Over at GirlGame, aoefe posted an essay, “Dissonance“, on the contrast of her traditional beliefs about gender and relationships against the truths (and untruths) she has learned in the Roissy-sphere. In one column, she presents what I call the “nice guy” view of relationships; in the other, she presents the most dystopian elements of the Roissy sphere. Obviously, for all of these dichotomies, the truth is somewhere in the middle. I’ll attempt to mediate these incongruities as well as I can.
1. I thought my accomplishments [as a woman] mattered vs. they are inconsequential to men. Achievements matter to men in relationships, but not in the same way they matter to society at large. Why is this? Society values devoted specialists, while in relationships, there’s a premium on well-roundedness. It’s better for one’s spouse to be modestly intelligent, good-looking, charming, and educated than it is for that person to excel at one to the detriment of others. As is a husband’s, a wife’s role is difficult and multi-faceted. She has to be a lover, a mother, a best friend, a spiritual and intellectual partner, and (when her husband is ill) a caretaker– a tough job with a wide array of responsbilities. Integrity and kindness are crucial. So are intelligence, education, ambition and beauty, but diminishing returns have already set in by the time a woman enters the top 1% for any of these. It doesn’t hurt for a woman to have a 150 IQ, but it’s not necessary.
Society, in the external sense, rewards people for being “pointy” rather than well-rounded– for reaching the apex of a narrow discipline. No one gets a promotion for being a great father, or for having a lot of hobbies. Professional athletes are not expected to be belletrists, nor are poets expected to excel on the basketball court. Obviously, there are practical limits on the extent to which one can invest all of one’s endowment into one discipline, but those who excel are often those who reach and push those limits, and they’re rarely well-rounded. This is just an inherent trade-off in life.
The female lawyer is a Roissy stock character for overblown “pointiness”– the woman who has invested the bulk of her time and emotional energy into the rigid, competitive, and rationalistic discipline of law, placing her social and inner lives on the back-burner. This is what’s rewarded (and requisite for any measure of success) in large-firm law (“biglaw”). It is not what most men want in a relationship.
Are a woman’s accomplishments treasured by men? Yes, absolutely. Skill, passion, intelligence, dedication, and artistic talent are major turn-ons. That said, while the difference between a “10″ concert pianist and an “8″ matter for one who aspires to the world stage, it’s just not an important factor in a relationship. Moreover, sacrificing important virtues for the sake of achievement, as is required in the most cutthroat careers (investment banking and large-firm law) makes a woman undesirable.
2. I thought confidence was attractive vs. confidence in a woman is not required. A woman’s confidence is an asset in a relationship, and a major turn-on in the bedroom. Yes, it is very attractive for a woman to confident, just as it is for her to be accomplished.
The world of “game”, however, is that of the crude sexual market. Sexual market value (SMV) is different altogether from desirability in the context of long-term relationships, to the point that there’s very little overlap. (This is one of the reasons why combat dating, casual sex, and the nightlife scene are among the worst places to look for relationships.) A woman’s SMV is based on her ability to provoke short-term, r-selective sexual desire. Intellectual, personal, and spiritual confidence– all of which matter immensely in long-term, loving relationships– have no bearing on a woman’s SMV. Even sexual confidence, although it makes a woman great in bed, does not appreciably raise her SMV. Her “market value” is largely determined by her looks, although it can be boosted via a certain bitchy social confidence that many men conflate with physical attractiveness, because they lack the self-awareness to recognize its influence.
On a related note, here’s a nasty secret about SMV. It has very little correlation, if any, to whether a person is good in bed. The casual-sex scene is focused entirely on the pursuit of social status, not great sexual experiences. In fact, most people would agree that peak sexual experiences require intimacy, trust, and love between the two partners, and are therefore completely impossible on the casual scene.
3. I thought men enjoyed curves vs. men are turned off by less than slender. We’re all different. I’d say, in general, that I prefer a curvy and slightly muscular build with a BMI around 21-22. On a 5’8 (173cm) woman, this would be 138-145 pounds (63-66kg). Muscle, curves, fat– I like it all, in moderation. My tastes differ from those of the stereotypical male in other ways: I prefer small-to-medium breasts (perky A-cups) and dark skin color. I also find small bellies– the kind that are flat when a woman is standing, but soft and slightly pudgy when she sits– irresistably sexy. We men are all different in what we like.
What’s relevant to a woman’s success on the sexual market is the ratio of the number of men who prefer her body type to the number of women who have it. About 0.5% of men prefer obese women. If only 0.25% of American women were obese, instead of over 30%, they’d be “niche” lovers in a privileged position. Very thin women are in a good position because they’re preferred by such a large percentage of men but, in my experience, many of those are not the best men, just as women who prefer six-pack abs tend to be uncultured. The men who criticize their BMI-20 girlfriends for being “too fat” tend to be jackasses in other ways– misogynists, cheaters, bad lovers, and creeps.
Also, let’s not forget that the men who are most critical of womens’ bodies are those who have very little experience with real women. Men with even modest amounts of experience know that the emotional context triumphs over minor nuances in physical appearance. The Internets harbor quite a few basement virgins with this attitude, but I wouldn’t put much stock in what they think, unless one is interested in dating men like this guy (watch 1:00 – 2:00).
4. I thought aging was natural and acceptable vs. aging is ugly you might as well die. On the sexual market, a woman’s value plummets precipitously in her early 30s but, as I’ve said before, SMV is irrelevant to a woman’s long-term desirability. Desirable men marry women in their 30s and 40s all the time. In fact, most desirable men I know in their 30s and 40s prefer a woman 2-5 years younger than they are, not 10-20.
Men’s preferences for age gaps tend to be correlated to their inexperience, and it’s easy to imagine why. I’m 26, and although maturity is much more important than age, I’d most likely prefer to be with a woman of 23-26. I have no desire to date a 20-year-old. Why? Because I have before, when I was 23. I’ve dated women of every age between 17 and 22, and I’m basically done with those ages. Most of the older men who prefer women in their late teens and early 20s, in my observation, are those who never had the chance to date attractive women when they were young. I have, and I’ve moved on.
A woman whose self-worth is tied to her sexual market value, and to a steady diet of crass male attention, “might as well die” on her 30th birthday, because these benefits are about to recede from her life forever. Women with more mature senses of self-worth generally do fine. If they take care of themselves and age well, they’re highly desired by men their own age (including, if they’re married, their husbands) for long-term relationships.
As for aging being “ugly”, I don’t think so. I know some very good-looking 80-year-olds. They aren’t sexy to a 26-year-old’s eye, but they’re still attractive people. Attractive young people tend to age into attractive older people, even though they don’t inspire carnal lust later in life. Besides, very few people are ugly, even among those who are overweight. Most people I find sexually unattractive, but I would qualify far less than 1% of people I meet as ugly.
Moreover, even beauty itself is not necessarily tied to youth or SMV. Consider Michelle Obama. She’s a stunningly beautiful person, physically and otherwise, but I certainly wouldn’t consider her a sex symbol. Her beauty is derived from her elegance, intelligence, passion, and physical comeliness– not raw sex appeal. As a 45-year-old woman, her SMV (outside of her marriage) is virtually nonexistent, but I’d be thrilled to marry a lady like her, and one who ages as well as she does; and it’s no surprise that her husband, even with the presidency and millions of options, adores her. I bet he’s faithful to her as well; if he weren’t, I’d be angry, because she’s a wonderful woman.
Most men in happy marriages remain in love with their wives, even as they age. Who minds a couple laugh lines on the face one fell in love with? They’re a reminder of times enjoyed together. On that note, shared memories and depths of intimacy achieved are not easily replaced, and keep a wife’s “marital value” buoyant, rendering what happens to her SMV utterly irrelevant.
5. I believed I had value vs. to men I have very little. You do have value, in the world of long-term relationships. If you’re in a happy marriage, your husband will adore and treasure you.
On the casual sexual marketplace, however, people are interchangeable commodities, valued and priced according to a single measure of status. Absolutely no one is exempt from this. For a woman, this is largely determined by her appearance; for a man, it’s based on his “psychosocial dominance”, or Game. People who find this immoral or appalling, such as me, are best to avoid the casual-sex market and the combat-dating racket at all costs.
It’s important to note that “Game’s” tenets are often self-confirming biases. People with such a dismal view of human nature tend to find themselves surrounded with low-quality people, and the behaviors they encounter confirm their negative stances. “Game” is calibrated toward sociosexual success with low-quality people, the reason for this being their sheer number. In truth, the quality of people is not distributed like a bell curve. It’s shaped much more like a pyramid, and those who desire lifestyles of high-frequency sexuality must target the wide but dismal base of it.
6. I was mate selective because of personality type vs. I am hypergamous due to biological drive. “Hypergamy” is a difficult word to discuss, because it means different things to different audiences. There’s good hypergamy and bad. For women to desire men for their character, intelligence, integrity, ambition, and integrity is a great form of hypergamy, and one that impels society to grow. For women to desire men based on their sociosexual dominance or because those men are desired by other females (preselection) is bad hypergamy. The word hypergamy is used pejoratively in the Roissy-sphere, but largely because the style of hypergamy seen in the world of casual sex, Game, and combat dating is the disgusting and immoral variety. Hypergamy doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing.
It’s virtuous for a woman to be selective, but vicious for her to be picky. The distinction is as follows: the selective woman places a high value on intimacy, love, and men worthy of her affections. She gives her body and heart only to men who earn them, but does not reject men prematurely. The picky woman is one who rejects men for trivial reasons, such as poor fashion sense or a lack of Game.
7. I thought men were just men vs. men are alpha, beta, omega and zeta. The sexual marketplace, and the reversion to pre-monogamous sexual norms, created these artifacts. Alphas are the men who succeed in this nightmarish world, much like the rats and vermin that inhabit ruined environments. Betas are men, leaning toward monogamy, who are desirable for long-term relationships, and who succeeded in the previous regime, but are shortchanged by this one. Gammas (or omegas) are the men who succeed at neither, and often make fools of themselves attempting to become “alpha”. Zetas are analytically connected to the distribution of the prime numbers.
8. I thought racism had died out vs. racism is alive & well. The world of casual sex and combat dating is hellish, bringing out the worst in people. It’s also one of the most superficial social environments on earth, focused intensely on physical presence. This means that race will undeniably have a major role in it. For woman, race has a strong but complex effect on her SMV. For example, the obnoxious alphas often desire racial variety for the sake of “collecting” a complete set of racial categories, but they prefer to date blonde white women for the status benefits afforded. By contrast, the betas, who are significantly more desirable for (and desiring of) long-term relationships, tend to be very open to dating women of all races, and many are dating interracially. Love is far too beautiful to be rejected on such trivial grounds.
Racism is dying out, slowly, but this society has a long way to go. Interracial love, relationships and marriage are bringing down racial barriers rapidly, although the dehumanizing and ruthlessly competitive environment of casual sex and combat dating is one of the last places we’ll see racism disappear.
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