One of the major projects I’ve undertaken since I started writing this blog was an attempt to break down sexual market value in a more objective manner that it had previously been. The end goal of this endeavor was to give men less of a shifting and intangible target for their self-improvement journey. On one hand one could easily argue that the manosphere has already provided men with a guide regarding how to increase their own value, yet on the other hand the composition and influence of different variables on the overall result of the equation means that the certainty that many men seek is still elusive.
This is perhaps one of the more worrisome aspects of writing for our little corner on the internet, that for every man that grasps that the red pill and associated literature is in fact intangible and abstract, there are 100 who cry out for iron-clad science. This is hardly surprising given that there appears to be a proliferation of “engineering minded” men within the manosphere, and one of the cardinal traits of engineers is finding solutions with a high degree of robustness. Perhaps this is the source of the attraction to the traditional PUA literature, where one was offered a model with the promise that if you executed it correctly it would lead to the desired result every time. Naturally, this had some challenges, primarily the fact that by positioning the model as being 100% accurate, it places the entire source of failure on a man’s execution of the model. This has an unfortunate similarity to academic economics, where one blames reality when it does not conform to the mathematical models.
Much of The Red pill and associated literature is scientifically based, but a great majority of the literature is extrapolated from a literature base that is very rarely identified or cited by the author, in this regard they are more theoretical frameworks than they are scientific conclusions. One could argue the red pill as a decentralized research project, the literature base consists of various scientific studies and literature, ranging from evolutionary biology and psychology, economics, sociology and various others, the theoretical frameworks are constructed by various authors from this base, and the theories are tested through experiments in the field and finally they are reported through field reports. After enough field testing has been done, the theory can be amended to include the new data.
However, the downside of this model is that the context of the experiments are not strictly controlled. The field experiments are done by a range of different men, in different locations, in various cultures, and situations. While this can have a positive side in that the experiments will demonstrate different contexts, there is no control of many of the variables involved in the experiments. For instance, in order to be entirely certain about a result, the same man should approach the same target repeatedly while varying different variables such as appearance, status signals, wealth and other associated value symbols. This would permit the experiment to demonstrate the effect of altering only a single variable. This is naturally not possible, as the first approach would change the target’s state and thus the experiments that followed would have questionable results, a variant of the observer effect.
A single man could also approach many targets, in which case his own variables will be consistent within a range, his appearance, social signals, status signals and such will vary a bit with his mood, the context of the situation and other factors but it’s a way to minimize the spread. This is in essence what men do when they practice game or other red pill theories over time, they test out a theory, and then they calibrate themselves and the theories to achieve maximum effect. Such application is often why applied game differs between practitioners, furthermore why some men are better at certain styles of game, certain contexts or with certain targets.
Their variables are constant within a range, but their targets differ. However in this case one must control for the many different targets. For instance, if one were to field test a given theory, one would need to control for sampling, meaning that one would need women within certain demographic qualifiers in order to control for underlying factors. Many men who run game while traveling, have noticed that Eastern European girls in Western European cities differ from the local population. Women on vacation in a given location will differ from the local girls, and there may even be great variety within a community. This is why “Day game” and “Club game” developed along different paths, the targets may be the same women, but the context the women are in changes, as does their reactions.
All these factors are why game and red pill theories will never be enough of a science to satisfy those men with the most extreme variants of the “engineer mindset”, as they are looking for theories that are based off clearly established relationships between variables. One can theorize about the minds of such men, however the simplest distinction is that between determinism and probabilistic perspectives. They want game and the red pill to be deterministic, if you are red pill enough as measured by an objective system of thought, know game well enough as measured by an objective system of thought, then you will realize that of which your desired outcome consists. This is opposed to a probabilistic system, where if you are red pill enough within a range dependent on subjective valuation, and know game enough based on subjective valuation, you have a higher probability of realizing a result within a range of that which you desired. To put it in other terms, if you practice throwing darts long enough, you will never really be able to guarantee that you’ll hit triple-20 every time but you can guarantee being close to it every time.
I’ve previously outlined the Red Pill as a form of Grounded theory research project, firmly anchored in the explorative, and phenomenological tradition. What many men seek is a similar project grounded in positivism. The barriers for such a research project being executed within the sphere are quite simple, positivism can tell us the “What” but never the “why”. The strength of positivism is that it through a high volume of data, controlled circumstances, and experiment can establish very clear relationships between variables, something that is not possible to do with red pill theory. This is largely due to the degree of control required over the involved variables in order to establish a clear cause and effect relationship. For instance, one would need two men with identical levels of game and a clear difference in appearance, both of which must be objectively measurable, practicing game on a perfectly sampled group of women within a context controlled for things like ovulatory shift, age and socio-cultural background. I would applaud any man who sought to undertake such a study, as it would be without a doubt the most interesting and complex research project ever done on human mating, however it is unrealistic.
Thus, what we are left with is a degree of certainty relating to which variables affect female mating decision-making, but many questions related to the degree to which they are weighted. Roosh V mentions this in “Day Bang” where he talks about how the degree of cockiness and brashness displayed by a man must be decreased when engaging in day game as opposed to club game, because of the different mental state a woman is in when she is sober and in a non-party setting. Therefore, one must keep in mind that while there are definite traits and characteristics that a man has control over, and which affect female mating decisions, the female choice criteria and the weighting thereof are highly context dependent.
In order for the remainder of this essay to make sense, a definition of value is required as there are quite a few different definitions of value depending on in which context it is used. Merriam-Webster dictionary has a full 7 different definitions , out of which 5 are both relevant and utilized throughout this essay.
1: the monetary worth of something : market price
This is the primary definition, which I will use throughout this essay, especially when speaking about the interactions between values within a market place. One should keep in mind that monetary worth is not a unit of measure that can be easily applied in the sexual market place outside of prostitution.Instead it refers to the rough mean of a person’s sexual market value.
2: a fair return or equivalent in goods, services, or money for something exchanged
This is the primary definition used under choice criteria, and when talking about trades and interactions. In essence, in order for an exchange to take place, each party must view themselves as getting a fair exchange otherwise they will not be willing to make a trade.
3: relative worth, utility, or importance; a good value at the price
The definition above is in many ways related to definition 2, in that they both deal with exchanges, however 3, offers an additional variable, which is satisfaction at making what one perceives as getting more than a fair deal.
4: something (such as a principle or quality) intrinsically valuable or desirable
Definition number four can represent those variables of which value is created, such as quality, or other factors that are the totality of the choice criteria.
5: a numerical quantity that is assigned or is determined by calculation or measurement
This definition gets to the heart of the simple 1 – 10 sexual market valuation scale that is almost universally utilized among men. While this is a subjective scale to an extent, the law of large numbers should mean that as the number of observations goes up, the value trends towards the mean.
Subjective Vs. Objective Value
One of the chapters in Gendernomics is dedicated to subjective and objective value theory. The major distinction between the two is that from the perspective of objective value theory, one can for every good and service establish a value, which is mind-independent. For instance, if one makes sprockets for a living, the combination of fixed costs (rent, electricity, equipment) and variable costs (labor, materials) is your total product cost. As your production volume goes up, the fixed cost allocation to each sprocket goes down, something which is referred to as economies of scale. When you then bring your product to market, you run into subjective value theory, which is often unrelated to objective product value, the market can value your product at less than your cost of production, more than cost of production, and equal to your cost of production.
The deterministic men want sexual market value to be an objective criteria, as this offers security and concrete milestones for them to work towards. The 437 bullet point lists that are often presented as “What women want in a man” are examples of such criteria that are perceived as objective by men who are of a deterministic mindset. Likewise, they seek objective ways to value a woman, in the form of various “How to vet a wife” articles or similar guides that offer what they perceive as mind-independent frameworks for how to judge a woman’s present and potential value.
From the perspective of objective value theory this makes sense, as according to this theory everything has an objective value that one must seek to know in order to proceed with the trade. From the perspective of subjective value theory, this makes much less sense, as one’s valuation of the same thing may differ across time and context. If you are presently dying of thirst, you would value a bottle of water much more highly than if you were sitting next to a stream of clear and crisp mountain water.
The customer generally does not care what your margin is, or how much it costs you to produce a good or service, they care how much you want to charge them for it, and how much they think its worth to them.
The perspective of subjective value theory always views value as being in flux and depending upon a range of other variables. A woman who appears to be of high value at present may be low value in a different context, just as a man who is of high value now, may decrease or increase in value depending on his actions across time. A man who gets married at 25, gains 100 lbs, and loses all his money in a divorce at 35, have reduced his value in those 10 years, a man who never got married, never put on weight and still has all his financial resources will have increased in value.
However, this does not mean that every woman will rate him in an identical manner as a romantic prospect, this depends on her own internal valuation mechanism, as I explain in Gendernomics:
Every SMV valuation is subjective, yet tends to conform within a range, meaning that a woman who is 10 to eight men will also be in the top percentiles of SMV for other men. A man, who is SMV 10 to eight women, will most likely be in the top percentiles for other women as well. This is no reason to reject beauty standards, or standards of behavior based on a snowflake fallacy, but rather to accept that while you can never fully predict the thoughts and actions of a human, in aggregate they form patterns that confirm a near objective SMV valuation across the global market. Gendernomics
As I outlined in the paragraph above, every individual valuation of the sexual market value of another will be subjective, however when one aggregates those valuations, they form market patterns of value. This is a consequence of as the number of valuations increase, their distribution will tend towards the mean. The mean I refer to hear is the mean of the aggregate sum of valuations, not the mean of sexual market value. For instance, if 10 women rate a man as a 3, and 10 women rate him as a 5, the mean of his valuation is 4. However, the mean of every valuation of every person, will tend to cluster around SMV 5, which is the mean of the 1 – 10 scale.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of contrasting subjective and objective value theory is that in order for a trade to take place only subjective value theory “works”. This is due to the fact that for a trade to take place, one party must view what the other person has as more valuable than what they have, and vice versa.