Overt Versus Covert

Short post today. I hope that my readers will really drive the discussion with this one.

I have been doing some thinking lately how the whole process of actively trying to “woo” someone. There are two main models which are proposed, one of them the more widely accepted model and the other more common around the manosphere. They are:

  • Men are the pursuers and Women are the pursued
  • Men display and Women choose

I would like to examine these two models, because I am wondering if they are necessarily mutually exclusive. One way of reconciling these two is the following:

Men Display –> Women Choose –> Men Pursue –> Women are Pursued

All of the potential models involve men starting the process. Not really a surprise, I guess. Now to get to the title of the post.

One way that I have been looking at this is that men generally are overt in their actions, and women are covert. For example, men display overtly- they are proactive in their masculine endeavors, for example. Or in their gaining of status/money. And of course, when it comes to actual pursuit, they are definitely overt.

On the other hand, women tend to be covert when they are pursued. They lead men on with IOIs and reciprocal behavior, much of it subtle. The interesting question then, is whether women are overt or covert when they “choose.” A covert approach would be to show subtle interest in a man, such as display IOIs or spend time near him. An overt approach though… I doubt it would look exactly like a man’s.  Probably much less subtle IOIs.

What I would like is my reader’s input. What do you think tends to happen? Which model? And is it usually men are overt, women covert? Or are women just as overt? And does it look different from how men act overtly? Please give your thoughts below. Feel free to throw personal stories and anecdotes around all you want.




Filed under Attraction, Courtship, Men, Red Pill, Women

12 responses to “Overt Versus Covert

  1. DJ

    Both male and females engage in display to attract a mate. Those displays for both include physical attractiveness, behavioral attractiveness, skill display, and physical display such as athletic progress and flexibility.
    More specifically males display resources, and social status.
    Females display vulnerability,adaptibility, and cooperation.
    From these displays both parties make their selection the pursuer attempts to persuade their subject with those sexually attractive qualities. Much of this behavior is subconscious but the male make the first step is another form if display. Perhaps the most important this display reveals not only the males courage,ambition, and willingness to take risks.
    It also reveals his character. An individual who accepts rejection with dignity and self respect is a superior mate choice male or female.

  2. DJ

    Both male and female humans*engage in display to attract a mate.

  3. In general, I think the outline “Men Display –> Women Choose –> Men Pursue –> Women are Pursued” is correct.

    It is not distinct phases. Each section fractally repeats within itself, to some extent. The man displays maleness a little, so the girl sits near him, which is a “choice” to give him a chance. The man initiates a conversation, and the girl “chooses” to respond pleasantly or curtly.

    I think many women try to put off making definite, lasting choices as long as possible. As much as is possible they seem to want the plausible deniability. Even when the guy asks if she wants to go out, they aren’t necessarily “dating,” they could just be hanging out.

    Both models are true, at the correct timescale/scope of reference.

    Men are usually overt. Women are usually covert. But both are capable of acting abnormally. In fact men being “covert” to some extent and letting the girl “chase” him is what is often meant by PUAs saying “flip the script.”

  4. Pingback: Men lead, women follow | Christianity and masculinity

  5. Threw up a post on this: https://deepstrength.wordpress.com/2017/05/24/men-lead-women-follow/


    “Men Display –> Women Choose” is slightly off.

    It should be: “Men lead, Women [choose to] follow.”

    “Men Pursue –> Women are Pursued” is also slightly off.

    It should be approximately: “Men invest and evaluate their investment, Women re-evaluate both the leadership/their follower status and a man’s investment”

    Each of these have overt and covert factors going on with them. Namely,

    Heart > Attitude > Actions > Words

    Heart and attitude tend to be more covert whereas actions and words are overt. The closer you get to the heart, the more Truth is reveals about a person’s behavior. Women tend more toward ‘covert’ where their actions and words may not mean what they say at face value, whereas men tend to be more straight forward.

  6. fuzziewuzziebear

    i am going to apologize in advance for saying this, but, if such a question needs to be asked, there is a breakdown in the process. If the process worked, the question would not come up.

    As for human sexuality, that which is male is overt and above board. As for the female, it is all covert, starting with ovulation, which is unique to humans. This presents a three pipe problem for Sherlock Holmes.

  7. MK

    In high-resource r-style cultures, males fight over girls (think hunter-gatherers or chimps).
    In low-resource k-style cultures, females squabble over male providers (think farmers or penguins).

    Today? We are high resource, but with a catch. Women have the State as provider, and men have birth control as .

    To answer the question: it depends on one’s mating strategy. If traditional religious (and thus high-child investment) the answer is clear: men display and women choose. Why? Because she better be “on board” before he invests any time in her while under the shadow of the State.

    But display is still pretty easy these days. Hell, any man in physical shape, socially confident, dresses well, and maintains his frame? He’s got a bevy of women “choosing”. Same goes for women: fit, young, and pleasant? She’s gonna get most any man she chooses. But who wants to play anymore? The quality of both men and women is at all-time lows. A dead MMP where nobody has anything worth displaying and there is nothing worth displaying for. Lke shopping in the USSR, one best stick to his private plot for quality.

  8. thedeti

    I’ll use the terms used in the post, though i think they’re a bit overbroad and don’t really describe accurately everything that’s going on in the exchanges.

    Usually, men are overt, women are covert. But men can be covert, and women can be overt. But mens covert action doesn’t look much like women’s, and women’s overt action doesn’t look much like men’s.

    Men’s overt behavior is more forward, frank, candid, and unmistakable. It almost always consists of a series of escalating physical advances.

    Women’s covert behavior consists of subtle IOIs, as you said. They include her responses to his presence and her physical body language. She will square herself up to him and open her clothed body to him to reveal the shape of her body. She will uncross arms and legs, and sit or stand facing him directly so that as much of her clothed body as possible is visible to him. She will often fidget with her hands. She will often stroke her neck, twirl her hair, and dip her head slightly downward and look up towards him (subtle signs of submission). Her posture improves. She sits or stands up straighter, juts out her chest and rolls back her shoulders (for obvious reasons).

    If she’s normally talkative, she turns quiet and doesn’t have much to say. That’s another sign of submission which says “please direct and take charge of the exchange here”, but only if seen with other signs of attraction. If all she’s doing is clamming up, that’s disinterest and you should bail.

    Men’s covert behavior looks more like “game”. Push pull, silence, not responding immediately or at all to attempts to contact him, making himself scarce, cultivating mystery, not being forthcoming with facts or details. I suppose certain bloggers and commenters will shortly be along to say it’s feminine, but there it is.

    Women’s overt behavior looks more masculine, but not so much as to destroy plausible deniability of sexual interest. She talks about sex. She talks clearly about her sexual interest in him. She invites him to her home, dorm room, apartment, whatever. She agrees to be alone with him. She touches him on his hand, arm, or back. Rarely, she makes the first sexual move.

    The difference between overt men and overt women is that the latter allows her to back out and save face. She can always deny sexual interest, even if she does all the things in the preceding paragraph. She can do this in case the encounter goes badly, he says or does something that immediately kills the attraction, he rejects her, or her feelings/circumstances change for whatever reason. She can rationalize it all away as “I was just being nice and he misread what I said/did”. Or she can admit her interest but rationalize that away as “I was interested but he weirded me out before I REALLY did anything I shouldn’t have”. This is

    A man doesn’t have that option. His overt sexual/romantic advances can’t be construed as anything other than what they are, and many times they occur in public, in full view of others. Absolutely EVERYTHING has to go perfectly for overt advances to work well. If anything goes wrong, all manner of bad things befall him. If he misreads the situation, if he does or says even the slightest thing she finds even a little annoying or offputting, if he looks or smells bad or has a speck of food in his teeth or has bad breath or anything else, he’ll get rejected, sometimes in nuclear fashion.

    Those are the key differences, I think.

  9. SirNemesis

    In mainstream society men display (approach) and then women choose (whether to sleep with the man). After the woman sleeps with the man, the man does not need to pursue.

    Only men who are willing to put up with waiting for sex end up having to pursue.

  10. Pingback: This Week In Reaction (2017/05/28) - Social Matter

  11. lee

    Whilst I find a lot of logic in your posts I also find an overarching error. You acknowledge that people are subjective but tend to aim your arrow at a generalised answer with caveats loosely pointing to the exceptions. This, I feel, is flawed.

    If you take a look into Myers Briggs (MBTI) or similar you will see why each type would have a differing answer – less subjective than a caveat and more like 16 flavours of person. Take that further, and each of the 16 types are not equal per capita. ESFP’s are very common and have a lot of charatcer traits that are problematic towards long term relationships. Judging others, let’s say INTJ’s – the other end of the spectrum – would be flawed and, worse still, a complete misunderstanding of the INTJ in this context. You would be setting yourself up to fail if you did.

    Although somewaht crass the Vin DiCarlo ‘8 types’ of women, does ring true for a fair sample. I think he may be ‘right for the wrong reason’ and has very roughly hit upon a basic framework of MBTI types approach to dating.

    This is all subject to Rollo’s timeline which is an astonishing insight to the fairer sex. I can relate to all of the stages of it, good and bad.

    In the end, you have to engage with the girl in front of you in the present and inderstand her perspective on life. You can only guess – and you should – as to what her future perspective will be and decide if how that fits with your own or your propensity to adapt.

    Ultimately, this is 2017 and the utopia of monogamy coupled with the sanctity of marriage is becoming extinct. Two key reasons bring this about. Firstly, gender equality – self explanatory. Secondly, the predictions, and reasoning of why so, of Desond Morris in his seminal text – now 50 years old – ‘The Naked Ape’ are proving to be correct.

    TLDR; you will be extremely lucky to find a partner for life and both be truly happy in the modern day. Trying to analyse it in a catch all way – with a convenient ‘subjective’ caveat is simply invalid with the fundemental of pyschology as per Freud and Jung regading cognitive functions and ID/Ego/Superego, respectively – It’s simply incompatible.

    I hope you beat the odds though.

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