Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Status Transfer

I often get asked by friends of the women in my life what girls can do to increase their chances to "find someone they like".

Every time this happens, I feel like I gained another deep insight into the female psyche. Women are much more socially adept and savvy than men in general. Yet, they still feel the need to improve "their game".

Women tend to have similar insecurities when it comes to dating as (most) men. Yet, women are much more obsessed about it; their whole lives spin around relationships. Women spend a good part of the day doing nothing else but worrying about their chances with the other sex - styling, clothing, chatting with their friends about guys. In a sense a woman's life is endless waiting to be approached by someone they feel attracted to ("No woman wakes up saying "God, I hope I don't get swept off my feet today!").

It is important to keep in mind that no woman will have trouble to just get laid. The situation is kind of similar to completely straight men who will going to a gay bar. Sexual offers are abundant. But they simply are not relevant. As horny as a woman might be, she cannot even imagine to have sex with any of these guys. Yet, women constantly hope - and need to be prepared - for the rare chance encounters with one of the few "interesting guys" (similar to bumping into a straight girl at a gay club).

Women love listening to PUA/pickup advice in general. This doesn't come as a big surprise. Women talk about relationships all the time. And telling women "how they tick" is the very definition of chick crack. Amazingly, though, they often fail to see the gender-specificity: they believe that game work for anyone who wants to hook up, male or female regardless.

A prime example for that is social proof.

Women tend to think that surrounding themselves with guys is a an attraction trigger.

No wonder. After all, being surrounded by attractive women boosts a man's attractiveness more than considerably. This is one of the main reasons why women tend to cockblock themselves with co-workers and male friends.

The question is - does it work?

Do women seem more attractive to our male eyes when they are of higher social status?

As it turns out, there is some (comparative) evidence from other primate species that this may be true:

1) High ranking female macaques copulate most frequently and with a wider range of partners. (there is some evidence that this may also be true for more attractive women)

2) Female chimps keep quiet during mating with lower ranking males, but scream "significantly more" when they are having sex with the alphas. While this may be indicative of the increase pleasure that primate females experience when being penetrated by a high ranking male, it is also interpreted as a mating tactic: “By making these louder calls, they are advertising to other good quality males in the area that they are fertile and receptive." That, and that they managed to attract an alpha.

Could it be that there is more than one reason why women chase the few alpha "bad boys" around?

One being "sexy son" sperm, and two being an elevation in their own attractiveness (via status transfer)?

Older women in particular, suffer from an extreme drop in social status as their fertility goes down. By becoming the "Mrs Mayor", the "First Lady", or simply by being the one that gets to go home with the bouncer that night - do they gain points in our books?

While there certainly is some kind of social status transfer between men and women (simply by the societal norm/custom and marital law of transferring money from first to later), it is an interesting question as to whether it will boost sexual success.

While women have no inhibition - in fact crave - to sleep with a manwhore, this is not neccessarily true for men. Men are born with an innate mechanism of "slut aversion". Men instinctively know that promiscuous women tend to remain promiscuous, and therefore are not the kind of child-bearers you want to put your trust and ressources in. There is a reason that prostitutes are not on the hottest commodity of the marriage market. Thus, a very desired woman (surrounded by men) may actually be a turn off (of course, the rules may be different when it comes to casual sex. This is the very basis of the Madonna/Whore syndrome).

Yet, "trophy wives" are a prime example of the opposite phenomenon. To the delight of gossip journalists, it seems that even wide public knowledge about the "liberal sexual past" of a woman does not take from her value as status object.

I do believe that several aspects of game (such as "playing hard to get") work across genders. High social status may be one of them indeed.

The socially savvy, outgoing girl in the middle of the scene does indeed seem more fun than a shy, timid sarcasm-spewer in the corner. There may be an interesting difference in the expression of social status between the sexes, though. I think David Deida captured it elegantly by divinding it into male "presence" (influence) and "radiance" (receptiveness):


  1. no amount of status, money, or social proof makes a mediocre looking woman hot. my feeling is that this factor is exactly zero. very different vice versa, as we know. a radiant personality and seductive skills can gain a woman 2 points, and a man 5.

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