PART ONE: PHEROMONES AND INTELLIGENCE
Previously in our Three Pillars of Attraction series we capped off the Second Pillar of Attraction, Persona.
Now we’re going to finally finish it by tackling Personality.
The first thing to understand about Personality is that it is fundamentally different from the other two pillars of attraction. It operates in two dimensions.
The first dimension consists of Chemistry and Compatibility. Broadly speaking, the Chemistry between two people is what creates desire; the Compatibility between them develops the comfort.
The second dimension of Personality is quite different — it is your psychological development. Since, along with looks and game, you are attracted to people at the same level of psychological development as you, this determines the psychological health and depth of the people you are going to attract.
It’s useful to look at these two dimensions as Authenticity and Integration, respectively.
The Two Dimensions Of Personality: Authenticity and Integration
Authenticity is best understood as the subjective aspects of who you are. These are what makes you you. These parts of you do not fundamentally change, or change very gradually, and are appealing to others based on how they mesh with their own authentic personality and taste.
When people say “be yourself” — this is the area of your personality they mean (or should mean).
This authentic self is a composite of your intelligence and personality type, along with your values, vision, and views. The former — along with pheromones — creates Chemistry with others, and is mostly “desire” dictated by nature; the latter determines Compatibility, and is mostly “comfort” dictated by nurture.
In contrast, integration determines the objective quality of who you are. Unlike authenticity, your level of integration is not constant. It is determined by the “inner work” you do and the experiences you have that make you grow.
When people talk about “maturity” or “balance” in your personality, this is what they are referring to.
In the Jungian sense, integration would be bringing the subconscious and repressed aspects of your authentic personality into alignment. In the Freudian sense, it would be reconciling and overcoming childhood “trauma” and any unideal behavioral adaptations that resulted.
In the more practical sense, it’s working on your weak spots and developing a rock solid frame.
We will return to integration in a later part of this series, but in this article we are going to focus on the non-psychological components of Chemistry.
Chemistry: What Is It?
“Chemistry” is one of the most esoteric terms in attraction out there. Google “what is chemistry,” and you’ll get a slew of people describing “that feeling” — a convenient filler everyone understands subconsciously, but hardly explains anything.
We will attempt to fix that here. The truth is, Chemistry is relatively quantifiable. Assuming a baseline in the other pillars of attraction and intelligence is met, Chemistry will develop between two people based on the interplay of their pheromones and psychology.
Psychology will be the crux of the next article; in this one we will address the nature of pheromones and intelligence in “setting the stage.”
Pheromones: The Odd Man Out
Pheromones may be a controversial topic for some but their relevance is indisputable. Pheromones contain your unique genetic signature, which is excreted as hormones when you sweat. When another person perceives the combination of your genes and theirs will make strong, healthy babies, they will unconsciously become attracted to you.
This makes pheromones a “Kingmaker” in attraction. Status and game both have a muted impact if you don’t “smell good” to someone; indeed, looks and pheromones are often enough for two people to want to hook up. Conversely, a bad pheromonal matchup will stop any interaction in its tracks.
That said, most women are neither hot nor cold with you, they lie somewhere in the middle — satisfactory to mate with genetically, but not ideal. In these typical cases “traditional” factors in attraction are most relevant, however, there is a degree of “pheromone game” (a term I just coined) you can pursue.
Note that I am not referring to the application of so-called pheromone oils or sprays. Some claim these work, but I have tried them and disagree. The results are non-existent. Save your money.
That said, pheromones are hormones, meaning the things you eat, as well as your stress and testosterone levels will all impact their quality and intensity.
Indeed, to the extent that some claim positive experiences with artificial pheromones, setting aside the very real issue of placebo effect, I hypothesize it may be because they are low in testosterone and the androgens within the oil compensate for this. This may also be why the oils did not work for me (my testosterone is nothing crazy, but at 700 it’s above average).
The implication of this is that if your testosterone is low, your pheromones probably suck. To fix this, raise your testosterone — many, many men have claimed after testosterone replacement therapy there was an immediate change in the way most women reacted to them. I doubt this is a coincidence.
(Plus: optimized testosterone won’t simply improve your pheromones but your mood, concentration, and ability to put on muscle / lose fat. It’s an essential part of being a man. ’Nuff said.)
Intelligence and Attraction: Does It Matter?
Moving on, let’s address a common point of contention in the realm of attraction: intelligence.
The conventional “manosphere wisdom” generally discounts the role of intelligence of attraction, especially on the side of women, as their physique and fertility have much greater bearing. Many even claim it’s undesirable for a woman to stray too far from average in intellect. Ergo I want to be very clear in stating what I have studied and observed to be true.
If you think men do not care about intelligence in mate-selection that is because you are not an intelligent man.
When it comes to hook-ups, a minority of intelligent men will push through the severe frustration of talking to a vapid woman to get their rocks off. When it comes to relationships, however, zero of these men will consider these women viable. Intelligence ranks right #2, just after looks, in screening criteria for smart men.
Don’t believe me? You’re wrong. Intelligence doesn’t just matter in sexual relations but relationships in general — it dictates the ability to form connections in the first place. It is the hardware of the attraction that occurs through the mind.
It is a truism that the most interesting, dynamic conversations occur between people who are within 15 IQ points of each other; beyond a 30 IQ gap communication breaks down and you become limited to small talk. Once the difference exceeds 50 IQ basic conversation becomes difficult if not impossible. Very high IQ people need to literally train themselves how to talk to “regular” people so they do not come across as completely unintelligible. (Many don’t, which is a major reason so many smart people become social outcasts).
Given this, it begs the question why a guy would attempt a meaningful relationship with a woman far beneath his own intellectual heft. He would be condemning himself to a life of impaired conversation and boredom, and for what?
A millionaire male model could easily attract an average looking girl, yet we know this would (all else equal) be a fundamentally bad trade-off for him. The market value difference between him and her would be extreme; it is poor use of his leverage. If he is a “9,” he is going to choose an “8” or a “9” caliber woman. (Note that the “9” may be more of a catch but the dynamic will not leave him as effortlessly dominant as with the “8,” hence the debatable trade-off). This subconscious choice is no difference with intelligence.
Understand, intelligence, like all structural facets of attraction, operates between men and women hypergamously. Men tend to date women across or slightly beneath them; women across or slightly above.
This means for a 130 IQ man, the sweet spot of 115 – 125 IQ in a woman would be the ideal. This leaves the guy as the dominant intellect yet they they remain able to easily talk about anything. Note for my high-IQ autists in the crowd, I am not suggesting you go all Gattica and start asking women for IQ tests before you date them; I am simply noting this happens naturally.
Like all things there are deviations to this (physically masculine / handy men occasionally date more intelligent cerebral women; polarity in one domain can compensate for inversions elsewhere) but the more a relationship goes against hypergamy in any area — including the intellectual — the less stable the relationship will be. The common exception to this is explained below.
Why Some Men Despise (And Others Love) “Intelligent” Women
Yet men aren’t making things up when they say intelligent women bother them, so there must be something associated with these women that is unappealing. Perhaps it is in some cases, as feminists claim, a matter of intimidation; the fragile male ego can’t handle a smart woman. More likely though, it is something far more banal: bad attitude.
The problem is intelligent women tend to think they are always right, making them argumentative, intellectually arrogant, and bossy — in other words devoid of a feminine persona.
To be fair, an ego attachment to your intellect in either sex is a sign of stunted psychological growth. “Picking arguments to prove they are right” is hardly up there in women’s list of preferred male traits.
But if aggressive behavior is low consciousness for a man, at least it’s not feminine.
Women who try to contend every point suffer the double whammy of “big ego” lameness and masculine overtones, even — and I know this must be frustrating ladies — when they are right. The result is tension with every guy they meet; mostly bad, only occasionally good.
I say occasionally good, because when the flying sparks do catch fire — and I believe this has happened at least once to almost every intelligent guy — the tension from the banter turns into some serious sexual tension. This usually descends into a simple one-night stand or short “hook up buddy” fling, but when psychological attraction is present as well, it can very often go much further — into a passionate romance.
The problem? They rarely last more than the honeymoon period because they are unstable:
- Since disagreements created the sparks, the parties generally lack compatibility — aka values, vision, or views — so they begin on divergent trajectories that can’t be reconciled and eventually cause serious conflicts.
- Almost always suffer from rapid depolarization. The banter is hot in the beginning, but as the novelty wears off, quips degrade into explosive arguments. The lack of feminine Persona takes its toll on the foundation of the romance; the girl gets bored and the guy gets tired of the bickering.
These relationships are the stereotype of romance with intelligent girls; indeed, archetypes of them are practically lionized in all modern TV series (Aaron Ross Sorkin is a particularly tedious example of this sort of writing). Given this concerted cultural emphasis, no wonder it’s so unfortunately common.
Yet it’s important to emphasize not all intelligent women approach men like this; especially not to such an unbalanced, caricatured degree. Personality type impacts natural Persona significantly; culture and upbringing affect it even more, and proper integration can transform it. I know a girl who is easily 10+ points above my IQ — she is effortlessly brilliant — yet that doesn’t stop her from being one of the most feminine girls I know. There is nothing about a woman having intelligence that demands she use it like a sword.
So unless you truly are weak of mind, screen out masculine attitudes, not comparable aptitudes.
(Indeed, you will require the latter if you want your relationship to accelerate your integration… but we will explore that later.)
Onward Into The Psyche…
Hope this laid some good groundwork for you. In Part 2 of this series we’ll examine the more interesting and variable part of Chemistry, individual psychology — aka personality typology and attraction.