Friday, June 29, 2012

Why I Love Mrs. Ironwood

Just a short post today (and the peasants rejoiced . . . )

Mrs. Ironwood just returned from four days of being feted by the pharmaceutical industry, your Viagra dollars at work.  Four days of high-pressure conferences and exhausting, freewheeling discussions, high-powered business meetings and deep academic discussions about bioethics followed by night after night of receptions and cocktail parties.  She got back, exhausted and sleep-deprived, just yesterday.  At noon.  All she could think about was going to sleep.  She actually got a bit of a nap when my phone rings.  Papa Ironwood has been admitted to the hospital for some tests.  Nothing serious -- my dad is partially paralyzed, and they found a blockage in his leg, fairly routine surgery.  Since we have one of the most advanced medical facilities on the planet in our neighborhood (Middle-eastern potentates use it) I wasn't too concerned.  I let her sleep.

As if by magic, she sensed something was stirring in the Force.  She rose, and spent the next several hours on the phone speaking to doctors and reviewing his medical records.  She got up this morning and went to her own scheduled appointment and then headed right for Papa's room, where she's still working to ensure his proper care and treatment.

This isn't her father, mind you.  This is her Father-In-Law.

When you get married, it's a mistake to think you're marrying each other.  The fact is, you're marrying a family, and you don't get to control that family even a little bit.  Most people recoil from that idea, and spend the rest of their marriage trying to pry their mate from the clutches of their baggage-laden family in a misguided attempt to establish "independence".  Mrs. Ironwood and I embraced the idea.  When I married her, I got a new sister and mother in the deal, as well as some nieces, nephews, and assorted cousins.  When there's an issue in her side of the family, I don't hesitate to get involved.  Ditto for mine and her.  I could have fought with my mother-in-law constantly over the years, but that would have been unfair for everyone.  Mrs. I could have legitimately fought with certain elements (and they know who they are) of the Ironwood clan, but she didn't.  She accepted them as her family, good, bad, ugly and indifferent. Warts and all.

This is particularly poignant for me today, as it has just been announced across the Manosphere that a beloved commentor on HUS and other blogs, Thomas Munson, has passed away after a battle with cancer. Munson's wit and wisdom were legendary.  Susan at HUS is compiling a .pdf of his best quotes.  He was the Voice of Mature Authority for many of us, a surviving remnant of the Patriarchy fighting a guerilla war against the tides of feminism and Puerarchy.  We didn't always agree, but I always prized his wisdom.

The reason Munson's death makes me love Mrs. I even more is because Munson pointed out on a blog once (I think it was TPM) that a hot sexy babe is great for righteous sex . . . but she isn't likely to drive your ass to your oncology appointment four times a week.  Munson and his wife were prima facea evidence that men and women could work in an effective, fairly traditional partnership to the mutual benefit and enrichment of both parties, without anyone feeling oppressed or unequal or other bullshit like that.  He was a silverback Wolf Alpha who knew his place in the universe with the kind of utter certainty that breeds supreme confidence.  And his public duel with cancer was both inspiring and heartbreaking.

So if you're a single dude, and you meet a chick with big boobs who you just know will be the perfect mother of your children once she gives up her flirty ways and declares her undying devotion to you, consider asking her if she'd be up for carting your dad to the hospital, if she was to become your bride.  That might be the most instructive answer you get from her all evening.

Or if you're in a marriage that is in trouble, and you have doubts whether or not you can find happiness in this person's life and vice versa, consider how short your time here is, and how the very fact that you found each other at all is amazing in this world.  Think about driving her to the oncologist four times a week, every week, knowing that the inevitable conclusion to such a task is her death.  Unless things are really, really bad, that should offer you some useful perspective.

And if you're in a good, solid, dependable marriage . . . go hug your wife for no reason at all, and kiss her thoroughly and often.  It might not be glamorous or romantic or sophisticated, but if you actually have someone who will watch your back and devote her time to ensuring your comfort, health and safety, recognize what an utterly-lucky son-of-a-bitch you are.

And tonight, raise a glass to Munson in appreciation of his masculine wisdom and wit.  May his ancestors receive him in honor.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Forming A Proper Response To Hearing "Man Up!" From Your Wife

Once again, Athol at MMSL has made an intriguing post that inspired a response that grew to post-length itself.  So once again I'm using it for my own blog, because it's so damn pertinent.

The focus of the post was the insidious admonition to "Man Up" that we've been hearing steadily for two decades, and how it's often used as a shaming technique to get men to do stuff that is not necessarily in their best interests.

This is a bigger deal than most men realize.

One of the hardest things about taking the Red Pill is accepting responsibility for your own actions as a man and the head of your household (even if you are the only member of that household). It’s easy to be a Blue Pill dude and defer responsibility to other people — your wife, the government, someone else — but when you take the Red Pill and make that commitment to yourself that you will deal with the universe the way it is, and not the way it’s idealized to be, then things get complicated. And hard.

Athol’s absolutely right: when someone is telling you to “Man Up”, they’re invoking shame and using your own masculinity against you. 

Now, if that comes from a man then it can be seen 
as an invitation to remember your masculine power, qwitchyerbitchen, and do the job at hand. When men tell other men to “Man Up” (usually) they are trying to improve the condition of the other man. In the Male Social Matrix men are generally encouraged to help each other like that as part of the process of turning a Guy in to a Man . . . or simply providing moral support for a difficult issue. While the emphasis in the MSM is overtly on competition between men, a long list of masculine codes, from basic sportsmanship to battlefield chivalry, are designed to mitigate that competitive nature by tacitly providing assistance to less-able men.

While men are highly competitive, they also (as a class) tend to be dedicated to using their success and position to elevate other men even if it means that they are sacrificing a little competitive edge to do it.  Because while winning is vitally important to men, winning unfairly cheapens the effort.  And if your competitors are not at their best, then your best doesn't mean much.  An Olympic sprinter at a Middle School track meet isn't going to find much meaningful competition.  Any "wins" he makes there are going to be suspect -- not because he cheated, but because of the mediocre nature of competition.

Since men thrive on competition as the cornerstone of the Male Social Matrix, then the only way that the most successful competitors are going to experience real satisfaction with their success is to ensure that the competition is as challenging as possible.  When an Olympian goes to the games, the focus is not on "I'm going to win a Gold!" it's "I'm going to face the best athletes on the planet and I'm going to be shown -- in front of the entire world -- how I stack up."  So the impetus in the MSM is to improve your competition as much as you can without making them better than you.  It's the old "I taught him everything he knows . . . but I didn't teach him everything I know!" saw from the older, more experienced man referring to a competitive protege.

When a man tells another man to “Man Up” he’s offering both support and criticism, acknowledging the difficulties of the issue but also declaring his belief that the other man has within him the capability and testicular fortitude to get the job done despite his own fears and insecurities about the issue. Since all men have fears and insecurities, a quiet, private discussion about them with another dude who acknowledges those fears and insecurities but also expresses his belief in your ability to deal with them is a gift from another man.

And that's how most men take that kind of admonishment . . . from other men.  As constructive criticism and just enough shame implicit to be motivating.  The few times when another man has told me to "Man Up", "Sack Up", or "Cowboy Up", it has been a straight-up reminder that I'm a dude, I've got big hairy balls, and the way to properly approach a problem or challenge is not from a place of fear and insecurity, but from a place of confident determination, and I've been (in retrospect) grateful to the men who said it to me.

But when it comes from a woman, it’s the nastiest sort of insult. On par with the “C-word”.

When a woman says “Man Up”, she’s not offering constructive criticism wrapped in a masculine-flavored coating of support. She’s calling into question his masculinity and his ability to get the job done, and expressing her doubts about her dude in the most insidious of ways. 

Don't believe that ladies?  Think that telling your man to "Man Up" is no big deal?  Let me explain it to you like this: it’s the moral equivalent of presenting yourself to your husband before an important formal occasion after three hours prep on hair, make-up and wardrobe only to have him wrinkle up his forehead and say “You mean you’re going to wear that? In public?Devastating.

In that situation, the asshole-in-question is undermining not just your confidence, but your ability to properly interpret and react to a complex social situation, which is the cornerstone of the Female Social Matrix.  In a very real way he's attacking your femininity, not through an overt assault on your sexuality or appearance or the other stuff that feminists get torqued up about, but by questioning your ability to navigate the FSM.

So when you ladies tell your man to "Man Up" in just about any situation, you are taking a well-aimed kick at his unprotected testicles.  And since it's coming from you, who knows him better than just about anyone, it's orders of magnitude worse than had it come from a stranger.

The Red Pill doesn’t banish fears and insecurities — if anything, once you know all of the things that can go wrong with your life, your wife, and your relationships, it can make you a little paranoid. But what the Red Pill can do for you is give you the space to acknowledge your own fears and insecurities and handle them. The Red Pill doesn’t say you have to be an indestructible, invulnerable, and emotionally-distant man in order to thrive. But it does give you just enough security and belief in yourself to push back when you get the shit-testing “Man UP!” from a woman.

So how does a Red Pill man, especially one working the MAP hardcore, respond to such a shrewish and inconsiderate request?

First, consider the context of the situation.  Carefully evaluate the objective challenges you face.  If it's a work issue, for example, and you understand how precarious your company is positioned in these uncertain economic times, then responding to your wife's request that you "Man Up" and demand a raise from your boss when the company is contemplating lay-offs demonstrates her lack of knowledge of the situation and suggests an appropriate, quietly-delivered response:

"Have you noticed it's not your name on my paycheck?  This job is my responsibility to navigate, and if I don't think this is an opportune time to push back, then you're just going to have to fucking trust me that I know what the hell it is I'm doing.  Because as delicate as things are, having someone who doesn't know what the hell she's talking about offering me bad advice about how to run my career isn't going to be doing me any favors."

And yes, use profanity.  Don't use insulting language or name-calling . . . but there is a time and place to display your command of invective to your woman, and this qualifies.

Or, if it's a tangled social situation -- for instance, stumbling across evidence that a male friend of yours is cheating on his spouse -- then an admonishment to "Man Up" from your woman is actually a nasty way for her to try to shame and manipulate you into feminine-behavior under the auspices that it's the "right" thing to do.  That is, when your wife wants you to "Man Up" and rat on your friend to his wife, what she's really trying to do is drag you into the uncleansed bowels of the Female Social Matrix and use you as her surrogate bitch.

Women often feel that they are the keepers of moral and ethical behavior in our society, which is Hamstereese for selectively using morality to increase their position in the FSM (or, conversely, to tear down another woman's).  Part of this can be blamed on the relative powerlessness women enjoyed in the pre-industrial era, when their only legitimate way of using power was through their men.  But now they can't use that excuse -- trying to drag a man into the FSM for your own purposes by shaming his sense of masculinity is nothing more than blatant manipulation.

So how do you respond to her "Man Up!" in this case?

"You know, it's been said that learning to mind your own business is 80% of all human wisdom.  This is a volatile situation that has the possibility of messing up a lot of people's lives,  and since it concerns something that's clearly none of our fucking business, then I'm going to 'Man Up' and exercise my masculine prerogative for wisdom by keeping my mouth shut and strongly encouraging my gossipy wife to do the same.  The fact is, we don't know all the facts.  We don't know what kind of private intimate relationship those two have, no matter how close we might be to them.  And stirring a turd of this size is just going to cover everyone in shit so . . . if you think me unmanly because I'm unwilling to destroy someone else marriage willy-nilly, then buy me a tutu and call me Fifi, Babe, because clearly I'm not man enough to do it."

Presented in a growling, obviously-judgmental tone of voice, this should shut down all future discussion on the topic, unless she's Batshit Crazy or, conversely, so tied into the FSM that your wishes on the matter do not matter to her.  Which implies you have much, much bigger problems on your hand that idle gossip.

Of course, the hardest time to hear "Man Up" from your woman is when it involves your own family.  Especially your relationship with your mother.  A wife/girlfriend and her mother-in-law is always a rough relationship, no matter how cordial it might seem.  In a very real way your woman and your mom are fighting for control over you, and both of them can use the "Man Up" as a shaming technique in their FSM power struggle.  This is particularly hard to take, and it can put you in a particularly bad spot.

When your wife tells you to "Man Up" when it comes to your mother or father, then once again objectively evaluate the context of the situation.  Usually that kind of fight comes when your parents are trying to get you to do something that your woman sees as a threat to your relationship or her power.  And while the last thing you want is your mother dominating your relationship, it's just as bad to have your wife dominate your relationship with your mother.  Hearing your mother tell you to "Man Up" in regards to your wife is just as bad, and calls for the same level of response.

In a Blue Pill marriage what usually happens is that the Beta in question gets in the middle and tries to act as an obsequious intermediary, inserting himself into the feminine power struggle in a particularly masochistic and unhelpful way.  The result is often increasing frustration on the part of both your mother and your woman, purposeful misunderstandings and overly diplomatic language, with no real resolution in sight.  The Beta just wants everyone to get along, and he will bust his ass in a fevered sweat trying to appease both wife and mother.

This rarely, if ever, works to his advantage and ultimately sets him up for innumerable future problems stemming from his lack of backbone.  By the time "Man Up!" is heard from either party, Mr. Blue Pill has usually already traded the last shreds of his testicles for magic beans or somesuch, and the impact of the command is lessened simply because Mr. Blue Pill has long given up on his own masculinity in an attempt at negotiating domestic harmony.  Ten years later he's often divorced and bitter because both his wife and his mother lost respect for his lack of Alpha.  (Yes, your Mom is a woman, too, and responds to your Alpha just like any other woman.  Don't get all Oedipus-creepy about this, though.  Your mother's perspective on your masculinity is only sexual in the most obtuse sort of way.  She's looking for validation that she produced a strong male worthy of providing her descendants).

So how does the Red Pill man respond to his wife and/or mother telling him to "Man Up!" in regards to the other party?  Simple.  He drags both of them into the same room and he makes them be silent for ten minutes while he chews both of them out for their juvenile and disrespectful behavior.

And that's the general key to all such "Man Up!" commands.  If you have a hard time evaluating a complex situation enough to give a cogent and eloquent response, then a prompt and direct expression of your own sense of masculinity, delivered forcefully and meaningfully, should be sufficient to a) get her off your back and b) do so in such a way that's pure Alpha, and not Beta (which is what she's accusing you of) in the slightest.

Here's a few practice lines:

WOMAN: ". . . and I don't know why you let this happen all the time.  God, sometimes I just wish you would Man Up and just handle it!"

Gentle response:  "Honey, I can appreciate what your saying, and I understand your position.  However, if you call my masculinity into question even once more during this conversation, it will be over, we'll be having another, altogether different discussion, and there will be unpleasant consequences and repercussions.  Is that understood?"

Moderate response (Set Sarcasm controls to "disintegrate"):  "Gosh, thank you ever so much for your opinion of my masculinity.  I'm terribly sorry you see it as so deficient, but since you don't happen to own a pair of fucking testicles and I do, I think I'm going to have to be the judge of that.  Just because I'm not doing what you want me to doesn't mean I'm unmanly, it means I'm a man with my own fucking brain, which also means I don't take poorly-contrived, selfishly-motivated juvenile crap like 'man up' lightly, even from a woman who is supposed to me on MY fucking team.  Now maybe you should disappear for a little while, because if you were trying to piss me off and get me angry, you succeeded . . . and right now it would be in the best interests of our relationship if I wasn't being reminded of that."
 Severe Response (USE WITH CAUTION): Unzip pants, drop them to your knees.  Grasp and brandish your genitalia in a crude and threatening way.  Approach your wife, never taking your eyes off of her.  Get well within her comfort zone of "personal space" until you can feel her exhaled breath on your face.  Your intensity and determination in this case is key.  She should be shocked, nervous, and maybe even a little frightened.
 Say, very quietly with just a hint of menace in your voice, "If you need a reminder of my masculinity, that can be arranged.  But until your balls are bigger than mine, then I'd count it as a personal favor if you would shut the fuck up about my masculinity, lest I take it as an invitation to prove it to you.  Because that's perhaps the most insulting and disrespectful thing you've ever said to me.  Really, that's the kind of shit I'd expect to hear out of a brainless teenager's mouth, not a grown and allegedly mature woman.  So don't even speak, don't say a fucking word to me right now, because I'm teetering on the edge of a serious and very masculine blow-up and I'm really exerting a lot of effort to avoid that.  If you were a man who said that to me like that, we'd already be fighting.  Since you're not, I'd strongly recommend you retreat from my presence and reconsider your advice.  Then after I've calmed down, if you still think my actions aren't 'manly' enough for your tastes, then we can arrange for that demonstration.  Now I'm going to put my large, hairy nutsack away, and I'm going to walk away, and I don't want to hear another fucking word from you until you're ready to sincerely apologize to me for your profound rudeness."  
Turn, walk away, and carefully replace genitalia in pants without accidentally zipping up your scrotum. (Writhing on the ground clutching your crotch in pain after that particular speech is going to seriously kill your credibility.)

All three of the above responses should be sufficient, but the over-all rule-of-thumb about this is that when a woman challenges your masculinity with "Man Up", you respond with unabashed, balls-in-your-face unmitigated and unwatered ALPHA.  That's the essential nature of this shit-test, and the only appropriate and beneficial response is a strong Alpha Move.

It's like when your kid criticizes you about something in a particularly rude way.  Regardless of whether he's right or wrong, the disrespect and the rudeness become the issue, and that has to be handled first, and quickly, before the merits of the criticism are addressed.  When your woman tells you to "Man Up", it doesn't matter what the issue is -- the first order of business for a Red Pill man is to correct the bad behavior and let her know, in no uncertain terms, that her "suggestion" has now taken center stage, regardless of how serious the other issue might be.  

When you allowed her into your boat and under your command, then it was with the tacit understanding that she would be supportive of you and respectful of your masculinity -- as respectful as you are to her femininity.  Telling you to "Man Up" isn't good First Officer advice, it's tantamount to mutiny, and it should be treated as such.  An attack on your masculinity like "Man Up" is a direct violation of the Rules of Engagement as a kidney punch, and should be treated accordingly.

Whatever you do, don't let the remark pass un-noted.  Indeed, the proper response is good ol' fashioned masculine righteous anger -- you might be making the wrong decision or taking the wrong attitude for the situation, but the simple fact of the matter is that it's YOUR FUCKING JOB to make decisions, and you and you alone are the proper judge of your own sense of masculinity.  Your woman gave you the endorsement and validation of her perspective on your masculinity when she got onto your boat.  There should be no questioning that in your marriage until she gets off your boat -- voluntarily or not.  Basically, if you're the kind of man who will put up with that kind of shit from her, then you deserve the consequences of that.

I'm lucky: Mrs. Ironwood has used that particular tactic less than a handful of times, and all within the first few years of our relationship.  Once she realized that I'm open to plenty of constructive criticism, but my sense of masculinity was off the table and not up for her review, she backed off the tactic as unproductive.  And since one of the last times she pulled it landed her in marital counseling for a couple of uncomfortable weeks, she grew to understand that this is a generally unproductive tactic to take.

Convince your woman that it's unproductive in the most forceful of terms, and she'll back off the "Man Up" shaming language, too.    But it's your responsibility as a Red Pill husband to enforce that rule.  It sucks, it might get you into an even bigger fight, but if you don't win this one then winning all the others isn't going to make a damn bit of difference.

Friday, June 22, 2012

The Curse of the Mommy Bob

Following Athol Kay's effusive blog love yesterday, I was skulking around the Manosphere and hit on Average Married Guy's page (one of my Red Pill Rangers on the left nav) and saw something that inspired this post.  He was discussing the changes his wife had made since he began running the MAP and Married Game ala MMSL on her.  It was a minor point, but one worth discussing:

Letting her hair grow long again (my fault, I never told her she looked better with it long, so had it "mom-short", but she's not doing it for herself so much as to be more attractive to me)

That's key.  Most men don't give much thought about their wife's hairstyle . . . until it's too late.
"Oh, shit, Honey!  What have you done?!"

Once a woman gets her long hair hacked off, no matter how "cute" and "sassy" she thinks it is, there's almost always a diminished attraction from her husband/boyfriend/passing stranger. And since their SO didn't mention any preference, then "I just felt like a change!" is plenty of rationalization to get it done.  And of course you, as a dude, don't want to say just how much less you like it because, hey, you know THAT'S not going to get you laid.  So you lie about it, and then go whack off in secret to long, luxurious locks that cover perky boobs during the intense and acrobatic contortions of wildly passionate . . . where was I?

Oh.  The Mommy Bob.  The Boner Killer.

Only Your Girlfriends Think It's "Cute" and "Sassy"

When Mrs. Ironwood and I first began serious negotiations about a future marriage (and by serious, think Israel and the Palestinians at the negotiating table) we each had a long list of "must haves", "would be nice", "acceptable parameters", "negotiated peculiarities", and "dealbreakers" (with variations on each) that we discussed ad naseum until we were both satisfied we were on the same page.  

If you're wondering how we found the time for this, consider how many relationship discussions you can have in the two-hour car ride between your house in the rural hinterlands of the South and your mutual parent's houses in the gleaming metropolitan center of culture and civilization, and then consider just how inspiring mile after mile of cotton, tobacco, corn and soybean fields can be on your imagination.

Road Trips and long commutes provide amble
opportunity for productive marital discussions.

Among my many little picky things was a simple rule I had about Mrs. Ironwood's hair.  No blondes, no bobs.

That may seem a little strange, but I'll cop to a personal idiosyncrasy or two.  No, I don't get off controlling my wife's hairstyle, and while I'm not above criticizing it in certain states due to the length of preparation involved, for the most part she can do what she likes with her hair.  With those two exceptions.

The "no blondes" rule stems from my first ball-crushing entitlement princess college girlfriend, who was largely responsible for shoving blue pills down my throat and getting me set up for that first major heartbreak (Hi, Kelly!).  She was blonde.  Hence, I have trust issues with blondes.

I don't hate blonde people.  I have plenty of blonde friends.   I have no trouble speaking casually or even working closely with blonde people.  I have the greatest respect for the tremendous strides and great accomplishments blondes have made throughout history.  I wouldn't mind if one of my children married one -- we've come a long way.

But as far as intimacy goes, "this dog don't bark that way."  Yeah, I know.  Petty of me.

I have trust issues with blondes, for some reason.
Mrs. Ironwood violated this rule only once.  We were still living in the hinterlands, newlyweds, and thanks to an experimental period in her life and the influence of a gloriously flamboyant country boy hair stylist queen named Dwayne, who SWORE he was an expert at the arcane science of hair color, she came home one night with a long shock of platinum blonde hair and tears in her eyes.  It only lasted a week, and eventually went to a bright coppery red that almost made up for it, but for that week things were pretty tense.  While she's skated dangerously close to blondeness with highlights, she's never quite crossed that line again.  We just can't afford the therapy bills.

But as for my second requirement for her hair, 'no bobs', that's a far less personal and far more reasonable requirement for a wife.

Look, I understand the allure of a bob, particularly the dreaded "Mommy Bob".  For the childless reading this, the "Mommy Bob" is the hairstyle a woman often gets when her baby is six months old, for the perfectly practical reason that a six-month old baby, particularly a nursing baby, has grabby hands.  In between rounds at the C-Cup Milk Bar, Junior has no problem at all reaching up with a big goofy smile, entwine his chubby little fingers in Mommy's long tresses, and yanking the living shit out of it for the express purpose of his own amusement.

Repeated instances can lead to the mother of your children beginning to fantasize about being an English nanny.  Since getting the hair lopped off (and retiring any dangling earrings or necklaces) is arguably simpler than infanticide, the Mommy Bob becomes the utilitarian hairstyle of maternal pragmatism.  It's also easier to style, easier to take care of, and -- let's face it ladies -- a shorter hairstyle requires more frequent trips to a salon.  Not all women see going to a salon or stylist as an indulgence and personal affirmation of their femininity (or a chance to indulge in some good ol' fashioned FSM gossip), but enough do that the generalization isn't out of bounds.

But while the Mommy Bob is eminently practical, it's also as arousing as an IRS audit.  Sure, your female friends will rave about how "cute" and "sassy" it is, but the sad fact of the matter is that your pragmatic hair just dropped your Objective Sex Rank a full point.  And if your husband/baby-daddy prefers long hair (and most men do -- trust me on this, ladies.  We had a meeting) then your Subjective Sex Rank ("how hot my husband thinks I am") may drop by up to two points.

A lot of women don't want to face that big ugly Red Pill fact.  But men like long hair.  Human beings have a mane, just like a lion, and it's one of our most important secondary sexual characteristics.  It demonstrates your health, your attention to your grooming (always an important thing in a primate) and it can be employed as an "action device" in mating: hair tossing, hair twirling, brushing a lock out of someone's eyes . . . you know the drill.  Hair is sexy.

It's also a pain in the ass to keep up -- I know this from personal experience.  I rocked a ponytail in my bartending youth, and at some future point when the gray takes over, I've already warned my wife that I plan on pulling a full Gandalf (which she says will be fine, right after I'm diagnosed with impotence and don't want to get laid again -- see "negotiated peculiarities", above).  But long hair requires a lot more attention than short hair.  It can add up to half an hour to prep time in the morning (more if it's a formal occasion), and then requires almost constant maintenance to ensure it continues to do what it's supposed to.

But it's also the quickest, easiest way to elicit a man's interest.  And getting it hacked off in a misguided attempt to be "sassy" is the quickest way to kill a man's interest.  Remember, "sassy" is your girlfriend's secret way of telling you that you look "celibate" . . . because most dudes would rather hit on a 6 with long hair than a 7 with a Mommy Bob nine times out of ten.

When my single female friends ask my dating advice (yes, it happens) one of the very first things I look at is their hair.  If it doesn't brush their shoulders, that's a problem, and I tell them.  And you would not believe how ardently they defend their "cute" hair, because they've gotten loads of affirmation from the Matrix about how adorable it is.  I mean, they actually get offended that a dude would be put off by a short hairstyle, as if it's a character judgement on the dude.  And a few get highly offended at the very term "Mommy Bob".

But that's what it is.  Like it or not, a short hairstyle, particularly a 
Don't be afraid to reward your wife
for maintaining her longer hair.
Mommy Bob, is a subtle, subtextual signal to the men around you that you are UNAVAILABLE, that you have OTHER THINGS occupying your time, that you are UNWILLING to devote the time and energy necessary to deal with even short-ish long hair -- and your rationalizations about how it's easier for work, it doesn't get in the way, it doesn't take as long to dry, and it doesn't get grabbed by greedy babies just don't do a damn thing for us.  

Want to find a man?  Grow your damn hair out.  Short hair on a single woman screams "I have a kid I'm not talking about!" or "I value my girlfriends' opinions over those of the men in my life!" or "My 'cute' hairstyle is a distraction from the fact that I'm batshit nuts!" or similar messages.  In Single Girl Game, short hair is a distinct DLV.  And if it's a de facto Mommy Bob . . . well, girl, better pick up more batteries on the way home from the bar.  

Of course a new mother (especially with that first child) may not care in the slightest about her husband/baby-daddy's attraction to her, thanks to the massively overwhelming task of not just having your body completely re-arrange itself from Gestation Mode to Milch Cow Mode, but being utterly responsible for the life of another human being in every conceivable way.  I don't think I have to tell most men out there that the first six months of your first kid's life is the period you will masturbate most in in your life.  Including your sophomore year of High School.  Another ugly Red Pill truth.

But the Mommy Bob will kill his ardor even once she decides to clean out the cobwebs again.  It's particularly daunting if there's been a long dry spell, say back into the final months of her pregnancy.  Once a woman has decided she needs sex again after giving birth, suddenly all of her previous insecurities are compounded with new ones about her new body, potentially damaged vagina, her changing and sensitive boobs that are no longer Happy Fun Places but the aforementioned Milk Bar, open 24 hours.  During that crucial "get back on the horse" phase, she's going to be hypersensitive to any hint of criticism or rejection, and she's suddenly (hopefully) going to be more conscious about how much she can arouse her mate.

Yes, we men just like longer hair better on
those women with whom we're considering having sex .

There's already plenty of other crap going on to mess up your intimate relationship at that point.  Most of it a dude is willing to overlook or ignore -- face it, that first post-baby sex is always going to SUCK anyway.  But compounding the existing issues by presenting your darling face with hair that is totally foreign to his intimate memory is going to be daunting.  Mommy Bobs are not "sex positive".

("Mommy Boobs" on the other hand . . . sorry, that's another post.)

Friday, June 15, 2012

My Favorite MILF

I feel guilty about writing a real post right now because one of my agents called, one of my novels is getting some Hollywood attention, and he wants me to re-write the whole 300,000 word monstrosity in a week.  So I really should be doing that right now, but I'm procrastinating.  Author's prerogative.

So I was over at MMSL this morning, pretty much like every other morning, and Athol had posted a beautiful and insightful (if stark and dreary, for some) summation about Relative Sex Rank and True (or what I call Objective) Sex Rank, and rightly pointed out that no matter how hot a 40 year old woman is, she isn't going to have the pure animal sexuality and higher Sex Rank that a 20 year old woman does no matter how much she tries.

But he also pointed out that the flip side of this (using his beautiful bride as an example) is that a 40 year old woman has other assets at her disposal, like a more secure and experienced sexuality.  She can, in other words, become a MILF.  Some ladies who are at that stage of life felt disheartened , so I wrote a long comment about this, and someone asked me to slap it on my blog, so in the interests of procrastination . . .

Athol’s dead right about this . . . and about his MILFy conclusion.

That’s part of marriage that many young men don’t understand. How can you stay with a woman long-term if her actual rank is destined to depreciate over time while yours is inclined to appreciate? If women are fungible, then isn’t serial monogamy with a steadily increasing age difference between you and each successive new wife a better deal for dudes?

It’s a trade-off — and in my opinion, with proper bride selection, it’s a trade-off that ultimately rewards a man (or at least the right kind of man) for him making the investment in marriage. Because while the pay-off isn’t yet-another hot 25 year old in your bed every couple of years, it can be in the form of a 40 year old who can remind you of her 25 year old self while maintaining the erotic self-confidence and sexual experience only a lifetime of intimacy can produce. The MILF, in other words.

I don’t think people understand how important, culturally speaking, the idea of the MILF is to us. It’s the first time a generally positive term for a sexually-active woman of any age has been used in our language. Before MILF, the only socially-acceptable term was “wife”, and that came loaded with a lot of agricultural-age baggage that really doesn’t apply to a post-industrial marriage. In other words, while “wife” implied a sexual component, it was but a part of a far wider-ranging role.

MILF on the other hand is purely sexual, and almost always used in a positive way. Calling a woman a MILF is a compliment, not a curse. “Cougar” has some predatory connotations implied.  But MILF is almost wholesome, yet undeniably sexual -- it's got FUCK right there at the end of the acronym.

Some women shy away from the term because of that.  But they should be eagerly embracing it.  For those who believe that men are universally hung up on 24 year old big-boobed blondes, it might surprise you to find out that MILF porn accounts for a disproportionately large percentage of over-all porn sales. There are plenty of solid psychological reasons for this, but among the most obvious is the fact that older women — MILFs — enjoy a far deeper sexual confidence than a woman fifteen or twenty years younger. The veneer of innocence a young woman projects is gone, replaced with a thick layer of I-have-a-vagina-and-I-know-how-to-use-it confidence that is inherently arousing to men.

Don’t believe me? Consider that among the most important elements to a man who is watching porn isn’t the relative beauty of the female performers — it’s how convincingly they can portray their pure enjoyment of the act.  As I've said before many times, there's an old pornosphere saying, that "it's easier to take a girl who knows how to fuck and make her pretty than it is to teach a pretty girl how to fuck."  That positive enjoyment of the sexual experience is compellingly alluring to most men.  Younger women are often preoccupied by how they look and how they are being perceived, what the experience means and what the social fallout from her liaison will be when they have sex with a man. Older women, especially older, married women, have often transcended that preoccupation, especially if they have been intimate with the same partner for years and years.

A lot of guys wonder how I can stare at drop-dead gorgeous women having outrageous sex all day and still go home to a wife who isn’t just as beautiful. The fact is, my exposure to so many beautiful (and not-so-beautiful) women has actually convinced me more than anything else that a deep knowledge of one woman is far more erotically fulfilling — to me at least — than the shallow acquaintance with a multitude of female bodies. For one thing, beauty is no guarantee of erotic talent (and yes, some people are more naturally talented at sex than others, just as some are better athletes or better musicians). But no matter how much native talent a young woman has, sex is also a skill that must be learned over time and properly practiced to be mastered. The “trade-off” for youth and beauty is experience, skill, and self-confidence that leads to greater passion and higher-quality sex (in aggregate — all the bad married sex even great couples have is part of the process).

I frequently tell Mrs. Ironwood (and hell, pretty much anyone who cares) that she is my favorite MILF, and I can say that with utter sincerity. Even if I dropped her tomorrow for a skinny 25 year old nymphomaniac, it would take another 20 years to tune my new wife to the same level as Mrs. Ironwood is now, and I know that.  It takes that long to develop the kind of familiarity, intimacy and confidence in a relationship to get to the really good stuff.  To put it in Manosphere terms, Mrs. Ironwood’s Relative Sex Rank to me is far higher than her True (or Objective) Sex Rank based on that long familiarity complimented by a willingness to experiment that keeps our intimate life from becoming routine or boring. That’s why she’s my favorite MILF, and always will be. She’s a sexually-active wife in a functioning heterosexual dyad, and that should be celebrated in a positive manner.

Besides, it’s a lot easier than culturally-reclaiming the term “slut”.

And that's why you shouldn't be overly discouraged if you're staring 40 in the face and wondering how soon your husband is going to start considering trading you in for a newer model.  You might not be a 9 anymore, objectively, but factor in the experience and confidence you’ve gained as you’ve lost objective capital, and that can significantly raise your SUBjective score vis a vis your man.  Also remember that your husband's perception of your Subjective Sex Rank is not based purely on your raw attractiveness, but your willingness to explore, experiment, and most importantly be available.  Your boobs might not defy gravity anymore, but then again a 20 year old isn't going to feel comfortable with . . . well, probably that thing you know he likes A WHOLE LOT, because of that one time when you did it that certain way.  Hell, you can probably just mention the occasion to him and he'll get an erection.

In other words,
A young husband brags about how pretty his wife is. 
An OMG brags about how his wife will still do him in the parking lot.

The plain fact of the matter is, beauty isn’t just in the eye of the beholder, in women it is also augmented by the positive attention they receive, knowing that they are being beheld. That is, a 40 year old 7 who knows her husband thinks she’s hot because he's shagging her four times a week like clockwork is going to naturally act more sexually self-confident — “hotter” — than her objective criteria are going to suggest. A single 40 year old 7 is at the mercy of the attention she receives in the SMP to validate her beauty, and that can be a brutal endeavor. As a result, she isn’t going to be as confident or secure in her sexuality, and that’s going to depress her SMV.  Score one for the married MILFs.

As disheartening as Athol’s summation may sound to some of the 39ish wives who are starting to worry as their men do the MAP, the fact that you have a dude who is “stuck with this old hag” and doesn’t seem to mind should raise your spirits. Yes, he’s still going to be aroused by the sight and presence of nubile females . . . if he didn’t, he wouldn’t have hit on you in the first place, now would he?

But the fact that he’s encouraging you to re-invest in the erotic relationship instead of wandering after the first unoccupied vagina should bring you a tremendous amount of security. Dudes who go that route don’t often encourage their wives to stay in shape simply so they can rationalize their infidelities away. If he still wants you at slightly-before-40, then odds are he’s already hooked on your Subjective Sex Rank and is invested for the long term.  And your most successful strategy to keep your marriage on track is do your damnedest to become his favorite MILF.

What a lot of wives don't appreciate is just how freaking lazy most men are.  By and large we'd much rather stick with a known variable than try to break in a completely new woman.  Oh, we love to look, fantasize, etc., but where the rubber meets the road, just from a practical prospective new women are expensive, time-consuming, and notoriously unpredictable.  Given our druthers, most OMGs would much rather fuck their wives more often than go to all the trouble of cultivating a mistress or a future second wife.  Making that an easier option could be a good strategy for your long-term happiness.

Because in the sexually-simplistic mind of most dudes, the best pussy he ever had was the last one he had, and the best one he'll ever have will be the next one.  If both of those are yours, then you probably don't have much to worry about.  That might mean you have to turn up the freaky a little every now and then, but you'd be amazed at how powerful that is.

So next time you see his head turned by a perky rack, don't get pissed, moody, or depressed:

Do him in the parking lot. 
He’ll forget all about the perky titties.
And you'll be his favorite MILF.

And  that’s this week’s lesson from Uncle Ian’s Porn Corner . . .


I got nominated for this 7 Questions thing from several bloggers, and so I feel obligated to answer.  I'll wait to pass it on to 7 other bloggers simply because I haven't figured out which 7 (and which ones have already been invited).  But here is my response:

7 Questions:

1.) What is your favorite song?

That’s a hard one.

2.) What is your favourite dessert?

The next one.

3.) What do you do when you're upset?

I brood.  Dear gods, I brood.  If I’m upset, really upset, my eyebrows lock into Brooding Position, and remain there.  I withdraw into the sanctity of my metaphorical Man Cave, and depending on the nature and origin of what has upset me, I have occasionally had recourse to drink, which helps with the brooding if done in moderation.  After I work up a good brood, I usually turn that into some productive problem-solving strategy, but by that time I’ve freaked out my whole family with the intensity of my brooding.

4.) Which is your favourite pet?

Cats.  Ironic, I know.  But my family has had cats my entire life.  My house is not truly a home without a cat.  Our current resident feline is named Lucifer, and is at the top of his game as a Rodent Control Technician.  But I’ve always had cats, and always will.

5.) White bread or whole meal?

Whole wheat.  For the fiber.  And if I have a preference, Pumpernickel.

6.) What's your biggest fear?

Not being able to avoid tragedy.  And knowing that it is an inevitable part of the human condition which can only be mitigated, never cured.

7.) What's your attitude most of the time?

The only person whose judgment of my actions is meaningful to me is, ultimately, me.  The standards and expectations of the rest of the world are nearly insignificant compared to my standards and expectations of myself.  While that can easily lead to a crippling self-criticism and a defeatist attitude, I take great care to appreciate my successes and learn from my failures, determined to live up to my own expectations.  Mrs. Ironwood is invaluable in this – she helps keep me honest and acts as a coach/fan club more than a critic, but it is ultimately my opinion, and mine alone, that has to guide my actions. 

7 Fun Facts About Me:

1.) I work in porn.  And I love it. 

2.) I have over five different pseudonyms as a writer, plus my real name, and four of them have developed fan bases independent of each other.  As a writer, that’s highly gratifying.  One of these has recently caught the attention of a major Hollywood producer (no lie) which is why my postings have been slow lately.  I’m re-writing the manuscript that will, hopefully, make me embarrassingly rich.  If not, it’s still gratifying.  The English language is my bitch.

3.) I’m probably the most progressive voice, politically speaking, in the Manosphere and that’s . . . okay.  I support a woman’s right to choose, access to birth control, benevolent and well-executed social programs, reasonable taxation, investment in alternative energy, housing, and education, civil rights, equal rights, gay rights (especially marriage rights) and most of the rest of the liberal/progressive Humanistic platform.  Except for Marxism and Feminism, both of which I find amusingly na├»ve and mildly repugnant for their intellectual dishonesty and their ends-justify-the-means execution of their ideologies.  If you don’t think I can be a progressive without supporting feminism, then please explain to my conservative colleagues how I can be conservative and still support birth control, abortion rights, and civil rights.  I’ll just watch.  It should be entertaining.

4.)  I’m a Neo-Pagan.  That’s right, I’m an accused misogynist who worships the Great Goddess and the Old Gods of my ancestors, and have been for over 25 years.  I’m an initiated Wiccan, High Priest and Druid.  A tree-honoring, ancestor-worshiping, bonfire-dancing idolater.  My taking the Red Pill has in no way lessened my devotion to the Goddess . . . indeed, the Red Pill has become the source of a breathtakingly insightful perspective on the theology of a feminine divinity.  I know that makes me seem like a godless idolater to many of my Christian readers, but that’s . . . okay.  Just take my words with a secular grain of salt, appreciate them for how they are useful to you, and try to forget about the fact that, according to your sect, I’m going to burn in hell for all of eternity.  Seriously, don’t sweat it – that’s where all my friends will be, too.

5.)  I have an outstanding relationship with my father, which helps fuel my determination to help re-valorize masculinity under our own terms.  And no, he and my mom have been married for almost fifty years, now, so he didn’t suffer through a bitter divorce or an unhappy marriage.  Papa Ironwood is the wisest man I know, and if I end up half as wise as he is, I’ll count myself utterly fortunate.

6.) The only sport I’m devoted to is Figure Skating.  It’s a long story, and has nothing to do with my masculinity and everything to do with my grandmother.  But the upside is that Mrs. Ironwood has not lost me to a ball game or sporting event of any sort – NOT ONCE – in 20 years.  And you thought my cooking was my only asset . . .

7.)  As a few of you know, and many have urged me, I'm quietly writing a book on the Manosphere and how it is revalorizing masculinity in the post-feminist era.  I've gotten a lot of help from some powerful Manosphere bloggers, and I've made some significant progress.  However, I'm always looking for additional material, so if the Manosphere has made a big difference in your life, then I encourage you to write me at ian.ironwood (at) and put "TESTIMONIAL" in the subject line.  Doing so will automatically grant me the rights to use your words in the book, but I'm more than happy to credit you anonymously if you'd prefer.

Now all we need is some Red Pill merchandising . . . 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Alpha Move: Break the Television and Play a Game

It sounds like a no-brainer (doesn't a lot of Red Pill advice?), but the fact is that if you and your wife are having a hard time "connecting", that part of the problem is probably that you aren't playing with her enough.

Human beings need play the way they need sleep, food, sex and shelter.  That is, you can go awhile without it, if you have to, but the lack of it is eventually telling on your system.  Our brains require recreation from time to time in the form of carefree, apparently pointless enjoyment in a structured activity.  We know this instinctively as children, but as we go through the rigors of puberty and the maturing process, we abandon the concept of "play" as childish.  We instead begin to cling to the concept of "relaxation", and too often conflate the two when they are two very different things.

It's no accident that part of the Paleo diet that is growing in popularity is the idea that adults should do one hour of physical play a day.  The idea is not just to exercise our bodies, but to put the mind at ease with physical recreation.  It's a serious stress-reducer.

Some adults feel like they can substitute golf or working out or Zumba or basketball or other "grown up"
activities for real play, but for far too many these recreations end up being sources of stress themselves. I've seen men get more worked up over their golf game than missing a promotion opportunity.  When your "play" starts being more aggravation than it's relieving, then you aren't really playing anymore.

But one other important aspect of play is its social function.  When we play, we like to play with others, and we end up socially and emotionally bonding the other people we play with.  We play cards with our friends, or videogames, or go bowling, or play Dungeons & Dragons, or any number of things with our buds.  We can enjoy the thrill of competition in a controlled, ultimately meaningless setting in a way that replenishes our emotional deficits and encourages us to feel more kindly to our fellow man.  We like to play games, give it our all, and then enjoy the camaraderie that results afterwards.

So . . . when was the last time you played a game with your wife?

Seriously, even those adults who are committed to playing are often reluctant to engage their spouses, for fear of initiating a conflict unnecessarily.  But what these folks are missing is that through the interaction of play, we engage parts of our spouse's intellect and emotions that we're often ignorant of experiencing.  Let me give you an example.

Mrs. Ironwood, as you all know, is a brilliant workoholic who is doing her damnedest to make the World A Better Place.  That means she puts in a lot of hours and gets home late sometimes.  And a full day of emotional investment in your job (while thinking about all of the domestic issues you're letting slide) followed by a brief but intense family experience when you get home (while you're thinking about all of the crap at work you're letting slide) often leave you emotionally drained at the end of the day.  Needless to say, this is not conducive to nookie.

Mrs. Ironwood's chosen post-work de-stresser is television.  She needs her "brain candy" fix to help get her mind off of work and into a neutral enough place just to sleep, much less have sex.  I'm sure many of you can relate.  And it does help -- to a point.  A half-hour of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert is usually enough, or reruns of Big Bang Theory, or maybe even (in the right season) a new episode of Bones or Castle or The Mentalist . . . and she falls right asleep afterward.

Of course that often leaves me at odds, having anticipated nookie all day.  I'm not a dick about it usually -- if Mrs. Ironwood is wiped out from her day, I can certainly understand and let her rest.  But when those sorts of days start piling up in great consecutive heaps, that becomes a problem.

So a few years ago we got into this rut where she would come home from work, tell me about her day, eat dinner with the kids and engage with them until bedtime, then a combo of working on her laptop in bed and zoning out until she couldn't keep her eyes open any longer, then pass out, rinse and repeat.  Needless to say, after a while the rut seriously cut into my savoir faire, and I began to resent the television.  Oh, I resented her work, too, but the TV was what was sapping her of any emotional energy to engage.  No matter what I did to try to distract her she clung to her comfort-zone of routine.  Six weeks, seven weeks, the ennui and lack of attention was starting to bug me.  And then it started to get me frustrated.  When I caught myself starting to get bitchy about it, I realized I had to break the cycle.

So I broke the TV.

Not really -- I merely removed the HDMI cable connecting it to the cable box.  But the TV in our bedroom was, for all practical purposes, off-line.  When she got home that evening and hit the remote control and saw the big blue screen, she freaked out.  She called me in, asked if I had paid the cable bill (yes), and then begged me to figure out what was wrong.

I appeared to give the television a close examination, scratched my beard thoughtfully (hey, that's what it's for), and made a couple of thinking noises.

"Yeah, it looks like the HDMI cable is missing.  The cable box can't send a signal to the TV set."  Since Mrs. I's technical expertise is more electron-microscope-related, she was utterly at my technical mercy.

"Well, how the hell did that happen?  Where is it?" she demanded, testily.

"Oh, I took it," I assured her.

She looked confused.  She always looks cute when she's confused.  It doesn't happen often.

"Why?  Was there something wrong with it?"

"Yes, actually," I assured her.  "It was sucking my wife's brain out of her head and depriving my penis of comfort and joy.  So I removed it temporarily to let the condition ease."

"That's not funny, Ian!" she yelled, irritatedly.  Okay, maybe not 'yelled', but her nostrils were flaring.  Also cute.

"It's not," I agreed.  "It's tragic.  I realized that I was paying the cable company to keep me from having sex, and it was starting to piss me off.  I thought I'd try this little experiment before I had it disconnected."

Now that was going to far, and I could see by the dangerous glint in her eyes that I was on thin ice with this little trick. Now, while this was technically before my Red Pill days, I was already starting to figure some things out.  Like if you take a stand with your wife, you'd better not back down before she understands your point.

"Damn it, Ian, fix it right now!"

"No.  I've hidden the cord.  It's part of my evil plan.  But I will give you a chance to get it back . . ."

She groaned.  "What, after we have sex?"  I could tell she wasn't in the mood for that, not right then.

"No," I said with great patience and as much condesension as I could muster, "you'll get the cable back when you beat me at Scrabble."  For dramatic effect, I threw the Scrabble game in the middle of the bed.  We'd gotten it at Christmas from one of our friends, but hadn't even taken it out of the box.

She eyed the box suspiciously.  "Scrabble?  Really?"

I shrugged.  "If you don't think you can hang I can give you a two-letter handicap," I offered, graciously.

She snorted derisively.  "In your dreams, Liberal Arts boy.  But fuck that: fix my TV!"  Despite her desperation, I could tell she was already wavering.

"No.  Besides, it's my TV, remember?"  Of course she remembers -- I bought it without consulting her with some freelance money she didn't know about and it sparked a three-day fight.  "Tell you what, if you want some time to think it over, I'll--"

"Just get the board out," she growled.  "I'm so going to kick your ass and then you're never going to pull this kind of shit again."

"You can dream," I said, graciously, as I pulled out the pristine little bag full of letters and offered her first selection.

She began the game in a surly mood, but after I put on some music, made sure the kids were asleep, and fetched us both some cocktails, we had an enormously good time.  I won, keeping the cord for another night, but Mrs. Ironwood freely admitted that she had a really, really good time losing at Scrabble.

(Before you conclude that she threw the game to protect my delicate male ego, be assured that Scrabble is one area where both of our egos are sufficiently engaged so that we play with the fervor of gladiators at bloodsport.  I'm a professional writer and a word nerd, she's written books on medical terminology and was president of Latin Honor Society in high school.  When we play Scrabble, it's to the death.)

What started as a temporary snit soon evolved into a semi-regular routine-breaking game that provided both of us with a mental and emotional respite from the rest of our lives.  We could be competitive at Scrabble without fear of alienating each other.  We could talk about our day, work out some relationship issues, gossip about our friends, have a couple of cocktails, and indulge our brains in a complex, detail-oriented task that didn't have a damned thing to do with our real lives.  It was breathtakingly refreshing.

Husbands and wives just don't play together as much as they should.  In working separate jobs, playing tag-team to get the kids where they need to go, dealing with the inevitable drama of work, friends and family, plus the constant pressure of dealing with each other so intimately that it starts hurting your relationship with over-familiarity and under-appreciation, we lose the simple and precious experience of interacting about something trivial and enjoyable.  If all of your conversations with your spouse revolve around problems, your mind is going to naturally going to start associating your spouse with problems, not enjoyable interactions.

It's not about who wins -- the last thing you should do is get hyper-competitive and domineering about it.  Choose a game you both like, that doesn't favor either of you overmuch, and that you don't mind losing.  In fact, it's good for a man to loose a game every now and again.  Demonstrating to your wife that you're gracious in defeat is a serious DHV.  There are plenty of classic games like Yahtzee! and Monopoly and plain ol' Gin Rummy you can do with her and have an enormously good time.

Hell, even a game of chess can hold promise.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Swingsets and Sandboxes - Playground Rules for the Female Social Matrix

Venerable Manosphere blogger Susan Walsh at HUS hits the nail on the head again with How Women Really Feel About Male Dominance.  Among the gems was this brilliant observations about the roles of the Female Social Matrix and the Male Social Matrix and how they interact.  Since that dovetailed nicely with a point of my own, I'll go ahead and use Susan to kick it off.

Susan makes this keen observation:

social dominance is not conferred by women, it’s awarded by other men in a process of intrasexual competition for dominance and leadership. Men continually compete for dominance in social interactions with one another. The men who achieve the greatest rank among their peers may then display that dominance as a powerful advantage in attracting women for sex.

This point can't be overstated: Women have very little role in the establishment of male social dominance.  A hot wife will get a man social points, but only to a point -- if he can't match her status with his own, then he's likely to lose her to hypergamy and predatory dudes who thing they can poach her.  And the amount of mileage he'll get out of having a beautiful wife will be limited, in the Male Social Matrix.  Because Men build the MSM largely without regard to the role of specific women -- whereas the FSM is very much based on the buff-value a particular man provides to a woman.  

Let's look at this with a simple playground analogy:

So the boys are off being boys, competing in good-natured fun in the masculine Sandbox, competing for each other's attention and establishing their own hierarchy, as they build the vast sandcastle within.  Or battlefield -- they haven't decided which, yet, but that really matters less than how well they work together to build it.  They posture, they brag, they talk about the other sandboxes they used to go to which were so much cooler than this one -- let me just tell you -- and after a while someone starts giving orders and the other boys start to obey them, and what a hell of a big sandcastle they make when they all work together.  Or there will be two boys giving orders, who decide to be on opposite sides of a sandbox war, and all the other boys go to one side or the other and have a massive battle.

The Foreman or the General tell everyone else what to do -- you have to have someone giving the orders, after all, or nothing will get done.  Danny handles the trucks, Randy takes the toy soldiers and lines them up, and Heath is on dinosaurs and assorted action figures, Tommy is in charge of moving sand (it's his big yellow Tonka truck), but it's David who's the one who's directing it all.  He promised everyone who worked with him would have an incredible masterpiece of construction to show everyone's mom.  Something they all could be proud of.  But it takes a lot of work, and the only kid everyone will listen to is David, so he's the Foreman.  But building that sandcastle, that's the group's Mission, and everyone is devoted to that goal.

Only rarely do they even consider the girls on the other side of the playground, on the feminine Swingsets.  That's a whole different game.  Nothing to show your mom over there.  There they compete with each other about how high they can go, how fast, how far, how much fun, what kind of crazy spinning moves, and everyone trying to entrain the rhythm of their swings perfectly to enjoy the thrill of perfect consensus for one glorious moment.

No one is telling anyone else what to do, like over at the dirty Sandbox.  You're just swinging together and talking and enjoying the fun of tingle.  And the higher you go . . . the better the tingle. Since boys give a really good push, then finding one who will push you as long as you want it, just the way you want it, is madly desired by almost everyone on the swing.  Oh, there are those two girls who switch off pushing each other, but they're way down on the end and who cares what they think, anyway?  Have you seen how they dress?

The girls are swinging madly, screaming and calling and trying to attract the attention of the distracted boys and hopefully get one of them to come over and push her on the swings for a minute (form a romantic alliance) -- because that adds greatly to her social momentum. And the more you can persuade one of the boys to leave the sandbox and push you, the more the other little girls envy you for your social control.  .

If they can, they'll get the Construction Foreman or the General to come push them, which (often) shuts down the entire game until he returns, much to the disgust of the other boys. But it proves the girl's power, and she'll probably be flying for a while as he pushes.  But if he stays away too long, the other boys will start to bullyrag him, and someone else might get to be Foreman or General in his place -- while he's dutifully  pushing your dumb swing.  In fact, the other girls will be so envious that even if they're your good friends, they'll start trying to get your dude to push them instead of you.

But the boys largely could care less, and only the prospect of seeing up a skirt in the swing-pushing process keeps him interested.  Hell, if it wasn't for that, why would he leave the sandbox?  At least while you're up, you can hit the water fountain.  The other dudes understand the allure, and if the price of your thrill is your temporary absence, they'll reluctantly let it slide -- they wanna see some panties, too, after all.  And you gotta drink.  So they'll excuse you for a while.  Until you don't come back, that is, and then you might as well be a girl, because you could be playing with sand and trucks and now you're just pushing a dumb swing with the other morons who were stupid enough to get out of the sandbox.  

So the girls try everything they can think of to get a boy to stay and push them -- exactly like they want it -- and try for the synchronous swing that they all want.  Failing that, they want you to push you higher and give an even bigger tingle.  They'll say just about anything to get you to stay, get you to talk (but never push!) with the other girls, tell you they love how high you can push them because you're so strong, and you intentionally let them see up your skirt.

Only you can't let the other girls now you're doing it, or they'll call you a cheater.  I mean, some of them wore bluejeans -- they can hardly do that, can they?  And then they'll start talking about you, ganging up on you -- but not when the boys are around.  They might not want to push you at all if they knew how you acted when they weren't around.  Or how you're considering asking another boy -- who you think might push even harder -- to push you, because he wouldn't be happy with that.

It's HIS job to push you -- if you let just anyone push you, then he's just another tingle-inspiring tool of her semicircular canals -- he's got better things to do, especially if she's not flashing any panties.  But even if he's the only one she lets push her, he doesn't want to be stuck behind her all afternoon so she could chew gum and talk with the girls while he busted his ass pushing her and longingly watched the Sandbox of Masculinity from afar.  I mean, he missed the Great Patriotic Sandbox War for this bullshit?

Now, some of the boys are mean, and some are nice.  Some are strong and some are . . . not.  Some will only come out of the Sandbox occasionally -- hey, everyone needs water -- and are highly reluctant to push you unless they get the panties upfront.  Some are sitting just outside of the Sandbox gazing longingly at the Swingset, desperate for a glimpse of panties . . . but the girls never call to him, because he's not that strong and he eats his boogers.

Some will pretend to be nice and push you gently at first . . . and then push you off the swing entirely.  Or grab your hair and pull you over.  Which sucks, but then everyone stops swinging so hard and looks at you to see if you're OK, which is kind of cool.  And you had to admit, the tumble off the swing was pretty exciting until you hit the ground.  And hey, at least the guy was willing to push you, even if he was kind of a dick about it.  You'd let him do it again, if he promised he wouldn't push you off again.  Even if it wouldn't be totally awful if that happened.

Some will pretend to be nice and just want to see your panties.  They might even come right out and ask for it.  That would be awful -- but if he's the only boy willing to push, what can you do?  Swing by yourself?  Where's the tingle in that?

So you flash him "accidentally and hope he doesn't tell his friends at the Sandbox.  The last thing you need is a crowd of boys standing down by your feet while you swing.  That's too much attention, and the other girls don't like it when you do that.  You try to subtly hint that, yes, if you push me, I'll let you see my panties, but I can't promise that or they'll hear me and I can't risk that no matter how good the tingle.  I'm not That Kind Of Girl.  I like a good push but I'm not going to be the girl who shows everyone her panties -- like that awful girl Shannon!  No tingle is worth that.

But then there's that other thing -- that trick.  The Flying Catch.

It's the secret (and not so secret) dream of nearly every girl on the swings: to get pushed so hard and so high that you can let yourself go at the exact right moment . . . and experience something far more than the mere tingle. The glorious, two-and-a-half second experience of Free Fall that lights you up like a Christmas tree . . . until you come down.  Problem is, you can't get that high by yourself, nor can you land safely if you did.  You need a boy to push you hard, then be adept enough to slip past you, position himself properly, and catch you at the end of your flight in his big strong arms.  And when he puts you on your feet, you'll have the respect and acclaim of both the Sandbox and the Swingset.

Only . . . not every girl is cut out for the Flying Catch.  Nor is every boy.  Sure, they all want to be that good, that brave, that fearless.  But most of them are content to get by with the odd push and their own energy.  They'll never have the Flying Catch, but . . . you know, people get hurt doing that.

If you're a dude, you have to be exceptional to push hard, then dodge past a row of swings to the other side, cannily estimate the trajectory of the girl based on her (apparent) mass, sprint to the position you think she'll most likely land upon, and then prepare yourself to catch her without dropping her and injuring one or both of you.  That shit takes guts -- you get hit in the head with an eighty pound girl, and you're done for the day. And if she's big for her age, dude, you could have to go to the hospital.  Sure, upside you get to see all the way up her skirt for the entire glorious two-and-a-half seconds, but if the resulting collision gives you a concussion, why risk it?  Unless you are very, very sure that the girl isn't going to cream you, and you're strong enough to catch her without hurting her, you're going to either get hit and go home, or step out of the way and let her come crashing down . . . and go home, making you look like an ass.  It's a cost-benefit analysis, potential cool points (from both boys and girls) for your mutual flawless performance versus giving up that potential for the safer, more fun and less work of the Sandbox -- and ohmygod did you see that kid just take out all those Transformers?  SEE ya, Suzie! (*Crash*).

Of course it's just as hard, as a girl, to fling yourself off into the void and trust that your boy is going to catch you.  A million things could go wrong, after all, and you could wind up in the emergency room with a broken collarbone.  Or break your neck, as your mother warned you over and over.  But the pull of the tingle, the promise of Free Fall, of pure unencumbered flight, that's what you want.  Not just for the feeling, but for the feeling you get when everyone else is watching and wants to be like you.  THAT'S the stuff: the glorious envy of your female peers.  It's like taking the feeling of Free Fall and successful landing home with you, knowing that every other girl on the swings wanted to try it, but didn't have a boy, or didn't have a boy strong enough or fast enough, or she just didn't have the nerve.

Besides, a boy can totally see up your skirt when you do the Flying Catch.  And you know what your mother would think about that, too.  She did say next time she caught you, you weren't coming back to the playground.  And that little bitch Crissy is just aching to tell on you . . . no, better to just watch in quiet envy than risk injury and humiliation.  You remember when Shannon got caught showing her panties to those two little boys, and how everyone went ballistic?  Now no one will even talk to her except the boys, and all of them want to talk to her. None of that for me, thank you.  Doing the Flying Catch is almost as bad as showing your panties to a boy on purpose.

The Swingset and the Sandbox interact, but their interactions are governed by very different sets of rules.  The Swingset depends on the boys in the Sandbox to come over and push.  In the meantime you can talk and swing and try to get consensus while you wait to attract a boy on his way to the water fountain.  The Sandbox doesn't depend on the Swingset for anything but a glimpse of panties -- the Sandcastle of Doom is the focus.  And as alluring as panties are, if the Sandcastle doesn't get built, what was the point of even coming to the playground?

And then there are those times when they interact perfectly, and a girl on the Swingset can get a boy in the Sandbox who is strong enough and fast enough to catch her in the Flying Catch, cue thunderous applause and Happily Ever After.  Of course, that maybe happens once out of dozens of attempts, but . . . well, some lucky girl got her thrill, and some lucky boy got the respect of his peers.

The interaction between the Female Social Matrix and the Male Social Matrix is a lot like that.

Susan reiterates this after going into the new dominance research:

Overall, the research suggests that women are not attracted to disagreeable males, i.e. jerks and assholes, they’re attracted to men who earn the respect and admiration of other men, and who display kindness and generosity. 
That, is, the girls wanna git with the boy that all the other boys like.  If the other boys like a jerk and an asshole the most (not unreasonable, since that attitude tends to push a boy into a leadership position), then the girls are going to like that asshole, too -- but for different reasons.  The boys like him because he he husbands his emotions and isn't afraid to aggressively pursue what he wants ("the mission") without social compromise, which is a good masculine leadership skill.  The girls like him because the boys like him, and because the woman who "tames" the former Bad Boy gets mad position in the FSM.

(The displays of kindness and generosity, I'm guessing, must be displayed from a position of strength in order to attract attention.  The boy who shares his shovel gets a point.  The boy who shares a whole box of legos is King Of The Freaking Sandbox.  Girls like to date kings.)

Prestige At Work, Dampening Panties
Susan goes on to break down male social status into two camps: Dominance and Prestige.  Dominant behaviors attract women short-term, but for the long-term women seem to prefer men who earn their position through Prestige (prestige defined as “freely conferred status” by peers in recognition of special abilities and skills. ”)  As one of the commentors put it, "Prestige, in a way, seems to be a form of pre-selection based not on women’s desire for a man but on the desire of other men to associate with him. "

This points toward a number of interesting Red Pill applications.  For one thing, that men will often specialize in something to gain status in the male hierarchy.  That is, while we recognize that we might not be Superalpha quarterback material, by making ourselves useful to the Superalpha leader (which implies the granting of our personal respect, not to mention specialization as, say, a field goal kicker) we gain status in relation to that leader.  We might not be the Quarterback . . . but when the Quarterback needs a field kicker, by gods, we can do pretty good at that and might even win the game.  

It also explains why garnering the respect of other men and gaining a place in the hierarchy is so important to men: it's a passive mating strategy.  That is, it is a more productive mating strategy to be a bench warmer on a winning team than to be the winner of the spelling bee.

Domination At Work, Also Dampening Panties
I do take issue with the definition of Dominance being confined to a negative space involving intimidation and coercion, in Susan's analysis.  I agree with one of the commentors who pointed out that while coercion and intimidation were certainly ways for men to establish dominance, that pure Charisma also plays a role.  Charisma is a rare and powerful thing, but when it is present in a man, it conveys more than simple assholery or achievement-oriented prestige do.   You see, naturally dominant males literally inspire submission in men and women alike. When in the presence of real dominance, the lesser dominant men and women all want to please or gain the favor of a truly dominant male in order to improve their social position, the male by being seen with him, soaking up some marginal respect by the association, the female by flirtatious behavior.

While it might take a while to establish just who is the dominant party in the MSM (it's ALWAYS up in the air in the FSM) once established men tend to cleve to that dominance in order to allow the leader to display competence and therefore garner more respect.  

But I do support Susan's point: Social status is conferred by men, not women. Women simply respond to it.   That might come as a big shock to social-status conscious women, but social dominance is not conferred by women, it’s awarded by other men in a process of male competition for dominance and leadership. Male  social interactions include continual competition for dominance with one-another, usually in a friendly sort of way (but sometimes not). The men who achieve the greatest social rank among their male peers may then use the display of that dominance as a powerful tool in their mating strategy, i.e.  in attracting women for sex.

Within the Male Social Matrix respect is most often conferred on men by other men as a reward for having a combination of alpha and beta traits (ideally, social leadership and authority combined with the ability to mentor and encourage consensus).  Needless to say, this is more attractive to women than mere brutish behavior -- depending on the woman.  Once again, it's context-based.

(And that's what I think is missing from this equation.  A woman's perceptions arise from her past experience and her own unique personality, of course.  And for some women, particularly those with hardcore daddy issues or deep feelings of personal insecurity, the domineering thug might seem like a good catch.  My friends who are cops have repeatedly told me of the women who prefer to date cops, and there are some pretty standard commonalities.  One powerful one is the need to feel protected.  For these women, physical strength and power to do violence is far more important that social status, per se, and the limited earning potential of a policeman has far less to do with her attraction than his ability to kick someone's ass.  She's a security-junkie, and the bigger the dude the better.  But I digress.)

Now those things that can elevate a man within a particular part of the MSM are the things I've mentioned before: respect, competence, authority, mastery, control, intelligence, daring, strength, power, that sort of thing.  When a group of male strangers gather for some purpose without a predesignated leader, then men will usually self-sort into a hierarchy based on the constituent elements present, placing those with the best characteristics to complete the purpose in the leadership position.    That individual assessment of a particular man's competency on a subject is a vital part of the equation.  Once the hierarchy leadership has been established, by consensus or by vote or however, then men have no trouble relaxing into a temporarily lower-status position within the MSM.   

In the FSM this would be the kiss of death: to 
accept a lower position in the Matrix without at least scheming about it is a Gamma female response, and anathema for a real female Alpha or determined Beta.  Any submission to a hierarchy eschews the ideal that female power comes from equally shared consensus, and to voluntarily accept a lower position without fighting to get it back -- not, usually, by making oneself better, but by undermining the Alpha females who did manage to rise to the top of the Matrix and take their place, bucket-o'-crabs style.   They do this by attempting to control the Matrix consensus against the leadership.   Or sometimes to force the leadership into action in accordance with the wishes of the consensus, even if that becomes problematic for the leadership.  That's because men and women lead differently.

An astute reader sent me an article demonstrating this rather clearly.  He found it in an advice column for working moms.  Read it, and see if you can spot the differences in male and female leadership styles: 

Q: I’m a mother of two and head a company of 10 employees. One mom staffer often leaves early for her kids’ activities or stays home whenone is sick. Other staffers resent her. Should I say something?

I'll get to the answer in a moment, but notice how she phases the question.  As my reader pointed out, she isn't stating "I have an employee who uses her family as an excuse to leave early or stay out.  Should I say something?"  That would be a more masculine response.  It would also be a no-brainer, and if a dude wrote into an advice column with this he shouldn't be in charge of anything in the first place.  

Note how she frames the issue: "Other staffers resent her", not "her work performance is failing and its bad for morale".  The focus of her discomfort isn't (ostensibly) on the worker, but on the verbal ire of her co-workers.  The problem wasn't that she wasn't pulling her weight and costing the company money, but that the other (presumably female) staffers were getting mad at her.

Then she compounds the issue by asking "Should I say something?" which no male manager would ask. Why?  Because if you have an employee who is not measuring up, the question "should I say something?"  is moot.  You either say something and handle the issue, or you aren't deserving of your title and authority.  Nor would a good male manager have likely led with "I'm a father of two" before anything else -- not because the Male Social Matrix discounts fatherhood (far from it) -- but because a male manager would not see his own family status as having any relation to that of his employees.  

But a female manager feels compelled to list that status first in order to build sympathy, establish context, and put her status out for review in FSM standard language: list any relationship or family status first, then career status.  A man would probably have written the question: "I run a small company of ten employees, and one employee -- a single mother -- habitually leaves early or stays out because of family.  While I support my employees'  in their family life, this is starting to be a drain on us all.  What can I do to mitigate her childcare issues and keep them from ruining my business?"  

Big difference.  The male is worried about the business -- the "mission" -- whereas the female manager is far more worried about what her employees are saying behind her back, and whether or not her problem employee would fee offended if she attempted to hold her to account.

Here's the columnist's answer, by the way:

A: It’s the old “what working mothers do to keep up jobresponsibilities while keeping families afloat” challenge. Sometimeswe need to face the fact that some jobs, for whatever reason, mightnot be the best fit with our family’s needs. There’s nothing wrongwith approaching your employee if you do it with respect and concern.“Is everything okay at home?” you might ask. “I’ve noticed you’ve hadquite a few emergencies lately and you’ve missed some deadlines. Ijust want to make sure you’re not overloaded.” Listen to what shesays, then come to a solution that works for both of you. Maybe sheworks from home one day a week. Maybe she comes in early every day soshe can leave early. Or maybe letting her go is the outcome she’s secretly hoped for.

That's a surprisingly blunt answer for a "working mother" advice column.   As my reader pointed out, "The matrix complained, and pulled the other crab [the employee] back into the bucket. The editor even suggests that the working mom secretly hopes to get fired."  Hardly the "sisterhood-is-powerful!" reaction of her feminist forebears, but it's clear that this boss is using the rationalization of complaining 
employees to handle discipline for one who was abusing the system . . . but only after a fuss was raised.   

A male manager would have likely had the required talk with the employee without waiting for the gossip and resentment and dealt with the issue himself.  But an office full of female staffers, with a female boss, is far more likely to delay and discuss and otherwise attempt to build consensus . . . and when the consensus is strong enough, they can use it even to direct their own boss.

The Matrix relishes this kind of subtle infighting and rewards those who successfully control the consensus with leadership of the Matrix.   As long as everyone pretends to go along with that (to avoid destroying the precious perception of consensus) then it doesn't really matter who leads the Matrix.  Women are free to jockey for power with gossip, sabotage each other with rumor and innuendo, and work to shift the consensus favorably towards them until they are themselves "secretly" leading the consensus and someone else takes them down.  When that happens, even if the other women hate the conniving bitch who screwed over their BFF for the PTA leadership, they respect her for her ability to play the social game well.

By contrast,  once Men have submitted to male authority, they rarely attempt to overthrow the hierarchy even if they are at the lowest point on it.  Indeed, their power and promise of power comes from hierarchy, so serving it is ultimately in their best interest.   Men who rebel against their duty to authority in the absence of real incompetence or disaster by their leadership are not seen as heroes by their fellow men, they're seen as men who have failed in their duty.  They have purposefully trashed the hierarchy from which their authority should spring and put themselves at the top without properly earning it.  

That's why generals who stage successful coups d'etat are so paranoid: they know that by assuming their position the way that they have, they have taken the great risk of alienating those who they are supposed to command.  And an army that has accepted one change in leadership without much struggle is unlikely to fight to keep you on top.  A man does not lose power by voluntarily submitting to a respected authority.   He gains it.   A soldier gets more respect than a civilian, even if he is a lowly private.  An athlete might lack the talent or ability to be a star player, but if he's a good team player who works hard then he can still get the MVP trophy at the end of the season.  Or even team captain, if he has garnered sufficient respect from his teammates.  

So how can you use this?  The obvious way, of course, is to make certain your woman witnesses other men behaving respectfully to you and treating you with deference.   Cultivate a couple of slavish beer buddies she doesn't know real well who cannot shut up about how goddamn great you are any time she's around, for instance.   Or distinguish yourself with the membership of some club or professional association you belong to.    Let her see other men acclaim and admire you, and her panties get drenched.   I noticed a distinct uptick in interest from Mrs. Ironwood, for example, when I started actually getting fans for my work.   And while she almost always responds to the presence of ardent female fans (thanks to preselection) I get almost as good results when one of my male fans praises me and I share that with her.

Second, just by being aware of the fact that women don't control male social status you've gained an advantage.  Most dudes are pretty clueless about social matters, and just naturally accept their social role as wherever their woman stuck them.  They sometimes think that going out of their way to help women ("white knight" style) will add to their social status and improve their relationships.  In fact, consistently being seen helping women through their difficulties diminishes you in male social status.  Yes, the women in the Matrix who are familiar with you will gossip about your assistance in a positive manner . . . but once you understand that men generate the social status that is so important to the FSM then you'll realize that your "sweet" gesture got you no closer to getting laid or even being taken seriously by women.   

That doesn't mean you don't volunteer to wash the dishes when you have dinner at your mother-in-law's house -- that's just polite.  It does mean that if every time "the girls" in the office/class get into a project they can't get out of, you don't go running to fix it . . . you let them fall on their collective ass.  Because if you're the kind of dude who White Knights all the time, the other dudes in your matrix will know it, and your social status will fall.  I used to make this mistake all the time when I was a Blue Pill teenager.  I figured if I helped women out, their gratitude for the service would incline them toward liking me.  It did . . . as long as I was safely in the 'friend zone'.  

So when I was the only guy helping in the kitchen with the girls at church youth camp, they all thought I was great . . . until I asked a girl out.  The moment I tried to make my dutiful service into something else, then all of the sudden I was "creepy" for being so "deceitful" about my motivations.  And of course the other dudes had long ago written me off as gay or too gamma for words.  I wised up, eventually, and I quit being the bitch of any girl who smiled at me until I tried to kiss her.   But it took a long time to figure out that being perpetually ready to go to any woman's rescue was not helping me get laid in the slightest, and was actually working against me.  Because women saw it as weakness they could take advantage of, and men saw it as a disinterest in masculine endeavors.

Thirdly, understanding the power the FSM has over a woman is breathtaking.  You really do not, as a man, have a proper appreciation of just how much your wife lives and dies by her social positioning.  Shit you would shrug off as incidental can lead to a woman's hamster breaking the light speed barrier in a social crisis.  If your best friend, for example, told you that you were a fat slob who needed to lose fifty pounds, you'd likely agree and call him an asshole for pointing it out before you both waddle off to Denny's.  If a woman hears from her best friend that she's starting to look "hippy" from a certain angle, that's the FSM equivalent of a flesh wound.  I've seen such casual remarks launch episodes of neuroses that minstrels will sing about one day.

Understanding that her social status is dependent upon your social status in a relationship grants you more than a little leverage in the relationship.   A married couple is, for all practical purposes, a social team.  You get a little status from having a beautiful wife (and slightly less for a plain wife, none for a bitchy wife, and negative for a truly bitchy screachtard), and she gets a significant boost from you if you are held at all in esteem by your male peers.  Your cooperation as a team can lead to mutual benefits, if you're subtle and adept enough to work together.  

When I go to a social function with Mrs. Ironwood, for instance, we've developed a series of protocols that we use to mutually support each other in conversation, rescue each other from unpleasant people, and signal to each other if we need to a) talk alone together  b) have a minor social emergency c) stay clear of the conversation because it is socially dangerous d) have acquired a stalker e) I have to go to the bathroom, can you get me a drink? f) I want to wrap things up and go home  and f) let's get the hell out of dodge.  

 (I'm trying to get her to understand a new one, g) let's meet in the bathroom, outside in the car, or some other secluded place for some danger nookie.  So far, not much luck with that one.)

And if you aren't -- or don't want to work together to buff social status for some reason (say, six weeks without fellatio might convince you), it doesn't take much to give your wife a temporary hit on her social status by not cooperating with her.   Telling tales to her biggest rival's husband, for instance (certain to get back to her rival) or fart loudly in front of the local social heavyweight  -- both would be mortifying wounds to a socially conscious wife.  And perfectly excusable from you, as you are merely male and have no idea how women "really are".  Indeed, from the perspective of the Matrix, any issues that the women in her FSM will be laid at HER feet, not yours . . . because "he's a man and doesn't know any better".  But she's going to be the subject of position-killing gossip for months.

(Side Note: It's amazing how feminism flies out the door when women get talking about other women.  If you ever get the chance to overhear your wife and her friends when they don't think you're listening, you'll overhear stuff about women not present and their attached menfolk that would have you, my friend, in diversity training classes for the next six months for the pure misogyny.  I once watched a friend of mine and his feminist wife get into a fight because despite her insistence that there were only minor physical differences in men and women, gender was a cultural concept, and that sexism in any form (save the usual male-bashing) was appalling, she was furious at the fact that he had mentioned something about her poor wardrobe in passing to her highly successful big sister, who was only too happy to help her little sister out shopping.  The feminist freaked because now she looked sloppy and poor to her big sister, and that would be used to judge her and angle the rest of their family FSM against her, and proceeded to accuse her of being manipulative, scheming, and conniving, a total whore, low moral character, etc. -- and that HE should know better.  But I digress)

So keep in mind that when a woman is in a relationship with you, that it has much more significance to her relations with the FSM than you think.  Indeed, you aren't in a relationship with her, you're in a relationship with her whole network, and thinking otherwise is going to get you in trouble.  As much as she may or may not love you, your presence in her life is giving her a buff -- because being single after 30 and childless after 35 substantially lowers her positioning vis a vis the FSM.  What you do or don't do affects not just you and she, but her and her relationship with the FSM.  

We'll be returning to this subject repeatedly in the future.  There's lots more to cover.  Promise.