Non-monogamy and polyamory’s dark sides

Bo Winegard tweets,

Educated elites who believe that polyamory can be practiced and enjoyed by most of the population remind me of the math professor who believes differential equations are within the grasp of anyone who makes a serious attempt at learning.

There exists compelling research that normative monogamy is beneficial and leads to myriad positive social externalities.

Polyamory is fine as a niche relationship modality, practiced mostly among the extremely WEIRD [Western, educated, industrialized, rich, democratic].

He’s right, particularly regarding people who want real families (a topic we’ll come back to in a moment). Despite what you’ve read here, I buy this Bo Winegard argument… we’re also not willing as a society to have an honest conversation about what’s happening below the IQ median. The people driving the conversation at the top really don’t have any idea what’s happening down there, and choose deliberately not to. They don’t really understand what it’s like to not have the cognitive capacity to get top-end jobs or have the conversations non-monogamous people need if their relationships are going to survive.

Nash follows up with…

“Burning Man style: POLYAMORY is more standard than monogamy. Men get the variety they want. They think sharing their women and it’s a ‘form of love evolution’ (they are no longer jealous), but what is happening is it pretty much destroys most of those relationships.”

“In ‘Burning Man’ it’s fine to take off your clothes and dance around really sexually. If you were at your grandma’s house having dinner (or around children), and you did that, would it ‘open everyone’s heart?’ Or would it create a fiasco? It would create a fiasco.”

Those are from David Deida talks. Deida’s more right than wrong, right now… poly/open is a fiasco in all instances except, basically, as casual sex, which is how I do them. Some light swinging can work too, especially in very long term relationships (that get stale and need some more heat). A very small number of people can really do them as described. Mostly, “poly” and “open” are about rationalizing casual sex (which is how I use it… because it’s a form of normalizing and institutionalizing casual sex for me, I don’t get caught up on the terminology). In that post from two years ago, Nash said, “for me the ‘poly’ community is a fucking mess. I live in CA and I am surrounded by these folks… and it’s an ugly shitshow. I watch guys ‘try’ this all the time, and they are a fucking sad bunch, mostly.” “Mostly” he’s right. The guys doing this at the higher end are also focused on one guy and two women, and they often don’t highly advertise what they’re doing. Most top guys don’t want to advertise what they’re doing. A lot of chicks also don’t want to come out as sharing a guy with another chick.

Poly and open are (mostly) a disaster for people who really want families, cause kids are challenging enough w/o all that adult drama. For most people, in effect, poly is a way to f**k around, avoid commitment (avoidant attachment styles are everywhere in open relationships), and enjoy sexual novelty… things I have tended to enjoy… most guys don’t want to raise another man’s child (and won’t) and most chicks aren’t eager to raise another woman’s child (but might if the guy is good enough). People in “poly” relationships who think they’re going to “have a child” together usually discover that infants and toddlers are a lot of work, reduce the amount of sex had (for a couple years), and are a lot less “fun” (though often joyful…). So… there’s a strong tendency to split. Find someone new, unencumbered. Repeat this process enough and you get the epidemic of lonely old people we see in western societies. Even married couples tend to have problems adjusting to kids. The woman’s body often goes to hell, for months if not forever… having kids is a great thing, don’t get me wrong, but almost no one will do it for kids who aren’t theirs. A lot of women also peak in their late 20s and men in their late 30s, so there’s that mismatch, which can fuel jealousy. Some people out there appear to experience no or very little jealousy… with the Internet, they can find each other and also proselytize for open relationships, in a way that wasn’t possible before the Internet. The Internet lets us learn things and share them widely and also anonymously, and we can learn things we’d never publish in a newspaper or say on TV. 

In my own case… I’ve liked f**king around… and as I point out in the book, “open” relationships, “poly,” sex clubs… they’re a way to f**k around while retaining the girl, or the primary girl, cause most girls will want to define the relationship with the guy they’re f**king, relatively quickly. They’ll want to “lock him down” if you prefer that terminology (I often don’t, but girls use it). This is a way to keep a girl around, offer her super exciting experiences, but still have some of the prowl. For a guy who wants to be a player, this can be a powerful ideology and frame. I don’t want to pretend it doesn’t have huge costs, though. Many “poly” advocates are simply delusional about its costs, particularly in terms of family and children. Human societies are organized around family and kinship for good reasons. We’ve spent the last bunch of centuries trying to reorient around strangers and material goods. This has some good things associated with it but it has some costs, too. We’ve decided to elevate the individual over the family or community… which has some nice features… and some bad ones… we’re almost never willing to even state directly that this has happened.

There’s an argument kicking around the evolutionary biology communities, that intelligence didn’t really evolve to solve problems or be objectively “right,” but to form group coalitions and support a given narrative. That may be why “intelligent” people in an IQ sense may be better at self-delusion and maintaining narratives than less intelligent people. We see this especially in places like politics, where most people prefer tribe to knowledge. High-IQ poly people can convince themselves and sometimes others of their narrative, without having the desire to question their own narrative or discover what’s “underneath” it. The higher their IQ, the more “reasons” and rationalizations they can come up with. And many of those reasons are real… in specific circumstances. 

Poly is probably bad for societies, because it creates male winner-take-most systems. But as people become more individualistic and ever-less connected to family and place, we’re seeing the rise of alternate relationships styles. Like old-school Roissy used to say, “enjoy the decline.” Or figure out how to make it work. And there are also plenty of chicks out there who aren’t participating in the modern mating game… but they’re not the ones on the apps, out in bars, etc. They’re probably already in a relationship and meet men through family, school, and friends. They’re the girls who, if you’re not serious about a relationship and family, will disappear right away. Who will stick around if you’re not? That’s where the game comes from.

 

Where I’m on-board with alternative lifestyles and where I deviate

Someone wrote about their experiences,

>>I bailed on the SF hippies… and you overlap with them in many ways… but are wiser, as I see it.

I have some overlap, but the SF hippies have no knowledge of history (communes and free love have been tried), no knowledge of evolutionary biology, no knowledge of economics, and no knowledge of game theory. Their ideology is usually one that allows them to attempt to take value without offering similar value in return. The minute you get into that kind of situation, things fall apart fast (this is why socialism doesn’t work: lack of reciprocity and encouraging people to take without giving). Evolutionary biologist Geoffrey Miller describes SF hippie weaknesses, “Polyamory Is Growing—And We Need To Get Serious About It.” The hippies, consciously “alt” type people… are not serious about it. Fine, good for them. I have run into them now and then, then go about my business, ignoring them. The hotter women… almost all have some sense of their value, and they don’t want to give that away. The low-value women are fine with the hippie thing.

I DO want to make the world a better place. I DO think monogamy doesn’t work for many people. I DO want to have ecstatic experiences. So we have some things in common. But I am too pragmatic for SF hippies.

Marriage today is a problem because it assumes lifelong partnership and a stay-at-home wife who should get half the resources in the event of divorce. Today, most partnerships are not lifelong and most wives don’t stay at home or maintain themselves or submit to their husbands sexually or be truly monogamous. Marriage lets women take without giving… like socialism, it fails for a lot of people. So the whole marriage contract makes no sense, for anyone who thinks about it for ten minutes.

I think kids are important, but marriage is bad… almost no one is thinking this through. Most people maybe need the romantic mystification to have kids. They believe the lifelong love myth, long enough to have a couple kids, then they get divorced, which is catastrophic for the individual, but maybe good for the group and society and the selfish genes.

So I am thinking about how to have shorter-term pair bonds, how to have kids, how to negotiate those kinds of things, but without the marriage expectation.

Most chicks have not thought about any of this stuff either. When I introduce a chick to non-monogamy, she can later get the rest of my payload and my theories / interests, cause she is starting to get it, to see things differently. Sort of like how pickup and dating advice from pickup artists leads a lot of guys into the Red Pill. It starts at sex… then it leads towards other places. Political and societal places.

I don’t think I have all the answers… I am trying to follow the thread.

I have also been called calculated and similar things by chicks… the chicks are probably right. It is a downside to the analytic mindset. I don’t have as much of the passionate, headlong rush in me.

Stability and novelty/pleasure are probably just not going to happen fully together. Possible solutions to this problem interest me.

“The Woman Worried She’ll Never Meet Her Polyamorous Boyfriend’s Parents”

The Woman Worried She’ll Never Meet Her Polyamorous Boyfriend’s Parents” might be an example of a guy doing polyamory from the superior position. He’s f**king at least two women. The one writing the story is deeply into him. She seems to be retained without too much work on his end. Without the polyamorous frame, she would probably not be f**king him as regularly or easily.

I don’t want to make too much of this story because, without knowing more about the looks of everyone involved, and other aspects of the guy’s situation, he could be acting from a pretty inferior position. Based on the information provided, though, he seems to have at least two chicks well inside his frame.

More women are being psychologically prepped for open relationships by articles like this. Guys should be considering whether they want to present this kind of frame.

“Untrue,” on female lust and infidelity, for players

I previously mentioned the Wednesday Martin book, Untrue: Why Nearly Everything We Believe About Women, Lust, and Infidelity Is Wrong and How the New Science Can Set Us Free, and now that I have read it, I can say that, if it were framed slightly differently and written by a Red-Pill guy, it would be denounced, but since it’s written by a woman and framed as You-Go-Girl, it can be safely admired by mainstream writers

Guys are well-served by reading Untrue because most guys don’t understand women and don’t understand the dual mating strategies deployed by women. Most women want to present a facade of female chastity and loyalty to most men most of the time. Sometimes men will see cracks in this facade, as when the woman chooses an obvious “bad boy” for short-term mating, but for the most part the majority of men remain blissfully clueless. The problem for women occurs primarily when a woman like Wednesday Martin reviews the literature and intervies a bunch of chicks about what women really want in bed. The average guy is too busy with video games and has too short an attention span to learn what women want. He doesn’t read and doesn’t lift and is then surprised when his sex life isn’t very good.

Martin says “Women lust and women cheat. And it sets us aflame.” Most women don’t exactly want guys to know this, so it’s interesting to see a female writer foreground it. For a guy, it’s useful to figure out what makes women lust after him, cheat with him instead of on him. She may say “no” to you, but she is very likely not saying “no” to everyone. It took me a very long time to realize that pretty much every hot chick is having sex with somebody. So I might as well give it a shot and see if I can make him, me.

But when woman after woman in a committed relationship tells you she is unusual, sexually speaking—because she wants more sex than she’s supposed to, because she feels compelled or tempted to stray—you can’t shake the feeling that in matters of female desire, sexuality, and monogamy in particular, “unusual” is normal, and “normal” desperately needs to be redefined.

A guy who fancies monogamy needs to dwell on this passage. What women present, and what men what to believe about women, is different from what woman do and want.

“I entertained crushes on wholly inappropriate objects—men who were married, or too young for me, or too old for me.” This is why it’s worth taking the shot. You never know if you don’t ask. “Just ask” has been key to many of my own successes in life. So has the thing I mentioned, knowing that every hot chick is likely f**king some guy. But she only f**ks guys who ask.

It helps that Martin is married to a titanically rich guy, a fact she doesn’t emphasize in her book. When you don’t have to make real money, you have the time and space to write books for sport.

Martin is also a non-monogamy person. “To state the obvious, non-monogamy is exercising a pull on us because monogamy isn’t working for everyone.” A lot of guys don’t want to admit or acknowledge this. I want to, and that led to my much-hated piece, “Open or poly relationships from the superior position or inferior position.” The hate comes from guys who imagine doing open-relationships from the inferior position. To a guy in the condition of female-scarcity, non-monogamy is terrifying. To a guy who has the problem of medium- and long-term retention, this strategy is intriguing.

In 2013, some new data emerged from the GSS: women were roughly 40 percent more likely to be cheating on their husbands than they had been in 1990. Meanwhile, their husbands’ rates of infidelity hadn’t budged. The finding wasn’t unique, and it wasn’t such a new development, it turned out.

The lesson for men is simple: don’t marry. Marriage is a setup for the man to be cheated on and then to be forced at gunpoint by the state to subsidize her. Why would any man sign up for that, willingly?

On male attention from a committed man, one woman says, “He just doesn’t have a lot of credibility. You’re all he’s got. He doesn’t see you the way you want to be seen! But admiration from someone you know less well, or from a stranger—that has an impact!” When a guy marries a woman, his bargaining position weakens and hers strengthens. Don’t get married.

Like Chivers and Meana, Alicia Walker—an assistant professor of sociology at Missouri State University—does research that forces us to rethink not only female sexuality but our most cherished and basic beliefs about what women do and are, what they want and how they behave, and the role that context plays. In her extensive review of the sociological and psychological studies on female infidelity, and her own study of forty-six female users of the Ashley Madison website before its infamous hack and shutdown in 2015 (“Life is short. Have an affair,” the company’s tagline suggested), Walker explodes several of our most dearly held notions about female infidelity: that women cheat only when they are unhappy in their marriages; that unlike men, they seek emotional connection, not sexual gratification, and from affairs.

I know this is just more of the usual, but really, don’t get married.

Martin misses something important here: “polyamory practitioners I met at panels and social events for the poly community, that women, not men, were leading that movement. It tends to be women, I was repeatedly informed, who are telling their partners that they want open relationships and marriages.” Among guys doing poly, the vast majority are low-status guys who are okay sharing one woman because they figure they can’t retain women otherwise.

High-status guys doing open relationships of various kinds often eschew the term “polyamory” because of its association with ugly, deranged, new-age fat chicks. For high-status guys, it’s not necessary to use “polyamory” as a label most of the time. Plus, high-status guys don’t want to be outed as poly, which, for most guys, comes off as low status. High-status guys are better off underground, which is where they (we) stay. Smart guys also don’t formally marry non-monogamous partners.

There are other very Red Pill statements. Women are the real group killing marriage. It is funny to me, thinking about all the 33-year-old women who can’t get a guy to marry them, and they are surprised that most “eligible” men prefer the 25-year-olds they were a few years prior, who are happy to play around and not demand anything from guys apart from c**k. It is true that guys eventually hit our own “wall.” It is also true that having children is one of the most meaningful experiences a human can have. But guys hit the wall later and smart guys realize they can have kids without the legal baggage of modern marriage.

Most guys should get out of their video game world and spend more time reading books, lifting, and interacting with humans in the real world. But they won’t. Less competition for those of us who like f**king, but the video-game life cannot be good for the many guys living it.