The Toxic Alpha Male

Every once in a while, I like to go browse through some various blogs, forums and subreddits specializing in men’s dating advice to see what theories are being espoused.

It’s not terribly surprising (to me) to see that the idea of “being alpha” is continuing to be tossed around as the end-all/be-all of dating; it’s a part of the DNA of men’s dating advice – the complaints of Nice Guys lamenting the popularity of assholes, nerds complaining about jocks getting all the girls and of course, the obsession in PUA circles with status games and “shit tests” – that is, acting in such a manner as to “test” a man’s status by trying to make him supplicate or otherwise disqualify a man from being a potential sexual partner.

More often than not, it gets mixed in with evolutionary psychology – the idea that men and women act a specific way because of evolution. According to the standard script, women are attracted to “alphas” because they are looking for prime genetic material who can also protect and provide for them, thus ensuring the continuation of their genetic line.

"Attention ladies! My body is ready! Please form an orderly line!"

“Attention ladies! My body is ready! Please form an orderly line!”

The idea of the “high-value, alpha male” is a popular one – in fact, it’s one of the regular arguments in the comments sections, especially whenever I post about masculinity or what makes men attractive to women.

The problem, unfortunately, is that the cultish worship of “alpha” is incredibly toxic, poisoning interactions between men and women and actually making it harder for men to improve their dating lives.

The Mistaken Sexual Narrative

It’s tempting to ascribe behaviors to “nature” as a way to give the the gloss of authority and excuse one’s desires with “we’ll, this is just how it’s supposed to be, can’t do nuthin’ about it.” But if one is going to attempt this, it helps to actually understand what the real natural behavior is instead of making assumptions based on what we WANT to be true and ultimately begging the question. Evolutionary psychology is frequently used to justify certain behaviors in men and women, insisting that certain behaviors are not only natural but inevitable and thus are the way that things are supposed to be. Such is the case of the worship of the alpha male: an attempt by people to justify what they want to be true via an appeal to nature through misunderstandings of evolution, psychology and sociological development.

The problem with the worship of the alpha male starts with the current fad of explaining male and female sexual behaviors via evolutionary psychology and involves two disparite beliefs.

The first belief is the modern narrative of sexual behavior in men and women.

The current standard narrative simplified is that sperm is metaphorically cheap while eggs are metaphorically expensive. According to this theory, it is therefore the natural order of things for men to spread their seed far and wide in hopes of impregnating as many women as possible. Meanwhile women must husband1 their eggs, granting sexual access only to those males who exhibit the greatest level of genetic and sociable desirability: that is, men who not only exhibit exterior signs of health and fitness but who are also sufficiently “alpha”.  However, because of the need for protection as well as supporting the child until it reaches maturity, a woman may choose to pair up with a “beta” for material gain while sneaking off to have sex with the more desirable alpha males. The woman and the alpha – in this view – gets the best of both worlds; the alpha gets to spread his genes while the woman gets not just superior genetic stock for her offspring but also physical and material support as well. Meanwhile the poor cuckolded beta is stuck having his genetic line cut off while expending resources raising another man’s child.

It’s an appealing idea in many ways; it provides the gloss of an appeal to nature- it nicely coincides with the macro perception of human sexual interaction and provides justification for promiscuous male behavior and an explanation for hypergamous females.

Too bad it’s also bullshit.

The narrative that men are naturally promiscuous (the better to ensure the survival of their genetic line) while women are naturally monogamous is the result of a cultural fallacy dating back as far as Charles Darwin; scientists and anthropologists of the time tended to use Western cultural morality as the prism through which they viewed natural discoveries – a problem that occasionally crops up today, as a matter of fact.  In fact, the idea of sexual exclusivity – of humans being concerned with genetic lineage and trying to avoid raising another man’s child – is a relatively recent development, evolutionarily speaking. Up until about 10,000 years ago (a not even a blink of the eye, evolutionarily speaking), humans lived in small disparate communal groups with no real concept of individual ownership or even parentage. Sexual relationships weren’t a question of monogamy or harem-like structures but polygynous and polyandrous. Even amongst modern stone-age tribes, such as the ones in the Amazon and South-East Asia,  parential lineage isn’t a strict binary; most believe in the concept of multiple fathers contributing to the creation of a child.

One benefit to this system: WAY more birthday presents.

One benefit to this system: WAY more birthday presents.

Sexual exclusivity and the obsession with genetic lineage didn’t come about until the development of agriculture – and with it, the idea of private ownership. The idea of sex and parentage in a hunter-gatherer society was one of community; in an agricultural society, it became one of strict possession. Once food became something that could be owned, as opposed to shared with the tribe, it became something to be hoarded because now it could be taken away. So it was with women – when you have property, it became of ultimate importance to know who would ultimately benefit from one’s efforts. Why waste energy and resources only to benefit someone else rather than your own family? Women – and potential children – became possessions, with sexual access becoming something to be strictly controlled and regulated.

Everything about humans from the size of our testicles to the shape of our pensises to the noises we make during sex is evolutionary testament to the fact that sexual exclusivity is not the natural state. It’s a cultural creation that we have mistakenly attributed to nature.

(Worth noting: this narrative also doesn’t account for homosexuality. Yes, there will be the inevitable quipster who says something about the stereotypical promiscuity of gay males, but gay men aren’t instinctively trying to spread their genes to as many females as possible. Similarly, lesbians aren’t seeking out alpha males for their genetic superiority. If neither side is attempting to reproduce, how does one fit them into the model? Is the more dominant partner presumed to be the masculine role and the submissive one the feminine? What if the dominant man is also a bottom, sexually? What if they’re switches?)

So how does this tie into the worship of being “alpha”? Stick with me for a second.

The Myth of Alphas And Betas

I’ve touched on the idea of alpha and beta behavior before, but let’s explore it again.

Amongst primates that live in social groups (baboons, chimpanzees, gorillas), the largest, strongest of the male apes is the alpha male; the others are betas. The alpha rules the pack by dint of his strength and furious violence; he gets the greatest amount of food and unlimited sexual access to the females. The betas subsist on the scraps that are left over once the alpha has moved on and are excluded from sex with any of the females on threat of death. The alpha alone gets to pass along his genes; many apes – chimps and gorillas especially – will outright murder the children of competing males in order to ensure that his genes and his alone will survive.

“Who you think lies more, males or females? TRICK QUESTION! Korg get rid of other males!”

When this gets translated onto human mating patterns (humans, after all, are just hairless apes), the idea is that women are naturally attracted to alpha males – dominant, powerful, high-status men – while disdaining the weaker, less dominant betas. When women do decide to hook up with a beta – so the theory goes – it’s a matter of convenience and materialism; she’s trading sex for material support when secretly in her heart of hearts, she learns for a big hairy-chested manly man to come and bang the ever-loving shit out of her… bonus if he’s also high-status so she can upgrade and ditch the beta.

It’s an idea with appeal2: it is easy to apply in the macro view – submissive, needy men aren’t terribly appealing to the majority of women after all – and offers a one-size-fits-all solution to sex and dating. Want more women? Just be more “alpha” and they’ll come flocking to your door like mice to peanut butter.

Unfortunately  once again: this is an an intellectual fallacy, an attempt to use nature and evolution as a way to justify the way one wants things to be. The idea breaks down as soon as you take the most cursory look at actual evolution. Yes, chimpanzees – our genetic near-relatives – have an alpha caste who enforce sexual restrictions through violence…but we’re not chimps. We are much much closer to bonobos – a primate species who doesn’t have and alpha/beta social structure. Bonobos – in as much as they have a social hierarchy – are matriarchal, with relative status determined by age rather than muscle and violence. Sex amongst bonobos is a free-for-all; males and females have equal access to one another and participate in sex regularly with both troop members and apes from other social groups. Females will have sex with almost any of the other males – barring actual incest – and vice versa.

While we’re equidistant, genetically speaking, from chimpanzees and bonobos, we bear far more in common with the hypersexual bonobos – in both behavior and anatomy – than we do with chimps, never mind gorillas. Human and bonobo males have larger testicles than chimpanzees do, while human and bonobo females have vulva that are oriented towards the front; chimpanzee females have rear-oriented vulva. Chimpanzees mate exclusively in estrus, strictly for the purpose of reproduction while humans and bonobos both have sex throughout the female’s menstrual cycle and during lactation; in fact, humans and bonobos are the only land mammals that have sex strictly for pleasure.

Even more telling is the difference in our brains. Humans and bonobos have receptor sites in our brains for the hormone oxytocin, which encourages social bonding and feelings of affection and is produced during orgasm. Chimpanzees lack these receptors.

Looking to evolution to understand why we have sex and with whom is not a bad idea, but it helps if you look in the right direction in the first place.

(Plus, the alpha/beta divide fails to apply cleanly even amongst chimps; females in chimp troops will mate quite happily with betas and frequently do so as soon as the alpha’s attention is diverted elsewhere).

What Is Alpha?

One of the continuing issues with the worship of the “alpha male” is that nobody can agree on what “alpha” is. Clearly alpha behavior as implied by various dating and pick-up sites isn’t a direct translation of chimp behavior3 ; after all chimp alphas enforce their exclusive access to women via violence.

So the definition of what is alpha becomes a weird Rorsharch test, exposing what the individual believes defines “masculinity” combined with a “don’t give a fuck” attitude. Most forms of recommended “alpha” behavior waver between “cocky/funny” responses to basic questions (the aforementioned “shit tests”), ignoring what women are saying and being as socially domineering as possible. The obsession with alpha behavior carries over into mixed groups or even all-male groups; there can be only one alpha after all, and even friendly hang-outs can turn into constant competitions for status as people try to assume the socially dominant position.

A special emphasis is placed on avoiding any behavior that could be seen as “supplicating” to women. To supplicate to a woman – such as by buying a woman a drink at a bar, for example or being willing to hold her purse or drink – is seen as the greatest indicator of beta status; it means that the man is showing that he’s willing to sacrifice his value (which apparently is incredibly fragile) in order to appease the woman in hopes of getting sexual favors from her. There seems to be a very slippery slope amongst these beliefs between, say, buying a drink or paying for dinner and becoming a spineless, sexless blob of neediness that no woman would touch with a ten-foot pole.

But once you get beyond the broad swaths of proscribed behavior and into the weeds of the specifics, things start to vary immensely. Is it more alpha to have lots of sex or to make the choice to commit to one woman? Is it more alpha to cheat on one’s spouse or to stay faithful in the face of temptation? Who is more alpha, the singer in a band, the popular artist, the banker or the cage-fighter? If the banker loses his job, is he still alpha?

What if that singer is Henry fuckin' Rollins?

What if that singer is Henry fuckin’ Rollins?

Who is more alpha, the man who has his wife’s complete devotion and fidelity or one whose wife sleeps with other men. If it turns out that he’s in an open marriage, does that change the alpha equation? What if he’s into cuckolding and is using that other male as part of his own sexual pleasure? Sure, other people are fucking his wife… but they’re doing it at his sufferance and in turn making his sex life even more pleasurable and intense. Is the macho type-A personality high-powered executive less alpha if he’s the sub in an S&M relationship? Is he more or less alpha if he’s into prostate stimulation? What about if he’s into pegging?

What about biologically? Testosterone levels are frequently held up as a measure of manliness – but testosterone production plummets after 25. Is a man in his 30s less alpha than one in his 20s? What if the man in his 30s is a politician and the 20 year old is a busboy?

The idea of alpha as a social dominant is equally as unclear. Is someone alpha if they can wedge their way in between a girl and the guy talking to her and hang in until the guy leaves? Is he less alpha if he can’t convince said girl to abandon her male friend? If the alpha male is the one who’s dominant, is it more alpha or less alpha to give way to others’ desires? Is the person who agrees to go to a restaurant other than the one he wants to visit less alpha for being willing to accede to his friends’ wishes? Is someone who doesn’t get his way in all things not alpha? What if he seeks the advice of others? How many times can a person give way to someone else before they are no longer alpha? Are they only alpha for as long as people are willing for them to lead? What if they’re not the leader of the group but the one who influences the leader?

At what point does someone go from being “alpha” to “an insufferable selfish dick”?

The Problem With The Obsession With Being Alpha

There’s nothing inherently wrong with wanting to be more assertive and dynamic, to have the respect of your peers and to be desired by others. Learning how to be more confident, how to be more socially adept and to have stronger personal boundaries is good thing, something I encourage.

The problem is the way that the obsession with being “alpha” manifests itself; it encourages simplistic and at times downright mysoginistic thinking. Let’s be honest, when you’re modeling your behavior on the assumption that women instinctively trade sex in exchange for material support, you’re saying – flat out – that you believe all women are whores. This includes your mother, sister, cousins and every single woman you’ve ever loved or lusted after.

Men, on the other hand can only be one way; deviating from the path of the alpha means that you are less of a man by definition. There is no room for variation – you must fit into this very narrow definition of masculinity or else resign yourself to getting fucked over by everybody else. There’s no real room for intimate male friendships because to open up too much is to be beta… not to mention making yourself vulnerable to someone else taking your place on the mountain of testosterone. 

Buying into the cult of the Alpha is to buy into a binary world of nothing but stereotypes and gender policing. Men are alpha or they aren’t, women are either hypergamous status-chasers or they’re uggos who’re settling for betas because they can’t snag a high-value man. Betas only exist to be cheated on and rejected while alphas rule the world. It narrows the world to a deterministic universe without nuance or uniqueness. Men and women are reduced to sexualized robots, ruled by their immutable sexual needs with no individuality to speak of.

This is an attitude that’s going to fuck you over. When you buy into the idea that all women are game-playing shrews who will only be faithful until a better option comes along, that’s all you’re ever going to find. You will be effectively screening out all of the incredible women who might otherwise be interested in you while you’re too busy trying to make sure that you’re not about to lose value to another more manly man. Your attitude and misguided views of women will ultimately sabotage any actual emotional connection you might want to form and leave you angry, bitter and alone.

The real world doesn’t work this way. As has been demonstrated over and over again, women are not some monolithic uniform entity or hive-mind; trying to force the world to fit in the alpha/beta midset only means that you will be unable to actually relate, empathize or even understand women and what they want or are attracted to. Some women like macho, take-charge men. Others like soft-spoken intellectuals or floppy-haired mods or wiry musicians, tattooed greasers, chubby hairy teddy-bears or yes, giant-ass nerds.

"Damn straight."

“Damn straight.”

What’s A Real Man To Do?

Whenever I write about issues surrounding masculinity and gender identity, I get a lot of heated reactions. There are inevitable people who will insist that I’m trying to “pussify men” or that if I would just take the Red Pill I would see the world as it really is instead of this femme, faggy, supplicating model that I’m pushing onto impressionable men. More power to them. I hope they find happiness some day; it’s pretty clear to me that they don’t have it now.

I’m a firm believer that one of the key elements to having greater social success is simple: don’t be an asshole. Treating others like shit because you’re trying to force your life into a bullshit model of behavior that doesn’t even have a basis in reality is the very definition of being an asshole. It’s counter-productive, it makes you an obnoxious dick and it hurts others – women especially.

The obsession with alpha status is – more often than not – an obsession born out of insecurity. A person who spends all of his time trying to be alpha is someone who doesn’t have a strong emotional foundation; he is too busy seeking validation by trying to get others to acknowledge his position.

Someone who’s mature, secure in his identity and values, in touch with his emotions and comfortable with being vulnerable is isn’t going to worry about being alpha. He’s not going to need to get into territorial pissing matches in order to prove himself, nor is he reduced to acting like a sarcastic dick to women in order to conform to a bogus definition of masculinity. He doesn’t need to get wrapped up in labels or assume that every woman is just looking for the next social upgrade.

It doesn’t matter whether he’s a muscle-bound fireman who can down whiskey by the quart or a hundred and twenty pound accountant who plays Pathfinder on the weekends with his buddies… he’s the real man.

 

  1. see what I did there? []
  2. MONKEY JOKE! []
  3. although some of the MRA sites I’ve seen come pretty damn close []

Comments

  1. crommunist says:

    The obsession with alpha status is – more often than not – an obsession born out of insecurity.

    This is abundantly evident if ever one cares to visit r/pua or any other Pickup Artist thread. These guys do NOT deal with rejection well, and blame women for everything that is wrong in their lives. I'd be more sympathetic if they weren't all aspiring sociopaths.

    • It's actually very easy to define "alpha;" they're the cool, confident guys who in high school went out with the girls that the PUAs and MRAs wanted to go out with, and who the MRAs and PUAs are still bitter towards.

      • Meyer N Gaines says:

        Not sure why people always equate MRAs and PUAs, there are quite a few differences between the two from what I understand.

        MRAs just hang around internet forums and bitch about how women want nothing more than to screw men over through divorce theft/false rape charges/social engineering/etc. And they raise some valid points, though most of it is drowned out by the hate.

        PUAs don't care about any of that, they just hang around internet forums and talk about going to clubs and hitting on girls.

        • Actually, I've seen a lot of the PUA types being up a lot of the same arguments MRA types do. I don't think anyone assumes they're the same, but there is a fair bit of overlap in attitudes. Mainly because both tend to be founded on the idea that, in one way or another, women are a monolithic entity that is hostile toward men.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            If MRA is the science, PUA is the technology.

          • Paul Rivers says:

            "Mainly because both tend to be founded on the idea that, in one way or another, women are a monolithic entity that is hostile toward men."

            They're both copying the expressions and language that feminism – and dating advice aimed towards women – has been using for decades – "men" are like this, "men" are like that, "men" like this, you should act this way towards "men" to attract them, etc etc etc.

            I would also say that it's innacurate wording that makes it more difficult to have an accurate view of things. What it usually means is "a lot of group xzy", like "a lot of men like women who smile" or "a lot of women find that guy who's in charge and who everyone likes attractive".

            But I *really* don't see a difference in MRA wording and argument tactics and feminist wording and argument tactics – they look exactly the same to me. Personally, it seems to me that they just copied the feminist tactics (which to be fair are probably much older than feminism – you seem the same language and arguing tactics used in politics as well), and one notices a lot more when the same tactics are used on things one disagrees with.

          • While that may be true for a very narrow and specific definition of what constitutes "feminism," it completely sidesteps the problem with the MRA arguments. To finish addressing the first issue what I see and hear when I speak to most feminists are things like "Society promotes attitude X, which is bad because Y," "Women face disadvantages A, B, and C, which get downplayed because of historical attitudes towards women," "Many men don't realize the position of privilege they occupy in many male/female interactions and the burdens that puts on women," and so on.

            In response to that the things I see when I read MRA posts tend to be more like "Women are all bitches who want to force laws that let them steal your sperm and then make you pay alimony and child support for the rest of your life while they sit on their asses." The key difference here is from feminists I hear a lot about problems that actually impact them in their day to day life, problems entirely outside their control. From your average MRA-type I hear about either hypothetical, slippery-slope, logic-straining-worst-case-ever-scenarios, or about situations in which they were complicit (personally, not as a member of society) in creating the situation they are complaining about.

          • I want to quickly make it clear that I actually feel very strongly about the sorts of screwed up rules and expectations that society has for young (and not so young) men and I would love to see changes that break down the worst parts of those rules and expectations… but I am extremely uncomfortable associating myself with virtually all MRA-types because I don't think "I had consensual sex, my partner got pregnant, and now I have to pay child-support. It's so unfair, she could have gotten an abortion if she didn't want the baby, no one gave me a choice," counts as an injustice facing men today.

          • fakely mctest says:

            Gender roles in general are such a classic example of The Patriarchy Hurts Men Too. Solution? Feminism.

            While some MRAs are hateful jerks, I think there are others that are just really hung up on this concept that everything about child-creation and birthing should be FAIR, which, it just isn't and can't be and will most likely never be because: biology.

          • Yes, I find it so strange how many MRAs seem to complain about how hard it is for men to be judged harshly for expressing vulnerability, to be valued more for confidence and physical strength and financial success than for other successes or positive traits, even to be the ones who make up the majority of the police and army- and yet they never seem to come to the solution of breaking down gender roles so that masculinity isn't so restrictive; nor do they fight against the sexism in the police force and military which keeps many women from taking those careers alongside them. I don't get it.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            Fail. MRA members saying that men should be judged on things other than those listed is NOT the issue people have.
            Its the undercurrent of "women only want x and its not fair so women suck".
            Also there's the undercurrent of "I'm a nice guy which is why all those bitches don't appreciate me. They only want guys who treat them like shit."
            Oh, and then there's "why can't the rest of you just face the obvious TRUTH that we're all silverback gorillas with laptops?"

            And really? Fight against sexism so women etc? Show me a link to an MRA thread about sexism as does not relate to how affairmative actions is sexist because it lets underqualified cute chicks take their jobs that they deserve.

            I'm not a feminist. I'm not an MRA. They've both got too much baggage on board. You can call me an ERA – Equal Rights Advocate.

          • eselle28 says:

            I'm going to give them one, and only one, point. The complaint about the court system favoring mothers over fathers in custody proceedings has merit (not in each of their individual cases, but as a broad social trend).

            Unfortunately, rape apologists and guys whose points about double standards always seem to lead to the conclusion that women should get back in the kitchen tend to come along for the ride.

          • There's definitely an undercurrent of "women only want x" and "I'm a nice guy which is why…", but I've seen a good couple of "women don't know how easy they've got it, men have to alpha male blah blah to get anywhere" – with 'anywhere' including things other than 'sex with women'. A few times I've been struck by how much frustration they seem to have towards other men who they perceive as more alpha and how being 'nice' holds them back in relation to other men (in a context other than competing for a woman).

            Perhaps it was going too far to interpret that as frustration with gender roles – they certainly didn't frame it in terms of sexism or gender roles, that part was all my analysis.

            The flavour of the stuff that made me think this seemed fairly typically MRA-ish to me, but I haven't spent a huge amount of time in MRA-land, so I'll happily concede they might have been anomalous or I might have gotten the wrong tack on them. In any case, I'm afraid I don't know where I saw this stuff, and am not up to subjecting myself to looking for it, so no link will be had.

          • Er, to clarify: I also wasn't trying to suggest that MRAs feel that sexism is keeping women out of the police and military, just that I've seen complaints along the lines of "it's unfair that men have to risk their lives in police and military defending women." I actually had the impression this was a fairly common MRA complaint.

            The leap to wondering why they don't therefore support removing barriers to women doing these things was entirely my own – I'm not so naive as to imagine they think there are any barriers to women in military or police other than flaws in women's skills or character.

          • That's my biggest problem with them, too, that obvious catch 22. They are the loudest to complain that men die in wars and on dangerous jobs and built civilization for us fat, entitled women who gleefully send them to their deaths and ride on all their hard work. When feminists say, "ok, let's open up the military and all the jobs to women too", all of a sudden MRAs are the loudest to complain that women are actually shit at everything, can't think or invent, can't fight and that they need to get back in the kitchen.

            So, which is it, boys?

          • That's the main reason I dislike most MRA's. They complain about all the ways double standards hurt men, without realizing that the system that oppresses women is the same one that hurts men. If you're going to promote the belief that women should stay home because they're naturally better at child care, then of COURSE they'll be more likely to get custody if divorce comes along.

            Men are unable to express emotion and vulnerability because those are "women" things, and in our society, "women" is synonymous with "weak". A woman who does "man" stuff is praised because she's seen as moving up, while a man who does "woman" stuff is mocked for moving on down. You want to change that, then support gender equality and help get rid of the notion that anything associated with women is inherently weak.

          • Paul Rivers points out the obvious disjunct and inherent hypocrisy of feminist language (even more ironic due to the feminist obsession with the use of language): gets 18 down votes.

            Equality.

  2. Gentleman Horndog says:

    In my improv class, one of my (male) classmates launched into a scene where he was a personal trainer whose primary motivational phrase was "That's Alpha as FUCK, man! ALPHA AS FUCK!!!" Great scene; big laughs.

    Afterwards, the guy told us he was actually at a gym where he saw a dude saying that to the guy he was working with, and thought it was hilarious. We all agreed with him. "Alpha as fuck" is now a class in-joke.

    I wonder how that guy would react to knowing that a whole class full of improv geeks, male and female, think he's a laughingstock. I'm fairly sure that's NOT alpha as fuck.

  3. Jarenth says:

    You realize, of course, that the real PUA 'alpha' men are going to take your gorilla comparison as a compliment.

    Good article, doc. Thanks for writing!

    Also, has anyone ever mentioned that the way you pepper your articles with hyperlinks makes reading one irritatingly like reading Wikipedia, or Cracked, or TVTropes? And by that I mean I already have two more tabs open, and I'm consigned to spending at least one more hour of my life learning about women and dating and how to be a more interesting man. I was going to go towards a complaint with this, but I'm no longer sure what the problem was.

    • I can no longer visit TVTropes unless I have nothing planned for the next 2 days.

      • Discipline people, discipline.

      • Two years ago, when I crashed Google Chrome under the weight of all the TVTropes tabs I had open, was when I realized I had a problem. There's now a three-tab rule in place…which I break all the time, but 15 tabs isn't as bad as 40, right? I can quit at any time, right?

    • scalawag says:

      Poor gorillas. They get a bum rap.

      • They may not be great human analogs, but I agree, gorillas are pretty cool. Unlike chimps, gorillas don't tear your fucking face and genitals off.

        • OldBrownSquirrel says:

          Common chimps may do that, but I've never heard of bonobos behaving like that.

          • I know they don't, that's why I said chimps (chimpanzees), Chimps are freaky scary.

          • OldBrownSquirrel says:

            OK, fair enough. Some people use "chimp" more broadly or just don't recognize the distinction; I just wanted to make sure the distinction between bonobos and common chimps was clear.

            Hmm. Why does nobody ever mention orangutans in these conversations? Because they're less social, I suppose?

          • Eh, probably because, while adorable, orangutans aren't generally used as human analogs in these sorts of discussions. Hell, I've seen WOLVES used as human analogs more than I've seen orangutans!.

          • Dr_NerdLove says:

            Orangutans don't live in social groups for the most part. The individual males have designated territories and the females wander through.

          • scalawag says:

            I was just going to say that. Primatology :)

  4. "There are inevitable people who will insist that I’m trying to “pussify men” or that if I would just take the Red Pill I would see the world as it really is instead of this femme, faggy, supplicating model that I’m pushing onto impressionable men."

    Would it be wrong to start taking bets on how long it takes for this article to get one of these reactions?

    • Gentleman Horndog says:

      Two hours.

      Starting from … NOW!

      *gets the popcorn ready*

    • Mmarple says:

      by the end of the day the Nerdlove blog shall be filled with the screeches of MRAs. BRING IT

  5. deadliftman says:

    I can see you are advocating a more balanced view of assertive behavior – one that will leave the person happier. But, you can't seriously ignore the reality that there are emotionally-fucked-up and still downright "hot" women (eg. not all but many of the strippers) out there who are yearning for some emotional drama in their boring lives. They get to have that drama with a guy who behaves like an absolute asshole. Sure, if you consider any decent looking woman with a modicum of self-respect, she probably won't fall for the absolute asshole. Even then, women have been known to be emotionally vulnerable. It's not surprising that at some point some reasonably attractive woman is going to fall for the asshole game – typically for a fling. So, although being an asshole isn't going to land you an enriching loving long-term relationship, it will get you more sex than if you were a submissive needy guy. That is incredibly appealing to most guys who have not had much sex and are in their early twenties – hence the craze of the PUAs.

    What you are advocating is a more mature view of the mating process and I bet it will take some years before a wannabe PUA realizes the limitations of his ways – in terms of the quality of women he ends up with and the type of relationships he has. Even then, I see all this as simply a case of mis-calibration and over-compensation and dare I say, this is still better than someone who is not doing anything for improving his skills with women.

    • This would be a good comment if you took out the assumptions about strippers and about how women with low-self esteem will and will not behave; those groups can speak for themselves.

    • Gentleman Horndog says:

      Why shouldn't he ignore that reality? The point of this blog is not "Bang as many hot chicks as possible." It's much more geared towards finding emotionally mature non-exploitive sexual relationships — and an approach directed at "emotionally-fucked-up" women "yearning for some emotional drama in their boring lives" runs DIRECTLY counter to that.

      Yes, a fundamentally flawed but assertive approach is better than wallowing in Nice Guy self-pity; as a former PUA himself, I suspect the Doc would agree with you there. But better still is an approach that doesn't weed-out partners lacking exploitable emotional issues and that doesn't leave you with a crapload of misogynist attitudes you'll later have to invest time and energy unlearning — assuming you ever do.

      • You nailed it on the head. While these sorts of attitudes *might* get you laid, they will get you laid by people who just reinforce your bad attitudes about women and just entrench your bitterness and hateful attitudes. Which means you will only continue getting laid by these sorts, and around and around the cycle goes.

      • ….I'm not sure what you're disagreeing with. I'm simply stating that it's uncool to make assumptions about women who work as strippers, and that it's uncool to make assumptions about women with emotional issues when those women can and do speak for themselves. Obviously people shouldn't prey on people who struggle with emotional and mental health.

        • Gentleman Horndog says:

          I'm disagreeing with the original post. Your point about the uncoolness about the assumptions being made is perfectly valid — and one I didn't even see until after my post was written. :-)

          • Oh okay sorry! The commenting system makes it hard to tell who is responding to what. Disregard :)

    • I don't understand why a lot of sex with women who are, by your own definition here, "emotionally-fucked-up" would be a good thing? I won't argue that it's better or worse than "no sex at all," because that's kind of a personal decision, but how could a string of short encounters with people that you hold in contempt and who will react in unpredictable and potentially dangerous ways when you call the "relationship" off possibly be a thing to aspire to?

      You acknowledge that Doc is advocating a mature view of the dating process, but seem resigned that most PUA's are too immature to realize why they're wrong and I think that the point of this post is that WE SHOULDN'T SETTLE FOR THAT. If I want to see my fellow young adult men having the best sex possible, then I want them to learn the error of their ways as young as possible so that they can have better sex. Another blogger had a great post about this too that I'll try and hunt up and link here later.

      • Actually (furthering your point, not disagreeing with you), I think DNL makes a pretty good case that it might very well be worse to get to have some sex through alpha behavior rather than to be getting no sex at all. As he points out, alpha behavior doesn't just hurt your chances at connecting with women in an emotionally healthy way in order to date them, it also poisons your relationships with *all* the women around you (people you might have to, say, work with, or socialize with in friendly or family settings, and so on), and often with the men around you too (because you're more focused on being dominant over others). If all a guy wants out of life is the physical act of sex, then I suppose it doesn't make much difference, but presumably most men would also like to have fulfilling work, social, and/or family lives too.

    • Of course there are fucked-up women. There will always be fucked-up humans. So what? I submit that intentionally adding to their fucked-uppedness is fucked-up behavior itself. Anyone who tries to make excuses for their misogynistic and hateful attitudes towards women on the basis of the existence of fucked-up women is doing a great job towards being presented in the courtroom as Toxic Human Exhibit A themselves.

      • Unfortunately that argument doesn't gain much traction with the guys who actually think this kind of approach is okay, because they really don't care about being non-toxic human beings, they just care about getting what they want. (I have seen guys in the comments on past posts say things like, "What's in it for me to be a decent human being if it doesn't get me laid?" :P )

        • "I have seen guys in the comments on past posts say things like, "What's in it for me to be a decent human being if it doesn't get me laid?"

          God, I remember that guy, So many facepalms.

          • Just the one? I think there have been a couple.

          • Most just insinuate it; beat around the bush. But that one guy outright said it! "Why should I X if it won't result in SEX NOWWW." I think the X was "engage in pleasant conversation" or something mild like that.

    • Gentleman Johnny says:

      It will get you more sex with emotionally vulnerable and/or damaged women. If that's your goal you're not playing an asshole, you ARE an asshole.

      • Seems many of them have trouble spotting the difference between acting and being a real, total asshole. Cause they're "genuinely nice guys" on OKCupid, right? Makes it all okay. :P

  6. Just on an observational level, the alpha thing makes no sense. In most couples you see in public, neither part of the couple is alpha. Where I think the alpha male thing is coming from is that a lot of men are going after women they really have no chance with it because the type of women that date "alpha" men aren't really going to be the type that dates nerds or anybody who isn't "alpha". However, lust and nerd culture teaches that every nerd boy derserves a hot, supermodel girlfriend and thats what they go after. Anime and manga are worse in this regard than Western comics since the men in Western comics do tend towards the masculine ideal more than their Japanes counterparts.

    • I disagree specifically for this reason. Men in japanese manga are portrayed in a much more “metro” way than they are in american comics. There are of course exceptions but the japanese male ideal, or rather the male perception of the ideal male, is not macho. The character type exists, but it is less popular than the visual kei prettyboy.

      • In shojo and josei manga yes but shonen and seinen, there are lots of average to dorky looking men with hot girlfriends and also more tradtionally masculine and muscle-bound men. In a lot of harem comedies or shonen manga, the lead is no prize compared to the rival if there is one. Now contrast this with Peter Parker. Peter Parker is a big dork but, at least since the mid to late 1960s, has also been traditionally handsome.

  7. Flawless fucking post, Doc.

  8. I wonder if high school feeds into this obsession at all. I remember in high school, where there were a handful of people who were almost universally lusted after. Maybe the people who obsess about "alphaness" haven't realized that we're not in high school anymore.

    • Possiblly but I think more the blame can be placed on nerd culture or mass entertainmet in general. Nerd culture is filled with stories of earnest and nerdy boys/men ending up with the hot girl/woman over the jock/high paid CEO. I guess the equivalent for women are romance novels where the handsome, rakish hearthrobe falls for the somewhat to very less exciting female protagonist but the women in romance novels tend to be a lot more beautiful and stunning than their male equivalents in nerd culture. There is also a class element since its not unusual for a woman from an economic-privileged background to fall for a boy from the wrong side of the tracks, all these tend to be more in the good girl/bad boy form of fantasy. However, the media is telling lots of men that you deserve a woman thats better than you in some way.

      Real life isn't like this. Attractive people tend to date other attractive people. People also tend to date and marry in their own socio-economic class.

      • I never got the appeal of the hot woman with an average at best man and I'm a man. Personally, I'd like it if a woman whose dating considers me physically attractive and handsome rather than somebody she is dating despite my looks. Why wouldn't a man want to be seen as good looking? I'd rather have a woman think I'm handsome than be the average/ugly man who gets the woman over good looking guy.

        • Well, I would imagine that most of the "hot" women with average-looking husbands *do* find their husbands attractive and don't feel they're dating them despite their looks. For one thing, everyone has different tastes, and a guy you might think it's that appealing might be very attractive to someone else. And also, having an attractive and charismatic personality can make a person look more physically attractive to someone who knows them well.

    • Have you read "The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth," by Alexandra Robbins? It's not about dating per se, but the "alpha" factor comes up, with respect to social groups, conformity, and non-conformity. It also looks at how various people do in "real life" after high school, and how (or whether) their high school social experiences affected them in the long run.

    • Probably, it seems like there are a few common relationship misconceptions that steam from people thinking things are like their where in high school.

  9. One of my favorite books is Jack Holland's Misogyny http://www.amazon.com/Brief-History-Misogyny-Prej
    It's a set of essays on the development and nature of misogyny. It's not overly theoretically and I often recommend it. I'll just post the link here now before the deluge of grossness arrives.

  10. Maybe it's the author who has some issues what with the false of dichotomy of the "bad boy" versus "nice guy". Those two groups are leftovers of the rest of the male population whereas most men are down-to-earth and can easily settle in relationship. Genuine "bad boys" are overt-aggressive assholes and "nice guys" are passive-aggressive assholes. Every decent guy get has no trouble settling down with a decent woman and having children evidenced by the fact you see well-adjusted children alive today.

    On the other hand, what's up with the sexual socialist crap? It's quite clear that humanity has been polygynous – one male, many females. This is obvious from the fact that humans are sexual dimorphic, men are larger and stronger than women and resourceful men are attractive whereas resourceful women are not. There's a hint of wishful thinking here in which a dorky guy can and ought to score with any hot woman because he is of good character and that's what women should really want. Women, by the same token, should then argue that men should be equally attracted to middle-aged, frumpy women past their sexual prime because desiring a voluptuous, young woman is caveman thinking and has no place in the modern world where physical traits shouldn't mean a thing.

    • This comment might make a little bit of sense if DNL advocated guys doing nothing but having "good character" to appeal to women. But that's not what he does–he advocates guys finding ways to look and dress their best, to build confidence and good humor, and so on. He's just saying that you can do all that without being misogynist and hostile toward the people around you. Do you disagree?

      (As for your comment about polygamy, I'm not sure how men being larger and stronger makes it "clear" that this is true, especially when the article above provides much clearer proof that polygamous thinking is tied to property ownership, not something biological.)

    • The human penis is the only one to have evolved a barbed head, and sexual intercourse takes much longer. The purpose served here is to scrape out the semen from other men before depositing your own. This wouldn't make sense in your "quite clear that humanity has been polygynous" claim.

      • Ainuvande says:

        last I checked there are not barbs on a human penis head. In fact, we are one of very few mammals (all those who copulate for pleasure) who don't have penis barbs. Are you thinking of cats? They have a barbed penis. Latches on inside until the male comes. Female cats can also have kittens from multiple males in the same litter. Got nothing to do with humans.

      • uh…. If there are barbs on your penis, please see a doctor asap. This is not a human trait.

    • Omg lol "sexual socialist"

      • I know, right? Break out the little mustaches! We're two steps short of a sexual Godwin's Law!

        • Gentleman Johnny says:

          That sounds like a PUA seminar. I'm gonna run out and trademark "Sexual Moore's Law. Double your power every 18 months!"

      • fakely mctest says:

        Does that mean, like, sex with Norwegians or something?

        • Clementine Danger says:

          As a citizen of a socialist country, in my experience it means waiting in line for two hours to get your sex forms, filling out the prerequisite sex forms to get primary sex forms, having said forms lost in the mail and starting over, waiting in line for two more hours to have it explained to you how you do not meet the requirements for sex in the rudest way possible, being fined for no reason whatsoever, filing out the sex forms again, only to be told the sex you will be receiving based on your employment status will be delivered to you whenever the government sees fit, which is usually by the time you don't need it anymore.

          • fakely mctest says:

            As long as I can fill out my socialist sex forms with an appropriately sexy color of ink, I'm cool. I'll just bring a book or something.

          • Only number 2 black ink or number 7 blue ink. The pens aren't labeled what kind of ink they use and god help you if you use the wrong one, you'll die a virgin.

          • I love this comment so much, Orv. Can I marry it?

            And apparently being attracted snarky wit is part of my caveman brain. Or is being witty an alpha trait displaying psycho-dominance somehow? Help me out here, I can't keep up!!

          • Trooper6 says:

            BiSian, you cannot marry that comment! God made Adam and Eve not Adam and 010001010111011001100101!

            Why do you want to destroy the institution of marriage! Because marriage is the cornerstone of civilization!

            Wait…how do you square the "marriage is what creates civilization" crowd with the "evo psych says men are like chimps" (who don't pair bond)?

          • As near as I can tell, because "Feminism is bad"!!!

          • Trooper6 says:

            Feminism is badass!

          • fakely mctest says:

            Polygamy?

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            Well, see, it turns out that being clever gets you more resources for a smaller expenditure than being strong, let alone spending time proving you're strong. Anyone can dig for gold. It takes a special mindset to go out to California with a wagonload of picks and shovels to sell.

    • Gentleman Johnny says:

      Oh oh! So big guys get to be alpha? So I should just go in, grab the girl I want by the hair, beat up her boyfirend and take her no matter what anyone else says to prove I'm a good mate, right?

      That's the thing about being an alpha. Chimps do it by force while all the non-alpha chimps (male and female) keep doing whatever the fuck they want when the one chimp who will pound them isn't around. Who's using resources better, the one who has to use lots of recources to keep control or the many who are inconvenienced only a small part of the time?

      • Matty C says:

        This actually reminds me, I can't remember what study it was from but it basically said that in fact the 'betas' lead much less stressful lives, simply from not having the constant stress of having to guard their territory and maintain their 'alphaness'. Not sure if it was monkeys or dogs that it was referring to, but it does make sense.

        • Gentleman Johnny says:

          Well sure. Forget women, just look at life. Who has more stress, Donald Trump or his driver?

    • Gentleman Johnny says:

      Isn't PUA sexually socialist? All the programs promise that if you toe the party line, you'll get your fair share of sex. Like Soviet Socialism, it appeals mainly to those who feel like they're not getting what they deserve.

  11. Fantastic article! I am fully prepared for responses: http://img.gawkerassets.com/img/17og069hdgs3ogif/

    The Red Pill/MGTOW movement in particular fascinates and confuses me. I sort of understand it-it's essentially a twist on the "When you stop looking, you'll find it"/"Find other good things in your life besides needing a relationship." The twist, of course, is that when I've seen it invoked, it's been by guys who are clearly angry, bitter, upset, and deeply hateful towards women.

    I just don't GET all the hatred towards women. I certainly have my own bitterness and negativity to overcome when it relates to dating, but the sheer volume and intensity of Red Pill/MRA/PUA guys just astounds me. I can't wrap my head around it. Why in the world are they so twisted and hateful??

    • I think it comes down to this sort of view where you either need to take responsibility yourself, or need to blame someone externally, and it is hard to go "You know what? I'm the problem here. It's really almost entirely my fault, and to change things I need to put in a lot of hard work and change the way I see myself, the way I value myself, and the way I interact with others." It is easy to go "It's THEIR FAULT. THEY are the ones screwing me out of the sex I deserve." If you're young (or not so young) and you lack the introspection to appreciate that you own your own success or failure (generally speaking), and log onto the internet to complain about your failures in dating you're more likely to find other angry guys who will help teach you that it's not your fault, and that you should be really angry at the women who keep denying you sex.

    • Gentleman Horndog says:

      I do get it — better than I feel comfortable admitting to. That feeling of being completely cut off from your own sexuality, of constantly SEEING [what you are convinced is] what will satisfy you with ever being able to touch it even for a moment, is corrosive and poisonous in a way that's hard to describe unless you've been there.

      There's an unhappiness at play that goes bone-deep. That they've latched onto an external cause for it is not surprising to me at all.

      • But why is being "cut off" from your sexuality…. well, such a big deal? Does it all come back to men being socialized to link their masculinity almost entirely to how much sex with how many hot women they can achieve?

        • I think it mainly comes back to the societal message that women "control" sexuality–that whether any given person has sex is up to the woma/en in the equation. So when a guy can't get sex, it's easy for him to see that as the fault of women "denying" him. Whereas you'll notice that if a woman isn't able to attract men, she's encouraged to blame herself and assume she's just not appealing enough, since theoretically it's oh so easy for a woman to find interested men as long as she's not completely abhorrent.

          • Ah, that makes complete sense. I wonder how we as a society could start getting away from the idea that women somehow "control" sex/access to sex?

          • It's a tricky mindset to get out of, because both men and women are encouraged to perpetuate it. The movements I think will end up helping the most are:

            -the push toward mutual enthusiastic consent, seeing sex as a collaborate act that people do together because they'll both enjoy it (rather than something a guy convinces a woman to do primarily for his enjoyment)

            -the call for proper sex education rather than abstinence only, so women are fully aware of how they can protect themselves from STDs and unwanted pregnancies (rather than feeling they have to be extra cautious about sex because of those risks, which are higher for them than for men)

            -the challenging of rape culture, so that women don't have to feel they're at risk of being blamed if something bad results from them being sexually available or active (through no actual fault of their own), and so that men recognize that the "gray areas" of consent are not really that gray.

            But it's probably going to take a long time, sadly.

          • Gentleman Horndog says:

            Amen to all of this, particularly the enthusiastic consent. I'll take a solid internet connection and a bit of privacy over "Yeah, sure, I guess"-sex any time.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            I was just reading today about the idea that men now "control" sex on college campuses because they're so outnumbered by women. Its, what, like 60/40? I wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry.

          • Artimaeus says:

            Coulda fooled me.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            Well, if you follow the transactional model, it makes sense. Given that everyone wants (hetero) sex, the side with the smaller population can afford to be more choosy. If the theory were true, then a population of 1.5 women to every guy would give guys more control over the transaction than women have in the general population. The more guys who want monogamous relationships, the more power the ones left have as the ratio moves further in their favor.

            So what happens is women have to prove they're above the remaining men to make those men want them. Any desperate chick can throw herself at the ugly dudes until she finds one but if she wants a real "10", by which I mean a hot dude with washboard abs, she's got to be the alpha bitch. So they'll insist men buy them drinks, pay men backhanded compliments and make it clear how many other guys they could be with. That way they demonstrate a superior social value that makes the men come to them. . . yeah, it sounds just as ridiculous on the screen as it did in my head. Never thought I'd have a real world social situation set me up for that gag, though.

          • At least for heterosexual sex, I don't think that thats advisible. The idea that women control access to heterosexual sex directly relates to the concept of rape, that no means no and there is no sex without a women's cosent. These guys might be griping about how women aren't giving them sex but at least they aren't doing anything worse yet. The idea that women control access to sex is something of a necessarily evil to maintain the social peace to an extent.

          • eselle28 says:

            I disagree. The idea that women control access to sex leads to a lot of things that, at best, support rape culture and, at worst, lead to rape. If sex is a commodity to be accessed and women are the gatekeepers, the next step for someone who wants to access that commodity is to try to figure out how to wheedle or bribe or trick or browbeat the gatekeeper into giving you access. That's particularly true if you think that the gatekeepers are doling out sex in an unfair way, and that you deserve to get more of it.

            If you think of sex more like dancing or a conversation, I think that leads to a much better consent model, since most people acknowledge that those things are only fun if your partner is a willing participant.

          • Actually, if we could properly break away from the idea of women controlling sex, I think you'd see less rape. Because rape isn't about sex, usually–it's about dominance and control. It's about one person taking away control from someone they see as having it. If men didn't see women as controlling their access to sex, there wouldn't be as much to get off on by taking that control away.

            Most men who rape, especially in the area of questionable consent rather than outright spoken "no"s, I suspect are men who do buy into the idea that women control their access to sex, and thus it seems totally acceptable for them to "play the game" and try to convince women even when they're getting signals that indicate no, or to take advantage when the woman's incapacitated… The women-control-sex view encourages people to see dating and sex as an area of conflict with men and women at opposing sides rather than a collaborative effort where everyone wants both partners to be happy, and you're not going to treat your opponent with the same courtesy you might a friendly collaborator.

          • Maybe but I'm doubtful. However, I'm also a pessimist and think that the best results come from expecting the worse and planning for that rather than thinking everything is going to work out in the end. I don't think that most humans have the emotionally maturity to handle dating/sex as a collaborative effort and that men and women both like the dating/sex as conflict line of thought. Some men like it because it takes the blame off of them for why the aren't getting anyway. Some women like it because of the illusion of control and power it gives them.

          • I also think that a lot of men don't want to a sexual system where they could only have sex when their is visible enthusiasm from the woman. A lot of men think that if this where the case than they would be having sex a lot less than they like because of vastly different sex drives. It seems that a lot of men fear that even if they are in relationships with women who love them, that their girlfriends or wives are not going to be into them sexually and will only be willing to have sex on occassion rather than more frequently. Whether this is true or not, I don't know but the fear is definitely commons A lot of men are always going to view women as controlling access to sex and think that they won't get an enthusiastic consent frequently enough.

            Unfortunately, I think more than a fair share of women, not all of them but a plurality, like it this way.

          • And I don't think we need to change the message just to men, but to women as well. I acknowledged that both men and women are encouraged to perpetuate this mindset, and I think it needs to be tackled with everyone.

            I don't actually think that women have much lower sex drives than men do, though. I think many women learn to suppress their sexual desire because there are so many messages about women's sexuality being shameful or improper, to the point that they have trouble feeling it even when they're in a healthy relationship. I say that as someone who's experienced this myself–I had a very high sex drive as a teen and early-twenty-something, and my first two boyfriends both expressed discomfort with it, as if it meant there was something wrong with me. When that happens, especially repeatedly, it's easy to end up with a lot of negative feelings tangled up in what should be a totally pleasurable act, and that negativity dampens your enthusiasm.

            So, if the message changed toward a collaborative view, and away from women feeling shamed for being sexual, I think you'd see men getting *more* sex, and they'd realize it's a good thing pretty quickly.

            I'm not saying changing this will be easy. In fact, I said the opposite. But societal change is rarely easy, and that doesn't mean it isn't worth fighting for.

          • Oh hell yeah. As a former conservative Christian raised in Texas, my sex drive was completely twisted out of recognition with suppression and denial and toxic social messages teaching me not to trust my own body and desires. It's taken years and years to chip away at that conditioning, and even though I'm much happier now, I know those 20+ years of early training are going to irrevocably shape me no matter what. I don't even want to know how much more twisted and warped the sex drives of the millions of women living in religious societies look like, the ones who can't or won't escape.

            You can't claim that women have naturally lower sex drives when so many women aren't within shouting distance of a "natural" sex drive, high or low. Who knows what those look like?

          • I find this line of thought, quite frankly, terrifying. A world in which it's better to not be sure if my partner wants to have sex with me is a pretty shitty world.

            Really, let's break down the two choices you're presenting here:

            Choice A: Men frequently have sex where they have no idea if their partner wanted it or not. Either they spend a lot of time worrying about this which creates a lot of anxiety around sex, or they don't ever think about it and just press for sex whenever they want it. Either way, avoiding awareness of consent implicitly requires that there be no conversation about what things the partner enjoys. How could there be conversation about WHAT the partner wants when there isn't even conversation about IF the partner wants it? And even if there is some sort of nod in the direction of what the partner wants, if this is an environment where one person isn't even comfortable in figuring out if the partner is excited about sex, I have a hard time believing it's an environment where their partner is comfortable having a serious talk about what they like (because I think that conversation would have to being with "Well for starters, maybe stop pressuring me to have sex when I'm not really feeling it? That would sure increase my enjoyment.")
            I want to be clear here that I don't believe grudging or reluctant consent counts as consent. It's coerced. It is a judgment "I won't scream no and call him a rapist if he starts having sex with me when I don't want it because that will cause more problems than shutting my mouth and letting him do what he wants with me, regardless of what I want" and I'm not willing to call that conesnt.

            Choice B:
            Men take the time to find out whether or not their partner wants sex. The answer is regularly no. The men have no choice but to remain with a partner whose sex drive and preferences are far different from their own, sentencing them to a lifetime of less sex and less satisfying sex than they want.

            I present to you Choice C:
            Men make a point early in a relationship, well before it could be remotely called serious to have a discussion about their partner's sexual interests and preferences. They get an idea of their partner's sexual appetite and learn what influences their mood and feelings towards sex. If they learn their partner isn't really sure about some of these things (perhaps because they've only ever slept with men who embrace Choice A) they embrace this as an exciting opportunity for being with their partner as they both learn more about what that person likes. With her interests being valued and her needs met, the man's partner is interested in having more frequent sex because it is more enjoyable for her! By putting so much effort into learning what excites and arouses her, he has created a relationship culture in which exploring BOTH PARTNERS' sexual interests and "favorites" is the norm, and both partners have more fulfilling and frequent sex than the average couple.

            Call me crazy, but Choice C up there is the only one that sounds like any fun.

          • Choice C is fun but my experience is Choice B.

          • Really? In your experience you had no choice but to stay with someone? Who was forcing you to stay rather than leaving and finding someone who's sex drive was more aligned with your own?

            I recognize that you haven't had many options, but that's because you're apparently not hitting it off with women on a general level when you're meeting them for dates, not because they all have low sex drives.

          • The problem I have with "Choice B" is that it's most commonly self-inflicted. There are a limited number of ways a person finds himself in choice B.

            Option 1: he entered a relationship with a woman and never bothered to have any discussion about their relative sex drives/ ignored their disparate sex drives early on, in which case it's pretty squarely his own fault for not bothering to hammer that out in the early stages of the relationship, or staying in a relationship where he wasn't happy at the outset.

            Tangent: The saddest breakup I ever had was one where my partner and I got along wonderfully but just did not enjoy sex with each other at all. Our interests/preferences/etc just did not remotely line up and it just undermined all the positive aspects of the relationship until we had a pretty contentious breakup.

            Option 2: At the start of the relationship the sex was great! It was frequent and exciting and everything he wanted it to be… then all of a sudden things changed. If things changed suddenly either his partner was "faking" her enthusiasm for sex with him (which seems unlikely, but not impossible) or something in the relationship has changed in a way that has had a negative impact on their sex life. In this case it is both partners' responsibility to discuss what has happened and to try and find a solution. Sometimes there is no solution, sometimes a person's level of desire/sex drive is going to shift around as they age or based on medication their taking, depression they're dealing with, etc.

            If both partner's aren't getting what they want, then they should probably split up. I know that's a simplified argument and it assumes that these problems have come up early in a relationship and not in the course of a relationship that's been ongoing for years where there are children or a marriage or a lot of property involved. I've made the decision to frame it that way since this is ostensibly a site for advice on how to find and start a relationship, with much less of a focus on advice for long-term partners who have hit a rough patch.

            As a final note, one of the women posted somewhere else in this thread that it's common for her to hear complaints from her girlfriends that their partners aren't as "into it" as they used to be, and I'd suggest that the most common cause of Option 2 is that the couple has stopped treating sex as something fun and exciting and it's become as mechanical as dinner… if that's the case then perhaps instead of approaching gaining enthusiastic consent as "So uhh… how about we fuck tonight?" the man should approach it by creating a romantic mood, addressing other stresses that might impact his partner's level of desire, and (to simplify it a bit) creating a situation where enthusiastic consent looks exciting. (Because who wants to consent to "Bob will climb on top of me, hump me for a few minutes, get off, roll over and go to sleep with a mumbled " 'sitgoodforyou?")

          • eselle28 says:

            I think there's also an Option 3: Sex in the relationship was never very good, but the dissatisfied partner accepted the mismatch out of desperation or because the relationship otherwise checked off all the boxes on the Things I Want list.

            In that case, what's usually called for is an examination of the Things I Want list, and whether a good sex life shouldn't be ranked a little higher on it. Desperation is a harder situation, and I suspect that's what's being discussed here. It's hard to reject an unsatisfactory relationship when you're not entirely sure you'll be able to find another one, or another one that's any better. That being said, there is still a choice. People have the option to wait it out and see if they can locate more compatible people, rather than locking themselves up in relationships with people they know don't meet their needs.

          • I had hoped that would get caught up under Option 1… my argument being that if the dissatisfied partner knew from the beginning that the sex wasn't very good but chose to stay anyway, well that was the choice they made. I don't want to say they shouldn't complain about it now so much as I want to say that this was a problem they were aware of and accepted when they decided to commit to the relationship. Specifically, the dissatisfied partner affirmatively made the choice to enter into/commit to growing a relationship where they knew they were going to be unhappy with the sex. He wasn't somehow tricked or trapped into that situation against his will is the mindset I'm attempting to argue against. (Goes to the whole internal vs. external locus of control point the Doc has made before.)

          • eselle28 says:

            Ah, I concentrated too much on the not discussing things part of it and pictured Option 1 as being a state of willful ignorance (a couple who didn't have or even talk about having sex, or one who did but who weren't willing to share any fantasies or disclose their kinks), rather than outright disregard of an obvious problem.

            I agree that people who end up in that situation aren't tricked or trapped, and that either way, it's a choice. I spent some time dating someone who I wasn't very attracted to, and who wasn't very attracted to me, and whose sexual tastes were pretty incompatible with my own. We were both pretty miserable, but it was very much self-inflicted and we only had ourselves to blame for thinking that a relationship where everything else worked perfectly on paper was worth putting up with barely mediocre sex (which, of course, turned to lousy sex or almost no sex when we hit a couple of bumps in the relationship).

          • Yes, all of these are common, I think. I know so many people who are mismatched and been in some mismatched situations myself! When you combine what Jay said above about religious upbringings and Mel's all-too-common experience of being sex-shamed, these scenarios become very common. Plus, most people seem to think that sex is less important when considering the whole picture.

            I've maybe had one partner out of a fair amount bring up the topic. This was the most sexually satisfying relationship, too! After a couple of sex-interest shaming experiences, I wasn't terribly keen to bring it up. When I was in what seemed like "a good relationship" finally emotionally, I tried to bring it up when I started to realize there was a bit of a mismatch, but kept getting brushed off. Yeah, no wonder. I'm sure because he realized I had a drive/interests he didn't like/was far removed from his and wanted to put off a break-up…

            Oh for a sex-positive culture!

          • eselle28 says:

            I'd agree that society has a long way to go before the collaborative model becomes something most people can accept and live by. However, that doesn't mean that the model of women controlling access to sex is useful or helpful. It's currently in effect, and rape isn't exactly uncommon.

          • I don't know, there are societies in existence right now where sexuality is seen as much more collaborative, and there hasn't been any rampant increase in rape in those societies. (e.g., my understanding is that many northern European countries have pretty liberal, open views on sex, women aren't shamed for being sexually active, and yet the rape stats are actually less than in the US) I think you underestimate the ability of human beings to assimilate the messages about what's right and wrong given to them by society. Consider what was considered "normal" and "natural" in society less than two hundred years ago (slavery, outright ownership of women, etc.) and how absurd those ideas seem now. Back then, I'd imagine there were a lot of people arguing that human beings couldn't handle living any other way too.

          • You don't have to imagine. The justification that people were incapable of caring for themselves in a "civilized" way so someone else had to make them "civilized" was a frequent justification for slavery.

          • Women as gatekeepers to sex leads to burkas and flogging 14-year-old girls for adultery after they were raped by relatives. Because if women control access to sex, then it follows that they have to make extra sure they don't provoke any man into a lustful frenzy by showing any body parts (that's being a bad gatekeeper), and if a man rapes a women, it isn't his fault because he doesn't control access to sex. She must have provoked him or allowed him.

            For example, a few decades ago, an epidemic of rapes in Israel led to the parliament passing curfew legislation restricting women from being out and about after dark. Because women are the gatekeepers of sex, the woman's movements has to be controlled in order to keep the gate closed. No one paid attention to the female legislator who pointed out that it would probably be more effective for the curfew to restrict *men* from being out after dark – because men are not responsible for what they do, you see?

            Last year, an imam tried to make it illegal for bully burka-clad women to even show their eyes because he claimed that he and another man had gotten into a fight over a woman in a burka who had eyes that were too alluring. You see how this works? If women are the gatekeepers, then men *are not responsible for what they do.* The responsibility falls on the *woman* for everything, which leads you straight back to classic rape culture.

          • I agree. Where men control sex that means a rape culture – either women are blamed for rape or rape is not considered a crime. By saying women control sex means women can refuse sexual advances without fear of violence (or at the very least said violence is a criminal offence). After all, it in the Western law code a man could legally rape his wife up until the 20th century. Women should notice what is considered in modern rape vs old-timey rape. In the olden days rape was only a crime because he stole a husband's right to his wife or the father's right to a virginal daughter, i.e. not about her right not to be raped.

          • eselle28 says:

            In those days, women were still considered to be the gatekeepers of sex. Men had a stake in their wives' chastity and their daughters' virginity, but women were still expected to stay with their chaperones and keep on guard against men who wanted more than whatever was considered moral premarital contact. That's why the victim's past sexual behavior and the way she dressed were considered relevant factors. If she didn't do a good enough job of fending off other men, or went so far as to welcome their advances, her claim that she didn't want to have sex with that particular man wasn't worth much.

            Beyond that, men also have a right to say no to sex and to sexual advances. A collaborative model recognizes it. One that suggests that men make all the advances and women are the gatekeepers who decide whether or not to accept them doesn't even recognize that a man could end up in that position.

          • Nope. Men controlled sex then. If a woman had pre-marital sex behind her father's back then she'd get kicked out of the house (assuming the family was of notable worth). The father was the gatekeeper than the husband.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            Really, because my understanding was that she'd be kicked out for "not keeping her virtue intact". Its kind of the medieval form of "she was asking for it by wearing that tight dress." Its the same reason certain fundamental religious fathers will honor kill their daughters. . .and not themselves.

          • Believe or not. Western society was rather like some Muslim societies today until the 20th century. Go back a few generations and Western women couldn't get most jobs, couldn't own property, couldn't get out a loan in their own name, etc.

          • That depends on where you are in Western society, and at what time point. At certain points in European history, women could inherit property. Women in the Church could own property of their own right. Female monarchs could also own and inherit land, though at points in time if they married they relinquished rights to avoid wars.

            Peasant women could also have "jobs" in the same way peasant men could have "jobs"… a job was not the official thing it is today, but usually meant working the farm and selling goods at market, which both men and women did in equal measure. I'm currently reading a history of Marie Antionette, and there are references to "fish wives" routinely partitioning her and the king relating to the selling of goods.

            A lot of our understanding of gender history comes from the upper class (because the rich and the victors write history), which was not reflective for nearly 3/4ths of a population. It wasn't even that black and white among the wealthy. Western History (which is a huge freaking expanse, depending on how you're using it) is incredibly nuanced.

          • So the suffragette movement was much ado about nothing?

          • No, it was responding to a distinct disadvantage at that point in time. It was also in a completely different country than most of "Western" civilization, and combating a completely different set of morals. My ultimate point is that you can't possibly paint history as so black and white…. you *could* have a point in saying women were controlled if you talk exclusively about the United States 1779-1970.

          • Gil are you able to read? I don't see anything in Marty's post about the right to vote. I actually specifically see her discussing monarchs and peasants, which (to most people who have basic reading comprehension skills) would indicate that she's not talking about early 1900's America so much as Europe pre-1800's.

          • Women being locked out of most jobs, couldn't own property, couldn't get out a loan in her own name, etc., persisted into the early 20th century and a very old women alive today will have living memory of it. To suggest women were equal except for the vote since the Middle Ages is flat wrong.

          • You're reinforcing my point. That's not what Marty was saying. Marty was saying that for a certain period in post-Renaissance Europe, women had better rights afforded to them then they did in the U.S. for the first 200-ish years that America was its own country. She was making the point that your statement was true for America 1770's-onward, but that in different western countries (to be clear "Western" generally refers to not only America but most of Europe when used in a historical context) at different Pre-United States times, women enjoyed different levels of legal protection.

            This was prompted by your statement "Western society was rather like some Muslim societies today until the 20th century" which was over-broad and failed to account for what was actually occurring in different regions across Europe throughout the past 600 or so years.

          • I'm starting to think there's no much point in trying to argue this stuff with Gil, since his preferred method of discussion seems to be to purposely misread or ignore everything anyone says so that he can use whatever his preferred argument is without regard to what he's responding to. Very difficult to have a discussion with someone who won't even listen to anyone else's side of the conversation.

          • I'd have to agree. And I even listed you as someone much more tolerant and patient than I am in response to his prodding at the PUA discussion above. (As demonstrated by the extra 8 hours it took you to give up on him after I started needing to find ways to avoid directly saying mean things about him.)

          • Yeah… I have a much easier time being tolerant and patient with people who are showing at least a tiny bit of respect for what I have to say, even if they disagree. :P Once you start feeling like you're hitting your head against a brick wall, it's usually safe to say nothing productive will come from expending further effort.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            Exactly. Like Muslim society where a woman who "didn't do enough" to protect her purity wasn't raped. Men weren't responsible for their sexuality, women were.

          • No, even at its most conservative Western society was much more liberal than Muslim societies when it came to romance and sex. Flirting, mixed dancing, and socializing between the genders was more common in the West than Muslim countries, which tended towards homosocial behavior.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            Depends on what era of Christian and what era of Muslim. What we see today in fundamentalist Islamic treatment of women is far from the only model in the history of the religion. However, as relates to this thread, the difference between (for example) medieval Western and modern Taliban treatment of women is one of degree, not kind.

          • Sexual mores depend on when, where, and who you were. Modern research is demonstrating more and more that society didn't frown on premarital sex, exactly… They frowned on premarital sex that wasn't followed by a wedding. And even that frowning depended on what class you were. Before the rise of the Protestant reformation, peasants and the working class received annulments from the church all the time. It was less common among the wealthy only because an annulment would call into question the paternity of the couple's children, which would make inheritance difficult. But if you had no property to hand over to your kids, a lot of medieval people really didn't worry too much about sexual mores.

            Frankly, the working class lived pretty similar to how we live today.

          • eselle28 says:

            That's fascinating. I'd been aware that pregnancy wasn't such a big deal if the couple was considered suitable for each other and married, but I hadn't been aware that annulments were so common (interesting that our parish's priest sighed so much over them as a modern indulgence and discouraged divorced couples from getting them). It sounds like people are looking at things through rose colored glasses, or maybe just focusing excessively on upper and upper middle class people in the 1800s.

          • If you look at birth and baptism records and compare it to the date of their parents' marriage, a lot of children were born less than nine months after their parents marriage. This wasn't even limited to the lower classes. Winston Churchill was born seven or eight months after his parents' marriage.

            The only group that seemed to follow the no sex before marriage requirement for both genders were the Jews.

          • Again, you are arguing against something no one has said. Can you please point out to me where anyone has suggested that we should have men controlling sex? No? Oh, because no one's even mentioned that until you brought it up.

            Sex isn't something that should be controlled by one gender or another. It's an act that requires two participants and that both participants will enjoy if things go reasonably well. So it should be a mutual act that people decide to do together, like most acts that people do together in our current society.

          • People a few scrolls up were saying a rape society is where women are controlling sex and I disagree.

          • Well, you obviously don't understand what rape culture is then. Perhaps you should educate yourself about the definitions of these things before you try to debate about them. Rape culture isn't a culture where rape is explicitly acceptable. Rape culture is a culture that implicitly makes rape seem more acceptable by, among other things, seeing it as women's responsibility to control men's "access" to their bodies, because men always want it and so they can't be expected to control their own desires, so that it can be seen as the woman's fault if she ends up having sex with a guy (because she must have secretly wanted it and just not tried hard enough to stop him).

            Here's a good place to start if you want to educate yourself. If you don't, I don't see any point in continuing to try to discuss this with you: http://www.shakesville.com/2009/10/rape-culture-1

          • Gentleman Horndog says:

            You're right in that's part of how the feeling I'm describing easily LEADS to misogyny, but the pain itself is much more basic and primal than that. We're social and sexual creatures. When you're cut off from that — not voluntarily setting it aside, but simply unable to reach it — it's like a chunk of yourself is missing, and it stings like a sonuvabitch. (At least, that's how it felt with me. I'm basing this off personal experience and Anecdotes Aren't Data, grains of salt, YMMV, etc.)

            The knowledge that it really IS your own fault, that potential partners actually are, generally speaking, well-advised to steer clear of you until you get some of your own shit sorted out, is not comforting. Quite the opposite.

            I'm not trying to excuse the misogyny that being in this place tends to breed. I'm just saying, it makes sense to me, in a twisted, fucked-up, you'll-be-so-much-happier-if-you-can-move-on kind of way.

          • Sure, I get that, because I experience it too. I know plenty of women, like myself, who are also "cut off" and flawed and not attractive, etc…. and yet I only really see the anger and hatred from the men. If anything, women seem to turn the anger on themselves, like Mel said. I just wonder why men and women deal with the "cutting off" dynamic so differently (men with rage and Red Pills and PUAs, women with Self Improvement and Cookie Dough Ice Cream.)

          • Another factor is that in general, men are taught to express negative feelings in an outward way (through aggression and violence) because that's "powerful" and sadness and crying are "wimpy", whereas women are discouraged from being aggressive and taught to be nice to everyone around them… so who's left to turn those negative feelings on except themselves? There are a lot of psychological studies in this area, and it's thought to be part of the reason aggressive disorders are much more common among men than women, and the verse with anxiety and depressive disorders.

          • But you do recognize that there is a socialization aspect too, right? I mean, there are women who are unable to find sexual partners–don't you think they would also feel that basic, primal pain? And yet they seem much less inclined to blame men as a gender for that, and instead to believe it is their fault. Why would that be the case unless it's partly about how men and women are socialized to view sex?

          • Gentleman Horndog says:

            I feel like we're talking past each other a bit without actually disagreeing. :-) But yes, I agree there are definitely social factors at play that encourage men to blame women without turning their gaze within, where it belongs.

          • I thought so, just wanted to confirm. :)

          • Gentleman Horndog says:

            … though I will say that I've heard too many women in that situation lamenting that "All men suck" to believe that women are generally immune to the siren song of It's Everyone Else's Fault But Mine, regardless of cultural influence. But I agree it seems less prevalent — female micro-cultures re-enforcing that attitude are at least far less visible than their male counterparts. And it does nothing to perpetuate larger cultural problems — despite what some fools believe, ours is not a society with a misandry problem. So I think your point stands.

          • Oh, yeah, I'd never deny that there are women who will complain about men in general! I just have never seen it reach anywhere near the coldness and hostility that I've seen from many MRA and PUA types, except in rare cases where the woman really has been horribly mistreated by men in her life (not just "denied access" but physically and psychologically abused).

          • Gentleman Horndog says:

            If I had to guess, I'd attribute that coldness and hostility to the power of assholes telling each other they're right to be assholes and if anything could stand to be even bigger assholes. But for me, we're now deep into the kind of speculation that's only really appropriate in person over some beers, and tends to lead to one's bare ass dangling in the breeze when conducted over the Internet. So I think I'll stop there. :-)

          • Maybe you should read your own comments for some coldness and hostility towards men. It's not surprising people view men as Martians and women as Venusians.

          • I'm not seeing hostility or coldness toward men as a general group in any of my comments. If you have noticed it somewhere, you're welcome to point me to the relevant one.

          • Patrick says:

            Yeah, I've heard the "all men suck" thing plenty of times, sometimes stated very strongly, but almost always in the context of a series of bad relationships, rather than not being able to find a partner.

          • One of my biggest problems with the sex positive side is that very few of them ever consider whats it like to have a loosy sex life in a sex positive enviornment. The assumption that everybody is going to have the sex life they want in our sex positive future is wrong and needs to be readjusted. DNL attempts this but "sex is awesome but don't be bummed if yout have a sucky sex life" is not adequate compensation.

          • Are you seriously trying to say that sex positivity making people who aren't having sex feel bad is a worse problem than sex negativity encouraging rape and sexual assault, victim-blaming, etc.?

            Anyway, the media *already* portrays sex as this all-important, amazing thing. I don't think allowing women to feel safe and positive about being sexually active would somehow make having sex seem even more important to guys, or make guys who aren't having sex feel worse. And it would result in more people having sex, thus fewer people feeling bad about their lack of sex life. So this seems like a win-win to me.

          • Gentleman Horndog says:

            I hear where you're coming from, man. But I would wager that your chances of attaining the sex life you want and finding peace with the sex life you actually have are both far greater in a sex-positive environment than a sex-negative one.

          • Theoretically yes but given my pessimism, I do not think that a sex positive society is going to develop a happy attitude towards asexuals or the involutary celibate. The theoreticians might but normal people have a tendency not to follow the ideals of any religion or ideology perfectly. I imagine that in a sex positive society, lack of sex would simply be another reason to bully people and inflict misery on them just like we do with kinky sex tastes these days. Sex positive people like all other ideologues before them think that everything is going to come out perfectly or close enough. I'd be happier if things would be made in terms of least worst rather than best terms.

          • I can go along with the idea that a sex positive society is the least worst of all possible sexual systems. I can't quite go along with the idea that its the best because I see all sorts of disadvantages to it, where some people get to have all sorts of varied and fulfilling sexual encounters and others are left with nothing. And I always think that there will be people filled with normal and healthy sexual desires but no chance to makee any of them come true.

          • Lee, you've said things like this before, and I still haven't seen you offer any plausible solution. There will *always* be people in society who aren't able to get things that society agrees are good. There are people who can't go to college, as much as they want higher education. There are people (tons!) who can't get careers they actually enjoy. There are people who have been denied a loving and supportive family since the day they were born. There are people who can't start families of their own. And so on.

            How could we possibly create a society where every single person who wants sex is able to get it? Even if prostitution is legalized (which I think is part of the sex positive movement, at least for some of its proponents), there will be people who can't afford to pay for it. It's very nice to dream about a society where everyone gets everything they want, but that's so unrealistic it doesn't really make sense to complain that no one's been able to make it happen.

          • Mel, there is no plausible solution. I never said there was. That doesn't mean that I have to like the current set up or my place in it. The sex positive system might bring the most good to the most people when it comes to sex and I agree that it is better than the any of the alternatives.

            My real animus is having to listen to other people's sex stories and sitting their awkwardly and jealous. Very jealous.

          • So… figure out what's stopping you from getting what you want and address it? I'm not trying to be dismissive here but you frequently display an incredibly negative attitude along with what seems to be the belief that you're doomed to never find a satisfying relationship…. those are probably two of the most unattractive qualities a human being can have. They mean you walk into a first date with the assumption that she's not going to be into you, that even if she is something else will go wrong, that the sex will suck, etc, etc, etc… and whether consciously or not when you approach every situation with that attitude you're going to end up confirming your own bias over and over again.

            Mel's right that not every person is going to get the things they want in life, but the number of people who work up a positive attitude despite long odds and put in the hard goddamn work of overcoming the obstacles that are between them and their goals and then never get any of those things is a lot smaller than the number who sit there and whine about how unfair it is and then go mope about.

            If you don't like the results you're getting take ownership of your failings, put in more and more hard work until you've eliminated some of them. Proactively cultivate a positive attitude and outlook on life (probably the hardest part of the whole thing) and go into each new experience looking for the positives in those experiences and not to get one specific thing out of them.

            It's easy to sit there and go "The whole system is set up to keep me from getting what I want," it's hard to follow that up with "so I'm going to hustle my ass off until I show that system what I think of it's attempts to keep me from having a life worth living."

          • This is easier said than done, especially when your personal experience does not justify being positive about this. I've been trying to figure out whats stopping me from getting what I want for ages with no success. If every date leads to rejection, to not even a second date than why should I be positive? I go out, I have a life beyond work and internet but women simply do not seem to perceive me as romance material.

          • I wish I could give better/more directed advice there, but I just don't know you well enough to have much to add that's useful. I agree it's way easier said than done, changing your outlook and keeping positive in the face of challenges is brutal, but I think, in the end, it's work that's worth it.

          • Well, consider that by speaking against a sex-positive approach you are contributing to resistance to it, even though you acknowledge that it is both probably better that the attitudes we currently have and probably better than any other suggested societal approach on the table.

            As others have pointed out, sex positive doesn't mean "everyone must have sex or they're losers", it means "sex is a natural and enjoyable thing and it's totally okay for all people to engage in it if they wish". Anyone who talks in the former way isn't being sex positive, they're being a jerk. So you're better off complaining about jerks.

            I'm sorry that you are bothered by hearing people's sex stories, but you are capable of removing yourself from those situations. No one I know shares sex stories in a social context; there are tons of people out there who are more discrete about these things, especially if they know there are people in the group who can't join in on that topic. You can also ask your friends not to tell you about that stuff because it makes you uncomfortable, and if they're good friends, they'll comply.

            And you really need to own your emotions. I feel envious when I hear people talking about career stuff I haven't been able to achieve myself, despite decades of effort. Sometimes it makes me outright miserable. But I don't blame society for encouraging people to be proud of success or the people around me for wanting to talk about what's going on in their lives. I recognize that the envy is mine to deal with as best I can.

          • A sex positive culture doesn't guarantee that everyone's sexual needs will be met. When it comes to interpersonal needs, I'm not sure that there's any system that can guarantee that everyone's needs are met. But I think it's healthier to adopt an ethos that it's normal to have sexual desires, that people's libidos and tastes vary, and that these things aren't shameful. At the very least, people who are struggling with sexual frustration have their needs affirmed and are encouraged to find solutions to them, rather than being pressed into continuing sexless marriages or into accepting that they'll always be the spinster aunt or the confirmed bachelor.

            If you replace sex with some other interpersonal need, like friendship, I think the analysis is basically the same. Some people can't make friends at all, and other people struggle with a series of unhappy, unfulfilling friendships. But it's not going to make things any better to attach shame to all kinds of friendship but a very particular one, or to make talk of friendship so taboo that people have difficulty discussing problems with their friends or strategies for meeting new people. At best, it would be a misery loves company situation where those who have trouble making friends might take some comfort in knowing most other people were also quite lonely – though since friendship wouldn't be discussed often, the friendless might instead assume that everyone else was happy with the state of affairs.

          • Kelly F. says:

            Sex positivity isn't about bullying people for not having sex. Sex positivity is about making healthy choices in regards to sex and relationships and acknowledging that sex isn't a bad or shameful thing. It's about respecting other peoples choices.
            If anything, the sex positivity movement is making people feel better about their lack of sex instead of making them feel like there's something wrong with them.

          • Speaking as an asexual who's had some pretty unpleasant experiences in various sex-positive spaces…

            Yeah, there's the potential for problems (understatement). But there doesn't have to be. I support an ideology of sex-nonjudgementalism, where people accept a variety of sexual desires and as long as everything's consensual nobody is judged for their sexuality or lack thereof, however it expresses itself. No one gets slut-shamed, but at the same time no one gets prude-shamed. This ideology is pretty much in line with and/or complementary with what a lot of sex-positive people want or at least pay lip service to.

            I guess I see the problems in sex-positivity as not inherent in the concept – in fact, frequently arising from people not actually acting in line with their supposed ideals – and also as fixable, whereas the problems in mainstream society go right to the roots. And let's not kid ourselves that society as it is now is any nicer to asexual folk. People often seem to think it's fine and dandy for us (honestly, I think this is where some of the backlash in sex-positive spaces comes from, that people think they don't have to bother taking us into account and get angry at us because they think we don't have problems under the current system) but believe me when I say so-called "sex-negative" spaces cause problems for asexual folk too. And stuff like Hyposexual Desire Disorder (lifelong) in the DSM/Frigidity being a diagnosis in the ICD go back decades.

            Not going to comment on involuntary celibacy since, you know, that's a very very different issue.

          • eselle28 says:

            The sex positive movement sometimes ignores asexual, involuntarily celibate, and abstinent people. I don't think it makes matters any worse, however, as mainstream culture also ignores the first two groups. The last group of people has had more status at various times, but it's generally been assumed that abstinence would either be a temporary state ending in marriage or would be associated with religious beliefs.

            Things aren't perfect, but I think there's more room within sex positivity for differences in people's sexual drives and circumstances to be accepted, at least compared with the current cultural ideal of men being studs who get laid at will, women being highly sexual but not in a way that leads to them having a high number of partners, and everyone eventually falling in love and settling into monogamous but highly sexed marriages (or keeping it to themselves and suffering quietly if they don't).

          • fakely mctest says:

            That's…not actually what "sex positive" means?

            Correct me if I'm wrong because I'm not the end-all-be-all expert, but sex positivity ideally is about removing the element of shame and social stigma that has sometimes accompanied sex in our culture, particularly as it relates to the third wave feminist movement. I totally agree with eselle's point that sex positivity elides asexuality and voluntary celibacy at times, but sex positivity as a worldview makes no promises about people being able to have the sex life they want. Anyone making promises like that is trying to sell you something.

          • Trooper6 says:

            This is very true.

            I'd also like to add that part of the sex positivity movement of the 80s also involved SM being seen as valid. There are many people in the SM scene who do not wish to have PIV intercourse. So sex positivity has included trying to take away stigma and shame from non-majoritarian sexual/sensual/ erotic practices, including asexuality or erotics that are about things other than sex.

            If seen quite a few celibate folks in the sex positive movement.

          • Not to mention, a woman lashing out that way at all men isn't exactly condoned in our culture. She is not assumed deserving of any man she wants; if she doesn't have a man, it's because she's too ugly or crazy.

          • Yeah but they are an extremely extremely small proportion of the population- like less 5% with guys especially under 30 the figure is closer to half- women dont have to really self-improve/work hard to get a date only know how to dress well and put on make up- as for the statement of "I know x girls who are deprived" the plural of anecdote is not data- there are hundreds of sites with catering to millions of men looking on how to get just a SINGLE DATE the converse cannot be said for women

          • Another guest says:

            If, as you say, the "only" thing a woman has to do to get a date is know how to dress well and put on makeup, then the converse absolutely can be said for women. There are hundreds of sites catering to millions of women about how to dress well and put on makeup.

          • A Third Guest says:

            It's not too difficult to learn, whereas guys have to spend years cultivating something that women will find attractive at face value.

          • How would you know? How much time have you spent trying to learn how to put on make up so that it looks natural and not too made up but still covers your flaws and accentuates your best features? How much time have you spent figuring out what clothes within your budget best flatter a female body? Make up and clothes are easy *if you already have a great face and body*. Clothing is especially hard because most clothing is designed for women with model proportions (small waist compared to chest, narrow hips) which few actual women have.

            Not to mention, it's not as if a woman just has to step outside her house wearing make-up and flattering clothes and guys just fall all over her. I've done that many times and not gotten any attention at all. We have to work at attracting guys' attention in other ways too.

          • eselle28 says:

            It also doesn't square up very well with the fact that despite the huge focus on women's appearance on both a social and a personal level, there are still a lot of women who aren't particularly well-made up or well-dressed. If it were easy to do these things, wouldn't more people succeed at them?

          • A Third Guest says:

            Learning how to do it, a matter of months. Finding the best combinations may take more time, but the basics can already go far.

            Whereas, for a guy:

            – Years cultivating social skills just to pass basics
            – Years (or steroids) to cultivate a body that can call attention to them immediately, good luck if you don't
            – Years (or debt) to get a cool car just to call attention to themselves, can make up for lack of other things
            – Years to be able to even support themselves and only themselves, a huge entry barrier among women

            And, having to spend just as much time figuring out what looks good on them as women do. All for just basic entry.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            Dude, I don't have a driver's license, am 135 lbs at 5'10", don't have a job and I don't have a problem getting dates, not just with attractive people but with interesting attractive people. If someone told you that you need all that crap, you've been sold a bill of goods.

            The only one you're kind of right on is social skills and you can shortcut half of that by being genuinely interested in other people. Learning how to do it, a matter of months. Finding the best combination may take more time, but the basics can already go far.

          • At the gym this morning, a lanky, reedy fellow with a big Roman nose and hipster glasses caught my eye. He had a receding hairline. He was HOT.

            My gym is full of muscled dudes. Some are very attractive, but they don't turn MY crank. It's sad that guys like A Third Guest are limiting themselves this way. I sense that he might be a teenager, because no woman I know gives 2 shits about "cool cars".

          • eselle28 says:

            The car thing stood out to me as well. I know a lot of women who care a little bit about a guy's body type, social skills, and financial wherewithal and a few women who care a lot about one or more of those things. I can't think of anyone who expects her mate to have a cool car.

          • " I can't think of anyone who expects her mate to have a cool car."

            A junior in high school who hasn't gotten her driver's license yet, perhaps? ;)

          • I don't know even one woman who requires a guy to have a "body that calls attention to [itself]" or a cool car in order to want to date him. And I know lots of women who have dated or are dating men who are somewhat socially awkward, and/or who are struggling financially.

            I think what you mean to say is, guys need to do all this work to appeal to the particularly hot women who get tons of guys chasing them and have developed superficial tastes. Which, shockingly, as with men, is only a small proportion of the population. So who now is only chasing a small proportion of the opposite sex while ignoring all those who don't quite fit their criteria?

          • Why waste time on those things when you can use the magic cheat codes all the many, many skinny or chubby, averagely-social-skilled, car-less guys in relationships out there use? Surely there must be cheat codes, or how else are those kinds of guys getting girls? I mean, there are even unemployed guys in relationships! It can only be cheat codes!

            Also, do you really imagine that the majority of women don't have to have social skills or be able to support themselves?

          • eselle28 says:

            There are very few women who expect their partners to have steroid-level muscles (there's certainly a fanbase for that, but I actually know more women who prefer other body types) or cool cars (are you in high school?).

            I would agree that basic social skills are important to most women and that the ability to financially support yourself can be important to maintaining a long term relationship. I don't think those are particularly unreasonable expectations, or that they're that dissimilar from what most men seek in their partners.

          • A Third Guest says:

            They very much are. Men don't care what a woman's job is, or even if she can support herself on her own. And the way the economy is, most guys can't support themselves on their own, they need roommates or living with family (which is even more shamed). Especially since a lot of those jobs are going to women now to fill quotas. Women are competing over a shrinking pool of men and dismissing the larger and growing pool of men because their expectations are too high.

          • eselle28 says:

            As a person who was unemployed for a year and a half, I can assure you that a lot of men do very much expect a woman to be able to support herself on her own. There were still men who were willing to date me, but most of them needed assurances that I was looking for work and expected to support myself.

            I'm just going to ask you for a citation about this quota business and leave it at that.

          • Would you mind sharing how exactly you've come to these conclusions? How many women have you talked to to find out what their expectations of a guy are? Because a whole lot of women here are saying they *don't* have those expectations; surely our word counts for something?

          • A Third Guest says:

            Might just chalk it up to women who think, from the fact that you're hanging out on the internet discussing it. Watching the actions of women in everyday situations says the stuff you gals are saying isn't true.

          • So you've watched women turn down guys, and been able to tell from their behavior that they turned the guys down because of their body type, car, and/or financial situation? How do you manage this–mind reading?

          • Dr_NerdLove says:

            You realize that calling people here liars, especially when you have nothing to back it up other than a collection of ass-pulls, is a very good way of asking to get the ban-hammer, yes?You are quickly approaching the line of “no longer contributing intelligently to the conversation”.Only warning.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            Really, because my watching the actions of women around me in everyday situations says they're not worried too much about it or they'd snub me.

            "Oh, you take Caltrain, I can't talk to you anymore," said no woman (to me) ever.

          • Dr_NerdLove says:

            Dude, I was picking up girls when I drove a Prius. One of the pussy-gettingist men I know is short, fat and drives a beat up Honda Civic.Whoever told you these were all necessities was either deluded or lying to you.

          • A Third Guest says:

            Weren't you a crazy social guy to make up for it? I bet that other guy is too.

          • So, your argument is:

            XY and Z are the ONLY criteria women care about! If you don't have XY or Z, you are shit outta luck! It's allll about the XYZ!

            …except when it isn't!

          • eselle28 says:

            If he was, wouldn't that be the sign of hope? It would mean that it's possible to compensate for weaknesses in certain areas by emphasizing other, more attractive traits.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            "Crazy social" isn't some magic bullet. Its a skill that takes work. You can be crazy social, too, if you're willing to man up, take responsibility for your own life, put yourself out there, fail, fail again, fail some more and learn from it.

          • A Third Guest says:

            This falls under the "years of cultivating a skill that's attractive at face value." Women certainly don't need to put this kind of work in, they just have to sit back and choose.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            Yeah, the women part is wrong. Ask one sometime about the work they put in to looking attractive, the ways they have to act etc. Its a lot easier to be social than it is to be rich. In fact its exactly that curve you mentioned before, a couple of months to be passable. Unless you're incredibly socially awkward, you can get great results by going out, doing interesting things, talking to people (including women) and asking out the ones who interest you without spazzing if they say no. Each of those steps is its own fun, not work you must put in.

            Its up to you whether you care enough about relationships with other people (not just fucking hot chicks) to put in the work. If you're determined not to do anything to make yourself attractive, though, that's hardly the fault of every woman you meet.

            And I'll ask again: how much do you get out? Do you go to nightclubs, campus activities? Do you talk to people in your class, at the club or wherever else you go for interesting activities? Do you ask out attractive women after talking to them?

            If your answer is no, you're really not in a position to comment on whether or not it works.

          • Plus, it's sexist as FUCK to claim that women don't need to be interesting people* with any accomplishments, goals or interests. He boils us all down to looks alone, and claims it's "easy" to be good looking. Never mind that your looks is pretty much mostly genetically determined.

            *it's pretty false IRL anyway. Hell, just recently my SIL got dumped by a guy because she wouldn't go back to school to "better herself" and she is content working sketchy jobs and being broke.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            I'd debate the beauty thing. Even a PUA's "10" probably looks rough first thing in the morning. For guys (and I presume for girls), basic grooming (including tasteful makeup for women), snazzy (not necessarily extravagant) clothes, a friendly expression and carrying yourself with confidence make up half or more of attractiveness.

          • I won't disagree with you here! It goes a long, long way.

            But for most women, no amount of diet & exercise coupled with fashion/cosmetic choices can turn her into model material, whether Playboy or runway. Genetic luck plays a huge part in it. Sure, makeup and surgery and stuff can enhance that, but without that basic template you'd never be offered the contract.

          • OldBrownSquirrel says:

            I'm inclined to give ATG the benefit of the doubt and assume that "this kind of work" mostly means the actual process of approaching and asking people out ("fail, fail again, fail some more" in GJ's words), which doesn't come easy for everyone and isn't expected of women, and that he's not talking about the work that goes into "be[ing] interesting."

            I recognize that I may well be mistaken in this reading.

          • A Third Guest says:

            I'm not so sure man. It may be sexist, but I've never heard of a woman having to go out and become an interesting/conquering person to attract guys. That seems almost opposite because guys don't want aggressive.

            *He wanted more money and thought he could use her to get it.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            Now you're stereotyping guys, too? Where do you think guys meet women? Women don't just hang around in bars 40 hours a week waiting to be approached by Bradd Pitt. If people want to meet people, regardless of gender, they have to go where people are. If they go to activities that interest them, they're going to meet people who share their interests.

          • OldBrownSquirrel says:

            In cold approach situations (please pardon the PUA jargon, but it's sometimes descriptive), and granting that they're a somewhat narrow case and not optimal for everyone, men are deciding whom to approach based on what exactly? Appearance alone, because the men in those circumstances literally *don't know anything else* about these women.

            When a woman is approached, she initially knows nothing more about the guy than his appearance. Depending on her mood, personal tastes, personal history, sexual preference, etc. she may reject the guy immediately, or she may withhold judgment, in which case his personality comes into play. Personality can sometimes make up for deficits in appearance. It's of greater use to men than to women, though, since it's not obvious at first glance. Hence, in this context, it's less important that women be interesting than that men be interesting.

            Granted, this is only relevant in the narrow context of cold approach; there are plenty of other social contexts in which this doesn't hold at all. Also, I have no idea what the "conquering" bit is about. To me, an interesting woman is one who can hold up her end of a conversation, and that's not aggressive or off-putting.

          • I don't know, I think you underestimate how much you can tell about a person beyond appearance before you even talk to them. Body language and eye contact (either watching before the approach or during the approach) says a lot about how confident, relaxed, friendly, etc. the person is. The setting and the person's response to that setting give lots of clues (e.g., bookstore–what section are they browsing in, how interested do they look in the books; park: what activities are they engaging in, and how enthusiastically; club: are they happily dancing with abandon or hanging back by the wall evaluating everyone else; etc.). A person with the exact same looks will get very different responses from others depending on all of those factors, which are established before any words are exchanged.

            When a stranger approaches me, body language and context matter *far* more to how I'm going to react to them than their facial structure or body type.

          • eselle28 says:

            Conquering, not really, but interesting is definitely something that I've seen women have to work on. It's particularly important for women who want to date within their social groups rather than date online or pick up guys at bars, and it's pretty key for every woman who wants her interactions with men to last more than one or two dates.

          • Ok, I choose you, big boy. How about it?

            YOU HAVE NO SAY. I HAVE CHOSEN. IT IS DONE.

          • ATG, none of the things you're saying are true. This is just your insecurities talking.

            Now please, stop parroting those MRA talking points.

            Also, to reiterate another person's question: are you actually talking about your own life and your own, personal experience? Because you make a lot of general statements but have never actually talked about anything as you've personally experience it.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            Or that any other specified person has personally experienced, for that matter.

          • Wait, we get to "just sit back and choose"? Is there a catalog of some sort? I didn't get one! Where's my Eligible Men Catalog?

          • eselle28 says:

            Can I get a subscription as well? I hear the off season sales are particularly good this time of year.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            The funny thing is if it did exist, the same people who say its easy for women wouldn't want to be in it because the women who pick them might not be subservient wealthy supermodels.

          • OldBrownSquirrel says:

            As an introvert, I might be able to feign being "crazy social" briefly, but if I ended up with someone who was innately "crazy social," I'd never be able to sustain it. It might get me laid, but it's no basis for a relationship. Maybe I'd luck out and find someone else who was faking it, but given how hard it is to sustain being "crazy social" when you're not that way innately, I think the odds would be unfavorable.

            A good way for introverts to establish relationships with other introverts remains an open problem. "Be an extrovert" isn't necessarily a realistic option.

          • I'm the same way, OBS. You aren't alone.

            I use what I call "modified introversion". Recently, as in the past 5 years or so, I've come to accept that I prefer to do my own thing 99% of the time. I enjoy my own company and love being alone. However I also came to accept that I *do* get lonely like anyone else and that no one has ever discovered me while I sat at home in my living room.

            So to solve this conundrum, I accepted that I HAVE to go out. Sometimes. And DO things. With other people. No amount of me feeling lonely and wishing I had friends made it so.

            So I joined meetup and it took a while before I actually had the stones to MEET UP. But I did. And met cool people. I don't go out all the time, still. But it's nice to make those connections. And I force myself to sometimes go out or text someone when my instinct is to hole up. Keeping those connections alive has been rewarding.

            I'm not telling you what to do or anything, but from one introvert to another, I'm confident in stating that the "open problem" of introverts often rests with the introverts themselves being unwilling or unable to meet halfway in the social realm. Because we're introverts!

          • A Third Guest says:

            Pretty much this. An introvert girl can always ride the coattails of a loud guy and things will be just fine. Introvert guy? Shit out of luck.

          • "Pretty much this"? Where did OBS say anything akin to what you just said?

          • A Third Guest says:

            It was implied.

            We're among the least desirable guys because we have no social power, and if there isn't something to make up for that, then it's just not happening at all.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            So you're saying that guys who have no interesting traits and won't approach women that interest them should. . .what. . .be issued a woman for wanting on really bad? Seriously, in your model of the world, what does a fair system look like?

            Do women who have trouble getting dates deserve to be issued a guy?

          • A Third Guest says:

            Yeah, that'd be fine. I can tell you that a lot more guys would need it than girls would.

            I mean, in what world is it okay that I have to go out, do inane and stupid fucking things that I'd already be doing if I was interested in them in the first place, just on the off chance that if I drop that I do it to a girl, she'll allow me past her laundry list of barriers to entry. This system we have now works to the advantage of the so-called alpha males that the article is attempting to say are a bad thing. Except they get the girls, so it's not a bad thing. And the girls who can't get them are holding out to get something as close to those guys as possible. And it's ALL the guy's fault if he's not trying to accomplish all that for them, while they sit back and choose.

            Women are completely privileged in dating. They're running the show, and we get all the blame if we're not playing the part to their satisfaction. And we're the bad guys if we even so much as make a peep about it. In no way should this be okay.

          • Another guest says:

            Dude. Therapy. Get some. Or else go hang out at an MRA blog, they'll love you.

            Seriously, you're not helping yourself here. You're just annoying everybody.

          • You know that women aren't THINGS to be handed out to every man, right? That they are human beings with wills, thoughts and feelings just like yours? You're basically endorsing outright sex slavery of the female gender here.

          • A Third Guest says:

            He's the one who made the sarcastic comment about what my world would look like, as if it would come true anyways.

            That's not the point. The point was that he was trying to make it seem like women have it hard and that I'd change my mind if men were put in that situation. It didn't work because men have it much, much harder, and not only that, we get shit on and blamed for it if we don't succeed at it.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            No, actually I was pointing out that excepting a very small sliver on each side (say 10%), men have it hard, women have it hard and you're complaining that getting what you want requires a commitment of somewhere between weeks and months.

            By the way, when was the last time you asked out a woman and she laughed, blamed or otherwise ostracized you for it?

            I'm hearing a lot of complaints about women. What I'm not hearing is a lot of first hand experience. If you're not even trying, how do you know that any of this is true?

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            Dude! In what world is it ok that you get to sit around in your underwear making angry posts on the Internet and some girl just drops out of the sky and says "fuck me"?

            Let's use money as a gender neutral example. Is it so unfair that I have to go out and do inane and stupid fucking things just so I can eat? No! No it fucking is not. You don't get rewards without effort.

            Dating is more like starting a business, though. Even if you do everything right, there are no ironclad guarantees. No one's going to hold your hand and make you do it but there are resources to help once you've decided the rewards are worth the effort. There are things you can do to make your odds better or to make the work more pleasant but life doesn't owe you jack shit, sparky.

          • A Third Guest says:

            See what I mean? We get blamed for it.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            Yep. I'm absolutely blaming you for claiming that you should get results without effort. That's called a sense of entitlement and its unattractive in men and women both. If you were to actually ask somebody out and fail, the women here and I would be happy to help you improve your approach. If you had given any indication that you go places (or want to go places) where you can meet women, we'd be happy to help.

          • A Third Guest says:

            A woman can get what she wants easily enough.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            Not sitting around in their underwear posting on the Internet about how much all men suck, they can't.

            Edit: please note, I'm really only replying so frequently because I want to see if this article can make it to the "most commented" sidebar before Elementary airs on the west coast.

          • eselle28 says:

            No kidding. I actually know a woman who's kind of like this. She isn't very invested in her work, she doesn't have any real interests except for Facebook and television (and even with TV, she doesn't watch things very passionately and mostly just flips to whatever's on), and her main topics of conversation are celebrity gossip and complaints about bad dates and one-sided crushes.

            I think it's hard for lots of people, but it's particularly hard for her. It's been many years since she's been out on a second date. It's kind of sad, because she's a genuinely sweet person, but I couldn't honestly suggest her as a potential girlfriend to anyone I know.

          • No. The important caveat is "what she wants".

            I've been turned down flat for "what (I) want". How do you explain that? "Aberrations"? How convenient.

            It's happened to millions of women, over and over. I'm not that special. Hell, it's happened to millions of PEOPLE!

            We don't always "get what we want", let alone easily. Mature people realize this without half-joking about having their preferred gender forced to become their slaves because going to a Meetup is too "fucking inane".

          • Blamed for what? Being a fucking ADULT? This has nothing to do with being a man. Johnny is right on the money here. If you have a terrible attitude about trying new things and meeting new people, why SHOULD anyone be interested in you? If you think ALL women are shallow, laundry-list,waving bitches, why should they ever talk to you? You bring nothing to any adult table but petulant entitlement and arrogance. You want the universe to deliver fresh, hot poontang to your door without you having to do thing ONE? Nothing works that way.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            It has to do with being a man. Not being a man vs being a woman but being a man vs being a boy.

          • A Third Guest says:

            Do everything specifically so women will choose you. "Be a man, indeed."

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            No, take responsibility for your own actions. Own up to your own success or failure. If you don't want to do the work to get a date, that's cool. Fucking own it and quit claiming half the world owes you something or that the results of your effort are their fault.

          • A Third Guest says:

            If I was born rich or with supermodel looks, that would be happening.

          • Hey, if I were an immortal cyborg who laid golden eggs, my life would be different too. But because I'm a grown-ass woman, I deal with what I got.

          • For starters, laying golden eggs sounds sort of painful.

          • OldBrownSquirrel says:

            I actually made a conscious effort not to make it gender-specific. I am a guy, and you may have read gendered implications into how I described my experiences, but I think many of those generalize to women; specifically, I don't expect that introverted women will necessarily be happy in relationships with extroverted men. Granted, this lends some support to your earlier characterization that women are "getting attention, just not from the guys they want it from," but I'm applying it in a narrow context rather than as a broad generalization. I'm sure that there are plenty of introverted women who would happily date introverted guys; it's the mechanics of meeting that are so much trickier for us.

          • In my experience, loud, boisterous men who are very extroverted do not generally go for introverted women, either. But I'd never be so obtuse as to claim that all extroverted men *everywhere* NEVER go for introverted women, like ATG did.

          • eselle28 says:

            Generally speaking, people who are on the extremes aren't interested in each other,but I think it's worth noting that most people are somewhere in between. I think people forget that sometimes, especially people who are focused on being introverts.

          • Gentleman Horndog says:

            I had a longer, more personal response written before deciding it really wasn't worth it. So the short version:

            — You seem to think women have it easy. Some do. Most don't.
            — You seem to think that a guy cannot be successful with women unless he has a conventionally hot body and obvious trappings of wealth. As a chubby bastard who drives a squealing rustbucket, allow me to say HAHAHAHAHAHAHAno.

            Know what (straight/bi) women generally find attractive? Dudes who share their interests and can speak to/explore them intelligently. Dudes who do interesting stuff that they're willing to share. Dudes who listen to them, and treat them with respect. Dudes who are fundamentally happy with who they are, who aren't looking to fill some gaping void in their life. Dudes who are fun to be around, who leave them feeling energized and good about themselves.

            Yes, the superficial stuff can help, and yes, some women are fixated on that to the exclusion of all else. If that's where you're a viking, by all means chase those women and have fun doing it.

            But if you think a ripped bod and fat bank account are somehow prerequisites for a great sex life, I'm happy to inform you that you're wrong. The world is a much more awesome place than you're giving it credit for.

          • I can't tell you how relieved I am to know that I can quit my job, stop working out and eating healthily, sell both my car and my motorcycle, let all those exhausting friendships I've cultivated coast to an end, and quit paying my bills because 1) I'm not a guy, and 2) I'm already in a relationship.

            What a relief to know that these are things done solely by men, solely to attract women, and not things that need to be done by nearly everyone anyway! Because obviously, if that weren't the case, they'd be requisite for all genders as part of presenting oneself as an adult functioning at a moderate level of personal and social competence, not a list of all the ways the deck is stacked against men, and that wouldn't be very helpful.

          • OldBrownSquirrel says:

            "[I]t's not as if a woman just has to step outside her house wearing make-up and flattering clothes and guys just fall all over her."

            I hear plenty of complaints from women who are approached by men while riding public transit, sitting in coffee shops, etc. Those complains may be valid, but they feed the perception on the part of many men that women don't suffer from any lack of attention.

          • A Third Guest says:

            They're getting attention, just not from the guys they want it from.

          • So you're saying that I should have been grateful to get attention from the guy who started talking about marriage within five minutes of conversation (and who looked to be at least ten years older than me, when I was 16), or the guy who insisted on lecturing me about what the Bible says about women's place in the world? Gosh, what wonderful "options" I was missing out on! How cruel of me to expect anything better than that. :P

          • eselle28 says:

            No, some women actually don't get attention from men, not even men they find unattractive. As people here repeat all the time, women are not a monolith with a hive mind and a shared set of experiences. The woman who's complaining about the creepy guy on the bus and the woman who's sad that she's never met anyone who tried to flirt with her or ask her out are two different people.

          • This. Times a million.

          • yeah and if you look hard enough you will find a woman who s sexually attracted to horses- abberations exist its a cruel world- welcome to life

          • I don't think you understand how this works. If there exists even *one* not-horrific woman who rarely or never gets attention from men (raises hand, where rarely is 4-5 times in 20 years), then that means *every* guy she encounters does not fit your theory that every guy will pursue any woman who's at least halfway decent looking. That's an awful lot of guys who pass by every one woman who qualifies across her lifetime. Which means there are an awful lot of guys who do focus on pursuing women they find particularly attractive and aren't extending attention to every single average woman who passes there way.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            A guy sitting down next to someone on the bus who is reading, listening to their headphones, whatever and saying "hey baby, how about you and me go out sometime" then freaking out, shouting and calling her a bitch if she says no or doesn't want to talk is not the kind of attention we're talking about when it comes to dating.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            Need I point out that by that definition you are currently getting a lot of attention from at least two attractive women?

          • Dr_NerdLove says:

            See, that's conflating positive attention and negative attention.Dudes catcalling women on the street may be giving them attention but it's *negative* attention. Same with the guy who constantly badgers the woman on the bus who just wants to read her book and get off at her stop or the woman at the coffee shop who just wants to work on her laptop and enjoy her latte. They are in situations where they are actively notlooking for attention and are getting approached by people who don't respect her boundaries or her lack of interest.Trying to equate the two and say that women have no lack of attention is missing the point entirely.

          • OldBrownSquirrel says:

            Please understand, I'm trying to *explain* why some men have this perception; I'm not asserting that the perception is *correct*.

          • Yeah, women complain about guys who approach them in intrusive ways. I would hope most guys would be smart enough to figure out that if a guy shows a lack of respect for your boundaries right from your very first interaction (I mean, I don't see women complaining about some guy saying hi and then moving on when the woman kept reading, or asking a friendly question and then letting it go when the woman indicated she didn't want to talk–it's the guys who insist on making the woman talk to them even though the woman is clearly not interested who get complained about), going on a date with him is a *very* bad idea. So that's not really an option we're turning down, and that's not positive attention, it's negative. I'm pretty sure any guy who was busy with something or not in the mood to talk wouldn't appreciate a random woman insisting on having a conversation with him either.

            And just because some women deal with this, doesn't mean all of us do, or even that most women who mention it deal with it regularly. It's happened to me maybe four or five times since I hit puberty. I can still contribute a story if the topic comes up, but being approached four or five times in the last twenty years (by guys who clearly had a screw lose or were outright inconsiderate) is hardly on the same level as having "tons of options" or having guys fall all over me when I leave the house.

          • You can get your makeup done at some salon- get style tips from the many clothes shops for women. Men can't get their social barometers adjusted in a salon, and can't simply get a few tips and openers on how to get a date from some store clerk- it is difficult for men- it takes a considerable investment to be able to fully learn how to navigate the annals of socal graces, etc. etc. DNL consistantly makes the point about how much gargantuan work we must do just to get a wide social circle, do interesting activities, just to get one measly date(which you end up paying for), work your ass of to ace it and hope to get a second one only to wind up with some trite saying that the first 10000 rejections dont count – so your comparison is erronous and laughable rather like a community college student claming to be doing advanced doctorate work

          • Briznecko says:

            Wow! A real-life, glorified expert on how to be a woman! I know I'm a woman, but I'm DYING to have someone guide me how to *properly* be a woman. So I have a few questions: Whenever I'm on my period my chin breaks out really really bad. Do you know the right combination of concealer, foundation, and powder that will properly cover them without making it look like I caked a bunch of shit on my face? Or, even better, do you have any tips on things I can eat or alternative skin care that will prevent the breakouts?

            Thank you SO MUCH.

          • eselle28 says:

            Have you checked out the cover of a women's magazine lately? Lose weight! 10 tips to keep your man satisfied in bed! 5 easy new hairstyles! 8 things you should never say on a date! Women face pressures to please others too, and they can get just as neurotic about it as the guys do.

            Also, there are roughly equal numbers of men and women (with women being a slight majority). The fact that there are so many men who are desperate to get dates means that there are a lot of women who are not in relationships and not going on many dates, either.

          • A Third Guest says:

            That's preying on self-inflicted women's insecurities, even women who are already attached. A guy's barrier to basic entry and acceptance is much higher than a woman's.

          • eselle28 says:

            Many of the sites aimed at men are doing the same thing.

            Again, there are roughly similar numbers of men and women, with women being a slight majority. The only possible answer to this that still supports the theory that men have a much harder time finding dates than women do is that all of the women are dating the same handful of men. That certainly doesn't line up with my observations, but even if it did, that's not something most women find to be a satisfactory state of affairs.

          • A Third Guest says:

            Dating, fucking, whichever. They're all after the same pool of men, and the ones who are having trouble finding dates are the ones who are holding out for someone from that pool.

          • No. Seriously, have any of you dudes looked outside that dimly-lit L.A. club? At real life?

            I could make the same accusation, that ALL men are holding out for the 10% of women who look like supermodels, but it still wouldn't make it true. It's just my own insecurities talking at that point. Because if I really look around, I see plenty of average and ugly people together. If everybody "held out" for that supposedly-coveted 10%, none of us would ever fuck anyone, let alone get married. And then we'd be doomed.

          • I know, right?

            I will freely admit I have no idea what it's like to be a guy out there in the dating world. I would never tell any guy that when he says he sees no indications that women are interested in him, he must be making that up, that it can't really be that hard. So it's very frustrated that so many guys come here insisting that they know what it's like being a woman in the dating world. I have *never* felt like my options were limitless, like I was chasing after a "select" guy in competition with a whole bunch of other women, or like there were guys around who were clearly willing to date me if I'd just settle for them. The vast majority of women I've known haven't see things that way either. But hey, what do I know? Apparently random dude on the internet has a better idea what women experience than actual women do.

          • Exactly. I'm not about to tell any guy he has it "easy".

            OTOH, I sense a fair bit of projecting going on with guys like this. The reason they accuse all women of holding out for that mythical 10% is because *they themselves* are holding out for none but the hottest 10%, personality/compatibility/mental stability be damned.

            They can do what they want, no skin off my nose (but how's that workin' for ya, buddy?). But don't be accusing all women of being shallow because you're projecting all your baggage onto everyone else, yo.

          • But they won't even admit that. They keep claiming that most guys would be totally happy with just about any woman. If they admitted that they wanted "the best" too, I'd at least have a little more respect for the argument, because I'd understand why they think women think that way.

          • A Third Guest says:

            Gotta be kidding. Women only settle when their time starts ticking and they need a guy to give them a baby (or they need a guy to raise someone else's). It's female version of madonna/whore, they seperate the guys they're attracted to from the guys who they'll need to settle for, and even then, they're keeping an eye out for the tops among the settling group.

          • This has not been my experience, for myself (I started dating the guy I ended up marrying when we were in our early twenties; he still lived at home, didn't even have a driver's license, wasn't particularly buff, and on the shy/reserved side socially, but I never felt I was "settling") or the women I know. Maybe some women you know are like that, but you shouldn't generalize from them to "women" as an entire group.

          • Geez, why did you settle early? You make him sound like a total dud.

          • Wow, you have absolutely no idea what makes for a good and satisfying relationship.

            Hint: it's got remarkably little to do with cars, muscles, financial success or extroversion.

          • I didn't settle. I found a guy who was creative and passionate, who was independent (he was living at home because, like me, he was still in university and so couldn't work enough hours to afford his own place yet), who I could have fascinating in depth conversations or hilarious ones with, who I found very physically attractive (women do not all find the same things attractive–I personally am turned *off* by very muscular bodies), who shared similar values to me, and who cared about me just as much as I cared about him and didn't play any games about whether to show it. Frankly I think I lucked out.

            It's sad that you think those four factors make someone a dud. Tons of guys have very good reasons for living at home in their twenties, that have nothing to do with their character. If you live in a city with extensive public transit, you don't need a car or a license. Being buff is far from the only way you can look attractive to women (consider all the more slender Hollywood actors who still get swooned over). And given that I'm shy and reserved myself, like a large percentage of women, I'd much rather be with someone who's similar than someone who's going to want me to go out to social events I'll find exhausting every other day. None of those factors even played into my attraction to him (other than his being on the reserved side being a plus).

          • Between this comment and your bizarre idea that people over the age of 35 lose interest in sex because they're primarily concerned with raising their teenagers, I'm beginning to question how old you are and whether you've been in or even observed any actual relationships.

          • I don't believe I wrote that but Mel_ inferred it from what I wrote.

          • I inferred what? The opinion eselle's referring to didn't require any inference–you stated it outright. And I quote: "Any in-celeb who makes it to the 35+ age know they're going to stay that way as their best years are behind them as well as their sexual contemporaries have also lost interest in sex for popularity's sake and are now more interested in making sure then teen children are going to turn out right as adults."

          • You inferred people over the age of 35 lose interest in sex and your re-quoting of me shows I never stated that.

          • That's how it reads to me as well. What did you actually mean?

          • You know, going back to that thread, I noticed that it wasn't actually me who brought up the losing interest with sex idea even there. It was eselle, as it was here.

            Gil, you've leveled some pretty offensive accusations at me, made random assumptions about who I am, brought me up in conversations I wasn't even a part of, and now you're attributing comments to me that I didn't even say (and when the person who said them is right there in front of you). I don't know why you're specifically focused on me when there are lots of other commenters here who've also quite vehemently disagreed with you, but please consider that this fixation getting a little creepy.

          • Dr_NerdLove says:

            Oh don't worry. That particular problem's been taken care of.

          • Ah, good to know! :)

          • Gentleman Horndog says:

            *sniff*

            It's so tragic when the hammer falls upon a young troll. Poor little guy. I'm gonna miss his….

            …erm….

            …give me a moment here, I had something….

          • Hmmm, apparently not taken care of after all.

          • This makes it even creepier. Apparently, he wants to stalk you so badly that he'll create as many socks as necessary.

          • OldBrownSquirrel says:

            "One particularly memorable series of events concerning him took place during the Knightfall saga, after Bane had destroyed Arkham and released its inmates. Unable to find Scarface, the Ventriloquist uses a sock puppet in his place for a short time (aptly named Socko). After an ill-fated team-up with fellow escapee Amygdala,[2] he procures a number of other hand puppets to fill in for Scarface, including one of a police officer which he refers to as "Chief O'Hara" (in reference to a character from the 1960s Batman TV show). Later, when Wesker does indeed find Scarface, Scarface and Socko are set at odds until a standoff occurs, and the puppets shoot each other, leaving Wesker unconscious and bleeding from two wounded hands."
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ventriloquist_%28com

          • Okay strictly speaking estelle28 brought it up first but you concurred. Maybe I remembered your reply more-so because you reply so much in both terms of frequency and length that you seem like a counter-troll. However Tosca also makes a deliberate ambiguously-written sentence a scroll down. Tosca also put a winking smiley emoticon and yet feigns disgust when call out on it? Boo hoo.

          • A counter-troll? Like, the opposite of a troll? So that would be someone who posts reasonable and well-researched comments in the hopes of fostering positive discussion? If so, then yes, Mel is a counter-troll. Hey, we agree on something!

          • I'd also note that this counter-troll is presumably the reaction to the more ordinary type of troll. Since Mel replied to Gil, is this Gil admitting that he was trolling?

          • You have a very strange idea of what "disgust" looks like if you think someone laughing at you is an attempt at feigning it. And I'm not sure how Tosca's aside has anything to do with the fact that you've been acting creepy. But whatever.

          • OldBrownSquirrel says:

            There's increased incidence of sexual dysfunction with increasing age, though that doesn't really seem to be the argument here.
            http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14730166

          • eselle28 says:

            Oh, I don't think anyone would quibble with that. Gil's argument is absurd because he's being so absolute about it, and because he keeps bringing teenagers into things.

          • It's funny, because I'd be willing to bet that on average parents with teenagers are having sex more than, say, parents of younger children. The little kids need a lot more attention and wear you out, plus they're always around. Teens are pretty independent and can be counted on to give you some privacy! ;)

          • The older my son gets, the better our marriage gets, sexually speaking! ;)

          • I'm sure not what that means but using Mel_-style inference I could take that to mean something gross.

          • Are you 12? You are, aren't you. I know, the thought of your parents getting it on is gross, isn't it, kiddo? But that's just life! It's okay. Let me microwave you a burrito while you dry your tears.

            Your utter ignorance of marriage and LTRs is laughable. It seems to be informed by sitcoms and shitty comedy sets from the 90s. If it wasn't so funny, it would be sad.

          • Oh, and upon further reflection, saying I have a "Mel-style" anything is a seriously huge compliment. So thanks!

          • Which one? Or Mel_'s wrong inference?

          • Mel's right. You were actually talking with me about those subjects, and it's weird to keep bringing her up.

          • This only "occurs" in 2nd-3rd hand stories in the whiney corners of the Internet.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            Yeah, as a guy, you fail at understanding what women go for. I'll leave the women to explain why.

          • I would never enter a relationship where I felt like I was "settling." It wouldn't be fair to the other person, it would–justifiably–make me feel like kind of a crappy person, and it wouldn't make either of us happy in the long run. And I would rather be single than be with someone who was "settling" for me. I can't fathom the mindset of entering a into a committed relationship with the begrudging resignation of "guess you'll do."

          • OldBrownSquirrel says:

            I think different people have different ideas of what it means to "settle." As I define it, "settling" is the gray area between "I'm completely enthusiastic about every aspect of this person" and "never in a million years," and that latter category includes anyone you *wouldn't* be willing to settle for. Others may define "settling" more narrowly. If there's a person you consider less than ideal — a man you consider too short, perhaps — but you're still willing to date him, perhaps even to marry him, then that *might* be characterized as "settling." The difference may lie in how much weight you assign to the criterion on which you are compromising; if it's really not that important to you (which is the reason I picked a somewhat superficial example), then you can see it as "not really settling," even if he's not your *ideal* in every respect.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            If you're waiting for someone who's 100% ideal, where you're completely enthusiastic about every aspect, you might as well spend your spare time hunting unicorns instead. You'll have just as much luck.

            AAAAAAAAANNNNNNNNNDDDDDDDD. . .we're in the most commented list. I'm outta here!

          • OldBrownSquirrel says:

            The scenario I have more in mind is: "I have a crush on this guy, and I really, really, really wish he'd ask me out." Flaws can be invisible in such cases. I think it is entirely possible for women to reject all other guys because they're hoping someone specific will express an interest instead, and they'd rather stay single for a while if need be to nurture that hope. Then, when they've given up hope in their crush taking an interest — perhaps after his wedding — then they might be willing to "settle" for someone else.

            Granted, I'm not saying this is *typical* behavior, let alone suggesting that all women are like this, just that I can imagine *some* women going through this at some point in their lives. Guys are certainly capable of similar behavior, but it manifests itself slightly differently: not asking anyone else out vs. rejecting anyone else.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            Oh, oneitis. That happens to guys, too. Doc's midweek letters column is full of variations on the theme.

          • OldBrownSquirrel says:

            Ah, yes. I suppose I am describing oneitis.

          • Not being "completely enthusiastic about every aspect of this person" doesn't mean you're settling, it just means you're in a relationship with an actual real human being.

          • "They keep claiming that most guys would be totally happy with just about any woman"

            That argument falls apart soon enough. I've seen many a guy on here scoff and deride DNL for "daring" to suggest men go after any woman but the most attractive.

            Edit: for clarification, I don't mean "most attractive TO THEM". We all have our own things we are attracted to. I'm talking about externally enforced, conventional attractiveness; a very narrow set of qualifications. Only betas "settle" for anything less than Megan Fox.

          • Yeah, like I said in another thread a few days ago, I'd really like to see the "women have it so easy because most guys would be happy to date any of them" crowd chat with the "there's no point in pursuing a woman who isn't totally hot" crowd. Let them hash it out for a while rather than us having to keep arguing both sides! ;)

          • eselle28 says:

            Do you ever go to the grocery store or the park and actually look at the people around you? There are a lot of ugly people out there, and a lot of them are walking around holding hands with other people.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            Ahhh, I think your true colors are showing, ATG. Let me ask you something, how many women that you are attracted to have you actually asked out? How many of them have you had a good conversation with? Have you tried finding someone you have compatible interests with instead of just deciding that women are all snobs who would never want you?

          • If women really do have such an easy time getting dates, then why on earth would they feel insecure? You really think that magazine headlines would have more power over their self-image than getting tons of actual attention from actual men?

          • A Third Guest says:

            "Do I look fat in this?" The insecurity is in-built among women at this point.

          • Seriously? You're going to claim that we're born with this insecurity? It's genetic and cannot be reversed even through vast amounts of evidence to the contrary?

            You honestly believe that the women who buy magazines advertising how to get a guy to notice you are already getting asked out multiple times a day, and are somehow unaware of it?

          • OldBrownSquirrel says:

            "In-built" is a stretch, but there's a case to be made that body image insecurity stems from an age before women start dating. That's the the basis for the criticism of the utterly unrealistic proportions of Barbie dolls, is it not?

          • Indeed. DNL, Mel_ and friends should raise a lot of noise and demand Barbie be made to the average woman's physique as well as have professional aspirations.

          • Oh, I won't deny that body image insecurity starts young. But I'm not just talking about body image. Teen girl and women's magazines are full of tips on how to flirt, how to make best use of eye contact, how to smile best, how to start a conversation with a guy, etc. Behavioral tactics for catching guys' attention. I find it hard to believe that there would be much market for articles like that if most women were bombarded with regular male attention (positive attention–not catcalls or aggressively forced conversations, which as previously discussed aren't putting the woman in a position to get a date anyway).

            And, I mean, I'm not just making assumptions based on magazine articles. From what I've observed and experienced and heard from other women throughout my life, the women who get a lot of male attention are the women who put a lot of work into not just looking but behaving in an appealing way–flirting and flattering and so on. Most of the women I know who had the most guys asking them out weren't the most physically attractive, but the most social butterfly types. It has always seemed pretty clear to me that if I wanted to get more guys' attention when out socially, I'd have to do a lot of work overcoming my introversion and reserve to act more like those women. Putting on make-up and nice clothes certainly didn't accomplish it.

          • OldBrownSquirrel says:

            "Teen girl and women's magazines are full of tips on how to flirt, how to make best use of eye contact, how to smile best, how to start a conversation with a guy, etc. Behavioral tactics for catching guys' attention."

            This reminds me in some ways of PUA culture, without being so, y'know, offensive.

          • It's funny, actually–a lot of the advice given to women on how to be attractive to men is pretty much *exactly* the same as the sorts of advice DNL gives to guys. Look your best, act confident, share your passions, show interest in other people's lives, banter, etc. Almost as if… we're all just human beings, and human beings find certain things attractive. ;)

            And shy guys should take heart that a lot of women's dating advice sources are encouraging women to ask out guys they're interested in themselves rather than waiting for the guy to take that step, these days.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            Check out Cosmo (or just read the Cosmocking articles) sometime. Some of their advice columns are worse than the PUA corpus at reinforcing gender stereotypes and unhealthy relationships.

          • Dr_NerdLove says:

            The sex tips are also frequently either stupid, outdated or in many cases PHYSICALLY FUCKING DANGEROUS.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            That, too. A few are so egregious that I just don;t have words for the particular part of the Twilight Zone they come from.

          • They also frequently advocate sexual assault in the name of surprise.

          • I love Cosmocking! Reading these magazines is kind of a 'laugh or you'll cry' situation.

          • Also, basic entry and acceptance to what purpose? I see this argument over and over–men have to work so much harder because a guy is happy to go on a date with/have sex with any woman who's halfway attractive, but women want more than that. Let's say for the sake of argument that's true. If a woman isn't going to be happy on a date with a guy unless he's more than just some random dude of the street, unless he shows respect for her and shares some interests or makes her laugh or whatever, then how on earth would it do her any good to go on a date with a guy who doesn't do those things? How is it a benefit to be able to have an experience she won't enjoy? Women work hard to get dates *with the people they want to go on dates with*, just like men do.

            Maybe if the men you're talking about paid more attention to women as individuals and figured out which women they're most likely to get along with, and stuck to pursuing those women, they'd have more success than if they randomly went after every woman who was halfway attractive. Just a thought.

          • A Third Guest says:

            Because then, it's not hard for women, they're just making it hard for themselves and giving up options that guys in the same position don't get and very much want, all so they can pull something better.

          • Did you even read what I wrote?

            They are giving up options *they don't want*. Maybe it's not hard for them to date guys they're not attracted to. Why on earth would they want to date guys they're not attracted to? I bet there are unattractive women out there who never get asked out at all–why don't these desperate guys ask those women out? Oh, wait, because the guys want to date women they're attracted to too.

            Why do you think that men should get to date the women they want to date, but women should have to date whichever guys ask them out regardless of whether they find the company of those guys enjoyable or not? Why is it unfair for women to only go on dates where they think they'll have a good time, and to say home if they think they'll enjoy staying home or hanging out with friends more? Do guys regularly go on dates where they think they won't have a good time?

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            But Mel, you HAVE to go to pro wrestling with top 10% guys because evolution!

          • Also, how many guys do you know who actually ask out every woman they see who they consider attractive enough to date? I mean, apparently this is something like 95% of the women out there. So you, and most guys you know, ask out 19 out of every 20 women who cross your paths?

            Or do you and the guys you know focus on the women you find most attractive, because you don't have the time and energy to focus on every single woman who might be okay to date? And if it's the latter, then what do you think all the other guys in the world are doing? Probably also focusing on the women they find most attractive.

            So how exactly are the not-quite-so-attractive women supposed to know they have all these "options", if the guys are busy pursuing other women? Are they supposed to be mind-readers? Are they supposed to throw themselves at every guy who walks by, to check? What's so wrong about them focusing their attention on the guys *they* find most attractive, when that's what the guys do too?

          • Speaking as a woman who has been not-attractive*, showing interest in guys I liked only got me laughed at, with some very special exceptions (like my husband). When these guys completely erase our experiences, they're doing more than just being assholes. They are shutting off potential understanding and commiseration. Dudes, we KNOW how it feels! We should be allies in this.

            *not-attractive as in unpopular bullied gawky ugly duckling in my youth, as well as various periods of being fat in my adulthood. I have also been "attractive", but I still can't touch "club-girl" or "model" attractive.

          • A Third Guest says:

            Women's expectations are a lot higher than men's. Guys will have no problem hitting up those women for dates and such, but those same women will not lower their standards until she starts closing in on 30, then she'll consider settling. Worst part is that society and feminism are encouraging women to do this now.

          • Translation: I'm ignoring everything you say, because it doesn't fit my preconceived notions that make me the victim of all those nasty nasty women.

          • Dr_NerdLove says:

            Expectations I see is translated as “doesn't include me until she's too old for me to want to fuck her.”

          • A Third Guest says:

            Nope, but that age makes me wonder a few things that younger doesn't.

          • eselle28 says:

            Oh, god forbid, you might have to date a 28-year-old.

          • Nope. Guys *might* have no problem *sleeping with* these women and using them when convenient. But they're certainly not going to bring her around their friends and admit they dig her.

            And by "guys", I mean guys like you.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            ATG, seriously, skip out on this debate for a second and scroll down to the very last comment on this page. Read the whole thing, THEN try and tell me that women under 30 don't go for (not settle, actively go for) average looking, non-rich guys.

            Society and feminism encourage women to NOT go out with guys they're not attracted to and to go out with guys that they are. I think the disconnect here is that most women's definition of attractive is a world away from what you think it is.

          • Wow. I asked a whole lot of questions in my comment, and you ignored every single one. Here's the most important part: how many guys do you know who actually ask out every woman they see who they consider attractive enough to date? I mean, apparently this is something like 95% of the women out there. So you, and most guys you know, ask out 19 out of every 20 women who cross your paths?

            Because unless you and the guys you know are, then there are some women those guys are *not* hitting up for dates.

          • 30? Try 40.

          • Well, I can only laugh at this. I guess the human race is doomed if women are all waiting until after their fertile years to settle down.

          • Well actually the West's birthrate is below replacement level and Oprah did do a show years ago about women who did spend their youth in career mode then trying to be a mother in their 30's or so thinking they could conceive indefinitely like a man. But then it's really not a good idea for men to wait until their old either.

          • Another Guest says:

            "The West" =/= "The Human Race."

          • OldBrownSquirrel says:

            "I mean, apparently this is something like 95% of the women out there. So you, and most guys you know, ask out 19 out of every 20 women who cross your paths?

            Or do you and the guys you know focus on the women you find most attractive, because you don't have the time and energy to focus on every single woman who might be okay to date?"

            The attractive woman who's with a guy? Sure, I consider her attractive enough to date, but absent clear evidence to the contrary, I'm going to assume they're a couple, and I won't ask her out.

            The attractive woman who's by herself but wearing a ring? Sure, I consider her attractive enough to date, but it looks like she already has someone, and I won't ask her out.

            The attractive woman on the train with her headphones on? Sure, I consider her attractive enough to date, but it looks like she wants to be left alone, and I won't ask her out.

            *Any* of the attractive women at the office? Sure, I consider them attractive enough to date, but I don't want to make things at the office complicated.

            The attractive woman with a cigarette dangling? Sure, I consider her *attractive* enough to date, but I'd just as soon not date a smoker.

            The attractive woman who's six inches taller than I am when she's wearing flats? Sure, I consider her attractive enough to date, but I expect to get shot down by her. In this context I'll concede that I may have issues here… but it's not that I don't consider her *attractive*.

            There are plenty of reasons men don't ask out women. It's not simply that we don't consider them *attractive*. We focus on women whom we consider attractive, available, and realistically attainable. That tends to narrow down the field a *lot*.

          • Nobody is disputing this, OBSquirrel. We just (I'm assuming, here) don't like it when these very reasonable, normal life circumstances you just stated are spinned as women's FAULT because we're so picky and uppity and feminism is ruining everything!!

            Edit: Doing a mental exercise in which I am single: In my life, tons of attractive men I know are also not available, being married, involved, gay or otherwise just not a good fit personality-wise. Am I going to bitterly complain that men are so unfair and shallow with such high standards that I haven't got a chance and they owe me? No.

          • A Third Guest says:

            And then "realistically attainable" quickly becomes "unrealistically unattainable" because you don't fit their laundry list of wants and needs that don't budge and inch.

          • eselle28 says:

            Okay. So above your theory is that women group men into guys they're attracted to and guys who they'll settle for. But now you're talking about laundry lists. I don't think you understand how attraction works, but I can assure you, it doesn't involve carefully checking off all the requirements on a list.

            It seems like you're just giving a bunch of rationalizations for complaints about women being too picky rather than working from something coherent.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            Its notable that I smoke and my current girlfriend has a hard and fast rule about not dating smokers. This isn't "settling". Its how relationships work. No one is 100% perfect. You can't expect your partner to change for you. You have to communicate and compromise.

          • And you know this from your observations of women, you said. Again, I ask, are you a mind reader? Because I don't know how else you could determine that women are turning guys down because of a "laundry list" of unreasonable unshakable demands, unless you're suggesting you're seeing women actually pull out a physical list and compare the guy to it.

          • Dr_NerdLove says:

            It's very simple. He needs to believe this because otherwise he has to take responsibility for his own life and the decisions that have lead him to where he is – unhappy and alone. As long as he can convince himself and shout down others that women are hypergamous puppet-masters who make men dance on their strings, he doesn't have to accept that there's nobody to blame but himself.This is why all he can't do anything but pull out the same bullshit talking points that have been brought up and debunked here over and over again. There's nothing else.And we have officially reached the end of this thread tangent. Time to move on.

          • Well, for one, in "attractive" I'd include any traits you find appealing. I'm not just talking about physically attractive. So if you decline to pursue a woman because you find smoking unappealing, or the thought of trying to date someone you work with unappealing, or whatever, that counts as focusing on pursuing women you do find "attractive" in all ways.

            Are you saying that you do ask out every woman you run into who appears to be single, isn't giving strong leave-me-alone vibes, isn't smoking, is your height or less, and isn't someone you work with? I find it hard to believe that you ask out or even chat up every single woman you see who's not hideous and who doesn't have any characteristics that give you pause, which was my whole point. If men don't give attention to every woman they would potentially consider datable, then there's no reason for them to conclude that just because a woman doesn't give *them* attention, she wouldn't consider dating them if they asked.

            In other words, there's no way for A Third Guest to know that all these women he complains about aren't dating average guys because they're too picky, rather than because they are focusing on guys who catch their notice more but would be willing to give some of those average guys a chance if the guys tried.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            Here's a woman "its not hard" on and one of the options she's giving up. Skip down to "I spend a lot of time thinking about"
            http://www.okcupid.com/profile/CheshireCunt?cf=re

          • Translation: Whine whine whine. Mountains of self pity. Refusing to believe what women say about their preferences and experiences. Whine whine whine…

          • Where do you get this less than 5% statistic from? Do you have a source, or did you make it up?

            And have you ever looked for women's dating advice? Believe me, there are hundreds of sites for that, too. You wanted data? When I do a google search for women's dating advice I get over a billion results, whereas a search for men's dating advice turns up only about 1/20 as many (1.2 billion vs. 57 million, to be exact. And easily reproducible if you want to check).

            You're not really in a position to complain about me not having data (and by the way, the statement I made was "there are women who are unable to find sexual partners"–I didn't say how many! I just said they exist. Do you deny this fact? Because there were female virgins commenting on the virgin article who'd disagree with you) when you turn to made-up statistics and easily disprovable generalizations to try to make your point.

            Beyond that, why are you trying to turn this into a "who has it worse" whinging contest? The thread isn't about whether men or women have a harder time finding sexual partners. It's about how men and women *react* to the frustration of not being able to find a sexual partner. Are you trying to say that more people being frustrated would somehow make acting out that frustration in hurtful ways more reasonable? I don't care if every man on the planet sometimes has trouble getting a date–that still wouldn't justify them making incredibly hostile and degrading statements about women as a general group, or to treating all women as subhuman.

          • +1. We're not saying all women have it sooooo much haaaaarder than all men. We're merely saying that all women don't have it "easy". There's a BIG difference.

          • Googled it: Dating advice for men- 117,000000 – dating advice for women: 103,000000 Troll harder.( also google modifiys search results based on your history- please attempt this after you have cleard all cookies- I am doing this on a linux distro which does not allow for cookies and history)
            I can give you screen shots too- also check out yahoo answers and pretty much every internet board that is not a 'feminist' site- women can get laid easy- even fat ones/ ugly ones – O seriosly surprised you have not heard of chubby chasers

          • Wow, you're calling *me* a troll? Because I provided data and challenged your made-up statistics (which I notice you didn't even address)? Right.

            Anyway, I cleared my cookies and history like you said, and when I google dating advice for women I get 173 million results, and only 91.4 million for men. And the original searches I did (which were not dating advice for ___ but ___'s dating advice) still have the same results I originally reported after deleting cookies and history. I'm searching on google.ca because I'm in Canada and it defaults on that, so maybe the .com results are different? (So maybe there's more advice for US men but more for Canadian women?) But even with your numbers, the fact that men have about 15% more advice site results is hardly indicative of there being so much more advice for men than women, only a slight increase.

            And you totally ignored my main point. Congrats! Do you think it's okay for men to make degrading statements about women as a general group, and treat them as subhuman, simply because supposedly women can "get laid" more easily? Because *that* was what I was talking about. Funny how you seem to think it's more important to emphasize the getting sex part and not the being treated like a human being part. Because who needs to be treated like a human being if they can have sex?

            Oh joy. If I want to find a random guy who'll be happy to pound away at me until he comes, probably providing me no physical enjoyment whatsoever and possibly causing me discomfort, I can post an open call for one. I'm just not sure why any woman would want that. There's no much appeal in being able to get laid when getting laid doesn't usually result in pleasure for the woman unless the guy she's with actually *cares* about taking the time to listen to what works for her body and experiment, not just getting off. And, shocking fact, in order for a woman to make sure a guy is going to be considerate and caring during sex, she has to get to know him, not just pick any random guy off the street!

            You're so busy ranting about how unfair it is that women can more easily "get laid". Should we women should start ranting about how much easier it is for guys to have orgasms through sex? "About 75 percent of all women never reach orgasm from intercourse alone — that is without the extra help of sex toys, hands or tongue. And 10 to 15 percent never climax under any circumstances." http://abcnews.go.com/Health/ReproductiveHealth/s… So basically, for 3 out of 4 women, unless they know a guy's willing to put in more effort than is required for him to get off, they're guaranteed *not* to have an orgasm. Would you be jumping to have sex with random women if your chances of ending the encounter frustrated instead of sated looked like that?

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            Citation needed.

          • " like less 5% with guys especially under 30 the figure is closer to half"

            Ok, first of all, from where do you even pull these numbers? Your ass? It's your ass, isn't it?

            "- women dont have to really self-improve/work hard to get a date only know how to dress well and put on make up- "

            But no fat chicks, amirite?

      • Thereal McCoy says:

        "Sexuality" and "having sex" are very different things. One should not need to be having sex to be in touch with one's sexuality. If people think they do, then we have just hit on a point to be explored.

  12. eselle28 says:

    I think the fantasy is that women aren't attracted to men based on their looks, and that achieving peak alphaness is what will elicit a sexual reaction.

    • The problem is that this fantasy makes no sense because practically every alpha is depicted as very handsome in the movies where the nerd boy ends up with the hot girl. The alpha rival has to be a cocky and good-looking for the fantasy to work. Since being physically attractive is part of being alpha, that means that women are attracted to men based on looks under the alpha theory.

      • eselle28 says:

        I'm thinking more of the rhetoric on PUA sites, which tends to deemphasize looks and concentrate on game. In Nerd Gets the Hot Girl stories set in high schools, the fantasy more likely to be that women are really interested in Inner Beauty and that all that's needed for the nerd to succeed is for the girl to give him a chance to show her what a great guy he is. In ones where the nerd is a bit older, the fantasy might instead be that women are really interested in money, and that being wealthy will not only attract a mate but will attract one who's genuinely sexually attracted to her spouse.

        The common thread is picking one stat and claiming that if you just max it out, you can be universally appealing to women who have maxed out the beauty stat. Obviously, reality is more complicated, but that doesn't make for good sales pitches or easily written romcoms.

  13. Amen brother. Your first stock photo reminded me of a couple anecdotes that really drive home your point. My fiance works on a construction site, with mostly men who are pretty decent, well-rounded fellows. They all act pretty macho at work, because it's a highly masculine work environment. But for most of the guys, it's all in good fun, and not behaviour that reflects their deep-seated insecurities – its an act reserved for work that they all enjoy putting on for a good laugh. At their work site, being referred to as an "Alpha" is definitely a negative. The few "Alphas" that work with them are called that because they are so insecure, so concerned with appearing to be the "macho-ist" among a big group of buff guys in construction gear that they will compromise basic safety to ensure their dominance.

    One guy in particular is pretty obsessed with needing to seem manly, and my fiance has told me quite a few stories where even some light ribbing was enough to provoke this guy into threatening to start a fight with his male coworkers. One story in particular, wherein macho man was up a few dozen feet high on scaffolding with another guy, and other guy was poking fun at macho man. Macho man threatened to punch him, and other guy quickly apologized because he had no idea if macho was serious or not, and a punch could have meant losing his grip and potentially falling. On a dangerous work site, teamwork, compassion, intuition and other less "macho" characteristics are absolutely critical to all making it home safe, and preoccupation with masculinity makes work unnecessarily risky. Silverback gorillas don't make good coworkers.

  14. Excellent call!

    These alpha sites are also deeply mistrustful of women – as in never listen to what women say. There is this weird idea that a group of men trying to be alpha are better judges than women at what is attractive in a man to a woman. There is no nuance to their thinking. The idea that women like myself who most certainly and clearly have a type (brainy science guys) that doesn't fit their idea of alpha is preposterous. I thank my lucky stars I have never had the misfortune to actually run into one of these men-who-know-what-I-want-better-than-me-thank-you in person, down a dark alley.

  15. deadliftman says:

    Well, you've taken "never listen to what women say" out of context. It actually is like this – "Never listen to what women say – observe what they do." Meaning, actions speak louder than words – certainly true in case of most shy women who are not typically very straightforward when expressing their feelings.

    • eselle28 says:

      I think it's helpful to look at people's actions as well as their words, and that it can be particularly useful in the case of specific individuals (a person who says kind things to you but avoids you, a partner who's good at sweet talking but who's inattentive and doesn't keep promises).

      But any sentence that starts with, "Never listen to what women say…" is incredibly problematic, regardless of what gets tacked onto the end. That makes it terribly easy to disregard it when women say "no" to sexual advances or romantic approaches and keep pushing – and the fact that a grudging or coerced "mmmph, alright" sometimes follows doesn't make matters any better. This rhetoric also means that the experiences of women who disagree with any of the tactics or philosophy being promoted are automatically dismissed on the grounds that women never speak clearly or accurately about what they want. At best, women might find that their opinions and actual preferences are waived off not because they're liars, but because they're too unattractive to be part of the group of women being discussed.

    • Gentleman Horndog says:

      What a woman says is always important. Even if it's contradicted by her actions. ESPECIALLY when it's contradicted by her actions.

      If all of my makeout partner's physical cues are screaming "GREEN LIGHT! GO GO GO!" but she tells me "No," I NEED TO STOP WHAT I'M DOING FUCKING IMMEDIATELY. She's not lying to me; she's conflicted. And until/unless she sorts that out, sexytimes are damn well DONE.

      Or, hell, maybe she IS lying. Doesn't matter. We're done (for now, at the very least) either way.

      Yes, when her words and her actions are in conflict, there may be some room for investigation. May be. But flat-out IGNORING what she says? Jesus. Never.

      • So much this! Thank you for saying it from the guy's perspective.

      • deadliftman says:

        "We're done (for now, at the very least) either way. " – that for now part is the most important thing that a lot of guys have a hard time understanding. Women generally react to whatever they are feeling at that particular moment.

        Of course you will STOP. That's common sense – basic social understanding. But, that doesn't necessarily mean you stop the pursuit. You are right about the part that she may be conflicted. The only way you know if that conflict has been resolved is if you go for the makeout again after some time. This part about persistence is what is meant by "Don't listen to women – observe what them do". Now, if all her physical cues were negative and she says no, well, you are done. No point in persisting. Persisting then is tantamount to harassment.

        • eselle28 says:

          "The only way you know if that conflict has been resolved is if you go for the makeout again after some time."

          Or you could talk with her about what happened the other night.

          I can understand men being confused about the more subtle ways women say no, but if you actually receive a clear one, it's pretty uncool to try to shove your tongue in her mouth again because you thought her body language indicated she'd like that.

          What if you're that socially awkward dude who gets brought up on every thread about creepers, and you struggle with reading people's body language? What if you're not usually, but for whatever reason you got it wrong this time? What if she is attracted to you but still doesn't want you kissing her for whatever reason? Why is your judgment that her body was saying yes so infallible that you can rely on that, instead of taking her initial verbal response and following it up with some more verbal clarification about what she wants?

          • Gentleman Horndog says:

            Yeah.

            "Hey, I feel like I'm getting some really mixed signals here. Can we talk about this?"

            Seriously, it doesn't take a Vulcan mind meld.

        • Gentleman Horndog says:

          "Of course you will STOP. That's common sense – basic social understanding."

          I agree, wholeheartedly. Unless you've got absolutist nonsense like "Never listen to what women say – observe what they do" rattling around in your head. The fact that the second half of that sentence is perfectly reasonable does not absolve the first half from being appalling advice, even in context — and within the scenario I gave, a path to sexual assault.

        • The biggest problem with what you're saying is the "never" and the "don't". It's fine to say, "Pay attention to body language too." I think we'd all agree with that. But paying attention to body language doesn't mean what she says has no bearing (which is what "don't listen" means).

          There's a big difference between a woman saying "no" to continuing to make out/whatever on one date and her saying, "I never want to get physical with you" or "I don't want to date you" full stop. In the former case, it's generally understood that there's a "right now" in that sentence and she will quite possibly be up for making out/whatever again if you get together another time, or even later on that occasion. And when that next time comes, you judge whether she's into it by both her body language and what she's saying then. In the latter case, it doesn't matter what her body language says, you *listen* and you don't try again unless she says with her *words* that she's changed her mind.

          The only time you should question someone's words is when they're saying they're okay with something and their body language says they're *not*. What you want is both words and body language to line up. If either one looks like an "I'm not comfortable with this", you stop and let it be or talk about it.

    • Ooooh nice casual enforcement of rape culture. Well done.

  16. Nope. I'm sorry I'm not letting you have that. I have been told in no uncertain terms that what I say, my opinion of what makes a man attractive, does not count, it's just not true. I'm sure you're right that many men do caveat with "observe what they do", but in my personal experience (and yes, it's a survey of one, with all the bias that entails) some of these men are not interested in hearing anything other than what they already think.

    I think it's all terribly sad and such men only hurt themselves. If you think every woman is hell-bent on stealing your life from you you're going to find that no one will live up to your expectations. None of us is perfect.

    • Gentleman Horndog says:

      Twisting your interpretation of somebody's actions to fit your pre-existing worldview is often FAR easier than twisting actual words. I find this philosophy nasty on a variety of levels.

    • danielleparadis says:

      Or you are going to find one who exactly meets your expectations (stealing your life, etc)

  17. I'm always amazed by this "Alpha males are the most attractive" philosophy. I've never encountered a man who is so insecure that he thinks rudeness and misogynistic remarks are the way to pick up a girl and thought "Oh wow, this one's a keeper, gotta jump his bones tonight!" Even my casual hook-ups and friends-with-benefits situations are always with guys that I can tell respect me and my thoughts about sex/my body, as opposed to just playing a game to see my boobs. I just find it difficult to believe that "most" women – as it's stated in the PUA society – want to hook up with someone who is probably 1. dangerous to hook up with since they don't seem to understand women's boundaries and 2. probably not that great at sex anyways since they obviously don't care about the woman's pleasure.

    • Gentleman Johnny says:

      I think that was covered above in the "women who want drama" and "emotionally vulnerable women" part. There's part of it he left out, though. A big part of PUA is not letting failure get you down. That is, if you get shot down, you find someone else and try again. If I go down clubs on the Vegas Strip, walk right up to every attractive woman I meet and say "nice boots, wanna fuck?" often enough, I'll eventually get a yes. Its the same thing with PUA's except that they assume all women are like the ones they pick up.

      • That makes sense…although if part of the process is being rejected by, say, 90% of women, why do PUAs assume that all women are like the ones they pick up? Isn't the fact that most women reject them evidence to the contrary?

    • Ron Ritzman says:

      It may be that for some of these "bad boys", their insecurity and misogyny doesn't become apparent until one has been in a relationship with them for a while. Antisocials can be quite charming, cocky, and fun to be with when you first meet them.

  18. Rebecca says:

    Excellent post. I really enjoy your writing style. Thank you.

  19. The Mikey says:

    The whole thing about being “alpha” or being “beta” I first encountered on 4chan, of all the places. But it was mostly as a joke towards the “Bros” that pound Natty Ice or some other crappy beer.

    But now it’s become an incredibly silly idea that cannot possibly conform to humans. Yes, humans are indeed animals — who by nature probably aren’t supposed to be monogamous — but we’re sentient. As in we can actually formulate thought and we are aware of everything around us including this bullshit about “alpha” status. Now I can understand shouting “alpha” as a way of motivating oneself at the gym, picturing themselves as these huge musclebbound dudes. So long as that particular “alpha” mentality stays in that kind of context, that’s fine. You wanna be the best, etc.

    But when that alpha mentality is thrown into normal, everyday interactions, we’re gonna have some issues. If they *really* wanna prove they’re “alpha”, chances are they’re gonna get arrested at some point for punching a dude and probably end up with a felony assault charge. Or something, I’m not a lawyer.

    Maybe they’ll get punched out by one of those dudes who actually is a man, and not an “alpha”.

  20. Windward says:

    I think it's amazing I found this article the day after I found this comic: http://humon.deviantart.com/art/Bonobos-302107081

    Yeah, I don't really have anything else useful to add ot this discussion other than Good job as ususal, Doc!

  21. To the haters here – since when do men learn intensively on how to pick up ugly women? It's always "how can I learn to snag the beautiful women?" By the same token, women know they don't have to do much if they're intent on snagging nerdy losers. Instead just as men don't want the dregs of womanhood neither do women want the dregs of manhood. Losers appealing to the "but I'm good of heart" are just making it worse.

    • eselle28 says:

      Average and not-so-hot people struggle with dating each other as well. The fact that most people eventually work it out well enough for the species to survive doesn't mean there's not a lot of confusion and frustration along the way.

    • Gil, I didn't hate on you. I pointed out that what you were arguing against was not anything the article or any other of the articles here have said. No one is saying, or has ever said here, that being "good of heart" is enough to make someone want to date you. One more time, since you missed it before: No one is saying, or has ever said here, that being "good of heart" is enough to make someone want to date you.

      Did you hear it that time? I'm not sure who these "losers" are that you are arguing with, but perhaps you should go find them rather than continuing to have this imaginary argument with no one who exists here.

      • Uh huh. The author talks of a mythological sexual equality where we were all like bonobos and freely had sex regardless of status, look, charms, etc. Then he talks of the Alpha/Beta(/Omega) spectrum being false. I would argue otherwise.

        • Um, no. The article talks about prehistoric human beings not being particularly concerned about paternity–nowhere does it say they had sex in a free for all. And the part about bonobos is to *disprove* the idea that humans must have an alpha/beta structure because of our primate ancestors–he doesn't say that therefore we naturally act *exactly* like bonobos, only that you can't claim that all primates naturally act the other way.

          And finally, you're ignoring the fact that the article explicitly states not that women like one specific trait (being "good of heart" or what have you), but that different women like all different sorts of behavior: "Some women like macho, take-charge men. Others like soft-spoken intellectuals or floppy-haired mods or wiry musicians, tattooed greasers, chubby hairy teddy-bears or yes, giant-ass nerds." The point of the article is that standard "alpha" behavior is usually hurtful in the long run, not that being the exact opposite of an alpha will get you all the sex you want. But clearly reading comprehension is not your strong suit.

          • * eyes roll *

            So humans share 98% DNA with chimps or bonobos depending on who's telling the story. Since humanity has greater capacity for violence and war over orgies shows we're much closer to chimps.

            However the notion of the Evil Alpha reads like a strawman from the author. As if to say "women like nice guys but love the bad boys" false dichotomy. I prefer the notion of an Alpha Male as a man who not only is usually larger than average, stronger and more symmetrical than most guys but also exudes a certain dominant energy and far from being violent is more likely to be a leader and arbitrator. In other words, women prefer Alpha Males for all the rights reasons. Personally I prefer the term Omega Male to guys who are at the arse end of mankind and are weedy, whiny losers who can't get women are far more prone to random acts of violence as they have little to lose (cue: Jamie Holmes). I prefer to define Beta Males as to be the down-to-earth average guys who usually gets married, settles down and has children without too many worries.

          • Er, the whole point is that the behavior of human beings *is not dictated* by our animal ancestors. We have a variety of close ancestors with a variety of behavior, so you can't say one particular behavior is inherently more "natural" for human beings just because some primate has it. There are all sorts of things that primates do that aren't natural for humans to do at all.

            As to the whole definition of "alpha" thing, I think the article covers why it's problematic in great detail. If you can't be bothered to read it and pay attention to what it's saying, I don't see any reason in trying to repeat all that just to have you ignore me too.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            Oh for fucks sake! Humans have 85% DNA in common with zebra fish but no one tries to use zebra fish to explain human behavior. If you're going to use wildlife terms like alpha and beta males, though, you should probably at least try to use them in a way consistent with how the since you're bastardizing uses them.

          • More like me subscribing to your definition of "Alpha" where you see one as a proverbial caveman who pretty much rapes women – a strawman designed for everyone to boo and make themselves feel good that they're not one of them.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            By all means, let's hear your definition. Since it is variable, I'd much rather be deconstructing the right thing.

          • I did – a few comments up :|

          • "I prefer the notion of an Alpha Male as a man who not only is usually larger than average, stronger and more symmetrical than most guys but also exudes a certain dominant energy and far from being violent is more likely to be a leader and arbitrator."

            Is this the definition you're referring to?

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            So I should make myself larger, stronger and more symmetrical? I've already got the leadership thing down. . .without Dominance, I admit. Honestly, that definition of alpha doesn't sound like one that your aspiring PUA can do much about. He can work out, learn tricks for dominance but half of what you listed is (barring surgery) pretty unchangable.

            Also, please note that this definition is not in line with what makes an alpha chimp, so comparing alpha humans (by your definition) and alpha chimps (by the primatologist's definition) is false equivalency at best.

    • Gentleman Johnny says:

      To the hater hater

      Since when do attractive, secure, socially adjusted men learn intensively how to pick up women? By the same token, gorgeous, drop dead women don't have to do much if they want to snag an average guy. It turns out that some men are better at getting dates and some women are, too. When women say "dregs of manhood" they're more likely to be talking about your (specific you, Gil) attitude than someone who is confident, honest and treats them with respect. . .not obsequiousness, not clinging neediness, RESPECT, the thing one human shows to another as a sign that they are. . .wait for it. . .wait for it. . .ALPHA e-fucking-nough that they don't need to degrade others to feel good about themselves.

      Losers appealing to "only alpha guys get hot chicks" just make it easier on me.

      • You are a gentleman and a scholar and I have enjoyed every one of your additions to this conversation.

    • Each man will have a (at least slightly) different definition of "beautiful women" and "dregs of womanhood", while each woman will have a (at least slightly) different definition of "dregs of manhood". Despite what society perpetuates, there is no one beauty standard to rule them all. So, OK, men don't learn intensively on how to pick up ugly women specifically, but depending on what they consider to be beautiful women, they might end up picking up what most men would consider to be an ugly woman but this man considers to be a beautiful one.

  22. BritterSweet says:

    Hmm. This Alpha-Beta soup has been heated and stirred, but still hasn't come to a boil just yet.

    *crickets chirp*

  23. Gentleman Johnny says:

    First guess: it means they need to work on their game.

  24. Thank you for another excellent article, Dr. Nerdlove! "At what point does someone go from being 'alpha' to 'an insufferable selfish dick'?" They don't need to even have to be "alpha" — they just need to buy into this whole alpha/beta crap to start on the path of "selfish dick" (becoming an "insufferable selfish dick" takes some practice).

    As a life-long nerdy female, I've had the misfortune of being attracted to a few nerdy/geeky males who I eventually found out bought into this alpha/beta crap, and if they were even interested in me (they usually chasedafter non-nerdy women), they didn't treat me that well if we ever got around to dating or getting into a quasi-relationship (guy never told me he loved me, and I don't know if it he didn't, or if it was just macho crap that if he said it, it would be weak?). If telling a woman you love her, holding her hand in public, and truly caring about her and not being afriad to show it makes a man a beta, then give me a beta!!!

  25. Oh yeah, and I don't know where Henry Rollins fits into all this, but damn, he's cute!

  26. Ron Ritzman says:

    The Wikipedia article on the alpha male is an interesting read.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alpha_male

    While the manosphere uses "beta" to describe men who are wimps, pushovers, and doormats, ("mangina" is the word they like to use) in many animal groups, the beta male is "second in command" and is next in line to become the new alpha if something were to happen to the current one. In other words, they aren't pushovers. The alpha/beta model used by the manosphere has more in common with Aldous Huxley's Brave New World then it does with ethology.

    However, I still sometimes use the model and I describe myself as a beta male using some of the more lenient definitions and you know something, I'm proud of it even if it means I don't get to shag 1000 women a year. (or pretend to do so) It still would be nice to develop a few alpha traits while still staying true to who I am.

  27. I don't get that last bit. Why can't men withhold sex from a woman to change her behaviour if, say, the woman wants sex and the man does not? Maybe I've misunderstood what you said?

    • When was last time a man said to woman "until you change you way you're not getting any" and the woman was like "oh sh-"?

      • Gil assumes women never want sex. Therefore the threat to withhold sex is meaningless. Alternatively Gil assumes men are incapable of actually withholding sex and thus no woman would take the threat seriously.

        And to be fair, when I was much younger and stupider I said to the woman I was dating "until you change your mind on that you're not getting any," and after a week or so when she realized I was in fact serious, she changed her ways. Caveat: The whole delivering a shitty ultimatum thing undermined the trust we'd previously had, created a ton of negativity and ultimately related in the end of our relationship, which should illustrate why it's a stupid idea for EITHER PARTNER to threaten to withhold sex.

      • Well if my theoretical partner threatened to withhold sex from me to get his way, I'd DTMFA his ass. But then, I don't date manipulative people.

      • Gentleman Johnny says:

        When was last time a man said to woman "until you change you way you're not getting any" and the woman was like "oh sh-"?

        Wow, Gil, way to say "men are always horny and can't control themselves" in different words.

        • eselle28 says:

          I sometimes wonder if guys who like to pound on the "men are sex crazed monsters" drum realize how dismal of a picture they're painting of men, or at least of men who agree with their views.

          • Dr_NerdLove says:

            It's kind if depressing to see the way certain definitions of “masculinity” are presented. Men evidently are supposed to be mindlessly horny rage-beasts according to much of what gets sold to us.

          • eselle28 says:

            I'm surprised you guys manage to get any work done in between all that supposed rage-beasting and alpha-posturing. Seems like a lot to get out of the way on a 15 minute coffee break.

          • It's hard work. Earlier today I had pound my chest and screech loudly at a co-worker for 15 minutes because a woman in a meeting with us laughed at his joke. Can't be having that sort of thing in my meetings.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            I blame the show "Survivor". I watch it like a nature show because its was geared with mad genius to turn a group of 20 people into cutthroat competition for biggest primate on the island. Try it sometime, doing your own soft spoken nature documentary voice over with the sound off.

          • If that's what men are supposed to be, then what the fuck am I?

          • I suspect the guys who spout off those ideas do so because they're selfish and want to feel justified in not controlling their own sexual behavior or caring about what the women they're pursuing want. If they can convince themselves it's just "the way men are", then it's not their fault! And since they're selfish, they don't really care how those ideas affect all the men who aren't sex crazed monsters.

        • No, more that men have higher libidos with women and that withholding sex from a man is a tool for a woman not really for a man. How you project this to say men are free to become rapists is beyond me. After all, I've since said patriarchal societies are rape societies because they forbid a women to refuse sex (for her to have a personal choice, to forbid her to freely consent) in that the men won't be punished if they rape her (if anything she gets punished).

          • Um… You are aware that the United States is currently a patriarchal society by all definitions of the term, yeah? And none of those definitions includes "rape is legal".

            If you want to discuss this sort of thing, you should probably acquire at least a basic level of understanding of the concepts we're talking about before you start telling people they're wrong and you're right.

          • I'd like to specifically note that in the U.S. the social consequences for a woman who brings an accusation against her rapist can end up being far more severe than the legal consequences (if any) that her rapist faces. Especially if she wasn't a virgin who dressed like a nun and never did or said anything indicating that she might have had so much as a thought about sex in her life.

            As a society we seem to believe rapists are generally strangers who violently assault their victim in the course of the rape, while the reality is that "Well I made sure to get my girlfriend to say yes before I fucked her, even though she really wasn't into it, she knew it would be a bad idea to tell me no tonight" is the more common scenario.

          • Oh, yeah, I wasn't at all saying that rape is handled well here. But… This is a patriarchal society, and it doesn't fit Gil's description. And in fact not long ago he was claiming that this current society, which is patriarchal, *does* punish rape, because women control sex etc. etc.

            So I guess my point was mainly, there's no point in getting into the intricacies of it when Gil doesn't even have the basic definitions down.

          • I would agree that the U.S. is patriarchal if women find admitting being raped and no one much wants to hear about.

          • Gil, this isn't even a complete sentence. I honestly don't know what you're trying to say.

            But, a patriarchal society is not defined by its laws on rape. It's defined by whether men hold most of the political, economic, and social power. In North America right now, the vast majority of politicians, CEOs, and other authority positions are held by men. The vast majority of the people involved in making laws and passing them are men. And when women try for those positions of power themselves, they face far more criticism and backlash, which enforces the situation. In the majority of situations (barring a few exceptions like child custody) if a man and women want opposing things, our societal rules and norms mean the man will get it. It's not as strict a patriarchy as earlier ones, and there are certainly laws that protect women and attempt to make things more equal, but it's far from there yet.

            I have nothing further to say to you at this point, since you've more than proven you're not actually interested in having a discussion (particularly considering that you've made incredibly offensive and problematic claims, like that men are in a constant state of consent, and then ignored the obvious proof people have presented that this isn't the case rather than admit you might have overstated the case).

            If you care at all about people taking your opinions seriously in discussions like this, I highly recommend you take the time to educate yourself on the basics of these topics. Read that link on rape culture I gave you (which presents several current examples of not just women but girls–children!–being shamed and faulted for their own rapes). Read a little Feminism 101 on topics like what male societal privilege actually means (http://finallyfeminism101.wordpress.com/2007/03/11/faq-what-is-male-privilege/ ). Listen to what actual women are saying all over the internet, where you can find them talking about enjoying sex, about wanting more sex, about feeling constrained by society's attitudes toward sex. Take the time to up find out what's actually happening in the world instead of shoring yourself up behind your unfounded assumptions that seem to solely be based on PUA reading (hardly an unbiased or comprehensive resource), and people will have a lot more respect for what you have to say, and be a lot more likely to accept the arguments you present, even if you still disagree with them.

          • Oh, so Mel_ is short for Melissa McEwan? Oh darn I can't remember saying rape was good or that because a man wants sex more than a woman he has a right to force himself onto her. That's why I agreed with Leesq about how woman control sexual conduct. To have men control sexual conduct leads to rape cultures. For women to have sexual power is for them having the right to say no and have it mean no.

            Then again it's starting to become clear as to why you want to dominate men as your posts are starting to smell of misandry. As if to say if you don't dominate the men in your life then they'll dominate you and that means raping you.

          • Where on earth did Mel suggest that you had said those things?

            Discussions tend to work much better when you respond to what the other person has actually said rather than stuff you've made up.

          • Because she's immediately assuming an overbearing patriarchy and rape culture if you disagree with her. Her links also have that conspiracy feel about as if all men are out to get women. However a lot have made snarky asusmptions and straw man assertions so I don't feel there's a huge standard here.

          • I imagine she assumes that patriarchy and rape culture exist whether or not you disagree with her.

            However, the existence of rape culture doesn't in any way mean that she's saying you said that "rape is good." You clearly don't understand what these things mean, and aren't willing to make any kind of effort to understand what terms you're arguing against.

          • Oh dear lord. Okay, you get one more response–not so much for your benefit, since you're obviously not reading what I'm actually writing, but to clarify for any lurkers following the discussion.

            Firstly, I don't assume patriarchy and rape culture exists because you disagreed with me; I know they exist because our society fits the established and widely agreed upon definitions of the terms, and I knew that before you ever entered this discussion. If you disagree that our current society fits the accepted definitions of those terms, you are welcome to explain how; making up your own different definitions so that I will be "wrong" does not constitute a logical argument.

            Secondly, please *read* the resources I offered before assuming you know what they say and dismissing them. I can tell you didn't read them, because the rape culture one specifically notes how *men* are hurt by rape culture too, and the male privilege one emphasizes *in the very first paragraph* that it's societal structures that result in privilege, not individual men doing bad things to women.

          • Translation: read up on the misandric links (yes I read them). While I'm at an African-American is going to post links as to how Whitey is keeping the brothas and sistas down. Rather you're viewing the world though a hate-filled, feminist lens. Why you think everything you believe is perfectly correct is beyond me.

          • Dr_NerdLove says:

            Hey, ya'll remember last week when you asked me what the definition of “irony” was…?

          • Fe 26.

          • This was actually kind of funny…

          • Dr_NerdLove says:

            Well played sir, well played.

          • Dr_NerdLove says:

            You\’re trending very close to personal insults now. Stop.

            Argue the content all you like but once you start insulting posters, I drop the banhammer.

            Only warning.

          • Noticed the bracket somehow got included in the link–here's a working link to the male privilege post: http://finallyfeminism101.wordpress.com/2007/03/1

  28. "Men can never withhold sex from a woman to change her behavior"

    …This is rape culture talking right here. The belief that women don't actually want sex, they just tolerate it in exchange for something of value. Since they don't really want sex, a man threatening to withhold sex won't change her behavior.

    To that point I reiterate, if you are a man and the woman you're in a relationship with would be totally unphased at you withholding sex the most likely cause of that is YOU SUCK AT SEX. You know what my answer was the last time someone threatened to withhold sex from me was? "Sure, but that means you don't get sex either," and magically that threat evaporated because they wanted sex with me just as much as I wanted sex with them… amazing what happens when you recognize that women are people who have desires too, and not just some strange different species with different rules.

    • that should have read "You know what my answer was the last time someone threatened to withhold sex from me?" Please ignore the extra "was" that snuck in at the end there.

    • Simply put if woman had the same sexual urges as a man then we'd would probably be living like bonobos. It's long known and scientifically studied that womens' sexual desires don't trigger the brain the same way a man's does. To a certain men do have a proverbial rudimentary brain between his legs. Women have consisently shown in studies that they are largely unaware of physical arousal. In other words, women aren't as sexually motivated in life as men.

      • What studies are these? What women are these? Maybe I only find outliers (that's sarcasm there, that is) but my partners have all been pretty clear on when they're physically aroused.

      • You obviously don't understand how science works. Physical arousal is biological. The fact that women get just as physically aroused by sexual stimuli shows that *biologically* they are just as sexually inclined as men. The fact that they are less likely to identify the fact that they're aroused is *psychological*. In other words, something that can be socialized. For example, when you live in a society that makes women's active sexuality out to be something bad and shameful, women repress that side of themselves. It's not something inherent about women; if our society changed, that would change too.

        • No it shows that women are less sexual as they traditionally had the most to lose by having sex. She risks pregnancy, death in childbirth, ostracism from tribe, etc.

          • That just sounds stupid. Women evolved to take into account modern social conceits? And in such a way that their bodies and minds respond differently to the same stimuli? What in the last few hundred years?

            You aren't even actually advancing a different idea, you're just suggesting that societal factors which make sex "riskier" for women both in terms of personal and social risk, aren't individualized psychological factors, but somehow have become hard-coded into women's DNA in the last few hundred years. Gosh I wonder which of those is more likely…

          • How do you know that your theory is correct and mine is wrong? You can't make huge claims without any proof to back them up and expect people to believe you just because. Frankly, from an evolutionary perspective, it doesn't make any sense at all for women not to want to risk pregnancy and childbirth, since there's no possible way she can pass on her genes without doing those things. And I'm not aware of any early "tribes" that ostracized women for having sex. That's a much more modern way of doing things. DNL even cites a book in his article that discusses how early people were much more accepting of women having multiple sex partners. But hey, I guess it's much easier just ignore facts and make up whatever theories suit you!

            And how do you reconcile this theory with your other theory that people behave the way they do because they're like chimpanzees? Consider female chimpanzees are quite happy to have sex with the beta chimps when the alpha's not paying attention, and no one in their "tribe" ostracizes them for it (in fact, if the alpha notices and gets angry, it's mainly at the other male). I don't see how you can argue that both are true, if you actually care about your arguments making sense.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            If we're going to bring in evolution, wouldn't evolution inherently favor a physiology more suited to child birth over an avoidance of mating?

      • You are right, they don't trigger the same way. Women are actually triggered by *everything.* What, in your worldview, does THAT say?

        "The men, on average, responded genitally in what Chivers terms “category specific” ways. Males who identified themselves as straight swelled while gazing at heterosexual or lesbian sex and while watching the masturbating and exercising women. They were mostly unmoved when the screen displayed only men. Gay males were aroused in the opposite categorical pattern. Any expectation that the animal sex would speak to something primitive within the men seemed to be mistaken; neither straights nor gays were stirred by the bonobos. And for the male participants, the subjective ratings on the keypad matched the readings of the plethysmograph. The men’s minds and genitals were in agreement.

        All was different with the women. No matter what their self-proclaimed sexual orientation, they showed, on the whole, strong and swift genital arousal when the screen offered men with men, women with women and women with men. They responded objectively much more to the exercising woman than to the strolling man, and their blood flow rose quickly — and markedly, though to a lesser degree than during all the human scenes except the footage of the ambling, strapping man — as they watched the apes. And with the women, especially the straight women, mind and genitals seemed scarcely to belong to the same person."
        http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/25/magazine/25desi

      • Either Gil's talking out of his ass, or he only has sex with women who don't like sex (gee, what could be the common denominator there, I do wonder?)

        • I think he lives in a sitcom, or a shitty, wacky sex comedy.

        • I guess by the way people here cite bonobos and Beta Male chimps they must engage in partner-swapping orgies.

          • You're the one who's been insisting that people are like primates. Everyone else is saying that you can't make assumptions about human behavior based on what some other animal, no matter how genetically related, does.

            Do you listen to yourself, like, at all? I mean, you ignored Marty's *entire* argument to make a snarky remark about partner-swapping, which had nothing to do with what she said, simply because her comment included the word "bonobos". *That* is why your comment is going to get downvoted. Not because we're big meanies who can't handle someone disagreeing with us. Because your comment isn't even a disagreement–it's a random line that's irrelevant to the conversation and disrespectful to the person who actually bothered to respond to you with facts rather than snark.

          • "While we’re equidistant, genetically speaking, from chimpanzees and bonobos, we bear far more in common with the hypersexual bonobos – in both behavior and anatomy – than we do with chimps, never mind gorillas. Human and bonobo males have larger testicles than chimpanzees do, while human and bonobo females have vulva that are oriented towards the front; chimpanzee females have rear-oriented vulva. Chimpanzees mate exclusively in estrus, strictly for the purpose of reproduction while humans and bonobos both have sex throughout the female’s menstrual cycle and during lactation; in fact, humans and bonobos are the only land mammals that have sex strictly for pleasure.

            Even more telling is the difference in our brains. Humans and bonobos have receptor sites in our brains for the hormone oxytocin, which encourages social bonding and feelings of affection and is produced during orgasm. Chimpanzees lack these receptors."

            I guess it's okay when the boss does it.

            P.S. Humans are primates.

          • That's a comparison between biological aspects of humans, bonobos and chimpanzees. What's your point?

          • "Everyone else is saying that you can't make assumptions about human behavior based on what some other animal, no matter how genetically related, does." – Mel C.

          • Making a comparison between biological aspects of humans, bonobos and chimpanzees =/= making assumptions about human behaviour based on what bonobos and/or chimpanzees do. It could be used as an indicator for why one can't make assumptions about human behaviour based on what bonobos and/or chimpanzees do.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            (soft English accented nature documentary voice) When threatened, the male human has been known to leap onto its opponent and savage their face with its sharp teeth. This is presumed to be an evolutionary holdover from a common ancestor with chimpanzees. Simiarly, the fondness for coastal locations that humans display is likely because they are evolved from aquatic ancestors.

  29. Er, you obviously didn't read the link I provided. We're not talking about 60 years ago. North America has a rape culture *right now*.

    And the comment you were agreeing with, what Lee was saying wasn't "advisable" was not having men control sex, but having sex be seen as something collaborative. Again, NO ONE is saying that men should control sex either. Okay?

    I feel very sorry for you that you feel only women can give consent. Do you really think that all guys are ready for sex all the time, and so it's impossible for them to have a "yes" or "no" when the subject comes up? Good sex is when both partners are consenting–and yeah, the guy needs to consent too.

    • Simply put when have men been compelled by women to have sex let alone get raped by women? Since when have woman engaged is sexual behavior so stupid that it cost them their career or sent them to jail? It's very rare for women but a dime in a dozen for men. Bill Clinton cheated on Hillary with a younger woman? Not really surprising. If Hillary Clinton were to have cheated on Bill Clinton and ruined her career instead? Quite surprising.

      Of course women consent – because men are always doing the asking (they're always in a perma-consent mode). Hence it's morally abhorrent for a man to engage in sexual activities against her consent, you know, rape her. Duh!

      • So…some of your words don't make sense. If a woman is in perma-consent mode, how could she then not consent?

        And the assumption that men have never been raped by women is, quite frankly, bullshit. It certainly does not happen on the same scale as men raping women, but good lord your assertions bear no resemblance to reality.

        • No kidding, all you need to do is watch a "Bar Viper" trying to take home the drunkest guy (consent be damned) to validate her own self worth to know this argument is complete crap.

          At least the drunk girl in that situation can count on her friends to protect her. The drunk guy will probably be laughed out the door by his "friends" because of this twisted sexual culture.

          It's horrible.

      • eselle28 says:

        You don't see many prominent female politicians caught having affairs because there aren't that many prominent female politicians, and those who do make it to that level are unusually focused and driven. If you look at areas where women are better-represented (local politics, entertainment, the non-famous people you know from your daily life), you'll see plenty of women making dumb sexual mistakes that screw up their relationships and their careers. If you want a more extreme example, note the female teachers who are sometimes arrested for committing statutory rape with their students.

        Perhaps you're always in perma-consent mode. I must say, most of the men I've been involved with have not been, and have been more than capable of turning down sex when they're tired or drunk or don't want to catch my cold or still angry about that fight or just don't like me that way or think it will make the breakup harder than it already is.

        • Or to put it another way power and status makes a guy more sexually appealing to women but not vice versa. It's quite probable some men only went down that path to be more sexually attractive whereas women would only go down such a path for personal fulfillment.

          • Did you miss the part where eselle pointed out that there are plenty of women in various areas other than politics who screwed up their relationships and/or careers due to sex? If women aren't interested in sex, why do many of them risk their relationships and careers to have it, just like men do?

          • You're right Gil, there certainly aren't any men who are attracted to women in positions of power.

            That was entirely sarcasm. There certainly are men who are attracted to women in positions of power, and statements like this, where you flat out deny relatively common occurrences only serve to undermine your credibility across the board.

          • Rather when men get status and power they become more sexually attractive to women but it doesn't automatically work in the reverse. Yes rich women had to be careful of male gold diggers too but no one ever told women "if you want to be more sexy to men then make a lot of money and status".

          • You're saying "it doesn't automatically work in the reverse," except that it does. As for your second point that's because we acknowledge that different men find different things attractive. Someone might say to a woman "If you want to be more attractive to men who find powerful women attractive then you need to come across money or some other form of status that would give you 'power.'" Or "If you want to be more attractive to nerds, it helps to be able to relate to their interests."

            On top of that I have known a few women who thoroughly enjoy being the partner who makes more money, has more social status, etc. Astonishingly enough they weren't dating/married to some sort of wimpy spineless sort, they were with calm, self-confident guys who weren't intimidated by and didn't feel lessened by their partner being one with the money and status.

            In case I wasn't clear enough earlier, you're making claims with no basis in reality. You're making statements that probably apply to some people and insisting they apply to everyone.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            OK, see the problem is your argument sounds like:
            "when all men get more status and power they become more attractive to all women."
            "When all women get more status and power they do not automatically become more attractive to any men."

            What we're trying to say is that when all men get more status and power (two very nebulous terms to begin with) they become more attractive to some women AND VICE VERSA.

            Now its possible you meant all men get more attractive to a statistically meaningful portion of physically attractive women without regard to other aspects. Its possible that you meant men without other above-average "attractive" qualities do. And it may be that you mean that women do not have a statistically easier time finding the type of man they enjoy being around based on their status and power. That's not what it sounds like.

      • Men are not in "perma-consent" mode. Every guy I've dated has had times when he doesn't want to have sex. And funnily enough, I know this because sometimes I, the woman, was the one asking!

        Maybe *you* are open to having sex at any time of any day with anyone, but I'm pretty sure most guys have other things they want to be doing at certain times, or standards about who they're going to do it with (like, seriously, you think every guy in existence will automatically say yes if a woman offers sex, even if he's married or in a serious relationship or finds the woman unattractive or knows she's his friend's girlfriend or knows she's underage or he's feeling unwell or etc. etc. etc.?).

        Men do get raped by women. Saying they don't is hugely offensive to the victims.

        • That's how it is in my marriage, too. I'm generally the initiator. He's the type of guy who forgets to eat and go to the bathroom; biological urges aren't really foremost in his mind. And a lot of my girlfriends have complained about their husband's/fiances/boyfriend's "lack of interest lately".

          Seriously, has Gil never been in a long term relationship?

          • To be honest, I'd find it hard to believe he ever has, given his ideas about gender relations. :P

      • Gentleman Johnny says:

        You're cherry picking your examples. How about the teacher who had a baby with her 16 year old student. Was he just so. . .wait for it. . .ALPHA that she couldn't resist or is it more likely that she seduced him? I'm not going to get into a matching game but there are plenty of women examples.

        Have you ever risked your career to have sex? If not then you clearly have some control over yourself. Why is it that you do but others don't? Honestly, a man who can't say no isn't a stud. He has a life-wrecking psychological condition called (if memory serves) satyromania. This is not a good thing.

  30. Some days I am sad that I cannot buy Mel and Gentleman Johnny and Trooper a drink (or a cookie if they don't drink) for all of their insightful comments.

  31. "resulted in the end of our relationship"

    Apparently I can't type today.

  32. eselle28 says:

    Have you noticed that women don't seem to like this model much, even though you seem to be claiming it gives us power? There's a reason for that.

    Setting up a model where men are seen as constantly pushing for sex and women are seen as deciding who to admit and reject encourages men to keep pushing, and to accept a grudging "yes" or a sad "mmm" or a passed out silence as consent. It gives women the responsibility to constantly be on guard against doing anything men might see as accepting sex, even if it means severely restricting their behavior. It makes it harder for either gender to interact in a non-combative way. And it removes the burden from men to make sure that their partners are enthusiastic and genuinely welcome sex.

    • I think he believes (or is acting like he believes) that women DON'T ever genuinely and enthusiastically welcome sex. I think that's the core conceit of his whole argument here, that because women don't ever want sex we have a model where they decide when they're reluctantly willing to let men do sex to them, and this gives them the great and terrible power to tell men no.

      This is where the "That bitch won't have sex with me?!? How dare she!" type of thinking comes from. If women don't ever really want sex and only grudgingly let men do sex to them when the men have somehow "earned it" then any time a woman he (generic he) is trying to have sex with has sex with someone else instead she's ignoring his hard work to earn her sex and instead giving it to someone who "did less" to earn it. (I feel gross just typing that)

      • eselle28 says:

        I think you might be on to something.

        But, man, is that depressing, both for the guys who hold those views and the women who interact with them.

      • What I don't understand about that mindset is how it fits in with the rest of the PUA mindset. If women inherently don't care for sex and only have sex if persuaded, why on earth would some guy posturing and acting superior to her persuade her? What would she get out of that interaction? It seems to me it'd make a lot more sense, if women truly didn't enjoy or want sex for its own sake, that women would be most "persuaded" by the beta guys PUAs sneer at, who actually offer kindness, support, and commitment. *scratches head*

        • eselle28 says:

          I believe the argument is that we're programmed to seek the highest status males so that we can harvest their sperm and make our own little future high status males, who can go and spread our genes around even further. No need to actually enjoy the process.

          Sigh.

          • /Weep.

            But it can be such an enjoyable process! (I mean the carrying and delivering of the future high status males is probably not as enjoyable, but damn it the making of them should be FUN!)

            Why does the suggestion that sex should and can be a lot of fun find so much opposition? I like fun. I'm only going to get so many years of life I want to enjoy as much of it as I can. Ignoring my partner's desires because I'm too nervous to learn about them/too insecure to care about them is a flaw that will directly decrease the amount of enjoyment I get out of life… those are flaws worth overcoming, if only in the name of my own selfish pleasure!

            (Though that's a bit of a lie since overcoming them requires that I think about my partner's pleasure and work actively towards satisfying her desires… maybe I should spend a little less time posting here today and a little more time working on that.)

          • eselle28 says:

            I think some people think about sex as a form of advanced masturbation that comes with bragging rights.

            I agree that it's kind of weird to think about sex without there being mutual desire or caring about pleasing my partner or finding out about someone else's body or his fantasies. Just writing that made me a little sad.

          • I like how according to this theory, women are apparently so controlled by unconscious instincts that they do things that consciously should make no sense at all to them (yup, I'm going to have sex I won't enjoy with this guy because… I just will) and yet somehow they can override those instincts enough to generally insist on birth control being involved, which is a much bigger obstacle to spreading one's genes than having sex with a guy who's not quite so high status but actually makes you happy. But then, why would I expect logic to be involved here?

          • eselle28 says:

            It's because we want to keep our bodies in as pristine of condition as possible so that when we meet the most alpha of alphas, he'll think we totally meet his HB10 standards and we'll have access to the best possible sperm for our condom sabotaging operation.

            Because during the Neolithic period, small bands of humans only occasionally encountered outsiders, so women had an incentive to keep themselves fertile for those rare encounters something something hypergamy something something beta males something something a study of 80 college students says so.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            something something something. . .wait for it. . .ALPHA!

        • Probably because she isn't a person and doesn't follow normal human rules of behavior. Alternatively because they don't want her to like them enough to hang around and find out whether or not they have any substance under all the show/game they're displaying, they just want her to tolerate them enough that they can achieve their "conquest" and get out of there? Either way it sounds shitty and sad to me.

        • You vs the P.U.A.? So this is an anti-P.U.A. or at least a closed-off site where Dr. N and like-minded friends chit-chat with each other and hate on those who disagree as per most other sites?

          * tsk tsk tsk *

          • The way these comments are structured I can't tell who you're responding to, but I think it's one of my comments?

            Anyway, I don't see me or anyone else saying we're "vs. the PUA". Yes, many of us here disagree with PUA techniques. But I think it's clear that this isn't a closed-off site for only DNL and "like-minded friends" given that you are commenting here without restriction, and you clearly don't agree with the article or what most of us are saying in the comments. I've never seen DNL shut someone down for disagreeing unless they were outright attacking people or going off on totally unproductive tangents.

            And you keep coming back to this idea that people are "hating on" you. Are you hating on us by disagreeing with us? All we're doing is disagreeing with you, the exact same thing. So either you're just as bad as us, or we're no worse than you, however you want to frame it.

          • It's a like a lot like other virtually-closed sites where agreeing with the party line gets a ton of up votes while disagreeing automatically attracts of a torrent of down votes. Best of all there are self-appointed bulldogs are quick to shoot down any dissenting comments with their own comments. However it's not surprising that with time such sites do indeed block out comments except to their nearest and dearest.

          • Gil if you came in here and disagreed with me and had some very strong and well-supported arguments I've always been willing to revise my position on most topics. But you aren't doing that. You're making sweeping generalizations and insisting that they apply to EVERY male/female relationship, and that's not only wrong it's completely implausible.

            Yes if I, or Mel, or Johnny make a well thought out (or particularly witty comment) it's going to get a lot of upvotes. Yes if you come in here and try to assert claims that just don't make sense, without anything to support them, ignore at least half of any response to what you're saying, and generally refuse to have a serious conversation, you're going to get downvoted again and again.

            No one is being "closed-out" or anything like that, but if you come into a community where you disagree with what might be called the central tenants of the discussion that's going on (in this case something like "men and women are all individuals with individual tastes and preferences, the belief that one super specific set of traits is universally attractive 'because monkeys' is not supported by scientific research or by most humans actual lived experiences") and perform the internet equivalent of stomping around squawking loudly while not contributing anything of substance… why would anyone upvote you?

          • "Tenets" not tenants. (Sooner or later I'm going to catch all the sneaky quasi-homonym mistakes I make before hitting post instead of after.)

          • It amazes me how often people who come here with hostile and/or closed-minded attitudes start complaining about the up and down voting. Is it really so awful to see a minus sign next to random number over your comment? I'm not sure why that somehow means more than the fact that several people are willing to spend lots of time trying to explain clearly and in detail why they happen to not agree with you.

            Most people here don't downvote everyone who disagrees with them. They downvote the people who disagree in insulting or offensive ways, the people who keep arguing the same points while ignoring the evidence presented to the contrary, and so on. I know this because I've seen plenty of dissenting opinions that were expressed thoughtfully and respectfully even get upvoted. But hey, let's not let actual facts and evidence get in the way of your need to vent about our unfairness!

            At least we're responding to what you're actually saying, addressing all your arguments, and backing up what we're saying examples from history, psychological and social theory, etc. Heck, I even backed *you* up earlier in the discussion when you mentioned psychological studies someone else hadn't heard about, with a link for proof no less. And you're not giving us the same courtesy. You're the one quickly shooting down any dissenting comments rather than taking the time to really think about what people are saying to you. If it bothers you so much for people to do that, I'd recommend you stop.

          • But Mel! Don't you know that we OWE HIM our agreement? After all he came in here and shared his thoughts and ideas with us. Don't we know that it's mean to disagree with him?

            …He just wanted to let us know that only Muslims oppress women today, that in the U.S. women control all the sex, even though they don't really want it all that much or all that often and that society totally hates men who don't respect women's right to consent and control all the sex.

            As a plus I haven't seen him suggest that women are evil. That's progress, right?

          • Yeah, we're obviously just a lot of hating haters who hate, refusing to give him cookies for at least acknowledging that rape is bad and women are somewhat less than evil. It really isn't fair of us to expect consistency, reasoning, or even sense from other people's arguments. I think it must be the bonobos' fault. Or perhaps the chimpanzees'. It's in our genes–we can't help ourselves. Oh well, I guess we'll just have to continue on like this.

          • I'm going to go drink some haterade and have a cookie and then go to bed. I'm exhausted from all the partner swapping orgies. I don't know how the bonobos do this every day.

          • Hating with strawman arguments/insults now? It's currently akin to speaking a different view from the party line in an actual meeting of people and getting continuously booed until you sit down and STFU. Poor Leesq also somewhat disagreed and also got a torrent of down votes. It would probably beneficial for DNL to disable comments and just have a thumbs vote for the articles themselves.

          • Here's another downvote for you. You're welcome.

          • You're too kind.

          • About Lee, he's been on this site for a while. And he's been upvoted a fuckton. Because sometimes, he says awesome things that rock. If you look back in the past, you'll find his awesome, upvoted posts.

            But sometimes Lee gets into The Bad Place. We know this, he admits it*. And then he says shitty, problematic things and I'm like, "Damn it, Lee, why you gotta be makin me downvote you?!" But he's okay. Just because I downvote someone doesn't mean I hate them.

            *We have a lot of commenters like this. If you really took the time and looked around here, you'd see this. I get downvoted too. It's not a big deal. And it's not about creating an echo-chamber or bullying or silencing anyone. You'll notice that no matter how many downvotes you receive, your comment is still there, in all its glory.

          • The hell he has. I been reading up on some of DNL's older articles and is lucky get a few up votes. More often that you all downvote his comments.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            Downvoted just because I find it funny now. You know, Gil, if you really believe that social status wins the game, you might want to look into how one achieves social status within a group. Then you'll get all the upvotes because you'll be alpha-ing the hell out of all of us.

            Edit: You know what, that first bit was unfair of me. Seriously, Gil, pick one. Either you don't care what the mass of people who read this think, in which case downvoting your posts doesn't matter. Or the mass opinion does matter, in which case learn to present your disagreements respectfully and with evidence instead of insisting you're right.

          • Are you mixing up correlation and causation? Just because the comments that get thumbed down are generally those that disagree with the article does not mean that disagreeing with the article is the cause for them getting thumbed down. The cause is almost always* a different, unsavoury attribute of the comment. Sometimes, it's because the comment is an argument for something just plain stupid. Sometimes, the comment shows that the commenter is not paying attention to the other side of the argument. Sometimes, it's because of the amount of whining in the comment. There are many other possible causes besides those three, but simply disagreeing is not one of them.

            * and the only reason I don't say always is because I cannot remember every comment that got downvoted on every article on this blog.

          • Dr_NerdLove says:

            It's also amusing to note the people who insist that everyone's views are in lockstep and dissenting opinions aren't allowed are saying it's because people don't agree with them.Not because I delete their comments or ban them from saying anything but because they're not deluged with “YOU'RE SO RIGHT!”It's one more reason why I despair for the fate of reasoned discussion on the Internet. Because of the insistence of not getting all the ass-pats has become the mark of a closed-loop board.

          • Funny to note that after his complaints about people automatically downvoting any dissenting opinion, I'm pretty sure Gil has taken that behavior he found so offensive and gone a step farther, by downvoting every comment by everyone who's ever disagreed with him even where the comments don't contain anything remotely argumentative. Couldn't help noticing this while browsing the conversation, because I can't think of any other reason why a comment that's simply someone correcting their own typo, for example, would have ended up with a negative vote.

          • I didn't downvote someone's typo reply comment. :|

          • Actually, I don't know whether Gil is to blame for that or not. What I do know is that, if he is, he is not the only one. I saw the comment at -1 earlier, gave it a positive vote to cancel that out (because in my opinion correcting a typo is a neutral comment and ought to have a neutral rating) and now it's back down to -1.

          • True, I shouldn't make assumptions. Apologies. I suppose Gil can take heart then that the "bias" in voting goes both ways rather than just against dissenters.

          • I would have downvoted my own typo correcting comments after the 4th or 5th time I needed to correct one immediately after I posted the comment.

          • If you make an IntenseDebate account it'll let you edit your comments up until the point someone replies. I have needed to correct many a typo of my own (and still don't always catch them).

          • While I may disagree with Lee, any time I have told him I disagreed we've talked about it and he's made it clear he's read my points (and I hope I make the same clear to him). Even if we end up not agreeing I respect him for having the confidence to come in here and engage in honest discussion. That's a hard thing to do because it often involves some painful introspection.

          • Gentleman Horndog says:

            I'm wary of making too many assumptions about why people downvote. My suspicion is that while some click the thumbs-down very judiciously, others will do it for an opinion they simply disagree with. I haven't seen any standard put forward on what the downvote is "supposed" to mean, so I think "I disagree with you" and "I think you're being an asshat" are both perfectly valid interpretations. I'd be curious to see what the total number of up- and down-votes are for any given post, rather than just the final score.

            But if you're REALLY trying to plumb the depths of the ratings system, it does appear clueless ashattery is indeed the way to go.

          • Yeah, that's why I said "most people" rather than "everyone" here. I know I've been downvoted for comments that as far as I could tell focused solely on facts with no snark or whathaveyou, presumably because someone didn't like the facts I was presenting. (Not that I keep careful track of the votes, but the default with an IntenseDebate account for some reason is the comments post with +1, and it's easy to notice if I'm reading over the thread a short time later and there's a 0 instead.) And that's people's right. Whatever the majority opinion is, it'll be reflected in the overall number. I rarely see a disagreeing comment here (can't speak for other blogs) that is well-reasoned and presented with an overall minus rating, which is what leads me to believe that the majority of people who vote on comments here don't use it just to express disagreement.

            Personally I tend to only downvote comments when I feel there's something problematic with the way they're presented. If someone simply disagrees with me, I just comment and explain why. On the other hand, I frequently upvote to express agreement when I think the person's said what I would say so well it makes more sense to just upvote rather than repeat it myself.

          • Gentleman Horndog says:

            I always appreciate when people leave me a comment telling me why they thought I was wrong-headed or off-putting instead of just downvoting (though they certainly don't "owe" it to me). It teaches me something, even if it's just telling me how I'm being perceived.

          • Yeah, I usually reply in either case, unless it's gotten to the point where I've already tried to explain in various ways and the other person's just not listening. The downvoting would be in addition to that, and usually only when it's particularly problematic. Which is why I think it's kind of silly to get fussed about the vote rating on any comment–the discussion is much more important. To me, if someone disagrees but can't be bothered to say why, oh well, obviously they didn't care enough about the topic to explain. And if they did explain why, it's the explanation that matters more than the fact that they disagreed.

          • Gentleman Horndog says:

            Agreed — the discussion is what matters.

            While I find the number ratings valuable for telling at a glance whether a comment is a must-read or just likely to annoy me, I have to admit I find them a bit dangerous on a site that intentionally speaks to geeks. I feel like they tickle a Pavlovian "MUST GET HIGH SCORE!!!" response somewhere in my nerdbrain. :-)

          • What do you mean by "closed-off site"? That would seem to imply some sort of restriction on who can contribute to the discussions here. Obviously that isn't the case. As for the "hate on those who disagree," while I personally have little patience for people who can't string together a coherent argument, support it in a credible fashion, and refuse to actually engage in any sort meaningful discussion (which I would define as "engage in discussion while being open to the possibility they might be wrong, or their mind might need to be changed") I think most folks here, Mel and Eselle in particular, are incredibly welcoming and willing to engage in open and fair conversation with anyone who's wandered over.

            That out of the way, yes at this particular moment people are expressing bewilderment over several common P.U.A. beliefs/assertions that don't seem to make any sense given what would seem to be the logical goal of the P.U.A. community. Some of us (like me) have also been snarky in taking certain concepts to their hyperbolic extremes. Also a side discussion about the differences (if any) between MRA and P.U.A. communities crept in up there somewhere.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            No, no, to be fair I have pretty much outright called Evo-psych bullshit, accused PUA of having a flatly incorrect foundation that leads to boneheaded goals and MRA of being where cry-babies go to tell each other its not their fault because that's easier than fixing their own flaws. And if I hadn't before I have now. If anyone wants to present evidence to the contrary, however, and do it in a well thought out and civil way, I will back off of my soapbox and discuss it.

            Sometimes it can be difficult for me to deal with reiterating what seems like the common sense, obvious truth to me from years of personal observation. Since that's usually the front line of PUS and MRA justifications, I figured I could play their game for one article.

          • Do tell, do tell.

            Dr NL supposedly is releasing some sort of "secret" about "getting the women of your dreams" (which is impossible when taken literally) to them geeky, nerdy loser guys. And the secret is . . . not exactly forthcoming. On the other hand, P.U.A. and "game" sites are saying the same thing – discussing how women work so loser types might, you know, have some sort of shot. The closest Dr NL has come up is to be funny. * yawn * Then a lot of commenters are seemingly stating what everyone suspiciously already suspected – men pair up with women who are at the same sort of level they are, dorky guys with dorky gals, outgoing guys with outgoing girls, etc.

          • Free advice buddy: stop thinking of yourself as a "loser type," it is whiney and self-pitying. Not so attractive to most women.

          • "Some sort of secret"

            … You mean the secret of focusing on self-improvement, being a decent human being and treating women like individuals and not a single monolithic entity? That's some super secret stuff right there. (No. Not really.)

          • Gentleman Horndog says:

            Depending on where you're coming from, that stuff actually might not be the least bit obvious — or at least, it's not obvious how your own attitudes and preconceptions fit into it. If this stuff was easy, everybody would have done it.

            But self-improvement is hard. Realizing you need to grow stings your ego. Realizing that you have some fucked-up and dysfunctional ideas about women leads to very uncomfortable feelings of confusion and guilt. It's far easier and emotionally safer to seek out the secret cheat codes that will magically get you all the ass you've ever wanted.

            And of COURSE those cheat codes exist. Just ask the guys selling them.

          • Hate to break the news but I read the odd P.U.A. site and it's actually rather similar and give more helpful advice. People here undoubtedly don't visit said sites or quickly skim through them until they read something they don't like then use that to prove such sites are horrid.

          • Gentleman Horndog says:

            That's a fair cop, actually. I don't have much direct exposure to PUA/MRA thinking; it tends to either be second-hand, or come from advocates popping up in the comment section of sites like this one.

            So yeah, maybe they really ARE bastions of healthy, challenging self-actualization and deep egalitarian insight into the female mind. You're right, I wouldn't know.

            But I've heard damned little to make me think that's possible, or that those sites are worthy of any of my time.

          • That's an excellent point there. I've been lucky enough to have lived a life where I made lots of mistakes to learn from and some of the Doc's advice touches on things I got to learn the hard way, but that doesn't mean I should sit here and talk like it is obvious to everyone.

          • Gentleman Horndog says:

            If there was a magic way to send messages to yourself in the past, I would totally give fifteen-year-old self time-traveling broadband, a laptop, and this URL.

            Of course, fifteen-year-old me would have ignored this site in favor of all the porn. Fifteen-year-old me was pretty damn stupid.

          • Dr_NerdLove says:

            If there was a magic way to send messages to yourself in the past, I would totally give fifteen-year-old self time-traveling broadband, a laptop, and this URL.

            Fifteen-year-old me would have no idea what the hell any of this was. At THAT point, the “internet” was just Prodigy, Compuserve and The Sierra Network for me.

          • Dr_NerdLove says:

            Well that's because you're looking in the wrong place! The secrets are cleverly hidden in the t-shirts at the Dr. NerdLove Merch Store . DUH.

          • "men pair up with women who are at the same sort of level they are"

            You say that like it's a bad thing. Do you think it's a bad thing? I don't think it's a bad thing. I think, in terms of how good it is for both parties, it is actually the best thing.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            And if you don't think its a good thing, it makes a great motivator to improve yourself. I haven't seen a PUA site that suggest "women are attracted to wealth and status, so you should work harder, contribute to your community and attend charity events."

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            Even if the techniques were identical, and I don't concede that they are, there's a big difference between PUA's attitude of "do anything legal to get what you want" and DNL's attitude of "these thing will make it easier to find a person who genuinely wants to have sex that you can both enjoy." There's a difference between "all men want this, all women want that. Here's how you can apperar to provide that so you can get this" and "men and women are unique people with unique preferences and interests. Its important to keep that in mind." Intent count.

  33. Gentleman Johnny says:

    I think its time for a Gentleman Johnny non-evidentiary anecdote! This is the secret TRUE story of how Dr. Nerdlove kicked my social life back into swing, helped me get a girlfriend AND keep her all in one article. The names have been replaced with titles to protect the innocent.

    First, a little scene setting. At the time our story begins I wasn't employed in any official way. This was obviously a big psychological block to dating women. I was the #2 guy in a theater/performance troupe of sorts. One of the other members was a woman who I had dated briefly almost two years prior. Nothing ever really came of it.

    Now, for you ALPHA guys, I'll go ahead and lay this out in a way I usually don't. This woman is hot. She's a go-go dancer at the local goth club. She's not at all ashamed of her sexuality and is quite happy to find someone to meet her needs on a short term basis if she's not in a relationship. She was (at the time) 20. Her previous boyfriends (as our story opens) that I know of were a male go-go for the same club and one of those spooky intense "king of the geeks, lord of the con" types. Her current boyfriend at this point in the story is an ex-semi-pro football player. So, y'know. . .ALPHA types, at least within their own subgroups. Her longest relationship at this point had been 6 months.

    Me I'm a beta. I don't even mean that in the way of "all non-alphas" but in the proper way that I'm better as the vizier than the sultan, the consiglieri than the don, the wizard than the king. I can do both but I'd usually rather have someone else leading the charge so I can focus on my own areas of expertise. Its important to note this because this is textbook non-Alpha behavior. I don't want to be in charge, to be the most visible, to have to coordinate booking dates, business deals and all that crap. I farm that part of the job out by having a level in the chain of command above me.

    Our current Alpha had a "perfect" princess of a girlfriend. She was interested in his money. She expected to be pampered. Would deny him sex to get her way and kept fishing for a wedding ring. She was actually a pretty cool person but she had a pretty screwed up idea of relationships. Fortunately, so did he. Their love was a grand and miserable thing to behold.

    So sometime in September I started reading Dr. Nerdlove with his "Don't Date Geek Girls" article. Looking back at the comments now, I notice that Paul Rivers is the only familiar name. Anyway, it kind of got me thinking that maybe just maybe my "standards" were actually excuses. It wasn't a long, guelling introspection, just a quick mental note. There were some other articles, we started prepping for our local Halloween parade and casino costume contests. Life went on, blah blah blah. I'm going through archives, reareading titles now so I can try and place them with the sequence of events.

    So somewhere towards the middle of October I've been kind of working on the 'How To Be Interesting" and "Cinfidence is Sexy" stuff. Not trying to get dates or anything, just letting myself be myself without worrying about all the reasons I wasn't cool enough to be me at this moment. Its a process that used to come much easier to me but I'm getting it back. The princess has a birthday party at the local bar. We're all milling about, doing our thing when the dancer casually mentions within earshot "oh, I broke up with him." That's when the point about making up excuses not to date came crashing back on me. Here was this attractive, smart, funny girl who liked costuming, anime and video games. Sure she was too young, I didn't have a job etc but in the time since we had dated before she had matured considerably.

    Shortly thereafter, the alpha, his girlfriend and I had to move (we were all roomates). A bunch of people came over to help for the better part of a week, it was a big house. Anyway, it was during the moving that told my dancer friend that I was interested if she wanted to give things another try. The very next day I was down with a migraine the entire night and she was taking care of me. Not very alpha behavior, I know.

    Our first "date" was sneaking into the new place one night while things were still being moved to use the master bedroom's big whirlpool tub. Our second date was some really awful atomic horror movie at the 50-seat Sci-Fi Center and food truck burritos. Our third date was [local city]'s monthly Game Day where we got to play Smallville and I ran a demo of Apocalypse World.

    Continued. . .

    • Gentleman Johnny says:

      I think it was a couple of months before we were officially exclusive but were sexually exclusive pretty much from day one.It hasn't been all solid all good. Its been work really communicating. During that time I did such horrible non-alpha things as not making fun of things she was insecure about, actively asking for her opinion, buying her inexpensive but meaningful gifts and generally showing her the sort of respect that human beings do for one another. Not being clingy, just being good romantic friends. The Doc provided several columns during that time that helped me with my resolution to take this relationship differently from my previous ones. This is the stuff I don't consider amazing, I consider it baseline for a good relationship. After about a year I had to relocate in December. Right now we still see each other once a month with plans to move in together once things stabilize.

      As I've said elsewhere, I also have an Old English major friend who I had coffee with regularly during this time. She too was attractive, smart and nerdy. At one point she was engaged. At one point I was dating but we both acknowledge that something could have happened if the timing had been right.

      So you guys go ahead and burn yourselves out preserving your alpha status so you can get whichever "10" is emotionally vulnerable or trying to use you at the time. Have all the sex you want with girls that you want to leave the same night so you don't have to talk to them the next day. I won't even argue that your methods produce the results described in this article's comments. You probably can get laid every night if you put in the hours every night. What I'm saying is YOUR GOAL SUCKS.

      By playing a PUA you're going to attract women who are attracted to PUA's. Hope you're happy hiding all your real interests because comics and video games probably are poison to that crowd. Keep doing what you're doing and you'll get the results you're getting. If you want the results I got: attractive women you can honestly share your nerdy interests with, who thinks of you as a person and not a penis that can do something for her in exchange for sex, drop me a line. .Or do what I did: read the Doc's columns, honestly evaluate how they might apply to you and DO THE WORK.

      PS. I note I left the year out in the first half. This story is Sep 2011 to present.

      • Good for you Johnny! /sociallyenlightenedbrofist

      • Swell tale, but about the PUA diss: the goal does not suck. How they go about it(targeting vulnerable peeps) and what they do it for(self-esteem/bragging rights) is what sucks. A person can be as promiscuous as he/she desires provided the whole safe, honest, consensual jig is done. You probably already agree with this sentiment, but the diss had a bit of an undercurrent of 'one-night stands being cheaper than what I have' to it for me.

        • Gentleman Johnny says:

          You're correct on one side and incorrect on another. The goal of PUA's "get lots of sex" is fine. If that's what you want, cool. I'm saying that getting lots of sex without consideration for whether or not the person is interesting to you for anything else is inferior. I'm also exaggerating my post to be in line with the more vocal MRA/PUA commentors who like to present their goals and their worldviews as innately correct.

          I would also debate how many PUA types would consider quantity sex with multiple partners inherently superior to quality sex with one (or more) partners that they also enjoy as people if both options presented themselves as being equally likely and requiring equal effort. I would presume that all else being equal, geek guys would prefer to date geek girls rather than hiding their geeky interests. I would also guess that most guys would prefer sex and fun non-sex activities to just sex. That's what I mean by inferior. If you focus on sex to the exclusion of all else, don't be surprised when all you get is sex. You can do better and still have lots of NSA sex with attractive people.

      • SO how long do you figure she will stay with you? Maybe she is just tired of the usual ilk he dates and is trying something different- but many human beings are creatures of habit I give your relationship 1 maybe 3 years before she starts to feel the nudge of the 'bad' boy

        • Gentleman Johnny says:

          Well its a good thing you're not the one defining my relationship then, isn't it?

          But ok, let's play, 1 in 3 of what?

          • 1 to 3 years

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            Oh, yeah, sorry, I read it as "1 in 3 odds". Every relationship that doesn't end in death ends in breakup. My real point was that this isn't a fluke. If something does happen I'll be broken up, I'll heal and I'll go find someone else who's mutually interested. Maybe I'll be sleeping with several people non-exclusively next (I have been in this position before). Maybe I'll take a year or two off of dating. The selfish and thoughtless actions of one person aren't going to convince me that all people are selfish and thoughtless (been in that position, too).

            I'll also keep reading DNL, because his articles are a great check against some of my youthful instincts. He's articulated things I didn't have words for, reminded me that I'm doing things when I should have known better, even taught me a thing or two.

            Or maybe you're just wrong. Any asshole can get a girl to have sex with if his standards are broad enough. Any Nice Guy can shit talk women. It takes a real man to put the work into building a real relationship.

    • Is it bad that when I read "casino costume contests" I imagined you dressed up as a human roulette wheel or a playing card?

  34. The reason the alpha male myth gets perpetuated is because for a certain segment of women it works damn well: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/evolution-the
    I recounts several women who are frustated that the keep falling for men who are clearly bad for them – for all this talk to human' restraining their instinct most women fall prey to it over and over again like the animals they are.
    Nearly all romance novels focus on dominant 'alpha' males who are brutal and thuggish these would not sell if women were turned off by men who are dominant and 'alpha'.
    Its better to tell the honest truth about what most women actually want than what gender politics and feminism thinks that they want.

    • Gentleman Johnny says:

      That's not telling the honest truth about what they want. Its the honest truth about what they get. That's exactly why guys who aren't assholes can not only get women but keep them. The population of shy guys and assholes leaves the ones in between looking like a rare exception sice they're willing to be honest about what they want without being dicks. But hey, if its animal rutting you want then go for it, animal.

      Edit: And sure, if media keeps spinning the narrative that "he's not really a jerk. You have to get him past that with the power of your love!" Women are going to keep believing it. If you want to be part of that cycle of disappointment, go for it, animal.

    • Paladin says:

      One, Psychology Today has basically fallen off the wagon as a reputable scientifically rigorous publication. I take just about everything they say with a grain of salt.
      Two, I'm sure there is a (small) segment of the female population that's interested in thugs and serial killers. I'm also sure they're rather dysfunctional. Like attracts like, etc. However, that doesn't address the millions, perhaps billions, of women who aren't dating that sort of person. Nor does it explain why some men date women who are bad for them. And it certainly doesn't explain dominant women, whether in the boardroom or the bedroom.
      So yeah, that article, hell, that whole theory has some holes in it.

    • "Nearly all romance novels focus on dominant 'alpha' males who are brutal and thuggish these would not sell if women were turned off by men who are dominant and 'alpha'."

      Also, your information about romance novels is decades out of date. The novels written in the '70s and early '80s were often rape-turned-to-love stories (like Luke and Laura on General Hospital). The novels of the past decade are generally not like that, except usually when written by authors who started out 40 years ago and haven't changed up their style much.

      • eselle28 says:

        I was thinking that Guest sounded pretty out of touch when he was talking about romance novels. The ones with a bare-chested highwayman abducting and raping a virginal heiress until she saves him with the power of her love are still out there, but they're not a very big share of the market, and I think it's mostly older authors writing new books for the same fans who have been following them since those tropes were fresh. I've seen a range of male personalities represented in the books I've read, most of which match up fairly well with what modern women say they're looking for in a man.

        Even looking at YA with a strong romance focus, the most troublesome hero is a controlling twit, but he's also a skinny, virginal ginger who likes reading and playing the piano and who goes all sparkly when he's hit by direct sunlight. Not exactly macho.

        • Yeah, Edward is an unfortunate throw-back to the '80s to early '90s style romance hero who's usually not physically violent, but is instead domineering and controlling emotionally/mentally. It was a step forward for romance novels 30 years ago. It's a step back for romance heroes now. Just another reason to dislike Twilight.

      • So youre telling me that the trash written today is somehow better than the trash of yesteryear? 50 shades anyone?

  35. I am not sure how this blog post was inspired but I am currently reading a book called the Dawn of Sex and it describes everything you mentioned in this blog post.

  36. XabiAlonsofan says:

    I guess I disagree.
    What most people mean by alpha is someone who is confident and enjoys status and value among his peers.Many of them are the center of their social groups. A large part of the "who is more alpha than who"is pointless because being alpha is relative to a certain group and status is relative to certain groups so the answer is relative to which group.
    TO be completely honest , most of the men I've met or seen who are successful with women do tend to be ''Alpha'' . Why else would high status people like musicians, actors and athletes get so much more attention from women? Why would these pickup artists be so successful with women if they didn't find their confident, funny , cocky personas charming?
    Of course this doesn't mean all women are attracted to "alpha" males but it does seem that most are.
    I've never heard any PUA advise to be an asshole in order to be alpha. In fact they recommend being friendly so people will want you to join your social circles. You can't be an alpha if there's noone in your pack.
    I want to be alpha. Is that a bad thing?

    • "A large part of the "who is more alpha than who"is pointless because being alpha is relative to a certain group and status is relative to certain groups so the answer is relative to which group."

      Yes, but within each group, if one or more guys are trying to be the alpha, isn't that likely to cause tension? How do you establish yourself as higher status and of higher value than your friends without believing you're better than them, which isn't really a healthy attitude in a good friendship?

      "TO be completely honest , most of the men I've met or seen who are successful with women do tend to be ''Alpha'' . Why else would high status people like musicians, actors and athletes get so much more attention from women? Why would these pickup artists be so successful with women if they didn't find their confident, funny , cocky personas charming?"

      Musicians, actors, and athletes get attention from women because there's something special about them. They're extraordinarily attractive, talented, etc. But, funny thing, female celebrities also get much more attention than the average woman, and yet no one seems to think that this is because they're "high status" and men like women who are dominant in their social circles. Do you really think that all musicians, actors, and athletes have the dominant, aloof personalities PUA artists claim make someone "alpha"? I see many friendly, humble male celebrities who say kind and not at all negging things to women, are comfortable making fun of themselves, etc., and those celebrities get just as much if not more attention than the dominant aloof types.

      As to PUA's success with women, do you have any data on this? PUAs are primarily successful because they approach *tons* of women and move on to the next as soon as they can tell their techniques aren't working on one. Yes, if you go up to 20 women a night, it's not surprising that one might be into you. That hardly means that "most" women like those techniques. I doubt you can find a single PUA who's able to pick up anywhere close to half of the women he tries to chat up. Which means that the majority of women *aren't* attracted to that approach in and of itself.

      Also, PUAs tend to ply their trade in social settings where things like dominance and apparent status are more likely to appeal, like clubs and bars where women go expecting to be approached by total strangers who'll try to hit on them. I suspect a PUA would have an even lower success rate if he tried his techniques picking up women at a SF convention, or a book club, or a park. The majority of women don't hang out in bars and clubs on a regular basis, so PUA are already only focusing on a small percentage of the women out there.

      "I want to be alpha. Is that a bad thing?"

      That depends. Do you just mean that you want to be a confident person that other people enjoy being around, who brings value to a social setting by being charming, entertaining, helpful, etc.? Then I would say no, that's a good thing. But if you mean you want to be someone who focuses on demonstrating to others how he's better than them, who tries to pick up women by making them feel insecure and feels any show of vulnerability on his part is shameful, then yes, I think that's a bad thing, for all the reasons DNL gives in his article.

      If all you want is to hook up with women who don't care about your personality or interests or goals, only how high your status appears to be, and you don't care whether you can form any sort of lasting relationship with them, then I guess it doesn't matter on a practical level. But that's up to you. That doesn't mean DNL is wrong to point out that for the many guys who do want to meet women who'll appreciate who they actually are, who they can open up to and form close relationships with, focusing on being "alpha" isn't likely to accomplish that.

      • Gentleman Johnny says:

        Just going to touch on celebrities because it goes back to the serial killer thing. How many people know your name and could pick you out of a lineup? 1,000? How many people know Tiger Woods and could pick him out of a lineup? 20,000,000?

        So for every person in your 1,000 who is or could be attracted to you, Tiger has 20,000 not because he's rich or famous or great in bed but because 20,000 times as many people know him well enough to have an opinion. Do the other things add to it, too? For some people but if he was a rich, high status unknown, there would be a lot less women attracted to him than if he were broke, not a winner and still as famous.

        Is you in particular wanting to be alpha a bad thing? I don't know. For 99% of the people I do know with that desire, including people I've worked under, the answer is a resounding yes. People inevitably want to be above or in charge of other people because of the benefits they see for themselves. They tend to neglect the fact that being in charge comes with responsibilities to the people in your charge. Its not all about the etseem of your peers, the pats on the back for a job well done by your team. Its also about valuing the individual members. They're not your team. You're their point man. Do you want to be alpha to get the shinies or do you want to be alpha because your "pack's" lives will in some way be better and more fulfilling? Assuming you're talking about your circle of friends, do you want to pick activities and get first crack at women or do you want to be there at 2AM when someone's having a crisis and organize the group to help a friend move?

  37. Paul Rivers says:

    "When this gets translated onto human mating patterns (humans, after all, are just hairless apes), the idea is that women are naturally attracted to alpha males – dominant, powerful, high-status men – while disdaining the weaker, less dominant betas.

    A special emphasis is placed on avoiding any behavior that could be seen as “supplicating” to women. To supplicate to a woman – such as by buying a woman a drink at a bar, for example or being willing to hold her purse or drink – is seen as the greatest indicator of beta status; it means that the man is showing that he’s willing to sacrifice his value (which apparently is incredibly fragile) in order to appease the woman in hopes of getting sexual favors from her. There seems to be a very slippery slope amongst these beliefs between, say, buying a drink or paying for dinner and becoming a spineless, sexless blob of neediness that no woman would touch with a ten-foot pole."

    What's funny about this is this is where PUA's and feminists use different words and background, but completely agree.

    PUA's call this kind of behavior "supplicating", and being a marker of low status, and something only pathetic guys do. (To be fair though, popular PUA's seem to have more of attitude that a certain about of "beta" behavior is can be good, especially if you want to be in a relationship, as long as beta behavior never exceeds the amount of "alpha" behavior).

    Feminists also hate on exactly the same thing. Rather than calling it "beta" behavior, they refer to it as being a "Nice Guy". Demonstrating "beta" behavior is cast as being "fundamentally dishonest" or manipulative, and that he should be more upfront and assertive…they're basically saying "act more alpha". A lot of "Nice Guy" articles mock "Nice Guys" as pathetic losers who would be incredibly unsatisfying to sleep with – just like PUA's mock "beta" in precisely the same way.

    Some people will say that a "Nice Guy" is different than "nice guy", but one doesn't make a distinction on something they care about by using different terms that are so similar that they're exactly the same if pronounced. Terms like this are deliberately left confusing to say that basically – being to supportive / beta is a negative quality. Both PUA's and Feminist articles are basically talking about the same thing.

    • I think you're missing the whole point of the "Nice Guy" complaint. The complaint isn't that the "Nice Guy" is performing beta behavior, the complaint is that he is treating sex/a relationship as a transaction where if he earns enough "Nice Guy" tokens (by doing things like buying drinks, holding her purse, etc) then eventually she will OWE HIM SEX. The objection has nothing to do with the specific behaviors and everything to do with the man treating her like she's a sex machine where once he's dumped in enough tokens she's required to provide him with sex.

      To make sure I'm clear here the "feminist" position is that when men treat sex as a transaction where the woman can end up "owing them" sex for things they've done that isn't "nice" it is shitty and manipulative. The PUA position is not "Avoid being shitty and manipulative," it is "Be shitty and manipulative AND AGGRESSIVE."

      If you want to have a discussion about whether the behaviors PUA articles advocate are shitty and manipulative then go ahead, but I think you're going to have a hard time making a solid argument. If you want to claim that "I don't like when guys treat me like a sex dispenser whose friendship is worthless instead of a person with inherent value" and "If a guy holds my purse he's way too beta for me to climb in bed with him," are the same thing… well they aren't, so that kind of undermines that whole argument.

    • Paul, if you're going to make broad generalizations about what "feminists" say and do, you should probably back them up with some sort of evidence.

      Orv already covered the real complaint about "Nice Guys", but I know you've talked in the past about women literally complaining about guys being nice. I can believe that there are women who do this. I can believe there are women who identify themselves as feminists who do this. But I don't see the slightest for claiming this is a general feminist attitude.

      I went looking to see what the major feminist websites and blogs *do* say about dating, and there actually isn't a great deal, because, well, they're kind of busy with more pressing matters like problematic government policies and fair employment and sexual violence so on. But what I did find is the exact opposite of what you suggest:

      Everyday Feminist discusses the bad boy phenomenon, talks about how society encourages this behavior to the *detriment* of men, and encourages people to teach boys it's okay to cry and women to question whether their partners are truly acting appropriately rather than assuming it's just "boys being boys". The author clearly doesn't think macho behavior is good or shows of weakness bad. http://everydayfeminism.com/2012/12/but-why-do-so

      Finally Feminist 101 talks about dating while feminist, and how her main criteria for making sure a guy's a good person to date is whether he's willing to let her take the initiative rather than expecting to control everything himself. The article she quotes, from another feminist website, talks about using a man's reaction to feminist issues as a litmus test–if he's accepting of them or at least willing to discuss, that's a good sign. Again, clear they are advocating men being open and flexible rather than dominant and aloof. http://finallyfeminism101.wordpress.com/2010/03/2

      I didn't find a single feminist website shaming men for being honestly kind, despite going through several pages of google results. Which lines up with what I've heard in the past from feminists. So please don't make assumptions about an entire movement based on what a few obvious exceptions have said.

    • Gentleman Johnny says:

      PUA – "I can't buy a drink because it will appear submissive to a woman who I have to dominate."
      Nice Guy – "If I buy her enough drinks, she'll owe me sex."
      Feminist as presented above – "I hate it when Nice Guys buy me drinks thinking that they can trade small favors for sex. That's a huge turn-off."

      What works – after some conversation that doesn't look like its about to break up: "yeah, I'll have a rum and coke and did you want anything?" If she reaches for her wallet, no big deal. If not pay for both. This works because buying a drink for someone is not a big deal unless you make it one.

  38. im not one to bang the drum for alpha-obsession, but are we really going to dismiss that it exists among humans?

    i find that most leaders fit the alpha ideal pretty accurately:
    1 – they give lots or no emotional value (in both cases elevating themselves to a position above the (non)receiver
    2 – rigid about their morals
    3 – competitive or goal oriented
    4 – dont show weakness (for example dont laugh at your jokes (but not in a bad way – just to show that they arent giving you any "compliance signs" or whatever you want to call it))

    for some reason this personality model is what gives someone the status of leader, and surely it must mean at least something?

    • I'd never deny that the alpha mode of behavior can get certain types of results in certain sitautions. But I'm not sure where you get the idea that most leaders fit the profile you presented? There are many respected leaders who are willing to compromise and show whatever "weakness" laughing at people's jokes or whatever sends. Just looking at recent presidents and presidential candidates, for example, most of them have gone the route of trying to show themselves as humble, on par with the average person, and people seem to respond to that quite well. Being rigid and aloof often means people respond to you out of a fearful sort of respect rather than friendly respect, and I think in terms of being admired in the long run, those who've earned friendly respect keep it much longer.

      The biggest problems with the alpha model are not the confidence or being goal-oriented, but the need to frame situations as if other people are inferior to you, to refuse to show enthusiasm or helpfulness because it might break that frame, and to have that huge aversion to any tiny sign of vulnerability or weakness. You can never truly relate to people, and they can never truly relate to you, if you can't open up enough to show you're human too. If all you're looking for is immediate power over others, sure, alpha away. But I hope most people want more than that out of life, and this being a dating blog, not a power-seeking blog, it makes sense to focus on the dating side of things.

    • I won't deny that it "works" for a narrow sliver of the population, either. You're always going to have shallow and status-seeking men AND women. You're going to have sociopaths and assholes, too, who, from a limited outside perspective, seem to "have it all".

      The first issue I have is, why would you WANT to be like that? I know I would never want to jettison my compassion and principles for some kind of "success" due to my heartless manipulations. I'd rather have fewer, deeper connections and a life where I stay true to myself by not climbing up the backs of others to further my popularity. ANY man that I choose would think the same. And I'd sooner be alone than be with a man who devalues my emotions, never shows his, and doesn't laugh at my jokes because of some stupid power struggle.

      The other issue I have is the reduction of women to mindless animals, slaves to all their instincts and hormones, in these discussions. The existence of female assholes and status-climbers doesn't mean ALL WOMEN are even remotely like that.

  39. oh and i forgot… usually good social skills/comfort too

  40. OldBrownSquirrel says:

    Be careful what you wish for:
    http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21729074.60

    • Gentleman Johnny says:

      Just now read this. Its like the evo-psych of politics. When there's no external enemy, humans turn on their leaders because SCIENCE! It explains everything from office drama to domestic terrorism. Note to alphas, make sure your peer group has an external enemy or they'll kill you for your access to women. . .and quit using your cell phone in public.

      Seriously, though: definitely an interesting read, I just don't know if it says anything about humans.

  41. Alphasfuckmore says:

    Why cant people accept humans are greedy, selfish, A-holes? The alpha will get the girl over a beta. 1st time coming to the site and when i started reading all i could think was a woman wrote this or a hater cos the BS in the article is so.. So… So… Weak! Doc u sound like a player hater!

    • Gentleman Johnny says:

      Give me a call any time you want to test that theory and we'll go out for drinks. You seem so charming and witty you should have no problem meeting women while we're out.

    • Gentleman Horndog says:

      Because 1) they're not ALL greedy, selfish assholes, 2) we're not interested in dating greedy, selfish assholes, a goal best served by 3) not acting like greedy, selfish assholes ourselves.

      But hey, man, if those are the kind of people you want to get with, knock yourself out.

      • eselle28 says:

        No kidding. Why would anyone want to date a greedy, selfish asshole? Even if someone is mostly looking for casual sex, why would anyone want to sleep with a greedy, selfish asshole? That's not a personality type that's known for being considerate in bed, and there are a lot of ways that a greedy, selfish person who has access to your home and your body can make life pretty unpleasant.

    • His is a playa hater. Hating the terms Alpha and Beta (and Omega). Hating the notion that only attractive women should be mens' target. An so on.

      • Gentleman Johnny says:

        I'm surprised that one got down voted. If you said it about me I'd take it as a compliment.

  42. The idea of the alpha male comes from the fact that not all men get 'laid' equally and some get much more than others- while the doc likes to say that only a few guys getting lots of girls will be unsustainable, our history genetic and otherwise, tells us the opposite- for history one only needs to look at the cases of Genghis Khan and Moulay Ismail, both were serial rapist, Khan fathered enough children so that 1in 20 human beings today are his decendants and Ismail fathered 800 children- and as for genetics- the male y chromosome has been losing genetic material because all the variation in males is reducing- i.e fewer males are reproducing than before- some studies say only 20 % of the original human male lineage survives- what happend to the 80%?- interestingly this distribution is also similar to a paerto distribution(google it)- where 20% of events take up 80% of the frequency- this distribution has been noted in sunspot to earthquake phenomena- why should human reproduction dynamics be any different? as for chemical contraceptives- they have only been around for a fraction of our history, the rest has been a set of ineffective half measures.

    Human beings are quite depressing that why I like to recite Eric Idle's refrain- 'Pray there's intelligent life somewhere up above cause there's bugger all down here on Earh"

    • I don't think anyone's denying that some men get "laid" with many more women than others. (The "more often" isn't really what's being considered, right? Because technically a guy who has sex every night with his wife is getting laid just as much as a guy who has sex with a different woman every night, but in these discussions the latter seems to be held up as the goal.)

      What's being questioned is whether acting like the stereotypical alpha will indeed give you a better sex life (which includes not just quantity–although that's up for debate too–but also quality), and whether it'll actually impede your goals if you want more out of life and your relationships than sex.

      • A man who gets action from his wife every night? what planet are you living on? And it seems that being 'alpha' as history shows is a much more succesful strategy than being kind and loving to the point of being saccahrine

        • Why on earth couldn't one be neither 'alpha' nor saccharine? There's a whole range of decent human being-ness between being a huge jerk and being ridiculously schmoopy.

        • I would imagine there are about as many men who have sex with their wife every night as there are men who have sex with a different women every single night. :)

          Anyway, a successful strategy for what? This is a dating blog, not a "how to spread your genes as widely as possible" blog or even a "how to have as much of any type of sex as you can possibly get" blog. We're talking about the best strategy for having healthy relationships with people, which generally include things beyond sex. And no one has said that being saccharine is a great strategy either, so I'm not sure who you're arguing with there.

        • Gentleman Johnny says:

          Depends on what you mean by "successful strategy". If you mean for having sex with lots of people, history doesn't show anything. The sample of people who make it into history books is too small to be statistically signifcant for any given culture or time. Its also skewed to the types of people with traits that encourage them to make history: things like clinically insane degrees of ambition. For every Ghengis Kahn, there's a Benjamin Franklin.

          You could argue that any behavior that doesn't make the history books is the successful one. Its so common and so successful that its not worth writing about because no one is surprised. Its why plane crashes make the news and car crashes don't. That doesn't means planes are more dangerous.

    • Gentleman Johnny says:

      First off the 80/20 rule is a convenient heuristic, not a scientific rule. Its kind of like the 5/23 Illuminati thing, you can find it everywhere in direct correlation to your motivation in looking for it. Now all that said, I think the supposition that's being argued is that alpha males (by whatever definition of alpha you're using, it varies) get more sex than non-alpha males because women are wired to go for alpha types because SCIENCE.

      The problem is that the entire argument fails if any part of it does. For every Ghengis Kahn, there's a Cassanova. The idea of the y chromosome losing material is pretty much immaterial in a world that still has enough genetic variation to produce regional phenotypes ("race" if you prefer). The idea that 20% of men have 80% of children in our culture is patently false. In keeping with the alpha argument, though, its worth noting that the extremely high status tend to have fewer children than the extremely low status. So that kind of shoots down either the definition of alpha or the hypothesis that alphas breed more. Which is it? Are unemployed Irish Catholic guys innately more alpha than Tom Cruise or is the definition something other than spreading genetic material?

      The problem with the various evo-explanations is that they assume that evolution stopped the day before humans discovered agriculture. They assume that an evolutionary pressure is an absolute deterministic behavior, or close enough to it as makes no difference. Both of these are also obviously untrue. Rather than rehash all of this I'll just point you to an interesting article that covers it: http://www.salon.com/2013/03/10/paleofantasy_ston
      Short form – humans have continued to evolve and while higher thought may be influenced by evolutionary pressures, it is not entirely controlled by them.

      There's also the basic issue that you implicitly brought up. Animal kingdom and (maybe) pre-agricultural alpha males mated with lots of females by using physical force. If you're holding that up as the example of how to behave to be successful, you're basically defining serial rapists as being the most successful men. The second most successful would be men who will sleep with any woman who makes herself available. That's generally not the PUA definition of success either.

      So does acting like an alpha (by any definition) get you a more rewarding sex life with multiple partners? I don't think we have good statistical evidence. I'll make you the same offer I make everyone else. I'll be happy to go out for drinks with you sometime. You do the alpha thing, I'll do my thing. We'll compare notes after.

  43. There are various different versions of Alpha, I believe the best model is a family of Wolves. The Alpha Wolf makes sure to resolve all the conflicts between the pack and experiments have shown interestingly is the most stressed.

  44. Remus O. says:

    "Everything about humans from the size of our testicles to the shape of our pensises to the noises we make during sex is evolutionary testament to the fact that sexual exclusivity is not the natural state."

    Source? That's some extraordinary scientific claim there, and as a biologist I've didn't read anything remotely so bombastic as what you say in that phrase.

  45. Whenever someone tries to use evolutionary psychology to explain something, that's a major red flag for me. 99.99999% of the time, the speaker is looking at it in the context of their own culture. (in our case, Western culture) I see it a lot with beauty standards. People trying to use evolutionary psychology to justify beauty standards, such as big hips being better for child bearing, big muscles meaning a guy is a better hunter, and so on. Except, beauty standards change from society to society, from time to time. Hell, beauty standards can change within the course of a few decades. Women considered fat in modern American society may have been considered hot 400 years ago in many parts of Europe. Some societies prefer dark hair, others like light. Some want tans, others are super into the pale skin. There are, and have been, plenty of societies where men with feminine features were considered the most beautiful.

    And as this article said, concepts of sexuality. A guy using "evolutionary psychology" to justify his belief that men want lots of sex with lots of women while ladies just want strong babies and monetary support. Again, that's looking at it through the Western society. Plenty of societies have different gender roles and different concepts of family and parenthood. This article brought up hunter-gatherer societies. In such societies, there's a lot more emphasis on taking care of everyone so paternity isn't going to be as big of an issue. If we were genetically geared toward a certain behavior, it would appear in ALL human societies. If you want to argue that deviations exist, okay, what makes you so sure that the Western model is the default and all the other societies are the deviations?

    There are few human universals.

  46. I want to add that the concept of "alphas and betas" in animal groups has been the subject of controversy lately. Those tags appeared in older scientific research, in sometimes unnatural environments. Scientists now believe that the researchers were projecting their own biases and societal views onto wolves and seeing a strict power dynamic and hierarchy that wasn't really there.

    And when the hierarchy IS there? Scientists have done DNA tests on primates. The male(s) who appeared to dominate the group didn't father most of the offspring. Sure, the females would suck up to the dominant males, but later they'd sneak off into the woods to have sex with the "beta" males. This happens in a lot of animal groups, actually. Biologists have unofficially dubbed these "beta" makes to be "sneaky fuckers". The dominant male tries to keep his harem's breeding rights exclusive to him, but it's hard to succeed 100%.

  47. Personally I strongly dislike the "alpha male" type. Too intimidating and too pushy. Feels like they have no respect for my feelings, comfort, or personal space. (which they probably don't, ha ha) I'm not a dominatrix chick or nothing, but I just don't want a guy who insists on always being in charge. Not a comfortable power dynamic for me.

  48. 'At what point does someone go from being “alpha” to “an insufferable selfish dick”?'

    Personally,I don't see any difference between so-called 'alpha' guys and insufferable selfish dicks. They are the same thing and I can't stand them. They're complete, selfish, entitled and boring dicks. I'm a woman who prefers younger, softer, more introverted and creative guys (you know the ones who have feelings and are actually fun to be with), but who unfortunately can tend to attract insufferable selfish dicks (otherwise known as alphas) who feel they must thrust themselves on me while out socialising. These self-centered, entitled dicks often force their attention on me (when I've given them no signals whatsoever — because hey I'm not interested!), refuse to go away, destroy my chances of meeting someone I actually like (because hey I like quieter guys who I need some time to get to know) and can completely ruin my night.

    They can get also really nasty when they realise I'm not interested and then deliberately try to wreck my chances with men I am actually interested in. When I never wanted their attention in the first place!! It drives me f###ing crazy.

    If you want to be a so-called alpha, go ahead — just don't expect to be loved for it and know that there are women out there like me who sincerely wish you would f### off and die.

    • alcockell says:

      Speaking as a shyer, quieter, Asperger guy, THANK YOU! I'm dealing with the effects of derailed sociosexual development from low-level sexual abuse from girls at a formative age (chronological age 13, sexual developmental age 8) – and have found I'm having to coopt stuff from EVERYWHERE as all I got was a mix of toxic sex-negative feminism, AIDS crisis ramping up, and horrendous bullying from the macho set at school etc, some of which was sexualised.

      I had a massive traumatic eating cycle set up – which I'm dealing with the aftermath of – and have sepnt YEARS working on unpacking all that lot. Just a shame that the manosphere is so full of "ME ALPHA! ME STEAL YOUR WOMAN! YOU BETA LOSER, YOU HERE TO PAY FOR ME!" idiots… the very idiots who caused the whole LIBOR thing and think of the sexual ecosystem as a game of Risk as opposed to trying to BUILD stuff together..

      Also doesn't help that the feminist world has had only one audible voice to beaten down men – "You don't matter.. you're wrong. BTW, keep paying and slaving away, you SERF".

      Maybe my view had been skewed by personally suffering at the hands of the very manipulative, physically attractive women who then end up knocked up by or form relationships with the Toxic Alphas… AND suffering at the hands of the Toxic Alphas… And when Reddit TRP seems to be a common view – where this macho posturing goes on… and we live in a culture that has this sociopathic tendency at the top – that ripped apart a lot of advances… and us quieter guys are not heard from…

      Doesn't help then that these idiots deafen everyone else…

  49. That's a pretty good take-down of a critic of Evo Psych, but it doesn't tell what "real" evolutionary psychologists have to say about gender roles, and in this case, the concept of the alpha male. What does the EP establishment actually have to say on the matter? I'm honestly curious.

  50. There are so many things wrong with that article that it would take me way too long to list them all (there are several examples of manipulative language in it, etc.). The Doc actually seems to have a fairly good grasp of evolutionary psychology. He doesn't condemn it as a whole. He simply points out that many of the conclusions people pass around from it are flawed.

    Most of the sex differences taken as true from evolutionary psychology research ARE FLAWED. They come from Western studies that often feature the extremely narrow study group of rich, white university students. If they aren't studies, they still feature heavily around Western society. They ignore the fact that sex isn't binary. They downplay the influence of gendered socialization. This doesn't delegitimize evolutionary psychology as a field of study; biology and psychology as a whole have these types of problems as well, but it does mean that people need to stop quoting outdated evolutionary psychology conclusions like they are fact.

  51. Actually it's a pretty bad take-down in my opinion. It basically demonstrates confirmation bias. Watson's thesis was "Evo psych is not science." while the take-down argued that evo psych should be treated as science and be subject to the same critical reasoning. He argued that Watson's critique is invalid because evo psych is in fact science, without any actual proof that it is science.

  52. Yeah damn feminists, amirite? Those cray bitches and their desire to be treated like human beings.

    Gimme five, bro.

  53. Gentleman Johnny says:

    There's no such thing as "real scientific" evo-psych. The scientific process works like this:
    observe something
    come up with an idea about why it happens
    come up with a test that attempts to prove that false.
    reach a conclusion
    repeat steps 2-5

    The way evo-psych works is
    observe some facet of human psychology (people use their cell phones a lot when in crowds)
    wonder why people act like that
    assume that it must be for some subconscious reason embedded in the DNA going back at least 50,000 years
    use chimps (or wolves) as an analog for humans 50,000 years ago
    hypothesize about why those chimps would do that (non-alpha chimps avoid eye contact because eye contact is a challenge for dominance)
    proudly proclaim that the observed behavior is caused by what you think it is. (Humans use their cell phones in crowds as a way to avoid eye contact)
    Relate it to the alpha-beta paradigm. (Since avoiding eye contact is a sign of submissiveness, alphas don't use their cell phones in a crowd)

    Deny any evidence to the contrary because it comes from insecure betas who want to deny how the world really works.

  54. As in the counter argument for "Evo psych is not science." is NOT "Evo psych is science because it is science."

  55. I started reading it… couldn't find anything of substance in there, then gave up on it before it could give me a headache or send me on a rant.

  56. I am quite enjoying the video of Rebecca Watson though

  57. Gentleman Johnny says:

    Actually, I might be willing to accept peer reviewed evo-psych. Unfortunately its buried under a mountain of people following the procedure outlined above and the assumption that evo-psych inclinations equal determinative behaviors rather than slight probabilistic slants. THAT's why the negative reaction.

  58. Gentleman Johnny says:

    Um, the article a few up? There's nothing about psychology in it. only evolution. There's nothing about the behavior of bonobos, chimps or humans. The closest relevant passage is:
    "While the function of the small differences in DNA in the three lineages today is not yet known. . ."

    If you have some that's not about preferences in WHR, which says nothing about behavior or causation, I'll quite happily read it.

  59. Gentleman Johnny says:

    In short: the whole point of studies is that they often produce surprising results and require a better definition of terms than the PUA use of "alpha", which tends to be a circular definition of "whatever women in this group like".

    The preferences of women at different points in their cycle is actually a great example. The question is "who's more attractive" with a bunch of photos. This says nothing about actual choices with real consequences like who to take into your house and sleep with. It says nothing about the causation. Its theorized that it has to do with certain evolutionary pressures (I'd need the article in front of me to get into specifics) but the fact is that its nearly impossible to establish a causal link. There is no way to falsify an evolutionary pressure argument without finding an isolated group of humans with different evolutionary pressures.

    Do women in societites where women provide and men rear the children have the same preferences? If they do it pretty much disproves the evolutionary pressure link. Has anyone done THAT study? Not to my knowledge. These studies are done on modern western women, so there are a host of other possible factors not controlled for.

    Do women more often have sex with and/or marry one of these preferences over the other? Again, I don't see that evidence presented. What we have is proof that the prain makes a snap response in a certain way that is influenced by the menstrual cycle in western women. We have no evidence of behavior at all. That's not deterministic.

  60. You are falling precisely in Rebecca Watson's fallacy: You are setting impossible standards for science to meet.

    For example we know that the planet Jupiter moves on a certain orbit, but we have never observed second by second its motion, we take note of its position and a day later we note the changes, What if the planet mutates into a physical representation of the god while we are not observing it? Or goes out of it's orbit and does a tap dance? Can you prove that is not true? By your logic there is no way to falsify anomalies in a planet's orbit without a picosecond by picosecond observation of its full motion, or likewise we know evolution is true but there's no way to falsify the common ancestor theory without a complete ancestral sequence, (the current one although comprehensive and extensive is far from complete), for the record this is a very common argument creationists use against evolution.

    I don't know where your idea that EP research is of "Western women", as far as I know they study all societies both modern and past.

  61. I meant my original article.

    The second article only disproves the assertion that "We are much much closer to bonobos", and the while scientific comunity admits that we don't know the function of the changes in DNA, but the "doctor" already attributes the changes to a matriachal social structure with zero evidence of this.

  62. Gentleman Johnny says:

    Yeah. . .funny how their assumptions always seem to start from "western culture's biases are inherent in our genes."

    And no, I'm not setting an impossible standard. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. You want to prove that women are genetically wired to be hypergamous (for example?), show me what gene its on. You want to prove its evolutionary, come up with an experiment that could, with some set of results, prove its not evolutionary. Science doesn't work by having an idea and collecting data that matches it. It works by having an idea and performing tests under tightly controlled conditions that can, with set of results, prove your idea wrong.

    I have little doubt that evolution influences our psychology. Things like language are a product of the evolution of our thinking. Children learn language from exposure. They learn gender norms from deliberate, focused education. Civilization, the very thing that moves us away from acting like pre-agricultural humans, is the product of our evolution. What I argue, and the author of that article starts out by asserting, is that people in the area of male-female relations tend to come up with arcane, baroque explanations for why socialized behavior is actually evolutionary with little to no proof to back it up.

    My standards are that if you are going to make an assertion about EP as relates to dating and sex you have to
    1) Demonstrate a behavioral difference, not a preference bias. Visually preferring hairy guys is not the same as having sex with them. Sure all guys prefer playboy models but does it effect their dating behavior?
    2) Demonstrate that the cause of this behavioral difference is biological and not social. This involves finding the same evidence in cultures where the behavior studied is not the social norm. Because socialization is so deeply entwined with all aspects of our sexuality, testing only within a homogeneous culture proves nothing. Being able to find a neurotransmitter, gene sequence etc. is not required but is de facto proof of evolutionary influence. Does Tarzan still prefer a WHR of .7?

    Anything that can not pass at least both of those tests is not evidence of an evolutionary effect on mating. Chimpanzees or bonobos aren't evidence any more than a cure for Alzheimer's in mice necessarily means it will work in humans. The behavior of pre-agricultural humans is evidence that pre-agricultural humans behaved that way, not that current humans do because pre-agricultural humans did. Correlation gives you places to look for causation but is not causation itself.

  63. Gentleman Johnny says:

    Note that I didn't say "gene required", I said that's an automatic pass on proving biological basis. If you're going to say "evolution causes this behavior" you necessarily need to demonstrate that the behavior is not cultural in nature.

  64. Gentleman Johnny says:

    Yes, in science one almost always has expected results to go with a hypothesis. I'll even grant that more often than not the real results line up. That's probably not true but for the sake of argument we'll go with it. There's still a difference between testing "gravity is a function of mass" and "gravity is intelligent falling. The Flying Spaghetti Monster pushes things down with its invisible, noodly appendage".

    Its called falsifiability. It is possible that someone could one day provide evidence that mass and gravity, while related, are (for example) the function of two different subatomic particles. The Flying Spaghetti Monster, by His very transcendant nature, morphs His actions such that any new evidence that seems to contradict His grand design of Intelligent Falling actually proves it. A non-falsifiable hypothesis is, by its nature, outside the realm of science.

    Now, as applies to Evo-psych, the first may be true. So far I've only seen it for studies that predict preference, not behavior. Even then, I question the methodology and assumptions of the research I have seen. However, my concern and what I was specifically discussing is the use of evo-psych by people in the MRA/PUA community.

    Example statement: Alpha males get the most women because women are evolutionarily wired to simultaneously not want sex and to bow to alpha males. So it takes an alpha to break down their natural defenses.

    Problem 1: Alpha male is a moving target. Its defined in retrospect as the combination of traits that a given group finds appealing. An alpha goth is going to be very different from an alpha Bantu. Since goths only go back to Rome and proto Bantu go back 4,000 years, they must have evolved very rapidly to have such different evolution based alpha behaviors.
    Problem 2: get the most women – show me proof.
    Problem 3: Women are cuatious of sex because evolution encourages men not to stick around and women to try and snag the best provider possible, not because of socialization, not wanting pregnancy, potential physical danger of taking home someone you met at a bar etc.
    Problem 4: Women are more attacted to alpha males. See problem 2.

    That's basically the equivalent of saying that because quantum physics is effected by observation, we can use our mind powers to teleport. The foundation is sound(ish) but its used to reach some pretty extreme conclusions that aren't well supported.

  65. Gentleman Johnny says:

    See above about genes. I'd argue that anyone who won't date someone because their WHR is .72 instead of .7 is the outside of the bell curve, not someone who will date a wide range of women that he may find appealing for completely different reasons. Looking around at the couples with kids (since you don't count for evolution without kids), there doesn't seem to be a bell curve of what body types get married. Whereas, if evo-pysch had a deterministic effect on behavior, no one would marry anyone who seemed a bit unhealthy.

  66. Gentleman Johnny says:

    Again, this is where I say that yes, evo-psych has demonstrated some behaviors but they're fucking boring ones like "humans were really good at teamwork. As we got better those teams became tribes became nations". The parts of the past that we can make assumptions about the effect on our psychology from are the ones that everyone so completely takes for granted that there isn't much debate.

    Its worth noting that our organizational behavior went from tribes to farms to multinational corporations in about 5,000 years. That's faster than evolution could take us. Are you really suggesting that our mating behavior has remained essentially unchanged despite societal influences for longer than that even as conditions have changed around us?

  67. Gentleman Johnny says:

    You're right. I concede. Cars, cell phones, near-universal literacy, transcontinental travel, readily available food sources and central air have no effect on my behavior. I'm going to go get lunch. I'll finish this up after I bring my kill back from the sandwich shop.

    Or did you mean only MATING behavior ignores any societal pressure to the contrary of evolution?

    Again – shape, maybe. Determine, demonstrably not.

  68. I would like to applaud your responses to this entire series of comments. Bravo! :)

  69. Gentleman Johnny says:

    It means that our definition of healthy, charismatic, attractive, successful and high status have changed from what they meant 50,000 years ago. Hell, take the simple change in the last 150 years of "healthy" women being rotund (because they could afford to eat more) to healthy women being thin (because they could afford all the work that goes into that). In Louis XIV France it was entirely possible to be high status nobility and completely broke. Now status requires money. All of the things that I listed that people want are defined by social construct, not biological hard wiring.

    Most importantly mortality rates for mothers giving birth are way down and sex doesn't have to lead to pregnancy. Are you telling me that didn't RADICALLY change sexual behavior?

  70. Gentleman Johnny says:

    Cool. Go get one of those and we can have this discussion again.

  71. Gentleman Johnny says:

    That would be good if I had said "technology has freed us from all our worries." but ok, let's play it straight this time:

    quote any society exposed to different "evolutionary pressures" willl show little or no differences to pre-agricultural ones, becuase there's not enough time to make a lasting impact.

    There are demonstrable differences in human behavior across different societies of the present day. Therefore there are signifigant differences between society today and pre-agricultural society. Therefore lasting impacts on human behavior can be made by things other than evolutionary hard wiring. This opens the possibility that most mating behavior that we observe is based on social construct of attractiveness rather than evolutionarily programmed ones. The evo-psych papers that I have read use a methodology inconsistent with proving/disproving social bias as an alternative conclusion to evolutionary pressure.

    Edit: also I have now reached the limit of my entertainment value. If you would like to continue this conversation, I'm going to have to start charging my consultant rates.

  72. Indubitably!

  73. I disagree in sorts that humans' edge is the ability to be smart as well as strong. Hence people who have a balance and intelligence and strength have always succeeded throughout history. It's just that some eras tended to prefer strength over intelligence and vice versa. But both are required hence you don't see incredibly strong retards.

  74. Gil, really? "Retards"?

  75. Dr_NerdLove says:

    “Retards”? Really?

  76. Well, yes, that term has fallen out of favor since the '80s as a term to describe a serious mentally-challenged person so it is attention grabbing.

  77. Dr_NerdLove says:

    Well that made THIS easier…

  78. The fact that people who are out of fucking high school are having sex because they like sex is actually a good thing. It's especially good for people who didn't do a great job with the whole high school dating scene. It means that people besides the popular kids are getting laid.

    I would agree that people who are virgins later in life need to work on presenting themselves as mature, capable romantic partners to the older childless people and the single parents in their dating pool. That's by no means an insurmountable obstacle.

  79. Gil, you said right there in the sentence I quoted that 35+ year olds are "more interested" in what's going on with their teen children than in having sex. Whether they become more interested in their children than having sex because they don't care about popularity anymore or any other reason, you're still saying what Eselle said you did–that 35+ year olds are less interested in sex than younger folk (that's what "losing interest" means–it doesn't mean you necessarily have none at all).

  80. Gentleman Johnny says:

    Healthy, if we're defining as "free from disease" I'll more or less grant you. Someone with visible signs of severe health conditions like jaundiced eyes or weeping sores definitely has a strike against them. Its also something that we tend to assume when talking about what's attractive. No one says "first thing, make sure there's no pus running down your face". This is my point about evo-psych proving boring things.

    OK, but let's take charisma. You're telling me that Romans, Bantu and modern Americans have the same definition of what personality traits constitute charisma? I beg to differ. Even "leadership" and "confidence" were expressed differently at the time. If this attraction was strictly biological in nature, it would always reward the same behavior regardless of culture. If you move the target to where your shot landed, that's not science.

    The quantity of game may not change. The type certainly has. Again, you can't define game as "any behavior that is successful" and then claim that its an evolution based preference. Status, for the vast majority of history has been a matter of birth. Does that mean that nobles have inherently superior genes? Were black people in pre-1860 American genetically inferior because they had lower status?

    If you want to prove that evolution effects behavior, pick a behavior that is successful across cultures and stick with it. Don't use terms with such a fuzzy definition that they're not falsifiable.

  81. Gentleman Johnny says:

    Your study defines "cross-cultural" as Vienna and New Mexico. It uses strictly Caucasian women, had a grand total sample size of 60 of which 11 were not Caucasian. Without even looking at the results, I can tell you that the opinions of 50 white men in western democracies on the attractiveness of white women will not produce statistically useful results for white men in western democracies, let alone the whole world. The other 11 respondents might as well have been ignored entirely.

    I give it a strong methodology fail.

    As for the other, I'm sure one of the women who follows the comments can tell you how easy access to birth control and not being treated like property has effected her sexual expectations and behavior.

    Also, we've almost go this article to #2 in the top 6 bar. Keep it up.

  82. Gentleman Johnny says:

    Done. Methodology fail as relates to your claims. You're welcome.

  83. Gentleman Johnny says:

    Well, your article was entertaining enough for me to respond again, so yeah. It actually took some reading, attention and thinking on my part, which I do enjoy. I'm not going to change your opinion, I'm not getting paid, so the only point in debating is that it entertains me. In that you have succeeded.

  84. Maybe because of 15+ years of sex the act has lost the wow factor it once had just as people here aren't amazed that they have HDTVs and monitors. On the other hand, said parents probably would feel an imperative when their children are reaching their sexual age not to have them make mistakes. If being told by an incel that "I'm still a virgin you know" they'll probably reply "whatever, I got more important things to worry about as a parent".

  85. Again, GIl, how old are you? I'm really curious based on your statements.

    I've been having sex for not quite 15 years, and I actually like it more in the last 5-7 years than I did when it was a new thing. Sometimes people reach a point where their bodies don't go along with things, but you seem to have a very skewed picture of relationships where there are issues with sexual desire or sexual function. Those things happen, but the reasons for it I hear are generally not the ones you list.

  86. In other words, you admit that you did indeed mean that people over 35 have less interest in sex than younger folks, and no one inferred anything wrong. Thanks!

  87. Gentleman Johnny says:

    Yes and even agreed that confidence as now defined is attractive, provisionally granted that its attractive because of evolution. This is kind of what I mean about evo-psych being able to demonstrate "the boring stuff". It tells you something you already knew, that isn't controversial. My problem is when people read this base and move on to say "so if you want to get a girl you must never seem the least bit submissive to anyone because evolution".

  88. Gentleman Johnny says:

    Cool. So what behavior is that?

  89. Gentleman Johnny says:

    11 non-cuacasians from western democracies out of a study of 100 people from western democracies is not diverse when trying to define behaviors that should, in theory be universal to people of every ethnicity and culture. Nor is it even a sufficient sample size to demonstrate anything about Americans and Austrians.

    PROTIP: Be entertaining. insulting my intelligence doesn't help your case or the continuation of the discussion.

  90. Gentleman Johnny says:

    Agreed verifiable. Cautiously optimistic that evo-psych can some day demonstrate something non-obvious that stands up to scientific rigor.

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