Sex, Nerds, and Entitlement

In Should Bad Boys Win, the question arose of whether the legendary "nice guys" who finish last, are actually nice.  Several commenters proposed that "nice guys" feel entitled to sex, and are liars.

It does appear to me that many older and more bitter nerds do feel entitled to something.  This sounds like a turn-off; but according to the seduction community and other repositories of male wisdom such as Richard Feynman, one of the main effective strategies for attracting women is learning to project entitlement:  To convey that you expect a woman to wish to have sex with you.

I normally have fairly low regard for evolutionary psychology, especially post-hoc.  But here it seems to fit the bill really nicely; so I’m going to speculate a bit on what entitlement might signify in the environment of evolutionary adaptedness.

Displaying feelings of sexual entitlement would have been, in a tribal setting, a strong signal of dominance and actual access to sex. These traits would be associated with genes valuable in male offspring provided that either the father could be convinced to provide resources or the environment was such that they did not need to.  It might also indicate that it was physically dangerous to refuse him sexually, and relatively socially safe to accede.

In contrast, displaying feelings of thwarted entitlement would be a huge neon warning sign of low fitness.

Not only does this guy not have high status, his systems for judging his own status are broken. This is a hugely costly defect.  Association with him may be dangerous both physically and socially, prior to his impending demise.  Big red letters are flashing KEEP AWAY.

But how did nerds originally become bitter?  By being ignored by women?  Then why would women ignore them before they became bitter?

Suppose that middle-class American men are told, at an age too immature to examine parental commands critically:  "In dealing with women, be X, Y, and Z" where X, Y, and Z are instructions like "Only express sexual interest in those women who you are confident are interested in you, prior to that, always be polite."  And middle class American women are told, in a similar fashion, "In choosing a man, look for politeness and respectful non-sexual behavior."

So far, so good.  The message is consistent.

But when women grow up, they find that they aren’t attracted to the men they were told to look for.  Maybe they believe, with reason even, that such men are ‘boys’, not ‘men’, and find this unattractive (ultimately because it was and still is evolutionarily unfit).  Instead, most women spurn the timid advances made by the ‘nice guys’ they think they should prefer.  But since they believe they should be choosing such men, they also decide that the men they reject cannot be the type they were told to prefer.  This may explain why ‘nice guys’ might end up labeled ‘liars’.

In this model, the nerd’s sense of thwarted entitlement comes from recognizing that he has the traits X, Y, and Z that authority figures told him to display and that women claim to want – which does nothing to change the fact that feelings of thwarted entitlement for ANY reason are extremely unattractive.

In this model, masculine attractiveness requires recognizing that:

A)  The rules that one is taught as a boy are simplified rules for boys, and some of them must eventually be discarded once you figure out better rules.

B)  The real rules require you to give lip-service, when in mixed company, to the rules for boys.

Nerds tend to be literal, to lie infrequently, to greatly resent being lied to, and to not adjust their behavior based on information their brains have not yet verbalized.

Nerds are also reluctant to behave hypocritically, e.g. by verbally condemning a behavior while engaging in said behavior. If this is what is socially demanded of them, they will be unhappy with the situation.

As a result, they may never become men in the relevant sense.

The situation with ‘nice guys’ seems to parallel that with ‘atheists’ perhaps half a century ago, when almost everyone in polite society acknowledged God, but didn’t live like they believed in God.  Today, almost everyone claims that certain behaviors are proper in men, but most don’t live like they believe this.  It was primarily emotionally inept nerds who found it necessary to vocally advocate atheism in the past; and today it is mostly emotionally inept nerds who find it necessary to vocally advocate realistic methods for attracting women.

People who are general outliers in the relationship of anticipation to verbalized belief, that is, people who actually believe in things that other people only believe in believing, may critically need a more sympathetic (and less arrogant) view of the relationship between verbal symbols and real behavior.  Just as we don’t want to see men or women as defective women or men, we also may not want to see non-nerds as defective nerds.  Their success in achieving their goals would suggest that they are not.

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  • Lewis Powell

    “one of the main effective strategies for attracting women is learning to project entitlement: To convey that you expect a woman to wish to have sex with you.”

    It seems like you are suggesting that expectation and entitlement are the same thing. But projecting confident expectations is different than projecting an attitude of desert. I am not sure how this impacts your larger point.

  • michael vassar

    I’m comfortable saying that in this context expectation and entitlement are the same thing.

  • Nick Tarleton

    “Entitlement” to me strongly connotes feelings of resentment or condemnation toward someone who rejects you.

    Other than that, though, sounds exactly right. Although there are surely many other reasons nerds are unattractive at first.

  • meta comment

    could you like compile a pdf of your blog or something?

    i try to read it but i get distracted by tags and sidebars and links and can’t follow all your philosophical musings.

    might just be me.

  • anonymous

    Your post implies that the people who are advocating “realistic methods” for attracting women (the pickup and seduction community) are not “paying lip service” to the rules of social politeness. This is emphatically not true: conditioned on their level of sexual success, they are basically straight-edge.

  • Nick Tarleton

    meta comment: Tom McCabe has compiled a single page, though consisting only of Eliezer’s posts.

  • Doug S.

    This posting feels like truth to me (after having read lots of relevant stuff), although that could be just confirmation bias talking…

  • Andy Wood

    This is a little tangential to the thrust of the post, but it flares up in my mind whenever this oft-repeated topic comes up. It is standard, in these discussions, for someone pseudo-wisely to point out something like the following: “‘Nice guys’ are actually just selfish, manipulative pricks trying to trade favors, gifts, and counselling services for sex, then getting upset when the woman doesn’t see fit to make such an exchange.” Yet they continue to use the label “Nice Guy” to refer to such a male, thereby snuffing out the very possibility of men who are actually just nice, as if they never existed in the first place. This reminds me of the brain-stopping pseudo-wisdom that asserts “Atheism is a faith-based religion,” which, to me, serves instantly to drain the intelligence out of a theological discussion.

    You should not use the label “Nice Guy” to refer to such men, because in so doing, you co-opt the whole category of men who are nice, and obliterate it. Please, someone coin a different, and clear label for the manipulative ones with the sense of entitlement! I know many men who are nice according to the common meaning of the word: friendly, non-aggressive, respectful, polite, non-threatening, helpful, cooperative, and yes, comparitively less sexualized than the typical alpha male. When I think of these men as a whole, they have varied degrees of sexual success, but I would characterize the successes as being geared more toward longer-term relationships than short-term. This is a complex topic, and one I find it extremely difficult to make meaningful generalizations about, but if I must: I generally do not perceive these men being “turned down” by women for not being sexually attractive. What I do see is that these men do not clearly convey sexual interest to women, and so it is no surprise that in not asking, they do not receive.

  • Cyan

    If you actually look at the pickup artist (PUA) literature (which I have been doing for the last few days), you will see that most of what they advocate boils down to engaging in a friendly but not overly sexual manner and using verbal and nonverbal cues to project confidence and comfortable, enjoyable presence. The advice is not to overtly escalate levels of sexual tension until the woman signals acceptance. Absolutely key to this endeavor is not appearing either entitled or needy. (Much of the language surrounding this advice is wretchedly misogynistic, and many of the specific techniques seem deceptive to me. Leaving that aside…)

    In short, “Only express sexual interest in those women who you are confident are interested in you, prior to that, always be polite,” is almost correct from the PUA point of view. Just strike “polite” and replace with “engaging”, and add a dollop of skill at interpreting body language to determine a woman’s level of relaxation and interest.

    “Engaging” doesn’t come naturally to everyone — this is most of the PUA’s “outer game”. The PUAs also have an “inner game”, which basically amounts to mental exercises to avoid becoming overly emotionally invested in the idea of having a romantic relationship with any one specific woman before confirming her interest.

    I’ll leave my own personal first-person perspective on romance from a male nerd point of view for another post.

  • meta comment

    Nick Tarleton, thanks. I can “lowlight” all the links from that webpage. I can’t seem to process all the out-of-frame information in today’s Internet.

  • Silas

    Nick_Tarleton: I don’t see how you are agreeing with this, when I made a similar point before: “Nice Guys” cannot be differentiated from “Bad Boys” on the grounds that the former feel entitled — the latter do as well!

  • Jade

    “Niceness” is totally tangential to sexual attractiveness for both men and women. The things that make a guy generally attractive to most women are pretty well understood. Characters played by Will Smith or Georgy Cloony in films tend to display these characteristics. These things have nothing to do with “niceness”.

    Are some people, both male and female, more generally attractive to the opposite sex (or the same sex, if that’s what you’re going for) then other people? Yes. Is this fair? No. But that’s how life works.

    Now as Nick_Tarleton said, entitlement implies resentment towards women who reject you. That’s just stupid. The truth is that there are no steps X Y Z that will make any woman fall in love with you (or at least put out). Women are not interchangeable. Each one has a different set of memories/biases/subconscious images that cause her to be attracted to one person and not another. And the idea that there should be an X Y Z that will cause any woman to be attracted to you (unless there’s something wrong with HER of course) is just plain insulting.

  • Doug S.

    Andy Wood: the term you’re looking for is “Nice Guy(TM)”. The “(TM)” is what distinguishes an actually nice person from the person who thinks that, because he adheres to minimal standards of decency, the universe owes him a girlfriend.

  • Jade

    Also, I really synthesize with shy, timid guys who have trouble asking girls out. Really. But think of this from a woman’s point of view. I won’t claim to speak for all women or all men but I think women’s sexuality is a bit different from men’s. Most men can enjoy casual sex with any reasonably pretty woman. For many/most woman, on the other hand, I think a considerably deeper level of respect, trust and attraction for her partner is necessary to enjoy sex. This is why there are few male prostitutes with a female clientelle. It’s not that lots of women arn’t sexually frustrated. It ‘s just that having sex with a random man (and especially a man who has sex for money) is well, unsexy even if he is physically attractive.

    This makes many women (ok, me) really skittish even when they are attracted to a man that is making advances on them. If you are are a reasonably pretty young women, there are lots of men making passes at you. Many of these will dump you as soon as you put out. And if you get attached to the guy emotionally (which is nessesary for many women to enjoy sex) that really hurts.

    This situation is exacerbated by pick up artists and society’s generally negative views towards promiscuous women. There is a good chance that the guy won’t just dump you, he’ll also laugh at you behind your back to his friends.

    This means that single women will generally have less sex then they might want. SInce women, on average want less sex then men, this means that there are lots of frustrated guys.

  • Jade

    Basically what Doug said/

  • Andy Wood

    Alas, that seems to convey that the description “nice guy” always has a hidden or implied “TM” affixed to it. It is analogous to the derogatory term “feminazi”, where the effect is not to create a distinct category, but to tarnish that which is described by the word “feminist.” I realize that they could be intended and interpreted either way, but it seems to be just begging for clumsy thinking. Can’t we just say something like “sore losers”, and leave the nice guys out of it entirely?

  • Z. M. Davis

    “Alas, that seems to convey that the description ‘nice guy’ always has a hidden or implied “TM” affixed to it.”

    Only when capitalized, I think.

  • Doug S.

    Terminology has a way of becoming entrenched no matter how inappropriate, sadly enough, and Nice Guy(TM) is fairly entrenched. The term is meant to call attention to the fact that the archetypical Nice Guy(TM) mistakenly thinks of himself as a nice person.

  • http://yudkowsky.net/ Eliezer Yudkowsky

    The truth is that there are no steps X Y Z that will make any woman fall in love with you (or at least put out). Women are not interchangeable. Each one has a different set of memories/biases/subconscious images that cause her to be attracted to one person and not another. And the idea that there should be an X Y Z that will cause any woman to be attracted to you (unless there’s something wrong with HER of course) is just plain insulting.

    Jade, these words of yours should be printed on glossy paper and handed out to every male nerd entering high school.

    Because nerds want clear instructions for how to do things. If no clear instructions are available, this needs to be indicated in large red letters. I also suspect that most nerds may just not believe it, when it is set side by side next to all the literature telling them what women want – but if they remember your advice, at least that might make them less bitter after their first failure. (Don’t know about their twentieth failure, though, they might still get pretty bitter by then.)

  • Andy Wood

    After skimming various discussions about this elsewhere on the web, I gather there is a general move towards surrendering the phrase “nice guy” as a lost cause, and choosing a new label such as “kind men” or “good guys” to describe actually nice guys. I can live with that.

  • celeriac

    “Only express sexual interest in those women who you are confident are interested in you, prior to that, always be polite.”

    This seems to contain the hidden assumption that expressing sexual interest is necessarily not polite. False! It can be polite or impolite depending on how or where it is done. I regret that many introverted, timid men have absorbed this mistake, because it was most likely not what their parents attempted to teach, and if you sit down and hash this out with the most radical feminist you can find you will also discover that it is not what they advocate.

    Maybe they believe, with reason even, that such men are ‘boys’, not ‘men’, and find this unattractive (ultimately because it was and still is evolutionarily unfit).

    This is pretty much where your post went off the rails. People do not employ a cognitive fitness-maximizer in mate selection. Or anywhere else. From this point on, the post ceases to deal with evolutionary psychology, and instead becomes Evolutionary Psychology(TM), which the archetypical Nice Guy mistakenly thinks of as insight.

  • jps

    @Jade: “The truth is that there are no steps X Y Z that will make any woman fall in love with you (or at least put out). Women are not interchangeable. Each one has a different set of memories/biases/subconscious images that cause her to be attracted to one person and not another. And the idea that there should be an X Y Z that will cause any woman to be attracted to you (unless there’s something wrong with HER of course) is just plain insulting.”

    @Eliezer: “Jade, these words of yours should be printed on glossy paper and handed out to every male nerd entering high school.”

    “Everyone is different” is mostly a mental stopsign. To the extent that commonalities exist it seems worthwhile to find out what they are. Even if a pattern is valid only 65% of the time, it is useful to know about it. Assuming it applies 100% of the time would be a mistake, but ignoring it completely would be an even greater mistake.

  • Nick Tarleton

    This is pretty much where your post went off the rails. People do not employ a cognitive fitness-maximizer in mate selection. Or anywhere else. From this point on, the post ceases to deal with evolutionary psychology, and instead becomes Evolutionary Psychology(TM), which the archetypical Nice Guy mistakenly thinks of as insight.

    It was obvious to me that that sentence is saying there’s a specific adaptation to find ‘boys’ unattractive, not postulating conscious fitness-maximization.

    Speaking of which – Michael, do you think this is purely self-supporting sexual selection, or is ‘boyish’ behavior unfit for some other reason, like submissiveness?

  • Grant

    Michael, what about a more conventional explanation for nerdiness in dating?

    Women evolved to become attracted to socially and genetically superior men in a tribal setting. Tribes were closely-knit and largely involuntary groups of people. Individuals could not safely express themselves as being higher status than they were.

    To me, that situation is very similar to the compulsory school system in the USA. As the common stereotype goes, nerds are abused in school and kept in low status by dominant males, which effectively prevents them from accessing females. I would think many nerds never “unlearn” their status in this tribal environment, of if they do it takes a long time to do so. They continue to display signs of low status long after they’ve left their “tribe”, which keeps them from being successful in dating.

    I wonder if there is any correlation between “nice guy”-ness and tribal childhood environments, such as compulsory schooling vs. homeschooling? If this is a contributing factor, the solution is at least obvious.

    Jade, I’m not sure I follow your logic, since most timid guys are generally much less likely to dump a woman they are with. They simply have few or no options for sex, have presumably always have few or no options, and so aren’t likely to be the sort of people to engage in one night stands. I know quite a few nerds, and I don’t know a single one who has dumped a woman after she “put out” (and I don’t think they refrained from this because they were “nice” – most aren’t, except towards certain women – its just old-fashioned self-interest).

  • poke

    Most people, men and women, have relationships with their friends or friends of friends. Nerds tend to have far fewer women in their social networks. If all men found themselves in a similar situation, having to seek out women on their own rather than be introduced to them, the human race would cease to exists in a couple of generations. The problem is that nerds cluster. Make friends outside your social group (male or female) and attend “pointless” social gatherings. You’ll meet eligible women eventually.

  • Jade

    I think that almost every guy that tries to attract a woman acts nice in the sense of being pleasant and non threatening, at least to her. The ones that don’t are seen as stalkers and get no where.

    Being genuinely kind, generous and empathetic certainly helps forming healthy and mutually happy long-term relationships. NO one wants to marry a self centered, misogynistic prick. For short term relationships, its less important since both parties are in it for eachother’s superficial sexiness anyway.

  • Dave

    A younger nerd friend of mine described a game he and other nerds played in college. Go to a bar, and see who can be the first guy to rack up ten rejections from women. Had I known about this game, I can’t help but think my college years would have been much more enjoyable.

  • Jade

    On the other hand I would say jerkiness helps in getting short term sex (which is what the study in the previous post was saying). This is where pick up artistry comes in. I’d say that there are three possible categories of women that can be picked up for short term sex.

    1. Horny girls in bars who are too drunk to care.

    2. Women looking for long term relationships that can be tricked into one night stands.

    3. women interested NSA sex.

    These categories overlap, of course. For example the sex in the city girls were both 1 and 2 (and sometimes 3).

    For 1. its basically a numbers game. And some jerkyness helps it it makes you not care that some/many of these women will regret it the next morning.

    For 2. you need to be a jerk to knowingly deceive someone into thinking that you will stick around while you have no intention of doing so. Also if it turns out that the guy is generally good (not a jerk), this category of women would be interested in perusing something longer term, leading to the guy having fewer sexual partners in studies.

    FOr 3. there are far fewer women looking for NSA sex then men at any given time. THus, a women who is interested can afford to be very picky. SUch a woman is trying to maximize her own satisfaction and not give out some sort of prize for good behavior. SHe will go with the guy she finds sexiest. Confidence, dominance, with and talent are sexy to women. This should not be news. I think pick up artistry helps men approximate these qualities to a parter who has no interest in sticking around to find out who he really is anyway. On the other hand, I think learning those sorts of techniques makes it significantly harder to form happy long term relationships. Long term relationships are all about getting close to the other person emotionally. This is not going to happen if one partner is playing games.

  • http://hanson.gmu.edu Robin Hanson

    Jade: For many/most woman … a considerably deeper level of respect, trust and attraction for her partner is necessary to enjoy sex. … It ‘s just that having sex with a random man … is well, unsexy even if he is physically attractive. This makes many women (ok, me) really skittish even when they are attracted to a man that is making advances on them. … Many of these will dump you as soon as you put out. … This situation is exacerbated by pick up artists and society’s generally negative views towards promiscuous women. There is a good chance that the guy won’t just dump you, he’ll also laugh at you behind your back to his friends.

    The irony is that when women choose the men who are the most relaxed, confident, smooth, and experienced, and wait for men to approach them instead of vice versa, they exactly choose the men most likely to dump and laugh. If you main concern were really to avoid that you’d do far better to call a man at random from the yellow pages. So either women are doing a terrible job at choosing what they want, or they don’t really want what they say they want.

  • Jade

    I meant:

    The sex in the city girls were both 2 and 3 (and sometimes 1)

  • josh

    Social hierarchies start way before puberty, stay pretty consistent, and pretty much predict who girls will find more attractive.

    Looks and extroversion are what matters, and its likely that by puberty, nerds have already become bitter.
    Now there are social dynamics that people will use to signal the inferiority of somebody else in this zero sum game. In high schools, which probably are the best model of our tribal mating tendencies as they involve a small dense social network, you see people making alliances to keep seemingly capable males from climbing the social ladder, with both males and females risking some kind of ostracism if they interact with this person. I think the equilibrium is to have a group, just large enough and cohesive enough, and universally recognized as attractive enough to pull this off.

    When people graduate from high schools, networks become looser, and it all goes back to looks and extroversion with alliances playing a comparatively smaller role.

  • Jade

    @Elieser: “Because nerds want clear instructions for how to do things”

    Actually thats the answer to why overcoming bias is predominantly male. This whole project is all about systematizing the ways in which people are irrational. This is useful, though perhaps not the best way to figure out how brains work in general. It also appeals most to a very specific kind of brain ( people who want clear instructions for everything) which is found much more often among males then females.

  • WTF

    What a waste of time. While you are here writing about it, I’m out getting it.

  • Erika

    So, I have a question for this hypothetical man who can’t get a date: is he interested in having more sex? Or maximizing his lifetime reproductive fitness? Birth control and women’s rights have managed to decouple these two variables pretty effectively.

    Obviously, different cultural groups even within the U.S. have different expectations about the role that a child’s father will play in a child’s life, but within the cultural groups that most nerds come from, it is still true that the vast majority of births take place within the context of marriage.

    The issue of whether Bad Boys or Nice Guys are preferred within a particular cultural group will not be settled unless we examine who actually reproduces.

  • josh

    WTF,

    Booyah!! Oh, snap!

  • Someone from the otherside

    I would say what the whole PUA scene basically does is identifying biases with regard to dating in women and capitalize on them.

    As for the nerds wanting to have a script to go by, there may be some truth to that, but then again what self respecting nerd reads the manual instead of figuring it out himself, no matter how long it will take? Problem in dating is, you generally get only one short shot at figuring out with a given woman so the strategy of throwing more resources towards figuring the deal out must fail in general.

    There are scripts out there, but without a lot of alertness and confidence as well as flexibility, they probably are pretty damn near useless.

  • michael vassar

    Nick T: Definitely submissiveness or other cognitive vulnerabilities. More submissiveness to rules and nonsense claims made by the local shaman or chief than to stronger men, but selectively costly either way and that’s probably too much perceptual/conceptual precision to ask of an evolved tendency in any event.

    Grant: Plausible hypothesis, but here are a few points that count somewhat against it.
    a) Most contemporary schools are much larger than most ancestral tribes in absolute population and ridiculously larger in same age population.
    b) The phenomenon exists in schools where there is essentially no abuse by dominant males. Some schools segregate out into cliques with minimal inter-clique interaction and minimal hostility. In these cases cliques start gender exclusive and then merge a couple years after puberty, but in ways that produce gender imbalance in the resultant cliques.

  • http://www.iphonefreak.com frelkins

    1. Jade has said something very important. The culture has seriously changed. SATC was a bright line. Younger women now just wanna hook up for casual, no-strings stuff just as men do, not only due to the pill and IVF, but also due to the equal pressures of school and career. In this sense, most women under 30 are now effectively adopting behavior more commonly associated in the past with gay males. Later on, they have even more options:

    ‘If I can just make it through law school, I can freeze my eggs, choose a sperm donor and have a baby whenever I want on my own terms — I don’t need a relationship to have my desired child, in fact, by using a sperm donor I can get myself a “designer baby.” I can afford a nanny, so why burden myself with the difficulties of an uncertain marriage?’

    2. Nerds could get a lot more women than they do, but they — this is my theory — internalize their own abjection and pre-reject women who show any interest in them. “If everyone else says I’m ugly but you like me, then there must be something wrong with you.”

  • Jade

    I seem to be talking too much, but another thing. I think its important to realize that when you feel love/lust, your brain is messing with you. A lot of things that most people consider sexy are relics from when we lived a very different life. Being attracted to dominant males made sence when your best chance for survival was to have an efficient killing machine on your side. Its stupid now. Likewise, now beautiful people are no more likely to be healthy or fertile then average looking or mildly ugly people. On the other hand, it used to be a useful indecator when a large portion of the population was either parasite ridden or to malnurished in childhood to ever bear healthy children.

    Love can be a beautiful thing. How many people have someone who is neither a child or a former sexual parter care about them then they become old crazy and incontenant? SOme do but its not the norm. And having your brain mess with you can be fun too. People are willing to take all sorts of risks to take drugs that will make them extra irrational for a while. And having a sexual relationship with someone you are not even mildly attracted to can be soul crushing.

    That said, people should realize that the person they are most attracted to is not nessesarily the best person for them. Awkward unatractive boys and up with aekward unatractive girls. It would be better for both if they would quit being so bitter about it.

  • http://www.iphonefreak.com frelkins

    @Jade

    “Awkward unatractive boys and up with aekward unatractive girls.”

    And here alas we must part ways. I have always sought primarily intelligence and kindness in my partners; thus I have deeply loved several “nerds.” I will most politely dispute any characterization of myself as awkward or unattractive. Are emoticons allowed here?

  • Kim

    I can’t speak for other women, but what I look for personally is someone who is aware that I am a human being just like himself and treats me accordingly. It’s just not going to work out with someone who sees me as either some sort of incomprehensible talking service animal or a Pez dispenser for blow jobs. It’s also useful if he’s not terrified of me, which may also be part of the stereotypical nerd problem.

    Nice Guys(TM) fundamentally objectify women. To them we are a class of appliances (that aren’t doing what they want). They don’t really have any interest in us as people. This is absolutely no different from a sleazy “bad boy” except that they lack the sleaze skills.

    • Alantar

      It might be easier to find women interesting if women were interesting.

      Exceptions are rare.

      • Ronfar

        Are men significantly more likely to be interesting?

      • Alantar

        You have a point there… 😉

  • http://dl4.jottit.com/contact Richard Hollerith

    Erika, almost none of the interest in sex from the men here stems from a deliberate goal of maximizing one’s lifetime reproductive fitness.

  • Phillip Huggan

    “It’s just not going to work out with someone who sees me as either some sort of incomprehensible talking service animal or a Pez dispenser for blow jobs.”

    That’s too bad.

  • http://www.iphonefreak.com frelkins

    @hollerith

    Very drily put.

    And since this is my last post here let me suggest those still-anguished nerds read & ponder Stendhal’s “On Love,” Kierkegaard’s “Diary of a Seducer,” and of course de Laclos’ “Liasions Dangereuses.” Bonus points to those who will flip through Baudrillard’s “Seduction,” to skip the lit theory and actually read the chapter on seduction as a mental martial art.

  • michael vassar

    Phillip Huggan: Don’t be a jerk.
    Kim: You really did start it, by simply reasserting the stereotype that the post was a rebuttal to.

    All: Honestly I had hoped that this thread could be more productive. Thanks for trying Frelkins and Jade. I for one am convinced though that this forum doesn’t actually work effectively for discussion of this topic and am ready to give up and maybe go back to trying to put something together on our usual topics.

  • Finn

    I would think that the evolutionary theory behind “being entitled” would come down to a last ditch attempt to prompt action towards *taking* sex. In an evolutionary sense, you have less and less to lose by using force the longer you go without having sex. That may of meant challenging the other alphas, etc. Entitlement is just the feeling that “I should have it too! Why don’t I?” that prompts “I’m going to go get it!”

    That is, however, assuming that not having sex actually leads to feeling entitled to it regardless of other common factors (nerds and such having certain traits in common that may lead to a sense of entitlement, such as “I have a big brain and it got me everything else, why not women? It should!”).

    I’m not so sure that a generic sense of entitlement is feasible to gain more sex; more accurately, the positive expectation based on previous outcomes would signal would be attractive while entitlement is better defined as expecting but not receiving. You do see this fairly often. On one hand you have the confident player guy who has had repeated success and is actually surprised, but generally uncaring, in being rejected. And in the other, you have the guy who believes he deserves it because of entitlement, not success. His failures hits him deeper because of his entitlement.

    It’s the difference between “I deserve it” and “I get it”. Deserving is a poorer signal while “getting it” carries better information.

  • Andy Wood

    Michael: If you mean this forum doesn’t work for discussion of the “Nice Guy” topic in particular, I would agree. I think it amounts to arguing about a stereotype, and therefore is about as useful as trying to “understand” why *insert minority or ethnicity* is bad at *insert skill or ability*. Way more generalization goes on than is warranted, IMO.

    I hope you don’t mean the more general topics of gender, gender relations, and feminism, because I for one have found those topics to be rather challenging and enlightening.

  • ME

    Frelkins: I will try to look at those. I also have the memoirs of Casanova on my shelf waiting to be read. Hopefully these will give me a better perspective than all this neurosciency gobbledygook that most modern lifestyle-type books are full of.

  • Anonymous

    Speaking as a human Pez dispenser of material goods, sexual favours, and emotional support who is in a relationship with another human Pez dispenser of material goods, sexual favours, and emotional support, I have a hard time understanding Kim’s perspective.

    Dispensing Pez to each other is a fun and worthwhile activity, and forms the backdrop of a relationship based on mutual respect and admiration. We are appliances with brains, and dispensing Pez to each other doesn’t somehow automatically blind us to each other’s humanity.

    If one person sees another as an malfunctioning appliance, perhaps they have merely had a malfunction in judgement as to the appeal of their own Pez dispenser, or the deliciousness of their Pez. Although I wonder why the people susceptible to such malfunctions haven’t already been selected out of the gene pool. What’s the accidental benefit?

  • Lara Foster

    Well put Michael!!!

    Jade: “The things that make a guy generally attractive to most women are pretty well understood. Characters played by Will Smith or Georgy Cloony in films tend to display these characteristics. These things have nothing to do with “niceness”.”

    Just for a data point: For those of you who think that wealthy, genius, polyglot, hopelessly romantic, physicist, spies, working on weapons defense, hypnosis, and kinesthenic micro-expression interrogation analysis, who’ve been dropped out of helicoptors, shot, dead and resurrected on an island, who’ve slept with public intellectuals, and hobb-knobbed with nobel laureates only exist in the movies… let me correct your jealous misapprehensions.

    James Bond is a Jew from Brooklyn.

    Want to be interesting, intriguing, and adventurous to the ladies?

    Then be interesting, intriguing, and adventurous.

  • Lara Foster

    jps: “Everyone is different” is mostly a mental stopsign. To the extent that commonalities exist it seems worthwhile to find out what they are. Even if a pattern is valid only 65% of the time, it is useful to know about it. Assuming it applies 100% of the time would be a mistake, but ignoring it completely would be an even greater mistake.”

    Absolutely!

    James Bond gave me permission to give you this advice- I’m not saying I agree with every word of it, but I’m not going to edit or comment on it, since I’m taking a fairly confident guess that he’s had more success with mating than anyone else on this blog:

    “No
    Not exactly
    This is the key
    There is an underlying concept with which you are messing around
    The concept is
    Attraction
    Nothing else is truly relevant
    If you are attracted to someone, you are
    You can’t always put it in words
    But you feel it in your gut
    Now

    Can “attraction” be created?

    Yes

    Easily

    Impossible, you say

    No, quite practical
    The man must change the way he views the world
    He isnt “entitled” to anything
    He has to Attract it
    He has to develop a personality which is Attractive to women
    What is attractive?

    ATTRACTION:

    – Unpredictable
    – Uncontrollable
    – Challenging
    – Dominant

    These are some of the main components
    When a man simply accepts that he MUST change his “inner” game, then he can replace his failure-based concepts
    But the problem is this
    As Lao Tsu said
    “My words are simple
    Yet there are few who can follow them”
    Lao Tsu didn’t mean that its hard
    Nope
    He meant, Humans are stubborn and resistant to change, even when the reality is staring them in the face

    Want a woman?

    Go over and say:

    Hi, i find you interesting, i’m so and so, whats your name?

    The end

    Just go DO it

    Feel free to post this
    Ciao

  • Someone from the otherside

    > Then be interesting, intriguing, and adventurous.

    That still would not help a lot of nerds because many are simply too shy to take the first step. Or terrified of rejection (some rightfully so, some not so much) which leads to avoidance… And most have a deep disdain for small talk which would be essential for flirting.

    And that’s mostly ignoring the ones suffering of symptons on the social phobia or even the Asperger’s continuum (I would not for one second buy the idea that either one of those is some sort of discrete disorder).

  • http://shagbark.livejournal.com Nice Guy

    I’ve read a lot of PUA material, and in that community, the terms Nice Guy and Nice Guy(TM) both mean, just, a nice guy. There’s no intimation that the Nice Guy is manipulative, entitled, a liar, or any of that. Just that he’s a loser. The term AFC (Average frustrated chump) is used interchangeably with Nice Guy.

  • http://shagbark.livejournal.com Nice Guy

    To be more specific, a Nice Guy is someone who

    • asks her what she wants to do
    • takes her to the places she wants to go to
    • is always polite
    • never makes fun of her
    • brings her flowers on Valentine’s Day
    • doesn’t tell her off-color jokes
    • doesn’t invade her personal space on first meeting her
    • lets her change their plans at the last minute
    • lets her be late to meet him
    • agrees to date her exclusively

    These are among the things that PUA say must not describe you.

  • Panu Höglund

    “The term is meant to call attention to the fact that the archetypical Nice Guy(TM) mistakenly thinks of himself as a nice person.”

    I don’t really think this is very understanding of the Nice Guy Syndrome. I think the archetypical Nice Guy does *not* think of himself as a very nice person, but is rather self-consciously aware of his shortcomings, such as social ineptitude and shyness. The point is rather, that he has been indoctrinated (by women and by women-oriented popular culture) to believe that women find such shortcomings endearing and lovable.

  • http://zbooks.blogspot.com Zubon

    Panu: [citation needed]. You seem to have a definition that no one else here is using. We can argue “mistakenly,” but “nice” seems pretty core. Hence the name.

  • StevePolychronopoulis

    Regarding the thread topic and the discussion thereof…..is it really any wonder that society is ‘run’ by extroverted sociopaths??

  • bob smith

    This is depressing. The fact that these discussions exist is testament to how dysfunctional and inadequate the whole gender system is to meeting peoples’ emotional needs. At the end of the day it’s the responsibility of the guy to accept the cultural imposition of those traits that are supposed to be “male” and step out on a limb and court the female. Guys don’t make these rules, women do. The fact that something as ridiculous as a “seduction community” exists reveals how incoherent women have made those rules. I’ve stopped caring what women want, personally. I’d rather die alone than do the song and dance required of me to make them attracted to me. I suggest you do the same rather than waste another minute looking for some magical answer to your relationship woes. Apathy is freedom.

    • Phil214

      StevePolychronopoulis
      August 30, 2008 at 4:55 pm | Reply

      Regarding the thread topic and the discussion thereof…..is it really any wonder that society is ‘run’ by extroverted sociopaths??

      AND

      This is depressing. The fact that these discussions exist is testament to how dysfunctional and inadequate the whole gender system is to meeting peoples’ emotional needs. … I’ve stopped caring what women want, personally. I’d rather die alone than do the song and dance required of me to make them attracted to me. I suggest you do the same rather than waste another minute looking for some magical answer to your relationship woes. Apathy is freedom.

      —-

      These two posts are G-O-L-D! Platinum even! Never have I seen content expressed in so few words. A truly nice guy with genuine respect for himself does not alter his personality or behavior just to get laid: He Puts Principles over P****! You need to save this one on your pc, people, for some genuinely nice guy may need saving from being the stereotypical “Nice Guy”.

  • frelkins

    @bob smith

    Apathy is freedom

    This is so 1984: “Social suicide is success!”

    I didn’t make these stupid rules either, and trust me, we skirts hate them more than you do. But if we don’t play, you reject us despite your bold protestations, because monkeys are adapted to ruthlessly screen. Just get over the phony b*tching about the “costly signaling.” I know you do actually end up doing it no matter what you say – so send the dumb roses already, ok?

    • bob smith

      You do make the rules because the male must court you. He can’t expect that you will court him. This isn’t rocket science, but it looks as thought i’m going to have to break it down for you:

      See, women don’t typically approach men. Get it? If women do not approach men, then men have two, and only two, options. These options are as follows:

      Option A: Die alone, a virgin, unmarried, unloved, ignored, never experience a meaningful relationship with a woman, cold, numb, inhuman, tossed aside, emasculated, branded a “loser,” praying for death rather than live a life of unbearable loneliness, regret, and bitterness (that is of course unless you are particularly disturbed, in which case you can shoot up your community college and spread your misery).

      Option B: Approach women.

      Are you beginning to understand the reality of the opposite sex yet?

      Is it still fuzzy? Maybe you need me to connect the dots further. See, because most men are forced to choose option B, that means that most women can count on being approached. If it is true that you can count on being approached, you have two options. They are as follows:

      Option A: Wait to be approached.

      Option B: Apporach men.

      Whose options do you think are better? Now, because most women can count on being approached due to the highly unattractive nature of the male option A, women get to play judge and jury. See, you’re like an employer sitting comfortably behind a desk and screening applicants. You’re in the position of power, not I. Therefore, it’s *your rules* that apply. I don’t get to decide what you expect of me anymore than a job applicant gets to decide what his potential employer requires in an applicant.

      You’re the egg; the prize. Men who jostle and compete for your attention are like the millions of sperm struggling to swim up the birth canal, all but one who is doomed. Do you get it yet?

      Are you beginning to appreciate the reality of the opposite sex? I realize that women give it very little thought – after all, it’s women who are victimized by a cold, superficial, and dysfunctional male dominated society with all its harsh and unrealistic expectations of women. Women meekly scamper about a social wasteland making every effort to please men whose affection is required to validate their existence, while men, of course, highfive their frat bro douchebag buddies and reduce women to sex objects for fun. It couldn’t be possible that men tailor their behavior to conform with women’s expectations, that’s crazy talk. Men aren’t lonely, they don’t require intimate contact with the opposite sex or social validation or human warmth. They’re all just looking to get laid, right?

      It’s funny how many studies have shown that males have a more difficult time adjusting to college life in their freshmen years. Plug “lonely college male” into google. Or, if you really want some laughs, plug “loneliness male suicide” into google. It is to laugh! Why do you think more men tend to abuse alcohol, report feelings of worthlessness, loneliness, and difficulty making friends than their female counter parts? Surely it couldn’t be women’s fault. It’s not as if women have expectations of men, it’s not as if women require anything of men, it’s not as if women demand wit, intelligence, confidence, good looks, strength, and all the rest of the bullshit. Nothing is ever women’s fault. Women are passive victims subject to the whims of a hostile and cruel male universe. Maybe the reason 4 times as many men commit suicide than women is the effects of testosterone? Surely it’s mens’ own fault. Maybe if they were more in touch with their feelings, eh?

      Imagine if i suggested that male expectations of women had nothing to do with female anorexia that we hear so much about on the latest oprah special about girls and self esteem? Oh, how about this: what if i suggested that female anorexia was the result of too much estrogen? Or that women starve themselves because they’re too irrational and emotional, being women and all. Haha! Wouldn’t we all have a good laugh!

      And admit it. Even now, your gut turns in disgust. How unattractive is it for a male to whine, or to suggest some victimized status. Doesn’t that make you want to puke? Isn’t that so unnattractive to a woman? Competent, rugged, self reliant, and confident men only. Human beings need not apply. Most women don’t want human beings, they want a cartoon 2 dimensional notion of masculinity, or at least we think that’s what they want, nobody can really tell for sure. And women sure as fuck aren’t saying. What a shame it’s my job to figure out what you want when you don’t even know. But don’t worry about it, given your comfy position as the persued, rather than the persuer, you can float along on a fluffy cloud of ignorance until your knight in shining armor whisks you away and takes care of everything. Don’t worry your pretty little head. Men will provide. That’s what we’re here for, remember?

      • Guest

         In response to your claim that being perused puts women in a position of power (and not to comment on the rest of your ideas):

        It is certainly true that being pursued causes you to be rejected less often than if you are perusing, but I think that it is probably false that it causes you to end up with a more beneficial mate than you would have otherwise.  If you consider the delayed acceptance algorithm for the stable marriage problem, the stable matching produced is *optimal* from the male perspective (i.e. each male is paired with the best possible mate (in his opinion) that he could have been paired with in any stable matching), and *pessimal* from the female perspective.  This suggests that being on the side actively looking for mates rather than passively accepting/rejecting proposals provides a huge advantage in outcome.

  • http://www.google.com wandering_lotus_eater

    @frelkins
    do you have a pic?

  • jlsakdfkljs

    My mom used to tell me no one would ever love me, so I already felt like damaged goods. When I was in college, I met someone nice, and started pursuing her. I was always honest with her. I was persistent, and we eventually agreed to start a relationship. Really! Then she cheated on me a week later, while I was on a business trip. She said she would stop, and then she did it again, and said she didn’t owe me any explanations. After some time in denial/cognitive dissonance, I told her I didn’t want to talk to her anymore, and we didn’t talk for years.

    I know I can’t blame myself for how somebody else acted. But it still hurt. It was especially rough near the end. She didn’t even acknowledge that she had agreed to be with me, thereby denying the possibility of a “real” breakup — it wasn’t a “real” relationship anyway. She told me it was my fault that I believed her. She told me she never had sex with me because she never got the sense that I would leave her if she didn’t. She couldn’t explain why that was supposed to be a bad thing. She told me she felt like she had been taking advantage of me. She had and I felt used.

    So what, I’m a “nice guy”? I loved her, and tried to show her my best side. She strung me along because it was convenient, and because she liked the attention. I was just exhausted by the end of it all, and I still don’t feel so great.

    Actually, we met a few months ago, after I told her I met someone at the pub. She got jealous, acted bitchy, and touched my penis. Call me crazy, but maybe she wants to use sex to control me, despite being engaged, and wanting to be “just friends”. Even she realizes it’s messed up. She told me she was worried I wouldn’t want to talk to her anymore, again.

    Seriously, what the fuck. Am I really supposed to be the bad guy for being the “nice guy”? Is needing someone to trust and love really so bad?

  • Erek Tinker

    The root of discontent is hunger.

    Lust at its base is a hunger for a biological need. In all societies the control of one’s base lusts is considered to be a good and desirable trait. It is this pursuit that underlies any sort of self-improvement regime such as contemplation, meditation, prayer, martial arts and other esoteric disciplines.

    The base of politeness is the lie that we are not hungry. For the most part except at the immediate rest-digest satiation point after satisfying a hunger, we live in a perpetual state of hunger. We are constantly making a cost-benefit analysis regarding whether or not we continue to allow the body to feed off of its own stored resources, or to seek external resources to replenish the resources that have been filled. We have an internal neurological mechanism that kicks in long before starvation that tells us that we are hungry.

    Now think back onto some meals that you’ve had. Think of a time when you at slowly and relaxed because you were unconcerned, you weren’t very hungry, you didn’t need to gorge yourself. Food was available so you ate a little, but you weren’t nearing the threshold where hunger takes over and you needed to start pursuing food. Now think back to a time where you were ravenous. Think about how you swallowed without chewing properly on a couple of bites. Think about how loudly you may have eaten, how quickly you may have eaten.

    If lust is a hunger, then women want to be approached by someone who is mildly hungry who is seeking that fulfillment, but who is not nearing the ravenous point. They do not want someone to make love to them when they are ravenous, it is likely to be quick and painful. (there are of course exceptions to this general rule) Women recognize that they are on the menu, they recognize that sexual exchange is a market-place just as men do. They simply want to be savored and enjoyed, and at the same time want to savor and enjoy their lover.

    The lying comes in because we tell each other that we are not hungry when we are. We are in a constant state of hunger to some degree or another. It’s just that we control it by either being below the threshold of immediate need, or by force of will if beyond that threshold. There is an underlying game that underpins this. The ability to play this game shows a level of sophistication on the part of the player. This seeking of status is innate to the hunt for sexual primacy. People want to copulate with those who are at a similar level of competency regarding the etiquette game.

    Civilization exists at a perpendicular to the unsharpened edge of any blade. This is why proper place settings are important. The knife goes on the right facing the plate. On the right because most people are right handed, and facing the plate because it prioritizes the person closest to you and places them at a perpendicular to the unsharpened edge of the knife. Dinner knives are meant to cut flesh and human beings are made of flesh. We are constantly surrounded by people bearing flesh cutting instruments.

    The etiquette game sublimates the carnal by necessity. It is what separates making love from rape, and what allows us to wield deadly weapons within a foot of someone else’s vital organs. It is not lying to omit the fact that a steak knife is deadly, even though it most certainly is, but it is polite.

    The ideal combination for a male mate throughout history has been one who knows how to kill with a knife, but also knows how not to show it in polite company. It is the essence of this etiquette that nerds so often overlook, that they are so often dull and uncomprehending of. How does one press an advance without insisting upon the outcome? How does one operate after a successfully pressed advance? How can one be both predatory and non-threatening all at once? It is an art, not a science.

  • http://grognor.blogspot.com/ Grognor

    Oh, ow, this post hurts, because of how true it rings. I mean – ow – I don’t even have any objections to it or anything to add. It’s just true, about as true as it gets.

    (I have long ago given up on these pursuits.)

  • Anya

    The whole concept of bias is nonsense without evolutionary psychology.
    Anyway, women are boring and stupid and not worth dealing with to have sex with. I went from nerd to outright misanthrope well before I finish highschool, and haven’t had any reason to change. I don’t understand the God damn appeal of moralizing twattery, value subjectivity is so obvious that I can’t be bothered to argue with these half-wits who project their atheistic theology as ‘moral philosophy’.

  • Pingback: Nerds As Liars And Hypocrites | Diary Of A Libertarian NerdDiary Of A Libertarian Nerd

  • bloomingdedalus

    The “nice guys” myth that is promulgated among feminists these days is just crap they got from a rapist who attempted to murder his girlfriend (Hugo Schwartz) and openly admits it and now claims to be a feminist absolutely devoid of empathy or otherwise (a sociopath, like most feminists).

    Feminists live in a fantasy world where they construct nonsense theories that seem to resemble reality that have nothing to do with reality. For example, if a guy is rejected and unhappy about it, he has an “entitlement” complex. He, instead, should be celebrating his rejection. If he’s not, he ought to be attacked by swarms of feminists who shame him for daring to step outside of his apparent caste boundary.

    Third wave feminists are idiots, they always have been idiots and they always will be idiots. Fortunately for them, they’ll nearly always be a large sycophantic male population who sees them as an effective ground to nurture sexual relationships, and will capitulate to destroy potentially competing males whom provide the slightest bit of discomfort to a female.

    A large portion of feminist theory is just dumb assertions based on how annoyed they are that they’re not married to a prototypical alpha male with a fair amount of cash, which they feel entitled to have. Another portion of the feminists are lesbians who, obviously, would be quite annoyed that males keep making passes at them in life when they have no interest in the male sex – though I’m not sure such a condition qualifies as grounds for an elaborate cult construction – they seem to think it fits them quite well.

    Feminist theory (at least the contemporary kind) is nearly devoid of all actual research, evidence, science, or otherwise. It doesn’t bend to those things, like all religious cults, it is based on pseudoscience and dogma that insists it rejects reality and substitutes dogma whenever it is convenient. Fortunately, there will always be enough males out there who otherwise, for whatever reason, feel guilty about sexual attraction. Just like the church, the feminist regime capitalizes on this for the purpose of imposing their religion on everyone else.