I started the Red Pill Room as part of an experiment -- the Red Pill Experiment, which will be the title of my next book after The Manosphere: A New Hope. Longtime readers of the blog will understand why both books are appropriate. And I promise that neither book will be a simple re-hash of my blog posts. Only, like, maybe 40%.
In any case, the Red Pill Experiment is just what you think it is: what would happen in my life if I jettisoned the "Blue Pill" idealistic approach to life and try a pragmatic "Red Pill" alternative? There's a lot more to it than that, of course, but that's why I started the blog. I got into the Manosphere, read Athol Kay's brilliant Married Man Sex Life, had a half-dozen epiphanies, and plunged into the 'Sphere with revolutionary fervor and evangelical enthusiasm.
Big Porn. I get paid to watch porn movies and write about them. And my wife is OK with that. (For the record, her attitude is "I don't care where you get your appetite, as long as you eat dinner at home every night".) I watch boobies all day, interview pornstars, talk about sex, blog about sex, and then go home, pick up the kids, make dinner, do laundry, and handle the house because, to be frank, she sucks at that part of domestic life and I don't. But every day I have to go from Rated X to Rated G in fifteen minutes. And then shift back again after the kids are in bed. Which can present a problem, as it does to every middle-aged couple, a problem that can lead to troubled waters, stormy seas, and the shipwreck of divorce. So porn helps my marriage by keeping me randy and engaged AND paying my mortgage. Win-win.
Now, you have to be a special kind of dude to be able to handle that, but I've been a Sex Nerd since adolescence and to be honest after seven years of slaving away in the porn mines, I've never been happier. I have a bona fide Dream Job (my third, actually -- I'm running out of them). On my worst day at work, I still get to look at naked boobs all day. And the availability of thirty years of sex marketing data was just too yummy to pass up. But my up-close-and personal exposure to the sex lives of millions of Americans led me, through a long and strange series of events, to end up blogging about how much I love my wife and love to have sex with her and why that's . . . Okay.
If that seems strange to you, it shouldn't. Married people can love each other AND have hot sex and not get divorced as a matter of course and -- even -- be happy. No, really. It can happen, even if you have only mediocre writers working on your script. Mrs. Ironwood and I have had some good ones, and we've been fortunate and wise enough to be able to dissect the things that work for us and pass them on. If that sounds really, really odd to you, a kind of warped Happily Ever After with light male domination and newly-minted porn and wholesale-priced sex toys, well, it's not like we're particularly unique in expressing a curiosity with such things. (Lookin' at you 50 Shades of Grey).
It also might interest you, if you are not an aficionado to learn that all of the Big Porn companies together do not account for a tithe of the "porn dollars" spent every year. Sure, we make decent money, but the fact of the matter is that the vast, vast majority of "degenerate pornographers" these days are mom-and-pop operations. Sometimes literally. In fact, one of the most successful pornstars I know has based her entire career around (wait for it) fucking her husband on camera. Not the neighbors, not fans, not passing strangers, just her hubby. They like to have sex on camera, and she's talented enough and good -looking enough to make it work. They make in the low six-figures a year, their house is paid for, and when they go to work . . . well, they get to have sex.
That's not to say my industry is not without abuses and horror stories -- I know more than anyone. Believe me, whatever you've heard about the porn industry, I've heard some crazier shit that's worse. Nor is my industry guiltless in the proliferation of sexually-charged images in the public sphere -- but no more than Cosmo or Madonna. My industry doesn't exploit children (every boob that crosses my desk has six pieces of paper verifying it's age at the date of production), we don't enslave women, and we don't want to push porn under the nose of every twelve year old in the country. Far from it. We have kids of our own, and no one knows better than we how over-sexualized our culture is. Most parents who work with some aspect of the porn industry are even more vigilant about what their kids are exposed to in popular culture than your average suburban couple. My daughter, for instance, will never have a Bratz doll.
(And before you ask . . . no, I've never performed on camera. I've never even been unfaithful. I just like watching people have sex, and have a talent for objectifying women professionally. It's an art.)
Why I Write This Blog
My Red Pill Room blog is not about my kids, or even parenting, though. It's not even about porn, although that comes up from time to time. I have another blog, The Sex Nerd, where I talk about stuff like that.
This blog is how to forge a new, better-working heterosexual relationship dynamic that works for the post-industrial 21st century society. One based on pragmatic knowledge of human evolutionary biology and (let's be daring, shall we?) human evolutionary psychology. It's not to re-establish the old Patriarchy, or return us to the halcyon days where men were men, women were women, and cholera and syphilis killed them both with depressing regularity. It's not to promote a total male domination lifestyle, or encourage misogyny, or teach you better ways to beat your wife. It's not to oppress women, or encourage others to oppress women. Hell, I love women.
What Mrs. Ironwood and I have is, simply put, a relationship that everyone who knows us seems to envy. We're both busy professionals, we're both committed to raising high-quality children at bargain basement prices, and we're both huge nerds who enjoy each others' company and, yes, frequent sex. Mrs. Ironwood works in relation to the Pharmaceutical Industry, where she's a well-respected industry leader and making the world a better, healthier place, one pill at a time. (I'm just making the world a Happier place, one stroke at a time...). She and the kids are the reason I'm "Ian Ironwood", instead of using my real name. My first duty is to protect them. I'm not ashamed of what I do, either in porn or here on the blog, but I'm also very aware of how judgmental people are. Please respect my anonymity. If you don't, I'm likely to take offense.
I occasionally get questions about whether or not Mrs. I knows about my blog. She does. She even reads it occasionally, when she doesn't have World Saving duties. She wants to assure you that she's not in her marriage under duress. She's not being oppressed, abused, or otherwise hampered by the Red Pill Experiment. Indeed, she's never been happier or more professionally satisfied. She has a loving and supportive husband who is a devoted father and a phenomenal lover (did I mention the really big penis? NEVER DIMINISH THE PENIS) who cooks her gourmet meals, runs her household, keeps the kids more-or-less in line (or fills out the police reports when they aren't) who treats her with phenomenal respect, devotion, and romantic love. And all I ask her for is to treat me with respect, let me steer, and screw me rotten. (Okay, that's a simplistic list, but it covers the basics).
To those feminists who doubt that -- you're free to ask her. Without me in the room. And when you do ask her if regarding her husband as her Captain is demeaning and humiliating, be prepared for the vicious snicker that will assault your ears. Because she's had more wildly fulfilling romance, passion, sex, love and emotional fulfillment in the last 20 years as the entire 1990 graduating class at Vassar, combined.
Her mother and her sister have both been married three times. This is our first-and-only. And no, she's not a brain-dead housewife -- she's at the top of one of the most intellectually challenging fields in medicine. She's utterly brilliant, multi-talented, hyper-competent, insanely witty, and tough as nails. She'd make a perfect textbook example of the fulfillment of the feminist dream of mother and career woman, if she wasn't so allergic to the misery involved in the ideology. She's utterly brilliant, incredibly talented, and she had my babies. That, alone, demonstrates her good taste.
To those in the Manosphere who don't think I'm oppressing her enough by keeping her in the kitchen . . . dudes, if you saw her in the kitchen, you'd understand. Utterly. Inept. Not unteachable, but untalented and uninspired. If my family relied on my wife for sustenance . . . well, my kids would hate me. She also sucks at laundry. But she has other talents. And if you think I was trying to be sexist there . . . good eye.
Married Game Basics
Married Man Sex Life Primer 2011. It's a life-changer. Athol Kay is probably the most important man in the Manosphere, whether he knows it or not, for bringing the core concepts of Game into the dangerous waters of a long-term relationship and hazardous tides of marriage. Athol isn't perfect, he isn't all-knowing, and I'm sure he and his lovely wife Jennifer have just as many issues as me and my wife, or you and your spouse. But the difference is that Athol wrapped his nerdy little brain around the subject and beat it to death until it produced MMSL, the sex education you SHOULD have gotten in high school.
No, Athol doesn't pay me to say that sort of thing. I've never met the man in person. At least not yet. But Athol and I have three things in common: 1) We love our wives 2) We want to be manly men who command the respect of our families and our communities and 3) We both love sex and want more of it. Which means that Athol and I, and Aleph and AverageMarriedDad and hundreds if not thousands of others have something in common. Keeping our marriages not just afloat, but sailing along, is one of the most important things in our lives, but we aren't willing to sacrifice our self-respect and dignity and financial future to conform to our expected demasculinized role in American society. In our way we've Gone Our Own Way as thoroughly as Jonathan Swift at Freedom TwentyFive or any other revalorized male, we've just chosen to get married (after carefully selecting and vetting our brides) and reproduce.
That doesn't make us traitors to our gender, it just makes us Wolf Alphas who like to get a lot of play and not argue with our wives. It doesn't make us hopeless sniviling Beta manginas, it makes us thoughtful men with a plan and an eye for the future. It doesn't make us idiot rubes who will find our asses in divorce court eventually, it makes us highly empowered and decisive men who are crafting a new generation of quality kids who will likely out-compete their unfortunate peers.
The Gentleman's Guide To Picking Up Women. In some ways it's hopelessly dated (hence the Bargain Rack price) but if you just have no clue where to get started, that might offer some guidance.
But I appreciate Single Game and the PUA bloggers more than a little. They're doing some serious heavy-lifting, helping thousands of dudes overcome a lifetime of squalid masculinity and rise to the challenge of pursuing a mating strategy. Guys like Roosh and Roissy, of course, but also Vox Day, The Private Man, Badger, and dozens of others. While I survey the embattled landscape of the sexual arena from the safety and comfort of my marriage, these guys are out there getting bloody. I'm not sure I could do what they do, but I'm glad they're doing it.
Like many of you, I've spent most of my life pining for some adequate model of masculinity that would be socially and culturally acceptable. Having my father, Papa Ironwood, was great -- don't get me wrong. But my personal family fortune in masculine role models wasn't doing anything for everyone else, and I searched for years for a way to navigate between the humanistic ideals of feminism and the practical reality of intergender relations to a place where men could find some modicum of respect again. Failing that, I discovered the Red Pill, and decided that no one was ever going to give me permission to lead my family, enjoy my life, and be proud of my masculinity . . . particularly not feminists. I still have lots of feminist friends, believe it or not, some who know of my alter ego and some don't. I don't hold it against them, or even try to talk them out of it (that would ruin my specimen sample!) But I still think feminism is one big Shit Test, and the Manosphere is the answer.
Just being able to trade ideas and advice in a pro-masculine environment is refreshing enough -- to have such keen insights and cogent observations, not to mention such humor, makes me proud of the evolving Sphere. It fulfills a much-needed role in the lives of men, the ability to go to other men for help without a big dominance-submission dance, protected by the cloak of anonymity. I love the Manosphere so much I'm doing a book on it, one targeted for release on Kindle on December 9th. Hopefully it will make a lot of people ask a lot of difficult questions about men and women in our society. And hopefully it will be somewhat entertaining. But regardless, I wanted the first "study" of the Manosphere to be homegrown, not the result of some feminist Gender Studies grad student's inspiration for a thesis. It won't be exhaustive and it won't be perfect, but it will be ours.
The Red Pill
So if Game and the Manosphere are covered, what about the Red Pill? What the hell is the Red Pill? While Athol Kay has done an admirable job of explaining it, the simple answer is that the Red Pill represents the practical and pragmatic reality of life in our society, as opposed to the largely-imagined idealologies we were taught were supposed to apply. The Red Pill is a rejection of the shameful burden that feminists and others have tried to saddle mainstream masculinity with. It's a celebration of gender differences without regard to political correctness. It doesn't put fairness and equality at the top of the page as aspirational goals, it puts happiness and fulfillment there. It doesn't place a high priority on consensus, it does on leadership. It doesn't seek to oppress our daughters, but neither does it -- as feminism does -- seek to elevate our daughters by pushing our sons down.
The Red Pill is serious medicine. It can be bitter, it can have some odd side-effects, it can even have serious adverse reactions for your marriage, if it isn't strong to begin with. But it also leads to more stability and contentment, and (most importantly) it's the closest thing to a female Viagra that I've happened across in 25 years of searching.
I get at least five emails a week asking about the art on the blog. Thank you.
I spent a lot of time thinking about the artistic presentation here. Most of it can be traced to a videogame, specifically the post-holocaust RPG/Shooter series known as Fallout. Think of the Fallout universe as the Atomic Age (1945 to 1965) with all of the darling retro stereotypes bathed in a warm radioactive, bloodthirsty glow. Two things attracted me to the series, the music (all 1940s era swing) and the art.
The music is grand: if you want to know how your grandparents saw love and the primitive Sexual Marketplace, listen to the Andrews Sisters, Bing Crosby, Perry Como and Frank Sinatra for a couple of days. I like it because I don't have to worry about explaining any dirty words or sexual concepts to my kids, something I've had to do with every rock and pop song they've heard.
But the art. Gods, I loved the art.
It started with the pin-ups. Alberto Vargas, Gil Elvgren, Earl Moran, and Joyce Ballantine, Fritz Willis, Arthur Sarnof, Rafael DeSoto, KO Munson, and the others. You just can't think "sexuality" and "post-war" without the image of those pin-ups coming to mind. I find them uniquely sexual yet decently demure, considering what modern commercial art pitches at us regularly. Besides, they enraged the early feminists for their sexism and objectification of women. That's just gravy.
Finding 1940s and 1950s pin-ups was pretty easy on Google Images, and it led me to more commercial art, particularly the WWII era propaganda posters and post-war magazine illustrations. Especially the hand-drawn ones.
From there I segued into romance novel covers, and from thence to the nasty underground erotic "pulp" covers: Rudy Nappi, Robert McGinnis, Coby Whitmore, Robert Meyers, John Fernie, and more.
So where did I find the best databases? Here's where I got a lot, from Oldcarguy41's flickr account. I also found good stuff here, at Found In Mom's Basement, Vintagegal, and especially Today's Inspiration.
If you're wondering what criteria I set, it was simple: the images had to be (more or less) in the public domain, and they had to be prefeminist. That is, pre-1965. If you notice a few things about these pieces, you'll see that all the people are happy, slender, slightly-goofy, smiling . . . and white.
"Son," he told me one day, "things just aren't going in the right direction. In the 1950s, a man could vote the way he wanted, live as king of his own castle in his own home, and didn't have to worry about the government taking everything of value from him. The whole world look up to you if you were an American, back then."
"Yeah, that's true," I agreed, reluctantly, "if you were white."
But going forward . . . well, all bets are off.
I've had a blast picking artwork for the blog, and it's turned into a real art history course. For the record I'm uncertain where to get any of these in framable print quality. Most of them are in the public domain, so a trip to Kinkos or other specialty printing outfit might be in order. But note how the men are strong and resilient and the women are undeniably feminine. THAT'S what I was looking for in all of these. The last era in which it was okay for a man to be a man and a woman to be a woman.
Well, the last era until the next one. I'm looking forward to referring to this era as "the feminist epoch", in the past-tense.
The Future Of The Blog
But I do intend on having a lot of fun doing it. And really, I can't ask for more than that.
Thanks for reading. Stick around for the next 100 posts. Things are just starting to get good . . .