I haven’t written on the sexual marketplace (SMP) and marriage marketplace (MMP) before so this would be a good time to write about it.
The rest of this post after this section is going to explain the SMP and MMP and review material that has been covered on this blog in the past into one clean post.
Donal in random links and musings writes:
Something that I want to address as well is the Looks/Athleticism versus Personality debate that seems to show up all the time in the comment section at The Rationale Male. A lot of folks there place too much stock in Looks, as compared to the other LAMPS/PSALM attributes. My suspicion is that the reason why is because Looks and Athleticism are obvious to everyone, whereas Personality/Power can be much more difficult to pick up. Not sure when I will get to writing it, but would love to finish it sometime this month.
There is also some bias in the [Christian manosphere] view because we understand that personality/power is not just related to attraction but to traits that would make a good husband as well. It’s easy to say that power/personality is more important from our perspective because we are trying to cultivate men and become men who display dominance in our lives (attraction) and are also going to display industriousness, fidelity, the fruits of the Spirit, etc (desirability). In this respect, it’s comparison of the SMP versus MMP.
Looks and athleticism are thus more highly elevated because the Power is not the full Power that we are trying to develop. In essence, Power takes up less of the “pie” and by the very nature the other pieces of the pie will expand.
Additionally, if you’re a typical non-Christian male and trying to get laid from any avenue then online dating, tinder, and the like represent a vast opportunity to meet women to connect with that want sex as well. What matters in these types of settings is displayed through photographs: it is strictly athleticism, looks, and status if you use some type of preselection. That’s because words on a page are much different than an interactable personality.
Looks and athleticism do play a big part in inspiring lust in women especially if they are open to just having sex. It’s one of the first things we notice about others even before we talk to them. As men we should understand this very well.
I would also suspect there is a correlation between the commenters on blogs and the frequency of their use of the internet related opportunities such that online dating, tinder, and such will be more frequently used among this crowd.
The SMP and MMP explained (to those unaware)
I believe Rollo Tomassi’s post on Navigating the SMP was one of the first posts on this topic in the manosphere, but I may be wrong. Since that post mainly talks about the SMP, I’m going to discuss that as well as the MMP as well since that pertains to Christians.
Like many systems and domains, human behavior on a population wide scale can be statistically categorized in terms of the economics of supply and demand and incentives.
Basically, the SMP is what we term as the hook-up scene. This is where the only thing that matters in a hook-up is attraction. Men want to hook up with what men find attractive in women — beauty. Women want to hook-up with what they find attractive in men — PSALM (power/personality, status, athleticism/talent, looks, money). In a hook-up both women and men want to maximize the attraction of the opposite sex because obviously it tends to lead toward more passionate sex.
The problem that occurs in Christianity and other religions that advise no sex before marriage is that the SMP destroys the bargaining value of women in the MMP which is sex. When men can freely get sex from women, they are more likely to not marry at all. The classic statement that embodies this phenomena is as follows:
Why by the cow when you can get the milk for free?
The MMP is a delicate balance of two traits. Finding a spouse with adequate attractiveness and desirability. Attractiveness is the main commodity in the SMP, and desirability is the main commodity in the MMP. Desirability includes personality traits such as fidelity, industriousness, fruits of the Spirit (for Christians), and other traits that would make loyal, faithful, spouses and good parents.
Attractive people who don’t have enough desirable traits are not marriage material because they tend to be more prone to divorce and getting what they want rather than putting their spouse’s needs before their own. On the other hand, desirable people who don’t have enough attractive traits to the opposite sex tend not to get married because they don’t inspire passion (see: 1 Corinthians 7).
Advice in the current MMP
The advice that makes the most sense to give to Christians is along the lines of:
Men need to become the man of the woman of your dreams. And women need to become the woman of the man of your dreams.
This ties into the concept of reciprocality that I discussed yesterday in Dominion Part 2.
If you’re the “stereotypical” man who plays video games and lives in his mother’s basement with a beer belly and reads the Bible once a week, do you think that the supermodel lookalike Christian woman who is fit and reads the Scriptures daily, prays continually, and serves in the church is going to be interested in you as a spouse? Certainly not.
It’s important to understand what attracts the other sex and what is desirable to the other sex so as to cultivate all of the qualities that the spouse of your dreams may be looking for.
For men looking to attract women — maximizing PSALM attributes. Power/personality you need to understand in terms of attraction and dominance (initial, part 1, part 2). Status tends to depend on your profession, hobbies, and social groups. Be excellent and/or innovative in your profession. Have at least one hobby that you excel in (if you don’t have one learning a musical instrument such as guitar is always a good one). Learn how to socialize effectively in any situation (some ideas 1 and 2). Athleticism and looks are pretty obvious — eating right, workout, and focus on putting on muscle mass. Wear fitted shirts. Find a style that works for your complexion and body type. Always dress about 1 level above where you are going. Money comes with being excellent in your profession, but always look at alternative ways to earn money as well. I wouldn’t rely on this as a way to attract women though.
For women wanting to attract men — physical beauty. You can’t do much about your bone structure of your body or face, but you can easily work on physical beauty. Nutrition is integrate in losing weight if you are overweight or obese, and going to a non-processed food diet can help clear up health issues like acne. Proper fitness — especially strength training — can help you develop a good hour glass figure that men are attracted to. Tastefully applied make up is good as well. Wearing feminine clothing that is chaste and modest such as dresses and skirts tend to appeal to men, and so does shoulder length hair or longer.
Desirability is similar for both Christian men and women. Obviously, a committed Christian is one of them, but also cultivating the fruits of the Spirit, letting your yes be yes and no be no, industriousness, and other such desirable traits.
Some more sex specific inclinations. Women may want to learn how to run a household, learn how to cook, and do other traditionally feminine activities related to that. Men should look to learn how to be handy and fix things around the house and with cars and electronics. Obviously, you can learn all of these as it will make you more flexible in terms of meeting potential mates.
Summary: attraction gets your foot in the door, and desirable traits will keep them around. You need both.
I wrote a bit on this material before in Practical ways to improve your attractiveness and desirability for a Christian spouse. Free Northerner has also written his Omega’s guide going into more specifics about various topics.
Lastly, on the concept of reciprocality. You are who you attract.
As a man, if I asked out a spectrum of women and only get replies from say 5/10 women who tend to be more masculine in their behavior then it’s clear that I’m of average attractiveness and I’m more feminine in my actions.
Attractiveness tends to be reciprocal in that 10s attract 10s, 9s attraction 9s, and the like. There is some variation where you may see about 1 point of difference, but usually you won’t see 2 or more points of difference unless there are some extraneous factors involved such as abnormal amounts of charisma, status, looks, athleticism, or money for men or a woman is extremely humble about her physical attractiveness.
Likewise, the masculine tends to attract the feminine and the feminine tends to attract the masculine. If you’re only attracting ball busting, nagging women who want to get their way all of the time to boss you around then it’s likely you have a feminine personality. Vice versa also applies.
If you’re a churchian then you’ll attract other churchians. Someone who is an extremely serious Christian will not be desirable to a churchian because all of their life is devoted to God whereas the life of the church will be devoted to themselves and only God peripherally. They won’t get along well in the short term or the long term.
This a good review of general concepts on this blog. I don’t think any new ground has been broken, but is a good review since I’ve picked significantly more readers since I started writing the dominion series.