“If you were a man who loved sex . . .”
That statement sounds oxymoronic, I know . . . but I threw it out there for the express purpose of making you snort. A similar phrase, “If you were a woman who loved sex,” was recently used by a feminist sex blogger to elicit interesting metaphors. I found the exercise interesting because it a) validated pretty much everything I’ve learned about Game and female sexuality and b) the fact that she had to phrase the question with an IF demonstrates quite a lot about the state of American female sexual psychology.
But like many things in the murky frontier of feminist sex advice, I thought I’d turn it around a little and, indeed, ask the same question of my male readers. Why? Mostly for giggles . . . but also because I think one major component of Betacization, both generally and in marriage, is the point at which a man stops thinking of himself as sexy – which means both “attractive to others” and “comfortably aware of his own sexual desires”.
Athol touches on this a lot, as part of the Male Action Plan (and the Mindful Attraction Plan). But I think it bears a post on its own, because it is such a prevalent issue.
Men are not trained to think of themselves as sexy, the way women are. There are reasons for that. They are not always good reasons, especially in a post-industrial society.
Female sexuality remains context-based, and female attraction runs toward a context that pulls her toward both security (during menstruation) and excitement (during ovulation). Indeed, one could say female sexuality is fulcrum between security and excitement. While that fulcrum moves with occasionally-predictable regularity, it is constantly moving. What a woman finds “sexy” is going to wax and wane like the inconstant moon. And it’s going to change as she ages.
One thing that isn’t going to change, however, is that her sexuality will always be primarily responsive in nature. As in, ‘she’s responding to you’. And as we all know, the fawning, begging-for-sex-because-I’ve-been-a-good-boy Beta play in marriage leads to bed death and eventual divorce or misery. If you want sex with your woman, you have to be sexy.
Unfortunately, that tinny little word has some negative connotations in the masculine world. Women are sexy. Men are attractive. Women use their sexuality to attract high-quality men. Men use their context – their social status, position, and charisma – to attract sexy women. If you want to bang a bunch of hot babes, being cute and well-built never hurts. But a Ferrari can close a deal even if you look like John Lovitz.
What men forget is that the “sexy” component that they shy away from as “unmanly” is one of the things that women respond to. And while women are attracted to context, being adept at recognizing which end of the see-saw her fulcrum is situated and responding accordingly is vital. To do that, a man has to recognize, cultivate, and appreciate the value of his own sexuality, and the effect it can have on the woman in his life.
And that’s just not something we usually encourage in our young men without the aid of ethanol and cannabis. Even then, there is a lingering sense of shame that sometimes accompanies the idea that Yes, I’m A Sexy Dude.
As men, we rarely invest in valuing our sexuality – we spend most of our lives trying to give it away. By the time we get married or settle into a committed LTR, we walk away from whatever tentative appreciation of our own sexuality we’d cultivated by accident, because we make the mistake of thinking that wedding cake is an aphrodisiac.
All too soon the reality sets in. Hence the need for Married Game.
A big part of breaking that Betacization is getting back to that I’m A Sexy Dude attitude that manifests itself in confidence. Allowing our own insecurities and fears of rejection to take over the joint without the validation of sex creates a horrific self-fulfilling prophecy.
In essence, if you don’t think of yourself as sexy . . . why should your wife?
The MAP is essentially a roadmap back to Sexyland, but it begins by breaking the bad BETA habits of a lifetime. Diminishing your own sexuality or undervaluing it, for instance. Mistaking your wife’s jealousy over the attention other women sometimes pay you into an excuse to let yourself go. A desire for masculine conformity that ends up keeping you from distinguishing yourself – from the Beer Shield of extended adolescence to the corporate and casual uniforms that shroud our aggressive sexuality.
Think of it this way: being sexy is scary. You have to step out of your comfort zone and be willing to be dangerous . . . and for a Betacized OMG, that can be a daunting prospect. Yet a man who isn’t willing to consider himself sexually valuable is going to have a hard time achieving his objective, i.e. more and better sex.
What’s worse, your wife uses your lack of appreciation of your own sexual value against you, if you let her. It starts in subtle ways, as you attempt to establish long-term dominance in the relationship. But in the process of mutual-domesticization, she starts undercutting your masculine displays. When she buys you clothes, she’ll start buying more conservatively after a few years. She’ll tell you how cute she thinks your belly is. She’ll assure you that you’re sexy when, in fact, she’s actually thinking ‘adorable’.
What she’s actually doing here is a form of mate guarding. She wants to decrease your physical attractiveness, the sort of thing that might attract the raw animal passions of an opportunistic stalker (or her sister), while playing up your contextual attractiveness – your success in business or career. For the first few years of marriage, being married to a dorky-looking over-achiever is a good way to keep her marriage safe.
Unfortunately, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. As she becomes less physically attracted to him, and starts to crave novelty, the Betacized Dude mistakenly thinks that she wants yet more comfort and stability, because that’s what she’s been playing up. So he makes sure the lawn looks extra-spiffy, he watches Dancing With The Stars with her, and he stops initiating sex as much . . . or stops pushing sexual boundaries as the supply starts to dry up.
From this stage, it isn’t long before she’s totally un-attracted to him, stops putting any effort into sex, and has to start taking over the reins of the relationship by default. He’s too confused about why he’s not getting laid as much anymore to assert himself, and while she loves the control she feels in the relationship, it’s a hollow victory. He’s folded up, ready to concede to whatever she wants.
Of course, what she really wants is a lot more ALPHA in her diet. The comfort and security of a good BETA dude has made her complacent, and that’s made her restless. And when her man stops being ALPHA, she starts to resent him. No matter how supportive he is of her, it is a woman’s nature to find fault with the BETA in ways that an ALPHA-presenting man won’t stand.
Cultivating an active and potent sexuality is part of that presentation. That’s very, very difficult for a Betacized man to accomplish without some guidance. If he listens to the advice of the women in his life, which he is likely to do under the mistaken assumption that they know what they’re talking about, then he’s going to get a nice haircut, dress up more, do more housework, and essentially kiss her ass until she’s forced by the power of expectation to reward him, often un-enthusiastically. He dresses up, takes her out, spends a lot of money, and yeah, she feels obligated to put out for him. Not wildly fuck him, like they were teenagers in heat, but she’ll do her wifely duty and he’ll assume that things are grand because, hey, he had sex.
But he knows the difference. When you are quietly laying there thinking of something else other than him and your mutual passion, he knows. It’s not that it isn’t enjoyable, but there is a difference. And that difference starts with his presentation. This poor Betacized man has stopped thinking of himself as sexy, stopped thinking of himself as having sexual value, because his commitment to the marriage and its security, coupled with the subtextual messages his wife has been sending him, have convinced him that that’s not what she wants.
When in fact that’s precisely what she wants.
How do you break the bad BETA habits and find your mojo again? The MAP will give you the practical answers to that, but philosophically it starts when you start valuing your sexuality enough to invest in it. That means moving out of the marriage-of-appeasement that eventually turns into a bad sitcom, where you’re constantly looking stupid while she makes sarcastic comments about your masculinity and you whine about sex. It means creating a marriage in which the power of your masculinity, particularly your masculine sexuality, can continue to elicit delight and surprise, not boredom and anxiety.
Where to start? A new suit a threads can help, as can a good haircut, but that’s window dressing any reality show could tell you. Being a well-dressed dork still means you’re a dork. You need to up your Married Game, which means you need to change your approach from the ground up.
So start with your underwear.
No, really. Men rarely (only 30-40% of the time) buy their own underwear, and they will hang on to beloved pairs far, far in excess of their expiration date. Most of the underwear they get in their lives will be a present from one woman or another. Or if you’re a die-hard tighty-whitey fan, you can get your undergarments in packs of three at Walmart . . . not exactly an Alpha Move.
So before you rush out and invest in a new suit, start with your drawers. Spend some dough on some quality, and experiment with styles and fabrics.
Does that make you sneer in contempt at the thought of something so unmanly?
Get over it. That’s the point. Unless your preferred style is Commando, then stuffing your junk into something you like, instead of what someone else thought you should like, is going to be empowering.
I was a tighty-whitey man for decades, largely out of necessity and habit. In a working-class house with three boys, the one-size-fits-all approach to undies was understandable. It wasn’t until I followed some advice and tried on a pair of boxers that I realized I’d been in the wrong underwear for years. Boxers were manly in a classical sense and they came in endless fabrics and styles and designs.
To each their own, and it’s quite possible you may decide to go the other direction, from boxers to briefs. But regardless of the change, try a change. Buy some new, different, underwear on your own, without consulting your wife. Don’t even mention it afterward. Just start wearing them.
This will have a couple of effects: first, it will call attention to your nether regions, never a bad thing in a relationship. But second, it will raise a few alarm bells in her mind, based on the fact that every woman’s magazine article for the last fifty years has listed “buys new underwear” as one of the unmistakable signs that your man is cheating on you. Dudes don’t buy new underwear when they are in a secure, stable, happy relationship. They do buy new underwear when they’re trying to impress someone.
When she does notice, she’ll make a comment either in favor or against it. If she makes a comment in favor, chalk it up as a success and segue into initiating sex. She’ll be on it for the novelty, if nothing else. If she makes a critical comment, listen very carefully to just what and why she objects to the change.
First, if she demands to know why you changed, merely shrug and say “I needed new underwear. These make me feel sexy.” Grin boyishly.
If she asks you point-blank if you’re having an affair, not only do you have her worried, but you’ll be backing into a little Dread Game. Assure her you aren’t, but that you wanted to try something new.
If she makes a disparaging or emasculating remark . . . shove it in her face. A wife who is willing to cut down her husband’s sincere attempt at cultivating his sexuality – for her benefit – in a way that’s designed to undercut his confidence is well on her way to shrew-hood. Making a crack about your new shorts is designed to hurt your feelings for no other reason. It's a micro shit-test, and the only way to deal with it is a strong counter, along the lines of, 'Criticize much? What if I said your new bra made you look like your mother?" or something similar. Then walk away, fuming.
Unless it is made in a teasing and openly sexual way (ladies, here’s a hint: if you aren’t smiling and giggling, we’re not going to see it as teasing or sexual, but as critical and hurtful) then you know that she’s trying to dominate the relationship from the bedroom.
Buying new skivvies is a very small, very minor way to assert your ALPHA, but it puts her on notice that you, not she, is in control of your business. When you actively pick you what kind of cloth you want next to your junk, and don’t depend on her to decide that for you, you’re establishing some territorial bounds.
That isn’t to say that she can’t buy you new underwear, too, or that you shouldn’t wear them. But a brand-new pair of underwear that you selected for no better reason than you liked them lets her know that you have establish a boundary to your masculinity, a boundary she should be wary of crossing.
Now, if you’re worried about her not liking them . . . don’t. It doesn’t matter if she likes them. Indeed, it might work better if she doesn’t. That isn’t to say you should stop wearing them; on the contrary, wear them often and proudly. But it will get her attention and it will get her notice. It’s novel, it’s vaguely sexual, how could it not?
But “if you’re a man who loves sex” (duh) then you should invest some time and attention to what you wrap your ass in. Remember, your sexuality is a gift, and it deserves an appropriate wrapping. One that reminds you that you are, indeed, not just a sexual creature – but that your explosive male sexuality has value. Value that only increases over time.
And if she is unwilling to see that . . . there are plenty of ladies out there who will.