Thursday, February 4, 2010

Women are all the same - IV

The previous three posts of this series were all about some personal experiences backed by scientific data on an interesting, yet common illusion:

We do not decide on a particular partner because (s)he is special.

Which can even be taken one step further:

We do not fall in love with people for "who they are".

Instead, we find some people more sexually attractive than others, and try hard to make a good deal in getting the best we can. Over time we will get increasingly attached to the other person. And we then tell ourselves that there are many reasons other than sexual for why we decided on that particular partner.

The best proof of the above is the vast discrepancy between what we think we like in a partner and what we actually like. As one fascinating study on this subject finds:
"Participants’ ideal preferences, assessed before the speed-dating event, failed to predict what inspired their actual desire at the event."

In the words of the authors:

"Even regarding such a consequential aspect of mental life as romantic-partner preferences, people may lack introspective awareness of what influences their judgments and behavior."

This in itself is quite remarkable. Yet, there is an even greater upshot to this: Since we do not select mates on their "unique qualities", but simply try to max out our ability to get the most attractive partner, we are essentially all looking for the same (few hyperattractive) people. The only reason we find "matches" is that we compromise by accepting that our own attractiveness is limited.

Now, as reader Poetry of Flesh has noted, this all seems to suggest that: "not only women are all alike, but so are men". This is true in that we all want attractive partners. The crucial difference, though, is that for men there are far more attractive women than there are attractive men for women.

It follows from that that women really are much more the same than men in their sexual and romantic tastes.

Scientists have a word for that phenomenon. It is called mating skew:
"A few males meet with a great deal of success, whereas others have little or even no success."

Women go so far in agreeing on which few men are the bedroom-worthiest that they do not just ignore men are already "taken", but even prefer that option when given the choice. Scientists have word for that, too: mate poaching.

The overwhelming agreement among women as to who is hot or not comes at a high price. The competition is immense.

While the naive eye sees men approaching women in day and nighttime settings, the trained observer sees so much more. Women are fighting subtle fights over the few guys who stand tall above the uninteresting rest: Every body part that comes to close to the beauty ideal gets emphasized while the flawed parts get masterfully hidden. Clever tactical positioning is used to signal interest and availability. Body language speaks volumes about the hidden intentions. What cannot be said out loud is said in silence. The tension is so high, it can even turn into physical violence. The last couple of bar brawls I have witnessed were almost exclusively performed by frustrated females.

It is for that reason that there will never be an equivalent of the "seduction community" for women. For this to happen it would need a type of solidarity that is prohibited by the laws of the sexual market place. While the few men who have "a great deal of success" with women do not mind to give up a part of that to the men who struggle, few women are willing to "share a man" if they believe they hit the jackpot - the risk of losing the valuable asset is simply too high.

24 comments:

  1. A great quote from one of my favorite Zen masters, Kodo Sawaki (one of Master Dogen's "descendents") - "Everybody talks about marrying for love, but isn't it really just marrying for sex? In the end isn't it really only about a penis and a vagina? Why doesn't anybody simple say that he's fallen in love with a vagina?"

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  2. Anoukange has been doing pro bono web marketing for the title of your series at Roosh, Obsidian, etc

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  3. one only has to watch the way people serially date similar people with egregious flaws to note that we subconsciously select for various traits. ie: women who date boozers, violence, guys who date controllers, emotionally abusive women....etc.

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  4. It often feels like women are rigging this whole mating game. They are setting the rules, and are damn good at it. The more studies dab into women psyche, the more this game is deconstructed and really appears to be rigged from day one. The more I read about human psychology, the more I see women being the controllers of our societies (and they are obviously very successful at it!) It is almost like if men were significantly "kick the anthill" and disturb the order, society would start crumbling. In other word, the feminist revolution (evolution?) only shifted things slightly not disrupting much of the status quo or even arguably improving the balance of power in their way. If men were to do the same society might actually witness a radical (negative?) change.

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  5. Vince,
    your comment reads like women are doing this intentionally or with a purpose. Of course not, they don't have the capacity nor the will. It is simply nature wich is rigged that way. Men chase pussy, because they produce tons of sperm but women have only a few eggs in comparaison.

    How can you talk about a "negative" change of society when the society as we know it, is a DIRECT and COMPLETE product of patriarchy.
    The only change you are noticing is feminism destroying that society.

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  6. This will likely be overly long, so I apologize in advance.

    “Over time we will get increasingly attached to the other person.”

    So, what you’re saying is that familiarity breeds love? That we could take any two people with compatible sexual interest and a decent degree of sexual chemistry and, with prolonged exposure to each other, they would fall into a romantic love?

    I’m not so sure I agree with this, if not just because of my own life experience (which has included the above scenario more than once for significant periods of time while remaining emotionally unromantic), but because this theory would support that idea that any friends with benefits scenarios that extend over a long period of time are going to turn into something more. How many of your long-term sexual partners have turned into legitimate, long-term romantic interests?

    While the study you presented provides some interesting research, it does not seem to bring any new information to the table. A majority of people are completely unaware of their desires, unaware of the reasons for their desires. They come up with, as you said, reasons for loving or wanting another without understanding (or even acknowledging) the deeper factors at play. When those factors are brought up by others, as we’ve seen, the general reaction is one of shock, horror, and total rejection.

    I do not find this remarkable, especially on the female-front, and I’m going to be doing a related post on this either later tonight or tomorrow. I like to think of PUAs as a magnified side of social masculinity, not just the attempts at alphahood, but the near violent desires of the virtues that they espouse in their ideal LTR women.

    Socially, as women, we are brought up to keep our sexuality locked away, to not explore it, to save ourselves for that special man. Of course, men are being raised that to validate themselves and their masculinity, they must find ways of unlocking that sexuality without getting trapped in the marriage net with someone undesirable for long-term. Any woman who allows herself to be “unlocked” (sorry, I’ve been digging the broken lock reference I saw in Recklessness and Audacity a few posts ago) without proper “payment” is disqualified from the LTR.

    And, yeah, I know, evo-psych yadda yadda. You can back up the need for female virtue all you like, and I’ll agree with a majority of it… but not all.

    As a gender, we’re crippled. We’re completely unaware of the things we actually want, only going by what we’re told to want: a man with a good income, a man who can provide, a man who goes to church. When we do sexually fold to a man, we usually have no idea as to how it worked, only that he was charming, said the right thing and we “normally don’t do things like this”.

    So the conclusion of that study is completely unremarkable to me.

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  7. Continuing onto your primary point…

    You’re saying that all women want the same type of high-status male, yet we’re limited in gaining those men based on our own attractiveness. For the most part, I agree with this. I could toss in some anecdotal “evidence” to the contrary, but as a whole, yes, I agree.

    But, by your own words, all men are alike as in the want the most attractive female as their partner. It’s only the definition of attractive that varies, though there is that common Hollywood-ideal that, yes, while it does shift from year to year, still has the same basic theme.

    Looks are to men what status is to women. Within both of those areas there are variations of ideals, but it still is based in the same origin. Without looks, for men, there is no sexual desire, no chemistry. Without status, for women, there is no lust.

    I fail to see what makes men not all the same.

    I can’t speak on mate poaching, I understand it only as a concept. The way I operate socially does not allow for such things, and I find it morally repulsive besides. And, again, on the competition front, it’s only a concept, and does not enter into my socializing. To compete is to be like the other women, which automatically takes away from my rarity. It’s also illogical and self-defeating.

    And, of course, you’re exactly right on the lack of seduction community for women.

    I’m not even going to get into what Vince commented. Fucking sigh.

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  8. If a love affair was really based on more than sexual appeal, neither party should mind if the other is horribly disfigured in a car accident, right?

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  9. We do not decide on a particular partner because (s)he is special.

    "You" does not equal "we." Just because you think something doesn't mean everyone thinks the same way.

    We do not fall in love with people for "who they are". Instead, we find some people more sexually attractive than others, and try hard to make a good deal in getting the best we can.

    There's that "we" bullshit again. Do you also believe that everyone in the world uses your favorite brand of toothpaste? Do not presume to speak on my behalf.

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  10. Maybe women are inherently sociopathic, and therefore their behavior is easy to model.

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  11. "The more studies dab into women psyche, the more this game is deconstructed and really appears to be rigged from day one."

    If you do not fall into that narrow margin of males who meet with success, then the best thing you can do is nothing at all.

    And I mean literally, nothing.

    And by doing that you've essentially done your part in sending the society WE created hurtling back into irrelevance.

    Mutually assured destruction.

    Don't participate as a willing slave in a society that serves a parasitic few.

    Knock it to the ground, don't let them have their cake and eat it too.

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  12. " I could toss in some anecdotal “evidence” to the contrary, but as a whole, yes, I agree.
    "

    In the current context of our society I would suggest that evidence is misleading, as we've seen a glut of very average women seeing unnatural succcess in the sexual marketplace.

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  13. "Maybe women are inherently sociopathic, and therefore their behavior is easy to model."

    I would tend to agree, women if left unchecked by the masculine social consciousness seems - by default to operate on a pathological level.

    As this one blogger posits, the only true (read not derived from capricious emotions) morality women possess is imbued to them by men in a male dominant society.

    http://malechauvinist.blogspot.com/2008/06/are-women-naturally-amoral.html

    http://malechauvinist.blogspot.com/2008/03/feminine-morality-vs-masculine-morality.html

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  14. We do not decide on a particular partner because (s)he is special.
    "You" does not equal "we." Just because you think something doesn't mean everyone thinks the same way.


    I say "we" because the studies I cite prove that the vast majority of people acts exactly like that. And although I do feel like I am "different" and know what I want, too, I do not think that I am one of the few outliers.
    Then again, I do not call me "Jesus" either.

    I seriously wonder why you react so strongly to that revelation. If you happen to be with an ugly fattie because she's got such "a great personality", you might want to rethink that given that my posts continue to push your buttons.

    Anyways, here is something I though you would like.
    Or maybe not:
    Couples.

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  15. Maybe women are inherently sociopathic

    No, they're not. Get a grip.

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  16. this theory would support that idea that any friends with benefits scenarios that extend over a long period of time are going to turn into something more.

    And so they do if the partners do indeed spend extensive periods of time together.

    FWB works for most men if things remained confined for the bedroom. Once more resources get invested, betaization will get men to fear paternity uncertainty (which gets expressed as emotional attachment and jealousy).

    The situation is similar for single women. Female instinct triggers alarm bells if pregnancy gets likely in the absence of a Provider. Married women enjoy FWB with much greater passion (and even then run risk of "falling" for their secret Lover).

    While the study you presented provides some interesting research, it does not seem to bring any new information to the table.

    Tell that to the Jesus guy.

    Socially, as women, we are brought up to keep our sexuality locked away, to not explore it, to save ourselves for that special man.

    When did you grow up? In the fifties?

    I like to think of PUAs as a magnified side of social masculinity, not just the attempts at alphahood, but the near violent desires of the virtues that they espouse in their ideal LTR women.

    Most PUAs I know are not interested in LTR at all. They enjoy the fling and/or harem lifestyle. You confuse the wanna be playas with the conservative MRA/roissysphere crowd.

    Yet, once a man gets experienced with women, much of that will resonate with him. Yes, there is an evolutionary directive of staying away from whores, but there is also the emotional damage that serial promiscuity does to women.

    But, by your own words, all men are alike as in the want the most attractive female as their partner. It’s only the definition of attractive that varies
    That is not the point. The point is that the number of attractive partners is skewed. Men find many women attractive while women tend to find very few men attractive. Most of the vast gender differences we observe (and discuss in this circle) are based on that one but crucial difference.

    You get the last word, Poetry of Flesh. You put it very well. This is how things look from a woman's perspective:
    We’re completely unaware of the things we actually want, only going by what we’re told to want: a man with a good income, a man who can provide, a man who goes to church. When we do sexually fold to a man, we usually have no idea as to how it worked, only that he was charming, said the right thing and we “normally don’t do things like this”.

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  17. No, they're not. Get a grip.

    This made me laugh so freaking hard, thank you.

    And so they do if the partners do indeed spend extensive periods of time together.

    In my own experience, it does not. But I'm very analytical about choosing my long-term casual lover as make sure I do not have to worry about emotional entanglements by selecting attractive men I would never date due to dealbreakers (of which I have many, possibly too many). I believe men do similar things when selecting their own FWB, but on more of a subconscious level.

    When did you grow up? In the fifties?

    I'm 26, not 56.

    I have another blog I keep, one that is not anonymous. I write about my usual: approach to sex, how to select and handle lovers, general escapades, how to deal with different types of men. And I receive so much mail from women trying to get past their sexual humps, trying to learn about themselves, trying to leave behind what pressures they've grown up with. It's fascinating to see how it all links together, where sexuality and socialization collide, and the long-term effects sexual encounters have on women in regards to their partner choices and sexuality.

    One of the things I've learned from it, though, is that women are locked down on a sexual level. I meet no other women like me, and the ones that are as active as I am, as I have been, are usually incredibly emotionally damaged (as you said) and they still are unaware of their sexuality, except for what it can bring them, which is something we are taught to do, when we tumble down from virginal status into whore territory.

    Men find many women attractive while women tend to find very few men attractive. Most of the vast gender differences we observe (and discuss in this circle) are based on that one but crucial difference.

    I'll try to take that into account. Everything feels like it balances out as people realize what they can achieve and settle for less, desiring it because they believe it is on the same level as they, so it will desire them back. It is an interesting concept, what you put forth.


    Quick sidenote: I did an experiment with myself last night because of this set of posts. Went out on a date with a man who was not as physically attractive as I have grown accustomed to. He could touch, flirt, play, but physically... just wasn't quite doing it for me.

    Whenever I found my arousal level dropping during our physical interactions, I would remind myself that the man I was with was successful, was a social keypoint in certain scenes, had been with a few hundred women, could play the game (though not as well as I would like). I would remind myself of the character traits, of the people, of the possibilities, of the girls he had slept with, the life he kept.

    It worked. Arousal level went up, enthusiasm went up. Makes me feel like a bit of a moron, mentally functioning that way when I'd much rather be licking some guy's six-pack, but it was interesting how easy it was to turn myself on.

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  18. I'm 26

    That explains a lot. You are likely to have yet to experience what I mean by the "emotional damage" of promiscuous girls that destroys their long term potential.

    Your current sex life has something that will go missing: the excitement, mystery, variety and thrill of experiencing different people. And what the elders understood is that women will never miss what they never had.

    By tasting the whole sampler platter you managed to sharpen your senses and condition yourself responsive to a small subset of men only. It might not matter yet, but let's talk again in four years when your maternal instincts go bezerk, and you have a hard time finding a match. Most marriage-material guys would freak out realizing your experience is an order of magnitude higher experienced than his.

    For me personally, there is something even more important. Most experienced men can retell stories proving that - despite claims to the contrary - sexually inexperienced women are better lays. Reader z.g. once nailed it by defining these girls as having sex in sync with their feelings. Casual sex teaches women to dissociate sex from their deepest emotions, and a man can feel that. Master Dogen once called it "fucking like a guy with a pussy". Fun for a night maybe, but given the choice most men would prefer a virgin to a whore. I'd be surprised if that thought hasn't crossed your mind yet.

    It is a struggle for all of us, and I appreciate your honest input, POF. It is good to have a female voice on this blog.

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  19. I'm a bit... wow.

    It feels like I'm qualifying myself by explaining this, which I dislike. I started out as a gutterslag at 16, daddy-issues, using desire to prove myself as having value. I wrecked myself on men, by the time I turned 18 I had one abortion under my belt, date-rape, nameless, almost prostitution-like sex with men god knows how much older than I, and a physically abusive boyfriend. I was codependent with my partners, angry and aggressive, always seeking to prove myself. Drugs and alcohol are two significant reasons why my partner count will always be a hazy estimate.

    Through the help of a few good men (two of which in particular caught me early on) who saw through my anger, saw through my detachment and cynism, I was able to turn sex into something good, and start working on my extensive emotional damage, damage that has finally reached a point where I am feeling whole again.

    All I've ever wanted was a long-term partner, one person to have sex with, one man I could respect and trust. I no longer have need for variety in my bed, I'm quite content without it, I know this from experience. I'm monogamous to a fault, a companion by nature. I've killed my dating pool to the point of knowing that if I do not take lovers, I would likely go without sex for years waiting for the right male.

    Most men that I do take mild interest in do not freak out over my experience, but most of them become very intimidated, and it shows too easily since I've seen it so often. But those aren't the men I am willing to date, aren't the ones I have true interest in.

    Do you have any idea what it is like to have a man ask you out because he saw you across the room or some other silly thing, and know by exchanging a few sentences that you could devour him on every level, and how isolating that is? It happens to me too often.

    As for sleeping with the inexperienced women, the only female sexual contact I have had has always been with other experienced women. It may be true that inexperienced women are better lays, but that doesn't much matter to me. I know what I'm capable of, not just sexually, but emotionally.

    If women will not miss what they never had, why is female infidelity so common? I've not cheated on a partner since I was 17 because I know exactly what it is that is possible, exactly what it would mean to give up my relationship, and the men who have attempted to stray me from my partner find themselves shut down quickly as I recognize their tactics without even trying. Compare that to the women we spoke of earlier that "never do this sort of thing, but he was so charming"...

    I'm glad you do not mind my odd female voice as much as others do who are so impolite.

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  20. sex with jaded, banged out chicks feels clinical. period. it feels like whacking off with another person there, via that person. and yah, that's fine if you're just that hard up in a dry spell to participate in a 2 person bang away pretending that it's fulfilling....for anything other than a cheap thrill break from the monotony of no-sex....meaningful interaction occurs with a person/girl who is not full of vitriol and diamond like emotions hewn to isolated perfection.

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  21. I love it when you're feisty and hypocritical, John. It makes me smile.

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  22. I don't think the data you have can support the assertions you're making at the moment. It would be like presenting a study where, given a choice between chocolate cake, spinach & liver, 95% of people chose spinach and concluding that everyone who has the funds to acquire unlimited amounts of chocolate cake will inevitably end up obese due to constant consumption of chocolate cake.

    Sure, some people do end up obese, others have the self control to regulate, others naturally fall into a more healthy diet and some develop such an aversive reaction to the "natural" affinity for fat & sugar that they end up anorexic instead.

    Both female sexuality & male sexuality are extraordinarily more complicated that you're trying to make them out to be here. Even your data suggests that. I haven't fully digested the study yet but the largest R values (not R^2) seem to cluster around 0.4 - 0.5 which means physical attractiveness, at best, only accounts for 16% - 25% of the variance in liking.

    Similarly, from what I'm reading out of this (and I might be mistaken), consensus physical attractiveness only has an R of 0.3 which means that if I know how hot you think a girl is, that only gets me 9% of the way there of knowing how hot I will find the girl when I see her.

    Even if you assume that the way things work is that women are chasing after the best looking guy, each woman is chasing after a *different* best looking guy *to them* with very little agreement as to who that guy is. The situation is not as bleak as you paint it out to be.

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  23. Even if you assume that the way things work is that women are chasing after the best looking guy, each woman is chasing after a *different* best looking guy *to them* with very little agreement as to who that guy is.

    I do not assume that they go by a guy's looks.

    I assume they go by a guy's status (as it is expressed in his behavior and reflected in the reactions of people around him). And while looks are widely distributed indeed, status is not.

    Concerning physical attractiveness and in how far "beauty is in the eye of the beholder", check out this study (which represents the consensus of the field):
    "In 11 meta-analyses, the authors [demonstrate] that (a) raters agree about who is and is not attractive, both within and across cultures; (b) attractive children and adults are judged more positively than unattractive children and adults, even by those who know them; (c) attractive children and adults are treated more positively than unattractive children and adults, even by those who know them; and (d) attractive children and adults exhibit more positive behaviors and traits than unattractive children and adults."

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