Friday, May 1, 2009

The most interesting man in the world

As a child I was quite a bit puzzled by the fact that male birds tend to be strikingly beautiful while female birds look unimpressive (as in the the example of European tits on the left). I asked many adults as to why that is - and the answer was always the same:

"They look pretty because they try to impress the females."

That seemed to make sense to me as a child. But what did not make sense to my innocent child-brain was this:

"Then why do women (and not men) make themselves pretty with makeup and such?"

The answer I got to that question was almost always laughter and a pad on the head. Not very satisfying for a young curious mind.

I do not blame the adults I quizzed for leaving me baffled. The answer to my question would have been a complicated one. Too complicated for most people to understand themselves.

Basically, Western culture is based around the concept of "male courtship".

In its weak form, men are seen as romantic pursuers of their One-And-Onlies.
According to this folklore, men are supposed to spend their youths in a perpetual search for "The One". Once found, they are supposed to "win her heart" by "proving themselves worthy". The women just sit there and wait (and reject), until - finally - one of her many pursuers "sweeps her off her feet."
This narrative is what most Hollywood movies portray in gory detail.
The idea of men competing for women is the very standard model of "dating", and believed to be a fact of life by something like >90% of the population.

In the strongest form of the "male courtship" concept, men are seen as sexual predators.
In this case men are seen as the (only) sexual gender. According to this societal construct, women are just virtuous "poor little things" who get "seduced" by "dirty minded" men who want nothing but sex.

But if all that were true - why do women make themselves pretty (and not men)?

It's like things are reversed for our species. The females are the ornamented, colorful, self-advertising, attention-whoring gender. Pretty to look at, salient, extravagant and with exaggerated sexual organs (I will refrain from any "see European tits" pun- and chose an Asian street scene to exemplify my point).

It took a couple of decades, but what confused me as a kid (because nobody was able to tell me the truth) does not confuse me any more.

The answer is obvious.
There must be intra-female competition.
For sex.

This fact had been overlooked by biologists for decades (I do not blame them, they primarily studied birds; and female birds do not put on makeup or miniskirts).
And it is still overlooked by our society (for good reason).

My child-brain was on the right track. It is women who compete (hard) for lays.
Girls spend hours in the bathroom before going out, obsess about what to wear and what to eat.
Men just need to show up.

The reason I go at length to describe this late realization of mine is that once you drop the "male courtship" beliefs, something dramatic happens.

Women react strongly to a man who communicates that he believes to be the prize (that women compete for).

Pimps (the true inventors of "game") call it "flipping the script", in reference to the societal script of dating rules outlined above that most men obey to.
It is not enough to disregard the expectations set up by "the script" of male courtship.
A man needs to turn the rules upside down in order to be successful with women - becauset"the script" has it all backwards!

When confronted with a flipped script, women react in a predictable manner - they will test for congruency.
A woman needs to know whether the man truly sees behind the curtain, or was just faking it.

Real life examples:

ME (texting a #-close): You should invite me for ice cream!

HER: That will be hard

ME: Don't call me "that" - my name is 11minutes. Nice promise, though.

HER: Wow. Someone has high expectations.

ME: Well that "someone" should keep her expectations low. Because first she needs to prove that she really is interesting. If so, we can see where it goes.

HER: I need to be interesting?


You could interpret the above as a series of shit tests that I passed using cocky-funny lines.
You can also look at it as me behaving like a girl.
You can also interpret this as me demonstrating high value/alpha status by being selective and demanding.
In the end, the effect is the same.

I think of it less as sub-communicating that I am a man who has more options than other guys. It is closer to communicating that I see through their bullshit. I am a man who understands that women chase him, while trying to frame it the other way round.

At some point, women drop the facade. That very moment they move you from (potential) Provider into Lover category. In a way, this is the opposite reaction as the one they have in repertoire for a Lover>Provider switch.

ME: My name? Why do you want to know my name? We have not even talked for five minutes yet, and you ask for my name! Oooooh, I know what is going on... I have been there. It's always the same: "Heeeyyy, I am Tracy (or whatever). What is you name? What is you phone number? Let's go home, check out my stereo. And I am such a nice guy, believing they actually have a stereo and go home with them!

HER: Is that a promise?


  1. The tables turned for humans during the ice age(s) when hunting provided most of the food and thus men were those who selected. This is the theory behind the rise in Europe of diversity in eye and hair color, and is also reflected in the declining testosterone levels of peoples when moving away from the equator. Generally higher testosterone peoples have women who primarily select, and thus masculine traits prevail, like in African peoples where both men and women have higher relative testosterone levels; whereas further North women ornamented and competed for male favor and men selected the most highly feminized women and feminine traits took greater hold. Intriguing indeed though.

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