I had an interesting study brought to my attention recently (ht/ Robert Burriss) and I thought I’d get back to a nuts and bolts post with something useful I found in it.
As you might expect, much of the findings in this study reinforce many Red Pill principles founded in evo-psych, but there are a few new angles to consider here. Before I start to riff on this study, bear in mind that the concept of female mate guarding behavior centers on what the researchers define as ‘desirable mates’ to women. This subjective assessment of desirability will play into all this analysis.
For women, forming close, cooperative relationships with other women at once poses important opportunities and possible threats-including mate retention. To maximize the benefits and minimize the costs of same-sex social relationships, we propose that women’s mate guarding is functionally flexible and that women are sensitive to both interpersonal and contextual cues indicating whether other women might be likely and effective mate poachers. Here, we assess one such cue: other women’s fertility. Because ovulating (i.e., high-fertility) women are both more attractive to men and also more attracted to (desirable) men, ovulating women may be perceived to pose heightened threats to other women’s romantic relationships. Across 4 experiments, partnered women were exposed to photographs of other women taken during either their ovulatory or nonovulatory menstrual-cycle phases, and consistently reported intentions to socially avoid ovulating (but not nonovulating) women-but only when their own partners were highly desirable. Exposure to ovulating women also increased women’s sexual desires for their (highly desirable) partners. These findings suggest that women can be sensitive to subtle cues of other women’s fertility and respond (e.g., via social exclusion, enhanced sexual attention to own mate) in ways that may facilitate their mate retention goals while not thwarting their affiliative goals.
Right from the start here we have two Red Pill foundations confirmed; the influence that perceptual SMV plays in women’s sense of passive Dread and the fundamental influence that menstruation dictates to sexual arousal and concurrent motivations for sex appeal during women’s ovulation phase.
I’ve previously gone into the dynamics that play out between men and women with regard to perceived SMV of a partner versus the other partner’s self-perception of their own SMV and how this determines secure vs. insecure attachment. This post was more of an outline of results of SMV imbalance rather that the motivations for the characteristics of those personal attachments. This study illustrates these underlying motivators very well.
Anyone who’s heard my Man in Demand talk on Hypergamy understands the (menstrual cycle) biological root for women’s personal and sociological behavior, and this study provides yet another confirmation of it. I’ve also written in the past about men’s propensity for mate guarding and the behavioral cues women, both subtly and not so subtly, display that prompts them to mate guarding. However, I’ve yet to explore women’s mate guarding behaviors.
I’m bringing up the SMV ratios and Mate Guarding posts here because it’s important to bear in mind the subjectivity that perceived SMV plays in regard to motivating mate guarding. Depending on that balance (or imbalance) one partner will be more motivated to mate guard than the other. Which of course then brings us back to the Cardinal Rule of Relationships. Mate guarding impulse is contextual to the comparative value of both individuals and the value of others in their social environment (potential sexual competitors).
Thus, it is a significant challenge for women when other women attempt to poach their partners. For instance, over 50% of women admit to attempting to poach another woman’s partner, and over 80% of men admit to having been the object of another woman’s poaching—with about half of men admitting to “going along” with the poaching attempt (e.g., Schmitt et al., 2004; Schmitt & Buss, 2001). Women have good reason, then, to mate guard.
I’m going to encourage readers to take the time to, at the very least, read the introduction, premise and results of this comprehensive study. Naturally there will be incredulous women who will insist that men tend to overestimate the displayed sexual interests of women towards them. This is a common social convention that serves a very specific purpose for women; plausible deniability.
If the common group-think is that men are egotistical, think they’re “all that” and stupidly believe they’re seeing sexual cues from women because “that’s just how men are”, then we have a pre-established condition in which women can believably deny interest. Thus, should a man not find a woman attractive, or opt for another, this then serves as a rejection buffer as well as a precondition for her own rejection of a man should he make an approach and not be found attractive.
The Schmitt & Buss studies account for this, but even if they didn’t there would still need to be a functional reason for women’s mate guarding behavior. That reason puts the lie to the social convention of women presuming men aren’t as perceptive of their sexual cues as they’d like to believe.
[…] whereas men have at times physically isolated and sequestered their female
partners to restrict other men’s access to them (e.g., in harems), women may analogously socially isolate their partners from potential poachers—keeping them apart so as to preclude potentially costly competition for their romantic partners.
The usefulness of this strategy depends on women being able to identify those who might be likely and effective mate poachers, and then excluding them (but not others) from their social circles. If a woman indiscriminately distances herself and her partner from potential poachers (i.e., all other women), she is assured of his fidelity but at the cost of eliminating her access to the numerous benefits of female–female friendships.
Spoiler alert: The study confirms that women will covertly exclude themselves and their lover’s company from women who A.) outclass them in comparative SMV (hotter women than they perceive themselves to be) and B.) happen to be in the proliferative phase of ovulation.
This indicates that not only are women subconsciously (if not consciously) aware of intrasexual rivals ovulatory states – as evidenced by dress, ornamentation, vocal intonation, scent, sexual proceptivity, etc. – but they are aware enough to orchestrate covert methods to protect their sexual investments in a ‘high value’ male while ensuring future intrasexual friendships.
That may seem like an overly scientific way of saying women watch out for other women slutting it up, but the subcommunications of ovulation are so subtle that women’s subconscious, peripheral awareness of those cues evolved for a sensitivity that goes beyond the obvious slut. That’s how important retaining a better-than-self SMV optimal mating choice is to women in an evolutionary scope. That sensitivity is part of women’s psychological firmware.
[…]In addition, if a woman were to consistently and indiscriminately exclude other women from her own and, by extension, her partner’s social circle, she might gain a reputation for being non-communal and non-nurturing, and thus, for being an undesirable friend. This might not only thwart her ability to form future friendships with other women, but might also lead her partner to perceive her as highly difficult, uncooperative, controlling, and non-trusting.
Thus, on one hand, the costs of indiscriminately avoiding other women are high because women reap important benefits from making new same-sex friends, On the other hand, women can and do mate poach with frequency, and those women deeply embedded in one’s social circle may have increased access, motivation, and ability to poach successfully.
There’s a few things to unpack here before we can make this information Red Pill / Game applicable. The most important metric that female mate guarding indicates is her genuine assessment of a man’s SMV and how valuable his participation and investment in their LTR (or even STR sexual value) is to her.
I’ve seen this mate guarding play out in my own relationships before, both as a Red Pill husband who happens to work with beautiful women in the liquor industry and prior to my Red Pill awareness of it in my libertine 20s. Back then it was easy to pass off as ‘bitches be crazy’ when a girlfriend or a short term sex partner “just got jealous”. But in hindsight the timing of those fits of jealousy seemed a bit to regular.
I’m going to suggest that developing an awareness of a woman’s bouts of jealousy or her subtle timing in wanting to spend time alone with you, or her being more sexually proceptive (she wants to fuck more) with you at times you may think odd. These are Alpha or Beta Tells. A woman’s preoccupation with guarding you from other women is a prime indicator of your SMV worth to her. It stands to reason that only ‘desirable’ men deserve the effort of her mate guarding.
This is an important Red Pill sensitivity to have as it also allows you to determine a woman’s unspoken understanding of where she and you stand in relative SMV comparison. As I was saying in the introduction here, that ‘desirability’, that SMV ratio, that Alpha impression that makes you worth mate guarding is subjective to what a woman’s self-perceived SMV is in respect to your own. When we interact with women in the long term it’s very easy for men to lose sight of this balance and think that their frumpy wife is the best they can do. There is a definitive psychological game that women of low SMV will play with men they know are of higher value – they will continually devalue that man as a form of mate guarding.
That devaluation may take the form of browbeating, nagging or accusing him of being attracted to other women in an effort to get her higher value LTR man to self-limit his being poached by endlessly qualifying himself to his low SMV wife/girlfriend. It’s far easier, and far lower an investment of resources if a low SMV woman can convince her higher SMV man to mate guard himself.
Just as an aside here, there may be a few readers who’ll think women will rationally consider that their long term provisioning is virtually assured in a feminine-primary social order. Alimony, child support or pro-female government will assure her and her offspring a baseline of security, so why mate guard any man?
The answer of course is that women’s psychological firm ware didn’t evolve to acknowledge these considerations. Once again T-Rex doesn’t want to be fed, he wants to hunt. So even with the logical consideration that provisioning is assured women’s limbic (particularly on an Alpha Fucks short term breeding assurance) still wants those environmental and behavioral cues that indicate they have that security.
So with all of this to digest how do we put this knowledge of women’s limbic desire for ensuring a mate’s exclusive sex and provisioning to use for us?
The obvious answer is in the title of this post – developing that awareness of your SMV worth to a woman is a good starting point from which you can subtly employ a passive form of Dread.
I’ve gotten a lot of grief for just my acknowledging Dread, much less using it beneficially for both a man and whatever woman he chooses (long or short term). It’s always about how horribly manipulative it is, or it’s just an unsustainable game of brinksmanship between a couple that destroys trust. But what these (usually female) critics never recognize is that Dread is already an integral part of every relationship by order of degree.
The fact that both male and female mate guarding behaviors are evidential facts of both sex’s hindbrain function should be proof enough that Dread, the concern of loss of investment, and the subconscious, comparative evaluation of SMV is something that’s always an operative. It’s inherent to our conditions as evolved human beings.
My advice in this instance is for men to become sensitive to the indicators of that ovulatory mate guarding dread and use that insecurity to promote a better, genuine desire in that woman. Suggesting this will seem counterintuitive to a Blue Pill mindset. The conditioned response will be to allay that woman’s fears (the ones she’s subconsciously aware of but will hate you for making her acknowledge) and provide her with comfort and familiarity.
But comfort and familiarity are anti-seductive and kill the genuine desire, the genuine need to fuck you in order to keep you and show her appreciation for your higher SMV. Why does a woman compete for what she is constantly comfortably assured she already has?
The trick to employing soft or passive dread is making yourself sensitive to the opportunities to use it and then gently provoke it in as covert and indirect a way as possible. One of the better ideas the early PUAs had was mastering the art of the Neg, or the backhanded compliment. The idea was to casually knock a woman’s self-image down to a manageable degree in order to get her to qualify herself the the PUA. Passive dread operates on a similar principle.
You need to see the opportunities for its use, and women’s propensity for mate guarding men they find ‘desirable’ is a reasonably predictable opportunity. See those chances for other women’s casual flirtations with you, look for those unsolicited opportunities for easy social proof, and don’t dissuade your woman’s initial mate guarding response. Casually push back on the mate guarding impulse, don’t jump to the reassurances of your undying love and interest.
See that opportunity for what it is – a chance to restate whose Frame she’s chosen to be a part of. She wants to merit your value. Take that effort away from her and you become valueless to her.