Practical tips from “Real World Divorce:” “Don’t slide into marriage”

Most of this post is not me! It’s from Real World Divorce, a book by Alexa Dankowski, Suzanne Goode, Philip Greenspun, Chaconne Martin-Berkowicz, and Tina Tonnu. The most important part is: “What’s her best advice to people hoping to have a lifelong marriage?” And the answer: “Don’t slide into marriage. When you move in or have a child together, do it on purpose,” which is one of the things I’ve done right in my life. I’ve never gotten married, and although I’ve been rammed by the so-called “family court” system, at least I haven’t gotten hit with the alimony too:

“Marriage used to be something you did first and then you built your life on that,” said Bryndl Hohmann-Marriott, an American sociologist currently teaching at University of Otago. “Now it is a capstone event that you do after you achieve other things. This results in people waiting until they are much older to have children. In New Zealand right now there are more women age 35-39 having children than women 20-25.”

In light of Professor Hohmann-Marriott’s observation, staying married is more important than it used to be because people are getting married at an age where they have fewer remaining years in which to recover from a mistake.

Hofmann-Marriott’s research, in collaboration with Professor Paul Amato at Penn State, shows that there are plenty of divorces in marriages that are just as happy as those that continue for decades. “Nothing distinguished the quality of marriage for those people who got divorced out of low-distress [nobody hitting anyone] marriages,” Professor Hohmann-Marriott told us, “so it has to be just a lack of personal commitment to the institution of marriage that explains some divorces.” What’s her best advice to people hoping to have a lifelong marriage? “Don’t slide into marriage. When you move in or have a child together, do it on purpose.”

Based on our interviews with attorneys, psychologists, and sociologists, as well as our review of the literature, a good starting point is to find people who have a cultural or religious commitment to marriage. They are the ones who will be willing to put in some work and effort when there are bumps in the road, rather than picking up the phone to call a litigator. At the other end of the spectrum are children of divorce who are themselves prone to becoming divorced. “If she didn’t have a close and loving relationship with her daddy,” we were told, “she isn’t going to be able to handle being a wife.” This perspective is echoed in the psychology literature. From Father-Daughter Relationships: Contemporary Research and Issues (Nielsen 2012): “Which mothers are the least likely to be gatekeepers? Generally speaking, mothers who keep the coparenting gate open share several things in common (Titelman, 2008; Cannon, 2008; Chiland, 1982; Krampe & Newton, 2006; Pleck & Masciadrelli, 2010). First, these mothers had good relationships with their fathers while they were growing up. They value and appreciate fathers. They believe men and women should be equal parents. In contrast, the gatekeepers more often grew up in single-parent, divorced, or unhappily married families. Their relationships with their fathers were distant, troubled, or virtually nonexistent.” Most states’ divorce courts substantially reward gatekeeper mothers by awarding custody to the “historical primary caregiver” of a child. By definition a gatekeeper mother will have been the dominant parent during a marriage.

The research of Brinig and Allen shows that your chance of being sued for divorce rises with the amount of money that your spouse can get from you and with the probability that your spouse can win sole custody of the children. You can increase your chances of staying married, therefore, by marrying someone wealthier than yourself and by ensuring that you are not in a jurisdiction where the other spouse can easily get sole custody of the children (e.g., if you’re a man, try to settle in Arizona or Delaware).

Men don’t take women on “dinner” dates because women don’t want to go on them

In “Is ‘Netflix and Chill’ Actually a Good Date?” a writer named Beejoli Shah laments how “As a woman rapidly approaching 30, one of my largest personal failings is the fact that I’ve yet to go on a first date that involves eating food on purpose.” There’s a reason: Women don’t really like dinner dates, they find those dates awkward, and those dates don’t put them in the mood for sex. Smart guys get burned by one or two dinner dates, in which they pay and a woman says LJBF, and then guys learn to stop inviting women on those dates. As you can infer I speak from experience, as I made the dinner mistake once or twice after college.

Shah says

when it comes to being asked to sit down with a man for a meal that didn’t come in a paper bag from a place we happened to wander by, things haven’t quite metastasized

Shah could say that the only way she’s going on a date is if it involves dinner. But if she did, the guys she most wants to fuck would next her. The guys she least wants to fuck might take the bait. Either way will leave her unsatisfied.

My approach was straightforward: “Netflix and chill? I hear it’s all the cool teen rage these days,” which I hoped would offer me an out if I was immediately rejected. But judging by the reactions I received, no one else labored under the false delusions that I did. Men, for all their bravado of how easy it is to hookup these days, are overwhelmingly terrified by the idea of being propositioned simply for sex.

If I were offered “Netflix and chill” by someone attractive, I’d be excited. I’d want to meet them in public first, though.

Beejoli Shah claims that the men she meets aren’t interested hookups, but typing her name into Google Image reveals the most likely culprit. She is in fact not living in the same world as the women most men would like to hook up with.

No one should take the dating / romantic / hookup / game advice of a person seriously without at least seeing what they look like and knowing what their vibe is like. We all live in our own little bubbles and generalize from those bubbles.

Shah is having a very different experience than a pretty girl would, just like attractive guys have a different experience than ugly ones, which is why the initial advice newbies get always involves improving overall attractiveness and social skills. Karley Sciortino, the chick who writes slutever.com, is hot. Her experience dating is different because she’s hot. Always remember that when you people’s generalization on the Internet. If you don’t know their real-life hotness, vibe, coolness, and social circle, you don’t know shit about them. That includes me too.

 

“Why Happy Couples Cheat” from Esther Perel

Why even happy couples cheat” is a talk from Esther Perel, and I found it on the Sex Positive sub-Reddit. Her book Mating in Captivity should also be read closely, and Red Pill guys will get different things out of it. Although Mating in Captivity is superficially about how to maintain an erotic spark in a long-term relationship, a better reading is simpler and, for many men, harsher: All long-term relationships eventually curdle. Partners get bored with each other. Boredom is baked into the structure of relationships.

Expect cheating or misery or both from long-term relationships of sufficient duration. The only way out is not to engage in them (or, possibly, to engage in them at a much older age: 40+ at a bare minimum).

“Why Even Happy Couples Cheat” is an extension of Mating in Captivity: they cheat because cheating is a way of avoiding both the trade-offs of relationships (security, reliability) and being single (novelty, fun).

The important point, however, is not about the why “happy” couples cheat, but about what lessons you should incorporate into your own life:

  1. Don’t get married. This should be obvious.
  2. If someone tells you the baby is yours, make sure a DNA test proves it.
  3. Always have a contingency plan in any relationship. You’re only as good as your options.
  4. Don’t live together. This one is personally important because a couple weeks ago I told a woman I was dating that I didn’t want to live with a woman again. She was flabbergasted and wanted to know why. I explained that I think sex is better and relationships are better with distance. This strategy is less economical, but I’d rather live in a tiny studio on my own than a palatial two- or three-bedroom apartment with someone else. I also lived with a woman in my 20s and had two kids with her. I made the usual mistakes but I avoided two very important ones: I never married her and we never bought property together. Owning property in today’s day and age is slavery, not freedom. When our relationship ended, I could just leave the lease. I got reamed through the usual ways with child “support,” but I could still leave by letting the lease end and avoided giving up more money through alimony.

The latest woman and I broke up because the relationship “wasn’t going anywhere.” To me, it was its own reward, but that wasn’t true for her. I actually respect her for the solid breakup and no backsliding.

  1. Most people have no idea what they actually want. I’m not an exception to this. You probably aren’t either.

I think we’re undergoing a slow but real realignment of the fundamental structure of society. You can fight it or accept it. I used to fight and think I was different. I’m not.

Also, you have to realize that you’re going to cheat or be cheated on. The question is: Which?

There is no viable modern alternative to learning game.

“Clothes That Attract Women” (don’t exist in and of themselves)

Clothes That Attract Women” is a very good article, and it’s so good that I don’t have much to add (though I disagree somewhat about the attraction-to-comfort ratio the author implies is best). These paragraphs are especially good:

Status is the most important aspect of attraction and that can be on a broader scale – relationship to overall status in the world or in a tribe – or on a smaller scale – relationship to the woman you’re trying to attract.

Status is relative to women – they always want someone who’s higher status than they are

Status is tricky because it can be overall status or status within a particular subculture. In fact, the more isolated a particular subculture is, the less overall status within society at large matters.

It’s hard to truly learn game because there is no single “status” button that all women will like. So seeking That One Answer for That One Girl will usually fail, because there isn’t one answer.

This guy has also done some reading in the manosphere:

Meeting some minimum standards of status for men is the same thing as meeting minimum standards of beauty for women – which is typically why the happiest couples are paired fairly closely, with the man being higher in status than the woman.

A lot of what new guys are doing is learning how perceived status works at all and how to optimize what they have. A lot of experienced guys are learning how to boost their status and learn new skills and abilities, etc.

Clothes are one part of status. Social skills are another. Looks are another. Job / lifestyle / etc. is another. General skills (like cooking) can be another. I would argue that tolerance to social rejection is actually a big part of modern status (i.e. if you are willing to tolerate rejection by a lot of women you are also more likely to uncover women who actually like you). It took me about ten years to mostly get over my own fear of rejection and if I’d done so sooner I would’ve been much better off. I also ignored style for too long and paid for that.

I won’t say the guy who writes Masculine Style is right for everybody but thinking consciously about what you want to project as a guy is a good idea.

“Women Are Now Cheating As Much As Men, But With Fewer Consequences”

Women Are Now Cheating As Much As Men, But With Fewer Consequences” appears in a mainstream outlet, which is the only surprising thing about it. The venue may be surprising, but the content is not:

The crazy part, she elaborates, is not the apparent epidemic of adultery, but that it’s the women who seem to be fueling it.

It is, perhaps, another milestone in the march to equality. Women and men are now taking an equal-opportunity approach to extramarital hanky-panky. A report out of the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University found that, for the first time in modern history, women are cheating at nearly the same rate as men. Another study, published in the National Opinion Research Center’s 2013 General Social Survey, found that while the percentage of men who admitted to infidelity has held constant over the last two decades, the percentage of wives who reported having affairs rose almost 40 percent. Gary Spivak, founder of FidelityDating, a dating website designed to help users “find a loving non-cheater” — typically after being two-timed — says that last year membership on the site was largely female. Just one year later, it’s an even 50-50 split.

Experts suggest there are a few reasons for this shift. There’s the internet, which has made finding a better and/or different partner easier than ever. There’s opportunity — more women are working outside the house, and meeting new partners in the process. And there’s economics. As women are increasingly filling the role of family breadwinners, they no longer “need” men the way they used to and so feel freer to take chances they might otherwise not. That’s the theory, anyway. Then again, a 2015 study by researchers at the University of Connecticut found that while, for men, breadwinning increases infidelity, for women, breadwinning decreases infidelity. (“By remaining faithful,” writes study author Christin Munsch, “breadwinning women neutralize their gender deviance and keep potentially strained relationships intact.”)

There actually isn’t much to elaborate or analyze. Read the article and read “Open Cuckoldry” and you’ll understand what is going on. The only remaining question is, “How should you react?”

I’ve said this before but it’s still true:

  1. Don’t get married.
  2. Don’t cohabitate.
  3. If you MUST get married or cohabitate, despite knowing that you shouldn’t, at least have a firm, actionable exit plan. You are only as good as your options.
  4. Demand DNA tests for any children “you” may father.

Finally, understand that there are really two kinds of men in this world: the ones cheated on and the ones cheated with. Which do you want to be?

Someone is lying: The new Elon Musk biography and the supposed 22-year-old virgin actress

ElonMuskBioThe Elon Musk biography is totally worth reading. One excerpt is published publicly. You should only read it to understand and maybe emulate Elon Musk’s insane work ethic (though not necessarily in the same domains: if guys emulated Musk’s work ethic but devoted their time to game, they’d be getting laid like Hugh Hefner). Musk’s is the ultimate purpose-driven life.

So far so good. You should not, however, emulate Musk’s approach to women. One part of the book consists of lies: Lies a hot actress told to Musk or Ashlee Vance, or lies Musk told to Vance, or lies that Vance picked up from somewhere else, and they show that Vance or Musk or both are naive about women.

Talulah Riley, who Musk married, divorced, and re-married, is described in the book as “a twenty-two-year-old up-and-coming actress,” and she was at a London club called “Whiskey Mist” when she met Musk. Vance says, “Musk and Riley sat at a table with their friends but immediately zeroed in on each other.” “The older Musk, meanwhile, took on the role of the soft-spoken, sweet engineer.” Being a “soft-spoken, sweet engineer” is not good, although if you’re a millionaire many times over and decently good looking you might be able to get away with it.

That night, apparently according to Riley’s description, she “allowed Musk to place his hand on her knee.” She’d allegedly “been living at home with parents” until the week before she met Musk. Do you buy it? I don’t.

After their second or third date, the two went to Musk’s hotel room, and “Musk told Riley, a virgin, that he wanted to show her his rockets.” Until she became engaged to Musk, Vance writes that “Riley had been a model daughter up to that point, never giving her parents much of anything to worry about.”

I don’t believe it. Women who aren’t highly sexual don’t become actresses. That being said, Vance says Riley is “a lifelong teetotaler.” It may be that Riley is one of those “oral and anal don’t count” women who do exist and sometimes exist for a weirdly long time. It’s rarely a good idea to understate a woman’s ability to lie to herself; the easiest way to lie to others is to believe the lie. But I’m skeptical even of that. I think someone is just sucker, although I’m not sure who.

Someone is lying and we just don’t know who or how. Riley being a virgin is ridiculous. Riley pitching herself as such makes total sense.

The book describes how Musk and Riley married and divorced, and Riley gives this reason for their first divorce: “I just wasn’t happy. I thought maybe I had made the wrong decision for my life.” She says she returned to Musk because of the “lack of viable alternatives. I looked around, and there was no one else nice to be with. Number two is that Elon doesn’t have to listen to anyone in life. No one. He doesn’t have to listen to anything that doesn’t fit into his worldview.” The idea that there is no one else “nice” for a gorgeous 20-something is ridiculous and yet Vance seems to believe it or believe it enough to repeat it. There may be no one else “rich” and “famous” who is willing or foolish enough to wife her up.

More likely: most rich, famous guys figure out what’s going on with women and aren’t dumb enough to fall for the shit Musk, despite his epic business and technical achievements, falls for. Musk is a genius in some domains and a kindergartener in dating.

Oh, and here’s one other thing: What have you accomplished lately? Vance writes: “Musk has decided that man’s survival depends on setting up another colony on another planet and that he should dedicate his life to making this happen.”

Sometimes I think I’ve accomplished a lot. Then I read about guys like Elon Musk and get serious perspective. Sure, I know more about women than him. But in most other domains he’s impossibly far beyond me.

Between the time I first wrote this and now, Musk has supposedly started dating domestic violence accuser Amber Heard. Stupid, stupid, stupid. This guy knows everything about technology and nothing about women.

You should read the Nick Krauser books on game, like “Adventure Sex”

You should read the Nick Krauser books. They are expensive and only available as physical copies on Lulu. But they are also far more in-depth than almost any forum post, blog, or website. If you spend any amount of time here, they are going to be worth the money because they explain in detail the theory and practice of fucking hot girls, just like the very good textbooks in college are chosen because they’re comprehensive and will accelerate your learning / knowledge.

In my head I’m good with women but on reading the Krauser memoirs I’ve started to realize that I’m not, not really. I have some key advantages in terms of looks, vibe, and a willingness to take rejection, but I’m not good. I could never write Adventure Sex because I don’t know enough to write it. We’re around the same age, maybe I’m a little older, but he seems to consistently f**k higher quality girls than I do. I can get high-quality chicks… just less consistently. For like two years I was seeing this girl who was 19 – 21 cause she was working in a coffee shop and I worked her there, but that was an anomaly and I know it. When she wanted to move in with me and I said no things came to their end.

Adventure Sex is mostly about the processes that lead to success. It also recognizes the darkness that tinges Krauser’s writing. Sometimes he makes the darkness explicit, as when he fucks one girl and she says:

“You should give my boyfriend sex lessons. You’re so good at it!” A man doesn’t want to hear that. Superficially it’s great for the ego to know you’re cucking another guy – it’s like stealing his lunch money – and also to be flattered about your sexual prowess. The downside is it forces you to look into the abyss. Men Really don’t like to know how depraved and wanton women really are. We prefer the purity fantasy.

(Page 288)

When I was younger I think I preferred the purity fantasy also, especially about the woman who I was with for a lot of my 20s and who is the mother of two of my children (yes, I checked via DNA, for those of you wondering). But purity isn’t real and most women can be turned towards hot adventure sex. In most women the desire to be fucked by a hot guy is there, however subdued it is. I remember the first time I fucked a married woman in her mid-30s (or really I just got fucked by her). She was hot enough for me and it was easy to read the boredom in her eyes, but she basically took me up more than me taking her up. If you are like most guys and wait for chicks you will not do as well as you can. With her I felt both dominant and disgusting after it. It’s a strange but real sensation and the sort of thing you do not read on Reddit very much (I think because most of the guys here are not so experienced, or as experienced as they claim). Experiencing deep, conflicting emotions is somewhat common in real life but does not get a strong airing on Reddit. That woman was one of the keys for me, and she helped me fully understand the (hot) depravity that a lot of women are capable of, but that much of society tries to hide from men.

Truth is that with her I didn’t do that much apart from opening the door. If it hadn’t been me it would’ve been someone else. I want to get even better though and make more things happen, but getting better means knowing your weaknesses and systematically working to improve them.

I am rambling some but the point is that the book is good, and pretty much every chapter I highlighted a section that made me go, “Yes, that is exactly how it is.” Or:

The ten minutes after sex are probably the only times in my life I have a genuinely clear mind, freed from sexual desire and at peace with the world. Women can’t fully appreciate just how thoroughly the sex drives dominates a man’s life. He’s never free of it. It’s testosterone that determines your libido and men have seventeen times more of it than women.

(Page 290)

I feel similarly but to do good work I have to thrust sex out of my mind and focus solely on work, forcing my attention to it if need be. It’s mostly after work that the sex drive comes flooding back and I find myself on the hunt, thinking and acting with my dick, chasing chicks, looking online, in bars, escorts, the sex tapes I’ve made, whatever, depending on what I need and what the options are. I don’t live in a great place for day game and that is a shame because if I did I would try it more (I am also not very good at it).

The paradoxes of being a really successful guy are many, and I do not see them discussed as often as I should. The thinking here is too binary, too black and white in a world filled with gray and ambiguities. Paradoxes like, “Successful player have it within themselves to maintain that empirical mindset while also being creative, inductive and deductive at the same time.” Most guys are empiricists or creatives, but the best ones fuse the two.

I talked about the darkness earlier and it strikes again at the end of the book:

Most men are not sexually attractive and in 2009 that described me. I’d experienced White Man God mode in Japan but knew it was overrated – it’s never the hot Asian girls who play that game with you. Gamme males such as 2009-vintage me play that game because they are completely frozen out of their own mating markets. Better a mid-level Asian girl than a fat Western sow.

Game had promised a way out – a secret system of tricks and wheezes to bullshit women into bed, or so I thought in the beginning. That promised to be something I lacked. I began my journey with a crushing burden of negative limiting beliefs, all stemming from that one gnawing self-esteem issue – I wasn’t attractive to girls.

(page 493)

The journey of becoming attractive took many years and many tries. The things that drive him may not drive you. Like for him it is all about the new girl and the next girl and he does not want to spend time with the girls mostly. I really like that and I am also obsessed with making my own porn videos, so I am not the same as him and neither are you. I like group sex and anonymity and other things like that, things that some of you here will think are degenerate but I find them super hot. Your goals will change with what you really want. I also have an extreme aversion to fat girls and have sometimes said pointlessly mean things to them. I have also sometimes talked about why diet matters and discipline and other psychological things that fat girls don’t get, unless they want to stop being fat.

There are a lot of posts on Krauser’s website, but they cannot achieve the comprehensiveness of the books. Books and long-form narrative are still irreplaceable, and if the only reading you do is fragmentary Internet stuff you are wasting time and mental energy. Yes, Reddit is useful in its place but it cannot and will not replace books. You will very rarely get real experts on Reddit, here or in the seduction subsection. Sorry. I know I am not a real expert but I also have a decent idea of what real experts are like.

Real seduction experts are also rare because most guys eventually settle in with a hot, high-quality woman. It takes an unusual guy to keep at the game (“Had I been a normal man, I’d have married her already. Sadly, I’m not a normal man.”) I think he’s got an extremely avoidant attachment style. If you Google Scholar some more you will find it. I don’t know if that issue comes from childhood or from his first wife or what, but I do not think very many people could live anything like him.

There are bad parts of Adventure Sex. Krauser is a flaming, incredible racist. It also seems that his earlier failures with women haunt them in a way that may be familiar to some of you but are not familiar to me. I did pretty well with girls in high school / college, so I look at that time as a period of fun and experimentation rather than failure. I am not filled with resentment about missed opportunities, etc. One senses that his early failures drive his present obsessions, and that is not true of me. I am driven more by pure hedonism and the realization that the conventional path is fucked up.

The reader experiences a lot of cognitive dissonce reading Krauser’s racist and anti-semitic sentences and metaphors, because one would think that a person so smart in some domains would be able to transfer that intelligence into others. Instead, one experiences a sense of disgust. One also notes that the girls Krauser bangs don’t know about (or seek to know about) his racist ideas, or, if they do not, they don’t punish him for it.

But I keep reading because despite his ugly comments he has accomplished something few men do and come back to report on it.

Apart from Krauser, these are the best books I’ve encountered for learning game.