Gotcha! Sort Of

by Frost on April 4, 2011

Friday’s post, as you have all figured out by now, was a prank.

But don’t feel bad if you got taken in. The story leading up to my fictional marriage is easy to believe, since it closely matches a common reality. I was also careful to include some well-crafted rationalizations to make my reconciliation of matrimony and man-o-sphere more believable:

“… my life is an example of how contemporary young men, who are smart enough to learn game, take control of their lives, and avoid the common mistakes of beta men, are still able to experience the joy, love, stability and family that our grandfathers had.”

See? Marriage is a bad idea for LOSER men, but cool dudes like ME have nothing to fear! Ho ho ho.

Jokes aside, I think that attitude will become a common trope among men who, having discovered the dark arts of game and men’s issues, really should know better. It’s a lot easier to avoid monogamy when you’re young, surrounded by college girls, and all of your friends are similarly invested in the pursuit of fresh puss.

But things change when you leave school. Getting laid isn’t necessarily harder, but it requires a new skill set. If you’ve spent four years having hot girls handed to you on a platter because you were in a frat, on a varsity team, in a band, or occupying some other easily-exploitable niche in the sexual ecosystem, adjusting to a world where you have to work for your food might not be easy.

Because of this, a lot of men begin a steady descent into mediocrity when they leave school and enter the grown-up world. They get chubby. They realize they never learned how to approach. Their mind-numbing careers chip away at their souls and erode the irresistible sparkle in their eyes. When they find a decent girl to date, they commit unhesitantly, lacking the courage and manly confidence to realize they’re capable of doing better.

All of a sudden, settling down becomes a lot more tempting. All of the man’s friends are doing it. His family wants him to do it. She wants to do it.

Suddenly, he finds himself asking: Who cares about all that crap he used to read when he was a kid? Grown-ups get married and start families. That’s just how it’s done.

And so another man joins the ranks of beaten-down, over-worked, near-celibate drones, screaming silently in quiet desperation until death mercifully rescues him from the nagging, chiding, cubicle walls, and mortgage payments.

Millions of men, even some who are fully aware of the legal and biological reality of the divorce industry and female hypergamy, will eventually sign their lives away in one-sided marriage contracts. Some will be lucky and live decent lives, free of divorce lawyers, false domestic abuse accusations, infidelity and unjust child custody rulings. Most will not.

So why will these men sign up for their fate? In a word: Fear.

They’re afraid of being alone. They’re afraid that their women will leave them if they don’t spend two months salary on a hunk of carbon. They’re afraid that if one particular woman leaves, they’ll never find another that’s as good or better. The fear makes them revert to the psychological safety of doing what they’ve been taught, and what almost everyone else is doing.

Here’s a classic psych experiment: Put a man in a room slowly filling with smoke, and he’ll sit through it complacently as long as he’s surrounded by others who are doing the same. He knows what smoke is. He knows what it’s presence implies. But the fear of being the nail that sticks out prevents him from saving himself, or even better, yelling “Fire!” and saving those around him as well.

My April Fool’s post was a joke. But it’s also a wake-up call, an attempt to yell “Fire!” in the smokey room we all share. I really can’t stress this enough: Getting married to an archetypal North American woman today is a terrible idea for almost every man alive.

But getting married isn’t the only stupid mistake you can make as a young man in the 21st century.

This clip (HT: Captain Capitalism) will move all but the most hardened of internet tough guys. Similar to Solomon’s classic post, Women Can Age Beautifully, it shows us what our generation is missing out on. it shows us what our Grandfathers had, and what we never will. That’s gotta hurt.

Of course, there are privileges we have that our Grandfathers didn’t. Casual sex, open relationships and a carefree lifestyle of perpetual adolescence are all easier to come by and more socially acceptable than they ever were. Sure, I get a little misty while watching the Up clip, but would I, personally, be willing to trade the sexual debauchery of the 21st century for the companionate stability of the 19th? Probably not. (Then again, I’m twenty-five. Ask me in a decade.)

But really, who cares what my answer is? The question is purely academic. In the world as it is, the Pixar life is not on the table. The men who delude themselves otherwise will pay for their gullibility.

Self-deception can take many forms, though. Some men are stupidly romantic. Others are stupidly unromantic.

Lots of men, reeling at the sad state of love and marriage in the early 21st century, have retreated into isolation. They stifle their desires to experience intimacy. If they feel themselves becoming vulnerable in a woman’s presence, they fight it, because falling in love leads to betaization and thus weakness. They deny themselves one of life’s greatest pleasures, because allowing themselves to love gives someone else the opportunity to hurt them. Many will never have children and families.

Me, I want the best of both worlds. No, I’m not a self-deceiving twit throwing his life away to marry Carrie Bradshaw, as a literal reading of my April Fool’s post would suggest. But I’m also not the complete antithesis, i.e, a cold-hearted PUA archetype. Even the men who posture as such usually aren’t. Human biomechanics compels us to seek love. If your perspective on sex and women denies this, perhaps you haven’t ingested a red pill at all – just a different sort of blue one.

There was actually a fair bit of truth to my April Fool’s post.

For example, I really do have a girlfriend, of sorts, right now. This description in the original post is completely true:

“We met in high school. Circumstances were complicated by the fact that I had a girlfriend, she had a boyfriend, and her boyfriend had a girlfriend, but we had fun dating for a few months. We parted ways for our undergraduate years, and launched into the college hook-up scene for the next four years. We usually slept with each other on school vacations and occasionally throughout our summers.

After that, I went to grad school and she went on a journey around the world to find herself, figure out who she was, and have some fun before settling into an adult life.”

(Although to be fair, she probably wouldn’t describe her post-undergrad year abroad in such Gilbertian terms.)

I suppose I could disregard her as a prospect for anything more than a one-night stand because she’s slept with other guys, and because she’s picked up some self-involved, un-feminine traits from a lifetime of western cultural indoctrination. But, like all good Freedom Twenty-Five readers, she is committed to self-improvement. She grudgingly accepts that 1) We will never get married, 2) We will never live together, and 3) I will never be monogamous.

Also, she’s smoking hot, smart, sweet and fun. She treats me like gold, cooks my meals, cleans up after me, irons my shirts, and is great with my friends and family. She makes more money than I do and pays for at least her fair share of expenses in our relationship. She’s one of my best friends, and I’m in love with her.

The idea that some women are worthy of love is a controversial one in the jaded depths of the manosphere. A large number of men have been rendered, by vicious divorces or lifelong celibacy, unable and unwilling to have healthy relationships with women. I won’t judge these men, since I can’t know what their experiences would have done to me. But I do think they’re misguided.

The challenge for young men today – and the topic that I plan to make my primary focus in the next few months – is finding a path that avoids the twin fallacies of gynocentric conventional wisdom on one hand, and the angry, bitter defeatism that characterizes much of the Men’s Rights Movement on the other.

{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Ancalgon April 6, 2011 at 11:07 pm

Hi, I’ve been a reader of your blog for a month or so now. I like the minimalist, focused nature of the lifestyle you propose, and am trying to adapt some of that into my own life.

I decided to read ‘Trig’ today, and went through the first three chapter pretty quickly. It’s written in a nice, simple, accessible style. You said in the first post you were going to update the novel on a weekly basis; is Chapter 4 coming out soon?

-A

Frost April 7, 2011 at 10:24 am

Hey! Thanks for the kind words. One reason I maintain this blog is so that people will call me out when I set a goal and let it slide. I.e., updating the novel more regularly.

How about this: If I don’t post another solid chapter before this time next week, I will post a photo of myself (sans face) wearing a dress.

“As iron sharpeneth iron, so one man sharpeneth another.” (HT Solomon II)

Cheers!

Frost

Ancalgon April 14, 2011 at 6:49 pm

I don’t see Chapter 4. One photo of Frost in a dress coming up.

Jay Hammers April 6, 2011 at 9:36 pm

I assume you’re not planning on having children. Is that correct?

I am engaged to my woman for the social status it brings her and the acceptance from family it may bring me. We will likely get married someday, but I certainly don’t have a date set, and it will at least be several years longer. She would have been alright with never getting married, but I don’t think she would have loved it, so it’s a calculated risk on my part to bring her a little joy and hopefully gain some acceptance from others, which is of marginal value at best to us. I also don’t mind making your typical American woman jealous with the knowledge of our pending union.

I found this article by Delusion Damage pretty informative, however: http://delusiondamage.com/2011/03/26/whats-a-girl-to-do/

Will we get bored of each other in twenty, thirty years? I don’t know, maybe, if we’re still alive and kicking.

But I don’t enjoy American sluts. I never really have – sure, it was fun to fool around for a while, but it always felt a bit empty. And sure, I know I’ll be tempted someday, and I know that if I acted on it, my woman would forgive me, even though she’s under this impression that I shouldn’t be sleeping with other women.

Then you look at the risks of sleeping with American women or even flirting with them – false rape accusations or harassment and the like. A jealous woman could easily wreak havoc on my life. I actually take steps to keep potentially dangerous women *away* from me, as I am an attractive guy. I’ll flirt with the more down-to-earth, low-risk women, sure, but will I put the full charm on when I sense possible crazy? Hell no. Will I feel comfortable out in public with a bunch of drunk and horny college girls around who might want to start some shit? Not entirely. With a woman by my side, however, I’ll be more protected from unwanted advances. Of course, understanding how women work is an added layer of protection, but a crazy drunken girl could be a challenge to manipulate with Game ideas.

I’m not sure about is how my woman will react to not having children, as she continues to age. She knows I don’t want kids, on a rational level, and she doesn’t really want them either – on a rational level. On an emotional level, though, we both do, her more than I. She also knows, however, that if she betrayed me by considering having a child against my wishes, she would lose me – and that would be worse to her than not having children at all. Still, I know she’s going to have a hard time dealing with our mortality, especially without carrying on our DNA in the form of children.

I also know it’s within the realm of possibility that I’ll change my mind about kids, as I’m only 27, but it’s extremely unlikely. My fiancee is 23.

So how do you intend to deal with your woman’s future desire for children?

With my woman, at least, she knows that if she behaves she will keep me around forever and that if she betrays me there will be severe consequences. With yours, however, she knows that whether she behaves or not, she cannot keep you – she cannot guarantee you will stay with her, so if she’s still around in five years, what’s to stop her from having a child against your will? And if you are the type of guy who would stay involved in the child’s life even if she betrayed you, then there’s little reason for her not to betray you if she desires children enough.

Maybe you’re not planning to stay with her for decades, anyway, and it won’t really matter to you as long as you avoid having a child with her in the next 10 years.

Perhaps she is utterly, totally against having children, and therefore you may be protected.

But if she’s not utterly against kids then it’s a question of what’s more important to her – you or her – and whether she can expect to have you for as long as she wants you.

In my case, I think a guarantee that my woman will not grow old and die alone, unless I die, is worth more to her than my loss of perceived value in her eyes that will result from marriage.

So is she utterly against children? Does she know that if she behaves she can have companionship with you for as long as she wants, and does she desire that companionship until she dies? Does she know without a doubt that if she were to betray you, you would never be involved in her life or the child’s again?

Or do you have something else up your sleeve?

collegeslacker April 5, 2011 at 7:42 pm

All I could do is nod up and down in agreement as I read this post. Accurate stuff.

Re: Romantic and Sexual Boxes

I never thought about it in those terms, but it is utterly correct. I loved my ex and was only interested in being romantic/attached to her, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t want to bang other girls when I was going out with her. Society has us call it the “forbidden fruit” or the “grass is greener” effect, but really it’s just how us men are wired.

Susan Walsh April 5, 2011 at 11:24 am

So my policy is: dalliances for me, but not for thee.

Thought so. No further comment.

Frost April 5, 2011 at 12:02 pm

Why not?

Are you morally opposed to double standards for men and women? If so, you might as well be morally opposed to gravity.

In my experience, women can be very tolerant of purely sexual outside relationships, as long as they don’t fear being replaced in the “Romantic” box.

Also, I don’t forbid my current best-friend-with-benefits from seeing other guys. She just knows that, if she did, my feelings for and behaviour towards her would change. I don’t think I would stop seeing her, but lazy Sunday spooning in bed would be a thing of the past…

Susan Walsh April 5, 2011 at 12:39 pm

I agree that sexual standards are amoral, and norms differ by sex. The sexual double standard is very logical. Furthermore, people are free to enter any arrangements they like. As long as you are being honest, you should not be faulted for pursuing whatever lifestyle you choose.

It’s interesting that you refer to your partner as your current best FWB. Hardly a common way to describe a woman you are in love with. It’s obvious we define “in love” differently, which is why it makes no real sense to discuss it.

Robin July 11, 2012 at 11:21 am

See, this is what I don’t get. Why should she feel like you have set a rule or ultimatum if she sleeps with other men. She wouldn’t do the same to you, despite you sleeping with other women.

This is a power struggle for control over her, not a balanced relationship with mutual respect.

Höllenhund April 5, 2011 at 6:29 am

<blockquote cite="Women's liberation, if not the most extreme then certainly the most influencial neo-Marxist movement in America, has done to the American home what communism did to the Russian economy, and most of the ruin is irreversible. By defining relations between men and women in terms of power and competition instead of reciprocity and cooperation, the movement tore apart the most basic and fragile contract in human society, the unit from which all other social institutions draw their strength.”>

– Ruth Wisse, Professor of Yiddish Literature and Professor of Comparative Literature at Harvard University. Washington Times, February 11, 1997, Page A17

It’s too late to express misgivings about the damage that cannot be undone.

Frost April 5, 2011 at 12:03 pm

Sure. But it’s also not too early to start planning for some sort of renaissance…

Veskrasen April 4, 2011 at 11:27 pm

I’m looking forward to your thoughts on how to balance the desire for a long term relationship with other game principles.

Frost April 5, 2011 at 11:54 am

Me too. If there’s one sub-category of Game for which I think I actually am enough of an expert to try to pass on knowledge, it’s this.

anon April 4, 2011 at 6:55 pm

Can you elaborate on:

“because she’s slept with other guys”

…how does this affect you?

Frost April 5, 2011 at 11:52 am

I don’t like it, and I’d rather it not be the case.

Almost every man alive would prefer a chaste woman for any kind of relationship. Even one-night stands are more fun with an inexperienced girl, say a 23-year old fresh out of a 5-year relationship, than a 30-year old bar-star veteran of the hookup scene who knows exactly what she wants you to do to get her off, and wants to get right to it without any sort of mutual exploration. Ugh.

But unlike a lot of men, I don’t consider it a deal-breaker. It annoys me when she brings certain things up, and that she’s still friends with some past hookups, but it’s not something I dwell on. I think there are a few reasons for this:

Most importantly, I’m not wife-shopping. I’m just looking for a good friend who I enjoy sex/spending time with, who cooks for me and organizes my life, and who I can “let go” with and spend a lazy Sunday morning with, pretending I have something that doesn’t actually exist, before I go back into the real world. The fact that she’s been through a dick or two before me doesn’t interfere with that.

Also important, I was her casual hook-up before we were in a quasi-relationship. We started hooking up when we were teenagers, and had a very casual, very infrequent and purely physical relationship for about five years.

I think a lot of guys who have problems with their girl’s past, really don’t like the fact that they are “losers” compared to the earlier guys.

I mean, who’s likely to be a cooler dude – the guy who fucked the 20-year old girl on a one night stand, and maybe kept her in his ongoing weekly rotation until he got bored of her… or the guy who is buying her dinner, pushing in chairs, and generally filling the roll of the monogamous herb nice-guy for the same girl when she’s a used-up 30-year old?

Most guys don’t want to be “that guy”, buying dinner for that girl, after she’s finsihed having her fun with those guys.

For me though, I don’t consider myself that guy because I was already one of those guys. And now I’m getting more benefits from the relationship, without extra responsibilities, so I don’t feel slighted/insulted/inferior.

Lastly I think a lot of it is just due to being a pretty secure guy, who’s always had a decent amount of success with women. I just don’t have a lot of bitterness to tap into. So my attitude is, yeah it bothers me sometimes, but for the most part this is a person and a relationship that makes my life better. I can either bask in the happy, or wallow in the bad. Easy choice.

Susan Walsh April 4, 2011 at 2:33 pm

Sorry, in my world these two statements are mutually exclusive:

I will never be monogamous.

I’m in love with her.

“In love” is a chemical state, one that excludes the possibility of concurrent others. It doesn’t last more forever, and then monogamy becomes less stable. Hard to say which one will eventually be true of the real Frost.

Veskrasen April 4, 2011 at 11:05 pm

I disagree – there is love and there is lust and all kinds of things in between. And there are different flavors of love. Look at Athol Kay’s representation of attraction vs. comfort pathways, for instance – they’re not mutually exclusive by any means.

You may be assuming that Frost’s use of “not monogamous” means multiple relationships, when he could be referring to remaining sexually available to other partners outside of his relationship with this particular lady. Whether she’d be amenable to that or not is a different question, but I’ve seen similar arrangements work quite well. Cf. the swinger community for instance.

(R)Evolutionary April 5, 2011 at 2:27 am

Susan,
you’re projecting your female hindbrain biases onto men–and Frosty in particular here. Cue hamster references in 3,2,1….
Truly, men can be deeply in love with a woman, feel incredible heart opening, chest expansion, feel so much love for a woman that we shed tears of joy–and yet we can still fuck other women, and achieve great pleasure from that experience too, without taking away from the love we feel for our beloved. There is no exclusivity gene in most men. Oxytocin only works that way in *some* women, a group that you happen to fall into.
This difference can be seen on a biological level–women, except in the most rare circumstances, can only carry the offspring of a single male at a time. I don’t have to explain the male equivalent to you.
Now we can go on with some cultural generalizations, some discussion of social conditioning, religious mores, political considerations, etc, but none of that approaches the meat of the matter–the biology of the subject at hand–hypergamy vs. polygyny.

Susan Walsh April 5, 2011 at 8:41 am

I base my claim on the work of Helen Fisher, who is the preeminent expert on love and relationship science:

http://www.helenfisher.com/about.html

Helen E. Fisher, PhD biological anthropologist, is a Research Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Rutgers University. She has written five books on the evolution and future of human sexuality, monogamy, adultery and divorce, gender differences in the brain, the chemistry of romantic love, and most recently, human personality types and why we fall in love with one person rather than another.
Fisher maintains that humans have evolved three core brain systems for mating and reproduction:
Lust—the sex drive or libido
Romantic attraction—romantic love
Attachment—deep feelings of union with a long term partner.
“Love can start off with any of these three feelings,” Fisher maintains. “Some people have sex first and then fall in love. Some fall head over heels in love, then climb into bed. Some feel deeply attached to someone they have known for months or years; then circumstances change, they fall madly in love and have sex.”

But the sex drive evolved to encourage you to seek a range of partners; romantic love evolved to enable you to focus your mating energy on just one at a time; and attachment evolved to enable you to feel deep union to this person long enough to rear your infants as a team.”

“Fisher discusses many of the feelings of intense romantic love, saying it begins as the beloved takes on “special meaning.” Then you focus intensely on him or her…Intense energy, elation, mood swings, emotional dependence, separation anxiety, possessiveness, physical reactions including a pounding heart and shortness of breath, and craving, Fisher reports, are all central to this feeling. But most important is obsessive thinking. As Fisher says “Someone is camping in your head.””

According to Fisher, we are programmed during periods of intense love to shut down thoughts of other potential partners. I don’t know whether we are capable of overriding those impulses to pursue polyamory, polygyny, swinging, etc. My sense is that non-monogamous arrangements are most typically sought after intense in-love feelings have worn off, and usually by the male.

It seems natural to conclude that if an open relationship is desired, then there is not someone “camping in your head.”

I wonder about something else too – one of the prevailing themes at HUS among the men is the preference for women to have limited (or no) sexual experience. They describe how intolerable the notion of one’s partner having sex with another man can be, even if it happened before you met. I don’t understand how this squares with the desire for an open relationship. Why are men not overcome by jealousy?

Frost April 5, 2011 at 11:18 am

What V and R said.

Ladies, take it from Chris Rock – a man is only as faithful as his options. Love for the “#1 woman” has nothing to do with it.

Women have a hard time understanding this, because in all but the most broken cases, a woman completely in love will not cheat. But as is so often the case, what goes through men’s and women’s minds is different.

Helen Fisher (who I look forward to checking out) has a good model figured out. I agree that men only have one box for a Romantic partner at a time. We also have an infinite number of Sexual boxes and (though I don’t speak from experience) a number of Attachment boxes as well.

My ideal life is filled with women who I feel Romantic love for, one or two at a time, with many Sexual women on the side. I may want to have a large family with multiple wives, in which case Romantic loves would slide comfortably into a relationship based on Attachment.

With regard to this:

“one of the prevailing themes at HUS among the men is the preference for women to have limited (or no) sexual experience. They describe how intolerable the notion of one’s partner having sex with another man can be, even if it happened before you met. I don’t understand how this squares with the desire for an open relationship. Why are men not overcome by jealousy?”

I agree with your take. I doubt I would ever be able to feel romantic love for a woman currently sleeping with other men. Close friendship + Sex, sure, but certainly not take-a-bullet-for-her kind of love. So my policy is: dalliances for me, but not for thee. A double-standard to be sure, but as I will eventually flesh out, double standards are completely natural.

I think I read somewhere that women initiate polyamorous relationships more often than men. Typical story, wife gets bored, pitches idea, man goes along with it because he wants to look like a tough guy, hilarity ensues. I have no personal experience with the hippie-dippie free-love polyamorous type of relationship though so I can’t say anything for certain.

(R)Evolutionary April 5, 2011 at 11:49 am

Susan,

Helen described the experience of being in love as “someone is camping in your head,” which I see as a perfectly pithy description of one-itis. It seems very clear to me from personal experience and observation that men can still have these intense feelings of love, deep appreciation for a woman, an open heart to her, and still be attracted to other women. In other words, the love is there, but the campground’s closed for renovation.
The campground effect, which has been studied, though not called that, happens to men who don’t have lots of options, and those who have either low SMV or those believe that their SMV is low. The end result is the same, an urge to strongly commit, to overinvest their emotions in one person, and further, to screen out all other potential partners. This mega-investment worked when marriage was strong, when men other than uber-alphas could reasonably expect to achieve strong commitment from a wife, and thus reciprocated this deep investment. This overinvestment is the best option for kids, and for women, and maybe even for men in the long term, but only when this deep investment is matched by significant and lasting commitment from both parties, particularly the wife.

But that was then. Today, all bets are off, and the SMV rules, not cultural and social mores. For better or worse. Personally, I think it’s a good thing because it’s enhancing a gene pool muddied by modernity, but of course it has its negative effects too, on children, on divorced women, on men who get hurt and become bitter. But this broken, blown-open culture is what we have, and it’s not likely to change anytime soon, so we’ve got to make some lemonade out of it.

You asked, “Why are men not overcome by jealousy?” Jealousy comes from insecurity, which is itself a proxy for low SMV, and from not having options. When men are convinced they have options, the urge to overinvest is lessened. Essentially, jealousy is wiped away by the pychologically buttressing effects of the Red Pill of game.

Theoretically and historically, yes, men want women to marry with a low partner count. This was and is true, for reasons we’ve well-established. In modern America, we’d have to be dating and marrying preteens to accomplish this, and that’s just gross on so many levels. So realistically, men know that in dating women from college onward, we can expect women with high partner counts, and a strong chance that she’ll eventually get the tingle for someone else, and possibly follow that tingle. But as men with game, we know that the next attractive woman pinging us with the tingle jingle is just around the corner, it’s easy to remain solidly grounded and not get carried away by the tides of oxytocin and vasopressin. Confidence gives us that surge of serotonin and dopamine, which in turn creates surges of testosterone, which keeps us on the hunt, even when feelings of love abound.
I wish it could be some other way, but this is the world I see, the world that science and experience show me. Maybe some wonderful woman will demonstrate for me that she’s an exception to these patterns. I hope so, but am prepared emotionally either way. For the record, I’m not dating multiple people at the moment, but only because I’m focusing on my business and career. As that pattern shifts and stabilizes, I will make room for the process of dating, in the hopes of meeting someone who will want to create version 3.0 of the story, one in which we are both fully aware of our biological instincts, and act appropriately.

Veskrasen April 6, 2011 at 12:37 pm

Actually I struggle a lot with open relationships.

My relationship with Princessa, for instance, was somewhat open. I had several other sexual relationships, and while she had sexual relationships with a couple other women, I didn’t allow her to be sexual with other men for the most part.

A commenter below mentioned that the uncomfortableness with allowing a woman additional partners comes from insecurity, and I think that’s right for the most part. There were 2 men who I allowed Princessa to be sexual with. In both cases, they were men that I knew fairly well. They were good men at the core, and from their interactions with me I knew that they respected my relationship with Princessa and were not a threat to it. They weren’t trying to use their sexual adventures with her as a way to break us up or steal her away – it was purely recreational.

Still wasn’t easy to manage my emotions in that regard, but it was far less threatening than it could have been otherwise. Because they made me feel secure in my relationship with her, because they demonstrated that they knew “their place” in my dynamic with her, they weren’t a threat. So I could allow her to play with that sexual energy with far less fear. Similarly, while I had sex with several other women (and from my blog you know that she initiated / provided some of that), those dalliances were never a threat to her relationship with me – they were purely recreational.

We truly were deeply in love with each other, romantically speaking. Addicted, in a lot of ways. There was some degree of separation between our recreational sexual and BDSM play and our romantic attachment to each other – and that was what allowed us to have those other interactions without damaging our core attachment to each other.

That said, I am far more monogamous than I am polyamorous. I want that solid, primary, deeply romantic love – I want that person camped in my head. That said, I’m a very sexual and dominant man at my core – and I will always ensure that I have access to other options for sex and BDSM play. I know myself well enough to know that I’m not going to be content with just one woman trying to be my everything – I will want to have sex and play with others. That said – it’s less of a need when I have someone who I’m deeply attached to. But it is still a need.

Robin July 11, 2012 at 11:16 am

You have jealousy issues. If it were a true open relationship and each partner had respect for the other, you would have allowed her other men.

The fact that you had to have others ‘bow’ to you and make -you- feel secure because you could not do so internally demonstrates that you are really not cut out for a monogamous relationship. You need to feel like you are top dog and that all others are below you. It isn’t healthy.

Dregs April 4, 2011 at 10:01 am

Frost,

Your April Fool’s Day post and coming-clean post bring to the forefront some important issues about 21st century game* and the man-o-sphere. Amidst the bitterness and resentment of the man-o-sphere as well as the gleeful use of game as an almost Iagoesque form of clandestine revenge on modern society, it is nevertheless worth remembering that 21st century game is an understandable but not ideal response to a terrible situation. It is not a model for what all men should do in all societies in all ages.

21st century game and its representative practitioners such as Roissy are not, fundamentally, hedonists, nihilists or libertines. Rather, they are reactionaries who, faced with the fact that healthy, natural reciprocal relations between the sexes are no longer possible in modern (American) society, have retreated or fallen back upon a superficially libertine approach. Think of Roissy as a chivalrous knight who, his king unjustly usurped, has resorted to riot solely to maintain his sanity.

To quote the Bard writing in Richard III: “And therefore, since I cannot prove a lover, / To entertain these fair well-spoken days, / I am determined to prove a villain / And hate the idle pleasures of these days.” In other words, external conditions have rendered men unable to be the lovers they are supposed to be, and instead they are forced to be villains.

If I can indulge one more literary analogy, 21st century game practitioners are like Milton’s Satan rebelling against God. Remember that Satan is an angel, and essentially resents the power and mores of the existing sovereignty. If post-modern feminism and anti-masculine culture are so entrenched and powerful as to be the “God” (or one of the gods) of contemporary society, game is the rebellion against that: “To be weak is miserable / Doing or Suffering: but of this be sure, / To do ought good never will be our task, / But ever to do ill our sole delight, / As being the contrary to his high will / Whom we resist.”

The point is that while Frost may be correct that most men would be crazy to get married in modern day America, do not mistake this contingently appropriate response to current circumstances as an eternal truth or something to celebrate. This is an appropriate rebellious response in the face of the breakdown of society; it is not the ideal situation. Western civilization – Jerusalem, Athens, Europe, the American frontier – when they were healthy, enabled and encouraged productive relations between the sexes. 21st century game is a cry in the wilderness, it is a weapon to be used against an alien and antagonistic culture and power, not taken as an absolute value to be embraced.

*For lack of a better term, I am using 21st century game to refer specifically to the amoral, nihilist approach to game that is a desperate measure given our current circumstances. “Game” in the abstract is part of human nature, it exists at all times in all societies. But its 21st century expression is a particular response to a particular problem.

Frost April 5, 2011 at 9:40 am

Thanks for the great comment! My “target reader” so to speak is definitely the sort of person who will quote Milton and Shakespeare while defending getting wasted and slamming mud turtles. Please stick around =)

I agree with you that there is a certain wistful longing, even in those 21st century men who are rampantly successful in the sexual marketplace, for the Pixar world. Check out Veskrasen’s link to an old VK post for a great example.

But even though I’ve got a romantic core that finds some aspects of lifelong monogamy appealing (and definitely a positive, perhaps even necessary force in a healthy society), I have to admit the status quo has been far kinder to me than that alternative. It’s a good time, possibly the best of times, for the man who knows what he’s doing with women.

I also suspect that the next generation of young women will contain a good number (albeit smattered amongst the Ke$ha clones) of girls educated by the Susan Walsh’s, Grerp’s, and other sane voices who will caution them against self-destructive “liberated” behaviours. So men today might do well to have their fun and wait a decade or two before wife-shopping….

Dregs April 7, 2011 at 12:36 am

lol. Glad that I can elevate the discourse here. Seriously though, I respect your project a lot. Even though I am an older guy (relatively speaking), I have been inspired from your posts. Samuel Johnson noted that “we more often need reminding than instructing,” and I have definitely received some great “reminders” from your site.

A couple other points on 21st century game versus eternal game:

1. It may seem incredible, but ours was not the first generation to discover that f***ing lots of women is fun. I have no doubt that you are enjoying yourself, and that it may in fact be the right thing to do given the situation (sometimes all you CAN do is fiddle while Rome burns). But think carefully about the kind of man you respect and the kind of man who commands respect and has commanded respect in history. It doesn’t mean you need to change your behavior but it does mean that you need to be mindful of the contingency of the situation and that there may be more noble and more self-developing alternatives when circumstances change. Who seems like the more fulfilled, the more complete man, the more self-commanded (and therefore FREE) man: Matthew Arnold (one wife, five children) or Perce Shelley? Churchill or Berlusconi? Ron Paul or Bill Clinton? Did none of Arnold, Churchill or Paul understand that playing the field is fun?

2. A related point is, don’t mistake your current circumstances and environment for the whole world. The Chinese have a saying –近朱者赤,近墨者黑 – translating to “touching cinnabar makes you red, touching ink makes you black”, the gist being that you will unwittingly be influenced, and your character changed, by environmental factors. The prevalence, and even the necessity, of 21st century game in, say, Washington D.C. or among the particular crowd one runs with should not make one lose sight of the bigger picture. Imagine yourself at 47-year old “playa” traveling to, say, Italy and meeting another 47 year old guy, say a local craftsman or farmer or professor. He has four kids, maybe even a grand kid or two, he commands his wife with respect and love, he has self-respect and, yes, freedom. Will you look on him and think “sucka! loser! beta provider!”, or will you look at yourself (and the environment / choices / friends that made you who you are) and think “man-child, Peter Pan, nowhere man”?

3. I have to qualify the above with the key caveat that everyone has to understand what is right for them. I’m not saying family life is the sine qua non to fulfillment for everyone, but that it is important to recognize whether you are someone for whom it is. Charles Bukowski is a great illustration of this principle. Bukowski, if you don’t know him, was a down-and-out, alcoholic, drug abusing, womanizing, largely miserable man and a fascinating writer and poet. A friend of mine made the most trenchant comment about Bukowski that still rings in my ears: “It was the right life.” And it was. Bukowski is perhaps an extreme example, and there are of course many others of loners / non-family men / players who led “the right life” (Casanova, George Santayana, C.S. Lewis, Milton’s Satan, etc.; we will all have our own lists and views). The key for all of us is, of course, figuring it out for ourselves, and don’t let 21st century game blind you to this.

Frost April 7, 2011 at 10:38 am

Dregs,

Thanks to you as well, for the reminders.

I would be very disappointed to find myself 47 and childless. Eventually, I would like to have big, happy, healthy family. If I thought the conventional path of marriage was an effective path towards that goal, I would take it. Obviously I don’t.

I think men my age are better off playing the field and getting a firm understanding of female psychology before even attempting to start a family, since you really need to be in the top decile of men to even have a chance at commanding a woman’s respect and keeping a stable home.

Also, I think that the current sexual anarchy will pass. Young men might as well have some kicks with the current generation of women, and hope that the next will be more family-oriented.

As for my “right life” I think it’s a balance of the two extremes. I have always tended to date broadly and non-committal-y, but… I like that pixar clip.

Cheers,

Frost

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