Some more discussion coming off the Dalrock post I referenced in my last post about Basic Skills for Game. As usually happens, the “what is game” discussion turned towards moralism, which itself brought out a series of arguments from people who either appreciate game in an intellectual sense while eschewing it for themselves, or insisted they wanted to separate game writ large from “ethical applications” of the Venusian Arts.
Many in the religiously-oriented communities that overlap with Dalrock’s readership (and also overlap with the conservative alternative lifestyle blogs that deal with “traditional” family relationships, paleo eating, or homeschooling) have a strong aversion to premarital sex. Therefore, the potential of game to empower a man to lead a sexually active lifestyle makes game itself morally suspect. It’s also worth noting that some non-religious critics of game are decidedly critical of sexual promiscuity as a life goal or as a point of lifestyle which normally manifests as a blustering superiority in the vein of “I don’t have to bang a bunch of sluts to feel like a man.”
As this came up in the comments, I provided some thoughts on the matter I expand upon here.
1. Game is not necessarily about promiscuity, but I am glib in saying that; most young guys get into game because they want to have sex. Let’s not beat around the bush here. Sex drive is a base, and at times all-consuming, motivation for young testosterized men. It’s really something that is difficult for women to understand, as they normally don’t have the ever-present and undifferentiated desire men do. To a young virile man, the desire to have sex, more sex and more sex with more partners is on the order of eating or breathing.
It’s easy for women, who have sex basically available when they want it, or men who have a lot of sexual options, to say in a vaguely shaming manner “there’s more to life than sex,” as it’s easy to tell a hungry man there’s more to life than food when you are well-fed.
Now, that sexual desire is a base drive, one often moderated by other life pursuits or by a moral or constitutional sense of order. In essence, many men sublimate and override this impulse due to a personal self-concept of a guy who isn’t ruled by his libido. The important thing to understand is that the drive is there.
Another group of men getting into the game is married/LTR people who get into game to improve their relationships with their wives, usually for more sex but often for the collateral benefits of a less quarrelsome home. They aren’t seeking extra sexual partners, but as per Athol Kay’s Male Action Plan, sometimes the end game is to find another partner who’s more in sync with your sexual desires you thought were going to be satisfied in marriage.
I don’t see any point is positing game as some kind of abstract male self-improvement operation whose benefits happened to include sex. Game was developed by men who wanted to get better at having sex.
So, game is about having sex in some form, and is often about getting sex from new partners. The next point builds on this.
2. In the West, only an extreme minority of people have 0 or 1 sexual partners throughout their lives. Western society is already promiscuous, in all of its subcultures and classes; poor, rich, white, black, educated, uneducated, every group has a sexual marketplace where active trading is happening.
IOW we’ve established what society is, game is just haggling over the price. Game is a way to get a better deal for yourself for the promiscuity society already sanctions. To add to this, you may not feel your manhood increase because you are bagging new quarries, but preselection means that women sure do. Part of the game is flexing preselection, or at least faking it well enough, and much field work has found that even among those professing chastity, declaring your own can be a ladyboner killer.
To say game is bad because it involves promiscuity is looking at the finger instead of the moon.
3. Now let’s explore how promiscuity itself fits into the quest for game. I have made this point many times on my blog and other places: most guys who get into game are not trying to get the highest notch count possible – most guys are jealous of their player friends’ abilities with girls, but don’t necessarily want to be them. They want to be able to get a girlfriend, keep her, get a new one if she doesn’t work out, and keep their future wife sexually interested in them. Most guys do not want to be tomcats all their lives and desire a partner and family. This has been surveyed and researched fairly conclusively. As I said in the previous post, it’s not the abundance as much as the abundance mentality these guys are seeking – it’s a real bummer to have the rest of your life together (good health, good career, respect of your peers) but feel unable to attract women and out of control of the love and family aspect of things.
Speaking as one of those guys, the problem from our side is that women seem to be specifically attracted to men who don’t want to commit, and so the commitment-minded men find they have to put on a show of non-commitment to attain a woman’s interest. Now women complain about screening “fake assholes” in additional to real ones; the market has given them what they demanded, so that’s their own problem as far as I’m concerned.
A good dose of game gives these men that sense of control over their own sexual fate, that they don’t have to be at the mercy of their woman’s choices and out if the cold if she loses interest. In fact, many men who DO get into game specifically to bang a lot of women find they get bored with that, and look instead for one high-quality woman they can depend on instead of a series of floozies. There was a commenter in the Dalrock thread named Anthony who stated he has no intrinsic interest in being a dominator or a player, and he finds running game exhausting and outside of his own personality – but he tolerates it enough to keep his relationships going.
3b. To back away from the specifics a bit, I agree with commenter J R: “I think the Roissysphere debate has become sterile and needlessly polemical.” Roissy is an affected intellectual (clearly a sharp thinker but also putting on an intentionally puffed-up academic persona), and his geosexualpolitics are interesting if you’re into that sort of thing, but most guys don’t give a crap beyond the game basics he is continually pointing out. I don’t at all mean to pick on Roissy himself; Roissy’s vision and sheer volume of output helped make him the number one most cited figure in the Manosphere (and the namesake of the pre-Manosphere game-writers’ collective dubbed the Roissysphere); however the powerful appeal of his candlelight-revolutionary frame and style, which was duplicated or aped by dozens of game writers and cultural analysts, has passed. It is one reason that Ferdinand Bardamu, followed by a bevy of Manosphere heavyweights, quite resolutely gave up the ghost. There is also something to the idea that Roissy had the master’s touch as the initiator of a format that his admirers could not successfully emulate, but Roissy himself stopped being that long ago anyway.
Not to mention that the nature of the ideas we are discussing means that an aggressive, combative posture alienates potential allies and induces the keepers of the status quo to marginalize and crush our members. We can be resolute and committed without being abrasive and disagreeable.
This is one place where, to take a notable example, Athol Kay’s work stands out by contrast: he’s a practical realist, focused strongly on action, and doesn’t spend a lot of time waxing philosophic without moving towards an explanation, motivation or action path forward. Even by Manosphere standards, his is a very active-masculine approach that aims to produce results and disarms critics in the process.
This last item was inspired by the general snipey, “you show me yours” attitude on the Dalrock thread. There is a certain point beyond which arguing all this stuff on the Internet is beta – you gotta get out and live your real life. If you think game is a big fraud and whatever mating strategy you have is yielding you optimal results, knock yourself out; I’ve lost the will to try to convince you otherwise. If you’re down with an alternate way of thinking about dating and society, maybe some stuff on my blog will help you move forward and I hope you enjoy it. So many posts and words have been written on this stuff, and almost every point or quibble raised by critics, haters, trolls, bots and even genuinely curious fellow travelers and skeptics has been hashed out and answered somewhere already. As I mentioned, you’ve seen a lot of good Manosphere writers fold up in the last few months, and this is another big reason it’s happened – most people don’t have the patience to discuss the same thing more than a few times before they decide they’re done arguing.