Analyzing Attraction- Part 4

This post is a continuation of my series on attraction. The most recent post in the series can be found here, and the first can be found here.  Today’s post is going to focus on a specific feature of female attraction, commonly referred to as “Hypergamy.” This post is by no means meant to be exhaustive- there is a lot to cover and I won’t attempt to do so in this single post.

An Inaccurate Name for an Accurate Observation

Merriam-Webster defines Hypergamy as “marriage into an equal or higher caste or social group.” For anyone familiar with how hypergamy is used in the ‘sphere, you will realize that this definition is not what most people mean when they use that particular word. In fact, it is hardly ever used in conjunction with castes or social groups. Unsurprisingly, this trips more than a few people up. Those individuals who come across this part of the ‘net, and who upon seeing the word “Hypergamy” look it up, will quickly become confused. This often leads some people (mostly but not always women) to reject any “Red Pill” concepts which are connected with hypergamy.

Here is an example of a post where a woman “rejects” hypergamy. A quick review of her post will reveal that she has a better understanding of the subject than most who come to that conclusion. She knows that it is about more than just “marrying up” to a higher social group.  However, her understanding is still imperfect (more might be said about her post but I’m keeping this narrowly focused here). To help her out, and to help out anyone else whose knowledge of this area is lacking, I will (try to) explain what “Hypergamy,” as used in the ‘sphere, actually means.

The thing to understand is that hypergamy is not about “marrying up.” And by that I mean its not about marrying, and not necessarily about “up” in a social status sense. No, hypergamy is about maximization.

Hypergamy means the female drive to maximize a woman’s access to a man, or men, who can meet her demand for the best genetics, provision and protection possible.

This “drive” breaks down into two specific drives, both of which can be (and often are) independent of one another. As Rollo has explained in the past (and I’m sure he can include a post or two in the comments below as examples), women want “Good Genes” and “Good Dads.” In other words, they have a drive to mate with a man with the best perceived genes, which will be passed on to their children. And they have a drive to secure or “lock down” or get “commitment” from a man who they perceive will be the best possible “dad.” Such a man will protect and provide for a woman and her children. Arousal (or sexual attraction) is tied to “good genes”, and (non-sexual) attraction is tied to being a “good dad.” Often, attraction and a man’s skills or ability as a provider/protector are tied to his social status, but not always.

The female ideal is to get both “needs” met in the same package. Essentially, a man with (perceived) good genetics who will also stick around and care for the woman and her children. However, it is not common (at least in this day and age) to find a man with both sets of qualities. And its even rarer to find that kind of man who is free and is interested in settling down. This is where things get more complicated.

You see, women are more than willing and able to seek out different men to meet each individual “need.”  In fact, I would argue that women who cannot get both in the same man will naturally employ this strategy unless they are reared not to. This strategy entails sleeping with men with (perceived) good genes, and then trying to get men who are perceived as good providers/protectors to take care of them. It is called by some “AF/BB”, or “Alpha F—s, Beta Bucks.” Potiphar’s wife, whom I mentioned in my latest Sunday Scriptures post, was likely trying to employ this strategy. Bathsheba, on the other hand, was (assuming she was trying to get David’s attention) trying to get David to carry out a “relationship coup”- that is, to remove Uriah from the picture so that she could marry David. David, after all, was an upgrade from Uriah as far as both drives were concerned.

My suspicion, which seems borne out by evidence all around us, is that women primarily focus on “good genes” when they are younger, and as they get older and have children, “good dads” take preeminence (Rollo refers to this as the Epiphany phase). This, along with some things I will explain in the next few paragraphs, will explain why a stable-hand might draw the attention that a banker doesn’t.

Now, I’ve used “perceived” at several points in the last few paragraphs because it isn’t always clear which men have “good genes” and which men would be “good dads.” Usually the latter is easier to figure out than the former. Women use various shortcuts to try and determine how well a man rates on both. The primary tool that women use to determine “Good Genes” (aka, arousal) is a man’s LAMPS/PSALM score. The higher a man ranks in LAMPS value, the more sexually attractive he is to women and the more he will arouse them. The stable-boy, who is somewhat mocked in the post linked above, is an example of a man whose LAMPS score is high, at least compared to the banker. The banker’s decent Status value helps him, but if he has a lower Power value then it doesn’t matter, ultimately. Likewise, the reference to rogues and pirates all showcase men with high LAMPS scores, primarily focused on the Power attribute. These are all men who can arouse women, and since young women are primarily looking for arousal (rather than non-sexual attraction), that is why they garner such attention.

Something else tied to all of this is the behavior of “trading up.” This is a natural outgrowth of the drive to maximize access to “good genes” and “good dad” in a man. If a better man is found, then women will subconsciously want to “trade up.” That they don’t all the time is because of a number of factions: socializing, a sense of morality, a lack of opportunity and social penalties. Investing in a man over time can also reduce this likelihood. Remove these and women will often leap at a chance to trade up. Only, their idea of trading up may vary, depending on what particular drive they are trying to maximize at the time. Also, their perceptions of what constitutes “higher value” may not always be crystal clear.

One additional note: hypergamy is one drive among many that women possess. Albeit a powerful drive. But for women who are raised properly, its nastier effects can be limited, or even controlled. Unfortunately this is no longer the case for most modern women.

Hopefully this provided at least a half-way understandable explanation of hypergamy, as it is used by people in the ‘sphere. It is an inaccurate use of a word, that much I will grant. A better term needs to be invented, I think, to really encompass everything that falls under this umbrella. But until then hypergamy remains an inaccurate name for an accurate observation of female behavior.

Good Enough v. The Best

As mentioned above, hypergamy is about maximization and a desire for the best. Its arousal component means that a woman will be drawn, sexually, to the men around her who she perceives as meeting her drive’s demand for “good genes.” More specifically, she will be drawn to the best among them- those men with the highest LAMPS values. However, this isn’t the only behavior in play.

Women also have what is called an “Attraction floor,” which is a point below which they won’t consider a man as a viable sexual partner. This means that in a population where none of the men are above this point, women won’t be able to satisfy their “good genes” hypergasmic impulse (that one never gets old). If they do pick a man, it won’t be based on arousal. Rather, it will be based on his being perceived as a “good dad” candidate, aka, (non-sexual) attraction.  There is no guarantee that they will pick such men; some women would rather do without (just as some men will choose to do without if they can’t find any candidates they consider acceptable/worthy).

What this means for a man is that he needs to make sure that he isn’t simply the best. He also needs to be sure that he is above a woman’s attraction floor. The problem is that there is no clear indication where this floor is. The fluid nature of the LAMPS model makes it difficult to pinpoint values. Furthermore, each women values each attribute somewhat differently, and also has her own floor for that matter. All of which makes it next to impossible to know where this floor is. It is much easier, on the other hand, to know where it isn’t. If a man arouses a woman, he is above the floor. If he doesn’t, then he is likely below it. Consequently, a man should always endeavor to build his LAMPS values as high as possible, to ensure that he is not only the best, but that he is good enough as well.

Toxic Hypergamy

One subject that comes up from time to time around these parts is Toxic Hypergamy. This refers to the notion that some women’s hypergamy “filter” has become so warped that they can no longer (realistically) meet it their hypergamic requirements. In other words, what they find acceptable or worthy in a man is at such a high level so as to be unattainable by all but a few men (or in extreme cases no man alive could ever be acceptable). Naturally enough, there aren’t enough of these men to go around. And often such men won’t have anything to do with women exhibiting this behavior. Further, the women who have this often aren’t high enough value themselves to justify having such standards. In many (most?) instances they are often quite bad at estimating their own SMV.

Toxic Hypergamy seems to be especially prevalent in Christian circles. More than a few posters and commenters around these parts can attest to personal stories of Western Christian women who demonstrated this particular condition. EAPs, or Entitled American Princesses, often have Toxic Hypergamy, and can turn down countless men while they wait for a “worthy” man to show up. This has only exacerbated the problems inherent in the American Church.

What I find interesting about this phenomenon is that it serves as further demonstration that a woman’s hypergamy can be influenced by her surroundings and by how she was raised. In the present age this is a cause of sorrow. But at the same time there is some hope for the future. Parents who raise their daughters right, either now or in the future, can account for this and hopefully take steps to help their daughters rein in their hypergamic instincts.

A Debased Currency

Rollo’s post Loyalty & Hypergamy is an article that I think some of my male readers would find illuminating (I guess women might find it interesting, but it is less likely to be illuminating for them, and would be a difficult read). It delves a bit into the concept of loyalty and how that intersects a bit with hypergamy.



Filed under Attraction, Desire, Hypergamy, LAMPS, Marriage, Red Pill, Sex, State of Nature, Women

270 responses to “Analyzing Attraction- Part 4

  1. Tru

    Forget parallel-parking, how am I supposed to park in a regular parking lot? They make the lanes too narrow. I’m afraid I’ll hit a car. It gives me anxiety.

  2. mdavid

    HF, I do grow weary of people who say, “You’ll find somebody as soon as you stop looking.”

    md, You probably won’t find anybody. Period. And if you do, you will probably regret it.

    HF, My favorite thing about the manosphere is the positivity.

    Reality = Hope. Lies = Pain.

    My observation: men who marry well are generally realists, and thus live as if they will remain unmarried. In the immortal words of OB, I’d make a good husband. I’d make a great father. But I AM an outstanding bachelor.

    A man who finds life without women worth living? He’s a man women want.

  3. mdavid

    PC, …it wasn’t meant to be literal and was basically a piece of a comment I thought I’d finished but clearly didn’t.

    I got it. I agree. I was mildly amused nobody seemed to get it…

    …women don’t tend to bolt if they stick around long enough to get pregnant with more than two and especially more than four kids.

    Once one reaches double-digit family size, the only risk a husband has of his wife leaving him is if she has a nervous breakdown. In the meantime, every day she gets down on her knees and truly thanks God for her husband. Hell, any husband. No lie.

  4. Elspeth

    Yet, some women value privacy and out of respect for husband and even kids, don’t want to share photos on the web that can end up who knows where (well, like freejinger for example).

    No one has ever accused me of being too private given the stories I relate, but yes. I am wary about posting photos. Although I do post them occasionally, most of my daily life posts don’t include them. Mostly because I’m a terrible photographer, and with personal photos because it’s just not prudent. Someone joked once about how the few pictures I’ve posted of my kids never show their faces. Perhaps another example of what you meant?

    You’re right that women are prone to herd mentality, whether as homemakers, as single women looking for love, wherever. Unless you’re planning on living a fairly isolated existence I’ve found that the best way to deal with it is to set hard boundaries and to be sure that any “herd” I allow myself to associate with shares my general value set.

  5. Practical:

    The next time you want to present something as a metaphor, then present it as such.

    Now that you’ve presented your “metaphor” with the context, it’s pretty easy to explain. “Dita” married “ESR” for beta bucks. She’s not really aroused by him; she stays with him because she needs him and his money to support her and her children. She likes him well enough, though, and it works well enough to serve her purposes. “ESR” is thoroughly blue pill, sleeps with her maybe once every 3 weeks or so, and is none the wiser to any of this. The end.

  6. Tru

    @Sir Nem: I think another decade should make both dating market places exactly the same. It’s sort of the “mom hypergamy effect”: the mommy just wants her children to grow up and become more and more successful. For the record, that is an accurate use of the word “hypergamy”.


    @Hank: You still have a shot. I wonder why manosphere dwellers don’t move to cities with a sex-ratio in their favor? That’s my plan.

    @DS: Just buy a hockey mask.

  7. Tru

    Hypergamommy: “The increasing generational expectation that matriarchs of a given culture have for their offspring to ‘make something of themselves’; an increase in social status via one’s child (children); a son playing the role of ‘Beta Bucks’ for his mother (see also: Oedipus Complex).”

    Oedipus Complex: “A son’s psychological desire to be attached to his mother as an Alpha Fun, rather than a Beta Buck (see ‘hypergamommy’). This is based on the fact that all men would rather be seen as an Alpha to all women.”

  8. @ Hank Flanders

    There IS doubt (at least from me) on the not practicing chastity part. Maybe women as a whole don’t find chastity attractive or desirable, but that’s because most of them don’t practice it either. I’m not interested in those women, anyway. The women I’m interested in do tend to practice chastity as well as value it in men.

    Think of it this way. Would a Duggar girl marry a player? Of course, it’s possible, but we haven’t seen it as of yet to my knowledge. There are also women out there who are less religious and legalistic than the Duggars who still value some of the same things like chastity. That’s not all the man needs to have, obviously; even that Duggar girl who most recently got married talked about how hot or handsome her husband-to-be was if I recall correctly, but in these cases, chastity does not hurt the man’s standing as a potential suitor and actually seems to add value to it.

    Sure there are plenty of women who value chastity (and this is somewhat correlated with them practicing chastity themselves). But I think it is nearly certain that most women who practice chastity will be willing, when push comes to shove, to accept and deal with lack of chastity in a sufficiently attractive man. Maybe not a Duggar girl, but such girls are what, 0.1% of the population?

    Certainly, although lack of chastity is almost never a dealbreaker, chastity does add some value to a man when dealing with certain chaste girls (say 5% of the population). But that is more than offset by the numerous other benefits that come from lack of chastity (and by lack of chastity I’m talking premarital sexual relationship(s)).

  9. Novaseeker

    Depends on which woman you ask. The thing about women and evaluating men’s looks is that we all have differing opinions of what looks best in men. I’ve seen situations where one woman will think a man is just so-so looks-wise, while another will think the same man is hot. Plus I think most of us would rank our own looks below what others would rank our looks to be.

    @FNBF —

    In the real world, yes, but in the world of online dating, not so much. It’s just extremely hard for a guy to stand out in online dating unless he is quite good looking. Most guys who are outside the top 20% in looks will undershoot in an online setting, simply because women are bombarded with messages there, and so most guys who don’t “bring it” get discarded. It’s an environment that works for very attractive looking people (just like bars and clubs do), but for other guys it’s really a bad option.

  10. mdavid

    deti, “ESR” is thoroughly blue pill, sleeps with her maybe once every 3 weeks or so

    She must be incredibly fertile (cranking out 5 kids in 150 unwilling sex acts after she is too old for AF) or that dude drill holes through walls. Maybe he chains her down? No wait, that’s not blue pill. Sorry, I just can’t see a twilight bride having 5 kids who is not doing it right in the bedroom. Having kids is a lot of work, and women tend not to have large broods with men they are unaroused by. She might close her eyes and do it for England for two kids, but five? No way.

  11. mdavid

    E, …set hard boundaries and…any “herd”…shares my…value set.

    This is real wisdom. I just use two datums: Homeschooling and no TV/vids. Just those two factors defines a herd culled of the riffraff.

  12. Deti, thanks for your response to my question about Catholics; sorry it’s taken me a week to respond back. I think you’re very right that Catholics tend to be better at both suffering and enjoying life, and that this tendency makes them better at marriage. (To add to what you said, my sense is that many Catholics are wise enough to not make marriage into an idol, that they understand that married live is going to suck some of the time and they just deal with it.) So even if – as Donal pointed out and you affirmed – most Catholics do not observe some of the Church’s harder teachings, they still have enough sense to prioritize families and marriage and not deccend into divorce and family disintegration. And even if this average Catholic mentality does not result in great marriges for the most part but rather in ones that are fairly humdrum, that probably isn’t too bad – I don’t think the perfect should get in the way of the good. Anyway, to expect much more of human nature is unrealistic, in my opinion – indeed, if the secular population could simply emulate nominal Catholics in their realism about marriage (and life generallu), that would be a great step forward. And with the caveat that one should avoid being a prophet, I suspect (hope!) that the American population will be moving in that direction in the years to come (maybe not this next decade, but afterwards).

  13. Pingback: 50 shades of gray analysis | Reflections on Christianity and the manosphere

  14. Elspeth

    Having kids is a lot of work, and women tend not to have large broods with men they are unaroused by. She might close her eyes and do it for England for two kids, but five? No way.

    I agree. Never in a million years did I picture a family for myself of more than three kids, Ever. Not if I had to birth them, LOL. But…

    There are people who walk outside the lines of the boxes painted by certain memes. Rare though they may be, they exist.

  15. Elspeth

    I thought this was funny in one respect. I have learned that my girls are afflicted with it as well :

  16. @ Elspeth

    I agree that 5 children is a bit much for a woman who feels nothing for her husband .

    And that poster is universality in its applicability to womankind. AWALT. If a man isn’t the right kind of man, its not “notice” as meant by a woman.

  17. Hank Flanders


    Maybe not a Duggar girl, but such girls are what, 0.1% of the population?

    I don’t know, man. There are a lot of Duggars. 😉

    But that is more than offset by the numerous other benefits that come from lack of chastity (and by lack of chastity I’m talking premarital sexual relationship(s)).

    Eh…I figure if any woman finds value in non-chastity, then she’s probably not someone I’d want to be with, anyway. I mean, if a woman judges you for something as insignificant as never having had sex, then how much more is she going to judge you for things that actually do matter in the future? Is she going to be a loving, respectful, and understanding wife, or is she going to berate you and belittle you (and maybe look to replace you) for times when you’re not living up to whatever ideals she has in her head about how a man should be, maybe about things you have no ability to change (e.g. a medical problem that presents itself later on)?

    The only possible benefits I can see from having premarital sex are that it feels good and might help with confidence. However, after having seen friends who had had premarital sex deal with women in non-confident ways, I’m not convinced of the second one. Personally, I think these possible benefits are outweighed by doing what’s pleasing to God, which I believe He’ll honor in the long-run, and also by not contributing to something we despise in our society, which is the non-chastity of women.

  18. Hank Flanders

    *oops…the above was supposed to be directed at SirNemesis, not mdavid.

  19. Pingback: Analyzing Attraction- Part 5 | Donal Graeme

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