens of them — without so much as a day off between romances. You might have called me a serial monogamist, except that I was never exactly monogamous. Relationships overlapped, and those overlaps were always marked by exhausting theatricality: sobbing arguments, shaming confrontations, broken hearts. Still, I kept doing it. I couldn’t not do it.

I can’t say that I was always looking for a hotter girl. I’d trade good women for bad ones; their character didn’t much matter to me. I wasn’t exactly seeking love, regardless of what I might have told them. I can’t even say it was the sex either. Sex was just the gateway drug for me, a portal to the much higher high I was really after, which was the chase, the seduction.

Seduction is the art of coercing somebody to desire you; playing on someone else’s longings to suit your own agenda. Seduction was never a casual sport for me; it was more like a heist, adrenalizing and urgent. I would plan the seduction for months sometimes, picking the target, looking for openings. Then I would break into her deepest vault, steal all her emotional currency and use it myself.

If the girl was already in a committed relationship, I knew that I didn’t need to be hotter or “better” than her botfriend; I just needed to be different. (The novel doesn’t always win out over the familiar, mind you, but it often does.) The trick was to study the boyfriend and to become his opposite, thereby positioning myself to this woman as a sparkling alternative to her regular life.

Soon enough, and sure enough, I began to see that woman’s attitude toward me change from indifference, to trust, to IOIs, to open desire. That’s what I was after: the sensation of steadily dragging her fullest attention toward me and only me. My guilt about the boyfriend was no match for the intoxicating knowledge that — somewhere on the other side of town — somebody couldn’t sleep that night because she was thinking about me. If she needed to sneak out of his house after midnight in order to call, better still. That was power, but it was also affirmation. I was her irresistible temptation. I loved that sensation, I needed it, not sometimes, not even often, but always.

I might win the girl over eventually. But over time (and it wouldn’t take long), her unquenchable infatuation for me would fade, as her attentions and guilt returned to her boyfriend. This always left me feeling abandoned and invisible; desire that could be quenched was not nearly enough for me. As soon as I could, then, I would start seducing another girl, by turning myself into an entirely different guy, in order to attract an entirely different woman. These episodes of shape-shifting cost me though. I would lose weight, sleep, dignity, clarity. As anyone who has ever watched a werewolf movie knows, transmutation is excruciating and terrifying, but once that process has been set into motion — once you have glimpsed that full moon — it cannot be reversed. I could endure these painful episodes only by assuring myself: ‘‘This is the last time. This girl is the ONE.’’

In my mid-20s, I married, but not even matrimony slowed me down. Predictably, I grew restless and felt unappreciated for my Beta supportive sacrifices. Soon enough I seduced a new girl; the marriage collapsed. But it was worse than just that. Before my divorce settlement was even signed, I was already breaking up with the girl I had broken up my marriage for. You know you’ve got intimacy issues when, in the space of a few short months, you find yourself visiting two completely different couples’ counselors, with two completely different women on your arm, in order to talk about two completely different emotional firestorms. Trying to keep all my various story lines straight (Whom am I angry at, again? Who is angry at me now? Whose office is this?) made my hands shake and my mind falter.

At our last counseling session, my soon-to-be-ex-girlfriend and I argued bitterly, and she ran off in a different direction. I came home distressed, only to find a string of distressing phone messages from my divorce lawyer: Nothing but ruin on that front too. Then I did an unusual thing. I did not grab the telephone and call yet another woman. Instead, I asked myself, ‘‘What are you doing with your life?’’

For the first time, I forced myself to admit that I had a problem — indeed, that I was a problem. Tinkering with other people’s most vulnerable emotions didn’t make me a romantic; it just made me a cad. Lying and cheating didn’t make me brazen; it just made me a needy coward. Stealing other men’s girlfriends didn’t make me a an irresistible player; it just made me a menace. I hated that it took me almost 20 years to realize this. There are 16-year-old kids who know better than to behave this way. It felt shameful. But once I got it, I really got it: There is no way to stop a destructive behavior, except to stop.

I spent the next six months celibate and serious, working with a good therapist, trying to learn if I even existed at all when I wasn’t soaking up women’s desire for me. Then one afternoon I ran into a girl I liked. We went for a long walk in the park. Flirted. Laughed. It was sweet. Eventually she said, ‘‘Would you like to come back to my apartment with me?’’

Yes! My God, how I wanted to unwrap this woman like a Christmas present!


Wasn’t this great? Wasn’t this a beautifully written, wise and brave account? Too many men are punished, and quietly punish themselves, for what is indeed our birthright: “human complexity”. Understanding and acceptance of a man’s capacity for cruelty is necessary for personal growth, right?

Have you ever been the cuckold boyfriend on the other side of this equation? Isn’t it nice to get a bit more clarity from a PUAs side? Its a rough road, but I admire this guy’s courage and honesty. He’s earned my forgiveness and I expect he’s also earned yours.

Or…is this guy just an evil fuck seeking absolution from women for his manipulations? Should we forgive a guy who’d run a ‘boyfriend destroyer’ scheme and sow such discord for his own personal distemper on a dozen, two dozen, women? Is this man above forgiveness in spite of his personal insight and professed regret?

Men can be so callous; it’s good to see the PUA/Seduction perspective finally come to real insight, because, Lord knows, no woman would ever be able to relate to such horribly damaging obsessions, right?


Post Edit:

OK, all snark aside, my intent with this was a comparative in a similar vein as my Qualities of the Prince post.

When you use exactly the same words and narrative women use with the genders flipped you begin to see the code in the Matrix. I purposely left the original article link at the end because the interpretation of how horrible and denigrating a man exhibiting such behaviors and rationalizing them needed to be expected and believed by default.

However, the real issue here isn’t so much Gilbert’s overt embracing of Open Hypergamy, it’s the degree to which she expects a fem-centric pop-culture not just to forgive her for it, but to redefine it as a necessary growth step in the maturation of a woman.

As most of you figured out, it’s (an albeit delayed) Epiphany Phase rationalization that all women have to confront eventually. The only difference here is the heroic narrative context. When a man spins plates, even with the most open and honest approach to being non-exclusive, he’s typecast as a monster, a predator, a player and a cad –and those are the nice adjectives.

But have a woman spin plates (as all of them do to varying degrees), and she’s a hero for her journey of self-discovery. Have a look at the comments on Gilbert’s original article. I even incorporated a few into the end of my post.

“This was a beautifully written, wise and brave account.”

“Too many men are punished, and quietly punish themselves, for what is indeed our birthright: human complexity”

As Open Hypergamy becomes more widely accepted, and men’s cooperation with it becomes an expectation for men in “a mature adult relationship” the Feminine Imperative will progressively need to redefine the inherent duplicity of women’s sexual strategy and mold it into a personal strength of women. We can see this fluid redefining in this article and I expect in Gilbert’s next book.

Men will need to be made compliant to women’s overt Hypergamy and the first step is to make them accept it as a triumphant self-discovered strength in women. Men need to be taught to applaud women for the courage to embrace their Hypergamy openly, and any man who doesn’t love women more for it is a chauvinist / misogynist.


Adaptations – Part II

Studio 54

When I first published the comparative SMV graph a few years ago one of the first criticisms was that the age comparisons between men and women seemed too concrete and too specific to contemporary times. I tried to make concessions for this then, but when I was writing that post it was at first meant to be a bit tongue-in-cheek. Still, I try to write with the presupposition that critics will take things either too literally or too figuratively. I knew that the literati then and now would think, “…well, yes it’s a good outline, but you’re looking at the SMV from the perspective of 2012 and society was much different 50, 70, 100, 2,000 years ago so this graph is flawed…”

My SMV graph was never meant to be some canonical tablet handed to me from the almighty. I thought of it then, and still think of it now, as a very good workable outline for how men and women’s comparative SMV relates to the other. This has been borne out in many other statistics from individual studies sent to me by readers or just my coming across them since I created that graph.

That said, and in relation to where I’m going with this Adaptations series, those critics aren’t wrong to suggest that this outline would be subject to the social environments and simple physical realities of earlier times, and likely some times yet to come.

Take what I’m about to delve into here with a bit of salt; I’m not a historian. One of my favorite figures from the civil war ear was Colonel Robert Gould Shaw. If you’ve seen the movie Glory you know who I’m referencing here. This young man was 23 when he enlisted and 25 when he was promoted to Major and then Colonel. In that time Shaw saw some pretty grisly shit, including the battle of Antietam.

I’d seen the movie when it first came out in 1989, but after watching it again for a class assignment I had a new appreciation for the real man who was Robert Shaw. I saw the film using what was just becoming my Red Pill lens. It struck me that the realities of that era forced men to become Men much sooner than men do today. The realities of our times give us a leisure the men of Shaw’s age simple couldn’t imagine. The realities of that time necessitated a quick maturation to bear the burden of heavy responsibilities. Those burdens were much more imperative then, but a 23 year old is still a 23 year old.

I thought about how I’d spent my own years between the ages of 23-25 when I was at the peak of my semi-rock star tail chasing in the late 80’s Hollywood scene. I began to really think about the differences in the social and physical environments of the 1860s and the 1980s-90s. I’ve always joked that men don’t become Men until they’re 30. Even on the SMV graph the point at which I attribute men’s real ascendency to their peak SMV at around age 30, but this wasn’t always the case in the past.

Men (comparatively) live longer lives as a result of health and medical advances, but (at least in westernizing culture) it takes much more time and personal investment, as well as acculturation for men to realize their personal potential. Men’s burden of performance wasn’t much different in prior eras, but the timeframe necessary to reach a man’s peak potential was much more accelerated.

So to address the concerns of the temporal critics of the SMV graph, yes, this graph might look a bit different to the men and women of the 19th century. Considering lifespans of the era and the social conditions then, the ages during which a woman would reach her own peak might be around 17, and a man’s may be 25, however the same curves of the bell wouldn’t change drastically. Men adapted to the conditions their environment dictated to them then in much the same way they did before and after the sexual revolution. And this adaptation came as the result of what was expected of them as their burden of performance, as well as what their social leisures would permit them.

Love American Style

Into the 70’s the new social contract of the Free Love generation began to take a new shape. Bear in mind that this new equalitarian contract was based on the hopeful presumption that both sexes would mutually honor the “what’s on the inside is what counts” normalization of attraction. Under this contract women’s Hypergamous natures could flourish, while men’s unlimited access sexual strategy could ostensibly be realized.

Of course these lofty, higher-consciousness, presumptions  were meant to supersede human nature and an evolved sexual arousal function based on human biology. One thing that still thwarts ideological feminism today is that its perceived goal states contradict human beings’ natural states. This contradiction gets narratively blamed on men not wanting to cooperate with feminism, but even the most ardent feminist is still guilty of her own biology and arousal triggers contradicting herself.

Biology trumps conviction. People get fidgety when I apply this in a religious context, but it’s equally applicable to feminism and really any ideology that under-appreciates human nature and the realities of its conditions.

As the new sexual landscape began to solidify, men began to adapt their own sexual strategies to the conditions of this fast and loose environment. Just prior to the Disco Generation hardcore pornography began its path to the ubiquitous porn we know today. The sexual restraint necessitated by the realities of prior generations loosened in light of widespread hormonal birth control and safe(er) legal abortion.

While Hypergamy was effectively unleashed, the women of this era hadn’t fully grasped the scope of it being so or what it would become. Acceptable premarital sex, abortion and unilaterally feminine controlled birth control meant that women had an unprecedented degree of control over their Hypergamous decision making. I doubt many women of the time understood this, but the only real control men had (and still have now) over women’s breeding and birthing outcomes was now grounded in the psychological (Game) or the physical (arousal). Provisioning was still a consideration for women, but the division between short-term and long-term pairing became more stark.

As I mentioned here in the beginning, a slowing of the maturation process was the inevitable result of women’s freedom of Hypergamous choice. Short-term Alpha Fucks no longer posed the same societal and personal risks of a pre-birth control generation, thus long-term pairing choices (Beta bucks) began to be delayed. The ideological cover story was one of women expecting men to “love their insides” despite their age, psychological baggage or physical condition.

Women’s preoccupation with The Wall was ostensibly mitigated by the Free Love social contract that men would honor their end of the higher-consciousness equalitarian dream of a mutually agreed attraction based on intrinsic qualities. The biological realities for both sexes was much different.

Women trusted they could be sexually ‘free’ without social stigmatization, but the reality was that the long-term needs of Hypergamy could be postponed in what would eventually become a Sandbergian sexual strategy. The more Alpha men of the time – ones in touch with the visceral nature of women and themselves – understood the incredibly boon this represented to them.

It’s important to bear in mind that Hypergamy was not the openly embraced dynamic it’s come into today. Thus, the unspoken, secretive nature of Hypergamy was something a man who ‘just got it’ instinctively understood and women were aroused by it.

Machismo

During the 70s ‘Macho’ men began to adapt to a new paradigm. They adapted to the reality that women were conflicted by the Free Love paradigm. These men embraced both the sexual openness expected of women, but they also understood that in spite of the social contract of love being based on intrinsic qualities, women still wanted to fuck (with abandon) the men with extrinsic arousal triggering qualities. The physical began to take priority above the emotional pretentiousness.

The macho quality could take different forms. Whether is was the good ole boy of the south or the Tony Manero at Studio 54, understanding the mindset is what’s important here.

Macho men in the discos and key parties of the 70s figured out they could ‘Game’ the old paradigm of non-exclusivity paired with birth control by re-embracing (with disco era gusto) a masculinity that had been abandoned just a decade earlier. Unlimited access to unlimited sexuality was for men who overtly challenged the Free Love preconditions. They enjoyed the rewards of its expectations of women while rebounding off the self-expectations of the Beta men who were still cooperating with the Free Love social contract.

This era is an interesting parallel to our own. I think much of the Red Pill resentment coming from men still plugged into a Blue Pill mindset is rooted in a similar perception that they’re playing by an acceptable set of rules that “men with Game” are exploiting for their own selfish ends. What they don’t realize is that their Blue Pill interpretations are a designed part of a social paradigm that supports feminine primacy. Game works because, like the macho men of the 70s, it’s primarily based on women’s inborn psychology and the visceral realities of women’s biological impulses.

Beta men in the 70s still believed that the Free Love mindset was equally and mutually beneficial for both sexes since it was supposedly based on a freedom from performance for themselves while freeing women from sexual repression and (covertly) from the reality of the Wall. In reality the Free Love paradigm put men at a disadvantage by giving women almost total control of Hypergamy and the time in which to realize short term mating and long term provisioning.

So these men’s resentment of the Alphas of the era is understandable when you consider that their visceral attractiveness was observably and behaviorally arousing to women who were supposed to idealistically love them for who they were not what they were. These men represented a return to that burden of performance they’d hoped to avoid in the Free Love contract.

These Alpha men understood women’s base impulses then, and that understanding became an integral part of their “just getting it” attraction. However, as we’ll see in the next part of this series, these men would eventually become the butt of their own joke as the Feminine Imperative fluidly transitioned into a new social paradigm of Fem-powerment developing in the 80s and reaching its apex in the 90s.

The arousing ‘macho’ men, the Alphas of the era, would systematically become the most ridiculed parodies and caricatures of masculinity as women came into a better understanding of the power they were only beginning to realize and the Beta men took their perceived revenge. And likewise men adapted to this new paradigm based on the same visceral reality women’s sexuality is fundamentally based on.


Adaptations – Part I

age-of-aquarius-woodstock

Prior to the post-Sexual Revolution era men adapted to their socio-sexual and relational realities based on a pre-acknowledged burden of performance. I’ve outlined the expectations of this period in The Second Set of Books,

[…] when men transition from their comfortable blue pill perspective into the harsh reality that the red pill represents, the experience is a lot like Ball discovering that the set of books (the set of rules) he’d believed everyone was using wasn’t so. Likewise, men who’ve been conditioned since birth to believe that women were using a common set of rules – a set where certain expectations and mutual exchange were understood – were in fact using their own set. Furthermore these men ‘just didn’t get it’ that they should’ve known all along that women, as well as men’s feminization conditioning, were founded in a second set of books.

During the eras prior to the Sexual Revolution that first set of books was more or less an established ideal. Men were every bit as idealistic as they are today, but the plan towards achieving that ideal (if it was in fact achievable) was preset for them. Even the worst of fathers (or parents) still had the expectations that their sons and daughters would follow that old-order rule set as they had done.

For men a greater provisioning was expected, but that provisioning was an integral aspect of a man’s Alpha appeal. The burden of performance was part of a man’s Alpha mindset or was at least partly paired with it.

The danger in that mindset was that a man’s identity tended to be caught up with what he did (usually a career) in order to satisfy that performance burden. Thus when a man lost his job, not only was he unable to provide and meet his performance expectations in his marriage, he also lost a part of his identity. Needless to say this dynamic helped incentivize men to get back on the horse and get back to his identity and his wife’s esteem (even if it was really her necessity that kept her involved with him).

A lot of romanticization revolves around the times prior to the Sexual Revolution as if they were some golden eras when men and women knew their roles and the influence of Hypergamy was marginalized to the point that society was a better place than the place we find ourselves in today. And while it’s undeniable that cultural shifts since the sexual revolution have feminized and bastardized those old-order social contracts, men will always adapt to those new conditions in order to effect their sexual strategies.

There’s a lot of nostalgia for these idealized periods in the manosphere at the moment; seemingly more so as its members mature past their “gaming” years and begin to feel a want for something more substantial. Men are the true romantics of the sexes so it’s no great surprise that their romantic / idealistic concept of love would run towards romanticizing a hopeful return to what they imagine these eras were like.

It’s kind of an interesting counter to how feminism and the Feminine Imperative paints these eras – rather than some idyllic place where women appreciated men, feminists exaggerate and deride these times as oppressive; the sexual revolution akin to the Jews leaving Egypt. What both fail to grasp is the realities of these eras were still just as susceptible to human nature – the human nature described by what we call Red Pill awareness – and both sexes adapted to the social environments of the times to effect their natures.

Condoms were widely available in the 1940’s and men painstakingly painted half-nude pinup girls on the noses of their bombers. Women too adapted to that environment; from What Lies Beneath:

two books by John Costello; ‘Virtue Under Fire’ and ‘Love, Sex, and War’ in which all too much of the above female psychology manifested itself;

“Of the 5.3 million British infants delivered between 1939 and 1945, over a third were illegitimate – and this wartime phenomenon was not confined to any one section of society. The babies that were born out-of-wedlock belonged to every age group of mother, concluded one social researcher:

Some were adolescent girls who had drifted away from homes which offered neither guidance nor warmth and security. Still others were women with husbands on war service, who had been unable to bear the loneliness of separation. There were decent and serious, superficial and flighty, irresponsible and incorrigible girls among them. There were some who had formed serious attachments and hoped to marry. There were others who had a single lapse, often under the influence of drink. There were, too, the ‘good-time girls’ who thrived on the presence of well-paid servicemen from overseas, and semi-prostitutes with little moral restraint. But for the war many of these girls, whatever their type, would never have had illegitimate children. (pp. 276-277)”

and;

“Neither British nor American statistics, which indicate that wartime promiscuity reached its peak in the final stages of the war, take account of the number of irregularly conceived pregnancies that were terminated illegally. Abortionists appear to have been in great demand during the war. One official British estimate suggests that one in five of all pregnancies was ended in this way, and the equivalent rate for the United States indicates that the total number of abortions for the war years could well have been over a million.

These projections are at best merely a hypothetical barometer of World War II’s tremendous stimulus to extra-marital sexual activity. The highest recorded rate of illegitimate births was not among teenage girls, as might have been expected. Both British and American records indicate that women between twenty and thirty gave birth to nearly double the number of pre-war illegitimate children. Since it appears that the more mature women were the ones most encouraged by the relaxed morals of wartime to ‘enjoy’ themselves, it may be surmised that considerations of fidelity were no great restraint on the urge of the older married woman to participate in the general rise in wartime sexual promiscuity. (pp. 277-278)”

Women of the “greatest generation” were still women, and Hypergamy, just like today, didn’t care then either. Dalrock made a fantastic observation in a post once, and I regret I don’t have the link on hand, but paraphrasing he said “Every generation in bygone eras dated differently than the ones before it. Your parents dated in a social condition that was very different than your grandparent or their parents. No one in this generation is going to date like they did on Happy Days.” I think it’s important we don’t lose sight of this, but it’s also important to consider that in all those eras men and women’s sexual strategies remained an underlying influence for them. All that changed was both sexes adapted to the conditions of the times to effect them.

Post-Sexual Revolution Adaptation – The ‘Free Love’ Era

While there’s a lot to criticize about the Baby Boomer generation, one needs to consider the societal conditions that produced them. Egalitarian equalism combined with ubiquitous (female controlled) hormonal birth control and then mixed with blank-slate social constructivism made for a very effective environment in which both sexes sexual strategies could, theoretically, flourish.

Women’s control of their Hypergamous influences, not to mention the opportunities to fully optimize it, was unfettered by moral or social constraints for the first time in history. For men the idea of a ‘Free Love’ social order was appealing because it promised optimization of their sexual strategy – unlimited access to unlimited sexuality.

The new Free Love paradigm was based on a presumption of non-exclusivity, but more so it was based on an implied condition of non-possessiveness. Men adapted to this paradigm as might have been expected, but what they didn’t consider is that in this state their eventual cuckoldry (either proactively or reactively) amounted to women’s optimizing their own Hypergamous impulses.

The social contract of  Free Love played to the base sexual wants of permissive variety for men, or at least it implied a promised potential for it. Furthermore, and more importantly, Free Love implied this promise free from a burden of performance. It was “free” love, tenuously based on intrinsic personal qualities on the inside to make him lovable – not the visceral physical realities that inspired arousal nor the rigorous status and provisioning performance burdens that had characterized the intersexual landscape prior.

It should be mentioned that ‘free love’ also played to men’s idealistic concept of love in that freedom from a performance-based love. The equalist all’s-the-same environment was predicated on the idea that love was a mutually agreed dynamic, free from the foundational, sexual strategy realities both sexes applied to love. Thus men’s idealism predisposed them to being hopeful of a performance free love-for-love’s-sake being reciprocated by the women of the age of Aquarius.

That’s how the social contract looked in the advertising, so it’s hardly surprising that (Beta) men eagerly adapted to this new sexual landscape; going along to get along (or along to get laid) in a way that would seem too good to be true to prior generations. And thus their belief set adapted to the sexual strategy that, hopefully, would pay off for them in this new social condition.

For women, though not fully realized at the time, this Free Love social restructuring represented a license for optimizing Hypergamy unimpeded by moral restraint and later unlimited (or at least marginalized) by men’s provisional support. For the first time in history women could largely explore a Sandbergian plan for Alpha Fucks and Beta Bucks and, at least figuratively, they could do so at their leisure.

The problem inherent in the Free Love paradigm was that it was based on a mutual understanding that men and women were functional equals, and as such a mutual trust that either sex would hold the other’s best interests as their own. That basis of trust that either sex was rationally on the same page with regard to their sexual strategies is what set the conditions for the consequent generations to come.

This trust on the part of men was that these “equal” women would honor the presumption that it was “who” they were rather than what they represented to their sexual strategy at the various phases of their maturity that would be the basis for women’s sexual selection of them.

In part two I’ll continue this exploration through the 70’s and into our contemporary socio-sexual environment.


In Defense of Evo-Psych

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You’ll have to forgive this exceptionally long post here, but for many critics of (and in) the manosphere of evolutionary psychology the following post articulates things better than I could. Some in the ‘sphere seem to think a reliance on evo-psych is some form of blind faith at worst; some sort of creative, purpose-built guesswork at best.

It is not.

When I apply anything regarding evolutionary psychology on Rational Male I approach it in the most deductive manner I can see fit insofar as connecting the behavioral dots with the social apparatus I observe. While Red Pill awareness isn’t reliant upon evo-psych it is founded upon a similar observationally deductive methodology.

Evo-psych is a very broad school of psychology that is not just limited to intersexual relations. While I do largely embrace the foundations of evo-psych, it’s important to remember that my particular education revolves around behaviorism.

The following re-blog here is a collection of ten answers to common criticisms of evolutionary psychology by Dr. David P. Schmitt. I’ve pared it down a bit for readability, but do see the link for all the sources cited.

Emphasis my own.


A few years ago, I was giving an invited presentation to an audience of mostly sociologists and family studies professors on the topic of evolution and human reproductive strategies. I mentioned that some social scientists hold false beliefs about “evolutionary psychology,” such as the mistaken assumption that evolutionary psychologists think all men are interested in bedding as many women as possible (often called short-term mating), whereas all women are only interested in marrying a single man and staying faithful to him for a lifetime (i.e., long-term mating).

When I tried to dispel this common misperception by noting, for instance, that evolutionary psychologists have hypothesized women are just as designed for short-term mating as men are—in some ways even more so such as women’s heightened desires for cues to genetic quality in short-term mates—an audible gasp swept through the conference hall. I kid you not, I could see rows of people who looked genuinely horrified. I was a little taken aback, so I asked an audience member near the front row who had her hand over her mouth if something was unclear, to which she proclaimed, “that’s not the evolutionary psychology I know.”

When I tried to explain that women’s evolved short-term mating desires have been studied by evolutionary psychologists since the early 1990s and the topic remains a very active area of inquiry today, heads swiveled in disbelief. My subsequent Power Point slides chock-full of studies confirming women’s specially designed short-term mating psychology were falling, I feared, on an auditorium of deaf ears (or blind eyes, I suppose). Alas, this stereotype about evolutionary psychology wasn’t going to change anytime soon.

It seems to me many critics of evolutionary psychology cling steadfastly to false stereotypes of the field, both theoretical and empirical. This is partly because so much evolutionary psychological research has been produced over the last 25 years it is hard for even evolutionary-informed scholars themselves to keep up (for an up-to-date review, I recommend Buss’ new edition of The Evolutionary Psychology Handbook[1]). Add to that the methodological breadth of different techniques used by evolutionary scholars to test hypotheses about the adaptive design of the human mind, and it is understandably difficult to know what all evolutionary researchers have been, and currently are, up to as active Darwinian scientists.

Perhaps more than other social scientists, evolutionary psychologists use an incredible variety of research methods, ranging from self-report surveys and behavioral field test experiments, to investigations involving genetics, hormones, and neuroscience, to cross-species and cross-cultural comparisons, to ethnographies of foraging societies and computer modeling of artificial intelligences[2] [3] [4]. To be aware of contemporary evolutionary psychology requires broad and deep knowledge of many scholarly disciplines, and a lot of evolutionary psychology’s critics simply do not know what they do not know about the field as it is practiced today.

Beyond simply not knowing about the empirical breadth and methodological richness of modern evolutionary science, many critics exhibit a certain kind of “empirical nihilism” toward any psychological findings even remotely portrayed as supporting evolutionary hypotheses. For instance, when one points to a set of studies that respond to a specific criticism, some critics reply with a “yes, but” attitude and set forth new criticisms requiring more evidence (sort of a serial “moving the goalposts” maneuver).

Now, in science extreme skepticism is generally a good thing. For scientists, there are no capital “T” Truths, and every claim about reality is tentatively true with a small “t” and is always adjustable as more evidence is accumulated over time. Sometimes, though, this attitude is more than healthy skepticism about a particular empirical finding and is, instead, clearly an attitude of irrefutable empirical nihilism toward evolutionary psychology studies in particular. As an example of this type of unshakeable attitude of disbelief, I list below 10 of the more common “yes, but” criticisms of evolutionary findings on women’s long-term mate preferences. It’s an illustrative (not exhaustive) list of just how impenetrable some scholar’s beliefs are when it comes to considering evidence that our evolved human mind might be something more than a domain-general learning mechanism writing on an asexual, ungendered blank slate. 

Women’s Long-Term Mate Preferences

Looking across the animal kingdom, one cannot help but notice that members of most species tend to mate non-randomly. Whether it is peahens preferring peacocks with more elaborate trains[5] or female common chimpanzees preferring males who possess higher social dominance[6], males and females of most species display adaptive forms of preferential mate choice.

Evolutionary psychologists were among the first to propose similar sex differences might exist in human mate preferences. For instance, evolutionary psychologists hypothesized that women may possess specially-designed long-term mate preferences for cues to a man’s ability and willingness to devote resources to her and their offspring[7] [8] [9]. Such cues include a man’s status and prestige which, depending on local culture, may involve hunting ability, physical strength, or other locally-relevant attributes, as well as his ambition, work ethic, intelligence, social dominance, maturity, and slightly older age[10] [11]. Not all women desire the highest value long-term mate at all times, of course, but it is expected that women’s long-term mate preferences should be marked by some degree of “special design” that is reliably observable using the methodological richness of modern evolutionary psychological science.

One way to evaluate whether women possess long-term mate preferences for cues to status-related traits is to directly ask people whether they prefer those attributes in long-term mates (via methods such as self-report surveys), and then compare the intensity of responses of women and men. When doing so, psychologists typically evaluate the degree of sexual differentiation using the dstatistic, with an observed d value of ±.20 being considered a “small” sex difference, ±.50 is a “moderate” sex difference, and ±.80 is a “large” sex difference[12]. Negative d values typically indicate women score more highly on a particular preference, whereas positive values indicate men score more highly.

Buss and Barnes[13] were among the first to evaluate whether women (more than men) prefer cues related to a man’s ability and willingness to devote resources. For instance, they found women more strongly prefer long-term mates who have a “good earning capacity” (a large sex difference, d = -0.82), “are a college graduate” (d = -0.60), and “possess intelligence” (d = -0.19). Obviously, these findings are not definitive proof that men and women differ in the evolved design of long-term mate preferences. The findings are merely tests of evolutionary-guided hypotheses, and the tests were supportive of specially-designed sex differences existing in human mate preferences. Still, some critics challenge these results, arguing yes, but…

1) Yes, but…that is just one study. One cannot trust the results of just one study. Evolutionary psychologists need to conduct many more studies before I am convinced these effects are legitimate, let alone evidence of evolved psychology. I’m sure many other studies wouldn’t find sex differences in mate preferences.

Actually, most investigations of sex differences in mate preferences have been supportive of these hypotheses (to be honest, virtually all studies have). In 1992, Feingold[14] meta-analytically reviewed the extant literature (including 32 independent samples) on self-reported mate preferences across college students and community samples and found women more greatly desired socioeconomic status (d = -0.69), ambition (d = -0.67), and intelligence (d = -0.30) in potential long-term mates. Numerous additional investigations have since replicated these basic sex differences in long-term mate preferences among college students[15] [16] [17] [18] [19] [20] [21] [22]. For instance, a recent study focused on women’s mate preferences for men with the ability to invest in them, revealing that college women desire a man who has earned his money (compared to other sources), ostensibly reflective of the aforementioned qualities (ambition, work ethic, intelligence), and that this effect is strongest in the long-term mating context[23].

2) Yes, but…those studies are mostly with college students. People in the real world (e.g., representative samples of adults) won’t display these stereotypical sex differences of youth.

Actually, yes they do[24] [25] [26]. For instance, Sprecher and her colleagues[27] examined sex differences in mate preferences across a nationally-representative sample of the United States and found women, more than men, valued a long-term mate who had a steady job (d = -0.73), earned more than they did (d = -0.49), was highly educated (d = -0.43), and was older by five years (d = -0.67). Young or old[28] [29] [30], gay or straight[31] [32], sex differences in long-term mate preferences for status-related attributes tend to reliably emerge.

3) Yes, but…many of those findings are from decades ago. Sex differences in mate preferences are probably not historically stable. They may have existed many decades ago (in the era of Mad Men), but sex differences in mate preferences are surely not present in more recent times.

Actually, yes they are. In a cross-generational analysis of the same mate preference questionnaire administered to Americans from 1939 to 1996, both men and women increased their valuing of good financial prospects and decreased valuing ambition/industriousness over time, but the degree of sex differences in these items largely persisted in strength across more than 50 years[33].

4) Yes, but…that is only when you have people self-report their ideal mate preferences from a pre-chosen list of traits given to them. If you ask them what they really want, say at a minimum, or maybe let them freely design their ideal potential partners, status-related traits aren’t emphasized by women more than men.

Actually, yes they are. Researchers have questioned people about their long-term mate preferences using a wide variety of self-report methodologies. Kenrick and his colleagues[34] asked people what the minimum threshold of possessing a particular attribute would need to be to agree to marry a person. Women, on average, required men’s earning capacity to be in the 70th percentile to be marriageable, whereas men required women to be in the 40th percentile (overall d = -1.41).

Using another nuanced form of self-report, Li[35] compelled men and women to engage in tradeoffs among various cues when intentionally designing a desirable long-term mate. Women devoted the most of their limited budget toward their mates’ social level (33%), whereas for men social level was of moderate budgetary importance (17%). Across a series of studies[36], researchers using this tradeoff paradigm concluded that women, but not men, consider a long-term mate’s social status a “necessity” and not a “luxury.” Indeed, when forced to make decisions with very limited budgets, sex differences in long-term mate preferences are stronger than with typical self-report surveys.

Self-report surveys also reveal men, more than women, appear effective at displaying status-related traits to the opposite sex[37]. Overall, self-report methods (via ratings, rankings, trade-offs, nominations, or open-ended questions[38]) consistently support the hypothesis that women possess long-term mate preferences for cues to a man’s ability and willingness to devote resources.

5) Yes, but…this is only because women are denied access to resources themselves. If women have higher status themselves, they would not prefer men with high status. It’s just basic rationality, not evolved psychology, causing these sex differences in mate preferences for status.

Actually, it is a compelling test of women’s long-term mate preferences for men’s status-related traits (including their ability and willingness to provide resources) to evaluate whether their expressed preferences disappear when women have ample resources of their own. It could be women only prefer cues to men’s ability and willingness to provide resources because women are structurally denied access to resources[39].

Addressing this alternative explanation, Townsend and his colleagues have found women in medical school[40] and law school[41] are more selective of a future mate’s financial status, not less. Similarly, Wiederman and Allgeier[42] found college women’s expected income was positively associated with their ratings of the importance of a potential long-term mate’s earning capacity. Regan[43] found as women’s mate value goes up, so does their insistence on men’s high status and resources (i.e., they “want it all”; see also[44]). Having higher personal status and resource-related traits appears not to attenuate women’s preferences for cues to men’s ability and willingness to provide resources. Instead, at least in the USA, women achieving high status themselves appears to make their long-term mate preferences for men’s high status even more intense!

6) Yes, but…that is only true in the United States. Americans happen to live in a culture with conspicuous gender stereotypes about mate preferences that the rest of the world does not share. If you look at more gender egalitarian cultures, in Scandinavia for instance, sex differences in preferences for status-related attributes “disappear” (as claimed by Marks[45]).

Actually, no, they do not. Numerous studies have found sex differences in mate preferences for status-related attributes are prevalent across cultures[46] [47] [48]. Lippa[49] conducted an internet sampling of 53 nations and Zentner and Mitura[50] conducted an internet sampling across 10 nations and both studies found 100% of cultures displayed expected sex differences, with women demonstrating especially heightened long-term mate preferences for good financial prospects, social status, ambition, and older age.

Some researchers have found the magnitude of sex differences in mate preferences for status-related attributes shifts from a large/medium effect size to a more moderate medium/small effect size in nations with higher gender egalitarianism. Zentner and Mitura found exactly this pattern of results after placing nations into three groups, low gender egalitarian cultures (within which women valued Ambition-Industriousness moderately more than men, d = -0.65), medium gender egalitarian cultures (women valued Ambition-Industriousness moderately more, d = -0.53), and high gender egalitarian cultures (women valued Ambition-Industriousness moderately more, d = -0.48). Hence, sex differences in the preference for Ambition-Industriousness in long-term mates were reduced (though not by much, and were still medium in terms of effect size) in nations with higher levels of gender egalitarianism.

Most other sex differences in status-related mate preferences also were attenuated from larger to more moderate levels in Zentner and Mitura’s sample of nations that were higher in gender egalitarianism (e.g., Good Financial Prospects went from d = -1.04, to d = -0.84, to d = -0.55; Favorable Social Status went from d = -0.67, to d = -0.42, to d = -0.31). In most cases, these reductions were caused by women preferring status-related traits less in high gender egalitarian nations, though in many cases men’s preferences for status-related attributes also were reduced in high gender egalitarian nations (which seems counter to the logic of men appreciating women’s status-related traits more as women enter the workforce in high gender egalitarian nations). One thing is clear, sex differences in long-term mate preferences for status-related traits do not “disappear” in gender egalitarian cultures. They may only be moderate in size, but we see them just fine.

Importantly, Zentner and Mitura also found in low gender egalitarian nations, men valued Good Looks only a little more than women, d = 0.24; in medium gender egalitarian nations, men’s valuation of Good Looks was higher still than women’s, d = 0.43; and in the highest gender egalitarian nations, men’s valuation of Good Looks was the most different from women’s, d = 0.51. Thus, contrary to the expectation that gender egalitarianism always reduces sex differences, Zentner and Mitura found sex differences in Good Looks are largest in nations with the highestgender egalitarianism. What!? Actually, these findings are not unusual, as high gender egalitarian nations also exhibit larger sex differences in Big Five personality traits and the Dark Triad traits of Machiavellianism, Narcissism, and psychopathy; in romantic attachment and love styles; in sociopolitical attitudes and personal values; in clinical depression rates and crying behavior; in tested cognitive and mental abilities; and in physical attributes such as height and blood pressure[51]. If the sociopolitical gender egalitarianism found in Scandinavian nations is supposed to produce smaller psychological sex differences, it’s not doing a very good job of it.

7) Yes, but…all these studies showing men and women want different things in potential partners are merely evidence of gendered narratives as measured by self-report surveys. If ever tested in the real world, women would not preferentially choose or be affected by a partner’s status-related attributes more than men.

Actually, there have been dozens of studies of real world mating and mating-related cognition, and almost all find that women do choose and are affected by a partner’s status-related traits more than men are.

Feingold[52] meta-analytically examined what women ask for and what men advertise in public, real-world personal advertisements and found, as expected, women more than men ask for cues to willingness and ability to provide resources (e.g., 27% of women ask for high socioeconomic status compared to 7% of men). Men who advertise such status-related cues actually receive more responses from women, as well. For example, in a study that experimentally manipulated real-life personal ads, ads placed by men noting they were financially successful elicited the most interest, whereas for women physical attractiveness was the key[53]. In a study of Polish personal ads, the top four cues displayed by men that received responses from women were good education, older age, high resource levels, and tall height[54]. In a study of mail order brides from Colombia, Russia, and the Philippines, women universally listed ambition, status, and wealth as among their most desired attributes in a future husband[55].

Numerous studies of marital patterns also have found women tend to desire (and actually marry) men who are slightly older than they are, regardless of women’s own age[57] [58]. As men get older, in contrast, they tend to desire and marry younger and younger women[59]. Women have been found to preferentially marry higher status men across such diverse cultures as the Kipsigis of Kenya, the Hausa of West Africa, Trinidadians, and Micronesian islanders, among many others[60]. It is true that some speed-dating studies in urban settings find women do not choose higher status men more often as dates, but these studies are limited by having only high status men in their samples (no homeless men allowed) and potentially including those who are interested in short-term mating (women’s short-term mate preferences focus more on gene quality, not status). In speed-dating studies with low status men included, and when the context is explicitly long-term mating only, women do pick higher status men more often for dates[61].

There also are a wide range of cognitive studies that test for women’s desires for status-related traits without explicitly asking them what they want. For instance, as part of a study ostensibly helping a university develop a dating service, Kenrick and his colleagues[62] experimentally manipulated whether already-mated men and women were exposed to a target date either very high in dominance or very low in dominance. They found women, but not men, were less committed to their current long-term mating partner after being exposed to a high dominance member of the opposite sex. Merely being experimentally exposed to a man with very high dominance lowered women’s commitment to their current mate, and did so without consciously asking women about their preferences for dominance.

Similarly, exposure to physically attractive women appears to evoke in men desires to fulfill women’s evolved preferences, such as increasing men’s attention toward and desires to possess resources and to display ambition, creativity, independence, and risk-taking[63] [64] [65]. And when exposed to men who are high in dominance, men tend to rate themselves as lower in mate value[66] and men’s feelings of jealousy are more strongly evoked[67]. All of these cognitive processes occur differently in women and men without explicit, conscious awareness of why they are doing so. Surely, to an open-minded scientist these types of non-survey findings should buttress the view that women possess mate preferences for men’s status-related attributes…

8) Yes, but…even though evolutionary psychologists may study real life cognition, emotion, and behavior, they fail to study the most important Darwinian outcome…fertility. If women evolved mate preferences for status-related traits, then women who marry men of high status men should have more children. Evolutionary psychologists haven’t even bothered to look at these outcomes, lazy-headed daisies…

Actually, several studies by evolutionary psychologists have found women who marry higher status men tend to have more children, and to have children survive to an older age. In a study of pre-industrial Finland (from the 1700s), women married to wealthier men had more children and decreased child mortality[68]. In another study, marrying a man four years older was associated with maximum levels of fertility among women[69]. Bereczkei and Csanaky[70] conducted a study of 1,800 Hungarians over 34 years of age and found women who married older and better educated men tended to have more children. These are important findings, as it is critical that women’s mate preferences for status-related attributes lead to reproductive success, or at least likely did so in our evolutionary past[71] [72].

One may also look at the effects of high personal status on men’s versus women’s reproductive success. Nettle and Pollett[73] and many other scholars have found men’s higher level of personal status is related to higher fertility, but the same is much less true (or not at all true) for women’s higher level of personal status. In fact, modern women who have higher personal incomes themselves tend to have fewer children[74]. Jumping Jehoshaphat…yes, but…

9) Yes, but…ancestral men were foragers and could not accumulate wealth, so these mate preferences for “good earning potential” are largely irrelevant to evolved mating psychology. Evolutionary psychology findings are extremely limited because they only apply to modern materialistic cultures.

Actually, it is correct that large masses of “material wealth” were not present in our ancestral past when we lived as foragers, but it is likely ancestral men did accumulate social capital or “status” (from among other things, hunting ability). Several studies have documented this form of male status as being the subject of selective pressures (i.e., high status men—whether that status comes in the form of land, livestock, money, physical prowess, or hunting ability—have more offspring[75][76]). Evidence of selection for men’s status has been found in many types of cultures, including studies of men’s hunting ability among the Aché, Hadza, and Tsimane[77]. Apicella[78], for instance, found men’s hunting reputation and upper-body strength both predicted reproductive success among Hadza hunter–gatherers.

Moreover, it is important to acknowledge that women’s preferences in modern nations do not seem to be calibrated on money, per se. Instead, women may view money as a proximal cue to the underlying qualities that they have evolved to care about, such as status, prestige, social dominance, ambition, work ethic, and intelligence[79]. So it is certainly true that ancestral men did not accumulate financial wealth, but focusing too much on the importance (or not) of money or wealth across all cultures is missing the adaptive forest for the trees.

10) Yes, but…I know so many people who strongly believe that sex differences in mate preferences simply cannot exist. The idea of evolved sexual desires of any kind are a theoretical impossibility from my point of view! Evolved sex differences in mate preferences have to be just a figment of the imagination of evolutionary psychologists bent on maintaining patriarchy. If the evidence is, on balance, supportive of women possessing long-term mate preferences for men with high status, why do so many post-modernists and social constructionists insist evolved sex differences are not, indeed cannot, be real[80]?

That’s a big question requiring several responses. First, the evidence of evolved sex differences in mate preferences is accumulating, but it is certainly not definitive. Evolutionary psychologists evaluate evidence of psychological adaptation in many ways[81], including cross-species, neurological, hormonal, genetic, and epigenetic evidence that has not been reviewed here (some examples of such evidence, see[82] [83] [84] [85] [86] [87]). Nothing in science is ever set in stone, and more evidence could emerge that would cast serious doubt about evolved sex differences in mate preferences (though it would take quite a lot to tip the scales against the existence of this particular set of mate preferences). Scientists are skeptical and open-minded, so anything is possible.

Second, it is a mistake to pit post-modernism and social constructivism against evolutionary psychology as though they are in an intellectual death match that only one side can win. This tribalistic, us-versus-them thinking isn’t helpful to science. Much like partitioning the causes of human behavior into nurture versus nature or culture versus biology or learned versus innate, social constructivism versus evolutionary psychology is a false dichotomy that may feel intuitively correct but should not be utilized very often by serious scientists (exceptions include behavioral genetics studies). As insightfully noted by Tooby and Cosmides[88],

“To say a behavior is learned in no way undermines the claim that the behavior was organized by evolution because the behavior was learned through the agency of evolved mechanisms. If natural selection had built a different set of learning mechanisms into an organism, that organism would learn a different set of behaviors in response to the very same environment. It is these evolved mechanisms that organize the relationship between the environmental input and behavioral output, and thereby pattern the behavior. For this reason, learning is not an alternative explanation to the claim that natural selection shaped the behavior, although many researchers assume that it is. The same goes for culture. Given that cultural ideas are absorbed via learning and inference—which is caused by evolved programs of some kind—a behavior can be, at one and the same time, ‘cultural’, ‘learned’ and ‘evolved’.”

Mate preferences in humans are certainly to some degree cultural, learned, and evolved. Ultimately, the adaptations of the human mind unearthed by evolutionary psychologists will likely play key roles in explaining precisely how and why human social constructionists have the mate preferences they do[89].

Third, some scholars believe, based on strict ideological commitments, that evolved psychological sex differences must not exist[90] or even if they do exist, studies of sex differences should be evaluated in ways that favor certain political ideologies over others, such as raising the evidentiary bar for evolutionary psychology hypotheses[91]. As a consequence of these political beliefs, many scholars chauvinistically dismiss or ignore much of the extant evidence accumulated by evolutionary psychologists.

This is a mistake on several levels, not the least of which is that even if evolved sex differences in mate preferences do exist, that does not make them “desirable” or “good” or “inevitable” in any way. Thinking like that is fallacious, it is wrong. Even though humans have likely evolved to be omnivorous, that doesn’t mean we should eat meat. What is natural is not inherently connected to what is desirable and thinking that way is committing the so-called naturalistic fallacy (actually more related to the is-ought problem and appeal to nature fallacy).

Instead of this false point of view, evolutionary psychologists take the position that by knowing what our evolved psychological adaptations are, and precisely how they are expressed (e.g., how they are specially-designed and which environments especially accentuate or attenuate their expression), we will be more capable of creating effective tools for altering human behavior in ways we do find desirable. This includes utilizing the socially-constructive psychological adaptations in our mental toolkit to do so. Evolved sex differences are not to be ideologically feared, they are to be scientifically evaluated and, if they exist, knowledge about their special design can be used to more efficiently create the healthy society within which we wish to live[92] [93].

Lastly, there are some scholars who are actively deceiving people about empirical findings in evolutionary psychology (e.g., claiming that sex differences “disappear” in egalitarian cultures[94]). Many of these thinkers spread doubt about evolved mate preferences by alluding to a highly popular study by Eagly and Wood[95]. People’s memories of Eagly and Wood’s study, however, are often quite at odds with what they actually found, and with the hundreds of empirical findings since.

Eagly and Wood related the size of sex differences in mate preferences for “good financial prospects” to sociopolitical gender equality measures across nations (actual mate preference data came from a large cross-cultural study by Buss[96]). Eagly and Wood examined four indicators of sociopolitical gender equality and found only one indicator (that’s right, only one of four tests) was significantly linked to smaller sex differences in long-term mate preferences for good financial prospects. Based on that rather meager empirical finding, a generation of scholars seems to have fallen for a “Jedi mind trick” (these aren’t the sex differences you are looking for) and have been convinced that sex differences in mate preferences completely disappear in more gender egalitarian nations. Indeed, Eagly and Wood’s study has been cited over 1,000 times and has led to many to believe all psychological sex differences disappear in gender egalitarian cultures. Not true then, not true now.

To the contrary, most cross-cultural studies find nations with the highest sociopolitical gender equality (e.g., Scandinavian nations) exhibit the largest psychological sex differences in the world. You read that correctly. Higher gender egalitarian nations tend to have larger sex differences in mate preferences for Good Looks, in Big Five personality traits and the Dark Triad traits of Machiavellianism, Narcissism, and psychopathy; in romantic attachment and love styles; in sociopolitical attitudes and personal values; in clinical depression rates and crying behavior; in tested cognitive and mental abilities; and in physical attributes such as height and blood pressure[97]. If sociopolitical gender egalitarianism is supposed to reduce sex differences to the point where they “disappear,” it’s doing a terrible job. In fact, it’s most often doing the exact opposite. Without the constraints of patriarchal sex role socialization, it appears men and women are freer to follow their evolved desires in ways that lead to even greater psychological difference[98].


You Never Forget Your First

first

I thought this was an interesting comment from CaveClown from a few posts ago. Needless to say the commentariat has increased in the last 6 months and I wanted to air this out rather than have it buried five pages deep:

Rollo, question if you have time.
After unsuccessfully searching the archives, and having read your new book, i wonder if you have a post that further explains:

1. Why a “good girl” would skip the party years.
2. Why that good girl would become an early consolidator, and settle for a beta provider.

I understand that the “good girl” persona is just an attempt at seduction through differentiating herself from the “sluts”

I also understand that the “promise” of dropping the good girl act ‘for him’ is what snags the beta. The promise of her “sexual best” and all. (which is why women that do ride the carousel go “born again” later, no?)

At first glance, it seems like a solid strategy for hypergamy. If she can sell herself as virtuous, pure, and virginal, then she should have higher SMV.

Then why settle for a beta?

I’m trying to reconcile the “good girl” persona, and the manosphere trope about marrying a virgin. Seems a lot of men think that “if I could just find a virgin” things would be ok for them. (which is just a variation of blue pill/soul mate stuff)

 

I detailed a bit of the first question in Making Up For Missing Out and Good Girls Do. It’s important to make the distinction between a ‘good girl’ in that she’s nominally following the old-set-of-books traditional social contract, and the Good Girl strategy I went into in the latter post.

Bear in mind, no woman actually “skips” the Party Years. She may participate to greater or lesser degree in the opportunities those years open up to her, but she’s still keenly aware of those opportunities and realizes the window for them closes as her beauty and fertility fade. She sees her girlfriends, maybe sisters, indulge those opportunities, or she may live them vicariously through media that panders to them, but regardless, she’s feeling the pull of knowing she could potentially realize them.

One of my best friends married his first wife very early – him 21, and her 19. The guy was very Alpha (military), but had the White Knight script firmly coded into him courtesy of his Blue Pill conditioning. He did everything by the old set of books and knew he wanted to marry her after they’d been together for about eight months. He wasn’t her first lay, but she didn’t have more than 1 previous boyfriend, so while not a virgin she hadn’t been on the proverbial carousel for long at all.

They had three kids, early and out of the gate right after they married. She ‘played house’ well enough all through her 20’s while her sisters and girlfriends had their Party Years and urged her to come along for their GNOs. Once their youngest was old enough to be self-sufficient she started joining them. By the time she was 33 the marriage was over because she’d decided to follow the making up for missing out dynamic. She ended up cheating on him and then doing her version of the Wild Oats Project.

Virgin Brides Alpha Widows

There’s a wishful contingent of guys in the ‘sphere who think finding a young virgin bride before the world’s corrupted her pure soul is (or at least should be) a tenable goal. I understand the want and logic behind that, but even with a virgin bride there is no insulation from the sexual marketplace or the realities women experience as they mature.

By all measure this guy’s wife was as close to that ideal as was practical. He’s also one of more than a dozen men I’ve known who’s “good Christian wives” detonated their marriages in a similar fashion. Generally all went along with the divorce-porn fantasies after their dutiful husbands had become boring Betas in their esteem.

2. Why [would] that good girl would become an early consolidator, and settle for a beta provider.

Religious conviction, LSE (low self esteem), definitely cultural or economic motivations, a fear of men in general leading to security issues. You also have to consider the likelihood that the guy she settles on early is possibly the most Alpha guy she’s ever experienced.

Of the 40+ women I’ve had in my sexual past, two were virgins. Both of these women sought me out on Face Book 15-20 years after we’d went our separate ways. They are definitely not the same girls I knew back then, but I think this is an interesting illustration of a larger dynamic. Then and now, both of these girls surprised me with their attachment to me – I think that’s part of a bond you make with a woman when you’re her first.

It’s the “never forget your first” dynamic. There’s a presumption that any guy a “good girl” grants access to her pussy must be a top tier man to qualify for it. This is an ingrained psychological schema for women with the self perception of being a “good girl”.

So she consolidates on what she perceives was Alpha for her at 18. That perception is markedly different from what she’ll perceive as Alpha at 29, right as she enters her Epiphany Phase. If you read back through the Preventive Medicine series (or the book), I specifically outline a phase on women maturation timeline called the Break Phase. This is generally around the late teens (17-19) and I noted it in particular because it’s a moment in a young man’s life when his Blue Pill idealism is most commonly first tested.

The flip side of the Break Phase for women is the “never forget your first” dynamic conflicting with the opportunities her rapidly approaching peak SMV phase present to her. There may be an emotional investment on her part with a man she up to that point esteemed as the most Alpha man she was likely to ever pair with.

The Jig is Up

The danger inherent in these arrangements is that both young men and women make life-altering  decisions based on their adolescent social skill set – not what will be their (hopefully) matured adult social skill set based on their experiences and acculturation. Thus you have the common situation my now-divorced friend experienced. I say common because one of the most frequent situations I get asked advice about from divorced men in their mid 30’s to early 40’s is how to initiate Game and wisely use their new Red Pill awareness after having been married since 23 or so.

For the most part they’re still confused how the woman who’d found them so Alpha at that age could toss off all of the relational equity he’d thought he’d earned with her and leave him for the ‘douchebags’ she’d always claimed to hate. What they don’t (or didn’t) realize is the root level resentment they’re experiencing with a woman they may have been married to for 15 years. That resentment stems from coming to terms with their Hypergamous filtering having been ‘fooled’ all those years ago; and the crush loss of not having been able to capitalize on the opportunities of those years.

It’s not that she’d settled for what she thought was a Beta in her early twenties, it’s that he was what she thought was Alpha then, but learned later that he wasn’t. This is the risk inherent to Hypergamy – that a woman might miss out on more optimal sexual selection choices while still in her peak SMV phase and able to choose from the broadest pool.

It’s almost a reversal of women who follow the Sandberg plan of Hypergamy and make disclaimers of how different they are now from how they used to be in college. The sentiment is still the same, but the roles are reversed – she’s different now from how she used to be because she (thinks) she has a better grasp of what is Alpha now and he ain’t it.

If there’s a silver lining to this it’s that this post-marriage Epiphany Phase generally happens earlier in a man’s life. If he’s made a lot of his potential up to then, and the divorce wasn’t too devastating, he’s in a far better position as far as life stage is concerned than the Beta guy a woman settles for at 29 after her Party Years. That fellow gets the Beta boot in his 50s and it’s a tall order to recover and have a Red Pill awakening.


Changing Your Programming

tilting_at_windmills

Changing Your Programming

I mentioned in the first book that I am not a motivational speaker.

I’m not anyone’s savior and I would rather men be their own self-sustaining solutions to becoming the men they want and need to be – not a Rollo Tomassi success story, but their own success stories.

That said, let me also add that I would not be writing what I do if I thought that biological determinism, circumstance and social conditioning were insurmountable factors in any Man’s life. Men can accomplish great things through acts of will and determination. God willing, they can be masters of those circumstances and most importantly masters of themselves.

With a healthy understanding, respect and awareness of what influences his own condition, a Man can overcome and thrive within the context of them – but he must first be aware of, and accepting of, the conditions in which he operates and maneuvers.

You may not be able to control the actions of others, you may not be able to account for women’s Hypergamy, but you can be prepared for them, you can protect yourself from the consequences of them and you can be ready to make educated decisions of your own based upon that knowledge.

You can unplug.

You can change your programming, and you can live a better life no matter your demographic, age, past regrets or present circumstances.

These are the last words from The Rational Male – Preventive Medicine. I wrote something similar in the first book too, but I’m quoting them here because they are just as important now as they were when I was writing them then. I’m not now nor have I ever been interested in creating a cult of Rollo. I’m not interested in creating better men, I’m interested in those men making themselves better men.

Descriptions and Prescriptions

You’ll have to forgive me, I wrote this part about a year ago, but I think it’s still relevant now. In part 4 of Preventative Medicine a commenter (who, for the record is not an InCel by any stretch) asked me why I had no real prescriptive plan for men to follow with regards to ‘preventing’ or avoiding the bad decisions associated with the time line I laid out in that series. This was my response:

Imagine for a moment I had the temerity to presume that I know exactly what a 60 year old reader experiences in his personal life with a post-menopausal wife. I could take a good stab at it, but anything specific I could prescribe for him would be based on my best-guess speculations and according to how I’ve observed and detailed things in this series or any of my past posts.

From my earliest posts at SoSuave (in 2004) I’ve had men ask me for some ‘medicine’ for their condition; some personalized plan that will work for them. This sentiment is exactly what makes PUA and manosphere ‘self-help’ speakers sell DVDs and seats at seminars. They claim to have the cure. I say that’s bullshit.

I’m not in the business of cures, I’m in the business of diagnoses. Imagine a PUA guru attempting to force fit their plans to accommodate that 60 year old man’s situation. Athol Kay makes attempts to remedy married men’s (non) sex lives, but what’s his real success rate? Is it even measurable? Even Athol recognizes that his MMSL outline is just a map, a diagnosis, that men have to modify for themselves per their individual experience and demographic. You see, your cure, your plan of action isn’t what another man’s will be, or your future son’s, or anyone else reading my work. I can give you a map, but you still have to make your own trail. I’m not a savior, you are your savior

Short version: I’m not interested in making men be better men, I’m interested in men making themselves better Men.

What’s more legitimate, my prescribing some course or template to follow that leads a man to a success that ultimately I define for a reader, or my laying out an accurate landscape for his better understanding and he creates his own success with it?

Are you your success or my success? I’d rather a Man be his own.

Most men already suspect they know what the keys are, and most even know how to use them, but what they really want is confirmation that they actually have the keys.

My approach to Game is defined in much broader terms than simply ‘how to get girls’, and I think for the better part of the manosphere the understanding of Game has evolved beyond rote memorization of scripts and plans. It’s gotten to a stage where even the most enthusiastic proponents of PUA techniques acknowledge a need for an individualized approach to relating and interacting with women based on a broader applied understanding of feminine psychology, sociology and the particular conditions that apply to themselves as well as the women they’re interacting with.

It’s been noted before, my approach to Game / Red Pill awareness is descriptive, not prescriptive.

I’m humbled by the men who email me and let me know how something I’ve written or shined a light on for them has saved them from suicide or some particular hell they would’ve endured longer in. For the most part though I get email and comments from men who tell me that they have built better lives for themselves because a Red Pill awareness made their situations more intelligible. I don’t sell a program or a prescription because each man’s circumstance is different, his acculturation is different, his ethnicity, society, upbringing, body composition and mental faculties are all different.

But we are all men. If the Red Pill is anything it’s a consortium of men who relate their individual experiences about women, about themselves and about their circumstances in what’s now become a feminine-primary social order. As I’ve stated in the past, I’m humbled and flattered to be considered one of the pillars of Red Pill awareness, but most of what I write is the result of piecing together the related experiences of other men.

I didn’t create the Red Pill, I just describe that awareness in terms I think are intelligible. I connect dots, but much of those dots are presented to me by a collective of men who’ve had common experiences. If those dots don’t follow, if those dots would be better connected in another way, I expect the Men who make up Red Pill awareness to offer their new ideas in an open exchange, in a marketplace of ideas.

Sometimes that marketplace gets weighed down with disingenuous critics, trolls and attention seekers, but this is the price, I believe, is necessary to distill and test the strength of those ideas. Only in a crucible of open debate where all are encouraged to participate can those ideas be sussed out.

Men with questions don’t frighten me; men with no questions do.

Law 18: Do Not Build Fortresses to Protect Yourself— Isolation is Dangerous
The world is dangerous and enemies are everywhere— everyone has to protect themselves. A fortress seems the safest. But isolation exposes you to more dangers than it protects you from-it cuts you off from valuable information, it makes you conspicuous and an easy target. Better to circulate among people, find allies, mingle. You are shielded from your enemies by the crowd.

From Nursing Power:

A handful of my male readers often ask why I don’t moderate comments, or that the message of Rational Male would be better served if I banned certain commenters. I’ve mentioned on several posts and threads as to why I won’t ever do that (except for blatant spamming), but in a nutshell it’s my fundamental belief that the validity of any premise or idea should be able to withstand public debate. People who aren’t confident of the strength of their assertions or ideas, or are more concerned with profiting from the branding of those weak assertions than they are in truth, are the first to cry about the harshness of their critics and kill all dissent as well as all discourse about those assertions.

That’s the primary reason I’ve never moderated; if people think I’m full of shit I’m all ears – I’m not so arrogant as to think I’ve thought of every angle about any idea I express here or on any other forum. However, the second reason I don’t censor, ban users or delete comments is that I believe it’s useful to have critics (usually women or fem-men) provide the gallery with examples of exactly the mentality or dynamic I’m describing in an essay. With a fair amount of predictability, a blue pill male or an upset woman will just as often prove my point for me and serve as a model for what I’ve described.

I never intentionally try to make rubes out of the critics I know will chime in about something, but I will sometimes leave out certain considerations I may have already thought about something, knowing it will get picked up on by a critic. I do this on occasion because the I know that the “ah hah! I got him, he forgot about X,Y, Z” moment serves as a better teaching tool and confirms for me that a critic does in fact comprehend what I’m going on about.

Last week Roosh came out against the various tribes of Game such as it is. While I understand his intent I must disagree with his methods. A couple of weeks ago I got into a bit of political discourse with regard to how the Feminine Imperative and how Hypergamy influences social dynamics. That post generated a lot of conversation, but from it I made this statement:

It’s my opinion that red pill awareness needs to remain fundamentally apolitical, non-racial and non-religious because the moment the Red Pill is associated with any social or religious movement, you co-brand it with an ideology, and the validity of it will be written off along with any preconceptions associated with that specific ideology.

Furthermore, any co-branding will still be violently disowned by whatever ideology it’s paired with because the Feminine Imperative has already co-opted and trumps the fundaments of that ideology. The fundamental truth is that the manosphere, pro-masculine thought, Red Pill awareness or its issues are an entity of its own.

As most of my readers know I have a great deal of respect for Roosh and I still do. Nothng is going to change that. I think time will tell what direction his push for Neomasculine philosophy truly goes in. As far as what he’s describing in that “new” doctrine there’s not much I disagree with. I’ll take issue with his anti-evolution, anti-evo psych stance. I’ll take issue with his want for some as yet undefined moralism; and not because I don’t think morality or reverence to a higher power shouldn’t be part of it, but rather because it pollutes and distorts open discourse.

I’m not an atheist, anyone who’s read my commentary on Dalrock’s site knows this. That said I don’t think there is a substitute for critical inquiry, and when that is stifled, that’s when we lean over into dogma.

From Moral to the Manosphere:

Putting angel’s or devil’s wings on observations hinders real understanding.

I say that not because I don’t think morality is important in the human experience, but because our interpretations of morality and justice are substantially influenced by the animalistic sides of our natures, and often more than we’re willing to admit to ourselves. Disassociating one’s self from an emotional reaction is difficult enough, but adding layers of moralism to an issue only convolutes a better grasp of breaking it down into its constituent parts. That said, I also understand that emotion and, by degree, a sense of moralism is also characteristic of the human experience, so there needs to be an accounting of this into interpretations of issues that are as complex as the ones debated in the manosphere.

Although I’m aware that observing a process will change it, it’s my practice  not to draw moralistic conclusions in any analysis I make because it adds bias where none is necessary. The problem is that what I (and others in the manosphere) propose is so raw it offends ego-invested sensibilities in people. Offense is really not my intent, but often enough it’s the expected result of dissecting cherished beliefs that seem to contribute to the well being of an individual.

There was a time I sat in a behavioral psychology class back in college. Behaviorism appealed to me because it was very nuts & bolts, not at all like the touchy-feely humanist schools of psychology. Behavior is the only reliable proof of motive. It was cause and effect, modify variables, and watch for behavior.

At one point I began to see that women are masters of operant conditioning – they had the natural reward 99% of men want, sex. Men’s behavior could be modified just by the prospect of sex, and they could also be influenced by negative reinforcement and punishment. It was one thing to make these observation, but quite another to express them in the classroom. Many of the more intelligent minds I dealt with then would adamantly refuse to recognize the truths that operant conditioning played. After I thought about it I understood that they were likewise motivated to deny what I thought was right in front of their faces.

I had connected some uncomfortable dots; dots that had the potential of making a man less desirable for having connected them. This was really the beginning of many more uncomfortable connections I would make later.

Roosh has tried to make a case that the Red Pill community (subred) has now reached critical mass. He sees it as inbred; a community of complainers – and in some instances I can understand that. Debate can often sound like complaining. However, what I get from Roosh now is a need for answers, it seems to me he’s looking for a plan of action. He wants something prescriptive for himself and other men to follow on with. I get it.

He’s still included Red Pill truths as being an important part of his new doctrine and I’d respect him for that, if not for the wholesale disownment of the consortium that’s been the testbed for those truths for so long. As I stated above, I think Neomasculinity may have some merit, I don’t disagree with about 90% of the manifesto Roosh went to great effort to put together. What I disagree with is how he’s initiated all of this. He does no favors to himself with casual dismissals of principles he knows are deeper than he wants to give credit to – in fact most are principles he influenced personally.

As for my part, I’m going to keep doing what I do and that’s making men aware of the world that’s been pulled over their eyes. I will likely have some strong disagreement with Roosh in the future, but as I’m fond of saying unplugging men from the matrix is dirty work. We’re both in the same family, and sometimes brothers will fight, and that’s OK.

I disagree with him that the Red Pill will cease to go on. It may be called something else, but it’s been around before he or I started writing about it. The “Red Pill”, like many other terms, is an abstraction; a place holder for an idea. Don’t like the Matrix movie references? Fine, but the truth is the truth and freely expressed ideas need words to describe them.

Maybe Neomasculinity is the prescription you need, but from what I can gather so far it’s a movement based on exclusion; not inclusion, not on a free exchange of ideas. Maybe the christianized Red Pill of Donalgraeme or Dalrock is a better prescription for you. Maybe you need the inspiration of a guy like Victor Pride and a better outlook on your physique.

Or maybe all you need is a truth and an awareness to help you lift yourself up. Yes, Red Pill awareness can be very depressing in the beginning, I’ve written several posts and book chapters dedicated to helping men come to terms with that, but ultimately it will be that awareness that becomes the catalyst for changing his life.

The Red Pill isn’t one size fits all, you have to tailor your own life with what it shows you.


Building Better Worlds

building_worlds

I had an interesting conversation this week with my good friend Ray and a couple of my designers, Sadie and Sam (names changed to protect the innocent). Just a little background first; Sadie is the Japanese woman I mention in Mental Point of Origin. She’s been divorced once and her relationship history is one punctuated by her involvement with Beta men.

She’s is the definition of the opportunistic concept of female love, but her frustration comes from never having been able to consolidate on an optimized Hypergamy – she simply doesn’t have attractiveness or feminine pleasantry to generate the Alpha interest that would satisfy her. Thus, she attracts Beta orbiters looking for some low hanging fruit, and force-fits them into a contextual Alpha frame. In other words, she opportunistically entertains the Betas with provisioning potential and hopes they’ll man up into dominant Alphas. Thus far she’s been disappointed.

Sam is a gay man in his early 30s who makes a good living afforded by not having children and possessing a high calibre technical skill set. He’s got the outgoing, “look at me, I’m special because I’m gay” exuberance I expect from gay men, but he’s not flamboyant and can still be professional when he has to be. He’s been “dating” a new guy for a while now and has moved this guy into his home recently. He took part in our conversation because the issues of sharing resources, money and picking up half the rent (in his case mortgage) in a relationship came up.

Ray has been one of my best friends for over 15 years now and he’s the guy I mention in Good Girls Do. He’s worked for me directly or indirectly for most of that time and he’s notorious for starting conversations like this when we have downtime. He’s a firestarter, it’s what I like about him, and among the three he’s the only one who knows my online reputation. Ray is Red Pill aware so he knows how to prompt a controversial conversation with me when we’re in mixed company.

Ray: “RT, hypothetical question…”

RT: “Do I have to?”

Ray: “Let’s say you move your girlfriend in with you…”

RT: “Let’s say I don’t and I would never do that. End of hypothetical.”

Ray: “No, I know, but, say you did, and let’s say your rent is $1,000 a month. Would you tell your girlfriend ‘Hey the rent is $1,000 a month how about you pay $300 and I’ll pay $700 or would you say 50/50?”

RT: “No. I’d pay it all myself. I’d also be sure that only my name was on the lease.”

Sadie:”What? Why, that’s silly?”

Ray: “You wouldn’t expect any contribution?”

RT: “No. I wouldn’t turn it down if she took it upon herself to contribute, but I wouldn’t expect it from a girl I (foolishly) brought into my living arrangement.”

Sadie: “You wouldn’t expect her to pay half?”

RT: “No. If I can’t provide my own $1,000 rent or food, or to keep the lights on, I have no business bringing a woman into that arrangement. If I have more than enough for myself I don’t need her paying. Besides, if she’s that into living with me, she’ll want to contribute in other ways and I wont have to ask.”

Sam: “You don’t think it should be an equal split? Maybe that’s a man and a woman thing…”

RT: “Yes and no. I’m sure between you and your boyfriend there’s a more dominant personality right?”

Sam: “Yeah, me.”

RT: “And you probably make more money too. So there’s really no ‘equality’ when it comes down to it.”

Sadie: “I expect my boyfriend to pay half the rent.”

RT: “Of course you do, because women think in terms of equality when it works to their advantage. What if your ‘boyfriend’ could pay for all the rent, utilities and most of everything else? Would you still try to pay half?”

Sadie: “Yes of course.”

RT: “What if he only paid just half and you knew it was a better deal for him?

Sadie: (tentative) “Yes,…”

RT: “I doubt that, but what you’re saying is that you’d limit improving your way of life to maintain a belief in equality.”

Sadie: “All the guy’s I’ve lived with have been mooches.”

RT: “Which explains why you’re not living with them any more. It goes both ways, women don’t respect men they need to support. All this stuff about equality in relationships is nonsense.If your boyfriend could easily make rent while you struggled to come up with it you’d resent him for it. There is no equal division.”

Sam: “I guess I see what you’re saying, but the expectation is still the same even for me and [boyfriend].

RT: “There is no equality in a relationship, but there can be complementarity where either person’s benefits can offset the needs of the other.”

Ray: “So you and Mrs. T aren’t 50/50?”

RT: “Ray, I make about 4 times the money that she does, how is there ever going to be anything like equality with that kind of balance?”

Ray: “But what about chores and shit?”

RT: “I take care of the outside of the house, she takes care of the inside. I do the smelly dirty jobs, she keeps the fresh cleaning ones, it’s not rocket science.”

Sam: “Sounds like you just want to stay in the power position.”

RT: “Yes, but it’s only a power play if you’re exploiting your partner. Women like to say they want an equal partner, but they don’t, do they Sadie? They want someone to respect and look up to. So when that comes down to numbers, to money, what’s really holding you together? Love? Mutual interests? (at Sam) Right now you can’t help but be the more dominant one in your relationship. So do you stop being so just to balance things? Do you expect [boyfriend] to pick up the slack more?

The Cardinal Rule of Relationships

In any relationship, the person with the most power is the one who needs the other the least.

This principle isn’t so much about ‘power’ as it is about control. This might sound like semantics, but it makes a difference. It’s very easy to slip into binary arguments and think that what I mean by the cardinal rule of relationships is that one participant must absolutely rule over the other – a domineering dominant to a doormat submissive. Control in a healthy relationship passes back and forth as desire and need dictate for each partner. In an unhealthy relationship you have an unbalanced manipulation of this control by a partner. Although control is never in complete balance, it becomes manipulation when one partner, in essence blackmails, the other with what would otherwise be a reinforcer for the manipulated under a healthy circumstance. This happens for a plethora different reasons, but the condition comes about by two ways – the submissive participant becomes conditioned to allow the manipulation to occur and/or the dominate initiates the manipulation. In either case the rule still holds true – the one who needs the other the least has the most control. Nowhere is this more evident than in interpersonal relationships.

When I was writing this post many years ago I hadn’t fully considered how this rule interacts with, and contradicts, many of the tenets of egalitarian equalism. The idealistic state of that equalism is one in which two co-equal, yet independent people come together in a perfect union of balance. In theory that balance should account for resources, emotional investment, family considerations, as well as intellectual and social status aspects of either partner.

These considerations alone should be enough to illustrate equalitarianism as the manipulative farce it is, however, all we really need to do is take into account the Cardinal Rule of Relationships. It’s very easy to be accused of being controlling when you embrace the truth of this rule – and particularly so when the reigning social undercurrent is one in which everyone ought to be co-equal rational actors.

I expected to have that leveled at me in this conversation, but it’s important to bear in mind the real nature of power. By my own definition, power is the degree of control we exercise over the direction of our own lives. As I mentioned, I don’t mind being the more powerful partner in terms of resources in my marriage because I accept that stupid notions of maintaining anything like “equality” is simply infeasible. I know more than a few men who’ve sold their lives’ potential away in the belief that they should lessen themselves in order to support a more balanced, equalist ideal. Ultimately their relationships, marriages and families suffer because they never own that potential – just the idea of owning it is a source of guilt and shame.

For all of the bleating about more equitability being needed between men and women. the fundamental truth is that it’s neither a realistic nor workable state. I’ve used money for my illustration here, but this applies to many other facets of an intersexual relationship. From an equalist perspective this sounds a lot like a want for creating a condition of dependency, but in truth it is an unachievable state of egalitarianism that creates a never-satisfied state of dependency.

Her World or Yours?

If you go back and look at the video from Bachelor Nation you can see the dichotomy that presumptions of “equality” sows in western(izing) women today. Within the first 6 minutes of the video we see the internal contradictions inherent in women. There is a want for an idealized equal pairing, but yet a desire for a man to be a Man. The documentary finds the root of this dichotomy in modern resource imbalances between the sexes, and makes the predictable appeal to men not living up to their burden of performance. The male shame comes in contrasting women’s taking on what should be men’s performance burdens – the male obligation to which ironically flies in the face of anything like true egalitarian equalism.

Stay-at-home dads, house husbands, and anything relatable will always have a stigma attached to them in spite of any weak attempts to make them socially acceptable. That stigma is founded in a limbic-level understanding of men’s burden of performance; to be a Man is not just to produce sustainable resources, but to provide a surplus of those resources.

I recently read a poll sponsored by Forbes magazine that listed men’s top goals in life and for the first time in that poll’s history “a good physique” outranked all personal and financial ambitions for top executives. The predictable shame then followed that men aren’t “Manning Up” any more, and they’ve become vain, self-absorbed narcissists for a new focus on what image they present.

The obvious Red Pill conclusion is of course a realignment with the prevailing social perceptions (courtesy of the Feminine Imperative I might add) that women are out-earning men financially and educationally; thus the Alpha Fucks side of Hypergamy takes precedent. If America’s top execs are heeding the message of Open Hypergamy, why bother establishing yourself financially, academically, ambition-wise or otherwise?

The problem with this equation is evident in the Bachelor Nation video. I can understand the sentiments of MGTOW; if the opinions expressed by the quality of woman represented in the video are any indicator of a female zeitgeist it makes the idea of abandoning the Game altogether that much more appealing.

That said, and I’m going to dare to get prescriptive here, I believe that establishing yourself as an independent Man should be your top priority. I have no doubt that that sentiment will get convoluted with feminism’s Strong Independent Woman® meme, but lets clarify something first – the ideal that men ought to be strong and independent has always been the precursor to his quality as a man. Independence, self-sufficiency and determined ambitions have always been the hallmarks of a man comfortable with his burden of performance. Only in women is independence a novelty.

Yet now, in men, this independence is not just a novelty, but it’s been distorted into being an obsessive-compulsive sign of a man’s imagined insecurities. The very strength and independence men have always been expected to embody is the domain of women, while any hope for it from men is a sign of a fragile ego.

Iron Rule of Tomassi #1

Frame is everything. Always be aware of the subconscious balance of who’s frame in which you are operating. Always control the Frame, but resist giving the impression that you are.

I firmly believe Alpha is a mindset. That mindset can get the poorest son-of-a-bitch laid with the right application, tact and circumstance. That’s a tough pill to swallow when you work your ass off in the belief that your affluence and status should be the metric Alpha is judged by and women respond to. That’s also not to say affluence and status won’t get you laid by their own merit, it’s just the context in which that happens that makes the difference. There are many men who’ve found their retroactive cuckolding after having based their personal successes on the presumption that those successes should be the basis of his quality to women.

The concept of frame covers a lot of aspects of our daily lives, some of which we’re painfully aware of, others we are not, but nonetheless we are passively influenced by frame. What concerns us in terms of inter-gender relations however is the way in which frame sets the environment, the ambience, and the ‘reality’ in which we relate with both the woman we sarge at a bar and the relationship with the woman we’ve lived with for 20 years. One important fact to consider, before I launch into too much detail, is to understand that frame is NOT power. The act of controlling the frame may be an exercise in power for some, but let me be clear from the start that the concept of frame is who’s ‘reality’ in which you choose to operate in relation to a woman. Both gender’s internalized concept of  frame is influenced by our individual acculturation, socialization, psychological conditioning, upbringing, education, etc., but be clear on this, you are either operating in your own frame or you’re operating in hers. Also understand that the balance of frame often shifts. Frame is fluid and will find its own level when a deficit or a surplus of will is applied to change it. The forces that influence that lack or boost of will is irrelevant – just know that the conditions of an operative framework will shift because of them.

We can go back and debate the Crisis of Motive once again – who do you really do it for? – but in terms of Frame, even if you subscribe to a MGTOW perspective, it’s important for a Man to have a world into which a woman might enter. Not for her sake, but for a Man’s edification.

Establish your world; you shall make your mission, not your woman your priority. Women should only ever be a complement to a man’s life, never the focus of it.


The Dangers of the Red Pill

redpill_danger

I came across an interesting thread on Roosh’s forum recently that linked very well with some experiences I’ve been having over the course of the last few weeks. Eldelwiess was the OP here and he just hints upon a greater whole of the danger of the Red Pill:

It’s a very tough choice to make, yet inevitable. You HAVE to.

But it’s a difficult pill to swallow.

The side effects are really nasty.

Ever since I did it, my life changed to the better, but alas, to the bitter too.

The thing is I now SEE. I’m not blind anymore. But I don’t LIKE what I see.

Because what I see is hypocrisy, degeneration, mediocrity, ignorance and mental slavery.

When you see the world in red pill eyes, you see the ugly reality.
It makes you stop enjoying many things in life.
It makes you find the majority of the people boring, uninteresting and frankly stupid. You pity them.
It makes the bulk of the women unworthy of your time.
It makes you can’t stand your colleagues.
It makes many jokes not funny anymore.
It makes you question everything.
It makes everyone untrustworthy, even your physicians.

It makes you…a better person ! And I love it.

But I understand why the majority of the people ignore the red pill and decide to remain in blue pill slavery and mediocrity. It’s easier. And you get to still enjoy life as you knew it, keep the friends who do the exact same thing, sympathize with your colleagues who complain about long working hours, date the same women who feel entitled to everything, watch the same TV programs which numb your mind and make you lose IQ points, vote for the same politicians who control the strings that make you move…

It’s easier.

Eldelwiess is just coming around to acknowledging The Bitter Taste of the Red Pillbut the inherent danger he’s hinting at here goes a little further beyond the perception of a Red Pill aware man being “bitter”, and into the social dynamics that center on creating and interpreting him being such. The danger in this context is not just a bitter perception, but rather one of personal, professional and familial ostracization for expressing Red Pill truths.

I touched on these liabilities in The Secret of the Red Pill, but this was more from the perspective of women having their Game explained to them and what Red Pill aware men might expect for having confronted them with it. The impact of that may only be the perception of you being a presumptuous asshole by an individual woman, however, there are broader implications and consequences for “living” the Red Pill in a larger social sense.

Wutang from Roosh’s forum:

I actually had a falling out with a group of casual acquaintances when my association with RP was revealed among the group so there is a “danger” with it affecting your social bonds. I put danger in quotes because you really should see it as more of an act of filtering out who you associate with rather then any sort of great harm; the exception being if these are people who you work with or who can put a wrench in you advancing in your goals. If the only real harm is losing a few acquaintances or even friends then you should ask yourself if these are really the sort of people you want to associate with. Do you want to surround yourself with people that are apparently so mentally weak that mere words and difference of opinion can drive them into bouts of wailing and sobbing?

While we promote self-sufficiency and being beholden to no other man or system in our particular subculture we need to keep remembering that no man is an island. The people you associate with are going to determine where you are heading. Surround yourself with people who possess beliefs that lead to perpetual victimhood and you’ll become a victim yourself. Associate with people that can’t stand up for anything except a spineless tolerance that refuses to make any sort of value judgements and make the tough choice of saying ‘A is simply better then B when it comes to accomplishing C” whether A is an idea, an action, or even a type of person and you will soon lose your own spine; being afraid to fight for anything for the fear that it’ll make someone somewhere unhappy.

That said this was still a lesson in knowing when is the right time to drop RP knowledge. Naturally I’m a very open and sharing person when it comes to my beliefs and opinions but after this incident I’ve learned to be a lot more careful. In this case I didn’t really lose much since I was already growing to dislike quite a few of the people in the group but it definitely was a warning – what if this has happened with people who I actually respected and who were in positions and had connections that could either help or hinder me in my personal goals? Be careful out there guys.

I quoted this today because I find myself having to temper and measure my Red Pill evangelism with people I know personally or interact with professionally. I say evangelism because, in spite of any measured explanation, this is what it comes off as to most uninitiated Blue Pill plugins. There’s a degree of diplomatic tact you have to practice the more Red Pill aware a man becomes.

Sometimes that’s tough, especially when you’ve gone through personal changes and development that’s benefitted your life as a result. Red Pill awareness may have even saved a man’s life, so just shutting up about it, or having a hesitancy to help out a fellow man in need of that awareness becomes a real conflict.

In June I’ll have been back in Nevada for two years and in that time I’ve reacquainted myself with old friends I haven’t seen since I left for Florida almost ten years ago. All of them I find in similar (if not identical) states in which I left them. Some of these men are long time close personal friends I’d kept in touch with over the years, but with the exception of maybe one out of a dozen, all are still foundering in the same Beta mindset, lifestyle and behaviors they had ten years ago. All of them still complain of the same Beta-relationship issues they had with their wives (some now ex-wives) they confided in me then.

The Rule

NEO: I can’t go back, can I?

MORPHEUS: No. But if you could, would you really want to?  I feel that I owe you an apology. There is a rule that we do not free a mind once it reaches a certain age. It is dangerous. They have trouble letting go. Their mind turns against them. I’ve seen it happen. I’m sorry. I broke the rule because I had to.

You’ll have to forgive my using the Matrix metaphor, but every time I’m tempted to awaken a man I think may desperately need the truth of Red Pill awareness I’m reminded of this exchange. I understand why this would be a rule. Granted, I’ve broken it myself many times; usually when I think a man is a danger to himself, but I do so with the knowing that I’ll need to invest myself personally in his conditions and that’s where that cautious hesitation comes from.

There are friends I have who I know would outright reject Red Pill truths, but more so their lives would be turned upside down by having to confront those truths. I have a very good friend who’s remarried and living a new life with his second wife, who is still clinging to all of the internalized Beta illusions and behaviors that contributed to his first brutal divorce.

I could make him aware of all the factors that led up to this very painful episode in his life. I could run down the list of how the woman he married early in life followed the time line I put forth in Preventive Medicine to the letter, why his daughters are both following her footsteps and why his son will grow into being a martyred Beta White Knight like himself.

I could also explain all the factors that led to his new wife’s need for him (who by his Beta measures he’s thrilled with), but I ask myself, why destroy that bliss for him? He’s not now, nor likely will be, ready to have any of that explained. My concern is that he’s too far along in life to bear the burden of that truth. He’d have trouble letting go. His mind would turn against him.

If he were to reach that point of desperation again I’d certainly be compelled to reach out to him and offer the Red Pill to him, but as I’ve said in the past, unplugging men from the Matrix is a lot like triage – save the ones you can, read last rites to the dying. But this guy’s not dying and giving him the medicine might be worse than his conditions.

Law 10 – Infection: avoid the unhappy and unlucky.

Though your compassionate, charitable side may compel you to associate with the sad and downtrodden, if power attainment is your goal then avoid such people. Their bad vibe and energy-draining demeanor are too often infectious. You run a very serious risk of falling into line with their misery. Instead spend your time with people who are happy and successful. You can die from someone else’s misery – emotional states are as infectious as disease.

When I quote Law 10 it’s usually in response to a guy dealing with troubled, toxic women dragging them down into the quicksand of their own making. The Savior Schema usually warrants this truth; it’s a want in a belief that a woman will appreciate and reciprocate for a man ready to be the solution to her problems. However, the same can apply for men who attempt to free the minds of other men.

In both volumes of The Rational Male I make a specific effort to address that Rollo Tomassi doesn’t want to be a savior – I want men to be their own saviors because, although I may present Red Pill truths, it’s ultimately a man who needs to be the director of his own life. If the true measure of power is the degree of control a man has over his own life, relying on a savior, relying on how well one conforms to his plan, is really a limit on that power.

As I state in the books, I’m not interested in Tomassi clones, this is why I’m humbled by every man’s story I’m emailed or commented on about how they changed their lives with what I put forth in my writing.

From the Roosh forum again:

The only ‘danger’ the red pill presents is one’s own inability to let go of previous beliefs when confronted with truth. The red pill makes you look in the mirror and come to terms with your own ego and the lies it convinced you of.

“You have to understand, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged. And many of them are so inured, so hopelessly dependent on the system, that they will fight to protect it.”

Our ego is what we’re ultimately protecting. Most people don’t have an identity beyond their ego, that’s why most of the population can’t handle the red pill. Unless you were born with red pill parents, being raised blue pill and transitioning to red (altering your very reality) will always be traumatic on some level.

I’m of the opinion that trauma and crisis are necessary components to arriving at a point where a man is open to Red Pill awareness. I realize how distorted that sounds. It should be that a rational laying out of Red Pill truths should be self-evident, but it’s important to contrast that hope with the lifetime of feminine-primary conditioning men receive since their infancy.

There will always be people who will never accept even to most base and evident Red Pill fundamental truths. I completely understand Wutang’s premise for wanting to create our own manospherean tribes. We’ve had a good bit of commentary regarding Jack Donovan’s (Way of Men) call for organizing in like-minded collectives of men, and while I agree and find that laudable, I also know that isolation is dangerous.

Even by Law 10 it makes sense to surround oneself with the “happy and successful”; that’s a pretty deductive truth. However, I can’t ignore that many of the most condition-blinded people are also the most happy. I know multi-millionaires who are among the most abject Betas with regard to their intersexual relations.

So I guess what I’m saying is that there needs to be a level of discernment and discretion in this regard. I reach over half a million viewers / readers every month on TRM without advertising, without proselytizing, and men seem to find my works more and more. When the student is ready the teacher will appear – these men are seeking out the Red Pill and I suspect more will as Open Hypergamy and the machinations of the Feminine Imperative become unignorable.

You can’t teach those unwilling to learn – maybe it’s less about being convincing and more about being ready to help when the opportunities arise? That’s not me being magnanimous, that’s me being practical.


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