Social cooperation vs. competition

This is another of the posts that guys in their 20s can pretty much ignore, as it’s not terribly applicable to them, but as I read “The Real Roots of Midlife Crisis: What a growing body of research reveals about the biology of human happiness—and how to navigate the (temporary) slump in middle age” I see some aspects that apply to me, even if I wish I did not. Like, “Midlife is, for many people, a time of recalibration, when they begin to evaluate their lives less in terms of social competition and more in terms of social connectedness.” I would not say that I have abandoned competition, which I still feel, but I feel less of it, and I realize that a lot of the competition I perceived when I was younger was just imagined. In any given situation I was often competing more than anything else against myself. And it’s often better to change the game than to keep competing in it. This is most obviously true for guys with one-itis. Instead of chasing after that one Magical Special Girl, go find another one… and make Magical Special Girl compete with the other girl. If she doesn’t, she was never yours.

Do you not get the promotion you wanted at work? Get another job.

Etc.

There is something to the idea that “age is just a number.” We have all met older people with incredible optimism and grace, while we have all met 20-year olds with the soul of 55-year-old accountants. But while there is something to that idea, biology imposes its own costs. You do not see 40-year olds suddenly breaking into the NBA. If you are 40, you will not get the kind of mentorship and even tolerance at work that raw 23-year olds might get. Injury rates go up over time. Such observations fueled “The deep psychology that keeps men in the game.” While guys don’t crash into the wall like most women do in their 30s, there is a wall and we do eventually hit it. Eventually, even with extreme diet discipline and gym discipline, a guy’s ability to get younger-hotter-tight (YHT) is going to decline. This is NOT an argument that you should think to yourself, “I am 35, it must be time to SETTLE DOWN.” But if you have been in the game for five years, ten years… you may find yourself thinking such thoughts. There are some real trade-offs, like the ones from “Two possible paths forward: Hedonistic partying vs children.”

One fact about the modern world, too, is that you can never surrender… your girl or wife (if you’re crazy enough to marry) could leave you at any time. Constant vigilance and preparation is the way of the modern world. You might not like it, but it’s true. It’s also true of women, by the way.

From the article, this also makes sense, “My dissatisfaction was whiny and irrational, as I well knew, so I kept it to myself.” Many of my dissatisfactions are whiny and irrational. They persist anyway. Overall I am well placed. Yet I feel that I could be doing a little better. A lot better, in some ways. I find myself thinking about chucking my career and doing something different, more technical… realistically I am not going to do it, but the dissatisfactions are there.

Also, I have been saying for a while that the death of elderly relatives is a common point for people to re-evaluate their lives, “As I moved into my early 50s, I hit some real setbacks. Both of my parents died, one of them after suffering a terrible illness while I watched helplessly.” For people in their teens and 20s it is easy to feel immortal. But the immortal feeling often wanes over time.

I also notice a common pattern: people with large, functioning families work much better with age and aging. People who are alone, isolated, or with dysfunctional families work worse, especially in the face of injury. I don’t have empirical support for this observation but it is what I observe. One of the tragedies of the contemporary world is isolation. At any given moment isolation feels like the easy road, but over the long term it may be better to take the hard one.

I just wrote a tweet, “When you figure out the game and get your fundamentals in order, most of the rest is execution. That’s why most pickup, game, and Red Pill guys quit or fade away… the execution is the harder part.” I don’t think I’m a game master, but I have been doing enough things right for a long enough time that I have fundamentals in order. My main contribution to the community has been in writing about non-monogamy and sex clubs as they can apply to the game. If I have an “innovation,” that is it, but I don’t think it will become wildly popular, as non-monogamy is a sub-culture and game/pickup is a sub-culture… so I am target the tiny overlap between the two. Not a big market. Fortunately I did not write the book to reach a big market (that market doesn’t exist) but to explain what I have learned for the small number of people who wish to learn or think.

The rest of my game is mostly application of ideas better articulated elsewhere. That is why the sidebar links are important. I still like hooking up w/ hot chicks, don’t get me wrong, and I am not likely to turn into a TradCon. I do feel less competition than I used to, and more cooperation, so that is nice. In some ways, not giving a shit has its advantages w/ chicks, as they can sense that and it intrigues them. I wasn’t good at this, which players call “abundance mentality,” when I was younger. When I was younger I also thought it was important to be “right.” Now I realize that the overwhelming majority of people don’t care about truth or being right… they just want to be emotionally validated and have their team win. With a lot of things it’s like, “Uh huh, right, okay, great,” and then we move on to building connection or doing business or just to something that matters.

I have spent too much of a Saturday writing this post, but reading the piece sparked it in me, and I want to get it out while it’s fresh.

The positive, light-side frame, not the negative, dark-side frame

This turned into a non-actionable ramble, but it is a fundamental statement of my views and psychology… it emerged in response to this Nash comment, so if you want to understand the context, check that first.

In the RP and seduction communities, I get the sense that some guys (maybe most?) are kind of cold/damaged. They’ve failed too many times and are seeking revenge, or seeking to “get a free one” off chicks. Or to get a chick in the inferior position, so that HE has the power (for once) and will get to feel what it’s like to have arbitrary power over another person. None of those are good primary frames, in my view, even if they can be attractive at times.

I actually try to cultivate kindness… BUT not being “nice” or weak. I’m very keen on reciprocity as a fundamental part of the human experience, and I’m cagey about people trying to steal value. I don’t think I’m “nice.” I will be very angry if someone tries to use me, or get one over on me, although in the modern world that means “withdraw attention” is usually the only option.

BUT. We are also stuck on this planet together, and I would like to make the world a better place. I really do believe game makes the world a better place, as chicks want to be seduced by competent guys and of course guys want to seduce hot chicks. There are some ways that our biologies have caused incentives to be mismatched between guys and chicks. To fail to acknowledge that would be stupid. Within that context, however, I try to create “win-win” wherever possible, while also acknowledging that, of course, sometimes it is not possible to do “win-win.” I try to find chicks who want to do the same thing.

“Win-win” means trying to make sure the chick has the opportunity to get off. It means holding her after. Even in group sex situations, it is common to hold the chick after… she has had an intense experience, and needs to be helped down from it. It means that I usually have some food around, so we can have a snack. Most chicks are too dumb or self-centered to do these things, but some are self-aware enough to do them. A lot of chicks report most guys are not doing this stuff. Maybe it’s true, maybe it’s not. Maybe it’s a factor of chicks trying to get guys +1 or +2 SMV compared to them, and then they get what they give.

I don’t like the view, even if it’s purely psychological, that the goal of seduction is to get one over on the chick, or to punish the chick for all the times a chick has been a bitch to the guy. A guy should protect his value from chicks (or anyone) who will take it… but he should also try to be generous where and when possible. Especially in low-cost, high-value situations. Like holding a chick after he’s f**ked her. Simple thing that will make her experience much better.

Or invite chicks to the gym… to read a book he thinks is good… etc. It’s both good for the chick and also gives you information about her. A basic, lazy ignorant chick is probably only good for one thing, and she can be mentally put into that one-thing bucket. A highly responsive chick might be good for other things. When you find a chick who also wants to make the world a better place, that is valuable information. When you find a chick who wants to wants to watch TV, eat junk food, and complain… that is also valuable information. Obviously there are many gradations between the two.

Many guys, I sense, never get to the stage where they are seriously evaluating the chick, and discarding the chicks who aren’t any good. So if they struggle and struggle, then get to the stage where they have choice… they are sometimes tempted to be mean to the chick. Experienced guys learn that is very rarely good. Most of the time, simple disconnection is the right response to mean, bad, lazy, or stupid chicks. Trying to be mean in return… is rarely a good idea. Sometimes it might be. But very rarely.

I sense that a lot of guys in pickup, seduction, RP (distinct communities at times, but I will put them together my purposes now) want to present a bravado front… look at me, the great player/wizard, with all these chicks before me… I can treat them like dirt, or at least not very well, and they still come back for me… and if she doesn’t come back for more, BEHOLD!, for she will be replaced by another chick, for I am the great player/wizard of seduction, ready to replace that chick.

OF COURSE, sometimes a chick should be replaced. Of course, a guy is only as good as his options. Of course, a guy should be seeking new leads if his plate is not totally full. BUT, he should also try to improve the lives of the chicks he’s f**king, if he can, to the extent he can, while making sure that he only acts in ways that the chick merits. If he senses even for a moment that the chick is using him, or is withdrawing because of his generative nature… then he must pull back.

Top chicks, especially top chicks who are mentally sound, will respond will to a generative person. F**ked up chicks may respond less well. But I want more mentally sound chicks in my life, and fewer messes. You get what you give… there are some exceptions to that principle, but over time and over many scenarios, it plays out.

Nothing is perfect, and I have misjudged chicks and situations before. But I still want my basic frame and mode of being in the world to be positive and to be building new and good things. That can be executed in many different ways… with a chick you’ve just f**ked, though, it usually means you should hold her after. People want to connect with each other. In some ways, we have a very “cold” society in which we’re heavily disconnected. I like game because it creates the connections people yearn for but often don’t know how to make for themselves, anymore.

Enough ramble… I could keep going. I think the basic idea is here, though. If guys want to see more of my not-immediately-actionable ramble posts, there is a tag for them.

Sonny Arvado and Pancake Mouse on the image match and reciprocity

This turned into a ramble post… enter at your own risk.

I read 29 Truths About Game because of Pancake Mouse’s link, and it is an interesting post very much in the vein of Good Looking Loser (it sounds like Chris from GLL and even reads like it at times). Sonny Arvado is very much of the “get jacked and go hit on chicks” school. I notice this: “the Karmic Laws of the Universe are pretty airtight” and “People tend to get their IMAGE MATCH. They date people on a similar level in the eyes of society.” This seems mostly true. It’s very uncommon to see incredibly disparate people together. When you do see it, it stands out. When I brought Ms. Slav to Thanksgiving, we stood out… she is too young for me in the eyes of most people, so we made no sense together. But she feels much more mature for her age than most chicks her age, and I… well, I am the “black sheep” in many ways. SA Girl and some other chicks from my life have been like this too. The older I get… the wider the age spread gets… the more I experience this disjunction.

BUT: I also stand out among my peer group. I am more serious about diet and lifting than pretty much anyone else I know. I watch less TV and do less social media than pretty much anyone else I know who is my age and younger. I’m not sure that these young tight chicks are my “image match.” But there is less separation between us than there is for most guys my age and younger chicks. This is why game people say guys need to work on value and value delivery mechanisms together. Only do value, and you are on the self-improvement hamster wheel instead of getting laid. Only do value delivery, and if you don’t have underlying value, most hotter chicks will blow you off.

It helps to have a life that is somewhat, a little bit together. I have met chicks whose lives are not going well. They are not fun to be around, even when they are physically attractive. Their desperation manifests itself, sometimes in strange ways. Bike Girl was a little bit like this. Her life was okay but she had no career, at an age when career-focused girls (and guys) are really starting to ascend, and people who focus on partying and/or just drifting / dreaming / arts are starting to struggle or suffer. The older you are, the harder it is to be the party guy, without substantial financial resources. Not impossible, just harder. (All generalization I make should be seen as generalizations… I can think of exceptions to all of them.)

I have gone on some dates with chicks who admit their primary dating goal is getting a free meal because they have no money. I prefer later meets at alcohol venues… that avoids such chicks pretty easily.

The guys who completely neglect looks, though, pretty much suffer. We live in the wealthiest time period in human history. Most girls who want to be self-sufficient, will be self-sufficient, easily. Most attractive girls can sell sex any time they like, ranging from full-on sex to being a restaurant hostess. Attractive chicks don’t want or need money alone. Money and earning power is nice, layered on an attractive guy, but it is rarely enough. Maybe for guys with really spectacular amounts of money. Not for guys who are anywhere near normal. And a guy who is “money first” will at best attract girls who feel the same. Not a smart thing. The best girls are typically looking for the “full package.”

One advantage with younger girls is that they rarely reek of desperations (“rarely” is not “never,” like girls trying to steal meals from stupid guys online). They may be making bad choices, but the bad choices haven’t yet caught up with them. Chicks in their late 20s to early 30s, often stew in their bad choices. I have dated some of these chicks, seen the hungry look in their eyes when they see me and think, “Okay, he’s dominant and non-pussy enough, but he’s also got a job… I should take this one and make him mine.” Hasn’t worked yet. I’m pretty lucky I’ve not gotten baby-trapped.

It’s also possible to change girls’s personalities, somewhat. Not totally. Most chicks who get with me find that they read more, they cook more, they work out more, and they spend somewhat less time in bars. They also go to different kinds of parties.

I have had consistent interesting challenges where girls want to go to generic concerts and I do not. Like, at all. I’m fine with chicks going to concerts, although I know that most people also use concerts to change their mental states and put them in a more sexual frame of mind. Chicks who like concerts or even worse music festivals very much go in my “low priority” box.

I’ve also never been much a nightgame guy. I just don’t like it. I find it boring and fake. One reason I like sex clubs is because I find them exciting and authentic (in the right circumstances, on the right nights… on the wrong night they are horrible and I leave). I did do some parties and bar things in my early to mid 20s, when my entire peer group was also doing those things, but they didn’t favor my personality much then and they REALLY don’t favor my personality much now.

Some young chicks find me boring, and they are pretty much right. A super high-energy chick who wants to go out three to five nights a week… is not going to like me much. And I’m not going to like her. Those kinds of girls also either have to be rich with family money, or they are going to burn out quickly. I’m not big on economically dysfunctional girls, as that is usually also an indication of psychological dysfunction. I can go there, but those girls will often not be into me.

Like finds like.

I like what Arvado says about “Like finds like.” Krauser’s story is interesting because he has some pictures of himself and his friend Mike in his memoirs, and they’re both fat. If not outright fat, at least tubby. Yet they seem to overcome some of their physical deficits through sheer effort. That’s pretty impressive to me. But they both meld their ENTIRE lives around pickup. Sounds hard and exhausting.

I do know a lot of people, but often through business. So hot young chicks who are party animals will find me boring. But young chicks who attend to more conventional status markers will like what they see, sometimes.

I like making and learning things.

I tend to like girls who are above-average in intelligence. I don’t mind average-intelligence girls, but they tend not to like me so much. A lot of girls who are most into me, find most guys kind of boring. I have been told a lot that I am strange because I’m very interested in body/physical development but am not a stupid meathead. Many girls seem to think they must have one or the other. As regular readers know I like some very unconventional things, and try to lead new girls into those things, which repels some girls but intensely attracts others. Girls have said they don’t know what box to put me in. That makes sense, actually. They are also seeing the results of someone who has spent almost no time watching TV, playing video games, or being on social media. When you cut out a lot of the crap and instead spend time learning and developing, you get interesting results. Uncommon results. Chicks are used to common guys, or guys who uncommon in a few specific ways. They are not used to guys who have focused on both mind and body. They are often a little wrong-footed as they get to know me.

Chicks also recognize that high-status guys are often on the market for pretty short periods of time. A chick has to act fast.

So this is a bit of a ramble. I don’t know how much you have to learn from Sonny, beyond GET JACKED and do the right diet… useful, sure. I have written before that there are some kind of silly debates between “inner” and “outer” game.

I find them silly because the two tend to feed into each other. Guys who improve their own psychologies tend to also improve their bodies, fashion, living situation, etc. Guys who lift, dress better, stand up straight, etc. tend to also improve their interior mental status. “Inner” and “outer” are recursive feedback loops. Work on them both. Let one influence the other. You can find guys with greater outer and no inner and vice-versa, they are just rare.

I have spent a lot of my life working on self development. When a chick is with me, I tend to try and help her work on her own self development too. Chicks who don’t want to do that, tend not to stay with me much. They get bored and leave.

Chicks tell me they can’t figure me out… I like that. I am not so complicated and don’t want to pretend to be. But most chicks, they seem to encounter guys who are all mind or all muscle (or neither). Then they find me… who is pretty hard to push around and has been for a while (I was easier to push around when I was younger and dumber).

“When you’ve done it all, what then?”

(WARNING: This post is another ramble. Skip it if you want to read anything useful.) 

When you’ve done it all, what then?” does the stupid celebrity profile things (it’s about wanker and blow-hard Russell Brand), but it also says,

When you’ve done it all, what then? When you’ve smoked all the crack, eaten all the chocolate, had all the sex, made all the money, and been on all the talk shows—where do you go next? Because there it is, squatting on the far side of adulation: nothingness. “Celebrities,” the Buddhist scholar Robert Thurman once said, “are in a very interesting position. They’ve already achieved great fame, success, and wealth, and they’ve realized that those things alone don’t bring happiness; that, in fact, they can be a real pain in the neck.” Or, as Russell Brand puts it, tunneling toward enlightenment in the 2015 documentary Brand: A Second Coming, “Fame and power and money is bullshit.”

Fame and power and money are not bullshit (look how he’s not giving any of them up), but there is a little something to this idea. What happens when you’ve achieved the goals? I’ve had a lot less sex than Brand and made a lot less money and been on zero talk shows, but I have had a fair amount of sex and made enough money to be not too worried about money. To the extent the game is for me about “proving to myself that I can do it,” I’ve proved it.

I ask myself, what is “the deep psychology that keeps men in the game?” Despite recent posts and stories about chicks, I feel like I’m on my way out of the game. But out of the game and into… what? I don’t know. The usual things that guys do when they get tired of nailing random chicks are things I’ve already done (career, kids). I do think there’s a reason a lot of players hit 35 – 40 and quit their game blogs. There is some diminishing marginal utility, and some sense of, “Oh, this again.” In the moment it can be intoxicating, I don’t and will never deny it, but especially afterwards I’m still myself, still doing what I do, still wondering what I wonder.

I don’t think it’s productive to chase “happiness” (what is “happiness?”). So what is the next goal? In my post-puberty life, the goal has been chasing skirt. Sometimes I chat with guys my age who are filled with longing and fantasy they think will never be fulfilled. I feel bad for them. But I also know the reality is that, the day after you fulfill your fantasy, you will still wake up and face the day and live the life.

For me writing could be the answer. I’ve thought about writing a game blog before, but I worried it would take too much focus away from work and the rest of my life (I was right about that). But game blogs are best written as they happen. I’ll probably end up devolving into stupid stuff like ranting about modern feminism. Not nearly as interesting as banging actual chicks. But I think I’m going to end up in a longer-term relationship at some point, with someone. The horror, right? I just have to figure out what that relationship will be about.

Most male-female couple relationships are about

  1. Sex.
  2. Bearing and raising children.
  3. (Often) the guy subsidizing the chick while she does #2.

Modern relationships are fucked up because game-aware guys don’t need long-term relationships for sex. They shouldn’t marry regarding number two. So what are modern relationships about? Helping someone achieve a life project or becoming a better person, probably. But most chicks are utterly incapable of doing either. No wonder most long-term relationships are dysfunctional. The things marriage used to be based on are dead or radically altered.

So what is there? Right? Most guys chase sex, money, status… the latter two just being proxies to get to the sex.

The weird thing is “getting there.” A guy gets the sex, the money (enough), the status (enough), and then what? I’m pretty much there. Not as there as Russell Brand, but much more so than the typical guy. But I’m not a Buddhist. I’m not content to just be.

I don’t know how many guys get in this state. I think most guys never nail enough chicks to think, “Okay, I’ve just nailed a bunch of chicks, now what?” It’s a self-indulgent question and problem. Self-indulgent or not, I think about it. I’ve not “done it all.” I don’t think there is such a thing. But I’ve done a lot.

The true pickup “artists” may keep going into senescence. An artist keeps making art until incapacity or the end. I don’t think pickup or railing chicks is my art, despite my penchant for making porn, sometimes called “erotic art” to chicks who need that frame. I could need a true art. A kind of weird statement for a commerce guy like me.