There’s a lot being made of sluts recently. Vox, whom I’ve got a great respect for, just made an (admittedly unscientific) poll attempting to estimate mate worthiness and establish some hard data amongst those aware of it, on rates of fidelity by asking the right questions. I took part in it, but to my disappointment my particular input was useless because I’m a ‘snowflake’ – I’ve been with 40+ women, had 4 significant LTRs, cheated on 2 (was also cheated on by the same 2, but that wasn’t on the questionare), been married almost 16 years, never cheated on my wife, nor have ever been cheated on by my wife (who’s had at least 6 prior BFs I’m aware of) – yep, I guess I’m an outlier. Or at least an outlier in respect to the correlations that other’s wanted to find evidence of.
As expected, Aunt Giggles was eager to gobble up the ‘hard data’ to make her case for fem-centric feminine framed monogamy (despite very loose parameters), but it struck me that, within both the manosphere and team woman, there is indeed an emphasis on the virtues of a woman being as close to pseudo-virginity as is socially manageable. I touched on this briefly in The Slut Paradox, and I do understand the evolved psychology behind it.
If Men are willingly or forcibly going to sacrifice their polygynous sexual strategy in favor of a female specific long-term strategy of parental investment, they innately want reassurances of a woman’s fidelity and that his biological investment is in fact his own. There have been some entertaining experimental studies on men’s innate ability of recognizing their own children’s faces amongst a crowd of uniformly dressed kids; Men are more accurate and faster to identify their kids in a crowd than women. So, for men it’s not a stretch to assume there’s an evolved aspect to confirming paternity if not actual fidelity.
On the feminine side, the psychological fallout ranges from a need for absolution of their sexual pasts (revirginization, spiritual and physical), to notch count revisionism, ASD, and simple cognitive dissonance. With so many coping mechanisms, it would appear that secreting our sexual histories is of paramount importance to ensuring our genetic legacies.
The problem is that feminine Hypergamy and women’s pluralistic sexual strategies conspire against each other. It is in a woman’s genetic best interests to breed with Men of superior stock (or at least perceptually so) whilst in her prime fertility years. Rationalizations and conscious efforts aside, a woman’s hindbrain subroutine compels her toward striking while the biological iron’s hot. This characterizes Hypergamy in her prime fertility window, but later when long-term security becomes the imperative this Hypergamy fluidly changes toward the best provider of security. It’s at this time that there is a psychological schism for women; as the wall approaches, a need for cognitive dissonance splits between her former sexual strategy and is replaced by a long-term security strategy. This necessitates forming new mental schema to replace the soon-to-be obsolete schemas that allowed her to pursue her sexual imperative when younger. Suddenly she’s concerned not only for her own long-term security, but the sisterhood’s as well. Ask her to tell you the best way to live and it’s always been about monogamy, security, fidelity, relationship,..etc.
All of that doesn’t sit well with a Man’s conflicting sexual strategy. In a woman’s sexual prime, his scattershot sexual strategy makes for a complementary tactic (as far as evolution’s breeding the next crop of humanity is concerned), but when it comes to a strategy of parental investment, psychological contingencies and countermeasures had to evolve to lessen the risk to his genetic legacy. Enter the importance of pseudo-virginity.
The New Virgins
I don’t think I need to reiterate the importance a purported low sexual partner count on the part of women seems to be for men. No wants a slut right? Why?
Vox’s study and the resulting speculations on its indications is evidence enough of this desire, but there is a concerted effort for both parties interested to maintain at least the presumption of a low N-count. The conflict arises in conflating a high partner count as the causation for infidelity.
Is past sexual selectivity / promiscuity an indicator for low / high pair bonding instances, or is it the conditions that prompted those behaviors the cause of infidelity? We definitely would like reliable predictors of infidelity, but I think what we fail to see is the causality of what contributes to the predictability. While infidelity may be morally reprehensible, from an evolutionary standpoint it may actually be the most beneficial recourse depending on circumstance.
Hypergamy doesn’t care if you’ve only ever fucked your wife. For every rare snowflake who moves from a high N-count to life-long marital fidelity, there’s a rare couple of high school sweethearts divorcing who’ve never fucked anyone but each other. We want the True Love couple to live happily ever after because it appeases our emotions and sense of fantasy, while we also expect the slut or the incorrigible cad get their just rewards of a life of self-loathing resentment. Reality doesn’t always cooperate with our idealizations, but the more important question to ask is why we think one couple is deserving of happiness while the other merits scorn?
Women don’t pine away for past beta lovers. All of this handwringing about a woman’s notch count and how numerically close she is to virginity is only so much semantics if you don’t factor in the psychological impact a single Alpha lover has on a woman. Ever wonder why the guy a girl shares/loses her virginity with is so memorable for her? Barring instances of rape, he’s a default Alpha just for having been her first. This is the primary reason I advise Men against deflowering virgin women; the sex is often negligible, but the impact is so significant that it forms an emotional attachement in a girl that most guys are unprepared for.
Once a woman has experienced that Alpha dominance, only another Alpha experience can delimit the previous experience. This is an example of the role conditionality plays in pair bonding. If a woman has had 10 prior lovers who’ve all amounted to beta experiences, an Alpha experience may be all it takes to make her loyal. On the other hand a woman with only one prior Alpha lover may be impossible to convince to be loyal to anyone she sees as a lesser experience.
These are the Alpha Widows. In fact, I’d argue that most female initiated infidelity is a result of hypergamous impulse seeking to find its previous level. Women don’t trade down in experience, they are always perceptually trading up. One of the liabilities of hypergamy is that there is a risk to benefits equation playing in women’s hindbrains that assesses what she can potentially lose. This is a pre-established dread that has to be repressed or ignored in order to for a woman to cheat. Women are prone to infidelity with better options, not worse ones. It’s a mistake to assume that only notch count is the precursor for infidelity.