THE ULTIMATE IMPERATIVE
If you’ve been around our corner of the internet, you’ve probably heard the term “feminine imperative” — coined by the highly influential and insightful Rollo Tomassi — thrown around.
For the uninitiated, the feminine imperative is essentially the execution of a woman’s sexual strategy: to sleep with a man who is dominant (socially and/or physically) while receiving the exclusive commitment and resources of a provider — ideally (but crucially: not necessarily) having the lover and provider be one in the same.
Meanwhile, the masculine imperative exists in opposition to this: it is the male sexual strategy of sleeping with as many young, fertile women as possible — ideally without these women sleeping with any other men.
As the theory goes, a society is dominated by one of these imperatives, which in turn dictates the frame and attitudes of said society (and consequently how both genders behave). In the modern west, the feminine imperative rules — which means men are pawns in the female’s sexual strategy. The implications of this are if you aren’t “red pilled” and wise to the game, you’re going to get screwed emotionally — and perhaps if you get married, legally.
It’s an intelligent theory, as it brings to light the very real differences between male and female sexual strategies… and much of what is going on “under the surface” in inter-gender dynamics. It’s a fact if you are blind to a woman’s sexual strategy (and your own romantic weak spots), you’re at a high risk of getting burned.
Yet with respect to Rollo and others who use the term as a heuristic, there is a problem with the idea of the feminine imperative, and it is a problem that I see rarely discussed.
It frames the sexual strategies in isolation.
Rhetorically, this framing pits men against women. The presumption is that the genders are at war — since imperatives are zero-sum, you either impose yours, or she imposes her own. She wins, you lose.
This is grounded in truth, but it’s not the full picture — and here’s why.
The Horseshoe Theory Of Sexual Imperatives
Take a look at western society, and you notice one irony: most men are unhappy, but the women aren’t much better — and depending on the location, arguably worse. I live in New York City, one of the best places to see the feminine imperative at work. The number of single, sad, and emotionally unbalanced women is overwhelming. No one is happy with their dating lives. It’s endless romantic and existential disappointment.
Yet the feminine imperative dominates — indeed, its dominance is only growing. Since this imperative is designed to promote the female sexual strategy, you’d think they’d be happy, right?
In fact, the last thing the feminine imperative cares about is women — because a female’s sexual strategy doesn’t actually seek to serve women, but the human genome as a whole.
You see, while men and women do compete against each other, they also compete against themselves. Competition is both inter and intra-gender — in other words, women have to grapple with male sexual strategy as well as the sexual strategy of other females. Women want the best lovers and providers, and men want the most attractive (and most overall) women. When there aren’t enough to go around, they have to fight between themselves over the pickings.
This makes sense; indeed, this is well documented and probably not news for any of you. Rather, it’s the implications of this that are truly interesting.
Since competition is intra-gender, when a “fem-centric” society cripples the ability of the average man to pursue his sexual strategy, it simultaneously increases the competition among women for the few remaining men of value. This, paradoxically, makes the sexual dynamics from a society based on the feminine imperative little different from a society dominated by the masculine imperative: A few men are sexually dominant and sleep with the women, while the remaining men have little to no access to the them.
The masculine and feminine imperatives are thus, in the aggregate, not in opposition. They are the same. They share the same goals, as they were designed in conjunction: to pass on the best genes to the human race. The only difference is that while women strive to get the alphas, men strive to be them. It is a distinction in process, not outcome.
This matters, because if we are just a sum of our sexual strategies, it calls into question why so many self-described alpha males — particularly as they hit their prime — find issue with the current situation (more on this later). Sure, living in a feminine-dominated society has its drawbacks — you have to watch what you say — but what’s so bad about allowing women to enforce the collective biological goals of you getting laid by as many women as possible? If you’re a guy with his shit together you’ve never had so many sexual options without the need to kill or worry about being killed to get them.
What’s not to like?
Alpha Males: Having Their Cake And Eating It Too (For Now)
One of the things the new age crowd loves to talk about is how we weren’t designed to be monogamous — that we were designed to sleep with whoever we’d like. To them, marriage is a social construct.
It may be sad for some traditional people to hear, but they are right.
Yet at the same time, these spiritual visionaries mis-imagine the result of their biologically driven utopia. “Free love” simply means alpha males get to sleep with all the women they desire without commitment, while the majority of men get no action at all.
Indeed, the only people who fully achieve their sexual strategy in a feminine-primary society are high-status men, who get everything they want without the need to do anything, since they are letting women control the system.
In other words, in a society dominated by the feminine imperative, high-status men can get the same results for less effort by paying lip-service to female ego and letting women superficially dictate the terms of the sexual market. Many high status men already do this subconsciously, which is why they do not challenge society’s gender-dynamics and their main attraction advice is centered on authenticity.
This is, incidentally, why the middle of the bell curves for men and women are the same, but the ends are extreme. Men are nature’s experiments, and hypergamy ensures only the successful ones get their genes into the gene pool. Genghis Khan fathered hundreds of children, as did his sons; Mrs. Vassilyeva, a Russian peasant in the late 1700s, gave it her best mothering an incredible 69 children — but needed 27 births, all of which were either twins, triplets, and quadruplets, to get there. Suffice to say, most women who try never even come close. There’s a reason we are descended from half the number of men as we are women: mild polygamy is nature’s plan.
Yet there’s a downside to our overarching biological imperative: the more sexual rights you give alpha males, the more society becomes unstable.
If alpha males take more than one woman, other men are not going to have sexual options. Such men inevitably become anti-social, often violently so. Unless the sexual frustration of such men is transferred into external conquest (where they have a chance to take the women of other tribes), it rebounds onto society.
If you’re trying to build a successful culture, not good.
This is why successful civilizations *without exception* have eschewed unrestricted polygamy — aka the masculine imperative — in favor of monogamy, with at best minor polygamous arrangements for the extreme elite.
Even Islam, which is perhaps the closest modern civilization to the masculine imperative, is evidence of this compromise approach. Tribes in pre-Islamic Arabia had unrestricted marriage, with many men having 8 or 10 wives. Yet they were incredibly primitive and the women lived in abject poverty. Mohammed’s restrictions on marriage — which capped wives at 4 and forced the husband to provide for them all equally and adequately if he wanted them — were highly “feminist” for the region and era… and undoubtably one of the elements that allowed the Arabs to develop a flourishing society.
No surprise that as we revert to our collective “biological imperative” (this time through women), cultural collapse is following.
The only difference is how the symptoms are expressed. This time, instead of violence and infant mortality, we have escapism and low birth rates. Low status men — for now, at least — don’t express their sexual frustration through war or rebellion, they play video games, get high, and watch porn. Women don’t suffer from lack of provisioning by their alpha male mates, they simply don’t have children since the alpha males won’t commit and avoid knocking them up.
Whether the masculine or feminine does the dirty work, the outcome of our biological imperative is a sexual extremity pattern favoring alpha males, followed by decline.
There’s only one way out.
In order for society to function, there needs to be an equilibrium — and it’s achieved not simply when the genders reach an agreement with each other to compromise on their own sexual strategies, but when they work together to stop other members in their own gender from sexually dominating.
Ergo, the way out is not men vs women, as the manosphere rhetoric is currently directed, but everybody vs everybody.
And as far as I can tell, the only way this equilibrium can be maintained is through marriage.
Don’t get me wrong — I understand the risks today. It takes a village to raise a woman, and we have lost our village. Modern culture practically exists to feed female solipsism. The laws are brutal. Knowing these pitfalls, and especially being an individualist by nature I cannot morally argue for men to make the plunge. Everybody has their own dharma; their own choice to make.
I’m just making the point that from a systems’ perspective, maintaining a harem and playing the field is facilitating, not fighting the feminine imperative — the very thing accelerating decline.
Getting married isn’t. So, if you’re someone who intends to fight the decay rather than enjoy it until it all implodes, it has be on your long-term agenda. Skin in the game, so to speak.
Note this doesn’t mean you rush into such a long term, committed relationship and choose a sub-par girl just for the sake of doing it. While those who say “there are no good girls in the west” are losers who struggle to get women without a foreigner advantage, our moral degeneration is real. You need to screen women heavily for their values; no thots allowed.
But once you’ve found a woman who hits that criteria — and really, if you’re a man with his shit together there are plenty out there — you do need to understand what a marriage actually entails.
For instance, one myth in our corner is that marriage is fundamentally a decision to “accede to the feminine imperative.” While this is a truth, it is true in only in the most technical sense.
Marriage is at its crux a negotiation between the male and female sexual strategies to produce an outcome where neither one dominates; where both give things up to serve a higher goal. It is one thing to refuse the current equilibrium and terms — to not want to settle for the 21st century emasculation and servitude society expects from a man. But to refuse the concept of negotiation altogether is ideological, not rational, and no different psychologically from the feminists who see marriage as succumbing to the “patriarchy.”
Maturity is seeing these ego-fueling mirages for what they are, and accepting the truth: you always have to give something up to get something.
Even those divorced older guys who are finally managing both deep *and* open relationships paid for their pleasure upfront: they had to eat shit — and then suffer through watching their kids eat shit in a broken household — to get both their legacy and their libertinism. It’s telling that despite now having their cake and eating it too, few wish their journey upon anyone.
Lunch is never free.
Which is why I’m exasperated to continue to hear the authoritative posturing of guys who have never had a serious girlfriend (except perhaps one, where she crushed his soul), preaching to lost men the “only get married if she does everything you want whenever you want it” dictum.
Sorry bud, I know you like to tell yourself this is how it was in the “good ‘ol days,” but that never happened; certainly not without huge externalities affecting the rest of the relationship. You are living in a fantasy land. The truth is that your unrealistic “standards” are your shield against intimacy and the risk of getting hurt.
Power is real in relationships, but live solely by the red pill and you will die by it. Maybe your idea of a dream marriage is that of a certain famous “lifestyle guru,” banging an illiterate Thai girl who cleans your house, cooks, doesn’t speak, and bends over when you tell her because her and her family depend upon you for survival. Maybe what you want is something transactional: a docile vessel for release who “loves” you because she needs you; who you don’t have to get close to.
But all that really says is you’re afraid and that you suffer from a crisis of imagination. A commitment to making your life easier and sexual submissiveness may be necessary traits in a woman, but unless you are just playing with them short term, they are not sufficient. They are hollow. The red pill may set the foundations for your house, but unless you want to live in a shell, you must expand beyond it.
Theory can only take you so far. Female sexual strategy is immutable, but how every woman manifests it is contingent on her personality and values. Relationships are complex, thus nuance is needed. If you look at a woman through a one dimensional filter that views every problem as a nail and red pill doctrine as a hammer, you will create as many problems as you solve.
The Ultimate Imperative
Some of you may think this is all romanticiziation, and maybe it is. Who am I to claim I am not — like Schopenhauer who hated his mother and eschewed passion in all relationships — influenced by my own experiences and rationalizing my own actions.
All I know is that there are layers to women beyond what we discuss here. That as essential as what we talk about is, and as devastating as it has been to relationships to have female sexual nature covered up by modern culture, we must not make the mistake of throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
Integrate the red pill, do not become a slave to it.
I have learned this not only through working with my married clients, but first hand. As I have noted, as recently as a few months ago I did not have the dynamics I wanted in my marriage. Part of this for a time was because of my sub-par financial performance; a variable predicted by the red pill. But even as this problem abated the volatility remained.
Two months ago it was finally resolved — yet it had nothing to do with my ability to create desire or my sexual market value. It had to do with my commitment. The fact was, prior to that shift I wasn’t fully invested in my marriage. My thoughts frequently drifted to me leaving. We weren’t perfect, and I didn’t want to tie myself down to something that was flawed.
After all, why should I? I live in a city filled with a disproportionate number of beautiful girls, I know game, and I am hitting my prime. I had the leverage; it was “beta” to send her the message that I was unconditionally going to stick around.
Yet for all the theory, dread game yielded results only tactically, and my structural mindset that I was not simply the leader but superior just intensified our fights. I was too much about me; I was inconsiderate.
I didn’t realize the real problem: I had to go all in.
It’s a paradox, I know. You must never forsake your purpose — you must maintain your autonomy and be aware of (and build) your objective sexual value, and be ready to leave if trust is broken.
Yet you must also commit, not 50%, not even 99%, but 100% to your woman. You have to do this despite knowing what women are capable of, without any illusions, pedestals, or naivety about the dark abyss of hypergamy. You have to know the baggage your own woman carries with her, that she will fuck with you, not only because she’s a woman and women test men, but because she genuinely has issues. You have to accept this as part of the package, knowing she is getting a similar deal.
This is the ultimate imperative: to commit yourself to something that is not a sure thing and might hurt you, because that commitment not only allows you to rebirth the world, but yourself.
Some men in our corner claim this isn’t true, that “ultimately if your desire is high enough, comfort doesn’t matter” — but that is simply wrong, especially in a practical sense. Desire is your leverage in the negotiation, but comfort is what shows you are trustworthy enough to continue negotiating with. In the long-run desire alone might fix a relationship, but while you neglected comfort the relationship already ended. Who gives two shits if she thinks about you after she’s with her new milquetoast husband; your life has descended into chaos.
Understand: good product matters, but people continue to patronize the places that make them feel at home. You might be able to dispense with such relationship-building in one-night stands but in marriages that underlying trust is essential. The proportion of desire to comfort may vary based on personality and circumstance, but the principle remains: commitment is required.
Indeed, it is what makes marriage — beyond children — worth the negotiation to begin with.
Jung delved into the human psyche perhaps more than any other man. His insights were manifold, but one conclusion has stood out to me more than any other: our dissatisfaction comes from the unintegrated parts of our personality. Nirvana is bringing these unconscious and inferior parts of ourselves into alignment. One of the best ways to do this is, as he observed, is through marriage.
The fact is, we can only know ourselves so much on our own. Self-awareness can give us a glimpse, but it is the intimacy of a relationship that reveals the full outline of our shadows, and the commitment to that relationship that forces us to grapple with them.
In the age of unlimited romantic options, most of us rationalize our way out of facing these demons. We project our own inadequacies onto the women we court — the “real” damaged party — blind to the reason we attracted these women to begin with.
In other words, we remain shallow — as one dimensional as the relationships with the women we pursue.
But while the distractions might be fun now, they won’t satisfy forever. Just ask the elders. How many interchangeable women can you bang before you realize the experience is ego-affirming but empty. One girl blurs into the next; persona becomes predictable, the hunt is the same. We are meat in the grinder to our biological imperative; if we make that our prime directive, it only follows we are low-consciousness.
The redeeming aspect of game is the weakness it makes us confront in ourselves, but you can only become so strong when you’re allowed to run away. There’s a reason committed relationships require so much frame: frame is tied to psychological alignment, and relationships force your integration in ways that are simply not possible when you have an “out.”
The conflicts you have with your woman aren’t just female bullshit, they’re the ones you’ve avoided having with yourself.
Every relationship holds not only the promise of sexual polarity, but emotional connection and psychological growth. While the red pill gives us the framework for the former, it does not provide a pathway for the latter. That is why it is incomplete. It ignores deeper layers of interaction that can exist between a man and a woman, trivializing them rather than trying to explain them. You might be forgiven for inferring it is even grounded in post-modernism: power is all that exists, so nothing else matters.
But men and women do have relationships that are based on greater things. I have seen it, including among some red pill men, though they rarely note it when describing the strengths of their relationships — a mistake. It is time for them to self-reflect, open up about that next level, and expand the conversation.
We may have evolved from apes, but we are far more than them. Like you would not tell a man his house is finished when he has only completed the roof and foundation, you must not stop your understanding of men and women at sexual strategy. Indeed, there is so much beyond it, to remain fixated on it past initial unplugging is irresponsible.
Ideologies are attractive because they feel safe. But you will only ever be secure in the truth.