17 February 2013

Concerning the Sexual and Marriage Markets -- Part VIII

[The series continues with a longer Part VIII below:]

VIII. Counter-actions

Over the past seven sections, I’ve noted some of the ways in which women tend to lower their sexual and marital market values. In addition, some things cause more damage than others, but in many cases it is not impossible to repair or mitigate at least some of the effects.  So, for the sake of ease, let’s look at each section and ways in which some of the hits-in-value might be able to be salvaged.

Part II discusses the effect of single motherhood. Generally speaking, this one is a severe hit because most men would like to have their own offspring and not have to pay directly for the upkeep of another man’s child. The mitigation itself depends on how the woman became a single mother, and to which extent:

  • The easiest cases are those who are single mothers due to a tragic and unforeseen event (such as the father of the children being killed due to an accident; having a child after being subjected to rape, incest, or other non-consensual sex; or as a result of military service). The single mums here can often get a lot of slack from many men by virtue of the fact that had the tragic event not occurred, she would still be with the children’s father. There will be some men who for sure will take a hard-line stance, but many who would otherwise refuse dating single mothers might consider one who’s that way because of the unforeseen tragedy. 
  • -Then there are the single mums because of divorce. Usually these have only one father, and the mother tends to mostly have custody of the kids. If the divorce was truly for good reason and the man truly at fault, a woman could disclose that and may be able to expand her pool a bit. She needs to be careful that she doesn’t further deter the man by suggesting his risk in having to deal with a potentially-bitter and angry ex-husband.  
  • More difficult are ones where there was no tragedy involved, and no marriage. Granted that pregnancy is one of the risks of having sex, it’s hard to try to make yourself appealing to the general corpus of men who would rather have their own exclusive offspring from one woman. Her best approach would be to admit irresponsibility and emphasise that though she made bad choices in the past, she’s been trying to get her life together and provide for her children. In addition, she should also strongly note that she only will accept a man who will stick around and integrate the previous relationship’s children into his own family—and then follow through on it. 
  • The most difficult to mitigate are the single mothers who have multiple children by multiple men. This really depends on the individual case, but the hopes for restoring most or all of the lost market value are virtually nil. Why? Most often, there’s really no good way to truthfully spin the situation—for example, multiple divorces tend to raise red flags on the ability of a woman to actually maintain a stable relationship, and multiple “baby daddies” tend to strongly suggest sexual irresponsibility. 

Part III is concerned with age. The problem with this one is that we cannot change our age (though if we have enough financial and social resources, we can at least appear to be younger—or older than what we really are). This being said, a person who’s perhaps just outside of another’s target range could suggest that despite it, they’d be a good match because of things such as proven stability and maturity. Likewise, mentioning unique attributes that can be seen as “big pluses” can help (as in “I may be a couple of years older than what you specified, but I do have these things that you’re looking for in spades.”) as an argument for someone to either “make an exception” or perhaps rethink their age range.

However, it's also critical to remember that with some people, age can easily be a deal-breaker. If they're not willing to budge on that and consider you, is it really worth the time and effort to pursue them?

Part IV talked about bodily modifications, and in particular tattoos and piercings. Most non-conservative piercings are relatively easy to mitigate, as one can simply remove them and (generally) let the holes fill in by not replacing them. Further, one can stick to the lower ears and in places that are easily concealed (such as the navel and nipples), and then not disclosing them to everyone. This way, most people are “none the wiser” about one’s piercings at first glance.

Tattoos on the other hand are a lot more difficult as they often require cosmetic surgery to fully remove, and there's the risk of scarring even with said surgery. This being said, those who are considering tattoos can work to mitigate damage done by considering limits on number, subject, size, and location.

For example, a woman who doesn’t have tattoos but has long considered getting one can mitigate the potential long-term market value drop by getting a smaller and more conservative one in a location that’s either hardly seen by anyone (such as on the hip or side), or in a location that’s easily concealable (such as the shoulder or ankle). It is important to note though that while the breasts and pubic mound are both hardly seen by most people and (depending on the clothing) rather concealable, more men tend to have stronger negative opinions on tattoos in those areas.

Part V is extremely complex; mitigation inherently cannot be "one size fits all" because it directly hinges on the extent of the modelling a woman has done, the type of relationship she’s desiring, and the likely attitudes of her target demographic. Thus a woman who’s looking for casual relationships or hook-ups doesn’t necessarily need to remedy herself as she’s marketing herself for the types of relationships that are usually governed by sexual market value (SMV).

Adding to this is that some men tend to be more liberal and accepting of various models than others. This said, remember that there were five broad classes of modelling, and as the hits in marital value varied by the class, so does the strategy:

  • The de minimis modelling tends to cause the least amount of drop, and can usually be fully-mitigated by limiting or stopping the modelling, or by ensuring that her man continues to be accepting of it (e.g. informing him and offering to stop if and when he becomes uncomfortable). Those that did this type of modelling in the past and no longer do it usually can simply point out the fact that either the pictures released weren’t meant to be public, or that they’ve stopped completely. 
  • Lingerie models can limit drop by either limiting their portfolio exposure (e.g. by working only with reputable photographers for specific “jobs”), or by insisting that they will not do any sort of topless, nude, or pornographic modelling at all. More mitigation can be done by making sure her man is accepting of her choice, and if not, then to either stop modelling or limit her modelling to being fully-clothed. 
  • Topless models have more work to do because they are exposing a culturally-sensitive area (the female breasts). This isn’t to say that topless models are a lost cause, but they need to be aware that unless their man is clearly approving of such modelling, the best way to mitigate further drops in value is to stop exposing her breasts. If she still insists on topless modelling, her best course is usually to limit such modelling to art-school settings and/or offer to only engage in such shoots privately for her partner.  Unfortunately, not much can be done about previous shoots aside from explaining that she used to model topless and no longer does so and letting time take its course. 
  • Like the topless models, the nude models have their efforts cut out for them.  Arguably, the best approach is to cease modelling in the nude for pay. If she still wants to model nude, she can limit her nude modelling to academic (e.g. art school) settings and thus de minimis levels, or only for shoots that will be seen only by her partner. She should also be upfront with the men she is dating as to her past and not try to hide it out of fear the man may be upset and leave her.  
  • Porn models generally cannot be fully-restored in the sense of MMV, and the best mitigation is to  avoid it altogether. However, for those involved, the next best thing is to quit completely so as to prevent any further drops. If one did it because of economic reason (e.g. the classic “it helped me put myself through college”) that may help assuage concerns provided there’s an ironclad assurance that she will not be doing any more work of that nature (e.g. something to that effect in writing). She should know though that some men do take more of a hard-line approach on this type when they consider women as marital prospects and be prepared to accept that despite her efforts he may still reject her based on her past work. 

Part VI’s topic mentioned sexual issues. Some issues are more easily mitigated than others. There also is the fact that most all of us cannot really change our past, thus what is done is done.

This said, remember that in that part, MMV tends to regard four major things: total number of sexual partners (aka the “N-count”), promiscuity, sexual history, and sexual responsibility. All of these are related, though two of them cannot be changed or mitigated—these being sexual history and the total number of sexual partners.  The other two can, but the effect will vary by the man and the culture.

Promiscuity can be partially mitigated by behaviour and attitude changes, as well as actual work towards learning from the mistakes one has made. In other words, one could say that by reforming oneself and not regressing to trends made when one was “young and stupid,” one can try to rebuild what they lost.

Sexual responsibility on the other hand can be remedied, particularly if one is free of venereal disease and no pregnancies or children to worry about. The simplest methods to accomplish that would be to ensure visits to the doctor, utilising contraceptive methods as needed, and practicing safer sex.

The last section, Part VII, discussed the lack of intelligence. Intelligence isn’t always something that is learnt out of a book. Nor is it something that can be obtained in one day or one sitting. Rather, it is the accumulation and effective application of various kinds of knowledge throughout a lifetime. Particular to Part VII is the dating profile itself and the process through which one uses it. As we remember some of the common pitfalls in the profile and the usage of sites, there are ways to fix that and at the very least prevent further drops in value. Consider the following mini-syllabus of errors:

  • Lack of substance: The easiest way to get around this is to fill out more of your profile. Try to think what makes you different from the rest of the site, and note down why you believe a decent man should choose you specifically over any of the other women who are online.
  • “The Resume Syndrome” : No offence, but most men don’t care about the specifics of your education or your job right off the bat. It's good to note it in passing, such as by using provided "drop-down" boxes to list your level of education and your job. If he’s interested in hearing more about it, let him use it as a conversation starter and ask about it. 
  • Risqué or sexually-laced pictures: Unless your intent on the site is for casual hook-ups, it's probably better to take them down and replace them with more modest ones. Sending a partner sexual photos can always come later. 
  • Self-shot photos: if possible, get a photographer to take some decent and current photos. If not, try to do the best you can, and avoid the bathroom mirror and "sitting in your car" shots. 
  • Laundry lists: while it’s good to have standards, drop them from your profile. Many sites allow you to filter incoming messages already, and you can use those to filter based on the top couple of non-negotiable items. After all, having to read “I want, I want, I want” doesn’t help make your case to him at all. 
  • Standards:  setting the bar excessively high (e.g. “I want a tall, dark, wealthy, and handsome alpha male who will commit to ME even if I end up gaining 100 pounds”) not only doesn’t help you, it just makes you look all the more greedy and shallow. Your best bet to avoid this is to find two to four absolute deal-breakers, and ensure they’re obviously reasonable (e.g. “I would like a family very soon, so he must be totally OK with being a father” versus “He has to have movie-star looks and money;” the former is reasonable while the latter is not). 
  • Clichés: seriously, everybody and their dog all say that they’re “nice and sweet and close to their family.”  By and large, this is something that can be assumed. Also, it's worth noting that many of these are reflected in your actions, and could be construed as "If she's got to say it, she's probably not so" 
  • Certain traits: noting how you’re “sassy,” “sarcastic,” “strong and independent,” and/or “a feminist” all tend to drive away men.  The first three have often been seen as masculine traits—men tend to want someone to complement, not compete against him. The fourth has recently started to have a tendency to pigeonhole women into a certain pool of men (notably those who are male feminists, and/or tend to be clingy “NiceGuys”). Keep mum, and don’t reveal it until he asks about it or mentions it. 
  • Selectivity: more often than not, this tends to work against you as many men note a woman with high selectivity in messaging and assume that she’s stuck-up and mean (and therefore not worth his time). The easiest way, even with tons of messages, is to just use a canned message for the ones you’re not interested in, such as “Thanks, but I’m not interested. Please don’t contact me again.” Many sites also have a way to block users from sending repeat messages, and this could be done as well. 

Doing these things and sticking to them tends to at the minimum demonstrate desirability, and often will raise MMV in the eyes of the average and above-average men. Given that not a lot of women have figured this out, it’s a simple way to get ahead of most of the women online. After all, a woman who can note that she will add value to his life and make it better (and then actually make good on it) stands to gain a decent man who will reciprocate. Those who don’t are often the ones who are left to whine about how “there are no good men left” as their pull in the bazaar fades away.

It's therefore everyone's choice as to how they will proceed. There are ramifications for each choice of pictures and text and one should think carefully. After all is said and done, we tend to reap what we sow...

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