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A reader quizzically wonders about something I asserted:

I was reading the post about men’s smarts and their value. You made a comment about women not wanting a guy hotter than themselves. I understand what you meant, but wondered how far you could carry that logic.

That is, women do not want a man who is hotter than her because hotter women will hit on him and she has a fear he might step up to a new woman. Having said that, is the implication that the hotter women will go for lesser looking men?

The examples I see are Goldie Hawn, being with Kurt Russel. Russel is an alpha male, as demonstrated by his life, but his boyish looks died years before he got with her.

Another is Demi Moore, in that for years, she was with Bruce Willis…another alpha male, but whose looks were never on the Ashton Kutcher level. Speaking of which, I suspect it was him who made the split…and that she is batshit crazy. But, that also points to the fact that after she hit the wall is when she went for the looks guy over the alpha male.

What are your thoughts?

Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore are were the notable exception to the rule — there is a lot of talk about them in the media and amongst wishfully thinking aging cougars because their arrangement is was so rare and, hence, conspicuous. But as the invisible groin of the sexual market worked its self-regulating magic, Kutcher eventually cheated on his older lover with a bevy of much younger cuties, driving Moore insane with self-loathing and fear of her rapidly encroaching sexual obsolescence (which she desperately tweeted to the world in the guise of blurry, half-naked bathroom shots). Who can blame a prowly has-been?

Nevertheless, it is absolutely the case that most women prefer men, at least for long-term relationships, who are not physically better-looking than they are. The matter was discussed in this archived post. The referenced scientific study provided evidence for the curious real-world observation that there are a nontrivial number of couples featuring average looking men with cute chicks hanging off their arms. And the phenomenon of downright ugly men with beautiful women is, based on my steely-eyed observation, a good ten-fold more common than the inverse.

New research reveals couples in which the wife is better looking than her husband are more positive and supportive than other match-ups.

The reason, researchers suspect, is that men place great value on beauty, whereas women are more interested in having a supportive husband.

There are a few reasons for this sex differential in attractiveness criteria, some of which were mentioned in the study. I’ll clarify.

1. Very good-looking men have more opportunity to stray, so less attractive women would not want to risk being with them out of fear of investing themselves only to lose to a hotter interloper.

2. Very good-looking men have higher testosterone than less physically attractive men, and are thus more likely to pursue extrapair fornications. Women instinctively know this, and the less attractive of them avoid dating much better-looking men, influenced by their visceral grasp of the relationship power imbalance.

3. Men place more emphasis on women’s beauty than women place on men’s looks, and this innate predilection manifests as a willingness (and a honed ability) by men to strive harder than women for mating and LTR opportunities with relatively hotter opposite sex prospects.

But the most important reason, I believe, is egoism.

4. Men and women love to enjoy the privileges of their greatest strengths. It brings them happiness. For women, this means that they love the feeling of power that their beauty gives them. A woman who is with a better-looking man has that power robbed from her in subtle and in sometimes transparently humiliating ways; she has to deal with the attentions of female competitors, the attention her lover gives to female competitors, and the unspoken, but not any less felt, degradation of her number one asset. When a woman can’t leverage her beauty because the better-looking man she is with doesn’t value it as much as a less attractive man would value it, she loses a sense of purpose to her life.

It’s a similar dynamic to the stay-at-home dad married to the breadwinner wife. Maybe he thinks he scored by marrying a rich woman who can give him an easy life dusting up around the house, but over time nagging doubts about his masculinity and his wife’s faithfulness — even if she gives him no reason to doubt her fidelity — will eat away at his self-esteem. He will drift into an ennui of purposelessness and dreamscapes of receding chins and pendulous manboobs, because the soul-enriching feeling that comes with being able to leverage the natural male power which resides in providing, leading and dominating will have been stripped from him. Subcutaneous machinery of self-doubt will gradually shred well-intentioned insistent, mutual professions of love.

The reader asks if hot women will go for lesser looking men. The answer is that hot women will go for higher status men: an evasive answer befitting a misguided question. Women won’t actively seek out uglier men, but they will feel imperceptible compulsions to avoid dating men better-looking than themselves, which ultimately means that many women will wind up in the arms of less physically attractive (but perhaps higher status!) men. The study linked above suggests that all women, not just hot women, will gravitate into LTRs with men who are less good-looking compared to themselves. And they will be happier for it.

The study also implies women are more open to an uglier man’s game than men are open to flirting with uglier women. While ugly men won’t turn women’s heads, a bold ugly man can overcome the obstacle of his ugliness with the right attitude and seduction skill set. This is only true because physical ugliness is not the crippling deficit to a man’s dating success that physical ugliness would be to a woman’s dating success. It’s a difference of degree so pronounced that it almost qualifies as a difference of kind.

This doesn’t mean you can be an ugly man and expect hot babes to line up for the ego-boosting thrill of your comparative ugliness. You’ve still got to offer something women value, whether that’s money, charm, talent, game or social status. But it does mean that you can, and should, do better than your ugly looks have conditioned you to believe, particularly if LTRs are your goal.

This is all very good news for those uglier men who think game can’t help them date a point or two higher up the female attractiveness scale.

Maxim #214: Most men can get cuter girls than they think. False psychological projection of their own sexual attraction mechanism onto women blinds them to this reality.

High Fructose Postscript

Some of you have no doubt heard stories about, or experienced for yourself, women who seem to go for nothing but looks when choosing which men to date. You’re not imagining things. A minority of women — I’d estimate 10-15% of the fertile female population — place excess emphasis on men’s looks, almost on a par with the emphasis that men place on women’s looks. These women tend to be more masculinized than the typical woman. They aren’t necessarily unattractive, but they are less feminine than their curvier sisters. They usually have small tits and narrow hips, although their asses can retain their juiciness. They have manly personalities and are argumentative and horny all the time. They cheat without remorse. The sluttiest slut I’ve been with was one of these types who gun for the hottest guys in the room, and couldn’t be trusted as far as I could jackhammer her. (Which, proud to say, was clear across the lengthwise distance of the bed.)

If you meet one of these types, jump for joy. You’ve just gotten a ticket to ride her with minimal investment. They like sex, and they are easy to justify dumping for more loyal, less sexually predatory women. Be mentally prepared to catch her cheating, so when the inevitable parting of ways occurs, it’ll be no skin off your nose.

Interestingly, I have a pretty good hunch that a lot of female readers of sex-related blogs written by men, like Le Chateau, fall into this “looks-centric” masculinized female category. This explains the outsized vocal insistence by this minority of blog-traversing women that male looks are the most important thing in their suite of attractiveness criteria. Some of them are likely lying to score troll points, but some are telling the truth. Nevertheless, keep in mind that these women do not represent the majority of women you will meet in real life, offline. Most cute girls will not consider your average looks a dealbreaker, if you have some decent game or other compensating trait to woo them.


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