reproductive effort

Widows & Warbrides

warbrides  

I received the following Tweet from a reader this week:

Hi Rollo, thanks for all of your amazing work. I think one topic that you have not touched upon in detail is the conflict between alpha widowhood and war bride dynamic. If women are constitutionally inclined to move on, then how can they remain sad about their ex alpha lovers? Even if alpha’s SMV was much higher than her, isn’t the whole point of the war bride dynamic is to enable a woman to move on and reproduce without lingering thoughts of her former lovers? This happened to me recently when I had to end a relationship due to unacceptable logistics (long distance). What followed was extreme anxiety on her part about losing me. So this contradicted with what I always hear about women moving on easily.

This was a great question, and one I haven’t addressed before (no, I haven’t written everything), so I thought I’d pick this one apart today.

The TL;DR version is this: Women only ‘widow’ for men that made an Alpha impression on them. If their previous Alpha was somehow ‘killed’ and replaced by a lesser man, their hindbrains resist that man’s authority over her while using her previous Alpha as the lesser man’s SMV (sexual market value) benchmark. In the most extreme examples, a woman who’s been forced to accept the authority of a lesser man who defeated her former Alpha will resist him and/or plot revenge for the idealized lover.

Historical accounts and various cultural fiction are rife with this archetypal story. The woman who is married off to a lesser man or becomes the War Bride of an undeserving rival (usually by subterfuge or sinister means) is an archetype because it reflects women’s deepest evolutionary, existential, fear – to have her Hypergamous sexual selection strategy forcibly chosen for her by a man (or men) who are undeserving or are suboptimal breeding prospects. As I mentioned, this is an existential fear for women; anything less than unilateral control over her own Hypergamous destiny is tantamount to rape. The fear is that she will spend her life raising the child(ren) of a suboptimal man.

War Brides

The premise of the War Brides dynamic is thus: Evolution selected for women who could more easily transition psychologically from one dominant male to another. In our chaotic ancestral past women and girls were a commodity to be preserved for a conquering tribe. While men or boys were either killed or enslaved, fertile age women would be preserved as spoils of conquest for superior, invading, men. Simply put, women have reproductive value – men (and often their sons) were mostly obstacles in the way of resource acquisition and those reproductive opportunities.

That may seem like a bleak proposition to a Blue Pill conditioned mind today. We want to believe in some egalitarian dream of humanism and cooperation, but our evolved, ancestral past is responsible for what we are today in terms of base biological and psychological imperatives. I first proposed this theory in War Brides:

“Evolution has largely selected-for human females with a capacity to form psychological schema that preserve their psyches from what would otherwise afflict them with debilitating anxiety, guilt, and the stresses resulting from being continuously aware of their own behavioral incongruities. Evolution selects-for solipsistic women who are blissfully unaware of their solipsism.”

A lot of critics of the Red Pill make two key mistakes in their assessment of basic truths. One is that we don’t fully consider the dynamic, and/or two, we think too much about it. The fundamentals we consider about female nature, with respect to women’s psyches, are rooted in our evolutionary past. So, when I deconstruct certain aspects of that nature I have to ask the question, “why would a dynamic be something beneficial to women and/or our species on whole?” When I consider Hypergamy, female solipsism, women’s collectivist mindset, or any number of other characteristics the question I’m going to ask is why is this dynamic still present in modern women, and what are the outcomes of that dynamic in today’s environment?

Look at the obesity epidemic in western cultures today. 68% of adults in the U.S. are overweight today and 34% are morbidly obese. Childhood obesity is at an all time high. Evolutionarily speaking this is the result of how our metabolism evolved to solve certain environmental challenges we faced. Back then food was scarce. Finding a way to insure we fed ourselves and our tribe was at a premium and our biology adapted to give us the best chance of survival. Today this metabolism is a liability in an environment where food is plentiful and what we need to do to get it is much less strenuous. That’s the quick way to illustrate what I’m getting at in the War Brides dynamic:

Given the harsh realities that women had to endure since the Paleolithic era, it served them better to psychologically evolve a sense of self that was more resilient to the brutal changes she could expect to be subjected to. Consider the emotional investment a woman needs to put into mothering a child that could be taken away or killed at a moment’s notice. Anxiety, fear, guilt, insecurity are all very debilitating emotions, however it’s women’s innate psychology that makes them more durable to these stresses. Statistically, men have far greater difficulty in coping with psychological trauma (think PTSD) than women. Why should that be? On the face of it you may think that men’s better ability to rationally remove themselves from the emotional would make them better at coping with psychological trauma, but the reverse is actually the case. Women seem to have a better ability to accept emotional sacrifice and move on, either ignoring those stresses or blocking them entirely from their conscious awareness. Women possessing a more pronounced empathic capacity undoubtedly served our species in nurturing young and understanding tribal social dynamics, however it was also a liability with regards to a hostile change in her environment. Stockholm Syndrome is far more pronounced in female captives, why should that be? Because women’s ancestral environment dictated the need to develop psychological mechanisms to help them survive. It was the women who could make that emotional disconnect when the circumstances necessitated it who survived and lived to breed when their tribe was decimated by a superior force. This is also known as the War Bride dynamic; women develop an empathy with their conquerors by necessity.

So how does this relate to the Alpha Widow dynamic? Let’s parse that out a bit.

Alpha Widows

Alpha Widows are women who’ve had an Alpha man in their past make such an impression upon them that any man that comes along after him must essentially fight with that impression in order to replace him as the optimal Alpha in her life. This is usually the man a woman pines for from her Party Years. Often he’s the first guy who ever fulfilled her Hypergamous dance card. Generally, this man is at least her perceptual ideal of the sexual selection criteria she was prioritizing during that phase of her life. Usually this guy is her sexual ideal as well. That sexual impact forms a strong psychological attachment because the memories of the sex she had are associated with hormonal triggers. The memories of a significant Alpha male are enough to prompt a physical arousal response in women.

Furthermore, that Alpha impact is so significant it can alter her future sexual strategy for every man who comes after him. This is one reason women generally have a Plan B man on hold should that Alpha ideal not present himself, or should he not be ‘tamable‘ by her in the long term. Women’s long term sexual strategies tend to be punctuated by holding out for their ‘soul mate’ who also happened to be the best sex she’d ever had. Lesser men who follow in his wake are simply contingency plans. In today’s feminine-primary social order, where women are encouraged ‘never to settle for less than they deserve‘, we see generations of women experiencing the consequences of this Alpha widowhood. In fact, we go to great efforts societally to placate to it, to lessen the impact of it, and to plan contingencies for it.

But where does that leave us?

One reason I detailed the War Brides dynamic in my earliest writing was because I’d had so many men ask me this question; ‘Why is it that women can so easily move on after a breakup? We were together for years and it’s like she never even knew me now!‘ The ugly, visceral truth of this is that women are far less convicted to feel remorse, guilt or shame over abandoning (Beta) men who didn’t meet their Hypergamous ideal. We all know the stories of the ‘ride or die‘ girl who would literally do anything for her man. I once had a reader link me a story about a woman who stole a police car whose arrested boyfriend was handcuffed in the back seat. There are definitely women who will help their man bury the bodies. However, that man almost universally is that woman’s Hypergamous, Alpha ideal. And this is where the power of Hypergamy comes into the equation.

Women’s prime reproductive imperative is consolidating in the long term on a man who best embodies her Hypergamous ideal. Even now I’m not sure readers really understand the influence Hypergamy has over women. Even factoring in the War Brides dynamic, there will always be women who will literally kill for a man who best exemplifies what she believes is (or was) the best she could ever do Hypergamously.

I covered some of this in SMV Ratios & Attachment. Hypergamy influences women’s concept of love, so much so that it forms the basis of who they will allow themselves to feel ‘love’ for when it comes to reproductive opportunities. If a man embodies this Alpha ideal no substitute will replace him, unless another man exceeds the previous man’s Alpha impact.

So, how does this modify the War Brides dynamic? Hypergamous imperatives can supersede the War Brides phenomenon in that it incentivizes women to mate guard and even kill a rival to preserve a long term reproductive opportunity with an idealized Alpha man. We can add layers of social and moral doctrines to this (marriage, tribe, religion), but it’s all really embellishments or a cover story for what’s really a biological phenomenon.

Women who monogamously pair with Beta men are far less motivated to feel remorse over that man’s death or replacement by a more Alpha rival. This is where the War Brides dynamic comes in full. Hypergamy never seeks its own level and if a woman’s lesser man is defeated by more Alpha rival this only gives her a better excuse for pivoting into that superior man’s Frame. That may seem duplicitous and self-serving, but this is the ugly, visceral truth, remember? The inverse of this is that Hypergamy dictates that women will only become Alpha Widows for worthy (Alpha) men – and sometimes even the fantasy of that ideal man is enough to replace a lesser man.

So, it follows that the degree to which a woman becomes an Alpha Widow or more easily adopts a War Brides mentality is directly related to what her perception of her former partners was. Regret, remorse and jealousy are reserved for what a woman’s hindbrain believes is her ideal reproductive opportunity. In light of this I’ll have to add some caveats to both the Alpha Widow and War Bride dynamics. Neither are mutually exclusive of the other, and both depend on a woman’s perception of the man (men) involved.


In case you were wondering about the title image here: Dutch and French women who slept with German soldiers during World War II publicly had their heads shaved to shame them for their natural Hypergamous impulses. This is an example of the survival-level conflict between Hypergamy and tribal affiliation.

Mrs. Hyde

In last week’s Looks Count post I broke down a particular demographic outline that loosely describes the various phases of women’s lives and the importance they tend to place on certain male characteristics in relation to qualifying for their intimacy. The focus in that post was on the importance of physical attributes women filter for, but I felt it deserved a better explanation in whole. Granted, I’m basing my estimates on women in westernized cultures and the general progression most become acculturated to, however I think in a global sense, and accounting for socioeconomic contexts, the progression remains fairly predictable.

Women’s Sexual Pluralism

In the study I linked by Dr. Martie Hasselton there was a very salient point that kind of gets passed up since the focus of that social experiment was more about isolating variables in women’s physical preferences for males. That point was illustrating women’s pluralistic sexual strategies – short term breeding strategies whilst in her sexual peak demographic, progressing to long term sexual strategies as her sexual agency becomes less valuable and subject to the rigors of competition anxiety in the SMP.

According to strategic pluralism theory (Gangestad & Simpson, 2000), men have evolved to pursue reproductive strategies that are contingent on their value on the mating market. More attractive men accrue reproductive benefits from spending more time seeking multiple mating partners and relatively less time investing in offspring. In contrast, the reproductive effort of less attractive men, who do not have the same mating opportunities, is better allocated to investing heavily in their mates and offspring and spending relatively less time seeking additional mates.

From a woman’s perspective, the ideal is to attract a partner who confers both long-term investment benefits and genetic benefits. Not all women, however, will be able to attract long-term investing mates who also display heritable fitness cues. Consequently, women face trade-offs in choosing mates because they may be forced to choose between males displaying fitness indicators or those who will assist in offspring care and be good long-term mates (Gangestad & Simpson, 2000). The most straightforward prediction that follows is that women seeking short-term mates, when the man’s only contribution to offspring is genetic, should prefer muscularity more than women seeking long-term mates.

Over the course of a woman’s life the priorities and criteria a woman holds for a ‘suitable’ mate fluctuate in response to the conditions she finds herself in. The criterion for short term coupling are much easier to demand when a woman is in her peak fertility phase of life and thus places these prerequisites above what she would find more desirable for a long-term pairing. The extrinsic male-characteristic prerequisites for short-term sexual strategy (hot, quick Alpha sex) preempts the long-term qualifications for as long as she’s sexually viable enough to attract men. Thus it follows that as a woman exceeds or is outclassed of her previous SMV, her priorities then shift to an attraction for more intrinsic male qualities. For the short-term strategy, quick impulsivity and gratifying sensation take precedent. For the long-term strategy, slow discernment, prudence, familiarity and comfort satisfy a desire for security as she exits the competitive stage of the SMP.

The dirty little secret to all of this is that although a woman may abandon one strategy for another depending on the phase of life she’s in, nature has seen fit to make sure she never quite abandons one for the other completely. As her environment warrants, she can readily re-prioritize her conditions for intimacy in order to achieve that sexually strategic balance.

This is a very uncomfortable truth for contemporary women in that it exposes the underpinnings of a great many feminized social conventions intended to misdirect men in an effort to maintain superiority in sexual selectivity and effecting these strategies. Men becoming aware of the pluralistic nature of hypergamy is the greatest threat to the feminine imperative. As I stated in The Threat,

Nothing is more threatening yet simultaneously attractive to a woman than a man who is aware of his own value to women.

Biomechanics

An even more uncomfortable truth is that women’s pluralistic sexual strategy is literally written into their genetics. In a woman’s sexual peak demographic, across her ovulatory cycle she will tend to seek out High-Testosterone cued Alpha Men to pursue for her short term breeding strategy during her pro-phase of ovulation. In her menstruation period her preferences switch to preferring the long term security of a beta provider, and thus filters for these traits in her pair-bonding.

I’m elaborating on the genetic aspects here because I think it’s important for men to understand the biological mechanics of  women’s sexual strategies in a broader scope. I endure an endless stream  criticism for implying that women are selective sluts. Obviously women in the general whole have the capacity to resist these base impulses to “go slut”, however this is the base biological impulse against which they resist by conviction, rationale, sentimentalism or simply being realistic about having a low SMP valuation. As I’ve said before, all women have the capacity to throw caution to the wind in order to pursue her short term sexual strategy. Right place, right guy, right ovulatory phase, I was drunk, he was cute and one thing led to another,.. Nature selected for women who could best effect a covert pluralistic sexual strategy.

Due to the cyclic nature of women’s sexuality it’s a misnomer to think that “women are just as sexual as men“, however, to to the importance of sexual selectivity dominance, women are much more sexual than most men are led to believe. The key is understanding that women want to be sexual on their own terms as their cycle dictates. Essentially they are serving two masters in this: they want the freedom to pursue a short term sexual opportunity (as well as the freedom from social repercussions as a result) and also the prudence to filter for a man willing to assume the responsibilities of parental investment and provisioning.

NAWALT

From a recent discussion thread:

Here is a tip – level headed girls who are intelligent have told me they don’t want to get fake breasts, even when they’re an A cup. Also some girls prefer to take it a step slower. They don’t NEED immediate gratification, they know that a good thing might take time, and here is an idea, you know how women think men are dumb – MOST ARE. That’s why they play games – to weed out players!

This was from a guy. I used to believe this, until I understood the fundamentals of female hypergamy. For far too many men it’s a comfortable fiction to think that attractive, self-conscious, “level headed” women really have the presence and forethought to ‘weed out’ what men would rationally think would be the best fit for them. However, observably and predictably, their behaviors and choices don’t bear this out. On the contrary, their behaviors prove the validity of female hypergamy even in the personalities of what we’d consider the most virtuous women. Even the bright, intelligent, good-girl selects for, and sexually prepares herself for, the most immediately accessible Alpha male her attractiveness will demand AND they also filter for the players, and develop bonds with men they believe might provide for their long term security when their necessity dictates that they should. They’re the same girl.

Women are keenly aware that men’s primary interest in them is fucking – everything else is ancillary to sex. The difficulty women encounter in perfecting a long-term sexual strategy is men’s singular primary strategy – the value a woman has beyond the sexual comes after she’s been sexual.

The Truth is Out There

Almost a year ago Ferd over at In Mala Fide wrote a very eye-opening post about what appears to be an endemic of online Self-Shooters – millions of unprompted, unsolicited young women shooting and posting nude and semi-nude pictures of themselves from a smartphone. Just image search Google keyword “self shots”, you’ll get the idea. And it goes well beyond just teenage dalliances with bathroom pictorials; with the rise of convenient digital media creation we get a clearer view of women’s true sexual landscape. Click over to Advocatus Diaboli’s blog and check his NSFW collection of links featuring home-porn.

You can reference Ferd’s article for the NSFW photo galleries and forum links dedicated to this phenomenon. Have a look at the sheer volume and frequency with which average women will voluntarily become sexual. This is just one collection, there are countless millions more. Are they all sluts? How many of these women have uttered the words ” I want to wait so I know you want me for more than sex?” How many of these women would make great wives in 5-10 years? How many of these women are already (or have been) wife material? How many of these women are thought of as the sweet natured “good girl”? How many guys have considered these girls “Quality Women” at some point? We can look at them with their clothes off and declare them sluts, but would you know the difference if you saw her in church?

From the same critic:

Most girls wil go through an experimental phase at least. I don’t think that makes them sluts, necessarily. Depends on degree.

I half agree with this. There is most definitely a phase of life where women will opportunistically leverage their sexuality – usually this is mid-teens to late 20s, but you have to also take into consideration why this sexual attention is such an urgency as well as being so rewarding for a woman in this phase. Hypergamy and a rapidly closing window of SMV spur on that urgency.

I’m also compelled to point out that women in their 30s, 40s and even 50s will still “slut it up” and seek that sexual attention if their conditions dictate that they must return to that agency. Again, refer to the self-shots phenomenon; not all of these girls are 18 y.o. misguided youths experimenting with their sexuality for the first time. A solid percentage of them are post-30s women, and some older than that showing off their ‘new’ post-divorce body after 3 months training at the gym. Are they still ‘experimenting’ or are they feeling the need to retroactively solicit male sexual response due to changes in their conditions?

The point I was making is that the “quality woman” meme is entirely subjective to the sexually strategic conditions that a woman finds herself in. As per usual, guys would like to make their necessity a virtue and define whatever is working for them currently as an ideal situation without considering the factors that contribute to it or would radically change it if those conditions were altered. When you met your devoted, soccer-mom wife in her 20s, your first thought wasn’t “I wonder if she’s a quality woman?” It was probably more along the lines of “I wonder if she sucks a good díck?” At the time, the conditions were different for her, and her personality reflected an adaptation to them.

Now What?

So where does this leave a Man? I think it’s determined by where you are yourself in life and what your expectations for yourself are. If you’re young and just beginning to find your footing in the SMP then I’d advise spinning plates and enjoying yourself, but with the understanding that you are learning from experience. Maybe that’s as far as you want to (responsibly) go, or maybe you entertain the idea of becoming monogamous at some point. Naturally, I wouldn’t advise even experimenting with monogamy for any guy under the age of 30, but lets assume you do have the experience and have an understanding of how the SMP and hypergamy work. The most valuable bit of wisdom you can carry into a monogamy of your own decision and your own frame is to understand this sexual pluralism in women. Accept hypergamy as a woman’s operative state at all times.

The most common words  hear newly divorced men utter is some version of “I never saw this coming in my wildest imagination, we were married for 20 years, we have 4 kids, how could she be over me so quickly?” A lack of understanding the basics of hypergamy is exactly why men are blindsided.