Before stumbling into the world of pickup in late 2005, I'd never used the 1-to-10 scale. Maybe that's because I didn't really have friends; I wasn't comparing notes on girls. Or maybe it was because I wasn't trying to impress anyone by telling him I'd nailed a "total 10."
But in pickup, it seemed everyone used the 1-to-10 scale. Girls were 5s, 6s, 7s, 8s, 9s. Debate raged about whether a girl could ever really be a "perfect 10", or if true "10s" were naught but a myth.
Men would post photographs of the girls they slept with, and label a girl an "8", only for other men to chime in and ridicule them: "Dude, THAT girl is an 8? She's a 6, at best! Stop inflating your ratings!"
Then those same men doing the ridiculing would post pictures of girls that they were dating, and claim that these girls were "8s" or "9s"... and they wouldn't look any different from the women those men had just finished calling "5s" and "6s."
If all this seems silly, trite, and petty to you... it is. It's no better than other form of status jockeying and social ladder climbing, where guys try to seize bragging rights and "prove their worth", frequently by simply reporting the number rating of the girls they've gotten and trusting that everyone else knows what that means.
But not only is the 1-to-10 scale highly subjective and an absolutely terrible metric to use for comparing results across multiple individuals... but it destroys your ability to get truly beautiful women, too.
When I first started writing field reports, I wanted them to be as thorough as possible, and I also wanted to show off and brag about my successes (pride is an insidious thing), so I naturally tried adopting the 1-to-10 rating system. In pickup, women's ratings were prefaced with an "HB" designation ("hot babe"):
- A very plain girl might be labeled an "HB5"
- A moderately cute girl an "HB6" or an "HB7"
- A pretty girl an "HB8"
- A beauty an "HB9"
- And a breathtaking vision of absolute, stunning perfection an "HB10"
Of course, all these ratings are completely
subjective, and vary greatly from one rater to the next, but... well,
that's neither here nor there.
It felt a little weird for me trying to relegate these women I met in real life to an HB rating, but whatever; if it helped my learning by allowing me to categorize, I supposed, it couldn't be that bad.
I always had this creeping feeling that I was engaging in some form of self-sabotage, but I couldn't quite put my finger on what it was, so chose to ignore it for a time.
But eventually, I found I could no longer avoid that sentiment - and after a while, the ill effects of the 1-to-10 scale began to shine through, like a fog light cutting through the murk.
Different Kinds of Objectification
Contrary to what you'll read in the media, objectification of women ain't really all bad.
In fact, some of it is inescapable.
As I discussed in "Women as Sex Objects: Supercharge Your Game", the male brain naturally shifts into a mental condition of viewing women as objects to be acted upon prior to the commencement of mating. It is impossible for a male to become sexually aroused while viewing a woman more as a "person" than as an "object."
Why is this so?
Apparently, it's because the "person" designation is really a "thing to be communicated with" designation, while the "objection" designation is in fact a "thing to be acted upon" designation. I haven't seen research on it, but I'd bet you that people engaged in physical combat switch to viewing others as objects rather than people - and that women engage in objectifying other people every bit as much as men do, too.
However, there are different kinds of objectification, and this is where you can get in trouble... with yourself.
Because, you see, when you assign a woman a rating on a rating scale, you aren't only giving yourself a way of thinking about her in a more simplistic, narrow, easily communicated way.
You're also RESTRICTING your thinking about her - and placing her very firmly into a hierarchy.
A hierarchy that you, too, out of pure necessity, also must inhabit; perhaps somewhere above her... or perhaps somewhere below.
Rating into Oblivion
What I first noticed about myself early on that clued me into something amiss was this: I was a lot more likely to ever sleep with girls I did not write notes down on having met than girls I did.
The first thing I asked myself when I noticed this was what is going on?
Maybe I was only writing reports on the girls I was most impressed by - and who would also thus be the most likely to be out of my reach.
So, I took a break from writing field reports altogether, and - the proportion of girls I was sleeping with out of those I met or planned dates with went up.
Okay, that wasn't it.
Maybe it was that the act of writing itself was psyching me out, causing me to invest much more heavily in a girl emotionally, turn her over in my head a lot more, and place her on a pedestal?
This was part of it, I figured out. I took to only ever writing field reports about girls I wasn't all that excited about meeting, to avoid building a girl I was impressed with into even greater proportions. In fact, if I met a girl I really liked, I wouldn't even think about her, or mention her to anybody else. I'd just forget about her until I had her on a date again.
Once again, my efficacy at getting girls in bed went up.
But I soon realized there was another factor at play, as well: every time I broke out the 1-to-10 scale for rating women, I took away all a girl's complexity, and all of my complexity, and reduced her and I to simple numbers in a hierarchy. 6s were below me, and thus child's play to bed if I wanted to. 7s and 8s were roughly the same level as me... I was netting 7s and 8s on my photos when I put them out for ratings in those days. Women in this range were neither terribly easy nor terribly difficult. 9s were a challenge, though. And 10s? Good luck.
However, what this ignored was that there's a lot more to women's behavior than where a guy puts them on a looks scale - but if you start treating a girl like a goddess, because you think she is, she will pick up on it, and act accordingly... or, at the very least, you will panic, choke, or second-guess yourself right into rejection.
You may not realize it, but your behavior changes significantly around women you designate as high up on a scale of desirability. You become more:
- Prone to posturing
- Status conscious
Sometimes, if you recognize this happening, it leads to overcompensation, in which you:
- Tease women too hard
- Challenge girls too much
- Fail to reward properly for investment
- Fall back on things like lots of negging
- Act overly demanding or boorish
- Become overly gamey or too much fun
Because you view her as being "very high status" on account of her great looks, you assume that she must need a lot more ball-busting than, say, a "6"... and so, you break out the big guns.
Only, those big guns aren't big guns. They're grenades... and you're using them in close quarters.
Watch out for shrapnel, because it's coming your way.
Hot Does NOT Equal Aloof
I spent enough time having pretty girls chase after me in school that I had a relatively decent read on their personalities and predilections even just starting out, and I still made the faulty assumption that pretty = aloof (and thus, in need of harder gaming), so I'm not surprised at how pervasive this belief is among newer guys.
The fact is, though, aloofness does NOT correlate perfectly to a woman's looks.
Surely you've met unattractive women who acted like princesses, and gorgeous ones who exuded warmth, comfort, and familiarity. Actually, in my experience, you're a lot MORE likely to get an at least sociable reception from an attractive woman than an unattractive one... ugly on the outside, ugly on the in, I suppose the saying is.
It should be becoming pretty obvious how rolling a bunch of very different women all into the same sweeping category based on a single subjective rating that varies greatly from person to person (a girl may be an "8" to you, but a "9" to someone else, and a "7" to herself), then basing your interactions with them off of that, is a detriment to your success.
Just because you call THIS girl a 10, and you call THAT girl a 10, doesn't mean that they are going to behave ANYTHING alike... or even RESPOND to you in remotely similar ways. The first girl may well be an ice queen to you, while the second is all over you.
But, try as you like to resist it, if you call them both "10s", you're very quickly going to find yourself unconsciously thinking them more and more alike... and more and more in need of the same treatment from you.
Throwing Out the 1-to-10 Scale
You may not be fully conscious of it, but trust me, if you're using the 1-to-10 scale, you're making things a lot harder for yourself than you need to be.
I tossed the scale, and then started realizing that the girls I was getting were a fair bit more attractive than the ones I got before.
I also started realizing that there were women I was sleeping with, whom I felt comfortable and natural around, that, when I stopped (after already having slept with them) and gave them a number rating, I'd say, "Whoa... that girl was a 9.5! Had I realized that before I slept with her, I never would have gotten her in bed... I'd have been way too intimidated!"
In addition to the 1-to-10 scale, I threw out any mentioning, or
even thinking, of a girl's
looks as "beautiful", "gorgeous", or "hot"; the only thing I ever
allowed myself to think about women was, "She's cute." Occasionally,
sometimes, "She's pretty."
Emotionally, I still was more attracted to more physically attractive women... and I still pursued them more. But without the logical hierarchical hotness designations, I wasn't psyching myself out over them anymore.
And anyway, the goal for me then was to up my experience levels, and just be having sex with girls I found attractive; so whether she was just mildly cute, or a total knockout stunner, I was going to try for it anyway... and I could always figure out a ranking for her after we slept together if I really cared to anyway (I found I rarely did care to, though).
Here's my point: if you use the 1-to-10 scale to rate women, OR you ever call, talk about, or even THINK about women as "beautiful", "gorgeous", or "hot", and you are NOT sleeping with your top tier most attractive women, it's time to throw out the ratings systems and hotness labels. The benefits to you of doing so are:
No more psyching yourself out because she's "out of your league." When the logical ratings disappear, there IS no more league... there's just you, and some girl. Either the two of you like each other - in which case you sleep together - or you don't like each other - in which case, you go meet someone else.
No more writing off entire looks classes of women. You tried to sleep with a "9" but it didn't work out? Now any future girl you designate as a "9" you're going to recall that earlier "9" and say to yourself, "Man, I have a hard time with 9s... should I even bother? I probably won't get anywhere." Same with things like "hot": "Hot girls don't go for me." Maybe not, but if you forget about labeling women "hot" and just go for women you find attractive, you may just find you end up with some of those "hot" women who were previously out of your reach regardless.
No more losing your cool the second time around. You were amazing with her when you first met her, but once you rated her and realized how far above you she was in the desirability hierarchy you turned into a bundle of nerves and mistakes around her? This doesn't happen when you cut out rating women and dial back on thinking about them when you're not present with them.
Suddenly, the world of pretty women is your oyster. Know what the difference is in how you treat a "6" and how you treat a "10" when you don't use numbers and both girls are merely "cute" to you? None whatsoever. Know what your hit rate is with both women when you treat both the same because they're both in the same category of being "cute women" is to you? Much, much HIGHER. It's tried; it's tested. Every student or friend I've told this to do who then followed suit has come back and told me months later the looks caliber of women he was sleeping with went up, and he was a LOT more confident around attractive women. You're cheating yourself if you're using a number scale or words like "gorgeous" or "hot" (and you don't genuinely see yourself as equally "gorgeous" or "hot").
This isn't hard to do. It just takes a little bit of mental policing - something I talked about in the article on overcoming depression - and it only takes roughly 30 to 60 days of monitoring your thoughts to stamp out all signs of the 1-to-10 scale and supplementary words and expressions like, "Damn, that girl is hot!" and, "Oh my GOD, she's BEAUTIFUL!!"
Girls are cute, or pretty, or they're not cute or pretty, and that's really all you need to go off of. If you find a girl really attractive, just throw her in the "cute" bin, and go get her. No sense making her out to be a beauty pageant prospect in your head.
And as for beauty pageants - are these "10s" really "10s"?:
If you think so, you need a read through the article on how much looks matter again.
Freedom from Hierarchy
In "Guy Talk: Here's How to Kick Butt at Talking to Other Men", I discussed how harmful to success and constraining to your general life perceiving the world as a hierarchy can be. We also touched on this in "Are You Smart? It Doesn't Much Matter Either Way."
If you're using the 1-to-10 scale, you are voluntarily inserting yourself into a hierarchy and personally placing some women above you in that hierarchy.
Women who perhaps don't view themselves as above you.
Women who might even be inclined to view you as being above them.
But because you are perceiving them as "over you", you will treat them differently.
You'll be more deferential, and more reverential, or you'll be more challenging, more cold, and more coy.
A rating system, then, pushes you to the extremes with your actions - either to being too much of a pushover, or to being too much of a hard tack.
Ditch it. Free yourself from the shackles of a looks hierarchy that isn't representative of the real world.
Stop trying to impress other people by rating women you're meeting or sleeping with as "8s" or "9s".
Quit trying to put women - and, thus, yourself - into specific boxes based solely on a highly subjective one-time assessment of their appearances.
You'll find that when you do, not only does a lot of stress and status jockeying depart from your life and dating...
... but you actually start getting more beautiful women, too.