[Editor's note: This is a guest post by Ozy Frantz. I do not necessarily endorse everything it says, but I do contingently agree with a lot of it. Content note for profanity, social justice stuff, manosphere stuff, and graphic descriptions of sex. I trust that any debate this kicks up will be marked by courtesy and good manners on all sides, in a spirit of sincere collaborative truth-seeking - SA]
A. What is the purpose of this post?
This is the Anti-Heartiste FAQ. It is meant to rebut some common beliefs within the “manosphere” about how human sexual interaction works. I am primarily arguing with the blogger Heartiste, as he is one of the most famous and influential writers within the manosphere, although I do briefly argue with other writers. I am also going to ignore the macro-level beliefs about how human society works, on the grounds that they are mostly derived from these micro-level observations about human sexuality and fall down when no longer grounded in them.
A1. What does Heartiste believe about human sexual interaction?
Men are primarily attracted to women who are young, thin, and hot; this accounts for approximately 90% of men’s criteria for dating women. The other 10% is femininity, sexual voraciousness, and non-promiscuity. Women have a dual sex drive, often referred to as “alpha fucks, beta bucks.” Women are primarily sexually attracted to “alpha males,” who are assholes, conventionally masculine, and popular among other women. When they are young and hot enough to hope to secure commitment from alphas or when they are ovulating and thus capable of having children, women pursue “alpha fucks.” Beta males are generally middle-class or above and do not have alpha male traits. Women seek betas when they are older or less attractive, or when they aren’t ovulating, in order to secure commitment and extract resources. Ideally, women want to get pregnant by alpha males and make betas take care of the child. There are also omega males, who are undesirable to women for any purpose.
B. I am Heartiste, and I don’t actually want to go to all the bother of reading this whole post, I just want to know what your characteristics are so I can direct ad hominem attacks at you properly.
I am 22 years old. I am 5’9″ and my weight fluctuates between 120 and 126 pounds. I have 32A breasts and a waist-to-hip ratio of .7. Pictures are available here. I have had 30 sexual partners. I am polyamorous, which means I openly and honestly date multiple people at the same time. I have been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, social phobia, and generalized anxiety disorder. I have a degree in sociology and gender studies. I am currently a camgirl, which means I take off my clothes and masturbate for money on the Internet. I live with my primary partner Scott; I am also dating Esther, who when asked to describe herself for this essay called herself a ”sad weird fat girl with incredible boobs”.
I am a nonbinary trans person, but I was born with a vagina, a female-typical hormone balance, and as far as I am aware two X chromosomes. I currently possess all of these traits and will probably do so indefinitely. That means I am not a trans woman. I am heading in the totally opposite direction than trans women are. I cannot possibly be transitioning because of my autogynephilia, because if I were an autogynephile I would be like “wow, I fetishize having the body parts I was born with, this is incredibly convenient!” instead of being like “aaaaa! Get them off me!” There has previously been confusion about this, so I am making it as clear as possible.
C. You’re just one of those feminist game deniers who think sex differences don’t exist.
Nope! Actually, I am going to take this FAQ from the POV that game tactics all work exactly as stated by their advocates. What I hope to show is that even if you assume that Heartiste is totally right about his practical advice– if you should neg, qualify, do takeaways, send women ‘gay’ as a response to their text messages, and all the rest– his conclusions about how the dating marketplace works simply do not follow.
In addition, I do actually think that sex differences exist. I think that level of violence, libido, probably certain aspects of sexuality such as getting off on narrative versus getting off on visuals, and probably some stuff with emotions are all inherent, biological gender differences. I am not willing to rule out other differences nor to state that I believe in them.
It is a very boring prediction of feminist theory that the genders behave differently from each other. After all, if you divide children into two random groups and tell half of them to be courageous and half of them to be gentle, one half is probably going to be courageous and the other is going to be gentle. It is tiresome when people (both feminists and antifeminists) pretend that the existence of gender differences proves that these gender differences are not socialized. Over the course of this article, I will highlight legitimate gender differences which I think are probably social in nature rather than biological. Of course, all complex behavior has both social and biological elements: for instance, I will argue that women’s lack of interest in casual sex has both a biological and a social component.
1. Beauty norms have to be inborn on account of it feels like I have no volitional control over my boner.
First, by the time you have your first boner at puberty, you have already experienced more than a decade of environmental influence. You’ve learned a language, how to walk and use the toilet, fashion, how to maintain a conversation, what interests are approved of in your peer group. Most of those things are now second nature to you. Is it that impossible that you learned a sexuality too?
Second, environmental influence can make things happen that feel like you can’t control them. Music sounds good to you because you’ve learned how to listen to it (just think about your mom saying “that’s just noise!”) but it doesn’t feel learned that it makes you want to get up and boogie. Girls like pink because we’ve associated pink with girls (it was different as few as a hundred years ago), but try to argue with a six-year-old at a toy store. At the extreme end, PTSD is obviously the result of the environment– you need a traumatic event to trigger it– but flashbacks and hyperarousal often feel inevitable and uncontrollable. Indeed, many fetishes are obviously environmental in origin, unless one assumes that genes for fetishes for rubber, stuffed animals, and Catholic schoolgirls lay latent in the genome for tens of thousands of years.
2. But I and my friends all agree who the hottest girls at the bar are.
If I and my friends all went to a bar and started talking about who the hottest girl was, we would probably agree it was a girl with no makeup, a Star Wars T-shirt, and glasses. I suspect this is a sign that friends tend to be similar to each other, not a sign that beauty norms are inborn.
3. Are beauty norms a cultural universal?
In China, women bound their feet, crippling them. Love poetry was written about the beauty of the “lotus foot,” which was as small as three inches, and the swaying way a woman walked. (See, for instance, this collection of Chinese erotic poems.) In Mauritania, women are sent to camps where they are force-fed tens of thousands of calories a day in order to become attractively obese. In Renaissance England, women painted their faces white with lead, poisoning them. Oh, and one for the gay men: in ancient Greece small penises were considered heroic and manly and large penises laughable.
It seems to me you have three options here. First, you can agree that beauty norms are to a degree culturally variable, including our own. Second, you can believe that a bunch of people crippled their daughters and wrote love poetry about how beautiful it is just to fuck with Westerners or something. Third, you can say that the Chinese were mistaken for a thousand years about evolution wanting them to get boners for girls with bound feet, and mysteriously 21st-century Americans are the only culture who has figured out the correct evolved sexuality.
2. Oh, so you’re one of those people who thinks that we only believe in beauty norms because the evil patriarchy is brainwashing us, and if we didn’t we’d think that every body is beautiful.
There are actually options between “all ideas of beauty are inborn” and “all ideas of beauty are socially constructed.” For instance, one could say that our ideas of beauty are the product of biology and environment working together. You know, the way every other complex behavior is.
I do think some beauty standards are probably inborn and fairly immutable. Symmetrical faces are not simply preferred in the US and the UK: Chinese and Japanese people prefer symmetrical faces, as do the Hadza hunter-gatherer tribe. (In fact, the Hadza prefer symmetrical faces more strongly than Americans do!) This is some evidence that humans ‘naturally’ prefer symmetrical faces.
Another prominent example is waist-to-hip ratio. Initially, the evidence for WHR as a cross-cultural universal seems pretty slim. Kenyans prefer a .7 WHR, the same as modern Americans. However, Ugandans prefer a .5 WHR, significantly lower than Americans. Malaysians don’t care about waist-to-hip ratio, only caring about BMI, as do the Japanese. Hunter-gatherers seem to not care about waist to hip ratio. However, replications of the latter study suggest that when the hunter-gatherer preference for heavier women is controlled for, waist-to-hip ratio has an independent effect. I personally find the latter study incredibly interesting and think it has a lot of potential to save WHR; however, it has a very small sample size, so take it with all relevant grains of salt. Nevertheless, it provides some suggestion that WHR is culturally invariant. (I would also like to point out that “hunter gatherers like fat women, which confounds tests for WHR and attractiveness designed for thin-preferring Americans” is also a pretty solid point against the Fat Is Universally Hideous hypothesis.)
However, I think most beauty standards are the result of a more complex interaction. (Here is the wild-ass guessing with no empirical backing section.) For instance, men might be attracted to features that are familiar to them, high-status in their culture, or associated with their parents or other people they love. In Song China, women with bound feet are high-status; in modern America, thin women with large breasts are high-status, and thinness indicates other high-status traits such as wealth and free time to attend to one’s health. A similar origin produces wildly different beauty standards. Similarly, men might default to a certain preference– maybe they like brunettes– but this is culturally mutable– if they’re exposed to a lot of sexy blonde women and posters saying Blondes Have More Fun, they’ll start liking blondes. Alternately, the “sexy daughters” hypothesis (a variant of a Heartiste favorite, the “sexy sons” hypothesis): men want their daughters to be beautiful so they can get better mates, so they choose partners who fit the local standard of beauty.
3. Are pretty girls healthier?
Studies do not seem to have found meaningful correlations between rated facial attractiveness and physical health. While the second study has some correlations, they are small and fail to reach significance and are totally hyped by their abstract.
This is very odd, of course, because as I said earlier the evidence points towards symmetrical faces being a cross-cultural beauty standard. There are several possible explanations. Symmetrical faces might indicate health in the environment of evolutionary adaptedness, but industrialized countries have improved health. (I believe one common hypothesis is that symmetrical faces show you aren’t infected by parasites.) Maybe humans like symmetry for other reasons, and that generalizes to sexual attraction. Maybe it’s some other cause (sexy daughters hypothesis!).
Alternately, maybe facial symmetry does indicate something interesting about health, but that’s confounded by all the other factors our culture has incorporated into facial attractiveness. This study suggests that current health and facial symmetry are basically uncorrelated, but facial symmetry is correlated with childhood health. Another study argues that facial asymmetry may be related to developmental instability, which is negative. This is interesting but tentative.
4. Does it make evolutionary sense for men to target pretty girls for casual sex?
Let’s think that you’re a man in the environment of evolutionary adaptedness. Human babies are extremely resource-intensive. It is generally not possible to raise a child by oneself: a woman alone will either realize this and commit infanticide, or risk both herself and her child starving to death. If you are engaging in long-term mating, then you are going to invest resources in the baby. However, if you’re engaging in short-term mating, you’re not. If your child dies, all the effort you put in and risks you took for the the short-term mating strategy are lost. Therefore, men ought to have evolved to be attracted to women with sufficient resources that they could take care of a child: women with doting and wealthy fathers, women with husbands, women who kicked ass so hard at gathering they could feed themselves and a child, women with unique skills at, I don’t know, flintknapping or shamanism or something such that people will give them food. Therefore, in the modern environment, men ought to be into rich or married women and be willing to sacrifice a considerable amount of prettiness for wealth. Only in long-term relationships should they begin to care about prettiness and whatever that indicates, since they can make up for lower resources on the part of the woman. Conversely, women who are engaging in short-term mating ought to be primarily interested in pretty dudes who will pass on good genes to their children.
I am not saying that this is an actually accurate model of how human evolution worked. I am just pointing out that this evolutionary just-so story is exactly as plausible as all of Heartiste’s evolutionary just-so stories and has opposite predictions, and that I feel like the reason that no one is coming up with that model is less related to plausible speculation about evolution and more about “shit, we have to explain why humans are genetically programmed to act the way I do.”
5. Is 95% of what men want in a relationship partner youth, beauty, and thinness?
Man, if that were true why do I keep getting hit on online by dudes who are uncertain about whether my sex is female?
(For the record, I continue to be female-sexed in pretty much every conceivable way. I just felt like I ought to repeat that, because of the amount of confusion in neoreactionary circles about the “what genitals does Ozy have?” point.)
But that is not really excellent evidence! It is possible that most of the dudes who hit on me online are Boner Georg who is an outlier adn should not be counted. (In fact, that is certain.) So let’s look at the studies!
If Heartiste had said that men are more interested in physical appearance, in general, than women are, I would basically have nothing to say here. That seems pretty much correct. However, there is an important difference between “men care about appearance more than women do” and “physical appearance is 95% of men’s criteria in selecting a romantic partner.” The latter is a much stronger claim and not remotely backed up by the evidence.
The most obvious way to find out whether men are 95% interested in physical appearance is to ask them. This study with an extremely large sample size found that men did rank good looks and facial attractiveness as more important than women did. However, across genders, the most important traits were all non-physical: things like intelligence, values, and communication skills.
On the other hand, it seems like asking people to rank their top three traits in a sexual partner is a strategy that will lead to a lot of social desirability bias. Surely if we examine studies that relate to social behavior– speed dating, correlations of attractiveness to how popular someone is among the opposite sex or how liked they are by someone they’re interacting with, experiments that manipulate the attractiveness of a stranger– we will find that the difference is much much larger. Perhaps 95%?
Oh, the sex differences are actually smaller in studies that examine social behavior. That’s awkward.
In fact, this unpaywalled study which examines speed-dating finds that there is basically no gender difference between men and women in how much physical attractiveness affects saying ‘yes’ to someone in speed-dating.
I believe the correct response here is “<3Science<3 has once again dropped to its knees and slobbered the knob of Ozy, vindicating the Ozyan observation that physical appearance is not ninety-five percent of what men care about, you dumb fuck.“
Interestingly, gender equality seems to make the gender differences in self-reported desire for a physically attractive partner stay the same, while it makes gender differences in self-reported desire for a partner with a particular personality go down. Which suggests that… men are biologically programmed to claim to be into hot women and not actually be? Or something? Very puzzling.
Again, I am not saying there is no difference between how much men prioritize physical appearance and how much women prioritize physical appearance! There clearly seems to be a difference. What I am saying is that it is not true that physical appearance is 95% of what men care about and 5% of what women care about. That is probably true of Heartiste, but that is not true of all men. I would like to thank Heartiste for making extreme claims and thus making my debunking of them easier.
1. Aren’t all men in all cultures into thin women?
In addition to Mauritania and hunter gatherers, discussed above, I would like to discuss classical art. Heartiste has said that Rubens is a fatty-fucker so we’re not allowed to use him as an example. Fortunately, a feminist blogger has created a helpful “if classic works of art were photoshopped to look like modern magazine stars” set of pictures, from throughout European art history, without a Rubens in sight.
Now, to be clear, these women are mostly overweight or the thin end of obese. (The BMI Project has helpful examples of what overweight and obese women look like; most people think obese looks significantly fatter than it actually does.) They are not the sort of person that one associates with “fat woman.” However, Heartiste has been more than willing to call Lena Dunham, who is about the same size as those women, “a frumpy, dumpy, plumpy formless flesh entity”. In addition, he tends to use phrases like “the distended porcine holes of these beached whales” to talk about overweight women. So at the very least we have cultures that are really into naked women who look significantly fatter than Heartiste’s boner prefers.
2. Okay, maybe not cross-culturally, but in our culture aren’t all men most attracted to thin women?
Meet April Flores.
April Flores has been in 35 porn films. (Also she is cute as a button, but that is neither here nor there.) You can, if you wish, buy a plastic version of April Flores’s vagina, stomach, and thighs. This means, for those of us at home, that both the “into extremely fat ladies” market and the “into creepily disembodied female body parts” market are large enough, and overlap enough, that it is worth it to porn companies to create a toy directly aimed at it. Or it could be because of the noted political correctness of the industry that brought us Assault That Asian Ass IV.
3. But the only people who are into April Flores are chubby chaser omega dweebs.
So? They still exist.
I suppose you could steelman this argument into “omega dweebs are so insecure they even jerk off to fat women they’re not attracted to.” However, there seem to be many other omega dweebs who are perfectly capable of jerking off to, say, skinny anime girls with breasts the size of their heads (indeed, this is a proverbial omega dweeb thing to do). In addition, the behavior of being so insecure you jerk off to people you’re not attracted to seems quite ludicrous and I would like some evidence that that actually happens ever.
I argue in part IIIA1 that female serial killer chasing is an outlier that doesn’t show anything about female sexuality as a whole. One could make a similar argument about male chubby chasers. However, I notice that BBWs are a healthy section of the porn market, while serial-killer-themed porn-for-ladies has made less of an inroad than porn featuring men with dog dicks.
4. Isn’t being into really thin girls evolutionarily selected for?
In women, being underweight (i.e. having a BMI of less than 18.5) may cause irregular periods, lack of periods, difficulty getting pregnant, and infertility. Heartiste’s range of optimally attractive female BMI is 17.5-21, which includes some underweight women. He considers BMI of 21-24, which is on the large end of perfectly fertile, to be equally attractive to BMI of 16.6-17.5, which consists of women at serious risk of reduced fertility or infertility. This seems an unlikely trait to evolve.
It is true that being overweight or obese is also correlated with infertility. However, one must remember that for most of human history starving to death is more of a concern than death by obesity. Therefore, if anything, it seems that evolution would favor overweight women rather than underweight women– the infertility risk is outweighed by her not starving to death while breastfeeding your child.
1. Are sluts more likely to divorce you?
Scott argues no. Several reactionaries, such as Free Northerner, have presented other charts which purport to show that it is. My position is the centrist “holy shit this data is confounded all to hell.”
Virgins and women with one partner have traditional religious values (being a virgin at marriage is a much more costly signal that you genuinely have traditional values than, say, signing an abstinence pledge or being in a red state). Women with 20+ partners, conversely, probably have libertine values and don’t think divorce is immoral. Women who lost their virginity under age 14 are usually what is more properly referred to as “rape survivors,” and it is not surprising if that’s linked with poor mental health and thus marital instability. Women with more premarital partners are typically older at first marriage, which is linked to stability; similarly, since you typically have sex before or when you get married, women who lost their virginity at a later date are more likely to get married older. I do not have access to the data set, but I predict that if you control for age at first marriage and traditional/libertine values, the predictive value of sluttiness will be basically zero.
In addition, if you are going to be married to someone, you have access to much better information about whether she’d make a good romantic partner for you. You have access to information about her character across a wide variety of situations: you can find out whether she’s kind, generous, loyal, honest. If you are interested in minimizing your risk of divorce, you can see how stable and long-lasting her friendships are, how reluctant she is to leave a relationship, whether she condemns divorce or supports it, and (perhaps more crucially) how often her words about morality line up with her actions. It is trivial to lie about your number of sexual partners. It is not trivial to lie about your entire character.
2. Is it easy to identify a slut?
“It’s Easy to Identify A Slut” is the title of one of Heartiste’s most popular posts. He says that it reveals the secret slut tells that prove that no woman can hide how many people she’s had sex with.
Unfortunately, it mostly seems like advice for identifying a woman who is telegraphing her high sociosexuality as hard as she can. I am not remotely interested in hiding that I’ve had lots of sex partners, but if I were, here is a brief list of things I would not do: go commando; wear cleavage-bearing tops; seem really really good at sex; show off my sex toy and porn collection; talk about sex constantly; implore my partners for kinky sex; brag about how much sex I’ve had (!); have so many sex partners I’m never single (!!); make out with men in bars (!!!); let men snort coke off my ass (!!!!)
I mean, Jesus, Heartiste, what does she have to do to not be trying to hide that she’s a slut, wear a shirt that says “MY BOYFRIEND SAID I NEEDED TO BE MORE AFFECTIONATE, SO NOW I HAVE TWO”?
3. Is it true that some humans are r-selected, which means they’re promiscuous and want to have lots of children, and some humans are k-selected, which means they invest in a few children?
For one thing, r/k selection theory was shown to be a vast oversimplification of life-history evolution forty years ago. For another thing, it applies on a species level, not on an individual level. Humans as a species are absurdly k-selected. How many species can you think of that have young that are totally helpless for their first decade of life? r/k selection theory would argue that we wouldn’t have casual sex, because humans are not remotely r-selected on any conceivable level! Clearly, this is not the case, which ought to make one wonder how applicable this is to human beings anyway.
4. Is it a good idea to hate sluts?
OK, let’s say that marrying a slut increases your likelihood of getting divorced. As much as I hate to point this out, Heartiste, you don’t actually want to get married. You want to have lots of casual sex. And as much as you claim that you think sluts are valuable as good-time girls and virgins are valuable as women to marry and they are both equal, you don’t have any tag on your blog called “Virgins” where you recommend “a stone bold [virgin]… should be shunned by everyone, including the media, to live out her diseased days alone and isolated from normal human contact… what worse fate for the BPD attention whoring sociopathic [virgin] than being utterly ignored?” As far as I can tell, the only result of hating sluts for Heartiste is that he gets to spend a lot of time having sex with women he finds disgusting and gross, which seems like a pretty depressing life choice to me.
1. Are men more interested in women with feminine personalities than women with masculine personalities?
Depends on the man.
I am going to say “feminine women” and “masculine women” from now on, because “women with feminine personalities” is hard to type. However, I would like to clarify that I am not talking about wearing lipstick or about having feminine facial features, but about possessing gender-congruent personality traits, such as being gentle, tactful, and a lover of children for women and being ambitious, competitive, and individualistic for men.
This study finds that men tend to be attracted to feminine women for romance and androgynous women platonically. That seems pretty plausibly pro-Heartiste.
However, men who believe in traditional gender roles tend to be more attracted to feminine women, while men who don’t tend to not care whether their partner is feminine or not. In this study, men who believe in traditional gender roles prefer feminine partners, while men who prefer either androgynous or feminine partners. Interestingly, this study finds that men who aren’t very masculine prefer women who aren’t very feminine, while masculine men don’t care about femininity one way or the other, suggesting the relevant variable is not masculinity as a personality trait but belief in traditional gender roles. Together, these studies suggest that the cause is not inherent biology: it’s the fact that people who support traditional gender roles tend to be into traditional gender roles in their personal life too.
2. Except that those studies don’t show that men prefer androgynous women: in fact, guys are pretty much okay with feminine women regardless. Maybe men evolved to like feminine women and not believing in traditional gender roles socializes people to like androgynous women, or at least to say that on surveys.
Except look at women’s preferences in those studies: women consistently don’t like masculine men either. In fact, even traditional women don’t really like masculine men. I think what we’re seeing here is an interaction: traditional men may favor feminine women and, in addition, people with masculine personalities, as defined by the Bem Sex Role Inventory, are assholes and no one wants to put up with them. I mean, do you want to date someone described as aggressive, dominant, and a “strong personality” and as not understanding, sensitive to others’ needs, and compassionate? I don’t. They would probably make me cry all the time, it would be awful.
This is an incredibly cheap shot and I feel sort of guilty about putting it in, so: I would like to point out that Heartiste seems to believe some women don’t have leg hair (question 11) and that breasts come in DD and perky without wearing a bra (questions 4 and 5). In addition, he seems to be under the impression that real skinny women carry a Photoshop filter in front of them at all times. Seriously, as someone who can see that kind of body every time I look in the mirror, the “spindly, weirdly proportioned girl” is what actual thin women actually look like. I would propose that Heartiste has perhaps never seen a non-Photoshopped naked thin woman, but perhaps the more charitable explanation is that whenever Heartiste has seen a thin woman naked he has had a Photoshop filter in the form of an erection. (This is not charitable to Heartiste. It is charitable to male virgins, most of whom are totally aware that DD breasts sag.)
So, you know, just be aware you’re taking advice about women from someone who thinks some women don’t have leg hair.
1. Do women like serial killers?
The Wikipedia list of serial killers lists about 100 serial killers in the United States; let’s double it and say 200 just to bias it towards Heartiste. Let us assume that about one in every two thousand women is interested in serial killers. That means that there are 750 women interested in serial killers for every serial killer. I don’t know about you, but I feel like having 750 women interested in you would put you in a pretty good sexual marketplace position. I also feel like one in two thousand is also a fair estimate of the prevalence of, say, diaper fetishism. Since I do not say that diaper fetishists prove any deep truths about human sexuality, I can also argue that serial killer fetishism doesn’t.
It would be interesting if only women decided to date murderers. However, women are also much less likely than men to commit high-profile murders. The last high-profile female murderer I’m aware of– Casey Anthony– was deluged with marriage proposals from men.
2. What about Genghis Khan?
The most genetically successful man in history is Genghis Khan (actually his grandfather a few generations back). Heartiste has argued in the past that this is proof that women are attracted to violent men. However, I feel like Genghis Khan’s reproductive success is more than adequately explained by the fact that for several hundred years a woman whom a relative of Genghis Khan wished to fuck had a choice between fucking him or being dead. I don’t know about you, but I would fuck a lot of people I wasn’t attracted to if the other option was death.
3. What about women in abusive relationships?
It is true that women are more likely to be hit by their partners, more likely to be raped, more likely to be sent to the hospital due to domestic abuse, and more likely to be murdered. However, a statistically indistinguishable number of men and women– approximately 50%– are victims of emotional abuse in the United States.
That isn’t “women like jerks.” That is “people end up in abusive relationships.” Male abusers are more likely to be violent– but men are more violent in every sort of relationship, from high schools (boys get in fights, girls pull some Mean Girls shit) to crimes (men are far more likely to commit violent crimes). If desiring abuse is a fact about sexuality, it is a fact about everyone’s sexuality.
3a. Maybe men stay in abusive relationships or try to date serial killers because they’re desperate omegas, and women do it because they find that sort of thing attractive.
If women were into murderers and men weren’t, you would take that as evidence that there was some interesting difference going on there. (As you should.) If women and men are both into murderers, then you cannot just decide that there is a gender difference anyway– that men are into murderers because they are so desperate they can’t get anyone else, and women are into murderers because it taps into their deep-seated evolutionary desires. At least, you can’t without solid evidence which Heartiste has yet to actually present: for instance, a study of serial killer groupies which shows that male serial killer groupies are typically less sexually successful than female serial killer groupies. For further elaboration, please see conservation of expected evidence.
3b. Do people stay in abusive relationships because they are attracted to abusers?
No. Let us consider this from two angles: first, let us assume that it is possible to manipulate people. Think about how a really good salesperson can get you to buy something you don’t want. Second, let us assume that abusers are sensible people who don’t want to go through all the bother of finding a new partner every time someone says “holy shit, you just called me a whore, GTFO.”
As a reasonable abuser, you want to make sure your partner will stay. What do you do? Well, you’re charming, kind, and romantic at first, so they get really invested in the relationship. You target people who are vulnerable to begin with, such as a disabled person or an undocumented immigrant or someone without very many friends. You try to make your partner dependent on you (for money, transportation, etc.) so they can’t leave. Rats will keep pressing a button that gives them intermittent rewards (this is the psychology behind gambling and World of Warcraft); you take a similar tack towards giving your partner love and affection. You fuck with their idea of what is normal– if you can convince them that you treat them the way anyone would treat them, or the way they deserve to be treated, or better than they deserve, they won’t leave. You isolate them, both so they don’t have anyone to point out that you’re treating them like shit and so they don’t have anyone to rescue them. You appear sad and broken, so they feel compassion for you and want to keep taking care of you. If worst comes to worst, you threaten to kill them or yourself if you break up with them.
Therefore, staying with an abuser does not necessarily mean you want to be abused. Going back to an abuser does not necessarily mean you want to be abused. It means the abuser is good at abusing people.
Here is a list of reasons people stay in abusive relationships. You will notice “they turn me on” is not on there.
3b. Okay, but some people end up in abusive relationships again and again.
In fact, abuse survivors are a really excellent group to target for our rational abuser! A lot of the traits that make someone a good target for being abused remain the same: if someone is disabled, they are probably going to stay disabled even after they break up with their abuser. Abuse survivors themselves are often pretty vulnerable. Abusers are often very charming and high-status, so when the abuse survivor is like “that person abused me,” a lot of people will go “but she is so nice! Clearly you are psycho and making it up,” which means they lose their entire social group. And if you decide to abuse an abuse survivor, someone else has already isolated them and fucked with their idea of what is normal, so you have to do a lot less work. They practically come pre-abused!
For some people– usually people who have been abused, but not always– abuse is normalized. That means that they believe that all relationships are abusive. This makes them excellent targets for abusers. After all, if you believe the abuse is normal, you are not going to do silly things like “object” or “leave.” In fact, if someone is not abusing them, they may wonder about whether he really loves them. This is very sad, but it is not the same thing as wanting to be abused. If you think all food tastes like Ensure, you are probably not going to go seek out food that doesn’t taste like Ensure. That does not mean you have an all-abiding passion for Ensure.
4. What about women with rape fantasies?
I like thinking about zombies (as a subset of my fondness for thinking about apocalypses). I have a well-thumbed copy of the Zombie Survival Guide. I spend a lot of time working on zombie plans and have several mutually contradictory versions thereof. I played in my school’s game of Zombies every year for three years and won twice.
If I actually had to fight zombies and, by some bizarre chance, managed to not get eaten, I would probably end up with a massive case of PTSD. Guns make a loud noise that makes me cry so I definitely do not want to be a gunslinging zombie fighter. And on a very crucial level, I do not actually want my entire family to be eaten by the living dead. If you decided to feed my entire family to the living dead, I would be really upset.
The same thing is true of my rape fantasies. It is totally possible to be aroused by the idea of being raped without actually having the slightest interest in being raped in the real world, in the same way that it is possible to enjoy thinking about zombie plans without the slightest interest in the destruction of civilization, possible to love first-person shooters without wanting to be a mass murderer, and possible to go to Ren Faires every weekend while appreciating the benefits of modern sanitation. In fantasies, nothing permanently bad happens, you can be as psychologically unrealistic as you like, and everything is ultimately under your control.
Seriously, what kind of incredibly boring person only fantasizes about things they actually want to do?
4a. What if they want to be raped?
Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that there exist women who genuinely desire to be raped, not in the sense that I want the zombie apocalypse, but in the sense that I want ice cream, backrubs, and lots of notes on Tumblr. That still does not mean it is okay to rape them.
Fifty percent of women who have been sexually assaulted have PTSD, compared to 7.8% in the general population. 94% of women who have been sexually assaulted have PTSD symptoms in the weeks after the sexual assault. This is, incidentally, a higher rate of PTSD than combat soldiers. So the best-case scenario is orgasms, and the worst-case scenario is serious trauma to the point of PTSD.
The next question is: how are you identifying them? If you ask “hey, do you enjoy being raped?” that is fine. But presumably a lot of women who genuinely want to be raped would respond with “no” on account of talking about it ahead of time would make it too consensual. So you have to come up with some strategy for identifying those women. How confident are you that your strategy doesn’t have any false positives? How are you getting feedback on how accurate it is? Remember that women who have been sexually assaulted are probably not going to go up to you and say “hey, you sexually assaulted me.” If you have a false positive, you’re probably not going to know. If it’s something like “she’s wet”… well, remember that vaginas lubricate during nonconsensual sex to prevent tissue damage, and that genitals often act without the consent of their owners. (Remember when you were fourteen and got an erection in math class?)
4b. What about Fifty Shades of Grey?
There are two points here. First, a lot of manospherians are talking about BDSM. Many women are interested in being tied up, or flogged, or called a slut during sex. (Or, to be sure, tying people up, flogging people, or calling people sluts.) This does not mean that they want to be tied up nonconsensually, in the same way that eating chocolate cake does not mean you want to be forcefed cake, or wanting to go to the movies does not mean you want to be kidnapped and stashed at a movie threater. Consent is actually pretty important.
Second, Fifty Shades of Grey actually does depict a lot of nonconsensual sex and abusive behavior. (See Cliff Pervocracy’s excellent review here.) I think this is coming back to the same point that fantasizing about something doesn’t mean you actually want to do it. For instance, Ana is pretty freaked out by Christian stalking her and buying her expensive presents she doesn’t want. However, we the readers know that she is eventually going to be fine with it, that she actually loves him, and that they are going to get together at the end of the book. And it’s pretty romantic to imagine that someone loves you so much that they will overcome any obstacle to show their devotion, even obstacles like “I am freaked out and actually kind of scared by how much you love me.” However, in the real world, there is no guarantee that you are going to be passionately in love with the person stalking you. In fact, in the real world, the opposite of that is usually true.
5. If women don’t like assholes, how come assholes have more sexual partners?
Disagreeable and high-dark-triad men have more sexual partners than agreeable and low-dark-triad men. I used to answer this conclusion with “okay, maybe psychopaths rape people and are more likely to cheat, and people break up with disagreeable and high-dark-triad people thus letting them have more relationships.” But I have recently discovered a far better explanation, namely, that sluts are evil.
I could cite a bunch of studies here, but I really think the Wikipedia page speaks for itself: “Individuals who are sociosexually unrestricted [i.e. sluts] tend to score higher on openness to experience, and be more extraverted, less agreeable, lower on honesty-humility, more erotophilic, more impulsive, more likely to take risks, and more likely to have an avoidant attachment style. Conversely, restricted individuals tend to score lower on openness to experience, and be more introverted, more agreeable, more honest and humble, more erotophobic, less impulsive, less likely to take risks and more securely attached. Individuals who score high on the Dark Triad traits (i.e. narcissism, Machiavellianism, psychopathy) tend to have an unrestricted sociosexual orientation. Higher masculinity  and eveningness  in women is related to unrestricted sociosexuality. High self-monitoring is also associated with unrestricted sociosexuality, regardless of gender or sexual orientation.“
It is important to note that only a third of questions about sociosexuality in the most commonly used inventory are about number of sexual partners. It’s possible to have a very unrestricted sociosexuality and be a virgin. That is, this is not primarily measuring how attractive other people find you, it is measuring how much you want casual sex and how motivated you are to have casual sex.
People who are more motivated by casual sex tend to have more casual sex, for a couple of reasons. If you really don’t want casual sex, you’re probably going to turn it down. If you really want casual sex, you’re probably going to put a lot of effort into getting it and lower your standards of sexual partner. And if the people who are most desirous of casual sex are also the most likely to be massive assholes, we’ll see that massive assholes tend to have the most sexual partners. This is not because nice people are unattractive, it’s because nice people, in general, don’t want casual sex.
6. But women don’t like it when you worship them.
Heartiste sometimes describes beta males as “putting the pussy on a pedestal.” They pretend to agree with women even when they don’t; they suck up; they think that a woman is a goddess angel perfection who doesn’t have a single flaw. I agree! This is bad and deeply unattractive behavior. Feminists also do not want you to put the pussy on a pedestal. We have amassed a considerable amount of evidence that putting the pussy on a pedestal leads to gender inequality, the oppression of women, and other things feminists don’t like. I am glad to find some points of agreement here.
However, your two options are not being an asshole or putting her on the pedestal. There is a third option, namely, being a normal fucking human being. Interact with women you want to fuck in basically the same way that you interact with men, or with women you don’t want to fuck. (Possibly with more flirting.) To a certain extent, when you look at what Heartiste actually recommends, he’s recommending this.
It seems possible to me that there are a lot of guys to whom being a normal fucking human being to women feels like being an asshole– they have internalized “you should never disagree with her and do whatever she says and buy her tons of things” to the extent that not doing so feels like being a jerk. In that case, “be more of a jerk” is decent advice. However, you get into the all debates are bravery debates problem here. For every guy who needs to be told to be more of a jerk, there’s another guy who is already an asshole to attractive women and tone it down a notch. Instead of describing which direction to go in, you should describe the target, i.e., “normal fucking human being.”
1. Okay, so maybe women don’t like jerks. But game still gets at universal female sexuality, right?
Not necessarily! Look at the group of women whom PUAs target. By his own admission, Heartiste is primarily interested in twentysomething, conventionally attractive, thin, feminine women, and has very little experience hitting on other ones. But twentysomething, conventionally attractive, thin, feminine women are not a random selection of women. They are probably far more similar to each other than two randomly selected women would be. This is totally fine when you’re talking about getting laid: after all, if you want to have sex with twentysomething, conventionally attractive, thin, feminine women, there is no reason to collect data about fat, butch fortysomethings. However, when you’re making generalizations about women in general– and particularly if you’re making prescriptions about society– it is useful to note the limitations of the data collection.
Game is mostly divided into day game (hitting on female strangers on streets, in grocery stores, in libraries, etc.) and night game (hitting on female strangers in nightclubs, in bars, etc.) The data is confounded two different ways here. First, introverts exist. The usual response of the introvert to a random stranger coming up to them and talking is “maybe if I stand perfectly still they won’t eat me.” Another huge segment of the female population that game may or may not apply to. Second, women who dislike the thing you’re doing will probably notice what you’re doing and disengage fairly quickly. Even the best PUA gets blown out. Roosh V agrees with the same basic concept, calling it a fuck funnel. The women who blow you out or wander away five minutes into the conversation are disproportionately going to be women who are not attracted to the kind of game you’re running.
As far as I know, there is only one study that examines pickup artists’ techniques empirically. A woman’s tendency to find PUA strategies attractive was correlated with her score on the ambivalent sexism inventory. Women who have high levels of hostile sexism– who tend to agree with statements like “Women seek to gain power by getting control over men” and “Many women are actually seeking special favors, such as hiring policies that favor them over men, under the guise of asking for “equality.”– were attracted to PUA techniques if they were highly sociosexual (i.e. sluts). In addition, women who had high levels of benevolent sexism– who agreed with statements like “Many women have a quality of purity that few men possess.” and “A good woman should be set on a pedestal by her man.”– find PUA techniques attractive.
Let’s pause for a moment: “benevolent sexism” is usually interpreted by non-academic-feminists as “sexism that helps women out.” That is not what academic feminists mean when they use the term. “Benevolent sexism” means “the inaccurate belief that women are saintly, pure angels who can do no wrong and should be treated with special consideration by men.” If you replace “benevolent sexism” with “putting the pussy on the pedestal,” that is pretty much what it means. This idea hurts women a lot: to pick an example everyone except Heartiste thinks is bad, a common argument against women’s suffrage was that women were too pure, delicate, and refined to vote. I realize that “benevolent sexism” looks like it means “sexism that helps women out.” I did not name it and I usually use different words for the concept because of exactly this confusion. But this study uses the phrase “benevolent sexism” so now I have to write the long clarifying bit.
Let’s do this in all caps. BENEVOLENT SEXISM MEANS PUTTING THE PUSSY ON THE PEDESTAL, IT DOES NOT MEAN FAVORING WOMEN FOR JOBS OR SOMETHING. Okay.
Women who have high levels of benevolent sexism are women who believe strongly in traditional gender roles. They tend to have more gender-traditional desires in general: for instance, this study suggests that women with high levels of benevolent sexism are more likely to want a gender-conforming partner. Therefore, they’re attracted to men who perform traditional masculinity.
Of course, the causation could go either way here– perhaps benevolently sexist women believe in traditional gender roles because they like traditionally masculine men, or perhaps they like traditionally masculine men because they believe in firm gender roles. Nevertheless, what this suggests is that PUA teaches men to cater to a certain kind of woman by performing the kind of masculinity she finds attractive. This would increase men’s sexual success– after all, there are a lot of benevolently sexist women out there– but it does not necessarily mean that all women are attracted to the trait. Being more attractive to a small group of women, and filtering out the other women quickly, is a good route to sexual success.
And, yes, this does mean that not putting the pussy on the pedestal attracts women who think the pussy should be put on a pedestal. The world is amazing.
2. “Perform traditional masculinity” is a little vague. Why don’t you look at some specific game techniques?
Let us look at the most famous kind of game, the humble neg. Yes, I know negs aren’t all of game, but they’re pretty much the only game technique most feminists have heard of, so I’m using it as an example. I think, as a feminist, I am supposed to say negs are horrible, evil, and misogynistic, but Scott compared my last haircut to Joffrey Baratheon, so I have literally 0 legs to stand on here. So let’s talk about why women might like negs.
The neg was originally developed by Mystery for use in nightclubs. Let me give you an idea of what nightclubs are like.
Let’s say you’re going to a mall which has a miniature golf rink. You like miniature golf well enough– it’s not your favorite thing to do ever, but you’ve had fun with it before and you’re open to playing some again. You’re out shopping, buying yourself some ties or whatever, and a strange man comes up to you and says, “hey, do you want to play miniature golf?” You think to yourself, “well, that’s kind of weird, and I’m not really feeling it,” then say, “no.” As you’re walking to the next store, another stranger comes up to you and says “do you want to play miniature golf with me?” You’re kind of weirded out, but you say “no, thanks,” to which he responds “Asshole. Like I wanted to play with you anyway.” You are barely two steps away when someone comes up to you and is like “do you want to play miniature golf with me?” Getting really irritated at this point, you say, “no!”
Then imagine another man comes up to you. You say, “I do not want to play miniature golf with you!” He says, “actually, you don’t look like the kind of person I want to play miniature golf with.” You are so relieved that finally someone doesn’t just want to play miniature golf with you that you talk to him. He turns out to be pretty cool, and if you happen to be in the part of the mall with miniature golf in it you might even decide to play a few rounds.
The woman’s hypothesis, when a strange man approaches her in a nightclub (night game) or on the street (day game), is that he is solely involved in this conversation because he wants to have sex with her. Even if she likes sex, that gets really annoying after a while. Negs convey that you are not interested in having sex with her, so she is more likely to be interested in the conversation. Negs are not an inherent trait of women; they are a response to a social condition.
The other thing that negs do is described by a post of Scott’s on this very blog. If you say to a girl “You know why you guys suck? Because you’ve been staring at me for fifteen minutes and haven’t said hi. Weird, and a little creepy,” you are countersignalling. The fact that you came over subcommunicates that you actually like that you are looking at them– in fact, you find it flattering. So you are saying, “actually, we are going to get along so well that I don’t have to be nice to you, because you already know that I like you.” Pulling off teasing early in a relationship signals social adroitness, which is attractive. And this sort of teasing early in a relationship establishes emotional intimacy: because it’s usually reserved for closer relationships, it gives the illusion that the relationship is much closer than it actually is. (Revelations of personal trauma are also good for this.)
Finally, there is a category of negs that no reasonable human being would interpret as an insult. Seriously, Heartiste, love, “You seem really modest. Modesty is a lost art. It’s not a bad thing… usually. Not everyone feels a need to be an exhibitionist” is a neg? Really? I have social phobia and that wouldn’t make me feel insecure. I would feel complimented!
In short, negging women probably makes them more attracted to you, and this is totally explainable without recourse to “because it lowers her self-esteem and women like that because they are crazy mutant aliens.” I am not sure why, with a bunch of reasonable and ethical explanations available, you have decided to go with the one that makes you look like a Sith Lord.
3. I don’t believe it, I think that you should give some more examples of how game works.
Let’s try a takeaway. The proposed explanation is that takeaways make women more attracted to you because it makes her feel low-status and want to compete for her attention. On the other hand, it could be that takeaway is using a very common concept in social psychology, that of scarcity. It’s the same psychology that applies to sales in stores: if this is only available for a limited time, you have to get it NOW. Black Friday does not work because people are insecure about how much Black Friday likes them.
I mean, you can have the explanation where women are crazy mutant aliens and you are Chaotic Evil, or the “women continue to obey common principles of social psychology even when they’re flirting with someone.” Up to you, really.
And, yes, the scarcity effect also works on men. Why do you think generations of mothers encouraged their daughters to play hard to get?
4. I have a good job, why don’t women want to date me?
To quote from a recent Heartiste post:
In a way they exhibit some of the same qualities of those professions—ego, arrogance, and unlimited amounts of cash. In San Francisco, said Violet, “There were a lot of men to date with disposable income who wanted to take women out. It’s just, it was so boring,” she said. “My dating life went from dating artists and writers and going on cheap but exciting dates, to men who thought the ability to buy someone an expensive meal made them interesting.”
Heartiste interprets this as Violet believing that “a cheap date with a man who has that ineffable alpha attitude is far more intoxicating… than is an expensive date with a beta male who plays by the traditional courtship rules.” This is really interesting, because over the course of the article exactly one group of people is described as arrogant, egotistical assholes, the kind of person Heartiste thinks women want to date. That group is the beta males.
This is clearly not “I’m not attracted to him so he’s a jerk.” There are specific details here. The men Heartiste considers beta males talk endlessly about their jobs, show little interest in the person they’re sharing the table with, and assign reading lists before the first date.
It is almost as if when Heartiste complains about women liking alpha assholes, he’s not talking about women liking assholes at all. He is complaining that women prefer charming, poor people with interesting jobs to charmless, rich jerks.
We see this in other places in Heartiste’s writing as well. Heartiste occasionally talks about alpha gifts and beta gifts, in which he points out that girls treasure a recording of a song written for them more than they treasure an expensive diamond bracelet. No fucking shit. You can give a diamond bracelet to literally any girl and it requires nothing other than the ability to fork over cash. However, if you wrote a song for her, it shows you are putting in time and effort and thinking about her when she’s not there (and that you are musically talented, which is sexy). However, for some reason, in Heartisteland, the former is Beta and therefore Nice and the latter is Alpha and therefore Jerkboy.
This is actually pretty common across the manosphere. My favorite examples come from Dalrock’s comment section. For example: “Does [the sexual arousal detecting bra] detect for (and open for) a male prospective partner having one or more of tattoos, needletracks, violent criminal convictions, long hair (preferably unclean), STDs, abandoned bastard progeny, motorcycle ownership, constant use of profanity, and lacks of STEM degrees or current fulltime employment?” I will accept “needletracks,” “abandoned bastard progeny,” and “violent criminal convictions” as being signs of a person you should not date. However, there are lots of people who are emotionally supportive, romantically compatible, and all-around excellent boyfriends who also happen to have long hair, tattoos, and a motorcycle. In fact, I suspect that motorcycle ownership and boyfriend quality are basically uncorrelated traits! This is not talking about women chasing jerks, it is talking about women dating men who have traits coded lower-class and alternative (and, in the case of the last, explicitly being lower-class).
In short, the manosphere needs to stop complaining that women are not golddiggers. I am very sorry that someone lied to you and told you that women are golddiggers. They are not, and it is generally considered to be a good thing to judge potential romantic partners on their personalities and romantic compatibility with you rather than their wallets. And it is generally considered bad behavior to put serial killers and poor people in the same category.
C. Do women have a rationalization hamster which makes them justify their terrible decisions in self-aggrandizing ways?
C1. I wasn’t expecting that.
Men also have a rationalization hamster. Everyone has a rationalization hamster. People rationalize. This is not a unique trait to women and proof of their inherent evil, it is a basic fact about humans. If you think you don’t rationalize, it is probably good evidence that you rationalize so well that you don’t notice. Although I disagree with the modular model of human psychology that he espouses, Robert Kurzban’s Why Everyone (Else) Is a Hypocrite sums up a lot of the research about rationalization in a readable manner.
C2. But women rationalize more than men about sex.
Probably true! When women are asked their number of sexual partners, it is about half of men’s. When women are hooked up to lie detectors and asked their number of sexual partners, it is about the same as men’s.
However, it’s important to note that in our culture there’s still a lot of stigma against being promiscuous. This might not show that women are more prone to rationalizing in general than men are; it simply shows that women pay a higher price for being honest about their sexuality. (Which is a prediction of feminist theory, by the way.) Men may be more likely to rationalize about something that is more threatening to them, even if it is something about sex, such as whether they’ve been attracted to men in the past.
–yes, this study shows that pretty much all self-report data about sexuality is totally useless. I have used it anyway in this FAQ because it is all I have. However, I would like to encourage people to remember that women are lying fuckers about sexuality and men may or may not be lying fuckers about sexuality and that everything may be indicating not so much women’s actual behavior as what is most high-status. Also, we should clearly replicate every self-report study of sexuality with everyone hooked up to lie detectors.
C3. Does that mean that we shouldn’t listen to women about their sexual preferences and instead look at what they do?
You can certainly look at the data and go “goodness, a lot of women tend to stay in relationships where they are hit.” This doesn’t mean that you should go out and hit women. As unreliable as self-report data is, it is still our best source of information about why people do what they do and what it feels like to experience something. And the data about relationships where women get hit suggests, as I outlined above, that the reason that women stay in abusive relationships is that abusers are rational people who try really hard to make them leave. (It also doesn’t mean that hitting your partner makes your relationship longer. Most women do eventually leave their abusive partners, after all. “Longer than would be naively expected” is not the same thing as “longer than baseline.”) What people do gives you a correlation, but it doesn’t give you an explanation. To get an explanation, you need experiments or self-report data, as flawed as it is. And it is unfortunately impossible to randomly assign women to the Getting Hit or Not Getting Hit condition of a randomized controlled trial, so self-report it is.
D. It is terribly unfair when women have sex with alpha males in their prime and then expect to get married to me when other men had them younger, hotter, tighter, for free.
OK, y’all are really happy about the whole supply-demand model of sexuality, where men exchange resources for pussy and an increase in the supply of pussy lowers the number of resources required to pay for the pussy. The thing you are complaining about is called price discrimination and is a perfectly ordinary part of economic life. Do you complain about how unfair it is when restaurants have discounts for the elderly? Do you mutter darkly when stores stock the expensive food at eye-level so a careless person will pick it up? Do you get angry about bulk discounts? If you are willing to pay a higher price for pussy, then the producer of pussy is perfectly within her rights to attempt to capture the surplus. (If you aren’t willing to pay the higher price, then I am not sure what the harm to you is.)
Your proposed solution is that we implement a pussy price floor. Most economists think that price floors are really bad because they distort the natural functioning of the market. When there’s a price floor below the market equilibrium, the demand for the product (pussy) lowers while the supply increases, and a lot of transactions that would benefit both parties don’t happen. To translate into sexual market terms: everyone gets laid less, a lot of sad women wander around going “please marry me! Please! I am desperate to be married!”, and a lot of dudes do that Men Going Their Own Way thing. …Or, in fact, the exact consequences you guys predicted for not having a price floor. Have you taken intro economics?
Or– and I really hate doing this, because I feel like it’s not in keeping with the spirit of the game– one might point out that marriages are in fact different from prostitution in a few eensy-weensy tiny details. For instance, sometimes men want to date people they’re having casual sex with. (If you ask me, way too often.) You would think that since he was getting the sex for free, he would not want to date her and pay more for it! It is like paying an extra fifty thousand dollars for your car out of the goodness of your heart!
However, one generally gets things from relationships other than sex and resources, such as emotional support, long conversations into the night, spending time with a person you like, affection, the warmth of knowing someone loves you, and so on. It is perfectly possible that most of the time someone has casual sex with someone else, it is because they enjoy having sex with that person but that person has a really obnoxious sense of humor, doesn’t share any common interests with them, talks way too much, or is just romantically unattractive for ineffable chemistry reasons. In this model, the fact that your wife wants to marry you suggests that she likes you better than the people that she had casual sex with, because she wants to talk to you and provide you with emotional support and fuck you, whereas she just wanted to fuck the other guy.
Is it possible that your wife had casual sex with a lot of guys way hotter than you and is now settling for you and secretly seething with contempt about how hideous you are compared with the guys she used to sleep with? Of course! However, I do not think that you should assume that this is true of literally every woman who had sex before she gets married. I would suggest some helpful advice here like “why don’t you meet some of her fuckbuddies and see if they are way hotter than you first?” but then I remembered Heartiste is way into monogamy. (Or, like, monogamy except he cheats.) See, this is an advantage of polyamory. You can totally see that people tend to like their primary partners more than they like their fuckbuddies! In real time!
D1. It is terribly unfair when women follow their tingle to fuck alpha males.
Oh no. Women are fucking people they’re sexually attracted to instead of people they’re not sexually attracted to. How evil. Those monsters. They should clearly distribute sex by sortition instead.
I am sure men have never followed their tingles, except a couple of bullet points ago when you guys were saying that 95% of men’s criteria for selecting a wife was how hot they were.
E. Do women actually experience significant behavior changes during ovulation?
The truly excellent Bayesian statistics blogger Andrew Gelman has spent a lot of time beating up on the behavior changes in ovulation literature. For instance, did you know that one of those papers defined peak fertility as days six to fourteen of the cycle even though actual peak fertility is between days ten and seventeen? And another one failed to replicate and then claimed that this is because the “women wear red when they ovulate” effect is mediated by the weather and the latter study was conducted in the summer?
I am not saying that it is impossible that women experience significant behavior changes during ovulation, but the scientific literature clearly doesn’t seem to show this. In addition, anecdotally, a lot of women get really horny on their periods, which seems difficult to square with the “menstruation makes women not interested in sex” theory.
F. Are women less interested in casual sex than men are?
In general, women seem to be less interested in casual sex than men are. There are a couple different factors here. First, testosterone seems to increase libido and estrogen seems to decrease libido. Since women usually have more estrogen and less testosterone than men do, as a class they will probably have lower libidos, which probably means they’re also less interested in sex.
Second, the orgasm gap. In relationships, women orgasm about 80% as much as men do. However, in casual sex, women have orgasms about half as often as men do, and a third as often in first-time hookups. While, of course, it is possible to have enjoyable sex without experiencing an orgasm, orgasm is an indicator of sexual satisfaction. Possibly this is related to the sex acts: sex in our culture is defined as penis in vagina intercourse, which usually doesn’t result in orgasms for women, and men receive oral sex about eighty percent of the time in first-time hookups, while women receive it less than half the time. Men, imagine if casual sex meant that you gave a woman head and then she ground against your penis until she came, and if you don’t orgasm tough. I imagine most of you would be less enthusiastic about casual sex too.
Third, we have to consider the findings of my second-favorite study of all time. Clark and Hatfield is a famous and much-replicated study in which an attractive stranger asks women and men to go to bed with them. Men very commonly say yes; women never do. Terri Conley replicated this study as a questionnaire in which she asked people to describe their perceptions of attractive strangers who come out of nowhere and ask them to have sex. It turns out that women think random strangers who approach them on street corners are likely to be dangerous and terrible at sex. In fact, only the perception that the stranger would be a good lover significantly influenced women’s desire to have sex with the person: they were more likely to have sex with a celebrity or a male friend, because both of those are more likely to be perceived as good lovers. Status? Doesn’t matter. Contribution of resources? Doesn’t matter. What matters is that you are capable of getting her off. And– as we see from the orgasm data– men clearly are not stepping up to the challenge here.
A. Is Heartiste against pretty lies?
Heartiste’s slogan is “where pretty lies perish.” It’s true that he has a lot of beliefs that are deeply emotionally threatening to some groups. “Men only care about your tits and ass and not your personality, when you turn 30 you will be hideously unattractive, and every sexual partner you have makes you less attractive” is pretty fucking scary to women. However, Heartiste has cleverly managed to not have any beliefs that are upsetting to his readers.
Like, look at Heartiste’s beliefs from a man’s point of view. If you get laid a lot, you are an awesome alpha male and the entire site is about how great you are. One might assume that that means that the site is threatening to men who can’t get laid. However, it offers men who can’t get laid the best possible thing: someone to blame. It’s not your fault that you can’t get laid, it’s the fault of women. Women’s unleashed sexuality is evil and destroying civilization. They are chasing assholes and leaving you be. “You are just so good a person that no one wants to fuck you, those evil bitches” is not actually a particularly threatening statement.
Perhaps there are no statements that are threatening to men! Perhaps all true statements are actually just comfort to guys! However, I would like to offer up a few suggestions for Heartiste to consider in his future explorations of pretty lies. First, examine the following charts from Rational Male. Men’s peak attractiveness is 38, women’s peak attractiveness is 23. Now, look at OKTrends’ charts, which have the benefit of being based on data not from the Journal of Cerebrorectal Studies. Men are primarily messaging women in the 18-22 age range, thus suggesting that that is women’s peak attractiveness and Rollo actually slightly overestimated when women’s peak attractiveness is. But women are primarily messaging men roughly around their own age. This remains true no matter how old she is. Since women as a group don’t seem to have a preference for a single age the way men do, we might as well calculate peak attractiveness by which age men are most likely to date the women they prefer. And the answer is… oh dear… around 20-24.
Sorry, 38-year-old dudes. Young women do not want your old, balding, wrinkled ass. Your peak attractiveness was fifteen years ago.
You can check this by looking at your own social groups. Presumably a lot of 38-year-olds would cash in their attractiveness to date a 20-year-old… but how many late-thirties/early-twenties couples do you know? Approximately none? As for the few such couples, well, I say what Heartiste says when someone brings up a hot fortysomething celebrity: the existence of an outlier does not falsify the general rule.
What other threatening ideas can we think of? One of my personal favorites, as a classicist, is pederasty. Pederasty is extremely common cross-culturally: from Greece and Rome to China and Japan to medieval Islam to Victorian England to modern Afghanistan, as soon as men do not face significant social punishment for fucking a teenage boy they do so. Notice that our culture has a significant “no homo” pressure on straight men. As Heartiste himself says when discussing men having sex with fat women, there is not much reason to shame people into not doing things they weren’t going to do anyway. And a lot of men seem to get absurdly angry about One Direction or Justin Bieber or whoever the latest prettyboy teenager is. Could that be sublimated lust? Hm.
To be clear, I am not suggesting that heterosexual men want to fuck teenage boys. I am suggesting that that notion is deeply upsetting to most men, and supported with evidence roughly as good as the evidence behind many of Heartiste’s claims, and the fact that he hasn’t come up with this idea seems to suggest that he’s avoiding ideas he finds personally offensive and threatening and therefore he should stop gloating about how much better he is than all those other people who avoid personally offensive, threatening statements. If he begins to argue in favor of men being pederasts, then I shall certainly retract my previous statements.
B. I am a confused and lost Return of Kings reader.
I am deeply concerned about several factual inaccuracies on your blog.
First, dating girls with eating disorders is not a good way to get to date someone who is agreeable and goes along with whatever you say. Mentally ill girls, in general, are not good people to date if you want a low-drama relationship.
Second, demisexuals are only sexually attracted to people once they have an emotional connection to the person. While in general sex-positive people tend to use more weird labels and thus be more into casual sex (you’re welcome, by the way) and the indicator you’re looking for are correct, if you are aiming for casual sex on the first date, I highly advise you to avoid demisexuals.
Third, if you want to reduce your rate of false accusations of rape, it would be helpful if you stopped having sex with girls when they say ‘no’ first. I guarantee you that if you try this strategy it will reduce your rate of being accused of rape tremendously. It also seems to me that a girl who says “no” when she doesn’t mean “no” is not going to give you the peaceful, low-drama relationship you’re dating girls with eating disorders for. It seems like it would be wise to filter those girls out by not having sex with people who have said they don’t want sex.
Fourth, I empathize with your desire to date strippers. Stippers are awesome! And it is really easy to think “well, where are strippers? They are in the strip club!” Pretty much every girl in a strip club is a stripper; while some of the girls in a grocery store are strippers, you might end up asking out a non-stripper on accident, and then where would you be? Not dating strippers, is where! Unfortunately, strippers are at work! Their actual job is to make you think that you are going to have sex with them if you pay them money. If you hit on them at work, you will be put into the category “client,” and if you don’t pay for a dance, the category “terrible, timewasting client.” Instead, you should look for strippers in a place where there are a lot of strippers and they are not at work. (Anecdotally, this place is White Wolf games. However, my data on this comes from Portland and it might just be that literally everywhere in Portland is full of strippers.)
C. Okay, where should I get dating advice from?
I sympathize with your problem, O Lonely Men of the World! Most dating advice is really terrible and written by people who think that the world is a just place and nice people are rewarded and you should just be yourself. Worse, a lot of it is written by feminists. Feminists are good at many things, but they are not good at giving men dating advice. Most of the time their dating advice is like “here are the thirty thousand ways that if you hit on someone you are misogynist, memorize them all and you have a chance of not being EVIL.”
I find myself impressed by Eric S Raymond’s Sex Tips for Geeks. Although I disagree with most of the evopsych, it is honest that people are totally shallow and that expensive clothes, lifting weights, and growing out your hair help. A pickup-knowledgeable friend recommends Mark Manson and The Art of Charm. I haven’t read them and can’t vouch, but my friend is a pretty ethical and charming guy.