EUPHORIA, it’s a conservative TV show, didn’t you know?

EUPHORIA is a conservative show, telling us parents should stay together and take care of their children, opioid drugs are bad, being an involved parent is good, parents who don’t watch out for their children are doing their children a disservice, dads are a positive influence. Talking out your feelings is good, repressing them is bad. Self-obsessed narcissism is everywhere, to the point no one bothers fighting it (bad). Too much TV and too little parenting creates problems, which is a funny message from a TV show. Women need to be protected from men, an idea nineteenth century Christians would have strongly endorsed.

Doing sex work is bad or at a minimum undesirable, better to work in the real economy. Parents should work hard at their jobs so their kids don’t have to do sex work or sell drugs. Sexting is bad, as is pr0n. Geting off your phone is good. The teens have lots and lots of feelings, but they are unable to form proper intimate relationships with each other, mirroring in this their parents’s inability to form intimate relationships with them. The drama revolves around taking or not taking drugs, and being able to form or not form successful relationships with another human being. That’s it. The most radical act possible for any character on this show isn’t MDMA or sex, it’s a committed relationship, and most of what they do instead of committed relationships is what Gen Z internet writers call “cope.” Radicalism today is the conservatism of yesterday. Drugs and sex are easy, the substitutes for substance. Don’t trust most of what’s written about this show, because the writing is mostly garbage. Critics denounced THE JOKER for its conservative subtext (just text?), few seem to have done the same with EUPHORIA.

The show is hugely high style, colors! camera work! look at us, we fancy. Style > substance, we believe in narrow field of view, lots of bokeh, it’s very moody. The actors and acting are good, the casting is good. But! OMG! The kids, they are doing the sex! And the drugs! Can you believe it??? Neither can I, except that in every generation there is worry about the youth and their erotic ways, not least in the way they offer erotic temptations to those somewhat older than them. How bad they are, for being tempting. Very, very bad, Very, very naughty. Wicked, naughty, evil. Now, the youth can record themselves doing the sex in HD, how scary, OMG. Were the old days better? EUPHORIA invites that kind of reading… in the old days, when mom and dad stayed together and the HD, self-filmed sex wasn’t feasible, let alone sharing the self-filmed sex with others. Pot + LSD > heroin + phenyl-2-propanone (P2P) meth. In mom & dad’s days, the obesity epidemic hadn’t happened yet, either.

If mom and dad stayed together, the kids wouldn’t be so hyper- and pansexual. If dad were present or functional, the women wouldn’t be performing cope through sex, and the young men would be more restrained by positive masculine role models at home. The gender divide in EUPHORIA is stark, the males become predatory and the females act out victimization, because of the lack of positive male figures, AKA “dad.” I could read this in thesis form in THE WALL STREET JORNAL editorial page.

I don’t care about high school football and football is boring… the show can sometimes be boring, however pretty, but then there are cuts, jumps in time, etc. Every time football stuff appears, I want to quit watching. Taken as a whole I enjoyed it while also feeling that it’s not for me.

The parties are more fun and better lit than parties I went to, until I was an adult. Consensual non-monogamy and emotional intelligence would solve some of the characters’s problems in EUPHORIA.

Every time the super hot girl, her name is I think Cassie in the show, appears, EUPHORIA gets more interesting… hot girls are more exciting, sorry, and HBO knows this too (sorry, sorry, it’s true, I know you don’t want it to be). She doesn’t seem built to be monogamous. In episode seven the voiceover says, “By the time she was out of college she figured 99% of the population would have leaked nudes anyway,” echoing a theory you might’ve heard around here. People who don’t have real problems, will manufacture them. People love drama. Everyone reads PARADISE LOST, no one reads PARADISE REGAINED (“snooze fest,” as one contemporary critic called it).

Articles about how the teens aren’t dating or having sex, aren’t getting their drivers licenses, and are less mature than they used to be, keep appearing in the media, and I don’t know what to make of them, or if they’re accurate… in EUPHORIA, they’re taking lots of risks, having lots of sex. Testosterone rates are supposedly dropping, and more people are fat and lethargic than ever, but the show is contrary to all those trends / supposed trends.

I think I like the movie TRAFFIC better, it being more about systems, but, I mean, if you want a broody show about the teens and the sex, EUPHORIA will do, I guess. REQUIEM FOR A DREAM covers “opioids are bad.” KIDS by Larry Clark covers “OMG, the kids and their sex.” Chad Kultgen’s books from the ’00s, like THE AVERAGE AMERICAN MALE and especially MEN, WOMEN, AND CHILDREN, are EUPHORIA in text form, but no one reads any more so they don’t count. Kultgen can also be more explicit because he’s working in text, and text is like what happens in the dark, it doesn’t count. Ignore EUPHORIA’s shock value, pay attention to its subliminal message, “The nuclear family is good.” In THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE and ZOOLANDER, its sequel, the subliminal message is “kill.” In EUPHORIA, remember, “Nuclear family == good. Commit. Commit to your partner. Do it for yourself, do it for the kids.”

Sultry but dimly lit, because in the dark it doesn’t count. Get it? Like one youth chronicler said, of my peers, “With the lights out, it’s less dangerous / Here we are now, entertain us.” Back then the kids weren’t all right either.

The underestimated power of scent

Naturally Selective: Female Orgasm and Female Sexual Selection,

However, the strongest predictor of female sexual response was none of these—it was attractive partner smell.

This will come as no surprise to, say, Jennifer Aniston, who is on record as saying that there is no better smell than that of the man you love, but it was an interesting finding to us. This is because smell appears to advertise your genome to potential partners. The science is complex, and some of it is in dispute, but there is credible research that immune system compatibility—what would make your baby healthy if you were to have one together—is signalled (both ways) by how attractive you find your partner’s smell. That women’s olfactory bulbs, the part of the brain that processes smell, are fully 40 percent denser than men’s would fit well with the knowledge that their decision-making here needs to be keener than men’s.

So, in brief, it seems that Darwin was right when he said “The power to charm females has been more important than the power to conquer other males in battle.”

Most men and women image match, that is, find someone who is fairly like them, in terms of obvious sexual market value (SMV). Sometimes, though, there’s no image match in a couple… if the higher-value partner is a woman, she might really like the man’s scent. Sounds minor but might not be. If you get a woman who’s preternaturally into you, your scent might drive her mad. Contrastingly, if she seems keen but doesn’t like the first kiss, you might be getting the reverse. That is one reason why a woman you’ve been flirting with might back away after the first kiss, she finds the fullness of your scent unappealing, through no fault of your own, unless you are fat or otherwise not taking care of yourself.

You don’t know until you try. Online dating is often rubbish because if the woman takes the time to match, banter, meet you in real life, and then doesn’t like your scent, she’s wasted a bunch of time, as have you. Hormonal birth control can affect a woman’s scent preferences, and some divorces stem from the couple marrying, the woman getting off BC to conceive, and then finding herself less attracted to her husband… and more attracted to her colleague Greg, yes, what is it about him that’s so different than it was a few months ago? She doesn’t know, she only feels “something has changed.” Her husband isn’t the same man any more.

There is a very large amount of randomness in the game, I and many others have written, and noticed. Scent compatibility is one small, yet critical, variable in the mix. I’ve also been more “scent compatible” with some women than others: women’s scents can range from intoxicating to arousing to neutral to so-so, and occasionally to negative, although that’s rare on an otherwise attractive, healthy woman.

The ignorant learn only from slow experience, the wise learn from augmenting experience with reading.

“Why I Left Feminism”

Why I Left Feminism.” She recounts her erroneous thinking: “I was also under the impression that children would ‘get in my way,’ and therefore I must achieve my career goals first and foremost,” when it turns out children are the point. She “Realized Men and Women Have Different Interests,” on average.

An obsession with independence and freedom is poisonous to women… and to men. Something to be aware of, given the over-prioritization of independence among some guys I read and some readers of this work.

It’s pretty rare to read something this graceful. Much of what passes for feminist “thought” online reads like cope.

The time horizon question

Lately I’ve been talking about time horizons and how there’s frequently a tension between what’s optimal in the short term versus the long term: when you’re thinking about an action, set of actions, program, program of study, etc., it’s useful to consider “tonight” “this week” “this month” “this year” “this decade” “these two decades.” Some guys can have great days, or great weeks, that don’t add up to anything, a topic that arises due to The curious, cautionary fates of many of the guys who go deep into game and Internet. The question is, can guys get different time horizons in alignment, despite those time horizons being in tension with each other?

A great night tonight might mean this, but if you do that every week, that’s catastrophic. A great decade might mean a lot of grinding work, but without any of the things that can make life worth living. Many top guys figure out how to balance their time horizons, and many ineffective guys focus exclusively on the short term (girls of course do the same, but girls face a different set of game constraints than men do). Sugar is short term, measured in seconds or minutes, as are video games, measured in hours. But developing special and unique skills might take years, and yet you won’t develop them if you don’t put the work in every day. On a day-by-day basis, it might be fun to f**k around, and then watch as months or years pass, that time put into a video game machine or bong, instead of something lasting, sustainable, and meaningful.

When I speak of how there is no easy way, there is only the hard way, I’m saying that top guys usually have to focus on doing this today that might not bear fruit for months or years. It’s easy to misinterpret red quest as a work and philosophy because you only see the tip of the spear: you read a work that’s the result, often, of decades of work. Top guys manage to think short and long term: a great experience right now, but also a set of activities and strategies that’ll help guys “build wealth slowly” as xbtusd likes to say. What’s great in the short term may be poisonous long term. I can’t tell you how to optimize your life, but I can tell you you should be aware of this principle. In sexual terms, I’ve tended to optimize for short-term activities: hours to months. In the last year or two, I’ve been trying to change that, and instead focus on years to decades… which may mean moving against my feral player instincts. Can I lay the foundations for a good life, long term, or will I be waylaid by my desire for carnal sluts? Tune in next year to find out.

Some Internet can be good, too much is bad. I’ve been doing too much. What? I’m not perfect, I make mistakes.

If there’s a message in red quest besides “group sex is fun and people should try it out, and here’s how to do it” it’s “things are complex and resist simple / easy answers.” Most of us want easy answers, most of us have limited attention spans, most of us are ineffective… with the results seen everywhere. This post isn’t immediately actionable in a universal way, like “lift” or “don’t eat sugar” or “call your mom” is, but it applies to many of us, if not most.

Cocky funny with two girls in a bar [FR]

Xbtusd comes with a spicy field report straight from the streets.

Girls can be self defeating, an idea best explained through a story: I’ve been holed up for around a month due to getting COVID, and then with everyone I know going back into lockdown hibernation mode I was craving some social energy, so a friend and I headed to a local bar. It’s a great spot, designed to look like the inside of a log cabin, with a working wood stove in the back room. It’s cozy and was poppin last night. As I’ve said before, my bar game is pretty bad, but I’ve committed to approaching every time a certain set of conditions is met (“committing to doing something” and then doing it is how you get better at anything). As I entered, I noticed two reasonably cute girls (6/7s) sitting at the bar facing each other; the tall one faced and stared at me like she knew me. I often meet people and forget them, so I started racking my brain as I paused to figure out if I knew her—and not snub her if we had met. Like most dudes, usually my memory for cute girls is better than my memory for people in general. 

I couldn’t remember her, so my buddy and I just kept walking. We grabbed some drinks and settled into a spot against the wall and were just hanging, having a good time. I wanted to approach those two girls but also was slightly wary they might be either doing “girl time” and would get pissed if I approached, or that they were maybe on a date with each other, which can get you killed for interrupting where I live. I wanted to avoid that mistake so I figured I’d try and do some recon. Eventually a spot at the bar opened up next to them so I grabbed it (proximity can count as flirting), and tossed my jacket onto the bar and tried to get the bartender’s attention. As I did that, the girl on my left (“Lauren,” as I later learned) said, “is this your jacket?” and we both kind of bumped arms. I said yes, and then she smiled and said, “I was just looking for a way to start a conversation with you.” These two girls were not only NOT on a date with each other, NOT looking for girl time, but wanted to get fucked and were at the bar with the explicit intention to meet dudes. Okay, I’ll bite.

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Reading THE GAME, the original, by Neil Strauss

THE GAME, the classic memoir, is still a fun read, maybe because, at the expense of truthfulness, it follows a very classic structure, in which the hero (Neil) gets an almost literal “call to action” or “call to adventure,” meets helpers (Mystery) as well as challengers and temptations (bad chicks, liars, also Mystery), undergoes severe challenges on his quest, descends into the abyss, atones, and finally returns bequeath us with the game. What’s it most missing? In my view, regular readers will not be surprised to learn, non-monogamy… these guys want to sleep around but haven’t figured out how to structure their relationships and lives to enable women to be congruent and consistent with that desire. Much of the silly drama in THE GAME could be resolved or lessened through a non-monogamy structure, though I also think most of the guys described lack the maturity or intellectual framework to put it into practice.

Mystery has a problem when he sleeps with some chick, and then “she e-mailed Mystery’s girlfriend, Patricia, and told her about her boyfriend’s extracurricular activities. The fallout nearly destroyed his relationship, and in the process taught him that there was a downside to being a pickup artist: getting caught.” Solution, tell the chicks you’re into non-monogamy, make them part of that structure, help the threesomes flow.

When I first read THE GAME, I thought, “Cool, a guide to sleeping with more chicks, more effectively.” Now I read it and think, “There are things these guys get, but they are immature and miss so much.”

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The curious, cautionary fates of many of the guys who go deep into game and Internet

Tom Torero has died, and he is said to have died by suicide. RIP. I don’t recall when or how I first started reading him, but it was many years ago, and I bought some of his books. I remember finding both DAYGAME and BELOW THE BELT (neither seem available on Amazon right now, sadly) amusing and at times inspiring: though, like many guys interested in these matters, there seemed to be a thread of darkness running through his soul + writings. He was smart, and I’m saddened by his passing.

There is a line of intellectual descent running through many guys interested in pickup or seduction, and it seems many guys found his work. Right now, the TomTorero.com domain seems dead, and I wonder if anyone has a backup of his material.

A few years back he asked if I’d be on his podcast: for reasons of anonymity and such, I said no, though I listened to some episodes. If he’d been born centuries ago, he might have been a priest, or a heretic, the line between those two positions being thin. Heresy attracts me.

I’m saddened, and have read some of the memorials devoted to Tom, and I’m also thinking about others who have trod, if not his path, then paths adjacent to him: Roosh found god and has become… a curious personage, to be polite, although there are many less-polite descriptions possible. If you wish to have him exhort you to find god yourself and stop sleeping with hot chicks, you can do so, though I don’t personally wish to.

Another guy, Goldmund, tried to monetize game and being a game coach for a number of years, before disappearing for a while and then coming back around, apparently also in some kind of spiritual/religious cast, after family tragedy. I find his recent work and exhortations… not compelling. That he’s done a 180, though, is notable. Why should we believe he won’t randomly change again? He is scientifically and technically illiterate, something he shares with others in this space.

Continue reading “The curious, cautionary fates of many of the guys who go deep into game and Internet”

“How did you figure all this out?” On women and dating

A guy at reddit asks that rarest of things, an interesting question, which got started from this post. The guy says, “I was the outsider for a long time (I box professionally) so I had this idea that it doesn’t matter what the average person says or think, I can do whatever I want. I was super disagreeable and would keep grudges (and of course I lost friends like that). This was my most recent realisation, after finishing my study abroad year in Madrid. Having (the right) friends give you an unwavering amount of confidence and motivation, whether it’s picking up a girl or starting a business.”

Furthermore, “the contrast thing is also very true. A lot of my friends think I get girls mostly because of boxing plus I study at a top university in the UK, but the reality is because I paint and post it on Instagram.” Yet he says grew up in poverty. He asks, though: “how did you figure all this out?” It took me a while to figure out how to answer him, because to answer it with any level of honesty demands detail. So I took a shot:

Getting hit in the face (figuratively, mostly, took boxing lessons but never fought), failing, flailing, struggling, reading Peter Thiel (one of the great geniuses of our age, even when he’s wrong), reading broadly + deeply (the people who tell you fiction is a waste of time are dumb), observing, practicing, feeling humiliated by rejection from chicks, realizing some chick is saying “ljbf” before she goes off to get railed half an hour later, trying to figure things out, reading pickup / game / red pill blogs (for too long now, though I’ve learned much from these guys, even some of the crazy ones), studying Bayesian statistics, studying statistical thinking more generally, talking to guys. Some of the “how did you figure all this out?” is just an interest in puzzles, of which human social life presents many. A lot of guys are stuck in an overly simplistic mindset, where they think “iff a, then success” when in reality “a” may be helpful, but success is rarely, if ever, monocausal. That overly simplistic mindset is evident in many comments online, many of which are so incomplete as to be effectively wrong. Many aspects of success in social life are not only not monocausal, but they’re a matter of balancing opposites: an idea many Internet users reject.

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Will public and socially acknowledged sex tapes become common?

An adult film performer has 300k followers on Twitter: it doesn’t matter which one, but I remarked to xbtusd, RPD, and another friend that she got those followers just for being attractive and naked: I said, “we live in an amazing world.” Xbtusd countered, “Attractive, naked, and recording yourself having sex.” He’s got a point, and yet I wonder if we’ll get to a world where recording yourself having sex and that recording being public will be socially acceptable to the extent that it doesn’t cause negative social and economic consequences; removing those social and economic consequences might drive out or down the premium those willing to violate social norms can achieve.

This isn’t as crazy as it might sound: in the 1950s, lots of people had sex before marriage, but it was a disaster for women to let it be known that they had sex before marriage, even though many women, maybe most, were doing it. It took until the 1970s, if not later, for sex before marriage to become common and expected. By today, it’s weird and bizarre for anyone not to have had sex before marriage.

Today, we’re in a situation where it’s extremely common to shoot nude photos and make sex tapes, but it’s relatively uncommon, and still reputationally damaging, for those to be publicly and socially available. We have celebrities (Kim Kardashian, Paris Hilton) whose fame is linked to their sex tapes, and in some sense we all “know” that everybody does it. The vast majority of women let me shoot nude photos. I send them the photos, and I bet many later send those on to others. At what point do sex tapes lose their ability to shock and create negative consequences? It only takes enough women whose sex tapes become public shrugging and saying, “So what? It’s not a big deal. Everyone does it.” Maybe women don’t like their sexual value being foregrounded in this way. Onlyfans is arguably accelerating pre-existing trends. I’ve run into girls who are open about having an Onlyfans account: something I’d not have expected or imagined even five years ago.

Maybe watching other people have sex is losing some of its mystique / taboo elements: watch a show like Mad Men, and observe the etiquette of that time period… like, if you’re a married woman and you’re alone in a room with a man not your husband you better have a very good excuse for that happening. Now it’s like, “Yeah I’m married and yeah I’m going out and getting drunk with the girls tonight, we might fuck a bunch of random dudes, what of it?”

In Mad Men, Don freaks out because Betty tries on a bikini, and he slut shames her (“It looks DESPERATE…”), and Betty immediately changes. That’s representative of the culture of that day; now, thongs are common, and, as mentioned, some famous women got that way because they made sex tapes. And everyone’s fine with it. Very very soon you’re gonna have chicks that are the heads of major corporations, even presidents of countries, they’ll all have sex tapes, no one will care. Italian member of parliament (MP) Cicciolina made erotic films in the ‘80s, prior to being elected to Italy’s governing body. Maybe she’s a one-off, maybe she’s a harbinger. The last American president has more in common with pr0n culture than mainstream political culture. Maybe making sex tapes will be celebrated, an exploration of sexuality, and anyone who criticizes those practices will be ostracized… the exact opposite of what we have today (shaming women for doing pr0n). To use another historical example, recorded sex might be like tattoos; something that was shocking and outrageous decades ago becomes commonplace today (noting that many people don’t have tattoos).

I’ve had female friends whose nudes and/or sex videos have been leaked. And what’s happened has mostly been… nothing. Usually the women in question spend a bit of time trying to wipe the images or videos from the Internet, using DMCA requests, and that usually works. They’re unhappy for a few weeks, and then whatever fracas might have occurred dies down, and their lives return to normal. What’s most interesting is how minor the event tends to be. Most of their friends are supportive, and angry at the ex who’s done the leaking.

Trends tend to persist, similar to how Newton’s first law tells us that objects in motion stay in motion unless acted on by an external force. What external force is going to step in to curtail the growth of women’s sexual freedoms? Or the growth of smartphones, imaging, and connectivity? I wouldn’t want to be short women’s sexual freedom over the next decade. This isn’t my view, but it’s a possible view: if sex has become totally desexualized, and nobody can get hard anymore because of a desensitization to any sexual stimulus, it’s possible women might ask, “What are the costs of an unlimited growth in sexual freedom?” Cancer is unchecked cell growth but most cancer patients damaged their body long before the cancer showed up.

Soon, we’re going to defeat most STIs via vaccination. The social and cultural consequences of this still aren’t appreciated. We’re living in a changing world. Are you ready?

The top player (seducer) is an extreme insider or an extreme outsider, but not average

The top players have a paradoxical quality: they’re often extreme insiders or extreme outsiders, rather than being average. Think about why: if you’re too insider, too consensus, you buy into “men and women are the same” and “men and women are totally and always equal” (regarding the latter, men and women have equality of opportunity, and in many ways women are favored today in business, education, and government, but equality of opportunity isn’t the same as equality of outcome). If you’re too insider, you buy too much into “the system is right,” when it frequently isn’t. You agree too much (women like it when guys break rapport intelligently). You think that “going to the best school” is smart, when what you think of as “the best school” is a marketing gimmick and will saddle you with $100,000 in student loans; something like self-teaching combined with Western Governors University is “too weird” for you, the insider, who only does what others suggest you do, and you are pathologically afraid of anything weird, anything slightly off the well-worn path in front of you. You think “the system will take care of you” when in fact the system will use you (think of all the divorced guys out there, paying alimony). You think past returns are indicative of future performance, when they may not be… property values cannot infinitely exceed GDP and wage growth, despite the fact that your fiancée wants you to buy her a house. If you’re too insider, you think chatting up strange women is “weird” and you’re afraid of rejection.

If you’re too outsider, though, you have a different set of problems that will stymie you: you think the system is totally rigged and totally bullshit, so why try at all? (A good way to end up living in your parents’ basement or in a share house with four other loser guys). Rebel too hard and you won’t be able to find the better jobs, the more important skills, the most desirable mates (women do care about what you do, they care about whether you have a functional job and economic life). If you are too outsider, you won’t be able to effectively cooperate with other people, which you need to do to build larger social and company structures (in neolithic times, the best hunters work together to take down big game). If you’re too outsider, you don’t think you need friends, and you think pure cold approach is all you need, never mind its weaknesses. If you’re too outsider, you think you don’t care what anyone thinks, including potential clients, customers, or users. You don’t care about having friends, when in fact it’s almost impossible to accomplish anything substantive alone: you need friends, mentors, people to bounce ideas off of. The dirty guy living in the desert is not getting many women. The guy living a marginal existence because he can’t be bothered to work isn’t doing well with women.

Continue reading “The top player (seducer) is an extreme insider or an extreme outsider, but not average”