I’ve written about female sexual strategies before in the gendernomics series, from a macro perspective. This breaks down into the categories of differentiation, and low cost strategies, adapted to a suitable niche in the market. One can think of differentiation strategies as attempting to stand out in some manner. Corporate brands are merely names, yet through our interactions with the corporation behind it, that brand begins to stand for something. This is why Coca Cola attempts to be part of most major sporting events and Disney movies or how Kodak coined the term “Kodak Moment” to signify important milestones in life.
On a micro level strategies can be broken down into sets based on qualities, tactics and methods used to establish and maintain their brand and thus their strategy. So Coca Cola on a macro level is a differentiated defender, when you break it down on a micro level they are a quality oriented, mass market, advertising based company. In the same way we can break down a female sexual strategy of hypergamic optimization, into macro strategies and then into micro strategies.
The female sexual strategies are based around catering to different male preferences for a partner. For instance the Hausfrau archetype is after men that are submissive and will defer to her, and they accomplish this by creating a strategy that lets her appear as a nurturer.
In order to prevent that post post becomes excessive I’m only going to outline the major 2 categories that all female sexual differentiation strategies break down into and a few examples of the different variants.
Female differentiation strategies
The female differentiation strategies break down into two major groups, one based on embodying classically female traits and signs of beauty, the other based on rejecting them. Both strategies have variants that makes them differ from the main strategy, however in the macro perspective they are both utilizing the same principles, yet in slightly different manners.
It is important to understand that these strategies are not binary dichotomies, but each woman will have a major strategy, that can be supported by other strategies. For instance, Mata Hari an example of the Ultra-Girl strategy, has elements from both the “Sexual Girl” variant and “Fashionista” variant.
The female differentiation strategy model
The female strategies are based on 4 levels of traits, beauty, cognition, nurturing and investment. Every single archetype favors one, and can pick additional traits to strengthen, sharpen and improve their strategy vis a vis their target market. This is not to say that you do not have beautiful, smart, nurturing or investment oriented women in all variants, but to say that each picks one that is their primary strategy, and the others support that strategy.
The Fashionista and and The Muse are often both very attractive physically, but for The Muse the beauty is more a case of coincidence and not a primary focus of her strategy which is to be inspirational and nurture creativity in her man.
The second dimension is within the hierarchies. The 4 variants on the Mother Hen, The Mom, The Muse, (The Nurturers) and The Pusher and The Guilter (The Hausfrau). Where the Nurturers seek to build others up in order to feel good, the Pusher and The Guilter seek to break down their partners. Contrast Carol Brady with Lois from Malcolm in the Middle for a Nurturer vs a Pusher example.
The difference between the pusher and the guilter is direct vs indirect influence. The difference between the Muse and the Nurturer is the difference between creative and physical nurturing.
The Ultra Girl Strategy
Now the term “ultra girl” implies a woman who is interested in traditionally female pursuits such as fashion and make-up. Have traditional nurturing or inspirational traits and embody female sexuality. and Women who elect this strategy often look good as their primary point of differentiation is their appearance. In addition some of them adopt mannerisms and speech patterns typically used by young girls, such as overly bubbly, very friendly, speaking at a higher pitch and frequently showing excitement.
In many ways the appearance strategy is catered to exploit among other the halo effect in order to gain what she desires from the man. To do so, it utilizes her biological traits, often enhanced by means within her ability, such as make-up, clothing, cosmetic surgery, and training. In many ways the “ultra girl” is playing the classical image most men want to be with as a baseline. Helen of Troy, Mata Hari, Marilyn Monroe and Carol Brady are all variants on the ultra-girl strategy. Helen of Troy (The Natural Beauty), Mata Hari (The Fashionista), Marilyn Monroe (The Sexual Girl), and Carol Brady (The Mom).
In depth Ultra Girl variant example: The Fashionista
Archetype: The Ultra-Girl
Category: The Girly Girl
Main focus: Appearance, beauty, glamour and style
Pop Culture Example: Cher from Clueless
The fashionista is the girliest of girly girls, in love with fashion, make-up, hair, and her own appearance in the mirror, this is a high maintenance woman. Where the natural beauty often shies away from excessive make-up, often opting for a more girl-next door, look, the fashionista knows what makes her look good and will get it. Their major strategy being to land the same type of man who buys expensive sports cars, large mansions and other status symbol. She is in many ways the ultimate status symbol and she knows it.
In many ways this archetype plays the Halo Effect and Scarcity for maximum effect, seeking to be perceived as the rarest commodity in the sexual market place, being the highest maintenance and requiring the highest investment in the sexual market place, yet attempting to be perceived as a good deal.
The anti-girl sexual strategy
The anti-girl strategy consists of differentiation based on rejection of “typical female” traits.They may reject traditional beauty norms, have individual takes on what is beauty, reject the nurturing role or traditionally feminine interests. This woman defines herself as a product based on what she is not, rather than what she is. In a sense, she is a reaction to other female sexual strategies, that seeks to exploit market niches with lesser competition. In a sense this is a blue ocean strategy.
The anti-girl strategy appeals in much the same way as the ultra-girl strategy, but contrasting the Fashionista (Ultra Girl) with the Best Buddy (Anti-girl) points out key differences, while both can be very attractive, the fashionista emphasizes everything that makes her female in her interests, such as make-up and fashion. The best buddy on the other hand adopts male interests such as sports, hunting, and others in order to appear different from her typical perception of a girl.
Examples from pop culture of the anti-girl strategy is Vasquez from “Aliens“, Dharma from “Dharma and Greg” and Robin from “How I met your Mother“, these are examples of the “Guy’s girl“, “The New Age Chick” and “The low maintenance chick“.
In depth Anti-Girl variant example: The Slut
Archetype: The Anti-Girl
Category: The low cost chick
Main focus: Low initial investment for a relationship
Pop Culture Example: Samantha from “Sex and The City”
The slut is a variant on the “anti-girl” strategy, which seeks to utilize low-investment as the chief strategy, often supported by “The Sexual Girl” and “The Fashionista” as secondary strategies. This strategy has as a goal to attract the market through requiring a low initial investment cost. The additions of “The Fashionista” and “The Sexual Girl” results in a sweeter deal for the potential target as they feel like they are getting a high quality product for a much lower than anticipated investment.
The variant that contrasts “The Slut” variant’s low initial investment cost, is “The Cool Chick“, that instead of utilizing a low initial investment cost is focused on a low running maintenance cost for a relationship. There are combination variants between these two, and it appears to be a growing strategic choice in the days of Tinder and “Netflix and Chill”
Archetype transitions and combinations
As with every strategy, it permits some flexibility to adapt to a target market. In the case of female sexual strategies this flexibility comes from a use of either complimentary or contrasting qualities that are used to present a specific deal to the targeted male demographic.
This can either represent a transition from one archetype to another, or to a new combination of archetypes.
An example of a combination popular culture, in the movie the movie “She’s all that” is an example of a combination of the “Brainy girl” variant from the anti-girl archetype with “The natural beauty” from the ultra girl archetype. Most of these combination variants exist to further target a specific type of man. In the referenced “She’s all that” the male lead character is a variant on the “High status male with the heart of gold” while the female lead is a “Brainy girl” that transitions from the “No beauty” to “Natural girl”
In the movie G.I. Jane, we see the transition of Lieutenant Jordan O’Neil played by Demi Moore transition from a mix of brainy girl and Fashionista, to an embodiment of the anti-girl strategy combination of “Brainy girl” and “Guy’s girl“. In essence the character leaves behind her femininity in order to more effectively compete and act in line with the men in her platoon.
Summary and conclusions
The different variants and strategies presented in this post are part of a theory I’m working on. As such some of them may change, additional information will be presented and a working model is in progress. The female sexual strategies have male counterpoint strategies that I will outline in an upcoming post, once the work with breaking down the female strategies is nearing completion.
Until next post, here are the 3 first levels of the breakdown.