Category Archives: girl guide

With Regard To A Woman’s “B*tch Shield” And Why Nurturing Is A Commitment-Boner Trigger

The “bitch shield” (or “protection shield” in disarmed parlance) is a celebrated PUA concept that women will deploy “false” distasteful personalities in public to deflect male attention. The basic idea was that certain women get hit on so much that they couldn’t be expected to be pleasant in public. In a roundabout kind of way, the idea seeks to rationalize poor female behavior as the result of bad game – as a sort of motivation for men to up their game, essentially promising that a suitably-attractive and well-gamed man will be able to get the icy queen to smile and supplicate to him.

The critics of game have long argued “why would you want to be with a woman who was susceptible to game anyway?” It’s generally a silly concern and a fallacy because most women want and respond well to some combination of confident frame, emotional connection and sound sexual escalation. However, in this case the critics have a point – what do you want with a woman who didn’t just reject you when you weren’t good enough for her, she blew you out with no remorse? We’ll discuss the long-term implications of this phenomenon in a bit.

The “bitch shield” idea recognizes a real phenomenon, that of women treating men “below them” like crap and treating men “above them” like princes. This is not a universal feature of womanhood, but it’s a common enough experience for men that anticipating and fearing it becomes a regular part of male life. When you add the distasteful behavior to the fact that a lot of women are prone to over-value themselves in the sexual marketplace, you’ve got a two-dimensional problem.

The now-defunct blogger Cless Alvein had an excellent post on this issue, making his point by analogizing a hot girl to a rich man:

Let’s go further and assume that you’re of average means, and that this guy has just treated you like dirt. Understandably, you dislike him. One of his friends excuses his behavior. “He’s not really such a bad guy. The obnoxiousness is just an act. That’s just his rich shield. If you can prove your status to him, he’s actually a decent guy.” How would you respond?

If you’re like me, your response would be something like the following: “What? I have to prove my status to this prick? No thanks. ‘Rich shield’ or none, he’s shown himself to be an unlikeable asshole.”

In other words, if she thinks she can treat men like crap if they don’t meet her standards of attractiveness, she isn’t putting on a false front – she’s just a distasteful person, full stop.

Whatever we can say about the morality of the bitch shield, the reality is that it exists in many of today’s women. Women who argue against men using some form of game often threaten men directly with the spectre of bitchy treatment, as in: “If a guy used those creepy pickup techniques on me, I’d slap him/throw my drink at him/insult him/etc.” But the reality is that a gameless man is at much higher risk of being on the receiving end of bitchy behavior, as he offends the female sensibilities in his earnest but highly misguided quest to “just be himself.” And women, running their rationalization hamsters hard to convince everyone they would never fall for game, vastly overestimate the degree to which women can recognize and confront game-aware men in the field.

Women say they have to deploy a surly personality because they get hit on too much, or hit on “by the wrong guys” (which is itself synonymous with a girl’s concept of “getting hit on.”) Girls: if you have to utilize a regular “bitch shield,” one of two things is going on.

  • You’re spending more time than the patience of your personality allows in places where people are expected to socialize more than you want to (solution: stop going places where you’re going to get hit on at all)
  • You’re spending too much time in environments with people who are sexually incompatible with you (whether above, below or outside your target zone)

The shield winds up being self-defeating. If you are distasteful in public and issue pyrotechnic rejections, only the most confident and ballsy men will dare approach you, and those guys have probably noticed your attitude anyway and slotted you squarely onto the casual-only Ladder 2. Let’s talk about this in more detail.


A woman who feels justified in deploying the bitch shield poses a serious structural problem for a long-term relationship. No matter how much game a guy employs, he can’t be the alpha-make BMOC all the time. That means there will be some point where he falls below her attraction line of demarcation.

If the woman has shown a willingness to dismiss and belittle inferior suitors, that means there’s a real danger I’LL wind up dismissed and belittled if I break out of whatever expectations she has – if I suddenly become not successful enough, put on a few pounds, don’t read the right books, watch the wrong movies, or God forbid don’t feel like going to Sunday brunch.

Some might spin this as a good thing, in that the man is getting a clear signal that he’s not up to snuff and can correct on it quickly. But this is a hollow comfort – the point of a man’s existence is not to please a woman, and a woman who becomes exceedingly unpleasant at the first signs of dipping value in her man is not one who’s fit for investment in today’s relationship climate.

That’s not to say a normally-pleasant woman can’t get combative and bitchy in a long-term relationship, but a woman who does so in her youth is lining up a lifetime of expectations for the same behavior from the word go.


Let’s look at the counterpart to “bitch shield” behavior. A nurturing woman is one who shows a generally friendly and compassionate demeanor, even (especially) to those of lower status and with less power.

I’ll say it right now: there is something about women being nice to old people, kids and guys they aren’t interested in that makes men feel reassured about their fitness as relationship partners and potential wives. Teachers and nurses have a strong reputation as wife material exactly because of this nurturing vibe that their job depends on.

For the Mad Men fans reading this, recall how quickly Don Draper was smitten with his secretary Megan when he saw her cheery and carefree attitude towards his children, the antithesis of his bitchy and paranoid ex-wife Betty. Megan became Mrs. Draper not long after.You can’t be a bleeding heart and give endlessly to bums and saps, but a sense of personal generosity to the world can really warm a man’s heart.

I believe part of the reason is that a halfway-aware man knows that the pressure is on for him to stay large and in charge in the world, and it’s a real anxiety-inducer for him to consider what might happen to his relationship if he hits some bumps in the road.

If he’s with a nurturing woman, he can trust that if and when he does slip, he’ll get compassionate encouragement instead of negative reinforcement.

By way of real-life example, I recently made the personal and romantic acquaintance of a woman with experience as a schoolteacher, who showed strong signs of a pleasant and easy-going nature. While engaged in some heavy kissing, I bumped my head against the wall. She shifted instantly into a compassionate mode, rubbing my wound and expressing sympathy. Once I assured her I was OK, we went back to the passions of the evening. Her flash of nurturing concern stayed with me and proved to be a real boost to her value in my eyes. It was nice to know that a brief moment of weakness by me actually allowed her to showcase her best side without cutting me down further.



Filed under girl guide, original research

A Reply To Cadence on Sex, Commitment and Spinning Plates

My post “Assanova’s Four Moods” discussed the seductive power of a man remaining calm and unbowed in the face of rejection, implying a surfeit of options and experience with the opposite sex that may, and often does, act to trigger attraction and reverse her rejection. Blogger Cadence spoketh:

This is a fantastic post. I was doing this not necessarily on a conscious level. I always notice the reactions to rejection, whether it was a playful one to slow him down, or a REAL one.

The last reaction you wrote about, the calm, is incredibly appealing. It comes across confident & can make a woman feel like the guy really wants her (since he persists, despite her resistance) and he doesn’t give up that easily.

Regular reader Mike C (not to be confused with MikeCF) chimed in with a reference to blogger Rollo Tomassi’s “plate theory,” a process of non-exclusive dating or “spinning plates.”

Related to both A & C – Needy and Angry, this is why as a guy I think it is imperative to follow Rollo’s “spinning plates” and pretty much at all times try to have at least one girl you are getting laid with regularly whether FWB, FB, new girl you are dating, whatever.

Any extended period of involuntary celibacy is likely to lead to a mental place of frustration, desperation, and neediness, and then you are going to pin all your hopes for sexual relief on the onenitis of the moment. It will nearly impossible to maintain a state of aloofness and indifference to the outcome. It would be like telling the man in the desert who hasn’t had anything to drink for a few days to not worry about drinking the glass of water on the table next to him. He has no idea if and when another glass of water might reappear.

I don’t find the plate theory controversial in the least; it encourages men to explore their dating options before solidifying into a exclusive relationship. But Cadence did not take well to this, calling Mike C’s comments “distasteful” and saying she had “no use” for men who do such a thing. This brought some pretty serious blowback from men on the thread who accused her of one-way monogamy. It’s easy to interpret Cadence’s statement as “I don’t want a man to date other women even if I’m not committed to him,” but it’s also easy to hear her words as “I’m not sleeping with a guy who is sleeping with other women.”

I think Cadence and Mike C may be talking past each other a bit; I doubt she expects a guy to drop all other women he may be dating when he goes on the first date with her. My experience is that women are put off by men who want to commit so early anyway. I hope she will join this thread and fill in some details on what it is she finds distasteful.

The key point is that until a couple has agreed on a monogamous committed arrangement, both of them are free to date other people. The plates theory (itself building on the wisdom Roissy expressed in a commandment to “always keep two in the kitty”) goes a step further and advocates that men actively seek to date multiple women. Rollo also encourages men to be honest and straightforward about their non-exclusivity, so no one can accuse them of being a cad.

As I see it, “spinning plates” is not about polyamory or cheating, it’s really about not committing until you’ve actually committed. This is a really key lesson for beta men to internalize. Sometimes it’s an active process of not allowing yourself to fall too hard. I can recall times in my life when I was pursuing someone as if they were my one and only, a do-or-die option, while they were fielding the advances of other men. And then I’d get butthurt about it, angry that I’d been more willing to forsake other options than they had been. But as I got older I realized how unfair that was on my part. I had not earned their commitment and we hadn’t discussed it; they had no obligation to me that restricted them from other people.

Nowadays I assume carte blanche that any woman I am dating is dating other men at the same time; until we’re exclusive, we’re not exclusive. Tact and class dictate that I don’t ask about their options nor tell them about mine, and I don’t frame myself as in direct competition with other men. But I always assume they are there, just to keep me from getting too invested until we’re both ready to invest. Even if I know they’re not, I make sure to remind myself that nothing’s stopping them. Contrary to cultural tropes that men are paralytically “afraid of commitment,” plenty of beta-type guys will make the decision early that they’re ready for it, or try to lock it down before the girl gets away from him. Avoiding this oneitis tendency is a serious key to achieving success.

I can tell you from my own life, the dating of two women at once does wonders for a man’s sense of romantic confidence and the willingness to take the sort of bold risks that earn a man the way into a woman’s heart. I’ve grokked this knowledge to the point that when I get a new prospect – from a grocery store, bookstore, bar or whatever – I make a serious effort to get a second one if only to play foil. Lest you think I’m just using someone, oftentimes the second girl wins out. (It’s amazing who you can find when you are open to it.) It’s easy to get the second one once you’ve got the first one, and after that it’s a huge relief to think “well, if Molly doesn’t respond to my text message, it’s ok because I’m working on Julie at the same time.” It’s the paradox of romance – to keep from losing her, you have to not care about losing her. And as the response to the Four Moods post shows, women can smell it.

Rollo also makes the point that women have long reserved the right to entertain the simultaneous overtures of multiple men. Here’s another source that riffs on this, and Dalrock points out that the “choice” between multiple suitors is a cliche theme in media marketed to women.

Since female dating is more of a passive process on its face (respond to the man’s escalation rather than doing the escalation yourself), and because women are generally far more circumspect in displaying their interest in men, it is easy, but wrong, to see a woman “keeping her options open” as a fundamentally different process than a man doing the same thing.

To quote Athol Kay, don’t make someone a priority if they’re only making you an option.


Now this whole non-committed dating thing gets complicated when sex gets involved. Our minds do weird things after sex, and it’s an unfortunately typical experience that once a woman sleeps with a man, she feels he owes her something, and will hold his lack of commitment against him even though no commitment or exclusivity was discussed. Likewise men will sometimes take sex as a signature on an annuity, where he can depend on her companionship and availability, whether or not she was interested in anything more than a good romp to wake the neighbors.

A generation of women have (or should have) learned that sex for commitment is an unsuccessful exchange strategy. Men by and large HAVE learned that commitment for sex is also a losing strategy (whether they find a new strategy is a matter of how long it takes them to find blogs like this one). It seems that more and more women are viewing a man offering commitment as a mark of the beta, a signal of neediness and lack of options. This is certainly the experience of the under-30 crowd; no matter how much women complain that guys don’t want to commit, it’s clear that they don’t want guys who will commit per se; they want the (attractive) guys (with options) who won’t commit to them to commit to them. It’s classic scarcity psychology…people want the thing that is held out as unavailable.

The post-sexual revolution world is one in which sex is to be exchanged for sex, and commitment exchanged for commitment. No one, male or female, should EVER accept a lack of sexual reciprocation or reciprocation of commitment. But likewise, they should be wary of trying to trade one for the other. It’s simply an invitation to get played, one way or another, either as a bed-buddy or a chump. A related point is that it is critical a woman not assume that a man who goes to bed with her is marketing himself as a relationship partner.

Until marriage is discussed, the ideas of commitment and exclusivity are de facto synonymous in today’s SMP, as technically speaking, the only step to getting out of the commitment is to alert the other person that you are going back on the market. (In light of this, nonmarital relationships and FWBs are almost indistinguishable.)

Now, for women who want a monogamous relationship, I advise they execute the “no sex before monogamy” strategy. This solves the erroneous sex-for-commitment problem by encapsulating sex as an intrinsic part of a committed relationship, not as a parallel process that is bargained against commitment.

In today’s largely free-sex society, that means that monogamy and sex have to happen more or less in tandem – it’s just unrealistic to expect a man to make a show of commitment and then wait more time for sexual release.

Of course there is the chance either of you could decide, after the sex, that you made a terrible mistake, or this person just wasn’t your cup of tea, or something was really off about the sex, or whatever, and break it off (or give it a few more tries, then get out). To the outside it might look like a pump-and-dump, a false show of commitment to get sex followed by a quick exit. Things are not always as they seem; every stage of escalation of a relationship has the risk that one or the other party will decide they’ve gone too far and want to get out. I’m sure many readers have dated someone, been into them, and then finally kissed them or groped their curvy bits and found something just didn’t feel right, the chemistry wasn’t there and you couldn’t imagine touching this person again. That’s to be expected – part of the instinctual reason for kissing is to test out the hormonal chemistry and see if the other person pushes your sexual buttons.

So someone might be driven to get out after any point of sexual escalation, including full-on intercourse. That’s just the risk we we take in today’s world; the only way to have seriously binding “commitments” is to have a hard-monogamy system, where sex doesn’t happen until after you’re bonded in a marriage that is very difficult to get out of, and that’s just not a credible policy in today’s world.


Filed under beta guide, girl guide

Olive Online

Please welcome Olive to the blogosphere at I first encountered Olive on the comment threads at Hooking Up Smart, where she has spoken at length about de-programming herself from the female herd thinking that saw her rewarded with friends and social value for taking part in Machiavellian back-stabbing and shallow materialism.

Apparently the dam burst a while back when she noticed her friends taking it upon themselves to alienate her boyfriend because they judged him unfit by the standards of their group, and she finally told them where to stick it.

Since then she has taken it upon herself to conscious de-enlist from the typical entitlement programming that spoils so many young women, and has even taglined her blog “Princess Jasmine Isn’t Real.” She deserves considerable acclaim for actively (and publicly) making the effort to throw off the dysfunctional culture young women are raised into.

From her second post entitled “Expectations”:

I have a lot of de-programming to do.

In the U.S. girls are taught to expect the best from their men. They’re taught to expect fancy jewelry and expensive vacations and fawning, kind words from their significant others. And when they get it all, they still aren’t happy.

I’m reminded of a conversation I witnessed this summer. I was at an amusement park with my boyfriend and two girlfriends. The girls started talking about what they expect from their significant others on anniversaries, and they agreed that dinner and one present was reasonable. I can’t remember if they talked about what they would do for their significant others (neither of them had one at the time), so I’m guessing they didn’t cover that. Later, in private, my boyfriend told me how ridiculous he thought it was. Incidentally, we spent the next day celebrating our two-year anniversary by sitting around the house, doing absolutely nothing. In high school, I would’ve been pissed. Thankfully, I think I’m improving, as it didn’t bother me, though I still have a long way to go.

But why do we want all this stuff all the time? Why do we expect to be cared for and pampered? And why, when guys do stuff for us, do we take it for granted and just ask for more?


The “taking for granted” part reminded me of Eric Barker’s post “How to make yourself happier in just a few seconds“:

In Studies 1 and 2, college students wrote about the ways in which a positive event might never have happened and was surprising or how it became part of their life and was unsurprising. As predicted, people in the former condition reported more positive affective states. In Study 3, college student forecasters failed to anticipate this effect. In Study 4, Internet respondents and university staff members who wrote about how they might never have met their romantic partner were more satisfied with their relationship than were those who wrote about how they did meet their partner. The authors discuss the implications of these findings for the literatures on gratitude induction and counterfactual reasoning.

In other words, thinking about losing something you have makes you happier about having it.

The converse would be that thinking about something you don’t have makes you less happy about not having it. It wasn’t examined in the study, but Olive hits this exact phenomenon on her blog.


As long as we’re on the topic, hat tip to jamie’s blog at which is, yes, about movies. If I recall correctly jamie posted at HUS concerning an evening in which she wore a dress that “gave her the proportions of Jessica Rabbit.” She was thusly chased around the party by no less than three captivated men. She had to get rid of the dress, being unable to handle its power. I’d be curious as to her thoughts about the Hollywood nostalgia of “Who Framed Roger Rabbit.”


Filed under girl guide

One Guy Who Likes The Hard-To-Get Strategy

More than once I’ve advised women to not play any kind of “hard to get” strategy, because the only guys who’ll stick around long enough to “get” you are either hardened, persistent players or pathetic oneitis cases. I know it flatters one’s ego to think you’re so irresistible that a guy will pursue you even after you’ve given him clear signs of lack of interest (and it can be seductive to your id to think “I wonder how many hoops I can make this guy jump through?“) But do you really want to select for a guy who is either sociopathic or can’t get a clue?

One of the sadder narratives you can read from women on the Internet is that of a girl who has, sometimes unwittingly, rejected a man 1, 2, 3, 6, 10 times, asking plaintively “now he’s acting aloof and distant, does that mean he likes me?” No dear, it usually means he’s taken your signal of rejection as serious and has moved on to other quarries.

Especially in an era of nonexistent dating mores and a declining number of quality relationships, I strongly advise women to reciprocate (and escalate) with a man they are interested in at the first sign of his interest and escalation.

But who am I to judge? If such a wizened romantic as Morrissey likes that kind of a challenge, maybe I should pay attention.

The more you ignore me, the closer I get
you’re wasting your time
the more you ignore me, the closer I get
you’re wasting your time

I will be in the bar
with my head on the bar
I am now a central part
of your mind’s landscape
whether you care or do not

yeah, I’ve made up your mind…

I bear more grudges
than lonely high court judges
when you sleep I will creep
into your thoughts like a bad debt
that you can’t pay
take the easy way and give in
yeah, and let me in

It’s war
It’s war
It’s war, war, war, war, war…

Leonard Cohen (and Ringo Starr) certainly cashed in on the lovable-loser musical shtick, but Morrissey may be rivaled only by Sting as a guy who can take morose and possessive themes and make them sound romantic and sweet.


Filed under beta guide, girl guide, music

The Path Forward for the Sexual Marketplace

It’s beyond obvious that the sexual marketplace is warped beyond belief. The ability of most young people (a group I care about because I’m one of them) to get what they want, particularly in the longer term, is crippled. Some hedonists – a particular brand of pickup artist, and sex-poz feminists – have celebrated this anarchy as a time of unparalleled enjoyment. The rest of us are induced one way or another into acting out the principle of least interest, striving to not be a sucker – not wanting to turn out for practice until we get to play on a winning team.

In discussion with a reader, I sketched out a number of steps forward from the status quo.

1. Acknowledge real sex differences and the manners of attraction and commitment for both sides (analytical game)

2. Teach women how to be aware of their attraction switches, and the consequences of following them in the modern open marketplace

3. Teach men how to have some game – to take their natural traits and “sharpen” them, and at the same time avoid betatizing, friend-zoning behaviors

4. Teach women about opportunity costs, how to initiate and that they have a finite window – so they don’t end up spinning for decades like Kate Bolick.

5. Teach young people how to have sane, structured young adult lives that prepare them well for the future so they don’t reach age 30 living the same way they did when they were 22 (my blog, among others)

The really difficult part is that they all have to happen in concert, and starting at a young age, or we wind up with a classic prisoner’s dilemma where one side is incentivized to trick the other into making the first sacrifice and then never following through.


Filed under beta guide, girl guide, original research

Gaming the Group

There’s a joke about parenting that I like to share with parents I know, to let them know I have an appreciation for the challenges of their task.

Who’s harder to parent, sons or daughters?

Well, with a son you only have to worry about one penis. With a daughter you have to worry about all of them!

A pair of discussions about the risk-reward factors of a woman who eschews female friendship led me to consider a variation of that quip that invokes the wisdom of preselection and intrasexual competition.

Who has a bigger challenge in dating, men or women?

Well, if you’re a woman, you only have to turn one guy on; if you’re a guy you have to make all her friends tingle, too.


Filed under beta guide, dating and field game, girl guide, original research

I’m Just Sayin’

The Private Man posted tonight about an unfortunate tendency of rude and obnoxious women to excuse their verbal violence with markers like “I’m a woman who speaks her mind.”

While they are proud to carry the mantle of the “modern empowered female,” at the same time they are relying on the chivalry of a bygone age to protect them from blowback, in that they expect proximal men to keep the gloves on and not be rude to a “lady” in public.

This is part and parcel of the “you go girl” mantra we man-bloggers criticize so much, a schema in which women can fly the flag of modernity yet count on the vestiges of traditionalism to protect them from the consequences of their overreach. Private Man has even compiled a list of self-descriptive words that reveal (or highly suggest) that a woman might labor under the pretense that everyone around her needs to hear whatever negative thought emerges from her brain.

Sometimes they buttress their venal arguments with feminist mythmakings about past oppression like “my grandmother lived in a time when women weren’t allowed to have opinions!” despite the fact that granny’s mother lived most if not all of her adult life after the ratification of the 19th Amendment. And a man who says he’d rather not be with a woman with a defective verbal filter will get shamed with the fire of false dichotomy: “you can’t deal with a strong woman! You just want women to be barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen and pump up your ego!”

From This one's for you, Athol Kay

Shaking my head. It’s like any woman who practices a degree of discretion or tact is a scab, unforgivably betraying the feminist cause. Then again, we know that one of the stereotyped slogans of feminism has long been “act like the men do,” so perhaps saying obnoxious and offensive things fits with their twisted, caricatured perception of masculinity.

I don’t like to argue in conversation, but I can respect a person who can take it as much as they dish it out. However, male or female, I find “speaking my mind” types aren’t usually throwing out contrarian opinions on tax policy or the Police reunion tour – they’re delivering personal insults and unsolicited criticism, and then hiding behind the cheap rhetoric of “I’m just trying to be honest! Do you want me to lie to you?”

Anyway, the whole discussion reminds me of a great video I saw last week highlighting the fakeness of insulting someone and then excusing it with “I’m just sayin’“:

I’ve really enjoyed Karen Alloy’s videos (YouTube user spricket24), which surprises me because I don’t usually like snark, I’ve never so much as cracked a smile for Sarah Silverman. Maybe it’s because Alloy is snarking on my biggest personal peeves. I’m also very impressed with her facial and body language; expressive acting at point-blank range is not an easy task.

As long as we’re on the subject, I will admit to some personal double-bind bias here. If I find a woman to be complaining a lot, and she’s not very attractive, my mind will jump to the “she’s just angry she doesn’t get as much attention as the other girls.” But when an attractive woman is complaining, I usually default to “she’s just spoiled because she gets more attention than the other girls, she doesn’t know how good she has it.” It sounds like a can’t-win setup, but experienced strategists will note that there is a winning move…stop complaining.


Filed under girl guide