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THEORY'For Women Only' - Men are Visual - Chapter 7 (self.RedPillWomen)

submitted by girlwithabikeEndorsed Contributor

First, check out the introduction post here before you get started. Also, if you haven’t read the summary for Chapter 2 on Respect, Chapter 3 on Insecurity, Chapter 4 on Thought Processes, Chapter 5 on Providing, Chapter 6 on Sex you may want to do that as well. This post will assume you’ve read them.

Disclaimer: this is a summary of Chapter 7 in the book For Women Only not my own thoughts, feelings or research.

Let’s get started.


Tl;dr: It’s impossible for him to not look and hard to forget what he’s seen.

 

When we say that men are visual, this means that men are instinctively pulled towards live and recollected images of women. As a woman it might be hard to understand this. Regardless of whether or not they want it, the wiring of the male brain creates a instinctive pull to visually consume the image of an attractive woman. These images can be live or recollections and are just as alluring either way.

This comes up for men in two ways. The first is when a woman who is dressed to show off a great body. This woman is an eye magnet and it is difficult for a man to avoid noticing her. Even when he he doesn’t look, he is acutely aware of her presence. The second is through mental image files that every man keeps. Even when an eye magnet woman is not present every man has a mental file of images that can intrude without warning or be called up at will.

 

What every woman should know about the visual wiring of men.

Both looking and remembering are related to a type of brain wiring that is almost universal among men (some women may have it too, but not most).

A man’s brain structure and chemical mix wire him to be visually oriented. This makes him more likely to perceive attractive images as sexual. It triggers an initial reaction that is instinctive and automatic. From there he can chose to apply willpower on how he will behave.

The response comes from the part of the brain that controls unconscious processes such as digestion and breathing. It is the part that lights up when you are hungry and see a buffet. In this scenario, you will notice and be drawn towards the food on a gut level then your conscious thoughts and will power kick in from a different part of the brain. Clinical studies show these same processes at work when a man sees a woman dressed in an attractive manner. He will be automatically drawn to her before having the conscious thought to pull away.

This is hard to understand because women do not activate the same part of the brain at the sight of an attractive man. When we see an attractive man, our thinking centers light up. And we think “he’s an attractive man”. From the onset, ours is a thinking response. This makes it difficult for women to understand the automatic and reflexive nature of a man’s response to sexy stimuli.

 

Compulsion One: A man can’t not notice

From the surveys: Imagine you are sitting alone in a train station and a woman with a great body walks in and stands in line. What is your reaction?

98% of men respond that they cannot not notice. While only 4% say that they will openly stare and drool, 76% are drawn to sneak a peak and 18% are acutely aware that the woman is there and struggle not to look. Only 2% of men have no reaction.

These results are the same across demographics. Nearly all men describe having difficult not looking when they are exposed to a sexy woman.

 

Compulsion Two: A man has a mental photo file of sensual images

We know from chapter 6 that men think about sex a lot. What we might not realize is that they aren’t thinking about this in words (“I’d like to have sex tonight”) rather they have a sensual picture in their head.

These pictures can be of us, their loving wives and girlfriends but not always. Sometimes, these can be images that are burned into their brains from what they’ve seen out in the world.

At times these mental pictures can be memories of you. Other times they are memories of a woman he saw walking down the street three weeks ago. Still other times it can be a Playboy magazine he read three months back. One man claimed to have an unending supply of pictures in his head stretching back to his teens.

From the surveys: Many men have a set of sensual images that rise up or can be conjured up in their minds, does this apply to you?”

Only 25% of men say that they do not have a set of mental images. The remainder claim that they do have those pictures in their head and they can either be recent or from years gone by. A full 87% of men say that these images regularly pop up in their minds.

This is so different from how women experience the world that the author’s husband didn’t believe her when she told him this doesn’t happen to her. He thought she was embarrassed to admit the truth, and couldn’t believe her until a group of women shared her denial. We truly are wired differently!

 

Why these pictures pop up

There is a shortcut for certain types of memories that bypasses the thinking centers of the brain. It is traced to the amygdala which is the part that acts as a repository for the memories that are tied to gut level responses. The instinctive reaction to a provocatively dressed woman is exactly the sort of gut level memory that is stored away in the amygdala. These visceral images are able to bypass thinking and simply pop back up in his mind.

We, women, might experience something similar with emotions which is what our brains are wired to process. If you’ve had emotional memories pop up unexpectedly (or unwantedly) then you understand what these picture-memories are for men

Now, imagine what the sex saturated culture must be like. The act of living today can be a minefield for a man who doesn’t want these images in his brain or a smorgasbord for a man who does. Husband listened to this chapter with me and jumped in at this point:

Yes! It’s all over. I mean, YOGA PANTS! And at the gym, some women don’t even wear underwear!!

Men told the author that these sexual thoughts or images barge into their brain all the time. Of course, we want to know what "all the time" means and one man describes it like this:

If you are talking about a teenage boy all the time means all. the. time. It can be every few hours and last for a half hour before the thought passes. For a 20 something man it is still pretty frequent. Once men reach their 30s an onward it is less frequent and more often triggered by something. Once those thoughts are triggered, the man has to make a great effort to tear them down if he wants to. The longer he entertains the image, the harder it is to get rid of.

These thoughts are both normal and have no bearing on a man’s devotion to his relationship.

 

How it works

Step 1: For every man sensual images & thoughts arise involuntarily. Men have the thoughts whether they want them or not. If the stimulus is there so is the response. It might not even register to the man that he had the thought until a second or two after it occurs.

Try this thought experiment to understand how it works.

Imagine walking into a classroom and seeing these words on the board: Don’t Read This

I tell you, “no really, don’t read it, just look at the letters”. Did you not read it?

That is what it’s like for a guy. His brain reads “Nice Body” just like you read “don’t read this”.

 

Step 2: Every man’s involuntary physical impulse is to enjoy the feelings associated with the thoughts and images. Because men are hardwired to be sexual hunters, every thought & image associated with that pursuit comes with powerful feelings.

When a sensual image enters a man’s mind, it brings a rush of temporary pleasure. This initial physical sensation is involuntary.

The author relays a story. When her son was 4 years old, he stopped in front of the Victoria Secret store and he stared in awe. When his parents asked him what he was doing, he pointed and said “I like those ladies, their bare tummies make my tummy feel good”. At four, he was obviously too young to understand sex, but he still had a male brain and thus the same reaction as all men.

A married man describes the physical sensation to the author:

When an image plays on a man’s brian or he gazes at an attractive woman, it’s not just pure lust. There is a thrill there. A man can go back to that adrenaline rush by entertaining those images.

The feeling is both enticing and difficult to resist.

 

Step 3: Every man can make a choice to dwell on the images and thoughts or dismiss them. Many men make the decisions to strike down these unwanted mental pictures. The biggest factor in whether a man made this choice was whether or not he regularly attended religious services. Because religion’s demand mental purity, those men disciplined themselves to stop looking.

 

Reassurances for the wives and girlfriends

  • ONE He probably wishes he could reserve his visual nature just for you. Most men said they enjoy being visual but would reserve it entirely for their partners if they could. They don’t love the distraction that today’s images regularly throw at him.

  • TWO He can see a beautiful woman without sexual temptation. The temptation to look often isn’t sexual. A lot of it is about admiring beauty.

  • THREE Every man is different and discipline makes a difference. Each man experiences a different level of temptation. For some it’s a small nuisance and for some it’s a stumbling block. Have you ever struggled to not eat a piece of cake? Some women will have an easier time turning away while others will have an internal struggle.

  • FOUR It’s not because of you. Some of us may wonder, What is wrong with me? Am I not attractive enough? This truly is something that every man experiences and has little to do with you. Love your husband as a man. This is a part of what makes him a man. Even if you were a model, your husband would still experience these images.

  • FIVE. This doesn't impact his feelings for you. The biological temptation has no impact on a man’s feelings for his SO. There is no competition between his wife and the woman who catches his eye. It is truly just an observation of the other woman.

 

What’s a woman to do?

In short, nothing. Do not be alarmed and try to change your man. Do not hound or punish your man for his wiring. Just as we expect our men to not dwell on these thoughts, he should be able to expect us to not dwell on our insecurities. If you feel worry rising up remember that this is one of element of male-ness. You will not find a man who isn’t wired this way.

A churchgoing man speaks: “I wish my wife would accept the struggle I have with lust and encourage me rather than freak out and conclude the worst about me. The more I can reveal my weakness without being judged or accused or without a major crisis in our relationship resulting from my transparency the more I know I am loved for who I am and not for who she wants me to be”.

Do we love the men in our lives for who they are or for who we want them to be? Do we want to support our men or change them?

The only person you can change is yourself. If you find your man noticing other women, handle it with maturity and grace even if it makes you uncomfortable. It is destructive to become hurt and suspicious when it’s not warranted. Be a support and a soft place to land. If you aren’t safe to talk to, he won’t talk to you.

Notice and appreciate his efforts to not look. If you pay attention, you’ll see how often he is exposed to attractive women and sexy images. Love him for the effort he makes not to look. Sometimes, commenting on the woman (”Hey, she was pretty”) will relieve his stress at the effort not to notice.

 

The author, coming from a Christian background, recommends that now that you understand how men view the world, you consider respecting men by dressing in a modest manner. Men find it hard to believe that women don’t realize what they are doing when they dress in a provocative manner. Because our brains are not wired in the same way, many women do not realize. The imagines in men’s heads come from somewhere and we can help not provide those images to men who do not want them. We may think we look cute but he’s instinctively picturing us naked. Religious men in particular struggle to keep their thoughts pure and you in a short skirt isn’t helping.

While I don’t personally ascribe to her beliefs, I do believe that if you are going to dress in a sexy and attention grabbing manner (and ladies this includes anything from downright trashy to the pencil skirt that hugs your butt at work), then you cannot get upset with your man for taking a peak at another girl on the street.

 

Love and understand your man rather than letting your own insecurities punish him for something he cannot control


[–]rosegolddiamond 25 points26 points  (16 children)

This was really eye opening. The last part definitely made me think. In school we had a dress code for the sake of not being “distracting” but now I understand how involuntary it is for men and I can have empathy for them being distracted. Can y’all imagine if hashtag freethenipple actually took hold?! Haha.

[–]girlwithabikeEndorsed Contributor[S] 15 points16 points  (15 children)

It had me thinking about issues in an office between men and women. I hadn't even considered school dress codes but you bring up a really interesting point there. I don't know how we resolved these issues - as someone who could never find appropriate shorts as a teen, in a school with no AC, I certainly disliked the dress codes. But if we have a little more understanding of how young men are reacting, it sheds a whole new light.

Honestly it makes me lean more towards split gender education.

[–]loneliness-incEndorsed Contributor 8 points9 points  (4 children)

Honestly it makes me lean more towards split gender education.

I'm all for that. I wrote a post here a while back advocating for it and boy did it get people angry.

[–]girlwithabikeEndorsed Contributor[S] 4 points5 points  (2 children)

You'd probably find The War Against Boys an interesting read if you haven't come across it already.

[–]loneliness-incEndorsed Contributor 1 point2 points  (1 child)

I heard of it but I haven't read it yet. One day...

[–]girlwithabikeEndorsed Contributor[S] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

One day...

Yes, I currently have a backlog on Audible, Kindle and my personal library.

[–]Wolfssenger 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Western culture as a whole is very attached to the idea of egalitarianism. On a surface level your proposal seems to infringe upon that, but specializing education to be more accurate and efficient is hardly an affront on that end after a bit of analysis.

The idea that two groups can be roughly equal but not identical is one that is still in it's infancy, slowly being cultivated in communities such as this one.

[–]rosegolddiamond 3 points4 points  (9 children)

We didn’t have AC either! And boys got to wear shorts obviously so I remember thinking what’s up with the double standard? But honestly girls weren’t interested in their legs. Which makes me think the whole movement about men learning to control themselves from these distractions is just another form of trying to change them. Split gender I think would solve a lot of problems but would it start others?

[–]girlwithabikeEndorsed Contributor[S] 6 points7 points  (4 children)

And I certainly don't want to change men but it's even worse to try to control and change boys. How awful must it be to be told you must control something that is literally as uncontrollable as digestion ... when you are 14.

I don't know if split gender education would start problems. I think it should be an option for parents that want to go that route while still providing mixed schools for parents who do not. I'm reading "The War Against Boys" by Christina Hoff Sommers. She says that there are poorly done studies that have traction which indicate mixed schools are the way to go. Other reports show that gendered education works better for both boys and girls. In these cases, girls perform better in math and science without boys in the room and boys perform better in english without girls in the room. She's been dismantling gender fallacies for decades so I'm inclined to believe her interpretation.

My biggest question would be how that impacts socialization between the genders.

[–]loneliness-incEndorsed Contributor 0 points1 point  (3 children)

My biggest question would be how that impacts socialization between the genders.

Having grown up in an all boys school while my sisters went to an all girls school while also having plenty of contact with kids from other schools in public settings (such as the community pool) - a comment I heard a lot from many different people throughout my school years is - 1. How much more mature the boys and girls from the segregated schools were. 2. How much more respectful they were of the opposite gender.

[–]girlwithabikeEndorsed Contributor[S] 2 points3 points  (2 children)

That's good to hear. I'd guess that it means parents must be more proactive in getting their children out to socialize during non-school hours. As an introvert, that sounds exhausting :-P

[–]loneliness-incEndorsed Contributor 0 points1 point  (0 children)

No. Not necessarily. These social interactions can happen on their own without parental intervention. If your kid lives in this world and veers out of their bubble from time to time, they'll interact with other 😀

I too am naturally an introvert. I still got plenty of socializing outside my own school.

[–]loneliness-incEndorsed Contributor 1 point2 points  (3 children)

Split gender I think would solve a lot of problems but would it start others?

Such as?

IMO and experience, boys and girls who attend all boys and all girls schools are better developed as children and young adults.

[–]rosegolddiamond 0 points1 point  (2 children)

Like maybe having no idea how to deal with the opposite sex. Idk. I don’t have experience in the subject

[–]Guywithgirlwithabike2 Stars 4 points5 points  (1 child)

Point 1: Children that go to sex-segregated primary schools still learn how to interact with the opposite sex; it's not like we sequester them on an island for 18 years or anything like that.

Point 2: It's not like the current arrangement has been working out for intersex relations, so perhaps a change is in order.

[–]loneliness-incEndorsed Contributor 1 point2 points  (0 children)

In my experience and observations - teens who grew up in and attend segregated schools, tend to be much more respectful of the opposite gender than kids who grew up in and attend mixed schools.

[–]loneliness-incEndorsed Contributor 10 points11 points  (8 children)

Another post in this series!

When we say that men are visual, this means that men are instinctively pulled towards live and recollected images of women. As a woman it might be hard to understand this.

I hardly ever met any woman who truly understands this.

This makes him more likely to perceive attractive images as sexual. It triggers an initial reaction that is instinctive and automatic. From there he can chose to apply willpower on how he will behave.

As you go on to explain - this reaction is on a carnal level. Like a starving person walking into a deliciously smelling restaurant.

Likewise, a man exposed to provocatively dressed women, will experience such an internal reaction. That's why it's called provocatively dressed, because it's a way of dressing that is meant to provoke.

Looking at it this way, we can now see that the overwhelming majority of men practice extreme self control in this area on a regular basis.

These pictures can be of us, their loving wives and girlfriends but not always. Sometimes, these can be images that are burned into their brains from what they’ve seen out in the world.

Attractive women also inspire imagination in men (search YouTube for - the power of lust). Therefore, it isn't only fixed images that they've actually seen that's playing in the male brain. There are also imaginary scenarios that are based off of images that they've seen.

In fact, it can be argued that porn primarily taps into this. They play a scene and the man masturbates while imagining that he's the one banging the porn star.

For every man sensual images & thoughts arise involuntarily. Men have the thoughts whether they want them or not. If the stimulus is there so is the response. It might not even register to the man that he had the thought until a second or two after it occurs.

It's practically impossible to notice it sooner than that.

The author relays a story. When her son was 4 years old, he stopped in front of the Victoria Secret store and he stared in awe. When his parents asked him what he was doing, he pointed and said “I like those ladies, their bare tummies make my tummy feel good”. At four, he was obviously too young to understand sex, but he still had a male brain and thus the same reaction as all men.

Anyone who has or had a 4 year old boy and has paid close attention, will have seen similar things. Sadly, many little boys are punished and/or shamed for the reaction itself when it's the action that follows that needs guidance. Feeling like a monster for having a reaction to attractive women does no good for anyone. If you have a little (or big) boy, don't shame the actual desire and sexual drive. Instead, guide him on how to control and properly channel this drive and desire. Obviously, this guidance is best if primarily administered by your husband.

TWO He can see a beautiful woman without sexual temptation. The temptation to look often isn’t sexual. A lot of it is about admiring beauty.

Eh. Sometimes, sure. Like admiring an elegant 70 year old lady as beautiful. (My grandmother is 80+ and still beautiful and elegant. I'm sure many young men see this but it isn't sexual). When it comes to someone who is sexually appealing, it's almost impossible for such admiration to not have at least some degree of sexuality to it.

THREE Every man is different and discipline makes a difference. Each man experiences a different level of temptation. For some it’s a small nuisance and for some it’s a stumbling block. Have you ever struggled to not eat a piece of cake? Some women will have an easier time turning away while others will have an internal struggle.

It's also affected by the man's sexual satisfaction or starvation. If he's sexually satiated, it'll be easier for him to rein in the urge to diverge. If he's sexually frustrated, it'll be far more difficult to do so....

FIVE. This doesn't impact his feelings for you. The biological temptation has no impact on a man’s feelings for his SO. There is no competition between his wife and the woman who catches his eye. It is truly just an observation of the other woman.

Additionally, knowing what you now know about how primal this is for men, you can have a much deeper appreciation for your husband's choice in you as his wife. Not just a one time choice, but an ongoing choice.

Do we love the men in our lives for who they are or for who we want them to be? Do we want to support our men or change them?

Additionally - you wouldn't want him to become like a woman, would you. This stuff is part of what makes him a man just like the emotional roller coaster is part of what makes you a woman. We ought to accept the whole package in the other while minimizing the negative effects of our negative side on our partners.

While I don’t personally ascribe to her beliefs, I do believe that if you are going to dress in a sexy and attention grabbing manner (and ladies this includes anything from downright trashy to the pencil skirt that hugs your butt at work), then you cannot get upset with your man for taking a peak at another girl on the street.

Nor can you get upset when men at the office take a peak. Provocative clothing is meant to provoke. If you wear such clothing and/or speak and act in a provocative manner, you will garner male attention. It might just be from men of low SMV. Once you put yourself out there in that manner, you have no control over who will see you.

Another awesome post!!!

[–]girlwithabikeEndorsed Contributor[S] 4 points5 points  (7 children)

I keep thinking I have one more chapter left to go and there keep being more chapters. :-/

In fact, it can be argued that porn primarily taps into this. They play a scene and the man masturbates while imagining that he's the one banging the porn star.

This chapter is the most reflective of the author's Christian values. A lot of which I danced around to keep the message more universal. She intentionally skips over porn (she states this) because it's to big of an issue. I believe she has this perception because she tends to refer to these "images" as "temptations" and devotes a good deal of the chapter to praying for God to help your husband keep his thoughts pure.

I on the other hand am of the school of thought that if he's not cheating and he's coming home to me, his response to visual stimuli isn't really a problem worthy of my mental energy.

All of the reassurances...ok, this write up has a lot more of the author than me in it because I don't think this is a big deal. I recognize that other woman might, and I think that's why she dedicates as much time to reassuring women that it's not a big deal. She is however, coming from a Christian background and I think in this chapter she's speaking directly to Christian women who are concerned about purity of thoughts.

There is probably quite a bit to dissect from an RP standpoint.

It certainly puts a spin on office gender issues and metoo when considered in this light thought.

[–]loneliness-incEndorsed Contributor 2 points3 points  (2 children)

I keep thinking I have one more chapter left to go and there keep being more chapters. :-/

You did a great job with these posts.

I on the other hand am of the school of thought that if he's not cheating and he's coming home to me, his response to visual stimuli isn't really a problem worthy of my mental energy.

This is a good attitude to have, but many (maybe even most) women do feel insecure as a result of their husbands automatic natural reactions. I've been present at many a conversation where some wife rants on very emphatically about how all men need to train themselves out of such juvenile reactions.... It's good that you included the reassurances.

She intentionally skips over porn (she states this) because it's to big of an issue.

Porn is a big issue for many reasons. I think that because it's such a big issue, all the more reason to speak about it. But hey, I didn't write the book.

Praying for your husband to have purity of thoughts... whatever... if it works for her, sure. I'd suggest she work on doing her part by having a vibrant healthy sex life and let him pray to God for help with his thoughts. That's just my opinion regarding when prayer is appropriate and when it isn't but that's a discussion for a different forum.

[–]girlwithabikeEndorsed Contributor[S] 5 points6 points  (1 child)

I think the prayer thing comes down to: what else is there to do? She points out several times that you can only change yourself. I know that's a new rule around here, but that was an addition from the author not me trying to RP it up. But again, she's coming from a Christian perspective and this chapter is particularly heavy with it. The other part was "God made him this way, don't question God". Secular me translated that in my head to "He's a man, get over it" :-P

She does provide resources for porn issues. And of course she touches on it in some other places in the book. I think porn use could be it's own separate posts. There is a lot of things to discuss under the banner of "pornography and relationships". My thought is that she left it out of this chapter because she worried women would be appalled enough by what she was saying without throwing porn into it.

[–]loneliness-incEndorsed Contributor 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I think the prayer thing comes down to: what else is there to do?

That's why I take issue with it. There's plenty a woman can do. She can be nice and not be mean. She can be respectful and not a shrew. She can be very sexual with her husband and not repeatedly reject him or make him jump through hoops for sex. She can act and dress like an elegant beautiful lady, like a hot piece of ass or like a frumpy nobody. There's plenty for her to do before resorting to prayer for God to take care of the rest.

I think porn use could be it's own separate posts.

I agree.

discuss under the banner of "pornography and relationships". My thought is that she left it out of this chapter because she worried women would be appalled enough by what she was saying without throwing porn into it.

Fair enough.

Ultimately, porn to men is similar to social media for women. It provides mostly unhealthy doses of good feelings that we respectively need. Different people will differ in their opinion as to how unhealthy they are, but either way - I'm big on the idea of personal freedom and liberty and therefore I think that each person ought to regulate themselves in these matters.

[–]LateralThinker133 Stars 1 point2 points  (3 children)

I on the other hand am of the school of thought that if he's not cheating and he's coming home to me, his response to visual stimuli isn't really a problem worthy of my mental energy.

That's because you're not Don Quixote, tilting at windmills. Trying to stop men from looking, which is not an act we can even help doing most of the time, is like trying to stop the tide. It's pointless and a frustrating waste of energy and calm.

[–]girlwithabikeEndorsed Contributor[S] 4 points5 points  (2 children)

That's because you're not Don Quixote*, tilting at windmills.

This is where I think we need to recognize the world around us. Some people take RP as a throwback to traditional values. I disagree. We still live in 2018 with progressive ideas about men and women. It doesn't mean we're the same, but it does mean, let's not be sex shaming. That only works in a more conservative society and we do not live in one of those.

If this is how men are, then it's how you guys are. You (well not you but /u/guywithgirlwithabike certainly) have to accept that at least once a month I can't properly regulate my emotions. Therefore, it behooves me to accept that he's going to notice other women.

*The jukebox in my head has been busy today.

[–]Guywithgirlwithabike2 Stars 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Your monthly cycle syncs up really well with my most productive days out in my garage. I think I've developed a pretty robust coping strategy.

[–]LateralThinker133 Stars 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Some people take RP as a throwback to traditional values. I disagree.

What people fail to realize is WHY "traditional values" are much more in line with RP (but not perfectly). The farther back you go, the shorter and harder life is and the less "civilized" we are. When you're on the frontier (for instance, think Little House on the Prairie) there is no time or energy for anything except for what works. What is real and testable. 1st world delusions about female equality in all ways, for example, quickly lead to death and starvation; look at the various communes with alternate lifestyles that have tried, and failed, to survive over the years. Most fail because they're rooted in ideologies that are not reality-based but wishful-thinking based.

Enter Red Pill. It's not based in conservatism; it's based in biology. In measurable behavior that stretches cross-culturally because it's neurological wiring. Jordan Peterson's "lobster hierarchies" come to mind.

Saying that one gender is more emotional - even if just once a month (wink) - isn't shaming. It's a statement of measurable fact. So is /u/guywithgirlwithabike 's hard-wired propensity for looking at other women.

Accepting these things is part of growing up. There's no point in raging against things that are inherent. Pity them if you must, control them definitely, contain them if they're uncontrollable, but shame them? Only to the extent that they could control them, but choose not to.

Just because I'm wired to look doesn't mean I use that as an excuse to ogle every nubile woman in the mall. Some men do, and we call them perverts.

Just because she's a woman doesn't mean she uses that to act like a raging bitch for 1/4 of each month. Some women do, and we call them feminists.

[–]RiMiFi 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Great post OP. As a man I wish all women could have this information, take it to heart and in turn have some sympathy and maybe adjust their behavior/attire accordingly. It would make us get along so much better. It's too bad this information has to come from a womens mouth these days in order for other uninformed women to accept it though.

[–]free_breakfast_ 6 points7 points  (0 children)

I'm really enjoying the book series chapter summaries you're putting out. Thank you for the time investment

[–]slothblitz 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Thank you for posting this! I hadn't read this book yet so this post prompted me to purchase an audio copy and listen to it at work today, and this chapter in particular was very eye opening.

It brought me back to the beginning of my relationship with my FH, when he told me this! He told me how it's just nature for him to notice, and that it was similar to how we sometimes admire art, men have an instinct to admire the beauty of a woman - and that it's not always sexual. Of course at the time I didn't believe him, and continued with my unecessary jealousy.

Being able to understand how man's brain works is extremely helpful! Before RP I never knew men and women were wired differently! It opens up the door to admire your man for when he avoids or goes out of his way not to notice these things, in order to honor you.

Also helped me realize I should have just listened to him and trusted what he was telling me all those years ago!

[–]tchower 2 points3 points  (8 children)

Is this really a surprise to woman?! I thought this was common knowledge to them, as they are always buying more clothes, make up, and will spend forever in the bathroom in the morning and always shopping for new clothes to find their millionaire or successful guy? They dress provocatively for the purpose of attracting the men they want while complaining and claiming rape to the advances of men they deem undesirable.

[–]girlwithabikeEndorsed Contributor[S] 7 points8 points  (7 children)

It really is a surprise to women. We don't have the instinctive reaction that you do, not even close. So we dress to be attractive yes, but don't really understand what that means. And provocatively might be different for us and for you. Obviously, there is a certain degree that we can all agree is meant to attract attention. But ..

There is also the halo effect and the benefits that accrue by being put together and pretty. So a pencil skirt at the office isn't meant to attract men at all but it is meant to be fashionable and put together and give people the impression that you yourself are smart, competent etc (ie: halo effect).

And look, I know what feminism is doing out there, but let's not pretend that every women who brushes a man off is claiming rape. It is decidedly rare for a man approaching a woman in an appropriate venue (bar, club, party) to be accused of raping her. You are being hyperbolic and assuming the worst of women. I'm telling you, we don't understand what "men are visual" means for men.

[–]tchower 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Doesn’t the halo effect also apply to a woman’s view towards men and their impression of the man? Look at this article: https://thetab.com/uk/2016/11/16/women-shallow-men-comes-judging-people-looks-says-research-25773#

[–]girlwithabikeEndorsed Contributor[S] 3 points4 points  (0 children)

You miss my point. But yes, women are more judgemental and are particularly judgemental of each other. What I was suggesting is that women dress to look good for reasons other than attracting men. They also dont realize the specific impact that attractive attire has on men. We judge each other all the time and do not understand the instinctual visual reaction that men have.

[–]tchower 1 point2 points  (4 children)

However, one thing I notice where I live as far as the club and college scene is concerned is that even though the halo effect certainly applies to men, the men that focus too much on dress and style are accused of being metro or gay. I think this “stigma” originated from the woman who are insecure about a man who is getting too much attention, and the men who are intimidated by the competition for females.

[–]girlwithabikeEndorsed Contributor[S] 3 points4 points  (3 children)

This is silly. Women want attention from men. The attention a gay man gets isn't a threat.

Also, women love gay men but aren't attracted to men who are particularly effeminate. If metro or gay are insults, it comes from the feminization of men. But I've never seen women use these as derogatory terms.

Finally, the halo effect isn't a zero sum game so it doesn't really impact women if a man dresses well. You've gone way out in left field here.

Women are still not visual in the way men are and so have a hard time wrapping their heads around exactly what it means to men.

[–]tchower 1 point2 points  (2 children)

No, what I’m saying is that a guy who dresses up and is more stylish than other guys could be accused by other men in the college scene/club hook up scene as being gay or metro which is the male insult, woman might not like it because they feel they’re in competition with this guy to look better. An effeminate man is in the personality and character of the guy, not so much the dress and style, unless he is wearing woman’s clothes, which is not what I’m talking about here, although dress and style and too much emphasis on it as a man runs the risk of being accused as a “gay guy” in the hook up scene even though the guy is into woman but understands the importance of appearances. Whereas woman will not be accused in this way despite appearances being important to both. This further emphasizes the point that woman judge men based on their appearance and the halo effect applies to men as well but we also run the risk of being accused of gay in the College hook up scene by guy friends. Not left field at all.

[–]girlwithabikeEndorsed Contributor[S] 2 points3 points  (1 child)

woman might not like it because they feel they’re in competition with this guy to look better.

Ok, no women don't work this way.

And I'm not arguing that the halo effect doesn't work for attractive men too. I'm just saying that there are reasons other than men's sexual attention for a woman to dress up.

But women are not jealous of men who attract attention.

[–]tchower 1 point2 points  (0 children)

It read like you were making the argument that woman do not judge men based on their appearances as much as men, and the halo effect doesn’t effect woman’s perception of men as much which is what I was disagreeing with. I was referring more to hook up culture and campus culture and dating, although woman can certainly try to style their make up, and/or dress more sexual in the work environment to attract more customers and potential mates that’s for sure, as well as in the club/campus hook up scene to attract mates and same goes with entertainment. The guys dressing up is just an add on to my point as to why it’s not the norm for guys to put so much into style like girls, we run the risk of being accused as gay or metro by our bros or other guys.

[–]Fifi_93 6 points7 points  (11 children)

It’s an insecurity I’m fully aware, but I have to ask because I really want to get over this.

How do I get over men that I date who when they look at other women stare at less attractive versions of me (same race, similar hair)? And by less attractive I mean their SMV is obviously lower and likely their RMV too (in previous posts I’d be classified as a unicorn). It’s played a significant role in why I’ve dumped more than one guy in the past. It irritates me probably too much and makes me feel like I should date a guy with higher standards that appreciates the person he has in front of him.

Please drill me, I need to be able to think differently.

[–]girlwithabikeEndorsed Contributor[S] 12 points13 points  (2 children)

Well, first, let's go on the assumption that you vetted well, these are decent men and this is the only problem.

How old are you? By the '93' in your name, I'll assume your 20s. Understand what the author is saying about these tendencies to look decreasing as you age. Your exes were probably all in their teens to 20s and still figuring this out themselves to some degree. The rational part of your brain isn't mature until about 25 which is why teens are more inclined towards risk taking or impulsive behaviors. This could be impacting the responses your exes have had to these visual images in the brain. It can get better as a man matures but it won't go away.

Men don't necessarily compare women the way that women compare men. If you and your bf are at a party talking to an attractive guy, you are likely to compare the guy to your boyfriend. Whether or not you find your bf wanting will depend on him and the new guy, but you definitely will make the comparison.

On the flip side, if you are at the same party talking to an attractive woman, he'll likely think "she's got a nice rack" without comparing her to you. You are each discrete women with no impact on each other. Remember, women want the single best man in the room, men want all the women in the room. We both control those impulses and stick with the person we came in with.

Your man picked you because you are the most attractive (SMV & RMV) woman he had available to him. He looks at the other women because they have boobs, or an ass, or a tiny waist and that draws his eye. There is no value judgement about the other woman, his lizard brain just sees boobs. His standards kicked in when he decided to ask you out. That's when his rational mind considered all your qualities, SMV and RMV and he actively thought "I'd like to have this girl by my side". The girl he checked out on the street, that was his lizard brain yelling "LOOK BOOBS". Active thought has nothing to do with it.

I could probably trigger an emotional reaction in you. For instance, if I says: "you are unattractive, you are lying to yourself about your SMV and you'll never be enough for any man to love you exclusively" ... does that sting a little? Logically, it shouldn't because I don't know you, I only know a couple lines of your life that you've shared here and I'm a stranger behind a keyboard. But internet attacks will still knock you into a visceral gut level hurt (even if it's fleeting). You then turn your brain to telling yourself that this is untrue and pushing the feelings to the side.

Checking out those girls is like that. They are the internet strangers. They don't ultimately matter one bit in his life. There was a stimulus (boobs, ass, small waist, long hair, legs) and he notices. Then he thinks. It has nothing to do with appreciating the person in front of him, just like my "insult" to you has nothing to do with your actual life experience.

[–]Fifi_93 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Thanks for that, you’re right I’m 25. The guys were actually between 27 and 31.

Knowing men don’t necessarily compare women and that’s a female trait helps. Knowing it has nothing to do with me helps as well.

I will try to meditate on these points.

[–]free_breakfast_ 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Good comparison, that clears up what hypergamy is like from a woman's perspective for me.

[–]LateralThinker133 Stars 2 points3 points  (7 children)

Easiest analogy to explain this is guy-speak, but it works.

Let's say you own a Porsche (10 out of 10). Drive it daily. Doesn't mean you won't look at a sweetly-tricked-out Acura (8 of 10). Totally lower-status than what you currently drive, and you have no desire to get in one, but you can still admire its aesthetics, appreciate it's attractiveness.

[–]Guywithgirlwithabike2 Stars 1 point2 points  (6 children)

Hell, there are even days where you can see the appeal of a '92 Toyota Tercel.

[–]LateralThinker133 Stars 1 point2 points  (5 children)

Hey, let's not go crazy, now.

[–]girlwithabikeEndorsed Contributor[S] 2 points3 points  (4 children)

I was going to make a joke about taillights or something but I just googled Toyota Tercel and I gotta say /u/guywithgirlwithabike I might actually feel offended if you were checking out the female equivalent of that car :-P

[–]Guywithgirlwithabike2 Stars 2 points3 points  (3 children)

None of you people have a sense of humor, do you?

[–]LateralThinker133 Stars 2 points3 points  (2 children)

LOL we do. But saying you'd take a break from driving a Lamborghini (/u/girlwithabike) to drive a pinto? That's crossing a line. You're taking your life into your hands with that one.

hehe

[–]Guywithgirlwithabike2 Stars 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Who said I would take a drive? Maybe I would just kick the tires a bit...

And are you White Knighting for my wife?

[–]LateralThinker133 Stars 1 point2 points  (0 children)

LOL nah, just giving hell to someone who likes -shudder- the Toyota Tercel.

[–]W0zzynix 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Thank you so much for posting this. I desperately needed the reality check.

[–]RedPillMissionary 1 point2 points  (0 children)

So nice to see women truly understanding this stuff without shame

  • a man

[–]thisgentledust 1 point2 points  (1 child)

ugh. men are so damn annoying.

[–]girlwithabikeEndorsed Contributor[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Why do you say that?

[–]humanbynature[🍰] 3 points4 points  (0 children)

I feel like I’ve known this for a while and actually get a little turned on when a man I’m into finds a few other girls sexually attractive. It makes him so much more real, normal, and manly to me... a few hot girls on instagram, some glances or an occasional comment.. just a normal amount. Him acting like you’re the only pretty girl in the world is a downright lie and is kind of a blue pill turnoff.

This knowledge fuels that healthy competitive fire in me that lets me know I’m never done with my beauty and fitness journey, as he is never done with his own fitness and manhood journey. And like it was mentioned in another comment, if he didn’t think you were attractive, he wouldn’t initially go for you, end of story.

[–]RedDespair 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I have caught myself staring at a headless, armless mannequin with distinct nipples poping through the t shirt of a clothing store.

Objectification for men comes naturally in the first seconds

[–]WilliamWyattD -1 points0 points  (4 children)

As a related aside, I'd like to mention that of course the fact that Men are more visual than women does not mean women are not, though I would say the visual element of their desire if typically a bit more complex and layered than Men's.

Furthermore, the issue of how modern culture is exacerbating the 'problem' of men being so visual was brought up. I think it is worthwhile to also discuss how modern technology and culture are also making women more visual as well. It takes a long time for culture to effect a major change in our fundamental biology. However, even when it is working somewhat against the biological grain, a potent enough culture can at least superficially (but still significantly) have a major impact on our urges.

I feel that having been assaulted by so many images of 'perfect' (or even 'super-perfect') male physiques and beauty, women are becoming increasingly looks oriented as well. Again, since it takes a long time to really change the underlying biology, this effect may be somewhat superficial in that if we removed the cultural effect, this artificially-induced increase in how visual women are would probably disappear. Nonetheless, that isn't happening any time soon for most women.

So while the sexes are (still) fundamentally different here, many women in Western culture are not as different when it comes to how visual they are as women used to be.

Given that a fundamental RPW principle is that you can only change the players and not the game, men in Western cultures (and increasingly in non-Western cultures) need to adapt as well. I know lots of young women who check out guys in almost the same ways men check out women. While a really alpha guy who is not handsome or fit can still occasionally find and stimulate these women's more fundamental, biological desire circuitry through status or confidence, it's increasingly harder for this to happen. Many of these women even know they might be happier if they could look past their increasing need for 'hotness' in a man to focus on more traditional qualities that used to be enough to stimulate desire. But such women are as trapped by modern culture as anyone else.

Thus, given that trying to change the overall terrain is not a productive use of an individual man's time and effort, I think men need to take the path of least resistance and simply accept that they need to be more physically attractive than they used to be. Hell, it's still easier on us than it is for women. We just need to eat right and go to the gym, and try to dress somewhat decently. In fact, the reason most men don't dress very well is that we are used to being comfortable in our clothes and hate sacrificing comfort for appearance. However, we are still luckier than women here. We don't need to wear heels (unless you want to), and the comfort vs. style trade-off largely disappears for men once they get to their ideal weight. We still don't have to spend $200 on our hair or spend 30 minutes every morning doing our hair, waxing all other hair, and putting on make-up.

As a friend of mine once told me, you can't fight every battle and you have to pick your spots. It seems to me that a Man's best option these days is to not try to fight this battle. Stop trying to think that 'Women are less visual, so I just need to be confident, successful, and dominant and not worry about my appearance so much.' These days, you gotta look good. We men are getting a bit of a test of what women have always had to deal with. Whether this is 'fair' or 'right' or whatever never matters--it just is. Welcome to the new normal.

p.s. By the way, the fact that being bombarded by images of perfectly fit and handsome (and often youthful) men is making women more visual is also having an effect on the entire 'wall' debate. While aging remains unsymmetrical for the sexes when it comes to SMV, I would bet the symmetry is growing. Furthermore, the internet has further fostered this symmetry because of all the information women are now exposed to, as well the images. Even wile still more physically attracted to older men than men are to older women, women I know often discuss the problems with marrying older in more detail than they used to. Men may age better than women when it comes to appearance, but women live longer and are healthier when older. Many women I know talk about the fear of having to take care of an older husband, or even of impotence, incontinence, lower sperm quality, more likelihood of mental illness in the children of older fathers, etc. Again, the genders are still far from symmetrical when it comes to desire and ageing, but things are changing fast in the new world of technology. We are ALL being slowly brainwashed to want hot, young, perfect bodies--and to have trouble finding our desire when faced with anything 'less'.

[–]girlwithabikeEndorsed Contributor[S] 2 points3 points  (3 children)

I'd like to mention that of course the fact that Men are more visual than women does not mean women are not, though I would say the visual element of their desire if typically a bit more complex and layered than Men's.

The whole point of the chapter is that men are visual in a completely different way than women, not that women don't want attractive men.

Furthermore, the issue of how modern culture is exacerbating the 'problem' of men being so visual was brought up.

This is primarily an issue for the author because she's approaching it as a Christian wife who wants her husband to keep his thought life pure. When I asked my husband if this was actually a problem for him, he said "No not really, I just look and move on" and "I don't notice women when I'm doing math" (that second one is just because he's a weirdo :-P)

many women in Western culture are not as different when it comes to how visual they are as women used to be.

I think this is untrue. Correct me if I'm mistaken but you seem to be working from the premise that women in the past didn't want an attractive mate but now because of technology they suddenly do. The song Matchmaker from Fiddler on the Roof (show 1964, book 1949, author's experiences & setting 1905) came to mind when reading your comment. We don't usually go to fiction to describe theory but in this case it's shows the ideas from a slice in time. I'd wager that I could go back to Jane Austen and find similar discussions of the appeal of attractive men.

Matchmaker, Matchmaker, I'll bring the veil, You bring the groom, Slender and pale.

Bring me a ring for I'm longing to be, The envy of all I see.

For Papa, Make him a scholar.

For mama, Make him rich as a king.

For me, well, I wouldn't holler, If he were as handsome as anything.

Technology has made hypergamous comparisons between men easier. That isn't happening at the expense of all other characteristics upon which we judge men. It just means that instead of trying to identify the best man in your HS class, or your town or even the handful of city blocks you grew up on... we now have the extended network of men that we see on the internet. Hypergamy doesn't care that we don't have literal access to these men, we still compare the men we are dating with what we perceive to be out there. It is a mistake to think this is an indication that our 'visual-ness' is increasing.

Further, no woman has ever liked her husband getting fat and unattractive. My parents married out of high school and were both young and attractive in their wedding pictures. By later in life my mother was saying to my father "I had three babies and I didn't get fat, why is it ok that you did". It wasn't the internet or television that led her to these feelings, it was her eyes and her memory.

My grandmother was engaged when she met my grandfather. He was so handsome that she broke off her engagement to be with him. (AWALT boys, but I was at their 50th anniversary when they renewed their vows and the way they looked at each other was the BP Dream - hypergamy done well isn't all bad).

Men's looks have always been important to women but so is his ability to provide, to lead, and to protect (and everything that goes along with it). Women aren't visual in the same way but we've always wanted handsome men. We just need him to have other qualities too. Handsome isn't enough on it's own.

PS: There is lot of advice in your comment that belongs on the men's side not here.

[–]WilliamWyattD 0 points1 point  (2 children)

I've tried to follow the rules here, but I apologize if I have transgressed. I did perhaps phrase some things in a way as it may have seemed more like advice to men more than it was meant to. It was really meant more as commentary on how the world seems to be working, with some commentary on the female and some on the male.

I was also broadening the discussion in a way that I see now is probably not appreciated. This thread, at heart, seems to be more advice to women on how to deal with their men looking at other women, than it is a general philosophical discussion of how visual desire is for both sexes.

You bring up some interesting points about hypergamy here, but I'm not sure I yet have a 100% grasp of the discussion parameters for this thread (and perhaps the whole site, though I have lurked for many months and red all the sidebars, etc.). Probably best I avoid engaging too much at this point for fear of exceeding the intended limits of this particular discussion.

I really appreciate all your posts and enjoy your take on things, which is almost always balanced and well-reasoned. I will say that I think my mistake of appearing to be giving advice directed at men (definitely a no no for the entire site) may have thrown you off a bit. I think you may be misconstruing my point regarding technology and modern culture. (Or perhaps you construed it correctly and are just disagreeing.) At any rate, my contention in this respect is that modern western women may have effectively become more visual than previous generations of women, on the whole. That said, I completely agree that women in the past have always liked handsome men. Women have always been quite visual when it comes to desire, I am just presenting the argument that they are becoming more so. And if this is true, I'm not sure this is just a result of technology further stimulating existing hypergamy circuitry--more than that may be at play.

But again, apologies if I overstepped. I'll look for threads where I'm a bit more sure of my footing to contribute next time.

[–]girlwithabikeEndorsed Contributor[S] 1 point2 points  (1 child)

I was also broadening the discussion in a way that I see now is probably not appreciated.

You don't have to disappear, I didn't report you or anything, I did want to make you aware of it. We tend to default back to speaking to our own gender because it's what we understand and often who we connect with most. It's usually worse with women because reasons...

Or perhaps you construed it correctly and are just disagreeing

I'm either disagreeing or I don't understand. It seems odd to me that we'd have evolved or changed to meet technology this quickly. We're still raising the first generation to be born into social media so I'm not sure we can fully say what it's effects are at this point.

It makes sense to me that with bigger dating pools (or seemingly bigger dating pools provided by online dating) we become pickier (Aziz Ansari's Modern Romance was a good look at this without any RP involved). I'm struggling to see your point that women are becoming closer to men in the visual realm though. Since that deals with brain wiring, my inclination is to first look for other factors to explain the search for attractive mates.

[–]WilliamWyattD 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Thanks for the reassurance. I've lurked here for perhaps a year or more. I've followed the RP movement since it's infancy in the early PUA movement of the late 90s. (The latter mostly out of a kind of anthropological interest.)

Thus, aware as I am of how the RP world works, I fully sympathize with the need for heavy moderation on this site. RPW is a bit like the Holland--it could be flooded at any moment if the mods and key posters are not very careful.

The distinction between the cultural and the biological is quite complex, especially now with recent epigenetic discoveries, as well as discoveries related to neuroplasticity. (I'm aware of these broadly, but am no scientist.)

In simpler terms, my belief is that a strong enough cultural influence can effectively begin to override biological instincts, at least superficially, even if those basic biological mechanisms remain intact. If we really went at it and created a sufficiently tyrannical culture, we could start to get more women than men at least thinking they were more interested in say STEM (ideas and things) than say medicine and nursing (people). As you say, this wouldn't mean that the underlying biological impulses would be all that changed in such a short time; and as soon as the cultural tyranny was withdrawn, we'd start to revert to the biological.

The Internet and modern digital tech is, in it's way, an extremely invasive and even tyrannical aspect of culture. The effects of internet use on people's brains is well documented. So I believe it is possible that constantly being bombarded with images of youthful beauty and perfect fitness may well be impacting female brains as well as male, even if it hasn't really changed the underlying genetics much yet.

At any rate, this is just my own conjecture. I think it's quite possible that existing, 'hard coded' genetic hypergamy circuitry is being activated. But I also think it's reasonable that other mechanisms can be at play.