The Triple Standard

by Frost on April 14, 2011

People like to complain about double standards: Male sluts are celebrated, female sluts are shamed; Successful men are high-status, successful women are intimidatingly masculine; Male boorishness is charmingly incorrigible, while females must always act like paragons of reticent, well-mannered virtue.

You can probably think of a few more. Also note that for every double standard that works against female interests, there is a matching double standard that cuts the other way: Female chastity is celebrated, male virgins are laughed at; Unambitious stay at home mom’s are respected (deep in our hindbrains, that is – in pop culture, grudgingly tolerated) while stay-at-home dad’s are pussies; Men must be witty, adroit and dominant to be socially competent. Women just need to show up.

But this point has already been made. Men and women are different, and value different things in one another. Hence, double standards exist, and always will. Duh.

But here’s a less-universal truth: The balance of costs and benefits of these double standards borne by the sexes will always come out even.

“In every corner of the world and in every epoch of history, the men and women of every culture deserve each other”

This is Spengler’s Law (HT: Ferdinand). It holds because human status competition is almost entirely intra-sex. Men compete against men, women against women. This is because the fundamental game played by our genes, to whom we are puppets, is the competition to pass our DNA onto the next generation. Within either gender hierarchy, status is always conserved – it is redistributed but never destroyed. The nature of sexual reproduction means that men and women will always play to a tie.

But hold on: Has there not been a massive one-way shift in the sexual marketplace over the past half-century? Are women not much, much more powerful in the sexual marketplace of today than they were in the 1950’s, having been liberated by the feminist movement?

From a glance, the answer appears to be yes. Women are richer, more powerful, and have fewer constraints on their behaviour than ever before. Most importantly, modern western women are living in a sexual Elysium. They have been freed from the constraint, older than humanity itself, of having to choose between the superior genes of high-value (but commitment-averse) caddish men, and the mediocre genes of low-value (but committophilic) dad-ish men. The choice has been replaced by a young adulthood of cad-chasing, followed by a pragmatic marriage to a “nice guy” (or the welfare state) in her early thirties. Paradise!

So what does this look like on the male side of the equation? Well, it depends who you ask.

Talk to a woman, and the men of the English-speaking world have never had it better. Despite a steadfast refusal to man up, we are getting laid like fresh sod. We never call when we say we do. We don’t do “dates.” We hit on your friends. We tell you we’re staying home to write blog posts and you catch us out at the bar dancing with sloots. Men these days are a bunch of arrogant, cheating, assholes. We’ve never had it better.

But ask the men, and you get a different answer. To them, women have developed impossibly high standards. If you aren’t six feet tall, good looking and making six figures, meeting girls is an uphill battle. Go watch a group of average guys strike out over and over again in a club, then try to tell me their lives are easy.

And even that’s just the perspective coming from the men who are at least willing to go out and try to strut their stuff. The number of men jerking off and playing World of Warcraft on a Friday night far outpaces the number pounding Jagerbombs and awkwardly grinding up on drunk girls. Once they hit their middle ages, a good number of men simply give up, as their blood-testosterone levels are no longer strong enough to anasthesize the pain of constant rejection. A simple, happy life – i.e, that of  Carl and Ellie – will always be out of there reach.

So: Two sexes, two wildly diverging perspectives on the same world.  What’s up?

The discrepancy is caused by the fact that the female perspective is skewed. Women are constantly surrounded by the top 20% of men who have 80% of the sexual success because, well, that’s who they’re fucking. So when a woman takes a look around at the men in her life, she concludes: “Wow! Men sure have it good. This guy calls me once or twice a week, comes over for some great sex, then I cook him a delicious meal and he leaves. And I know he’s banging multiple other girls, while I am pretty much exclusive to him. He has it WAY better than me.”

Which is true, but only because he is one those top-20% guys, top seed (heh) in his sexual bracket. Below them are the awkward club guys, friend-orbiters, and ugly-girl boyfriends. Call them the next 30%. To women, they are barely recognizable, faint Predator-like glimmers of masculinity. The bottom half of men – basement-dwelling video gamers, asperger-y nerds, hopeless ex-divorcees, and most numerous of all, the legions of moderately unattractive, obedient sleepwalkers with mid-to-low status jobs and no redeeming talents or qualities beyond their pulse – are completely invisible.

This is why there are no more double standards in our society, as was the case in the traditional decades that have now passed. They have been replaced by Triple Standards. Specifically, there is one set of standards for each type of competitor in the modern sexual marketplace.

The three groups are: Women; Beta males; and Alpha males. I define them thus: Alphas get laid with hot chicks, betas don’t. And women have vaginas and boobies.

To a woman, betas are always in abundant supply. She can’t open her car door without hitting some decent, average guy who treats her well and has an OK job. If she ever opens her car door and fails to hit such a guy, she can pop on to her E-harmony account and find one there. (I did some browsing on a female friend’s online dating profile. From what I saw, there are literally dozens of good-looking, normal-sounding guys with good jobs and interesting lives for every girl I would even consider banging in my haziest of drunken nights, let alone make breakfast for the morning after. Single men: Stay away from online dating.)

As a result of this oversupply, women are cavalier in their treatment of such men. When they deign to date them, the man had better be ready, wallet in hand, to compensate the woman for her kindness. The woman will dole out sex and agreeableness only when her capricious moods warrant it. The man will keep up a steady supply of creative date nights, thoughtful gifts, and attentiveness to the most inane of conversations. Gratitude for his good fortune will always shine through in the dumb, giddy smile he radiates in her direction whenever she enters the room.

Alpha men on the other hand, are a rare commodity. When a woman meets, sleeps with, and (omg!) starts some sort of undefined, yet ongoing relationship with a man for whom she moistens on sight – Trumpets! Parades! She spends her days alternating between dizzy glee and terrific dread, unable to work as she contemplates (glee!) how happy she is with the man, and (dread!) how she would feel if he left.

To avoid the latter fate, she transforms into a loving, attentive, available partner that would put the most devoted of early-20th century wives to shame. She cooks, cleans, showers her man with gifts, plans dates that he will enjoy, and forgives him instantly when he breaks them to drink with his friends. Her body is offered unconditionally for sex on command, in whatever place, position and inner circle of hellish depravity he desires. She avoids asking hard questions or checking his unattended phone for confirmation of what she already knows, because she truly doesn’t care. She has found a prize, a rare beam of light in an otherwise gray world, and she will do anything to spend as much time in its warm glow as she can.

The result is a sexual marketplace that caters exclusively to the needs and desires of alpha males. Harems, one-night stands, girls who pay your way on dates, gifts, meals – it’s all there for the taking. The top one percent – athletes, musicians, comedians, bloggers, artists and guys with really, really good game  – can feast on constant unattached sex with endless hot girls. The rest of the top quintile does pretty well for themselves too.

The other 80% however, are fucked. Those at the top of the bottom will spend their lives playing clean-up crew with the tattered remains of a generation of women coming of age in a world of Ke$ha, keggers at the rugby frat, and sexually adventurous gap-year journeys through the grungy hostels of the world. The rest will never know love, beyond a faint simulacrum thereof when one of their Sims characters finally kisses another.

So what’s the logical reaction of the modern man to a world of sexual Triple Standards?

It is this: You MUST find a way to reach the upper echelons of accomplishment. You must become GREAT. Either that or accept a life of obscurity, and a legacy of genetic irrelevance.

Living a simple, quiet life is no longer an option. Bill and Ellie do not exist. If you’re a good guy and live an average life, you are going to get shit-all for it.

The only paths worth taking for a man in the 21st century are those that offer a chance at being extraordinary. Becoming a lawyer, a doctor, or middle manager is not enough. It might even hinder your progress by helping you rationalize your mediocrity. You need to learn, grind, and experiment your way through life until you are a best version of yourself that you can be.

Maybe this sounds impossibly hard. It’s not. Our generation is a bunch of lazy, frightened, uncreative cattle. Rising to the top of this heap doesn’t require much of a climb. As I’ve previously written:

If you can eat a reasonably healthy diet (note for non-regular readers: a healthy diet is probably the exact opposite of what you’ve been taught) and do a man’s workout a few times a week, you’ll be healthier than 90% of your peers. If you learn some basic game and approach girls occasionally, you’ll be doing more to get laid than 90% of your peers. If you spend a few hours optimizing your budget and cash flows, and take your career seriously, you’ll be building more wealth than 90% of your peers.

And if you follow that up by finding a cool hobby, business or art that you’re passionate about and good at, and that sets you apart from the other 10 guys that girl talked to tonight, you will be happier and more successful than 99% of your peers. Your life will be an orgy of sex and love with high-quality girls.

Some men will read this post and say, “But I don’t want to be a superstar. I don’t need a harem. I just want a good wife, a career, and a happy family.”

If that’s you, wake up. It’s 2011, not 1951. There are a few traditional communities in North America where the Joe Average routine might work (although every day, another young girl flees them to chase the bright, shiny lights of the post-monogamous urban coast). For the rest of us though, our reality is that there are two options in life: Winning Big, or Losing. There are no consolation prizes, participation medals, good effort ribbons, or attendance gold stars. You can either join the ranks of men who clean up with women, or buy the owners of RedTube a new yacht with your pageviews.

(Cross-posted to In Mala Fide, comment and discuss here.)

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