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.

 

Book of Pook

Every generation has to re-learn the past’s lessons.

Two books that are really just post compendiums keep reappearing, The Book of Pook and The Book of Bonecrker (PDF download),and they were both written by guys in the late ’90s or early ’00s. They could have been written yesterday and seem eternal… though they don’t discuss social media and the modern attention economy, their male-female fundamentals are on point and I wish I had come across both when they were fresh (this: “You cannot obtain love by giving yours away for free” is a good summary of the modern attention economy). The information was out there but back in 2004 I didn’t have access to it.

If I can try to go meta on both books, I think they really argue that to achieve the best relationships, you need to be a complete human being. Many people are not complete. You can be incomplete and not get laid; you can be incomplete and be very good at the game and getting laid, however strange that may seem at first. But your medium- and long-term relationships will likely fail. If you are a guy who is solely interested in notch count and casual sex, that may not matter, and you can succeed while being incomplete. If you are a guy who has never experienced a wide array of sex with a wide array of women, you may not care about developing yourself into a complete human being, but you likely will at some point in your life. But many game failures start from within.

I pick out this, about attitude,

Are you ugly? Are you beautiful? It doesn’t matter. Women do not see beauty; they see only sexuality. So how does a sexual male LOOK?

To put it bluntly, it is the bad@ss. This guy has the look of power be it a shaved head, leather coat, professional corporate suit, backwards cap, a well toned body, spiky hair, or whatever else. This person looks like a guy. He is not androgynous. He knows what his sexuality is and embraces it.

How is a guy supposed to look? To be male is to drive against Nature, to pierce her. He is not a pretty boy (though, this might get some girls too). It is almost a ‘rough’ look. A guy has a look of some masculinity about him.

It does matter how a guy looks, but weak looks can also be overcome. A guy should be polarizing. He should do the opposite of what many chicks do. Many guys are trained not to embrace masculine identity and it hurts. Part of the masculine identity is understand pain, suffering, and rejection. Guys who can tolerate and even thrive under those conditions will thrive.

I hadn’t realized how long ago Pook was writing. Yet most of what he writes is still relevant, and the crisis in masculinity is if anything worse today than it was in the early 2000s. We seem to have learned little, retained less, and failed to help the next generation of guys learn how to be guys. Pretty depressing, overall. The conversations on seduction boards are almost exactly the same today as they were then, with the addition of smartphones and social media questions, but both those things seem to have only retarded guys’s social skills. The fundamentals of masculinity and femininity have not changed. Guys who cultivate their masculinity, strength, humor, fortitude, courage, etc. will thrive. Guys who do not cultivate these traits will often not thrive. The older you get, the more apparent these fundamental truths will become. Like, “Life is much more enjoyable as a masculine figure than a nerdy androgynous.” We live in a society that discourages us from becoming masculine, to our detriment. To live is to struggle, something that I didn’t believe when I was younger. I thought that to live was to try and minimize struggle as best I could.

The Book of Pook cannot be absorbed all at once, so I recommend that you read it at different points in your player journey. I don’t agree with everything in it. All guys have to find our own way. In some ways this book is dispiriting because I realize that a lot of what I am writing has already been said.

ADDED LATER: Nash found a book, How to Pickup Girls by Eric Weber, that was published in 1970 and is a precursor to modern pickup, game, London Daygame Model, etc. We are all reinventing the wheel. The terrible thing, though, is that schools will never teach us this material (and most schools are actively hostile to men and male teachers), so guys have to re-learn it all on our own, unless we have good fathers / older male relatives / male mentors. Most of us don’t. I am trying to be that guy, somewhat, right now, and that is why I like books like What Women Want by Geoffrey Miller and Tucker Max… while you can say it is not full Red Pill like Rollo Tomassi and others, it is also socially acceptable enough to give it to younger male teenagers you might know, whereas a socially intelligent person will NOT do that with a lot of other Red Pill and game lit.

“I choose just men.”

This article is a fine example of why men shouldn’t get married, but I want to focus just on this:

I take a long pause when the app asks if I’m interested in men, women, or both. Loaded question. I’ve always loved women, but men are so easy. I choose just men.

I have met many, many bisexual, bicurious, heteroflexible, and experimental girls. Almost all acknowledge that dating women is a much bigger pain in the ass than dating men. The activation energy required for seducing and dating women is so high that almost all default to dating men, because it’s easier and more pleasant for the chick.

Imagine the flightiness and indecisiveness of one chick. Then multiply it by two. And that is part of the reason there are very few true lesbians in the world. They literally cannot make the first move, schedule, escalate, and handle logistics. Typical chicks are used to guys handling all that stuff. Even if two chicks want each other, nothing often happens because neither will make the first move. Both want it to “just happen.”

In the real world, guys learn that things that “just happen” happen because the guy makes it happen.

This is part of the reason bi-curious chicks are thrilled when they meet a guy who doesn’t judge them for being bi-curious and can help them setup threesomes or rendezvouses with other chicks. Most chicks are too inept to do that, even if they desire it, and, even if they manage a short-term thing, they cannot handle dating other chicks. Guys who decide and execute things are better.

Some of the most hilarious conversations I’ve had with chicks happen when some chick ghosts or flames out or disappears, then rediscovers me with another chick. If one says no, it’s on to the next one. I don’t think most guys have learned to operate that way.

Have you ever heard chicks complain about how “there is no porn for women?” Then I ask, “Okay, why don’t you go make some?” She looks confused. Is he even speaking my language?

No, I’m not (deliberately). She’s complaining, not proposing a solution. Her job is to complain, so that maybe a guy will fix it.

Every time I read someone, usually a chick but sometimes a blue-pill guy, lament about how few female entrepreneurs there are, I’m like, “Have you tried dating women? That will show you everything you need to know.”

There is a decent amount of learning about female psychology that happens in the game. I’m not complaining about it, mind. I’m just describing what is. It’s like describing the tactical ascent on a mountain. It’s not complaining to describe the route or the challenges, but it is telling everyone what gear they need and what to expect. The unprepared will suffer. Evolutionary biology underlies game and female evolutionary biology dictates that chicks will find a guy to knock them up and that they should test guys for fitness. Thus, flightiness, uncertainty, moving back and forth, evaluating various offers, etc. If she fucks up with one guy, no worries, as another will be along shortly.

The only way to circumvent that thinking is for her to know a guy has other offers, and that if she doesn’t move on him, another chick will. Put two chicks together and this dynamic goes away.

After yoga tonight, I was chatting with this slender girl with a nice big ass. I’ve never seen her at my studio before. She was polite but also distant. Distant enough for me to not pursue. On the way home I spotted a hot blonde in workout clothes. I stopped her, got her AirPods out, and started in with something about style and dedication for working out after work. She said, “No” and kept walking. Totally blank. I lose far more than I win, though I don’t write much about the “no,” either hard or soft, because they are less interesting than the “yes.”

Open or poly relationships from the superior position or inferior position

If you read The Red Pill, you’ve seen guys slagging open and poly relationships because those guys are thinking of themselves in a relationship with a chick who is continually getting laid by new guys, while he doesn’t have the game to go sleep with new chicks (he might be subsidizing her financially, too). The comments slag open relationships as a way for chicks to do hypergamy while guys are loser “beta bucks” providers… the guy is sitting at home paying the bills while she’s out f**king. For guys without game, who are struggling to hang onto one woman, open relationships are terrible, or would be terrible; sexual scarcity is their biggest problem. It’s their biggest problem and they can’t imagine a world without sexual scarcity, cause they experience sexual scarcity. Their friends experience sexual scarcity. They don’t lift. They don’t work to improve themselves and their lives. They probably don’t understand women.

I, on the other hand, look at open and poly relationships as a possible game tool that solves a set of problems players have. See the linked post for my reasoning and experience, but, the short version is, open relationships leverage one chick in order to sleep with other chicks and also transform the “Where is this going?” conversation chicks begin after hooking up with a guy for a while. Guys who have good game and a lot of women in the air often want to retain women who are eager to get into that monogamous, exclusive relationship.

These guys have a different set of problems that the guys with no woman or (barely) one woman. Non-monogamy can solve some problems for guys already experiencing abundance. Non-monogamy looks like a hellscape to guys who aren’t experiencing abundance.

I also advocate that men don’t marry and don’t cohabitate. Marriage is a system for transferring resources from a man to a woman for the sake of raising children, but that system broke down a long time ago for reasons too long to detail right now: Real World Divorce explains why men should not marry today, under almost any circumstance. A legally married guy should be careful with open or poly.

(Before someone says so, I’ll acknowledge that yes, in some ways “open relationships” and “poly relationships” are different, but for players the distinction is irrelevant, and the right pitch depends on the girl’s personality.)

For a game-aware guy in the superior position, “open” relationships are a handy contrivance to increase sexual availability and keep FWBs / lovers going over the longer term. As every player who has ever lost chicks to the “Where is this going?” conversation knows, most chicks who are into a guy want to “advance” the relationship from hooking up / casual dating to serious dating to cohabitation to marriage. At least chicks think they want marriage, but their view of marriage is based on fairy tales, Disney stories, and TV / movies. Some chicks genuinely do want marriage but many don’t; they’ve just been told by society since they were little girls that marriage is the right thing to do and that they will be a beautiful bride/princess on their wedding day. Legally, too, marriage gives a woman an option on at least 50% of a man’s assets and future earnings in the event she feels like divorcing him, so she’s going to be eager to marry. Getting off topic here in the anti-marriage rant… importantly, the “Where is this going?” conversation kills most uncommitted relationships. The woman in a lover or friends-with-benefits relationship with a guy she likes or loves will most often demand that he become exclusive, or she will break up, or she will find another guy she judges to be high status enough. The “branch swing” guys fear often happens when the woman isn’t getting what she wants from a casual relationship, so moves on to a guy who will give her the official, socially acknowledged girlfriend status she wants.

Most players just let chicks go after a couple weeks/months, when the chick asks “Where is this going?” Or, some players will become the chick’s “boyfriend” while still f**king, or attempting to f**k, other chicks… inevitably the guy gets caught and the girl is angry. Maybe she scorches him to her friends and cuts off all contact, etc., while saying online that all men are dogs, players, etc. She ignores her own complicity in choosing hot fun players over stolid provider guys, but we’ll ignore that for the time being, cause point is that players have probably seen angry chick behavior. The “boyfriend while pulling chicks on the side” technique works, but at a potential cost.

Open relationships and sex clubs, however, can offer a solution to the “Where is this going?” conversation: a guy can sleep with a chick for a couple months, until she’s into him, then propose taking her to sex clubs or similar venues, while building up the idea of consensual non-monogamy in her mind. This solution can retain her, increase novelty, and make it somewhat easier to sleep with new chicks. If you have not brought a hot chick to a couples-only sex club, you probably don’t know what real raw sexual power looks like.

But this only works for guys with good game (good value) to start with. Should you lack good, strong game, you will be unhappy if you rub this lamp and find the genie that pops out.

A guy also has to be ready to lose the chick he wants to take to a sex club. A chick who is serious about marriage and family will dump a guy who wants to do non-monogamy, as she should. Most young chicks, however, are not serious about monogamy, and even many older chicks will take a cool player for a ride while still seeking the guy who will give her children.

Players are not much afraid of losing a chick. If one chick goes, another will come. A basic guy is worried that he’ll never again get a chick as hot as his one and only girlfriend. A player knows the next one might be hotter, better in bed, etc. A player is not phased by one chick’s exit. For a basic guy, his girlfriend leaving might be perceived as a catastrophe. The basic guy needs to level up his game, his body, his being, but he probably doesn’t have the fortitude to do those things.

Overall, open or poly is a way to keep her on the rotation while forestalling her dropping out. In my view it is still better to catch and release older women who want families, but the open or poly frame can help make a woman’s forebrain align enough with her hindbrain to make her stick around. A guy should make sure a typical woman’s primeval hindbrain and recent, reasoning forebrain agree with each other, if she’s going to be more than a one-night stand or short fling. The poly system / frame can make her intellectual framework agree with what she is doing sexually. Without that framework, most chicks will eventually dump a guy who won’t marry or commit. Almost no one thinks for themselves or questions the society they live in. That applies doubly to chicks, who are creatures of the herd.

At the same time, chicks have lots of naughty fantasies they generally won’t share with other people, including, frequently, group sex fantasies. Nancy Friday’s books, the success of 50 Shades of Grey, and the entire romance novel industry show this. Many chicks will act on those fantasies in a given space (spring break, Vegas, bachelorette parties, while drinking) but then deny them to themselves and to others later.

Poly/open is an alternate system that can allow a chick to tell herself that what she’s doing is okay and even desirable. A guy who is discreet and non-judgmental can often draw these feelings out of her. Most chicks are used to being judged harshly by their parents, their religious figures, their boyfriends, their bitch girlfriends, etc. If you can guide her into admitting her naughty fantasies, then making some of them happen, you will be unlike any other guy. Many chicks actively fantasize about having sex with men and women simultaneously, but most chicks don’t think they’ll ever get to act on those fantasies.

Bi women also make great wingmen. A truly bi woman can lead to a huge number of threesomes, etc. The first woman is the hardest…. the next ones can turn out to be very easy, if you learn how it’s done. Standard male-female online dating seems to have gone to shit in recent years, but unconventional online dating has proven to be resilient in my experience.

This superior/inferior situation reminds me of the Krauser post, Reveal vs Restructure,

So why the divergence in opinion? I think it comes down to which side of this divide you fall on. Is your Journey a process of:

* Uncovering a pre-existing SMV and personality that is attractive to women, or;
* Ridding yourself of a Pussy Repellent virus and then building an attractive man from scratch.

The [trainee Chads] are normal men with normal social skills and outlook and inhabit bodies that are reasonably attractive to a wide range of women. Some will require more work than others but all are building on a strong base. It’s like cooking a meal starting with fresh organic high quality ingredients. These men already have decent value, they just lack a Value Delivery Mechanism. Teaching them game is like having an out-of-shape teenage Usain Bolt show up on his first day of Learn To Sprint school. They have to put in the work but the rewards are almost immediate. There’s never any real struggle.

In contrast, [frustrated chumps] are a broken mess and the older they are upon discovering game the more traumatic the transformation. Whereas tChad just needs a daygame model and a shove in the back to start opening, fChump needs a complete overhaul of his entire personality and lifestyle.

If you read about game online, this distinction and the endless debates it engenders will be apparent. Guys starting from a very low point have a way different experience than guys starting from a normal point, or a high point with high underlying value.

For a high-value guy, the problem is often retention. High-value guys can get attractive girls for sex pretty easily, but most girls will pursue monogamy (or “monogamy” for the guy, while the girl “slips up” or “makes a mistake” every so often) from a guy they like, and dump him if he won’t offer it. I don’t want to go chase new skirt every month, when the previous girl wants to know where this is going. I want to make her into my implicit wingman.

I see a similar distinction among the few who look at open relationships from a game-aware perspective, like myself, as a tool for retention and novelty, versus the more common outlook who see open relationships from the perspective of a guy whose wife, girlfriend, or partner wants to sleep around on him. He knows he likely doesn’t have the skill to seduce and sleep with new women, while women interested in casual or semi-casual sex have no problem finding it. They can ask virtually any straight man they know for sex and get it. He, however, knows he is going to be thinking about his wife or girlfriend in the throes of passion with another man while he is watching Game of Thrones. The low-status guy doesn’t get the high-status guy’s problems at all.  He can barely even conceive of them. So when he hears about the non-monogamy strategy, he’s like, “Ugh, gross.”

She’s bored, he’s a loser. That’s the usual media frame. I’m describing something very different, where he’s high value and she knows he’ll find another girl if she bails. That world is very different.

Want to do non-monogamy from the superior position? The free ebook Sex Clubs, Non-Monogamy, and Game explains in detail how to.

I am updating this with another example of a woman being against poly… this story about a 42-year-old New York woman trying to get married and have a family, late… she’s been on the shelf way too long. She finds, “If I wanted to be in a polyamorous relationship, or something purely sexual, I’d never be lonely. But I’m looking for the traditional thing and that’s just hard to find in my age range.” How many men are realizing that “poly” is a way to juggle multiple women in sexual relationships that lack true commitment? I define “true commitment” as involving kids, or, barring that, some kind of financial cross-subsidization. Poly rarely does either. Normal, intellectually honest women understand this… how many of those are out there, though?