Navigating the SMV continues to be one of my most prolific posts. I can remember originally writing that post and plotting the graph as a one-off response to a comment (by Deti I think) made requesting a graphic representation of how both men and women’s SMV waxes and wanes as they progress through life. At the time I had no idea how influential and accurate the graph would be, but it seems that not every three or so months someone links or emails me an outside study with a graph that is so similar to my initial perception of sexual market valuation and devaluation that it kind of creeps me out a little bit.
From the chart above, we see that the perceived value of an attractive woman peaks when she reaches 25 years old, and gradually diminishes as she ages. The perceived value of an attractive man however, starts at a much lower price when he is young, peaking only when he reaches the age of 34. It appears from the value curve above that at least some stereotypes we often hear do hold some truth. For example, that female models earn the most before they turn 30. Or that men become more attractive as they age.
But no matter what some of you may read from the value curves above, it has proved a useful tool for predicting when Cougar-Cub couples get together, and when they are likely to break up. The value curves also provide clues of what types of Cougar-Cub relationships stand the best chance of surviving in the long run.
Granted, my own parameters were slightly broader in scope (female SMV peaked at 22-23, men’s 36-38) but the base premise is astonishingly similar. As you might expect the comments are rife with “well-not-in-my-case”, “people are individuals” personal anecdotes, but the grouping of the graph plot is too similar not to recognize a consistency of form with my original SMV graph:
There are other studies and graphs that reflect this basic model. Some are more forgiving and project the feminine SMV decay a bit less or starting later – rarely is men’s SMV any less rigorous – and each study has differing objectives, but the form of the curves are so alike that it’s impossible not to notice the general similarities. I’ve done several followup posts in order to address the most common (deliberate) misunderstandings, as well as the most pressing questions about my SMV graph, so while we move on to the next section of the SMV timeline this week please be sure you reference the side bar category I have set up that exclusively covers the topic if you have questions. I’m prefacing this week’s continuation of Preventative Medicine with this graph because it will be an integral element to understanding the progression through the Epiphany and Transitionary phases.
The Late Party Years
Although not a subsection itself, the latter third of a woman’s Party Years deserves some mention in that the end of this phase is often a prelude for the rationales women develop leading into the Epiphany Phase. As I mentioned here, some third party SMV studies will place a woman’s peak SMV as late as 25-26 years old. I’d argue that this is far too late in a woman’s life progression.
Statistically, most women express a desire to settle down, be married and start a family at or around the age of 27 to 30, and most marriages do happen between 26 and 30 for western women. The popularized, feminized ideal of a woman enjoying her prime – often excused as fulfilling her nebulous professional potential – is a primary contributor to this marriage postponement, but it’s important to point out to men dating women in this phase that the last two years of the party phase will be the stage at which a woman will begin to feel an urgency for long term commitment.
I summed this phase up in Cashing Out, however, it’s here that women, with the foresight to see it, will make their best attempts to consolidate on marriage with the man who best embodies, or has the potential to embody, the Alpha sexual-genetics with the providership parental investment that an optimized hypergamy seeks to balance in the same man. At no other time will a woman feel more urgency in capitalizing on her still prime attractiveness and sexual agency with a man she believes will fulfill the dual dictates of her sexual strategy.
“Where is this going?”
This is the most common phase in which a man will hear the words “where is this going?” from a woman, or is delivered ultimatums of withdrawal of intimacy (no more sex, or threats of break up) if no proposal is forthcoming in the foreseeable future.
Although women’s preferred method of communication rests in the covert, as she matures towards a condition of a lessened capacity to intra-sexually compete with her younger peers (competition anxiety) most men discover that women in this demographic, by necessity, lean more on overt communication. The coquetry, indirectness and blasé indifference that she used to hold and enjoy male attentions during her SMV peak years is progressively traded for more direct certainties of promised, committed assurances of future security.
Side note: Bear in mind that security for women isn’t always manifested as financial provisioning, but can be emotional investment, parental investment, physical security and most importantly fulfilling a masculine role of stability and dominance in her life.
Of primary importance is the consideration that women seek the Alpha Fucks / Beta Bucks (AFBB) balance of their hypergamous interests in the same man at this stage. That’s not to say this isn’t always the operative for feminine hypergamy, but it’s during the late party years phase that a woman (on some level of consciousness) begins to realize this time is her best opportunity to use her quick-burn SMV to consolidate on an optimized hypergamy. This isn’t due to premonitions of the Wall per se, but it is the first recognition of her diminishing capacity to sexually compete for male attention with young women experiencing their own SMV peak years.
During this period women will often make their first earnest attempts to find ways – sometimes by coercion – to ‘fix’ an Alpha into satisfying the Beta Bucks side of her hypergamy equation, or, to seriously evaluate an already committed Beta’s potential to ‘man up’ and be more Alpha, more ambitious and assesses (what she believes will be) his future SMV potential.
Lastly, bear in mind that women in this phase experience this urgency in direct proportion to what their looks, sexuality and command of male attention will afford them. It’s simple reasoning to figure that women who maintain their physical attractiveness / sexual agency and are consistently rewarded for it with male attention will prolong that state as long as possible. Thus, some attractive women may perpetuate their party years until such time as that attention abruptly ends.
The Epiphany and Transitory Phase
I’ve written extensively on these phases so please have a read of my prior posts The Epiphany Phase, Time’s Up and Cashing Out for a more in-depth understanding of what to expect from women during this stage of life.
Between the ages of 28 to about 30 (sometimes later for attractive women perpetuating their party years) women often enter into a more cognitive awareness of their personal conditions with regard to their declining SMV. This phase I call The Epiphany Phase; it is the point at which the subconscious awareness a woman has of her sexual market value in relation to her eventual date with the Wall can no longer be subconsciously repressed and ignored.
It is of primary importance to men to fully understand the significance this phase has for women. The epiphany isn’t about women hitting their SMV Wall during this phase (though it’s possible) it’s about a woman conscientiously coming to terms with a markedly lessened capacity to sexually compete with her SMV-peak peers for the same male attention she enjoyed during her party years.
The abstract exaggeration is to think a woman necessarily hits the Wall at 30, her physical attractiveness shrivels and she magically transforms into a spinster cat lady overnight. Women absolutely (with effort) can and often do retain their looks and sexual agency past this phase; some into their late 30′s and 40′s. However, what defines this phase is the conscious realization that their looks are no longer what they were in their prime. Combined with this is the awareness that they can no longer sexually compete at the same level as young women in their SMV peak for the attentions of men they now hope to consolidate their hypergamy on in long term commitment and provisioning security.
The Epiphany phase isn’t about women hitting the Wall so much as it is about an urgency to consolidate upon a man’s commitment of long term security with the competition anxiety that comes from realizing it’s now she who must to put forth the effort to secure it rather than having it offered to her as it was by the men in her SMV-peak years.
From The Epiphany Phase:
This is a precarious time for women where she makes attempts to reassess the last decade of her life. Women’s psychological rationalization engine (a.k.a. the Hamster) begins a furious effort to account for, and explain her reasonings for not having successfully secured a long term monogamous commitment from as Alpha a man as her attractiveness could attain for her. Even women married prior to this phase will go through some variation of self-doubt, or self-pity in dealing with the hypergamic uncertainty of her choice (“Is he really the best I could do?”).
A woman’s late party years are often the stage during which she entertains the hope that she can ‘civilize’ the Alpha Bad Boys who satisfy the visceral side of her hypergamy into assuming the providership role the other side of her hypergamy demands and is increasingly becoming more urgent for her – most Alpha Widows are made during this period. However, it’s during the Epiphany phase women (conveniently) make the rationalizations necessary for justifying this ‘fixing’ effort.
During the Epiphany Phase a woman’s inner and outer dialog is self-excusing, virtuously self-educational and self-congratulatory.
“I used to be so different in college, but I’ve grown personally” or “I’ve learned my lesson about pursuing the ‘wrong kind’ of men, I’m done with Bad Boys now” and “What happened to all the Nice Men?” are the standard clichés women will tell themselves and vocally (overtly) broadcast, directly or indirectly, to all the men with a providership potential in the hopes of signaling to them that she will now entertain their feminine-preconditioned offers of love, loyalty and dependability she had no interest in during her party years.
It’s during this stage that women will make radical shifts in their prioritization of what prerequisite traits qualify as ‘attractive’ in a man and attempt to turn over a new leaf by changing up their behaviors to align with this new persona they create for themselves. Since the physicality, sexual prowess and Alpha dominance that made up her former arousal cues in a Man aren’t as forthcoming from men as when she was in her sexual prime, she reprioritizes them with (presumed) preferences for more intrinsic male attributes that stress dependability, provisioning capacity, humor, intellect, and esoteric definitions of compatibility and intimacy.
For the spiritually inclined woman (which is to say most women) this may manifest in a convenient return to religious convictions she’d disregarded since her adolescence. For other’s it may be some kind of forced celibacy; a refusal to have sex under the hypergamic auspices of her ‘party years’ in the hopes that a well provisioning male (the ones not realizing their own potential SMV as yet) will appreciate her for her prudence – so unlike herself and all of the other girls who rejected him over the last decade.
The self-affirming psychological schema is one where she’s “finally doing the right thing”, when in fact she’s simply making the necessity of her long term provisioning and security a virtue she hopes men will appreciate. And if they don’t, then there’s always shaming them to think they’re ‘less-than-men’ for not living up to her eating her cake once she’s had it
While looks and masculine physical triggers in men are still an important attraction factor, her desire for a personal association with a man’s status and affluence begin to sublimate her physical priorities for attraction as she increasingly realizes the necessity of these attributes for her (and any offspring’s) long term provisioning. It should be noted that the appeal of a man’s potential for provisioning is proportional to her actual (or perceived) need for that provisioning.
As a woman moves into the Transitory phase (29-31) this re-prioritization also coincides with the adjusted self-perception of her own SMV. As a woman becomes more cognizant of her lessened ability to sexually compete for men who (she believes) would meet her best hypergamic balance, she’s forced to reassess her self-image. There are many feminine social conventions already pre-established to help her deny or buffer this reassessment. However, her hindbrain still acknowledges the competition anxiety that (unless, by effort or genetics, she’s a notable physical exception) she simply cannot command the kind of male attention women in their SMV-peak years do.
Note that the reality of this assessment, or realistic expectations of it, aren’t the source of this anxiety, but rather it’s what she believes them to be. An exceptionally attractive 30 year old woman may still be able to sexually select men above what most women her age can expect, but it’s what she believes about herself, her internalized expectations for her age and party years experience has taught her. And as you may guess this self-assessment is also subject to the influences of social media and social conventions that pander to this same Transition period anxiety.
I believe it was Roosh who stated that the only women who complain about men needing to Man Up or how men have somehow shirked the masculine responsibilities the
Feminine Imperative society expects of them are always 30 years of age or older. Younger women simply have no motive to complain about what they believe they are entitled to in a man beyond his being ‘hawt’.
What I term as the Transition phase is the culmination of the Epiphany phase’s influence on a woman who’s thus far been unable to consolidate on monogamy with a male who fulfills the role of provider (Beta provider most often) that her hypergamy now holds in much higher priority order. When women in this phase complain of men’s “adequacy issues” what they’re really bemoaning is their chronic inability to find (or merit) a man who can balance the dual influences of her hypergamy.
The urgency for this consolidation is further compounded by the misconceptions most women hold about the Myth of the Biological clock, but in biological terms she’s well past the years of her prime fertility window and conceiving and bearing children becomes progressively more difficult for women with each passing year.
In the Transition phase the competition anxiety that prompted the Epiphany phase is exchanged for an anxiety that results from confronting the possibility a woman may never consolidate on a long term security. However, as always, feminine social conventions are already in place to absolve her of any real personal accountability for this incapacity.
Thus, begins the ‘Men are threatened by powerful women’, ‘Men have fragile egos’, ‘Men are shallow and only want young chippys they can manipulate instead of vibrant, women who are their intellectual equals’ and various other canards intended to simultaneously shame men into compliance with their hypergamous imperative and relieve women of any personal accountability for the anxiety the Transition phase forces them to experience.
In closing todays post, I think it’s important to consider other outcomes of personal decisions women often do make during these periods. As I mentioned in Part I, it’s not uncommon for women to already have consolidated on monogamy (LTR or marriage) well before either of these phase take place. While the experiences may differ, the underlying influences that prompt these phases remain more or less the same. I’ll elaborate more on this in Part III as it primarily relates to the later phases of women’s maturation process.