Thursday, March 22, 2012

A triumph of the will

Susan talks with a college woman who has been hooking up stupid and is now attempting to kick the habit:
Recently, I was talking with Emileigh, a female college student who’s gotten into the habit of hooking up at school. Freshman year she had a regular hookup that eventually turned into an official relationship, though it was fraught with drama and suspicion of his cheating. Looking back on it, she said, “I know he didn’t love me.”

When that relationship burned and crashed over the summer, she returned to school figuring she’d follow the same path. This wasn’t entirely insensible – hooking up is the pathway to relationships in college, though it happens only 12% of the time. (Hayes, Allison, McManus, Brian and Paul, 2000). Two and a half years later, she’s had many hookups, none of which made it to the relationship stage this time around. She’s a senior now and feels miserable about it. I asked her why she kept doing it. Her answer had several elements.

Guys give her attention knowing she hooks up on the reg.
The girls who don’t hook up get zero attention from guys, which she fears would be even worse.
Her number has gotten so high she doesn’t see why it matters anymore. :(
It’s awkward to say no.

Regarding that last point, 12% of women say that it is sometimes easier to have sex with a guy they don’t know than to make conversation (Glenn, Norval and Marquardt, Elizabeth, 2001).

Emileigh was clearly wrestling with the fact that she’d become one of the most promiscuous girls on campus. Hooking up was a habit, and she no longer gave any thought to the decision before making it. She had forfeited her power to reflect, ponder and choose. She feels terrible about her choices – she was very upset while telling me this – and she wants to stop. She’s not sure how.
The problem is that one only ever stops by stopping. There are any number of various psychological tricks one can attempt to play upon oneself, but in the end, one has to simply resist that seductive voice of temptation that says: "this makes sense, this is the right way to do it because it feels good, this time it's different and it's going to work." It doesn't matter if one is attempting to break a habit of eating too much, smoking cigarettes, smoking pot, playing Battlefield 3 instead of writing, or engaging in casual sex, unless and until the activity actually stops, it won't stop.

It's a tautology... but tautologies are, by definition, true.

Emileigh's example should serve as a powerful warning to young women who are just reaching the age where they are permitted - wisely or not - to make decisions concerning their sex lives. Her cautionary example will be ignored by those who insist on making their own mistakes, but it is of great potential benefit to those who are intelligent to learn from the mistakes of others. The schadenfreude being expressed by many low-rank men at her expense is misguided, because it is only through the example and testimony of women like Emileigh that a return to more reasonable societal restrictions on female sexuality will take place barring the customary societal, and in this case, possible civilizational, collapse.

54 comments:

modernguy said...

It's a tautology... but tautologies are, by definition, true.

And useless.

Anonymous said...

"She feels terrible about her choices – she was very upset while telling me this – and she wants to stop. She’s not sure how."


Tell her she stops this behavior real soon. Or she ends up as either the town's local bar whore, a hooker...or divorced a few times and back to square one when she's 40. Better to deal with the shame now, than as a broken 40 year old.

Anonymous said...

I'd also guess drinking plays a part in this addictive behavior. Which is another thing she will also likely have to stop doing.

Brian said...

Her parents shouldn't have named her Emileigh. Really? Emily will suffice. I wonder how many times she snowflaked her decisions because "I'm not like everyone else. See? I even get a special spelling for my name."

Stickwick said...

The girls who don’t hook up get zero attention from guys ...

This is true, at least in my experience. If you project the image of a nice chaste female student who's not into partying and casual sex, very few males will express interest in you beyond just friendship. It was a painful experience, but far less so than regretting a multitude of hook-ups.

mmaier2112@work said...

Re: Modernguy's post.

Irony... so much better when it's unintentional.

mmaier2112@work said...

Stickwick: I don't know where on a 10 scale you are, but are you seriously telling me that no guys would give you attention if they were more or less the same level of attractiveness as you?

This sounds more like it was "none of the guys I really WANTED to give me their attentions ever did so".

Mr. Nightstick said...

It doesn't matter if one is attempting to break a habit of eating too much, smoking cigarettes, smoking pot, playing Battlefield 3 instead of writing, or engaging in casual sex, unless and until the activity actually stops, it won't stop.

You crack me up Vox. Be glad you haven't started play TOR.

Mike M. said...

Is college for learning, or partying? The last I heard, you were paying the big bucks for the former.

I'm not sure some of these students understand that.

Just A Girl said...

"12% of women say that it is sometimes easier to have sex with a guy they don’t know than to make conversation."

...Wow. Removing themselves from the situation isn't an option?

This is only tangentially relevant, but whenever I hear about people deliberately using their sexuality in unhealthy ways, I just want to run around shouting,"Friend sex is a thing! You can enjoy sex with someone you LIKE and have AFFECTION for WITHOUT forcing a romantic connection that simply isn't there for whatever reason." That way a man doesn't need to fall into the thinking that he is "pulling on over" on his partners or resort to leading a woman on to thinking he is interested in her romantically to get sex, and a woman can have sex with someone with whom she feels comfortable, and without feeling as though she has "let him win."

Retrenched said...

"The girls who don’t hook up get zero attention from guys"

BUT... the thing is, when a beta guy sees his alpha buddies getting laid quick and cheap by girls like Emileigh, he's probably going to want the same thing for himself. If he has to take it slow and invest in a girl to get the same thing the alphas are getting without any effort, he's going to feel like a fool.

Which is why the hookup culture, once it's in place, tends to be self-reinforcing. It discourages men from investing, and it discourages women from demanding investment.

Stickwick said...

I don't know where on a 10 scale you are, but are you seriously telling me that no guys would give you attention if they were more or less the same level of attractiveness as you?

Yes. I had the same experience in high school. I was easily a 9 out of 10. Very pretty face, long blonde hair, extremely fit. I was constantly passed over for less attractive girls who would put out.

Here's the telling thing. I took a break for a few years between high school and college, and in the working world, where there are adult working men, it was a totally different story. I got asked out constantly. In fact, I was overwhelmed by the tidal wave of attention I got. But once I was back in college, all of the attention dried up.

I don't know how old you are, but things have changed a LOT in the high school / college milieu. In my father's day, he said very few girls were known to put out. Some of the guys would use these girls for sex, but they would still only seriously date the nice girls. It's not like that anymore. As a chaste non-party-girl I was getting very little attention while this one girl who, I kid you not, looked like a female Vogon had the football players lining up outside her dorm room, because she was known to freely give BJs to any attractive guy.

Anonymous said...

"In my father's day, he said very few girls were known to put out."

So your father went to school in the 1950's?

Retrenched said...

One more thing, re: my first comment...

"when a beta guy sees his alpha buddies getting laid quick and cheap by girls like Emileigh, he's probably going to want the same thing for himself."

…this is especially true once the betas realize that a lot of the girls who expect them to take it slow… are the same ones who gave it up almost right away to the alpha guys who knew how to push their buttons.

Sure, NAWALT, but it doesn't take that many women being "like that" to discourage a guy from seriously investing in girls. Which, in turn, makes it a lot harder for the girls who really aren't "like that" to find a guy who's willing to seriously invest in them.

Der Hahn said...

Good points, Retrenched.

Female 9s and 10s can already be selective enough that their behavior is really not driving the break down in the SMP.

It's the female 6, 7, and 8s that need to be disabused of two notions.

1) that they can hook a male 9 or 10 into a committed relationship by putting out early (that 12% statistic). This doesn't work because male 9s and 10s exercise just as much choice in the SMP as any female, contrary to fem-centric social programming.

and perhaps more importantly

2) that male 6, 7, and 8s will be willing to accept them as relationship partners when they finally decide they need to 'settle' after several years of getting pumped and dumped.

Just A Girl said...

Der Hahn, what would you suggest those female 6, 7, and 8s do with themselves? Give up on anyone higher than beta 5s and pursue relationships with men with much lower SMV than themselves?

LP 999/Linda said...

Sad. She is setting herself up for a world of hurt and regrets...

Der Hahn said...

Just A Girl, could you point out where I suggested that anyone of either sex pursue someone with a *lower* SMV? Cuz I sure can't see where I wrote that.

Just an asshole said...

@Just A Girl

If those females have been used and abused by higher SMV males, chances are males of their equals dont want to commit to them either. In which case: yes, their best bet is to move down the ladder.

Der Hahn said...

You can use whatever words float your boat but people are pretty much hard-wired to engage in sex in mutually exclusive and committed relationships. When one party or the other attempts to short-circut that fact the resulting relationshp, however pleasurable in the short term, is ultimately unstable. That includes not only maintaining soft harems or constellation of orbiting bodies, but also accepting a slot in a rotation or being 'just friends'.

modernguy said...

There's always hope for the repentant. It's those with the arrogance to think that they wouldn't falter that have it coming to them.

Spectator said...

I think women who put out do get attention, it's just not from the men they want that attention from, so those guys are safely ignored. They want to play with the alphas without riding the carousel.

TimP said...

This is also a data point in support of the not marrying sluts policy that a lot of game bloggers argue for. This women want's to stop being a slut (good on her, and best of luck to her), but is having trouble with it. From the sound of it she's decided that she doesn't want to have sex with every random, attractive guy who's willing to take her, but is having trouble with the willpower side of things. I can't see any way that wearing a wedding ring would make this all that much easier. I'm think having regular sex with her new husband would make it easier for the first little while, but at I doubt that would last even a couple of years, and beyond that ...

The Social Pathologist said...

The problem is that one only ever stops by stopping.

So true.

Still, she shows no signs of wanting to stop. She needs her alpha fix.

The girls who don’t hook up get zero attention from guys, which she fears would be even worse.

Commentator Stickwick lays out the modern female's dilemma. Put out and get attention, don't put out and get ignorned. The problem with Susan's friend is that she would rather be a slut than ignored. She'd rather be pumped and dumped than run the risk of celibacy. That line explains her whole underlying psychology.

Sorry Vox, although I wish her well, I've got very little sympathy for this girl. The rationalisation hamster is strong in this one.

It’s awkward to say no.

A while ago, I was reading of how female college students now have more sexual partners on average than male. The guys getting the least action are the STEM majors whilst the guys getting the most action are the "arty" types. Women, it would appear, are say yes to one group far more than the other, therefore female active choice is being exercised in the matter. I'd like to see a list of her lovers. I think we all know that it would be over represented by a certain demographic. She has no problem saying no to the men that she doesn't want.

She doesn't have a habit, rather, she has a bad mating strategy. She opens her legs to alpha males in the hope that she can catch one with them.It's been proven time and time again to be a stupid approach.

If a woman wants a male who will stick around then she has to be discerning in her mate choice. Not only must he alpha qualities but he must be able to commit; he has to be conscientious and disciplined. Unfortunately those two latter qualities are not sexually attractive.

She who lives by the tingles shall perish by them.

Soga said...

It's not easy being a Christian man. You have to strike the right balance between having attractive qualities and honoring God.

I understand that there are many lessons in Game that can be applied in a Christian's life, but it is SIGNIFICANTLY more difficult to practice Game as a Christian. For one, while one of the goals may be the same (getting laid), the means is different. Christians are to do so through marriage, not by hooking up. So that means that not only do we have to work on our Game to actually attract women (because let's face it... most Christian men grow in a church that teaches them to be doormats for women), but we also have to know when to sneak in dabs of beta to maintain a long term relationship that we hope ends up as a healthy marriage with a woman we can both love and get lots of action from.

It's not easy being a Christian man.

papabear said...

Agreed. Plenty of attention from the betas if they want it. Someone wasn't willing to push her on this point.

papabear said...

They may want sex too, but will they get any without becoming alpha-like in their behavior? If they remain betas it doesn't matter.

Stickwick said...

Did you mean women who don't put out?

As for attention, what form does this take? I can be rather obtuse in this regard. Unless a man actually asks me out, I have no idea if he's interested or just being friendly. I got asked out by one (1) guy in high school and one (1) guy in college. Perhaps I was getting "signals" from betas and didn't notice, because no overt gestures were made.

Anonymous said...

2) that male 6, 7, and 8s will be willing to accept them as relationship partners when they finally hit their sell-by date and are dragged kicking and screaming from the Alpha Cock Carousel after several years of getting pumped and dumped.

FIFY

Mike M. said...

No, he's pointing out that a 6/7/8 who's been sleeping around is no longer a 6/7/8. A high N count decreases Marriage/LTR Market Value, especially for women.

Mr. Tzu said...

The description read as though she has been going through the Drive Thru looking for the elusive five star dining experience.

"Blinded by fury and driven by emotion, she decides to make yet another change. A real and meaningful change this time. This time she’ll get it right and enjoy what she deserves for being an amazing woman."

For better or worse she is the only one that can walk through the door.

NC Dad said...

Stickwick, I have to say that I looked for someone like you back in my college days. What an exceptional woman. I hope life has brought you to the right man.

Girls such as you were rare at Mississippi State, and the ones who were like that had been snapped up by Christian guys who were in the right place at the right time (seems that Christian men and Christian women sought each other out instead of the players and sluts).

I am raising my daughters to be the same way. My oldest (15) really has her head on straight and does not mind that her dad is looking to provide correction to any young buck who gets overly interested. She even done her part in the deflection process by letting some selected individuals know that she shoots for a highpower rifle team out to 600 yards using iron sights on a AR15. This usually provides a level set to the guy. The more insistent ones she will just tell them to leave and that she will give them a 300 yard head start. And to remember to "zig" instead of "zag".

Makes me proud in the "I'm from the mountains of N. Georgia!" kind of way.

Stickwick said...

Thanks, NC Dad. Being chaste in college paid off. I met my to-be husband my senior year, and he is truly the best man I have ever known. He was looking for a wife, and I doubt he would have expressed interest if I had been known as a hook-up girl. (BTW, I wasn't Christian at the time, but he was.)

Hopefully in a few years the right kind of man will eventually find his way past your daughter's crosshairs.

CMC said...

Obvious technical solution: segregate the genders in education; parietals, limited visiting hours, etc. Aside from the increased practical difficulties in hooking up, the women will probably tend to slut-shame each other more just as a matter of course.

rycamor said...

Yet another good reason to keep your children far from our modern educational institutions.

Susan Walsh said...

Thanks, Vox, you captured my intent perfectly, which was to share Emileigh's story for other women to consider. I know that some of my readers will feel great they didn't tread that same path, and some will recognize themselves in Emileigh. Hopefully some who are on the fence will make the right choice. I do think testimony like this serves as a cautionary tale - in the same way that Kate Bolick does. Women have a visceral reaction: "I don't want to end up like her."

At one point I said to Emileigh that I believe very few women are really cut out for casual sex without emotional intimacy. She said, "You're wrong - it's zero. I don't know a single girl who's happy with the scene." Obviously, she's not hanging out with the sex pozzies, but I thought it was interesting. And of course one wonders why these women keep doing the same thing again and again, expecting a different result...

@Retrenched
BUT... the thing is, when a beta guy sees his alpha buddies getting laid quick and cheap by girls like Emileigh, he's probably going to want the same thing for himself. If he has to take it slow and invest in a girl to get the same thing the alphas are getting without any effort, he's going to feel like a fool.

Which is why the hookup culture, once it's in place, tends to be self-reinforcing. It discourages men from investing, and it discourages women from demanding investment.


This is already a serious issue. I hear tales of girls making out with cute beta guys, probably the first chance he's had in a while, only to be told that he wants to "explore his options." He wants to take that bit of social proof and run with it. You can't blame him - he's only pursuing what is clearly a winning strategy for the most successful guys. Needless to say, the opportunity cost of this is huge for both sexes.

Susan Walsh said...

@CMC
Obvious technical solution: segregate the genders in education; parietals, limited visiting hours, etc. Aside from the increased practical difficulties in hooking up, the women will probably tend to slut-shame each other more just as a matter of course.

I'm with you there. The eradication of in loco parentis has been a disaster in the American educational system.

Anonymous said...

"And of course one wonders why these women keep doing the same thing again and again, expecting a different result..."

Einstein insanity theory. Always liked this one as it applies so often in life.

CarpeOro said...

I remember transferring into a university after going to a community college and meeting another transfer student with the same major. He ended up going the frat route and drinking heavily. I focused on classes, was serving in the USNR, and worked part time off and on. I had no understanding how people could go to college just to party.

Anonymous said...

There's two separate things going on here and Stickwick's comment made me notice this.

For one, the things that are interesting to a child aren't interesting to adults, and vice versa, but sometimes it's hard to notice that you're among kids. When Stickwick went back to school, she'd been among adults, and found it was hard to meet relationship-oriented guys b/c she was in the middle of hookup culture. She wasn't like the boys, she was a woman, and the boys were interested in girls, not women. So it was socially tough. (Been there, done that; went to grad school post-military. Same planet, different worlds). Emileigh's problem is she has realized that college girl life ain't what it's cracked up to be, but she is stuck now as a fish out of water in the middle of the same hookup culture. She's maturing, but she's in the midst of the infantile Id college scene.

Second, Emileigh isn't wrecked for life but she has to make a change and get out of the infantile scene she's in, the Alpha / Greater Beta carousel. We're generally forgiving of all manner of stupidity by college students. She can put a lot of the college stupidity behind her by just growing up and moving into the adult world, getting totally out of the scene she's in and starting over, but it will take some moxy. As noted above, the first step is to grow a little self-respect, and quit sleeping around, NOW. Along with that new self respect, she should take care of herself - drink less if that's tied to the trampy behavior, be fit, mature, and learn to be secure in herself. She may need a man in the long run, but for tonight she needs to learn she doesn't *need* a man right now, just read a book, watch a movie, chill out, it's okay to be alone for a while and is actually kind of nice if you do something with your alone time. When she graduates soon, she needs to move. That may mean out of state, maybe out of the city she's in, whatever. But she needs to get away from that college, and from those people she knows. The guys who did her and the girls who saw it go down for 4 years no doubt think of her as a slut, even if they don't come right out and say it - because we shame slut shamers worse than we shame sluts, but it doesn't mean people aren't thinking it. Worse, there will be an expectation in her social set that she'll put out, and she will be faced with temptation, and the boy geniuses who banged her in college will be junior managers with nice cars and better refined PUA game trying to bang her as a 23 yeear-old. She needs to get away from them and ditch her old reputation, her history, her temptation to slip into the old ways and the people who have preyed on (and will continue to prey on) her insecurity.

Then she needs to build up a network of friends and things to do in the new location, friends built around doing stuff she likes to do. Stuff that involves getting hammered and hooking up - bad. Avoid it.

A lot of the bad behavior can be put in the past when a person leaves college, 21 is not to late to turn the ship around (though 25 may be). It takes a total change of behavior and total change of mindset, and maybe a moving van. The ghosts of bad behavior can't be permanently banished but they can be pushed away and made to mostly disappear.

Stickwick said...

I dunno rycamor. If there is a compelling reason to go to college, then there are preventative measures parents can take to inoculate their children from the humanist disease. If a kid is raised with strong values and a strong attachment to those values, and has the maturity to resist temptation, it's probably not going to be a problem. I was in the college sex-and-booze-a-rama and was never tempted to partake. But I was a little bit older than the average freshman, paying my own way, and extremely dedicated to my studies. Sending 18-year-olds who have never had any responsibility and have no clear sense of why they're in college -- yeah, probably a bad idea (not to mention a waste of money).

JartStar said...

playing Battlefield 3 instead of writing

Heh.

CarpeOro said...

It’s awkward to say no.

Don't forget that men have to deal with being told "no" all the time unless they are (and even when) they are Alphas.

Just a Girl said...

I was asking whether that was what you would suggest, not implying that you had already suggested it. If you had written it, I wouldn't have been curious as to the answer.

Just a Girl said...

I think I see what you're saying. You mean that a woman who allows herself to be manipulated/led on/mistreated repeatedly is less attractive for a relationship than she would be otherwise? It makes sense that a man would prefer a partner who naturally gravitates toward healthy, long-term relationships.

Just a Girl said...

Ah, gotcha. Thanks for clearing that up.

rycamor said...

I worked my way through college and never lived on-campus, which is probably one reason I as a young Christan man did not fall into the hookup culture. Also, I became a leader in one of the campus Christian groups as soon as I entered college. That sort of scenario is about as far as I would be willing to go with my children, and even then only for good reason.

My experience was in the late 80s, and hookup was already fairly established, but nothing like it is today. I don't know how it is for girls, but most of the younger Christian men I have known who were reasonably attractive and not absolute Bible-thumpin' faith fireballs ended up falling into the hookup culture in college, or as a couple of them put it to me "scamming girls for sex". It's just too easy.

Ecce Hetero said...

From the thread:

"Perhaps I’m self-projecting a bit from my single days, but if college women were more inclined to accept simple dates when asked out, they could avoid having sex with strangers and get to know guys first? Maybe it makes too much sense to work these days : |

Unfortunately, I think that less sexually aggressive guys are unlikely to ask a girl out on a real date instead. And I’ll be the first to admit that it’s so unusual that many women would look askance at the gesture as a DLV. That’s how screwed up things are right now."

Here's the problem. And it's not a DLV because it's unusual. Cop out. Hooking up is the only route to relationships because young women have decided it is.

Ecce Hetero said...

It's just a natural consequence of the radical non-judgmentalism to which you yourself (for mostly good reasons) subscribe. The problem is that when the Good refrain from judgement, it doesn't result in a magical non-judgmental utopia for the young, but rather they seek out judgement from less Good sources (sex-pozzies or the negging douchebag, take your pick).

Growing up in the self-esteem culture, they crave judgment because they've so often been judged to be extra super special by those in authority. They will tune out those who don't judge them, whether the open-minded beta (supplicating betas are right out) or the Good elders so concerned (again, for good reason) with encouraging them to develop their own autonomy.

In my experience, the Good elders are scared shitless by this development, to the extent of extensive head-in-the-sand-burying.

M said...

They should simply lie about it. Unless you were indiscrete and know all the same people a man won't know that you were a slut unless you tell him.

Just an asshole said...

Correct.

Anonymous said...

"isn't wrecked for life" - not completely, but there's some irreparable damage here. "I've had N sexual partners; want to be number N+1?" will turn off a few guys, "I'm a virgin and want to wait." will turn off a few others, yet "I've had N sexual partners but don't want any more right now" can scare off the whole lot of them. It may be honestly intended as a statement about the girl's self-reform, but it is likely to be interpreted as a relationship-ending insult ("I like sex, just not with *you*") by any but the most hopelessly beta prospective suitors.

And there doesn't seem to be any way out of that. "I don't want to talk about my sexual history" won't work for a lifetime, lying about it is even worse for intimacy, and even trying to delay the news as long as possible is just setting yourself up for a Clerks scene.

At best she can set a policy (third date? try third month) which is prudish enough to scare off the pump-and-dumpers but liberal enough not to appear like a drastic life change.

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