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).

glover

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.

FIRST STEPS TOWARDS NEW TRICKS

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.

JUST DO IT, DON’T FORM A CLUB

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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Class In Male Competition

A while back this video made the rounds:

It documents an amateur boxing match between a male Marine and a female soldier (“soldier” in proper parlance referring to uniformed Army) purportedly on base in Iraq.

I’m not noting this for the butt-whooping the soldier received; it’s fairly predictable that even at pare weight classes with similar fitness, a male contestant in a sport involving a lot of pure strength and aggression is going to have a major advantage against the female.

What I do think is notable is the scene at 3:25. The soldier has been counted out and then helped off the mat, and the Marine approaches her to tap gloves. She appears to refuse to tap his glove.

That’s a very un-classy way to end a bout, because acknowledging your competitor is a key mark of male competition.

The concept of “sportsmanship” is a subtle one, but largely encompasses complementary truths:

  • Compete to your ability
  • When it’s over, it’s over

In every organized sport I’ve ever participated, the game ends with the two teams lining up for handshakes and saying “good game” to each other. In a lot of cases it’s perfunctory, most athletes have little interest in praising the opposition after a victory or a loss. What it is, however, is ceremonial and structural – an official demarcation that the competition is over, and we’re all just guys now. It’s the door through which you cross from competing to being friends again. You rarely see professionals having protracted good-game exchanges (baseball teams appear to shake their own hands; playoff hockey series are a well-publicized exception), but at the secondary and even collegiate levels, the practice is common. I’ve even heard arguments that they help to prevent intra- or post-game violence outside the bounds of the sport.

COMPETITION BREEDS RESPECT

There’s an element of the male psychology that accords respect to another man who chooses to compete with him. I first discovered this empirically. When I was in college, I visited a friend of mine during his summer enrollment. He invited another friend of his who was known to be an unalloyed party animal. I found out quickly that the reputation was true…this guy’s combination of charm and booze consumption made Van Wilder look like Rick Moranis.

After a couple of nights where he nailed the balance of a box of Rolling Rock beer (before it was sold to Anheuser Busch and made into swill) and an incident in which he urinated on somebody’s bedding, I took the liberty of looking him in the eye, saying “fuck you pal, you’re an asshole,” and leaving the room.

Turns out that incident caused him to grant me immense respect, my friend told me – so few people had stood up to him that I was in rarefied company, and I guess like a woman who assumes the guy who doesn’t kiss her ass has some kind of special social aura around him, I was put on the short list of this guy’s trusted pals.

I’ve written about bullies before, but he wasn’t a bully, he was just fucking around – he didn’t need to be smacked to get out of somebody’s way, all he needed was for someone to tell him “hey man, knock that shit off.”

I recalled at the time that this was simply a replay of a schoolmate of mine who had teased and ridiculed me in middle school. As we got older, I became more effective in standing up to him and challenging him at things he was good at. The result was that ours turned into an equal friendship. I was in bands with him, and he convinced me to turn out for football. He wound up being good enough to earn a spot on a bigtime college football team; I went up against him and I lost every time. I wasn’t much competition, but I was competing, and that was the important thing – he knew that we were totally kosher off the field, but that I was a fighter and wasn’t going to back down until coach blew the whistle. Showing him that I was prepared to take him on at things important to his own self-image amplified my status in his eyes.

That mettle-testing opened up our softer sides too. He wrote songs and smoked dope, and so became very spiritual in nature. This was an opening for me to express my emotional side, one that had previously gotten me mocked by him exactly, which in turn added a thoughtful and introspective safe space to our friendship. It has been highly rewarding to both our lives, but it wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t been strong enough to stand up to him and earn entry into that “locker room.”

Further on football, the boys on our team took pride in drawing assignments to cover or defeat the opponent’s best players; they felt that as leaders it was important they set an example that they weren’t going to back down from a tough matchup. It was easy to look over and see my buddy taking on the 270-pound college-bound offensive tackle and get motivated to do my job.

So competing is important among men. Guys don’t really have to shit-test each other because the male social environment contains an implicit contract of competition – we understand that we’re supposed to respond to challenges by competing, and that those who compete frequently or well have enhanced opportunities in the social order.

However, it’s also critical to acknowledge that the competition is a game, to not take it personally. That’s what is communicated by the post-game handshake. It’s a way for the loser to say “nice job,” and the winner to thank the loser for putting up a good fight. Even if you are hurt or humiliated, it’s an offer you need to accept as a way of showing there’s no hard feelings. So it was instantly noticed by me that a woman who was said to have talked a lot of trash going into a fight lacked the class to even tap her opponent’s glove and acknowledge that she had been beaten fair and square. I can’t be sure but I figure if she’d been boxing in the military she would have been drilled into that practice. I can say that if a dude had done that, particularly a man in uniform in full view of other uniforms of two services, he would have taken a major drop in respect. His own unitmates might have even wondered if he had what it took to fight with them.

 

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Get Perspective by Changing Your Habits

Danger & Play recently revealed that he’d given up drinking for a year. Aside from the obvious health benefits, he cited some stark realizations, including:

“Most people who drink have a drinking problem.”

No longer with a buzz, my senses remained acute. I would watch otherwise sane, rational people become shit-faced. They would stumble, fall around, and go through various emotional extremes.

I don’t know if I’d go as far as to say “most,” but I would posit that if you are drinking socially, you are hanging around at least one person with a drinking problem. This means two things:

  • You are spending time with someone who, in the long run, will bring your quality life down. Eventually you’ll have to tend to their blackout, make peace with the person they tried to fight, or otherwise cover for their habit.
  • You are enabling someone else to bring the quality of their life down. Maybe you don’t care, but I prefer not to be a negative element in others’ personal lives, even indirectly. And sure, they’ll seek out another enabler, but it doesn’t have to be you.

“Drinking is a form of self-medication.”

If you binge drink to the point of intoxication, you do have a mental illness or condition of some sort.

People who need to get shitfaced on the regular have something going on. I suppose I am fortunate in that I never really got a taste for being really drunk. I became conscious of the safety and legal issues at an early age, and didn’t enjoy being removed from my mental faculties. My basic rule evolved to “never be more than one hour from driving.” For me, that means one drink per hour at most, with a maximum of four drinks.

I’m not a puritan or a scold, but in today’s era of social media exposure and aggressive DUI enforcement, it’s critically important to keep yourself out of a state that could needlessly ruin your life.

“People think we’re in high school with all of this peer pressure bullshit.

Discussion comments cited coming up with good rationalizations for explaining your sobriety, so that people would not feel “judged” or try to shame you or something. I’ve experienced this myself; my friends know I am resolute so they rarely question me if I tell them I’m not drinking tonight, but if I’m with some recovering frat guy who gives me the “come on maaaann, what’s wrong with some shots??” I tell him to shut the fuck up.

“Talking to women while sober is hard/Alcohol makes pick-up easier.”

It’s not hard for the reason it used to be hard. I don’t feel anxious. I just feel really bored.

When you’re not getting lubricated, the allure of the “nightlife” wears off real fast.

Someone commented that developing your daygame skills is more rewarding:

I have found that day game has taught me that I do not need alcohol to approach women.

After a couple months of going out during the day, you’ll feel much more comfortable staying sober at night.

ROCK AND ROLL HEADACHES

Given my recent post about Guns N’ Roses, D&P’s post reminded of the experience of Guns cofounder Izzy Stradlin. The childhood friend of frontman Axl Rose grew tired of the band’s antics getting in the way of the music, and said that once he went sober he just had no interest in it anymore.

“Once I quit drugs, I couldn’t help looking around and asking myself, ‘Is this all there is?’ I was just tired of it; I needed to get out…I didn’t like the complications that became such a part of daily life in Guns N’ Roses…When you’re fucked up, you’re more likely to put up with things you wouldn’t normally put up with.”

CHANGING HABITS CHANGES PERSPECTIVES

The most important thing here is not the things D&P noticed – it’s realizing that you will notice these sorts of things when you make a major change of habit in your life, particular if you give up something you know to be a destructive habit.

A good friend of mine gave up drinking entirely. He’s stopped hanging around the guys he used to drink with. He says it’s just not fun. That’s a big clue that it wasn’t adding value to his life.

I’ve had plenty of other habit drops bear real fruit. A few years back I ended my cable subscription. It wasn’t that hard of a choice to make – the most difficult thing was actually getting the Comcast rep to cancel the service instead of offering me escalating freebies to stay. I realized almost immediately how I didn’t miss any of the shows on cable, and thus how much money I had wasted.

I regularly cull the blogs I am reading to make sure that the time I spend on the Internet is productive and expanding my mind. Likewise I limit my reading of political editorials because I know it will just get me pissed off.

I stopped hanging out with some friends who were too contentious or negative. It gave me more time to do the things I wanted to do with my life. Getting out of a DOA relationship that I hadn’t had the courage to end was difficult, but ultimately vindicated my gut because my life improved in the long run.

A coworker of mine charted out all of his “committed” time during the workweek, all the meetings and calls and whatnot, and went to his boss and said “I am spending X hours a week on this, and not getting that much time’s worth of value – what can we cut?”

One of the big steps lots of recovering AFCs make is to stop being a beta orbiter to unattainable women. To a man, the benefits are immediate and empowering – and sometimes, they find that those girls chase them back with stars in their eyes.

If you are planning out your life goals like anyone who has his head in the game should be doing, think about things you do or money you spend that don’t add value, especially if those things are done by mindless habit rather than passionate commitment. Try simplifying your life; you might even surprise yourself with what you learn. You’ll never get that time, money or emotional energy back – so make sure they are going towards things you’ll know were worth the time.

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James Taranto Reads The Manosphere

One of my favorite regular readings is the Wall Street Journal Online’s “Best of the Web Today,” a daily links-based sardonic commentary on American politics and policy and the media’s coverage of both.

It’s written by Journal editorical page editor James Taranto. If I recall correctly Taranto once interned at Reason magazine, and as you might expect from his background and employer, his stance is a gentleman’s version of a Wall Street Republican – right-libertarian on business and economic policy issues, non-interventionist on social issues, and a pragmatic observer of the political machinery without getting too invested in the crossover with his own political viewpoints.

One interesting development over the years has been that Taranto has been dropping little pieces of Manosphere-type wisdom into his columns. For over a decade he has been responding to ridiculous trend articles by citing Sailer’s Law of Female Journalism:

This is another example of Sailer’s Law of Female Journalism: The most heartfelt articles by female journalists tend to be demands that social values be overturned in order that, Come the Revolution, the journalist herself will be considered hotter-looking.

I want to say he has also cited Spengler’s Law:

In every corner of the world and in every epoch of history, the men and women of every culture deserve each other.

Taranto’s column was probably my first exposure to both ideas. He has also started mainstreaming the idea of status anxiety (hypergamy) as a female mating factor, citing it as an explanation in articles where the contradictory nature of the modern educated woman’s desire for equality with a superior man is the elephant in the room. No doubt knee-deep in Manhattan’s surfeit of aging career women on the hunt for The Man Who Will Marry, I’m sure he’s well-versed in the language and rhetoric of urban mating.

Then last week, Best of the Web Today engaged in a full-on mocking of a familiar Manosphere voodoo doll, that of neurotic choice-single-mom and Atlantic writer Lori Gottlieb. It was Gottlieb’s 2009 article about “settling for Mr Good Enough” that appears to have been the opening salvo in the Atlantic’s descent into solipsistic misandry as an editorial value. Her most recent New Yorl Times op-ed piece complains about the higher rates and tighter restrictions of her new post-ObamaCare insurance policy, which provides great delight to Taranto:

This passage also caught our attention:

Like Bridget Jones’s “smug marrieds,” the “smug insureds”–friends who were covered through their own or spouses’ employers or who were grandfathered into their plans–asked why I didn’t “just” switch all of our long-term doctors, suck it up and pay an extra $200 a month for a restrictive network on the exchange, or marry the guy I’m dating. How romantic: “I didn’t marry you just to save money, honey. I married you for your provider network.”

We were taken with the irony of Gottlieb’s liberal friends, surely committed feminists to a man, advising her to seek escape from ObamaCare’s shackles in the bonds of matrimony. We tweeted to that effect–whereupon fellow Twitter denizen David Pinsen made a connection we’d missed.

It seems the same Lori Gottlieb was the author of a long article that appeared in The Atlantic‘s March 2008 issue titled “Marry Him!” and subtitled “The case for settling for Mr. Good Enough.” In 2010 she expanded it into a book, with the same title, sans exclamation point. (Its publication prompted an amusing blog post from someone using the moniker “The Last Psychiatrist.”)

So the woman who encouraged women to settle now won’t even marry Mr. Good Enough With Benefits. Are we to believe another perverse consequence of ObamaCare is that it’s inducing single women to become even pickier?

Taranto’s digestible, data-driven style is in fact an excellent advertisement for our community. The thing is that the Manosphere is not just a bunch of horny dudes spouting off about stuff that pisses them off. A lot of what we’re talking about has strong bases and tie-ins with social science and behavioral psychology. Taranto has obviously been exposed to both (he has openly written about his love for behavioral psych research as an antidone to wishful-thinking academic economics) and is folding them into his work. Game itself, for that matter, is the ultimate empirical study – its tenets are built on one criterion only: what behaviors have been repeatedly shown to work?

If the Manosphere’s ideas ever do go “mainstream,” it will be because folks like Taranto find ways to slip our offbeat and radical ideas into otherwise mainstream-respectable outlets. We’ve already seen that unfiltered Manosphere tenets are not suitable for a large audience, and most Manosphere writers are unpalatable to the public media and easily mocked by the Cathedral. If that doesn’t work out, they will simply bait and misquote us to build their preconceived conclusions into their stories.

Frankly I’m not concerned about mainstreaming either its characters or its ideas; we’re never going to win the battle for “serious” recognition as a thought group, and I draw little ego gratification from the idea of my writing being accepted by the body politic, and since I’m not selling anything broadening my exposure at the expense of writing what I want about what I want has little upside for me.

So if people want to know about the penetration of our ideas into society, a good barometer is that it’s right there in a well-read web column of a major national newspaper.

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