XBTUSD has a follow-up post, which will make sense in the context of his earlier post.
TRQ asked about my first experience with non monogamy where I was with a girl who was not my partner.
I started to move into ethical non-monogamy (ENM) by changing the structure of the “dating” phase of relationships. Where I live, everyone assumes everyone is seeing/fucking other people until an explicit define the relationship (DTR) conversation happens. A clock starts running when you know that past a certain point, even though it was not made explicit, if your girl found out you were sleeping with another girl, she’d be angry even if technically she had no right to be (girls don’t readily accept emotional contracts). I started making the implicit contract we all sign (when we start dating people) explicit. I’d tell girls right from the starting point (first date) that I only wanted to be in non-monogamous relationships and that I didn’t want to be in any sort of committed relationship at the current moment. I like to call most relationships with an implicit contract “escalator” relationships: men know that once they start dating a girl the clock starts ticking and the girl will try and move you up the escalator as quickly as possible:
non exclusive → exclusive → meet friends → boyfriend → meet family → move in → marriage → children
Women compete for status by their ability to extract resources from high status men, and therefore it’s socially desirable to compare where they are in the relationship escalator with their friends, and in turn men throughout the years have come up with every possible way to drag their feet and slow this process. Women lose status when they can’t get you to the next step in a socially acceptable amount of time because time is the most precious resource a woman has. In the same way companies have “title” inflation to keep dumb millennials around without paying them more, men have used “title” inflation in a relationship context to keep women around longer by giving them new titles that come with no true concessions and resource investments on our part. Amongst Gen Z “exclusive” but not in a relationship is now a thing?
How can you exit this whole maddening structure? Give women the information, let them take responsibility for their choices. Rather than living in the world of don’t ask don’t tell about the other people we all know we’re seeing, I started being explicit about exactly what women could expect from me, and it was life changing. In many ways, I wasn’t doing anything that different than anyone else does when dating where I live, I was just being candid about it.
The first true extra partner experience I had once I was in a committed non monogamous relationship was actually initiated by my girlfriend (we can call her Sarah). Sarah had the highest sex drive of anyone I had ever been with, and was very sexually open. We had talked about having a threesome with a girl but she had said she wasn’t attracted to girls. She was a big drinker, and generally (like most people) became much wilder when she was drinking. One night I was at a big outdoor EDM show, rolling (MDMA) with a big crew of people and her and one of my female friends (Corey) just started making out. Corey was married to another friend of mine (Andrew). Andrew and I chatted and agreed we were both down to have a foursome. We went back to our place and had the standard hetero foursome where everyone fucks but the two dudes don’t touch each other at all. Andrew was cool with it but was slightly nervous so a lot of it was Corey and Sarah hooking up and us watching. I felt no fear/disgust/nervousness but rather was super turned on by the whole thing. I think a big part of it was that I knew everyone so well. It was hard to imagine feeling threatened by the interaction. A week later we all got together and debriefed and everyone agreed they had a great time. No latent jealousy, misunderstandings etc.
On another topic…
The biggest criticism of my last post was my allusion to “social programming”. TRQ and Nash both commented that they felt my response was more likely due to “biological programming” and this highlights a distinction in how I see the world vs many in the Red Pill (TRP).
Culture has a far larger effect and our biology gives us much more flexibility than most in TRP acknowledge. There are certain inviolable biological constraints, but the design of humans biology is quite flexible which is why you see our species thrive in nearly any physical or social environment (religion/culture).
TRP people frequently discuss evolutionary biology and psychology. There is clearly much we can learn from studying our ancestors and how the male and female wiring differs. However, I see evidence / literature cherry picked to support an argument about why AWALT (all women are like that), rather than starting from first principles and letting the conclusions arise naturally from the data. From my read on the data, our biological urges are strong, but humans are intentionally designed to be incredibly adaptable creatures. The human brain takes 25 years to develop, whereas most animals come out of the womb fully programmed for their environment. I see humans as hosts to a virus (DNA), that seeks to do one thing – replicate as often as possible. Female sexual strategies and male sexual strategies differ dependent on our biology. The jury is still out among scientists as to whether males investing the maximum in each child and increasing it’s likelihood of survival or mating with as many females as possible and investing the least in each child will produce the maximum amount of offspring. Natural selection will favor males who pick the correct strategy to produce the most offspring, but which is the correct strategy?
How do we distinguish whether an instinct, reaction, urge, is biological or social/cultural programming? One way of looking at it is if all males throughout human history have behaved a certain way, it’s biological. For example: men try to fuck and women are natural selections filtering mechanism. They select for the healthiest/strongest genes they can access for their offspring. This is true of all cultures in history.
A lot of people in TRP seem to use motivated reasoning to argue that their feelings or behaviors are “natural” (biological). That raises two questions: are their behaviors truly biological and does a biologically programmed impulse mean that it can’t or shouldn’t be changed?
Many people fall prey to the naturalist fallacy arguing that we are simply our biology. I believe we are more than our biology. Just because we have a biological urge or desire, doesn’t mean that we must be a slave to it. Men are biologically programmed to have as many children as possible, and yet I find most modern Western men avoiding children at all costs. Why don’t we just do what’s natural and create our brood as early and as often as possible? We don’t do this because civilization is mastering your biologically programmed drives. However, totally ignoring the drive to procreate for too long also might not bring you fulfillment (see Catholic priests…)
Was the fear response I described in my last post biological? In many cultures throughout history where non monogamy was the dominant social structure. If the impulse is biological it would have to be present in all cultures. But even so, if many societies have show it to be possible, without men feeling the “disgust” or “anger” response to sharing a woman, this can’t be an “instinct”. There’s good discussions of these examples in Sex at Dawn. When most in TRP use the word “men”, and cite statistics showing how “most men” behave they are typically referring only to Western men in living in a small number of countries and ignore experiences of men in other cultures which are often dramatically different. Furthermore, why do we use what most men feel/do/think as any kind of barometer? Most mens lives are depressing. Do we aspire to live the lives of the average male?
Let’s look at some data. How common is this desire for non monogamy? If feelings around monogamy or a mate guarding instinct are biological, they should be pretty constant across time and culture, and yet they’re not.
Some specific Nash comments I wanted to respond to…
“In a “monogamous” relationship, the “fluids” (and everything else) is shared between the two partners. When you bring in other people, (I’ll argue) you are “subconsciously” taking on the bodily fluids of the other guy/girl. It’s not well thought out – but IT IS FELT. You don’t have to know “why,” you just FEEL disgusted.”
Feelings are important, but do we want our behavior to be driven by our feelings? Isn’t this a typically feminine/childlike way of approaching life? I’d also challenge people to not assume that their feelings are static. If we feel fear when approaching the girl and we let that control us, we’d never get over that approach anxiety and develop ourselves. Why is the feeling of disgust more important to respect than the feeling of fear, anxiety, sadness, guilt? Men who are in the ENM aren’t more evolved, but they are exploring what happens when you don’t let feelings of jealousy and disgust determine how they will behave.
“Lance Mason used to say, “If it’s far away, it’s no big deal… but if it’s right in front of you, it cuts deeper.” Vague knowledge of “another” can be lived with in a way that “you’re telling me you fucked that guy??” often cannot.”
Many people create a false dichotomy where they believe they have created a safe space free from jealousy/disgust/fear in a non-monogamous world. The evidence seems to show that far from it, when we ignore/hide emotions rather than confronting them, they eat away at us. A text pops up on your partners phone at 11:42PM from Brian. And the wheels start spinning. Given that it’s likely that it will be in front of you at some point, why not create a structure for how to deal with it? For some, knowing just a little bit eats away at you much more than knowing the truth (myself included). I’ve found that women are often dying to “define the relationship” because they can’t deal with the anxiety of not knowing how you feel. This first few months of dating for a woman is filled with stress and anxiety and they don’t enjoy it. If you can provide structure for how to process those emotions, they experience can transform into something more positive. They want to move from insecurity to security. Passion to certainty.
I would invite people to consider that some of the emotions you feel, the things you define as instinctual, might be a function of the tremendous social conditioning we are subject to. Yoylo pointed this out in response to Nash’s comment about a man feeling shame after realizing he had gotten some guys “sloppy seconds”. The neuroscientist David Eagleman writes about how deeply our environment shapes our brain:
- People you love become part of you — not just metaphorically, but physically. You absorb people into your internal model of the world. Your brain refashions itself around the expectation of their presence. After the breakup with a lover, the death of a friend, or the loss of a parent, the sudden absence represents a major departure from homeostasis. As Kahlil Gibran put it in The Prophet, “And ever has it been that love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation.”
- In this way, your brain is like the negative image of everyone you’ve come in contact with. Your lovers, friends, and parents fill in their expected shapes. Just like feeling the waves after you’ve departed the boat, or craving the drug when it’s absent, so your brain calls for the people in your life to be there. When someone moves away, rejects you, or dies, your brain struggles with its thwarted expectations. Slowly, through time, it has to readjust to a world without that person.
Our reactions to our environment are biological because our environment shapes our brain, it literally becomes part of us, and thus we react on a deep instinctual level to the delta between what the brain expected and what it got.
Red Quest again. I’d note that a lot of women don’t want to take responsibility for themselves. I’d take their stated claims of not being responsible for themselves seriously. Think of all the women who say they were “seduced” or they “didn’t mean to” do something. Not all women, obviously, but a larger number than I’d once have believed.
I’d also agree that we can choose to control aspects of our biological inclination, but that jealousy tends to be innate because jealousy is useful for reproduction. It’s true, certainly, that biological inclinations can vary greatly among individuals, and some people feel little to no jealousy. Regarding non-monogamy, most of that was technically “polygyny,” or men having more than one wife / “wife.” Out of Eden, The Surprising Consequences of Polygamy is a good treatment, and the book is also cited heavily in Attention is the only tool modern men have.
The last section of XBTUSD’s post may explain why being a player is so hard: players often leave a string of broken relationships behind them. Or I should probably say, “Behind us.”
4 thoughts on “XBTUSD on his first non-monogamy experiences”
I’ve been actively non mono for the past couple of years. Prior to that I intrinsically wanted to hook up with other women, even while in an LTR that I did love. I finally embraced non monogamy when I realized I too could have both things. This is just me thinking out loud a bit, and could be way off but here goes!
Without jumping too far into the research (which I can’t do anyway), I really think jealousy is an exposure type emotion. If we get to the root of it, the simpler way to define jealousy is fear. Fear that your girl is going to leave you for someone else, fear that she’s going to get pregnant, or catch an STD,etc. Essentially that’s more or less what’s wrapped up in jealousy. Like most types of fear the more you’re actually exposed to something, the effect diminishes.
This also partly explains why jealousy is nearly universally, but runs massively across the spectrum as far as severity (and even extends to people that are turned on by it/like to watch).
It’s much more visceral in guys that have everything tied up in one woman (love, companionship, sex, feminine energy and whatever other things). When all of that is from one single person, you’re going to defend it fiercely. Most guys aren’t good at picking up women, so have very limited choices.
Even in other TRP spheres most guys think non mono means her getting banged 8 days a week while you jerk off (and it may be true in some cases).
I couldn’t agree more to everything you’ve said! Exposure over time is the key point I’ve tried to point out to people when they think about their relationship to fear/jealousy, fixed rather than growth mindset. It’s also key to believe you have options, the fear grows as you see the risk of losing her as the risk of never having access to sex/love/intimacy again. Non mono for men requires an abundance mindset/situation.