transactional sex

Transactional vs. Validational Sex

You cannot negotiate genuine desire.

This is one of my best known quotes because it resonates with so many men. There was a time in the early 2000s when I was doing peer counseling for men – most of whom were at least a decade my senior – as part of my undergraduate study and one consistent theme I got from almost all of them was how their marriages (or LTRs) had been so much more sexually satisfying when they were dating their wives or before they’d committed to some kind of exclusivity. That’s always the crux of it for guys. They mistakenly believed that the hot monkey sex they were having with their women prior to “doing the right thing” and getting married or committed was something that would be characteristic of their quality woman into a long term relationship with them.

Why was this the case for guys? I can remember coming up with this quote as part of the advice I was giving while working for one of these men. He, like many of the other guys, had gotten to the point that he would do almost anything to get back to that real desire that convinced him to commit to his wife in the first place. And, like many of these guys, he’d convinced his wife to go to marriage counseling in order to find out what exactly it was that he needed to do to “get her to come around” to wanting to bang him. Nothing was working for him. Even after his sessions he was still either sexless or his wife only begrudgingly would have lackluster ‘starfish’ sex with him. We called that a ‘grudge fuck’ back then.

As a student of behavioral psychology my interest was (still is) in what motivates or incentivizes behavior in people (sometimes animals). What was it that inspires genuine desire as opposed to behavior that still has a purpose, but was more motivated by future outcome. You can make a case that genuine desire is also motivated by a perceived outcome, but in this instance I’m making a distinction between a natural, unsolicited desire as opposed to an incentive based on a preconceived outcome – if all goes according to plan.

This guy broke down in tears with me on at least two occasions. He just couldn’t understand why what was supposed to work (open communication, rational discourse and honest negotiation) wasn’t getting her to “come around” to having sex with him. It was then I thought, you cannot negotiate genuine desire. Either a woman wants  to fuck you or she doesn’t. There are definitely ways to prompt that genuine desire – most of which are behavioral and conditional – but as has been stated many times in the ‘sphere, attraction is not a choice. The key word there is choice. Few men would ‘choose’ to be attracted by an obese woman and in many ways this choice dynamic is why women promoting the ‘body acceptance’ narrative have a tough time of it. For all the nonsense about beauty being a social construct, arousal for men is very much rooted in evolved biology. Men can’t choose to get an erection for a woman they’re simply not aroused by.

The same holds true for women, but the conditions are different. Women can and do have sex for reasons other than genuine desire. Negotiated desire really isn’t desire at all, but women have readily used sexual access to achieve those perceived outcomes I mentioned above here. Negotiated desire only ever leads to obligated compliance. A talented hooker or stripper may be very convincing in her act that she’s really into having sex with a man, but the negotiation that takes place before the act can never make a woman want to have sex with her client. Attraction is not a choice, but really, arousal is not a choice either.


I am presently about half way through my read of Dr. Martie Haselton’s new book Hormonal. I was really anticipating this book’s release, and I had intended to do my first-ever book review of it here, but as I read through I’ve decided not to. I still highly recommend reading it. As you might guess it’s chock full of stats and research confirmation of so much of what I write here that I want to put it at the top of the required Rational Male reading list. I’ve been referencing Dr. Haselton’s (and her colleagues) work since I began this blog, but the delivery of the information was disappointing, and in a lot of instances, very immature and sophomoric. It’s written almost as an apologetic to feminists for having to kill a lot of sacred feminist social convention cows. I feel as if she’s writing ‘down’ to the women who she’ll inevitably market this book to, but, if you can get past her constant attempts to legitimize her feminist credentials, the information is absolute gold.

One aspect of female sexual dynamics that Haselton and her team detail quite a bit is the idea of an Estrus state in human females. I’m not sure how well appreciated this research is in the manosphere, which is one reason I included it in Positive Masculinity, but this concept is really integral to how we define Hypergamy. As most of my readers know, Hypergamy – women’s dualistic sexual strategy (and really life strategy) – is much more than a tendency of a woman to ‘marry up’. In Hormonal the ideas of Alpha Fucks and Beta Bucks really solidify with the research.

However, as useful as it is as a catchy euphemism Alpha Fucks and Beta Bucks could better be described as Alpha Seed and Beta Need. In a woman’s peak ovulatory phase of her menstrual cycle she enters an estrus state and becomes subject to behaviors that can only be defined as a pretext of seeking Alpha seed. In other words, nature and Hypergamy are very practical in maximizing the chances that a woman may get pregnant with the best available genetic specimen. Granted, the true outcome of all of that is subject to environment and a woman’s personal conditions, but the practicality of it remains the same as it has for 100,000 years. It’s also important to keep in mind that a woman’s behaviors, strategies, rationales and her own interpretation of all of them in those various times and conditions are also a part of the overall latent purpose of a woman consolidating on the best Alpha Seed and Beta to supply her needs.

While women are subject to an estrus state they still require the second half of Hypergamy – the Beta need for security, provisioning, protection, comfort and at least the sharing of parental investment responsibilities for any offspring. Estrus in women is concealed, meaning it is (or used to be) nearly, but not totally undetectable in women. There are in fact various ways men evolved to intuitively determine whether a woman is in an estrus state of fertility; most of these today are socially shamed in men so as to further confuse them and advantage women, but that’s a topic for another essay. A concealed estrus aids women in optimizing both Alpha Seed and Beta Need and it’s likely that much of what accounts for women’s sexual strategy is the result of this concealment.

Now, a lot has been written by myself and others about the impact of meeting a woman’s Beta Need aspect of Hypergamy being served by the state and/or direct or indirect transfers of resources from men to women. Most of my readers are well aware of how this side of Hypergamy has been progressively accommodated for over the past fifty years. In spite of this it’s important to remember that this accommodation of provisioning needs doesn’t eliminate the deeper needs that this side of Hypergamy engenders in women. It may be true that women have never been better provided for in history as far as money and opportunities go, but women still look for emotional security, protection, dominance and comfort in men as part of their innate mental firmware.

As a result of Hypergamy and this concealed estrus state women have been put into a condition of evaluating sex in different aspects today.

Validational Sex

When women look for that Alpha Seed in their peak ovulatory (proliferative) phase, the sex they seek is a desired sex with a man who meets evolutionary criteria. He’s the ‘hawt’ guy, or the man who leaves a woman with an perception of danger or excitement. A lot of men who don’t meet this criteria have a tendency to over-exaggerate this type of man as the ‘Alpha Chad’ and make a ridiculous parody of him as an ego protection mechanism for themselves. Let me state for the record here that every aspect and adjective that this type of guy embodies is mitigated by conditions and contexts. It is just as likely that this conventionally masculine dominant guy is only so according to his most immediate social situation. So spare me the “Chad Thundercock” anxieties.

The sex that women give “enthusiastic consent” for is validational for them. The easy assessment here is that women have a genuine desire to mate with conventionally masculine men who look and act the part – yes, behavioral congruency is vital. If you follow the research women consciously and unconsciously will actively put themselves into environments where the likelihood of their meeting a dominant masculine man who most closely matched that masculine ideal when they are in estrus. They openly and discreetly look of arousal cue from men who best embody what can only be described as Alpha Seed.

I should also add that women in “satisfying relationships” (meaning LTRs where a woman is still very hot for her husband/boyfriend) report an increase in sexual desire (proceptivity) for that guy during this phase. A lot of guys mistakenly think ANY woman will want to seek out extra-pair mating (cheating) opportunities when they’re in estrus. This is only true if a woman isn’t into her current man.

I don’t want to get too lost in the descriptions here. Rather, I want to focus on the associative feelings women get in and after having sex with that Alpha man during estrus. I would argue that Alpha Widows are made in the estrus phase. This is the sex women want to have and are enthusiastic in both the hunt and the act itself. This is largely (presumedly) the sex that men have with their wives-to-be before they marry. It’s this validational sex, the sex that women fantasize about, that men and women want to get back to once they are committed to each other monogamously but now have a dead bedroom. This sex validates a woman’s ego in that it proves to herself that a man of this SMV caliber would want to pin her to the bed and have marathon sex with her. Remember, the latent purpose of this sex, on this side of Hypergamy, is to access the sperm from men with high reproductive value as defined by what our evolved nature predisposes women to be aroused by. Validational sex is sex by choice and genuine desire, and is satisfying on both a psychological level and an evolutionary level.

Transactional Sex

One of the benefits of a concealed estrus is that it allows women a few luxuries. One of these was the ability to confuse men of their paternity. Today this confusion is little more difficult because we’ve got DNA figured out well enough to make accurate assessments, but in our evolutionary past it was important to trick cuckolded fathers into second guessing whether a child was his or not before he killed it and impregnated a woman on his own (this is also why men evolved mate guarding behaviors).

The other advantage of concealed estrus was essentially prostitution. Now, to pretty this up a bit, lets say that women who were sexual with men outside of their fertility window found that sex could be leveraged with non-Alpha men (men they didn’t want to have children with) to encourage them to help with a lot of the chores more Alpha men were less willing (but not entirely unwilling) to do. Enter transactional sex.

As mentioned, the most overt form of transactional sex is prostitution, but it’s impolite to call every woman a whore. In fact it’s impolite to even imply a woman may be having sex for other reasons than validational sex. Today women are contemplating whether or not transactional sex is itself rape since it technically meets the definition of rape (sex women don’t want to have). I discussed this “grey area sex” recently in another essay, but it’s interesting to see women wrestle with transactional sex in an era where the Future is Female and women ought to only have the (validational) sex they want to enthusiastically have.

For most men (i.e the 80% Beta men) transactional sex is where the rubber meets the road. In fact, I’d argue that for most Beta men transactional sex is the only definition of sex they ever really know. That’s kind of sad to think about, but most men never really experience the unfettered feral lust of a woman they’ve chosen to spend the rest of their lives with. I got into this in Saving the Best and Hats Off to the Bull, but I think it’s important for the average man today to acknowledge that it’s highly likely that their wives have shared parts of themselves with, and have lost all inhibitions with, men in their sexual pasts they may never know anything about. That’s a cold bucket of reality a lot of men who unplug from all this have to confront.

Marriage today is almost entirely predicated on on the transactional sex side of Hypergamy. I’m not saying it has to be, nor am I saying it always is, but I’m fairly comfortable in speculating that for most married women sex is reward she uses in the operant conditioning of her husband. And the very fact that this is effective with most husbands throws the power dynamic and Frame of the relationship firmly over to the wife. This has the effect of disqualifying that man from ever (or very rarely) being a candidate for validational sex within that marriage. And this too is another aspect of the transactional sex dynamic that modern feminists are contemplating today – if a woman doesn’t want to have sex with her husband, but does anyway, is it rape? But again, NAMALT, not all marriages are like this or have to be like this. I would also argue that a confident man whom a woman admires, who she recognizes as being above her SMV even if slightly and who has internalized Red Pill awareness within that marriage needn’t be doomed to transactional “duty” sex in his marriage.

Unnegotiated Desire

And so now we come full circle to the men I was counseling back in the day. Because all they’d ever known was transactional sex their deductive male brains attempted to solve their “sex problem” in the most logistical and pragmatic way – negotiate with her. If all sex ever is for a guy is a transaction – a quid pro quo – then it follows he’ll try to find the best way to ‘pay’ for his wife’s sexual access. Hunter Drew and I were recently discussing a man who Dean Abbot has been counseling and one thing we’ve all seen a lot of from young and old Blue Pill Beta men is this logical tendency for them to want to ‘sacrifice their way to happiness with their wives’. It’s as if the more they sacrifice the more they pay for that intimacy they seek, but what they never get is that this only buries their sex lives that much more.

One amazing turn around a lot of married and single Red Pill guys experience when they unplug is the attention they receive from women when they switch from a transactional disposition to a validational disposition with regard to sex. When a man unplugs and cuts himself away from his Blue Pill conditioning one change he makes is a shift from viewing sex as transactional to validational. In the beginning, when men are first learning Game and becoming more Red Pill aware about the nature of women they really don’t recognize this shift in attitude towards sex. When I say men need to make themselves the “prize” with regards to sex and their attention what happens is they go from the “how can I pay for sex to qualify for it with a woman” to “women will recognize that I represent and opportunity for validational sex”.

The Blue Pill conditions men to base their understanding of sex on a transactional paradigm. It’s all scarcity, and luck or providence that a woman might want to fuck them. This is why women get aggravated by the presumption that men might feel they are ‘owed sex‘ in exchange for what they do for them. And why wouldn’t men feel that way? They’ve been conditioned for half a life to believe that they should follow the old social contract and become a man with a lot to offer a woman, a wife. This is the transactional paradigm; I build my life to better accommodate a woman and she reciprocates with sex. Women know this too, so all pretenses of indignation about are complete bullshit. What upsets women is that a Beta man would feel entitled to her sexuality for having accommodated her. Alpha men are entitled to it, accommodations be damned, because he’s the man they want to have sex with.



I’m going to apologize in advance to commenter Softek (hopefully you’re cool with my posting this), but his comment from The Real Nice was exactly what I was digging into this morning:

I’ll tell you where the friendzone is: it’s in your head. You want to believe that something is going to happen with a girl and that you’ve got your foot in the door because you’ve always been there for her for so long, and you always have “so much fun” when you hang out, they like you, they tell you they enjoy spending time with you.


Rollo’s said if a woman’s interested in you, she won’t confuse you.

A girl that I was not interested in was interested in me. That girl let me know she was interested in me because while we were hanging out she initiated physical contact herself, I just went along with it, and next thing I know I’m on my back and she’s pulling my boxers down and sucking my dick.

After she swallowed I figured out, “Oh. She must be interested in me. Okay.” For real. That oblivious.

And that was the second day we were hanging out. I’d never met her or hung out with her before. We’re talking 0 to 60, although in her mind when we started hanging out I guess she was already going 60. She did not tell me she liked me or cared about me or wanted to be with me. What she “said” was ask if I wanted her to go down on me, and then she did.

Night and day. I’ve known other girls for years and years and spent so much time with them and never saw one iota of pussy, and only on a couple of occasions got a hug. Nothing was ever going to happen. And I was in the friendzone in my mind. I’d spend all my time there wishing and hoping and never realized how short I was selling myself and how by being the pursuer, I’d already lost.

If you’re waiting for something to develop, you’re already fucked. I learned that one after reflecting on that experience with that other girl. That was the first time in my life any girl showed sexual interest in me — and it was very, very clear. She was the one throwing herself at me. And when she did and I just soaked it all up she was very happy about that and it was just this torrential downpour of praise and compliments and how great I was and everything inbetween.

I haven’t had a lot of experience, but the little I have had has shown me the difference between pursuing a girl who may or may not be interested in you eventually, and one who absolutely, unequivocally is. It is night and day. There’s no mistaking it.

We’re not being nice to ourselves and loving ourselves when we willingly stay in the friendzone in our minds — wishing and hoping and fantasizing. A girl who’s interested will give you so much more, and she’ll give it at the drop of a hat.

I’ve done posts in the past about the utility LJBF rejections mean to women, men’s Beta Game tactics of Playing Friends in the hopes of qualifying for a woman’s intimacy at a later date, and how men and women differ in their approaches to friendship based on their same-sex friendships. In all of these I brush a bit into the concept of the “friend zone” and how it’s really men who put themselves (usually willingly) in this state:

Men get a LJBF rejection because of a process. These are the “friends first” mindset guys; the guys who put far too much emphasis on a solitary woman and wait her out until the perfect moment to attempt to escalate to intimacy, at which point her most comfortable rejection (Buffer) is to LJBF. This is made all the more easy for her because of the process the guy used to get to that point.

[…] Get it out of your head now that you’re even in a so called “friend zone” with any woman. There is no friend zone – there is only the limbo between you being fooled that a girl is actually a friend on an equitable level to your same sex friends, and you understanding that as soon as she becomes intimate with another guy your attentions will become a liability to any relationship she might want to have with the new sexual interest and she puts you off, or you do the same when you become so involved with another girl.

I probably could have mentioned this in The Real Nice post, but I’m noticing a social trend from overly ’empowered’ women in not simply rejecting the concept of the ‘friend zone’, but outright hostility towards the men who insist they’re forced into it. Women are angry about men complaining about the friend zone.

Neo-feminism HATES the idea of the friend zone for the same reasons it hates Faux-Nice Guys; there’s an implied state of exchange. They hate the reciprocal part of the Savior Schema because it’s considered one degree away from rape.

Nothing upsets the feminine-primary balance of sexual selectivity and betrays the secret mechanics of women’s need to optimize hypergamy than having a man overtly expose the transactional side of women’s sexual strategy. The side that puts him into a friend zone purgatory for being a ‘tryer’ when it comes to sex, but her need for his trying hasn’t reached a critical point.

This is what the friend zone does; it makes a man simultaneously responsible for, and accountable to, his want for sex by attempting to qualify for it with a woman. The friend zone is a Beta man’s punishment for expecting to be entitled to the rewards reserved for an Alpha. The Alpha doesn’t qualify himself for a woman’s intimacy, she qualifies for his sexual approval. And the longer you stay rapt by her in the friend zone the readier you’ll be when she needs your dutiful, sex-lured, providership.

If you want an example of the feminine imperative’s fluidly reinventing social conventions for itself look no further than how the concept of the ‘friend zone’ has evolved since the mid 90’s. In 1994 it was cute in an “Aww, hang in there fella, she’ll come around to loving you for who you are eventually (once she’s “grown” from the experiences of banging bad boys). In 2014 it’s  “Any guy who thinks he’s in the so called friend zone is just a potential rapist because he thinks he’s owed sex for his friendship.”

A Way Out of Hell

One of the most common questions you’ll read from desperate blue pill men, not just in the manosphere, but on damn near every dating forum, to Dear Abby, to AskMen is “How do I get out of the friendzone?” Type that question into a Google query and look at the number of returns you get. The question of course is usually followed by some plea for advice or a script to follow in order to finally get with the Girl of his Dreams®, and rationally and reasonably make her aware of how he measures up to everything on her ‘boyfriend list’.

If you want some actionable Game advice about the ‘friend zone’ here it is – leave it yourself!

Even if you think you have the best and noblest of intentions in your White Knight ‘friend zone’ status, the fact remains that women in general, and the woman you have set your noble intent upon, will consider your ‘friend zoning’ a prison of your own making – not theirs.

Even the most complicit or implicit woman in a guy’s ‘friend zoning’ will never accept the liability for placing him into that state, and even the most culpable woman in this will still resent him; not just for pointing out her own participation in it, but because it irrecoverably confirms him as being a Beta chump who would allow himself to participate in his own ‘friend zoning’.

If you believe you’re in some friend zone with a woman, never overtly admit to or complain about it with anyone, man or woman – you will only reaffirm your perception of being a necessitous Beta. Men will judge, women will talk, and your self-perception gets caught in a negative feedback loop.

Next, remember Iron Rule of Tomassi #7:

Iron Rule of Tomassi #7
It is always time and effort better spent developing new, fresh, prospective women than it will ever be in attempting to reconstruct a failed relationship. Never root through the trash once the garbage has been dragged to the curb. You get messy, your neighbors see you do it, and what you thought was worth digging for is never as valuable as you thought it was.

Your “friend zoning” is a failed relationship. Approach new women, develop new prospects. A Woman doesn’t want the ‘liability’ of implied sexual exchange (actual or imagined) for your friendship? Don’t give it her.