Christianity gave Eros poison to drink: he did not die of it but degenerated - into vice.
A commentator on my previous post made the following remark.
At least to this social conservative, you're going to have to work harder to sell the idea that hypergamy, as it is generally expressed, is not a vice. Here's a piece I wish I'd written, that does a splendid job of pointing out the trouble with 'alpha' behavior. I cannot believe that it is right and proper for women to select for that. It strikes me as something akin to men fetishizing breasts to the point of liking implants - it's a particularly unnatural and dangerous form of superficiality. If that is what it is, not only should it not be pandered to; it should be denounced left and right as the character defect, the symptom of the Fall, that it is.The commentator links to a website which gives a good critical assessment of "Bad Boy" alpha-behaviour. From the link:
Who can provide for and defend the community. That is the one and only thing that will matter to anyone. For the men, they need to know that their fellow survivors can count on them to fight should the need arise. For the women, they need to know that the men they're now relying on can defend them. In today's world, the ability to provide is not valued at all; men that can provide for a family are a dime a dozen in the eyes of, well, everyone. There is no need, it's implied, for the providers anymore. What there is a need (nay, a desire) for are men that really can't provide, but can only push all the right buttons.and,
The "jerk" is merely a man that says and does the right things that make a woman attracted to him. What is interpreted as "jerk behavior" is really a casual disregard for the opinions of others, a willingness to do what one wants, and a lack of fear when saying what's on one's mind. This comes across as "strong, capable provider", but women can be much more easily deceived than men in this respect: beauty is harder to change than behavior. Whereas a woman can easily attract a man with her beauty, a man must use his personality and charisma to attract a woman. Women, however, can be fooled into thinking a man is an Alpha when he is nothing more than a jobless tool because what attracts them is not based on appearances, but on actions. A man may change his behavior to hide who he really is, but to the worldly woman this is undetectable and irrelevant: "he just feels right."I think what horrifies many Social Conservatives with regard to Game is that it would appear to advocate behaviours which are immoral, corrupting and exploitative. Furthermore, the sight of a nice young girl throwing herself with abandon and at "bad boy" whilst a "nice boy" is ignored intuitively strikes them as wrong. Social Conservatives operate within a moral universe where virtue should be rewarded and vice punished, and to them there seems to be something perversely wrong with a young girl physically giving herself to a man with attributes which seem so totally contrary to the Christian teaching and even prudent common sense. The SoCon intuits that there is something wrong with this picture, and indeed there is, but his intellectual foundations preclude him from coming to an accurate diagnosis. Their only explanation seems to be that the girl was either manipulated or that she lacked moral agency. Game then, is seen as a manipulative technique or something that works on women who aren't quite right; for example, women with low self esteem.
And then there is this:
Hello everyone, i have been married to my husband just over a year but we have been together for around about six years. I love my husband a lot and care for him so much. But unfortunately when we get intimate i am not turned on or even want to have sex. We used to be so passionate and the sex has been fantastic! But the last half year has just suddenly fizzled. And when we discuss it, it's obvious it's not him but me. We find it hard to talk about, as he is normally really upset about it so we normally just ignore the issue. My husband is 10 years older than me, i am in my mid 20's. He is very handsome, intelligent and very loyal to me, so i am not sure why this is happening. I am not at all interested in other men or sex with anyone else. My libido must be so low! I have been hanging around my uni friends (females) a lot more than usual and going out (as we are all graduating), but this is not because i want to meet anyone but more because i just want to get out and away from the situation. Any advice or help or discussion would be very much appreciated as i feel really lost at the moment.This is not an atypical case, and a cursory search of the internet will find many similar stories. In fact, one of the more common problems seen in General Practice (Family medicine) is that of the woman who presents because of a low libido, and who feels guilty about it. These women have husbands who are hard working, loyal and treat them well, They want to be able to sexually satisfy and feel a desire for them and don't know why they can't. They are not hoping to hop onto the carousel, rather, what they want is for their sex drive to return to normal.
Now, it's quite true that in some cases circumstantial stressors such as financial difficulties, young children, illness, etc. can be contributory factors towards a diminished libido, however in many instances no cause is found. (In my experience, biochemical factors are rarely at play). On the other hand, how do you explain this?
Now, if there were an organic cause to this lady's problem then there should be a universal reduction in libido, instead, what we find is a specific reduction which is directed toward her husband but not toward other men. Note too, that the woman is herself totally perplexed by this state of affairs; she has no insight into her condition and does not want to ride the carousel. (Note to MRA advocates, the women here aren't consciously lying). Why is she--despite wanting to--not attracted to her romantically perfect husband and yet is still attracted to other men?
The terminology of love has been mangled quite a bit so what I want to make some clear definitions.
Conjugal love: The romantic and sexual love for a member of the opposite sex.
Eros: Contemporary use of term has sexual connotations, but here I'm using it in the philosophical sense where Eros referred to a type of love where the lover both wanted union and took delight in the object of his affections. Unlike our modern usage of it, Eros was a type of love that could apply to non-sexual matters. For example, Plato felt that the love of philosophy was erotic since the philosopher both desired knowledge and took delight in it. The important aspect of the concept here is that Eros recognises and delights in the inner beauty of the object comprehended. From the Wiki Link above:
Ultimately, Plato considers Eros to be a longing for wholeness or completeness, a daemon whose aim is to reach wisdom without ever owning her. In that sense Eros is synonymous with philosophy, which literally means the love or desire of wisdom. And since wisdom is the greatest of virtues, Eros is therefore the desire for the greatest of goods. However, it is important to note that for Plato, the object of love does not necessarily have to be physically beautiful. In fact the greatest of goods will be eternal, and physical beauty is in no way eternal. If he achieves possession of the beloved's inner beauty and goodness, the lover's need for happiness will be fulfilled, because happiness is the experience of knowing that you are participating in the Good.The conceptually broad nature of Eros doesn't really help us when it comes to conjugal love. Since conjugal love deals with a particular type of Eros; an Eros directed towards a specific person which is meant to ultimately result in a physical sexual fleshy consummation. C.S. Lewis, in his "The Four Loves", describes this love as erotic(conjugal) love as being comprised of both Eros and Venus (the sexual appetite). I think a far better description of it would be to describe Erotic love as being composed of both Eros and Libido.
Now Libido needs to be understood as the sexual appetite: the desire to have sex. It is an appetite who's origin is in our biology; our flesh. It is an involuntary subconscious physiological response to the appropriate stimuli. To put it crudely, given the appropriate signals, it's what makes us horny.
Therefore: Conjugal Love= Eros + Libido.
To understand what is fundamentally wrong with the romantic conception of love, and how it injures conjugal love, it needs to be recognised that our modern conception of it has been strongly influenced by the ascetic religious traditions of the West. A tradition which denigrated the sinful nature of the body whilst elevating the spiritual nature of it. The Pagan and Christian ascetics were constantly warring against the flesh, seeing it as an impediment to sanctity, and many of them wanted to deny it its legitimacy. Fasting, flagellation and chastity were considered signs of an elevated spiritual nature, and over time, an association between goodness and bodily denial permeated into high western culture and our traditional conception of romantic love was formed. Romantic love is Sexual Love stripped of Libido: it's all Eros, in the philosophical sense. To quote C.S. Lewis again:
It has been widely held in the past, and is perhaps held by many unsophisticated people to-day, that the spiritual danger of Eros arises almost entirely from the carnal element within it; that Eros is " noblest " or " purest " when Venus[Libido:Ed] is reduced to the minimum The older moral theologians certainly seem to have thought that the danger we chiefly had to guard against in marriage was that of a soul-destroying surrender to the senses. It will be noticed, however, that this is not the Scriptural approach. St. Paul, dissuading his converts from marriage, says nothing about that side of the matter except to discourage prolonged abstinence from Venus (I Cor. vii,5)
C.S. Lewis. The Four Loves.
This is what Nietzsche meant by his comment. He recognised that ascetic Christianity hadn't killed Eros(Conjugal love) completely, rather the sexual element of it, Libido, was turned into a vice. What was considered legitimate by the ascetics was an anaemic version of conjugal love: Romantic love. It was lots of "contemplation" of the other's beauty with hardly any legitimate sexual desire. Legitimate love was something far less fleshy and far more platonic. And the whole subject of sexual desire was consigned to the filthy habits of the morally corrupt and was not a subject worthy of serious thought. And so whilst the West was well aquainted with vice it was rather ignorant of libido especially the female component as the feminine was considered higher and more pure than the masculine. Traditionalists use this conceptual framework when it comes to approaching sexual relationship matters.
Take the following situation. Our nice Taylor Swift girl-next-door is standing next to Tommy the thug and is feeling a fire in her loins. She knows that he is not good for her yet she is incredibly attracted to him. She knows he is bad but doesn't know why he makes her feel really, really good. She doesn't register that her attraction to him is not a choice but a physiological response: It is flesh speaking to spirit. A battle ensures between her reason which knows Tommy is bad, and her flesh, which knows Tommy is good. If the Rationalisation Hamster is strong, within a few minutes, Tommy has his hand up Taylor's skirt.
Taylor's in heaven; it's her five minutes of alpha.
Pushing aside the moral considerations of the act, Taylor's actions mystify the Tradtionalists. Tommy is clearly not a good friend to Taylor, and his abusive behaviour in no way follows the romantic script. Two seconds of rational calculation will show that Tommy is not interested in any long term relationship, so why is Taylor apparently acting against her own self interest? Taylor's actions are a mystery to them. Their only explanation is that Taylor either lacks moral agency( low self esteem, low IQ, depressed, intoxicated, etc) or is morally deficient. The are so invested in their delegtimisation of libido that it never occurs to them to consider that libidinous aspect of Taylor's actions, so invested are they in their romantic model.
The problem with the ascetic romantic conception of love is that it's premised on the fact that consummation will occur given sufficient platonic contemplation by the lovers and the importance of sexual characteristics and behaviour as a prelude to consummation are dismissed. An understanding of what it takes to get "horny" or even conjugally interested, is effectively discouraged as a subject of polite conversation. The net result of this cultural practice is that Western society cannot rationally assess female sexuality preferring to work with a conceptual model that ignores the reality of female sexual desire. Now this is is the mainstream Kool Aid that is sold to young men through the media and through the Conservative religious institutions. The meme traps timid guys into thinking that it gives them a chance with a woman without needing to display some overt masculine qualities, whilst religious guys who have a pair, "are struggling to behave like nice gentlemen" on the advice of their religious leaders. It's a double poison since it stops the beta male from "alpha-ing" up and emasculates the religious guy who is naturally alpha. The winners are the rakes. The losers are the good guys and the women.
Furthermore, operating within the frame of romantic love automatically subverts the woman's libido by making the man a supplicant of her affections. Sure, a woman may be quite flattered by all the romantic attention she is getting, but after a while the libido kicks in and the desire for a man emerges. Romantic love subverts the natural power dynamic which fires a woman's libido as the man is told he must be supplicant to gain her affections; she gets to be in charge. Contrary to Christian teaching, she has assumed headship of the man. You can't make this stuff up.
The fact that women get hot and horny for alpha males is not because of any deficiency in moral reasoning, it's because their libido's are "wired up" that way. The strongly arousing feelings of attraction are not an aberrations but are a pre-determined physiological response. Now, when "Gamers" say that "attraction is not a choice" they are basically asserting two millenia of Christian teaching on the subject of appetite:
It means the inclination of a thing to that which is in accord with its nature, without any knowledge of the reason why such a thing is appetible.[ED] This tendency originates immediately in the nature of each being, and remotely in God, the author of that nature (Quæst. disp., De veritate, Q. xxv, art. 1). The appetitus elicitus follows knowledge. Knowledge is the possession by the mind of an object in its ideal form, whereas appetite is the tendency towards the thing thus known, but considered in its objective reality (Quæst. disp., De veritate, Q. xxii, a. 10).Libido is the sexual appetite. What this passage implies is that God himself has implanted the hypergamous nature of a woman's libido. This does not mean that God permits adultery or fornication, rather, their sexual response is designed to be elicited in the presence of alpha behaviour. No alpha, no libido it's as simple as that. Blaming women for being sexually attracted to bad boys is just like feminists blaming men for being attracted to beautiful feminine women.
This is what I think horrifies the SoCons and the Feminists; in that the flesh is indifferent to their own conceptions of virtue. Now it's one thing to say that the appetites need to be controlled, but it's another thing to deny the appetites the legitimacy of their natures. SoCons think that their is something wrong with a woman who starts feeling sexual around a bad boy ( I used to think the same), the problem here is that SoCon's conflate moral beauty with sexual beauty. The problem with the girl who runs off with the bad boy is not the nature of her sexual desire, but in her self control; she is imprudent. Being attracted to him is not wrong, it just is. Running away with him is the wrong thing to do from a moral point of view, but it's perfectly understandable from a sexual gratification one.
Biology is not destiny (Something SoCons seem to forget) and human beings can exercise control over themselves. Whilst attraction is not a choice, choosing whether to follow through on the impulse is. What makes the woman a good Christian is that she resists her desires, not that she has them. But what also needs to be remembered is that the Good Christian woman can't will her desire ex nihilo in the absence of a hypergamous mate, and the sexual anaemia of many marriages is due to too much romance and not enough hypergamy.
But the other issue that doesn't get far enough mention in the manosphere is just how much happier women are when they are in a hypergamous relationship. Women who were cranky and miserable are suddenly much more fun to be around with. The beneficiaries of "Game" aren't just men.
The task then for today's Christian thinkers is how to incorporate the insights of hypergamy within the context biblical marriage. The SoCons will say that can't be done and they point to the hedonism of many of many of Games practitioners. I think commentator Thursday was absolutely correct in his view that many of Game's critics are "associationist" thinkers; conflating the lifestyle with the knowledge. These would have been the same people who would have denied Plato and Aristotle any influence in Christian thought since they were Pagans. Men like Keoni Galt and Dalrock have shown that it is possible to be hypergamous whilst remaining in a stable marriage with benefits for both parties.
(Hat tip to Robert Brockman II who directed me to the artist, Alex Gray, who painted the image.
Here is a NSFW image which I think is highly pertinent to our discussion. Yeah, I know it's New Age but it helps with the conceptualisation.)
On the other hand, the Social Conservative denial of hypergamy is more difficult to detect. Social Conservatives don't deny that women want to "mate up", but what they deny, or effectively downplay, is the sexual dimension of hypergamy: the importance of alpha. For a variety of reasons, Social Conservatives have a real problem in acknowledging female sexuality. Religious puritanism, historical paternalism and enforced female silence on the matter have engendered a conservative cultural conception of womanhood that paints a picture of the ideal woman as being relatively asexual. Sure there is much approving talk about beauty and love in the context of feminine identity, but as soon the subject of overt female sexuality becomes mentioned, the conservative approval is far more muted or outright critical.
If you look at it, pedastalisation, which is linked to the concept of romantic love, is really an expression of conservative anti-carnality. Women in mainstream conservative thought are are "above" the grubby desires of men, their purity and beauty as a sex, seems to disassociate them from any form of bodily function. It is a disconcerting thought to imagine the beautiful princess as moving her bowels or passing wind; and yet she does. Dante in his admiration of Beatrice never really raises the subject of tinea or body odour, because mention of such fleshy maladies brings Beatrice back to earth and out of the heavens. The flesh makes us real. So entrenched is the traditional conservative
pedestalisationidealisation of women that that it shocks them when a woman's "fleshiness" is made evident.
Game, which is basically and understanding of female sexual desire, is attacked by Conservatives with pretty much the same language as used by its feminist critics, seeing it as some form of manipulation. It shocks the conservative that the pretty Taylor-Swift-like girl actually has desires of sexual ravishment. Indeed when sweet Taylor gets carnally intimate with Tommy the thug, the only explanation that the conservative gives is that Taylor was manipulated into performing the depraved acts. Never does the Social Conservative acknowledge that the woman is finding the manipulation extremely pleasurable and that she is allowing herself to be manipulated. There seems to be a failure to recognise the moral agency of women when it comes to sexual matters because the ideal conservative woman is relatively asexual (except when it comes to reproduction) This, of course, plays into directly into feminist hands when they wish to avoid the moral consequences of their actions.
The hi-jacking of Christianity by its ascetic-members has tended to downplay the carnal component of male /female relationships, instead focusing on the moral virtues. Christian romantic love, as formulated by these gnostics, was all agape and no eros. Love in this context effectively become a relationship between two disembodied souls, and practically, this is manifest in how Christians give each other marital advice. Its all about care and communication, treating each other fairly and justly, but far less talk about looking sharp, keeping in shape and eliciting sexual desire in each other. In fact, a lot of the ascetic-Romantic conception of love seems to be premised on the fact that corporal reality doesn't matter. For example, if a husband were to say that he doesn't find his obese wife--who still loves him-- attractive, opprobrium will usually be directed towards him and he would be attributed with moral fault. Apparently, according to the ascetics, love is meant to conquer all, including obesity, halitosis and flatulence.
This Social Conservative position stems from the rather too dominant ascetic's streak in Christian tradition, which was evidenced in the love of mysticism and hatred of earthly reality. These types tend to conflate Christ's sacrificial love with erotic love, which are two separate things. I can chose to sacrifice may life for a woman, but I can't choose to have an erection in the presence of an unattractive woman. Sexual attraction is not a choice, it's a physiological response, and the fact that the flesh is indifferent to moral virtue puts the ascetic types into a tizzy.
Whilst Social Conservatism and Feminism are two different ideological currents, both share the same effective conception of female nature; a nature that devoid of fleshy biological sexuality. Hypergamy strikes at the core of feminism in flatly refuting it's gender equality and it strikes at Social Conservatism by upturning it's conception of the feminine; a conception that is central to its understanding of sexuality. What the Social Conservatives fail to understand is that their conception of de-sexualised femininity--as if erotic didn't matter-- effectively provided and continues to provide the ideological justification which feeds feminist beast.
If a feminist says she wants to pursue a traditional masculine career such as a lumberjack, a conservative will grasp at all sort of reasons why a woman shouldn't be a lumberjack, usually arguing some sort of functional limitation. All it takes to prove that a woman can successfully perform the function, is for a woman to successfully perform the function; demolishing the Conservative's argument. If we admit the erotic dimension to the question however, we could rather successfully argue that masculine jobs make a woman sexually unattractive by masculinising her. Taking on a masculine job is the equivalent of voluntary hirsutism (NSFW). But this of course pre-supposes that a sexual argument is a culturally valid type of argument, something which social conservatism dismisses from the outset as a "base approach" to the subject.