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.
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.