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I’m not innately a misogynist, but I think most American women are seriously defective, for probably cultural reasons. I’m going to establish one of the reasons why in this post. Let’s look at an OkCupid study that has recieved a lot of attention: Your Looks and Your Inbox. Not surprisingly, it shows that women are focused as strongly on appearance as men are. Surprise? Not really. Cause for moral outrage? No. Everyone knows that looks are a substantial component of the dating process, and most of us accept this. Thankfully, not everyone’s appraisal of attractiveness is the same. A few of us are attractive to most people; most of us are attractive to some people. Given enough tries, we find one that likes us; life goes on. The real shocker is this: women on OkCupid have rated 80% of the men as unattractive, including four demonstrably average-looking men (OkCupid staff). It’s quite possible that this reflects only on the women who chose to give ratings– e.g. that bitchy women rate men, the rest don’t. However, although it is far from a scientific analysis, this publication contradicts much of what society prefers to believe about women: that they are kind, less shallow than men, and relatively accepting of the average man’s appearance.

The average man, based on the histogram, appears to have been rated at about 1.4 stars (out of 5) by women. That’s a D, on an A-F scale. Let me explain just how bad that is. A general rule in survey design is that ratings of anything will be inflated compared to the respondent’s actual opinion. If 100 viewers watch a television show and their ratings of it average 3.7 stars, on a 1-to-5 scale, that’s not a “good” rating. The show sucked! The same goes for performance reviews. A ubiquitious constant in such surveys is the “real average” of 4.3– a product rated below this by the public, on a 1-5 scale, is generally below-average. (Expert raters and critics are more conservative in their grading; a 3-star film, according to Ebert, is not being rated as mediocre.) And what is the average GPA at Ivy League colleges (where there are few poor students who must be given failing grades)? It’s about 3.3. It’s the same principle.

People seem to be much more candid when rating the physical attractiveness of strangers, so this rating inflation may not apply, but I’d still contend that a luke-warm rating– say, 3 stars– is not a good sign. In any case, the graph of male ratings of women shows absolutely no inflation. The distribution of attractiveness ratings seems to show a symmetric, bell-shaped curve. This is what we’d expect, and I posted on this matter in October. An average woman is sexually attractive to about 45% of men; an 85th-percentile woman is physically acceptable for about 71%, and a 15th-percentile woman is acceptable to about 23 percent. It’s fairly close to a normal distribution. For men, the story is different, and for those who lack the skills to project sociosexual confidence (e.g. “Game”), quite dismal.

Now consider the distribution of attractiveness ratings given by women to men on OkCupid, which exhibits severe skew in the fugly direction. Of seven categories, a quarter of men fall into the “least attractive” category, while almost none fall into the “most attractive” category. The median male is generally given terrible ratings, with only a few men in the thin rightward tail rated well. This occurred, one should note, in an environment of passive rating, where “Game” is almost certainly not a major factor. It’s likely, then, that these men were rated under the assumption that they have average (e.g. almost none) game.

Men on online dating sites are assumed to have poor game, and to be single, two severe attraction killers. As defined in my October analysis, a man with “7” looks (84th percentile) and “4” game (43rd percentile) is sexually attractive to only 2.7% of women. Of course, posting to an online dating site is suggestive of weak game, to the extent that this trait is tacitly assumed by most women. This, in my opinion, explains why the men were rated so badly– and, yes, 1.4 stars is not merely below-average, but abysmal, keeping in mind what I said about rating inflation. I would argue that the cutoff for a “good” average is probably in the mid-3 range (this is someone who is substantially attractive to a few women). Yet less than 10% of men are rated so highly.

What is “game”, again? I defined it as sociosexual confidence, but its root is preselection. Men with “game” are those who adopt the mannerisms of the sexually experienced and somewhat callous. They’ve adopting a set of behaviors to suggest preselection. Registering on an online dating site has the opposite effect– it indicates that a man is single, and eager enough in his search for a partner to invest time in an online profile.

Single men are really in a sandtrap– assumed, because they are unattached, to be awkward, unattractive, and undesirable. It’s inconsistent with the norms of the rest of society; for example, an unemployed man is expected to look for work– that’s normal, and people worry about him if he doesn’t– and yet a single man has absolutely no way of maintaining face while looking, even very casually, for a girlfriend. Simply put, he shouldn’t search. No paying for a stranger to have a nice dinner, no online profiles, no face lighting up when introduced to a pretty girl at a party– none of these can do a man any good.

This all comes down to preselection– women want what is not available to them. Fuck it. I agree with others who’ve called it “the root of all evil”, and it’s a trait that I advocate forcing out of the human species through any means possible– even eugenics, re-education, and aggressive social engineering.

On that note, my guess is that the OkCupid developers, rated as unattractive by their site’s women, posted pictures of themselves next to attractive women, they’d get ratings in the 3-4 range, not the abysmal scores that these average-plus men were given.

Ok. I’m done getting riled up and angry. I need a drink. Over-and-out.

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I had to take a break, for work reasons. I’m 6 weeks from a major deadline and have been running on all cylinders. The blogging has been put on the back burner, and my mind is mostly elsewhere right now.

Sometimes I find myself in a state of utter doubt and agnosticism. I’m not talking about religion, but life in general– beliefs, values, ideals. I step back from cocksure arrogance to deep introspection and questioning. It’s not a problem– it’s a good thing– but it makes it difficult to write with authority.

This difficulty provides an interesting insight into our society. We overvalue confidence, not just from writers and opinion people, but in general. Confidence is usually a good thing, but sometimes it isn’t, and when it’s not, it fails us badly. The 2007-08 stock market crash was brought about my overconfident traders, rating agencies, and investors. It wasn’t a shock to anyone who knew much about financial markets. Yet people were surprised when the market tanked, having bought into the lies of overconfident bullshit artists in finance and real estate.

Look at the popularity of characters like Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and Bill O’Reilly. Although their views match those held by many within their target demographic, it’s not their ideology and opinions that make them cultural “forces to be reckoned with”. It’s the confidence with which they say, not what they say. The same is true of large-company CEOs. For the most part, it’s not their executive vision or managerial skill that makes or breaks their careers. It’s the confidence that they project.

Of course, no discussion of overconfident bullshit peddlers is complete without discussing the phenomenon of “game”. Roissy defines game as “psychosocial dominance”. That’s a reasonable working definition, but I’d call it, instead, “sociosexual confidence”. Game is the ability to project confidence in a sexualized social environment. Confidence in other areas of life is neither necessary nor especially relevant. Most “nerds”, for example, exhibit strong cerebral confidence, reasonable social confidence in general, but a lack of sociosexual confidence. This, more than “social ineptitude”, as most nerds are socially normal, prevents them from getting women.

Confidence is a good thing, usually, but why is it a requirement for certain interactions? Answer: many, if not most, people are very weak. They get their opinions from the loudest and most authoritative-sounding source. Unsure and confused about sex, they sleep with those who are able to convince them that others find them desirable. Unaware of what’s worth doing and what’s not, they would rather have 9-to-5 jobs that are an extension of the school-driven “here’s work, now do it” model than accept that they’re out on their own, left to figure things out for themselves. (Note: you’re on your own even if you work for a large company and have a boss; you also have a boss even if you work for yourself.) We all need motivation, but weak people tend to lack the ability to generate it intrinsically; they get it from the confidence of others.

As for strong people; are they always confident? The answer, perhaps surprisingly, is no. Strong people tend to be confident, but not uniformly, and not naively. For example, those who are highly intelligent (intellectually strong) tend to have cerebral confidence, but are not always completely sure of their knowledge. Some of the smartest people I’ve known have been the most humble. I would say, in general, that strong people tend often to be self-aware, which makes them often confident in their ability but without assumption of superiority, dominance, or infallibility. Thankfully, most of life admits a middle ground. For example, it’s possible to believe that one is capable of fulfilling a job without assuming that it will be easy and require no effort. It’s also possible to believe that one is generally intelligent without assuming that one is always “the smartest guy in the room”.

However, with sociosexual confidence, I’m not convinced that most people perceive a middle ground, which we’d consider “high beta”. To be seen as “alpha” requires the overreaching, aggressive, and unrealistic style of confidence. It requires an unfounded sense of superiority, which the more sensitive and introspective people can’t feign.

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I’m going to introduce a new word, and motion that we retire the less appropriate uses of old ones. That word is ochlogamy. As awkward-sounding as the word may be, it’s the perfect word to describe the modern sexual marketplace, more appropriate than “soft polygamy” and “hypergamy”, terms that are commonplace today.

The Roissy-sphere uses “soft polygamy” to describe the nightmarish opposite-sex scene, as if a reversion to pre-monogamous norms were in motion. This is partially correct. Polygynous “alpha” males are becoming more imposing every year, increasing the scope of their damage, while “beta” and “gamma” males are being squeezed out. However, polygamy has a certain officiality that is not present on the modern casual-sex market. Moreover, it’s more appropriate to call it polygyny, as the sexual market is only weakly polyandrous, hence the large number of men it leaves with nothing. Yet if this market were traditionally polygynous, each woman involved would be sleeping with a single alpha exclusively, which is not the case. No secret harems exist, and slutty women definitely double-dip. Women who participate in the casual-sex market are not even serially monogamous, but are permitted, due to the anonymity of large urban communities, to offer themselves to the entire set of “alpha” males of their acquaintance. It’s much like “dating the football team”, but with the “teammates” often not knowing each other.

So, what do we call this shit? One might consider invoking the impractical concept known as polyamory, but this makes an outright absurd assumption that love (amour) is involved in the modern sexual marketplace, when it’s clearly not. The sexual marketplace is about social status, not love or even sex as an end in itself.

Probably the most accurate word used to describe the sexual marketplace is hypergamy, asserting that women offer themselves to the men who hold the highest status. According to a certain notion of hypergamy, we’d expect a similar configuration to what we observe: a few alpha males in (possibly nonexclusive) sexual possession of a large number of women, and a large number of men with little or no sexual access. However, the problem with the word hypergamy is that it’s too vague and morally neutral. There’s good hypergamy and bad hypergamy. If women were most strongly attracted to men of integrity, intelligence, and compassion, that would be a good form of “hypergamy”. When women are attracted to men based on an empty and pestilent notion of social dominance, as seen in the world of “game”, that’s a very bad form of hypergamy. The nefarious existing variety of hypergamy– whereby men are encouraged to be boorish, aggressive, and borderline criminal “alphas” and “badboys”– on the modern sexual market is a symptom of the underlying problem, but not this subculture’s defining characteristic.

Now I’m going to discuss ochlocracy, a style of “government” that often emerges in a lawless state. Literally meaning “rule by the mob”, it describes an undesirable political arrangement in which power is held by those who, in a society with enforced laws, would be called “organized crime”. In an ochlocratic society, might makes right. Not surprisingly, the criminal underworld has a distinct ochlocratic flavor, with disputes being resolved by private agents of brutality (hit men) rather than in the court system. The social collapse observed in post-Soviet Russia illustrates the dangers of ochlocracy, which leads to diminished life expectancy, increased crime, declining standards of living, and wide disparities of economic and social fortune.

Monogamy is the sexual counterpart of democracy. It’s designed to enfranchise nearly everyone, so that no one has a stake in upsetting or destroying the common peace. By contrast, traditional polygamy is the counterpart of aristocracy– a few “entitled” people are allowed to have disproportionate sexual access; there is also a small yeoman (“beta”) class with some access, freedom, and enfranchisement; and most people are peasants who have none. Now consider the modern state of opposite-sex relations in large cities, where loving relationships are falling out of favor while “arrangements” become more common. The destruction of sexual mores during the Sexual Revolution, coupled with the rise of malignant, empty elitism, has brought about a sexual regime that is certainly not monogamous or democratic, but it’s not aristocratic either, since the “alpha” class is fluid and determined according to a man’s boorishness– in other words, his willingness to break social norms. This is the essence of an ochlocratic environment. The “alpha” males are the ones who figured out that (1) the sociosexual marketplace is relatively lawless, and (2) that they can profit immensely by behaving in ways that would be criminalized by a more lawful society (e.g. one in which casual sex were properly shamed).

Hence we have ochlogamy, a fluid sociosexual configuration in which stable relationships are uncommon, and sexual access is mediated by a fluctuating notion of social status that correlates most highly to a person’s willingness to behave in a way that a more proper arrangement would consider shameful and criminal. It’s the world of “game”, and unless we can bring back or reinvent sexual mores, it’s not going away.

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It’s well-known that well-educated black women tend, on average, to have far better personalities than their white counterparts, despite facing tougher odds on the dating market. On the whole, they’re an exquisite and underrated group. There are a lot of cultural reasons for this and, subjectively speaking, some aesthetic ones too, but I’m going to explore an altogether different explanation.

I had an insight, about a week ago, when I encountered this Roissy post on an OkCupid study of race and reply rate. Black women get a substantially lower reply rate than women of other races: 34.3%, as opposed to 42.1%. Among men, whites get the highest reply rate– 29.2%. In fact, the only race-pairings where women reply more often involve black women, and there’s a 6%-gap between BW -> WM (32% reply rate) and WM -> BW (38%). As this study is controlled for facial attractiveness, and OkCupid is predominantly a site for educated, upper-middle-class people, it’s unlikely that there’s a nonracial (e.g. socioeconomic) component to this. Very unfortunately, some people just seem to be nervous about dating blacks.

On a side note, it’s interesting to note the American attraction to Middle Eastern women. White men, in the US– and speaking in very broad terms– are wary of blacks and adore Middle Easterners. In Europe, whites are wary of Middle Easterners (well, specifically, Muslims) and adore black women. All this shows is that mens’ supposedly purely aesthetic tastes in women are actually quite culture-bound.

I don’t mean to trivialize the severe social injustices inflicted upon American blacks by comparing them to the relatively mild ones that American men face today, but there are similarities between what these groups face on the social and dating markets. To be feared and distrusted because of one’s physical presence is something that most blacks, and most men, have faced, and also something most white women have never directly experienced. The bastardization of feminism that has metamorphosed into outright man-hating depicts men as violent, oversexed, unattractive, and unrefined– similar to American racism’s caricature of black people.

On the dating market, women generally have more value than men (as OkCupid’s differential in reply rates shows) but this is not nearly as true of black women, who exhibit a male likelihood of receiving replies. Let’s combine this bit of data with something most men have observed. Good-looking men, usually, aren’t douchebags. Some are, but nothing about the experience of a “7” male is inherently corrupting. “Alphas” are douchebags, but those are a different set entirely; I know of plenty of seriously handsome men who have excellent personalities. Good-looking black women, as well, usually have great personalities. They’re funny, sweet, feisty, and virtuous. Among white women, it’s less common for one to be gorgeous and have a great personality. Average-looking, shy women are often very sweet, but the “bombshells” are often intolerable.

In fact, the correlations between attractiveness and personality seem to be different not only in magnitude, but in direction, for black and white women. Black women generally have better personalities as they are more beautiful, intelligent, and educated– in other words, as their “market value” climbs. White women tend to get worse as their SMV increases into the 7-10 range. Let’s explore the reason for this.

I’m going to pay homage to the crude practice of numerically rating attractiveness in order to make an assertion. The “sweet spot” of attractiveness that is most conducive to having a great personality is 6-8, for most racial/gender categories. I’ve rigorously defined these numbers (see the link) so that this represents the 72nd to 94th percentiles. This definitely seems accurate for men; most of the great guys are in this range, with men in the least desirable third being too bitter, dismal and defeated to be enjoyable company. Black women, in my estimation, are penalized half a point by the sexual market, putting this sweet spot up to 6.5-8.5 (78-97th percentiles). White women, on the other hand, get a 2-point bonus. In other words, we can expect the white women with the best personalities to be between 4-6, or the 43rd and 72nd percentiles. Beyond that 72nd-percentile mark, there is a precipitous drop. Thus, we’d expect that men within the 70-85th percentile range of sexual attractiveness to be the most unhappy, struggling to earn respect and decency from comparably attractive counterparts, often forced to choose between a great personality and a (moderately) beautiful woman, when they feel like they should have both. Indeed, this is the range of men in which the aggrieved “beta” males tend to reside.

We’re talking in aggregates here, so exceptions obviously exist. There are “9.5” white women who are not haughty, of course, and there are average-looking men and black women who are. However, I think this SMV-derived explanation of the bearing of race and gender on certain social and sexual behaviors has a lot of validity.

That said, SMV is far from the only factor. Culture is also important. Asian women (who, if the concept of “race” still exists in 50 years, will be considered “white” by then) also get a 2-point bump, but a lot of them aren’t nearly as entitled or nasty as their white counterparts. The “sweet spot” of 6.5-8.5 among black women and 4-6 among whites seems to be 4.5-7.5 among Asian women. The reasons for this come from Asian culture and values rather than SMV. But culture is complex and qualitative, and much more difficult to analyze than the crude, blunt numerical instrument of SMV.

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I dated a woman once who asked me to rate her attractiveness, numerically. I gave her a 1. 1? Yes, 1. Not wanting to insult her, I explained that my personal attractiveness scale only has two values: 0 and 1, and that it’s a yes/no binary scale. Since I’m evaluating women for long-term relationship potential only– I never have casual sex– there’s no difference, from my perspective, between a “7” “girl next door” and a “9” model. All else (including my subjective physical attraction to each) being equal, I’d rather date the former.

On the other hand, from an aggregate perspective, some people are more attractive than others, and there are more than two degrees of physical attractiveness in this regard. A “9” has vastly different social experiences from a “7”, even if the difference in their attractiveness is relatively meaningless with regard to long-term relationships.

We can define female attractiveness, numerically, in the most straightforward way: the percentage of men who are physically attracted to her, before any interaction occurs. We thus define a “7” as a woman who inspires sufficient sexual attraction (“1”, on the 0/1 scale) in 70% of men. This maps quite faithfully to most mens’ concept of what a “7” or a “9” is. What of the homely “3”? Thirty percent, really? Yes. In this definition, a 3 is a woman whom 30% of men seeking one-night-stands would be willing to fuck (if no more attractive options were available), and a woman whom 30% of men would consider attractive enough for a relationship, if she were otherwise qualified. Some men have low standards of physical beauty, or don’t care terribly much about it.

By this definition, what’s the distribution of female physical attractiveness within the general population? I believe a reasonably good model to be the following: P(z) = 1/(1 + 2^(0.3 – 1.5*z)), where z is a (0,1)-normally-distributed variable representing the woman’s relative physical attractiveness, within the pool of upper-middle-class U.S. young professionals, and P(z) is the probability that a man will find her sexually attractive. By this definition, we get the following correspondence between the familiar 0-10 scale and percentiles:

9.8 : 99.99th percentile (+3.96 sigma).

9.5 : 99.88th percentile.

9.0 : 99.0th percentile.

8.5 : 96.9th percentile.

8.0 : 93.7th percentile.

7.0 : 84.4th percentile.

6.0 : 72.2nd percentile.

5.0 : 57.9th percentile.

4.0 : 42.5th percentile.

3.0 : 26.9th percentile.

2.0 : 12.9th percentile.

1.0 : 2.8th percentile.

0.5 : 0.43rd percentile.

This seems to be fairly accurate for the population being modeled: urban, middle-class professionals, or “yuppies”. The general population, especially considering American obesity, is more strongly represented at the low end, and might have an average of 3.5-4.0.

Can we analyze men in a similar manner? Yes, but this measurement is more complicated. First, while sexual attraction is largely physical in men, and can thus be determined right away, womens’ sexual attractions are evaluated lazily, not eagerly, and involve a number of non-physical factors– most notably, sociosexual confidence and dominance, or “game”. Although men and women are similarly selective in terms of long-term relationships, and both require in-depth knowledge about the other person before being able to make a commitment, men know immediately if they are physically attracted to a woman. Women don’t. “The spark” or “chemistry” is generally not triggered by a man’s physical appearance alone. A certain set of social skills, also known as “game”, is required. Moreover, this attraction is felt by a woman for a man relatively rarely.

Here lies the dismal aspect of the male predicament. Although men and women are relatively even in overall “market value” when it comes to relationships, this is not true on the matter of physical attraction. An average young woman inspires physical attraction in nearly 45% of men, while a man capable of inspiring “the spark” in 45%– or even 25%– of women would be considered a star. We, therefore, can’t define a man’s physical attractiveness by the same scale, or we’d mostly be rated 0-3. Instead, we define a male “7” as a man whose percentile standing corresponds to that of a female “7”, or a man in the 84th percentile of physical attractiveness. He’d be considered “equally matched” to a female “7”, but he definitely does not inspire sexual attraction in 70% of women– far from it.

What percentage of women can be expect to be physically attracted to him? If he’s of average social skill and confidence, about 5-6%. We’ll approximate a formula to represent this, and while I make no claim of the equation to follow representing any sort of platonic truth, it’s a damn good model.

We start our analysis by noting that it is virtually impossible for a man to be able to inspire sexual attraction in 70, 80, or 90 percent of women. I have a male friend who is extremely attractive, in excellent physical shape (5% body fat), and would easily be considered a “9”. A “natural” at game, he could even show Mystery a thing or two. How often is he rejected? A lot. His acceptance rate is about 55%. This holds true in nightclubs and “day game”, with gorgeous women and average ones (he’s rejected more often, it turns out, by women of mediocre looks). Forty-five percent of women feel no sexual attraction to him whatsoever. Other mens’ observations corroborate this: no matter how attractive and suave, it is impossible to break the 60% barrier. Exceptions may exist for celebrities, very high-ranking politicians and extremely wealthy men. Such outliers are irrelevant, for our purposes.

An individual man’s maximum potential, in this regard, seems to scale roughly linearly with physical appearance, as it does (by definition) with women. Working formula: MP(r) = 0.6*r, where MP is the man’s max-potential probability of inspiring sexual attraction, and r is his attractiveness rating on the 0-to-10 scale, defined as above, divided by 10. A man with a 50th-percentile, “4.5”, physical appearance is theoretically capable of inspiring sexual attraction in 27% of women. By male standards, this is a rock star’s batting average. Clearly, the average man’s not a rock star. In practice, most men achieve only a tiny fraction of their maximum potential.

We introduce another factor into the model, which is a man’s social skills, confidence, and presence. Cynically, this element is described as “game” or, by Roissy, “psychosocial dominance”. It determines that fraction of a man’s maximum potential he actually achieves. We’ll rate it numerically on the same percentile scale as physical attractiveness– a man with 57th percentile of sociosexual confidence is a “5”; one at the 84th percentile is a “7”. A sociosexual “10”, if such a man existed, would be able to achieve the maximum potential given by the formula above. Most of us fall short and, sadly, the drop-off is steeper than linear. Somewhat arbitrarily, but based on experience, I’m going to assert that it’s cubic. That is, a man with “3” sociosexual confidence (“game”) will inspire sexual attraction in 1/8 as many women as equally good-looking man with “6” game, and 1/27 as many women as his counterpart at “9”. Thus, we have a set of working formulas for the probability of sexual attraction. In both formulae, r represents the person’s physical attractiveness on a 0.0-1.0 scale, as defined by percentile above; s represents sociosexual confidence on the same scale. P represents that probability that an opposite-sex heterosexual will feel sexual attraction for that person.

For women: P(r) = r.

For men: P(r, s) = 0.6*r*s^3.

Therefore, an average man (r = 0.45, s = 0.45) inspires sexual attraction in only 2.4% of women. Thirty-nine out of forty women will not feel “the spark” for him and will reject him. Ouch. For a somewhat above-average man like me (r = 0.65, s = 0.55) the percentage rises to 6.5%; high-beta, enough to get lucky once in a while. What of a 50-year-old man with average looks for his age (4.0) but absolutely stellar “game” (r = 0.4, s = 0.95)? 20.6%. That’s an “alpha” male.

Men exhibit sexual attraction to almost half of all women, while women feel “the spark” with only 3 to 10% of us. How does this reflect on the balance of power between men and women? That’s complicated. On first glance, it should seem that women utterly dominate. My “6.5” female counterpart is sexually attractive to ten times as many men as I am to women. On a raw sexual market, you’d expect that women are substantially more powerful, and you’d be quite right. On the other hand, this gives the men who are able to create “chemistry” a major advantage– that of rarity. Though women feel sexual chemistry for a very small percentage of men, when they do, they feel it intensely.

When I met my last serious girlfriend, I was a 22-year-old virgin who had never had a long-term relationship, and had been treated badly by previous women I’d tried to date. My sociosexual confidence was at an all-time low: probably 3. Less muscular and twenty pounds lighter, I’d rate my physical appearance at the time as a 6. My expected batting average? 0.97%. I could expect 102 rejections before finding a woman who’d feel “the spark”. That sounds about right. When I found a woman, she was a gorgeous “8”. Eighty percent of men willing to have casual sex would fuck her (if they could) and 80% of men seeking long-term relationships would consider her sexually attractive. That number, for me, started at an abysmal 1% and rose (as my confidence grew) to a mere 5-7%. Obviously there’s a discrepancy, no? It didn’t matter at all. Everyone’s personal scale for sexual attraction is a 0/1 discrete scale, and, this time, I’d beaten the odds and come up as a “1” for her. While she was in the relationship, none of these other men were of any interest to her.

Balance of power in a relationship isn’t determined solely by the number of alternative options. Especially, the relevant number isn’t the number of people who want to sleep with a person. It’s the number of people who want to sleep with that person, whom that person desires. In a relationship, it means nothing if nine-tenths of the male gender salivates over one’s girlfriend, if she feels absolutely no desire for those men, and if she does desire her boyfriend.

Moreover, sexual attraction is far from the most important element of a relationship. It’s usually a necessary, but certainly not a sufficient, condition. A “4” woman is sexually attractive to 40% of men, but forty percent of men are not inclined to hop into a relationship with her. In long-term relationships, men and women are not especially different in their preferences, even with regard to the weight they place on physical appearance, confidence, and social skill. So the balance of power within a relationship is not nearly as skewed as it is on a raw sexual market.

It’s time to draw some conclusions: what does all this mean?

1. Regarding women’s physical attractions, men have to worry about a factor (“the spark”) that women don’t. In the pursuit of long-term relationships, both men and women have to worry about many of the same things– intellectual, spiritual, sexual and romantic compatibility. On the other hand, women can take it for granted that, if they look good, a reasonable fraction of men will find them attractive. Men can’t. There’s an uncontrollable and random “spark” factor, induced by sociosexual confidence, that will put the woman’s sexual attraction to the man at zero if it’s not present.

2. Men can improve their situation dramatically by increasing their sociosexual confidence. It’s difficult to do this, because PUA gimmicks only offer a marginal benefit, but it can certainly be done by improving one’s social skills, learning to tolerate rejection, and developing confidence through experience in all areas of life. A man’s sociosexual confidence also tends to improve over the course of his life. For this reason, although a man’s physical appearance peaks in his late 20s, as it does for women, his overall attractiveness to women is likely to peak in his mid-40s, with his gains in sociosexual confidence sufficient to offset his (mild) physical decline. A man who improves his “game” from a lagging 4 to an average-plus 6, with no changes to his physical appearance, increases his “batting average” by 237 percent. His dry and single spells, if he maintains the same standards, will be three times shorter.

3. Women will date and marry men they do not consider attractive. It’s quite possible that men do this as well, but we’re sure, statistically speaking, that women do so. Let’s consider a bottom-feeding man with very poor physical attractiveness and sociosexual confidence– both of these at 1.5. He can be expected to inspire sexual attraction in a dismal 0.03% of women. We’d anticipate that such an egregious omega-male would almost certainly never marry, but they do. Some women recognize that they’re unlikely to attract a man who can inspire “the spark”, and settle for one who does not.

Moreover, although a “high beta” can only expect to attract about 8% of women, he’s not rejected for dates 92% of the time. He’ll get a lot of first dates, a few second dates, and possibly even a relationship or two, from women who don’t feel “the spark” but are willing to settle. These relationships, of course, are not to be desired, since they’ll end as soon as the woman does feels sexual urges toward another man.

4. Physical attractiveness of the “beholder”, as a factor in attraction, is overrated. I haven’t argued for, much less proven this, but it’s worth discussion. I never considered, as a variable, how attractive the “observer” is. A “5” woman will be considered sexually desirable by 50% of men. Is there any definitive characteristic of those 50% of men? Are they likely to be the least desirable half? To the first question, the answer is yes. Some people are more selective regarding physical appearance than others, and the less selective men are likely to fall into the 50% “yes” set. To the second, the answer is, to a large degree, no. Is it harder to get an attractive person into a relationship? Yes, because she’s less often single and for shorter spells, and because she won’t waste her time in a relationship with a man to whom she’s not attracted. On the other hand, I don’t think the “beholder’s” attractiveness is a major player in the equation. I’m a high beta with a batting average around 7%, but within that 7 percent have been some very attractive women. Likewise, the “PUA masters” I know who bat 50% get rejected by unattractive women as often as by beautiful ones.

5. Moderately attractive (6-8) women can improve their position by being more assertive. A female “3” is sexually attractive to 30% of men; a “7”, to 70%, and a “9” to 90%. I wouldn’t want to be the “3”, but I don’t see a substantial benefit in being the “9” over the “7”. Although the “3” is sexually viable to a reasonable share of men, these tend to be men with low standards. On the other hand, only 20% more men find the “9” attractive than the “7”. As for these men, what does it say about a man if he can only “get it up” to a Victoria’s Secret model? Not good things. So I’d argue that the healthiest and most desirable men are likely to be in the 60th-80th percentile for sexual selectivity, and therefore available to most of the “7” women.

However,  the “9” will be approached much more often than the “7”– possibly 5 or 10 times more often. This is because men tend to massively overrate general attractiveness (as opposed to their personal assessment) on the dating market. The “7”, more infrequently approached, might believe she’s significantly less attractive. This is not the case, and if she pursues men she finds attractive, she’ll find that her odds are good– by male standards, extremely good.

6. Men: If you want to know if you’re alpha… Estimate your percentile standing within the young (22-35) middle-class urban professional male population for physical attractiveness and sociosexual confidence. (Ignore your IQ and how much money you make.) Use the percentile chart above to infer a 0-10 score. Divide each by ten, and use the above formula to predict the percentage of women who will be sexually attracted to you. That formula, posted here for convenience, is:

P = 0.6 * r * s^3, where r is your attractiveness and s is your sociosexual confidence, both on a 0.0-1.0 scale.

Multiply that number by 100 to obtain a percentage. Interpret the result as follows:

0.0 – 0.09% : Omega. Find a fetish and play to it. Maybe chop off an arm.

0.1 – 0.99% : Gamma. Go here to learn about your likely fate.

1.0 – 2.99% : Low beta. You’re me at 21. You kinda suck. Work out a bit and mid-beta status may not be too far out of reach.

3.0 – 5.99%: Mid beta. You’re me at 23. There’s nothing wrong with you, but you’re very average. You should be able to find love at some point in your life, but your dry and single spells are going to be long and grinding.

6.0 – 11.9%: High beta. This is where I am, at 26. It’s probably the best range in which to land if you don’t want to turn into a douchebag.

12 – 19.9%: Low alpha. Don’t get too full of yourself, but life doesn’t exactly hate you. Also, I could learn a few things from you. Wingman applications are open.

20 – 39.9%: Alpha. You aren’t going to read anything I have to say to you, so the sentence I am typing is irrelevant, and not worth compl

40 – 60%: Super alpha. Venus fly traps and plants like this get wet when you walk past them.

60.1 – 100%: Utter fucking moron. It’s impossible to break the 60% barrier. The formula doesn’t allow it! Learn math.

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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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Inassertive men

Yesterday, I opened up the topic of the rarity of white-male/black-female couplings, and asserted the following: most men are decent and not at all racist, but the bulk of those decent men are inassertive. These are the “invisible” beta males. It’s true that they don’t often pursue black women; but this is because they rarely pursue women, of any race, at all. They’re just very timid. Many of these men end up happily married, but this often requires a bit of work on the woman’s part.

In response to yesterday’s post, ErzulieRedEyes said:

White men are not masculine in my opinon, if you are a real man why would you be afraid of a woman? Pathetic!

Why are real men afraid of women? I’ll answer this. There’s a (possibly apocryphal) science experiment that was once conducted with 5 monkeys in a cage, with a stepladder leading up to a banana. Any time one of the monkeys climbed the ladder, all five would be hosed down with ice-cold water. Quickly, the monkeys learned not to climb the ladder, and to prevent others from doing so. Intermittently, a monkey would be rotated out of the cage, and another would be brought in. The new monkey would quickly move toward the stepladder and the banana, but the other four would prevent him from getting anywhere near it, and beat him up if he tried. He’d quickly learn to avoid it.

After five rotations, none of the monkeys in the cage had any experience with the hose. It was never used, since the other monkeys trained each other to avoid the stepladder. The hose may have been inactivated. None of the monkeys would have any idea why the stepladder was to be avoided, but they’d all prevent new monkeys from going near it. This learned avoidance continued, even when the original trigger had faded out entirely.

So, let’s consider the question: why are most decent men so damned inassertive?

It begins in high school and college, when the costs of rejection are very high. A man who is rejected loses standing not only with the woman he asks out, but with all of her friends. In fact, the reach of the damage is at least two social degrees, because any woman he asks out later is going to consult her friends about him. If there’s any overlap between the two womens’ social circles, she’ll find out about the rejection, and be less attracted to him. So, even if only 20 women find out about the original rejection, he suffers a loss of social standing with hundreds of women on the second-degree. His social status declines, making the success of future romantic pursuits unlikely. Consider the damaging labels– “creepy”, “sketchy”, and “stalker”– given to men who are unsuccessful at pursuing women, even if the worst characterization that could accurately be applied is “slightly inept”. Is it any surprise that men, in such circumstances, would be afraid to ask women out?

Furthermore, gossip can spread the social damage of rejection beyond two degrees, out to the far corners of the social graph. Men learn quickly that there’s very little justice in the court of small-community gossip. An action that is “creepy” coming from one man is desired coming from another. We, the beta “nice guys”, learn not to be abrasive, aggressive, or boorish. We’re told, from age 11 onward, to respect women and not to engage in behaviors that would qualify as “sexual harassment”. We willingly comply. Then we discover a class of men– “alphas”– to whom the rules don’t seem to apply. They behave disgustingly and are rewarded, when they ought to be physically beaten for their behavior, while slightly less skilled men get the fatal “creepy” label for asking the wrong girl out for coffee.

Preselection is the final nail in the coffin. Men– even timid beta males– can tolerate rejection. Most of us would rather be rejected than have regrets. Rejection would be acceptable, were it not for the fact that, in a high-school or college environment, being rejected by one woman results in a loss of standing in the eyes of 50-200 other women. Women aren’t known for thinking fot themselves when it comes to tastes in the opposite gender, and they generally don’t want men who have been rejected by other women, regardless of the man’s merits. Women want the man that other women want. So a man has to choose his targets carefully, because he has a very limited number of chances. In a small social group, he gets one chance. In a 5000-student college, he gets two or three per year. Any more rejections and he becomes “that guy”, and no woman wants him.

The “betas”– the nice guys who seem so difficult to find– become timid and selective to a fault, and most women complain that they’ve become inassertive. Alphas and gammas– undesirable men, from a long-term perspective– remain assertive, for the following reasons. Gammas are just openly desperate and have nothing to lose, having hit rock-bottom in terms of social status and self-image. Alphas are so over-the-top boorish that they inspire a little bit of fear in women and can thereby acquire sociosexual success. In the bad old days, the imposing male was about to commit rape, so a defense mechanism sets in: the woman becomes sexually attracted to him, giving up willingly what would otherwise be violently taken. Much of “psychosocial dominance” is a simulation of the early stages of rape. Physical strength communicates: I can physically rape you. An imposing and sociopathic manner indicates: I have no problem with raping you. Social smoothness indicates: I’ll be able to get away with raping you. This is not to say that women wish to be raped or enjoy rape– neither is true. Nonetheless, this vestigial script exists due to the morally void environment in which our mammalian ancestors evolved, and alpha males are exceptionally good at exploiting it.

Step forward to age 23, in “the big city”. Alphas and gammas have been chasing women for years, shoveling out undesirable attention by the shitload, and are going to continue doing so. Betas have fallen into a pattern of learned helplessness, not due to a lack of success, but due to a lack of control. By age 23, the average beta has had one or two girlfriends, but mostly at the woman’s initiation. The beta male, realistically, has had very little control over his own romantic or sexual fortune to this point in his life. Moreover, he has learned the hard way, in high school and college, about the social costs of rejection, leaving him bitter and more than a little bit rejection phobic.

In a massive city like New York, rejection truly isn’t a big deal. It’s a massive time-saver, not something to be feared or dreaded. For a man to rejected by a woman doesn’t mean that her whole clique or dormitory floor will think of him as a loser; it just means that he’ll never see her again. A man can ask out a new woman every month and he won’t end up being “that guy”. Revisiting the parable of the monkeys, the hose has been turned off, and there’s no longer a reason to avoid the stepladder.

Unfortunately, most mens’ formative experiences, when it comes to sociosexual confidence, occur between the ages of 14 and 22. A man whose first experiences are extremely negative is unlikely to develop the confidence necessary to pursue women. Like I said, it’s not rejection that turns men into bitter and inassertive weaklings, but the social fallout of rejection. If women want to be pursued by a significant number of men who aren’t assholes, they must evolve away from gossip and preselection, reducing substantially the penalty associated with rejection.

For the record, I’m a 26-year-old high beta, and I ask women out all the time. I get rejected all the time. In Manhattan, it’s not a big deal. Yes, ErzulieRedEyes, I’ve asked a number of black women out, have dated a few, and I can definitely see myself marrying a black woman. I’m not one of those inassertive, timid men, so I have nothing to gain by making excuses for them. I’m a decent and desirable person who will ask a woman out, but I’m only one man. I’m merely writing this to explain why women are pursued by so few decent men like me.

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