In my previous QA post [ D. Bnonn Tennant, QA: how not to throw the biblical baby out with the blue pill bathwater? (August 2018).] I made the observation that women are aroused by a command presence, and attracted by virtue.
In response, one reader wrote a comment that I think is worth reproducing in full:
This is good advice, but women are not sexually attracted, aroused, by virtue any more than men are. The belief that they are has caused a lot of misunderstandings in the Christian community.
It is easy to see how this idea caught on, because who wouldn’t want to believe it? Women would like to because it means they are nice and pure in the sexual arena, and men would like to because they would like women to be nice and pure.
The problem is that ALL have sinned and fallen short of The glory of God. Women have also, since they are part of ALL. Their sexual nature has not been miraculously kept safe from the corruption of sin, unfortunately, any more than men’s has.
The idea that women are attracted to virtue has led to all sorts of wicked things. If they are, then a lack of attraction to the husband means the husband is not virtuous. If they are attracted to virtue, why are baseball players, murderers on death row, drug dealers, and rock bands so attractive to women?
This is not to pick on you Bnonn but the idea that women are attracted to virtue is the root of so much evil that it must be pointed out, and that’s why for the church, the only way through this crisis is to fully admit that women also have a sinful nature, and all the ramifications. As a Christian, that’s the only way I could reconcile my Christian beliefs with female behaviour that certain red pillers ascribe to evolutionary psychology.
And this is why red pillers talk about the church being infected with goddess worship, because this is very difficult for most to do. Few want to call out bad female behaviour, both because it feels terrible (picking on the weak) and makes guys that already want to be good (churchgoing) look like jerks.
I’m going to use this as a starting point to make a needed clarification, because this comment is entirely correct about the damage of treating women—especially the tingles in their nether regions—as virtue-compasses. [To understand the extent of this problem, see D. Bnonn Tennant, Gyneolatry (January 2018). There, I break down an article by Focus on the Family’s Glenn Stanton which exemplifies this exact issue.]
Since I was speaking to someone who had read The Rational Male I didn’t feel a need to develop my remark in further depth; I was really putting my own paraphrased gloss on Rollo’s alpha seed, beta need concept. [E.g., Rollo Tomassi, The Nature of the Game on The Rational Male (June 2018).] I don’t really truck with the use of alpha and beta because it is confusing, [ D. Bnonn Tennant, Was Jesus an alpha male? Part 1: a trick question (March 2018).] but fundamentally women are aroused by command presence and good genes—essentially Donal Graeme’s PSALM model. [ Donal Graeme, What do Women Find Attractive in Men?.] Since my correspondent can’t change his genes and is already working out, I focused on command presence.
But arousal and attraction are not the same thing, and women are attracted to comforting qualities; i.e., stable men who are willing to provide security for them, and stick around to look after their children. This is the fundamental tension of the female psyche: they are made to value things that, in the natural man, are often contradictory. Command presence and good genes tend to go along with hedonistic bad boys—hence the strange magnetism of death row inmates and The Smuggest Man in the World (George Clooney). But men with comforting qualities tend to be more gentle, socially compliant and effeminate.
Women need stable providership as much as they desire sexy danger, and so the man they want is a paradox. Command presence and natural sexiness is paradigmatically found in arrogant, uncaring cads who treat women like the disposable toys found in happy meals. Comfort and security is paradigmatically found in cloying, needy cucks, who treat women as goddesses (ONEitis, in Rollo’s nomenclature—the soulmate concept, where a certain woman is “the one”).
To be good husband material, to lead and nurture a woman and to build a household, a Christian man needs elements of both command and comfort—without despising or over-indulging either.
My advice to my correspondent therefore boils down to this: learn to become a man who is neither hard nor soft. I have in the past talked about hardness as masculine virtue, but I think Tim Bayly is right to use the word firmness instead. [ Nathan Alberson, Jake Mentzel & Tim Bayly, The World We Made, Ep. 4: The Sin of Effeminacy on Warhorn Media.] Hardness can sometimes be helpful, but is often not virtuous, even if it is arousing. Softness is certainly no better. A Christian man must keep it between the ditches.
There is also plenty to be said about training women to find virtue attractive, and explicitly linking it to arousing qualities in their own minds. We want the connections to be clear between command presence and faithfulness, for instance, or grit and kindness. It will not make faithfulness and kindness sexy, but it will help women to integrate attraction and arousal better, so as to make more holistically rational decisions. A man who can protect and a man who can provide—a man who is dedicated to the creation mandate—requires a balance of virtues and attributes. Developing a positive theology on this point is one of my chief focuses, so stay tuned.