Monthly Archives: December 2012

A Coda To Yesterday’s Holiday Post

In addition to my post about various holiday survival tactics, a commenter at Alpha Game provides the keystone:

“Top it all off by giving her a good HARD pounding after all the family leaves.”

One of the shames of the over-planned holiday season is how it can sap the libido of a couple and draw their focus completely away from one another, when after a happy Christmastime celebration is the perfect time to have a spirited lovemaking session. Any good gamesman should be arranging for big emotional events to end in epic poundings rather than feckless exhaustion.

I would add but one piece of strategic gaming to this advice: tell her that someone whose opinion she’s concerned about (her sister, or your mother, or a neighbor in attendance) said it was a fantastic party. Something, anything to make the whole thing worthwhile to her in her mind and make it OK to turn off the “Christmas party batshit crazy.”


Filed under relationships

How The Game Saved Christmas

Merry Christmas Badger Hut readers (and Badgerettes).

Vox Day, Roissy and Athol Kay all had brilliant posts recently about surviving the machinations your woman might put you through this holiday season. For those who might be non-North American or otherwise not in the know (can’t speak to this in other countries), the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays can be times of enormous pressure and backbiting for American women – there’s a considerable cultural and media expectation that holidays be over-decoated, over-fed and over-friendlied, and that you are failing as a modern woman if you don’t measure up to the obsessive-compulsive mommy down the street who had her Christmas lights up the moment the last trick-or-treater left her porch on Halloween night. They’re fighting not only the airbrushed scenes they see on commercial TV, but also the memories of their own childhoods (and good memories tend to underrate the negatives and create un-meetable expectations by comparison).

Much of this expectation is organized around the party/dinner events on Thanksgiving and Christmas nights, but it also concerns giving and receiving gifts, managing extended-family squabbles and decorating the house. Men of good game reading this can already predict this mixture is a huge time-bomb for a relational explosion, a sort of high-stakes short-order test of a man’s domestic relationship game skills. It’s a classic instance of the wife’s priority no longer being about the marriage/family per se, and instead becoming about measuring herself against a materialistic or cultural script. Guys with “supermom” wives know how this can separate a husband and wife; the characteristic symptom is when she begins to view the husband as an annoying blocker in the middle of her plans. The solution, in short, is to view it like a supercharged fitness test she doesn’t even know she’s throwing: enforce your own frame and expectations over hers at some points, and at other points just don’t even bother getting into an argument about it.

If I had gotten the better of time, I might have posted this before the holiday when it might have been more useful to the readership; however I’m never one to let good advice go uncited.

First, Athol gives tips for the Thanksgiving dinner (which apply just as well to the Christmas meal):

once Thanksgiving was moved to our house, Jennifer has a DNA sequence that kicked in and made her totally responsible for the perfection that shall be Thanksgiving Dinner for everyone. Which is a polite way of saying she became Batshit Crazy on a short term basis related to this one meal.

Normally I advise medication or running when faced with a Batshit Crazy wife, in this case though, I recommend assistance and letting it all wash over you.

Some basic tips about the meal itself: [abridged and with comments by the Badger]

(1)  Arrange whatever seating pattern to enable both you and her to sit together, closest to the kitchen. This is so either one of you can get up and get something. Also it means you can put one hand on her thigh to direct her not to get up yet again. [also you can kino her during the meal to keep the romantic dynamic in play, and also shows that you two are a unit.]

(2)  It’s your job to Alpha her into at some point sitting the hell down and actually eating dinner. [realize that if someone doesn’t give her an order she won’t sit down and enjoy herself, and if you want her to keep respecting you that person had better be you and not her mother/sister/best friend.]

(4) You carve the turkey. [the man of the house carves the turkey. remember that episode of the Cosby Show when Cliff had Sondra’s boyfriend Elvin cut the turkey?]

(7)  House cleaning happens the day before Thanksgiving. Direct everyone in the family to help with this. [you don’t have to clean the entire house – put all the crap in a room no one is allowed to go into and lock it.]
(8)  Thanksgiving morning, the turkey goes in the oven…. and you both go get some exercise. [exercise does seem to lower the tension hormones. why not have a good romp before any guests arrive?]

(10) Before the meal. Nuts, cheese, crackers, spicy salami and shrimp. Leave it out, watch the hordes come. [and put some bottles of booze out so they can make some cocktails.]

(unnumbered) get a set of new plastic containers and just load them up with the leftovers and make sure everyone one on the way out. [brilliant!]

I also second Athol and Jennifer’s endorsement of Alton Brown’s turkey-brining method. Link is here, youtubes are here:

Vox Day on The Meal

Vox concurs with Athol’s advice to just “let her do her thing,” but for a more calculated reason in the game-theory sense:

Don’t bother offering to help with anything.  You’re not going to be able to do anything her way or to her standards.  Besides, she’s going to be judged on her performance, so even if you are a competent cook or gift wrapper, any assistance on your part will not count and thereby is rendered invalid on its face.

He then advises to take it upon yourself to do the dishes, thus relieving yourself of the burden of having to listen to half-drunken chatter amongst a captive audience as the meal winds down. Brilliant guy, that Vox.

Vox Day on Gift-Giving

The Boss of Alpha Game penned a pair of posts regarding presents as another possible fitness-test trap for men who want nothing more than to make their girl haaaappy on Christmas morning. First, he discussed a process by which women might denigrate the value of the gift they received so as to reduce the sense of obligation felt as a result of accepting the gift. Just read the whole thing here.

Allow me to riff for a moment: I’ve been working on a theory about why women hate beta-supplication game…the theory is that the totality of beta behavior triggers this uncomfortable feeling of obligation in the woman. Every favor, gift gift, dinner out, even times he forgives her for bitchy, crass or cruel behavior, inures her into a feeling she owes him something. And if there’s one thing I’ve found can kill a tingle with consistency, it’s the suggestion she owes some romantic debt (be it sex or love) to a man. (Just read the responses of women who say they want a better sex life but refuse ideas like committing themselves to say yes, or to go on a “sex streak.”) Women seem to trade in emotional currencies far more than men (who trade in rational currencies), and emotional currencies can’t be subject to obligatory reciprocity the way rational currencies can.

Additionally, gifts, favors etc signal to a woman that you think her to be high value, which she might react negatively to if she secretly believes she’s not high value. Men respond to this kind of situation with gratitude, women seem to respond to it with contempt for the giver as a rube. So you get a double-whammy of annoyance that she is under social expectation to repay the favor, and lack of respect for the gift-giver who has shown his foolishness by presuming her to be higher value than she herself believes.

Now, as to the real plan for giving gifts, Vox also cites various blue-pill cultural nonsense that has served to mislead men down the pedestalizing path for decades:

Here are several “helpful” suggestions offered by the experts on women in the mainstream media:

  • Anything that suggests that the recipient is anything less than perfect will go down worse than Frankie Boyle at a kid’s Christmas party.
  •  Never buy a woman an iron for Christmas unless you want to get hit over the head with it.
  •  Guys, this is 50 shades of WRONG. Don’t even think about it – or anything else tenuously linked to 50 Shades of Grey for that matter.
  • Nothing says “I don’t really think that much of you” quite like a handbag by ‘Louis Vilton’. If you can’t stretch to a designer bag, better to opt for the (genuine) perfume.

Translation: don’t buy a woman anything that might be sexy, affordable, useful, improving, or popular.  Only gifts that are rare, expensive, and useless will be appreciated.  Except, as we already know, buying the perfect gift is the worst thing you can possibly do since it will create an unwanted sense of obligation.

So, ignore the experts.  If she said she wanted X at some point during the year, then buy X.  Don’t overthink these things and stop striving for the nonexistent perfect gift.  Remember that presents don’t fix relationship problems.

For f&%$’s sake, especially don’t fall for those stupid jewelry ads that say “love is priceless, so you should show it by spending $1,000 or more on our product.” This is where a sort of soft-PUA approach is called for: be judicious in your gift-giving, never equate dollars spent with love expressed, seek gifts with uniqueness and emotional power that cultivate the “secret world” between lovers and not a mass-marketed consumerism, and steadfastly refused to be judged by the standards of her rat-race girlfriends. Staying low on the expense ladder also reduces the sense of obligation; if she likes the gift, it contains emotional power, which will cause her to want to reciprocate, and then it’s no longer an obligation.

If she complains about the money, she’s a brat, and you better game that shit out of her or find another woman.

Did Someone Ask For PUA Gift Tips?

Fear not, as Roissy is here to say it much better than I ever could:

One time, I recorded myself singing a song I wrote for a girl. I used a hand-held recorder, so the quality wasn’t good. You can hear a dog barking in the background and rain falling outside on the patio. We eventually broke up from intractable circumstances, but keep in friendly contact occasionally, and she tells me that to this day my recording is the only item of love she has from any man that she refuses to discard.

Cost of this gift to me: zero dollars.

Psychological value of this gift to both me and her: priceless.

Ability to leverage this gift against future girlfriends who know about it: infinity priceless.

The alpha male gifts that women love are never what Kay Jewelers, Zales or VisaMastercard tell you they are. The gifts women love the most are not those gifts that by virtue (or vice) of their cost demonstrate the extent of your beta provider resource pool. No, the gifts women love the most are those gifts that demonstrate the personality traits of the alpha male, a man with romance in his heart despite carrying the burden of multitudinous options with women in his groin.

One of the challenges of LTR/marriage life is maintaining that emotionally intense, carefree “lover” side of the lover-provider dynamic. It’s easy to get into a reciprocating-obligations gameplan where you treat each other as co-employees of a small business instead of as singular emotional fonts from which you each draw from the other’s power. If done wrong, Christmas may be the worst time of the year for this, as a holiday that is supposed to be about the love of the Good Lord for his people for so many degenerates into a insurmountable set of challenges where people as they are are discarded as cannon fodder into the fire of outsized self-destructive cultural expectations.

Hopefully the men reading this have already begun to employ these lessons in their relationships; if not, you can start getting ready early for next year.


Filed under junk culture, living a good life, relationships

Does Game Entail Promiscuity?

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.



Filed under Uncategorized

The Basic Skills Test For Game

Amid an explosive discussion at Dalrock about the knowledge of game in wider society*, commenter Jack penned a brilliant treatise on the basic outline of a good game toolbox. It’s as simple as three steps.

1.) Active Disinterest and how it utterly drives women crazy. (ignoring calls, proper frame control, taming your desire to overtly advertise your interest to her. eliminating your desire to emote)

The first detailed writings I saw on this exact topic (save for Leykis 101’s crude tips like don’t answer the phone on the weekend) were from Mystery. The problem is this: you can show a lack in a woman by not talking to her and not being around her; however, she won’t have any reason to get interested in you because you are not in her space. To get around this, Mystery developed a series of gambits to to stay socially engaged with a woman but to exude an aura that you were not actually interested in her. For this he deployed the body rock, isolating a woman in a group setting, and the neg. No game blog has arrived until it’s had a long and pointless debate about negs, and almost every discussion gets it wrong at some point. A neg is not about “lowering a woman’s self-esteem.” It was designed as a display of non-interest, a comment that a man who was into the woman would never make (the word he used in an oft-quoted post on the matter was “snub” – to deny someone attention).

Among many other men, I can vouch for seeing a woman’s interest in me take a dramatic tick upwards when I withdraw signals of my own attention and interest, watching her eyes scramble as she tries to find a way to get it back. It’s a bit disheartening to really internalize this lesson – you realize how shallow many women really are in this arena, and you recognize that in all those years of seeing women go nuts for guys who couldn’t give two licks about them, at least some of those cases were little more than the denial of attention itself (combined with even a modest kernel of attraction) – the girl wanting something shiny she couldn’t have.

I can also vouch for the converse – myself and many others have seen first-hand in our own love lives how even a smidgen of too much interest too early can and will punch us a one-way ticket to Celibacy Point. The need for today’s men to show a distinct LACK of outward interest in a woman he’s actually pursuing has been observed, noted and even encouraged by today’s young women. Men who are paying attention learn that a true emotional disclosure and logistical investment is dangerous to his sex and relationship prospects. And then today’s women complain they can’t get a guy to open up and stick around. You got what you ordered, girl.

As Roosh tweeted pithily: “The game is so fucked up in USA that if you push the wrong button on your phone and accidentally call her, she may write you off completely.”

The extreme version of showing lack of interest is instilling dread. Even accounting for Roissy’s trademark hyperbole and overstatement, a true dread campaign is a last-resort measure whose efforts would be better spent capturing the affections of a new, more cooperative woman.

2.) Women shit testing you and how you must pass these shit tests to be seen as higher value. (her bringing up other guys, her testing your frame, her stirring the pot, her testing the boundaries)

Much has been written on fitness testing and I don’t want to rehash too much of it. I really liked the idea of fitness testing as a girl “rubbing up against your manhood” – sometimes it’s not a test but rather an induction for you to display traits she knows you have but enjoys seeing/experiencing again.

Like the active disinterest of point #1, fitness tests are the pitching of a power struggle in which the winning move is not to play. The fitness test is all around us; once you know to look for it, you see all sorts of these tiny synthetic power struggles all around you. Fitness tests are set up as a double-win situation – if the guy passes, the woman feels secure in her man’s strength and social wiles; if he fails, she usually gets a freshly-revealed chump to do something she could have done for herself.

The trouble is that guys have been taught from their youth that the way to “earn” a woman’s love is to serve women’s most petty requests in holding their purses and doing for them anything they ask for in either a squeaky tone of voice or an enraged yell. Plugged-in guys don’t understand that in a lot of cases, women secretly want you to say no – the way to her heart is to deny that which she is asking. Sometimes they don’t even know that’s what they want, until you do say no and they feel this comforting wave of security come over them – the test was itself subconscious, but she feels the satisfaction of the man passing it.

Fitness testing and frame were key discussions in one of Roissy’s most important posts, “Relationship Game Week: A Reader’s Journey.” In this tome, Roissy quoted at length the comments of Keoni Galt (under the pseudonym Dave From Hawai’i) in which he described employing some game techniques to transform his marriage from a typically henpecked, naggy enterprise into a once again happy and productive partnership with a fully-functional sex life. I’ve called this “the most important post in Manosphere history,” as it took the techniques and mindset of PUA game directly into the marital sphere – abjectly lapping the milquetoast work of dozens upon dozens of relationship-psychology and self-help authors across a generation. It really is worth a full read.

Athol Kay has a few good nuggets on fitness testing. One is that not everything is a fitness test. Another related one is that you can do some favors from your mate without worrying about losing her attraction, but no request should be serviced if it’s an unreasonable request, or is delivered in an unreasonable tone of voice. Some would say this is treating your woman like a child; I rather see it as demanding an adult woman to exhibit the same manners that we try to inculcate into children we’re raising to be responsible adults.

3.) Approaching and asking for the number. (you cannot hit if you don’t swing, women want you to approach, the vast majority of men NEVER do it.)

It’s not that complicated. If you’re going to pursue women, you need to meet them first. You need to get over the anxiety. You need to ask for the money, so to speak. You see a woman you like, you start talking to her, and make sure to give her an opportunity to see you again. Think about it: your typical blue-pill man probably makes less than 50 real approaches IN HIS LIFE! Go to any singles bar any night of the week and see how many guys are standing around holding their dicks peering over at the girls they lust after but wouldn’t dare actually make a move on. If you are a regular, habitual approacher, you are in the top 5% of men in the sexual-marketplace inventory simply by that fact alone. You are making your future happen – be in charge of your own life.

Jack wraps it up:

Once I understood those three core concepts, I’ve been able to pull far hotter chicks on a much more consistent basis, which eventually leads you to a place that every man must be in order to feel comfortable in his skin around his hot girlfriend and thus be able to keep her…..A mentality of abundance.

Which is the ability to internalize the thought that if this chick i’m with dumps me, screws me over or withholds sex, I can replace her. It might take me a month or two to find someone else of equal sexual attractiveness, but I can replace her and she knows it. It is not a belief that can be faked, because a woman can smell a fraud.

And that my friends is game. And that is where you must be mentally in order to have a healthy and sexually active relationship.

The man is spot on. I made the point in the Dalrock thread that most guys do NOT want to be long-term players, picking up new chicks on the regular and filling a black book with booty calls. Sure, it sounds like a nice fantasy, but most guys don’t have what it takes to really enjoy that kind of lifestyle per se. Most guys who get into game are doing it for exactly what Jack describes – not the abundance, but the abundance mentality. The confidence that they don’t have to be solely at the mercy of their woman’s choice; if they wind up single, they can find another woman of equal value without much trouble. Paradoxically, that kind of confidence is what can keep his one woman satisfied with him. Nothing turns a woman off like the idea that she is her man’s only option.

What these men are looking for is the tragically unfulfilled promise of the blue pill philosophy – that he can have a healthy relationship with a decent woman if he’s willing to put in a little bit of effort. Once you’ve climbed the hill of getting your mind and your game right, it IS a “little bit of effort,” a non-consuming aspect of your well-lived life.

Active disinterest, fitness testing, and the need to approach. Learn it. Know it. Live it.

*My opinion, which is mirrored by a significant sample of commenters on the thread, is that the knowledge of game is becoming mainstream in the culture, yet its practice and adoption continues to be among a distinct minority. Myself and others independently likened it to the obesity situation in America – despite the fact there has never been MORE freely-available information and plans and strategies to eat well and work out, there’s clearly a small (ha) group of people getting more fit while the general public balloons.


Filed under beta guide, dating and field game

“A Normal Guy”

My post about a dinner-party proposition drew some discussion from the commentariat regarding the woman in question’s desire for a so-called “normal guy.”

Georgia Boy hit the nail on the head:

Normal is an interesting choice of words. I wonder about it because it’s something I was called by a then-recently-ex girlfriend back in my pre-red pill days. She told me it was an ego boost to her because “it was the first time a relatively normal guy wanted to date me.” What would the Womanese-English translator spit out if you typed in “normal guy?” “Suitable relationship beta who’s not too dweeby,” maybe?

As did ASF:

Normal guy just means guy I like/am attracted to and who others in my social circle will approve of. As deti points out, there is no specific set of traits that will make you “normal” aside from all of the standard things Game teaches.

Georgia Boy’s mention of the Woman-English translator is germane, as the critical distinction here is that the connotation of “normal” is very different between men and women.


If you ask a man in my social circle to describe a “normal guy,” you are probably going to get something like these traits:

  • A few pounds overweight
  • Basically genial and seeks to be nice to everyone
  • Takes his turn when picking up the tab or giving people rides
  • Not a ladder-climber but a good enough worker to be a team contributor and not make any office enemies
  • Decent but unremarkable fashion sense
  • Unceasingly well-intentioned but predictably ham-fisted in his efforts with women; gets lucky on occasion in the true sense of the word
  • You’d have him over to drink a few beers and watch the game

In other words, a “normal guy” is just that – an average, or median, specimen. There’s some adjustment for subculture, as “normal” in say a college-educated urban community is different than a middle-aged suburban family neighborhood; likewise hipsters and young black professionals have different norms as well, as do religious and non-religious (and much of the criticism of organized-religion communities is actually a criticism of their social norms, not of their faith per se).

This is exactly the kind of dude most guys want to have as “part of the gang” – a reliable teammate who isn’t going to be too much of a bother or a challenge.

The problem is that this type of back-seater is almost invisible to women who have not yet hit the “I’m getting older and had better lock down a husband” kind of panic.


Remember that while the male hindbrain’s thought pattern is to find a woman attractive absent a disqualifying criterion, a woman’s pattern is the opposite: to seek a series of qualifiers before approving her attraction to a man. In fact, the general tendency is for women to judge the majority of men as defective. When you combine a woman’s own natural sex rank (below which men are not considered at all), the particular attraction markers she’s looking for in a man (be they height, fitness, status, or socially dominant personality), and the need to have her choice culturally blessed by her social circle, there’s just not a lot of guys who are going to make it through all the filters.

So when you hear a woman talk about “normal,” what she really means is “normative” – a guy who fits her mental “standard” of how a “man” she would date must be. He’s a high-value man with a well-developed beta sidecar:

  • Is working hard at advancement (“ambition”) in a job that is either high-status (law, management, banking) or “interesting” (musician, media, non-profts, politics)
  • Can show group dominance, i.e. “work a room” and do a bunch of glad-handing but not a compulsively dominant guy who will pick fights or make trouble
  • Can flash dominance to her (e.g. pass fitness tests, avoid fitting into her frame)
  • Tidy and fashionable, but not so much that he’s gay or OCD
  • Aesthetically pleasing: shows strong physique, fitness and/or fashion sense
  • Fits into feminine imperatives: holds relationship/marriage/kids as long-term life goals, but doesn’t seek to serve a woman
  • Has good timing of beta traits so the other girls will say “awwww, I wish MY boyfriend would do that for ME!”

(This list is skewed towards the college-educated young adult frame because that’s the world I live in, but you could tweak it for any subculture without much trouble.)Long story short, a “normal” guy is “an alpha who will play the beta game when I want him to.” A dude who is not deficient in some category she deems essential to her life path – she’s never going to write to Dear Abby about him and say “I really love my boyfriend, buuuuuut…” and spit out what she sees as some kind of red-flag dealbreaker and waxes about the cute guy who gave her his phone number at the bookstore.

My tone sounds cynical, but there’s no point making ethical assertions about this; it’s the culture they live in, you aren’t going to change their preferences by argument or shame, and you’re going to find most of these items, in some combination, in almost all women you find even remotely attractive.

As you can imagine, finding the balance point of ALL these items, and calibrating it to the woman in question, is extremely difficult, and those kind of guys are pretty rare in quantity. Thus we guys think it ludicrous when we hear “I can’t find a normal guy!” when by the male definition they are all over the place.

One other important aspect of normative “normal” is social approval, which goes to ASF’s point “who others in my social circle will approve of.” The normative man is a socially-reinforced concept, a group is going to exercise its collective power by encouraging conformity and cross-accountability – they can’t keep up their image of a bunch of Strong, Independent, Empowered Awesome Women, the Blonde Mafia or whatever image they hold dear, if they allow each other to date geeks, bums and guys who are Reeeeally Niiiiiice. A guy who threatens to alienate a girl from the group is a threat to the group, and deciding between the guy and the group is something I’ve noticed young women don’t really have an appetite to do. This in turn plays into a conclusion I’ve come to that today’s young educated women don’t really want a “committed partner” – they want a lifestyle accessory, a guy who enables a new class of “fun” and comfort with minimal friction to her current life.

Remember that despite being the ostensible “choosers” of the sexual marketplace, women view the men who pursue them as a mirror to their own value – it’s a compliment when a high-value man makes moves on you (even though he may be only angling for sex), it’s a scary proposition when a wimpy beta guy thinks you’re a good match for him because he may be right. Thus GB’s experience of “it was an ego boost to her because “it was the first time a relatively normal guy wanted to date me.””


This is not the first time the “normal guy” conundrum has come up for me. I used to share an office with an attractive young woman straight out of college, who played host to a series of older young women who would gossip with her on the regular. I found out by accident that if I put on my headphones, they would assume I was occupied by music and unable to hear them; thus I was able to regularly eavesdrop on invaluable sessions inside the (virtual) girls’ locker room.

One particular Monday, one of matrons came in to debrief the young gal on their Friday evening, which began as an after-work happy hour and stretched into a singles night at the local watering hole, which happens to be known as one of the biggest douchey-frat-guy bars in town. (Being attractive educated women, they had spent most of their time since age 16 socializing with the jocks and frat guys who were their SMV peers anyway and so felt right at home.)

“So, what happened with that guy you were talking to?” (I could tell by her tone of voice she wasn’t approving of the man in question.)

“Welllll, he asked for my number, then the next day he texted me that some people were going out and I could meet him there, but I already kinda had plans so I didn’t meet him.” (HER tone of voice expressed a distinct lack of enthusiasm. This sounded more like a wannabe-player than the real deal, trying to pull off a botched least-interest game without having built sufficient value and allure in the initial meeting.)

At this point the group-protection instinct kicked in and the matron made clear that this guy didn’t fit the bill. She shook her head, intoned “we’ll go out again this weekend, we need to find you a NORMAL GUY,” and then proceeded to discuss other fratty bars they could peruse in search of the perfect man.

It didn’t seem to strike them as odd that they were looking for said “normal guy” at the douchiest bars in town, home of guys who are well-known for the pump-and-dump game. I took this as a sign of their normative judgments – “normal” entailed a guy with very high confidence, social skill and sexual social proof. I didn’t have the heart to blow my cover and tell them they were setting her up as player-bait, so I just filed it away in my growing red-pill datastore.


Filed under original research