Pick Up Artists & Game Subculture: Evolutionary Analysis

The “game” subculture (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pickup_artist) is just a load of bollocks.

The “game” subculture (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pickup_artist) is just a load of bollocks.


Humans have traits leading them to find some features more attractive than others. Adaptationist researchers have typically adopted the working hypothesis that perceiver traits are adaptations—evolved as a result of their having benefits for perceivers, generally speaking, tendencies to be attracted to particular traits in individuals of the opposite sex are presumed to have benefited their bearers because individuals’ own reproductive success (or that of their offspring) is affected (or, more precisely, was affected ancestrally) by qualities of the individuals with whom they mate. In broad terms, evolutionary biologists delineate two types of benefits that mates provide: first, genetic benefits to offspring—i.e., endow offspring with superior ability to survive; second, material benefits to the perceiver such as food, care for offspring, physical protection for self or offspring, or avoidance of disease. Individuals disposed to mate with others who enhanced their own fitness would have, ceteris paribus, out-reproduced those not so disposed. Hence, selection may have favored dispositions to be attracted to mates who possessed qualities that signal (or ancestrally signaled) delivery of benefits. Many of people’s tendencies to find specific features attractive are outcomes of this kind of historical selection. Once individuals of one sex prefer particular qualities, the preferences exert selection pressures on the preferred traits. Individuals who possess preferred traits, by virtue of their enhanced ability to exercise choice in a mating market, have greater reproductive success. Selection hence leads individuals to expend energy and time to display favored traits. Preferences and the traits they prefer coevolve.

As I tried to explain on my previous post, human females aren’t that different than males with respect to their mating criteria, in that their choices are strongly weighted for physical features (and always exclusively aesthetic signs on their short-term criteria). The danger is that these scammers pretend to be benefactors creating a pseudoscience who “supposedly” have nothing to gain from dispensing their “knowledge” (onto some unwary men); while they are making their business (peddling advice-tricks on books, DVDs, seminaries) and gain fans and traffic to their websites.

A prototypical PUA is a male who seeks to be successful at ‘seducing’ women. ‘PUA’ is not a category label given to the individual, but is one that he claims for himself within an existing PUA Community of Practice. A common community belief is that the means of seduction are not rooted in physical attractiveness, but in verbal interaction, confidence and behavioral traits displaying dominance. But despite what many would have us believe, mere words and body-language (or other absurd contrivances) are rarely the determinate factor (when removed from other variables). And of course, women aren’t any more susceptible to cryptic seduction techniques, than are males. Moreover females are not attracted to certain rogue behaviors (abuse, delinquency, etc) per se, but rather it is a case that these behaviours sometimes are correlated with male physical attractiveness – which is the *real* variable we are often observing (except in special cases where material resources become a deciding factor, like in prostitution.

It is also important to appreciate that what females deem as physically attractive, and what males ‘suppose’, are often disparate quantities (even though there is plenty of instructive data out there to reconcile the two).

As I have said before – there are only two quantities of value females consider in mate choice, genetic benefits (indicated in physical attractiveness), and direct benefits (indicated in investment strategies with respect to material resources, and paternal investment). So, the onus is upon the ‘game’ community to unify agreement with either of these quantities (beyond a circular argument). And there are obvious reasons why physical traits are an obvious confounder of ‘seduction’ competencies (ie. because relative deviations in physical characters can reliably signal developmental incompetence, from which sensory biases become fixed by evolutionary success). In order to advance a similar argument (unified in a broad evolutionary synthesis) for vague (independent) seduction competencies (ie. ‘Game’), this scammers would have to show their basis in evolutionary success beyond a circular argument (ie. how did female bias for these seduction systems *evolve* – what advantages did they confer *before* they became correlated with male reproductive success).

 Until gamers can show this, they are leaning on naive premises (and, dare I say, unmitigated bullshit).  Game’s core premise relies upon ‘confidence’ (given the ‘congruence’ apology that is regularly appealed to when game techniques/methods are demonstratedly falsified). The parsimonious interpretation is that ‘confidence’ is a dependent variable, adapted from justified expectations (with a basis in some history of prior outcomes). In other words: confidence is the subjective consequence of an ‘expected value’ – derived of an obligate heuristic motif.  But, correlation does not imply causation. So, ‘confidence’ doesn’t just spontaneously organize within an empirical vacuum, and thus cannot be trivially acquired outside of ‘experience’.

So, what gamers (and their apologists) are truly observing (but apparently not intelligent enough to infer), is not that women are attracted to ‘confidence’ per se (as an independent variable). But, rather that the men who tend to be successful with women in the first place (for whatever reason), also have a high confidence (justified expectation) of future (continued) success. By any meaningful definition, confidence is not an a priori quantity – it cannot be disentangled from its dependencias. Confidence exists only so far as to say something about these other variables. So, when one observes confidence correlated with a given outcome, it can only say something about these dependencies.

Game is largely a myth – a popular fiction synthesized to embellish male success with a basis in real quantities of evolutionary value. Trivial observations that seemingly confirm ‘game’, are observing nothing more than spurious correlations. The quest for a practically learned skill that can ‘bend’ female choice is a fools errand, because in order for evolution to work opportunistically, it must cull (in particular) male frequencies every generation.

On the other hand, it occurs that since there are only two *conflicting* quantities of evolutionary value in consideration of female mate choice (those implied in short-term and long-term mating), then game, even undefined, must address one or the other (but not both). And, I think it is uncontroversial to say that ‘game’ is popularly appealed to in terms of short-term mat The quest for a practically learned skill that can ‘bend’ female choice is a fools errand, because in order for evolution to work opportunistically, it must cull (in particular) male frequencies every generation. So, a problem occurs in the observation of ‘naturals’ (an accepted premise of game convention) – demonstrating game as a behavioral phenomenon of ‘handicapping’ load (via the handicap principle), rather than some cryptic fitness indicator. From that perspective, ‘game’ doesn’t sound very flattering.

To elaborate – in applying the ‘handicap principle’, it tells us that those whose success threshold is lower in terms of ‘game’, are displaying greater indications of genetic fitness, given that this greater effort will allude to a fitness handicap. This is because fitness signals have evolved to be energetically costly to display, where the quality of signals are handicap limited – where these handicaps can be manifest through differentials in observable ‘effort’ (or any other kind of relative energetic liability). What game really is, is a display of sexual confidence – which is circular to it’s justification (ie. those who are justifiably confident of continued future success, need expend less effort – in terms of handicapping – in trying to embellish themselves through ‘game’).

But, since game is not a ‘skill/trait’, liable to be adaptive, but rather a system of knowledge, the question is not whether or not it ‘works’ so much as which parts of this system are justified, and which parts are spurious. An adaptative signal must to honestly convey quality. For a signal to be a valid indicator of male quality at equilibrium, a reliable relation between the signaler’s quality and the signal strength must persist.

It assumes that individuals of the choosing sex (females) with a sensory bias non-adaptively applied to mate choice pay a cost for it, and, hence, have lower reproductive success than those who are “resistant” to the bias. Both men and women discriminate the desirability of potential mates mainly on the basis of physical qualities. Any prefered feature has to be correlated with quality prior to their evolution as signals. Again, honest signaling of quality can evolve hrough either benefits that directly enhance eproductive success (e.g., food, protection, ack of contagious disease) or genetic benefits assed on to offspring. In some instances, both ay account for the preference. For instance, ales in a multi-male primate group better ble to rotect offspring than others and ence providing direct benefits to choosers ay well possess genes associated with quality as well.

Female preferences (i.e. choice bias for sexier guys) coevolve with male sexual signals (i.e. male good genes); it makes no sense that some behavioral techniques (e.g. neuro-linguistic programming) had ever been developed to exploit non-existing female “sensory bias”. The evolution of female preference must be promoted by genetic covariance. And selection for the male sexual trait will cause a proportionate increase in female preference and both traits will increase together in a runaway. As I said “Game” would be a sort of knowledge system, not a phenotypic trait onto which directional sexual selection can act. Moreover selection on phenotypes will have no evolutionary consequence if the traits do not genetically covary with fitness. The nature of this genetic covariance determines if phenotypes will evolve directionally or whether they reside at an evolutionary optimum.

And what evidence is there that ‘dominance’ is the determinant of female sexual choice?

In fact, there’s quite alot of evidence falsifying this premise. Furthermore, where mate access is no longer a function of subordinate status concessions in prevailing human populations (compared to the way it works in smaller populations typical of early hominid ‘troops’, and those of other primates), dominance can say nothing about its distribution (given that density dependence means large populations have marginalized mating concessions to a negligible quantity).

I would also like to address the whole spurious ‘alpha-male’ meme which no longer describes status interactions within prevailing human societies.  This is because, in large organized populations (as opposed to small ‘troops’), network reciprocity marginalizes the influence of dominant males through the net ‘inclusive fitness’ contributions of status inferiors. In small ‘in-groups’ (ie. typical of early hominid ‘troops’), there is a strong quid-pro-quo dynamic that facilitates status concessions in favor of a dominant male (as the success/prosperity of the group is more strongly weighted for individual competencies).

In large co-operative populations, the contributions of any single male become increasingly marginal (as do the status concessions in terms of the limiting resource in ecologically prosperous male populations – sex). Hence the contemporary fixations on mating status in stratifying male ‘rank’ (a sense which ignores the broader ethological context which formed the basis of the ‘alpha’ convention). The point is that male dominance in small vs. large (co operative) populations entails subtle, but material differences (ie. density dependence), that no longer describe human status interactions in large, cooperative populations. So, the whole ‘Alpha male’ meme is a spurious concept when applied to human mating practices (in contemporary human societies), where mate access is no longer a function of subordinate status concessions.

‘Game’ is entirely dependent on other ‘gina-tingling’ variables that have nothing to do with game – it is *not* a proxy for attraction. So, all ‘game’ can conceivably do, is ‘maximize’ a man’s opportunities on a case by case basis (no Gina tingle, no ‘game’ optimization opportunities).  Dominance simply doesn’t factor into this assessment, in any shape or form (beyond spurious, tingle-mediated attribution affects). Game merely tries to indoctrinate males on how to establish psychological leverage (by bluffing females, and learning to appreciate subtleties in female duplicity). Ergo, for the vast majority of low (mating) status males, it is game of negligible value.

Gamers also believe that they can resort to “peacocking” (or any other outrageous act) to get attention and try to bang girls. Wearing something stupid or act in a way that just seems quite ridiculous are phenotypic honest signals of genetic quality? Think about it.  May a person compensate a lack of physical attractiveness displaying a non-biologic signal (i.e. wearing quirky clothing)? The optimal male phenotypic is the one that maximizes net benefits under the constraints.  For instance, female optimal strategies are contingent on the male condition or phenotype of the individual (conditional or phenotype limited optima). Less appealing males are culled in mating courtship, and for reasons others than his phenotype. Selection is on phenotypes, (because genotypes are masked). Guys ostentatiously dressed are not hiding their phenotype, and they cannot reverse the preferential bias for certain male phenotypes, since each sex has a bias to prefer individuals of particular qualities because that bias has advantages.

I would also like to question ‘shit-testing’, as any kind of a fitness test. In order for a fitness test to be reliable, it must screen for ‘honest’ signals. And in order for a signal to be ‘honest’, it must entail high and differentiable costs while communicating some quantity of evolutionary/fitness value (thus, resisting falsification). The problem with the shit-test-as-a-fitness-test, theory, is that it fails to specify what quantities of evolutionary value a shit-test is effective in screening for (in a way that eliminates obvious confounders). Is it a question of energetic investment? If so, then the successful negotiation of these ‘tests’ should be strongly mediated by differential investment in a ‘particular’ female (and thus begs the question of why ‘stalking’ is not seen as a fitness display). Or, is it ‘wit’, or general sociality? If so, then this theory likewise begs for a more rigorous test methodology to support it (given that shit-testing is not obviously suited to screening for sociality in a way that incurs enough cost to justify its relative scrutiny).

It occurs, that shit-testing is not a test at all, but is either a strategic bluff in embellishing female sexual value (in context of a male approach).

Or, an expression of resentment in being entangled in a LTR, which poses obvious trade-offs in short-term goals (ie. she resents having a long-term mate who ‘tingles’ her less than other prospective mates). Thus, I believe that many cases where a husband purports to be successfully ‘gaming’ his wife, is nothing more than a spurious observation in ego validation (ie. after a period of anxiety and ambivalence over conflicting, time-variant, evolutionary concerns, *she* makes a value-judgment to preserve his long-term investment at the cost of *obvious* extrapair mating/carousel riding).  And this all underscores my main issue with game, in that it has an unfortunate tendency to circulate fashionable *nonsense*, at the expense of knowledge (even amongst those in the manosphere who, I would think, should know better).

 I mean, if you want to appreciate the subtleties of probability and statistics, should you necessarily inquire upon someone who won the lottery? Of course not! Likewise, if one wants to appreciate behavioral phenomenon with a basis in sexual evolution, don’t inquire upon some douchebag PUA, but rather make inquiries into a synthesis of scientific basis (like honest signalling theory, zoology, sexual evolution, etc).This suggests that shit-testing should be trivially negotiated by the average male.But it raises a further question, in how is ‘shit-testing’ a relatively efficient, and reliable measure of evolutionary value, beyond its circular premise of a fitness-test (ie. how did these male traits under scrutiny *evolve* – what advantages did they confer *before* they became correlated with female ‘shit-testing’)?

But, allow me to further clarify my position. The only male fitness test mediated by female-choice, is *reproductive success*(obviously correlated with sexual success). The amount of bullshit a male has to wade through (ie. where factors in sexual conflict mediate the frequency of successful males who ‘pass’ the test), is simply a proxy measure of *handicapping load*. Thus, less energetically liable males (those for whom sexual-conflict-mediated handicaps are mitigated by indications of genetic quality, like physical attractiveness, etc), are displaying *higher* fitness. This explanation also unifies the observation that men can get laid without incurring any obvious form of shit-testing (again, unless we stretch definitions to where they become meaningless – which seems to be an unfortunate requirement of reconciling ridiculous PUA notions about the way evolutionary systems actually work).I really think the Manosphere would have more credibility if it stopped pandering to demonstratedly spurious PUA conventions.

I meant to imply, that a man who is displaying sufficient value (for example, through genetic quality indicated in physical attractiveness), will not be hindered/handicapped by ‘shit-testing’. It is also important to note that ‘shit-testing’ is not a test per se, in cases where it is not a determinant of sexual success (which I contend is the general case). But rather it is a symptom of handicapping, where ‘shit-testing’ is communicating something about a male’s disposability (in a relationship), or is an affectation for the purpose of embellishing a female’s sexual value (in the context of an approach), or an outright repudiation (again, in the context of an approach).

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66 Responses to Pick Up Artists & Game Subculture: Evolutionary Analysis

  1. Live-Evil says:

    Deep, man, deep.

    The whole PUA thing is jive, I’ve always said. Sexy is encoded in your DNA, and if you’re not a cat like myself that can automatically pick up the ladies, then there really isn’t much you can do; you just got shitty genes. By the way, I’ve been banned at the Chateau Heartiste blog for pointing out these hurtful truths, I think that’s pretty funny.

    • tyrionlannister69 says:

      I’ve also repeatedly been BANNED by Heartiste. These swindlers feel compelled to safeguard their gullible audience, censoring intelectual comments that argue against much of the misinformation being circulated on their blogs.

  2. biff says:

    Is this site a joke? I can’t believe I just tried to read all that. Lots of big words, but no meaningful analysis. I’m well educated and highly paid to read boring documents all day. In general, they are no where near as badly written as this. For me, I believe in game and the reality of fitness testing because I have seen the reality of it over the years. Learning game (and the concepts behind it–not just pick up tricks) has meaningfully improved my marriage and my life. Anyway, my 2 cents. Carry on.

    • tyrionlannister69 says:

      “Lots of big words, but no meaningful analysis. I’m well educated and highly paid to read boring documents all day

      Then you appear well read, but I would suggest that you either have more reading to do, or your comprehension of the material is lacking.

      “For me, I believe in game and the reality of fitness testing because I have seen the reality of it over the years. Learning game (and the concepts behind it–not just pick up tricks) has meaningfully improved my marriage and my life.”

      So, we should instead ignore science that clashes with our preconceptions, right?

      First, your argument is irrelevant since it depends on your own anecdotal experience. Second, the theory of “game” does not meets the standards of any other scientific field of knowledge (not supported by empirical data. – namely it is not verifiable). And without lending assumptions to testable predictions, any conclusions following from them would are unjustified.

      Unfortunately, the problem is that more and more men appear to be drinking the PUA kool aid, thinking it will improve their success with women, while failing to recognize that ‘Game’ principles are a largely spurious explanation for the success of ‘naturals’ (and thus most of the ‘techniques’ they propose are useless).

      The problem with ‘game’ is that it cannot be defined as an independent variable, and thus must always be speaking to ‘some unspoken “determinant” (conveniently rendering it unfalsifiable). Thus, appealing to game in unspecified terms is not useful, and often indicative of cargo-cult reasoning.

      Still, ‘PUA’ principles/techniques are gaining popular currency, because more and more frustrated men are observing the (spurious) correlation between female sexual choice, and sexually confident/aggressive men who enjoy high success.

      • RickyVaughn says:

        I’m trying to understand your argument but having a bit of trouble. If you were to put an introductory and concluding paragraph on this essay, like in a standard middle school writing exercise, what would you write? What is the main concept?

        Are you trying to say that men with less evolutionary success are emulating the traits of more successful men in the same way a Papua New Guinean tribe builds a wooden airplane, expecting a bounty of gifts from the white man?

        If you are, my question would be – what if you took the smartest 1% of the Papua New Guinean children and put them in the best engineering program – could they not then build a functional airplane?

        Can a man with no success with women become successful with women?

        Please excuse my ignorance, I am not trying to be sarcastic.

        • tyrionlannister69 says:

          “If you were to put an introductory and concluding paragraph on this essay, like in a standard middle school writing exercise, what would you write? What is the main concept?”

          In a simple way, I would say that the context in which game is most popularly appealed (a determinant factor in sexual success), is where game demonstrates of negligible utility, and thus, operates more as knowledge than skill.

          It is my position that the dependencies which mediate the useful application of this knowledge (where the knowledge is in fact justified, and not spurious, as is often the case with ‘game’ doctrine), limit the utility of this knowledge, to where its effects are vastly overstated by the hyperbolic gamer cult.

          How often do we hear ‘game’ being trumpeted as a definitive solution to the dilemma of low (mating) status males? That is the ‘culture’ I take issue with.

          “Are you trying to say that men with less evolutionary success are emulating the traits of more successful men in the same way a Papua New Guinean tribe builds a wooden airplane, expecting a bounty of gifts from the white man?”

          The thing to remember about female psychology is that ‘Alpha’, in terms of mating status, is conflated with physical attractivenes. Thus, unless game can be used to refine a man’s physical deficits, it is unlikely to help improve his attractiveness if that is where the problem lies (which is likely to be the case – see above).

          Honestly “Game” just could be usefull for teaching males to be critical of what females ‘say’, and thus be wary of female deception – which is always useful in interactions where males and females have subtly conflicted agendas.

          “If you are, my question would be – what if you took the smartest 1% of the Papua New Guinean children and put them in the best engineering program – could they not then build a functional airplane?”

          Yes, they could, if they have the minimum IQ threshold required for it. But that’s a cognitive task, which requires of mental processes depending on measures of intelligence (note that differences in average IQ are largely genetic) and a system of knowledge acquired by learning (environmental influences). But mating is not a cognitive task!

          Anyway, behavioral components (otherwise widely genetic) are characteristic or predictive of successful courtship? Assuming that male physical attractiveness has become the limiting concern in female mate choice:


          And Game merely tries to indoctrinate males on how to establish psychological leverage (by bluffing females, and learning to appreciate subtleties in female duplicity). Can this be parlayed into tangible benefits in terms of male advantage in courtship-mating interactions? It’s possible, but as long as previously the female biases for aesthetic features have been satisfied. All things being equal, females will still preferentially mate with males who provide the highest measures of direct/genetic benefits available to them (i.e. visually appealing men). Moreover, women tend to preferentially mate with a relatively small population of males:



          I mean that, all other things being equal (which they rarely are), females may allow affectations of sexual confidence to skew their expectations (ie. of sexual performance), and ultimately their choices (but again, my argument is that this effect will be subtle, and rarely determinate – they still won’t opt for a swaggering ugly guy, over a shy handsome guy.

          So, even in the absense of overt signalling defects (deviations in billateral symmetry, indications of developmental/immuno incompetence, etc.), females will tend to favor a small subset of guys within a population – this is the principle of Koinophilia (“averageness” or prototypicality signals of mate value). In effect, which is useful to think of as a selection pressure mediated by mutation-selection balance, bounding deviation from normal, where increased deviation implies increased mutational loads tending to deleterious polymorphisms – but with some allowance for directional selection.

          “Can a man with no success with women become successful with women?”

          It depends; not if you are referring to attractive women and a widespread rate success (because the “spark” or “chemistry” is generally triggered by physical appearance and most women feel “the spark” with only a narrow range of top-ranked guys.) Anyway a guy may increase slightly his mating success, but initial successes have much at all to do with projecting social skills, per se. Rather it has to do with the opportunities that follow from a greater investment in courtship effort (ie. by communicating sexual interest, a male can make himself more ‘visible’ to his own subset (small) of potentially receptive females). This kind of behavior isn’t necessarily attractive to women, but it does make a man more visible.

          But anyhow human mate choice is a complex system, and social environment and mobility can interact non-linearly with individual decision rules and non spatial aspects of the population structure. So opportunities are *always* going to vary locally.

          So International dating is an option to consider for those men who are tired of beating their head against a brick wall, locally, and wish to avail themselves of an option few western females have – which is to improve their prospects by searching abroad (something that is difficult for most western females to improve upon elsewhere, given that the more freedoms accorded them, the more advantageous the local mating dynamic – and there is no where they are accorded more liberties, than NA and western Europe).

  3. Live-Evil says:

    Wow, now I see your comment has been taken off of Roosh V’s post “The Female Hierarchy of Needs.” I agree with the points you make here and I’m glad I discovered this blog in the short time Roosh let your comment appear. Keep up the good work!

  4. Tilikum says:

    lol, wut?

    ur hamster is on yohimbe this am.

  5. DeNihilist says:

    The only thing that game can teach in the art of the pickup, is drop your ego. The girl says no, say thanks and move on. All the other shit is to sell books.

  6. Darwin says:

    I, too, noticed your comments and page links getting deleted off of rooshv and heartiste. Very insightful stuff. Nobody likes the cold hard truth. Even “red pillers” shun truths that go against their ideals.

    Pretty lies can’t ever perish, the ego is too strong for that.

    Anyway, another blogger who has the same view points as yours is “therationalmale.” Google him and you’ll find his blog.

    • tyrionlannister69 says:

      We need to talk about taking the ‘black pill’, meaning to reconcile that there are no personal solutions to systemic problems – which can only resolve over evolutionary time.

      And any solution will very much entail steep trade-offs, in that males can’t have their cake and eat it too – a prosperous population of deferred ecological pressures (like we currently enjoy), without an expectation that this prosperity will increase the mating latitude of females (dramatically perturbing the breeding population, to the point of near evolutionary instability).

      One will always follow the other, as male consensus on these matters is practically impossible in terms of inter-sexual competition(as opposed to the broad accord females enjoy through an abundant wealth of sexual opportunities, courtesy of their reproductively limiting function).

      And thanks. I will visit that Blog!

  7. MindFucked says:

    This post is the classic case of a solipsistic nerd rationalizing why he’s not getting laid with cute girls and using an overly elaborate explanation of why game doesn’t work to justify his failures. You remind me of a 2007 Wall Street quant who thinks his elaborately constructed closed-system model of mortgage pricing is foolproof just because it’s internally consistent. The error the quants made is that they didn’t sufficiently reality test their assumptions.

    I’m gonna go ahead and guess you don’t go out very much. On the off chance that you go out more than once a week, I’m going to guess that you haven’t systematically cold approach large numbers of women over a reasonable period of time to see what works and what doesn’t and verify whether game principles are true in a phenomenological, direct-experience type of way. Protip: you don’t need to change your physical appearance to change your results. Women are attracted to male behavior and your behavior CAN change in a vacuum. You just need to mind-fuck yourself into believing you’re awesome and if you do it long enough and act on that belief, pretty soon the world will believe it too.


    • tyrionlannister69 says:

      First, you should be civil and respectful. Personal attacks against myself or another commenter are not welcome. I AM chivalrous, and I’ve just dispassionately expressed conclusions born of critical reasoning – which is, in fact, the BASIS of my relationship success. If you actually knew me, personally, instead of relying upon some kind of bizzare caricature that you have constructed in your mind, I don’t think you would be making these assumptions. I’ve had an extensive experience in courtship/dating scene and socializing with women (clubbing, bars, going to social events, etc.) By the way, currently I’ve found the love of my life – how much ‘better’ can one fare?

      Second, your own preconceptions are an unrepresentative sample of the population? Furthermore, Can you tell us where we may find any PUA tests of game hypotheses, via longitudinal follow-ups by experiment, conducting their own speed-dating studies, courtship-field research, etc? Can you offer any study/data proving that male behaviour (after controlling for physical attractiveness ratings) is a reliable indicator of mating distributions?

      My arguments don’t depend on my anecdotal evidence. My point in referencing studies/ data (study of a group of individuals taken from the general population) is to show that women hold physical attractiveness as a dominant consideration (just like men), when making a choice. Physical attractiveness is a limiting factor for BOTH sexes, and women are MORE selective in assessing attractive males – women are MORE likely (than men) to cull prospects according to assessments of physical attractiveness. This is supported by scientific evidence, and these outcomes are not derived from my own personal experiences (which really fits with overall population landscape within the scientific research). The difference, of course, is that women are less likely to consider any given man (physically) attractive, than the reverse.

      But let’s give others the opportunity to draw their own conclusions.

    • DeNihilist says:

      ” You just need to mind-fuck yourself into believing you’re awesome and if you do it long enough and act on that belief, pretty soon the world will believe it too.”

      and there you have it! proof of the contention, that the only thing game has to offer is get some balls guys. If like krauser you approach a 1000 women a year, you will get laid! (with a 2.7% conversion rate, which is well within the bounds of chance)

      • tyrionlannister69 says:

        ” You just need to mind-fuck yourself into believing you’re awesome and if you do it long enough and act on that belief, pretty soon the world will believe it too.”

        Then it seems this dude would rather create his own “subjective social reality” from his own perception of the input (i.e cognitive bias). I’m personally more pragmatic, so I’m used to develop my philosophy around the idea that the function of thought is as an instrument or tool for prediction, action, and problem solving.

        “and there you have it! proof of the contention, that the only thing game has to offer is get some balls guys. If like krauser you approach a 1000 women a year, you will get laid! (with a 2.7% conversion rate, which is well within the bounds of chance)”

        Let me to say:

        1) You are appealing to a lottery in order to find a receptive female equivalent, but human mating is not a stochastic or random process with a collection of random variables. There are many determinisms (mainly physical signals), depending upon what pre-conditions are considered to be determinative of an event.

        2) If someone is getting rejected by women regularly on a widespread rate, It is unlikely that that individual can reach to approaching around 1,000 women per year since rejection-acceptance and mating effort /aspirations is strongly mediated by changes in state self-esteem. Kirkpatrick and Ellis (2001) model posits that experiences of social acceptance and rejection feed into domain-specific sociometers, causing alterations in state self-esteem in the relevant social domain, which, in turn, affect aspiration levels in approaching new relationships in that domain.

        3) Increasing frequency of mating effort and translated into an acceptance rate of 2.7%, – i.e gotten dismal results. And of course this receptive subset of girls will be likely in the bottom half of the beauty distribution. Really is it worth?

      • DeNihilist says:

        You must have seen this study eh? Guitar/prop game enhances your chances!


  8. sucondis says:

    I used to share your opinion about game but now I know better. Game works. That’s just a fact and no amount of waffle like you’ve attempted here can change that.

    • tyrionlannister69 says:

      How exactly? and please, describe the mechanism of this test.

      Your arguments basis seem speculative (intuition, own observation, or tenuous assumptions) rather than following from studies/ data.

  9. TC says:

    How do you explain the success of guys like Silvio Berlusconi? Power certainly trumps physical attractiveness in his case (and many others). Social and environmental factors do come into play.

    • tyrionlannister69 says:

      Successful recruiting prostitutes for his notorious parties, right? True, in special cases material resources become a deciding factor, like in prostitution.

      All things being equal, women will favor wealthy/high status/powerful males – but only in very exceptional cases (often involving very high profile individuals in the public eye, celebrities, tending to skew perceptions of normal) will a female make significant concessions in terms of the physical attractiveness of her mate(unless she is not, herself, attractive enough to warrant the attentions of physically attractive males).

      Not so surprising, when one considers that a selection bias for resourceful males should exist in some proportion to the advantages they pose to the survival of her offspring.

      But if the advantages are small (given a prosperous welfare state, which marginalizes these advtantages), then there will be minimal selection bias (which explains a large population of women who are increasingly disinterested by the lone prospect of a resourceful mate).

  10. chris says:

    So a women would or wouldn’t prefer a rich OR caring 8/10, to a poor OR uncaring 9/10?

    In other words, once a woman’s minimum level of physical attractiveness is met, do other qualities become important in enhancing the male’s overall mate value or are all other qualities superfluous?

    If the answer is yes, but only for long-term mating, not short-term mating, what then would cause the long-term mated woman to pursue a dual mating strategy and cuckold her long-term mated man with a more physically attractive man? Is it a decrease in the level of other qualities he brings to the table? Is it a decrease in his physical attractiveness such that it dips below her minimum level of physical attractiveness?

    I suppose what I’m asking is

    If Long-term mate value (LTMV) = Physical attractiveness (PA) + paternal investment (PI)


    Short-term mate value (STMV)= Physical attractiveness (PA)

    what change in LTMV would cause a woman to seek out an extra-pair copulation with a male high in STMV? Or would a woman always try to seek an extra-pair copulation with a male higher in STMV regardless of the LTMV of her pair-bonded mate provided the male higher in STMV has higher PA than her long-term mated male?

    i.e. will a woman no matter what, always try to cuckold the rich/caring 8/10 with the poor/uncaring 9/10?

    I suppose what I am indirectly trying to figure out is if there’s any point in increasing one’s paternal investment (PI) value or should all effort just go into maximising physical attractiveness (PA) no matter what? i.e. Should I spend 3 years at the gym rather than 3 years at college? (I don’t want to squander my mating effort.)

  11. Norse Fire says:

    TL69* makes some rather bold assertions, under what he claims is the true battle standard for science, but tellingly, doesn’t reference any studies or empirical data himself. Presumably this may be due to the fact none could be located, or perhaps he just couldn’t be bothered.

    “As predicted, men’s _perceived arrogance_, _confrontativeness_, muscularity, and physical attractiveness better predicted their attractiveness as short-term mates than their attractiveness as long-term mates.”


    Moreover, whilst physical attractivenss is stated – I am not aware of any PUA that has claimed to the contrary.

    “Women rely on behavioral information when evaluating the attractiveness of men.” (Graziano, Jensen-Campbell, Shebliske, & Lundgren, 1993).

    * Whether this screen name was chosen to imbue his wisdom with apparent popular support, as a function of piggy backing of a known (but fictional) intelligent character, or was simply due to lack of creativity is unknown. What is known is that there’s a significant incongruence with the “69” suffix and the attempted cerebral nature of the critique. I would recommend submitting another analysis (with references) under a different screen name if you wish to be taken more seriously.

    Inherently limited by a small sample space, nevertheless “game” worked for myself (at no direct financial cost either I may add), but would relish any serious reductionist attempt to cull superfluous parts.

    As stands, I can omit nothing as a result of this piece.

  12. jacklabear says:

    “Your arguments basis seem speculative (intuition, own observation, or tenuous assumptions) rather than following from studies/ data.”

    Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Perhaps the studies have just not been done.

    No studies showing male behavior influence female mate selection?
    Surely you’re joking. What about songbirds and other male courtship BEHAVIORS?
    Indeed, there are evolutionary psychologists who believe that male intelligence, creativity in storytelling, humor and music making evolved specifically to appeal to women for mate attraction.
    Let me suggest that your particular use of language is an example of that 😉

    Like a previous commenter said, my IQ is in the 95 percentile, I’m educated and have spent many hours reading technical literature in science, engineering, psychology etc. Yet I seem to be having difficulty extracting useful meaning from your post. Is your goal to communicate or to obfuscate?

    Anyway, are you saying that my only hope is to lift weights and get plastic surgery so I can be like you?
    Do you have any useful suggestions to improve a man’s mating success? Where is the positive message?

    • tyrionlannister69 says:

      “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Perhaps the studies have just not been done.”

      And why don’t PUAs do that? Is there something to hide?

      “No studies showing male behavior influence female mate selection?
      Surely you’re joking. What about songbirds and other male courtship BEHAVIORS?”

      Ok, songbirds an indicator mechanism by which females can accurately assess the quality of potential mates. Anyway you’re confusing some zoological phenotypes with human ones, where is operating other primary signals for sexual attraction.

      “Indeed, there are evolutionary psychologists who believe that male intelligence, creativity in storytelling, humor and music making evolved specifically to appeal to women for mate attraction.”

      Yes, I am familiar with most of the studies of Geoffrey Miller, but I do not share his theory. Let’s see, two main theories concerning g are the dependent domain and the independent domain models. The domain dependent model has general intelligence as a broad category which is divided into smaller more specific intelligences, including mate selection, cheater detection module, and face recognition module. Under this model, it can be inferred that if an individual’s g is high, then their ability to select and obtain a mate, detect lies, and recognize people’s faces would also be higher. It also follows that someone with a low IQ would have trouble finding a mate and detecting when people were lying.

      The independent domain theory states that general intelligence is only one of several psychological mechanisms, along with mate selection, the cheater detection molecule, and the face recognition module that have evolved. It is important to note that in this model, general intelligence is defined as the ability to use deductive logic and abstract thought.

      I believe the independent domain model is more realistic since there have been numerous studies showing that the psychological mechanisms of the brain are unlinked. One such study was done to compare the correlation between IQ, which measures g, and the success of individuals in finding a mate, which was measured in terms of marriage. The studies found shown that very intelligent individuals (with IQs above 125, at or above the 95th percentile of the IQ distribution) are the least likely to marry of all the cognitive classes (Kanazawa, 2004). This data suggests that mate selection and general intelligence are unrelated, such as in the field independent model.

      Based on the findings from the study above, it is possible to conclude that each of the psychological mechanisms is dedicated to its own area of expertise, which has been forged over thousands of generations of human evolution. The concept of dedicated psychological mechanisms denotes that each of the previously mentioned psychological mechanisms can solve adaptive problems in its own narrow domain but nowhere else (Kanazawa, 2004). This would explain why someone might have increased intelligence, but it would not be able to help in acquiring a mate, just like someone’s ability to find a mate would not increase their ability to use logic and abstract thought.

      Genetic analysis also supports the field independent model. One finding, “concerning specific cognitive abilities is that multivariate genetic analyses indicate that the same genetic factors largely influence different abilities” (Plomin 1999). This refers to the fact that genes involved in verbal ability are also linked to spatial ability and other cognitive abilities. Therefore, the psychological mechanism of general intelligence is not divided into smaller groups based on specific cognitive action; rather that it is a category that encompasses all cognitive ability. This supports the field independent model because the psychological mechanisms of mate selection and cheater detection are not cognitive fields, but are more hard wired gut feelings. Multivariate genetic analysis also discredits the field dependent theory because the analysis shows that verbal and spatial abilities are tied to the same genetic factors, whereas in field dependent theory, they are separate categories under g.

      “Is your goal to communicate or to obfuscate?”

      I am not here to obfuscate anyone, but to transfer my information, interact, and learn from the many insightful contributions to my readers.

      “Anyway, are you saying that my only hope is to lift weights and get plastic surgery so I can be like you?Do you have any useful suggestions to improve a man’s mating success? Where is the positive message?”

      I’m not a pessimist, but a well informed realist! What is the pool of eligible mates for an average-Joe? Honesty I must reply that much lower than pool of a highly attractive guy (mainly if, for example, we focus on internet dating data). There is only a small percentage of the male population (5 – 10%) who can capture the widespread attention of female population, including pretty girls. Given that women consider a shocking 80% of males to be unattractive. (http://blog.okcupid.com/index.php/your-looks-and-online-dating/).

      But what is your specific goal? it depends. All this meaning there are only 3 options:

      a) Loneliness,

      b) Assortative mating (i.e. pair with an average woman).

      c) International dating / foreign marriage opportunities, where mail order brides do not share the same frame of reference as in developed world populations (and thus, the forces of balancing selection provide opportunistic niches in the form of outgroup-seeking females).

      But if you are not a hunk handsome and you wish to find a willing attractive woman in your local mating market, I am very skeptical about it. Because beautiful females rarely settle down (unfavorable disassortative mating) with average Joes (There are not many cases); pretty girls are chasing their greener grass on the horizon for mating their attractive male peers (or riding the cock carousel, in the case of less attractive females). But PUAs are overestimating the ease by which average males can achieve this goal, especially in the prevailing mating landscape.

      As evidence reveals that physical appearance plays an important role in the first courtship-approaches among strangers on mating Leks (i.e. night clubs / bars, online dating, etc). So I suggest looking outside these systems and try to get on to girls within your social circle (friends, coworkers, classmates, etc.)

  13. Live-Evil says:

    Hey, can you write something about dick size as it relates to male attractiveness? Thanks man for everything you do.

    • tyrionlannister69 says:

      Ok I will post something. Anyway my upcoming post is on female choice based on male age.

    • chris says:

      @ 8 minutes in;

      79% of attractiveness is attributable to body shape.
      6% of attractiveness is attributable to body height.
      5% of attractiveness is attributable to body penis size.

  14. Louise says:

    You are mistaken. behaviour, attitude etc is very important when it comes to attracting women. i know I have been very strongly attracted to men who were nothing much to look at, because of their behaviour, attitude etc, when better looking men left me cold.

  15. The Cockroach says:

    TL, there’s a guy named “Piotr” who made similar good arguments on a now defunct site. https://web.archive.org/web/20130131063144/http://www.seductionmyth.com/ I liked his nebbish analogy. This is not to be taken as an endorsement of other commentators there, however.

    • tyrionlannister69 says:

      Thank you, friend. Well I knew that site time ago. I agree with everything he claims, except for his self seeking-like hypothesis.

  16. Random says:

    Hey, i also know about seduction myth, i’m curious why do you think the self seeking-like hypothesis is invalid?

    Do you have any proof/data in that regard?

    • sirtyrionlannister says:

      First, because “Self-seeking like Hypothesis” (Liliana Alvarez) is a too speculative hypothesis, and why allow speculation to reign when we can just look at the evidence? Of course, one has to always keep in mind the totality of the evidence, not just one poor example like that. And Always be wary of small samples. And let’s not forget about our friend Occam’s Razor.

      That study works with a small sample size (36 randomly selected couples): is not a valid representation of the population. And Incorrect methods: Lack of validation of subjective assessments: the test subjects (over 100 volunteers) had to assign each of the photographs of female target subjects to one of the males.

      Furthermore, the appropriate methodology would be to run a morphometric study of a wide sample size of real couples for the purpose of developing a more scientific and aesthetic guide that helps facial evaluation. At least basic facial landmarks (Mainly Sn: subnasale Al: alaree Gn: gnathion and Go: gonion, so on) . A multivariate analysis of covariance should be undertaken to detect significant differences in facial morphometry between mates.

      Second, the preference for self-similar faces pertains largely or exclusively to own-sex rather than opposite-sex faces [DeBruine et al. 2008, Watkins et al. 2011, but see Fraley & Marks 2010]. Furthermore, facial attractiveness is non-monotonically associated with many traits, and peaks at their medium, not extreme, values. For example, facial attractiveness increases with the “averageness” or “prototypicality” of facial proportions [Rhodes 2006, Kościński 2007, etc..], and women prefer men with moderately masculine faces [Kościński 2007, Scott & Penton- Voak 2011]. So this weakens the influence of a possible preference for self-similar partners for within-pair matching on attractiveness.

      Several studies proves that manipulated images of other-sex faces are judged as more trustworthy by the participants they were made to resemble than by control participants. In contrast, but the effects of resemblance on attractiveness are significantly lower. In the context of a long-term relationship, where both prosocial regard and sexual appeal are important criteria, facial resemblance has no effect. In the context of a short-term relationship, where sexual appeal is the dominant criterion, facial resemblance decrease attractiveness (note that inbreeding avoidance mechanisms should exist in all species–including humans).

      Humans are sensitive to the costs and benefits of favouring kin in different circumstances, therefore cues of relatedness have a positive effect on prosocial feelings, but a negative effect on sexual attraction. Facial male self-resemblance serves as a kinship cue that facilitates cooperation between kin.

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  18. Torsten Kokosson says:

    lol this is a joke right? Females going for looks over behaviours? yeah, thats why I thruout all college years have seen dominant strong guys getting 99% of the pussy and the pretty boys going home alone again and again and again and again.

    Also thats why I went from basicly getting no punani at all to fucking 75+ girls in 1 year when I got my game up to speed, right?

    Lol these nerds are always too funny 😀

    • sirtyrionlannister says:

      Can you prove this kind of bullshit that you’re telling? besides disqualify ,it would be interesting if you would provide some empirical source to backup your anecdotal assertions.

      • Torsten Kokosson says:

        Lol, just trolling. Well not really, what is it you want proof of? I can provide proof of me getting pussy (in forms of pictures, text logs etc).

        If you are looking for proof girls going alot on a mans behaviour, I actually have some scientific studies showing how dominance and aggressiveness is even more important than physical looks.

  19. sirtyrionlannister says:

    @ Torsten Kokosson,

    I guess you’re referring to this study, “Quantifying the strength and form of sexual selection on men’s traits” (2013). These “mating success” measures come from self-reported data, and they are not reliable/verifiable and lacking of ecological validity. Furthermore only are self-reporting their number of sex partners in the past year, not quality of men’s mates.

  20. Torsten Kokosson says:

    No I have some study demonstrating how a mans behavioural pattern has a huge impact how attractive he comes across to females.Also a study saying how traits as listed: Arrogance, impulsiveness, aggressiveness, violence and musclemass matters more to women when it comes to one night stands than physical looks.

    With that said: Acnedotal or not, I know myself and my own life and I went from getting basicly no girls to ALOT of girls by going out and acting more “dominant”, self assured and dare I call it “alpha male”. Before people refered to me as a shy person, now every damn girl I meet thinks I have been a player my whole life.

    Im not ugly tho, but Im not above average, and as I said I went from getting no punani by being the pleasant “nice guy” to getting ALOT more by being slightly evil, asshole and dominant in social situations.

  21. Alex says:

    Cool site and I can agree with much things you say, but I wouldn’t say personality has no impact as how attractive someone gets percieved. This study even means it’s possible to get percieved as physically more attractive the more someone knows you: http://evolution.binghamton.edu/dswilson/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/DSW13.pdf

    This article also describes the effect: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-attraction-doctor/201105/is-your-personality-making-you-more-or-less-physically-attractive

    I think this can explain “mismatches” between some medium looking and and above average looking women.

    Problem on speed-dating studies is the short amount of time. It is not known how much time is needed to make the personality-influences-looks halo-effect work.

    The impact of ‘vibe’, or better said charisma, isn’t very clear too – when it comes down to first impressions.

  22. matheusmparis says:

    Really interesting post!
    But, behavior, or having above avarage social skills, don’t play a big hole as well?

    • Sir Tyrion Lannister (Administrator). says:

      Yes, as long as that male individual was above her minimum perceptual (aesthetic) threshold. When a level of stimulation provided by morphological features has been achieved, then a certain amount of social skills can be effective for mating targets (especially on long term landscapes).

  23. Travis says:

    Everything that is said in this article is true. It’s just depressing that even in today’s highly evolved society, your options are limited if you are average to below average looking male. It’s either get rich or die trying, cold approach with a %.0000001 success rate, or Phillipines or hookers. It stories like this that make me wonder if my life is worth living.

    • Sir Tyrion Lannister says:

      I also do not want to discourage my readers and invoke a catastrophic determinism. It would add that a male phenotype X in a social situation A usually obtain a female response Z1, this one does not have to be the same in another different situation/interaction. The same phenotype X in a B situation may have a Z2 female response.

      • Travis says:

        @ Tyrone

        I don’t know what that’s supposed to mean but I would say if men are at a good BF percentage (sub 12 and below) have a good hair cut and still not getting any results, consider orthognatic surgery. I am opting out for a lefort 1 since I have facial asymmetry
        and dental deformities. Fuck what society says about ” find someone who loves you for who you are”, all love is conditional even if you meet the required threshold in your looks for a woman to pre-select you. Despite what this article says, women are not evil. They will threat you like shit if you are not attractive enough so if you are being treated constantly like shit from women around and don’t have many male friends (where some exception might apply aka Aspergers and Autism) It’s probably because you are sub 6/10.

    • Master Youda says:

      Same here mate, as an ugly looking male, this great editorial (although a bit long winded), assured me that my cursed luck with women, is not my fault, and is totally attributed to my poor genetics, and race.

      Thank God, I live in a country with legalised prostitution.

  24. Master Youda says:

    Excellent editorial, which completely and totally discredits PUA and the moronic “game” culture (not that PUA or “game” had any credibility to begin with).

    When it comes to relationships and sex, women are the choosers, and women choose or PRESELECT the men they want, based on the mans looks and race/or the ability to provide resources.

    The PUA industry is a SCAM, attraction cannot be taught, women PRESELECT the men they want for reasons I have already explained.

    • Travis says:


      Agreed. Money really only works in grandiose amounts though. My dr is Iranian and makes over 100k+(USD) per year but he struggles in the dating game because he is an ethnic and pushing 50. I also have many friends who make more than the average 7/10+ woman does but because they are average to unattractive, they don’t do well in the dating game. So it’s pretty much just looks in the western world.

      • Master Yoda says:

        I can understand why your Doctor would be struggling with women, and it’s because women hate Middle Eastern looking men with a passion, and i should know. because I look Middle Eastern (my background is Italian), and women reject me instantly.

        • Travis says:


          The sad part is he was once married and has a daughter. She probably screwed him over when they went to America!

  25. Sir Tyrion Lannister says:

    Female resistance in courtship is not a case of passive choice, where females set up a mating obstacle that only social skilled males can overcome (as Pua doctrine believes), but an active mechanism deployed to ward off unattractive males.

    • Travis says:


      Exactly. If women give me any sort of resistance (aggressive or not) I just eject asap.
      If women give me the so called “shit test” which is actually just her way of telling you to “get lost creep” or just if she’s friendly. I never dance like a monkey like those PUA fags suggest.

  26. AntiEntropy says:

    Hi Sir Lannister,

    In your opinion, can working out to improve one’s physique, and plastic surgery help? Thank you.

    • Sir Tyrion Lannister says:

      Females scrutinize faces more than physiques, and if you can’t ‘depend’ on facial attractiveness, then you’d better reconcile a life of solitude.

  27. AntiEntropy says:

    I am curious about why, in your view, women could not have evolved attraction for male behaviors suggesting conventional “alpha” traits (such as dominance, courage, pro-activity, and the absence of emotional weakness) as proxies for fit genes, in *addition* to their attraction for good looks as proxies for fit genes.

    Thank you.

    • Sir Tyrion Lannister says:

      @ AntiEntropy,

      Honestly I don’t belive in a model in which “alpha” traits and female preferences coevolve with one another purely in an linked fashion. Morever I don’t think that alpha traits can be associated with physical attractiveness (either by linkage disequilibrium or by pleiotropy)

      I’d advocate that evolution of good looks are neither proxy of good or bad genes, since it indicates anything other thing than mating success, and lack any meaning or design other than their potential to correspond to mating preferences.

  28. Booker T Cox says:

    I’m completely convinced that government subsidized plastic surgery is our only real hope for the future. It’s only a matter of time before the entire manosphere wakes up to the real problem, and there WILL be repercussions.

  29. princeps says:

    sir tyrion looks are important (and they are easier to study than behaviour) but if you act weak, indecisive and effeminate even if have brad pitt’s looks you won’t attact a single woman. behaviour is an important phenotype which correlates with the quality of your genes.
    look at a random heterosexual porn movie: it’s all about male’s domination of women: they are purposely created to give men the illusion of having the sexual abundance of a super dominant and prestigious alpha male (a kind of gengis khan, or attila, or president kennedy).
    I am not saying that everything that is written in the pua community is gold, but your views are too fundamentalist.

    • Sir Tyrion Lannister says:

      @ Princeps,

      I will try to explain you.

      All things being equal, women prefer more masculine men over less masculine ones.

      But it happens that attractiveness is usually a pre-mating deal breaker. That means that women invoke epigamic noncompensatory (i.e. male physical attractiveness) screeners that eliminate large swaths of alternatives from detailed consideration.

      So females enact pre-mating beauty screeners (“deal breakers”) that encode acceptability cutoffs.

      On the other hand I do not see any consistency/congruence to your comment about porn movies. Everything you are watching on there is purely fiction (i.e. irrelevant in terms of a real mate choice landscape).

      You are delirious!!

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