Tag Archives: Men

The Bookshelf: Men on Strike

I pre-ordered Men on Strike by Helen Smith months ago, and it arrived a couple of weeks back. This week I took a break from the Trivium to read it for review here. Reviewing this book is somewhat difficult, because its greatest weaknesses are also it greatest strengths.

So, first off, I did not care overly much for the book and, had I not already accepted her premise as true, I would have found her argument unconvincing. It was an easy read, being light, breezy, and short, in the way pop-academic books are. If you have spent a decent amount of time in the manosphere, there is not a thing in this book that will be new to you; I learned nothing from the book.

But that is exactly what makes this book important and good.

This book was not aimed at me, a hard-hearted INTJ and a denizen of the manosphere. According to the prologue, it is aimed at men who think something may be wrong, but can’t put their finger on what, but I think this is only a part of the target audience. This book was perfectly made for the average, decent-hearted female who generally likes men, but has some cultural unthinking sympathy towards modern feminism.

With that audience in mind, the book is likely a slam-dunk. The same things with the book that disappointed me are perfect for this audience.

My first critique was the anecdotal nature of the book. While each section usually beings with a few statistics showing the nature of the problem, the book is not one of in-depth analysis and convincing arguments. It is primarily a work of rhetoric made up mostly of anecdotes. Most of the book is of the nature of ‘such-and-such man I met at the gym said this’ and ‘male commenter on a website said that’. Helen herself wrote it is a call to action not a research study.

But the anecdotal nature, while unconvincing to me, is also its greatest strength. If you’ve ever spent time debating with others, you find that most women (and a goodly number of men as well) are rarely convinced by logical arguments backed up with facts and statistics. You are not going to convince the kind of person who likes to read Jezebel or Gawker with logic and facts. On the other hand, they are often moved by personal stories and anecdotal evidence. So, for your average person who is more feeling than thinking, this book would likely be convincing.

The second weakness/strength is that nothing is new here; everything in this book has been said a million times in the manosphere. I learned nothing, but I’m not most people; most people haven’t been to the manosphere, let alone written a manosphere blog. The red pill is foreign to the vast majority of people, and this book provides an easily digestible, mainstream-friendly summary of some basic red pill knowledge.

The third weakness/strength is the nature of the writing. The book was very light and breezy in the vein of most works of pop-academia, but even more so than usual, to the point where I found it too light and too breezy. I found the tone was lighter than even Malcolm Gladwell. The writing actually reminded me of reading Jezebel, except not evil and not as filled with repellent, hollow snark. That being said, there was still a small amount of feminine snark, which I found occasionally off-putting, but it was minor and didn’t negatively effect the book overly much. Also, Men on Strike was also short at about 200 (smallish) pages in a somewhat larger than normal font size; again, a light read.

A fourth weakness/strength I found is that in it’s breeziness, the book occasionally feels somewhat disjointed. Sometimes, within a greater topic, there will be rapid changes between sub-topics; occasionally there were paragraphs that didn’t really seem to follow from the previous paragraphs or one idea was picked up, then quickly abandoned for another. At times it felt to be written almost as a stream-of-consciousness, or at least a stream of consciousness that was edited to be more readable. Given the short-attention span of many in today’s phone-junky culture, this might not necessarily be a bad thing for many.

A major strength of the book is that it was written by a woman. There can be no trite dismissals of Men on Strike by retarded ideologues because it was written by ‘bitter’, ‘resentful’, ‘angry’ men (who are virgins with small dicks). While I still expect accusations of ‘sexism’ and ‘misogyny’ from the particularly ideologically dense, the fact that a woman wrote this will head off many of these accusations and will make the stupidity of the accusers plain to most reasonable people.

One disappointment of the book is, when discussing college, she talks as if it is an good which men are being unjustly driven from rather than the scam it is. Given that Helen’s husband literally wrote the book on this topic, you’d think she would have at least mentioned it.

In conclusion, I think Men on Strike is important and should prove to be very useful in the war for the masculine. She’s not reactionary or pro-patriarchy, but she is a libertarian who supports freedom and masculinity, and that’s sufficient. Her ideas are solid and this book is not one of those concern-trolling books that pretends to be pro-men, but is just arguing for a more comfortable slavery. I regret saying the negative things I’m saying, because what Helen produced here is great for its purpose and is a useful tool for the masculine reaction. The book is not bad, but is not really my style. I don’t regret reading it as it was a minimal investment and easy to read, but can’t recommend it to the kinds of people who would be reading my blog.

I would highly recommend this book as a gateway to the red pill for squishy scalzified-liberal-types who aren’t entirely emasculated or for potentially sympathetic women. Of course, these kinds of people are probably not reading this review and would probably be insulted by it if they did, so that recommendation is kind of pointless, but if you know these kinds of people and want a “nice”, easy-to-swallow purple pill to give them, get them a copy of this book. It will be a very low investment of time/effort on their part and won’t have the same immediately off-putting effect that places filled with “angry” men like Dalrock and Roissy have.

If you’re new to the manosphere and are honestly wondering what all these “angry, bitter men” are ranting about, read this book, it may prove enlightening.

The things about the book I found I disliked are probably its greatest assets, hence, the odd, contradictory nature of this review.

Also, I would like to note that Helen used the phrase “Uncle Tim” a number of times in the book, which made me smile. Is this phrase going to become more mainstream? We can hope.

Recommendation:

If you are a somewhat regular reader of this blog and/or occasionally go through my Lightning Rounds, reading Men on Strike will be a pointless waste of time and money for you; I can not recommend it.

On the other hand, it you’re new to the red pill and wondering why all the anger, this book is a good a place to start. If you are red pill and know someone, particularly a potentially sympathetic women, to whom you want to give a kindly introduction to the red pill, but worry that Roissy, Rollo, or Dalrock might be a bit too harsh, this is the perfect book for them. If you find yourself discussing the red pill and people are curious or interested in knowing more, point them towards Men on Strike.

Men Need Responsibility and Reward

I was reading the comments over at Vox Day, which has the best comments section of any site I’ve yet read, and came across this:

If culture says “Men, you are responsible”, many will live up to it.

You’ve all read and mocked dozens of man-up screeds despairing at how young men are enjoying themselves rather than feeding themselves into the grinder.

As one recent example, at Sarah’s Daughter RLB has had an impressive streak of MGTOW shaming, catalogued by ar10308 here. To some degree I sympathize with RLB’s position, giving up and whining is not exactly a manly Christian response. On the other hand, deti’s response is rather on the nose, it is very hard for a young Christian man to find a virtuous wife.

Why do men act like children? Why do men not grow up? Why are men so adverse to taking responsibility? Where are all the good men? All these the so-cons and over-the-hill women ask.

I’ve already discussed the reason here, incentives. Essentially, there is increasingly less reason for the young man to try and increasingly more reason for him to be irresponsible.

While incentives is the primary driver it is not the only one. The lack of responsibility given young men is another.

Men need responsibility, they thrive on responsibility, and even if they don’t know it they crave responsibility.

Men are made, not born, and they are made through responsibility. There is nothing that makes a man, a man like responsibility.

You make a man by giving him his little area of life and telling him, ‘this is yours, you take care ot if, you are in charge of it, and you will reap the natural rewards and failures of your care of it.’

The man will rise to the challenge (or fail) and will be forged in the process.

This is man’s purpose, to have dominion.

You destroy a man and prevent him from being made by denying him this opportunity. He doesn’t even get the chance to fail, let alone succeed.

Guess which route today’s world takes with our young men-in-the-making?

Our young men are sent to school and university, where they are given no responsibility beyond handing in their work on time. For many men, even that is pushed on them by their helicopeter patents. The young men enter the workforce and are almost always put in low-level jobs where all their actions are dictated by corporate policy; there is no room for responsibility or personal judgment for the young man making his career. The average young man does not start a family until his late 20s, on average, and even then are no longer heads of their household, given responsibility over their family. Nowadays, a man can easily get into his 30s having borne no real responsibility for anything in his life.

How the hell are we as a society to expect young men to man-up and become men when there is almost no opportunity for a young to take responsibility.

We will not have men if we do not forge them.

Of course, once a man reaches his late-20s, the man-up rants come out. At this point, opinion leaders and women are more than happy to start demanding that men start taking responsibility (particularly by marrying that single-mother or aging ex-carousal rider).

But their definition of responsibility is a twisted and distorted one.

Under their perverted form of responsibility the man is given something, told to care for it, and told the penalties for failure will be levied against him should he not succeed. But, he is not given any power over the situation. He is cut off at the knees and his leadership is undermined, if not wholly denied. In addition, as my incentives post pointed out, he is not receiving the traditional, natural rewards of taking good care of his area of responsibility.

Society needs responsible men and men need responsibility. The obvious solution is for society to start giving young men responsibility, full responsibility. Give him his own part of life to have dominion over; give him a domain.

Demanding they man up is pointless. Demanding they feed themselves into the grinder is both sadistic and pointless. Making them accountable without giving them power is cruel and pointless, as is punishing failure, but not rewarding success.

Give men responsibility, then demand they be responsible, and let them know they will receive the natural rewards and/or penalties for their care of their area of responsibility, and you will get the men you want.

A man needs a domain of his own, any healthy society will ensure he has many opportunities to acquire one.

Be the Kind of Man that Would Have the Kind of Life You Want

I had a sort of mini-revelation a few weeks ago. I was gonna write about it then, but didn’t get around to it, so I have no idea what inspired it. If someone else had this idea and I’m ripping you off without acknowledgment, I apologize.

But anyway, the mini-epiphany is a fairly simple concept, but it’s not something I ever put together. Here it is:

To get what you want in life you have to be the kind of man who has what you want.

It’s simple, no? Yet, it’s an elusive thought.

You can run through the approved life script, you can work hard, you can develop yourself, you can learn game, you can lift weights, you can expand your intellect, but in the end, it will all be for naught if it is not helping you progress towards your goal.

The first part of this is determing your goal. What do you want out of life? You need to decide where you want to be before you can get there. I’m still working on this myself, but I’m inching closer.

But once you’ve decided where you want to be, how do you determine what you should work on to get where you want?

Know the type of man who will have what you want, then become him.

Is there a career or job you want to have? Become the kind of employee an employer in that field would hire.

Do you want a promotion? Become the type of man your boss would promote.

Do you want your own business or to become rich? Become the type of man who would run a successful business.

Do you want to master a skill? Become the type of person who has mastered that skill.

Do you want to attract a certain type of girl? Become the type of man that type of girl couldn’t help but swoon over.

Do you want to live the life of an international player? Become the type of man who would quit his job, travel everywhere, and attract attractive women.

Whatever you want to have in life, find out what type of man who has it, then become that man.

****

To do this, find out who has the type of life you want. Find as many of them as you can. You have the internet, it shouldn’t be hard; there’s probably a part of the blogosphere devoted to it.

Study what they all have in common; what virtues do they share? What defines them as a group? What have they all done the same? What experiences do they share?

Once you understand what makes that type of man that type of man, become that type of man. Develop those virtues. Do those things. Have those experiences.

****

There is a corallary to this.

When you consider doing something (or not doing something), ask yourself the question:

Would the man who has the life I want do this?

Would a successful, rich business owner spend his evening watching TV? Or would a successful rich business owner spend his evening working on his business? What would Bill Gates do?

Would the martial arts master lie sleep-in, then laze about the house for the morning? Or would the martial arts master get up early, exercise hard, then practice his forms? What would Musashi do?

Would the successful novelist spend an hour on Facebook? Or would the successful novelist spend that hour on the next page of his novel? What would Orson Scott Card do?

Would the type of man who attracts a pretty, traditional young girl looking to be a mother spend his day masturbating to pornography? Or would he be reading his Bible and spending time developing himself as a man? What would the elder at your church with a loving wife and 6 children do?

Would the international player stay home surfing the internet? Or would the international player go to the club grinding approaches? What would Roosh do?

When you do something, you must ask yourself whether the type of man you want to be would be doing that something.

If the answer is no, maybe it is time to change your behaviour.

****

I admit I make it sound easy. It isn’t. I struggle hard with this. Even St. Paul had this problem.

“For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.

But finding out and acknowledging what you should be doing is the first step you have to take before you can accomplish your goals. Actually carrying out what you should, will require harnessing your willpower and ability.

In conclusion, become the type of man who has the type of life you want.

The Price of Freedom

Now that a respectful amount of time has passed, here is my obligatory post on the Sandy Hook massacres. May God take His children to rest in His grace.

As is usual for these types of events, most seem to want a convenient scapegoat for the massacre.

Guns are easy to blame, but tools have no volition of their own.

Some blame mental illness, but only the perpetrator’s psychologist can possibly speak to that. Mental illness might explain some of it (or it might not, I’m no psychologist) but most mentally ill people do not shoot up a school.

Some blame cultural entertainment products: violent video games, movies, etc. Although, I’ve seen less of it this time around than when Columbine occurred, it’s still as silly as it was then.

Some blame the media for giving fame to losers. While achieving infamy may be a contributing reason to public violence, this again strips the perpetrator of their own volition and begs the question: why did the perpetrator choose to pursue infamy over the lives of others and continued living?

Some blame the sidelining of males, while others blame the loss of male privilege. I’ve warned about this trend in the past, but it only shows a trend; most males do not engage in such nihilistic violence.

Essentially, it seems everybody uses these kind of events to simply confirm the validity of their pre-existing bugaboos. I am guilty of this as well.

In the end, I think the most likely societal explanation is simple probability. In any society of 300+ million people, there will be some people at the nihilistic violence end of the bell-curve. This is not a societal trend, it is simply probabilistic reality.

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Instead of looking for some great cause to blame, let’s put the blame where it belongs: the perpetrator.

Adam Lanza was a free individual, with his own will. and his own moral decisions to make.

He made them.

People have their own values, their own goals, their own choices to make.

They have agency, they are not simply the products of culture. People, even the mentally ill, are not empty cyphers of whatever societal trend we fear. They are human they make choices.

We should not dehumanize them.

We should not dehumanize Adam Lanza.

He made his choice.

Adam Lanza chose to shoot his mother, little Emilie Parker, baseball fan Jack Pinto, young Dylan Hockley, and 25 other individuals, may they rest in God’s peace.

Adam Lanza saw the mother who raised him and killed her. He saw the innocence of young ones and decided to snuff it out.

He chose to end dozens of young lives and destroy hundreds more.

Societal forces didn’t kill these people, Adam Lanza did.

****

If we look at all the great causes, no matter which it is, the “answer” is always the same: less freedom.

Guns are deadly: ban them and take them from law-abiding citizens.

The mentally ill are dangerous: lock them up against their will and drug them.

The entertainment and cultural industry is perverse and degenerate: institute content controls.

The media are vicious, amoral, parasitical vultures: regulate the press.

Males are losing their place in society: re-institute enforced patriarchy.

Males are angry at their loss of privilege: indoctrinate them further.

And on and on.

One person in 300+ million* commits a heinous act and everybody cries for the upending of society, for the expanded regulation of behaviour of other people. (Funny how it’s always other people that have to be regulated).

Because of these extreme, outside the normal events, everybody must be controlled. Somebody must do something to prevent these future black swans.

Something must be done, the government has to act. We have no idea what specific actions, but do something, anything. We have no proof any of these suggested actions will be helpful, but do them anyway. We have no rational basis for believing any of these actions will actually prevent the next nihilistic individual from committing extreme violence, but action must be taken.

Please do something, anything so that the placebo can give me back my piece of mind.

I can’t rest unless I know someone better than me is actively looking like they are doing something that vaguely resembles protecting me from extremely low-probability danger.

Fie on that.

Nothing should be done.

Shut the hell up and stop using dead children as political pawns for your anti-freedom crusades.

Shut the hell up and stop letting your mindless fear and inability to control your own peace of mind dictate society.

****

School massacres and other mass acts of nihilistic violence have been occurring since before there was a public school system and have occurred in many different countries and cultures. They have occurred with firearms and without. They have occurred whatever regulations may or may not have been in place. This is not a problem solely of our time and culture. It is not a problem of our regulations or lack thereof. It is not a problem of whatever other bullshit pre-existing ideological war you want to fight on the graves of dead kids.

It is a problem of individuals.

Some individuals choose to do evil things.

Adam Lanza did.

Adam Lanza was free to choose, and choose he did.

****

Here is the thing we must understand:

Sandy Hook was the price of freedom.

The freedom to make choices is the freedom to make bad choices, to make evil choices.

The only way to eliminate bad choices, is to eliminate freedom.

It is horrifying, but it is reality.

The only way to stop another Sandy Hook is to completely give up our freedom, to submit ourselves wholly and completely to another’s control.

The only way to stop bad choices, is to completely remove the ability to make choices.

However horrible 28 deaths is, on a societal level the loss of freedom is even worse.

Freedom is naturally a frightening thing, the comfort of giving up our right to choose, to let others choose for us, can be tempting. Do not give into the fear.

Individuals should be free to make choices, even if those choices may be frightening and may lead to suffering.

Individuals should only be punished or controlled for bad choices once they have actually made them.

Anything else is tyranny.

Sandy Hook is the price of freedom, but it is a price that must be paid; the alternative, a world without freedom and choice, is worse.

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* If we include others who’ve engaged in nihilistic acts of public mass violence, it’s probably “only” on the order of one in tens of millions. I’m not going to calculate exactly, but still one person out of a few dozen million is still a very low probablility occurance.

The Desire for Casual Sex and Relationships are not Incongruent

A new interview from Salon about men’s sexual preferences has been passed around lately. The interviewee, an Andrew Smiler, argues that men are not naturally promiscuous based on research he did for his book. Not surprisingly, Susan Walsh trumpeted this. So did Amanda Marcotte (it’s amazing how eager feminists who cry foul whenever men supposedly dictate their sexuality are to to dictate men’s sexuality to them).

Interestingly, the interviewer is one Tracy Clarke-Flory, who manospherians may remember as the former apologist for the hook-up culture who changed her mind as she began to hit the wall. Now that she no longer believes in casual sex, she now seems intent on showing men don’t like it either, because that would be convenient, wouldn’t it? There must be tons of men who are sick of the hook-up culture and just looking for The One (ie. her).

Obviously, I haven’t read Smiler’s book and don’t plan too. I’m far enough behind on my reading list already, so I hope I don’t misrepresent his arguments. If I do, he can feel free to correct me.

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I’ll start with the Amazon blurb, just ’cause, then get to the interview. The book description:

In his groundbreaking new book, noted expert on teenage and adult masculine behavior Andrew Smiler debunks the myth that teenage boys and young men are barely able to control their sex drives, which may lead to destructive hyper-sexuality, unwanted pregnancy, and sexually transmitted diseases. Dr. Smiler? helps us recognize that the majority of boys and men do not fit this stereotype and that boys? sexual development is multi-faceted.? He also shows how this shift in attitude could help create young men who are more mature, and have better relationships with partners and friends.

I’ll ignore the weird punctuation, but notice how not having casual sex is somehow more “mature” and “better.” Now, as a reactionary Christian, I think casual sex is a sin and that marriage is better for society, but to anyone who does not have a reactionary Christians pre-suppositions regarding sex and marriage, judging free life choices as more mature or better is just silly. Either sex is reserved for marriage or it is a free lifestyle choice. From the interview is seem unlikely that Smiler is one of the “religious guys”.

There is no moral difference between a casual hook-up, a short-term relationship, or a long-term, non-marriage, relationship. All are simply life-style chocies, none are more mature and certainly none are “better” (however better may be defined absent strong pre-suppositions on the spiritual and societal value of sex).

Here are the “4 Ways the Casanova Stereotype Is Incorrect” according to the book as per the Amazon editorial review:

Most guys want only a few partners
Anonymous surveys of undergraduates tell us that about 25% of young men want 2 or more partners in the next 30 days; that means 75% of guys want 0 or 1 partners during that time. If all – or even most – guys are Casanovas, many more should tell us they want multiple partners in the next 30 days.

This is obviously stupid. A full quarter of guys want 2+ different partners in the next month (if extended to a year, that would be 24+). This tells us is that 25% of guys do fit the “Casanova Stereotype” (to a degree).

Three quarters want 0-1. This tells us nothing. A man wanting one partner in the next month time horizon is meaningless; maybe he’s busy, maybe he likes STR’s rather than ONS’, maybe more than one is a pain in the ass (or expensive), maybe he’s tired. Who knows? It’s meaningless.

As for those wanting zero partners in the next month, are they asexual? Probably not, it just means that in a short time frame, they decided the cost is not worth the potential benefits.

All we really learned is that at least 25% of guys want a lot of partners.

Most guys have only a few partners
In studies that ask young men to describe their sexual behavior, about 15% of guys say they had 3 or more partners in the last 12 months and only about 5% of guys say they’ve had 3 or more partners each of the last 3 years. Together, these numbers tell us few guys actually live like Casanovas.

Any idiot can tell you is and ought are not the same thing. Just because 80-85% of guys have <2 partners does not mean that they only want <2 partners. There are a lot of variables (particularly the one where most men are not overly successful with women).

Most guys do want relationships
According to the stereotype, guys only want sex and aren’t interested in relationships. If it’s difficult to get your son to clean his room, how difficult must it be to get him to date when he supposedly doesn’t want to? Real life says that most guys choose relationships and enjoy them. In fact, about 90% of guys will get married at least once.

Mmm-hmmm… Again: is and ought. Not all men can be Hugh Hefner.

Also, relationships and sex are not the same drives, but sex is intrinsic to relationships. Men could (and do) want both relationships and casual sex.

Puberty is not only about sex
Puberty includes sexual development as well as other aspects of physical development like increased height and broadening of the shoulders that help distinguish men from boys. Puberty is one change among many for adolescents: changes in the way they think and understand the world, new concerns about personal identity, and a shift away from parents towards friends. Sexual development is just one part of growing up; it’s influenced by and influences each of those other changes.

Completely irrelevant to a discussion of the “Casanova Stereotype”.

So, so far, it seems his logic is faulty,  his grasp of statistics shaky, and his philosophy defective, but this was just the Amazon book blurb.

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Let’s check the interview.

This stereotype “tells us that guys are primarily interested in sex, not relationships,” he writes. “This contributes to the notion that guys are emotional clods who are incapable of connecting with their partners because, hey, they’re just guys, and guys are only interested in sex. “ The result is the belief that “guys shouldn’t be expected to achieve any type of ‘real’ emotional intimacy with their partners.”

This is idiotic. It’s not a dichotomy. Even when they are interested in relationships, sex is a major component of a relationship. They are interested in both, to varying degrees on a personal basis.

If Casanova-style promiscuity is men’s naturally evolved state, then why do most men want no more than one partner?

My guess, they have some understanding of their market value and act accordingly.

All of the research that we have show that it’s only a minority of guys who have multiple partners per year, and I typically talk about this as three partners a year because that’s the Casanova average.

Here we go: again, mistaking is and ought. Desire does not necessitate ability.

It’s actually a minority of guys who want multiple short-term partners — that even comes up in the evolutionary research.

We’ve already dealt with this. Unless he has better evidence in his book than the evidence he used for his blurb (which would seem unlikely to me; wouldn’t you put your best bit of support out there) you can not draw this conclusion.

It made it out of scientific circles and into popular culture in the 1980s as sociobiology, and parts of it got recreated as evolutionary psychology in the 1990s. So it’s gotten a lot of press attention as a new theory. Another part is it really caught on because it gives us essentially a simple answer to a difficult question and, for whatever reason, we here in the U.S., if not in many other places, really like those simple answers to difficult questions.

Obviously, he’s not boned up on either his history or religion. Spreading the seed goes far older than that. King David had many wives and still slept with Bathsheba. Solomon had 700 wives, and 300 concubines to boot. I’m sure other ancient faiths/traditions have their own stories of men engaging in mass copulation. Ghengis Khan had untold partners. I could go on ad infinitum, but why? Polygamy is ancient. Men spreading their seed across numerous partners is ancient and precedes 1980′s popular culture by millenia.

In mainstream media we’ve had all of this stuff on TV since the 1970s that really promotes this idea of promiscuous young men. The history, as far as I can tell, really starts with Fonzie on “Happy Days” and “Hawkeye” Pierce on “M*A*S*H.” And it continues with guys like Sam Malone on “Cheers” and Charlie Sheen’s character on “Two and a Half Men” and Barney on “How I Met Your Mother.” For several years now we’ve had so-called good guys who were also promiscuous. If you looked at TV and movies from the ’50s and ’60s, the promiscuous guys were always very clearly the bad example.

That sounds almost socially conservative of him. Interesting how at one point society discouraged anti-social behaviour.

If you look at the public health research tracking things like unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections, that research typically shows about 15 percent of guys have three or more partners in any given 12-month span. If you follow those guys over time the number of guys who have three or more partners a year for as long as three years, that drops to about 5 percent. So there are definitely some guys out there who are doing it — but it’s really a small percentage of guys. By contrast, if you look at guys who are very religious, that’s about 15 percent of guys, and most of them really are devoutly religious, really dedicated to their partner. There’s way more of that than guys that are having three partners per year for three years.

Again, he implies desire necessitates capability.

Also, no offence to religious guys, but abstaining is more attainable, though not necessarily easier, than 3+ partners a year.

Let me go back to the religious guys for a minute. They will often talk about dating as courting and using this model that comes to us from the 1950s: you met someone you were interested in, you asked them out on a first date and then a second date, and there was this fairly clear understanding of what type of physical behavior was supposed to happen.
…But what most young men and young women are experiencing today is that we’ve gotten away from that script.

I will insert here a sad lament for the good ol’ days.

What most guys seek, and this seems to be regardless of sexual orientation or age, they’re looking for people whose company they enjoy. People who appreciate them for who they are. We know that a couple tends to be similar in age. More often than not folks match on ethnicity, political orientation and religiosity. The thing that ultimate grounds it are personality match, similar sense of humor, similar tastes in music, TV and movies, similar activities, because you want to be able to do things with your sweetie and you want someone who gets you.

What does this have to do with sex though?

There is a distinction between a man’s lust drive and his love drive. All these are what a man looks for in love; none have to do with sex.

What we know is that most guys do get into relationships, they enjoy relationships, they do a lot of things in relationships that are not about sex and they’re not doing them just to put up with them in order to get sex. Guys get something out of relationships; they like relationships. If you add in the fact that average age of first marriage is something like 28 for guys, a lot of guys have the sense that this girl they’re starting to date at 17 or 19 or 21 probably isn’t going to be the one — and yet they are choosing to date. They could easily choose to just hook up — or instead of spending that money in a bar you could get a prostitute — but they’re consistently choosing to be in relationships.

Again, I ask, what does that have to do with sex?

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From this interview we can see his reasoning is based aroundthree major mistakes:

1) He assumes that men are getting exactly as much sex as they desire in the way they desire. He completely discounts that for most men, they do not get anywhere near the amount of sex they desire in the way they desire it. This false assumption is especially bitter given M3′s confession earlier this week.

Men are not women. We can not just walk into a bar, say “let’s have sex” and receive it. I can understand this kind of solipsism from females and feminists, but Smiler should know better.

2) He incorrectly implies that sex drives and relationship drives are the same in some parts of the interview, but, somehow, at the same time implies an artificial dichotomy a man’s desire for sex and his desire for a relationship. Somehow he jumps between these two mutually contradictory unspoken pre-suppositions.

They are two are different desires and can not be mistaken for each other, but at the same same time they are not mutually exclusive. Just because a man desires a relationship does not mean that he does not desire meaningless sex at the same time. As well, a desire for sex is an intrinsic part of a desire for a relationship.

3) He does not seem to recognize the distinction between a man’s “desires” and his “wants”. A healthy young man typically “desires” to sex anything youngish within proximity having two legs, two breasts, a vagina, and a decent hip-to-waist ratio.

He does not always “want” to sex said young thing because of the potential consequences. He could go to jail for rape if he followed his desire through without consent (or if she was a little too young), he could be charged with sexual harassment if he expressed said desire inappropriately, the maxim “don’t stick your dick in crazy” always applies, he could have a fear of knocking her up or STD’s, he could have religious or moral objections, he could just decide it’s not worth the effort, etc. The reasons he may not want what he desires are endless. Men don’t always “want” what they “desire” because often the cost of what they desire is higher than the benefits.

Evolutionary psychology explanations would typically deal primarily with desires. Freudian psychology (id, ego, & superego), sociology, and economics would handle how “desire” is is expressed in “want”. You can not apply the superego outcomes to determine the full range of the desires of the id.

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Now, there is some interesting information in all this and there are probably some interesting conclusions that can be drawn.

But what it does not show is that “Guys don’t want casual sex!” or “Men Want Sex with Girlfriends, Not Randoms“.

All it shows is that a lot of people do not understand the difference between what someone may want and what someone actually receives.

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So, for all those who are confused I’ll explain what men want:

Men desire both relationships and sex at the same time concurrently. The exact amount of each desired will differ between individual men, but what most men would ideally desire is both, but not with the same people.

The ideal sexual situation for most males (morality/religion aside) would be a single life partner to love, make home with, and, possibly, sire children with and a side harem of dozens of women for sex and fun.

Obviously, this is impossible for all but the most sought after men. We can’t all be King Solomon.

We can’t all have both a doting wife and a string of sexy, low-maintenance mistresses, the wife would get upset and the mistresses would demand more.

So we compromise.

Being unable to fulfill the mating strategies of both promiscuity and marriage, each individual man will choose a strategy based on their personal preferences between the two mating strategies and their perceived value on the sexual marketplace.

Some men on one moral extreme (the “religious guys”) will go for the best women they think they can get, scoop her up, and marry her. Some men of high sexual value and the other moral extreme (the “Casanova Stereotype”) will sleep around with as many gals as they can (some men of low sexual value will try to be Casanova’s and fail). Some men (the “losers”) will never find a woman and will masturbate in their Real Doll.

Most men do not belong to one of these extremes of sexual morality and value, but rather are somewhere in the middle. In our current mating market, they will adopt a middling strategy. They will go through a number of relationships (based on their market value and preferences) which provide sex and companionship without commitment so they can still try diversity if/when they get bored of their current partner. Between these relationships, they will try to get occasionally lucky with casual hook-ups. Then at some point, they will decide they can’t get better than what they have and marry off. After marrying, depending on their morality, they may get some casual sex on the side.

Men desire both casual sex and relationship concurrently. It is not a dichotomy and they are not mutually exclusive.

Demanding More

There’s been a little bit of debate on the infantalization of men within the alt-right/manosphere, so I decided to weigh in. (I have a companion piece to this post here, read it to give more context to this post).

The Social Pathologist wrote:

The manosphere rightly criticizes women for their diminishing femininity, but what the manosphere does not do so well is criticize the increasing infantisation of men.  When Roosh and his followers point out that quality women are only to be found outside the U.S. he is giving the masculine version of the modern feminist lament that there are no good men at home. What many manosphere commentators fail to recognize is that the nice computer nerd is the male equivalent of the nice fat chick. The manosphere demands thinness  but criticizes women for wanting its feminine equivalent. Mote, beam, eye. It’s all a bit of hypocrisy.

There are two problems with his argument here.

The first problem is the difference between the manosphere and modern feminism. The manosphere is actively trying to improve men; they are encouraging men to become better, more masculine players, or better, more masculine patriarchs. They are actively trying to move away from being the nice computer nerds and become better at being a man. (Whether that’s better or not for women is debatable).

(The other section of the manosphere, the MGTOW, may not advocate self-improvement as much, but they are not hypocritical because they are also no longer calling for women to improve. They’ve simply decided to take their ball and go home and have given the reasons why).

Modern feminism on the other hand is actively trying to make women less feminine. They are actively encouraging women to be fat (fat acceptance), to be “outspoken” (read: bitchy), and to discard their traditional societal roles. They are actively trying to make woman worse. They are encouraging women to become bitchy (not nice) fat chicks.

The second problem with his argument is the underlying social context. The problem the manosphere has is not, so much, about women preferring alpha men to beta men, it is that women and society lie about it.

Men are honest about what they want. Most men (lying manginas and fat fetishists, aside) are honest about their preferences and are quite willing to say “I want a thin, feminine women with a nice chest.” Women are told and know exactly what men want. Some women lie to themselves that fat is beautiful (Rubens like fat women… dur), but even then their complaints are that men do not appreciate their “beauty”, not that men are actually lying to them about it.

On the other hand, women lie (or genuinely don’t know) about their preferences. If you ask women (be they your mother, sisters, female friends, whomever) what women want, the answer will usually be something similar to “a nice, loving man in touch with his emotion who wants to settle down and share the housework equally.” The problem being something any nice young man looking to settle down realizes quite quickly: women’s actual choices in men are something else entirely.

If women just came out and said that they were attracted to aloof, dominant, irresponsible, alpha bad boys, there would be no problem. (There would also be no problem if women found betas attractive like they said). Men would have the honest truth and could live their life accordingly. The problem is that men are sucking up the lies about women’s desire for a loving beta, are having these lies dashed around them, and, when they wonder why, are lied to even more. It is not the preferences that are the problem, it is the lies surrounding the preferences that are the problem.

The difference is that men are honest about what attracts them, but women are dishonest (or mistaken) about what they are attracted to. These are what separate the “why are there no good men?” feminists and the manosphere.

In a later post he wrote:

The manosphere has quite rightly denounced the corruption of women by feminism but what it has been unable see is the failure in modern masculinity. Roosh and Roissy may get lots of lays but they would have hardly been though of examples of masculinity either in Roman, Greek or Victorian times. Hedonism was always the “soft” option of manhood. And the reality today is that many men are soft. Not so much physically as in character. Women are far “harder” today and more self disciplined. Making women “softer” may restore some of their femininity but it no way guarantees the masculinity of men.  Taking away a woman’s rights does not give a man alpha qualities.

Simon Grey responded:

And so, while I agree with the MRA crowd that most women would make for terrible wives, I also agree with Slumlord that most men make for terrible husbands.  Quite simply, most people in this world are self-absorbed cowards, too afraid to live up to their potential, and too weak to suppress their self-destructive tendencies.  No wonder their marriages and relationships turn cancerous.

I agree, most young men today would make terrible husbands, but they both stop there. They do not ask why, and that is the important question.

Why are most young men today living as “Peter Pan” manboys?

(We could ask the same about why most women would make poor wives, but the manosphere has covered that fairly extensively already; the answer boils down to feminism).

Dalrock has already has partially answered the question and has hit a key point:

While we might argue about the speed and magnitude of men’s reaction to such a shift, as well as the specific mechanism we might observe (marriage strike vs weakened signal, etc), I don’t see how one could argue that an overall decline in men’s eagerness to work hard in preparation to lead families is surprising.

We wanted non threatening men, and now we have them.

But I don’t think he spells it out clearly enough, so I’m going to.

The reason there are so many losers, manboys, men without chests, or whatever you wish to call them, comes down to one, solitary word. This word is probably the single most important word when it comes to any social pheonomenum. This word is:

Incentives

This is the centre-piece of economics. This is the single most explanatory concept in all the social sciences. Incentives.

People respond to incentives. If there are positive incentives for a behaviour, there will be more of that behaviour. If there are negative incentives for a behaviour, there will be less of that behaviour.

No matter how much cajoling is done, no matter how much people are shamed, no matter how many laws are written, the incentive structure of society (of which cajoling, shaming, and laws are all a part) will override them all.

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So, what are the incentives of the young man today?

I was originally going to write a short narrative, but it turned long, too long for this post. You can read it here, it provides more context.

The young man today is put in 13 years of public school and university, where people are judged primarily by their ability tosit still and parrot what their teachers say. Where masculine behaviours, such as risk-taking, dominance, and rough-housing are discouraged, banned, and punished. Sometimes these behaviours even result in a regime of drugging. The entire system is as structured as a tightly run concentration camp.

On the other hand, young males are taught that their natural desires are destructive and to be controlled, but are not taught the discipline necessary to control them. They are taught to get in touch with their emotions, except those school administration think are dangerous. They are taught self-esteem, where no matter what they accomplish (or don’t accomplish) they are special and deserving. They are not taught self-control, they are taught hedonism.

This produces a horrible dichotomy of a lack of freedom and a lack of discipline. The entire school system is geared towards teaching young boys subservience and dependence (beta traits) and to destroy their in-born initiative, risk-taking, and ambition (alpha traits).

Right from the get go, authorities teach young boys that traditional masculine behaviours are punished, while weakness and beta traits (not always the same) are rewarded.

In university, the incentive structure is much the same. Obey and parrot and be rewarded.

Men are taught, while young, that the authorities will reward for being weak and punish for being strong. They are also taught an entitlement mentality.

This is the incentive structure the primary authorities in their life (children spend as much or more time being instructed by the school system than their parents) ingrain in them from a young age.

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On the other hand, the social system of both school and university naturally coalesces into an opposing dynamic. Children are socialized through other children than through other adults. They pick up natural, feral attitudes towards interpersonal relations rather than a more mature civilized attitude to social relations.

In this social system, the alphas are socially and sexually rewarded, while the more awkward betas are not. Young men learn that sex, social status, and relationships can be obtained without work. In fact, men are taught that the irresponsible “cool” kids are more likely to be socially and sexually rewarded than the more responsible “nerds”.

In other words, they know they can satiate their primary genetic drive without having to contribute to society, as long as they act “like jerks.”

Young men are taught that irresponsibility pays now.

The only threat we have against this the long term: responsibility pays in the long run.

This worked until the last decade or so, until long-term incentives began to collapse.

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What are the long-term incentives for your young adult male, so he is responsible?

A good-paying, worthwhile job, a house, a loving wife, social status, and a family.

The good-paying job is dying in the current economic corruption. 50% of our young people are either under- or unemployed. Their college degrees are worthless. They are shackled with near unmanageable student debt. Self-employment is a no-go. Government regulations strangle most industries and are especially painful to small businesses. (Not to mention, the initiative and ambition necessary for self-employment were beat out of him by the school system). Those who do get jobs are usually suffering in useless government busywork or brutally impersonal corporate work.

Simply put, there are no longer any guarantees that hard-work and responsibility will lead to a worthwhile job. But even if he eventually gets a job, he is punished by having half his income is taken by the state and given to the irresponsible.

He can still get a home, but not without the job. That, and the young man doesn’t want a home for himself; he wants it so he can raise a family. This incentive is more an ancillary option to the other incentives.

The primary incentive is a wife and family, but that incentive is becoming meaningless.

The average age of marriage for is 28 (in Canada it’s 31). Think about that. Your average man will not find a wife until a full decade after he graduates from high school and about 15 years after he hits puberty.

During this 15 years of either loneliness and sexual frustration for betas or, for the alphas, hedonism and sexual license, what lessons are being learned by men?

Irresponsibility.

Men are learning to get used to irresponsibility. How the hell can you expect most men to be prepared for the responsibility of a wife and family after he has had a full decade of getting acquainted to irresponsibility?

You can’t.

But lets say he’s prepared for marriage. It’s highly unlikely his wife is a virgin: his dating pool probably has more single mothers than virgins. She’s not going to bond to him.

There’s a 50% chance that he will lose his family. When he loses his family, there is a good chance he will be subjected to alimony slavery and have his family kidnapped from him. I’m not going into detail here, because other’s have wrote much more comprehensive articles on the risks of marriage, but marriage is becoming and increasingly bad option.

Social status? Hahaha… Being a responsible person no longer create social status. “Office drones” are looked down upon. The rich and successful are castigated and punished. Everybody is equal now. There is no more of the base respect and social status given to a man who quietly works hard to provide for his family.

So, where are his incentives to be responsible?

When having a family is a decade away and is likely to be punished with divorce, alimony theft, and having his children ripped from him? When hard work and an education no longer means a job, let alone a meaningful one? When he’s grown accustomed to the freedom of singledom? When he is punished for career success? When the lazy and irresponsible are rewarded with his hard-earned income?

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Overall, the entire incentive structure of society is biased towards men being irresponsible.

If a man is irresponsible, he gets to play video games now. He gets sex now. He gets to hang out with his friends now.

If a man is responsible, there is no immediate gain. When there were long-term incentives, this was fine, but the long term incentives are breaking down.

Why should men act responsibly, when the incentives are towards irresponsibility?

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Pathologist illustrated his point about weak men with a story about a “responsible” young women with an irresponsible young man for a boyfriend.

Many in the manosphere would view this woman as a demanding bitch. I don’t. She would be a good modern fit for Proverbs 31:10-31. She has independently, on a low income, saved money and bought herself a house, put tenants in it and has a long term plan for the future. She is keeping down a job and has been able to organise her own affairs. She wants a stable future and does not want to live in poverty. By the way, I’d estimate her BMI at about 22. Such a woman is percieved as a threat to Western Civilisation by the manosphere. Facepalm.

She is a threat to Western Civilization, not because she is a “demanding bitch”, but because she is not demanding enough. If she was a Proverbs 31 women she would not be shacking up with an irresponsible man. She would have demanded marriage to a man “known in the gates when he sits among the elders of the land.” ie. She would have married a responsible and respected man. Instead, she is giving herself to an worthless man without any demands of responsibility from him.

She is the one creating perverse incentives.

By herself, her actions don’t matter. But if you multiply her by a few million women, all demanding nothing out of the men they bed, then you have a threat to civilization.

She made her choice to date a loser, to be irresponsible, and to reward irresponsible behaviour. She now has to face the consequences of her choices. Society now has to face the consequences of her actions.

When love is free, most men won’t pay for it.

If men aren’t paying, civilization is threatened.

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The manosphere is right to demand more from women, but there is also a corollary. Women need to demand more from men.

We need a society that demands more from everybody and rewards those, and only those, who meet those demands. People will only rise to the level that societal incentives reward.

Everything in life comes down to incentives. Right now, the incentive structure for men is built so that irresponsibility is rewarded, while responsibility is punished. When the incentives for men are structured this way you will get irresponsible men.

If women, conservatives, and the Social Pathologist want responsible men, they should help restructure society so that the incentives of society, particularly, in this case, those related to sex and relationships, reward responsible men, and punish irresponsible men.