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Young U.S. men having a lot less sex in the 21st century, study shows (reuters.com)
289 points by pseudolus 24 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 691 comments



The Atlantic covered this recently too: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/12/the-sex...

>I was told it might be a consequence of the hookup culture, of crushing economic pressures, of surging anxiety rates, of psychological frailty, of widespread antidepressant use, of streaming television, of environmental estrogens leaked by plastics, of dropping testosterone levels, of digital porn, of the vibrator’s golden age, of dating apps, of option paralysis, of helicopter parents, of careerism, of smartphones, of the news cycle, of information overload generally, of sleep deprivation, of obesity. Name a modern blight, and someone, somewhere, is ready to blame it for messing with the modern libido.


So it’s really really a problem in Japan and to a lesser extent Singapore and SKorea, but there is a whole generation of guys who’re just not getting any and have little interest in getting any at all.

And at least in Japan there is a weird subculture of something I’d call “adult play dates” where you pay for someone to feign interest in you —I don’t even know what the purpose of that is.


>And at least in Japan there is a weird subculture of something I’d call “adult play dates” where you pay for someone to feign interest in you —I don’t even know what the purpose of that is.

Welcome to OnlyFans.


True, true, but these play dates are in person. It’s kind of like a strip club but without the nudity. It’s implied that the person you pay will show fake interest and you set up subsequent dates knowing there is no real interest.

So it’s kind of like a strip-club + wannabe shrink + palm reader mashup.


Not sure this is about libido so much as about access to another partner.


This article awkwardly dances around reasons why young men have less sex.

First it is "social media and electronic gaming", then the reasons "may also include stress of juggling work and intimate relationships, as well as the prevalence of other forms of solo entertainment."

But then, they notice that "[s]exual activity was largely unchanged among unmarried women, along with no notable decline among gay men, researchers reported." So everything said before seems kind of void anyway.

Obviously, the reasons must lie somewhere else. However, this is not explicitly stated.

Now they continue with huge jump: From sexual activities to relationships: "Given a preference for men of higher socioeconomic status and the larger number of college-educated women than men, some young men may find it difficult to form heterosexual relationships"

Well, maybe. But how does that connect to the first part?


The reader is left draw their own conclusions, which isn't hard for the average person to do. The alternative of laying it out explicitly will invariably draw lots of blow back, which is good for neither careers nor interpersonal relationships if your name is attached to it.


The mainstream thought/media is probably 5-10 years behind certain spheres of thought on the web, and it's hilarious.


Not sure if this is what you meant, but I'd correct it to "what is allowed to be said" is probably 5-10 years behind certain spheres of thought. Reuters certainly wouldn't want to alienate readers with something controversial - hence the lack of strong analysis.


Yeah good point. I actually use Reuters as my go-to for that reason, and the ability to get what matters quick and efficiently.


Well, I guess they theorize that in stable relationships, men are more likely to have sex. If forming relationships gets more difficult, the majority of men have less sex. I'm not sure if the argument is actually valid but from a historical perspective I can understand the thought process.


If men have more sex in stable relationships, and for women it does not matter, then with whom do the women sleep with?


The argument I typically see (and no, I don't agree with it) is that 80% of the women are sleeping with 20% of the men.

So in the broadest sense, the 5th chart on this financial times page [0], is typically explained with this chart [1]

[0] https://ftalphaville.ft.com/2019/12/02/1575302514000/-thank-... [1] https://i.4pcdn.org/pol/1578799051033.png


From my personal anecdotal experience, there is a large grain of truth in that "chart". Women are the primary decision makers of any sexual activity, they have a much higher bar than (most) men on sexual desirability and amongst those who don't care about any relationships - a large number choose the same men.


A lot of guys are complaining in the thread, with undertones of an expectation of sex

Most likely reason I see that would cause this data: the immense social pressure applied to straight women has lessened in the 21st century. A straight woman won't be ostricized at 25 if they don't "have a man." The data suggests that young straight men aren't having as much sex. I postulate that the only reason is that straight men need to work harder to impress empowered straight women. And that the overwhelming majority aren't even trying.


Well, the article did start by saying if you aren't having sex, that's bad for your health. So, it seems like we should be having sex, but of course, you can't just "decide to have sex", you need a willing partner.

I have tried a lot of things over the past 10 years, but haven't had any success. Eventually I just gave up. I imagine many men are in this category, though it's hard to know.

These days I'm fat, ugly, and dying (ESRD). So I think my time is over, and there's little reason to spend what time I have left on trying to find someone to love me, when the chances are the lowest they've ever been.


I am not familiar with ESRD but I really hope that there is something that can be done about it. Blessings man, sad to hear about your medical condition!


>A lot of guys are complaining in the thread, with undertones of an expectation of sex

I don't see the undertones. Copied from another comment:

It's so interesting how whenever any man talks about romantic problems he is met with this feminist mantra "you aren't owed sex". Do you honestly think that's what we're talking about? If someone talked about how much it sucks that they don't have car and need to walk to work would you tell them "you aren't owed a car"?

I think people regurgitate this phrase because we can't ever acknowledge that sexual empowerment results in peoples needs not being met. It must be their fault, they must be sabotaging somehow. They must be sexists.


> that straight men need to work harder to impress empowered straight women

That might be true, but sounds rather sexist. If I was a young man today, faced with a large number of such entitled women, I'd probably just bow out completely. Successful relationships require mutuality, not "you need to impress me".


I'm liking where Malcolm is going. So much of the talk in this thread is defeatist, like if some other guy has you beat in terms of wealth or looks then you have no chance.

But that way of thinking makes it really hard to solve the problem for yourself if that's what you're interested in.

So as I read your note, empowered straight women have some basic standards and they are finding that they have more freedom finally to hold out for those standards.

But these standards are probably not all that difficult for men to attain and so why aren't men talking more about just doing that work?


[flagged]


I'd like to opt out of this plan, thank you.


Most people expect to have sex. It's why we teach sex education - because we expect sex among teens! Sex is normal. It's even worth planning and teaching for.

Maybe the word you meant to say is "entitled" to sex. That is pretty ridiculous for sure. There's a distinction, IMO.


But the data also shows that for women the figure is unchanged.


Because the men that are willing to put in the effort are still having sex. Its not hard for a man to become attractive: eat right, exercise often, groom regularly, dress well, develop a compelling personality, cultivate relationships with interesting people. The fact that people who don't even try aren't able to have sex doesn't seem surprising (or bad).


You comically underestimate how hard those things are for many men, especially those that are economically disadvantaged. I don't agree with many of the takes in these comments, but your simplification to "just work harder" isn't any better.


Economics doesn't have anything to do with these.

- Eat Right - actually cheaper than eating unhealthy

- Exercise Often - possible to do free

- Groom regularly - very cheap, the cost of a haircut every couple of months

- Develop a personality - free

- Cultivate relationships - free


Once again your ability to absurdly oversimplify things is truly astounding.

The reason why one's economic situation is relevant (and it's relevant to essentially everything), is because it becomes a source of many other biological and social pressures that might prevent someone from spending time, for example, "[developing] a personality" (whatever that means).


> Its not hard for a man to become attractive

Proceeds to list the most difficult things in life.


None of the things listed are difficult at all. They take willpower and time, of course, but they aren't rocket science.


having willpower and time are two of the most dificult things in life.


Heartily disagree. If you have time to play video games and endlessly post on reddit, then you have time to get in shape and take a shower. Willpower's even easier barring mental illness (in which case they should see a doctor, not whine about women on the internet).


I don't think showering is the one that is considered hard. It is the "develop a compelling personality" and "make friendships with interesting people" items that are most challenging. IME "compelling personality" is difficult to define, different for each potential partner, and often has to do with humor. The challenging bit is that some aspect of your personality that you care about a lot (love of math, plants, or music) might not matter to someone else. And humor can just as easily be hurtful as it can heal. Some jokes just land terribly.


You can have a good body with a six-pack and still fail in a relationship - this is more true for men than women.


Some people like me just aren't interested in maintaining superficial friendships and social circles just to find a partner. I am plenty interesting without a social circle, and would rather have a relationship only with my partner and nobody else in it. This makes it more difficult. Socialization is for children, in my opinion, and I only want social interactions with a partner and not with a group of people (like i did as a kid).


Its not hard for a man to become attractive: just grow a little and be over 6ft.

/discussion


That does not sound like "not hard".


You forgot: those bastards don't even try to become taller.


> develop a compelling personality

Hah, I love how you slipped this in right next to buying new clothes. Developing a compelling personality is not trivial. In fact, most people go their entire lives with developing a compelling personality. Might as well tell guys they just need to grow a little taller.


Precisely illustrates my point: most men are still operating under an outdated expectation of sex and romance. That merely existing suffices for being a good partner. When in reality, standards have been vastly increased any only a few men have gotten with the times.


And what are the standards exactly ? Plenty of people who have good jobs, average bodies and decent personalities absolutely struggle. If that’s not enough ...


men aren't ostracized at 25 (or 35) either for not "having a woman". Is there an undertone here that they should be trying?


There are two coaching perspectives that I think are useful for single men. We don't have many dating coaches in the coaching community I run, but I've been in long conversations with coaches outside that community whose job it is to help men date.

One perspective is that it's almost always faster to focus on being more interested rather than more interesting. That means focusing on status and alpha male activities is typically a loser in terms of strategy despite all the anecdotes you hear to the contrary. Whereas treating women like people, looking them in the eyes, listening, being curious, trying to find ways to relate--these can be very effective. There's a lot to unpack there, but maybe the easiest is just to give women credit that they know when they are being manipulated.

But human connection can be rare and a huge number of male daters are not approaching dating in a way that allows for that connection.

To do this authentically, you have to be crystal clear that there is a difference between "I'm laughing at her jokes because I hope that will make her sleep with me." and "I'm laughing at her jokes because she's funny."

This be more interested approach has an unfortunate counter narrative about getting friend zoned, as if that is a bad thing. You talked to a woman and ended up with a friend, what's so awful about that?

And on this, I like the perspective of one of our sales coaches. Her perspective is that sales is a lot more about sorting than it is about convincing.

If you approach dating as an exercise in convincing then you are basically implying that you can point at a woman and then rely on some set of male seduction skills that will convince her to sleep with you.

What if you gave up just that fantasy of being able to pick any person and make them like you. And instead treated dating as a sorting activity--who do you like that also likes you back?

An exercise anyone could do to see some of the wisdom above is to ask their female friends to show you the worst profiles and come-ons that they've received on Tinder. I think that will help you see that a lot of what is preventing men from finding matches has little to do with status and a lot to do with being weird and self-centered.


I'm glad you brought up the friend-zone thing. I feel like I'm extremely good at all the things you listed before that, and I have a ton of female friends (which I love, don't get me wrong).

I just have no idea to turn that into sex.


Great. I guarantee you are 100x closer to figuring out your love life than anyone here talking about wealth, looks or status.

I don't want to be a love coach. But how are you with making an ask? Do you ever use clear language like, "Would you like to go on a date?" or if you're on a date, "Would you like to hold hands?" "Can I kiss you?"

She's on a date for a reason too. And if the answer is no, then congratulations on sorting a person from the unknown bucket into the no-romantic-interest bucket. If they say no, accept the answer respectfully and move on.


> But how are you with making an ask?

Sure, encourage him. But also coach him for the inevitable "I don't think of you like that" response. Extra points if she adds "you're too good a friend".

Categorisation into the Friend Zone happens within minutes of first meeting. There's no way out of that box.


A lot of people in this thread are talking about impossible standards of wealth and looks and being in the top 20% of men or higher.

But not enough people are talking about this standard. Can you ask a woman out without making her feel scared? I think your fear often comes across as dangerous.

So, ok, fine. Asking women out is scary. I was young, I remember that.

But if you never ask anyone out what are you really complaining about. And if all you ever did was ask one person out, get rejected, and then you've been sulking about it every since, that's not any better.

Hard is not the same thing as impossible. Hundreds of millions of men have figured this out.


>I just have no idea to turn that into sex.

This seems indicative of the exact line of thinking the parent comment notes does not typically work.

>"I'm laughing at her jokes because I hope that will make her sleep with me."


I have turned a few friendzones into sexual relationships. You have to risk losing the friendship though, which if you have a ton of friends isn't that much of an issue.


Realise there is often a fine line between friends and friends with benefits. My advise would be let them know you find them attractive like offering compliments. Occasionally make a move to get closer, massage, touching etc. Spend time with them. It is likely they will be in the mood sooner or later and you will be the most convenient option.

Basically let them know your interested and ask. If you don't ask you won't get anything. But keep it light and occasional. And remember people can change their mind - so its ok to ask more than once.


Also consider communication tactics to let them know you find them attractive like vocalizing the words, "I find you attractive. Would you like to go on a date?"


I think you are WAY off base here. Most men aren't having sex not because women are turning them down; that's an appreciable factor for dating perhaps, but not for casual sex. They aren't having sex because they are NEVER putting themselves in a position to have sex. They aren't going to bars and they aren't hitting on women.


I don't see where we disagree. Both can be true.


Well your answer revolves around dating which is not casual sex. In that answer you address how men should treat women, but men aren't having sex because they simply aren't talking to women at all... it has nothing to do with how they treat them. This is an issue of self confidence: both the lack of it in men, and the steadily increasing amount of it in women.


I'm sorry, I'm still not getting the disagreement unless you are thinking that the discussion is meant to be only about casual sex or that sex doesn't happen between people who are dating. I checked the original article and it doesn't differentiate.

So, that's why I think it's more likely that we are actually in agreement. Yes, I agree, it seems like many of the people complaining here and also in the research aren't putting themselves in a position to get turned down at all. (Or if they are it's in some minimal way like putting a profile on Tinder and not being very active).


>Whereas treating women like people, looking them in the eyes, listening, being curious, trying to find ways to relate--these can be very effective.

In other words, in sex and in business, being a good salesman is key.


And it has the exact same misunderstanding where the naive stereotype of a good salesman is very different than the reality.


Or you can pretend to be a hot, high-status guy on Tinder and see how much easier life is for them. Spoiler: it's an entirely different world.


People should read @starpilot and ask themselves how much of their dating goals are about love and relationships and how much has nothing to do with women and everything to do with impressing other men.

I 100% agree that someone else has it better than you. Pick any facet of your life and this will be true. There's no practical value to focusing on your status among other men unless status is actually your goal for dating.

You're going to have to do X amount of work on yourself and on the process. That doesn't change just because some other guy has to do .25X.


People in this thread are talking a lot about the availability of non-sex ways to spend attention (porn, social media, netflix), and of loosely power-law effects where a small number of men can have a lot of sex because of good looks and money.

What about the other economic factors?

- aren't more young people in living situations with greater sharing and less privacy than 20 years ago?

- given the relative stagnation of wage increases over those intervening years, aren't more young people having to work more hours to keep that room in a shared apartment?

- maybe the crushing stress of student debt is sometimes a turnoff?

(edited for spacing)


Yes. I think many people are missing the point, which is that all these failures of intimacy are downstream from failures of community, of sociality in general (cf. "Bowling Alone").

Our culture has shifted further toward valuing the individual over the group, which means that many individuals no longer have recourse to a group in order to find partners, friends, etc. Men are not just "not having sex", they are lonely, in a rather unprecedented way.


This is the comment I most agree with. We've created a world where there aren't many neutral venues for men and women to get to rub elbows with each other and get to know each other. Combine that with the US's culture of fear and here we are.


This is pure nonsense, there's never been more things to do and places to go to meet people.

There are hundreds to thousands of meetups on any given week for any given interest or hobby.

If you're not aware of any of these things happening, it's possible that you need to find some interests or hobbies.


Community forms from unplanned interaction. If you need to put every group event on your calendar, you wont ever really reach the level of "community" that I'm describing. What's really needed is a "space" moreso than a "group".


> Our culture has shifted further toward valuing the individual over the group

Further from where? For better or worse, America has always been a deeply individualist country. Is it maybe the case that now the less savory consequences of that are more visible than ever before?


There's plenty of historical documentation from pretty much any point in American history that supports the following claim: many Americans once took their local communities much more seriously than they do now.

Even the "IQ Shredder" concept you linked in the other branch is evidence for this, that people uproot themselves and head into the cities, where they become lonely and fail to meet a partner and have children. Of course, this happened to some extent a while ago (like when HP Lovecraft moved to Brooklyn), but the combination (1) of lack of economic opportunity outside of cities, (2) high apartment turnover within cities, and (3) high rates of moving away for college all create a potent force pushing individuals away from stable communities and toward potential isolation.


Certainly, wealth inequality is on the rise, and I think you accurately sum up some of the forces that draw folks towards the city. Cities are places of deterritorialization -- not for nothing, it seems like every city has disdain for gentrifiers, the bridge and tunnel crew, and of course the dreaded transplant. All of these of course contribute to atomization, and the IQ shredder concept seems to account for how the thing they needed that draws them in removes their ability to have the other thing they need later on.

I suppose where I want to see evidence (and it's not because I don't intuitively believe it -- it does seem to make sense to me) is considering the idea that "many Americans once took their local communities much more seriously than they do now." I don't doubt that such a thing is the case, but it's important to remember that historically, America was the country you went to in order to homestead, to be a pioneer, to discover the frontier. It's true that some degree of community was a part of this, but so too was the idea of exploring the unknown. The mechanisms of immigration, frontier settling, and of course genocide were part and parcel of American existence up until settling was complete, "coast to coast".

What I'm getting at is that maybe the individualism that the environment self selected for during much of America's early growth set in place some momentum that continues going beyond when it generally creates only positive exponentiation. Now, as America has continued to grow up over the past century, it begins to grapple with how to conduct a society inside a universe which is not expanding for everyone the same way it used to. Is the lack of community potentially a second order effect which is downstream from this? And does that combine with the almost sousveillance state level visibility everyone has into everyone else's life, vis a vis the only very recent ascent of the "reality show" as a dominant force of cultural production?


> as America has continued to grow up over the past century, it begins to grapple with how to conduct a society inside a universe which is not expanding for everyone the same way it used to

I think this is a good frame and that your post is basically right, but I'm more of the opinion that it's not so much a lack of land itself but a lack of economic opportunity outside of cities that led to this condition.

> does that combine with the almost sousveillance state level visibility everyone has into everyone else's life, vis a vis the only very recent ascent of the "reality show" as a dominant force of cultural production?

I definitely think the internet in general is a big force that's contributed to our lack of local community. Why talk to your neighbors when you can talk to people online, like we're doing now? :'(


America has oscillated between optimizing for individual vs. collective for its entire history. You can see heights of last collective-oriented generation around WW2 but similar eras followed the civil war and revolution.


> What about the other economic factors?

This would be true if women also demonstrated a decline in sex. However, women are having sex at the same rate as men.

The problem is not economic. It's winner-take-all as the top comments mention.

The causal reason cannot apply to men and women equality (eg, economic). It must overwhelmingly affect men.


For all the people who want to read the actual stats, the inactive sexual % for men who earn more than $50k is only 7%. Here is the study that article's commentary was refering to https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle...

Some of the people here are making it sound like no one but male models are having sex.


Thank you so much for posting the source! I don't understand why so many reporters write an entire story about a survey or scientific paper and don't link to it or even mention the title of the paper.


A lot commenters here are blaming the sexual revolution for this trend, and I don't think that's the case (and its obviously a good thing women have more autonomy).

I look at the men I'm surrounded by in my life, generally intelligent people who are financially comfortable in their mid or late 20s and think to myself, "I wouldn't fuck any of these losers, either." The men of my generation are absolutely consumed by the drugs of the modern world; video games, porn, binge-watching low quality media, childish crap, unhealthy diets, etc. The great companies of the world benefit from this becoming the majority, a consumer who will never question the world around him.

Reject this nonsense, humans weren't designed to live in boxes, eating garbage and consuming media for 80 years. You don't need to fight in a war for your life to have purpose, there are battles to be fought and WON every day of your life. You, sitting there, are the product of millennia of genetic success, you have the tools to be great and I, personally, really want you to be.

Never get discourage! Always believe in yourself! And don't be afraid to ask for help!


I agree with you here, but there are a number of other posts in this thread that are basically saying to "pull yourself up by the bootstraps", which we know works oh-so-well for those who are in poverty.


ya that's a good point that I didn't even realize, my messaging was more geared towards people who are in no danger of starving/poverty but who still live unhealthy, unfulfilling lives. I didn't even stop to think that there are people who don't have the ability to lives of excess, let alone needing to actively work on not living this way.


I actually love this trend. Overpopulation is a disease. Hopefully more countries follow this.


I’m a young US man and I find sex (and close human contact in general) mildly disgusting. Yet, I also feel so much pressure from my peers to be dating and having sex. The culture basically says sex and drugs are the only things worth doing.

I spend my time on dating apps going on dates I don’t enjoy in the hopes of having sex that I don’t enjoy. Don’t get me wrong, I’m attracted to women and enjoy spending time with them. I just don’t like sex. I like the idea of sex but my desire to have sex with someone decreases significantly the closer they are to me (disgust is inverse-square with proximity). At least I can find humor in the absurdity.

It feels like I can trace all the problems in my life back to my uncomfortableness with sex. Why am I so uncomfortable? That might take another long unpleasant post.

Its tempting to think that I should find some peace in not having sex or find a partner who doesn’t like sex either. That’s a good suggestion. Its really a war in my mind between feelings of disgust from having sex and feelings of disgust from not having sex. My therapist and I agree that its best for me to “get out there” and date.


You may be asexual. There's nothing wrong with that. Do some research; choosing to identify with the label could make you feel more comfortable in your own skin. Some dating apps allow you to specify your orientation as asexual and search for potential partners who feel the same. Sexual orientation is only one small factor in overall compatibility, but if it's something causing you anxiety while trying to find a partner, being up-front can't hurt; you will only filter out people who would have been a poor match anyway.


You can call it asexual or you can call it “sexually traumatized straight” but I’m not sure which is more accurate. One has nothing wrong with it and another has a lot wrong with it.

To tell you the truth I’d not be particularly happy with either.


I think it’s quite normal to find sex a bit disgusting - human bodies are pretty gross, at least with modern sensibilities.

Sex is enjoyable when I’ve been looking forward to it for weeks with someone who I am comfortable with. But hookups are not worth it.


Maybe you're asexual? Or, even if that's not quite it, you could try dating asexual women. I imagine they find it quite hard to find quality partners that want to spend time with them, but don't expect sex at the end of the night.


Any chance you grew up in an evangelical "purity" community?


Close enough to it, yeah. Not as bad as it could have been.


They buried the lede here.

> Sexual activity was largely unchanged among unmarried women, along with no notable decline among gay men, researchers reported.

Basically sex is following the pattern of wealth. Men as a group aren't having less sex, instead there's a winner take all effect where a small number of men are having a lot of sex with a lot of women while a large number of men are having little to no sex.

It'll be interesting to see what happens in 5-10 years as the individuals in this cohort begin to settle down and marry and have children. Given the push to eliminate virtually all traditional norms associated with sexual activity, I wouldn't be surprised to see a serious push for legalized polygamy in a few years.


I think this is exactly right. Apps like Tinder that normalized online "dating" (before the apps it was much less common among younger people) have allowed the "apex predator" men with good jobs/looks/personalities to have sex on demand with virtually unlimited numbers of women. This has also been made possible because a lot more women are now willing to be in non-exclusive sexual relationships at the beginning when they are first getting to know someone.

The data from old OK-Cupid studies clearly show that most women are only immediately attracted to a very small subset of men. It is these men who are having all the sex. Seems like a powder keg over time as the excluded men become bitter and forced to postpone getting married and starting a family. I believe many of these men will eventually find someone once enough of the women who are now rejecting them face biological realities and are forced to settle if they want to have children.


> It is these men who are having all the sex. Seems like a powder keg over time as the excluded men become bitter and forced to postpone getting married and starting a family. I believe many of these men will eventually find someone once enough of the women who are now rejecting them face biological realities and are forced to settle if they want to have children.

Yep. The problems will be generational. On one hand you have the possibility that the men are very aware of this problem, and any relationship they find will be tainted by knowing they weren't good enough to party with but good enough to marry.

But more important than that is the time a couple spends actually getting to know each other is greatly cut down. Which then impacts how the children are raised.

I wouldn't be surprised if we see an increase in divorce and/or single family rates over time.


> any relationship they find will be tainted by knowing they weren't good enough to party with but good enough to marry.

I am confused by this.... I would feel much better about myself knowing I was the one good enough to marry rather than the one who was only good enough to party with.


Ah, I feel this is because something deeper happened than simply "a small subset of men are monopolizing the sex marketplace", something more on the level of morality and ego than can be represented in concrete facts.

Specifically, I believe we've seen a devaluation and financialization of morality (what makes me a valuable person?) in a broader sense. Christopher Lasch caught the beginning of this back in the 70s, arguing that we now judge ourselves in terms of the views of our peer group rather than relative to an authority figure or multigenerational community.

The result is that sleeping around becomes a mark of virtue (at least, among men). This sentiment is at odds with more "traditional" forms of morality and virtue, particularly coming from religious traditions, and the resulting internal conflict can cause a lot of psychic distress, a lot of asking "who am I really?" and "am I really good enough, is she merely 'settling' for me?"

If you can navigate that conflict and feel satisfied that you were good enough to marry, then I applaud you for having a level head and for having your values in order. But I expect many men do not feel this way :(


Relationships are two-party affairs. What a man thinks of himself obviously affects how he behaves in a relationship but is not as important as the view that the woman has for him. This is what constitutes the basis of the relationship.

If there are no kids, then for a woman that has spent the best years of her life dating attractive alpha males, an unattractive male is never going to measure up. Empirical evidence leads me to believe that kids can change that and be a stabilizing influence, bridging the gap between these models since both parties are able to make compromises by coming together and focusing on their kids.


The problem is your spouse will not really find you attractive sexually. She will be with you because you have money and are a good provider. She really wants to be with the guy she partied with in her younger years, not you.


That’s always been the case. People’s goals are different at different times during their life.

There’s always a transactional aspect to being in a relationship. Are you good looking enough, healthy enough, wealthy enough, well connected enough, emotionally connected, personality etc.

It may not be fruitful to frame a relationship exclusively in those pros and cons terms, but that’s the way nature has always worked.


> That’s always been the case.

Has it? The question is not if people change. The question is who they choose and why - now, versus before.

> There’s always a transactional aspect to being in a relationship. Are you good looking enough, healthy enough, wealthy enough, well connected enough, emotionally connected, personality etc.

That doesn't explain the decrease in sex. As a group people are supposedly still about the same.

> It may not be fruitful to frame a relationship exclusively in those pros and cons terms, but that’s the way nature has always worked.

If we talk about humans, the article talks about the changing data. The proposed explanation is that views have changed. You're saying that views always have been like that. So there is a difference in data.


> The question is who they choose and why - now, versus before

If you go back enough you’ll find that there is waaaay more choice now than before


Women are having a lot more sexual partners, a lot sooner in their lives, today than at any previous point in history. This invalidates any historical models of sexual behavior.

You can very well imagine a woman in Victorian times, keeping her virginity until her arranged marriage (in less developed Western countries this was still the case up until the 70s and 80s) to an average, physically unattractive male. The fact that he was the only male she knew sexually could very well provide the basis of a stable and healthy, loving longterm relationship, assuming he wasn't completely incompetent in giving her pleasure. This woman has acquired her model of a sexual relationship from the only man she ever knew. She never has a chance to find better, to compare.

This is definitely no longer the case. Women in developed countries are spending the formative and best years of their lives with multiple sex partners thus developing expectations and also reinforcing their baseline models and sexual norms acquired from said interactions. An average physically unattractive male looking for a stable longterm relationship faces very slim odds with this type of woman -very prevalent in the West- today unless he performs massive compromises and lowers his requirements.

I don't want to sound regressive or socially conservative, but this obviously does not bode well for the future of these societies. A permanent, ever-rising underclass bombarded daily with norms of sexual desire and models that it can never meet. One should expect the incel phenomenon -still at its infancy- to drastically intensify. Life-like sex robots may alleviate part of the problem but are probably at least 50 years away. Let us hope that VR comes together in providing alternate meaning-generating realities, sooner.


>An average physically unattractive male looking for a stable longterm relationship faces very slim odds with this type of woman -very prevalent in the West- today unless he performs massive compromises and lowers his requirements.

Do you mean an average physically unattractive male has a better chance of acquiring an average physically unattractive mate?

The mere idea that a society where a woman may have multiple sexual partners to compare against and the idea and that a man may need to exceed the standard "completely incompetent in giving her pleasure" in order to win her affections is inherently unstable reads a lot like someone claiming heavier than air flight is impossible in the 1980s. It's utterly inexplicable. People have been having sex with more than one person for a LOT longer than the 80s. What did happen in the 80s is the beginning of a massive rise in inequality that began with the top 10% earning 26% of all income in 1980 to where we are at the present time where they earn half while the bottom 50% share around 10% between them down from 2O%.

What you are framing as a crisis caused by too much female sexual choice is in fact a crisis of inequality wherein females are choosing "not poor" and the group "poor" expands year after year. Vastly more females escape this trap because men overwhelmingly value youth and attractiveness while women want people with some degree of complimentary earning power.

More recently what has happened is that the internet has allowed more niche groups to connect with their fellows. Incels are a group not of those who aren't getting any but rather those who aren't getting any who have decided to blame society in general and more particularly women. They are fetishizing both self hate and hatred of women. In the context of their in group communication their behavior and statements that would in larger contexts be considered aberrant are normalized by familiarity because people confuse repetition with truth.

If you want to decrease the negative impact of this behavior address inequality, make mental health more broadly available at zero cost, keep shutting down such communities and start putting people in prison who publicly call for acts of violence against others.

Driving evil and maladaptive behavior into hiding means less people will encounter it. Thus fewer will let its poison turn their pain into evil, or begin to view it as normal.

Wishing women boinked fewer men is a complete failure of analysis.


TL;DR Unprecedented availability of multiple vectors that enable promiscuity today, unprecedented self-reinforcing feedback loops that strengthen specific models of behavior. We haven't seen anything yet, this is just the beginning.

> People have been having sex with more than one person for a LOT longer than the 80s.

This is not accurate for less-developed countries, which is what I mentioned. I've lived in eastern Europe during the 70s and the 80s, the social stigma for a woman having multiple sex partners before marrying was enormous. Doesn't mean it didn't happen but it was definitely not the norm. Today, teenage girls in the west go through sexual partners like they go through cell phones.

> What you are framing as a crisis caused by too much female sexual choice is in fact a crisis of inequality wherein females are choosing "not poor" and the group "poor" expands year after year.

Income inequality is a very weak factor and does not explain female hypergamy today. Spend two weeks living on campus in any US college watching poor but extremely attractive male students and you can validate that for yourself. Money does not buy love or sexual attraction. Spend some time on incel forums reading their posts, assuming you can see past the hate and lingo, and you will realize that most/all of them crave these lost-youth experiences. They don't necessarily just want a partner in their 30s or 40s, but to feel wanted and loved in their 20s. Once they realize that opportunity is gone forever, they have to pick up the pieces.

> Incels are a group not of those who aren't getting any but rather those who aren't getting any who have decided to blame society in general and more particularly women.

This is very superficial since you are not examining the root causes. Look at advertisements today, movies, sports, Facebook, Instagram, reality shows, series on Netflix. We are bombarded by models of sexual attraction every minute of every day, models that are so skewed towards a specific minority that your average physically unattractive male literally stands no chance whatsoever. It's these projected models that strongly reinforce female hypergamy (for both attractive and unattractive women) while at the same time pushing the unwanted males further into the abyss. The worst of all possible worlds. Additionally, not only have all artificial limiters (e.g. social stigmas and pressure towards non-promiscuity) been lifted but accelerators like Tinder have wreaked havoc. Carnage on a societal level.

> If you want to decrease the negative impact of this behavior address inequality, make mental health more broadly available at zero cost, keep shutting down such communities and start putting people in prison who publicly call for acts of violence against others.

If you take the OkCupid studies seriously (you should), then you'll realize how antithetical to any sort of progress your recommendations are. You can't hide this problem or explain it away by shouting mental illness. This is a huge chunk of the population at large and if you miss or deliberately ignore the root causes because they tend to make you uncomfortable then your approximation of reality is completely off and any sort of analysis that you're performing invalid. Look at smoking in its heyday. Imagine being blasted by "smoking is cool" ads, watching most of "successful" society smoke whilst you not being able to afford even a single cigarette. How would that make you feel? Is that a mental illness on your part? Is it not conditioning massively amplified by very specific agents and societal effects? Should you just learn to "deal with it?"

Now consider that smoking is neutral in terms of self-perception of how other people see you compared to sexual rejection by other living, breathing humans. The psychological damage of realizing one is not wanted can be immense. We are talking about a core biological need and for the vast majority of people reason to exist. Surrogate activities (video games, traveling, hobbies of all sorts) are the counterbalance but they're not yet good enough to make this problem disappear.

OkCupid research opened the floodgates but there will be additional studies like the one linked here and societal effects coming home to roost (as it's been clearly happening). At some point, those effects will be too obvious to be ignored or explained away. Let us hope that ways to manage this catastrophic problem manifest, before the ticking time bomb goes off.


People in the former oppressor class always frame societal upheaval in terms of disorder caused by the moral failings of the former victim in this case your talk of female promiscuity.

After we freed the slaves im sure lower income laborers too poor to have been responsible for owning anyone were put off by having to compete for jobs.

Incels long for an imaginary time when naive women would have accepted their advances and been happy instead of chosen men like jobs or cars by comparing specs.

They rationalize away any actual responsibility for their own lives by pretending it's all down to immutable factors like height, race, facial structure and mock fellow incels for trying to improve health, self, or wealth because this would invite self blame for not doing so.

Inequality is a legitimate concern but this evil self hate isn't on society. We will have to help everyone we can with mental health support and for those who commit acts of violence and terror we have bullets and jail cells.

Do you have a better idea or would you like to indulge yourself in more nostalgia for a world that was worse for everyone except middle class white men?


> Inequality is a legitimate concern but this evil self hate isn't on society.

Of course this self-hate is on society, to imply otherwise because your morals won't allow you to see the facts is to stick your head in the sand. Imagine having a heroin addict on withdrawal surrounded by people using heroin. Blasting him day and night with models that reinforce heroin usage and then blaming him for not being able to cope.

> Do you have a better idea or would you like to indulge yourself in more nostalgia for a world that was worse for everyone except middle class white men?

You didn't address any of my points and suggestions and you're implying that I'm "nostalgic about the past?" Is that really what you got from everything I wrote? Let me put it in plain terms. We have a serious problem here and ignoring it because it's confronting and/or treating it with "bullets and jail cells" is not going to make anything better.


Locking up or shooting terrorists in the act of murdering people puts a hard limit on the number of people they can murder. This is like saying violence never solved anything while ignoring WW2.

I repeat myself but what specifically would YOU like to do about the problems you yourself have outlined. I think mental health support and fighting inequality are reasonable suggestions what is your counter offer. If you ran the world how would you fix it.


While personally I applaud this new-found freedom for women, and while I hope we'll figure out ways to adapt, I do share your fear to a slight degree. Maybe I'm too optimistic, but I really think we can adapt.

I think most of my worries stem from an increase in reactionary politics combined with a growing group of young, 'have-not' males. That seems to me like a particularly bad combination.


I think you have a very limited understanding of sexual attraction... it is not static. It can grow for someone as you get to know them and spend time with someone.


It's always interesting to watch my attraction for someone who was really hot up front start to slide down the more they talk, or the other way around. Personality is so much more important than level of initial attraction.


Raw sexual attraction is instant and involuntary, not cerebral, cultivated. It doesn't depend on anything other than a person's biology. Looks, smell, maybe other biological factors that are hard to quantify. If a woman is with you for other reasons, then she's just not into you sexually and you're playing a game in nightmare mode if you're trying to establish an LTR with an attractive female that has other opportunities or keep it going without issues (e.g. cheating). That does not mean that other slow-burn factors such as intellectual chemistry or friendship do not apply, but it does mean that they work synergistically and on top of the raw animalistic part which is the foundation.

This is all based on decades of empirical observations. On the plus side for men, it is definitely possible to learn to detect this extremely reliable indicator. On the minus side, one needs a lot of experience with many different women, which isn't the case with average, physically unattractive males.


There is something to this, but it depends a lot on attitude. It will be true for someone who's entitled or an ingrate, and everyone should run fast and long away from such a person. There are a lot of them.

On the other hand, people who have suffered at length can be quite grateful to find a decent person. Someone like that can make a great wife (or husband).


Relationships are hard enough as it is, imagine stacking the deck further against you by going for someone that's psychologically unstable. Definitely neither smart nor wise, at least for the rational type given the massive time & effort investments required.


I think we're talking about different things.


Your premise is based on a fallacy.

The guy who is among the top 10% of men is the one who is good enough to party with AND good enough to marry. However, though this guy has a plethora of women at his disposal, he can only select one for marriage.

For the women who weren't chosen, their first choice guy is no longer an option, so they have to settle for a plan B (that is, a less desirable man).

So even if you were "good enough" to marry, you weren't first choice in that either.


You're premise is based on a fallacy... that there is a strict ordering of men, and women all have the same order.

A marriage is about finding a person who fits with you, and you can build a life together. That is not the same person for everyone. My best partner is not the same as your best partner.


I never said there was a strict ordering of men. But there are characteristics that will make one man more desirable than another (e.g. good looks, height, wealth, social status, intelligence, etc.). How these factors rank may vary depending on the woman.

You say that "a marriage is about finding a person who fits with you, and you can build a life together". So take the viewpoint from a pragmatic woman's perspective; wouldn't these aforementioned traits be desirable because the man who possesses them is a candidate more likely to provide the best life to build together?


First, wouldn't everything you said about men also apply to women? How is it different?

Second, there are a lot of other traits that aren't inherently good or bad; things like "do you like going out on the weekends or staying in" and "does your communication style work with mine?" and "are the things you are good at complimentary to the things I am good at?"

My best friend and his wife get along great, but both my wife and I can't imagine living our lives like they do. I am sure they feel the same about us.


> First, wouldn't everything you said about men also apply to women? How is it different?

This thread has been discussing the implications of the observation quoted in the article: "Sexual activity was largely unchanged among unmarried women, along with no notable decline among gay men, researchers reported."

So it's unclear what point you're trying to make in relation to that.


Your premise omits the possibility that there is correlation among the diverse orderings that women apply to men. Or even barring that, that they don't converge to an aggregate ordering which is what GP is explaining that men experience.


Some traits will be clearly desirable, but so many aren't. Introvert/extrovert, opinions on how to raise kids, family goals, what sort of place you like to live (rural/urban), political views, conversation style, etc. Those are going to vary greatly amongst people.


Yes, some preferences vary widely, while others are more narrow, such as height, income, seniority/authority, and facial structure. In aggregate there is a clear spectrum from desirable to less desirable along those dimensions. It's definitely true that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, or attraction more generally, but it's hard to believe that being 1.60 m tall won't make you (in general) less attractive as a man.


I don’t think that settling down with someone that isn’t sexually attracted to you enough is a recipe for a healthy relationship.

On the plus side if you’re in your early 30’s and economically stable and well enough off for your area your get to experience life on easy mode.

I got to experience that after my last brake up before I got fed up and went for something more stable and it was really an eye opening experience.

I pretty much spent my whole 20’s in a single LTR that ended so I never had to experience Tinder before but it was a whole other experience.


Isn't sexually attracted to you upon first meeting doesn't mean that they're not sexually attracted to you in the relationship.


While it might be true, I’ve seen too many cases of infidelity and or dead bedrooms with relationships that didn’t had the former.

Also speaking from my own experience while I’ve experienced finding women more attractive as I got to know them better it wasn’t the same type of an attraction, as it wasn’t sexual but rather more complex in terms of seeing long term future possibilities and wanting to share experiences with them in order to enrich my own life, but it never really affected how physically attractive I found them.

Maybe I’m different, maybe men are different in general but at least for me I won’t settle for someone that doesn’t want to jump me or that I wouldn’t want to jump them to me it seems unnatural.


Sexual attraction is multifaceted, but by far the strongest and most important/longest-living aspect regarding the strength of a relationship is the biological component which is for all intents and purposes instant and present from the very beginning. If that's absent, you're definitely stacking the deck against you in a major way. I am not saying an LTR can't work, but you'll be putting in substantially more energy, time and effort to make it happen.

It's the difference between playing a game in easy vs nightmare mode.

This is all based on empirical observations. I am 55 years old, I've had more than 100 sexual partners in my life and a lot of relationships, some of them lacking the initial biological/animalistic sexual attraction factor I described here. I've been married twice, now divorced and in a long-term relationship with my partner. I have two daughters in their 20s.


Ultimately, it usually means you're not that desirable - just reliable.

Almost everyone wants to be desirable.


What? Cant reliability be a desirable attribute?


It can. But is reliability really the #1 attribute for people out there? Most people want a partner who excites them and who makes them happy. If they're unreliable then that can be a problem but usually a very desirable person has reliability in addition to everything else. When you're settling - you're usually settling for someone who is at least reliable but isn't very exciting.


After dating lots of people, one of the major factors in what made me decide to build a life with my wife was that I could count on her to be a reliable partner. That is soooo huge when choosing someone you are going to build a family with. It is way more important than any sort of animal sexual attraction.


I guess so, but I definitely wouldn't tell her that you're not really highly sexually attracted to her.


Why not? After 12 years of marriage I told my wife that and it cleared the air. We both knew it but it remained unsaid for so long and had been having an adverse affect on the relationship.

Yes, it was a tough and emotional week. But things are better out in the open and we have started to rebuild the relationship on love, not lust.

She did ask if I was having affairs. But I honestly said that I'm finished with sex now, I've just no time or interest in playing the chasing games. There are more important things in life.


Glad it turned out, but that sounds like a risky and hard road.


On the other hand people might be a bit more experienced when they finally have kids. And they might even have better ways to evaluate their prospective parent-partner.


> believe many of these men will eventually find someone once enough of the women who are now rejecting them face biological realities and are forced to settle if they want to have children.

Who wants to be last choice? Maybe many of these men will wise up and marry a foreign girl(despite the usual shaming) or just hire sexual workers.


Things move faster in women world: in their 20s they run the show and a lot of average or above average men get rejected/ignored. In their 30s, the situation changes cardinally,as a lot of top candidates are already in relationships/married/kids,etc. So now most of those left behind moved on a bit,got better jobs,higher income,some even hit the gym,and so on. So now they are the ones who are choosing and all of sudden,a lot of women don't cut it anymore. This becomes substantially more difficult in their 40s,50s,60s. Just a couple of days ago was reading an article,where a good looking( for her age), 59 years old woman couldn't get even a decent date,as all the guys were essentially not good enough ( a fat belly, bad,teeth,no desire for sex,etc.) However,one commenter made a good point about it: I am a wealthy,good looking man in 60s, and naturally,I'm only interested in 20-30 year olds...


It is interesting that you are simultaneously ressentful of women not dating men of their age and simultaneously happy about old men dating young women.

Given that there are similar amount of girls and boys, this guarantees that younger men of next generation will have to compete with older men for same pool of women.


I don't resent women.I was simply stating the state of affairs.There are so many cases,where attractive, intelligent,and educated women do struggle to find a long term partner,even though 'on paper' they tick all the boxes, except that they are no longer in their 20s. As for older men chasing young women: I have no issue with that, as long as the the whole thing is mutually acceptable,which is essential in any healthy relationship.


Then everything is ok? Young guys without partners can simply wait till they are older. Assuming bigger age gap in relationship remains as normalized, their time will come.


I couldn't feel any emotion in the parent comment, only a description of how things are perceived to be. What makes you think there is resentment?


Yes, but those younger men will become older and a new generation of women will come up. That is how it has been for centuries.


The assumption that a "foreign girl" is easier to get is both offensive and wrong.

Given the ratio of men and women in Asian culture for example, it's a much crowder competition space. That's even more true considering the fact that a large percentage of those Asian women in the US are either highly educated, or from wealthy families that sent them study abroad. They look for partners who are equally educated/successful.


>The assumption that a "foreign girl" is easier to get is both offensive and wrong.

I don't think that assessment is wrong or offensive (although I wouldn't say "foreign").

I think a lot of the problem is culturally related. I've had far better relationships with people I've dated outside of typical white middle class US culture. US parents often inflate egos to absurd levels, set unrealistic relationship expectations, and frequently create terrible personalities, especially for their daughters.

"Easier" isn't inherently a bad thing in this context. I would argue dating someone with reasonable expectations who is actually kind, approachable, and less afflicted by negative culturaly induced behaviors is far more appealing than someone who assumes they're better than say 90% of the population which a lot of US women have adopted in their dating mentalities.


As someone from a low-tier country, I'd say I had very good success with American woman. Which was surprising given that I expected them to be unapproachable from what I read online. I think Americans might be more interested and willing to compromise with strangers than their own kind; for both sexes.


> US parents often inflate egos to absurd levels, set unrealistic relationship expectations, and frequently create terrible personalities

Did someone inflate your ego?

> especially for their daughters

Oh, I have a daughter and the message I tell her is “there are 1,000s of guys out there that would love to go out with you, don’t settle”


There's a lot of "foreign girls" that aren't asian, and the competition space you described was artificially created. If you want to claim "offensive" and "wrong", you need to provide a better response.


to whom is it offensive? there is no sense of honor or duty when it comes to mating, LTRs or even hookups - it's largely a factor of mutual attraction and the extent to which both parties want to continue it (and perhaps have children). if that comes from your hometown or in a foreign country, why is that offensive? would you not move for a job out of some weird notion of loyalty?

we compete for mates in relatively tight geographic circles. that means that one's attractiveness can change purely based on location (arbitrage in the american english sense of the word).

handsome, blue eyed, blonde haired men are a dime a dozen in Berlin, NYC and Seattle. that can be massively arbitraged in Latin America and SE Asia (possibly elsewhere); you suddenly have exotic and attractive features. similarly for wealth: $100K is mediocre in NYC and fairly rich in above locales. etc.


> a large percentage of those Asian women in the US...

I think he literally means foreign. Like not in the US.


> Who wants to be last choice? Maybe many of these men will wise up and marry a foreign girl

Is being a desperate choice of someone who faces "economic realities" so much better than being a desperate choice of someone who faces "biological realities"?


Given that apparently quite a few men have an issue if their wife makes more money than them, probably. Being a provider is generally valued by men, being a romantic fallback not so much.


I've never heard of a man having an issue with a wife that makes more.


It's usually not the man that has the issue in that case...


It's associated with a higher rate of divorce [0], which most people don't end up enjoying

[0] https://www.marketwatch.com/story/can-american-men-ever-be-h...


Well, it's a scale. My prior is that most men (people, really) would feel proud providing for their family and feel empty being "loved" by (what is essentially) a prostitute. Marrying a foreign girl (on purpose, not because you just happened to meet and fall in love) sounds to me more like the latter. But I could be wrong.


Some citations for your thesis below. To your last point, IMHO, you're going to continue to see a decline in the total fertility rate (US is roughly ~1.77 this year, lowest on record) as women shift from casual seeking in their 20s to relationship/nesting in their 30s and find the market for partners to be much smaller than they would've anticipated, while also nearing the end of natural fertility (fertility rates start to drop ~35 years old) [1].

> As I stated previously the average female “likes” 12% of men on Tinder. This doesn't mean though that most males will get “liked” back by 12% of all the women they “like” on Tinder. This would only be the case if “likes” were equally distributed. In reality, the bottom 80% of men are fighting over the bottom 22% of women and the top 78% of women are fighting over the top 20% of men. We can see this trend in Figure 1. The area in blue represents the situations where women are more likely to “like” the men. The area in pink represents the situations where men are more likely to “like” women. The curve doesn’t go down linearly, but instead drops quickly after the top 20% of men. Comparing the blue area and the pink area we can see that for a random female/male Tinder interaction the male is likely to “like” the female 6.2 times more often than the female “likes” the male. [2]

> The researchers determined that while men’s sexual desirability peaks at age 50, women’s starts high at 18 and falls from there. [3]

> “The age gradient for women definitely surprised us — both in terms of the fact that it steadily declined from the time women were 18 to the time they were 65, and also how steep it was,” said Elizabeth Bruch, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Michigan and an author of the study. [3]

[1] https://www.acog.org/patient-resources/faqs/pregnancy/having...

[2] https://medium.com/@worstonlinedater/tinder-experiments-ii-g...

[3] https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/15/style/dating-apps-online-...


Check out some of the women's dating subreddits. The magnitude of sexual activity reported there is staggering.


Care to share a link?


which ones?


> you're going to continue to see a decline in the total fertility rate as women shift from casual seeking to relationship/nesting in their 30s and find the market for partners to be much smaller than they would've anticipated

These women tend to be wealthier on average, and thus have access to various “artificial” methods for conception. Egg freezing is becoming mainstream.


True, but there's not that many as a percentage of their age cohort [1], and egg/embryo freezing combined IVF is no guarantee you can carry a fetus to term [2]. Maybe you can afford a surrogate (~$30k-120k depending on the arrangements), but the math continues to work against you as you age. This is the unfortunate medical reality, that you can buy possibilities but not guarantees. The amount of wealth you need to "hack" a family together (biologically and a support system after birth) in older age is significant.

[1] https://socwomen.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/fact_2-2010-...

[2] https://www.cdc.gov/art/artdata/index.html


Not only that, but your risk of having a child with autism supposedly increases by more than 3x.


Apple and Facebook now offer egg freezing as an employee benefit.


That's almost freakish. Better to offer a quality of life than lets employees have families.


I would very much be interested in stats on employees who use this benefit, and if they're unable to have kids in the future regardless of having their eggs frozen, regret their decision to prioritize their career over starting a family.

We had a friend over to our home, who earlier in life judged my partner for leaving a career to have children, and could not have a child of their own now. The regret during our conversation was palpable while she watched our children play in our backyard, and frankly it hurt my heart.


Maybe tinder isn't reality and many in fact most people meet each other outside of tinder. 78% of women aren't actually chasing the top 20% of men and are in fact available to meet outside of hook ups on tinder.

Reducing women to vaginas on legs that can't be obtained outside of tinder is a big part of why 1/3 not 80% of men aren't getting much play.

For other contributing factors I would look at generational differences in socialization and inequality.

Nowhere on the radar is "hypergammy" a piece of incel lingo not spoken but suggested.

Honesty I'm surprised to read this thread on hacker news instead of reddit.


>maybe ... many in fact most people meet each other outside of tinder

Evidence shows that online dating is immensely dominant.

https://news.stanford.edu/2019/08/21/online-dating-popular-w...


>Maybe tinder isn't reality and many in fact most people meet each other outside of tinder. 78% of women aren't actually chasing the top 20% of men and are in fact available to meet outside of hook ups on tinder.

No, Tinder is reality. It's naive to believe that just because it's a platform that facilitates communication and hookup that it's somehow disconnected from reality in it's own little microcosm or niche.

All Tinder does is reflect human behavior. Between Tinder, OkCupid and N other apps you have more than enough data needed to draw some very damning conclusions. Way beyond "more than enough", actually.

People who reject reality and live in their own little fantasy worlds will find themselves in for a bad surprise when they come to.

I mentioned this in a post further below - this is not new knowledge. Long before online dating apps, in the 90s, there existed alt.seduction.fast newsgroup that outlined all of this for people. Read Neil Strauss' "The Game" for some chilling truths, and then bring yourself back to 2020 and look at what is happening today. It isn't much different.


The author of the game calls it

"a book about scared men who were afraid of women."

He also says he himself at the time of writing suffered from mental illness.

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/oct/10/neil-st...


That's just so he can sell his new book which is the other side of the coin [0]. It doesn't mean he actually wrote anything inaccurate.

[0] https://www.amazon.com/Truth-Love-Commitment-Puzzle-Male-ebo...


Tinder is definitely real and used by the majority of young people living in big cities. I am in my late twenties and all my friends, male and female, used it at some point or another.

Whether people use it to find relationships is a different question. I did not use it for that, but some of my friends did... (or tried...)


The study didn't say anything about Tinder.

However, your theory doesn't hold up. The study found that men who had part time employment, no employment, or were students were more likely to be sexually inactive. There isn't any data that suggests that those men are only using Tinder and failing or anything else you described.

If you define inequality in terms of employment or wealth, you may be right, but that does indeed still suggest the culprit is hypergamy actually as women select men with better employment prospects.


Women wanting a man with a job that pays enough not to live with mom isn't "hypergamy". The literal problem you are naming is inequality wherein an increasing minority can't afford a decent life despite working. It's not a defect in female choice its about the bottom 1/3 sharing a single digit percentage of the wealth and income. Females aren't all chasing the top 20% rich tall guys they are all chasing someone high enough on the fiscal totem pole to have something which is a lot broader than 20% and leaves 1/3 hung out to dry not 80%.

Female choice is rational our society is not. We cannot fix anything if we cannot even identify the problem.


That still is hypergamy. You are just stating that women have preferences. That is exactly what hypergamy means. That women have preferences that suit their own tastes. That is their prerogative.

What is not true though is that this is entirely an economic problem. If it were entirely economic, then why did sexual activity decrease for men but not women? Is that because men gave up? Are men disproportionately likely to self sabotage? Are men disproportionately likely to suffer from economic inequality than women? Do men not care about economic status in partners but women do?


It disproportionately effects men because it's much more acceptable for a lower status women who is at least somewhat physically attractive to set up shop in a higher status man's life than vice versa.

Furthermore men value youth far more than women do so a only moderately physically gifted 20 year old might be valued over her counterpart a dozen years older and twice as well off herself.

Young poor females are in a much better position to leverage their looks and youth.

Basically men pick boobs and youth and men pick status and ability to support and you have somehow identified the women as the parties making an irrational choice and labeled this hypergamy.


> It disproportionately effects men because it's much more acceptable for a lower status women who is at least somewhat physically attractive to set up shop in a higher status man's life than vice versa.

But it doesnt add up. Given that most relations are monogamous, both have as much sex as the other in a relation. So you either need a very high relationship turnover rate or sex outside of the relation to have this sex imbalance between genders.

Or maybe you need a very high age difference.


Incomplete data doesn't need to line up especially when that data never supported 80% of men chasing 20% of the women in the first place. It supported 33% of young men being abstinent and a lesser number of females which is perfectly reasonably congruent with women getting involved with the remaining 67% of younger men and older men.


No, for the record I didn't use any judgement.

I also didn't say that men didn't have preferences either.

I don't think there is any disagreement so the word 'hypergamy' shouldn't be a dirty word.

However, I think the people expressing concern about female hypergamy are saying the same thing you are but that for men they might have broader taste and for women more narrow and that may lead to situations where vast swaths of men are un-dateable. I don't have any opinion on that scenario. I don't know much about it.


Lets see how people use the term starting with websters and moving on.

Definition of hypergamy

: marriage into an equal or higher caste or social group

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hypergamy

Here is how people actually use it online

https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=hypergamy

> The tendency for women to deceive men and leech money and resources off them.

> An evolutionary psychology theory that beta males and feminists refuse to look at or even acknowledge exists. They will usually blame the MGTOW and MRA community for making it up, but that just shows their lack of research, even though these same groups will tell their detractors and opponents to "do your own research" or "educate yourself". The theory itself is the study that women seek higher status men and men with more resources to give her seed to the best possible mate. There is nothing inherently wrong with this, but left unchecked can cause societal problems.

> Evolutionary Psychology theory on the instinctual desire of humans of the female sex to discard a current mate when the opportunity arises to latch onto a subsequent mate of higher status due to the hindbrain impetus to find a male with the best ability to provide for her OWN offspring (already spawned or yet-to-be spawned) regardless of investments and commitments made to a current mate.

If good looking poor chicks and middle income+ chicks of all degrees of attractiveness want middle income+ men with acceptable social skills then poor men or people with bad hygiene, and or social skills will be left with the poor and unattractive portion of that Venn diagram.

Whats more the intersection of physically unappealing and poor is a much smaller group than JUST poor which is HUGE so not all of them will likely find mates.

If you want to bring up why don't the poor but reasonably attractive dudes just interact with the more financially well off females this certainly happens but it is a MUCH less successful strategy for a man.


Men with no money are undatable. Inequality leads to a much larger share of people whose financial resources are woeful.


I am not surprised given hn is like the top 1% of the global population.


It’s only my anecdotal experience but part of the reason for me is that a lot of men are not even trying (edit: anymore) and simply more or less consciously gave up. In my days even as a nerd I tried to fit in, go to parties, bars, tried to hang with popular guys, or just do interesting thing (my hack was playing in a band, but doing art or skateboard, was ok too, you see the point). Nowadays I feel like you either have young boys hanging without girls, thinking that behaving like in a music video with shiny cars is what is attractive, or men simply staying in front of their computer not doing any social activity. Sure the picture is important on Tinder, but in my experience the most important thing is having an “interesting“ life and being social (or at least socially validated). It‘s as if a lot of men have simply chosen to forget what is attractive and think being good looking is everything.


I think it is quite reasonable approach that these men are taking. I'd think of myself in that category. With society going in direction where social norms are evolving faster than many have mental bandwidth to deal with, it would be wise to just save time, money and energy to acquire that fake attractiveness. May be men have also taken cue from pop song 'You are beautiful just the way you are...'


What social norms are really changing that are so very overwhelming? The only really changing social norm is wider acceptance of different lifestyles and people, and if it takes some people serious bandwidth to process the golden rule, maybe these people really should be sitting out on the outset of society for better or worse.

It seems harsh, but I see a lot of people externalize all their personal issues on perceived societal changes outside of their control, when really the the only change happening to society is the expectation that you treat everyone with equal respect.


Take it from an oldster: norms are wildly different than they were in the 70s or 80s. Both sexes back then were highly motivated to pair off quickly.

The modern world is like being on a different planet.


> maybe these people really should be sitting out on the outset of society for better or worse.

Well they are already kind of sitting out.

> the expectation that you treat everyone with equal respect.

Thats an old humbug. IMO it merely means respect for people or group who are ideological flavor of the season.


Equal respect? Social norms are a lot more complicated than that, man. You have to repeat all the right shibboleths, (subtly) honour the ingroup, and show appropriate hatred towards the outgroup.

E.g. if you're among roughly progressive upper-middle white people, your shibboleths are stuff like your comment, your ingroup that you're not allowed to overtly acknowledge exists but that you must still honour is progressive upper-middle class white people, and the outgroup you should show sufficient: A, hatred towards the rich B, disdain towards is lower-class white people.

Showing appropriate opprobum vers the outtribe might not be strictly speaking necessary, just highly recommended. Wouldn't want to be mistaken for them.


My wife works with both men and women to fix their problems with finding a good relationship, and what you describe is the most common way of thinking among those men.

Most of them are too stubborn to deviate from "they just have to accept me the way I am".

Seriously, getting a nice haircut, dressing nicely, grooming yourself and smelling good has nothing to do with your personality.

In this sense, men have it way easier than women, because men can influence their chances significantly without much effort. And that doesn't mean "fake", it means presenting yourself.

It's pretty simple basically, if you want a woman to pick you, you have to offer her something. And the same will be true for the women, who you will expect to offer you something.


I mean what you say sounds pretty reasonable. I wonder it also sound reasonable if I say "Well black men have it really easy, they have great skin tone and better physique than average. All they have to do is to not dress like punk or wear hoodies and have hair cut short so they don't have run in with police often"


There is an element of truth in this- just remove the word 'black' from your comment,as it's not necessary: I see a lot of young adults(I was one of them some years ago), who dress and behave in public in a way that it almost guarantees unnecessary attention(not in a good way), including from police. Dress like a normal person,not like some low life drug dealer,who spent 10 years on heroin, drop the idiotic language -'oi bruv' and so on and suddenly life becomes better. Even the hardcore criminals were fast to realise that it's much better to wear a suit and a tie than a tracksuit and and a hoody.


I thought this was about dating?

Anyway, colored men (mainly indian guys in my wife's practice) significantly increase their attractiveness by dressing nice and well groomed, so same rules apply.

But what I get from your explanation is that it's all the womens fault of not looking past that. Well maybe it's time for you to face reality.


> getting married and starting a family

This assumes people really want to do that. Children are too expensive unless you have a lot of resources already. I think if costs of basic living keep increasing the future is increasingly childless for many people.


I'm 30, and I only know one person in my peer group whom owns a home, and he can only afford it because it's way out in the boonies. If people my age find things like home ownership out of reach, having children becomes a roadblock and therefore becomes undesirable.


Where do you live? I'm in Houston, a place with a low cost of living relative to California. I'm in my early 30s, and I know lots of people aged 25-35 who are marrying, buying homes, and having kids.


What sort of tech jobs do you come across?


Well, personally I'm running a small online company. The company is basically just me, and it pays enough to support me. That means I can live anywhere without changing my income, so living where it's cheaper effectively makes me richer.

Oil & gas has a major presence here in Houston, and is a huge employer of engineers -- not sure about compsci people, but probably them too. The salaries are not as high as California, but the effective housing-adjusted salaries are probably higher. You can buy a nice 3+ bedroom house in a safe neighborhood for $200-400k. When, in California, Google giveth and the landlord taketh away, that isn't really money in your pocket (except you still owe taxes on it).


Having home should not be requirement for having children. You quite literally don't need it.


That's not really the point, though. Of course you can have children with nothing but a shirt on your back.

People want control over their lives, and this is one of the chief reasons why people want to own homes. They want to do with their property as they see fit, have a place to truly call "home", provide a sense of security, and have a place where they can raise their children under ideal conditions where a landlord can't just raise the rent or evict them.

When aspects of self determination such as ownership are removed, people become demoralized. If people don't feel a sense of agency, but can fill the void with artificial fulfillment like TV, games, food and "travel", the likelihood that they're going to want to bring children into the world is going to be diminished.

Of course, for much of history, people didn't own homes. The difference between now and times gone is people would choose starting a family in order to fill that void. But when there's plenty of "soma" for everyone, and people's dreams feel out of reach, what exactly is the incentive for the average person to have children?


Children pretty much remove control from your life one way or another. However, they do absorb the sum of who you are in many ways, and in that way they are an expression of self-determination as much as its remover. For example, I like to sing quite a bit, I lack talent so that ultimately doesn't impact my professional life in any way, however my kids adore my singing. They validate my self-expression in a way that would be difficult for me to get otherwise.

I do periodically feel a lack of agency from my kids and their needs basically controlling my life, but I also feel an immense sense of accomplishment for satisfying, or at least attempting to satisfy those needs.


People are unhappy when reality doesn’t meet expectations, and so if you grew up with the expectation that your children will grow up in a house and backyard and whatever else, and you can’t attain it, then you will be unhappy.

Technically, you can raise children in a war torn country, since it obviously has happened for many millennia. But with the advent of birth control, it’s much easier to choose.


People want to provide a stable home for their children.

Having to move can mean your kid has to find all new friends, and if buying a home is a complete impossibility for you, you might be further down Mazlowe's hierarchy than starting a family, and might have a life that's more financially brittle than you'd want it to be when you're taking care of kids.


The four biggest expenses for childcare are medical care, daycare, university, and housing.

It's harder to compare housing but fertility rates are declining even in countries with free/cheap healthcare, daycare, and university.


This has been studied by sociologists and it basically comes down to people having more opportunities outside of the home to make money. For poor families, kids are viewed as an asset since you can use their labor to earn income through farming or other services. For higher-income homes, having a kid means you might have to reduce hours at work, miss promotion opportunities and so on. So people decide to not have kids.


There is immense pressure from most parents to have their children settle down and have kids. If that requires the parents to make financial contributions to enable this, that will increasingly happen.


Meh, parents are broke too.


I've heard it put succinctly (from more than one person): "I'd rather have 25% of a winner than 100% of a loser". Absent any artificial pressure for monogamy, the data and outcomes described in this thread don't seem too surprising.


Do most people meet on apps to have casual sex or are they looking for a romantic relationship and sex is part of the dating process?

I believe sex is an integral part of getting to know someone and determining long term relationship viability. That does not mean the connection with the person was made in pursuit of sex.

This of course doesn't change who is having all the sex, but the intention may be very different.


You say forced to settle, but why is it that women never get to "grow up" in this scenario?


I'd suggest they're synonymous in this scenario.


Still could be a powder keg. Lack of sex will drive young men crazier than lack of wealth. “Incel” terrorism is already much more common than class terrorism where poor people just start killing rich people.


[flagged]


> Them being defective is a problem we can only address by making mental health services more available not by fixing imaginary social problems.

I feel like 100% of your comments in this thread could be applied to any current social justice protests and they would be just as out of place, but you'd get shot down. There are studies, there's data, but for you it appears being able to imagine other reasons has more weight, and the studies get waved away with as "imaginary social problems".

Why the hate?


[flagged]


> Incel communities absent moderation devolve quickly into hate for women, imaginary "facts", and veneration for acts of terrorism and murder.

Right, right, but nothing like that has happened here, yet you've imagined, shall we say, alternative facts as possible explanations of what has been scientifically studied. Why?

> It is exactly like visiting a white supremacist online community with a different target population.

To be honest, you sound like one, only with a slightly different perspective. They'd replace "incel" with "nigger" and spout pretty much the same stuff. If you showed them studies on police violence, they'd say "Maybe that isn't real and many in fact are just criminals", making up some random thing that may or may not explain something (without offering any statistics, of course, and ignoring statistics that suggest the opposite) and speak of "imaginary social issues".


> Right, right, but nothing like that has happened here

Eliot Rodger, 2014 - https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_Isla_Vista_killings

I was a student at UCSB at the time. He killed one of my good friends. He was a hardcore incel before it was a thing. Many incel communities praise this monster.


> Them being defective

That's a pretty gross way of looking at the world.


Perhaps you mistakenly believe I said all the people who missing out on human interaction are defective. This isn't so. Lets review context.

the parent poster

>> “Incel” terrorism is already much more common than class terrorism

My response

> Them being defective is a problem we can only address by making mental health services more available

The subject is people who literally commit acts of terror and murder because they themselves collectively blame women for not having sex with them and instead collectively gifting their virtue to higher status men instead of concluding that they are failing at the mating game. There is NOTHING that society needs to fix about itself in order to avoid mutilation and murder. The perpetrators of such crimes are defective in the literal not pejorative sense in the same fashion that a leaky gas line that is liable to blow up and kill people. Suggesting that resources be devoted to help such people before their actions harm themselves or others is the opposite of gross.


Calling people "defective" is highly pejorative in virtually any context. It's certainly a great way to get people to stop listening.


You can't communicate with people who murder people because they can't get laid. You communicate with the people who are not far gone.


The problem is most men go after women 18-25 years old. They don't want the women that are 25+. This is important because it is often men who select which women to go after. Women typically don't go after men in terms of dating selection.


Depending on the purpose and their age.

18-25 is a lot of fun, but if you want a relationship you either have to find a trust fund baby or become a sugar daddy which most men don’t want.

Hookups and casual dating with someone that is just getting by is fine proper relationships is much harder.

My current partner is just under 7 years younger than me (I’ve just turned 34) she has good enough of a career that if we can go to Tenerife or Ibiza on a whim for a weekend we don’t have to plan for it and even if I end up spending a bit more money she doesn’t feel like she’s selling herself out and I don’t feel exploited.

Even after 1 year in a relationship there is a big difference between buying a girl a drink or paying for dinner and paying for a flight and a hotel.

The good ones won’t be comfortable with the latter and you probably don’t want to get into a relationship with those who would expect you too.


It's not really a powder keg because we really don't suffer as a society if the excluded men don't get to have kids.


That's not how it's worked out in any society where family formation has been limited for large numbers of young men. The research on the calming effect of family formation on young men is very straightforward: when a population of young men doesn't have the opportunity to form families, _they_ become the powder keg. It's true at multiple scales, from individual criminality to societal unrest.


There is a difference though: Western societies don't strongly couple "allowing" young men to have a family to them having a job. Lots of unemployed, bored, frustrated single young men is different from having employed, frustrated young men.

I have no idea how class plays into this dynamic, but I assume it's not the poorest that aren't having sex, unlike in the societies where this dynamic works as a powder keg.


The theory has not borne out in reality. Japan and China are the countries with the most young incels/sexless men/male virgins per capita are among the most peaceful in the world. It's a good theory, sexual frustration => violence, but it's just not happening.


That's not really how theory works; the claim isn't that this is the single and sole determinant of civil unrest. This Atlantic article[1] looks more broadly at the effect of the young male subpopulation's size on unrest, this[2] paper references the mitigating effect of family formation on individual crime rate, this[3] one both covers unrest due to low family formation (generally through the mechanism of uneven sex ratios, given how out of favor polygamy currently is), as well as effects on individual crime.

That being said, this little excursion into Google turned up some nascent evidence that this historical dynamic is shifting. The modern world is very odd in lots of different ways: wealth, recreational opportunities, the incredibly wide social circles one's exposed to. It's entirely possible that this dynamic has changed, but the research hasn't caught up yet.

[1] https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2014/03/an...

[2] https://d101vc9winf8ln.cloudfront.net/documents/33306/origin...

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5983495/


But you presented the theory as a causative link between family formation being unavailable for young men and civil unrest.

It's a classic case of correlation is not causation. Yes, there have been societies where men couldn't form families that were violent (like the Wild west in the US) but that doesn't mean that that was the cause of it.

Similarly, many on the left have long thought that porn viewing causes sexual violent crime against women. And there is ample evidence showing that men who view porn are more likely to be sexual offenders than non-viewers. But then came the internet and the amount of porn and porn viewers skyrocketed - but the amount of sexual violence against women didn't - therefore busting the theory.

In the same way, evidence from Japan, China, South Korea and even India means that there can't be a causative link between family formation being unavailable for young men and civil unrest.


Are the plethora of cases where cigarettes did not cause cancer compelling proof that they don't?

Perhaps these counterexamples are evidence of additional factors, in cancer or in unrest, but they do not prove that a causal relationship doesn't exist.


If you had a very large group of heavy smokers and if you could demonstrate that the lung cancer prevalence among this group was not higher than among the general population then yes, that would be compelling evidence against the theory that smoking causes lung cancer.


Say you went to a city with no air pollution, a high rate of exercise, great diets with antioxidants and omega-3s, no asbestos or radon, and no genetic predisposition to lung cancer. And you find that, in this city, heavy smokers have a lower rate of lung cancer than the general population of the world.

Do you conclude that the overwhelming abundance of data that shows that smoking causes lung cancer is wrong? That there cannot be a causative link between smoking and cancer because there is a counterexample where it didn't appear? I would say that these other factors are also having an effect of comparable scale.


Yup, I would conclude that if the heavy smokers in this city have a lower rate of lung cancer than the rest of the inhabitants in that city that smoking doesn't cause cancer.


So you have a comparison between unrest in Chinese people who are starting families and those that are not? You keep trying to push this analogy into a territory where the evidence is a lot stronger than what you've given. You compared the country to other countries, and it's analogous to comparing a city with a higher cancer rate to a city with a higher smoking rate and saying that smoking cannot cause cancer.

Data suggests that social unrest in China has increased in correlation with incel count. I would count that as supporting evidence for the theory above. But you're saying, correct me if I'm wrong, that, because the initial rate of unrest was so low, and the increase didn't push that rate above that of other countries, incels cannot be a causal factor in unrest?

Help me understand where we disagree here. What part of ´inability to start a family->unhappiness->social unrest' do you think is questionable?


You don't seem to realize is that you have a theory X -> Y and I can find some X for which X -> Y is false, then the theory is false.

Regardless of the theory.

I have found such X. In principle you agree, but you want to save your theory so you say "Well, if X and not Z then Y!" and that explains my counter example because my group probably had Z.

Here Z being the racist idea that Asian people are less violent than others and that that's why social unrest hasn't erupted in their countries.

You might be right. But then your theory is "inability to start a family and non-asian -> social unrest." Clearly, not the same as "inability to start a family -> social unrest."


The theory is that an increase in X causes an increase in Y. You've pointed out cases that have a high X and low Y as counterpoints. But in order to make the point you're making you need to provide evidence that increases in X have not lead to increases in Y, so we can control for initial X.

Back to cancer, heavy smokers who did not develop cancer are an example of some X for which X->Y is false. Like you said, you would need to take a random sample of cases and see whether Y correlates with X against a control group.

You introduced the concept of Asian countries having lower rates of social unrest, and I have never said this is related to race at all. Perhaps you are reading into the genetic confound in the cancer example, but it was just intended as an example of a confound within the analogy. There are plenty of differences between life in these countries and elsewhere that can act as confounds.


A causal link might be still there, but the theory might only explain a few percent of the variance, due to many other (confounding) factors.


Not sure what variance has to do with it? Thing is, you can always "patch" an X leads to Y theory when faced with opposing evidence by blaming confounding factors. But that is not very scientific. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russell%27s_teapot


Sure, you're right (also https://www.gwern.net/Causality#overview-the-current-situati... )

I'm just trying to say that very few things are actually that causal in big complex systems. I'm trying to say that such issues are very likely have many-many factors, and we see an aggregate effect.

And so in case of such aggregates arguing for-against them with very simple first-order reasoning is kind of useless. Because each piece of data (supporting or counter evidence) just explains a part of the big picture. So, without accounting for all data we can't really make general statements about what causes the aggregate effect that we see.


Yes, we can use "very simple first-order reasoning" even when we argue about very complex problems. If you say that "swans are white" it is enough for me to find a single black swan to prove your hypothesis wrong.

That is exactly what is being done here.


> when a population of young men doesn't have the opportunity to form families, _they_ become the powder keg. It's true at multiple scales, from individual criminality to societal unrest.

Well, perhaps videogames and internet porn (both inaccessible in the past) could workaround that now ...


So, "give us families, or we'll do crime and destabilize society"?

Sounds like mental health problems are even more rampant than we guessed. We should probably handle that.


Remember that "mental health" is inseparable from "society", in that the categories of "mental illness" are constructed based on some idea of "normal within society" (to those who doubt this: how else could we go so quickly from "homosexuality is a disease" to "homosexuality is perfectly normal"? The values of society changed and the DSM changed to reflect that. This is simply the nature of "mental illness", there is no recourse to a more [although not completely] universal notion of biological health like with physical illness. Plenty of philosophers and psychologists like Thomas Szasz and Michel Foucault, himself a gay man, have written about this at length).

If society's "normal" (which tends to include a "healthy sex life" or at least a supportive social community) becomes impossible for many to achieve, the question for many is no longer "maybe something is wrong with me?" and becomes "maybe society is the problem?"


No, it's more like "this society doesn't really work for me, to hell with it!" Basically, the most dangerous people are those with nothing to gain by remaining lawful and nothing to lose by becoming criminals.


> Sounds like mental health problems are even more rampant than we guessed. We should probably handle that.

Other than generalized chemical castration I don't see how you could eliminate the "problem" of most of the male population unfulfilled sex drive. For all its problems and unfairness, patriarchal society provides an answer to that problem, if an ugly one.


> Other than generalized chemical castration I don't see how you could eliminate the "problem" of most of the male population unfulfilled sex drive.

Traditional solution of the past was to lure them in the army and let them die in some foreign country.


At the risk of sounding cold... anything that causes the mortality rate of men in this high risk category to rise significantly would likely reduce the overall problem. For example, making the choice of suicide readily available for young men that face poo life prospects, and the choice of ending your own life for the better of society a virtue, perhaps even heroic.

Whether enough people would see such a thing as acceptable for it to become policy is an entirely different issue.


Why would anyone want to raise a son in a society like that?


I don't imagine that it would be drastically different then raising a son today and here; the odds would still be excellent for a son to grow up an be successful.

Mind if I ask what you had in mind to make you think that such a situation would dissuade someone from raising a son?


Same reason there's a social financial safety net, no? Just boiled down to the most crude phrasing.


A bit different than using some of America's extremely, extremely extravagant wealth for the poorest in the nation compared to forcing people to hitch up and support a kid for ~18 years just in case a man gets angry.


No, this is literally why European nations have vast social safety nets with giant wealth transfers: social peace.


Oh got it, you're one of those people who's unable to reason about the way things work without becoming overcome with emotion and desperately cramming the conversation into a simple-minded framework of "who's to blame so we can get mad at them".

I'm not really interested in that kind of conversation, thanks though!


It's because I don't believe you have any actual evidence, and even if you did, you'd end up arguing that a lack of relationships could explain someone becoming a danger to society. That alone is difficult to argue since they could have issues parallel that could have caused it.


No one's making a threat. But any sociologist will tell you that if you put people in an awful situation, you'll sometimes drive awful behavior.


Value judgements of males who are unable to find sexual partners and ultimately life partners not-withstanding...

1) Civil society is much improved by encouraging as many stable partnerships between pairs of humans as possible.

2) Child rearing within intact families leads to significantly better outcomes on average than single parent households.

3) Societies with lower birth rates suffer financial/economic difficult in properly supporting their elderly populations.


It seems possible to me that creatures that are denied their biological imperative can develop some very aggressive behaviours. If 80+% of men in society are angry, I'd be a bit scared.


From the view of the gene, no compromise should be made when facing the prospect of extinction.


I must have some screwed up genes, myself. Healthy, relatively well-off, and dare I say occasionally charming, I am seriously considering never having offspring.


I would be scared to date them. Dating partner that angry when denied what he wants means you will get abused, either verbally or physically and likely both.

And given strength difference between women and men, it is safer to be alone then with someone who is into outrage at 24 for not having partner yet.


I think people become more human the more you treat them as humans that can grow. If you see others through the lens of risk assessment, you'll surely see lots of risk.


Yeah, but I can treat people as human without putting myself in danger. I can treat a guy as human without entering romantic relationship.

Romantic relationships don't cure anger nor violence. But, women who believe so are the typical domestic abuse victim. They date guys thinking they will change them and blaming themselves for abuse.

I mean, abuse is a real thing (and both genders do abuse). But someone who can get so angry and is physically stronger is double bad news.


> Romantic relationships don't cure anger nor violence.

I can honestly pinpoint you the day my life changed forever for the better. It's the day I lost my virginity. That one moment where I felt myself being accepted made me realize I was good enough.

Ever since then, I'd become less angry, more confident, more loving of myself, more charitable towards other people's insecurities instead of positioning myself higher in some imaginary pecking order.

I am far from being truly non-judgmental. I am also still very competitive with others, not un-occasionally in some mean, vicious way. But I no longer feel completely rejected by women, which, for some reason, mattered so much before that very moment.

Obviously, I am just one person and my anecdote may mean nothing to the breadth of your experiences. But I can't agree with this one sentence.


Had you had "very aggressive behavior" before then and turned into non aggressive person by single sex act?

That would be a.) unusual and not confirmed by any study b.) honestly still too much risk for an individual to get into relationship.


I would definitely say I had a much more toxic attitude towards others before. I recall back then fantasizing about violence, either self-inflicted or unto others.

While I'm sure there may be many studies that illustrate the continued abusive behaviour of men who have romantic relationships, I ask myself whether it's possible to show how many men would've been otherwise angry and aggressive had they not experienced acceptance earlier in their lives.

And perhaps I have not specifically addressed your point that it is risky to date known angry people. And I am sure you are right about that.

The point I was making however is more about being a very young man, the insecurities felt as a teenager, the moments that can change the trajectories of their lives, before they become truly angry men. I only hope that other insecure young men could experience that kind of relief from anxiety as I did.


Yes, there is continuity of abusive behavior in relationship. In general, close family members and dependent people gets to experience that most. Note that this is not exclusive to male abuse, female abuse exists too and is more likely to happen to dependents and family.

If you see sex as only proof of being accepted (as opposed to friendships and other social contacts), then I can see how it eases anxiety. It does not sound as if woman in question was important here.

If it is about physical aspect, prostitution sounds like fair way to solve it. If it is about philosophical or social aspect, making self worth less dependent on sex would help there.

The worth given by woman when having sex is however only illusion. Women deciding on having sex with you or not is not actually deciding on your worth. The range of reasons for sex varry quite a lot, from positive to negative, from emotional to practical or to physical or just routine. But actual decision making is not scoring of worth.


I can't help but detect some cynicism in your response.

Who it was with mattered. Being desired mattered. Buying it would have felt empty for me.

> The worth given by woman when having sex is however only illusion.

This isn't the first time I've encountered this idea. I'm sure everyone is exposed to the idea from a very young age. As a teenager, I would've accepted it rationally but rejected it emotionally. Being told something like that would be as effective as telling a hormonal teenager to stop being so emotional.


You're saying even if the sex was objectively bad in comparison with what you had later you still felt this way?


I am sorry, I don't really understand your question. Perhaps you could rephrase it.


Why isn't the first time you had good sex more memorable to you than the time you lost your virginity? (It is rare they are the same time)


Ah I see. Luckily for me, it was good the first time so I can't speak to your question from experience.


Your view is extremely narrow and inconsiderate of the feelings of the men who've been excluded. Indeed, @wutbrodo's comment when a population of young men doesn't have the opportunity to form families, _they_ become the powder keg is correct. Having a powder keg in society definitely causes suffering.


I've noticed this among the young men in my extended family and friends. One guy is model cute, and goes out on Tinder "dates" whenever he wants (new girl weekly, at least). He had a live-in girlfriend, but with an open relationship.

And if I were one of these women, I'd probably do the same thing. Even if you can't marry a hottie, if you can have sex with one a few times, that still sounds like fun.

The other guys, who are "normal", and certainly not homely, just don't go out at all, even at what I would consider to be a fairly advanced age. I suspect some are still virgins. Instead, video games and pot.

Since I am homely, this is exactly what I'd be doing if I were young now, given society's recent barrage of disparagement towards men. And especially if I knew someone like adult-me who got absolutely crushed by alimony.

I foresee no particular solution. I think we'll just follow Japan and South Korea. Other societies with different norms will simply displace us. Which I think is fine.


> And if I were one of these women, I'd probably do the same thing.

My wife works with men and women who have a hard time finding relationships, so I have a bit of insight here.

You are completely wrong about what women want. You think that women are the same as men, but you are wrong. Women do not want a 'hottie'. I can tell you those women who go out with that 'hottie' have no self esteem, and are not happy. They end up at my wife's practice.

Men want a hot wife, because looks are very important. Women want a successful man, who can take care of the family, and is strong enough to protect the family. Women most of the time describe it as a "real man", but this does not translate well in what men thing a "real man" is.

Most women do not want a player, and only end up with one because of the low self esteem.

The good news is that men can influence their chances with women a LOT (and no this is not becoming a player). The sad part is that most men are too stubborn to accept this reality, and much rather blame their failure on women, other men or something else externally.


I think this misses the way inclinations change over one's lifespan. When you say women aren't interested in looks, well, not as much when they're 30 or 35. But when they're 16, 20, 24, they're a lot more open to a fun weekend, especially when they're so close at hand. And they're perhaps somewhat inclined to believe that someone who will spend a weekend with them might spend a lifetime. Later, the ice weasels come, and they realize it's not so.

This describes several of my ex's, and indeed, they did end up in therapy (or should have). I'm sure self-esteem has a role, and I tried hard to instill that in my step-daughters, to help them do better with this (and, as Chris Rock said, to keep them off the pole).

Men also change over time, of course. But a lot of what you're missing is simply that men like me never had a clue as to what to do when we were young. Not stubborn at all--just clueless. Two hundred years ago, it didn't really matter--sheer want would make things work.

Today, we're all so well off that few women really need to pair off. And those who plan on it tend to think more that they can do it a lot later. Unfortunately, by then, a lot of men have already rotted on the dock.


> Two hundred years ago, it didn't really matter--sheer want would make things work

I think the difference historically and this is true for conservative parts of the developing world today is that parents would spend a lot of effort getting their kids into a marriage, often in a semi-ritualistic manner which involved mutual meetings of the family, extended family background checks etc. (to state my bias, I found my wife in such a process)

The result is that someone who has been through the dating process is guiding the younger generation + there is a lot of checking for compatibility dangers that could take a while to emerge in a normal dating situation. In America today this is often socially unacceptable, more from the kid's side than the parent's side. So young men often navigate the dating world with little guidance from the previous generation. I feel like the dominant message to parents these days is to stay away from their kids dating lives as much as possible, and while there is some merit to that message, it does leave the younger generation with less of a straight road to a marriage.


>Women do not want a 'hottie'. I can tell you those women who go out with that 'hottie' have no self esteem, and are not happy. They end up at my wife's practice.

Out of curiosity, how do you integrate the online dating studies that point to 70%+ of women only wanting the top 20% of men (ie. the "hotties") into your wife's practice, and what she sees from her clients?


I looked at that data together with my wife, and my analytical mind concluded that it's all bullshit with a clickbait title.

Take this for instance: https://medium.com/@worstonlinedater/tinder-experiments-ii-g... , based on 27 women, and he even says himself "Additionally, I am only accounting for the percentage of “likes” and not the actual men they “like”. I have to assume that in general females find the same men attractive. I think this is the biggest flaw in this analysis".

So yeah, basically you can throw away any conclusion there. Other articles are based on this "study". But maybe there are new studies that I haven't seen yet.

I have a problem with the word "hottie" because we men know very well which girls fall into this category. But because women have way more and different dimensions to select on, a male photo model doesn't have as much attraction as you would expect.

Men in that sense are really lucky, because we can boost our attractiveness pretty good. Women on the other hand, if you don't have the looks, there is only so much you can do with makeup.


The OkCupid blog has robust data. Have you looked at that?

Not saying that these studies are not flawed, but the simple fact that Tinder and most of online dating is basically a looks based popularity contest hints at a problem for the median folks.

There's always a lot of new users, there are always a few young new and attractive users. So the majority just waits for the one. So the hot ones pair off, leave the platform (or come back and pair off with other hot ones, then repeat), but the Average Jane and Joe just waste their time and money while having their self-esteem crushed.


Have to check out the OkCupid stuff. Thanks for the tip!

> the simple fact that Tinder and most of online dating is basically a looks based popularity contest hints at a problem for the median folks.

Why would you think real life would be any different?

There are a lot of parameters in the dating game, bug if played right, you can definitely find success on these platforms.

Best example is one of my wife's customers: a 50 year old, average looking woman, who has success on Tinder. No kidding!


IRL you have more than looks, more than one (at best two) static pictures. Plus online dating is very passive. There is no chance to hear someone's voice, to flirting with someone, to make them laugh. (Sure, there are online similars to them, but they are far from equivalents.)

For starters IRL you rarely have the density of "encounters" that you have on Tinder, so you have a lot more resources invested in meeting people, this likely increases how much time you spend on one person at a time.

Regarding the 50 year old women. She has success on Tinder? Why is that no kidding? Or you have left out a "no"?


> Plus online dating is very passive...

Like you say, it is impossible.

I made that mistake when I started, until I realized that there is only 1 goal: get her on a date. And while other guys were asking "how was your day?" every few days, I asked them out after a good chat, and shortcutted it.


They don't "really" want them, they just "want" them because of low self-esteem seems to be the approach of matching that particular theory to reality.


The advice to the normal guy in this scenario is to stop smoking pot and hit the gym. That will make up for a lot.


Sure some of one's attractiveness can be improved with fitness, but for everyone there's some amount of genetic lottery there; if you don't have it you ain't gonna get it.


That's a good story to tell someone to make them give up. Maybe that's why it's being spread. Keep most guys down, sitting at home alone, so the few in the (not-so) know can have all the chicks to themselves...


Right but you are the product of a previous mating and kids to resemble their parents so the odds of that are low.

If you are a single guy looking for women the best places to live are NYC, Vancouver and parts of the Midwest with major hospitals. In those places there are more women than men. Yes you can work in SV but there’s way more guys then gals there.


For me, the gym is as much about self reflection and self mastery as physical improvement. It helps on many levels.


I had to read that twice to get that "self reflection" didn't mean admiring oneself in the mirror (at the gym). :-)


If you assume that the system is that a woman select the most attractive man out of a pool of candidates, which seems right to me as a gross approximation, that does nothing to change the dynamics of the system. It just gives more chances to an individual to the detriment of the rest of the candidates. It's a zero sum game. Just another treadmill for the everyone to run, if you mind the pun.

The systematic problem is that all developments in the last decades have made dating/sex a very efficient market that is skewed towards winner-take-all. There is zero commitment required, the pools are very large, and selection is straightforward.


That doesn't help with height, for example.


> Instead, video games and pot.

If their free time is about video games and pot, I would say they only have themselves to blame.


I generally agree with this but I think our society has somehow morphed into a place where you have to actively and mindfully avoid this lifestyle. Video games, binge watching, pornography, fast food, pot, alcohol, etc. The drugs of the modern world are pervasive and this lifestyle is not stigmatized whatsoever even though it is a recipe for depression.


> mindfully avoid this lifestyle

Whoa! I never thought of this, and it seems particularly more apt of an observation with the trend towards legalizing marijuana, and even further, decriminalizing other drugs like mushrooms and LSD.

On top of that, games have adopted more and more gambling-like and actual features, and have long been playing on peoples' addictive natures by design.


I don't think you should club together drugs like LSD and mushrooms with pot. I've known nobody addicted to LSD or whose lives are significantly negatively affected by them. Pot, yes, despite the propaganda that it is not addictive, does seem to have a component of addiction and people who take it regularly can't seem to stop talking about it.


I’m clumping them together because there has been a renewed interest in clinical study to treat things like pain and depression, as well as a trend to decriminalize them. Sorry about your friend.


There's women who do that too, it's just the connection is missing


Those women are dating, or at least having sex with, different guys.


> There's women who do that too, it's just the connection is missing

Because both video gaming and pot smoking is a solo or a very small group activity where the slots get taken by pot smoker's and video gamer's buddies.


Okay, but when looking at societal outcomes, pointing the finger of blame isn't particularly useful.


"My product is great. I do not understand why the customers are not buying it. It is not exactly helpful that I'm told my marketing sucks"


Sadly, this feels intuitively correct. I've heard a formalization of the prisoner's dilemma called the IQ shredder [1]. Whether it's a reach or not is something I am still debating internally. At the very least, I do sense that I, as someone who's working in tech and experience relatively stable upward career momentum, there's only so long I can "hang on" to my yuppie lifestyle before it works against my end goals to reproduce and have a family. While there's a playbook for what got me here, there's not one for what's going to get me to the next step.

```

Mr Lee said: “[China] will make progress but if you look at the per capita they have got, the differences are so wide. We have the advantage of quality control of the people who come in so we have bright Indians, bright Chinese, bright Caucasians so the increase in population means an increase in talent.”

How many bright Indians and bright Chinese are there, Harry? Surely they are not infinite. And what will they do in Singapore? Well, engage in the finance and marketing rat-race and depress their fertility to 0.78, wasting valuable genes just so your property prices don’t go down. Singapore is an IQ shredder.

```

[1] https://www.xenosystems.net/iq-shredders/


IQ Shredder is a dangerous concept, because it displaces "human worth" onto _individual_ fertility and offspring. If we follow that ethics a little further, we might find ourselves fully devaluating any religious practice which has an element of chastity (because it's dysgenic, obviously!), as well as condemning homosexuality along similar lines.

The fact of the matter is that, psychologically speaking on the level of a single individual, we do not seek offspring so much as pleasures, and sex and child-rearing are some of life's greatest pleasures. But that does not mean they're the exclusive sources of pleasure available in any culture, and I would warn against putting too much faith in any such notions.


> it displaces "human worth" onto _individual_ fertility and offspring

I think the word "worth" could be an anthropomorphization. I read the concept through the lens of survivability. Hypothetically, a societal identity which does not ensure biological reproduction could be evolutionarily outcompeted by one that does. Even, or especially by a fertility cult. I remember this being one of the central, disturbingly dystopic outcomes that Mike Judge's Idiocracy tried to address.

A lot of progressive technocrats look at model citizens with technologically harnessed upward mobility. They observe and want to enable global movement towards this. But if the environment that enables the financial prosperity of these model citizens also disables their ability to reproduce their way of life, how does it successfully compete in "the marketplace of ideology" against opponents who out-produce them by default? Wouldn't that be a local maximum? Without some kind of mechanism in place to address that, the progression has no guarantee of continuing. And this could lead to the dystopic scenario outlined in the film.


> Hypothetically, a societal identity which does not ensure biological reproduction could be evolutionarily outcompeted by one that does

Ah, this is pretty close to the same claim that "JayMan" made once when explaining to me how "gay people shouldn't exist, evolutionarily speaking" (because, of course, the gays would be outcompeted genetically by non-gays, and the identity wouldn't persist, right?)

Let me tie it into this:

> if the environment that enables the financial prosperity of these model citizens also disables their ability to reproduce their way of life, how does it successfully compete in "the marketplace of ideology" against opponents who out-produce them by default?

Because ideologies don't exist in a market, they exist within an ecosystem. To put it plainly: it doesn't matter if the finance guys don't have kids, because the finance guys aren't themselves breeding more finance guys. The fact that the role of "finance guy" exists at all is a product of the broader cultural ecosystem, which wont disappear even if all the extant finance guys do.

But all this is beside the point. Land's post lays out a sociological model (viewing the world as a detached observer) and then, through sleight-of-hand and careful selection of metrics, converts it into a measure of value (how one views one's life as an individual).

If your sociological frame makes the world look like a dys/utopia, consider that it might be a flawed frame, at least if your goal is to see clearly.


I think you missed the point the parent comment was making.

Obviously "finance guy" would not only breed other "finance guys". However if the society consumes a majority of its productive members without insuring their reproduction, then they'll be selected against.

> Ah, this is pretty close to the same claim that "JayMan" made once when explaining to me how "gay people shouldn't exist, evolutionarily speaking" (because, of course, the gays would be outcompeted genetically by non-gays, and the identity wouldn't persist, right?)

That's such a weird position and obviously made by someone who doesn't understand evolution, so I'm not sure why you're bringing it here. It's the equivalent of saying that diseases/cancer/handicaps couldn't exist because "evolution". That is not what parent is talking about when underlying the risks of hindering reproduction for a whole class of citizens.


> if the society consumes a majority of its productive members without insuring their reproduction, then they'll be selected against.

This assumes both that productivity is heritable and that the nature of productivity is fixed. The former seems contingently true (assuming the latter), but the latter seems false, as the forms of work considered "productive" tend to shift over time.

The other Problem is the implicit assumption that "[economic] productivity is good", which is an entirely different class of argument than above.


Thanks for the thoughtful reply. I think your subtle distinction between the market and ecosystem is key here because they don't fully map 1 to 1. And you're correct that the market is downstream from the ecosystem itself. But with that said, I'm not sure that I agree with the spirit of your argument.

> the gays would be outcompeted genetically by non-gays, and the identity wouldn't persist, right?

I'm not sure that's historically accurate. The connection between pederasty and upper caste aristocracy goes back to Greek civilization, if not earlier, and is its own kind of a cultural reproduction mechanism that seemed to have elements of both mentorship and romance. Without a doubt, it's something that I still see today in elite circles.

> The fact that the role of "finance guy" exists at all is a product of the broader cultural ecosystem

I think I'd beg to disagree -- not with the product of the ecosystem part, but with the idea that it's cultural rather than socioeconomic and caste based. And maybe this comes back to my point earlier, which is a friction point that maybe both the IQ shredder concept and this article fail to account for, which is a certain degree of lifestyle dynamism.

That is to say, is that finance guy stuck as a finance guy forever? Or does he eventually accumulate enough wealth before moving on to a separate phase of his life, one where he can have a family of whatever size he wants with the best partner he can find that will take him? Because if that's the case, then maybe both the IQ shredder and Idiocracy argument perhaps only serve a useful function when referring to the lower and middle class, and fail to account for the upper class. And this, too seems to make intuitive sense to me: even as we see the middle class hollowed out, the upper class in America (and maybe across the world) continue to see increased prosperity at levels never before seen in history.

> If your sociological frame makes the world look like a dys/utopia, consider that it might be a flawed frame, at least if your goal is to see clearly.

I think the warning against dualistic frames is fair to keep in mind. But if you have a non-dualistic frame, that "the future is here, it's just not evenly distributed" then I think that it's equally fair to warn that a frame which conflates an observed scenario to as a dystopic frame rather than evidence of an apoptotic mechanism could itself be the flawed frame.


> I'm not sure that's historically accurate

I mean, my point was that it's a relatively absurd argument based on a misunderstanding of evolution, as the sibling comment states.

> it's cultural rather than socioeconomic and caste based

Are castes and socioeconomics distinct from culture? (I'm working with Lévi-Strauss's definition of culture as the set of symbolic forms present across society)

> both the IQ shredder and Idiocracy argument perhaps only serve a useful function when referring to the lower and middle class, and fail to account for the upper class

If we consider it in this frame, it seems roughly equivalent to the "brain drain" idea that made the rounds a decade or so ago. Only difference being the ethical valence of the arguments.

> evidence of an apoptotic mechanism

Is this a valid metaphor? I'm unsure myself. I don't find myself agreeing with Spengler and co, but I also don't think I could muster a strong argument against it on demand.


"IQ shredder" simply describes what is happening. You may not like what it describes, but calling it "dangerous" is odd. Is describing water as wet also dangerous?

>condemning homosexuality

There are worse things than condemnation. In Somalia, homosexuality is punishable by death. Somalia also has a birth rate of 5.93. The future is populated by those who show up. If you want gay rights to continue to exist, then you should want LGBT-friendly nations to have a birth rate higher than replacement.


See my post below: "Land's post lays out a sociological model (viewing the world as a detached observer) and then, through sleight-of-hand and careful selection of metrics, converts it into a measure of value (how one views one's life as an individual)."

I find this reprehensible.


I'm a high earner in tech like I imagine many people on the forum, and also like many people on the forum my life is super busy. My last relationship ended really badly took like two years to get over it and then I was suddenly really busy and I've kept being really busy as my titles have changed and my personal interest in starting my own business has increased etc etc and now we're in a pandemic.

I'd argue that there's a whole group of young guys who are just so freaking busy and not really in a place where they can meet a bunch of single women, like I don't even know where I'd put a significant other in my life at the moment.

I guess that compounds because I don't drink really so I'm not going to bars and my personal hobbies are reading, hiking and coding and trying to get a company off the ground so It doesn't really lend itself to meeting people either.

At this rate I've been single for 4-5ish years and if if my life and the world keeps up I can see another 5 years ahead but hey I make more than most people I know, got a senior title pretty young and if I can make it work I'll be running my own business before 30.

Edit: And I'll add I've been told I look like Ethan Hawke and can be pretty funny in the right mood so I'd say I'm doing alright in looks and personality.


The amount of men in your position is much lower than you are thinking. You're in a bubble.

The US male populace has maybe 10% of people in similar roles such as yourself. Not many men earn $100k+/yr - period. Most who do are well past 30. If you're in FAANG making $300k+, then you're part of the 1% of /all/ men (not just men at your age). Are you going to say that the top 10% of earners overrepresent the amount of people who aren't having sex? Seems far fetched to me. Having a high income is a marker that many people look for and prioritize.

Being a high income earner doesn't mean you're busier than other people either. I see many people making $250k+/yr and have regular 40 hour work weeks where I see people below $100k/yr pushing 60+ hours frequently.


Oh for sure I recognize my position is a minority, and no that's not what I'm arguing. Even people making much less than I do typically have goals they want to meet though and I wonder how many young guys in general are burning away at their goals at the expense of their time for physical non-commital encounters. Especially and not in-spite of the fact its very tough to get by in general right now.

Edit: And earning a lot doesn't entirely correlate with how hard you work, I agree. I learned selling yourself the right way makes it a lot easier. Which is why for people outside of my bubble as you put it I imagine they are grinding even more.


> I don't even know where I'd put a significant other in my life

I think we're talking about non-commital encounters, not "relationships" like you're referring to. (Not that there's not a time element involved to nurture that part of one's life!)


> I'd argue that there's a whole group of young guys who are just so freaking busy and not really in a place where they can meet a bunch of single women ...

I'm not sure this is new? I also wonder how large is the group is, and whether this category is as applicable outside of tech (which is a small fraction of the population in my mind). I suspect it's not that large, and groupings by other categories discussed elsewhere in these comments are more relevant.


I definitely think it applies to the finance industry as well. Basically all of my friends are divorced men in their 40s because their spouses got sick of being married to no one.


The point poised above was that "Wealthy successful attractive men are having all the sex on demand and that's making it harder for the rest"

I offered a counter-view to that thought. Though I guess you could argue the point above isn't that new either. Wealthy attractive men have always been thought to have more sex or have more opportunity to have sex.


But. Do you want sex? And if/when you do how hard/easy it is for you to get it? And especially how easy it is for you to have sex with basically whoever you wish (eg attractive folks)?

Because it's very likely that there is a few percent of the population who are good looking, wealthy and prioritize having lots of sex, and they virtually occupy a much larger share of their target group than their group's size.

So there's a disparity. And lot of men want to emulate that lifestyle, which leads to them constantly not finding appropriate partners.


I would suggest that the be apart is that they don't marry out tradition/social norms anymore. They just stay single, because it's more okay to stay single for longer + no desire for kids


I think these things are fair points for relationships, but the post is about sex in general, and busy schedules don’t tend to affect hook ups much.


There's a large amount of debate over this issue. Whatever your opinion may be, the study doesn't seem to agree with it:

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle...

Look at the chart for number of sexual partners reported by men and women by year. Honestly just read the study. It has data on many of the issues people are speculating about, including porn and what not.

If you were to believe that a small number of men are getting all of the sex at the expense of women, you would expect it to take a more bimodal shape with much fewer men getting 1 partner, some more getting 3+ and more getting 0. Instead we see the number of men getting 3+ declining over time and a big shift from 1 to 0.

Another important insight is that the rates of getting no sex drop significantly once you're a little older. Compare the 18-24 year olds to the 25-34 year olds to older. Looks like 25% drops down to 15% drops down to 5% in the most recent year.

Thinking of the male people I know who didn't get sex during college, it was mostly because they were busy doing other things or insecure.

It's entirely possible for women to favor only the top few men on dating sites but for this not to control the narrative of who gets sex and who doesn't. I'd go as far as to say it's likely it does not.


As minority man of color my own experience as well as my friends experience are absolutely in line with what OP has stated. Although I am well-educated, successful and reasonably good-looking, I've a hard time dating. OTOH women of my ethnicity do pretty well in dating market. The only way to explain this phenomenon is hypergamy.

Everyone I know in real life (from different genders and ethnicities) acknowledges this. But for some reason these issues spark a fierce debate online. I am not sure what I am missing here.


> The only way to explain this phenomenon is hypergamy.

This statement just does not mesh with the study suggesting the proportion of people getting 0 sex has risen by about 5 percentage point (eyeballing the chart) from 2000 to 2018. Doing some bad-and-wrong-but-making-a-point statistics, if you're getting 0 sex in 2018, the majority of your likelihood of being there was already present in 2000. I'm sure it's harder being a man of color, but I'm also sure it was harder being a man of color in 2000 as well.

It's totally possible for dating markets to favor a few individuals and for that not to explain this trend. The reason it sparks debates online is because some individual recount their struggles getting dates as evidence for huge impacts on what dating is like for the majority of males. It doesn't resonate with those who have "normal" sex lives.


I don't really understand why it isn't consistent with the study. It's entirely possible that people spend a lot more not having sex and waiting for a better partner because these huge dating pools have such a high variance.

So people see that there are very favorable targets on the platform, and their perception is skewed, they start to reject the average matches, they want the best.

So less sex, more hoping for the best.

Am I missing something?


According to the study, it's, at most, 5 percentage points of the population over the last ~2 decades suffering from this. 5% is a lot of people, but it's hardly an overwhelming effect, is likely driven by other well studied factors like economic stress.


What minority category is this?


This is exactly what you would expect if the OP's hypothesis is correct. 3 partners really isn't that many. The study should have looked at something like 0, 1-5, 5-19, 20-99, 100+ or something like that. It is not capturing the top end at all.


This is only true if you believe the people who used to be getting 3+ are now getting 0. This is unlikely to be the case because we don't see the number of people with exactly 2 partners going down.


If some of the 3+ people move to 2 and some of the 2s move to 1s or 0s, then you would see the same exact thing.

The data in the study you linked to its entirely consistent with what the OP suggested. We need to know what is happening at the tails to determine whether what you're claiming or what the OP is claiming is true. However, OP has a lot of anecdotal evidence in their favor. The study only provides data for the left tail of the distribution, but we need to see the right tail to know the full story. You could be right, but the OP's hypothesis is also supported by the data.


No that's not a possible explanation. Look at the charts for women. 80% of women have just a single partner in a given year and 60% have regular sex every week. This hasn't changed over time. For a hidden exponential right tail to explain this, you would need to believe that women are overwhelmingly switching into weekly, committed relationships with a small number of men and no others. You would also need to believe that these alpha males are bedding all of those women weekly. That doesn't make logistical sense, and isn't the story people are trying to tell either (that a small number of men are doing a different woman every other day and keeping them satisfied and off the market).

These alpha male type men may exist, but they're a drop in the bucket compared to well documented factors like worsening economic conditions.


> instead there's a winner take all effect where a small number of men are having a lot of sex with a lot of women

If true, I wonder how much of that is due to self-selection by men who aren't having sex. Having once upon a time been lonely and bitter, I know that men often end up in positive feedback loops that strengthen their not having sexual partners - due to the attitudes they develop towards women.


Regardless of the real quantity, society will blame all sexless men for their lack of sex because to acknowledge any other reality would mean that something is wrong with how we are dating.


App dating doesn’t work well for a whole lot of people — it‘s really bad if you’re fat, trans, disabled, or even just socially awkward. App culture is about looking for a reason to swipe left rather than finding someone you like and accepting their flaws. It sucks for everyone, it’s just easier for straight cis women under 35 who are able-bodied and of a certain size to get laid.


Appdating was already very popular in the gay scene, so i don't think it only works for straight women under 35..

Furthermore, I think that these apps mostly reflect reality. In the offline world fat people would have a hard time finding dates too. Don't you think?


The gay scene is very different; casual sex is far more normalized so everyone is getting laid more often. Queer dating is its own thing (I'm trans so I've dated as pretty much every gender / orientation at some point in my life). My experience when I was seen as a gay man is that it's actually hard to use the apps for "dating" versus casual sex -- so many people are just looking for sex that you'll just get your heart broken over and over again until you, too lower your expectations and stop hoping for more out of the apps.

The apps simply reflect peoples' superficial preferences. It's way easier to swipe left on a photo of a fat guy than it is to reject a fat guy who you find attractive because he is kind and makes you laugh. Personality really is most of it, but personality doesn't come through in apps.


The problem is that eventually they at least offline find someone. But on apps you can just wait a bit longer, spend a bit more time/money and hope to get lucky.

Most of the problems with online social networks and dating apps are not brand new, just a lot more severe.


> it's really bad if you’re fat, disabled, or even just socially awkward

Isn't it easier to hide these things on a Tinder profile than in a nightclub?


Not without outright lying about your appearance. People on Tinder are appearance focussed. People in real life are much more likely to look past those things. It also depends a lot of the kind of nightclub you go to.


Nightclubs also suck; they’re the meatspace version of Tinder. Go out and do things during the day, be an interesting person and you will meet interesting people. Even if you don’t, you’ll at least have a good time.


This is true! It does take up a lot of time. If you are a decent looking, interesting guy and want to get dates, take up dancing and go to a lot of dances. I recently stopped going dancing because I got too busy with more important stuff.


That's the thing about positive feedback loops. Sometimes they can be extremely negative.


I very much think this is the case — misogyny combined with low self-esteem is a huge red flag for women. Growing up, misogyny was much more acceptable than it is today; and I don’t think a lot of men understand what it’s like to be a woman so they don’t understand how widespread it still is.

Therapy helps; if you can boost your own self-esteem enough to have real vulnerability without soliciting sympathy it goes a long way to building better relationships. It also helps you see things from another perspective.


I don't have data for this but I believe that legal polygamy is a big contributor to political extremism. Sexual frustration leads to inferiority complexes that result in aggression against the norm.

As an example I see the Middle East where polygamy is not unheard of and the rise of the Islamic State or the Taliban.

Would be interesting if anybody has data on this.


Both the Islamic State and Taliban were formed by soldiers and insurgents left over from military invasions of the Middle East. The former came to prominence thanks to a lot of Bathists in the aftermath of the Iraq invasion - many were officers during Saddam's regime - and the latter by the mujahideen, who fought the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and had plenty of military hardware left over to form a powerful army afterwards.

The pressure from polygamy might have contributed to the individual motivations for some people to join those groups, but it was probably far from a significant factor in the geopolitics.


"How the Islamic State recruits young men by kidnapping girls to be their sex slaves"

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/10/13/islamic-state-re...



Not only that, lots of the IS people were in Saddam's Mukhabarat (intelligence), where either they had the social prestige to get matches or more crudely speaking, could probably grab women off the street.


Economist had an interesting article on violence related to polygamy. I'd be interested if political extremism is a subcase of a violence or something orthogonal. https://www.economist.com/christmas-specials/2017/12/19/the-...


Weird that all the anonymous Pakistani names they chose are Hindu or Sikh. A Hindu judge is rare but possible. Polygamy for Hindus was abolished in India in the 1950s but grandfathered in (the word for co-wife, sotan, still exists but I've never heard Muslims use it), but Pakistan just passed a new Hindu Marriage bill and I don't know the status of polygamy under it.


My understanding is that one of the main reasons religion was so important to the success of societies was it’s control over sex.

What worked best for most places was monogamy. With a partner men are more likely to use their energy for their family instead of antisocial tendencies.

This isn’t my theory; I think the technical term is “enforced monogamy” if you want to find data.



No. That extremism can be explained by oppressive sexual culture in general, not only polygamy (which is not as widespread as people think).

You can’t even date. Many marry young for that reason.


You can't separate the factors like you're trying to do.


And more powerful nations slicing up and occupying your country willy-nilly for centuries?


Not centuries; since Sykes Picot. The sexually repressive culture and extremism predates SP by centuries in fact.


The 20th century was probably the most consequential one in terms of political extremism in the world and there wasn't a lot of polygamy or online dating happening in Europe at least.

Japan and South Korea, two of the most stable and conformist countries politically are notorious for their low rates of sex, particular among young men.

This sounds purely like folk psychology to be honest, people just love somehow attributing sexual motivations to just about everything. To me, this feels like plotting skyscraper construction against sex rates in Asia and then concluding that male architects are channelling their phallic energy into architecture, you can really apply this to everything


Just research the rise of incel subcultures and there is your evidence.


>I wouldn't be surprised to see a serious push for legalized polygamy in a few years.

I mentioned the same thing to my wife, only half-joking. Many of her friends are single, professional women who don't want to date down. The problem is that all of the men they're interested in (millionaires in their 30s and 40s) get married quickly after they signal they're on the market. It seems to me there's presently an "inefficiency" in the market where they could take on a second (or more), willing wife if only it were legal.

It might be dangerous to society to have so many permanently single men, but the status quo appears to negatively impact educated women.


As I enter my thirties, this dynamic has started to shift dramatically. All the women I know who haven't settled down by their early 30s are having crises about their inability to find a compatible mate, just as their physical attractiveness is declining precipitously[1]. As the priority shifts from sex/light companionship to deeper relationships, women's position in the modern dating market goes from very good to very bad: most of the age-30ish men I know who aren't in longterm relationships are dating attractive 25 year olds, while knowing that there's a deep bench of women their age that they can get dates (and sex) with relatively easily.

This sudden fall of a cliff, which only takes a few years, has to be extremely disorienting for those women that don't enter committed relationships by that point in their life (or those who exit them). It's also very predictable, but it's hard to blame twenty-somethings for living in the moment and frittering away their most attractive years having lots of sex. Assuming that marrying down is a better fate than remaining a spinster, it's not clear to me how these dynamics balance out.

I know this all sounds rather harsh, but it's an inevitability of looking at the "market dynamics" of a matching problem.

[1] I don't say this to be insulting, it's just a fact of male attraction in the same way that the massive skew towards the tiny top decile is for female attraction.


I'm not following you here.. Why would the attractive 25 year olds date 30 year old average men when they can have sex with top men? Your average 30yo men having access to women near his own age makes sense but not for younger women, since they seek the top 10% at that age.


Because this isn't a simple binary; not every good-looking 25 year-old is going to find the single-richest person, the friends I'm talking about are all rich and successful (and have the related qualities that signal money and class without looking nouveau riche)[1], and the girls they date are good-looking but not perfect 10s.

On top of that, the subpopulation of 30 y/o women I mentioned are the ones who are still single at 30. There are a good amount who didn't fully go the casual-sex route and skewed more towards finding a relationship: those are the type of people that my friends are dating. (Though even within an individual, it's not like people make an all-or-nothing decision between flings and deeper relationships: it's just a preference, and an ongoing decision about where to put one's energy).

As you allude to, I slightly switched the topic of conversation from "average men" to "my rich social circle". What I was getting at is that these same people, despite being pretty rich in their early 20s too, now have almost the same situation that women in their early/mid-20s have: lots of power in the dating market. The implication, to me, is that men who are more average in desirability will have correspondingly less luck but still experience that shift in power, as women their age who have fallen off the desirability cliff "settle" for them. I've noticed the same myself: I'm rich and I'm told I'm funny and reasonably good-looking, but I'm also not very tall; I did a little dating in my early 20s, and was in a long-term relationship for much of my 20s, but the last few years (late 20s), is the first time I've had a pretty decent clip of getting openly hit on by women without putting any effort into it.

I don't want to make this sound like I have it all figured out; it's just something I've noticed in my own experiences and the experiences of all my friends, and I have a model that explains it reasonably well (and comports with the broader science on sexuality that I'm aware of).

[1] It doesn't escape me how this sounds, and if I'm being honest, I find class-signaling to be pretty gross. But it's just a reality I've observed in the corner of the dating market that I have visibility into through my own and my friends' experiences.


> Why would the attractive 25 year olds date 30 year old average men when they can have sex with top men?

They wrote a song about it.

   City girls just seem to find out early
   How to open doors with just a smile
   A rich old man

   And she won't have to worry
   She'll dress up all in lace and go in style
   Late at night a big old house gets lonely
   I guess every form of refuge has its price
   And it breaks her heart to think her love is
   Only given to a man with hands as cold as ice
   So she tells him she must go out for the evening
   To comfort an old friend who's feeling down
   But he knows where she's going as she's leaving
   She is headed for the cheating side of town

   You can't hide your lying eyes
   And your smile is a thin disguise
   I thought by now you'd realize
   There ain't no way to hide your lying eyes

   On the other side of town a boy is waiting
   With fiery eyes and dreams no one could steal
   She drives on through the night anticipating
   Because he makes her feel the way she used to feel
   She rushes to his arms
   They fall together
   She whispers that it's only for awhile
   She swears that soon she'll be coming back forever
   She pulls away and leaves him with a smile

   You can't hide your lying eyes
   And your smile is a thin disguise
   I thought by now you'd realize
   There ain't no way to hide your lying eyes

   She gets up and pours herself a strong one
   And stares out at the stars up in the sky
   Another night, it's gonna be a long one
   She draws the shade and hangs her head to cry
   She wonders how it ever got this crazy
   She thinks about a boy she knew in school
   Did she get tired or did she just get lazy?
   She's so far gone she feels just like a fool
   My, oh my, you sure know how to arrange things
   You set it up so well, so carefully
   Ain't it funny how your new life didn't change things
   You're still the same old girl you used to be

   You can't hide your lying eyes
   And your smile is a thin disguise
   I thought by now you'd realize
   There ain't no way to hide your lying eyes
   There ain't no way to hide your lying eyes
   Honey, you can't hide your lying eyes


They should probably just be realistic, then.

I have friends who had the same attitude but them they realized there's like, a few dozen men in their city who a) make more than them b) are single c) are sexually interested in women d) are attracted to them e) they are attracted to.

They now OK with "dating down". This is just a result of women being able to get good jobs too.


The status quo doesn’t negatively impact educated women, it impacts educated women who refuse to date men of lower educational attainment.


I don't think it's just about education. It's multi-dimensional and more about overall status, which is a combination of innate factors like looks/intelligence/humor and things like education and job prestige/salary.


Either way, women deciding to sleep around for a decade and then complaining that there are "no" men left is a problem of their own design.


Casual sex is quite different thing to having a relationships. I dont believe the group who has a lot of casual sex with different partners settle for polygamy typically - relationships are about a lot of other things than sex, while hookups are mostly only aboit sex.


> Given the push to eliminate virtually all traditional norms associated with sexual activity

I wonder if this is actually true. I also wonder what your idea of being less 'traditional' means. Having multiple partners, but going from it being done in secret (i.e. cheating) to it being consensual (i.e. swinging)? Going from a president getting a blow job in office to a president who is on his third wife, embroiled in stripper lawsuits while in office? Gay relationships being legal?


> It'll be interesting to see what happens in 5-10 years

What is already happening in rich parts of Asia. Tons of pissed off women with no kids who want to raise your taxes.


> who want to raise your taxes.

Why do they want to raise taxes?


You'd have to ask them. But when you look at their voting patterns it's hard to deny it.


> Why do they want to raise taxes?

Takes 2 incomes (or a rich income) to buy the luxuries most women demand. Most women are still not as wealthy as men.


what luxuries do most women demand?


Women would rather not be poor.


How is that different than men?


I don't want to be poor either. It's not that avarice is what motivates most women. They'd rather be happy with someone who is there for them than rich and lonely. But as a practical matter poverty sucks too.


+ a huge rise in fertility tourism, continued rise of single mothers

https://www.scmp.com/lifestyle/health-wellness/article/30412...


Also interested, why do they want to increase taxes? Any sources or articles about this?


It's probably just a reference to the well known phenomenon of women being more likely to vote left wing than men. Women with no family look for something to give them meaning and end up with political activism.


Can you elaborate more on this TLDR?


>Basically sex is following the pattern of wealth. Men as a group aren't having less sex, instead there's a winner take all effect where a small number of men are having a lot of sex with a lot of women while a large number of men are having little to no sex.

Might I offer an observation? As women have become the greater number of degree achievers and have entered the work force in greater numbers, combined with the availability of birth control, they simply have greater agency than in the past and thus can be ever more selective. So this statement on wealth cuts both ways for men and women.

Secondly, ask any single female friend about their dating experiences. It's very clear there are many men who really have no idea how to interact with women in the context of a health, adult relationship.


I think the first paragraph of the parent may be correct, but I think the second paragraph is inaccurate and unnecessarily discouraging to young men who may be reading this. Here is my experience as a happily married man:

1. Throughout my 20s and early thirties I was very, very unsuccessful with dating. I was shy, and lacked self-confidence. At age 32 I had had one partner, and a period from 27-32 with no relationships of any kind. I did go on a decent number of bad first dates during that period.

2. In my early thirties, I continued to be shy, not conventionally attractive, etc. But I became comfortable enough with myself to keep at dating consistently and to realize that rejections often were not about me (or didn't say anything bad about me). I continued to be well intentioned, sincere, conscientious, and generally decent. I came to understand who I was and what I was looking for better.

3. After many bad first dates, and a few unsuccessful medium term relationships, I met my wife. She is conventionally attractive. It happened that we were perfect for each other in other ways. We had similar financial values, we had compatible senses of humor, we both liked camping and backpacking, and we could just talk and laugh together endlessly (we still can to this day).

4. We dated for a year and half, got married, had kids, and have a spectacularly fortunate alliance 10 years in.

So, if my 32 year old self had read this thread, I would have been agreeing about 'apex predators' and legalized polygamy and the general hopelessness of everything.

But, I think there are many, many women who would love to meet and marry exactly the kind of decent, sincere, intelligent, thoughtful men who frequent HN. You just have to stick with it. You have to go on a lot of bad first dates. You have to be patient and not overly critical as you get to know people. You have to be looking for someone who is a really good match for you overall, and to whom you provide a lot of value.

My sincere advice is this: My 20s and early 30s were pretty awful in terms of dating. But if you meet someone wonderful for you at 33, none of that will matter in the long run. All that frustration will fade away, and you will be happy. So keep at it, even if dating really sucks most of the time.


I think this actually lines up with what the various stats being posted say though. Once people hit their 30s, the situation tends to reverse. Men tend to have more solid careers by their 30s and are more attractive because they are more stable, women realize they are on a timer if they want to even consider having a child.


What exactly does conventionally attractive mean, would anyone want to be called that, heh


I’ll take getting called attractive any day thanks

Do we have to get assigned scores now?


If you've been on a dating app for a while, you already have


Marriage is also becoming stratified by economic class. Poorer Americans used to marry at the same rate as wealthy Americans, but that changed in 2008. Since then poorer Americans are significantly less likely to get married than their richer peers.


It's also interesting to see the fertility rate by income. Basically only bottom 20% and top 1% of US are above replacement rate. I can't find the graph I wanted to show this, but this one is pretty close: https://twitter.com/cschmert/status/993934031174725632


Lots of people who are not in the top 1% and bottom 20% are in cities with severely constrained housing supply


Yeah, that's probably a big part of it.


> I wouldn't be surprised to see a serious push for legalized polygamy in a few years.

If history is any guide this will likely lead to widespread social problems if it takes off.


I just want to point out how so many of the responses to this thread (and the thread itself) are much more a lament of "others are doing X and I am not" - and jumping to conclusions as to why that might be. I also want to add that so much going on here is based on really thin anecdata about how other people are fucking on tinder and you aren't.

I don't see many people here talking about how they engaged in intentional self improvement.

You aren't owed a significant other, or sex. Nobody is. If you're not getting it, it's not because someone else was born hotter than you.

Stupid, ugly people fuck all the time.


>You aren't owed a significant other, or sex. Nobody is.

It's so interesting how whenever any man talks about romantic problems he is met with this feminist mantra "you aren't owed sex". Do you honestly think that's what we're talking about? If someone talked about how much it sucks that they don't have car and need to walk to work would you tell them "you aren't owed a car"?

I think people regurgitate this phrase because we can't ever acknowledge that sexual empowerment results in peoples needs not being met. It must be their fault, they must be sabotaging somehow. They must be sexists.


I think your comment is fair - and if I thought there was a dialog happening on this thread, I'd be happy to engage in one, but I've read through a lot of the threads, and I'm not hearing much about why people think a scientific study validates their personal feelings of loneliness, or what conditions are meaningfully impacting that loneliness.

I'm hearing mostly outward complaints about what other people are doing to them, and that's mostly why I left my comment - a counter point.

I do get that it's not so simple as "it's their fault" and I do appreciate you making that comment, it's worth thinking about this next time, but it's hard to always do when you don't feel like everyone is coming to the table with open minds and good intentions.


So you're basically ignoring all the data and studies regarding this issue and still decide to handwave the whole thread. We're talking about the impact of large percent of men not having sex on society and you're response to this is:

"Stupid, ugly people fuck al the time" and imply this is a non issue


Sorry, I should have had a clearer thesis:

I'm not seeing anyone proposing to explain the impact, or what they have done to offset any impact they perceive it is having on themselves.

The other person who replied to me pointed out that it's not fair for me to assume folks haven't already tried a lot - so that's fair. I'll go back to:

I'm not seeing the discussion here being about the results or the impact, except to lament their own personal woes, and to hypothesize things like a coming age of polygamy.

I'll come with some depth when others do, but I guess it's fair that I should probably have not bothered commenting in the first place.


Why is it not the other way around? i.e. rich females getting a lot of males.


Studies have shown that rich females are less willing to "date down" than males are.


Care to point to these studies?


Men aren't sexually attracted to money at remotely the level women are. Surely you're aware of this? If not, there are plenty of studies pointing in this direction, plus an evolutionary explanation, plus mountains of anecdotal data that anyone with exposure to other people has.


men don't care how wealthy their sex partners are


I’d even argue it goes in the other direction to a degree. I’ve witnessed many relationships where the woman makes more money and it creates tension. Obviously, not in all cases but It does happen.


Indeed, and even if the woman does not care for it, the man might feel lesser of a man because of it.


On the other hand, if a man is happy in this situation, he's being called out as Gigolo :)


Palimony is a thing, but what makes these males stick around?


Ask some men you know.


I wonder if polygamy is more of a loophole escape from sexual prohibitions. That is, people wanted to have sex with more partners but could not outside of marriage.

In an age where access to premarital sex is plentiful, I wonder what motivations, if any, there would be for these first-class men to marry more than one. Multiple marriages, it seems to me, would be more of a legal and financial liability.


>It'll be interesting to see what happens in 5-10 years as the individuals in this cohort begin to settle down and marry and have children.

Hint: they continue having a lot of sex with a lot of different partners outside the marriage.

As you said its winner takes all.


> I wouldn't be surprised to see a serious push for legalized polygamy in a few years

Why? Who do you think would benefit from this?


I'm seeing a trend in the replies here of the parent that might show an implicit bias towards a particular feeling of powerlessness in getting sex + companionship. If this is you, then know the following: in most cases, one is able to get an abundance of intimacy [1]. I know this because this was one of my life goals in my mid teens to early twenties. It was my first big achievement in life, for me anyway, I worked hard at it.

Don't believe me? Checkout Sean Stephenson (RIP). If you think he dated the women of his dreams because he's wealthy, my experience suggests it's his charisma. I've learned that a huge part of it can be trained. The funny thing is, no one would call me charismatic, yet, I found my voice and a way to expose my personality in an attractive enough way to the women I want.

I simply know the pain and if I can help other people not experience it, yea that would be an amazing use of my time.

The average woman judges me to be a 6 by looks at best. My target group of women almost never praise me for my physical features but my personality instead.

Judge for youerself: I'm tall, super skinny (most often the skinniest), have a very atypical face, so yea not in the top 1%. It took me 5 years to learn what I wanted to learn. And now I'm now I'm happy in that area of my life. For the past 8 years, I've had no issues related to lack of intimacy.

If you need any dating advice, I'm by far not the best dating coach, and I am by far not the best seducer. But I'm a HN'er so, and I struggled a shit ton with this and learned a lot of it consciously. Also, my peak moments have been borderline insanely awesome. So there's that.

Shoot me an email (see my profile) and I hope I can help a bit, any gender is welcome to email (I've seen some overlap in issues and approaches). In most cases, I've noticed, I can't help [2]. I wish I could share online resources, but it's a bit of a mine field since it really depends on how you learn and how you perceive the world.

Or just do what I did and simply Google "how to get a girlfriend/<word_for_intimate_partner>" and go on a wild adventure that will lead to your future love life. When learning this on your own, remember to be: respectful, full of empathy (both cognitive and affective empathy [3]), playful, confident and kind (preferably, in that order). I know, it's a lot, I never said this would be easy ;-)

[1] Intimacy being defined here as a mix of sex and companionship. Also, I say "most cases", since I know how terrible I was, but I also know that there are people even worse than me. In most cases, these people wouldn't be capable of applying any sort of logical thinking, so I suspect this isn't you.

Also abundance: the feeling of "yep, I'm good :)"

[2] I'm not a coach, just someone who wants to help. What I am struggling with when helping my friends is that: in general my friends didn't dare to experiment enough on their own. In some cases, this was even the case when I was able to give them exact counter evidence, tailored to every whim. So yea, if you at least aspire to want to be able to self-experiment, I might be able to help somewhat. I've done it :D

[3] Cognitive empathy: you're able to understand why someone goes through a certain situation by understanding it logically. Example: someone falls, therefore they must be hurt, therefore they will appreciate help.

Affective empathy: you're able to understand why someone goes through a certain situation by understanding it by feeling their pain. Example: someone falls (you feel it as well), by feeling their pain, you can feel that the person landed hard on his knee and by looking at their face and "feeling" their facial expressions, you feel their are in a huge distress. You now know that you need to calm them down and make sure their knee is cared for.

^ These two examples are quite simplictic.


> My target group of women almost never praise me for my physical features but my personality instead.

Women do this in general because mentioning physical attractiveness among women is taboo. This is why a personality-focused, zero pictures version of Tinder would utterly fail. Do you think women would leap to such an app, finally being able to judge people by their wit and conversation skills and empathy? Of course not. They want photos.

> Judge for youerself: I'm tall, super skinny (most often the skinniest), have a very atypical face, so yea not in the top 1%.

Height gives an enormous advantage. The rest I can't comment on, but I suspect you're underselling yourself. If you're white and have a conventional appearance (even if not chiseled or model like), you're much more acceptable to a woman (and her friends, and her family) than a 5'6" Indian guy.

What I've noticed is that any guy can fall to rock bottom, but not every guy can float to the top. There's a lot of privilege to go around. When people try to take credit for everything in their life, whether it's business/dating/athleticism or whatever, it's just trying to deny privilege and ascribe some fairness to a world that we all know is not. I know I'm privileged in some ways that hot guys are not. I mean Tucker Max is in therapy today.


> Height gives an enormous advantage

That's why I mentioned Sean Stephenson.

> than a 5'6" Indian guy.

I know a pretty small Indian/Surinamese guy (used to be a Dutch colony). Surinam is a bit of a melting pot, FYI but his family line has remained relatively purely Indian. In all fairness, he's good looking. What he also has: the best accent and voice tonality I've ever heard. He says it's his biggest strength and most of that is totally teachable. He taught the best Dutch accent I've ever heard entirely himself and he lowered his voice.

So yea, I do have those advantages, but they are overcomeable. It's simply a lot harder. Also, you don't need to rise to the top. One needs to rise to a level that they feel content with, and in most cases that isn't the top.

With that said, I had the advantage of being tall and white. That's true. Not that it mattered, compared to the amount of disadvantages I had, but I do agree that it would be harder as a starting point if those 2 points also would've been against me.


Sean Stephenson is supposed to disprove a repeatedly-demonstrated, aggregate trend? I know a black person who has never experienced racism too.

Don't get me wrong, I believe that you overcame challenges. We all have. I bet 90% of your dating experience is determined by how you were born, not how you have chosen to behave. Your main advice is "be tall, be white." Your post follow the classic formula:

BRO. Bro. Physical attractiveness doesn't matter. I may be a [6'1" white guy / mid-20s female in a large city] but I can confidently tell you that it's entirely possible to be wildly successful on dating sites if you're ugly. It's all about your personality and how funny you are and how kind of a human being you are. You know what's really unattractive? Your INSECURITIES. If you could just be confident then people would be swarming your profile with unsolicted visits and date offers.

I knew this one guy in high school who looked like a shorter and Indian-looking Danny DeVito with tertiary syphillis but he had an amazing demeanor so he bedded one different girl a month every month. Oh what about the other 50 ugly Indian guys? I dunno I only remember this one. I'm sure they must have been successful too.


My point is that it can be done. That's all.

All the non-white friends that I have are way better seducers than me and are just as happy in their relationships. The vicinity of Amsterdam is pretty multicultural, so any open-minded person ends up with a good chunk of multicultural friends. Currently, I'd say that my friendships are 30% Dutch, 20% international (white) and 50% non-white. They're almost all male though.

My closest friend is non-white and when I met his extended family (all non-white as well), I could tell you that all family members were better seducers than me. That also includes for all the non-white people I have in my own extended family.

This means I'm the worst seducer of all the non-white people I know within my vicinity which basically includes 1.5 families and a few friends. Most of them are better looking than me (it's not that hard), shorter and more socially capable. They all get better results.

And yet, the rhetoric that the winner gets all and therefore you get nothing is simply not true. If you want to work for it, then the winner gets all and you get what you want despite not being the winner.

I've approached over 10000 women. My success rate in attracting them is about 0.1%. I'm more than content with that. People that don't have success and haven't at least done 1000 approaches, they haven't put in the work. It's brutal, for me it was. So a shit ton of motivation is needed.

I've seen a few cases (white only) who did put in the work. All of them had really low intelligence, frankly speaking and I have the suspicion that they required some professional help with that.


Wow. Respect, I guess, but I definitely never had the motivation to approach 10,000 women. That would indeed be brutal as all hell, and it's hard to see women as being worth that sort of trouble.


> and it's hard to see women as being worth that sort of trouble.

I now see it as mining. You're mining for an amazing intimate connection.

This idea doesn't have to pertain to only the intimate realm of human connection, I think it's a good idea to multiple forms of human connections.

It also depends on your background and beliefs. I was 100% convinced I'd die alone as a virgin around the age of 80. So I was willing to do whatever it takes.


It's not hard. The whole "pick-up artist" thing did work. The classic book, by the way, is "Scoremanship", by Frank Grey. He was a salesman who'd had formal sales training, and realized that standard sales techniques could be repurposed for dating. That's less silly than the later stuff like "The Game".


I found it hard, but in all fairness, I haven't used sales tactics that much.

I also didn't do The Game or The Mystery Method. I basically took another dating book's question "how can you find the women of your dreams with just your personality?" and took that as far as I could.

Long story short (for me personally): use assortative mating theory to its fullest and most extreme.

With that said, I have met other people who found it easy. It's definitely not an uncommon experience.

Thanks for the book recommendation! That looks like such an old book (1969!), I'll take a peek.



Is this true?


yup


Incels call this "hypergamy": https://incels.wiki/images/thumb/c/c8/C57f84720fff59cf295616...

Although misogynistic incels are obviously abhorrent, I believe that they're probably right in their assessment of their own social status. It just seems like rather than trying to better themselves, they turn it into outward hatred.

I've also seen calls by right-wing thought leaders for "enforced monogamy," which obviously seems authoritarian, rapey and wrong. However I do think monogamy and commitment a good moral values to cultivate. Even though there's a lot of "slut-positivity" now, the people I know who live that way seem much less happy, fulfilled and stable.


Enforced monogamy doesn't mean what you think it does. Catholics, for example, have enforced monogamy as part of their culture. Most Western cultures have (or did until recently) similar norms. It's talking about cultural pressures, not literal force. Even the wokest cultural groups have their own forms of "enforced" norms.


Surely, you and GP can differ on what you mean by “enforced monogamy.” Certainly some countries do enforce it with literal force, with premarital and extramarital sex being punishable by, in some cases, death.


The person I replied to was relaying their understanding of "enforced monogamy" as used by right-wing people. In that context, enforced monogamy is not being used to describe the things you are describing. Of course, you are right that what you described does occur in some places.


Making the world flat and hyper-connected seems as if it leads to a winner-take-all outcome.

Example: putting commerce online created the Amazon monopoly. It's easier than ever to buy from any store you want online, but paradoxically everyone goes to Amazon. This is mostly because everyone goes to Amazon, therefore virtually any product is available there. Only niche products require you to shop elsewhere.

So we've put sex online too: Tinder, dating sites, etc. It has never been easier to "shop" for potential sex partners. Is this paradoxically resulting in a narrowing of sexual pairings?

I wonder if the paradox can be understood if we look at biology. Imagine the Earth were a uniform environment with a uniform climate, no mountain ranges, no rivers, etc. I imagine that a single species would come to dominate each niche. There might be one large predator, one large ruminant, one bird of prey, one burrowing rodent, and so on... or maybe two or three, but not more than that. You'd probably have a biodiversity collapse.

No boundaries = no diversity?


I think your last point is absolutely the central paradox of global society. The goal seems pretty clear: brutual transnational neofeudal capitalism with a happy, politically correct face becomes the default universal position that defines the dynamics which subcommunities allowed within that framework interact - eventually, the whole planet becomes California.


Minus the California quip, I don't totally disagree. Globalism as implemented is turning out very different from what anyone hoped.

Returning to the sexuality issue, I do think there's more than one thing at work here. I think the narrowing of male sexual options has multiple causes: economic strain, easier "shopping" when dating, easy access to porn that distorts peoples' ideas of what sex is actually like, and men growing up under-socialized.

I see the latter a lot in the incel phenomenon. I literally saw a comment once to the effect that "real women are nothing like they are in Anime." So these guys are disappointed that women are not like cartoons. That's insane.

Also didn't mean to suggest that narrowing of dating is "womens' fault" any more than the triumph of Amazon in the shopping space is the "fault" of consumers. What we're seeing here are emergent behaviors in a complex system. Nobody planned this and nobody is really even choosing it. I don't shop at Amazon because I want them to be the CHOAM company from Dune. I shop at Amazon because its convenient.


Have you considered that those who prefer monogamy and those who prefer sleeping around / being a "slut" simply have different personalities?

Just because your monogamous friends are happy and fulfilled doesn't mean your slutty friends would be happy if they lived the same way.

Humans are varied.


Of course, I'm only speaking from my own experience, but I've seen what's being described here in real life. There are big winners and big losers.

Talking to my Tindersex-addicted friend about his behavior - which has been very destructive to his own life - he believes that it comes from a place of trauma as a coping mechanism, not simply a lifestyle preference. In a similar vein, many women I know who only had uncommitted relationships in their twenties are now in their mid 30s and interested in settling down but are having extreme difficulties in finding a partner.


Ok, maybe this is where our disconnect lies -- I also have friends who consider themselves "sluts" and have a lot of sexual partners, but for most of them it's coming from a very intentional place and brings them a lot of joy.

Note that these same friends also have stable, fulfilling (non-monongamous) relationships in their lives.

I think that's why I bristle when I see people equating slutty behaviour with lack of fulfillment or trauma. I think that sex absolutely can be an unhealthy coping mechanism; but so can alcohol, yet many people manage to use alcohol in a fun and safe way.

I think that presenting commitment and sluttiness as the only two options is harmful, and it keeps people in destructive sexual patterns because they don't think they can have broad sexual exploration at the same time as serious relationships, so they avoid relationships altogether. It takes a lot of work, but you can have both! And I think that the more we become comfortable with that as a society, the healthier we will be.


"Poly" people, who maybe number in the tens of thousands, aren't really relevant to the primary discussion - the vast chasm between winners and losers in modern coupling culture - who many number in the tens of millions, and in the hundreds of millions globally.


>Just because your monogamous friends are happy and fulfilled doesn't mean your slutty friends would be happy if they lived the same way.

This isn't backed up by research which seems to suggest that the more sexual partners you have, the worse your relationships are in practically every dimension.


Do you have any specific citations?

This is an area where it's very difficult to show cause and effect (since you can't exactly do a randomized controlled trial) so I would be skeptical about drawing conclusions that lowered relationship quality is caused by having more partners.


This was linked elsewhere in this thread: https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2018/10/sexual-pa...

Non-causal and uses marital happiness as a proxy for actual happiness though.


If sex and wealth are both things that are desired by people and unequally distributed, then “sex redistribution” will likely becomes a political concept the way that wealth redistribution is today.


Bizarre as it seems, this has already been a topic of political discussion:

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/02/opinion/incels-sex-robots...

http://www.overcomingbias.com/2018/04/two-types-of-envy.html

https://www.cosmopolitan.com/politics/a20138446/redistributi...

It has become a genuine struggle to separate reality and parody.


It's really not that crazy of a concept, and it was attempted by Solon:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solon#Solon_and_Athenian_sexua...

> Solon established publicly funded brothels at Athens in order to "democratize" the availability of sexual pleasure.

Whether fact or ficion, this discussion has been going on a long time.


The incel theory that 10-20% of the men are having sex with 80% of the females is not supported or even contemplated by this study. I don't come to hacker news to read about hypergammy or Chad even if people use different words.

I don't think this entire discussion belongs on this site.


A lot of those top 10% men are going polyamorous, and so you have an uptick in complaints from women about finding a monogamous guy. I've seen it on Tinder and Reddit. The thing is, the vast majority of men are still monogamous. They're just ignored and unacknowledged by most women.


> complaints from women about finding a monogamous guy

Yea, it's a bizarre dynamic: women who are looking for lots of casual sex are fine, but the women I know who are looking for deeper relationships are continually frustrated. It seems pretty stupid on its face, but female attraction is really complicated, and if the women in my friend group are any indication, they don't quite understand how it works either[1]. Especially once they reach their thirties and get hit with the double whammy of declining attractiveness and a higher desire for deeper relationships.

That is to say, I think the "unmarried" qualifier in the headline is hiding the fact that the status quo is pretty dysfunctional for both sexes, and this seems to be driven primarily by the environment's incompatibility with female mate choice (combination of frictionless matching and monogamy norms).

[1] It's not quite an insult to say that female attraction is more well-rounded in many ways than male attraction is)


> Especially once they reach their thirties and get hit with the double whammy of declining attractiveness and a higher desire for deeper relationships.

You mean their biological clock is ticking to get kids?

> female attraction is really complicated

They indeed look for more aspects than men. But I think it can best be summed up as:

1. successful man 2. man sweet enough to take care of the family 3. man hard enough to protect the family from the outside world

I think there is still confusion about these points: successful does not equal rich. A born-rich loser will have a harder time than a hard working entrepreneur that might hit jackpot some day.

And they are not looking for jerks. They are looking for jerks to the outside world, and sweet to them. Basically a man who can and will protect them and their family.

But of course, I think we can all agree that women are more complex than this ;).


> You mean their biological clock is ticking to get kids?

Partially, but the fact that the men I know are more likely to want deeper relationships too suggests that it's not entirely due to that. Aging changes preferences: most people also have fewer, closer friends as they age too.

> And they are not looking for jerks. They are looking for jerks to the outside world, and sweet to them. Basically a man who can and will protect them and their family.

I didn't mention anything about jerks.


the vast majority of men are still monogamous

A third of men aren't monogamous -- they're oudengamous.


I can't tell from the article, but it sounds like they did not take into account wealth in their study, but are inferring a pattern based on other studies on wealth/sexuality, or am I missing something here?

One can't simply say "women prefer men with higher socioeconomic status" because it sounds right, and I'm not saying that this isn't studied somewhere, just that when making conclusions about a study, if that factor wasn't included in the study, we shouldn't assume it then is one of the conclusions of the study and start connecting dots with other studies just because it feels right.


I don't think the patent was saying the two are related, just that they follow the same pattern.


Particularly, most kinds of inequality tend to follow a Pareto distribution.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pareto_distribution


I don't think the commenter you're replying to was correlating to wealth directly. Rather they were drawing a comparison to wealth: Just like a few people control most wealth, a small number of males have the majority of sexual interactions.


>>Men as a group aren't having less sex, instead there's a winner take all effect where a small number of men are having a lot of sex with a lot of women while a large number of men are having little to no sex.

Isn't this normal? Males in the animal world fight to death for the right to pass down their genes.

Women don't care about all men getting sex...everyone wants the "best" possible mate for themselves to have sex and/or kids.


It is normal, but the only successful societies have been the ones that resolve this issue in such a way that most men can find a sexual partner.


> Males in the animal world fight to death for the right to pass down their genes.

They actually don't. Such a thing would be on the rare side in animal world.

The only exception would be spiders where he risks being eaten. Other then that, they either have basically hookups or woo lady while ignoring other guys.


>>Other then that, they either have basically hookups or woo lady while ignoring other guys.

Only if "other guys" didn't have their own plans. A quick search:

Bees fight to death over females

http://news.bbc.co.uk/earth/hi/earth_news/newsid_8354000/835...

Male Bison Fight for Harem Rights https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L4eOhuLDfeU

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harem_(zoology)


I said rare, did not said never. And typical animal sex does not involve fight for death among males. I don't mean typical as in slightly over 50%, but as in overwhelming majority.

Animals are way more likely to fight over food and such. Sex, not all that much and they have not that much reason to fight over that.


what you said is written above.

>>Animals are way more likely to fight over food and such. Sex, not all that much and they have not that much reason to fight over that.

Everything boils down to sex, pass down those genes and insure that your offspring make it.


You don't know much about animals, right?



It’s a joke. I followed that account and follow her new one now.


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