Monday, January 23, 2012

Just A Little Bit.

"Inside every big fuzzy white boy, there's a little black woman screaming to get out."

That sounds like a loaded statement from six different directions, but in this context, it means something very specific.  Growing up in the South gives one a musical heritage unparalleled in other parts of the nation -- the South was the birthplace for the majority of American musical forms, from folk to jazz to blues to rock to gospel to country.  In different places the influence of a particular style of music can be powerful.  Where I grew up, the defining style wasn't rock (though Chapel Hill had an impressive Indy rock scene), it was Blues.  When I hit college I spent my drunk-and-happy moments crooning R&B standards in the back of a smoky bar.  When I made my fumbling early attempts at seduction, my signature move was to put on a John Lee Hooker CD, eschewing the usual Led Zepplin box set.

Of all my favorites to badly belt out, Aretha Franklin's Respect is one of my all-time favorites.  I don't sing it well, but get four beers in me and stand me in front of a karaoke mike, and you may weep and you may laugh, but you will never forget me singing.

I bring all of this up because Susan over at Hooking Up Smart has an outstanding post concerning the role of Respect in a man's life.  While the post itself is powerful, the comments are exquisite.  You want to know what a man really wants, ladies?  Read them, and you'll have their most sincere thoughts.  If we every want to reclaim masculinity, Respect has got to be on the short-list of must-haves.  For all the wounds feminists have dealt us, undermining our culture's willingness to respect masculinity and the men who wear it is amongst their most profound.

Respect.  Find out what it means to me.
Just a little bit.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Alpha Move: Initiate Sex. A lot.

I always know that I've got a good idea for a blog post when one of my comments gets too long for the blog's limitations.  This happened today over at MMSL to Athol's answer to a question about initiating sex and making a move.  So here it is, in expanded form, because it's worth another glance.

Actually, it's pretty fundamental to Game.  Perhaps one of the most important aspects.  But let's start with the initial question of whether or not you should initiate or wait for her to initiate.

It's interesting, once you get this down, just who is "initiating" becomes cloudy.

Athol's point about female sexuality being responsive to male sexuality is dead on, and that's a foundation of Game Theory.  Especially within a marriage or LTR, once you understand this point instinctively you become far more aware of the subtleties leading up to actual initiation.  And once you do understand it, and your wife begins reacting to you more regularly, then patterns evolve in which SHE will let you know that she's interested in you initiating sex through some small symbolic gesture, phrase or mannerism.  It might be as mild as a playful dig or discussing someone at work's sex life, but if you carefully observe her behavior then you'll start to pick up on these cues. 

That's one thing that the feminist revolution really messed up.  In promoting the idea that women could initiate a sexual relationship and have sex without it having been initiated by men, it spread the erroneous idea to men at the time that since these fully-empowered, sexually active women could initiate sex without being condemned for it, that they would naturally start initiating sex roughly half the time.

That took a lot of pressure off of dudes, because the less they initiate, the less they get rejected.  But after the novelty of early sexual exploration wore off and young couples had to face the intricacies of a day-to-day sexual relationship in a long term relationship, men continued to expect the more aggressive sexuality of their woman's single years, i.e. she initiates sex about half of the time, whereas their women usually lapsed back into the monogamous pattern of waiting for their men to initiate, as Nature programmed in us.  And when the menfolk just didn't, because they took the feminists at face value and backed off dominant tactics, frustration and anxiety set in on both sides.

The problem is that feminism has put such a stigma on male sexuality that women are brought up to both desire male sexual attention and fear it.  That sucks for them.  And we dudes were brought up being taught that aggressive sexuality -- which included attempting to initiate sex -- was inherently disrespectful of women, and that the proper thing for a good little boy to do was kiss your woman's ass until she decided she was ready to have sex with you (the Betaization), because to manfully initiate sex like your forefathers was an affront to the inherent spirit of independence and person-hood of women as human beings, and yadda yadda yadda after that we just kind of stopped listening.  We got the message.  

Oh boy, did we get the message.

Between the fear of divorce, sexual harassment suits, and diversity training classes, the men of Generation X were taught to fear and respect female sexuality.  They were also taught that women could initiate sex and not be considered sluts.  In fact, they were pretty much instructed exactly what hoops had to be jumped through in order to have a pristine, politically-correct sexual experience complete with two condoms and a signed indemnification form.  For all practical purposes, we were taught that Nice Boys didn't initiate sex . . . they stood there and waited for it to happen by the grace of womanhood alone.

Big problem with that, though.  Sex doesn't work that way.  Because it's pretty clearly understood that women are designed to be sexually reactive, and men are designed to be sexually proactive.  Even Emily Nagoski the Sex Nerd, noted feminist scholar of human sexuality, is perfectly willing to admit this.  She pretties it up by demanding that women tend to have "responsive desire", while men tend to have "spontaneous desire", but it comes down to the same thing: men are proactive about sex, women are reactive.  If a man doesn't act, the woman can't react.  She hedges her bets by pointing out the usual NAWALT argument that spontaneous and responsive desires are not gender-dependent and vary greatly from individual to individual -- all perfectly true -- but as my old physics teacher always said, "the race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong . . . but that's the way to bet."  So if you want to qualify the statement, you can always get away with "Men, in aggregate, tend to manifest Spontaneous Desire more often and more easily, while women, in aggregate, tend to manifest Responsive Desire more often and more easily."

In other words, "In general, women don't start getting hot and thinking about having sex until a man comes along and gives them a reason to."  That doesn't mean that she won't have lusty, nasty thoughts at any given hour of the day . . . but in terms of acting upon those thoughts, it's  less likely even in this egalitarian day-and-age that she will initiate sex of her own accord without first being approached by a man.

An ironic point about Emily's post is that she pitches this idea as a feminist demand for acknowledgement that women are different and special creatures by pointing out that she's tired of sex researchers using the language  and standards of male sexuality to evaluate and judge female sexuality.  And while her point is well-taken -- male and female sexualities appear to be very different in make-up and mechanism, and sex researchers have traditionally been male and used male paradigms for evaluating female sexuality -- it also undermines the feminist approach to sex in which male and female are theoretically equal in all important ways (which leads to the pragmatic result of women becoming more dominant in their personal relationships by default, as men ceded the initiative under the blistering attack of feminism on their masculinity).  

It's a feminist axiom that men and women ideally enter into a marriage or relationship as an "equal" partnership.  In the feminist marriage, there is no implied obligation or expectation of sex on either party's part -- under feminism, sex cannot be institutionalized in any way without damaging the independence of women as individuals.  If it happens, it is by the grace of the woman to bestow it, regardless of the man's behavior, and she alone controls access to it by custom, if not by law.  Any less than enthusiastic and willful participation by the woman is tantamount to a non-consensual tryst, goes the theory.  In some extremes, she can even change her mind about her consent after the fact, and let the hamsters fall where they may.  

But all of that lovely ideology falls apart when the rubber hits the well-traveled road.  If biology demonstrates that women tend to have "Responsive Desire" -- and that is held up as a proud difference between male and female sexualities by one of the noted feminist researchers -- then it's really very difficult to argue any pretense that the goal of "equality" in a sexual relationship, especially in a marriage, is contrary to our biology.

That may make little difference to the "gender is a social illusion" crowd, who push to have gender concepts in general stripped away from our culture in the interest of fairness.  But for the rest of us, the ones who are actually going out and trying to get laid, this is a vital and fundamental fact that cannot be ignored by pretending it would be better if we all just acted like it didn't matter to anyone if we were boys or girls.  Because when you do that . . . well, you stop getting laid.  Androgyny occasionally slips into our culture as a novelty, but when it comes down to it we persist in recognizing the pretty clearly-established fact that there are bigger differences between men and women than our choice of position when we urinate.

Just take a look at the phenomenon of "Lesbian Bed Death".  It's a truism that lesbian couples in long-term relationships often just . . . stop having sex, even if they were fairly lustful at the beginning of the relationship.  The "Reactive Desire" idea, applied in this sense, demonstrates that if two people who are both "reactive" are in a relationship, you get a lot of "so do you want to have sex tonight?" "I dunno, do you want to have sex tonight?" "I dunno, it depends on whether or not you want to have sex tonight?" "I could have sex, but it's totally up to you." "Hey, isn't there a This Old House marathon on tonight?" 

Similarly, gay men in relationships tend to have a lot more sex than straight people or lesbians, especially in the heady days of their early 20s when testosterone turns every male into a horny slab of testosterone-poisoned sex-zombie willing to bang anything that doesn't run away fast enough.  When both partners enjoy "spontaneous desire", you can bet that there's a whole lot more DNA flying around.

So the science says women are reactive, men are proactive.  Feminism says to ignore that and focus on human rights issues and universal deference and respect for vaginas, letting them do as they will of their own accord.  After ignoring the custom that supported the science for three decades, and suffering a societal retrenchment of mating customs the likes of which human history has never seen before, eventually the damage got bad enough so that a couple of dudes said "hey, all that stuff about us waiting until the woman says she's ready for sex on her own?  It's really all kinda bullshit!".

And then they went and developed Game, because they realized that if they, as men, didn't take responsibility for attempting to initiate sex 100% of the time, then they got a lot less sex.  When you wait around patiently for the one in the relationship with "responsive desire" to suddenly generate interest in "spontaneous desire", then you're going to be waiting a lot.  And then your woman will quit being attracted to you and start to cultivate other options.  Welcome to Blue Pill Betahood, where they put the 'blue' into 'blue balls'!

Indeed, for most dudes in the Manosphere you can trace back their realization that they just took the Red Pill when they realize that the same sexuality that has been castigated and demeaned all his life is evolutionarily designed for him to try to initiate sex all the damn time as an inherent expression of his masculinity -- it's not a sign of a character flaw or a medically treatable condition.  Dudes are horny, they try to have sex with girls, and that has nothing to do with their deeper political beliefs about the role of women and gender in our society.  And once they realize that -- and accept that if they want sex, they and they alone are responsible for initiating and managing their sexual relationship -- then they can relax, safely ignore all of that crap about the politically correct method of coitus, and get his freak on like Nature intended by initiating sex without fear of judgement.

And yes, he might get judged . . . but the next step on the Red Pill journey is ceasing to give women the power of judgement over you.  Yes, once you realize that to screw them you have to ignore what they say and pay attention to what they do, then what they say even about you gets a lot less credibility.  Case in point: college girl I knew absolutely hated the whole macho Alpha image thing with a passion, to the point where she  would confront jocks and d-bags in the college cafeteria about their alleged douchebaggery and lack of respect for women by these oversexed walking phalluses . . . and then at the end of the semester she was the FB of three dudes on the wrestling team who could care less what she thought about them.  It wasn't her opinion that they were trying to get into.

So the best thing a dude can do is suck it up.  Accept the fact that despite what our popular culture might be saying, in fact the female sex drive tends to be reactive, not proactive, and that you will have to put forth more effort than you'd probably like if you want to improve your sex life.  Deal with it.  Because if you wait for your reactive-desire wife or girlfriend to suddenly develop spontaneous desire, you're going to be there for a while.  With blue balls.  You have to step up and aggressively pursue a consistent strategy of seduction and pursuit or you're locked in Blue Pill Betahood until the divorce.

It's possible to be sexually proactive and not be a douchebag.  Indeed, a lot of happily married couples with long histories figure out ways to do just that, and end up enjoying a long and lusty sex life.  The ideal Red Pill goal is to get to a place where your ability to initiate gets distilled down to a comfortable, easy-to-recognize signal that immediately dampens panties.  

That's the beauty of Married Game, and the difference between it and Dating Game.  In Dating Game, the goal is to establish a relationship that leads to sex with the least amount of effort and expenditure of resources as possible.  Married Game's goal is to establish a pattern of sexual behavior in a relationship that encourages an interpersonal intimacy in which sex is not "if" but "when", with the least amount of effort and expenditure of resources as possible.  In Dating Game you're hunting wild pussy.  In Married Game, you have domesticated pussy available.  But if you don't husband it properly by consistently and aggressively initiating sex with your woman (paying particular attention to her menstrual cycle) and giving her the opportunity to react favorably, then no matter how well the initial domestication went, you're going to have problems on your hands and more porn on your computer.

It can be hard.  Once you take the Red Pill, and understand the realities of the situation instead of focusing on some theoretical ideal of  sexual equality your relationship is supposed to measure up to, then you can accept the idea that initiating sex is your responsibility as a man, not your (plural) responsibility as a couple.  If her sexuality is reactive, and you aren't being proactive, then she's going to sit there in neutral and start doubting her own attractiveness, and therefore the strength of your relationship, and that way lies madness. 

So suck it up.  Forget about how nice it would be if she just came in, dropped her panties, bent over and said "do me, please".  Because the fact is, if you want to cultivate that kind of response the only way it can be done (without recourse to pharmaceuticals of dubious legality) is by cultivating a proactive pattern of sexual behavior in which you do initiate often and enthusiastically enough that she feels confident and secure enough to initiate sex herself without fear of rejection (which women handle and interpret entirely differently than we do) secure in the knowledge that yes, you do find her irresistibly attractive because why else would you be trying relentlessly to nail her all the time?

So suck it up and go make out with your wife.  If you do it right, she'll forget all about who started it.  

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

“Follow Your Heart” . . . the Birth Of The Rationalization Hamster

I have a little girl, and I fear for her.

I rarely bring my kids into this discussion, but this is germane.  I allow my daughter to indulge in a fair amount of status-building participation in popular culture (i.e. Disney) without letting her descend into a mindless obsessiveness that leads to feelings of entitlement and an inflated sense of self-worth that comes with, say, the Bratz dolls.  Instead I put up with Selena Gomez songs and Wizards of Waverly Place.  I can deal.

But while I’ve understood how Disney and other popular culture machines feed the pre-adolescent female mind with all sorts of chewy things that will later shape their reproductive journeys, I was going through old Barbie paraphernalia when I came across something that caught my eye.

The exact character and phrasing are unimportant.  But I was watching one of their sub-par animated Barbie features, and a line came up that struck me.  The gist of the message was that the Princess should, above all else, “follow her heart”.  Even when it seemed like the stupidest, dumbest, most idiotic move on her part, the one that put her and her little woodland creature friends in horrible peril, the Princess should always “follow her heart” because that will lead to her true happiness . . . or at least away from unhappiness.  After all, if you “followed your heart” you can’t very well complain about the consequences, can you?  Your heart was driving.  What's a girl to do?

Now, I’m not slapping Mattel or even Disney, since I see their advancement of this ideal far more as taking advantage of existing cultural memes, as opposed to consciously shaping future consumer behavior at the pre-conscious level.  In fact, as a marketer myself I steal liberally from their campaigns, because their techniques and fundamentals range from sound to brilliant.  But they aren't sitting around wringing their hands diabolically wondering what they can do to mess up the social fabric.  I've worked in a lot of marketing departments, and as good as Mattel and Disney are, even they aren’t that devious.  You don't set out to change or shape the culture, you just take advantage of which way the winds are blowing, because marketers are lazy.  They simply go where the money is. 

For boys, that means echoing traditional male tropes that feed masculine self-perceptions that, alas, often reach their peak participation level in the sandbox and never get to move beyond.  Memes like “Build!” and “Dig!” and “Compete!”, but above all else, the ultimate masculine trope: “Complete Your Mission.”

“Complete Your Mission” is the thing every little boy, gay or straight, incorporates as a fundamental element of his identification with masculinity.  Men get things done.  It is one of our essential defining characteristics.  Want proof?  Back to children’s television, where Bob the Builder enjoys far, far more popularity than mediocre stop-motion animation with crappy voiceovers deserves to.  But you can’t fault Bob’s essential message: “Can we build it?  Yes, we can!”  Not just the creative ideal, but the determination to see a project through to its conclusion – “completing the mission” – is first and foremost. My sons were addicted to Bob.

Men do it all the time: in times of personal confusion or chaos, throwing yourself into your work or a large-scale project is better than therapy for most men.  No matter how much of an utter loser you feel like, by completing your mission (whatever that might be) you are invoking a defining characteristic of a man.  Men get things done.

But women feel things.  “Follow Your Heart” is the feminine equivalent of “Complete Your Mission.”  “Follow Your Heart” is the moral compass and default decision-maker in this meme.  Without understanding how dangerous this vaguely-worded, purposefully-ambiguous statement can be to a developing young woman, we pump it into their brains at every commercial break: “Follow Your Heart”.  

And that’s how the Rationalization Hamster is born.

“Follow Your Heart” is crappy advice, actually.  For one thing, how do you know which of the conflicting chorus of inner voices do you designate “your heart” – and how do you differentiate it from “your stomach” or “your gonads”?  For a girl who is just realizing the powerful range of her emotions, asking her to “follow her heart” and actually know what that means is just dumb.  Little girls don’t have “hearts” to follow.  They have a very limited emotional range which they have just started getting a handle on when they start hearing this crap.  But by using “Follow Your Heart” as a touchstone for all of their other experiences, they empower their own justifications for pretty much any old crazy thing they feel like doing. 

Add to that the sense of entitlement implicit with the other popular little girl meme, “You Can Do Anything! (And We Expect You To Do Everything!)”, and you have a recipe for a lifetime of unrealistic ideals, frustrated goals and impossible dreams.  “You Can Do Anything!” and “Follow Your Heart!” conspire in the minds of our little girls to give them the moral leeway to indulge in any kind of bad behavior they wish and feel all the justification they need.

Leave your husband for a big-dicked pool boy?  “I was following my heart!”

Leave your husband for an affluent corporate alpha shark?  “I was following my heart!”

Leave your husband for . . . well, pretty much any reason save the truly compelling ones of abuse and neglect . . . “I was following my heart!” 

EPL is all about this, the Rationalization Hamster writ large.  Wife isn’t happy.  She doesn’t know why, but she isn’t happy, and her marriage is about the biggest thing in her life, so if she’s not happy (and does it really even matter why she’s not happy?) then it is obviously her husband’s fault, because her heart never lies.


“Follow Your Heart” is a thinly-veiled excuse for selfish action without personal consequence.  It provides the ethical underpinnings for any Hamster-inspired caper, from why she keeps going back to the same gym class with that particular instructor, to why she feels justified in asking for a six-figure settlement in the divorce.  “Follow Your Heart” gives her tacit permission to use her own judgment to decide what’s best for everyone, regardless of the objective facts of the situation.  It’s inherently solipsistic, and encourages a self-centered approach to life that leads to a deep sense of female entitlement.

Note it doesn’t say “follow your conscience”, like Jiminy Cricket told Pinocchio, or “let  reason be your guide”, or “follow the path of wisdom” or even “What would Xena do?” . . . it is a directive to allow your emotions, and your emotions alone, to dictate your course of action. 

And emotions are notoriously treacherous things.  Rarely do they lead us in the right direction, and when they do, it’s often by accident.

I’m not saying that “follow your heart” shouldn’t be in there, somewhere, but when I’m speaking to my little girl, I don’t use those terms.  I tell her “to thine own self be true”, which is a little different.  It emphasize her entire self, not the vague and inexact “heart”.  That doesn’t make her any less of a little girl, or any less empowered than her little friends.  On the contrary, I’m hoping it keeps her grounded through the upcoming estrogen rush of adolescence.  “To think own self be true” implies (at least in my household) plenty of accountability and responsibility.  “Follow Your Heart” just doesn’t.  Just the contrary, it’s about as big an invitation as is possible to avoid the moral consequences of accountability and responsibility in the decision making process.  “Follow Your Heart” means never being truly Wrong.

And if you’re not truly Wrong, then it can’t be your fault.  Can it?

And that, gentlemen, is how Rationalization Hamsters are born..

Maybe not the biggest burning issue in the Manosphere, but it’s something you should be aware of. 

After all, we don’t tell our boys “Follow Your Dick!” do we?

They pretty much pick that up on their own.  

Friday, January 13, 2012

Manipulation . . . or Management?

I was discussing the Red Pill philosophy with an old friend from High School in a bar the other night.  He’s a musician from Reno who’s coming off of a bender, and is split with his wife.  Great guy, if you can handle the musician-inspired flakiness.  His wife couldn't, he didn’t fight for the relationship, game over.  It’s never fun to do a post mortem on a marriage, but my friend was looking for advice, perspective and sympathy, and he wanted it from someone other than his Mom. 

However, as I told him about the Red Pill and Game, and we re-hashed his relationship in those terms (revealing several important things about it he had never realized before) as is often the case when you discuss the Red Pill with a Blue Pill Dude, he got offended at some of the elements of Game as blatant manipulation, particularly in the context of a marriage.  He could understand a certain amount of dissembling in the pursuit of pussy – he’s not that bad off – but once in a relationship, he felt that “honest, forthright” communication in pursuit of an equitable relationship demanded no attempt at “manipulation”.

I thought about this a moment.  Then I pointed out that I’d been with Mrs. Ironwood for twenty years, and his marriage hadn’t lasted more than a few, and he shut up and started listening.

“You can’t think of it as ‘manipulation’,” I explained.  “When you’re in a LTR, it’s not a matter of a simple causal relationship, where you do one thing, and she does another.  In an LTR you are acting, and she is reacting, but the continual nature of the LTR means that you aren’t just getting a reaction, you are establishing a pattern of behavior.  That’s an important concept.  You aren’t manipulating your wife . . . you’re managing your wife.  Big difference.”

“I don’t think she’d see it that way,” he said, skeptically.

“That’s why you don’t tell her that you’re managing her, you just do it.  If you have to discuss it in detail, then you’ve failed.  That’s like her telling you ‘I want you to be more spontaneously dominant – can we go ahead and put that on the schedule?’  Or her getting flowers.  Or you getting a blowjob.  If you have to ask, it doesn’t count.”

“Why, that doesn’t seem very fair to her?”  Yes, he really talks this way.  He’s an actor, too.  Everything out of his mouth is a performance.  He’s got entertainment skills like mad, but when it comes to the Beta security-building skills . . . well, did I mention he was a musician in Reno?

“Is if fair for her to bat her eyelashes and ask you to do something you really don’t want to do, with the tacit promise of sex, and then she doesn’t follow through?”

“Well, no, not really,” he admitted.  “But I don’t expect her to—”

“Perhaps your expectations needed to change,” I interrupted.  “Hers certainly did.  She knew you were a musician when she married you.  She knew your ambitions and your potential for making embarrassing stacks of cash.  She knew all of this going into it, and yet her expectations of you changed.”

“Well, I suppose they did,” he admitted.  “We were fine, I thought, and then suddenly she just starts being unhappy, I lose my best gig, foreclosure, bankruptcy . . .”

“Of course,” I agreed, sympathetically, and ordered another Jameson’s.  “But consider that if she had felt strongly attracted to you during that rough patch, instead of resenting you and not feeling confident in your ability to bring home bacon, then she would have been loving, supportive, and encouraged you, not withdrawn, fearful, and already working out in preparation of finding her next dude.”

“You make a compelling argument,” he admitted.

“She’s always going to be happy, and then unhappy, and then usually happy again,” I observed.  “All women go through cycles like that.  As inconstant as the moon.  So trying to make her happy, and keep her happy, is going to be a losing proposition, day-to-day.  Without pharmaceutical intervention, she’s going to have biological cycles and hormonal cycles and work cycles and anxiety cycles all the time, and when they match up they can be a bitch.  The only way you can mitigate it is by providing order and constancy in her life.  You don’t do that by reacting to her every time the wind blows.  You do that by being rock-solid, and when the wind blows managing the patterns she falls into so that no matter how out on a limb she feels, emotionally, she can count on you to provide an emotionally safe place to return to.  If you keep dodging that responsibility in the relationship, then she stops being able to count on you, she loses interest, and you’re screwed.”

“But I don’t have a right to challenge her freedom and independence—”

“Why don’t you?” I challenged, myself.  “We give up a measure of freedom and independence in a marriage, in exchange for security and interdependence.  That’s the point: to make the union stronger than the individual constituents.  Think of your marriage as a ship: you are the hull, she is the sails.  If you are both the hull, then you don’t go anywhere.  If you are both the sails, then you don’t go anywhere.  Only by cooperating, embracing those ‘evil, nasty’ gender roles, and capitalizing on the strengths that interdependence grants us can we move forward.”

His marriage is doomed – we both acknowledged that – but he came away from that whisky-swilling, cigarette-smoke infused night of male bonding a wiser man.  He’s still a Blue Pill Beta, for all of his musical charisma and stage presence, but at least he’s aware of the Red Pill, now.  And he doesn’t see it so much as manipulation.

I went home and talked about this with Mrs. Ironwood a bit, and she agreed.  Again, she’s aware of some powerful changes in me and the relationship of late, but she isn’t really well-versed in the whys and hows.  But when I discussed the difference between manipulation and management, she reluctantly agreed that she occasionally needed to be “managed”, and that my firm stance on some issues gave her the freedom and flexibility to consider options without committing to a potentially dangerous course of action. 

“Does it bother you, to know I’m ‘managing’ you?” I asked her in all seriousness.  In another woman, this comment would likely inspire an evening’s tirade about disrespect and such, but one reason I married her is that she’s smart – crazy smart – and she doesn’t mind examining her own motivations and holding them to account. 

Or mine, for that matter.  She’s often been able to offer insights about what I’m doing when I have no idea myself. 

“Bother me?  Only when I think about it.  Most of the time, I just think you’re being commanding and decisive.  But you don’t ‘manipulate’ me at all.  I don’t manipulate well.”

“But you don’t mind being managed,” I offered.  She shrugged.

“Why should I?  I’ve been managed in every job I’ve ever had.  You learn not to take it personally, and focus on the good of the team.”

See why I love her?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Game As A Tool Towards Recovering A Lost Masculinity

Over at Alpha Game yesterday morning I caught a great quote byVox, as he was advising someone on whether or not to return to a woman he’d lost pre-Game for a second chance post-Game.  While that conversation was fascinating enough, the quote is what got me:

I appreciate the positivity from the non-predatory crowd. I would simply say that what I am attempting to do with Alpha Game is to apply the basic principles of Game more broadly to socio-sexuality rather than focusing solely on a particular subset of sexual relations as other Game bloggers do. My interest also tends to be more theoretical, whereas Roissy and Athol, just to give two of the more substantive examples, are both relentlessly practical in their applications of Game to pick-up and marital relations, respectively. This is not a criticism of either of them in any way, as I both appreciate and respect what both men are doing in their tangential areas of interest.

His point is well-taken, and vitally important to the evolution of the Manosphere.  Pay attention:

Right now, Men in our culture are divided into three groups.  One is the group bravely trying to build a family in hostile conditions, against all odds, in the fulfillment of the traditional quest to be a Family Man.  Call them the Old Married Guys.  We’re the ones at the far end of the spectrum, hacking our way through our individual relationships, counting our blessings, and despairing of what’s happening to other men around us and to masculinity in general.  Some of us have been divorced, some are bitter, some are hopeful.  All of us have some unique and valuable insights to share with younger dudes.  Some of us even are younger dudes, men who against all reason got married young and tried to start a family, and who have the wisdom to look to other men for advice and answers. 

I would try to call this group the “Patriarchy”, but that term has been maligned by feminists so long as to be tainted, on the one hand, and the fact is “patriarchy” means “ruled by the fathers”, and let’s face it: fathers haven’t “ruled” in this country since 1970.  So instead call them the Patriologists, “those who study fatherhood (and, by extension, masculinity)”.  While fatherhood isn’t the end-all, be-all of masculinity, it’s a pretty potent defining characteristic. 

But then again so are our dicks.  The single dudes, whether single by choice, circumstance, or by divorce decree, are the second group.  They’re the ones taking advantage of the culture of promiscuity and running Game like it’s a lotto system.  The “PUA” and the “MGTOW”, racking up notches and enjoying the tight, moist fruits of the land while spending their off-hours watching sports, playing fantasy football, and killing at HALO.  These are the “peter pans” that the feminists created but can’t stop bitching about.  The “boys” who wouldn’t grow up. 

And obviously it’s their inherently evil nature that makes them want to indiscriminatingly tap anything in a skirt, according to feminism, and not the fact that most of these dudes had absent or distant Beta fathers who were actively prevented from passing on the mature paternal wisdom that usually allows a young man to “grow up”.  Testosterone is a powerful force, after all, and left unchecked and untempered you get . . . well, you get what we got.  We lost control of masculinity, and let it be defined and regulated by feminism.  The result is not a Patriarchy – they successfully crushed that – but a “Puerarchy”, or “rule by boys”.

That’s not to say these “boys” (some in their 40s) actually “rule”.  In fact, thanks to the wholesale diminution of masculinity in the last forty years, their chances of actually getting to the “halls of power” are slight.  Despite the myth of male privilege they have largely eschewed the “successful self-made man” model – they don’t want power any more.  Money is better..  And who can blame them?  The “rewards” for most of the dudes who make that run are usually divorce court, custody hearings, and a loss of faith in all of womanhood, so why take the risk?  Internet porn, Game-driven hook-ups, and videogames make contemporary life for a single dude in the Puerarchy a kind of techno-Valhalla, if he can keep from damaging romantic entanglements. 

For a few years there’s been some acrimony between the first two camps over the definition of masculinity and the role of Game in it.  Their goals are slightly different.  The Patriologists want to see family life made less challenging for men, and re-claim some of the respect and legitimate prerogatives of mature masculinity and fatherhood, as well as improve their marital lives so that they get laid more.  The Puerarchy wants to get laid more, too, but it doesn’t see the advantage of being an OMG and often treats such men as either sell-outs or willing dupes.  Both have very definite ideas about what Masculinity is.  Unsurprisingly, both have an especial emphasis on Getting Laid, whether it’s by their wives or a succession of hot young gullible girls.  But don’t discount the bonding possibilities of sexuality – we’ll come back to that in a moment.

Then there’s the third group: the Blue Pill dudes who don’t have a clue.  There the ones who bought into the idea that Marriage is an equal partnership between you and your soon-to-be ex-wife.  They “respect” women, that is, they defer to them at every turn regardless of their own interests.  They’re the Chumps.  The vast, vast sea of Betas who are the grist for the divorce mill.  They have unrealistic expectations of marriage, not just because they’ve bought into the “Twu Wuv” one-itis meme to the point where they get blinded by pussy, but because they really believe in all of that “union of equals” crap without understanding that “equal” in that context means that their wives are always more equal than they are.  Without good fathering, they don't know any better.  There's no one left in their lives who feels comfortable passing along that kind of valuable information.  Until the Manosphere.

And for that sacrifice, for which they believe they will receive the divine feminine favors (i.e., getting laid more), they instead find that their wives don’t respect them, resent them, and eventually actively despise them for doing exactly what they’ve been told by women is what women really want.  They put their own interests and issues at the lowest priority for fear of being accused of being a chauvinist or something.  They’re far more concerned with being liked and not respected by their women.  Keeping the woman happy is their primary focus, whether it’s her request for more security, more affluence, or more “emotional support” (that is, agreeing unconditionally to every thing she says).

They are, in other words, completely divorced already . . . from their own masculinity.

Between the Puerarcy and the Patriologists lie these true Beta Lost Boys.  Despite their age and apparent maturity they will, indeed, remain “lost” to manhood in their hearts and their lives.  They might become Adults, but they won’t ever be real Men.  That’s because their self-loathing ideas about manhood and masculinity have been tainted by feminine and feminist critique for so long that they’ve abandoned all hope of controlling their lives, and have descended to merely managing their lives . . . and usually doing a piss-poor job of it.  And an almost universal element of masculinity, across culture, is the idea that a fully-formed Man is in control of his life.

Those poor Blue Pill Betas are the ones who need the Manosphere the most.  They need to be taught that it’s not just okay to be male, it can be fucking fantastic if you quit worrying about what women think and approach it from a masculine perspective -- 'cause that Blue Pill perspective just leads to misery and depression.  That’s the Red Pill message.  The Red Pill is nothing less than the attempt of Men in our culture to consciously revalorize masculinity.

“Revalorize” is an obscure word, I admit.  It was coined by Mircea Eliade, one of the great Religious Studies scholars of the 20th century, based out of the University of Chicago.  He used it to mean taking a term, idea, or meme from the past and reconstituting the traditional with new and more useful meaning.  In this context, the Red Pill revalorization of masculinity is vital and necessary if we don’t want to see the mistakes of the past four decades promulgate into our sons’ futures.  Or our daughters: things are looking just as grim for our girls as our boys.

The current popular ideal of masculinity, ala the Blue Pill, is essentially “a person who just so happens to posses an XY chromosome and lives to serve women”.  Bereft of all the “bad” masculine qualities (which also happen to be all the Alpha qualities women get their panties wet over) – honor, bravery, aggression, anger, stubborn determination, leadership, and yes, violence – Blue Pill masculinity leaves “good provider” and “has a functioning penis” intact at the expense of all the rest, and the latter isn't even really required. 

Now there are plenty of feminists who have no problem with this definition, and don't think that seeing two generations of miserable men is too high a price for their trouble.  They don’t want a new masculinity to include, well, masculine traits.  If aggression and achievement are considered “masculine”, then they don’t feel like they can play with the boys properly.  If they re-define masculinity to include a bunch of Beta skills and get rid of all of the Alpha skills, then they have an opportunity to control the balance of gender-based power in our society.  Which is essentially what they’ve done for two generations.

The problem is, it doesn’t work.  Not for men, at least, and not for our kids.  When you allow women to define masculinity for men, you get what we have now: a generation of men largely bereft of maturity and wisdom, growing up without dads, with overbearing mothers who encouraged them to hate their own gender, and feeling shame and guilt about those natural inclinations towards traditional masculinity that inevitably arise.  Particularly around sex and violence. 

As a culture under the influence of feminism we have been taught since birth that men are all secret sexual predators one step away from brutal abduction-and-rape, and we should therefore despise all aggressive male sexuality or we’re essentially condoning rape.  We’ve also been taught that men are all power-hungry despoilers or ignorant idiots messing up the world – that is, the world women live in – by killing and exploiting everything in sight at every chance.  We’re the ones responsible for all of the wars (that we fight and die in).  The level of guilt about this has been raised to such a high degree in an attempt to remove the violent impulse from men that it has left us with a bunch of unassuming Betas who honestly feel, in the depths of their hearts, that they are bad people just because of their penis, and nothing they can do – however much they try – is ever going to make up for that.

The intriguing thing about the evolving Manosphere is that the Patriologists and the Puerarchy, while they’ve been learning various aspects of Game from each other (because our common goal, to have more sex, is truly universal) have also been revalorizing masculinity.  Most of the essential nuggets of Game theory are re-hashings of old masculine paradigms long discredited under feminist dogma, after all.  And while the two groups have been volleying Game back and forth, some of those poor Blue Pill Beta bastards have started to notice, hey, why are these guys having so much more sex than I am?  What is their secret?  Teach us, oh Wise Ones!

The desire and even yearning for the Red Pill is out there, but it isn’t just about Game.  Game is the vehicle, because Men are motivated by sex, and Game is about how to get laid.  But the things that Game teaches us go far beyond managing our sex lives.  Game informs our new definition of masculinity by returning to the essentials of our mating toolkit instead of talking about our feelings with our woman until she’s so bored she’s sleeping with the pool boy.  Beyond that, it gives us a medium through which to pay respect to each other for our masculine achievements. 

Hard-core Alphas in the Puerarchy can learn, for example, that getting married doesn’t have to mean the end of your sex life and the beginning of servitude, it can become an empowering and richly masculine experience.  Conversely, the Patriologists can learn from the Puerarchy that the apparent solid wall of feminist thought that seems to dominate the intellectual landscape is actually made up of a new generation of very, very fallible young women who are just as frustrated with the mess their mothers made of things as we are – and that in a relationship its more important that your woman be attracted to you than that she like you.

But between them both you have a sea of Betas who are staring at the single dudes getting laid with a single text message and the OMGs getting laid like tile by their wives like it’s a porn movie and running their stable households the way their grandfathers did, and they’re starting to wonder: what do those guys know that I don’t? 

And that’s the secret we need to tell them: the Manosphere means it’s not only Good To Be A Man, once you quit deferring to the women in your life, but that it doesn’t matter which end of the spectrum you prefer – both fatherhood and eternal hook-ups are two sides of the same masculine coin.  They are not mutually exclusive.  Nor is Game the end-all, be-all to masculinity, it’s just the beginning.  A man who learns Game (single or married varieties) and learns it effectively will soon find himself much-improved, spiritually, and that’s not just all the sex talking.  In a re-defined masculinity, Game is an essential tool, but it’s not your only one.  You need to talk to other men, have solid male friendships, enjoy a solid culture of masculinity by learning from the old dudes and teaching the young dudes, and accept in your mind that while men and women might be technically equal under the law, that doesn’t mean we are the same.  Our differences define us.  Men have their own interests and issues, and we have just the same rights as women to pursue them . . . just as aggressively.  We, not women, and certainly not feminists, are the ones responsible for defining what masculinity is in the 21st century.

And the most important thing the Betas need to discover?  They don’t need any damn woman’s permission to take the plunge, swallow the Red Pill, and rediscover their own masculinity.

And heck . . . we’re willing to help.

So if there is one thing I’d like to see the Manosphere accomplish, it’s to inspire a Revolt of the Betas.  Because if a significant portion of the men in the West were to learn Game on the way towards embracing our own masculinity, then collectively we might be able to improve things for all men.  Once they are convinced to stop working against their own masculine interests, realize their own value in society, and give them the tools to recognize that, then we’re going to see a lot more Red Pills going down the hatch.  And that’s a good thing for everyone.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Alpha Move: Make the Bed

No, really.

Mrs. Ironwood, in spite of many other wonderful virtues, tends to be a slob.  She's not disgusting or anything, but she's firmly in the "why make a bed if you're just going to un-make it later, anyway?" school of thought.  For years I didn't mind too much -- I'm a slob myself, and I've never been particularly fastidious.

But then it occurred to me that I was disrespecting my own art.  The bedroom, for any married couple, is a place of special magic and reverence.  That's where we spend our most intimate times.  When I started on this journey, one of the first things I did was start making the bed.

Mrs. Ironwood didn't realize I was manning-up, specifically, at the time.  She just noticed that when she got out of bed in the morning it was made up by the time she got back, prohibiting her from sliding back in, going back to sleep, making herself late and inconveniencing me in the process.  The first time it happened she thought it was nice.  The second time, she didn't comment.  The third time she complained that she wasn't done with it yet.

"It's after seven," I replied.  "Adults are up and getting ready for work now."  She got up.

By the fifth or sixth time I did it, it was really starting to bug her.  What was bugging her more was that I wasn't explaining why I was doing it, or pointing it out so I could claim credit in typical Nice Guy fashion.  I just did it.  Every day.  And that bugged her.

Finally, after about a week, she broke.

"How come you're making the bed all the time, now?"

"Because it's where I sleep, and it's where I screw.  When you walk by this bed, when you see this bed, you're going to see that it's made up, and you're going to know that I made it, and you're going to remember that this is where we sleep and where we screw, and that it is prepared and ready-to-go for that purpose.  It is not a desk, it is not a dinner table, it is a bed, and we're going to treat it properly."

She didn't say anything to that, which was telling.

She watched me make it a few more days, always first thing in the morning, always right after she woke up.  She even commented on how virile I looked shaking the sheets and comfortable out (hey, it's not wrestling a saber toothed tiger, but you do what you can).  More importantly, I looked confidant.  I was making my bed. In preparation for sex.  And she knew it.

There's an art to turning a fundamentally Beta activity (making the bed) into an Alpha move (preparing the arena for combat).  And as the debate grows about whether or not you should inform your wife of your developing game, and how much, I tend to fall on the side of obfuscation for greatest effectiveness.

But there's something to laying it out there for her: your expectations, your desires, your commitment to seeing them through, and her inclusion in the process, that builds a confidence that's pure Alpha.  You're stating your intentions on no uncertain terms.  You're claiming your territory, defining your domain, preparing for action . . . and she knows it.  Calling it to her attention means that every time she sees the made bed, she has a good shot at the tingle, and that's never a bad thing.

Oh, two weeks after I started?  I came out of the bedroom and found she'd made the bed.  While ostensibly it was the exact same action, from her it was a submissive move in response to my dominance.  Subtle, but unmistakable.  An appeal to her sense of femininity and her desire for order, and a fulfillment of her desire to be led within the scope of the relationship.

And if nothing else, I got her to make the damn bed.