Gendernomics: The sexual market analysis

male strategiesI recently posted an overview in two parts (Part 1 and Part 2) of general female sexual strategies that you will see used either alone or in combinations as you navigate the female sexual strategies. After I finished writing those essays, I found myself wondering about male sexual strategies and whether they can be broken down in a similar manner, and after some labour I figured out that they can. However, you will very rarely see a man employing a single strategy, they always use combination strategies, either on purpose or by accident. This post took a long time to write, because in breaking down the male strategies, I started off the same basis as the female strategies, which proved itself to be a red herring of sorts.

While female sexual strategies, in essence are tailored marketing approaches aimed at attracting a given type of male. Male sexual strategies are centered on the burden of performance [1]. So, when I started breaking down male sexual strategies according to the female archetype model, it was unavoidable that the Venn diagrams I was utilizing as a tool had significant overlaps. While female strategies are centered around a performance burden to some extent, in that they have to adapt a certain performance requirement, they can do so in larger congruence with “just be yourself” than males can. A female can decide to put a lot of effort into her appearance and utilize that as her sales value, will have a form of mass market appeal in and of itself, since beauty is a central evaluation value males use. One could argue that the female strategies are focused around slowly and with increasing accuracy engaging in increasing differentiation, both to ensure she is accurately situated in her desired sub-market, but also to eliminate unsuitable males from the buyer group to some extent.

As the male sexual market value depends on a burden of performance, a higher performance will always translate into a higher sexual market value. A good looking man does better than one with lesser looks, but a good looking man with some wealth does better than one who is broke. Meaning that for males, increased burdens of performance offers greater market penetration. The goal of sexual strategies is therefore to increase the number of females that his value proposition appeals to, both in order to secure for himself a selection position, but also to “flip” the scarcity perspective so that females perceive him as scarce rather than the other way around. To this end, men engage in a form of cold war strategy that I outlined roughly in How Men Compete.

However, the many definitions for what qualities make up an alpha male, what an alpha male actually is, and how to become one, seems to be many, varied and highly self-referential, so I eliminated the idea of doing so, instead deciding to adopt the definitions from Heartiste [4]  and Rollo [3].

Analyzing the male side of the sexual market

The male sexual market place model is based on an acceptance of a steadily higher burden of performance. As the burden of performance goes up, the amount of men capable of following will decrease. This is in many ways the same within most competitive fields. Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard, but talent and hard work beats just hard work. Genetics for height, body structure, hair, IQ and other traits limit value in their way. Personality traits that affect work ethic, discipline, and focus limit value in their way. Finally, social inheritance in the form of wealth, social status or other traits limit SMV in their way. In many ways, this is a bell-curve situation similar to IQ, whereby adding a higher and higher performance requirement you reduce the amount of men actually capable of performing at that level.

bell curveIf we accept that the male sexual market is in the form of a bell curve as opposed to a uniform distribution. Meaning that rather than it being a case of 25% Alpha (7.5 – 10), 25% Beta (5 – 7.5), 25% Omega (2.5 – 5%) and 25% Gamma (0 – 2.5), a majority of men are Beta and will cluster around the mean. Omega and Gamma represents 1 – 3 standard deviations of SMV below the mean and alpha represents 1 – 3 standard deviations above the mean. This supports the anecdotal statement about being in the “top 10% of SMV” and similar arguments. It also follows from the observation that attraction is not a simple 1 to 1 principle, but in the case of men one to many and in the case of women many to one.

The Bell-Curve distribution explains this phenomenon in that the concept of scarcity can be applied very easily to such a distribution, but cannot truly be applied to a uniform distribution. In a uniform distribution, you would have equally many tens as you have fives and ones, which would make the scarcity purely result of eights and nines also going after tens along with the 10s. If the former plus a much lower available amount of tens, it follows that you will have a double-scarcity effect of both low supply and high demand, rather than purely a high demand situation.

From the perspective of the bell curve it is possible to apply analysis tools to the sexual market for men, and I have elected to use the 5 Forces analysis, invented and popularized by Harvard Professor Michael Porter. The reasoning being that it covers demand, supply, competition and value creation chain.

porters-five-forcesFrom the perspective of the 5 forces analysis, the increasing performance requirement to reach the pinnacle of sexual market value for men is as follows:

Threat of new entrants: The new entrants to the sexual market place is for all intents and purposes a constant, however if the Bell-Curve assumption holds, it follows that the threat goes down as SMV goes up and increases as SMV goes down, as a result of the increased performance burden that is the source of the increased SMV.

Threat of substitute products: Minimal as a result of the bell-curve nature at the top of the male SMV market. The threat of substitute products decreases as SMV goes up, and increases as SMV goes down. This is again a result of the increased performance burden to bring your SMV up.

Bargaining power of suppliers: This is where a small change has to be made to the model. The bargaining power of suppliers is dependent on inputs to your production, and the characteristics of this market. In short, if you are selling computers that use components that only one supplier in the world can manufacture, they have much higher bargaining power as opposed to if you used generic components. The limitation in male SMV is composed of the inputs you have naturally such as the genetics that influence higher value characteristics.

Competitive rivalry:  The competitive rivalry within the sexual market place for both men and women is very fierce. This is evidenced both by the Pareto principle applied to the SMP [2] Where men frequently compete for large markets inside the overall market, women compete for the rarer commodity in their prime.

Bargaining power of customers: This deals with how unique your product is in the sexual market place. It follows from the Bell-Curve assumption that bargaining power of the customer goes down as your sexual market value goes up. If you 2 – 3 standard deviations above the mean in SMV, you are within the top 2.5% of the population and therefore, your customers will be 100% of the market, while your ideal target customers will be the top 50%.

This has an interesting effect on the supply-demand paradigm within the SMV. Where the macro of the supply demand equation has women as the in demand commodity until they hit the wall, at which point male SMV starts to eclipse the female SMV. The top 15% of men are always men in demand, because thanks to the Pareto Principle [2] more women desire those men. To use yet another Iphone analogy. If the global phone market had 100 people looking for mobile phones, and 120 are produced every year, then it means that supply is greater than demand, and thus the price will go down. However, if those 100 customers all want an Iphone and only 30 are produced every year, then in the case of the Iphone, demand outstrips supply and therefore the price will increase.

From the perspective of Dr. Porter, the only market where one can expect to achieve above average returns for a foreseeable future is one where there are high barriers to entry, low bargaining power of buyers, low bargaining power of suppliers, low competitive rivalry and low threat of substitution. By engaging in targeted self-improvement you will over time create high barriers to entry, you reduce the bargaining power of buyers, you reduce the threat of substitution, you cannot do much to affect the market itself in terms of competitive rivalry, but you will shift the odds of winning in your favor and odds are you can overcome many of your issues relating to bargaining power of suppliers.

The arms race of the male SMP

As the former argument outlines, a man can increase his own sexual market value through accepting an increased burden of performance (and thus results of that performance). As a result, the SMV is a constant but the performance burden is relative. What this translates to in practice is that a Football team captain will tend to have a high SMV in high school and throughout college, where his main area of performance leads to both high scores for physical dominance, as a leader of men and in the form of social value generation. The same man, if he blows out his knee, often experiences a decline in SMV, as a result of reduced performance ability in the physical sphere, which as the source of the majority of his SMV, also influences high social proof and his role as a leader.

The reason why I refer to the male SMP as an arms race where the performance burden is always increasing for males, while many women are actively working to reduce their own performance burden resulting in a relatively poorer deal for the men. From an evolutionary perspective, what this breaks down to is a simple energy equation. Efficiency from an evolutionary perspective is the gain of max energy input in exchange for the minimum energy output. For most of its existence, the majority of humanity have lived in a world of food scarcity, this meant that above all else, energy efficiency is of prime importance. If you expend more calories than you can attain, you will eventually die. Therefore, it is in human nature to minimize performance requirements and to attempt lazy solutions. With this little knowledge, you know that if you go just a little bit beyond the minimum requirement, you will have done more than most.

One could argue that the concept of marriage arose to create stability through the application of command control economics to the male performance burden. I am reminded of a quote by Julius Caesar “I would rather be first in a village than second in Rome“. With an assumption that men do what we do as a result of wanting to get laid, it’s obvious that if the performance burden is fully let lose, it would result in a constant cycle of uprisings, riots, jockeying for position within power structures and constant hyper-competition to get to, and remain at the top. This is hardly a prescription for a stable nation, and would lead to situations more akin to those that experience a coup every few years on a macro scale. On a micro-scale it creates a highly machiavellian and war-like society that will benefit the ruler in the short run, but where establishing family benefits in the long run will be impossible.

Summary and conclusions

While I was planning this post, I found myself thinking back to many of those I have already written. Most of the time, the posts that perform the best tend to be the ones that relate to female behavior. From a marketing perspective understanding your customer is very important, but unless you understand your product and your competition, you will still struggle to do well.

The key to true market success happens when your product is positioned to still have mass market appeal, while ensuring a target rich environment of your ideal customer, in a way that eliminates much of your competition. This is where the self-improvement focus of the red pill and manosphere comes into the picture. If you work out and 80% of men do not, then you have an advantage. If you dress well and most men don’t you have an advantage. Small benefits add up to a much better total product.

Reading articles, books, forums in order to educate yourself is well and good, however it must also be battle-tested. When making a battle plan, you need to know the capabilities of your own army, the capabilities of the army you will be facing, and the territory you will be fighting on.

Gendernomics now available on amazon.com

Sources:

[1] https://therationalmale.com/2014/09/23/the-burden-of-performance/

[2] https://therationalmale.com/2016/02/23/the-pareto-principle/

[3] https://therationalmale.com/2011/10/20/alpha/

[4] https://heartiste.wordpress.com/2007/09/19/defining-the-alpha-male/

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3 comments on “Gendernomics: The sexual market analysis

  1. […] of settling in both cases. The mathematics here is simple, if one uses the percentages given by the Pareto Principle, that only 20% of men have the potential alpha genetics, then it follows that either a state of […]

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  2. […] in that some men live in a world of sexual abundance, while the great majority are relegated to a position of sexual scarcity. The addition of hypergamy through which a woman seeks to bed and lock down a man who is higher […]

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