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Chase Amante's picture

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Good notes here on powerful-yet-celibate men, and deeply religious or repressed men who led (likely) monogamous lives. (I say "likely" since the vast majority of affairs never make it into the history books)

I didn't mention Christianity as a basis for monogamy because you have monogamy in other societies (such as East Asia) without Christianity. If you have 4 billion people practicing monogamy, and half of them are Christian, and the other half Buddhist or atheist, it's hard to find a commonality in religion. I know a lot of people like to tie monogamy to "Christian cultural values" but I am skeptical of that explanation. It seems to more be an emergent property of specific civilization setups.

Even in Medieval Christendom, you had polygamous popes, and Chaucer's wild, debauched England.

And of course, we always have the origins of Valentine's Day, our modern day holiday of monogamous love:

In the Middle Ages a tradition (condemned by the Church) appeared in Europe of men drawing women's names from jars on Valentine's Day to select a random sex partner. A little later, the holiday morphed from being one of casual sex to one of romance, and letter-writing and poetry on Valentine's became popular... by the end of the 18th century, there were books with Valentine's Day lovers' poems for men who lacked the creativity to come up with their own.

(from my article on Valentine's Day)

The Europe of the Middle Ages of course being 100% Christian, more or less.

So, while the "monogamy is because of Christianity" belief certainly seems prevalent among Western intellectuals, it doesn't hold a lot of water IMO.

I wonder how you could have thought the way you thought if you were  raised in conservative Catholic family. I have atheist background  (Central-Eastern Europe) and I have always considered mutual monogamy as  natural and the right model of family, while infidelity was as a bad  thing (I am not Christian, so sex outside marriage is normal, as well as  serial monogamy or casual sex or FWB). I have never had real desire to  have multiple girlfriends at the same time or even multiple families, I  found it absurd, unthinkable, not right and inconvenient. Idea of  onesided monogamy is unfair to me. Since I am a rules based guy, not a  wild bad boy, when I found for the first time my male friends were  unfaithful to their girlfriends, I felt like „how could he possibly do  that?“ and not „wow, he is a cool guy for getting laid with another  woman“. Now I am more in peace with reality but still it would be  uncomfortable for me to do it since it goes against my core values.

I've always had mixed feelings on it personally.

I genuinely do not feel like it is appropriate for me to be limited to one woman. I actually think it is unfair to women in general if only one woman at a time can have me.

Little bit of ego there I guess. But also, objectively I think being with me is a very good thing for women, and women usually seem to agree. So, to a certain extent, the more the merrier.

However, I also do not want to hurt a woman, especially one I care about.

So there is always a bit of moral conflict there. In particular I have tended to steer my relationships toward a place where the woman reaches the "I don't want to know" point, where morally you are more or less in the clear... so long as you keep the relationship strong and healthy for her.

One point to one previous article. You correctly wrote that nice guys are guardians of social norms and that social norms cannot exist without people defending them. That actually implies that bad boys need and are kind of dependent on existence of nice guys. While they sometimes mock them and are arrogant to them as to people not knowing how to have fun and not being manly enough, they are exciting to women in contrast to them and their rules breaking is exciting only when other people follow the rules. When all nice guys start to behave like bad boys, this contrast disappears and social norms change or cease to be valid, so breaking them has no more effect.

Absolutely true!

In I think it is Matt Ridley's book The Red Queen, the author talks about the cads vs. dads strategy specifically.

The essence is a population can only support a certain percentage of cads... somewhere around 10% cads, 90% dads is stable. As soon as the percentage of cads gets too high (say, 30%), being a dad starts to become significantly more attractive again.

I think we can fairly safely equate dads with nice guys and cads with bad boys in our thinking about this (of course, not all dads are nice guy pushovers... there are plenty of alpha providers... just using this as a rough approximation for what percentages of each a given population can support).

Re: the Chinese-Indonesian gal, yeah... not really a big surprise, honestly. Sorry though. Indonesians and especially Chinese-Indonesians tend to date pretty seriously and not try a whole bunch of partners before settling down. Sometimes/often only one.

Of course there are plenty more like that where she came from, as well as in Malaysia and mainland China (also somewhat more Westernized Chinese, who will date around more, in Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, etc. Then if you get to the Western-born Chinese girls, they're basically the same as European girls, values- and behavior-wise).

Can always go spend a year abroad at some point and come back home with a wife, if you've decided she is your type.

Chase