The State of Affairs should be assigned reading to guys thinking about marrying but also to guys who want to be players… Esther says, “Whether we like it or not, philandering is here to stay. And all the ink spilled advising us on how to ‘affair-proof’ our relationships has not managed to curb the number of men and women who wander.” I beg you not to despair, but to contemplate the truth of that statement and think about it before you consider marrying some woman: fidelity is temporary, but some other dude’s baby is forever. What should we do with this knowledge? Consensual non-monogamy is one answer, one that I’ve elucidated extensively, probably tediously, since Perel says “infidelity has a tenacity that marriage can only envy.” Speaking of infidelity “also plunges us into today’s culture of entitlement, where we take our privileges for granted.” She says “entitlement,” but “narcissism” would be a truer, more accurate word: the ocean of attention available to women on Instagram loosens whatever bond to a man any individual woman might once have had. All her exes live in texts, waiting for her to resurrect the affair: social media dissolves the bonds of marriage and affection like strong acid dissolves metals. Women know it and will, in private, admit it… an individual man cannot keep up with the man parade on her phone, with her ADD mind as it flicks and scrolls and fantasizes. What are you going to do with this information? If you’re like most men, you’re going to ignore it, pretend it doesn’t exist, like most people pretend that growing atmospheric carbon dioxide emissions somehow won’t affect them… the past year has demonstrated the human organism’s capacity for denial, which knowledge cannot seem to staunch. There is “more freedom, as well as more uncertainty” today, but most countries fight against standard DNA testing at birth.
You can be the guy she cheats on, or the one she cheats with. Which do you prefer? Choose?
Esther says, “Affairs are a pathway to risk, danger, and the defiant energy of transgression.” And chicks are addicted to those dopamine hits today, just look at a chick on her smartphone social media apps for confirmation. Then try to have a detailed conversation with her about… any topic, really. See how deep her knowledge goes. See how committed she is to deepening it. Some chicks learn things, most don’t… but they love the excitement and are addicted to excitement in a way that inhibits long-term relationships, which can’t be adequately exciting to a girl whose imagination is formed by Instagram. Long-term relationships don’t look like what’s on TV or social media, and narcissism poisons long-term relationships. In May 2020, I wrote about How I see dating, girls, COVID-19, and the quarantines, right now, and suggested most girls would get quarantine boyfriends (QBFs): as vaccination finishes off the pandemic, it’ll be interesting to see how many of the QBFs survive re-opening. Quarantine relationships have been very real world, and not grandiose in the way girls have trained themselves on the media to dream.
Esther speaks indirectly of Red Pill and seduction when she writes, “Truth can also be irrevocably destructive and even aggressive, delivered with sadistic pleasure. On more than one occasion, I’ve seen honesty do more harm than good, leaving me to ask, Can lying sometimes be protective?” Learning some of the things I have learned may have been destructive and aggressive: did they do more harm than good? Probably not: but I am irrevocably changed by them, and I have heard from guys who have been changed by reading this. For the better? Maybe. We should be thinking about the truth more seriously… Esther says, “We have long known that one moment of lust can leave a legacy for generations. For much of history, the inevitable consequences of adultery were illegitimate children.” They still are, something that implies we should have standard genetic testing at birth. For a modern man, you never know… Esther tells many stories, like,
When Shaun found out that Jenny had been sleeping with a fellow PhD student, he felt like years of unconditional support had been repaid with a slap in the face. “I managed to stop myself from kicking the shit out of the guy, but just barely.” Instead he called her parents (less dangerous, more damaging) because he felt they needed to know who their daughter really was. “I worked so hard to give her everything she wanted—to let her leave her full-time job to get that expensive and useless PhD in medieval history.”
“Beta male” is not my favorite term but it applies here and this book is full of beta males like Shaun. There isn’t much to say beyond “Don’t be Shaun,” something you already know. Women often say they want domesticity, only to find that it kills their libidos… Esther talks about a man named “Don” who is “by no means the first man or woman to come to me to carp about sexual ennui at home.” Esther says many of those having affairs find them “a form of self-discovery, a quest for a new (or a lost) identity.” A “good” woman, Priya, who is having an affair, is seeing “a crisis of identity, an internal rearrangement of her personality. In our sessions, we talk about duty and desire, about age and youth.” For men the important lesson is that even the “good” ones might be ready to have an affair, you don’t know until you try. This girl, who I slept with, coded as “good girl” in many respects. Some of RPD’s field reports concern married chicks, although I don’t remember which ones he’s identified publicly as being married. Another woman says,
“My husband hasn’t been able to get my juices flowing in more than a decade,” Allison exclaims. “I was thirty-five and convinced there was something medically wrong with me. In all other ways, we share so much. He’s my best friend, my copilot, and from the outside, we look perfect. Then Dino showed up, and with just a few words and suggestions, he did what all the lubricants and toys had not been able to do for me. It was an amazing feeling—as if he activated me.”
Of course it’s the husband’s fault, for Allison, because the man bears the burden of performance. If you marry a woman, you’re setting up to be paying alimony and “child” support to an Allison. Esther says “the overfamiliarity that develops when intimacy and closeness replace individuality and mystery” makes women less eager to f**k. Yet that is often what needs to happen to have kids: so women get the kids they think they want, and are then primed to have an affair. Crazy! In an affair, “There is certainly no risk of the overfamiliarity that comes from sharing a bathroom for decades. Mystery, novelty, and the unknown are built in.” She says it again, “the over-familiarization of an intimate partner spells disaster for sex. The person becomes divested of his or her erotic identity. The relationship may be very loving, affectionate, and tender, but it is devoid of desire.” Consider separate bathrooms. Bedrooms, if you can afford them.
In my view, more married couples should try sex clubs and LSD, leaving the kids with the grandparents for the LSD f**k weekend. In addition, both men and women should quit simple carbs and let the kids be feral and independent, and not indulge helicopter parenting.
I want to be fair, like blindfolded Lady Justice, and there are stories of men who are mean, as well as different sorts of beta guys, for instance, “Isabelle can count on one hand the times she and Paul have had sex during their ten-year marriage, and she doesn’t have to use all her fingers. ‘Within weeks of our wedding, he lost interest.'” That’s no doubt fine for some people but it wouldn’t work for me, and Isabelle is justified in whatever she does… if he’s a guy won’t f**k a woman, she’ll find some other guy who will, and that is fairness.
The book unfortunately wastes a bunch of time talking about gay guys, who are irrelevant for straight men, because gay men are incapable of monogamy and most of them acknowledged that (there are a few exceptions, as there are with any such large group). Gay men also can’t get pregnant or impregnate another man, so they’re safe from that. It’s not hard at all to learn about gay male culture, just ask any gay dude, they’ll tell you that monogamy isn’t a thing, not really. Gay men prefer f**king more men to less and their partners want the same.
I wrote about The State of Affairs in 2018. For players the key takeaway is, “So what if she’s married? She might be bored. Take a chance.” Women have already tacitly given themselves permission, and Esther gives them an ideology about why it’s good.