Monthly Archives: October 2012

The Benefits of Lifting Are Not Just Aesthetic

There’s been some discussion in the Manosphere about muscular power as it relates to female attraction. Lifting weights has been a longtime tenet of the game lifestyle from many sources. Athol Kay has weightlifting as the first item in his book’s Ten Steps To The MAP appendix. The more youthful gamers push it hard as the key to maintaining a body that will provide value in the SMP for decades to come. Lifting is critical to maximizing your sex rank, and as you get older and your status and income become more difficult to change, physical fitness can become the most mutable attraction trigger you possess.

My aim in this post is to emphasize a key point about weights: lifting is not just about improving how you look, it’s about improving your fitness and the social and hormonal signals you send to the opposite sex. Thus, lifting is about more than getting ripped muscles that look good in the mirror – even if you’re not getting giant biceps and a six-pack, weights are improving your body.

There certainly is an aspect of being fit that is just aesthetically pleasing to eye – the ripple of muscles, the taper, the lack of a gut. But there’s a reason I put looks and physical fitness in two different categories of my list of attraction triggers. A fit man also indicates good mating potential in more practical ways: he signals good genes to give to the woman’s future child, and portends the ability to provide for, construct for and protect the child (and its mother). In addition, a guy who is in shape and in good athletic control of his body is going to have a better social profile, because people subconsciously respect his improved physical stature and he’s probably giving off direct hormonal messages that he’s virile and ready to get the mating job done. Frost of Freedom Twenty Five put it simply: “you smell like testosterone.” There’s a phenomenon among women called “sexy ugly,” a guy who doesn’t have an alluring physical look but is attractive to women. Social behavior – i.e. game – explains a lot of it, but it’s not all: even an aesthetically unremarkable man can earn points with the hindbrain with his fitness.

The reason I emphasize this difference is that whenever this topic comes up around women, the discussion usually trends toward “how does your body look in a photograph.” Much attention is paid to celebrity photos as examples of what they like (which are prone to mis-attributing personality or status traits to physical ones). A great cacophony ensues as a subset of women insist they don’t like “muscles” and go for “skinny guys.” Part of the debate is just plurality – there is indeed a spread of what women find attractive. But there’s also a bit of wordplay going on. I find when I dig into these discussions, by asking for examples of who they find attractive, that the “skinnylovers” almost always prefer slim-built guys, yes, but slim guys who are strong and hard. Pasty men are not on anybody’s hitlist. What I don’t think women realize is that when meeting men, in the flesh, they are responding not just to his aesthetic look but to his signals of fitness. Thus an “uglier” guy can be more of a turn-on if he’s more fit.

MAY PRETTY LIES PERISH

I am concerned that men will hear this discussion and internalize one or both of these two false messages:

  • Women don’t like muscle-bound men, so you should run or bike instead of lift and try to be as lean as possible
  • You’ll never get to Mr Universe levels of muscle mass, so don’t bother lifting at all

We see both of these messages in game, as well: “game doesn’t work, women would never fall for that crap,” OR “even with game you won’t bang supermodels so why try to improve at all.” The former is simply mendacity; the latter is a defeatist straw man.

This confusion is an occupational hazard of interviewing women about their attraction triggers; not only do you have to deal with rationalization hamsters, you have to deal with vocabulary that doesn’t compute and also with false dichotomies. Lots of women (and some men) regard any discussion of weightlifting to mean bodybuilding and powerlifting, of meatheads throwing fifty-pound dumbbells around a stinky ass gym that doubles as a frat house where pussies who can’t bench their own body weight aren’t welcome. (GLPiggy wrote of Planet Fitness’ strategy to market directly against that stereotype, and how it partially reflects a feminine tactic to run away from and shame uncomfortable social friction. On the other hand, there are some really annoying gym guys.)

Over on the Alpha Game thread, one self-righteous commenter/blogger under the nom de guerre Bob Wallace bleated the following:

Almost all body builders are homosexual, and they do it because they are narcissistic and they do it for each other. Then you have the short guys with the Little Man Complex. Lots of women don’t like muscles and I’ve met many who prefer tall slender guys.

Classic example of the false dichotomy, this was in a discussion about fitness, not about “bodybuilding.” It’s akin to interrupting a discussion about which passenger car has the best gas mileage by saying “those big semi-trucks are major gas guzzlers, you should bike around town instead.”

By the way, the stereotypes of “weights culture” are a important issue in fitness, because the lunkhead stereotypes drive women away from weights, and weights are critically important to both genders’ fitness plans, not to mention much more effective than those stupid elliptical machines. Women need to know that plenty of men lift weights without a grunting hypertrophic approach, and that women can lift weights without engaging in any of that either. Women say “I don’t lift because I don’t want to get big.” It’s just not a real risk for regular women in regular workouts.

Back on the topic, a photograph of Orlando Bloom was floated as an example of a “skinny” guy:

No man versed in athletics would describe him as skinny. I would say he has a slim build and is in good shape. Extremely good shape. Look at the way his deltoid folds into his torso and the complete lack of a gut. He looks like he could play safety.

I think it’s as universal a rule as we can come up with that whatever body type they prefer, women like fitness and tone on a man.

FIT OR FAT, FOR YOUR TYPE

To cut through the vocabulary, I view the issue like this: there are a certain number of basic male bodytypes (the ecto/endo/mesomorph types are one way of indexing them). each woman is programmed to dig certain body types, among the other traits she’s interested in. Within those types, a woman will almost always prefer the fitter example of the type.

If you’re a big guy who puts on weight easily (big bone structures tend to do that), being “not fit” is probably going to mean being chubby. When he eats right and gets in the weight room, he can put some real definition on his very large muscles and look classically “ripped.” Conversely, a slim-build guy may not get a bulging muscular look when  he’s working out, but he will be toned and fit, which can certainly be felt if not seen. However, when he’s out of shape, he won’t look any bigger, but he’ll have a pasty “skinny fat” look and feel that will disgust most women on contact.

GIVE THE BODY AGENDA A HAND UP

Finally, you never really know until you try which of these levels is going to operate on a particular girl (or guy), whether you’ll be judged “sexy ugly” or a “pretty beta.”

Sometimes the body agenda doesn’t kick in until close contact. As I wrote here, I recently dated an attractive, very intelligent, very interesting woman who had one fatal flaw – every time I touched her, my body agenda induced a sense of cum-curdling disgust. It was completely unexpected; I could fantasize about her in my own mind, but when I went to I felt an unshakeable sense of disgust. It felt bad to tell her we should stop dating; it must be what women feel when they have to dump their smart, hardworking, nice, but ultimately non-dominant and unattractive beta male.

Then on the other hand, often I’m drinking casually at a bar or pub, and a girl who was otherwise unremarkable to me will walk past and accidentally bump me, and this tingly shiver will run up my body from my junk to the top of my head. Putting aside the portion of bumps that are not accidental (it’s a key insight of game to realize that so much of the thigh-bumps, boob-rubs, and casual eye contact of women are not accidental at all), it’s a great anecdotal example of the localized nature of attraction – it can get triggered at any point in the entire process.

I find the same thing when women touch me when I am toned and in shape – once they cop a feel of the muscles, their eyes pop out of their head and they’re hooked.

As does another commenter at the Alpha Game thread:

From my experience, women say negative things about muscles until they are able to touch them and feel them from men.

Much more if they experience sex with a muscular guy.

When it’s you who is hoping for that positive reaction up-close, you want to give her body agenda a hand up by being a body her body would want.

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Educated Women’s Contempt For Men

The Atlantic, which appears to be doubling down monthly on its “End of Men” memes, has struck again with professional victim-whiner Sandra Tsing Loh’s latest piece “The Weaker Sex” (in this case, “weaker” referring to men who can’t keep above their wives’ hypergamous expectations).

She cites Liza Mundy, author of a book on female-breadwinner relationships.

“Instead of being a castrating, unmarriageable harpy, today’s reproductively and economically free female, Mundy asserts, is the trigger for a challenging but exciting new social order.”

Loh then spends the rest of the article contradicting Mundy by relaying anecdotes from her high-powered but entitled girlfriends about the frustrations of their kitchen-bitch househusbands.

I’m not going to dwell on explicating the details of the article because frankly, we’ve read it all before. But I will draw attention to two details.

First, the drawing accompanying the article is of a miniature man sitting atop a woman’s forlorn face, lowering a bunch of grapes into his mouth. Supine grape-eating is a longtime artistic shorthand for the idle classes. In this case, it’s hypergamy illustrated – to Loh and the other women in the story, a man who isn’t stomping his way up the career ladder in excess of her own workplace achievement is not just a smaller man, but a weaker one. (To sharpen the obvious double standard, check out the hysterics at any blog where the question is even asked if housewives are pulling their weight.) Gender feminists have long contended that male achievement and drive are actually signals of insecurity, that men have “fragile egos” that are damaged when they don’t achieve to their expectations (cue up the “compensation for a small penis” meme when you’re at it). In that light, it’s interesting to note how fragile women’s egos get when their men don’t achieve to their expectations.

Second, Loh reveals women’s compartmentalized desires, and to her (vague) credit, she admits that they are fantastic and wildly contradictory. STL insists that the high-powered women in her life secretly yearn for an untenable combination of “Four Husbands of the Apocalypse” (a seemingly-cute but grossly misused turn of phrase):

Mr. X: the financial partner. Not necessarily the financial provider—he’s more that calm, intelligent partner with whom to navigate the tedious finan­cial technicalities of life—the 401(k)s, the 529s, the various faintly conflicting health-insurance plans. If you are a mother in our economic class (we all married sensitive, intelligent, professional men, rather than barflies), this man will typically be the father of your children. You will feel that you chose correctly, never mind that you are no longer married (hence the name: “Mr. Ex”).

Mr. Y: the feelings guy. He is all about the glass of chardonnay proffered with soulful active listening at the end of the day. “Pampering”—a vague enough word—may ensue, but the DPMs decide this needn’t include “massage” (as some “date night” guidelines arduously insist). We agree that any sensible human would prefer a massage from a professional. When your “mate” rubs your back, it’s impossible to relax while you anticipate what reciprocation will be required—five minutes of sex or, worse, a 20-­minute massage back. This is a complex role; while it falls to Mr. Y to provide amorous rela­tions if needed, for some—most?—women, it would be enough, or even preferred, for Mr. Y to function as the gentlemanly squire (Maurice Tempelsman holding umbrella aloft as Jackie O steps out of Doubleday into the rain). Or he could even be (or appear to be, although he says he’s not) gay. (David Gest, to the staff: “Liza will be home at 7 o’clock. Ready the Vosges chocolates, draw the bath!”—although of course, that ended, after 16 months, in lawsuits and allegations of beatings, herpes, etc.) (Doesn’t Sir Elton John have a Mr. Y?) (I’ll Google this.)

Mr. Z: The Brawny paper-towel man. This Mr. Fix-It wheels out the garbage cans, repairs the electronic garage-door opener, resets the computerized and (why?) tankless water heater.

Mr. Q: the cheerful intern. Mr. Q executes whatever tiny tasks you assign, without argument—he accepts a stack of envelopes and addresses them, picks up the dry cleaning before noon, is on call for 24/7 emergency carpooling, and, best of all, when handed a grocery list, returns with—get this—that grocery list’s exact items (“not Tropicana carton orange juice but fresh-squeezed Naked Orange Mango”).

The problem, of course, is that no one man can possibly be all four of these people. Mr. X is notoriously bad at processing feelings, Mr. Y is notoriously bad at fixing things, macho Mr. Z hates to be micromanaged, and Mr. Q does not actually exist in real life, although in modern marriages, husbands and wives often do treat each other as interns (“You pick up the dry cleaning!” “No, YOU should, by 5 o’clock! And put it on the United miles card, NOT Bank of America!”).

There are so many manosphere memes here you could write a graduate thesis. It recalls stitch-and-bitch meetings of the overpampered housewives known as “the noopsies” in the Fox series “The O.C.”

What I find bizarre here is that these women don’t seem to take any real joy or pride in their work – all of their kvetching is about how the home life is a failure. There’s no discussion of “I’m really proud of what I’m doing, but it makes it tough to have a good work-life balance.” There’s not even a whiff of “he just couldn’t handle that career was my first priority.” Just amorphous, unalloyed anger. This alone suggests the daytime emptiness of the career track, a grind that is ultimately unfulfilling and unrewarding to these people, except for the status and prestige they can use to demand higher-value men. Welcome, women, to the world we men have lived in for time immemorial.

(It is an interesting and ironic aside that even though we men so often define our self-concept by what we DO, as a group we’ve never sought to extract some overt “fulfillment” or “happiness” from our work the way today’s middle-upper class women have. Work is like marriage for them – its benefits are overpromised, and when the not-a-series-of-smiles reality of the daily grind comes clear, they complain they’re not haaaappy.)

THE TIDE IS TURNING, AND NOT THE WAY THEY WANT

There is one silver lining to this latest tripe from The Atlantic – the comments are absolutely eviscerating.

When men tore apart Kay Hymowitz’s WSJ piece almost two years ago, I knew we were getting somewhere. People also turned up their noses at that stupid “why women can’t have it all” piece a few months back. The worm is really turning, guys are tired of this women-can’t-make-up-their-minds bullshit.

Whether it’s the Manosphere influence or we’re just riding atop a nascent wave of disgust (probably somewhere in between), people are waking up.

For any man to stay married to any of the women portrayed in this article, the women would have to be the equivalent of the “best hooker in Bangkok” in the bedroom. The net negatives of spending your days with such unpleasant witches could only be offset (and even then not indefinitely) by regular, on-demand sex that rivaled the Sultans of ancient Eastern empires. No women can make enough money and provide enough golf opportunities to possibly offset the sheer annoyance of having to spend your days with the type of women the author describes (or the author herself, for that matter). No wonder “financially dependent men” tend to cheat more. If you were shackled with any of these women, who wouldn’t cheat?

How about these?

I can’t believe the Atlantic prints this type of sexism. That’s all this is, a sexist rant by a sexist woman, with little relevant to say except for attacking men. Reverse the genders and this would never be printed. It’s a sad state of the world when you only have to be aware of sexism when it’s against women.

This stuff really does need to be printed. I am a young male working on a professional degree and I am quite unprepared for the women I have been meeting. This article has helped me to make my mind up about one woman I have been on the fence about and has exposed the thought process for many women I will be encountering. We males need this information.

There’s even a comment about r/K selection, classic evo-psych (not going to quote it but it’s there).

Men don’t want what they’re selling. As one Nils Meyer puts it:

Yeah I think if you shack up with a woman like this, your whole life is a competition. First you gotta compete at work, then you go home and you gotta compete against your wife, and against the husbands/boyfriends of all her friends, against Don Draper, Edward Whatshisface, the dude from 50 shades of Grey, a selection of sex toys and the four husbands of the Gynocalypse.

Reminds me of one of Bruce Springsteen’s best live performances: “all day long you gotta prove it your boss, at night you gotta go home and prove it to your wife, on the weekend you gotta prove it to your kids…it just seems the joke’s on you, it never lets up.” (Monologue begins at 1:20)

There’s one factor in this I dislike: there seems to be an attitude that these women should shut up and appreciate how good they have it. I don’t entirely agree. These women have such contempt for men, such blinding hatred for the paeons who have dared displease them, that I think we should encourage them to speak their minds more. Educated men, the target mates for these women, need to know what women really think of them when we don’t live up to the gender roles expected of us, even as they protest that they shouldn’t held to gendered expectations themselves and as they subtly and overtly shittest us into helpmeet-househusband roles we’re destined to be resented for. (Not that they really need any encouragement to print more of this junk, have you browsed a bookstore lately?)

I’ve heard rumblings that the pendulum is swinging in another direction, that the youth of the Millenial era are eschewing the models of their parents and will usher in a new era of intersexual cooperation and collaboration. I’m not buying it one bit – Boomers had that same youthful idealism and look at how they turned into greedy, self-indulgent beasts in their collective middle age. And I still go out to bars and pubs and concerts and see Millenial kids playing the same failed hookup script in their late 20′s, with no real concept of how to relate to one another. However, I don’t think a tide of fem-dom relationships is upon us, firstly for the reason that the piece itself tells us that the women doing it really don’t like it.

THIS WILL NOT STAND

Articles like these are how I know Hannah Rosin’s “End of Men” meme is not really going to come true. Don’t get me wrong – we’re not going into some kind of pre-war trad-con throwback. Women will have careers – forget feminism, the economy demands it, and women who are good at it will find their rewards there. Some women will have quite high-powered careers. But as far as becoming partners and C-level execs, or owning your own practice, most women whatever their talents will not enjoy that lifestyle, both because it doesn’t leave time for other things women value (which has been acknowledged) and because it places them in a status position where very few men can satisfy the basic hypergamous instinct to look up to their mate (which in polite company has only been discussed fleetingly by James Taranto of the WSJ and is otherwise an unspeakable blasphemy against mainstream feminism).

Women still want to get married and have children, and they’re not going to sign up for jobs and career tracks that are, from the horse’s mouth, lots of bother and trouble and little personal fulfillment save for voluminous cheerleading from sheltered reporters and feminist writers and a vaguely envious look from other women who on balance are probably mostly jealous of the type of super-alpha men you get to mingle with.

You don’t need some angry article like this to show off the misery of that lifestyle, either. The popular culture has already been exposed, in meme, to this type of woman - Miranda, the homely attorney from “Sex And The City.” I’m thinking of that scene in the SATC movie where she indignantly tells her husband in mid-thrust, “just get it over with already!” so she can get back to her legal brief. (She later finds out her sexually desperate husband had a one-night stand to relieve himself, after which she inadvertently breaks up Carrie’s wedding by mouthing off to the already-reluctant Big about the unwisdom of marriage.)

Miranda and the author of this piece are what happen when Mary Tyler Moore and Murphy Brown meet reality.

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Measuring Your Game Outcomes

With the recent posts on what game is, it’s prudent to explore the issue further and discuss how to measure game’s impact on a man’s personal life. Any improvement plan – personal, athletic, financial, corporate – had better be bookened by before-and-after evaluation. If you’re a consultant, you’ll get laughed out of the room if you can’t point to some measures of performance and say “these numbers are going to go up/down if we execute my plan.” Powerpointers speak of arranging statistical plots to go “up and to the right,” showing a trend of improvement over time.

As the readership’s game consultant, it behooves me to posit some metrics you can use to tweak and target your game strategy. Here are some goals you might have that motivate your pursuit of tighter game:

I. Attract more women

II. Get further sexually and personally with women who are attracted to you

III. Attract women who are more attractive

In rough order of difficulty.

These are all realistic goals for a man working on his game, but you may notice that they can be contradictory. If you’re working on closing the deal with a woman, you take away time to spend on attracting other women, and if you try to up the caliber of woman you are attracting, the number of women you are attracting is liable to go down. It’s a bit like, say, the national health care debate – should society seek to lower the price of healthcare for those who already have access to it, or to provide access to people who don’t have it now, or to increase access to specialty care for everybody? It’s all about tradeoffs, which is why it’s good practice to pick one of these metrics to work on every time you embark on a game-oriented project.

Attracting more women is largely about putting more time and emphasis on the game itself. Once you’ve identified the level and style of girls who tend to be into you, you go whole-hog into approaching and opening them and at least some of them are going to be attracted to you. To do this, you have to go where girls are – bars, clubs and concerts at night, coffee shops, bookstores, farmer’s markets and yoga studios in the daytime. There’s a lifestyle change, but only to the degree of getting out more and striking up more conversations. A good place to start is to examine how many women you meet in a week.

Secondary skills here are reducing approach anxiety and building your casual conversational skills. The key factor here is to “be cool” (hat tip to Roosh) – if you are OK with the women you can get now, you don’t need any extra game except to do more of it and let whatever natural attraction you have do its work.

An aside: it’s a good practice to not positively reject a lot of women or to get butthurt about their rejection, because even if she’s not into you, her friend might be, and a good word amongst them (“he doesn’t really do it for me but he’s a good guy”) might be enough to get you approved by a girl who’s on the fence about you. Don’t be a beta orbiter, but always recognize the benefits of a magnanimous, genial attitude in social-circle game.

Closing the deal more effectively requires a combination of logistics (arrangements of time and space that are conducive to sex and personal bonding) and seduction (the act of drawing someone into an emotional space where their desires are validated and allowed to blossom). I’ve written about both of these here. Logistics have been covered voluminously in other literature, the basic idea being that you need to actively escalate the privacy and intimacy of the encounter, by isolating, location bouncing/venue changing, and finally getting the both of you to your place or her place, a comfortable, safe environment for sex.

Seduction is the emotive counterpart to escalation, and much game writing focuses on building the personal connection and comfort that sets up a successful seduction without inducing a buyer’s remorse, “OMG what am I doing?” reaction. Contrary to the plaintive didactions of female advice-givers who say “a woman really needs to get to know a man before she’ll be ready to have sex with him,” this comfort can be built up in a matter of hours. It’s really not difficult, do a couple of cold reads or ask some deep rapport questions and segue into an honest discussion about each other (avoid spoiling your mystery by continually turning the conversation back to her).

Along with these, there’s an element of removing anti-game behaviors (like supplication and hesitation, or fidgety body language) to help you escalate and close more reliably.

A sidebar discussion is necessary at this point. It’s important to understand that failure in seduction makes the rest of your game superfluous. Below a certain level of seductive skill, a man’s SMV is effectively 0. It doesn’t matter how many women are attracted to you or how hot they are, if you can’t guide them all the way home then the attraction is for naught. This is the position of a really shitty salesman, who fails to get the sale even when he has customers who want to buy his product for a price he would accept. It recalls Mystery’s quote – “if you cannot attract a woman, you are by definition sterile,” except your problem is not attraction, it’s literally getting the bang.

This is, sadly, the lot of today’s nice-guy beta. He may – and probably does, owing to his educated and genteel upbringing – possess the discipline, intelligence and athletic fitness to be a formidable actor in his cohort’s sexual pool. However, he’s plagued by entrenched anti-game, by insufferable traits like false modesty, aseptic serenity, sexual anxiety and deference to female emotional ejaculation, and a silly sense of ersatz romance that tells him fatalistic coincidence will bring him the love of his life (obviously he’s not listening to Axiom #1). Thus, even when a pretty girl thinks “this guy is interesting and kind of cute, I think I like this guy,” by the time he tries to get her into his bedroom, she’s so frazzled and put off by his incongruent stuttery behavior that her tingle is all gone.

Even more sadly, oftentimes this Poindexter is guilty of only one or two seemingly-minor behavioral faults. A lot of otherwise-adequate guys are sucking in seduction and don’t even know it, disappointing both themselves and the girls – all for a couple of quirks that can be easily fixed.

So don’t let anyone tell you that learning and practicing seductive skills is stupid or “beta” or whatever. This is an area where the anti-gamers and the “inner game” folks are just out to lunch. They tell guys who can’t close the deal to just “be confident” or some other useless aphorism, ignoring the fact that there is a reliable order of operations for taking an attracted woman to bed. If you mess up the order, or leave out certain steps, you will fail almost every time, unless you are with an atypically forgiving, forward or sex-positive woman who is willing to push things along herself.

To make an analogy, imagine firing your gun before you load it. You will never once hit a target if there’s not a bullet in the chamber. Or putting your shoes on before your socks. You’d never advise a young athlete to “just park the car” without training him in parallel parking, or a cook to just throw the ingredients together. It’s ludicrous, in fact. Yet we send men out into the world in pursuit of one of life’s great pleasures for both genders with little more than a platitudinal “well it’ll just happen, one thing leads to another.”

The haters tend to view seduction as a predatory activity, as “fast-talking” a woman into the sack. I find this concept to be close to ridiculous, not to mention patronizing to female sexuality and agency. A girl who’s interested in you, who is spending time with you and responding to your personality, wants to have sex with you – and wants YOU to take the lead and make it happen. They want it as bad as you do, and will judge you harshly if you can’t take them there. (Don’t believe me? Go to a message board where frustrated women talk about guys they dated who couldn’t get the signal and proceed to sexual ravishment. Or just read this post and this one. Women see a lack of seductive success to be a rejection of them, or a failure of the man’s virility or both.)

OK, sidebar over.

Another side note: I can say from personal experience and friends’ testimony that when you jump into the game like this, it’s easy to get impatient and frustrated when your seductive efforts fail. Just as with overcoming field rejection, you can really hamstring yourself if you allow your emotions to get the better of you, and you kick the girl out, or delete her from your phone, or stop responding to her texts or whatever. Plenty of guys getting into the game don’t want to feel like beta orbiters or chumps, and want to dictate the terms of the encounter after being dictated to for so long, and so they are tempted to harshly reject a girl and cut her out of his life when they can tell they’re not going to get what they want.

But you aren’t always getting strung along, sometimes the girl is attracted but has some kind of hangup or another guy she’s consumed with or something else bugging her that has nothing to do with you. Sometimes the move is to just stop any initiating efforts, and see if she comes back to you. You need to accept you’ll have some failures, but you also need to consider that some of your leads who won’t sleep with you now will get the itch later, and you leave that door open when you don’t express an overt, angry rejection.

You really never know when you’re going to get that phone call or text message saying “what are you up to tonight?” or “hey I’m in your neighborhood, let’s meet up” or more simply “want to come over?” Don’t plan on it, but don’t plan against it – it costs you nothing to let go gently and leave her that option.

Attracting more attractive women is somewhat about tightening your game, but ultimately centers around building real value. Making more money, gaining power and influence (or fame), brandishing prestige and dominance, moving in more prominent social circles, and living a lifestyle that is genuinely interesting and alluring.

Unfortunately it’s also the area that’s hardest to improve. Not for no reason does Danger & Play advise dedicating your 20′s to maximizing your cognitive ability and doing the core work for your career and lifestyle, so you can use some game to skim your sexual successes off the top of your lifestyle, instead of trying to use game (social behavior) to paper over the holes in the rest of your attraction palette.

Myself and a few other readers have made the independent realization that to consistently get really high-value women (8/9/10′s), you need to have some real value. Real value means money, power, fame or exceptional good looks. A successful middle-class guy with tight game is not going to be bagging women who have access to music moguls or high-level politicians. Take a look next time you’re out on the town; are desk jockeys who clean up well going home with the hottest girls in the place? Sure, Mystery parlayed a magician act into top-flight nightclub PUA. But he’s an exceptional pickup artist. Neil Strauss followed in his successful footsteps, but was a Rolling Stone reporter who had interviewed rock and roll stars.

A guy who is basically above average but lacks those exceptional traits needs to decide how much he really wants to break through that ceiling and go for elite status in something. And if you’re doing it for the chicks, you probably won’t get there. People who become rich and powerful are usually motivated by internal drives that go way beyond getting laid. Getting women is a side dish of their success.

RECAP

To conclude this discursive discussion, there are three different goals you can shoot for when you set out to improve your game. Which goal you choose will influence where you put your efforts (including efforts in fields other than your game itself). Always have the goal in mind when you are planning your next self-improvement project.

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Game As Part Of Your Attraction Palette

Yesterday’s post on the axioms of game-oriented thinking brought out some good discussion, and while I don’t want to start a debate that’s destined to fail, I think it’s prudent to discuss what game is and isn’t so that readers know what I’m getting at when I talk about the assumptions that underlie any game-based strategy.

As a shorthand, talking about a guy’s “game” can refer to his overall success with women – the quality of woman he’s attracting and how frequently he has women in his life. But for the most part, when we talk about “game” we’re talking about social behavior: how you interact with people (especially women), what that communicates about you, how it influences others’ mental states, and how it moves your goals forward (or doesn’t). In short, it’s your personality + action patterns in the social sphere.

To recap from yesterday’s post:

Axiom #1 says that a man can change his sexual market value.

Axiom #3 says that changing behavior can change a man’s sexual market value.

#1 is about agency. #3 is about game.

Game isn’t the only lever of attraction you can pull. You can trigger or modulate attraction based on a bunch of factors, including:

  • Physical constitution (height, build, facial structure, symmetry)
  • Fitness (however it’s built, a body in shape looks better and gives off better hormonal signals)
  • Earning power and access to resources
  • Social status (influence and power, plus how cool your job is)
  • Displayed ability to dominate other men (fitness) or to attract women (preselection)
  • Social ability with women, i.e. game (opening, generating interest, avoiding fitness tests, building personal connection, creating intrigue and plausible deniability, escalating effectively)

How do these things add up? It’s situational and hard to say. But boosting any of these will boost your attraction among most women.

Roissy posited a good rule of thumb that game is worth 2 points on the 10-point scale (that I don’t use, but who am I to disagree with the best). Roissy also dubbed a man who has all the other things but whose behaviors with women really suck a “paper alpha,” a guy whose status earns him an interview with top-quality girls but who lacks the social ability to do it live.

IT ALL FITS TOGETHER

Plans to up a man’s game almost always involve addressing other areas at the same time. As an example, when Neil Strauss was training as Mystery’s protege, he also took up surfing, got Lasik eye surgery and shaved his head. Roosh’s blog and his book “Bang” advocate that men should read a lot of books and become intellectual versatile so as to have interesting things to talk about to fascinate women. (It works, btw.)

Just as an individual painting gravitates towards pastels or primary colors or whatnot, eventually all of your attraction threads start to run together thematically, because of congruence – your dress code and your social behavior and your occupational status will all have to roughly match each other or you will confuse the people you are with. You can exploit some discrepancies with contrast game, but rolling up in an American Eagle tshirt and rack jeans claiming you’re a rising executive won’t make people think you’re so alpha you don’t have to care about appearances – it will just make people think you’re a poser or the COO of your friend’s trucking business.

OTHER NOTES

It’s interesting to note that a lot of the LTR/married game promulgated by Athol Kay and others is not really about game as much as it’s about creating an environment conducive to the orderly household and regular sex life that should be the standards by which any marriage is judged. That means articulating boundaries and roles, staying fit, holding a job and advancing in it, keeping the house maintained, and parenting adequately. Athol himself refocused his blog recently on “structural factors” instead of sexy move advice, saying that in a married context, most attraction will be structural in origin (once you’ve eliminated low-status behavior like failing fitness tests).

Generally speaking, you’ll be limited by your weakest element. As women scan for reasons to eliminate you, the quality of woman you can get will hinge on getting her to look past your lowest-value dimension, and you can only compensate for a weak link so much. If you’re out of shape or your game sucks, that’s not hard to fix, but if you want to double your income, you have a much tougher task ahead of you. The good news is that middle-class employment+fitness+game can get you regular access to the “7″ category and that meets a lot of guys’ needs.

If you are constrained by your weakest link, what about those people you know who have shitty game but get quality girls because they are really good-looking, or super tall (height works for sure), or have big money? Well, the generalization has limits – you can be so superlative in one area that some of the other stuff really doesn’t matter.

And don’t forget that lots of women find some particular thing about guys irresistible. Like she’s just really got it bad for tall guys, or guys with stubble, or she’s always wanted to date a firefigher, or her dad was a cop, etc. Sometimes one trait hits a hindbrain nerve that won’t be reasoned with. Men have exactly this too – with some women, a man can find himself irrevocably captivated by her boobs or her hair or the tone of her voice. I wouldn’t use that as a strategy though. Emphasize your top strengths, cover all your bases as best you can and don’t neglect your game, and you can be confident you’re pulling what you “should” get in the marketplace.

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The Underlying Axioms Of Game

A few weeks back Professor Ashur was nice enough to link to my post about stone soup as a metaphor for game or any other behavior modification exercise.

Societies change, and therefore Game must change. This leads to an interesting return to our Stone Soup storyline. Is it necessary to have a stone to use the Stone Soup method? Or is the stone a mere prop for a person who is a master at motivating others. Consider that the stone worked because it was a new tactic. If half a dozen SSAs (Stone Soup Artists) in the same village started using that process to get a free meal from time to time, the efficacy of the method will diminish. Eventually, a Neil Strauss equivalent will write a book called The Soup, chronicling his road from hunger to satiation. Meanwhile, a diligent curator of human behavior from the capitol will write STONE, and then eventually DAY STONE, along with additional literature on making stone soup in Columbia or Poland. Many will hate him for his success, even as they fail to understand that his partners in soup-making do so willingly, even happily.

The excellent discussion got me thinking about the mental framework in which game operates. Much discussed has been rules of game, such as heed women’s actions and not their words; don’t take dating advice from women; don’t buy women drinks, and no dinner dates early on; approach quickly and often; always be escalating; withhold commitment except for very deserving women; and so on. There are explanations and justifications for the rules, which range from pure empiricism (what works and what doesn’t) to biblical and biological explications.

But the rules aren’t the core level of structure to game. When you talk about any system of knowledge or a strategy or process for accomplishing something, there are subtextual assumptions in the framework that can get lost in the discussion but are important to recognize as the movement progresses. Think about, say, geometry or ontological mathematics, which has postulates and axioms that are taken for granted in general use. While those same postulates are the subject of endless and intense debate among philosophical mathematicians, your basic contractor or surveyor or football coach just needs to be able to apply the basic rules to his field. Likewise, a good number of guys who want to improve their lot with women are not going to get into the deeply-fleshed discussions we have in the Manosphere. They want practical discourse that will benefit them in the field. But let’s not lose sight of what drives the discourse in the first place.

CHANGE IS POSSIBLE

The – THE - key subtextual assumption of game is that a man can take action to change his results in the sexual arena. It doesn’t have to be romantic Roulette. You don’t have to pray for a soulmate. YOU can affect WHOM you attract, WHOM you engage with romantically, WHAT sort of relationships you enter into and HOW your partners treat you. In other words, by acting differently we will get different results.

We get into so much debate about HOW we change our results that we lose sight of the fact that compared to society at large, positing that we CAN change our outcomes is a radical proposition. It becomes clear how radical it is when we try to expose a new, plugged-in guy to the world of game: “no way, that totally doesn’t work on women.” “A girl either likes you or she doesn’t.” Challenging his delusion only makes it stronger.

This sort of learned helplessness is so anathema to the self-reliant gumption that men are supposed to be exhibiting. To judge from reading single-girl blogs and women’s magazines (not to mention surveying our own dating lives), women have made a first-class art form out of constructing victim narratives casting themselves as flat actors without agency, buffeted by the people and events around them.

Meanwhile, men seem to just throw up their hands, and sigh “I don’t know man, women are fickle and capricious. You just gotta deal with it.”

SKILL IN THE VENUSIAN ARTS IS WORTH IT

A secondary assumption, one that is as much if not more often opposed by critics, is that game is worthwhile and adds value to a man’s life. Raise your hand if you’ve ever read something like this on a game forum or blog comment section: “I can’t believe what a bunch of losers you guys are, don’t you know there’s more to life than getting chicks?” It’s easy for a woman (who never has to wonder how she’s going to get her next spurt of attention from the opposite sex) or male naturals (who have never been thirsty in the desert) tell guys trying to get better with women that what they don’t have isn’t really important.

But we who have been on both sides know that the journey and the destination are worth it – for the adventure, for the increased fitness and self-confidence, for the feeling of power and influence, for the sexual satisfaction, for the formation of relationships on our terms, meeting our emotional needs instead of as scaffolds of sexual blackmail.

A variant of the “game isn’t worth it” chorus is the finger-wagging warning from busybodies that game makes you miserable, directed at men who have through their expanded experiences grown cynical and disappointed with the large swaths of low-quality offerings in the sexual marketplace. Let’s put aside the fact that a lot of this criticism is projection from women whose own casual-sex experiences were disastrous (and also put aside that game can be productively practiced without entailing a casual-sex lifestyle). The truth is that game didn’t make these guys cynical, in fact it’s just the opposite; realizing that women respond to game (polished and practiced) ahead of responding to real value in a man, seeing the craven social tricks you can pull to make people like you and trust you that have nothing to do with your actual personality or character, is what induces the nihilistic ennui. Game only gave them the tools to discover the emptiness of the mine. Of course, game can also be the tool that gives you a way out without becoming an ascetic. Because going back to sexual irrelevancy is hardly a solution.

STUDY UP

A third assumption is that the changes in behavior that change the results we get in the SMP can be practiced and learned. One doesn’t have to rely on a spiritual change, or a shift in monetary or power value, to effect change in his luck with women. Thousands of men have honed the learning and practice process before him, and a handful have  inscribed their methods in print. They know how to teach and coach the game. Trust them. Danger & Play has a great post on jumping in. Trust him.

REDUCTIONISM AND SKEPTICISM

Commentators who lose sight (or never knew) the axioms can criticize game as a sort of shapeshifting concept, since rote definitions of game change depending on who you’re talking to and the explanations for social data (i.e. who’s attracted to whom) changes with environment and the people involved.  They seem to be desperate to get a hard and fast definition so they can immediately begin “debunking” it, or to discredit it as a field of empirical study and claim they are just repackaging someone else’s self-help material.

A chunk of commenters, writers and critics say that game is simply rediscovering “traditional masculinity.” This is especially common among those who have an irrationally optimistic view of humans and try to deny what we see in the field with our own eyes, for example denying that girls dig jerks, or saying that you don’t need game, you just have to be confident. It’s also popular among those who don’t want to really grok that there is a large casual-sex environment out there. Confusingly, I see a lot of this from Christian writers, whose faith explicitly and intrinsically acknowledges mankind’s proclivity for wickedness.

But game is different than a paeon to masculinity. To start with, “traditional masculinity” is an archetype, a big-picture concept, and a cartoonish one at that – not a code or manual of male behavior (except in the self-parody “man law/bro code” meme), and certainly not synonymous with a set of behaviors that are effective in attracting women.

Secondly, the normal connotations of “masculinity” are simply outside the realm of dealing with women. Your traditionally-masculine father or grandfather might very well have little constructive advice for you when it comes to women –  he came of age in an era of different roles and expectations, his constitutional commitment to said tradition itself being a barrier to his understanding the brave new sexual world we have wrought. The structures of his day, in which he was expected to pursue women in his “league,” and they were expected to say yes lest they fade into spinsterhood, doesn’t exist today, which requires a order of magnitude more male effort to actualize his romantic desires. Teaching you to fish and hunt and go to work on time is different than teaching you to approach, converse with, attract and date women. Imitating the man’s behavior thinking the interested women will just appear may do little more than get you a reputation as an obtuse relic.

Conversely, no one would ever call the dandy (emo) a masculine frame, but the dandy act has been effective with women for centuries.

I suppose to the degree that “traditional masculinity” contained an element of presumptive chauvinism, it could be likened to modern game which seeks to back off on female pedestalization. But the fact we’re splitting these hairs shows the weakness of the reasoning.

You might also say that “game empowers males.” But that’s too shallow an analysis. Game IS male empowerment, integrally. Ipso facto, game has as a core principle of itself that men can and should become empowered – see axioms #1 and #2. That men DO become empowered is a not a cause-and-effect outcome of practicing game, it’s simply the seed of of game’s axioms.

THE AXIOMS AS META-GAME

These axioms provide an existential value to the concept and practice of game, without which the concept and practice would be a dinner-party discussion between the dessert and the cheese plate (and in fact would be a uniquely non-threatening discourse).

Going back to Ashur’s post, my point here is that while the outer shell, the tactics and schemae, of game will change (just as girls get wise to certain overdone shticks as they got wise to what’s your sign and can I buy you a drink, and other routines and personas just fade into cultural irrelevance and anachronism), the basic postulates will always be there and need to be re-emphasized with every tactical refresh. And internalizing those postulates is what makes a man able to “roll his own game” – he has the raw materials to construct new skills as his environment and the social landscape change.

Descartes wondered if he actually existed, and eventually developed a heuristic that defined existence as a lucid dream – the fact that he could think proved his existence, “cogito ergo sum.”

We men who are thinking about game go a step further and wonder if we can actually affect the micro-world we’re living in. The answer is yes. We’re already doing it. Never lose sight of the core axioms; you can always go back to the basics.

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