BECOME THE MAN WOMEN WANT
3rd of October 2014

Dr. Diana Fleischman Interview

Introduction:

This week’s guest is Dr. Diana Fleischman, an Evolutionary Psychologist at the University of Portsmouth. In this episode, Dr. Fleischman, Tucker, and Geoff discuss a wide range of topics including how nerdy guys can be attractive, men’s desire for sexual novelty, the importance of hygiene, ethics and attraction, and the importance of finding someone who fits with your personality.

Podcast:


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Key takeaways:

  • A nerd is someone who does a poor job marketing themselves. It doesn’t mean that they can’t be attractive.
  • An honest signal is a signal that is hard to fake. Costly signals are honest signals that you are considering somebody and their thoughts, attitudes, and intentions in a way that makes it seem like you’re spending more of your mental effort on them than on competing interests like other women or status, and also, that you would be willing to do things that are painful or would potentially compromise your other interests in order to make them happy. It’s a way to show commitment, and show that you care and are thinking about her.
  • Women want mental real estate. They want a big chunk of your brain going through cycles thinking about them, and all the things they might want. This is the reason behind statements such as “If you cared about me you would know this.”
  • You want to date women who understand that guys will think differently, and appreciate it if you’re making an effort, even if you aren’t getting everything exactly right. An example would be if you get her flowers, and they aren’t her favorite kind of flowers. If she can’t appreciate that, it’s a sign that she may have emotional issues and you should avoid her.
  • Men have an instinctive desire for sexual novelty, and women have an equally strong desire for costly commitment signals. Men have to kind of reign in their instincts, whereas women don’t feel much of an obligation to reign in theirs. In a healthy relationship, there needs to be compromise. Both sexes have to give up a little bit in terms of what they would instinctively want to do.
  • It’s very attractive to have limits to what sort of behavior you’re willing to accept from somebody – don’t be a pushover.
  • Women differ in how transparent they are with their desires and feelings. If you’re bad at reading social signals, you need to focus on being with women who are okay with that and who are generally transparent. You should still focus on improving your social and emotional intelligence, but women vary a lot in how transparent they are, and it’s important to be aware of that.
  • Women have very different disgust sensitivity than men. Sexual disgust overlaps with moral disgust and anti-pathogen disgust. For example, if your apartment is dirty, women will get turned-off. A women who is disgusted by anything will become aroused at a significantly lower rate.
  • It’s incredibly important to have good hygiene. This means cleaning your nails, having a haircut, bathing regularly, having any out of control hair trimmed, wearing clean clothes, etc. Ask a gay guy or a female friend to give you advice about this and to be brutal. Women don’t just have to worry about a man having good genes, they also have to worry about whether they will get a disease from somebody. And the disease burden and the disease risk for women is much greater. Be clean.
  • If you’re on a date with a vegetarian, they are likely disgusted by meat. This means that if you eat meat around them, they will likely become turned-off.
  • Other things that some women will find morally disgusting include being pro-gun, hunting, and being anti-welfare or anti-food stamps.
  • There is also sexual disgust. Some women won’t like a crude sex of humor. Most women won’t like you talking about your sexual escapades.
  • Your ethical standards are very important to women. It can be helpful to educate yourself about issues, even if it’s just to understand the other side. So, for example, if you’re at all curious about vegetarianism or animal rights, read about it. Don’t change your mind because of pussy, but it’s worth it to look into things.
  • When you talk about your beliefs, be socially intelligent about how you talk about it. If you have what’s considered an extreme or weird political philosophy, and you’re on a date and talking about an example of why your view is good, pick the example that’s kind and pro-woman and compassionate and pro-child.
  • Getting involved with charities can work well for guys, the charity sector is very dominated by women. If you do this, it has to be something that you actually believe in.
  • Donating to charity is also good. It shows that you’re trying and doing what you can. Again, make sure it’s something you actually believe in and can talk about intelligently.
  • Make sure you have reasons for whatever you’re doing, and make sure you can explain it in a clear way.
  • You need to realize that political, religious, and moral values are very important to people. It’s important to respect other people’s values, and also to select the kind of women who appreciate your own values. It’s much easier to find a girl who will fit with you if you find a girl who has the same beliefs as you—not because you can only be with people who have the same beliefs, but because people who have the same beliefs often have deep similarities in other ways.

Links from this episode

Dr. Diana Fleischman’s Bio:

  • Dr. Fleischman is an Evolutionary Psychologist at the University of Portsmouth, UK
  • Dr. Fleischman studied for her PhD at UT Austin, advised by David Buss
  • Dr. Fleischman’s main research interests are hormonal influences on female psychology, and how humans adaptively avoid cues of contagion including the regulation of disgust sensitivity.

Further reading on Dr. Diana Fleischman:

Podcast Audio Transcription:

Geoff:
Okay. So, welcome to the Mating Grounds Podcast. We’re here with Dr. Diana Fleischman who’s at University of Portsmouth as a senior lecturer in psychology. And she did her Ph.D. with David Buss and does a lot of cool stuff on women’s ovulatory cycles and sexually transmitted infections and all kinds of disgusting things. So, welcome.

Tucker:
Right, but we’re not going to start there though.

Geoff:
No. Welcome to the Podcast.

Diana:
Thank you.

Tucker:
I want to start with something you said which I think a lot of our listeners will be very interested in. Because you’re obviously very intelligent and very pretty. And you said, five minutes ago you said ‘Wow, I’ve spent most of my life dating like nerdy guys who didn’t get a lot of women. Those are the type of guys that are most attractive to me.’

Diana:
Yeah.

Tucker:
So, I think, I think there’s a lot of guys out there that are like where can I meet Diana, you know? But tell us, talk a little bit about that, about the type of guys that you go after or why you like that guy or whatever.

Diana:
When I was younger, I was mostly interested in how intelligent people were and I actually didn’t care very much about how men looked. So, in Britain, you say he’s punching like he’s punching above his waist. So, I was engaged to a guy, for example, who’s like a really hard core vegan and had a Ph.D. in biochemistry and had not really had a lot of success. Well, I mean, he had a few girlfriends. Yeah, basically I dated a lot of men like that because I like the way they talked and I also liked… I sometimes feel people really deserve somebody special and that was something that I wanted to be for someone else but also, because I like men who can talk about interesting things. And I like men who are devoted.

Tucker:
Wait, hold on. Like you said everyone deserves something special but you’re not doing charity here.

Diana:
No.

Tucker:
These are guys you were very attracted to.

Diana:
Yeah, I was attracted to them because they were intellectual and they were intelligent and they were articulate, for the most part, even if it took a little while to dig down through the shyness, sometimes. Yeah.

Tucker:
So, you would actually be the aggressor with a lot of these guys?

Diana:
There was a guy that I dated and yeah, when I was an undergrad I definitely was the pursuer. And, yeah, he was worried that he was going to undermine his grades that term if he dated me.

Tucker:
He was one of those.

Diana:
Even though he had never had a girlfriend before, yeah.

Tucker:
Wow!

Diana:
So, yeah, that.

Tucker:
So, then what is it about? Intelligence, obviously, is a big thing, right? What other things about that sort of set of traits that you find attractive.

Diana:
Yeah. I just found them often very kind and compassionate and certainly, if you get a guy like that, he usually will bend over backwards to make you happy.

Tucker:
Right.

Diana:
So, that’s another problem, obviously. That ultimately you can’t respect somebody like that forever. But that’s something I definitely like in the initial stages or used to like very much in the initial stages.

Tucker:
Right. So, they’re very compliant, you mean?

Diana:
Well, yes.

Tucker:
So, you like that in a guy? Very smart but then also very compliant?

Diana:
That is something, and also I’ve never been very look focused at all. So, I was dating guys who were very attractive to me because I can talk to somebody for a while and find them really beautiful. Even if they are not conventionally attractive.

Tucker:
No, that makes sense. But you’re saying that the sort of compliant stuff, it eventually wore on you or what?

Diana:
Yeah, eventually, because as many women do you kind of keep demanding further and further costly signals. And I’ve gotten better about this because I’ve recognized my own evolutionary psychology.

Tucker:
So, hold on. Let’s dig into that. That’s actually pretty cool that you recognize that. So, you would find a guy who’s really brilliant. And you like talk to him. It’s like ‘Alright, I’m really attracted to this guy,’ right? It’s funny. So, like you were dating, I think, in my mind sort of a nerd is someone who does a poor job marketing themselves.

Diana:
Yeah.

Tucker:
You know? It doesn’t mean that they can’t be attractive. It doesn’t mean any of this sort of stuff. It’s like they just focus on sort of results. So, whether they’re intellectuals or they’re programmers or they’re engineers, they only focus on those things that they really care about. And, so, you’re one of the few women, I think especially attractive women, that’s like ‘Alright, I’m going to look past the fact that they don’t market themselves at all, and only focus on what matters to them because that also matters to me.’

Diana:
Yeah.

Tucker:
I got that. But then as you would date them you would make them do more and more?

Diana:
Yeah.

Tucker:
So, you’d just get to the point where I don’t respect this dude?

Diana:
Yeah or… So, something that my current partner does that is really good is if I get short tempered or I get angry, he’s the only guy who’s ever had the balls to just reflect that back at me and make fun of me. And that is something that I really like because–

Tucker:
Because you’re like the angry little gremlin probably.

Diana:
And, so, he’ll say something similar to what I say. Sometimes when I get upset I’ll just be saying ‘It’s ridiculous. It’s just ridiculous.’ And, so, he’ll do things like if I leave my clothes out on the floor he’ll say ‘I can’t think in here. It’s ridiculous,’ and he’s just imitating what I do.

Tucker:
He’s just teasing you, right?

Diana:
Yeah. And, so, when somebody reflects back to you the way you are, it actually totally disarms me.

Tucker:
Right. Especially the absurdities of your character.

Diana:
Yeah.

Tucker:
Because we all have absurdities.

Diana:
Yeah and I also realize that I’m trying to extract very costly things from him.

Tucker:
Right.

Diana:
But I should probably put a limit on that, yeah.

Tucker:
I mean, okay. So, and then you understood this from your evolutionary psych studies right?

Diana:
Yeah, I understood this from my evolutionary psych. So, I think in common self-help or in society people think that women need to get everything they want and men have to limit their desire for sexual variety and their desire for not necessarily spending all of their time anticipating their partner’s needs. And this is something that I’ve talked about very explicitly with my partner now where he said ‘I’d have to spend 90% of my waking time thinking about you to be able to anticipate what you wanted before you want it”

Tucker:
Like a butler or something.

Diana:
Yeah, exactly.

Tucker:
But you wouldn’t even respect him if he was a butler.

Diana:
Yeah. And, so, I’ve noticed that it’s much better to just try and tell somebody exactly what you want and expect that they can figure that out later on rather than trying to anticipate what you want through subtle cues. But it, obviously, feels better if somebody anticipates what you want because that means that they must be thinking a lot about you.

Tucker:
Right. So, let’s dig into this. So, what does this look like? So, you have this pattern of really smart guys, very sort of kind, almost to the point where they were compliant and then you would push them to the point where you didn’t respect them at all? And then you meet a guy or maybe a couple guys that kind of have a line in the sand.

Diana:
Yeah.

Tucker:
‘No, you can’t push me past that.’ And that’s very attractive to you. So, what is that, in terms of interaction? This is almost like one of those questions where it’s like a lot of our listeners, I won’t say they’re autistic but they’re not very experienced emotionally.

Diana:
Yeah.

Tucker:
So, they want details on things like this. So, what are these interactions? You gave a really good one about how he’ll kind of throw some of your goofiness back at you.

Diana:
Yeah.

Tucker:
And disarm you. That’s fantastic. But what are examples of things you ask for where he draws the line and is like ‘No, no, no this is not okay,’ whereas, maybe other guys won’t? You don’t have to specific with your current boyfriend.

Diana:
It’s okay. It’s fine. So, one thing I wanted was that when we’re apart he could send me an email telling me all the things he did that day and he said no.

Tucker:
Good for him.

Diana:
Because I just want to know exactly who he talked to and where he had lunch and how his interactions were and stuff.

Tucker:
You wanted an email, not like a call ‘Hey, honey. What did you do today,’ like discussing.

Diana:
Yeah. But, you know, that was never going to happen. But, yeah, that’s the kind of thing that I realized—

Tucker:
So, when he said no were you upset? How did you deal with that?

Diana:
I just kind of knew that I was pushing it.

Tucker:
Right. And a lot of these things you pushed to see what he does back, right? Would you say that?

Diana:
Yeah but also I’m very transparent about what I want. And sometimes, we just have to dig down to what is the motivation for what you want. So, why do I want an email from him? I want him to do something costly that also tells me about his life. Another time, I really want him to come visit me. I live two hours away.

Tucker:
Right.

Diana:
And, so, you know, he recognizes that I want these costly signals from him so he was saying. He’s joked all the time ‘Shall I just burn money in front of you? Or would it make you happier if I actually bought an extra expensive train ticket and then I sat in coach?’ Or whatever. And, so, yeah, that’s the kind of jokes that we make is that it actually doesn’t really matter what you’re doing just that it hurts.

Tucker:
Yeah.

Diana:
Or that it’s something that you need a lot of time and energy to do. Yeah.

Tucker:
So, explain real quick. I know the answer but explain to our listeners why costly signals matter. We had a whole podcast on signaling.

Diana:
Yeah.

Tucker:
But explain why women care about costly signals?

Diana:
All women care about costly signals because it is an honest signal that you are considering them and their intentions, their thoughts, their attitudes in a way that makes it seem that you’re actually spending more of your mental effort on them than on competing interests like other women or status. And also, that you would be willing to do things that are painful or would compromise potentially your other interests, maybe mating interests or status interests in order to make them happy. That you’re so biased in their favor that you’re willing to make trade-offs that actually don’t make sense from an evolutionary perspective, in order to make the woman happy.

Tucker:
So, it’s a way to show commitment?

Diana:
It is a way to show commitment.

Tucker:
It’s a way to demonstrate not just words, not just ‘Oh, baby, I love you.’

Diana:
Yeah.

Tucker:
It’s actually doing shit instead of just saying it.

Diana:
Yeah. It’s a way of showing commitment that is honest but it’s also… I mean, I think, it’s something that people don’t understand about the commitment signals is that it’s as much about attention and pain, as it is about, you know, it’s a signal. Yeah.

Tucker:
Alright.

Geoff:
So, it’s not monetary costs, it’s where are you focused, where is your attention going? Is it on me, the woman, or is it spread all over the place?

Diana:
Yeah.

Geoff:
Also, I think, one thing listeners might not realize is when we talk about honest signals it’s not really honesty in the kind of conventional sort of language sense. Honest meaning hard to fake. Like if you didn’t really care about the woman you literally couldn’t do this. You couldn’t send the daily email with the GPS tracking of where you’ve been.

Tucker:
Right. Which is again kooky shit that her boyfriend thankfully had the balls to say no to. What are some things he does though that they are kind of costly signals but he’s cool with them and they make you happy? What are some of those things?

Diana:
So, one thing he asked me early on in our relationship, he said ‘What are some things that I can do that will make you happy that are completely without costs for me?’

Tucker:
Negotiate to find something sort of in the middle, right.

Diana:
So, he just wanted to know the whole range of things that he could do like that.

Tucker:
This is like pillow talk. This is so ridiculous.

Diana:
And, so, the first thing I could come up with was you would like more of my Facebook posts. And he’s like ‘Excellent. I will do that.’ It’s not completely cost free. You have to click.

Tucker:
It’s not cost free. He’s got to whatever but that’s like one of those things where I can actually understand that. What are some other things?

Diana:
The other things do involve costs so we have actually negotiated a certain degree of tidiness. We’ve negotiated.

Tucker:
Because he’s a slob and you’re not?

Diana:
Yeah, basically, but he’s actually very tidy when he has to be. So, he knows how.

Tucker:
Right.

Diana:
And also negotiated about cooking. So, his name’s Rob. He’s like ‘This is going to be a Rob dinner. I’m just going to have some sriracha and bread.’

Tucker:
And you’d like actual more stuff.

Diana:
I’d like to have a variety of different foods on a plate in a nice presentation.

Tucker:
Cooked properly.

Diana:
Yeah, cooked properly.

Tucker:
Maybe with some salt and pepper.

Diana:
Yeah. That kind of thing. So, yeah that’s another thing that we’ve negotiated on, yeah.

Tucker:
Right. So, that makes sense. So, it’s like, I think a lot of guys listen to this are thinking maybe ‘Oh my goodness, this is like some crazy thing.’ It’s not. It’s like do you cook for her? Do you show her that you’re thinking about her? So, I’m sure your boyfriend probably doesn’t bring you flowers but things like that are ideas that’s ‘Oh, I’m thinking about her.’ So, we talked about this before. I bought, for no reason, my girlfriend loves petunias specifically. She’s not a flower person but she loves those flowers. So, when petunia season came I just got her some flowers because it’s something she cares about that I had to go look for. They’re actually kind of expensive, weirdly. They’re like $7 a piece for these fucking flowers. But it wasn’t about the money. It was more that I knew what flower because she talked about it four months earlier. And I knew what flower she liked. And I got her that. And then she was very happy.

Diana:
Whatever did you do to remember that kind of thing? I remember one of the times I was on Rob’s computer and I saw his calendar and I told him that because we lived apart, I wanted to get two or three phone calls a week. And he had ‘call Diana’ in his calendar. I was trying to think if that’s sweet or less sweet.

Tucker:
No, that’s sweet because he needs to remember.

Diana:
Yeah. Yeah.

Tucker:
Yeah he’s probably, my guess is he’s not a super socially savvy guy. Is that right?

Diana:
He is, actually, really socially savvy but it’s these kinds of signals. You can be very socially savvy and then still not be very good with the commitment signals.

Tucker:
Right.

Diana:
One more funny story about flowers. He did bring me flowers one time and we were staying in this apartment. And I didn’t want to leave them behind when I went back home and he said ‘Oh, you can leave them behind if you want. The signal’s already been delivered.’

Tucker:
That’s pretty funny.

Diana:
Yeah.

Tucker:
That’s good. So, what about the reverse? Do you, does he ask any stuff like that of you?

Diana:
We’ve kind of renegotiated what a relationship is in a lot of ways.

Tucker:
Right. So, he doesn’t need a lot of signals back from you?

Diana:
No. Yeah, he’s very, very easy going.

Tucker:
Right.

Geoff:
So, you’ve had female roommates and lots of interactions with women, and you’ve kind of seen how women try to elicit these commitments and romantic proof from men. What do you observe other women doing wrong or where you notice they’re asking for something but an ordinary guy wouldn’t notice?

Diana:
So, yeah, and I’ve also dated women but the problem with the way that women often try to elicit these kinds of signals is that they’re very deserving of it. This is another joke I make with my partner a lot. ‘You didn’t clean up the room. Do you even love me?’ That is the kind of reaction that women have. ‘You didn’t remember that my favorite flower is petunias and not roses. Do you even love me?’ And there’s this outrage, and I sort of have this opinion that people are constantly operatingly conditioning each other. And when a woman becomes outraged, when I become angry or outraged it is a way of leveraging punishment.

Geoff:
So, it’s a kind of training signal that you’re–

Diana:
It is a training signal.

Geoff:
Like you’re giving to a dog. Like your boyfriend is the dog.

Diana:
Yeah. Well, men get angry with women too but–

Tucker:
What does he get angry about or what have you had boyfriends get angry about? You’re like ‘Yeah, they’re right about this.’

Diana:
Mostly about my ridiculous expectations. At times I’ve had very high expectations. But what women, I think, do is they get, yeah, they get outraged and they’re not actually saying what the foundation of what they want is. So, they’re saying I really want this kind of flower. I want to go to this kind of dinner or I want us to do this kind of thing when really all they want is the reassurance that you’re thinking of them and considering their desires.

Tucker:
This is actually a super good point though. So, I know what happens in the situation, generally speaking, right? Stereotypically which is, I think, the common sort of situation is a woman will want a petunia and the guy’s like ‘Okay, I need to get.’ He’ll code ‘I need to get flowers. ‘ She codes petunia is very different than flower. So, he shows up with flowers. She’s upset and he can’t figure out why she’s upset because he did what he thought she wanted. She, in her mind, he’s way off base because they’re kind of looking at different things. And then you get a situation, the stereotype of that sort of situation is he’s like ‘I don’t understand. I thought you wanted flowers.’ And she’s like ‘That’s not the flower I wanted.’ ‘Well, what flower do you want?’ ‘Well, if you don’t know then you must not love me.’ That sort of situation.

Diana:
Yeah.

Tucker:
So, let’s actually talk about it from both angles. So, why do women–I know why but I want you to explain to our listeners why do women say something like that which is like if you love me or if you like me, if you care you would know this? Which to a guy is nuts because it’s like how can we read your fucking mind, right?

Diana:
It’s mental real estate. They want mental real estate. They want a big chunk of your brain going through cycles thinking about, you know, you specifically and all the things you might want and like and love and that is what’s going on is that it’s this incredible amount of attention. And, so, they’re trying to see how much of that mental real estate is…it’s a land grab kind of thing.

Tucker:
Exactly.

Diana:
Yeah. And I think what’s really useful for women is that they decide how much that they want rather than pushing and pushing those boundaries.

Tucker:
Right. Right.

Diana:
So, there are certain things that I have figured out, boyfriends I’ve had cannot remember about me even though they really want to. And it’s okay that they forget those things because they couldn’t have remembered them for anybody.

Tucker:
Right. That’s just not who they are.

Diana:
Yeah.

Tucker:
Right. So, I think that’s the difference between just basically a woman you want to avoid and a woman that you should date is one who understands ‘Okay, a guy is going to think differently. If he’s making real effort and doing the best he can with certain things then it’s like I’m going to cut him some slack. Like he got me flowers, he forgot petunias because he doesn’t even know what a petunia is or something, right? I do but most guys probably wouldn’t, right? Okay. I’m sure if we brought Veronica in here she’d be like ‘Oh, let me tell you the five things you didn’t understand that I wanted you to,’ or something like that, right?

Diana:
Absolutely.

Tucker:
But then on the other hand, if the woman gets that, that’s great. If she doesn’t, that’s a sign of maybe a woman who has emotional issues and you need to like avoid. If she’s getting furious at every small thing either you aren’t as committed as she wants you to be so maybe you guys shouldn’t be together, or maybe she has problems.

Diana:
You also want somebody who’s willing to be transparent. So, I sort, I dated this woman who was a bit like that, who wanted me to figure out what, she wanted so much mental real estate. She wanted me to do things for her that she wanted and then she also wanted me to figure out why she was upset when I hadn’t done those things.

Tucker:
Right.

Diana:
And that is–

Tucker:
That’s crazy shit.

Diana:
Too far.

Tucker:
Yes.

Diana:
And, so, it was really difficult also because there was just such an expectation about my degree of investment. Yeah, and I was very much the male in that relationship like I drove her, I took her out to eat, all that kind of stuff. And I really feel for men. She made me really feel for how difficult it is for men.

Tucker:
It’s hard to understand.

Diana:
Exactly.

Tucker:
So, what are some other things she made you feel like ‘Wow this is like… I never was on this side. I’m never going to do this to guys anymore.’?

Diana:
One time, I was teasing her because we were going to go see chick flick. She’s really femmie. And I had joked around. I was on the phone with a friend of mine and I said ‘Oh, I’m sorry. I’ve got to go with my friend. We’re going to go see a movie about feelings.’ And she said ‘You’re always undermining how I’m interested in different film than you are and the degree to which I’m emotional and you’re not. And you’re more rational. This is just a way of you comparing us, our value.’ and it took a while to get that out. She was just angry with me after I got off that phone call. And we were going to a movie, you know? And I just had no idea what the deal was.

Tucker:
She couldn’t take a joke.

Diana:
Another time she said ‘Like’ a lot. We were in the car and I was driving. And she was saying ‘like’ and I turned around. I said ‘Like, like, like, like, like, like, like.’ She didn’t talk to me for hours. So, yeah.

Geoff:
That’s pretty passive aggressive. Yeah

Geoff:
You made earlier kind of an interesting point that I want to draw out a bit more, that men kind of have an instinctive desire for sexual novelty and variety but they kind of have to reign that in. And they learn as teenagers ‘Oh, shit, I have to deal with this. I can’t just express that desire unless I’m Tucker or whatever.’ But women.

Tucker:
They can. It’s just a certain path.

Geoff:
Yeah. But women have this kind of equally strong desire for these commitment signals, this romantic proof. And you pointed out in a chat with me that women don’t feel under much obligation to kind of reign in those instincts.

Diana:
Yep.

Geoff:
But that some of your experience, both interacting with men and kind of dating women was that cuts both ways. Both sexes have to give up a little bit in terms of what they instinctively would want to do? Is that accurate?

Diana:
Yeah, absolutely. And if you look at any popular show, if you look at something like Dr. Phil or Oprah or any of the talk shows, any man who wants to have sexual variety is totally demonized and any woman who wants to have a bubble bath drawn for her every evening with lavender, is considered, well, of course, you’re a mother. You take care of things. You deserve that. Well, that’s because women are the primary consumers of that kind of thing.

Tucker:
Media, yeah, especially main stream media, right. And then also the ones who run main stream media, for the most part.

Diana:
Yeah?

Tucker:
They are most of the decision makers at least at the lower level actual creative decision makers in media.

Diana:
Yeah. So, I do think there’s certain. For example, women and being upset about their partners watching pornography. That doesn’t really make a lot of sense to me. I think that I’ve heard other advice columnists say ‘You should have maybe a don’t ask, don’t tell policy about it if it makes you jealous.’ But there seem to be a lot of ways of mimicking sexual variety for men if you are in a monogamous relationship that I don’t know why women would care because it is the best way to get those cues without actually having sex with multiple women.

Geoff:
Right. So, if a guy has a virtual harem in pornotopia land then women really should suck it up and deal with it?

Diana:
I think even strip clubs are pretty okay in terms of that kind of thing because it’s very unlikely that if your husband or whatever goes out to a club that he’s going to pick up because they’re there to make money and flirt. And, so, you can get all the cues of being desirable and wanted and sexy as a man from multiple women without no harm no foul. But you know.

Geoff:
Do you think part of that is the girlfriends or wives are kind of resentful of the money and it’s not really so much about sexual or romantic jealousy as ‘ Oh, he went off and blew 200 bucks at the strip club’

Diana:
I mean, it could be about money. I didn’t really think about that. Mostly, I just think that some women have this expectation that every time you have a sexual fantasy it’s going to be about you and only you.

Tucker:
But they don’t look at the romance novels in the same way or 50 Shades of Grey. That 50 Shades of Grey is just porn for women. That’s all it is.

Diana:
Yeah, that Christian Grey guy. I was thinking about your face on him. Totally. I was imagining it was you, honey.

Tucker:
That sort of thing is very normal and natural. It’s demonized, I think, from both. Either demonized from the male or ignored from the female side and people don’t realize ‘Oh, that’s what’s going on. I get it. Yeah.’

Diana:
Yeah. I really liked your interview with Catherine.

Tucker:
Yeah, Salmon?

Diana:
Yeah.

Tucker:
Yeah. She’s really smart. That was good because most people don’t think of–They think of romance novels as just ‘Oh, it’s just trashy,’ whatever. No, that’s porn for women. I mean, that’s just what it is. It’s not a bad or good thing. It’s just sort of – it is what it is, you know?

Diana:
Yeah. So, I think that’s something and also I think that women should figure out that there are certain things. So, you have to figure out the sort of autistic quotient of your partner. So, I think part of the reason I’ve dated men who are very math minded often times is because I’m very transparent. Like what I want and my emotions and things like that are incredibly transparent. And a lot of men find that really reassuring. And if you’re with somebody who’s opaque, who doesn’t necessarily show you what she’s feeling or tell you what she wants then that might not be right for you if you have trouble reading those kinds of signal because you’re going to always be fighting about the degree of your commitment even though it’s not about the degree of your commitment. It’s about your ability to read signals.

Tucker:
Right. That was actually the other point I was going to make. We were going back to why a woman says ‘if you don’t know, I’m not going to tell you’ part of it is a test of the man’s social ability, his ability to understand and read sort of social, not just hers but anyone’s. You know? Right? And if you’re a guy who is really bad at reading social signals like if you have Asperger’s or if you’re just not as experienced you really need to focus on being with women who are okay with that and who are sort of like you, like very transparent. ‘Here’s what I need A, B, C’. And then that’s actually what she needs. She’s not — A, B, C is not a proxy for D, E, F that you have to figure out on your own.

Diana:
Yeah.

Geoff:
That’s a really good point, Tucker. That if you’ve got a little of Asperger’s one approach is try to improve your social and emotional intelligence and that’s totally worth doing. But also, women differ in how explicit they are in asking about what they want and how experienced they are dealing with guys like you if you’re like that. And it can be well worth finding those women who have experience with kind of nerdy guys, and don’t resent asking for exactly what they want. And there are women out there.

Tucker:
Quite a few, I think.

Diana:
You can level up to a girlfriend who is more difficult to read after you have a kind of a more transparent girlfriend. You might be able to have a wider variety of women that you can date. And I definitely think that some of the men that I’ve dated have gone on to date more normal women. Another kind of thing you can negotiate in a relationship is that if the woman is angry, even if it’s about something silly, that she just needs to tell you straight up and that there doesn’t need any kind of like silent treatment or long periods of uninvestment or lack of affection. Just need to say what’s going on right away and try to get it out of the way rather than letting it fester for a long time.

Geoff:
So, when you’re attracted to guys who are really bright, is it just kind of the pure intelligence, like you admire the rationality and the knowledge or does it kind of have to manifest through sense of humor or some other sort of channels?

Tucker:
Is it just the credentials or do they have to show it a certain way?

Diana:
So, it is often, I just like to hear men and women but men a lot of the time talk about the kinds of research they do, about things they learned, about places they’ve traveled. Obviously, sense of humor is really good. I’ve dated some very serious people. I think it’s better if I date somebody who’s also funny and has a perverse sense of humor like a dirty sense of humor like me.

Tucker:
Right.

Diana:
I dated a guy for a long time who only liked puns. And I didn’t think that was going to be such an obstacle but it really was.

Tucker:
Oh, my God, that would be the worst.

Diana:
It was, it was not ideal. I would just make these horrendously dirty jokes that all my male friends like and he just—

Tucker:
There should be a pun dating site so the punners can all stay together. Oh, my God.

Geoff:
Are there any women who like puns though?

Diana:
Yeah.

Tucker:
Yeah. Oh, yes because I have dated pun women and I hated it. They were the worst.

Diana:
I think there might be a sex difference in terms of dirty perverse sense of humor. I think men like it more than women, in general. Yeah.

Tucker:
My girlfriend doesn’t really make those jokes but she loves to laugh at them and she feels like she’s being naughty. Like one of the reasons I think she likes me so much is that I have no fear of saying anything. Like we’ll be out and whatever and I don’t know. We’ll be at like CrossFit and I’ll be like ‘You don’t want to stand behind her I just shot a load in her before we came here.’ And like everyone else will kind of look and she’ll get red but she’ll laugh her ass off. But she likes that kind of stuff where some women, I think, would be utterly mortified and would probably try and stab me.

Diana:
You found somebody really rare.

Tucker:
Right. Well, I’m a rare dude so we kind of match. But, yeah, she doesn’t make those jokes. She doesn’t say ‘Oh, yeah, I got a mouthful of his semen,’ or something, you know? But she loves it when I do, you know? Like, so, it’s not hard to find the matches, you just have to kind of, you know, look and be aware of what styles go together. But, yes, the punners should fucking stay together.

Geoff:
So, yeah, generally guys when we say show a good sense of humor or show your intelligence through humor, most of the time that does not mean puns, right?

Tucker:
But how many dudes are going out making puns?

Diana:
And most of the time it doesn’t mean joking about fucking other women.

Tucker:
Yeah, well those are both extremes. Although, I’ll tell you, my style I’ve seen a lot of guys hang out with me and then try and it usually crashes and burns because they don’t know how to do it right. Because you’ve got to really own it. It’s got to be who you are but the guys who can own it and feel it do extremely well because you’re almost always the outlier. You’re the truth teller in a sea of liars. And I go a little extreme but if you can be, even a little subtle like that, like the same joke I just made instead of ‘I dropped a load in her,’ you can say something like ‘You might not want to stand behind her, we were alone before we came,’ or something like that. That’s a little less crude but the same joke, right?

Diana:
She had a bran muffin or something. Yeah.

Tucker:
Right. ‘It’s not a bran muffin that’s causing that’ or something. Like funny shit like that works really well even if you do it once a day as a dude. I do it all the time but you can do it once a day. Like I was telling you, you know, we’ll go to Target or something and I’ll start screaming. If I can’t find something, ‘Where’s the Tide?’ And people are looking at us really weird but I’m also very goofy in my sense of humor. And I just own it. I’m like ‘Fuck, I don’t care what’s going to happen,’ right? And people find that, women at least, in my experience, not all but the ones that like it find it very freeing and they also think it’s very fun because first off, it’s very random. You know, in psychological research it’s very clear random rewards are always sort of the most– Which I didn’t really realize what was going on until this girl actually said to me she’s like ‘Dating you is almost like playing the lottery because I never know what I’m going to get or what’s coming up.’

Diana:
Enough about what an alpha male you are though, Tucker.

Tucker:
That’s not being an alpha male. No, that’s the thing though. That’s not being an alpha male. Any fucking dude can do that. Like any dude. You don’t think so?

Diana:
Any dude can be outrageous and inappropriate?

Tucker:
You can be a version of that. You can be sort of like a safe funny John Green version of that. You know what I’m saying? You can be like goofy.

Diana:
Who’s he?

Tucker:
He’s the novelist.

Diana:
Oh, okay, yeah.

Tucker:
He hates my guts. He did this thing on Reddit once, it was actually kind of funny where he offered to send people free copies of his book if they video tagged themselves burning once of my books. I was like ‘Look, as long as they go and buy a copy, I’m alright with it.’ Apparently that dude hates me. I think his books are good. I don’t know why he hates me though. Whatever. But that’s not alpha. That’s the thing. That’s actually a really good point. Being funny or being a little bit goofy or random, I’m sure you’ve dated guys like that who do those sorts of things who aren’t alpha males.

Diana:
Yeah. I’m a lot like that, though.

Tucker:
Are you?

Diana:
Yeah.

Tucker:
Well, alright. Okay. So, you have maybe the more alpha sensibility in the relationship.

Diana:
Yeah.

Tucker:
But you can still not be a dominant male and do that.

Diana:
Yeah.

Tucker:
In fact, most funny guys are not.

Diana:
It’s kind of hard to get the confidence. Yeah.

Tucker:
How many comedians would you consider–outside of comedy–dominant alpha males? Almost none.

Diana:
You have to get the confidence together and I think that that’s something that, you know, if you get a girlfriend who is really open minded and really transparent and who brings you out of your shell, then you can become like that, absolutely.

Tucker:
Yeah.

Diana:
There’s other ways of doing it but.

Tucker:
Like, what other ways? What are other ways that guys have been funny that you were like? I’m sure dry because you’ve been in England for so long.

Diana:
Yeah.

Tucker:
Dry British humor you probably like a lot.

Diana:
I really like absurd humor.

Tucker:
What’s absurd? What’s a couple of examples? Because, again, we’ve got dudes listening who don’t know what that means. Like they think it means like making Call of Duty jokes that girls won’t get unless they’re gamers but.

Geoff:
You told me a joke before the Podcast about the two pervy people.

Diana:
I’ve told this joke, yeah. So, this is one of my favorite jokes. I’ll just go ahead. So, there’s a man and a woman and they’re chatting to each other at a bar. And the woman finally turns to the man and says ‘I should tell you something about me. My ex-husband left me because I’m too kinky.’ And the man says ‘Well, what a coincidence my ex-wife left me because I’m too kinky. Let’s see what’s up.’ So, they go back to her place and she goes into her bedroom and she says ‘Let me change into something more comfortable.’ So, she’s changing into latex and whips and chains and all this kind of stuff. Finally, she comes out of her bedroom door and she sees he’s leaving the apartment. And she says ‘I thought we were going to get kinky. Where are you going?’ And he said, ‘Well, I already fucked your dog and took a shit in your purse. I’m leaving.’

Tucker:
See if you told me that joke I’d be like ‘Alright, we’re fucking tonight.’ Like if we were at a bar or someplace and you told that joke. I’m like ‘This one is going to play ball.’ I think I’ve heard that joke before but a long time ago. That’s a great one.

Diana:
George Carlin told that joke actually.

Tucker:
Yeah. There you go. That’s a fucking great joke. A dude told you that joke?

Diana:
I can’t remember where I got that joke.

Tucker:
George Carlin is the dude.

Diana:
Most of the dirty jokes I know are actually from my dad.

Tucker:
Oh, nice.

Diana:
But not that one.

Geoff:
So, segueing seamlessly into veganism.

Diana:
Oh no.

Geoff:
We’ve talked a lot about finding, you know, places, social situations where you’ve got an advantageous sex ratio if you’re a guy.

Diana:
Yeah.

Geoff:
But we’ve also talked a lot about, you know, eating paleo is a way to improve your health.

Tucker:
Stop being a fatty. Look better.

Geoff:
You pointed out that getting interested in certain kinds of ethical issues to do with veganism or animal rights or whatever can work really well for guys. Do you want to talk a little bit about that?

Diana:
Sure. So, the charity sector is very dominated by women. Although, I was just at the Effective Altruism Summit in California and that is actually 75% men which is really interesting because it’s a more mathematical logical.

Tucker:
Well, it’s called Effective Altruism not feel good altruism.

Diana:
Ohhh! But there are women in the community and they’re awesome.

Tucker:
I’m sure. I’m sure. And there’s 25% of them, and they’re all paired up.

Diana:
There aren’t many. Well, not exactly. So, then there’s also so regular charity but also vegetarians outnumber men four to one if you look at, I think it was Pew Poll or it was the Gala Poll that showed that the biggest ethical differences between men and women are in the treatment of animals. So, many more women think it’s immoral to wear fur or to do biomedical research than men do. So, that’s a huge difference. And in vegan communities, actually, it’s more 50/50 but, I think that the women.

Tucker:
Vegan is hardcore and ideological whereas vegetarian it tends to be more pragmatic.

Diana:
Well, it’s depends. I mean, I hang out with a lot of vegans but the men are not necessarily go getters, I’ll just put it that way. And, so.

Tucker:
You mean skinny?

Diana:
Well, no. No, no, no. Yeah. So.

Tucker:
Skinny, stinky dudes without any energy aren’t go getters.

Diana:
No, my boyfriend’s six foot three, like really muscular, and he’s bivalvegan too, as I am.

Tucker:
My MMA coach is actually Vegan, Mac Danzig.

Diana:
Yeah.

Tucker:
Some dudes can do it and be super healthy, no doubt.

Diana:
Yeah. So, we’re not going to get into an argument about that in particular. But people always have this idea. They actually did a study in, what was it in, no, it was Ian Stephen who does face color stuff and he said ‘The more fruits and vegetables you eat, the more attractive your facial coloring is.’

Tucker:
Yeah because of the–

Geoff:
Carotenoids

Tucker:
Yeah, carotenoids.

Diana:
Exactly. But, yeah, what I would recommend for men who are looking for a way to meet a lot of women is. But you can’t fake it. You can’t say ‘Actually, I eat bacon all weekend,’ or whatever and then I go and try to pull Vegan girls. Like, no. She’s going to look in your fridge and she’s going to leave.

Tucker:
Yeah.

Diana:
So, you have to actually become convinced of the arguments and I think that the arguments are perfectly rational. But, then again, you can read them on my blog if you want to. I’m not an ideological vegan and I’m not a yeah. So, I have very different ideas about it. I also think it’s okay to eat oysters and mussels because they don’t have brains.

Geoff:
Yeah. So, we’ll have a link to your blog Sentientist, right?

Diana:
Yeah, that’s right.

Geoff:
Okay. How important do you think sort of ethical standards and moral virtues and a guy’s moral view of the world is to women? Is that just irrelevant to most women or do you think a lot of women kind of evaluate a guy’s character by sort of how he talks about political and moral issues?

Diana:
I think that’s incredibly important to me but I would not necessarily say it’s important to the vast majority of women. There are a lot of questions on online dating sites about that, like how closely aligned you want to be in your political and ideological views. So, I think that it’s worth kind of feeling out and certainly, second to intelligence, for me, the biggest draw has been people’s ethical standpoints. I dated this guy for three years who was a hardcore Vegan because I thought he was one of the most ethical people I’d ever known. And that was something that really was a draw for me. But I’m not necessarily sure how common that is. Certainly, if you’re hanging out with vegetarian women and that’s the kind of group that you’ve decided to target, for lack of a better word, then you will definitely want to be well versed in those arguments.

Tucker:
Well, I think, just the important point for guys is the causality is going the other way around. If you already eat vegetarian, you already believe this.

Diana:
Yeah.

Tucker:
Then join those groups because there are going to be tons of women who believe the same thing and the fact that you have that commonality is going to mean a lot.

Diana:
Yeah.

Tucker:
The worst, and you said this and I could not agree more, the worst thing you could do is go to those groups to try to meet women if you do not align with their views. That makes no fucking sense. That’s so skeezy and scummy. It just won’t work well.

Diana:
Yeah.

Tucker:
It’s stupid on every level. Now, we tell guys that charity, exactly what you just said, charity, volunteering stuff, super great way to meet women. Just pick, what are the ten things you care about and then find the groups. It’s like ‘Oh, I like dogs. I’ll go volunteer at a no kill shelter. Or I don’t eat meat I’ll go do vegetarian stuff. Or I do like meat a lot. I’ll go to a paleo meet up,’ whatever.

Diana:
Yeah.

Tucker:
It doesn’t matter what you believe in a lot of ways unless you’re like a sociopath. There’s not really any sociopath meet ups, I don’t think. Let’s call Hollywood, actually.

Geoff:
I thought it was called Tinder.

Diana:
I think the men would outnumber the women there, probably.

Tucker:
Yes. Yeah, Hollywood and Wall Street. Those are the sociopath meet ups. But, yeah, just find the groups because for the most especially if they’re charity based, they’re going to be mostly women.

Diana:
Yeah. So, I’ve known men who were trying to meet women. For instance, I had this neighbor who, when I lived here in Austin, who was in the Navy for 12 years and he was really trying to find a girlfriend when we were living next door to each other. And he would go to things like swing dancing and that kind of thing. And he said ‘Where are all the women? What are women doing? They’re not at these things that I thought women would want to do or where I thought women would meet up.’ And there’s like hacker space, things where people build things and then tinker.

Tucker:
No, he went to those thinking there’d be women?

Diana:
I don’t, yeah.

Tucker:
No.

Diana:
So, no, exactly. I think even dancing, you’d think that that would be really good.

Tucker:
Well, it depends where you go. Swing dancing is like one of those stupid fads that only hipsters talk about but no one does. You do other types of dancing it’s full of women like that. A friend of mine, literally, this guy’s wife runs a dance studio. She’s like ‘We can’t find enough male partners.’ It’s a huge pain in the ass.

Diana:
Wow, okay.

Tucker:
But they do other, I don’t know, salsa, others, Zumba. I don’t know.

Diana:
Yeah.

Geoff:
Whatever. So, you know, I think there is kind of a middle ground between guys who are already hardcore vegetarian and want to go meat, should realize ‘Oh, yeah, you should go to vegetarian groups,’ and then there’ll be women there. The other extreme is pretend to be vegetarian when you’re not to meet women. But I think there is a happy middle ground where guys should realize there are these sex differences and kind of ethical perspectives and it can be helpful to kind of educate yourself, alright? So, if you’re at all curious about vegetarianism or animal rights or whatever go read about it, learn about it, watch some Peter Singer videos, right? And then you might actually change your mind about something and then there’ll be a lot of women to whom that’s kind of cool.

Diana:
Yeah.

Geoff:
Like you used to eat bacon and then you found out about why–.

Tucker:
Don’t change your mind because of pussy though. No, that’s what most dudes do in college. They fool themselves into thinking they believe something because the hot girl they want to date is doing it. It’s how our brains our designed

Geoff:
If it’s in order to meet women then for you that’s okay?

Diana:
That’s fine. Go for it.

Tucker:
I think you’re probably in the minority with that. That is definitely not a viable dating strategy

Diana:
The vegetarian movement will sniff you out. They will figure out what’s going on.

Geoff:
I think there’s a segue we could do here maybe into different varieties of disgust and some of your disgust research. Because when we talk about fecal transplants and gross stuff like that you have very low sensitivity to disgust about physical disease cues, right? But I think you have quite a strong degree of moral disgust.

Diana:
Yeah.

Geoff:
A lot of what guys do like kind of being off handedly mean to animals, or eating chickens or whatever is. So, how does all of that work? In particular, what is a woman’s psychology like in terms of kind of how her sexual disgust overlaps with moral disgust, or anti-pathogen disgust because like Tucker and I have talked a lot about guys you should kind of keep your apartments clean and tidy because women actually feel more sexually relaxed if they’re in a clean and tidy space.

Diana:
Yeah.

Geoff:
Because they’re more sensitive to all your gross–

Tucker:
It’s not just social judgment. It’s actual biological reaction.

Geoff:
Yeah, it actually makes their bodies feel unsexy.

Diana:
Yeah, I’ve gone home with a guy who had dog shit on his floor.

Tucker:
Did you still sleep with him?

Diana:
Well because he was so impeccable in terms of–We went back to mine.

Tucker:
There you go.

Diana:
We turned around and went back.

Tucker:
You found a compromise. Yeah.

Diana:
Put his dog in the backyard and we went away. But, so, yeah, women are much more disgust sensitive than men. That’s a major sex difference. But it’s in terms of pathogen disgust and that’s part of why women are more likely to be vegetarian because vegetarians are more disgust sensitive than non-vegetarians, on average. And, so, one thing that I’ve done a study on is how women’s sexual response is influenced by disgust. So, this may seem really obvious but what we did is we showed women disgusting pictures and then we showed them pornography. And they had this probe called a vaginal photoplethysmograph which basically it shoots out light and the more blood there is in the vaginal canal the less light comes back so you can tell how full of blood, how congested that tissue is.

Tucker:
Which is a proxy for?

Diana:
A proxy for arousal. It is necessary for sexual arousal. That is the first step. And you know, low and behold, it’s not that unlikely women who saw some disgusting things first managed to get aroused at a much lower rate, a significantly lower rate but also when they themselves were saying ‘Okay, how aroused are you at the pornography?’ We had them signal how aroused they were at the pornography. It took them a lot longer to get aroused.

Tucker:
So, both conscious and unconscious.

Diana:
Yeah. Although, the top most number that they picked for arousal was not different. So, but for men, they’ve shown that men who are sexually aroused are less disgust sensitive. So, they’re willing to do things that are more disgusting. So, I think it was Dan Ariely and there’s another group, Case, Oaten, and Stevenson have done some stuff on this. Where if he asks a man would it be fun to watch a woman urinate or would it be, you know, fun to have sex with someone, basically illegal, much younger than you or whatever? Men are much more likely to say yes to potentially disgusting things when they’re turned on. And Dan Ariely actually had men watch porn.

Tucker:
Men make the stupidest decisions on Earth when they’re turned on.

Diana:
Yeah, exactly. So, but that’s important to remember, as well. And also, that women are just going to have very different disgust sensitivity. So, I was at this conference and I just seen this also with men who are interested in math and science. They do things that are disgusting and they don’t really realize it. So, they have dirt under their fingernails or their hands are dirty or they’re wearing something with a massive stain on it or they don’t smell quite right which I’ve heard you guys talk about before. And you just have to keep in mind that when a woman is assessing you as a sexual partner she’s not just assessing you to potentially be the father of her babies but also assessing whether or not you’re going to give her a sexually transmitted infection that could compromise her reproductive success forever.

Tucker:
Either unconsciously or consciously?

Diana:
Yeah, unconsciously or consciously.

Tucker:
And it’s actually much more powerful when it’s unconscious.

Diana:
Yeah and that’s a much more limiting. So, you know, in theory, women really have to worry the most about a man having good genes when she’s ovulating but a woman has to worry about whether or not she’s going to get a disease from somebody all the time. And the disease burden and the disease risk for women is much greater. So, men, if they have chlamydia or gonorrhea or something they won’t get what’s called Pelvic Inflammatory Disease. One way evolution designed women really stupidly where there’s this open cavity basically and something like 20% of untreated or 30% of women become sterile from chlamydia.

Tucker:
PID, really?

Diana:
Yeah.

Tucker:
From chlamydia?

Diana:
Yeah, if you’re untreated. And sometimes it’ll be untreated for a while. So, and women are. This is a crude way of saying it but women are a pocket. We are a pocket and we don’t want thing festering in us. Thanks very much. And, so, that’s something that I think men should consider in addition to the threshold for somebody wanting you to be their baby daddy.

Tucker:
There’s a reason we bring this up over and over. It’s kind of funny. A lot of guys will email like ‘Dude, you talked about cleanliness. I get it.’ And then I’m like ‘Send me a picture. It sounds like you’re a dirty fucking scumbag.’ And like they don’t understand that this actually matters, that women actually make very, they very much make their decisions about attraction on a fundamental level. Like we tried to explain to this guys, they still don’t really get it. A lot of them, either they know nothing or they come out of like ‘Oh, yeah. What I say is the first thing that matters.’ I’m like ‘Dude, that’s the ninth thing that matters.’ Is speaking. Usually it’s one of the last things and it’s not that important. Very rarely is the woman attracted to you because of what you say. Really you can just mess it up, for the most part, if you done anything right before then but cleanliness, basic cleanliness is so important. Right. Having clean fingernails. You wouldn’t believe how many especially younger guys ‘What do you mean? I’m clean.’ I’m like ‘You look like Pig Pen from fucking Peanuts, dude.’

Diana:
But also, you know, there’s like having a haircut and having your nose hair trimmed or whatever it is that you need to do.

Tucker:
Right. Ear hair, like if you have huge bushy eyebrows. One of those things where it’s like okay, if you’re a 60 year old professor it’s fine but if you’re 23 what the fuck is wrong with you. You don’t have scissors in your fucking house?

Diana:
Yeah, so.

Tucker:
You don’t have to be a crazy person about it. Just don’t look dirty.

Diana:
Yeah. Get a gay man to give you some advice. Get a female friend to give you some advice and just ask them to be brutal. And I’ve been hanging out with people recently who play this honesty game where you say really honest things about people and you learn a lot if you just ask people to be brutally honest. Yep. It’s hard though.

Tucker:
Oh, that is.

Geoff:
So, just to make this really clear. If you see a guy with dirty fingernails and untrimmed nails and they’re all raggedy then your first response is basically ‘I don’t want that near my little hot pocket because.’

Tucker:
Hot pocket.

Tucker:
Look at Dr. Miller making jokes.

Geoff:
Because you don’t want germs festering, right?

Diana:
Yeah.

Geoff:
And particularly for the STIs, right?

Diana:
Yeah.

Geoff:
Chlamydia, gonorrhea, women don’t want the guys to be dirty because they could literally make you sterile.

Diana:
Yeah.

Geoff:
Right? So, you can’t have babies because you’ve gotten an STI.

Diana:
Or you could die in the worst case scenario.

Tucker:
Let’s make a clear distinction. Having dirty fingernails has no actual relationship to whether you have gonorrhea or not but in the brain unconsciously women and men register disgust sort of reaction and it can code to a lot of different things even if they’re not biologically related. You can be the cleanest, most, you know, put together guy and still be crawling with STDs.

Diana:
Yeah, absolutely.

Tucker:
And you can be a fucking dirty scumbag and have no diseases. The girl is going to pick–without doing a blood test, the girl’s going to pick the clean guy because that’s going to code, at the very least, unconsciously if not consciously, going to code to less disgust.

Diana:
And what we found is that unconscious arousal like the physiological arousal that doesn’t even register to women, that doesn’t actually correlate with their self-reported arousal.

Tucker:
Right.

Diana:
That is diminished by disgust. You show women just 18 disgusting pictures for three to five minutes and then that’s it. They have a lot more trouble becoming aroused. And, you know, if a woman’s talking to you and there’s one little thing that disgusts her that could totally push her back over that threshold.

Geoff:
So, connecting this to vegetarianism. Let’s say a guy is paleo and he’s on a date with a woman.

Diana:
Yeah.

Geoff:
And she’s vegetarian. And she’s interested. She’s playing along. He somehow has the idiotic sense to take her to like some barbecue place. And he’s like ‘Here’s a salad. Eat the salad.’ And say, then he orders a full rack of ribs, right? And he’s eating the ribs in front of her.

Tucker:
I’ve done that, it didn’t work well.

Geoff:
Is that going to trigger her disgust enough that it’ll be harder to get her sexually aroused and interested?

Diana:
Yeah. So, there was something kind of ancillary to this but it’s slightly related is in-vitro meat. So, if you could make meat that was not connected to animals whatsoever, something like 70% of vegetarians would still not eat it. They’re disgusted by meat. I, myself, am disgusted at the process that brings meat to the table not by meat itself. So, I could watch you eat meat and the only thing I’d have to manage would be the dissonance between thinking you’re a nice guy and seeing what you’re doing to a pig’s ribs. However, most women who are vegetarians are really deeply disgusted by meat. And, so, I would wait. If you’re going to be in a, you know, in congruous meat eating vegetarian relationship, you have to kind of probably build up to eating meat in front of each other or at least or not have a relationship at all.

Tucker:
Yeah, don’t take her to get food. Or just go to a vegetarian place because if you don’t really care that much…we’re talking about early in the relationship.

Diana:
There’s plenty of stuff that you can eat as a vegetarian. There’s loads of paleo stuff you can eat as a vegetarian.

Tucker:
Right.

Geoff:
This is definitely something I never thought about in college because I dated a lot of vegetarian women in college. And like it just wasn’t on my radar that, you know, I took them at their word that if they said ‘Oh, you can order whatever you want.’

Tucker:
‘I don’t care.’

Geoff:
‘I don’t care. It’s fine. ‘

Tucker:
It’s total bullshit test.

Geoff:
Right. And like I would order what I want and then I’d be like ‘You want to come back for a drink?’ And no. What am I doing wrong? I morally disgusted them.

Diana:
Yeah.

Geoff:
And also physically disgusted them.

Tucker:
And probably a lot of it was on the unconscious level but a lot of them actually liked you. Like ‘Oh, he’s so smart,’ blah, blah, blah but then they’re still repelled.

Geoff:
Yeah.

Diana:
Yeah. Yeah. Morally as well.

Tucker:
It depends sort of on the girl, right? Either one’s going to stop contact.

Diana:
Yeah. And the funny thing is that red meat is considered the most disgusting but I think beef cattle. If you’re going to eat any meat it should be– You know, beef, you can eat beef all year round before you kill a cow. You have to eat a lot of beef for an animal to be killed. So, actually most people who are vegetarian actually eat fish or eat chicken or whatever. So, yeah. You could probably eat that.

Geoff:
What are some other things guys do that you think a lot of women find kind of morally disgusting in a way that shades over into sort of.

Tucker:
Any sort of disgust.

Geoff:
That the women, that guys might not realize? Like we’ve talked about cleanliness. So, physical disgust is one thing. But like moral disgust? Are there political attitudes guys have?

Diana:
Yeah. I’m not anti-gun and I’ve shot guns before. I lived here a long time but I think some women find guns, you know, you might as well say, ‘I kill babies’ if you exhibit like a pro-gun kind of attitude.

Tucker:
Well, it depends where you are and I think women that have an opinion fall either on guns are sexy and turn me on or guns are disgusting, get away from me.

Diana:
It is a polarized issue.

Tucker:
Right, if they have an opinion.

Diana:
Weirdly some people find hunting really horribly morally repugnant. Even people who eat regular meat which I think is probably worse.

Tucker:
Which is ridiculous. Right. You eat meat. You’ve got leather shoes on, you eat meat. You’re criticizing me because I fucking killed something.

Diana:
Yeah.

Tucker:
Meat is death. Like I love meat but the fact is that’s what it is.

Diana:
Some women perceive being anti-welfare or anti-food stamps or any of those kinds of issues as being against women and children. In a way, that’s morally repugnant. So, yeah. I don’t think that these are necessarily issues that people get into very early on but–

Tucker:
Well, some other clear ones are sort of, in terms of moral disgust, how guys talk about other women, I think is very much. I mean, that’s not just social information for the woman but it’s also like.

Diana:
There’s also sexual disgust.

Tucker:
Right.

Diana:
Right, so, there’s three domains and that was Geoffrey’s former student, Josh Tybur.

Tucker:
Right.

Diana:
Who did the three domains of disgust and sexual disgust was another thing. And, you know, I’m obviously not sexually disgusted but I recognize. I’ve actually sexually disgusted men to the point where they weren’t interested in me.

Tucker:
You have?

Diana:
Yeah because I talk. Oh, yeah, I say things that are anyway.

Tucker:
Like fucking dogs and shitting in purses.

Diana:
Exactly.

Tucker:
Right.

Diana:
That kind of thing. But for me, it’s fine as a woman to kind of use that as a litmus test. For men, you don’t want to be filtering people out because women can get because we’re accustomed to a crude sense of humor.

Tucker:
Right.

Diana:
In a slower way. So, yeah, that’s.

Tucker:
The more they know you the easier it is.

Diana:
Or talking about your sexual escapades with people, I think can be problematic. That turns some women on, I guess. I don’t know. I think I’d probably be on the safe side and not.

Tucker:
I don’t know a lot especially early on that are like ‘Oh, tell me more about the skank you banged,’ or something. I’ve not met a lot of girls that do that. Usually it’s the other way around. I don’t know. Maybe I’m hanging out with the wrong women.

Geoff:
So, you hang out with a lot of very rational guys who actually have.

Diana:
Yeah.

Geoff:
This utilitarian calculus of like greatest happiness, greatest number. Like if there’s an ethical issue let’s sit down and do the math.

Diana:
Yeah.

Geoff:
And I think a lot of guys who are a little bit, you know, on the Asperger’s spectrum kind of adopt these political and moral attitudes through having kind of fought through something like ‘Well, the welfare system is wrong because free markets maximize human welfare,’ and blah. And they get into this reasoned moral position but you’re kind of pointing out women don’t hear that as true concern, they hear it as you hate women and babies and want them to die and you’d make a bad dad.

Diana:
Yeah.

Geoff:
Is that fair?

Diana:
Yeah. I mean, also this poll showed are more against abortion than men are, on average. And, so, that’s–

Tucker:
Really?

Diana:
Yeah. It’s really surprising. That’s not what you’d think politically.

Tucker:
Right.

Diana:
But that’s actually what the polls show. It’s all animal issues and then abortion. So, you have, I think you do have to be careful about those kinds of positions. Now if you were a libertarian say maybe and you said something like ‘Well, I actually really endorse open borders because I think that’s the best way to help the people who are the most impoverished,’ then you might be signaling two things. One that you’re willing to think outside the box and in a way that’s potentially revolutionary. And another one is that you really care and you want to ascribe kind of rational things to that. Anyway, maybe I’m just extrapolating too much about what would turn me on.

Geoff:
But that’s a good point. Even if you have an extreme or what’s considered an extreme or weird political philosophy like you’re a libertarian, if you’re on a date and you’re talking about an example of why your view is good pick the example that’s kind and pro-woman and compassionate and pro-child and not the one that sounds sociopathic, right?

Diana:
Yeah.

Tucker:
When you are going to talk about it, be socially intelligent about how you talk about shit.

Diana:
Or you can donate money to charity. You could donate say 10% of your income to people in the poorest countries and then you always have that kind of thing to say ‘Well, maybe I don’t agree with these political positions but I’m actually doing something about these things. I’m donating to Malaria foundation. I’m trying to help people as much as I can and I’m trying to save lives as much as I can.’ And I think that women, you know, even if you espousing positions that are difficult they will say ‘Okay, well, I can see that you’re actually trying to make some kind of difference.’

Geoff:
Yeah. And that’s what giving what you can.

Diana:
Giving what we can, that’s what I’m plugging right now. So, yeah. I do think that that’s something that is attractive, as well. And people tend to give charitably. Women actually are really into charity giving, as well. So, something that you can maybe have in common.

Tucker:
Plus we talked earlier about if you want to meet women charitable causes. Find something you believe in. it’s almost certainly going to be more women than men working there, volunteering there, almost always. Unless it’s Hackers for Christ or whatever. Something like that then it’s going to be more dudes, right? But nine out of ten are going to be more women.

Diana:
Yeah.

Geoff:
It sounds like women probably have a pretty keen nose for sniffing out which guys are actually morally passionate and informed about an issue versus which guys are kind of posers.

Diana:
Yeah. And, so, I think the only way you can really salvage having a very unpopular opinion is to say ‘This is why I think is for the greater good or for greater human flourishing,’ and not.

Tucker:
Know your shit.

Diana:
Yeah, exactly. And if you’re just going to say ‘I love guns. I don’t want to pay taxes,’ then, you know, wait a few dates.

Tucker:
Or just find girls who have the same views.

Diana:
Yeah, absolutely. Meet women at the shooting range.

Geoff:
And, you know, there’s a lot of research and psychology that people assortatively mate pretty strongly on political and religious values and moral values and that kind of testifies to the importance of this stuff. Young guys, it’s not much on their radar that women care about these issues but the sooner you realize that it’s important, I think, the better you can be at both appealing to women but also selecting the kind of women who appreciate your own morals.

Tucker:
In my life, I used to think that shit didn’t matter at all. She’s a vegetarian, I don’t care. She’s one of these things don’t matter, right?

Diana:
Yeah.

Tucker:
And then I realized okay, that might be right. Like Democrat, Republican, vegetarian, that might not matter in isolation but the type of people who tend to affiliate with certain whatever groups they are, tend to be very similar. They have specific similar world views, similar moral choices, similar outlooks on life, similar sense of humor, etc. and I realized pretty quickly I needed to find the women who like the things I like not because those things matter in the abstract but because people select those things based on their own identity and it was much easier for me to find a girl who fit with me when I understood that.

Geoff:
And these values also predict mating strategies and what you’re looking, short-term, long-term, openness.

Tucker:
I just want to make sure guys understand it’s not that Democrats have to be with Democrats. It’s that people, the type of people who decided to be Democrats or decide to be Republicans or decide to be vegetarian tend to be similar in lots of other psychological ranges that we’ve talked about. And, so, the reason they get together is because of deep similarities not necessarily things that might seem like surface beliefs.

Diana:
Yeah and they’re going to have kind of, you know, so people who are libertarian tend to be people who are liberal but who are much less disgust sensitive, for example. And disgust sensitivity is a big predictor.

Tucker:
Right. Big predictor of attraction between people, right?

Diana:
Yeah. But also is a big predictor of your, there’s an idea that it’s a big predictor of your political values. So.

Tucker:
Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. I saw that.

Diana:
Yeah.

Geoff:
Or like the difference between effective altruism versus ordinary just ‘Oh, that cause sounds sentimentally appealing, so, I’m going to throw money at it.’

Tucker:
That’s what most altruism is, is signaling.

Diana:
Yeah.

Tucker:
Social signaling, that’s all it is.

Geoff:
That difference is probably more like an intelligence difference than a kindness difference.

Diana:
Yeah. I think it’s also probably a way of perceiving, yeah, perceiving utility. But maybe that’s a little fancy way of saying. Yeah, probably just, I guess. I don’t actually know what I want to say about this that would be acceptable.

Geoff:
Okay.

Tucker:
Well, the first thing I would think is if you care about effective altruism well, you’re measuring utility by results. Most people don’t give because they care about the result. They give because it signals something to them about themselves or to the world about them.

Diana:
Or they have a personal connection with that. So, I’m giving to cancer research because my mother had cancer.

Tucker:
Right. It’s about you. It’s not about cancer.

Diana:
Nobody you ever know, if you live in the developed world, is going to have had malaria or schistosomiasis or trichinosis or river blindness but those are all horrible problems that are much worse than somebody not getting their Meals on Wheels or whatever, right?

Tucker:
Well, to the people who have river blindness.

Diana:
To the people who have river blindness.

Tucker:
Right. Exactly.

Geoff:
But if a guy, you know, clearly wanted to signal both kindness and intelligence and educated himself about ‘Oh, how can I actually do the most good per dollar donated.’

Diana:
Yeah.

Geoff:
Donated and if he said ‘Oh, I’m giving to river blindness because it’s horrible and here’s emotionally why it’s horrible to be blind,’ which that’s not a hard sale.

Diana:
Yeah.

Geoff:
But also it’s so cheap to fix.

Diana:
Yeah.

Geoff:
Right? So.

Tucker:
That’s the Gates approach to sort of altruism is that is the utility per dollar spent, right? You can do any of that stuff. I think your point is think about what you are doing and then have a reason to explain it, right? If you’re going to do something like that, and that way it’s like you’re covered on both sides. Everything we always talk about comes down to ‘think a little bit guys’, and most of them are just ‘No, just tell me what to do.’ Ugh. I know. Thinking’s hard.

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