The Smarts Count, How You Use Them Counts More.

A common refrain in many dating and relationship forums, as well as often in real life, is that men do not like or want smart girls, women do not like or want smart guys. Men just want sexpot bimbos and women just want obnoxious jocks. Being smart or educated just counts for nothing, guys!

Sometimes it’s phrased as a complaint towards the discriminator: “All these girls want is idiot obnoxious Chads!”

Sometimes it’s phrased as a criticism towards the would-be-partner: “Nobody needs girls to be smart, just show cleavage and smile.”

Sometimes it’s just matter of fact: “People just don’t care if you’re smart or not.”

But it’s always wrong.

You see, humans are a brain animal. That means that for eons our survival depended on being smart. For the last few million years, we have admired intelligence and it has embedded itself in our definitive “hotness ranking”, even in ways you would not imagine. For example men like women with wide hips because wide hips = higher omega storage = more omegas for baby = smarter babies, or women like men who take risks because more risks = more chance at reward = strong natural selection = if he’s alive and risk-taking, he’s smart. We are literally horny for smarts.

So what gives? If we like brains so much, why aren’t sci-fi nerds and PhD feminists and people who can recite Shakespeare backwards at the top of the sexual hierarchy?

Simple, because it’s not about the brains you have, it’s about the brains you use.

If you are a sci-fi nerd and science fiction is out of fashion, then you are signalling that you value science fiction more than you value group membership. Which rings alarm bells unless you’re chasing an Other Girl who’s into Sigmas. And in the latter case: you had better be able to chameleon your way into social settings properly before retreating to your spaceship man-cave, because even Sigmas need to survive the social order. That’s right, there’s no opt-out, you have to be social.

If you are a feminist with a PhD, you had better be young and cheerful and interested in a broad range of subjects. Because throwing away your fertility on an education and becoming bitter and jaded is a surefire way to look like a human failing at life. And if you look like you’re barely surviving life, your smarts are worthless on a sexual level, because your actions suggest your children will also barely survive life.

If you can recite Shakespeare backwards, but that is your only skill, then you are wasting your brain. It’s great to have a party trick, a gimmick, something weird and fun for starting conversations. But if that’s all there is to you… then what are your survival prospects? How will you feed a baby? What genes will your descendants inherit? If you’re legitimately smart, you need to start using your brain for more than just gimmicks. And if you can’t afford to learn some equally important skills alongside your reverse barding, then maybe you’re not smart enough to pull that stunt off.

And that’s the crux of it. If you desperately want to have sex, get married, have kids perhaps, then the smart thing to do would be to work out how and do it. Perhaps the blonde bimbo cheerleader gets the hot guys because she is pleasant and smily and sensual, not because she is an idiot. Perhaps the dumb obnoxious jock gets the hot girls because he’s confident and connected and successful, not because he doesn’t do maths. You can be smart and attractive. If anything, smarts should be used to make you more attractive, seeing as that is the whole point of human evolution.

Your brains do count. If you can make a boatload of money in a year, or save a boatload of money in a day, if you can properly guard against wild animals or deter them from visiting, if you can save your own and your partner’s time, if you can navigate life successfully and hand those skills onto your kid… then you have brains and they do matter.

But for all that is holy, don’t advertise them by making your entire life about arithmetic. That’s not smart. That’s dumb.

TTFN and Happy Hunting!

 

For help starting out homemaking, check out The ESSENTIAL Beginner Homemaker’s Guide. For help budgeting all your everday and not-so-everyday essentials, from food to transport to clothes, check out On A Budget: The good homemaker’s guide to economizing.

Being One Of The Others. Part II. Partnering.

The concept of “otherness” is based on the idea of “us vs them”. In short, when we have established what we are, everything else is not us, and therefore must be “them”. The “other” is the individual who has not yet found a place where they belong, or who primarily deals in an environment where they do not belong.

In Part I: Stepping Out, I explored how Other Girls (OGs) are less often an absolute reject and more often the female equivalent to the male rogues: capable, gender-conforming individuals who feel at odds with the main group they live among. In this second part I explain some of the relationship dynamics of OGs and how normal human sexual behaviour manifests or fails to manifest among us.

PARTNERS.

Rollo posits that “Nerd culture represents an environment where a girl’s otherness makes them a prized commodity.” He goes on to suggest that these girls may have been outcompeted in the popular SMP. Which does hold true in many ways. However, in my personal experience, it is not quite so simple. Not all OGs will leave the popular SMP, still playing or competing in it even once they have opted out of every facet of modern society. Many, possibly around half, of opt-out OGs are average or below and seeking a field where they have better leverage. Yet at least half of OGs were romantically successful and sexually desired by high ranking males before becoming othered. And often they are still desirable as they attempt to exclude themselves. Thus, I put forward the four reasons I have observed OGs leaving the popular SMP for:

1: Unattractiveness or low femeninity.

It’s always an issue. As Rollo correctly stated, when a girl is below average attractiveness she will look for a pool where she has more leverage. This unattractiveness might be simple physical characteristics: facial deformity, being just about below average, overweight, etc. However it may also be a social cue: poor makeup, unfashionable clothes, strange hair, lack of tribal markers. It can also be psychological or behavioural: aggressiveness, brashness, anxiety, emotional flatness, sarcasm, nihilism, etc. All of these can make a female seem genetically unfit to potential male suitors, meaning she either cannot pair up, cannot pair up to her standards or cannot pair up openly.

Thus, she will seek a pool where she ranks higher, a pool where the men she desires are less valuable and more available or a pool where she can play the part of trophy rather than the part of mistress.

2: Introversion or conservativism.

This follows on from the psychological andbehavioural side of unattractiveness, but deserves a mention all of its own in current society. However attractive a girl is, if she does not step up in appropriate time for a guy, based on his experience and observations, she will drop social qualifying points. The girl who knows you for a year before working out if she even likes you, whether she can trust you or seeing you enough to make up her mind is not the most desirable one. She is likely to wait around as her love interest dates other girls, wondering when to make a move. Unless he is interested in her from day one, this is one of those rare cases where even a cute, average or feminine girl can end up in the “friend zone”, more appropriately described as the “sister zone” or the “child zone” for the absence of any sexual desire from him for her.

The second issue is related to introversion, but a bit more serious, especially for girls who are younger. The girl who flirts and dates like an extrovert (even if she is not) yet does not put out soon enough for her romantic interest will lose his passions. There are two types of conservative girls: naturally conservative and socially conservative. The naturally conservative girl may be giving off the wrong cues because she cannot distinguish between friendly, coy and flirty, as she does not have the different behaviours herself. She can be friendly for years before developing sexual interest, and still accidentally imitate the other girls’ flirting behaviour, displaying social sexual attraction cues. The socially conservative girl is in a more awkward position. She naturally still seeks sex, but has conditioned herself to hold out. Therefore, her body is displaying basic, natural, instinctive sexual attraction cues, the sort of cue that is picked up on automatically and considered a safe guess as to her nature. When either of these girls fails to live up to what her social cues or natural cues implied, they can find themselves losing the attention of males around them.

3: Disagreement as to the qualifiers of a male.

As I already explained in Alpha Girls, Sigma Girls, although all women want the best man we can “catch”, what defines “best” depends on the woman. A more introverted woman may view a true to type Alpha as a threat to her safety, an excessive amount of socializing and a source of stress. A woman who does not worry too much about comfort or wealth may be just as happy with a poor musician as with a rich one, provided he meets her other criteria.

The same goes for “other” girls. Rollo has touched on this also with his concept of the Exceptional Emo. Here a girl seeks a man not for the usual indicators of success (wealth, status, physical prowess), but for markers of creativity and independence. These males can be situational Alphas or Sigmas themselves, and are very desirable to girls who want a quieter life compared to the Alpha Girl, or who simply do not like the array of Alphas available. There are many Situational Alpha and Sigma archetypes that are as desirable to OGs as the standard Alpha archetypes (entrepreneur, patriarch, jock, politician, rogue) are to main society girls. To boot, the things that main society girls consider to be these men’s “downsides” can be strongly attractive to OGs. For those reasons, it would take a while to describe them all in depth. However here is a summary of the six main types, as far as girls are concerned:

  1. The starving artist. A rogue creative type: flighty, sensual, sensitive, stern, possibly bipolar, drug or alcohol issues are a genuine threat, many ideas that start and are never completed, his art consumes him entirely leaving limited affection and time for women, despite this he will pursue many.
  2. The death cultist. A religious heretic: blasphemous, anti-cultural, independent, attracts many followers, persuasive and charismatic, many ideas that he never acts on, can as easily be the starter of a vegan-hippie-diet-peace-movement or of a branch of Satanism, so long as it shocks.
  3. The switch. The bottom-dom: soft, sensual, sensitive, highly manipulative under the surface, demands perfection, a master of the carrot and rod, may engage in submissive sexual play, follows his plans and ideas through.
  4. The mad scientist. The technical creative: off-kilter, possibly schizoid, nervous tics, constant flow of ideas and conversations, puts things into practice as soon as the idea strikes, unorthodox methods of getting results, sometimes cannot explain or recreate his processes.
  5. The mathematician. An introvert with dominant traits: nervous-looking and quiet, more physically imposing than he should be, possibly practices martial arts or another form of physical combat, sweet yet somehow he is obeyed, an expert in an undervalued or often mocked field.
  6. The warlord. A situational Alpha who values violence: big, strong, imposing, commanding, he understands that violence and its suppression and expression are actually key to maintaining peace, he enforces laws of his own or prior design, holds his woman to a high standard of independence.

An OG is vastly more likely to want to be with one such male, as he more closely resembles her. And these males are unlikely to be true to type Alphas even among subcultures, let alone in popular society. An OG may leave all social connections behind in order to pursue a Sigma starving artist who has limited interest in her.

4: Cultural contrasts.

Tying all these points together, the end point is that an OG is a culturally separate entity from the main group. If she looks oddly, does not engage in typical female habits, does not follow standard relationship patterns or cues and has a stronger preference for a death cultist or a mad scientist than for the jock or the entrepreneur, she simply will not view the dating pool afforded to her as sufficient. The cumulative result of various differences between her and her competition will make her simply opt-out of competition.

This might be because she thinks competition is too strong or too weak, because she thinks the most socially valuable males are undesirable, because the males she thinks are appealing are not attracted to her or because she thinks the popular girls will essentially cockblock her every effort. But, at the end of the day, when you want a coffee you go to a coffee shop, not a smoothie stand.

Next week: OGs beyond education: marriage, employment, family.

TTFN and Happy Hunting!

 

For help starting out homemaking, check out The ESSENTIAL Beginner Homemaker’s Guide. For help budgeting all your everday and not-so-everyday essentials, from food to transport to clothes, check out On A Budget: The good homemaker’s guide to economizing.

Alpha girls, Sigma girls.

The concept of the Alpha is pretty elusive, if you ask me. So, for the purposes of the essay, here is my outline of what an Alpha makes:

  1. Social dominance. No matter how rich, muscular, charismatic, witty, skilled or intelligent a man is, if he can’t handle a social situation and remain on top by the end, he is, by the very animal definition, not an Alpha. Humans are social animals and Alphas are leaders of humans.
  2. Attractive. Again, the Alpha will be attractive to women. We want a guy who is safe and, on a primal level, we all feel that the most socially dominant man is the safest. Under his protection, we are also under the protection of the tribe.
  3. Respected. It should go without saying that an Alpha’s social dominance comes from respect primarily. I wouldn’t say his dominance can’t come from fear as well, after all, nobody is universally liked and fear goes a long way to cultivating respect in dissenters. But fear should not be the main, let alone the only, source of power.

What about everything else? What about good looks, money, wit, intellect, socially approved traits, muscles, sexual reach, skills, charisma…? Well, these are all Alpha Indicators, ie, signs that a man is socially dominant, attractive and respected. They are the outward signs that he has the three key traits. And, to be Alpha, he must prove he has the three main traits. Otherwise he isn’t an Alpha, he is just a fake-it-til-you-make-it, or a simple fake with no aspiration to more. Neither is necessarily bad, but neither is dominant, desired or respected.

Then we have the Sigmas. I believe the concept emerged from Alpha Game Plan’s expansion of the Alpha-Beta false dichotomy and is the term for an introverted Alpha. The best way I’ve heard Sigmas summed up is from a natural Sigma, my husband:

“The Sigma is the Alpha who does not.”

A Sigma has the three required traits of an Alpha:

  1. He has social dominance, as he can easily lead, control and support a community.
  2. He is attractive, as he is clearly dominant.
  3. He is respected, as he is dominant.

The little niggle with the Sigma is that he lacks the false flags: he has few to no Alpha Indicators. This is because, whilst the Sigma has the ability to lead, he has no desire to. And, depending on what indicators they have, Sigmas can be loosely grouped into two categories.

Sigma A: The situational Alpha.

This Sigma lacks the desire to lead because he is a rational man who understands it is beyond his abilities to handle this tribe.

Maybe he is a warlord at a time of peace. Maybe he is a wise but gentle man at a time of war.

Maybe he values his life too highly to rule over fickle barbarians. Maybe he has seen to many Alphas lose their necks to tribal disputes.

Maybe he is already the Alpha of another tribe and in this one he is simply an observer.

Maybe he is backup to keep the Alpha in his position of power, a kingmaker who reaps the rewards of royalty without sacrifice.

This Sigma enjoys wealth and enjoys helping others. He is naturally more drawn to Alpha behaviours. But he is reluctant to take on a job he can’t do well. So he will accept resources (money, land, food, women) and do his best at whatever he does, he will stand his ground against the Alpha where necessary, he will try and keep the tribe in order from the sidelines, but he will never sit on the throne.

He is socially dominant as he cannot sit by and let the tribe run itself. He is attractive because he oozes confidence and leadership skills. He is respected because he is a good leader who knows when to step up and when to back down.

He will likely have the following Alpha Indicators: wealth, charisma, socially approved traits, sexual reach.

He may lack the following Alpha Indicators: wit, intellect, looks, skills.

Sigma B: The outlier.

This Sigma lacks the desire to lead because he fails to identify or empathize with the tribes available to him.

Maybe he is a skilled specialist whose abilities lie outside the rest of the tribe.

Maybe he does not enjoy conversing with people and keeping the peace. Maybe he enjoys seeing their little failures and is entertained by their social mores.

Maybe he knows he can survive on his own and feels no motivation to pull the tribe together.

Maybe he knows that nobody will force him to join their society fully, that he can indulge in the luxury of being outside it.

This Sigma enjoys freedom and doesn’t care if he has to make himself actively unlikeable to gain it. That’s not to say he is not respected or attractive. He is both, only respect comes grudgingly and attraction comes passionately and irrationally. He prizes self-sufficiency and views himself as a contractor to his society, rather than as a bonded leader. He has a close and relaxed relationship with the Alpha and generally they respect each other enough to assist in keeping each other’s position.

He is socially dominant as others constantly turn to him for advice, settling scores and other tasks of leadership that demand impartiality. He is attractive because he is mysterious yet dominant, he is outside, yet safe. He is respected because he is dominant and provides value.

He will likely have the following Alpha Indicators: wit, skills, intellect, charisma.

He may lack the following Alpha Indicators: looks, wealth, socially approved traits, sexual reach.

So, now we progress onto girls. All women like men who possess the three Alpha traits. They are safe, they are reproductively viable and they are useful. But not all women want the true Alpha. The true Alpha comes with many conditions. He is sexually gregarious and the prime target of other women’s fantasies, he is loud and domineering, he is a target for violence. The true Alpha is not an easy man to live with if a woman wants a quiet, drama-free home life.

So introverted women will naturally gravitate towards the less obvious men when given an option.

Imagine a tribe with an Alpha who has every Alpha Indicator, a Sigma who is a warlord at a time of peace and a Sigma who is the local sage.

A woman who wants an active social life, who doesn’t mind sharing her husband if that’s what it comes to, who understands danger and enjoys the risks, who wants all the money, all the fame and all the power, such a woman will aim for the Alpha.

A woman who wants a quiet life, who doesn’t mind sharing her husband, who understands that some day he may be called to action, who wants money, a little fame and less risk, such a woman will aim for the warlord Sigma.

A woman who wants a quiet life, who wants to keep her husband as exclusive as possible, who wants her husband to be safe from all danger, who has no care for money or fame as long as her husband can keep her provided for, such a woman will aim for the sage Sigma.

So, whether you’re a man or a woman, if you look at the penniless ugly man with the hot wife, at the small-time uneducated musician with his own teen harem or at the resource-poor loner with the devoted housewife and wonder why none of these girls are chasing an Alpha… well, perhaps they are more the Sigma kind of girl.

TTFN and Happy Hunting.

How To… female dread.

There is a concept in the PUA and Red Pill communities called “dread”. The basic idea is to do just enough to make a woman “dread” leaving you. Maybe she’s losing appreciation and he’s showing her how valuable he is. Or maybe she’s losing focus and he moves quickly out of her life to show he’s mobile. Or maybe she thinks he’s locked down and he’s illustrating that he is not focused only on her. To many women these behaviours may seem cruel. And oftentimes they feel cruel or even are cruel. But they are also natural and often necessary to give a man leverage in his relationship/s.

Likewise, if you are a man reading this, take this post calmly as, however cruel it may seem to you, these are natural ways a woman can ensure her man is focused on her.

1: Accept that you are living, breathing dread.

As a woman you are automatically a desirable partner, to some degree, to every heterosexual man on the planet. Quite simply put, in evolutionary terms one man is enough for hundreds of women to reproduce, but hundreds of men and one woman does not a tribe make. So we have evolved to place a base level of automatic value on a womb.

This means that whilst men need to work to remind a woman that they are valuable, most women are automatically valuable to most men. He is probably already afraid that you are too valuable for him, that you have options and that you can leave.

2: Do not threaten or corner him.

Threats are superflous as male relationship anxiety is internal. Dread on females is external because our romantic choices are external. Allow me to explain.

As women inherently have value, a man’s selection criteria are purely based on his own sexual and emotional desires. Who he wants to reproduce with is an internal process. It doesn’t matter if every man in his tribe wants woman X, if he is wired to fancy woman Y, he will fancy her. And, as long as both are fertile, it doesn’t matter that he chooses Y. Over the years, men have developed some shared preferences (hourglass figures, squishy thighs and buttocks, young face) and some personal preferences (red hair, long toes, shorter figure). But all these preferences are an inbuilt mechanism.

But as men do not inherently have value, women need to select men based on their added value, their external value. In one tribe, they may subsist on fish and need many fishermen. The women who select the best fishermen as partners bring more children to adulthood and their children also do better in life. But if a hundred years later the tribe finds masses of rabbit warrens, that generation of women needs to find the best rabbit hunters. Our desire has some internal basis, but, in principle, we desire partners based on external factors.

Therefore, when a man threatens with leaving or corners a woman emotionally, he is showing off. He is showing that he has external value that makes him better than the next guy. You know, in case she was thinking of leaving. He is basically saying “I can leave, I have options, don’t think you can crawl back to me when you make a bad decision”.

But the same doesn’t work for the woman. Because a man knows his woman has options. By virtue of existing, however apparently infertile she is, there will be someone who wants her. Because her value is internal to the man observing her.

By threatening, a woman isn’t saying “I have options”, he already knows she does. She is saying “I am taking another option”. Therefore, threats and cornering won’t just make a man closer to you, they could trigger extreme jealousy, anger or even make him give up, because you’ve clearly found someone better.

3: Do not withhold or control resources.

Another way a man can employ dread is by limiting a woman’s access to resources. If he is the main breadwinner, his status is greater than hers, he gets free perks or he is her only source of sex, then withholding these things sends home a message. It reminds her of everything she would lose were she to stray, that she is not entitled to anything he offers and that he is willing and capable of removing it at a moment’s notice.

Women rarely have the upper hand in terms of resources because, by our very nature, we usually get those resources from men. Even when a woman has her own resources, sex, food and status are easily attainable to many men. Men can even do with very little or without some resources, if that means they have more freedom and opportunities.

When a man withholds sex, a woman either must leave or win him back. When a woman withholds sex, a man starts looking elsewhere.

When a man withholds money, a woman must either leave or win him back. When a woman withholds money, a man starts making his own.

When a man withholds status, a woman must either leave or win him back. When a woman withholds status, a man would rather go without.

Whatever you take away from him physically, he will either do without or find elsewhere. By putting up that barrier you are encouraging him to turn away, not to climb it.

So we’ve seen what we can’t do. But what can a woman do to remind her man of her worth, of her freedom to leave and her needs and desires?

4: Keep calm and polite.

Being standoffish, aggressive and selfish will not make you look like a girl in demand. You are a girl in demand because you’re a girl. That won’t be the first thing he thinks when you get angry. It will just make you look undesirable. Why does he want to be with a girl who snaps over the smallest thing, or insults him over every argument? He can surely do better than her.

However, turn that around. If you can remain calm in almost every situation and master your emotions to a point where even you, yourself, stop caring so much about minor things, then you become more desirable. Who is this girl who can take a joke, go through some pain and still smile and relax at the end of the day?

If you are always polite and courteous, then he will not end every argument thinking he can do better than you. You will possibly even stand out as one of the few women he’s dated who can take an argument seriously without throwing ad hominems.

By making sure you are relaxed, balanced, polite and gentle at all times, he will not harbour any memories of the pain you caused him. He will instead be able to appreciate your efforts towards the relationship.

5: Nurture.

Another thing women are often very good at, but that we’re losing a little is our nurturing nature. Whether it’s a child, a cat or even a work project, we care for things closely, tenderly and carefully to ensure they fully develop.

And that is most men’s most intimate non-sexual experience of women. From his mother and grandmothers, to teachers and mentors, men grow up around women who nurture them to help them grow and develop. Some even become dependent on this nurturing to work hard and fail to thrive when there is nobody to congratulate and reward them.

Many girlfriends and wives fail to nurture their partners. In part, this is instinctive. We would, in a wild world, have babies and elderly parents and livestock that needed our nurturing more than our husbands. And men don’t really need to be constantly nurtured. They are well-equipped with a desire to better themselves for its own sake and a fear of failure.

But when a man is motivated by more than fear, he will often throw extra effort into his entire life. By nurturing your husband, keeping him relaxed, happy, fed and motivated to grow, you are making sure his quality of life improves dramatically. And he will associate that change with you and want to keep you around.

6: Be available.

Whereas men often withdraw resources such as sex, money, emotions or safety so as to remind a woman that he improves her life, we can benefit more from doing the opposite.

Men already know full well that women don’t need to provide. In fact, their many experiences and observations on women have already shown them that most women don’t want to provide or are even averse to it.

By doing your best to meet his needs, provide for him and give him everything you can you are telling him that you are different. And you don’t even have to actually give your all. Something as simple as listening to him complain about a day at work or making his favourite dinner will already tell him that you stand out. When so few women take a single step in this direction, being the one to go the whole mile often makes you by far his best prospect.

7: Be attractive.

Men are primarily attracted to our looks. It is their internal desire, the love that motivates healthy reproduction. So take care of those looks.

If you let yourself go he may start taking you for granted. This is literally the only situation where a man can undervalue his woman’s ability to find a new partner. When she gains an extra 20lbs, cuts her hair a way he doesn’t like or stops wearing makeup, he sees her as less attractive and this makes him assume that other men will see her as less attractive. He assumes that as he doesn’t want to work to keep you, other men won’t work to get you.

By keeping as attractive as you can, you keep him on his toes. Regardless of what you look like, how old you are, what you wear or where you come from, if you

A: try and be as attractive as possible to him and

B: put in a little effort each day

you will get complimented on your looks, your efforts, your style, etc. And he will like you. Combine the two and he will be reminded that you are still desirable and that thousands of men across the world would gladly replace him if he needed replacing.

8: Be gregarious.

The final step to female dread is to be gregarious. That is, to meet people, see people, talk to people and have fun. How you do this depends on you and him. Something like inviting his friends over to dinner and letting him see them compliment you and your cooking could be a firm reminder. Or he may need to see you dressed to the nines in an upscale bar with guys fighting to buy you drinks. The key here is that you don’t need to do anything on top of that. Just be your usual self, plus what you do for him. It will be enough to attract some attention and he will, trust me, definitely notice that his woman is getting attention.

And that is how a woman can apply dread. Skip the threats, the online dating accounts left open, the withdrawal of sex or the long nights out. Instead, be a joy to be around, an asset to his life, the easiest partner he’ll have (only once he has you, mind) and someone attractive and desirable to him. He will dread leaving you.

TTFN and Happy Hunting.

Disclaimer: Yes, it’s a little cold and cruel on the surface. The concept of dread is inherently troublesome to men and women alike because it kills our illusion of choice.

Using female dread as the example: a woman buys her husband a stash of his favourite chocolate bars, this makes him like her more.

He likes to think that she did it because she just felt like it and that he chose her out of his own free will. When he is aware of female game, he starts questioning it. Perhaps she did it because she consciously knew it would make him more attracted. Perhaps she is making him choose her. The illusion of choice is killed. This can even make something nice, such as getting his favourite chocolate bars, seem unpleasant.

When we are unaware of dread it’s easy to just think of such things as natural, loving, automatic behaviours. But when we are aware of dread, we realize that either on a biological or a conscious level, our partners are manipulating us into loving them.

It hurts to accept. But this is how it would be, whether we knew about it or not. And by knowing about it we can better use dread to our advantage.

What Difference Could Feminine Dress Make To Your Life?

Those who know me are well aware that I am not by nature a girly-girl or even anywhere near one. I like gutting animals, lifting weights and seeing my muscles grow, digging up the garden and watching fairly crude animes whilst drinking Gordon’s or Bailey’s.

I am also fortunate enough to be with a man who appreciates those aspects of me and even enjoys my tomboyish qualities. However, he also appreciates the feminine side to me, what with him being heterosexual and all. And one aspect of femininity that I don’t exactly mind and that he had appreciated in small doses was feminine dress.

So, to surprise him a little and see how it went, I applied some small changes to being more feminine. Nothing heavy. At least I didn’t feel like it was. Based on the differences I’ve observed, apparently it’s quite a lot!

Whilst it isn’t exactly the best approach, I tried starting with an idea of what I would and wouldn’t do. Not could and couldn’t. After all, I could do all my gardening in a sundress. It just happens I’m too messy and clumsy to not expose myself indecently whilst doing so and I love my dresses too much to get them muddy. So I could, but for those reasons I wouldn’t. I worked out I was willing to make small changes here and there, but not flip directly into 1950s housewife mode. In part to collect my data carefully, in part because I wasn’t sure I could keep up with full makeup, perma-heels, all dresses and jewellery. The concept of going from jeans or casual dresses to that was, well, scary.

However, with an outline established: try a little bit at a time and don’t go further if I’m not comfortable, but don’t avoid anything on principle either, I tackled my wardrobe first.

It wasn’t a massive overhaul. Most of the clothes I had suited me. I simply took some of my tattier t-shirts and relegated them to garden and gym clothes, donated anything that didn’t suit me in terms of colour and then replenished my wardrobe on the cheap. So now my wardrobe is almost entirely purples, greys, creams, blues, greens and denim, with two very orange pieces. It is also almost entirely in good shape, feminine and form-fitting, rather than baggy, masculine and tattered.

The next step was makeup. This was a little daunting because, other than when I’m teaching students from countries with different definitions of professionalism or when I’m going out, I didn’t really think makeup was worth the time. My hands are often a bit shaky and my experience was low, which probably added to the time factor. So, instead, I got a nice palette of shadows in water colours that suit me and some eyeliner, and red lipgloss and lipsticks. Just a dab of concealer, a dusting of eyeshadow, a line over and/or under the eye and a bit of colour into the lips. When I was feeling brave and/or steady I would curl and tint my eyelashes, because they’re quite straight and thin naturally. The key here wasn’t just to use a subtle touch of makeup, but to prioritize the sort of makeup that covered my most obvious flaws and drew attention to my nicest features.

Next, I chose to tackle jewellery and perfume. Two almost alien concepts to me. When Jon told me he was looking for an engagement ring I told him he may as well get a wedding one to cover both events, because diamonds are flashy and overpriced and two rings would be too much jewellery for me. I only ever went beyond deodorant when I was going out for the night. Any other time and there was no way I would wear jewellery or perfume. So I organized my jewellery drawer and dug out my old perfumes, as well as got a plain eau de toilette that suited my natural scent. I made a point of wearing at least one item of jewellery and a few sprays of perfume in my hair every day. And I try and mix up the jewellery rather than just get in the habit of wearing the same one over and over.

My thoughts.

At the start, my thoughts were that it wouldn’t make much difference. Jon would appreciate it, what with him being used to me in girly-tomboy mode. It would take me a little longer to get up and dressed and ready. But that would be it.

However I was quite wrong. Firstly, it really doesn’t take much longer. Get up, deodorize, brush hair and teeth, throw anything on VS get up, deodorize, brush hair and teeth, pick out a top and a bottom that look nice, spray perfume and add a single piece of jewellery. Picking the jewellery to go with the outfit was probably the most time consuming aspect.

I was also wrong in that I thought Jon would notice and the world would keep turning as usual. Maybe I was being arrogant about how attractive I naturally am or maybe I was being dismissive of the alterations made, but things are definitely different when you make the effort to be feminine.

General response.

The first thing that surprised me was that with women nothing changed. Stereotype dictates that when you do your hair differently or wear a little makeup, women and gay men rave over it and straight men blink, peer and ask if you are wearing a different coloured top. But nothing could be further from the truth. Straight men notice. Men who know you in person will at least pass comment on it. Depending on the guy it could be:

“Is that top new?”

“That colour suits you.”

“Hair’s different.”

“Did you forget to fall through a hedge this morning?”

But they do notice. And, in terms of men in general, you do get more second looks. It’s almost as though your comfier clothes and makeuplessness is a signal that you aren’t part of their social group, but that little bit of style and makeup changes everything. You go from visible but uninteresting to interesting.

The most noticeable change was actually in younger men that I have more professional dealings with. Students, cashiers I stop and chat to, volunteers at charity shops, etc. It seems that that touch of social proof hidden in the makeup, perfume and a necklace elevates your status a lot more in their eyes than in anyone else’s, possibly due to their inexperience dealing with women relative to anyone else. They seem distracted, speak more awkwardly and lose track of conversation more when talking to a woman who is a little bit more feminized.

But other women? No difference at all. I’m not sure if I should be surprised or unsurprised in hindsight. On one hand, it is common knowledge that women can spot a changed hairstyle, new scent or piece of jewellery from miles away. On the other hand, straight women are probably more focused on their own appearance and lives than what their friends and relatives are wearing. And the average woman on the streets has no idea I don’t always dress this way and no interest in finding out. Of course women are less likely to pay attention to a girl just because she has a bit of makeup on. They have more important things to think about.

Jon’s reaction.

Pretty much positive. Being around me most of the day, every day, he was very aware when I started wearing a little perfume, sorted out my wardrobe or put on a piece of jewellery.

But that he wasn’t “tricked” doesn’t mean he didn’t like it! Wearing lighter, danglier, shinier clothes catches the eye and he liked seeing a bit of movement or sparkle when I walked past or cuddled up to him. His hands would move to the jewellery or the hem of my shirt more often when I was dressed more feminine than when I wasn’t. That allure of slight extra femininity made him respond in a way that suggests he is more attracted to and protective of me when I am softened a little.

Warmth and approachability isn’t just for single girls!

Jon’s thoughts.

“I definitely noticed.”

He felt there wasn’t much more to add.

Conclusion.

So feminine dress does make a huge difference… to the men in your life.

It doesn’t really interfere with your getting up time that much. And if you can lay out your jewellery somewhere so you aren’t fiddling with boxes then it may be a lot faster.

It doesn’t really change your perception of yourself. I look in the mirror and think “well that’s girly”, but it doesn’t bother or excite me to know I’m girlier. It’s just a fact.

It doesn’t really have an effect on other women. Either they know you and might comment, or don’t know you and don’t know you’re dressed up.

But the guys? They notice. Some of it on a primal level, some of it on a conscious level. And they seem to enjoy it, or at least the guy you’re with enjoys it.

So it’s up to you to decide whether that bit of extra attention, slightly broader dating pool or additional flirting with your partner is worth the bit of effort.

TTFN and Happy Hunting!