Monthly Archives: March 2013

Interlude- Sexual Exposure Chart

Tacomaster, a newcomer to the manosphere, left a comment which included a link to an incredible chart over at Dalrock‘s site. I don’t think that the old saying that a picture is worth a thousand words does this one justice. Click to see an expanded view.

Sexual Exposure Chart

I find this to be a truly frightening graphic, for obvious reasons. More disturbing though, is that even if women (and men) were exposed to it at an early age, it wouldn’t have much effect.

Note: I am posting this graphic for educational purposes. It is a copyrighted work, and only reproduced for Fair Use purposes.

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Filed under Moral Agency, Red Pill

An Analysis of Human Sexual Strategies- Part 2: Monogamy

In part 1 of this series, I covered the basics of human sexual strategies and how they worked out in the state of nature. To say that this system has its problems is an understatement of epic proportions. To carry over just a little bit of the previous post:

To realize the disparity in this system, look down at the Beta and Gamma men. Beta, in order to get a woman, is forced to look all the way down to the 4s. Gamma men have to go all the way down to the 2s. They have no choice but to take women at the extreme range of who they will have sex with.  Of course, this still leaves them better off than the bottom two tiers of men, Delta and Epsilon, who get no opportunity to mate at all.

In a state of nature, without any culture or social constructs to inhibit or restrain human behavior, polygamy is the name of the game. At least, for the top tier men in any social group (such as a tribe). The rest are lucky if they actually have any mates.

This social order has significant drawbacks.  The bottom tier of men, with no opportunity to mate, are likely to be resentful to the men above them, especially the Alpha tier. Without this opportunity such men have no incentive to work harder for the benefit of the group. They will contribute only what they need to survive, and no more. After all, what is the point of risking their lives under such a system? They have no guarantee of sex or progeny, the two main impulses of men. Even the Beta and Gamma tier are going to be unhappy with the system, as they are forced to mate with women of a lower SMV (Sexual Market Value) than themselves. So why would such a system last at all? Wouldn’t the lower tier men realize they could gang up on the Alpha tier men and force the creation of a more equitable system?

Fluidity of Male SMV

I think part of the reason why it wouldn’t necessarily be eliminated quickly is that male SMV fluctuates. Male SMV is based on the LAMPS vectors, most of which are not fixed in place (in fact only Looks is). Plus male SMV value is relative, not absolute, like female SMV. A woman’s SMV is based on youth (an objective measure), and beauty, which is largely objective with some cultural overlay. However, that beauty is measured against a perfect ideal, which is largely fixed. So a woman is beautiful or ugly irrespective of how she compares to other women. Men, on the other hand, are contrasted with one another by women. So a man is measured against the other men in the social grouping. A man, in order to increase his attractiveness, just has to have a higher LAMPS value than the other men in the social group. Ultimately, this means that men do theoretically have a chance to be elevated to the Alpha tier, depending on their own abilities and random chance. So while the original system might look like this:

Human Population Representation

It could also end up, as a result of an accident, and a newly discovered talent or ability by a man, looking like this:

Human Population Representation-reorganized

Here we can see that an accident has hurt Alpha, and pushed him down just below Beta. And Epsilon discovered a new talent or ability which has boosted one of his LAMPS vectors, perhaps Money, and now he is in the middle of the pack. Consequently, Gamma and Delta are forced down as well. This change in the pecking order has significant impacts, because while women don’t have as much power in a polygamous system as the men do, they still have some choice in their sexual partners. So as a result this:

Socio-Sexual Strategies in Action-The State of Nature

Will change into this:

Polygamy in reorganized system

The women have adjusted their mating preferences accordingly. Beta is now the winner, and Alpha is runner up. Epsilon, who was bereft of female companionship before, now finally has some female attention (albeit from the 2s). Because Beta is now the top tier male, he has adjusted his mate preferences accordingly. Alpha will have to adjust as well.

This fluidity is a large reason why many men probably would stick with the system. Like a lottery, they would continue to play, on the small chance that they could actually win. Even though the odds are stacked against them. The truth is, though, that even though there is some fluidity in the system, there isn’t enough to make the odds worth playing the game. Eventually, a lower tier man will realize that there is a simple solution to most of the problems which polygamy creates: monogamy.

Monogamy

The simple solution alluded to earlier is monogamy, or restraining human behavior such that one man can only have one women. To repeat: monogamy is a restraint on human behavior. A social construct. It is not in keeping with the state of nature. For monogamy to be the norm, it requires that society enforce it. Otherwise, human beings will revert to the state of nature. More on this in my next post. The visualization of a system where monogamy is the norm is easy enough:

Monogamy in Action

The Alpha tier men still get the best women, but they no longer dominate the top three tiers of women. That tier of men are the only losers. The rest of the men are much better off. Beta is now with the 8, or his SMP (Sexual Marketplace) equals. And so on all the way down. Now every tier of men in the system has a mate, even the lowly Epsilon. Sure Epsilon men are stuck with 2s, but that is an improvement over no woman at all (or is it?). Men have a much stronger incentive to be productive under this system. Because more women tend to be born than men, a man is pretty much assured a chance at having a mate under this system. Since the quality of woman a man can “claim” is determined heavily by his LAMPS vectors, and productivity plays a role in both Money and Status, men have a good reason to do their best. Rollo has written an excellent post, found here, explaining how men are defined by their ability to produce more than they consume. From the standpoint of society, especially other men in the system, anything which encourages men to be more productive is valuable, and to be encouraged.

For women the situation is quite a bit different. The top tier women, the 10s, are in a great position. They now have the best men, the Alpha tier, all to themselves. This is a huge improvement for them, but not so much for the remaining women. The 8s are now with the Beta tier, whom they are probably not sexually attracted to. On the other hand, they get to enjoy all of the resources of the Beta tier men (although that total is likely less than the total of the Alpha tier men). So not a complete loss for them. The 6s, however, are not as well off. They are stuck with Gammas, a much lower class of men than they enjoyed before. Then there is the fact that the Gamma men probably have less resources  than the Alpha tier men,  so they aren’t much better off then they were sharing the resources of the Alpha tier with the other top tier women. The situation is even worse for the 4s and 2s, who are now with much lower tier men, and have much less resources available to them then they had before. For them, this isn’t an improvement. Indeed, while they may prefer a system where monogamy is the norm, it turns out to be less advantageous for lower tier women than a system where polygamy is the norm. The relevance of this will be amongst the subjects of the third post in the series.

Monogamy is a compromise. Lower tier men benefit by more or better sexual access, while the highest tier men lose sexual access. However, the top tier men don’t have to worry about the lower tier men ganging up on them. So it is a compromise. A compromise… between men. Not women. With the possible exception of the top tier women, who get the top tier men all to themselves.

It should be noted that what I have explained above is simple monogamy, that is, a simple restriction against one man having more than one woman. What it doesn’t do is take into account how women will react to such a system.

Monogamy and Women

Of course, monogamy isn’t necessarily anything new, as it is the preferred female form of socio-sexual strategy. Or at least serial monogamy is. So far I haven’t talked much about what a system operating under female rules looks like. On the surface, it would look just like a monogamous system. However, the key difference is that the women are not bound to the men in any way. So when the status of men changes, then women will change their mates accordingly. At this point there is nothing men can do about it. To use the same shift in male status as before, under a system based on serial monogamy you end up with this:

Serial Monogamy in Action

Now, on the surface this may seem like the same sort of response which occurred under the polygamous system. And it is. Female mating behaviors haven’t changed. What has changed is male mating behaviors.

Male Impulses and Monogamy

To form a socio-sexual system based on monogamy, men had to give up something important. Men have two main impulses when it comes to mating behaviors, and both are somewhat at odds with one another. I speculate that they operate on something of a sliding scale, where a man can shift back and forth between which impulse they choose to cater towards at any time.

The first impulse is what I and most others call Sexual Variety: the desire to mate with as many different (attractive) women as possible. From an evolutionary perspective, this is a strategy aimed at playing the odds. The more women you have sex with, the more children you are likely to sire. The more children you sire, the more likely your genetic lineage will continue.

The second impulse, on the other hand, is what I call Paternity:  the desire to raise certain specific children whom you are confident that you are the father of. Applying that same evolutionary filter, this impulse is an application of quality over quantity. Rather than try and have as many children as possible, you invest in those you do have to ensure their success, and therefore the success of your genetic lineage.

The two impulses aren’t terribly compatible. If other men are practicing Sexual Variety, then it is more difficult for an individual man to practice Paternity, as he can be less sure that the children are his. Under the state of nature, where polygamy is the norm, it is very difficult to practice Paternity. However, under a system where monogamy is the norm, then Sexual Variety can no longer be practiced. As such, Paternity becomes the impulse that drives men. Unfortunately for men, female mating behavior makes this a shaky proposition. After all, women are not locked into men. They can shift their allegiance as the SMV of men rises and falls. This poses a problem for men: how to be certain that the child the woman you are with is actually yours? Without the benefit of DNA testing and diverse genetic backgrounds, a man most likely won’t be able to tell. When women switch mates often enough, Paternity is no sure thing.

Women of course don’t worry about Paternity. That doesn’t matter to them, because they have no trouble knowing if the child is theirs or not when they give birth to it. All they care about is receiving provision and protection (and having sex with the best available male). Since serial monogamy is the preferred socio-sexual strategy for women, they don’t see any problems at all with this kind of system.

For men its a different matter. Since no man wants to expand resources to raise a child that is not his own (at least, not without gaining some benefit from it),  something must be done ensure that men can serve their Paternity impulse. The answer was “Hard” Monogamy.

“Hard” Monogamy

The phrase “Hard Monogamy” is just another way of saying lifetime mating, or where a man and woman who mate cannot switch mates during their lifetime together. In Manosphere parlance, this would be known as “Marriage 1.0” or traditional marriage. Under a system of Hard Monogamy women cannot switch their loyalty to men; men and women are bound for life. Under Hard Monogamy, women are stuck with their men, for better and for worse. Some women will benefit when their man moves up in value, and some women will lose out. The same applies to men, however. Men who rise up in value cannot trade out their old wives for new ones; they are stuck with whomever they chose to mate with in the past. It is an even greater restriction on human behavior than simple monogamy, and requires even more effort for society to enforce it. Initially the visualization is the same as the simple monogamy graphic.

Monogamy in Action

However, when you factor in changes in male SMV, then you can see the difference:

Hard Monogamy in action

Here the 10, the 6 and the 4 have lost out. All of their men have gone down in value, and there is nothing they can do about it. On the other hand, the 8 and the 2 have both seen improvements in their men, and so are better off. Beta cannot count on the attentions of the 10 now, and so must make do with the 8, which is not ideal but still satisfactory from his perspective. For Epsilon tier males, however, things are much less fair. They are still stuck with 2s, despite having moving up in value significantly. The other men are all benefiting from the system, because they are retaining their mates despite dropping in SMV. All in all, Hard Monogamy is a compromise. And as I mentioned before, a compromise between men, not women.

Cheating the System

While Hard Monogamy might be the product of a compromise between men, that doesn’t mean that it is a compromise that will be easily agreed upon. Like every system, it has its rules, and rules were meant to be broken. There will always be those who try to cheat the system, men and women alike. The principle problem with a system of Hard Monogamy is that it runs counter to the mutual attraction between top tier men and the middle to top tier women.

Combined Male and Female Sexual Preferences

The top tier men (Alpha) still have that impulse for Sexual Variety, and may be tempted to act upon it. Likewise, the 8s and 6s are also under their own set of impulses, of which they have three. The first and foremost is the desire to have sex with the highest value man available. In context, this would be the Alpha tier men. Thus there is mutual temptation for the top tier men and the mid to high tier women to “cheat” the system on the sly. In the context of marriage, this cheating is known as adultery.

Cheating in a system based on Monogamy

The dotted lines represent illicit relationships. Here the Alpha tier men get to fulfill both of their impulses: they have sexual variety through illicit sexual relationships with lower tier women, and are assured paternity through the highest tier women. Meanwhile, the 8s and 6s still enjoy the benefits of the resources and protection of their mates, while having sex with the top tier men. Evolutionarily, they now have a chance of having the best available men father their children. So they too can satisfy their three base impulses. Unfortunately for the poor, hapless Betas and Gammas, they might well be put in the situation of raising the children of the top tier men without realizing it. For them that might be the worst possibility, but from the perspective of the social grouping as a whole, the worst outcome involves the discovery by of them the of the cheating between their mates and the top tier men.

To understand why pretty much every culture which had marriage punished adultery severely, consider the consequences of Beta discovering that his wife was having an affair with Alpha. From Beta’s perspective, the betrayal threatens him on a base, instinctive level. Remember, men have two impulses: Sexual Variety and Paternity. Beta has given up on Sexual Variety in accepting a monogamous system, and so only has Paternity available to him. Adultery by his wife threatens that remaining impulse, because he can no longer be certain that any children she has will be his. Essentially, his genetic lineage is in danger. The resulting rage which Beta will experience is a perfectly natural and reasonable response evolutionarily, after all his genetic future is at stake. This rage, absent social controls and restraints, will probably lead Beta to attempt to kill Alpha, and possibly 8 as well. The likely result is that one of the men dies, and possibly both. 8 is also under grave peril as well. Even assuming that Beta doesn’t kill her, he is unlikely to trust her again and will not support her and her children from this point forward.

Without some sort of restraint on Beta’s behavior, the unity and safety of the social group is severely weakened. One or two males are likely to die. If only Beta dies, then his wife and her (not necessarily his) children are now bereft of support. Without the protection and provision of a male, they must depend on the generosity of the group to survive. Without it, they are likely to die. If Alpha dies, on the other hand, then both 10 and 8 are without support, and the consequences to the social group double. However this situation is resolved, it is going to weaken the social group as a whole. So society has a strong incentive to control and restrain this type of behavior. Hence, the development of laws against adultery. By punishing those who commit adultery, either with death or exile (usually a slower and more painful death), society aimed to keep the act as rare as possible. It was simple social self-preservation. Without such laws, a culture was likely to fragment and fall apart. They are yet another social construct resulting from compromise… between men.

Conclusion

While not universal, monogamy was the norm in many civilizations for a long time. In many, it still is. Some cultures still practice polygamy, as they have for generations. There are a number of reasons why polygamy could have lasted in those cultures. If the male mortality rate was high enough, then polygamy would be necessary to maintain population numbers (and because there would be enough women for even the lowest of men). If the top tier men in a culture were sufficiently more powerful than the lower tier men, then they could get away with keeping a polygamous system.

In what we know as Western Civilization, Hard Monogamy has been the norm for centuries. In the last few generations, however, the system seems to be falling apart. This collapse is a popular subject in the manosphere, and has been discussed in length. In my next post I am going to offer my thoughts on what is really happening, and why.

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Filed under LAMPS, Polygamy, Red Pill, Serial Monogamy, Sexual Strategies, State of Nature

An Analysis of Human Sexual Strategies- Part 1: The State of Nature

(Note: this post is going to be updated over time as I track down scientific studies which offer support to some of my arguments/theories)

Several authors in the manosphere  were highly influential in bringing me into, and keeping me in, this part of the internet. Vox at Alpha Game, Rollo Tomassi at Rational Male, and finally Dalrock. Each of them added greatly to my understanding of human nature, primarily in the field of socio-sexual behaviors. One of the greatest insights provided to me was by Dalrock, when he clued me into the fact that the preferred form of female sexual strategy is Serial Monogamy. I had always internalized that men were naturally polygamous, and that women were monogamous, but the exact nature of the female sexual strategy had never been locked down in my mind. Once Dalrock cleared this up for me, I was suddenly able to understand what was really going on in American (and Western Civilization) culture today.

This series is an attempt to explain the different sexual strategies of men and women, and why they have led to our current situation. This first post will examine the state of nature, or how humans would interact without any culture (including religion) to guide them. This is going to be a graphic heavy series, because I think visual representations work best for this kind of analysis. Also, each post is going to be on the short side, to make discussions easier.

To start with, lets separate the human population into male and female groupings, and then assign them into tiers. There are 5 tiers each, all of them based on attractiveness, and each represents about 20% of the general male or female population.   This isn’t entirely realistic, because there tends to be bell curve for female attractiveness, but the general point is carried across.

Human Population Representation

Triangles represent males, circles females. Starting from the left with the male population, you begin with the most attractive at Alpha and go all the way down to the least attractive at Epsilon. On the right we have the female population, beginning with the most attractive at 10 and going to the least attractive at 2. Each group is an attempt to categorize women by attractiveness, grouping 10s and 9s together, 8s and 7s together, 6s and 5s together, 4s and 3s together, and 2s and 1s together. This will be the visualization I use throughout most of this series.

Male to Female Sexual Attraction Preferences

While female attractiveness is absolute, not relative, I theorize that men are willing to have sex and seek sex with all women equal to their attractiveness and higher. Furthermore, a man is willing to seek and have sex with a women who is two tiers below him in sexual attractiveness. This resulting pattern of which tiers of women men are willing to have sex with looks something like this:

Male Sexual Preferences

As you can see, the top tier (Alpha) males are the most selective, and the bottom tier (Epsilon) males are the least selective.

Female to Male Sexual Attraction Preferences

There seems to be some general consensus in the manosphere that women tend to only find about 20% of the men in any given population attractive. This means that women tend to be attracted to only the top tier (Alpha) males. The pattern looks something like this:

Female Sexual Preferences

As you can see, the top tier men (Alpha) get all of the female attention. Everyone else, from Beta on down, is out of luck.

Male and Female Sexual Attraction Preferences Merged

You start to get an understanding of the state of nature when you merge the two different sets of preferences together. The following graphic combines both, keeping the attraction lines only when the attraction is mutual. It looks something like this:

Combined Male and Female Sexual Preferences

Here, the clear winners are the top tier males (Alpha), because they are the only males with mutual attraction to females.

The State of Nature

This leads us to the state of nature, where male and female attraction preferences merge with sexual strategies. The preferred male sexual strategy is polygamy or Polygyny, which happens to fit in nicely with male attraction preferences. This means that men are more than willing to mate with all of the women they are attracted to. As I mentioned earlier, the female sexual strategy is serial monogamy, whereby the woman would be in a monogamous relationship with a single man, until such time as a better man shows up who is available, at which point she leaves her old mate for the new one. Now, historically, the female sexual strategy has not been applied, because males held a distinct advantage in that they were both protectors and providers; men held more power when it came to mating. Hence, women had to accede to men when it came to sexual strategies.

Of course, the attraction preferences for men and women mostly don’t line up. This means that the lower tier women couldn’t attract a man whom they themselves were attracted to.  The female need for resources and protection forced them to make concessions when it came to attractiveness as well. Essentially, this meant that to get resources and protection for themselves and their children, women were forced to establish relationships with men that they were not attracted to. Here is a representation of what this looked like:

Socio-Sexual Strategies in Action-The State of Nature

The top tier men (Alpha) are once again the winners. Their attractiveness to women allows them to “corner the market” as it were, and mate with the top three tiers of women. They are the winners of the genetic lottery, and in more ways than one. To realize the disparity in this system, look down at the Beta and Gamma men. Beta, in order to get a woman, is forced to look all the way down to the 4s. Gamma men have to go all the way down to the 2s. They have no choice but to take women at the extreme range of who they will have sex with.  Of course, this still leaves them better off than the bottom two tiers of men, Delta and Epsilon, who get no opportunity to mate at all.

Just as important is the fact that the 4s and 2s are not with men that they find attractive; they are compromising on their preference for mating with a top-tier man in order to gain protection and provision. Also, the top three tiers of women must all share the resources that are supplied by the Alpha tier of men. While that amount of resources is probably greater than that provided by the lower tier men, they still must share. This isn’t ideal for them; they would rather have the Alpha tier all to themselves. But because men hold all of the power in the state of nature, they are forced to compromise.

This brings to an end the first post in the series on the state of nature. In the next few days I will write up part 2, which covers how culture/civilization constructed a new system that men and women would have to follow: “Hard” or Lifetime Monogamy.

Part 2 can be found here.

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Filed under Polygamy, Red Pill, Serial Monogamy, Sexual Strategies, State of Nature

Alpha versus Beta- Part 2- Retention Vectors

This post is a follow-up to my previous post concerning Alpha and Beta attributes. Having already explained Alpha attributes, I now turn my attention to Beta attributes or traits.

The important thing to understand is that Beta traits are not attraction traits. As frequent manosphere commentator deti noted:

Women want men with beta traits. However, they want those traits IN AN ATTRACTIVE MAN, and they want the man to display those traits only when they want him to display them.

Beta traits will not affect your ability to attract the notice of a woman. In fact, it might even be the case that they could impair a man’s ability to be attractive, although I don’t believe that to be true. Instead, I think that Beta traits are useful to help maintain or retain the attraction of a woman.  Which is why I call Beta traits Retention Vectors, because just as the LAMPS vectors can vary in strength and importance, the different Retention Vectors can also vary. Some call them comfort traits, but I don’t think that is entirely accurate, because women find comfort and security in Alpha traits, not Beta traits.

So what are some Retention Vectors? Deti helpfully supplied a few:

provider/provisioning, industriousness, fidelity, loyalty, affection, affability, friendliness) are desirable.

Others include compassion and patience.  I’m not sure that I could create a comprehensive list, because there are far more of them than there are attraction vectors.

So we know what some are, but how exactly do they work? This is where we get to the heart of my theory on why Beta traits are useful to have for (some) men, and why I call them Retention Vectors.

(Side note: just like women, men have an attractiveness rating. The standard 1-10 scale probably works just as well as any other measurement scale, and that is what I used for my graph in the previous post.)

What Retention Vectors or Beta traits do is they act like force multipliers, and enhance the attractiveness of the man in the eyes of his woman. This can push a man’s perceived attraction level a point or two higher, and thus help him mate guard.  For example, a man who is a 7 with a decent Beta score can push his perceived Alpha score up to an 8. So if he is married to an 8, then she won’t feel there is a disparity between their relative SMV values and her hypergamous instincts will be less likely to kick into overdrive. Beta traits are admirable in attractive men, and can help distinguish a man from men who are just as attractive. If you have have two men who are both 8’s, but one is really romantic and a hard worker, then his value will be higher than the other man’s. Now, this only works if the woman considers you attractive in the first place, but if your goal is a LTR (including marriage), then every little bit helps.

I don’t know exactly how much a Beta or Retention value affect this Perceived Attraction Rating (PAR), so I can’t quantify it. But my guess is that it isn’t that great of an effect. You might be able to turn an Alpha value of 6 into a PAR of 8, but I don’t see how the PAR could be pushed more than 2 points higher.

Once you examine Beta traits in this light, you realize that Retention Vectors are far and away less important than Attraction Vectors. Alpha > Beta. This isn’t exactly surprising, and certainly not a novel idea in this part of the web. But I think it is important to remember that Alpha and Beta don’t have to be opposed. Alpha is what actually gains you the attention of a woman, and Alpha is far more important in keeping her. But Beta is useful in keeping a woman once once she is attracted to you.

So as a practical matter, a man should focus his efforts on improving his Alpha value as much as possible. But he shouldn’t throw away any useful Beta traits if it isn’t necessary. Especially if you are marriage minded as a man.

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Filed under Alpha, Beta, LAMPS, Red Pill

Alpha versus Beta- Part 1

One of the things that has long irked me about the manosphere has been the tendency to group people into Alphas and Betas (and occasionally other greek letters as well). I have always felt that it was a sloppy system that failed to explain properly the way that women look at men.

In my mind, Alpha and Beta weren’t conditions of men, or categories of men, but attributes that a man could possess. I first visualized this as a matrix (an appropriate metaphor, I should think), where you had Beta attributes on one side, and Alpha attributes on another.

Novaseeker had a similar idea with his List A and List B attributes, and in a discussion on his blog I introduced my own ideas on the subject. He asked me for some details, and I provided them, along with some graphics to go with them. Rather than copy paste his post, read it on his site to understand my thoughts on the subject:

Charts of Attraction

One of my comments to that post expanded my idea somewhat, by noting that a visualization of a graph might be superior to matrix, as it demonstrates that Alpha and Beta aren’t binary. A man isn’t really Alpha Yes or Alpha No. Rather, he has a certain amount of Alpha attributes, and that attribute can be positive or negative. The same applies to Beta attributes.

Before I include a rough graph of that new visualization, I should note that Alpha attributes is a short hand reference to LAMPS. However, given the context, I think I will leave it as Alpha, so it makes more sense to a casual viewer.

Alpha and Beta Attributes graphed out

Alpha and Beta Attributes graphed out

This graphic was made by myself, and can only be used with permission. It is not open source.

The goal of a man who wants to maximize his potential should, in my opinion, be to aim towards the top right corner of the graph. That means maximizing both Alpha and Beta attributes. Beta doesn’t get a lot of love in the manosphere, and I think that is a shame, because such attributes do serve a vital purpose. I think my next post will talk about these so called Beta Attributes, which I call Retention vectors.

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Filed under Alpha, Beta, LAMPS, Red Pill

Moral Agency in Women- Revisted

[Note: This is an older work of mine. The ideas that I explored here have largely been replaced or rejected since I first wrote it.]

Below is re-creation from Google cache of a post that SSM put up a number of weeks back concerning moral agency and women. I am attaching my additional thoughts to the end, as before.

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An interesting conversation about whether or not women can control their reactions and responses to dominant men took place on a previous thread.

Commenter Donalgraeme wrote:

I suspect that the truth is that around a powerful, dominant masculine presence the part of a woman’s brain which is responsible for logic and reason simply shuts down. Pure biological instinct takes over, leaving the three main drives of a woman: 1) Sex with alpha males, 2) protection, and 3) provision. At this point she starts seeking to fulfill impulse #1, sex with an alpha male. No rational thought is involved. Just pure lust.

To women, the notion that a relationship might result is probably the most logical conclusion that they can reach as to their actions after the fact. The truth is that they don’t know, and don’t understand why they did what they did. So the Hamster kicks in, and draws out this solution. In other cases it resolves itself as “he took advantage of me.”

Personally, I am starting to wonder if a man with a dominant alpha frame is irresistible to women. That is, given the opportunity, she would have sex with him no matter the cost or consequences. Or what some have called “trading 5 minutes of alpha for a lifetime of beta.” Worst of all, the woman has no control over this. She cannot help herself, and really doesn’t have full agency in this kind of situation.

Deti discussed a youth pastor whose wife had an affair with an alpha male and concluded:

Looking back on it now, it makes perfect sense. Alpha dominant man targets mousy pastor’s wife for easy sex. He pushes her hard, finds her buttons, pushes some more. Milquetoast hub can’t compare; this dude has found buttons she didn’t even know existed. She can’t help herself and gives in; finds out she LOVES it. Reason and logic slowly return; the awful truth dawns on her; she offers groveling apology; all is well.

Here’s the problem — can a woman stand up under that kind of pressure, especially if she knows the sex will be off the charts; the man making the moves is more attractive than H by all objective measures; there is low risk of detection; there really aren’t any consequences to speak of; and the dude is pushing all her buttons juuuuuust right? donal, I don’t think she could. I think she’d just have to make sure she didn’t go into the situation in the first place.

And Donalgraeme replied: 

“I’m really starting to think the woman who uses this strategy is simply fulfilling the female Prime Directive:

Secure alpha seed from the best man possible, get pregnant and have babies. ”

That’s pretty much it. And the part that frightens me is this: women don’t really have any choice in the matter if they come across the right man at the right time.

Makes me understand why so many cultures hid their young women…

…Many societies hid away their young women, only allowing them out of the family home when they became married. Feminists decry this as oppression and tyranny, but the truth is that women are vulnerable to the powers of an Alpha.

Jesus taught his disciples to remove those things which bring them to temptation. Unfortunately for women, they themselves are the tempting object. Hence, to avoid sexual sins they must avoid situations where they could be subject to the irresistible power of a dominant masculine frame. In our modern world, that is nigh-well impossible.

So, whose fault is it when women sleep around if it isn’t their own fault?  Women experience a sharp increase in sex drive during the days surrounding ovulation, provided they are not using hormone birth control.  If she’s married, no problem; her husband gets to be the beneficiary of her increased interest in sexual activity.  If she isn’t married and there is a relatively dominant male in the vicinity, just how much ability and responsibility does she have to regulate her own behavior?

There are a large number of verses about sexual immorality in the Bible but let us just consider two:

1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God

1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

Obviously we can see that, since it is God’s will, it must be possible to abstain from sexual immorality and that when tempted, God will provide the way of escape.  But I wonder…were these verses meant to cover the current situation of females spending years and years as free agents?  In Bible times, a girl married in her teens, going straight from her father’s home to her husband’s.  There were no opportunities to encounter alpha males on spring break in a sunny locale while drinking tequila (or for the Christian girl, to encounter native alphas while on a “missions” trip).  Is a twenty-year-old woman who is ovulating and has a drink or two in her really able to exercise moral agency in that situation?

And if she is not, then what moral responsibility does she have?

Given the increased risk of divorce a sexually promiscuous woman has, it is a serious question for both Christian and non-Christian women and their future husbands alike.

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Additional thoughts plus some comments:

One poster, James127, made this interesting argument:

“Neither natural selection, nor God, would have made women incapable of choice.”

After having given it some thought, I think the he is wrong when it comes to natural selection. I can see a reason why nature would want women to eventually buckle. From an evolutionary biology perspective, reproduction is essential to the survival of the species. However, for humans (and many other animals), reproduction can be a dangerous event for a female. It involves considerable risk, and exposes a woman to a lot of potential harm. From a selfish point of view, a woman might be well served to avoid having children, in order to avoid that danger. If women had a weakness, as it were, to strong dominant men that made them incapable of resisting in the right circumstances, this serves two purposes: the first is to ensure that the woman carries on with the act that brings about reproduction, and the second is to ensure that only a truly masculine man can be the biological father.  Not a rock solid answer, I’ll admit. Might be worth some further thought down the line.

Here are some of the comments I left in the post:

I have been working on this theory for a while now. The essence of the theory is this: the female brain might work in such a way that if a woman were to find herself in a position where she was under the influence of a man with a dominant, masculine frame, the rational part of her mind stops working properly. She can’t think straight. The only things running through her head are base instincts, with desire for the man being the most paramount. If the woman is isolated, away from friends and family or other sources of moral authority who might be able to constrain her behavior, then she might not be able to say “No” to the man if he presses her. She will eventually yield to him.
The important thing is that she might still be a “good woman”, or even a “good Christian woman.” She might believe that fornication is a sin, and that pre-marital sex is wrong, and that she should save herself for her husband. She might be wearing a promise ring, or whatever talisman supposedly will protect her virtue. But it doesn’t matter. Against such a man, without an external moral source, she cannot prevail.

Most importantly, he doesn’t have to force her. Just use the powerful lure of his dominant masculine frame.

I am starting to wonder if the ancients knew of this, or suspected this. Suspected that all women, or even most women, no matter how virtuous, would be incapable of resisting that kind of temptation. Hence the isolated life of most women in many cultures.
What is relevant to this is the attitude of the Churchians. When they hear of a supposedly good Christian woman who has been having pre-marital sex, they instinctively blame the man. After all, she is a “Good Christian Girl” (“GCG”) and no GCG would have sex with someone not her husband… willingly. Therefore, some man MUST have taken advantage of her. This is especially the case where they know the GCG, and knows she is in fact a GCG. Since she wouldn’t commit a sin, logic to the Churchians dictates that it must be the fault of the evil man who took advantage of her. They never stop to consider that there might a circumstance where a GCG might have sex, and the man doesn’t take advantage of her, because it would require them to consider a terrible possibility: That no amount of virtue can protect a young woman from that Dominant Alpha Male (“DMA”) if he can use all of his charms against her without interruption.

This is a terrible thing for them to consider because it means that the only way for a GCG to stay virtuous is to stay away from any DMAs. Given that such men can be found nearly everywhere, and nothing can be done by society to stop this, it means that the GCGs would have to be the ones to avoid DMAs. To accomplish this they would have to necessarily restrict where they go, when they go there, and with whom they go. In short, it requires them to give up the freedom which Feminism has taught them they can fully enjoy. A GCG can no longer act like a man if she wants to maintain her virtue. And given the feminization of most Churches, this is of course unacceptable. Hence, blame the males, the only acceptable response to this situation.

Deti linked to the following post at Dalrock’s which is related:

http://dalrock.wordpress.com/2011/11/18/we-are-trapped-on-slut-island-and-traditional-conservatives-are-our-gilligan/

Once again, I am not saying that the woman has no self-control at all. What I am saying is that there might be a point where she can lose her self-control. She is still responsible for her actions up to that point. If she placed herself in a position where sin was likely, then she is responsible for that sin.

What I am challenging in a way is the notion that you can just send a “Good Christian Girl” (“GCG”) out into the world and expect her to resist all temptation. In one respect that is not entirely dissimilar to the arguments by the Churchians in that the GCG will be taken advantage of by a man. However, that cannot truly be the case, because that GCG makes the choice of ignoring the perils of sin and temptation.

I think that Matthew 5:29 applies here. Women need to avoid the potential for temptation, just as men must. If that means that a woman must avoid certain activities and places that are not so treacherous to a man, then so be it. Life isn’t fair.

More later if I find it.

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Filed under Moral Agency, Sunshine Mary

The 5 Vectors of Female Attraction- A Restoration

Several weeks back SSM, while she was still around, allowed me to submit a guest post on some ideas of mine about what women found attractive in men. The result was a post about my “LAMPS” system, which was an attempt to explain and categorize female attraction vectors (Vector defined: a quantity that has magnitude and direction and that is commonly represented by a directed line segment whose length represents the magnitude and whose orientation in space represents the direction). I found that term accurate, because the five categories each vary in importance and order (space) depending on the woman. The first part of this post will be a copy of what I sent Mary, exactly as it was. After the original, I will add in some further thoughts and clarifications . The comments after the original post were excellent, and I will try and capture the essence of those I can remember.  Unfortunately, Google-Cache did not save them. Now on to the original post:

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The Five Vectors of Female Attraction to Men

It has long been understood in the Manosphere that male and female attractiveness vectors are very, very different.

What men are looking for in women is easy enough to determine: youth and beauty. Beauty can vary depending on culture, but there are still certain physical features in women that carry across most cultures: a feminine face with strong facial symmetry, large breasts, a low waist-to-hip ratio, smooth and unblemished skin, etc. These vectors are almost all purely visual, and therefore it is usually quite easy for a man to quickly gauge a woman’s attractiveness on the standard 1-10 scale.

The same cannot be said for what women find attractive in men. While nearly everyone agrees that what women are looking for is different, there haven’t been very many good formulations of exactly what vectors attract women. The usual descriptor is “Alpha”, but this is a very imprecise term. This lack of clarity bothered me, so I thought on it for a while and eventually designed my own system. I narrowed the various traits and attributes down to 5 vectors, which I believe to be a fairly comprehensive understanding of what women look for in men when it comes to attraction. Before I explain the 5 vectors, I need to lay a foundation by explaining the impulses which drive female behavior.

Hypergamy is the name for the female socio-sexual strategy, which involves a woman establishing a monogamous relationship with the highest status/value male available to her (there is some question as to whether the man himself must have a higher status than the woman). It is important to note that this is a “soft” or serial monogamous relationship, as compared to “hard” or lifetime monogamy. The female does not want to be bound to the male “until death do you part.” She instead wants to be with him so long as he is the best available male; if a better male comes along she will seek to abandon her present mate and “trade up” to the newer, better man. Credit goes to Dalrock for keying me into this behavior.

Hypergamy is the strategy, but what are the goals? There are three impulses which drive women to do what they do:

1-      Have sex with the best available male. The purpose of this is so that her children have the best genetics possible, and thus the best chance of surviving and thriving.

2-      Protection. Women and their children need protection from hostile males, and from natural threats. Women want a man who will keep her safe, and even more important, make her feel safe.

3-      Provision. A woman wants a man who will be able to provide for her and her children. The more resources available to her and her children, the healthier they will be and the better the chance of survival.

Now that we have that out of the way, the five Vectors of Female Attraction to Men are as follows:

Looks

Athleticism

Money

Power

Status

(LAMPS for short)

Looks: This includes physical attractiveness, such as facial symmetry and strong masculine features in a man’s face. It can also include healthy skin, healthy and good looking hair, and other external features. Youthfulness is featured here as well, but it is valued far less by women than men, probably because age doesn’t impact male fertility as much as it affects female fertility. In my opinion this tends to be the least important vector for women.

Relevance: Physical looks can be a strong indicator of genetic health. A good looking man is more likely to produce healthy children. From either an evolutionary or biblical standpoint, it would make sense for a woman to want to choose a father who will create healthier children. God would want to help make this easier for women, so he gave her this way of gauging genetic health.

Athleticism: Here we have the overall physical attributes of a man. His strength, muscle tone, endurance, dexterity and general athletic ability. I tend to view this as being in the middle of the pack in terms of importance to most women.

Relevance: This vector showcases all three impulses for women. From an evolutionary perspective an athletic man is more likely to produce healthy children. Also, he will be more capable of both providing for the woman and her children, as well as protecting them from harm. From a biblical perspective, an athletic man is one best suited to enduring the Curse of Adam from Genesis. God declared that Man must work for his bread after being cast from the Garden, and so a more athletic man would be best able to handle this burden.

Money: This attribute includes both the amount of resources that a man can call upon in the present, as well as what he might be able to make or create in the future. This doesn’t necessarily mean just money; real property and other assets can be included as well. I view this as the second weakest attribute in terms of importance.

Relevance: This attribute is tied primarily to the provision impulse, and is probably the strongest indicator of a man’s ability to provide. It is the most “Beta” of the attributes here, but is also an Alpha attribute as well. From an evolutionary perspective, this is a fairly straightforward analysis. A man with resources is a man who can provide for a woman and her children during even harsh times. Also, in the past a man with a lot of resources available was someone who was probably quite good at providing, and thus probably athletic and high-status as well. So in this sense Money could serve as a proxy for other attributes.  From a biblical perspective things become a little more difficult to explain. In more than one section of the Bible money is considered a source of sin and/or something to be avoided, although it is never rejected in full. Perhaps one way of looking at it is that a man with money is a man blessed by God, and someone who finds favor in His eyes.

Power: This is a short-hand for masculine power, or masculinity. Although in my view masculinity is power when it comes to attraction and relationships.  As an attribute, Power includes a lot of Alpha traits which are commonly discussed on Game sites. Things such as confidence, assertiveness, self-mastery, a commanding presence and indomitability would fall here. It does not include the power one has from any position of authority; that falls under status. When a woman fitness tests a man, she is trying to assess his masculinity. Rubbing against his manhood, as it were (I always liked this analogy; I just wish I could remember who thought it up). If the man can’t stand up to a woman, then he clearly can’t stand up to other men, so his Power value will diminish in her eyes. Power is entirely personal to the man; it is based on his own unique characteristics and charisma. In my opinion this is the most important attribute when it comes to female attraction. If a man fails here, then ultimately attraction cannot be sustained.

Relevance: This attribute doesn’t fall clearly into either the provision or protection impulse, but has relevance to them. The thing to understand is that a man’s ability to protect a family and provide for them is not purely physical; it has a strong mental component to it. Power helps serve as a proxy for a man’s mental state, and from an evolutionary perspective would likely help guide a women in deciding if a man is capable of protecting and providing for her. Since dominant, masculine men tend to do better than lesser men, this makes sense. Also, there is a definite clear-cut connection between Power and the female impulse to secure access to the best available male genetic material. From a biblical perspective, it makes me wonder if there is a connection between masculinity and righteousness. It takes a certain measure of self-control to resist evil, and to overcome it when confronted. Perhaps a righteous man with a high Power value has an easier time resisting temptation when he comes across it. On the other hand, there is plenty of evidence which suggests that women view a man’s self-mastery in certain areas to be a sign of weakness, the opposite of power.

Status: The social position of the man is what is meant by status and is principally based on where he is on the social ladder. It includes how well respected he is by those around him, whether they are above him or below him in station. Any authority that a man can exercise in the community based on his position would fall under here. Think Big Fish or Small Fish; the bigger the fish, the more attractive a man is. Fitness testing also falls under here to a degree as well, because a man who fails a test is probably low status and used to being bossed around. “Social Proof” or “Pre-Selection” doesn’t exactly fall under here. Rather, that idea serves as a short-cut or proxy for women to try and determine if the man has status or money or power. To sum Status up, it is based not on anything inherent to the man, but rather his general position in society. This is probably the second most important attribute.

Relevance: Status is similar to Power, in that it doesn’t directly connect to any of the attributes, but hints at all three. An evolutionary perspective would provide for the theory that women use a man’s status as a yard-stick to measure his overall competence. The more important and higher status a man is, the better the catch. A biblical perspective would perhaps support the notion that status might show favor from God.

I don’t think that there is a universal female measure of what makes a man attractive. Some women are more attracted to one attribute over the other. Each woman has her own set of preferences, so there is no single standard. I view it as a sliding scale myself. As long as you have enough in certain areas, it can make up for deficiencies in others. This system is one of my own design, but a number of bloggers greatly helped in the formation thanks to their ideas and discussions. Vox Day, Rollo Tomassi and Dalrock are chief amongst them. And thank you Sunshine Mary for giving me the chance to explain this idea more fully.

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Further thoughts:

As many commentators pointed out, I forgot to include height somewhere. Many opined that it should be its own category, but the truth is that I had it under Looks and forgot to include it in the post. This caused several to argue that the inclusion of height pushed Looks to probably the second most important attribute. I think that there is some truth to this, in a fashion. As I thought more about it, I realized that both Looks and Athleticism are the two vectors which women can analyze easiest. This means that they often act as “screens”, to filter out men and allow a women a more narrow and focused search. For shorter men, this can be a huge disadvantage. However, this is I think an subconscious filter in women, and so one that a man can overcome later by regaining the woman’s attention. Remember, attraction means to gain attention or notice. So a short man might be skipped over initially, but he can compensate through the other vectors.

Some wondered about why certain things fell under Looks, and some fell under Athleticism. Both are categories of physical attributes, to be sure, but there is a major distinction between the two. Looks encompasses those things that someone has no control over (except by surgery). Athleticism, on the other hand, includes those physical attributes which a man can control, through dieting and exercise. So height falls under Looks, but weight falls under Athleticism. So if you are unsure about whether an  a physical attribute falls under Looks or Athleticism, ask if it is something that a man has any real control over.

Both money and status are very similar, as they are external to the man. Part of me was very tempted to lump them together under just status, but the truth is that they aren’t necessarily linked. It is possible, though rare, for a man to have lots of Money but be low Status. Much more common for him to have little Money but high Status.

There is more than what I have here, unfortunately this is all I can remember right now. If I should recall anything I will likely update the post below this point.

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Filed under LAMPS, Sunshine Mary