Sunday, April 17, 2011

The 80% Conundrum.

One of the most dearly held yet utterly inexplicable tenets of the MRA/PUA/creepy-Internet-men-in-general complex is the following (paraphrased):

The top 20% of men are alphas, and can get a woman at the snap of a finger. The other 80% of men are either betas who almost never get laid and have to wheedle and connive to get the scraps that they get, or omegas who can't possibly get laid no matter what.

The hole that immediately becomes apparent in this thinking (well, the second one, after the "have you ever been to Earth?" hole) is: what about teh womenz?

That is, if 80% of men are near-celibate, what the hell are 80% of women doing on a Friday night? (Even if we assume Alphas sleep around so much that all women get laid, this still leaves them alone 80% of their time, at least.) If 80% of men are involuntarily celibate, does that mean 80% of women are voluntarily celibate? 80% of us could be getting laid and loved and are just like "eh, no thanks"?

The only way this works is if women don't have sex drives, if women are so picky that they'd rather be alone together than sleep with a guy who's only average, or if 80% of women are so hideous that even a man with years of frustration wouldn't want them. I'd say something about how this doesn't fit with my observations of reality, but really, my observations of reality are so many miles away, I feel like I'm explaining to a Martian that pigs aren't green and mice don't go woof.

My observations are that the majority of people are in couples, with moderate minorities either slutting it up or voluntarily celibate, and small minorities involuntarily celibate. And most of those for reasons that have a lot more to do with themselves (either in a "life circumstances" way or a "total creeper" way) than with their desired gender or with the "system."

I guess what most of these guys are saying is "I'm not getting laid and I see that other people are, so those other people must have some super magical unfair advantage." Well, sort of, but that advantage is a lot more common than you think, and has a lot less to do with "being a millionaire lawyer with perfect abs" and a lot more to do with "acting like women are people." As long as women are The Challenge, The Enemy, The Gatekeeper, The Quarry, or any other fucked-up-all-to-hell metaphor, you're going to keep having trouble with us.

If we're people, well... no more and no less trouble than any other kind of people, is all I can promise you.


  1. "My observations are that the majority of people are in couples..."

    I feel a sudden urge to go look at a census.

  2. Plus, even from the other direction--I mean, one in five guys is the absolute cream of the sexual crop?

    I think of the men I know and no fucking way are a fifth of them Pierce Brosnan. I've rarely met any guy who "can get a woman at the snap of a finger," much less 20%.

    (And yet most of the guys I do know do get laid, or indeed have partners. It's almost like a man doesn't have to be Vin Diesel for some people to want to have sex with him sometimes! WHAT A WILD CONCEPT.)

  3. That can't be right. I mean, the major geeks (we're talking LARPs, DnD and Magic folks) that I hung around with in college and even now out of college get laid more than anyone else I know.

  4. My observations are that the majority of people are in couples, with moderate minorities either slutting it up or voluntarily celibate, and small minorities involuntarily celibate.

    As a single person who doesn't want to be single (and most of whose friends are indeed already coupled - or more, depending on their poly-ness), this observation seems to me to be fairly accurate. It also kinda makes me want to cry. I'm not celibate by choice - in fact, I wouldn't call myself celibate at this point - but I don't particularly enjoy sex without an emotional connection, preferably within the context of a relationship.

  5. Didn't you know? Pigs *are* green.
    If you're playing Angry Birds, anyway.

  6. Molly Ren - According to census data, 49.7% of households in the US are married couples. Unmarried couples aren't clearly counted because the US Census is not about to condone sin, but I'd guess they push it to over half of households being romantic partnerships, to say nothing of all the people dating and not living together.

    (Also, since they count households and not people, this means that probably well over half of people are living with a romantic partner--two in a household, compared to one single person in a household--but since there's also kids and roommates and stuff I don't think I can find the exact number.)

    Lisette - I don't know how to say "keep your chin up" and not sound silly, but... be nice and sociable and a lot is up to luck? Ergh.

  7. @Holly - Sorry, that was a pretty self-pitying post. It's hard to see everyone coupled already and not understand why I was somehow passed over. Meh. Thanks.

  8. I get laid more than the most typically alpha guys I know, and I'm not exactly the queen of sluthood here. I honestly think most of the PUAs are from crazy-person land.

  9. It's more like in the good days I had three women for sex and if any of them got too woobie she'd take up massive amounts of time. Pick Up rawks when you are much more attractive, thinner, socially skilled than your partners. Then I got tired of ruining female Aspies' lives and now things are much harder with women. But the answer is yes, the casual sex people have sex not woob, and it is terribly time efficient. I could do two meet ups and one sleepover a week without breaking a sweat. I assume alphas were doing the same thing with radically different women.

    I don't really have experience of egalitarian relationships, because either I'm in control or--when dealing with fellow Ivy Leaguers, too powerless. While I am a kinder person now, I'm alone a lot more.

  10. Uh... no personal offense meant, Eurosabra, but I literally could not parse your post.

    You're usually more coherent than that. :)

  11. Double bind :It's immoral to position yourself as the sole solution to a woman's problems, but average women in Los Angeles, NYC, Tel Aviv choose only alphas. And if she's pretty, forget it.

  12. Um. Eurosabra, I don't know you, so I don't have anything else to really base this comment on, but there's something about both of your comments that's really rubbing me the wrong way. I don't have the energy to parse it out at the moment, not really.

    It sort of sounds as though you said that women who are Ivy League educated are too intimidating and pretty women in major cities are too picky. Well, gee - what about us single, pretty, Ivy League educated, New York-residing women?

    I'm not trying to attack you. I really just don't get what you're saying.

  13. The part you're missing is the part where you define what "alpha" means. If the real numbers don't support what you're saying about "alphas" and "betas" and the like, you simply change the definition a little. When Eurosabra says that women in these big cities only choose Alphas, don't assume he's defining that word the same the way the rest of us are. It's not a "real" word anyway, so its meaning is going to be pretty subjective.

    A pretty good lobbyist once told me, "Doesn't really matter what's in the bill. The other side can write the bill as long as I get to write the definitions."

  14. so im noticing a pattern here. Holly mentioned that small minority of men (women too but that would just be too much for the poor little PUA's brains to handle) are total creepers, who you wouldnt even want to chat to for more than five minutes. the PUA bible says that there is a group called the omegas who literally never get laid.... maybe they're right.

    i mean we know that PUA is offensive as hell, and we'd never want to sleep with someone who was using it. so maybe the PUA are mistakenly assuming that they're Betas rather than total Omega creepmeisters *grin*

  15. Jesus Christ, Eurosabra, do you read every post on my blog just so you can appear LIKE FUCKING MAGIC every time I mention your pet pseudo-issues? Took you under six hours!

    Aaron is right; I can't really tell what you're saying. But the whole "alpha, beta, omega" terminology is a joke. It's a joke for wolves, for Chrissake, and it's beyond a joke for humans. Human attraction is extremely individual, there's no such thing as "objectively attractive," and the most common arrangement between humans is two average people in love.

    Also, your talk of "ruining female Aspies' lives" and "position yourself as the sole solution to a woman's problems" is creepy as all fuck. What the fuck were you DOING to people?

  16. The solution is simple: 80% of all women are IFs.

  17. Thanks for actually looking that up for me, Holly! I wrote that comment right before I was about to go to bed, so I was too tired to Google, but wasn't comfortable dealing with just "observations" on this topic. :)

    @Lisette *hugs*

  18. I always find the PUA stuff pretty damn funny. The best sex I've ever had has come from gamers, geeks, and the truely socially inept. If you're confident and cocky and can catch the entire rooms attention easily, I don't want you. I'll stick to my sweet, shy, akward lovers. I'm sure I'm not the only one with such preferences.. Afterall, being a socially inept computer geek gamer is still getting me laid.

  19. Don't address PUA/MRA if you don't want commentary. I'm much less grouchy about other claims, but yes, 80% of women prefer the top 20% of men markedly enough that many men are excluded from dating and virtually no women are. And I was basically dating women who had, like me, been alone a long time, and I made promises of making myself available despite distance and disability that I couldn't keep, which is a terrible thing to do to someone attached to you who has spectrum-, related needs of total reliability and consistency in a partner. Or anyone, really. And I'm generally mellow about your other topics and don't gratuitously slap up MRA stuff on them, even when they push buttons, like the "sad poly means poly is bad" one. Poly as done by PUAs is unfair to women and disturbing, but lots of party girls are up for it.

  20. Yeah, but Z, PUA isn't about impressing a woman with your bedroom skills. It's about impressing a woman with your asshole/enigma vibe so she'll sleep with you, and then making a notch on your belt and moving to the next woman. It doesn't matter if she thought you sucked in bed because you'll be long gone.

    'Course, in my circles, we treat everyone - male, female, and otherwise - as actual human beings, and we're not all hung up on being territorial or Madonna-whore, so my friends will actually recommend partners to me who they thought were great in bed; it's a good sexual reputation that gets you laid, not the ability to play games.

    I should also note that a fairly high number of people in my social group have had threesomes - not because of drunkenness or trickery but because two of someone's attractive friends were like "Hey, we've each enjoyed fucking you in the past, and we think you're a great person, so we've decided we want to have a big ol' fuckpile on you."

    So my experience, if you're a likeable person who genuinely wants to give people pleasure, you'll get laid a lot. I don't know whether the Personable, Pleasure-Giving People get laid more than PUA guys do, but I know that the PPGP seem a lot happier and less bitter than the PUAs - and that in itself seems like a pretty good reason to be PPGP.


  21. 80% of women prefer the top 20% of men markedly enough that many men are excluded from dating and virtually no women are.

    1. There are all kinds of average-looking, non-rich guys with girlfriends out there. They're everywhere - on the subway, in the grocery store, in the library. Do you ever go outside, Eurosabra?

    2. I'm not a mathematician but how the fuck is almost every woman having a dating life if 80% of them only want an "alpha" guy and the "alpha" guys only want hot chicks?


  22. Lisette,
    "not celibate but single and unhappy about it" tells me that you are female and are not happy with sex alone, which for me is a position of mind-blowing privilege. But then I am remarkably emotionally obtuse, and sometimes perfectly happy to have good sex with someone who likes me but does not love me and leaves as soon as it's over, when my alternative is grinding continual involuntary celibacy.

    Someone who ignores your opening line is not "intimidating". She is overwhelmed by constant male attention and trying to get by. However, I think this empathy is a bit too hard-won on my part, since I have to ask 50 women out for each "yes". Attraction has patterns, and "lid for every pot" is a lie.

  23. Well, Eurosabre, have you ever considered that perhaps you are just a very ugly and unpleasant man and should seek out ugly and unpleasant women? Or are you the only one of your kind to yet crawl out of the caves, and you will not find your equal in hideousness inside and out without going back to the place where you were spawned?

    Also, what makes you think anyone, anyone at all, even likes you? Maybe they're just very horny and want to sit on a dick, any dick, and pretend it is not attached to Eurosabre.

  24. Z,
    I think geek dating is less gender-role rigid whatever the coupling and so you have an unfair advantage :-p.

    Women=hotties, hence PUA blinders. But yes, I think model-like women, and average women, are knowingly or otherwise sharing the same small pool of guys.

  25. So, Eurosabra, how's that erectile dysfunction going for you? I know that can be pretty hard to deal with, but you've just got to keep your pecker up, old boy!

  26. But yes, I think model-like women, and average women, are knowingly or otherwise sharing the same small pool of guys.

    Ooookay, so either you're defining "alpha" in a different way than I am (I assume part of being "alpha" is being physically attractive, but perhaps you don't) or you actually don't ever go outside.

    Wait, no, it has to be the latter because - as Holly has already said - most adult humans are in relationships. And since we live in a society where monogamy is the default, this means there's no little "pool" of guys that every remotely tolerable woman is sharing. [Hetero] monogamy means one woman is fucking one guy and vice-versa.

    Someone (I think Ozymandias?) said that the whole PUA idea of "alphas hogging all teh womenz" came about because a bunch of guys wanted to blame their dating misfortune on something other than, you know, themselves. The more I see of PUA attitudes, the more I'm certain this is the case. It's way easier to whine about how you don't have the magical bone structure/salary/car/whatever to "get" a woman than it is to realize that the actual issue is your repellent personality.

    'Course the repellent personality could be changed far more easily than one's bone structure or salary, but that would require actually taking responsibility for yourself instead of sitting around whining about how everything is so unfaaaaaaaair.


  27. I certainly don't approve of Anon's tone. So that sound you hear is definitely not uncontrollable giggling.

    But crude as Anon is, they're not nearly as flat-out cruel as telling an unhappily single woman that it's a big enormous privilege that anyone would want to stick his dick in her.

    And as for models and Alphas... That's still not actually true on Earth, but at least the math on "20% of women sleep with 20% of men" works out, even if it does sound a little silly when I put it that way. (The idea that the "average" woman is sharing an Alpha is as worthy of serious consideration as the idea that the average woman has eighteen eyes. I mean, do you know any people? Are you friends with any couples? Work with anyone who has a partner? Seriously now. This is Earthling Society 101.)

    Still wouldn't keep the other 80% of us from having our fun, though.

  28. Guys who consider themselves to be alpha, or beta males are creepy.

  29. @Holly, please forgive what I'm about to say. If you think it's inappropriate, by all means, remove it.

    Dear Eurosabra:

    Ex-fucking-scuse me? How exactly does being single and wanting sex within a relationship make me privileged? I said I don't consider myself celibate, but for all intents and purposes I suppose I am. If you know that you're emotionally obtuse, perhaps you should think a little harder before writing the kind of bullshit above. You are not me. If you are happy with friend-sex, that is your prerogative. But any claims that I'm somehow privileged because that is not an option for me emotionally are beyond cruel.

  30. Eurosabra, you are wrong. This is not a debate, because there is no debate to be had. You are arguing that the earth is the center of the universe and is flat, that time began 6000 years ago. You are arguing against reality.

    80% of women are not sharing the 'top' 20% or the men. Unless your serious position is either that nearly every man in a monogamous heterosexual relationship is cheating on his partner, or that everyone is secretly practicing polygamy, the fucking math does not work.

    Look, I'm sorry you can't get laid. But the problem is not that you are a beta male whose potential partners are all getting sucked up by mythical alpha males with good jobs, fast cars, and six-packs. I can tell you right now that even if I was single, I wouldn't touch you with a ten foot pole. I have no idea what you look like, what kind of car you drive, or how much money you make, and to be perfectly honest, I don't care. You come across as a repellent, entitled, and frankly creepy individual even in five-paragraph blog comments; if your behavior here is an accurate representation of how you behave IRL, I'm not surprised that you have so much trouble getting laid. The problem is your personality. Fix it, or quit fucking whining.

    Also, look up the definition of 'privilege'.


    Let's just condense this now for time's sake.

    1. He comes and tells us the sky is actually pink WHY WON'T WE JUST ADMIT THAT.

    3. He admits his worldview is extremely narrow and blinkered and applies pretty much exclusively to 20-something young single women of very high social status and very above-average looks who socialize in extremely specific ways, as well as anyone who reminds him of his parents.

    4. He admits he has a really hard time empathizing with others, generally with some kind of "tragic past" justification, and that he is in fact pretty damn wrapped up in an entitlement complex.

    5. He continues to insist that despite both self-admitted truths, the sky is indeed pink the world 'round and in fact women, by which he means twenty-something extremely attractive high-status clubbers, are oppressing him by being less eager to have no-strings-attached sex with him than he is with them.

    6. He gets beat on by people pointing out all of the above, with potentially a side bonus of recoiling from creepster statements like comparing not getting a wife on demand to being raped, he leaves, and then we get to do the exact same thing again the next time Holly mentions PUA.

  32. Poly as done by PUAs is unfair to women and disturbing, but lots of party girls are up for it.

    I'm pretty sure that PUA has exactly shit to do with polyamory.

  33. I have never understood the PUA concept.

    Seriously. I am a trans gay/asexual man. Plus, the whole multi thing, which causes many a complication. My dating pool is lower than the vast majority of straight cis guys, okay?

    And yet somehow, I managed to get myself married.

    So I don't feel an immense amount of sympathy when I hear about how women as a whole are trying to cockblock you. Trust me. When the world is trying to sexually denigrate you, you will KNOW.

    I have yet to see a movie where the sight of a naked straight cis man makes someone attracted to them throw up.


  34. LabRat, where'd #2 go?

  35. It was stolen by an anonymous HB10 on her way to fuck an alpha.

  36. Eurosabra, Penis-bearer here with my Male-Brained Math Skillz:

    Let me grant you your premise that "many men and virtually no women are shut out of dating." It's not something I would go around proclaiming to be true until I read the research, but it actually sounds plausible to me. It reflects my perception of my own social group--but I need the research because I may simply not be hanging out with the dateless women.

    So the question is, what would explain those dateless men. You seem to be saying that we can explain this by invoking Alpha Males. But the math says that your assertions about alphas and hypergamy don't actually explain male datelessness. Here's why:

    Assume that the top 20% of men are dating the top 80% of women. That leaves the bottom 80% of men facing bleak odds, outnumbering the available women 4-to-1. However, it *doesn't* account for any special subdivisions among the betas.

    If those remaining 20% women go on a date every Friday, than the beta men go on a date every month. Clearly, these men aren't "shut out" of dating. And don't even try to claim that they are, because there's a problem there.

    See, those 80% of women chasing alphas are ALSO facing 4-to-1 odds. If alpha males go out every Friday... then normal women date once a month, like beta men. To whatever degree men have been shut out of dating, so have women.

    In hateful misogynistic language, what you get is a world in which the only people having regular sex are wealthy "alpha studs" and ugly, disagreeable "sluts," while normal men AND women beg for scraps. That doesn't sound like fun, but fortunately, I'm pretty sure the 80% hypothesis is false.

    But the important take-away message here is that "normal" men are not asking out 50 women before they get a bite. If some men are indeed being shut out of dating, something else must be to blame. There are really only two possibilities.

    1: Dateless women are exactly as common as dateless men, but you and I don't know about them because they only associate with women, live in different places, or are simply invisible to us. This strikes me as possible but not certain.

    2: The bottom 5-20% of men are uniquely repulsive people, far less desirable than the least desirable women. This also strikes me as entirely possible, since our culture instills a baseline of decency and self-control more successfully in women than in men. (See: crime statistics)

  37. Am I (a woman) a terrible person for having some measure of sympathy for these guys, due to my own experiences with social ineptness?

    I mean, I think a lot of what they say is false, and I think PUA in general is vile, manipulative, disgusting bullshit. But I know what it's like to have a very hard time interacting with people, and I know what it's like to think (and be told for most of your life) that you're uniquely repulsive personality-wise and physically. Until late last year, when I met an amazing guy who I probably don't deserve, I honestly believed that there was a serious chance that I would be alone for the rest of my life.
    You see parts of society that a lot of people are lucky enough to never see. You start thinking about things in a different way, and while some of that might be lies you tell yourself or that your mind is telling you, some of it is ugly, disgusting truths about the world we live in.

    I'm not at all saying that this excuses most of the actions of the guys we're talking about here. I guess all I'm saying is that this part of their background deserves some consideration. Sometimes, I can see part of what they're coming from and feel at least a little bad for them.

  38. I think people also underestimate the importance of compatibility. Sure you see a world swimming with pretty faces, but most of them wouldn't actually work out. You talk for a minute and the awkwardness creeps in. So actually meeting someone who's mind and body and kinks match up with you and your preferences is like rolling 2 D20's and waiting for snake eyes.

    If it takes time, it doesn't mean you're a loser and will be alone forever. I think sometimes people wait and wait and decide they're screwed.

    Sometimes I wonder if the "Alphas" are mainly guys who're content with anyone with a pretty face and a hole. And hang out in places where the conversation is limited.

  39. Alphas go out 4 times a week, and assuming Mystery or Ross Jeffries-level skill, score each night, and that takes care of the four to one ratio, with double and triple booking on the same night for repeat business as needed. Heck, explicitly negotiated threesome, plus an FWB, plus a GF fulfill it as well, which is why newbie PUAs never got any sleep at Project Hollywood when the gurus were at play. That's what a PUA roster does. Gatekeepers are not "shut out", by definition. Some women may choose celibacy, and 20% are passed over, or never enter a venue with alphas, or reject all offers as unsatisfactory. Nondating women also self report less, probably.

    Violent, dangerous men get more partners than average, even adjusted for incarceration. We could play dueling studies, I spose.

  40. But is having sex with three different people in one night even fun?

    Are you going to become violent and dangerous for the nookie?

    What is "Project Hollywood"?

    Why are 20% of women and 20% of men universally passed over? Shouldn't they just screw each other? Why isn't anyone trying to teach them how to locate each other and hook up?

    So many questions...

  41. Oh come on, Eurosabra, you're weird, but you usually at least sort of read and respond to people. This is just repetition of the exact things just refuted. (Hey, where the FUCK do married couples come from? Seriously, I'm not seeing them at all in your cosmology and there's like twenty on my street.) I expected better of you.

    Also, I'm not a "gatekeeper," because:
    1) My vagina isn't a "gate," it's a part of my actual body. You don't get it if you meet some qualification, you get it if I like you and I'm horny for you. The real reason you get it isn't because you got me to give it up; it's because I'm getting you.

    2) Sometimes men turn me down. Shocker, I know. Some men are attracted to me and some aren't. I believe this is the human condition. And yet I don't think of men as "gatekeepers" cruelly standing between me and their cocks.

    3) I'm a person. I watch "Mythbusters" and cook okay with a recipe but crappy without and I like hiking but don't do it enough. I have this whole other existence outside of my role in weird imaginary sexual power games. I think it's very important, even within weird imaginary sexual power games, to keep that in mind.

  42. Or, hey, let's go with the "vagina as gate" metaphor.

    It's the gate to my private property.

    I can decide to let people on it. That's cool. I can host a big party on my land or invite only my closest friends or stay all by myself there, and that's all my decision.

    Some people--most people, in fact--don't want to visit my property, a few because they don't like me and most because they just don't know me that well, and that's fine too.

    But if you're not invited over to my property, it's no good asking "why not?" Because it's not yours, is why not. It's gauche and creepy to just assume someone, even someone you know, would let you traipse around in their yard. And proving that you're an all-round cool-dude person probably won't get you invited, either; making friends with the specific person who owns the property might.

    (Asking 50 people to let you on their property probably would get at least one to say "yes," but not because they're inviting you as a friend, just because through sheer statistics you found a person in the lower percentiles of ability to say "no.")

    Although I also have lots of friends who've never been to my house, and it's not because I don't like them, it's just because our friendship is geared toward doing other things.

    So yeah, maybe women are gatekeepers. But they're our fucking gates.

  43. Am I (a woman) a terrible person for having some measure of sympathy for these guys, due to my own experiences with social ineptness?

    Well, I have sympathy too, which actually turns into resentment because I think there's a conversation to be had here about the people operating under a scarcity model with respect to partnered sex versus people operating under an abundance model (I don't like the pseudo-economic overtones there, but can't think of better terms), only every opportunity gets derailed by folks that want to talk about alphas and omegas and make ludicrous claims like the 80%/20% thing.

  44. Alphas go out 4 times a week, and assuming Mystery or Ross Jeffries-level skill, score each night, and that takes care of the four to one ratio, with double and triple booking on the same night for repeat business as needed.

    That actually sounds like a horrible existence; when do they find time for the other pleasures in life?

  45. JFPbookworm - To really overextend the gate metaphor: yeah. It sucks when nobody ever invites you to their house. It is something to feel legitimately bad about if you want to visit people and never can.

    But it sucks even more when you're drowned out by people yelling about how they can get into in any house if they know the secret knock, or how you just have to knock on 300 doors and someone will let you in, or how homeowners are big jerks for not letting anyone in who knocks, or other such nonsense.

  46. What other pleasure matches up? I don't think so, and I was well-fed, well-traveled, and cultured for a long while. YMMV.

    No. Not me. That route is impossible for me. No violence.

    Project Hollywood was the attempt in 04-05 to create a PUA academy/furniture recycling site. Women dumped certain men in favor of others and the dumped trashed several rooms.

    Yes Means Yes blog had a wonderful non reply to the pua mindset...scarcity is not real.

    Early diminishing returns discourage some of the passed over.

    When your gender always has to initiate, you can't imagine turning someone down. Straight men have a singular discourse that they'd never turn down straight women. Some men, anyway.

  47. What other pleasure matches up to... having three one-night stands in one night? I wouldn't eat three burritos in one night, and burritos are pretty great.

    According to whom do "alphas" have all this sex?

    And do you have some numbers on 20% of people being forever alone? I'm having some difficulty finding statistics just on whether people end up sad and lonely virgins, but apparently 70-88% of women are married by age 35.

  48. 47% of straight men 18-44 years old chaste/celibate for the duration of a given year as opposed to 20% of straight women of the same age range, via the CDC. 10% of men being forever alone, 5% of women.

    I think variation in local tastes explains the difference, as far as burritos go.

    Seriously, you never had a roommate or a neighbor with 5 girlfriends? Too many b-list TV celebrities here, I guess.

  49. What's really funny in this whole discussion is the fact that I am dating a guy who's dating another girl and sleeps around besides. He's an ordinary-looking (well, cute as hell, but not Hollywood gorgeous or super-muscular), slightly shy, extremely feminist, extremely nerdy sort of guy. So much for Alpha.

    And he also, despite being definitely WAY over on the far end of the bell curve of sex drive, doesn't go through five women in a typical week or keep five steadies. He's got a job.

  50. Okay, Eurosabra, if you're going to keep on quoting statistics, I want to see a reference list.


    I know a lot of guys who get laid pretty regularly, though. Most of them have girlfriends. Most of them did not meet their girlfriends by randomly polling 500 women until they found one who wanted to fuck them.

    Seriously, nothing in life compares to sex? Nothing at all? I mean, orgasms are nice, but Jesus Christ do you need to adjust your priorities.

    Or were you looking for an actual human connection? Because if you were, treating the people you're trying to connect with as a game you can con seems like a pretty terrible life plan, honestly.

  51. I am not trying to convince you, I am saying the hundreds of thousands of the brethren who believe it to be true are right, in a cosmic sense. PUA is not a con, it's just putting on a very audience-specific audition. The young ones are cute, with the origami roses and the card tricks and "I Never".

    D-list celebrity is a job here, and it comes with groupies. I spose the arrangements are not always exclusive in favor of the males, but it is harem building.

    What feels better, putting on a show or just being told you have nothing anyone will ever want?

  52. Sex is pretty awesome...but only when you have at least a bit of a connection to the person. Eurosabra's mercenary, businesslike descriptions of PUA dealings just sound sad. Like...if you don't even think of your sexual partners as human, you might as well just watch porn and jerk off. You get the eye candy and the orgasm without having to do nearly as much work.

  53. What feels better, putting on a show or just being told you have nothing anyone will ever want?

    I pick option 3: working on my issues until people find me more appealing.

    The best starting point for PUA guys would be understanding that women are people. Most PUAs seem to think women are robots or flesh-facades with no inner life at all, put on this earth for you to mess with and manipulate...which also happens to be a textbook symptom of being a sociopath (except they think it about everyone, not just the people they want to fuck). Hard to say whether the sociopathy was bred into them by The Game itself, or whether it was there in these guys from the's kind of a chicken-and-egg thing. But either way, it's the unsexiest vibe ever and it's no wonder you guys have to construct an elaborate front just to get women to like you.


  54. "hundreds of thousands of the brethren"


    Oh man, Eurosabra. You're either a hilariously stupid, pigheaded, ignorant guy... or a brilliant troll.

    Because that line was perfect. Fuckin' fantastic. It's not just a claim that hundreds of thousands of people are true-believer PUAs, ascribing to the Alpha/Beta/Omega hierarchy.

    It's also a beautifully executed comparison of those same PUA true-believers to religious brethren, believing in their gospel and doctrines against all reason or evidence.

    Well played, sir, and I agree completely; people who ascribe to your claimed viewpoint are truly brethren. Orthodox brethren of the most obnoxious of orders, the religion of PUA, in contradiction of all empirical evidence.

  55. Perhaps, Eurosabra, since you are just some middle-aged, impotent guy who's got a couple axes to grind (Zionism and "involuntary celibacy", apparently) in the comments section of blogs, and you are surrounded by B-through-D-list celebrities, you should move. You seem to be a little fish in a big pond.

    The problem is... I don't think there is anywhere in the world known for its large concentration of internet trolls nobody wants to fuck.

    But if you like Israel so much (and you do, as a cursory Googling of your username will show), why don't you brush off the cheeto dust infesting your neckbeard and go live there? Tell us how it is, in your usual charmingly incoherent manner. Work on a kibbutz until you burn off enough weight that on the off chance somebody wants to screw you, they'll be able to find your shtickl without having to flip through the rolls of flab as one would flip through the files in a cabinet to see which one you filed your petzl under until such time as someone would deign to touch it.

    And maybe there will be fewer B-list celebrities hogging all the girls, you never know.

    But, hey, if you moved away from all these TV actors, you wouldn't have a convenient excuse for why you are always alone on a Saturday night, would you?

  56. Anon @2:41: I enjoy speculating on Eurosabra's gaping personal deficiencies as much as the next person, but it must be noted that being overweight and/or having a neckbeard garnished with Cheeto dust still doesn't prevent people from getting laid (presuming their hygiene is decent enough that they don't actually smell bad).

    An attitude of douchey entitlement, though...that's box-office poison.

  57. Yo, fat hatred unneccessary. My fat body is way more attractive to potential partners than Eurosabra's fucked up ideological arguments. Being fat does not equal being either immoral or ugly.

  58. Hilarious thread, but I still want to know whether the PUA-trolls actually don't believe married people exist or just have their own specialized definitions of "men" (sorry, I mean "alphas") and "women" that exclude the vast majority of the population. Maybe this is like the psych studies that only look at psych students, except here the sample is only people who frequent grotesque meat-market singles bars?

  59. ... and a lot more to do with "acting like women are people."

    i like to think of that as a matter of course. and the result is that i have many good female friends, and that's about it, really?

    (which is pretty great, of course. but this discussion is not about platonic friendships, which is where my social life begins and ends)

    (it may also be relevant to report a pretty healthy dose of self-esteem on all fronts)

  60. Okay, if you're not trying to convince anyone, why the hell do you keep arguing with people who clearly don't agree with you?

    Origami roses and ice-breakers can be appealing and useful for socially awkward people, but this bears only the slightest and most peripheral resemblance to PUA's 1-10 rating scales, alpha/beta male designations, denial of female desire, indifference to consent, 'negging', and statistics pulled straight out of some random internet troll's backside. Arguing as though they are one and the same is disingenuous, to say the least.

    If the social groups you hang out with are so inimical to your quest for pussy, maybe you should consider getting a new social group.

  61. Didn't really enjoy academic employment in Israel, and got blown up three times, but I did good work there, but they don't really like wounded foreign-born researchers and when my contract was up I decided to leave. Call me Yored, be insulting, like I care. You are right about the beard, though I'm quite thin.
    Well-endowed, though, and told I have a handsome face. Mainly, not exciting enough for the local scene.
    The incoherence is from the head hit, it acts up every Passover, on cue.

  62. I think the "80% conundrum" is not mathematically impossible, at least not if we restrict it to sexual encounters rather than lasting relationships (and let's face it, the former is what those PUA's are only interested in). It simply requires that the distribution of sexual encounters is more skewed among men (i.e. the "alphas" getting all the girls) than among women.

    Not only is this possible, it appears to be true in reality. I browsed for some stats and found these by the Kinsey Instute:

    This shows that at age 24, more men than women are virgins, and that the distribution for sexual encounters is more skewed for men: 17% of men had over 20 sexual partners, compared to only 3% of women. The skew seems real, but the 80%/20% division is completely unsupported by facts.

    (I'd like to add that Holly's earlier post, "Growing Up Ugly" is additional [albeit anecdotal] evidence: she describes herself as an awkward teenager, but still lost her virginity at 15. I think this would have been a lot more difficult to achieve if she had been an unattractive 15 year old boy instead!)

  63. Uhmm, did my comment get deleted? May I ask why?

  64. On cue? Maybe you need more yeast in your diet.

  65. "and got blown up three times"

    Funny, I've watched Zachar picking pieces of exploded Israelis off the streets while I worked to save the lives of more fortunate wounded men an women, and none of the ones I'd describe as having been blown up were quite as bleatingly blathering as you are.

  66. Anonymous at 7:42, I bet comments containing links are moderated.

  67. Anon - Your comment got caught in the auto-spam-filter. I restored it.

    As for math; as I said, it's not impossible for all women to be getting laid, but it would still leave them alone 80% of their time. Unless people are having six-somes all over the place. (I'm fairly sure they are not.) And this still doesn't account for how my mom is in a couple, my sister is in a couple, I'm in a triad, my boss is in a couple, most of my friends are in couples, my neighbors are almost all couples...

    Eurosabra - The closest I ever got to sympathy for you was realizing that you most likely had no one to have Seder with these nights.

    Chag sameach anyway, you little freak.

  68. Holly, thank you. :) I was afraid I got censored, but kudos for posting a contrary opinion anyway!

    (Re: the math: I was just trying to show that some skew in the distribution is possible and probably exists, which is probably frustrating for some men, but the purported 20%/80% split is ridiculous.)

  69. Let's just say I'm sub optimal and you may even have handled me. Ben Yehuda Dec 01, Cafe Moment, Hebrew U. ZAKA combed the trees outside my apartment Derech Azza 46, Dira11. Nothing compared to others, true.

  70. @Eurosabra - Well, I doubt I handled you, since I worked MDA a couple of years after that.

    Good times... if I had a sense of smell, I'd probably never want to eat pork again.

  71. So, what I'm getting from Eurosabra's comments is that since he knows a certain very specific subculture that he observes to adhere to this 80%/20% rule, we all must be deluding ourselves that it doesn't work the same in our communities? Huh!?

    Eurosabra, you seem to be a well-traveled and cultured person, so I'm a little surprised that you haven't been to places or hung out in groups in which there's a lack of "D-list celebrities with 5 girlfriends". I live in a major city which is also a hub for the media industry, and yet I can count on one hand the times my friends or I have ended up rubbing shoulders with celebrities here. Of course, part of that is possibly that I'm just not up to date on the latest D-list celebrities who I'm supposedly meant to be dropping my panties for every weekend and then skedaddling before their next scheduled fucks, or something. None of the behavior you are talking about is even on my radar.

    You might consider critically evaluating how communities self-select for certain behavior and how group norms are established. And then asking yourself if self-declared "PUAs" and minor celebrities, and the women who love them, are really the most realistic sample of how human beings in general deal with relationships.

    Honestly, I feel kind of bad for you, you sound like the crowd you choose to observe and run with is making you miserable.

  72. Here's a slightly different fallacy, which I think is probably common. (Real life example.)

    He likes slender women, and his tastes line up enough with the media, for him to believe that there's basically a single linear scale of female attractiveness. Harbors a fantasy that his wife has a truly porn-worthy body, just on the basis of her figure, ignoring everything else (she's healthy and active, but no beauty).

    He himself is chunky, and has thick dark body hair. Very handsome for type, in fact, and has persistent problems with unwanted male attention. But, since he's modeled physical attractiveness as a single linear scale, he fully believes that if he looked more like a Calvin Klein model, he'd be more attractive. He's completely puzzled as to why anyone finds him at all attractive.

    I think the alpha-beta-omega division is a more extreme example of this sort of linear thinking about attractiveness. The PUA fallacy adds to it by pulling some personality aspects (assholery?) under the same linear scale.

  73. It occurs to me that I don't think I've ever met one of these so-called "alphas", as described. Either they aren't a fifth of the population or they don't stoop to spending time with people who actually have interesting hobbies.

    Meanwhile, I can no longer post comments using my normal browser. Huh.

  74. Eurosabra,

    Tell me, have you ever considered writing your request down on a napkin and playing mute? Or do you, like, always actually attempt conversation?

    Because it it's the latter, your batting average is starting to make a lot more sense.

  75. Does anyone know when/where this whole 80/20% nonsense got started? It's accepted as gospel truth not only among PUAs but also among men's rights guys and "Men Going Their Own Way," repeated endlessly and rarely challenged in those circles despite the fact that it bears no resemblance at all to anything happening in the real world.

  76. Lol, Return of the Eurosabra! There are not enough virtual mouths on the 'net to swallow all your buckets of rancid wank, guy. But good luck with all that Game stuff. It seems to be working so well for you and making you so happily satisfied, who am I to judge?

  77. Actually I'm a lot more articulate in conversation. Lately, the problem has been yes-means-no responses like last-minute cancellations, etc. Also, PUA is still not male sexual agency, because it is still jumping through women's hoops. I am more than willing to accept that nothing may ever "work", Eivind Berge is not. Part of what makes him scary.

  78. Re: Eurosabra

    Dude. Of course you have to jump through women's hoops. YOU WANT TO HAVE SEX WITH THEM. That means you actually have to be agreeable to her. You can't just... grab a woman, anymore than I can just throw myself onto an operating table and go, "Okay, guys, give me X procedure!" I have to actually undergo tests and crap to prove I'm healthy enough to undergo the surgery.

    If you don't want to be subject to other people's standards, DON'T DO THINGS WITH OTHER PEOPLE.

    Sweet Jesus, man, I'd cancel on you too, if it got me out of your skeezyass presence. It's possible you're just immensely dense and terrible at communicating yourself, but I sure as fuck ain't obligated to give you that benefit of the doubt.

    I am SO GLAD I am not your sexual presence.


  79. Hey.

    Creepy Internet man in general checking in to answer mr. Futrelle's question re: the 80/20 thing.

    Probably this is inspired by something called the 'Pareto principle', which (according to wikipedia) states that:

    "for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes"

    ( )

    Lots of phenomena appear to behave in this way: the top 20% most common words of the vocabulary account for 80% of words spoken, the top 20% richest people in the population control 80% of the wealth,the 20% most popular websites account for 80% of incoming links, and so on and so on.

    It doesn't seem *self evidently* obvious to me that it couldn't possibly be the case that the 20% most commonly fucked dudes take care of 80% of the fuckery. Or, since biology plays no role in this argument, the other way around.

    Eh, idk. I don't pretend to understand the math behind this in any depth, but I think the above gives some hint as to where the 80/20 idea comes from.

  80. Hershele OstropolerApril 24, 2011 at 12:09 AM

    It's easy to get a woman to fuck you. It's not easy to get that redhead over ther to fuck you tonight. I'll bet 80%, so to speak, of men who complain about how hard it is to get pussy are extrapolating from one bad night (or week, or month, beyond that I will concede they have a point, at least as far as duration goes) or are blowing off women who are interested or might be intereted, probably for the Groucho Marx reason.

    (And yet most of the guys I do know do get laid, or indeed have partners. It's almost like a man doesn't have to be Vin Diesel for some people to want to have sex with him sometimes! WHAT A WILD CONCEPT.)

    Yabbut it sure is easer to here "you can't get laid without magic alpha mojo/being Vin Diesel/having magic alpha mojo or being Vin Diesel/having magic alpha mojo and being Vin Diesel" than to hear "you can get laid unless you're a creep."

    the major geeks (we're talking LARPs, DnD and Magic folks) that I hung around with in college and even now out of college get laid more than anyone else I know.

    Hypothesis: the geeks are more willing to not hold out for an unattainable perfect partner. They're (we're) so far down in the caste system that having sex at all is enough to confer status.

    but average women in Los Angeles, NYC, Tel Aviv choose only alphas. And if she's pretty, forget it.

    I want to use myself as a counterexample but I can predict how that would go: Eurosabra would say I'm a secret alpha or unacknowledged alpha and so I'm not a counterexample, and he knows I'm an alpha because I'm in a relationship with an attractive woman (although, given his demonstrated social skills, he's just as likely to call my girlfriend ugly and undesirable).

    Does anyone know when/where this whole 80/20% nonsense got started?

    The Pareto principle states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes, according to Wikipedia.

    Also, PUA is still not male sexual agency, because it is still jumping through women's hoops.

    I make women jump through my hoops, too. I don't get hit on much, but I chalk that up to a culture in which even now women largely don't get hit on by men (combined with the fact that it's emotionally difficult to hit on someone, and if you have an excuse for letting the other person make the first move, you'll take it). But it's not out of the question that there are women who want me to hit on them, and if they don't meet my standards, I won't.

  81. Without pics the only thing I can say for sure is you're a deceased character from Yiddish literature. But the 80/20 split is probably true within social classes, or crudely, "leagues".

  82. A social class isn't the same thing as a "league."

    But anyway, the 80/20 split CANNOT be true because it does not account for long-term monogamous couples! Which are VERY COMMON!

    See what you've DONE? You've reduced me to yelling in ALL CAPS!

  83. So it cannot be true, and is yet true of every social group I've observed. Could be self selecting group norms, or PUAs could be right. Again, the Kinsey report is a pretty skewed distribution, which is enough to sustain an ideology.

  84. Eurosabra: Do long-term monogamous couples exist in any social groups you've observed? How the hell do they fit into your math?

  85. I'd say a small minority form couples, over half the guys are alone in any given year, club culture being what it is. Maybe 10% of the women either turning down all offers or refusing to share the local alpha.

  86. Oh, so I'm talking about life, and you're talking about, like, two or three clubs in a five-block radius with about fifty regulars between them?

    Okay, whatever, I don't know or care what these clubs are like (although I'm starting to think you should really get the hell out of them), but out in the real world, there are a whole lot of couples.

    Some of them even like each other!

  87. Hershele OstropolerApril 24, 2011 at 8:42 PM

    I don't think this is the first time other commenters and Holly have gotten our favorite O. ficus-indica to pretty much come out and say he doesn't actually mean the general population, but a highly circumscribed and artificial dating ecosystem.

  88. Again, if PUAs believe it descriptive of the general population, it governs their actions. PUAs are thus right that there is a shortage of sex for the average man, as Kinsey demonstrates, and various men are going to act on that belief and reality in varied ways.

  89. I just whatever.

    I can tell you this, Eurosabra: unless you're really, REALLY good at never letting any of your opinions slip out when women are around (I suspect you are not), I know why YOU'RE not getting laid.

  90. LOL, so Eurosabra, you ARE talking only about populations who are into "club culture". You're living in a bubble. God forbid you should stick your head out of that bubble and see what the rest of us are up to while you're moping around the VIP room or whatever.

    Or just admit that you are self-selecting into groups that seem to you* to observe this 80% - 20% rule. You've picked your poison - now quit whining about it.

    *And to kick this up a level, how many of the "alphas" you know are bragging to you about all the women they fuck, and how many women brag to you about having fucked some d-lister? And do you have any reason to consider these people trustworthy when it comes to describing things they see as improving their status in life, considering that many probably see their sexual status as a major source of self-worth? C'mon man, a little critical thinking, here.

  91. That 80/20 thing is complete garbage but I think people dismiss the involuntary celibate phenomenon. The statement "Being incel is the fate of the picky, shy, or socially inept" is sort of ridiculous. But you've probably never been in that situation so you can't understand it. I'm not talking about a couple years of celibacy of I'm talking a majority of a persons life. It does take some unlucky circumstances but it can happen. Are you saying incels should drop all standards to have sex? Does having any standards at all like not having sex with a homeless person make my celibacy voluntary? You might be able to just put an ad on craigslist and have sex whenever but some others aren't so lucky.

  92. I can't help but comment, so late here, because I'm pretty sure my perspective about 1. slutting it up and 2. dealing with PUAs is both relevant and has not been covered.
    As background: for lulz and horniness and sowing of wild oats and rebounding from a bad breakup, I went through a time of 1-2 years where I literally slept with 5 different guys a week. Most of them were repeat f--k buddies, some fwb (e.g. we're still friends even though I'm now in a monogamous relationship) and plenty were craigslist-type hookups (some of whom then became friends).
    I look back on that period of time and think, damn I should have charged for all that! And then, uh, no way, I wouldn't have had the sexual agency I did. Anyway, as a somewhat pretty youngish woman, I had a near 90% success rate hitting on guys I thought were cute for the purposes of sex. Sometimes I lowered my standards when I was particularly horny, sometimes I hit on guys I thought were way out of my league. (Also during this time, one of my internet hookups turned into a boyfriend-type situation. He was just really really cool with me being a slut, possibly helped by the threesomes with his ex.)
    However, first of all, I did get turned down occasionally and it was often because the guy was looking for a more substantial relationship/not a party girl than a lack of attraction --of course, I don't know this for sure, it was just the reason I heard when I found out a reason at all.
    Second, a handful of the guys really were the PUA-type: they liked party girls and basically had a modern harem. They definitely had their little routines where they'd visit different girls (er, women, sorry), working around their schedule such as during their lunch break. It seemed a bit sad/addictive, not that I was one to judge. But anyway, yes, these guys exist.
    And finally, to reinforce one of the previous comments, there were no expectations that the little PUA harems acted in a female-monogamy, male-promiscuity pattern, and no one brought up that expectation. As an aside, this is in the context of always-protected sex and I'm quite sure even a whiff of controlling behavior would put a guy on my not-getting-laid list, so of course it's self-selecting.
    I usually stopped seeing the PUA-types because after the initial smoothness (in multiple senses: they shaved everything and had a whole little game going), they tended to be not terribly exciting in bed. Sorta like frozen food, would do in a pinch but not very filling (ha!) --the geeks and kinksters were indeed more fun. :o)

  93. Um, as a straight-identified man who has traded sex for shelter in the past I would encourage you to give homeless people no-strings-attached support. Looking at their homelessness as something that makes them less of a catch for a housed awkward person makes my head spin.

  94. It makes me LOL a lot how PUA types can't see the hypocrisy of "women are so selfish only going for attractive, successful men, but its perfectly fine for me to only try to pick up Megan Fox types".

    I guess it makes more sense to them when they go all evo-psych like 'I have all these RESOURCES which is all every woman wants (but not sex, women hate sex, women only trade sex for my money and protection) because of that time we were cavemen, and all men want is an attractive partner so its perfectly reasonable for me to sick and cry that Victoria's Secret models don't want me with my jerk personality and antisocial tendencies and head like a smashed crab."