James Taranto Really Reads The Manosphere


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Merry Christmas

I wanted to wish the readership a merry Christmas.

Truth be told, 2013 has been a trying year for the Badger and I’m anxious to see it out. However, writing on the blog, and interacting with the online community connected to it (including the communities at blogs like Just Four Guys, Alpha Game and MMSL) have been sources of great relief and happiness for the past twelve months. I get a small but regular stream of emails from readers who tell me that one thing or another they read here has helped change their lives; these are extremely gratifying and I would like to think that for every email there are a handful of lurkers who have had a similar experience.

Life is too short to suck, I’m humbled that I’m part of the solution for many people.


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A Great Analogy on Scarcity Mentality

Yesterday’s post concerned “No More Mr. Nice Guy” and its focus on approval-seeking as a limiting behavior for men (especially seeking approval from women).

Another thought process that is recognized as a major obstacle to good game and a successful social life is the scarcity mentality. This means that a man approaches interactions with women as if each one is his last opportunity; he approaches dates as must-win encounters and tries to lock each woman down; he approaches a relationship as if he can never get another one and tolerates a lot of crap he shouldn’t. Reversing the scarcity mentality is what’s behind Roissy’s 16th commandment, “never be afraid to lose her.”

Now, reversing the scarcity mentality is easier said than done – in some cases it is forged by a few poor experiences at a time when a man has low SMV (and thus his desperation is at least logically justified), other times it reflects a pedestalization of women or other irrational factors. Normally it’s not something you can just “turn off” because you woke up one day and decided to be “more confident.”

At a recent Just Four Guys thread, commenter Esau delivered a great story that explains the scarcity mentality in another, non-sexual context.

Story time! In academic STEM circles there was a brief era in the late 1980′s early 1990′s where we saw the phenomena of (ex-)Soviet scientists visiting the West in large numbers, many for their first time unchaperoned; and some pretty remarkable behaviors were revealed. One thing the Soviets always wanted to do was to go shopping, particularly for consumer electronics, to bring back home. In one famous story, a small group of these guys went to a Circuit City (young people, look it up) to see what they could find. Right inside the door was a stack of VCR’s (young people, look it up) and the group immediately stationed two of their guys to stand guard over the VCR’s to make sure that no one else bought them up while the rest of the group hunted further. The American hosts labored to re-assure them, that no one was likely to buy up these VCR’s within the next ten minutes, and there were certainly more in the back anyway. But the Soviets were used to a scarcity regime in shopping, that not much was ever available and if you saw something you wanted you had to pounce on it immediately, full-force, or miss out completely. And ultimately there was no way to talk them out of the need to zealously guard this stack of relatively ordinary stuff, even for nominally logically-minded men. It was just that hard to break the habits of a scarcity mentality that had been built up by experience.


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Started Reading “No More Mr. Nice Guy”

Dr. Robert Glover’s “No More Mr. Nice Guy” has been a longtime recommendation of a number of bloggers and commenters in the male writer’s community. It has been a standard recommendation on the Married Man Sex Life forums (along with Athol Kay’s own books, of course).


I acquired a copy recently and have just started into it. Truth be told, I couldn’t make it past page 5 without having to stop for a minute. The author’s description of some of his patients, who give without limit and are awarded almost nothing but misery in return, are heartbreaking, and also serve as emotional reminders of times when I was the same guy.

In the opening pages, Dr. Glover identifies the “Nice Guy” as (these are my words) a pathological altruist driven by a self-definition built around helping others to a fault, and especially based around seeking the approval of women, and links their proliferation to dramatic social changes from the 60′s to today. He’s not just talking about saps in general – he’s addressing the social conditioning of men that causes them to seek external approval in place of finding confidence and dignity within themselves.

It markets itself – and the comments I’ve read have backed this up as a success – as a strategy guide for remaking your behavior and mental models as a man, akin to what “The Mystery Method” or Roosh’s “Bang” can do for a single man’s sex life.

I’m curious about the readership’s experience. Has anybody read it or implemented its advice, did you identify with it, and how did it work?


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Contaminated Emo-Porn

I came across a hilarious comment on the Roosh V Forum quoting an article that discussed health factors in book lending (hat tip to RVF user “Kingsley Davis”):

Ever wondered what diseases library books carry? You shouldn’t, because your local libraries need your help. Still, that didn’t stop two Belgian professors from running tests on the 10 most borrowed books in the Antwerp library and finding out what horrors lie between their spines.

The professors ran each book under a gamut of bacteriology and toxicology tests and found that in addition to all of them testing positive for cocaine (because what doesn’t test positive for cocaine?), copies of the ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ tested positive for herpes.

On the plus side — before you go screaming to the nearest doctor to get tested — books cannot pass on sexually transmitted diseases. Which is something we never thought we’d have to type.

The profs said that the traces of herpes were so tiny that they did not pose a health risk and that it would be impossible to get herpes merely by reading a book with herpes.

So I guess Dalrock was wrong and that emotional pornography is harmless.


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Getting Started With Biting

If you haven’t been paying attention, what you might call “destructive sex” is in.

Vampires have been all over the popular culture for years. Delicious Tacos notes that the ladies are begging for dom sex in a half-generation turn of events so sudden would make your fraternity big brother blush. He underlines that the most popular book in the world is “bondage porn.” (Girls haven’t been buying books about trysts with sensitive understanding men since, well, ever.) To hear him tell it, Millenial girls are all over it, completely dispensing with the neo-puritanical schema forced upon us by AIDS and aging Boomer guilt that sought to cover up their youthful indiscretions with hollow moralizing to their kids.

Women are unabashed today about their love of semi-permanent subdermal reminders of the weekend’s romp. I came across this post on the lipstick feminist blog The Frisky and laughed at the unnerved confessional tone and the half-hearted buyer’s remorse that her male-feminist paramours wouldn’t dare cross the line:

When I first started dating, I knew that I liked to be bitten. There was something both sensual and animalistic about it that I couldn’t help but be enticed by. When I masturbated it was always something I thought about:  that aggressive devouring that would leave battle scars. However, high school, and even college guys, were hesitant to rock the boat in their sexual performances. So, when I’d whisper, “Bite my neck,” I would either end up with sad little hickeys or their efforts would be so weak that I would never bother to ask again. There’s nothing worse than a weak bite.

By the time I reached my mid-20s I was finally sure about what I wanted sexually and comfortable asking for it. I knew I wanted to be spanked, I wanted to be tied down, and I craved being controlled. But again, just as it was in college and high school before it, it was hard to find someone who was on the same page. Some men do not like to spank, others were hardly chomping at the bit to bite me. Even when I prompted them with a little nibble first, or pleaded for something not on the menu, it was like pulling teeth. I even had one guy tell me that I should double up on my therapy if I wanted to be treated “that way.” I didn’t double up on my therapy; I went to Paris instead.

So when I was lying in bed with L and he said he liked to bite, I wanted to push the limit and see for myself. Could this person finally fulfill the aching I had for such a thing? Could he actually leave me marked up with bruises from his perfect teeth, even to the point that it would take weeks for me to heal? The thought of it made me wet with anticipation.

And so he bit me. He bit me over and over again between kissing and reaching at other parts of my body. I let out gasps and even at one point a yell, because there was such a release that came with each sinking of his teeth into my flesh. I wanted to be scarred; I wanted to walk away with the reminder of the moment emblazoned on my skin. I needed it.

We don’t put a lot of credence into women’s dating advice around here, sure, but sex diaries are another story entirely. Rarely until today’s era of attention-centric Internet exhibitionism did men get such fantastic opportunities to to inside the female locker room and hear what they really liked – and didn’t like – about the men they were dating. This kind of stuff is the real empirical evidence as to what works and what doesn’t.


Biting is one move you should add to your toolbox. Danger and Play had an old post about turning a kiss-rejection into a low-key bite:

When a woman moves her lips away from you, too many guys kiss her on the cheek. There is a much better approach.

As she turns away, brush here hair aside, revealing her neck. Take a quick nibble on the side of her neck, look back up at her in the eyes, smirk, and then go back to dancing or talking at the bar. Do not go for a kiss immediately after nibbling on her neck. Wait a few minutes…

One does not need to wait to be rejected from a kiss before nibbling on the neck. I always find excuses to play with her neck. I’ll pull her closely to me to “whisper” something in her ear. Then I will take a gentle bite on her neck, smirk, and continue the conversation.

I’ve found the most significant challenge is just in presenting your mouth to her neck. Whether you find a pretext, or you just go for it, proceeding smoothly and boldly is a must.

Women give up their neck surprisingly easy. Partially this is due to the “Vampiremania,” with grown adult women obsessing over childhood vampires. Partially this is because few guys actually go for their neck. Women simply aren’t prepared for the move.

Most women are also unaware how a gentle bite on their neck arouses them. The neck is a bona fide erogenous zone. If you nibble on her neck correctly, you’ll notice goose bumps on her arms.

It’s a huge dominance play, but at the same time is highly discreet – a killer combination that lends a “naughty but our secret” vibe.

He warns to be clean and careful once on the job:

When nibbling on her neck, the only requirement is to not overdo it at first. Women fear hickeys, and once they realize you’re not making sloppy sucking noises or biting her, she will let you have her way with you.

“Nibbling” is not a bad term. I’ve found the secret to both discretion and comfort is to use the teeth and the tongue, but NOT the lips. Keep them retracted and don’t get into any sucking. If it helps, don’t think of it as “biting,” consider it more like dragging your teeth across her skin. You can then lick the area, and for extra contrast, blow on it discreetly to cool it off. This palette of sensations is highly stimulating.

Once you’re in a private place, try harder – or in other places. Then try biting while you massage some part of her. Like with other sex moves, see what she likes and do more of it.

Women are always complaining in public that men aren’t doing enough foreplay. This is a volcanic form of foreplay.

LEGAL DISCLAIMER: If she doesn’t like it, stop doing it.

A confessional of my own. I first gave the biting thing a try on a first date, after I had successfully run a lot of push-pull, location bounced, and gotten into her place due to my need to “use the bathroom.” I switched from her lips to her neck, and highly encouraged by her reaction took myself on a dental tour from her ears to her waist and back. It became clear that sex wasn’t going to happen, but I took the opportunity to do some advanced geographical scouting.

She texted me the next day that the marks were so bad she didn’t even try to hide them at work and now everyone wanted to know who I was. Biting was a winner.


As for the whole dom enterprise: my general, but limited, experience has been that just a touch of the experience is enough to rev most of their engines. There’s obviously a whole community for kink and BDSM, but especially if the gal has not been brought into that community, neither of you need to identify as somehow “kinked out.” You can just do things in the bedroom and have them be part of your sexual repertoire. You don’t need to get political with it. If someone calls you “vanilla” you can respond that you don’t need to go to happy hours to feel good about your sexual moves.

In a culture saturated with sex, it might be surprising to find that from the testimonials most people appear to be shitty at it. That means lots of women you might date who have not been exposed to a really skilled and literate lover. Take advantage of the opportunity to show something new. Even one move that makes you sexually distinctive can turn you into a demi-God inside a community. Once word gets out – and it will – you’ll have no shortage of interested parties. Admittedly, the mechanics of working the sexual Ponzi scheme of capturing new previous (ahem) satisfied customers require some skill, but unapologetic boldness is a good starting point.


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Ben Franklin on Planting a Better Idea in Someone’s Head

In a post last week, I discussed why it’s a good rhetorical habit to limit the volume of words you use.

Like the mistaking of kindness for weakness that plagues today’s nice guys, there is some element of the human mind that frames lengthy and incessant counter-argument as a position of weakness and insecurity. He who masters pithy, concise (and indirect and ambiguous, I might add) communication commands a stronger image of rhetorical confidence and state control than the bloviating firebrand whose logical appeals may indeed be without equal.

This rule of thumb has actually become an amazingly useful skill both for my game and for life in general: whenever I find myself getting spun up on something or really getting invested in a conversation, whether I am writing or speaking, I make an effort to cut down on the number of words I’m throwing into the mix.

In speaking, I find that consciously slowing down my cadence forces me to limit the volume of facts or rhetoric I am emitting, which has the same effect as cutting out unnecessary written passages.

It’s long been a tenet of the Roissy and Roosh game styles to be laconic and calm in your speech, and well-observed that men can talk themselves out of attraction in the same way a boxer can punch himself out of a match.

The main point was that the more you talk, the more people will think (even subconsciously) that you are dissembling or getting defensive. Vox Day expanded on another angle of the idea:

Another factor here is that simple binary thinkers tend to view multiple reasons as being somehow contradictory even when they reinforce each other. After all, if reason X is correct, then reason Y is at best unnecessary, and therefore to mention it must be indicative of a weakness in X. This is, of course, profoundly stupid, but has a rational foundation in that people who have no case do tend to take the spaghetti approach and throw out everything they can in the hope that something will stick.

(I’ve noticed this with lawyers; the general frame of a lawyer’s training is leveraging the facts in a constant rhetorical negotiation. In truth, they are arguing a frame – “my client is right” – rather than an actual syllogism of facts, and so attempting to logically oppose their endless stream of argument cases is a whack-a-mole of futile exhaustion.)

There is a more effective form of convincing someone; rather than adopting an aggressive pomposity, employ a low-status attitude of asking innocent questions of clarification that in fact compel the questionee to admit the fallacy of their position by their own words. I’m told this is called the “Socratic method” after the Greek philosopher who was known for the technique (and further known for frequent conflict with the moral fashions of his time). The Socratic method has the effect of causing the questionee to “own” their change in opinion rather than having it beaten into them by an aggressive contestant.

It turns out that the celebrated American Founding Father Benjamin Franklin was a practitioner

His excellent autobiography discusses the matter at length (hat tip to this post at Crime&Federalism, boldface text is C&F’s):

While I was intent on improving my language, I met with an English grammar (I think it was Greenwood’s), at the end of which there were two little sketches of the arts of rhetoric and logic, the latter finishing with a specimen of a dispute in the Socratic method; and soon after I procur’d Xenophon’s Memorable Things of Socrates, wherein there are many instances of the same method.

I was charm’d with it, adopted it, dropt my abrupt contradiction and positive argumentation, and put on the humble inquirer and doubter. And being then, from reading Shaftesbury and Collins, become a real doubter in many points of our religious doctrine, I found this method safest for myself and very embarrassing to those against whom I used it; therefore I took a delight in it, practis’d it continually, and grew very artful and expert in drawing people, even of superior knowledge, into concessions, the consequences of which they did not foresee, entangling them in difficulties out of which they could not extricate themselves, and so obtaining victories that neither myself nor my cause always deserved.

I continu’d this method some few years, but gradually left it, retaining only the habit of expressing myself in terms of modest diffidence; never using, when I advanced any thing that may possibly be disputed, the words certainly, undoubtedly, or any others that give the air of positiveness to an opinion; but rather say, I conceive or apprehend a thing to be so and so; it appears to me, or I should think it so or so, for such and such reasons; or I imagine it to be so; or it is so, if I am not mistaken.

This habit, I believe, has been of great advantage to me when I have had occasion to inculcate my opinions, and persuade men into measures that I have been from time to time engag’d in promoting; and, as the chief ends of conversation are to inform or to be informed, to please or to persuade, I wish well-meaning, sensible men would not lessen their power of doing good by a positive, assuming manner, that seldom fails to disgust, tends to create opposition, and to defeat every one of those purposes for which speech was given to us, to wit, giving or receiving information or pleasure. For, if you would inform, a positive and dogmatical manner in advancing your sentiments may provoke contradiction and prevent a candid attention.

If you wish information and improvement from the knowledge of others, and yet at the same time express yourself as firmly fix’d in your present opinions, modest, sensible men, who do not love disputation, will probably leave you undisturbed in the possession of your error. And by such a manner, you can seldom hope to recommend yourself in pleasing your hearers, or to persuade those whose concurrence you desire.

Franklin really gets to the point at the end: if you use an aggressive, bombastic tone, you are likely to trigger a defensive, closed-minded response that hardly serves your aims – unless you desire to argue for its own sake, rather than to impart knowledge and truth.

I noted the same principle in praising Rachel Greenwald’s modest and calm advice to bossy women about how to be more agreeable when dating men (who by and large are not interested in and often actively repulsed by a boss-lady attitude – Greenwald in fact states that in her extensive research, Boss Lady attitude was the number one reason men didn’t call for another date). While nobody wants to be criticized, it’s my experience that Boss Ladies are especially prone to take any kind of disagreement or suggestion as personalized criticism and adopt a defensive demeanor.

C&F makes a lucid connection:

Note that Franklin’s language patterns are similar to NLP [neurolinguistic programming]. “Can you make room for the possibility that x, y, z are true?” is far superior to, “You are wrong for the following three reasons.”


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