Analyzing Attraction- Part 3

This is Part 3 of an ongoing series concerning sexual attraction. Part 1 can be found here, and part 2 here.

Subjective Considerations

In the last post on this subject, Elspeth sought clarification about the objectivity of attraction factors versus their subjectivity. I’ve attempted to cover such subjects before, but not to great success. So here is an attempt to try again.

My original argument was that the LAMPS factors are objective factors, in that each women’s evaluation of a man’s sexual attractiveness is controlled by them. However, a better way of describing them is that they are universal. They apply to all women, regardless of individual characteristics. In that sense it is objective. However, past that point there is a lot of subjectivity involved.

As a general rule, the PSALM model is the arrangement from the most to the least important attributes: Power, Status, Athleticism, Looks and Money. However, even there you will find some variation. Some women are much more focused on a man’s appearance, while others don’t really care much at all. So while generalizations are possible, they are not perfect. Subjectivity matters here.

Furthermore, inside the individual factors subjectivity can play a significant role. Looks and Athleticism are the most subjective of the 5 sets of attributes. Some women prefer men with dark hair, some with light hair. Eye color preferences vary. As do other features. However, there are still certain general masculine features in the Looks category which are almost universally preferred. This is especially the case with facial features. Height is an interesting twist to this. The general preference is for a taller man, however the exact height preferred can differ between women. The ideal range, from what I can tell, seems to be around 6’0 to 6’4. Athleticism also has some variation- some women prefer a man with a swimmer build, others prefer the lean look of a runner, while yet others prefer the bulk of a weight lifter. Yet even in this the overall preference is still towards the ideal of each particular build.

Status and Money are the most objective of the LAMPS factors. Here it is pretty safe to say that the more, the merrier. More money and a greater status are always more attractive. Status might leave more room for subjectivity, in that some positions might be seen as higher status than others for some women. But overall there tends to be a lot of conformity here.

Power is hard to analyze here. There are a lot of subjective factors when personality is concerned, yet certain things (confidence, assurance, dominance) seem to be universally attractive. I’d be curious of folks’ thoughts on this.

Our Ideals Are Not Necessarily Ideal

The Daily Mail, not normally a news source of mine, had an interesting article recently. Essentially, a survey was conducted which asked questions related to sex and attraction. An interesting result of this was that when women were asked to name the ideal female “beauty”, they gave Cameron Diaz (presumably when she was younger). Men, on the other hand, listed Kate Upton. When men were asked to give the ideal male physique, they gave Hugh Jackman, while women listed Ryan Gosling.

What I found interesting about the choice of Diaz was the mention in the article of her “slim, boyish shape.” I’ve heard a few women I know, and attractive women at that, mention that they wish they were possessed of a thinner and taller profile or body shape. I am kind of curious why women would prefer this. While I have a few ideas of my own, I would like to hear what my readers think.

As for the men, I think I understand why men picked Hugh Jackman over Ryan Gosling. Since men are primarily driven by physical appearance, they selected a high-status man who seemed to best fit the peak masculine physical look. However, as the PSALM model points out, both Power and Status are of greater significance to a man’s sexual attractiveness than his Athleticism or Looks. Which makes me wonder if Gosling is considered higher Status right now. Or perhaps, if not necessarily purely higher status, if he is considerable more desirable by women right now. Which ties into my next point.

A Short-Cut To Status

Pre-selection is a feature of female behavior wherein women find men more attractive in relation to how many other women find that man attractive. The greater the number of women who seem to be attracted to a man, the more attractive he will tend to be in female eyes. This behavior is tied to Status  and is a “short-cut”, women use it to quickly and easily gauge a man’s position in the overall market.

It is a behavior that gets quite a lot of play in Game circles, as it can be truly potent in driving attraction. While I’m not really interested in their particular “trade”, the behavior has an impact in the Marriage Marketplace just as it does in the Sexual Marketplace. As more than a few Christians have attested to before in this particular section of the internet, if a man in church manages to “invoke” this female behavior it can almost completely shut out other men.

In his latest post Rollo quotes from an earlier piece by Heartiste explaining an “experiment” which relied on this phenomenon:

Basically, the guy had a few friends follow him around the mall, one guy filming him and the other two guys (I can’t tell if any of his hired guns were women) acting as his “groupies” or entourage. He goes around identifying himself as “Thomas Elliot” when people, mostly women, ask him his name. Eventually, he begins to pile up admiring and gawking female attention, which only snowballs into more female attention. Apparently, not one of these starstruck chicks thought to question if Thomas Elliot was a real celebrity. That’s the power of preselection and fame; so powerful, it can disengage a woman’s neural logic circuitry.

[For those who want the link to the original post, go to Rollo’s post- as a general rule I don’t linke to Heartiste.]

Rollo then comments on how pre-selection plays the dominant role in the insanity which we know as “teen idols”:

Preselection is a very powerful motivator of women’s hypergamous decision making process. Even the perception of fame (or even the potential for it) is a prime motivator and incentive to lock down a man who presents the hypergamous optimal ideal – a guy who satisfies the sexiness her Alpha F—s hypergamous needs require and the long term security of provisioning potential from status-confirmed Beta Bucks.

Whether this “famous” guy actually embodies this ideal is irrelevant to a woman’s Id-centric psyche. When women are younger, tweens and teens, this self-convincing is much easier since girls lack any real world experience to reference with respect to what the guy really represents. A capacity for abstract thinking is something that develops as we mature, but the desire to optimize hypergamy is a limbic, instinctual drive for girls and no amount of reasoning can compete with the fantasy of a pre-fabricated idealized Hypergamy.

They want to believe it.

[DG: I wonder if this might be the female counter-part to men pedestalizing women. Thoughts?]

Thus we have hordes of girls and young women willing to go to behavioral lengths they would never consider with the mundane men they’re familiar with in order to just brush with the possibility of  that hypergamous ideal. They will literally climb over one another to realize this.

The thing is, many older women can experience this behavior as well. They tend not to be as extreme about it, but I’ve seen it expressed before. SO it definitely seems to be an innate female behavior. Perhaps experience tempers it, as Rollo implies. Or maybe a woman’s drop in SMV, and her knowledge of his, makes her realize that she doesn’t have a real chance of pulling off this kind of “coup.”

Naturally, many Game practitioners and PUAs try to find ways to capitalize on pre-selection. I’ve heard of some hiring escorts to provide the appearance of female attention. Others will use female family members or co-workers for this purpose. It can be a huge card to play, and frankly any man looking to attract women should keep it in mind. If not for his own use, but to be wary of other men using it.

What I am curious about is how, or if, this could be ethically used by Christians within the confines of a church. Assuming that you cannot, or should not use it, what steps might be taken to counter-act its effects? Or is that even really possible? From what I’ve seen, the only thing that can surmount a man with pre-selection is another man with an even greater perception of pre-selection. I invite my readers to chime in with their thoughts on this subject, and all the others broached in this post.

 

297 Comments

Filed under APE, Attraction, Femininity, LAMPS, Marriage Market Place, Masculinity, Men, Red Pill, Sex, Sexual Market Place, Women

297 responses to “Analyzing Attraction- Part 3

  1. happyhen11

    “The visceral reaction to being married to men with some of the attitudes shown here is the same from this side. I guess that’s why we’re each happily married to the spouses we do have, and fortunate to not have to worry about being married to anyone else.”

    Here here 😀

  2. Branden S.

    @Tru G*

    Beating you up theme? Darn, why do I always miss all of the fun…

  3. Tru G*

    I feel like beating is poor man’s alpha.

  4. Branden S.

    @Tru G*

    Probably so. I find ignoring is much more effective.

  5. mdavid

    FBNF, What is it about pre-selection? Or (maybe) a better way to ask it is, what exactly do you guys think women are paying attention to, or what kind of conclusions do you guys think we come to about a man when we see that another woman (or women plural) are attracted to him?

    You should be telling us men; we just experience it*. But there is good reason for it; women (especially older women) are in fierce competition for high status men and men try to bluff their status. Safer to go with the herd.

    *Sad but true: at a club one night with coworkers and a fairly attractive and conservative-looking girl sat next to me at the bar (that I hadn’t even noticed being there) grabbed my wedding ring between two fingers and leered: What does this mean to you tonight? I was aghast. But in hindsight, it was simple: preselection + aloof = attractive. I lost my ring years later and never replaced (hate rings) and get noticeably less female attention. Pathetic.

  6. Why does pre-selection work? People are mentally lazy. In this case if a man has pre-selection working for him it’s like he has been vetted by X number of women so they don’t have to do the work of vetting the man themselves.

  7. mdavid

    scf, People are mentally lazy.

    Not just lazy; preselection is real and makes sense even for the industrious:
    1) Each side is trying to trick the other; it’s a war and you can’t fool everyone, so numbers are real social proof…a man can’t easily fake female attraction, and due to bell-curve issues the top men will on average be smarter than the top women. Women use every advantage they have in this game, and preselection works. Remember, mating selection is the most important thing a person does in their life.
    2) MMP men are dropping out (primarily due to law & feminism) and women feel the competition for higher-status men (women are genetically programmed for this competition, like men for sports; watch film of women in front of a male stripper if you doubt this).

  8. No doubt Dave but I think being lazy in certain ways is tactical virtue. We all have only so many hours in the days and decent short cuts free up our most limited resouce; time

    I don’t see where what I said and you said via that article are mutually exclusive. One explains why being lazy is a good idea…. or am I reading thing a wrong?

  9. @ FBNF

    What is it about pre-selection? Or (maybe) a better way to ask it is, what exactly do you guys think women are paying attention to, or what kind of conclusions do you guys think we come to about a man when we see that another woman (or women plural) are attracted to him?

    I’m going to second what mdavid said. I can’t really speculate what sort of thought process or emotional process goes into this phenomenon. I can only say that most men have observed it over and over. Additionally, the phenomenon is clearly backed up by basic evolutionary psychology principles (namely, the “Sexy Son Hypothesis”).

    I can say this much: the female response to a pre-selected man appears to be rapid and visceral/instinctive. As the term goes, he is a “chick-magnet”.

  10. Tru G*

    Basically, whenever I vet a guy, he all of a sudden gets a following. I’m a perfectly decent option, but men like to “hypergamy” too. They bank off of the preselection they generate from my interest. Makes sense: preselection has to start somewhere. It probably starts when they get an option.

    So, now the winning game-plan is not to go with what you like, but compete in the preselection games. Just increase your number of preselected guys, and chances are, you’ll snag one. There’s no point playing a losing game.

    I think it’s human nature to “maximize,” or try to get better, hotter mates than what’s available. It’s really just the sin of greed. My theory is that women do it more often than men nowadays, because the number of men who act like men is so small. The amount of women who wear makeup and dress nice is pretty decent. There are more attractive women than there are attractive men.

    In the olden days, all the men were out there splitting logs and hauling caribou. They were, for the most part, alphas. Maybe they weren’t 9s and 10s, but they were at least masculine. No one needed to choose between a manly man and a good provider. The good provider was probably seen as more masculine, actually. Basically, what you saw was what you got.

  11. Hank Flanders

    Tru G

    There are more attractive women than there are attractive men

    You’re affirming the accuracy of that OKCupid study:

    http://blog.okcupid.com/index.php/your-looks-and-online-dating/

  12. Tru G*

    Women are always going to look better than men, but men can get some help from masculinity.

    Alright, unrelated: So, I’ve decided that I’m just going to continue on the path that I was on, except this time, I just need to try harder at the other thing. There are no life-hacks for women. We marry young (which only works if your parents are paying for gas milage, expensive haircuts and so on, or if you stay home and work) or we have to work on our careers and look for husbands at the same time. Otherwise, we’re considered losers. You just have to do it all and better than everyone else. It just sucks. That’s life.

  13. Tru G*

    If someone says “you’re so mysterious” or “you really get me”, they’re always a PUA, right? They’re not just trying to find a nice girl? I just need affirmation.

  14. Fringed

    Trug:

    If a man is conveying to you that you are so mysterious, then perhaps he just believes that you come across as mysterious to him; perhaps he even thinks you are confusing.

    The marriage market is very difficult for men with limited options just as it is for women with limited options. Both genders are composed of many individuals who suffer by wanting a mate and not being able to land one. Maybe it appears that women suffer more because men typically suffer silently.

    Being single is not being a loser. Settling for the rap of loser, imposed by others, is being a loser until the loser chooses to successfully reconsider.

  15. Tru G*

    Truthbomb, Fringed. I got this. 😉

  16. Tru G*

    I’m just going to meet all kinds of random people, friend them on Facebook, and flatter them mercilessly. 😀 This is seriously the life-hack of the century. I was making things way too hard on myself. Actually, Proverbs encourages us to flatter people.

  17. Feminine But Not Feminist

    @ mdavid and SirNemesis

    I can only speculate myself as to why a woman would want a man simply because other women seem to want him too, or already have him, such as with married men. Maybe if she isn’t looking for commitment, but rather is just looking for a fling (such as with the woman leering at mdavid), or if she enjoys competing with the other women and possibly winning the competition to get the man just for the sake of winning, but doesn’t actually care about the man himself, or even about keeping him afterwards (the song “Joleen” by Dolly Parton came to mind there). Or maybe if she is a status hound, where she cares more about his supposed status than anything else (including him), she might seek out men that a lot of other women are obviously paying attention to (like with the fake celebrity experiment from the OP).

    But otherwise, it doesn’t make sense to me why a commitment-seeking woman would be trying to snag a man just because other women are too. It only makes sense when he is the kind of man you are looking for, regardless of how many women are after him. For one thing, the more fierce the competition, the less likely you are to get that man. So unless you happen to be the best (and best looking) candidate of the women paying attention to him, it’s not likely to work in your favor. In which case, what would be the point? Unless he is exactly the kind of man you are looking for, it doesn’t make sense to even bother if you know that a lot of other women are after him too.

    I think maybe it doesn’t make as much sense to me as it might to some other women because of watching my brother and a few other men in my family around his age deal with women. They aren’t exactly good candidates for marriage (scary, promiscuous, drug addicts, felons, that sort of thing), yet I’ve never known them to have a shortage of female attention. I mean, I love them all in a family sort of way, but if pre-selection leads you to men that live like that (and let’s face it – some women do have horrible taste in men, so it likely would), then it makes no sense to rely on other women to determine which men to want if you are looking for a man to marry.

    I think maybe a better explanation to why a woman might notice a man that other women also notice is simply that, if a man is very attractive, then he will probably get attention from more than one woman because of his attractive qualities, rather than because of the other women. As in, the other women are irrelevant in terms of why the man is getting attention to begin with. And like Mrs C (I think it was her anyway) asked way up-thread, what got the first women to notice him? Probably the same things that also got the subsequent women to notice him too.

    *******************************

    One last thought. As for a man using pre-selection as a tactic at church… I’m not sure that’s an honest way to go about it. A man getting other women to act like they are attracted to him if they actually aren’t is deceitful. And using unsuspecting women who actually are attracted to him in this way would be mean. I know I would be pretty upset to find out that I had been used in that way by a man that I was interested in. I can’t think of any way for a man to be able to use that tactic without lying and/or hurting someone else in the process.

  18. One last thought. As for a man using pre-selection as a tactic at church… I’m not sure that’s an honest way to go about it. A man getting other women to act like they are attracted to him if they actually aren’t is deceitful. And using unsuspecting women who actually are attracted to him in this way would be mean. I know I would be pretty upset to find out that I had been used in that way by a man that I was interested in. I can’t think of any way for a man to be able to use that tactic without lying and/or hurting someone else in the process.

    Won’t work. Women talk to other women, so unless he’s really good friends with women who want to build him up into some sort of paragon of a man it won’t happen.

    As I said on the first page, the only way this “works” is with men building up — encouraging and exhorting — other men in the presence of women in general. Which Christians shold be doing anyway which is most of the point.

  19. mdavid

    FBNF, But otherwise, it doesn’t make sense to me why a commitment-seeking woman would be trying to snag a man just because other women are too. It only makes sense when he is the kind of man you are looking for…

    There is a flaw in this thinking. A woman will only be “commitment-seeking” if it benefits her genetically (even the term “snag” is enlightening). Most cultures through history were not fully monogamous, and this historical matriarchal family pattern is being restored by welfare, the feminist/sexual revolution, women’s growing economic independence, and finally legally enforced mother-custody. For women today, commitment is merely meh and they are looking for the best genetics only.

    …or if she enjoys competing with the other women and possibly winning the competition to get the man just for the sake of winning

    Now this is something I never thought of. This is probably genetically ingrained (like men with sports). Being sexually aroused by the mere act of vanquishing a competitor socially is interesting and believable. We already know women are aroused by violence, so it fits.

    I’ve mentioned this before a book that really elucidates this topic is The Garbage Generation (it can read it for free online) and Chapter 2 is worth a read for anyone interested in preselection or male-female relations in general.

  20. Novaseeker

    Pre-selection is actually quite easy to understand, once you understand female attraction. Female attraction to men is relative — where does the man stand in relation to other men? There are various ways for women to discern this — observing men competing with each other in various contexts, observing social dynamics between men, observing their comparative appearance/musculature/deportment/style. But a critical and central one is watching how other *women* react to him. If women generally have a positive interaction/opinion/assessment of a particular man, this in itself is a key indicator that this man is outcompeting other men in the relevant frame — simply because women prefer him to other men in an observable way. So it’s a quite good proxy for women to discern who the standout men really are when it comes to women — and these are the men that all women want. Of course, not all women can *have* one of these guys, due to the numbers game involved, but that doesn’t stop them from wanting one of them. It’s just a quite obvious proxy for the kind of man who is a cut above other men when it comes to women.

    Male attraction is different in that it isn’t relative in this sense. Men distinguish between hot and not hot, and degrees of hotness in a relative sense, of course, but it isn’t the case that men are only attracted to women who are in the hottest of the hot category. All men are attracted to such women, but almost no men are *only* attracted to such women. This is the difference between optimization (what men do) and hypergamy (what women do). Women again and again look at men’s optimizing behavior and conclude that men are hypergamous, when nothing could be further from the truth. The difference is where does the attraction floor lie — for men it lies beneath them (which is why attractive male players will glady bed a woman who is a cute 6, even though is is a 7 or 8+), whereas for women it lies above them. Women are not attracted to peers or lower in the way men are — that is the difference, and it’s a key one. Because of that aspect of female attraction, finding the men who are a cut above is not a case of optimization, but simply finding men who pass the basic attraction test.

    It’s possible that more men passed this test in prior eras, but I am very skeptical of that. It seems much more likely that male status was artificially boosted by social, religious and moral “subsidies” to male status which acted to subject women in a kind of belts and suspenders way so as to ensure that the average male had a higher status than the average female did. If men were all natural alpha males in days of yore, such multiple overlapping systems to boost male status and restrict female sexual expression would have been unnecessary, because women would have been attracted to most men, and would have had very little incentive to stray. The fact that this system of rules and status existed is itself a strong indicator that this was never the case, and that women were always at least somewhat discontent with their mate pairings such that transgressing the rules had to be punished in a fairly draconian way historically.

    When you remove those rules, and have an economy where women can (and do) compete equally well for jobs, which in most cases do not require any sort of heavy lifting any longer, you see hypergamy in full bloom. It was likely always there, but supressed by overlapping social rules and reinforced by economic systems which placed emphasis on heavy lifting of necessity. Remove those, and you see what hypergamy really looks like. Really, the way we see women behaving today is simply what was underneath the surface all of those centuries and millennia, but which only now, due to modern circumstances, has been able to be expressed in its fullness.

  21. Feminine But Not Feminist

    As for where a man stands in relation to other men being so important ~ it will be more important to women who are status hounds than it will be to women who place more importance on some of the other PSALM/LAMPS qualities. Like the OP says, the degree to which those things matter in relation to the others is subjective, and therefore varies from woman to woman. Meaning pre-selection will impact some women more than others.

  22. Novaseeker

    I’m willing to accept that there are some women who do not value status/power as much as others, but on average, this is what women value the most among PSALMS, hence why DG re-ordered them to put power and status first. Not all women, but most women, and I think that explains pre-selection. There are women who are different — no doubt that’s true. But outliers are outliers, and most people don’t design their analytical model or lifestyle approach based on outliers, but based on the norms.

  23. Feminine But Not Feminist

    Power is different than Status though. They don’t have to go together. I personally put Power at the front of the PSALM/LAMPS line, while Status is much lower down the line.

  24. mdavid

    Nova, There are women who are different — no doubt that’s true. But outliers are outliers, and most people don’t design their analytical model or lifestyle approach based on outliers, but based on the norms.

    But will the norms remain norms? Will LAMPS be sustainably fruitful? What delivers the most great-grandchildren today? Because that will, by definition, be what rules even if 99% of people’s behaviors today goes extinct. The future of attraction belongs to those who show up for it.

    If you were to tell a patriarchal Englishman in 1750 that by 2050 there would be more people attending Catholic mass in England than Anglican services, he wouldn’t have believed it. What happened was the r-strategy matriarchal Irish banned artificial birth control, like the Amish do today. This has permanently changed the attraction game in the West to a matriarchal slant..and why redheads really are for beating :-).

    Or tell that same Englishman that Mohammad was the most popular birth name in London. Or an Texan in 1800 that by 2000 that matriarchal Hispanics would retake Texas and own California. Nothing is constant in attraction; the rules are constantly changing.

  25. “ But will the norms remain norms? Will LAMPS be sustainably fruitful?”

    Yes, because female hypergamy (seeking the best man) and male optimization (seeking women above the attraction floor) are hard wired. More importantly, women throughout history have been sexually attracted to men with power, status, athleticism, looks and money, in roughly that order.

    Women are hardwired for sexual attraction to, and sex with, men who are confident (who believe they can survive and thrive regardless of circumstances). Women are hardwired for sexual attraction to dominant men (i.e who have status relative to other men; men who are able to, and do, shape their surroundings and circumstances to their will). It has always been this way, and it will likely continue to be this way.

    The so-called “bad boy” succeeds sexually because he believes in himself, and honestly believes he’ll succeed at what he does and wants, even when he doesn’t most of the time. The feral bad boy succeeds sexually because he doesn’t care what others think of him, and he can and does impose his will on others, usually through physical force or threat of force. Women look at such men and say “he has Power and Status”. They reach this conclusion especially when they look at their other choices — the nebbish tax lawyer or accountant, who has Money, but not enough to impose his will on others and not enough to thrive. Or the unemployed layabout, who has nothing in the way of PSALM.

    So when given the choice among the usuals: the nerdy STEM guy with some resources; the unemployed omega, or the confident douche badboy, she’ll have sex with the badboy just about every time. Even if it isn’t confidence and dominance, it’s the illusion of these things, and that’s enough for sexual success in this SMP.

    “Nothing constant in rules of attraction”

    This just isn’t true. Women are always, at all times everywhere, attracted to confident, dominant men who have status relative to other men. This is universal and cuts across all demographics. The differences are the ways in which the society and culture uses as approved methods and manners of expressing and manifesting those traits.

  26. And men are always, at all times everywhere, sexually attracted to young women who are not fat, and with good skin, long hair, big breasts, firm butts, and a waist to hip ratio of around .7. It has always been this way, and it will continue to be this way.

  27. Novaseeker

    Power is different than Status though. They don’t have to go together.

    In theory yes, but in practice they most often do go together. The key is what “status” means. It doesn’t mean celebrity status, but social dominance in the context relevant for the man in question. A man with real power will normally have that status as well.

  28. @ FBNF

    I think maybe a better explanation to why a woman might notice a man that other women also notice is simply that, if a man is very attractive, then he will probably get attention from more than one woman because of his attractive qualities, rather than because of the other women. As in, the other women are irrelevant in terms of why the man is getting attention to begin with. And like Mrs C (I think it was her anyway) asked way up-thread, what got the first women to notice him? Probably the same things that also got the subsequent women to notice him too.

    No that isn’t all there is to it. Plenty of men have reported getting far greater interest from women after they start walking around with their girlfriend than when they didn’t have a girlfriend. Many men have also reported that as soon as one girl from their friend groups starts dating them, the other girls become interested as well.

  29. Novaseeker

    “Nothing constant in rules of attraction”

    This just isn’t true. Women are always, at all times everywhere, attracted to confident, dominant men who have status relative to other men. This is universal and cuts across all demographics. The differences are the ways in which the society and culture uses as approved methods and manners of expressing and manifesting those traits.

    I think this is basically true, in that what types of things tend to count as markers of status and power — that is indeed contextual and can change over time.

    The other thing that changes over time, of course, are circumstances. Circumstances can constrain the ability of either sex to execute its reproductive strategy in various ways, which force compromises, and, depending on what the constraining or limiting factors are, can influence which attraction vectors are shifted into the primary role, and which are subordinated. The most obvious recent example of this is the movement of society to a post-industrial economy in which relatively little heavy lifting is required, meaning women can earn a decent to good or better living competitively with men en masse for the first time in history. That change in circumstances resulted in a radical demotion of the “M” factor in the list of vectors, and a greater emphasis on the A and L factors, in relative terms, relative to the M factor. The importance of the factors flipped around due to circumstances which relieved certain pressures/constraints and allowed women to radically demote the importance of M in favor of other factors. So that kind of thing can and does change over time as well, as circumstances that impact mate selection change.

    I think we do live at the apogee of women being able to execute their reproductive/sexual strategy — at least in historical terms. This suggests that it may not be long-term sustainable, but the long term is … long. It remains to be seen how long it can remain the case that one sex has such a huge advantage in terms of playing its strategy, but it’s likely that it will be sustained for quite some time, and as such is likely the only relevant framework for everyone here and their children at least.

  30. Novaseeker

    No that isn’t all there is to it. Plenty of men have reported getting far greater interest from women after they start walking around with their girlfriend than when they didn’t have a girlfriend. Many men have also reported that as soon as one girl from their friend groups starts dating them, the other girls become interested as well.

    Also much greater interest when we are/were married (with the ring displayed) than otherwise. That’s very real, and I experienced it as well. Even if the women don’t want to sleep with you (although many of us do/did get such propositions in more or less subtle ways when married compared to otherwise), it’s a kind of “membership card” or proof that you have been
    “vetted” by a woman. The degree of it depends on the status of your wife in terms of the female hierarchy and how she is perceived there — the more status she has in the female hierarchy, the stronger the pre-selection effect.

  31. Feminine But Not Feminist

    @ SirNemesis

    Based on what I’ve seen of women and “girl talk” when men aren’t around, that sounds a whole lot more like petty jealousy and competition with the other woman than it does genuine interest in the man himself, particularly within the same group of friends only becoming “interested” in the guy after one of them truly does become interested. This is one reason why I became less inclined to hang out with a bunch of girls in my early teens. The catty behavior is very annoying.

  32. Patrick

    “My theory is that women do it more often than men nowadays, because the number of men who act like men is so small. The amount of women who wear makeup and dress nice is pretty decent. There are more attractive women than there are attractive men.”

    Yeah, but the number of women who act like women is so small that no one even knows what acting like a woman means anymore. I’ve been more attracted to slutty, immodest women who haven’t lost their girlishness and vulnerability than to modest, chaste, punctilious women buttoned up to the neck and wearing makeup who think being “challenging” is an attractive trait. So there are a lot of slutty women who like to be “challenging” and a lot of chaste women who like to be “challenging” but the number of chaste/modest/submissive who still have a dewy girlishness is at least as small, probably smaller, than the number of chaste alpha-types.

  33. @ Nova

    The Romans at the downfall of their empire experienced the same thing as we are now experiencing as they gave women greater societal and familial freedoms. I don’t see this as much different from today.

    If we were to quantify how religious and societal influences boosted male SMV per se then we could have a list of:

    1. Male only spaces (females, for some reason, are jealous of these; status)
    2. Males have more applicability to certain jobs and fields (status and earning potential)
    3. Men had more access to higher education (status)
    4. Husband as head of household as opposed to ‘egalitarian’ (which means female run since no marriage is egalitarian)
    5. Men were taught to act like men (no societal oppression against masculinity, masculinity not demonized in schools, workplace, home, even the church, etc.).
    6. There may be more but I can’t think of any else atm.

    I think there are definitely more religious and societal contraints that artificially boost SMV of males compared to females in the past, but I do think you discount the fact that men were also more masculine in the past and took like crap from women simply because there was no negative stigma for acting like a man and being different from women. More or less some of the all of the above type of phenomena.

    ~approximately 90% of women were married prior to 1960s
    ~Currently the estimated trend is that 25% of adults may never marry — but I expect that to likely grow (http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2014/09/24/record-share-of-americans-have-never-married/).

    This means that 15% of men have been selected out of the market or on average about 1.5 SMV points. The women that are getting married are unhappier in marriage because the men they are marrying are “closer” to them in SMV and the divorce rate of all first marriages has risen to that 40%.

    Thus, a male “5” in the 1960s may have been the equivalent of a male 6 or 7 today with the artificial boosts and being more masculine in general. The 1-2 above her satisfies hypergamy for the most part.

  34. Tru G*

    Yeah, there’s no way men had the issues that they do today. They already had their P and A checked-off. Like DS said, there was also a certain amount of status that they were given, due to patriarchy. Your “Protestant Work Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism” taught a man that if he worked really hard, his M would gradually increase. So now, you only have looks left-over, which is just dumb-luck. For all that was wrong with Puritanism and Reform Theology (I’m especially loathe to Calvinism), it was a great wingman in its heyday.

    I mean, if you think about, the original idea of a Democratic Republic was there to increase the P-score. You can imagine how devastating the effects of slavery and racism were to African American masculinity for centuries.

    I disbelieve the premise that manhood is a chump that needs shinies on it (Lamps/Pslam) to make it palatable to a woman, and that women have for centuries only been attracted to a handful of top men and disliked every other man, because people are all really just gorillas. With the exception of Looks, I think Lamps/Psalm describes basic masculinity, and that men not being able to check the boxes nowadays is a symptom of the state of masculinity.

    Hypergamy is there, but it’s not to naturally there to the extent that the manosphere probably thinks it is. So, patriarchy gives a man a little boost in status over a woman. That’s all a woman really wants in terms of attraction: a little better status than me, therefore, attractive. Nowadays, when she works, she demands more status for her attraction, because she has higher status through working. Now, in comparison with other men, one man might have had less status. But he’d still be attractive to a woman in his league, because he fulfills the requirement of having slightly better status than her. Same with Power, and you could argue, Money.

    One profession might have seemed more attractive than another, but nearly all registered on the attraction scale.

    The rest of the manosphere is based in evolutionary biology. What bombs about evolutionary biology, is that it’s not scientific. It generally observes it’s surroundings and then invents a story that fits into its narrative, much like spontaneous generation did in the past. You see mosquitos, you see mud, you think mosquitos come from mud, because mentally lazy. You see hypergamy, you see a mating strategy similar to the animal kingdom, you think hypergamy comes from the animal kingdom. No. People are simply smart. When what they want doesn’t pan-out, they move onto plan B. When women can’t get their attraction requirements met, and men can’t get their sexual requirements met, they find other ways of doing so. Gorillas mate the same way all the time no matter what, because they’re dumb.

    Psalm/Lamps are merely symptoms of basic masculinity (excluding the prettiness factor). Basic masculinity is Biblical. The way the government has gone, which is a punishment to the church, is not. The feminist model a punishment to both sexes, is not.

  35. Tru G*

    “Plenty of men have reported getting far greater interest from women after they start walking around with their girlfriend than when they didn’t have a girlfriend.”

    This also happens to women who are on dates, but not to married women. Women get a lot more male attention on a date than when alone or out with their friends.

  36. Novaseeker

    I disbelieve the premise that manhood is a chump that needs shinies on it (Lamps/Pslam) to make it palatable to a woman, and that women have for centuries only been attracted to a handful of top men and disliked every other man, because people are all really just gorillas. With the exception of Looks, I think Lamps/Psalm describes basic masculinity, and that men not being able to check the boxes nowadays is a symptom of the state of masculinity.

    Disagree with you there.

    The key to PSALM is that it is all relative to other men — all of them. In particular, the first two, power and status, are inherently relative. It isn’t “basic masculinity” because by definition not all men can have high power and high status — not possible, because these things are, by their nature, relative to other men. High status means higher status than other men. High power means higher power than other men. Same for the rest of PSALM, really. It was never the case that all or most men were high in P and S relative to other men — most were peasants. So high power and high status are not baseline masculinity, really. They are what make some men stand out from others, which by definition means they are NOT on the baseline.

    It was the case, however, that men’s power and status were boosted to be of higher levels than peer-class women, and this worked (together with what DS has said about not having masculine expression suppressed). Both of these combined to make the average guy not high in P and S relative to other men, but higher than that of women, comfortably (women in his own social class at least), enough for hypergamy to be satisfied for some women (I believe there were many who were very dissatsified, and the wave of divorces that happened when no fault divorce became law indicates that many women in these marriages prior to 1970 were quite unhappy in them). But that system required a subsidy for men, it wasn’t a baseline masculinity that is “natural” to men at all. And most guys, once the subsidy slipped away, began to slide down relative to women fairly quickly. This was then exacerbated in the next couple of generations where males were raised in environments that were to one or another degree hostile to masculine expression, that is true. But without the subsidy, most men will still struggle mightily to obtain the kind of status and/or power to be attractive to peer women. Add to that the fact that today, women have higher status not only because of the removal of the male status and power subsidies, but because they have worked to achieve economic and social status themselves, and it becomes even *harder* for men to satisfy the hypergamy requirements. Certainly some kind of “baseline masculinity” isn’t going to be nearly enough in most cases.

  37. Novaseeker

    This also happens to women who are on dates, but not to married women. Women get a lot more male attention on a date than when alone or out with their friends.

    Not surprised. I’d say most betas (which would be most men) still have some respect for the “honor code” of not coming on to another man’s wife, I think. Alphas on the other hand … not so much, given how easily many of them seem to seduce sexually dissatisfied married women, of whom there are legions in our culture.

  38. Tru G*

    I wasn’t talking about explosions of attraction, Nova. I was talking about men being just plain attractive. Add more power, add more status, add better looks, and they’d be more attractive. There wouldn’t be an aristocratic SMP with the gentry at the top getting all the women and the peasants squabbling for crumbs. That’s what you have nowadays. Overall, people are always going to want hotter and cooler spouses (strictly in the MMP). Men tend to want hotter more, and women tend to want cooler more. But basic hotness ( a five with long hair who dresses well and takes care of herself) and basic coolness (your oldschool lumberjack pioneer) are enough to for both parties to be satisfied.

  39. Tru G*

    “Add more power, add more status, add better looks, and they’d be more attractive.” < Referring to hypergamy. Sorry, unclear.

  40. Novaseeker

    But basic hotness ( a five with long hair who dresses well and takes care of herself) and basic coolness (your oldschool lumberjack pioneer) are enough to for both parties to be satisfied.

    Well, if the “basic masculinity” baseline is an oldschool lumberjack pioneer, then, yes. But that was never most men historically. Most men were peasants historically, of low status and power, and not terribly impressive, but most of them had wives nonetheless. I doubt most of the women were happy with that, but it’s what it was.

    Men can certainly improve their odds with women by self-improving — I think most men here would agree with that. A man can increase his attractiveness to women. But I don’t think that the baseline is very low when it comes to satisfying women’s attraction. It has never been so, at least in my own experience. When I was in the market myself as a young man in the late 80s and early 90s it was similar to how it is now, de facto, despite everyone saying that men are uniquely unattractive today, in 2014. Women said the same things in 1992. I’m sure they said the same things in 1972, 1942 and 1902 as well. In my experience, women are picky by nature, pickier to a substantially higher degree than men are, and it isn’t about a baseline at all, really. It’s about the relative status of men and women, and the impact of this on female attraction (it doesn’t have much of an impact on male attraction to women, which is not generally based on the PSALM type factors but on L and then personality as a secondary once the L threshold is met). The patriarchy and its subsidies are not coming back, so yes men need to work to become more attractive. But not to get to some kind of baseline. The standard is much higher than that, and it always was really — at least since women started selecting men themselves mostly on the basis of visceral attraction, which is itself not that new and dates back a few decades at least.

  41. @ Tru G

    This also happens to women who are on dates, but not to married women. Women get a lot more male attention on a date than when alone or out with their friends.

    Interesting. Out of curiosity though, does this apply just to dates or also to women with boyfriends? After all, women on dates tend to dress and act differently than they normally do.

    [DG: I would think that a single woman out on a date is more likely to be “dolled up.” This would almost certainly translate into greater attention directed her way. A married woman is less likely to doll up, and also the ring does direct away some attention.]

  42. Elspeth

    I noticed a few years ago that more men said hello to me or struck up random conversations when I wore red lipstick. So I stopped wearing it. But my husband likes it, particularly when I am wearing something red, which is a good color on me.. So I now wear it when with him but otherwise skip it.

    My point? Women who are “dolled up” married or not (heck, even over 30!) receive more positive male attention even if it isn’t overtly sexual.

    It leaves good Christian girls who want to signal they are serious about marriage with some choices to make. None of mine wear makeup except an occasional muted lip gloss. They are no match for the dolled up girls. Even in church.

  43. Tru G*

    DG… I’m always dolled-up! 🙂

  44. Tru G*

    Elspeth: you might want to get some makeup on them. What’s a little makeup now? The guys in church will only go after the hot ones. The hot ones are probably not good wife material. It’s up to your daughters to wear makeup and save the daaaay!!!!

  45. @ Elspeth

    Why don’t your daughters wear makeup? It seems to be an effective way of both looking better and signaling to men that male interest is likely to be appreciated. Does modesty necessitate appearing completely asexual?

    Granted, there are guys like me who tend to prefer natural or very light makeup (I find myself preferring the before pics more often than after pics when it comes to makeup), but we seem to be in the minority.

  46. Elspeth

    Why don’t your daughters wear makeup? It seems to be an effective way of both looking better and signaling to men that male interest is likely to be appreciated. Does modesty necessitate appearing completely asexual?

    Dad’s house, dad’s rules.

  47. mdavid

    Why don’t your daughters wear makeup?…Dad’s house, dad’s rules.

    I hate makeup and I love this guy!

  48. Tru G*

    At the risk of sounding like a concern troll, I’m sure you have some really nice girls. I hope they don’t end up in my position someday. It’s very stressful.

  49. Novaseeker

    Granted, there are guys like me who tend to prefer natural or very light makeup (I find myself preferring the before pics more often than after pics when it comes to makeup), but we seem to be in the minority.

    Men tend to prefer understated makeup on their GFs/wives and over the top makeup in whores/porn and so on. Madonna/whore stuff, really.

    I myself don’t do porn or whores, and I also prefer modest makeup, which is what my GF uses as well.

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