Passion versus Affectation

Following on from the subject of yesterday’s post on the status of men and its attraction to women, it is common knowledge that many decisions a man makes in life are to increase his status such that he can attract a suitable partner. In short, a man will study so he can get a good job which will bring in a decent salary meaning he can buy a nice house and car, and women will find him attractive. For middle-class westerners, this is pretty much how it works. For other parts of the world, and among other classes or ethnicities, the incentives are very different and hence you get different outcomes. I noticed in Russia that the ease with which young men can get a very pretty girlfriend removes the incentive for a lot of them to behave well. Why make any effort when you’re getting laid anyway?

So while it’s well known that men naturally seek to increase their status and hence their attractiveness to women, what is often missed is that this does not apply beyond certain basics, e.g. getting an education, holding down a job, and not getting too fat. There is a whole industry out there giving lifestyle advice to men who wish to raise their status: wear these clothes, buy this car, start using that product, learn to do this or that. Much of this might work for young men who haven’t quite found their way in life, but as you get older (and you start having proper conversations with women) you realise how superficial much of this is.

For example, I had someone tell me recently that every man should know how to mix at least one cocktail, so he can impress girls when they come over for dinner. Now that’s probably not bad advice – knowing how to mix a cocktail is a handy skill – but it’s going to make absolutely no difference to what a woman thinks of a man (and if it does, she’s probably bad news). Another chap I know took up salsa dancing because he reckoned women like men who can dance. Others learn a song or two on the guitar because they want to serenade women they bring home from clubs.

Have you seen the problem yet? Women are not impressed by a man’s ability to mix a cocktail, or to dance, or to play an instrument (or to cook, or to speak a language) per se, they are attracted to the passion that drove the man to develop those skills to begin with. They look at a dancer and see the passion he has for it, the drive and determination in his body language, and realise how much effort he must have put in to develop such a skill, and they’re attracted to that. Someone who has no passion for dancing but took lessons and learned a few moves in order to attract women is going to look a lot different from a guy who’s doing it for real, and this will be abundantly clear to all those looking on. Similarly, if a fellow has developed an interest in cocktail mixing of his own accord and uses his skills to entertain women, they’ll be more impressed than if he’s learned one or two recipes just to make himself look cool.

Perhaps learning a few superficial tricks is useful for a man in his twenties, especially considering he’s hanging around women without much experience, but men over 30 taking such advice is a bit sad. Does anyone seriously think women will be impressed by a guy going to opera not out of love for the genre, but because he thinks it makes him look sophisticated? Or someone who’s learned to play poker just so he can tell women he plays poker? Because you can be sure she’ll be able to tell the difference. I’ve noticed that if you show a woman a particular skill or interest, the first thing she does is start asking questions, i.e. why, where, how and with whom did you learn it. She asks this because she wants to see the passion behind the skill – the actual skill isn’t particularly relevant at that stage – and if there’s no passion she’ll see straight through you. Genuine passion is extremely hard to fake, particularly for obscure interests such as bluegrass music. And nobody learns the banjo or songs with titles such as “Oh, Dem Golden Slippers” to impress women anyway.

So whenever you read advice along the lines of “real men do X” or “every man should know how to Y” you can safely dismiss it as a shallow affectation aimed at men who think they’ve grown up but haven’t. Real men follow whatever weird passion they have naturally, and women will love them for it.

Share

14 thoughts on “Passion versus Affectation

  1. “Real men follow whatever weird passion they have naturally, and women will love them for it.”

    That’s about it, its pretty simple really.

    And I guess its just to boring and old fashioned to talk about our understanding of morality and courtship in finding a mate these days.

  2. Men compete with each other for ranking. I’ve observed it at meetings, dinner parties and other events where alpha males attempt to dominate the others and brag of their various achievements: pure anthropology. It may work for some females to go for dominant, ie successful in male terms, men; dominant men certainly have better access to women although this is no guarantor of reproductive success. Athletic, musical and dancing prowess are good proxies for good genes and therefore attractive. Sexual attraction at bottom is for reproductive success with healthy offspring. This is something different to selection of mate by ability to provide and relates to respective Major Histocompatibility Complex of mates being sufficiently different, this is the chemical part of attraction and is perceived by the nose. This is also why different women find different men attractive as good MHC combinations differ for individual women.

  3. “Perhaps learning a few superficial tricks is useful for a man in his twenties, especially considering he’s hanging around women without much experience, but men over 30 taking such advice is a bit sad.”

    That’s certainly the case, but it probably underestimates the stupidity and venality of many women. I’ve thought about this the other way around, so to speak. Lots of men who are shallow insecure jerks try all the tricks to impress women, yet they are still sexually successful, often spectacularly so. (Which of us has not echoed George Formby’s lament “If women like them like men like those, why don’t women like me?”) I think some women find such men interesting because it shows that the men are stupid enough to be manipulated. A twat who tries too hard to look and act like an ephemeral role model not only shows his desperation, he shows that he is weak enough to knuckle down to virtually any kind of domesticity. If you can be imposed upon to get tattoos and a Beckham hairstyle, then you can be imposed upon to put up shelves and do as you are told.

  4. That’s certainly the case, but it probably underestimates the stupidity and venality of many women.

    That seems to be an age thing: most of the women I’ve met over 30-something haven’t been impressed by shallow tricks, even the headcases. Perhaps that’s why some men like dating much younger women, they’re too immature to see through the bullshit. That’s certainly what I’ve often suspected.

  5. Men compete with each other for ranking.

    Indeed, but to a point: that might be my next blog post!

  6. An older acquaintance once told me, in all seriousness, that the way to win with the girls is to listen to them.

    I said that when I was young I found it worked quite well just to stand around and let them hurl themselves at me.

  7. Brando credited his success with women to the fact that he gave good after-sex elbow, that is he lay on his side listening to them rabbit on.

  8. “And nobody learns the banjo or songs with titles such as “Oh, Dem Golden Slippers” to impress women anyway”.

    Ah. I see where I went wrong. I DID try but due to a misunderstanding, I used to sing “Oh, dem mouldy kippers …”.

    No wonder they never hung around for breakfast but nicked the Video recorder and left before I got up (back in the day).

  9. ” Perhaps that’s why some men like dating much younger women, they’re too immature to see through the bullshit.”

    This has made be blush, and feel very transparent……

  10. Timbotoo

    “Brando credited his success with women to the fact that he gave good after-sex elbow, that is he lay on his side listening to them rabbit on.”

    Isn’t that a bit arse about? He’s already bedded her by the time he’s giving her the ‘elbow’.

  11. One thing; whether women/girls are suckered by the behaviour or not;

    Seems that a lot of men aren’t keen on this sort of behaviour either. This leads to the sort of situation where you bump into a woman who you’ve met once or twice, in the company of your cocktail mixing, guitar playing, yoga stretching, mate, and the answer to “why haven’t you been around?” basically boils down to “I began to wonder why none of his mates appeared to pay any attention to anything he ever said”.

    Sam;

    “yet they are still sexually successful, often spectacularly so.” Are they? Actually sexually successful? There’re certainly a lot of women around these guys, as it were, but the attrition rate is spectacular. It’s impolite to enquire of course, but I’ve often been left with the distinct impression that the question of success never arose. You can also come across a similar effect – the guy will always be seen in the company of many women, but never one.

  12. Seems that a lot of men aren’t keen on this sort of behaviour either.

    I know one or two people who do this, and past about 25 years of old it becomes increasingly pathetic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *