Archive for August, 2009

Women who love “too much”

August 17, 2009

In 1985, Robin Norwood published an important book entitled “Women who love too much”. The book sold millions of copies and it appears that it has helped many women control their tendency to get into relationships with physically and emotionally abusive men. The book describes several central features of female sexual preference in a subtle and accurate way, breaking societal taboos and taking a large step toward a more honest view of these issues. The book is aimed at women suffering from their own choices – a perspective very different from that of men sharing their experiences and insights so as to better attract and enchant women. This makes the consistency of some of the observations in the book with those from the seduction community all the more compelling. The first two chapter titles are “Loving the man who doesn’t love back” and “Good sex in bad relationships”. The list of symptoms for self-diagnosis includes this point: “You are not attracted to men who are kind, stable, reliable, and interested in you. You find such ‘nice’ men boring.”

women who love too much_cover

Despite the book’s honesty, intelligence, and positive impact, its title and overall spin reflects the hypocrisy of our culture’s relationship to female sexuality – in 1985 and today.

The problem is cast as a disorder that affects only some women (those who love too much), not as a universal feature of normal female sexuality. This reassures the reader that we are concerned here only with a small proportion of women traumatized by early childhood experience, rendering the book unthreatening to our fundamental views of female sexuality and gender relations. The author draws a parallel between female addiction to abusive partners and alcoholism, an acquired disorder. Had the book been cast as a treatment on normal female sexuality, I doubt that it would have been published at all.

The book’s title provides perhaps the most delicious illustration of our culture’s hypocrisy about female sexuality. “Women who” restricts the scope to a fringe of women with problems, “love too much” recasts a preference for domination and violence as an excess of love. Because they love them too much, the title suggests, they stay with them despite their men’s destructive behavior. In reality, of course, they love their men because of their destructive behavior (see here and here for interesting related discussions on Roissy’s blog). But this is too much for our culture’s sensibilities. Consider an alternative such as “Women love men who violently dominate them” – hardly acceptable. The subtitle “When you keep wishing and hoping he’ll change” places the blame securely back with men – where it belongs. The content of the book is more honest than its title and explains the simple truth: her attraction would fade if her man did turn into a nice guy.

women_who_love_too_much_back cover

So how does the game of seduction relate to the abusive relationships described in the book? We can read the book for inspiration on how to seduce women. The routines described there will work widely on women, not just on those who suffer from a special disorder. More stable women will avoid overly destructive relationships. But they, too, are tempted by controlled doses of the same drug.

In my view, however, male “game” has a positive function for both sexes: It springs from a complete acceptance of female sexuality and suggests a playful way of transcending our biological roots. A man with game need not be violent or emotionally abusive to outshine his competition in the eyes of her sexual instincts. “Game” implies play and allows an ironic detachment from the biological dynamics. Ironic or not, female feral sexuality responds violently to these patterns. And though the irony of our actions is lost on her sex module, it is not lost on her.

Love received superlinear in number of girlfriends

August 14, 2009

When you go from one to two girlfriends, the amount of love you receive does not double, it quadruples: Not only do you have two girls, but each of the girls also loves you twice as much (to a first approximation).

Let’s assume we maintain sexual love relationships with n girls. How does the amount of love and sexual desire that we are the object of relate to the number n?

Naively, we could assume that the relationships are independent and thus two girlfriends mean twice as much love as one: a linear relationship. The independence assumption is clearly questionable. Indeed, the counterarguments conventionally presented all question this assumption:

(1) Girls want monogamy: The girls will not put up with this. Whether you cheat or pursue this openly does not matter. The girls will eventually find out. Since a girl primarily wants a monogamous love relationship, each of them will come to dislike you, thus reducing the total love received. Eventually they will leave you.

(2) Imperial overstretch: The drama that ensues from the girls’ mutual awareness will be unbearable. You will not be able to handle it. It’s like a pinball game: when the second ball comes in, you’ll be liable to lose them both, as your attention is spread too thin.

(3) Limited attentional and time resources: The relationships are not independent, because your time is limited. You will only be with one girl at a time (or have to divide your attention in case you cohabitate and/or copulate with several at once), so you might as well get all your love from one woman to receive the same total amount of love.

Note that all these conventional arguments question the independence assumption and that they all suggest that the love received is sublinear in the number n of girlfriends. In other words, while two girlfriends may be better than one, they won’t be twice as good. While arguments (2) and (3) above make points of some validity, argument (1) is questionable to say the least.

More importantly, several other arguments deserve consideration. Like the conventional arguments listed above, they all question the independence assumption. However, unlike the conventional arguments, they suggest that the love received is superlinear in n.

B-G_G-B-G

(a) Girls want freedom: Each of your girls has more time to pursue whatever she likes to independently of you. This makes each of your girlfriends happy.

(b) Refusal to commit makes you sexy: Your refusal to commit may get a girl upset. It also gets her wet and makes her love you more. If you changed your mind and committed to one of the girls, she would go from emotionally upset to sexually disappointed. Committing to a single girl is certain proof to her sex module that you are merely equal to her. And a merely equal male, unfortunately, is never sexually desirable to a woman.

(c) Each girl has a stronger emotional experience with you: The alternation of being with you and being apart creates a more substantial and satisfying emotional dynamic in her. She gets to miss you while you are gone and love you while you are there. She gets to pine and anticipate meeting you and to dread your parting. This back and forth of together and apart gives her a thoroughly satisfying emotional fuck on a timescale of days and weeks. And she loves this.

(d) Each girl’s desire for you heightens  each other girl’s desire: The female sex module takes its judgment from any person other than its host girl (judgment-copying theory of female sexual preference). In a monogamous relationship, you are the most important other person that your girl’s sex module can copy her judgment about you from. Her sex module will therefore almost entirely rely on your own judgment about yourself for judgment copying. So essentially she will find you as sexy as you are arrogant. Arrogance is fun. But being an arrogant asshole also takes a lot of energy that you may want to invest otherwise, for example in your art, science, or business. With even just a second girlfriend in the game, the girls’ sex modules can copy their judgments from each other, thus creating a self-sustaining positive feedback loop that elevates you to ever greater heights of desirability.

(e) Jealousy-plot-line material abounds: The fact that you have multiple girlfriends provides the raw material for an endless soap opera of jealousy plot lines to be spun in a girl’s mind. If any of the girls enjoys such an emotional stimulus, it is hers in her relationship with you. Best of all: you needn’t expend nervous energy to construct or set up these plots. The soap opera writes itself around you and in their minds. Note that this is separate from the previous point: Judgment copying will operate even with girls who are not jealous or inclined toward drama.

(f) You will be less emotional about and therefore more desirable to each of the girls: If you are an emotional and loving man, then having a single girlfriend can be problematic. Most women want the loving and emotional part for themselves and find it a sexual turnoff in men. A good cook may use small amounts of sugar, but too much of it cheapens the meal. With your love spread over several girls, the danger of too much love and emotion is greatly reduced, making each of the girls desire you more.

In my experience, factors (a) to (f) trump factors (1) to (3). As a result, the total amount of love received is robustly superlinear in the number n of girlfriends. This holds for n<=5.

My working hypothesis is that the relationship is quadratic: L=c*n^2, where L is total love received and c a constant. Such a quadratic relationship would be consistent with the idea that each girl’s love for you is linear in the number of other girls who love you. (Alternatively, a girl’s love could be linear in the sum total of the love from other girls. This latter hypothesis, however, would predict a love explosion due to positive feedback among the girls.) Saturation effects may set in for larger n due to factors (2) and (3).

In closing, I would like to note that the advantage to you of multiple girlfriends does not come at an expense to anyone else. The girls as well could have relationships with multiple men if they were so inclined. But even if they only want you and each wants you to herself, the multiple-girlfriends scenario is preferable for all involved. In particular, each girl – though she may strive for a monogamous relationship with you – will be more satisfied with you than she would be if you let her monopolize you.

Moreover, we can take a utilitarian ethical perspective and argue that having multiple girlfriends is not only preferable for you as a greedy individual agent, it also increases the overall amount of love given and received in society at large (the gross love product if you will) – because of superlinearity: The five guys who might otherwise have had lukewarm monogamous relationships with your girls would have received less love (and thus less happiness) combined than you do, even if none of your girls gives love to any other man. Conversely, of course, your five girls would also have been less fulfilled in separate relationships to those five mere monogamous mortals.

Sex insurance: a “sex nurse” button on every bed

August 11, 2009

When someone gets laid less than three times a week, this should be viewed as a health emergency. Health care should kick in to solve the problem.

Universal health care should standardly include sex insurance, not just optionally like a vision plan. Should anyone ever be faced with such an unbearable situation (unless it is by choice), sex insurance would cover a visit from a prostitute.

Perhaps beds should be required by law to come equipped with a “sex nurse” button. Press it and someone sexy from the government comes by to help within 30 minutes.

Think of the consequences: Reduction in depression and suicide, especially among men. Reduction of sexual abuse and rape, especially of females. A likely reduction of crime and public aggression in general.

Importantly, sex insurance would put an end to exploitative abuse of sexual power. It would thus provide the basis for true gender equality.

This is what I call real health care reform.

Will I ever commit to a single woman?

August 9, 2009

It doesn’t look like it. I’d be restless the week after. I don’t feel that it makes any sense at all.

A guy needs to be emotionally independent in order to be hot to his girl even in a committed relationship.

So: she can emotionally depend on him. But he must never depend on her – or lose his desirability.

This is because: Her dependence does not affect her desirability. His dependence, by contrast, would kill his desirability.

Where is the equality?

If I am to be independent, then I demand to be free.

I will accept any girl’s, and multiple girls’, monogamous fixation on me. But I also understand that these beautiful female emotions depend on my insistence on my own sexual freedom.

Judging quality by price – of wine and men…

August 9, 2009

A woman choosing a man is much like me choosing a bottle of wine. While I appreciate good wine, I cannot judge a bottle’s quality from the label. At a loss for any substantial criterion by which to evaluate the many bottles on the shelves, I take one that looks appealing – despite the fact that the look of the bottle is ultimately inessential to me.

The most important thing I need to know is the price of the bottle. If I look at the price tag and it says $4.99, I am going to put the bottle back on the shelf right away. It could be a great wine. Strictly speaking, I don’t know otherwise. But given market dynamics, the low price is evidence against high quality. So it is in fact rational to put the bottle back on the shelf. Likewise, if the price tag says $49, I will usually also put the bottle back. I am primarily looking for a bottle within a particular price range.

A woman choosing a man (for sex or more) is in a similar situation. She appreciates a good man and can tell the difference once she knows him. But she cannot discern the qualities she is looking for at first sight. She may initially judge by looks, but this is mainly because looks are the only obvious feature. Ultimately looks are not essential.

The most important thing she needs to know is the “price” of the man: his status. The main immediate indicators of a man’s price tag are in his body language. One important element of this is the posture of chest and head. The degree to which his back is upright, chest pushed out, and chin pointing slightly down – as though an invisible string were pulling him up by the neck – provides an analog signal of the social importance that a man claims for himself. Chin up and looking at someone “down your nose” is merely an aggressive gesture. Chest out, chin down, by contrast, is looking at the scene “down your chest”. This stakes a claim to status.

Whether we understand this rationally or not, we all understand it intuitively. This is the reason why it is difficult for a low-status player (Keith Johnstone, 1979) to take on high-status postures in public. It feels wrong, it feels arrogant. A low-status player senses that he is not supposed to claim so much status. He will vaguely fear retaliation. The fear is not unfounded: claiming high status even implicitly through body language can prompt explicit aggressive responses from women as well as from men. This makes the status signal reliable as a source of information: only those who can defend their claim can maintain it. Claiming high status by posture and other body language cues turns women’s heads in a way that looks alone never do.

Women are sexually interested in men whom they perceive to be of higher status than themselves. This is a remarkable fact about female sexuality which is not widely accepted in mainstream culture, although it is too much in evidence to be denied entirely. In movies and advertisements, for example, women are typically portrayed as having more masculine sexual preferences: for good looks. Their sexual advances toward men of higher status are typically portrayed as a conscious scheme for some benefit (e.g. a promotion) rather than as genuine sexual interest. It appears that it is easier for our culture to accept that a woman would have sex without enjoying it so as to manipulate a powerful man to her advantage (whoring as a liberated woman’s conscious choice for her own benefit) than that she is sexually attracted to his power (whoring as an inherent feature of female sexuality). Political correctness demands that any powerful and attractive male character also be good looking, so as not to threaten the view of female sexuality as physically based, just like male sexuality.

So what is the price that sells the goods? How far should he push his chest out and chin down? I will buy the bottle that is neither too cheap nor too expensive. And a woman will choose the man that she feels to have somewhat higher status than herself. A desirable man is glamorous for his higher status. But it has been argued that perfection or excessive status is less glamorous for being completely out of reach. It is the one a league above yet within reach that most stokes her desire.

This is why seduction critically requires a correct assessment of her perception of her social value relative to yours. A less attractive woman will respond to compliments and self-deprecation. The hottest girl at a party may need to be swiftly pushed off her pedestal with a playful neg so she doesn’t look down on you. Similarly, if you already have exceedingly high status in a social environment, then you may need to lower the price a little so as not to scare her away. And if you have lower status in the present scene, you need to choose a hefty (yet defensible!) price and exhibit a tag that she can’t overlook.

It is important to note  that “having low status” here is not a statement about you or your place in the world. It is merely a statement about her perception of you in the social scene, in which she has observed you.

Reference

Keith Johnstone (1979). Impro – Improvisation and the theatre. Routledge, New York.

Double-date bench sitting arrangements

August 4, 2009

When a double date sits down on a bench, there are 12 possible boy-girl arrangements. However, it turns out that all we need to remember is that sex-interlaced is best and that the center couple has the best chance to connect and get excited (b2 g1-b1 g2). However, if there are to be two hookups, then the girl for the higher priority one should sit outside (b2-g2 b1-g1).

Let me explain why…

The bench could be straight or around a corner. To a first approximation, the Euclidean distance between two people may reflect and shape the current attraction dynamic: Those sitting closer may be or become more attracted to each other.

The 12 possible boy-girl arrangements (not counting symmetrical redundant arrangements) are as follows:

Sex blocks
(1) b1 b2 g1 g2
(2) b2 b1 g1 g2
(3) b1 b2 g2 g1
(4) b2 b1 g2 g1

Sex-interlaced
(5) b1 g1 b2 g2
(6) b2 g1 b1 g2
(7) b1 g2 b2 g1
(8) b2 g2 b1 g1

Girl core
(9) b1 g1 g2 b2
(10) b2 g1 g2 b1

Boy core
(11) g1 b1 b2 g2
(12) g2 b1 b2 g1

So what is the ideal arrangement?

It depends on the goals. Often the goal is for one of the boys (b1) is to seduce one of the girls (g1), but the other boy (b2) has no or less definite plans with the other girl (g2).

In that case, obviously, b1 and g1 should sit next to each other. But this leaves several possible arrangements.

If the idea is to give b1 a chance at isolation with g1, then the best arrangement is: g1 b1 b2 g2 (boy core). However, isolation is not a group setting. If isolation really is the goal, then it might be preferable for the boys to split, each with his girl.

If a group interaction is to be maintained and the b1-g1 hookup is the only priority, then b1 and g1 should sit in the middle: this makes them the center of attention, boosting their value and excitement.

This leaves us with two arrangements:
(a) sex block:              b2 b1 g1 g2
(b) sex-interlaced:   g2 b1 g1 b2

Which of the two is better?

In (a) b2 and g2 are giving their same-sex friends support from the sidelines. In (b) b1 is the hot guy between two girls and g1 is the hot girl between two guys. (b) boosts b1’s value in g1’s eyes more, especially if g2 and b1 connect reasonably (judgment-copying, jealousy). (b) also boosts g1’s excitement (or “buying temperature”) more, especially if b2 is a good and selfless wingman: provoking g1 a little to attract her in a controlled manner and then deferring to b1 very clearly and repeatedly, thus boosting b1’s value and redirecting the heat he created in g1 to b1. This, of course, takes a wingman b2 of considerable generosity.

So (b) is ideal is the main goal is for b1 to seduce g1. However, in either of the arrangements b2 is not in a good position to seduce g2.

To summarize, desirable arrangements are in bold below, with the goal that each optimizes noted after the arrangement. The non-bold arrangements are never ideal. Without loss of generality, we assume that b1 is to hook up with g1, and b2 with g2 and that the b1-g1 hookup has higher priority.

Sex blocks (only inner couple connects with support from same-sex friends on the sidelines: never ideal)
(1) b1 b2 g1 g2
(2) b2 b1 g1 g2
(3) b1 b2 g2 g1
(4) b2 b1 g2 g1

Sex-interlaced (most sexually dynamic, inner couple boosted in value and excitement, outer couple can’t connect well, good for inner-couple seduction or double seduction between the right couple and the left couple)
(5) b1 g1 b2 g2 (g1 has too much power)
(6) b2 g1-b1 g2 (best if b1-g1 is the only goal)

(7) b1 g2 b2 g1
(8) b2-g2 b1-g1 (best if b1-g1 is highest priority, but b2-g2 is a secondary priority)

Girl core (girls are the center of attention, boys lose value)
(9) b1 g1 g2 b2
(10) b2 g1 g2 b1

Boy core (isolation strategy: each boy gets to isolate the girl next to him)
(11) g1 b1 b2 g2
(12) g2 b1 b2 g1

Thus, all we need to remember is that sex-interlaced is best and that the center couple has the best chance to connect and get excited (b2 g1-b1 g2), but if there are to be two hookups, then the girl for the higher priority one should sit outside (b2-g2 b1-g1).