Sunday, February 12, 2012

The appeal of intelligent women

Susan has some interesting digressions from her post on the sex appeal, or lack thereof, of Emma Watson:
I am not saying that some men might not find above average intelligence to be attractive, but as a general rule it isn’t something that most guys look for, and unless the guy is a brainiac himself it is likely to be a negative.

Susan: Sounds like you’ve been reading your Roissy. Anything over 120 is just a pain in the ass, as I recall.

Guys with smarts at the upper end of the bell curve wouldn’t agree with Roissy’s maxims, however. Some of them tend toward the Asperger’s end of the spectrum, and I find them to be good company. We “get” each other, and we can sit there and babble on about computer/software/programming/science crap for hours and dig it.
However, Susan and Roissy are correct, the two commenters are not. Any woman with an IQ over 120 has, at the very least, a potential to be a pain in the ass far beyond that of her less intelligent sisters. What is so often forgotten is that the highly intelligent are as far removed from the merely smart as the smart are from the norm. And intelligent men generally aren’t looking for intellectual companionship from women the way most intelligent women think they are, as they’re more concerned about intellectual compatibility. For example, one of my hobbies is writing books, so it is FAR more important to me that my wife be able to amuse herself for several hours in the evening than provide me with a stimulating conversation about the various books we’re reading or whatever.

Also “stimulating conversations” are seldom particularly intellectual in scope or substance, as women tend to prefer talking about subjects rather than actually delving into them. I have met plenty of smart, literate women who enjoy talking intelligently about science, history, literature, and current events, but every single one will flee for the kitchen if something that threatens to go into detail such as intellectual dishonesty in the Euthyphro dialogue or the dichotomy of the Austrian Business Cycle mechanism and equity prices is brought up.

Spacebunny is smart and reads far more than the average individual, but let's face it, if we're going to talk about the latest books we've read, we're going to be discussing the Plantagenet dynasty and some of the historical revisions that have taken place since Runciman published his landmark work, we're not going to be discussing where I think Steve Keen might have taken his critique of neo-classical economics too far and reached some unsustainable conclusions. And with the possible exception of Veronique de Rugy's husband, I can't think of another man who might have the opportunity to do so.

The bigger problem is that for at least the last 20 years, smart women have felt the need to constantly challenge smarter men and it gets tedious constantly have to beat down their pointless arguments. And while it's very easy to blow apart the arguments of a stupid or average woman in such a way that they will accept it, it can be extraordinarily difficult to convince a woman of above-average intelligence of the flaws in hers, even when they are clear and undeniable. The backtracking, the ex post facto redefining, the goalpost-moving, it's all just a vast and tedious exercise in attempted face-saving and it is neither stimulating nor enjoyable.

This is not to say that men of moderate intelligence don't behave exactly the same way when attempting to defend the indefensible, it's just that such behavior is not a relationship concern to highly intelligent men who are not gay.

24 comments:

Mike M. said...

Vox, I think there's an IQ differential across which an LTR becomes impossible, because the other person is so painfully stupid that you can't stand to be around them for very long. Probably around 10%, maybe 15% of the higher IQ.

That being said, I agree with you about behavior. Combine an IQ in the 120s with the all-too-common American female immunity from criticism syndrome, and you have a recipe for mind-boggling arrogance.

Still, the women I rated as the hottest were all highly intelligent.

Anonymous said...

"it can be extraordinarily difficult to convince a woman of above-average intelligence of the flaws in hers, even when they are clear and undeniable. The backtracking, the ex post facto redefining, the goalpost-moving, it's all just a vast and tedious exercise in attempted face-saving and it is neither stimulating nor enjoyable."


Just reading that made me feel tired.

It all sounds like pride.

Makes me want to ask, "Do you want to be 'right' or do you want someone to love you? Because you can't have both."



Athor Pel

Anonymous said...

I like this post a lot. My IQ is around 140, and intelligence in the woman I date is a big issue. Here are my observations.

1) For the most part, I find relationships with women 30 IQ points or more below me almost impossible. They are just so annoying. I tried dating nurses/teachers and had some success but ultimately they are very boring. This is true for friends too. I think 30 IQ points is the maximum window of meaningful conversation.

My sweet spot has been around IQ 120 in my mates. I've dated some smarter then me and we get along, but hypergamy always kicks in. At 120 I'm usually smarter then them, have a better education, make more money. It works out better.

2) "Also “stimulating conversations” are seldom particularly intellectual in scope or substance, as women tend to prefer talking about subjects rather than actually delving into them."

I agree with this, but there is some value in being able to have some level of intellectual conversation with women. One of the things of getting older is learning which areas of discussion will be enjoyable and which to avoid.

3)"The bigger problem is that for at least the last 20 years, smart women have felt the need to constantly challenge smarter men and it gets tedious constantly have to beat down their pointless arguments. And while it's very easy to blow apart the arguments of a stupid or average woman in such a way that they will accept it, it can be extraordinarily difficult to convince a woman of above-average intelligence of the flaws in hers, even when they are clear and undeniable. The backtracking, the ex post facto redefining, the goalpost-moving, it's all just a vast and tedious exercise in attempted face-saving and it is neither stimulating nor enjoyable."

You win by not playing. See above #2. Game should have taught you this. True alphas never argue. They say their piece and move on. They only give people the time of day when they have something valuable to say.

4) A lot of the problems discuss can be solved by raising your status. If your rich/high status and smart you can pick whatever girl you want. Smart and beautiful and feminine. But then again, if you've already got those things you aren't reading game blogs, your living the dream. People that que in on a post like this are probably like me. Upper middle class but not rich. Average looking but not attractive. Well thought of by friends but no fame.

So can't get perfect girls because they aren't perfect. They have to make some trade offs. And one of those in intelligence versus looks versus femininity. What value should be assigned to each.

DaveD said...

I have to agree with the poster above me. There is a definite IQ Gap limit. My sweet spot seems to be between 115-120. I have known some wonderful girls around 100 who were incredibly fun to be around. The problem was there were times I just wanted to pat them on the head, smile, and say "Well, at least you're cute."

"And intelligent men generally aren’t looking for intellectual companionship from women the way most intelligent women think they are, as they’re more concerned about intellectual compatibility."

I never really saw that there is a difference between compatibility and companionship. After reading this said in such a way though, I wonder if I'm wrong.

DD

Anonymous said...

I suppose the intelligent women could, instead of going to college, whack their heads with frying pans until a few IQ points drip out their ears, but I'm not sure that's the wisest course of action.

Anonymous said...

"You win by not playing. See above #2. Game should have taught you this. True alphas never argue. They say their piece and move on. They only give people the time of day when they have something valuable to say."

While this is generally true it's not necessarily true. I don't know what my I.Q. is (scored 99% in the GMAT), but there can be a certain joy in taking down a smart women. It doesn't have to be a complex argument...usually it involves a couple of well chosen questions that cut to the heart of the argument and exposes the flaws

Women can be irritated but they inevitably find you infuriatingly attractive (if the rest of you game is solid).

P.S. It helps to weigh 200+ lbs...

- Apollyon

IndyGuy77 said...

I'd have to say kindness and wisdom are far more attractive than intelligence (and, sadly, mostly wanting with most females).

I dated a woman long-term who was a good deal South of me in intelligence and it was far less of an issue than I'd have thought.

She mostly found it intimidating and mystifying, though I think she was ashamed for not being able to follow my thinking sometimes.

But if a few other major factors didn't exist, I think she would have made a good, maybe great, wife.

Anonymous said...

Apollyon

If you're teasing, it's ok. If you actually give a damn and take pleasure from winning the argument, its beta.

The thing with a lot of smart chicks is they are knee deep in the outer party. You can't question INGSOC. So no talking about HBD or anything like that, which eliminates large spheres of argument. Of course if you give a damn what some bitches opinion is on that stuff you've got problems.

Stickwick said...

Vox, have you noticed a tendency for highly intelligent women to be ... how shall I say it ... somewhat emotionally unstable?

Anonymous said...

Forgotten in all of this is that there is a vast gender difference at the tail ends of the bell curve. For IQs above 135 (and below 65) men outnumber women 9 to 1. NINE to one. Men make up the vast majority of uber-geniuses and retards. Women are much more likely to be average. This disparity is not as pronounced closer to the mean, but it still exists. Which means it is simply not possible for 80+% of men with high IQs to date their intellectual equal. These women don't exist in anything like sufficient numbers.

The question I have is: Is any man actually attracted to intelligence in women?

I get that in a relationship, you would prefer to be with a person of similar intellect, in the same way you would prefer to have friends and coworkers of about the same intelligence. When you have to be around people who are drastically different (smarter or dumber) it can be irritating.

But has intelligence ever caused a man to become attracted to a woman? "Yeah, she's okay-looking, I guess. And she always yells and the wait staff when we go out. Plus there was that one time she kicked my mom's house cat. But have you heard her theory on Persian influence in the Peloponnesian War? That's when I knew she was the one. And when she helped me out with some vector calculus? I bought the ring the next day." This has never happened.

It seems like two things are going on here:
1. Projection. Women desire men who are above them, physically, socially, mentally. They mistakenly assume we desire women in the same way.
2. The Wall. Looks fade fast, but smarts are much more permanent, so women want to believe we care about this. There are aspects of a woman's mind we like. A lot. Kindness, conscientiousness, empathy, loyalty, etc. Raw number-crunching horsepower is not one of them.

universityofman said...

Men still argue with women? I thought that went the door along with trying to find a "good girl" years ago?

Great article though. I had to stop reading Susan's blog. I'd rather read someone totally off base than someone who gets it 98%. It's just maddening.

Meh. perhaps I'll give it another try...

redlegben said...

I have a very high IQ. Most tests I max out and the ones I don't I disagree with the answer and will logically prove I'm right. I could not date women long term that were slightly above average intelligence or less. I had no problem moving from one to another. It was part of my list of standards that had to be met if the relationship were to go past two weeks. There were far too many girls on the girl tree to waste on morons. Perhaps I was over confident in the idea that I would find the supermodel with a brain, however I found what I was looking for after three years of searching. We've been married for 17 years. I went through many possibles during those three years, but I think I was efficient with my two week rule.

The LP 999/Linda said...

Always insightful.

I value smart men and women. While humans may not always have all the answers to life, I look to the smarter pple for guidance and wisdom that I lack.

King A said...

Roissy is a baptizer. His purpose is conversion. He has come, like St. John, to "make straight the paths." He is nonpareil in shocking the beta zombies into awareness. If you take his extreme therapy as a creed you will find yourself a socially stunted underachiever, no matter how much his groupie Rollo provides cover with the appearance of intellectual justification through pithy aphorism. Roissy is proof of the adage, "You must learn to walk before you can run."

When Roissy talks about the advantage of low-IQ women, he is reinforcing the fundamentals to counteract this culture of "pretty lies." He is not promulgating a law (no matter what he thinks he's doing) so much as puncturing a myth, and he does this necessary groundwork quite well. Whenever he tries to extrapolate from his findings he makes an ass of himself. And now Rollo has created an entire online presence around that embarrassing attempt at extrapolation.

Modesty becomes a woman.
----------
If woman is made to please and to be in subjection to man, she ought to make herself pleasing in his eyes and not provoke him to anger; her strength is in her charms, by their means she should compel him to discover and use his strength. The surest way of arousing this strength is to make it necessary by resistance. Thus pride comes to the help of desire and each exults in the other's victory. This is the origin of attack and defense, of the boldness of one sex and the timidity of the other, and even of the shame and modesty with which nature has armed the weak for the conquest of the strong.

... In this respect the woman's mind exactly resembles her body; far from being ashamed of her weakness, she is proud of it; her soft muscles offer no resistance, she professes that she cannot lift the lightest weight; she would be ashamed to be strong. And why? Not only to gain an appearance of refinement; she is too clever for that; she is providing herself beforehand with excuses, with the right to be weak if she chooses.


Rousseau, Emile, Book V
----------

A woman who parades her intellectual chops is being mannish. And yet the essence of her femininity requires a kind of mental capacity ("emotional intelligence," dread phrase) that few men grasp. We used to call it "womanly wiles."

Anonymous said...

Amen. I married a woman with an iq around 140. I love that I can have an intelligent conversation with her and that she isn't completely helpless without me, but sometimes...

Anonymous said...

"But has intelligence ever caused a man to become attracted to a woman?"

Yes. After 16 years in a miserable marriage with a woman 50 iq points lower, intelligence in a woman became a major attraction to me.

Aeoli Pera said...

Intelligence means harder shit tests and probably more of them. Meh.

Badger said...

I as pretty relationship-oriented in my instinctive thinking, so while intelligence isn't a pure sexual turn-on for me, my attraction to a woman in terms of wanting to be with her in a romantic sense is greatly enhanced if and when I find she is intelligent and - this is important - wants something of an intellectual life.

Like others on this thread, I find that I can't spend too much time with a really not-intelligent woman; no matter how hot she is, I get this mentally numb feeling that I find highly unsatisfying. And like others, I've sadly found that many smart women simply have supercharged rationalization hamsters, if they haven't developed self-awareness, introspection, self-security and problem-solving skills commensurate with their intelligence. And still others will use their smarts during the workday, but for evenings and weekends are hard to tell apart from your average reality-tv/shopping/partying young woman.

The big disappointment for me in my blue-pill days was that smart women didn't appreciate being appreciated for being smart. My admiration for their brain had zero value in terms of attracting them (of course I understand now that it was repulsive supplication). So my strategy to game smart women is, I run the same game I do on dumb women. Sometimes I buff up the speed and content a bit, but I make sure not to lose sight of the principles of game. Brainy chicks need their emotions stoked just like everyone else.

As for women liking intelligence in a man, some - not all, but some - women seem to appreciate a man's intelligence only in terms of giving her status with her friends. I dated a woman who talked about how she liked how I was smart, but quickly became resistant to my reading books, doing hobbies and other things that kept my brain in good shape (even walking out of a museum we were visiting where I was having a great time exploring). It's like she didn't understand that brainpower has to be toned like musclepower.

Anonymous said...

There's definitly an acceptable range. My wife has a PhD in Molecular Biology and writes novels for fun. I don't know what her IQ is and don't really care. Mine's over 160 so I need someone who can at least follow along without looking at me like a deer in the headlights.

We had some betaization issues until I discovered game, now she knows her place and seems happier for it. Smart girls are still just little girls on the inside, they may just need a little more breaking in.

Evolutionarily, what I get out of it is a woman who is a hell of a lot less likely to forget the kids in the car than some dumb box.

Anonymous said...

I find it funny that a good percentage of the posters claim to have iq scores of 130+. Then again, I should know by now that everyone lurking a dating website is genius.......

Anonymous said...

If she submits to you, she'll submit to other men. Stupid women can easily be convinced to betray you. Egomaniacs without a clue.

Anonymous said...

I don't want a creationist raising my child.

yuumuraj said...

Great post. Without maturity, common sense and self-awareness, high intelligence is just an annoyance -- people use it to rationalize selfish decisions or espouse stupid ideas with no basis in reality.

Most women lack the first three qualities, so high intelligence is almost always a negative.

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