A running theme in Gendernomics has been the use of a company or a product as an analogy for the journey of growth a man has to undertake in order to become valued in differing social contexts. A classic way of creating a competitive advantage is through core competencies, namely a unique combination of hard to duplicate competencies. Last Saturday I did another Red Man Group podcast on Rich Cooper’s channel  with Rollo Tomassi, Goldmund Unleashed, Kyle Trouble and Rian Stone the topic for which was “The Importance of Game“. As part of the podcast, we discussed when each participant first became aware of the manosphere, or as it was called back when I first found it “The seduction community“. I often joke that I’ve been aware of game since the opener “Who lies more, men or women?” actually worked, and while I don’t consider this a blog dedicated to game, those early experiences do inform a great deal of my writing.
I never got really good at “club game“, which was perhaps the earliest iteration of game, complete with platform shoes, a focus on AMOG tactics, and featured quite prominently in “The Game” by Neill Strauss. I knew a lot of guys back then who got very good at it, but for the most part these were men who thrived in that particular environment. A piece of early and quite solid advice from an early PUA “Guru” who has since moved on to Purple Pill Shill was “Figure out the type of women you are attracted to, figure out what type of man they are attracted to and strive to become it, and figure out where to find those women“. This is simple and applicable advice. It’s also quite good advice, however the major issue I see with it, is that it’s the cause of the downfall for many early PUA.
Those who have read “The Game” will remember the story of Mystery’s breakdown because of his oneitis and his inability to maintain a relationship with her. This had a simple explanation, he figured out what type of girl he was attracted to, figured out where to find them, what man they went for, changed himself into that man, only to find out that he couldn’t maintain his Mystery persona over time. This is very little different from the approach cluster B women use with men, tailor their persona to the man, maintain it until the man commits to them (get her pregnant, marries her etc.) and then drop the facade. The major difference is that when women realize they have gotten a bad deal, they get out of it instantly, when men realize they have gotten a bad deal they either work themselves to death trying to improve it with little success, or engage in a race to the bottom.
The Hurdle Rate
When considering a new investment, many companies have what is known as a hurdle rate, this is a certain rate of return that an investment must be able to provide in order to be considered. This is usually calculated as cost of capital + x, where x is a form of risk premium or similar sum. Women operate with a similar hurdle rate that I often refer to as “You have to be this tall for me to ride you“, in essence it’s the minimum sexual market value a man must have in the woman’s estimation in order for her to become intimate with him.
The hurdle rate is not a constant it’s a variable that depends on a lot of different factors, thus attempting to quantify it would yield a curve unique to each woman, her situation, her context and so on. This is a similar situation to how a woman who is a 4 at best in Miami, New York or L.A can become a 9 real quick if she finds herself the only woman on a military base or on an oil field. It’s simple supply and demand in practice, in a situation where the supply of women is extremely low, and the demand for women is very high, the price of women increases, and thus male valuation of women follows. Thus, the woman who is really a 4, starts to act and expect the treatment she got in the oil field, when she moves back to the city where the nature of competition is very different. Likewise, a woman who spends most of her time in an environment where the population is 80 – 90% women, and 10 – 20% men, will find her hurdle rate decreasing because very high competition among women for a small number of men.
A second use of the hurdle rate that I’ve often utilized is “minimum viable value proposition to the market“, in other words how much work and resources do we have to invest in order to stand a chance in the market. Basically, what do your customers expect and what is your competition doing? As men compete in the sexual marketplace by creating better and better value propositions, being aware of what your competition is doing in the market is imperative.
The combination of these two forms of hurdle rate composes the market expectations, therein what women expect a man to just bring to the table by default and the competitive scenario of what other men are bring to the table. To exemplify, when the first phones with cameras came to the market, they were viewed as unique selling points and gave a competitive advantage above and beyond what people expected in a phone and what the competition was doing. These days, everyone expects their phone to have a camera.
The Unique Selling Point
A unique selling point, or USP, is a concept that aims to make a producer of a given good to think about what makes his value proposition unique. This will be based on his core competencies, or as Scott Adam refers to it his “Skill stack”, combined with his inherent personality and preferences. For instance, if you hate dealing with huge crowds of people, noise and flashing lights, you should not tailor your USPs to be based on these factors. Sitting down and taking a tally over what skills you’ve developed, what your interests are, what contexts you prefer and developing self-awareness are key elements in developing your own niche.
This builds upon the traits, skills and behaviors that are required to pass the hurdle rate, and is when you begin to develop your own niche. An early criticism of game was that it created “social automatons”, I suspect that such criticism especially from women was rooted in the fact that every woman wants to feel like a unique special snowflake, and the idea that what works on every other woman also works on her is offensive to solipsism. However, to some extent, for those who have shared an area with a group of 10 – 20 men attending a “bootcamp” all running around a small area, using the same lines, and dressed virtually in uniform, it does give the feeling of being in the middle of a Zerg rush.
The major downside of early game was that it was overly prescriptive in nature, down to the voice tone, and exact delivery of material. I suspect this, among other things was part of the reason why “AMOG” and “LMR” became such major topics, because everyone with a minimum amount of social skills gets a nagging feeling that the person in front of them isn’t real.
It’s the same reason why you get the creeps from “Ol’ Billy” down at “Honest Charlie’s Crazy Discounted Used Cars”, who acts as if he’s known you for 25 years (assuming rapport), tells you he’s there to help you, not sell to you (re-frame), tells you that he has another customer interested in the same car (social proof/fake scarcity/display of high value), tells you he’ll hold it for you for 30 minutes (false time constraint), then pulls back a bit on the overt sales tactic (building comfort), only to start describing the feeling of driving down the highway in your car (assuming the sale + future faking). It’s a series of tactics in sequence that he uses on every single poor bastard who walks through the door.
You know that “Ol’ Billy” doesn’t really have a unique value proposition for you, he has one value proposition that he delivers in the same way to pretty much everyone. What you see in that interaction is not Billy, it’s “Ol’ Billy” his sales persona. If you’re lucky, 10% of what he showed you is real and people feel that. Billy never spent enough time thinking about what is unique about his personality, character, interests and behaviors to be able to create the best version of himself to reach his goal.
This is actually one of the things I think Mystery understood for himself, he was a street magician prior to game, and his Mystery persona is what you’d expect a Vegas stage magician to look like, the trouble is that the lights go off, the curtain closes and if all you have is a stage persona that leaves with the audience. Everyone loves to see and experience a great performance, but seeing how it was made behind the scenes robs it of it’s magic. However, all the men who started adopting magic and top-hats in an effort to copy Mystery, failed to realize it wasn’t the magic itself, but the fact that he demonstrated competence and passion that was magical to women.
Summary and Conclusions
To take this back to the piece of advice that was the beginning of this essay “Figure out the type of women you are attracted to, figure out what type of man they are attracted to and strive to become it, and figure out where to find those women“. There are major pieces of good advice here, such as determining your own wants, needs and desires in a woman and combined with abundance mentality this permits you to be a discerning customer. Figuring out where you are most likely to be in a target rich environment, or being able to create your own target rich environment is great advice, after all you cannot sell or buy without access to a marketplace.
The part that concerns me the most in that advice is striving to become the type of man to which your desired targets would be attracted. Many men interpret this very literally and attempt to destroy their own personalities and replace them with their “Alpha Personality“, this is not becoming the best version of yourself, it’s replacing yourself with something else. This is one of the reasons why I avoid giving detailed, prescriptive advice, because I can tell a person what is or was right for me to do in a given situation, I cannot tell them what will be right for them in the same situation. Copying a winning formula from someone else means you can never outperform them in any context, because you let them define the game, then try to beat them at their game, instead of making them try to beat you in yours.
There are certain things that are always a good idea to do, a corner of The Red Pill get a lot of flack for being “The Jersey Shore of The Red Pill” because their advice is very similar to the “Gym, Tan, Laundry” mantra repeated ad nauseam by the men on “Jersey Shore“. However, this is simple advice that will keep you at the hurdle rate or above most of the time. Of course, if your only USP is your 8 pack abs, it will work for certain audiences, but it’s not a unique combination of hard to copy skills, abilities and personality traits that build many barriers to entry.
The reason why I enjoy doing The Red Man Group Podcasts is that it allows me to hear different perspectives on the same underlying material. The most interesting take-away from the last one was the statement about finding out what works for you, and secondly to internalize red pill theory to the point where it becomes automatic. Rollo stated this in a very novel way in an earlier episode when he said something akin to “When my wife throws a shit-test my way, I don’t pause and run down a check list of potential responses, I respond automatically because the red pill response is my default response”
Both of these perspectives, combined, comes down to “internalize the general and personalize the particular“. You have to internalize the general “rules” of the red pill like AF/BB, Hypergamy, Solipsism, shit-tests and everything in between, but your strategy and tactics for dealing with them have to be personalized for you. You can’t gain a competitive advantage, by competing against someone at their game.