BECOME THE MAN WOMEN WANT
15th of September 2014

Mating Markets – What They Are & How They Determine Your Success With Women

Introduction:

Making sure you pick a good mating market is probably the single most important choice you make in terms of its impact on your dating success. So it’s crucial that you get it right. Luckily Tucker and Geoff are here to walk you through the whole process.

After listening to this podcast, you’ll understand why a good mating market is so important, how to choose a city to live in (we’ll recommend a few) and where to live in that city, and how to pick specific mating markets that match up with the qualities that you have to offer.

Podcast:


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Key takeaways:

  • When we say “market”, we’re not talking about literally trading sex for money or favors or whatever. Relationships work because you have two people each meeting the other’s needs. A mating market is a market in terms of your ability to meet someone’s needs.
  • Mate value is the sum of all the qualities you bring to the table. Picking a mating market is a case of going where those traits will be valued the highest.
  • Your mate value is context-dependent and will go up or down depending on the situation. If you’re a quiet, thoughtful guy you probably have a higher mate value at an art gallery than in a club.
  • Improving yourself, getting in shape etc. are powerful because they improve your mate value in pretty much all contexts.
  • To find a good mating market, go to where the women are. This generally means major cities: Washington, DC, New York, Atlanta, San Francisco, Phoenix, Dallas, Houston, Austin, Chicago.
  • You can also go travelling or work somewhere like Club Med or Cancun where there will be tons of women and you’ll be in an authority position (which improves your mate value).
  • If you’re living in a big city, try to live as close as possible to where you’ll be spending most of your non-work time. Having to drive 30 minutes across town to go to bars and clubs, if that’s your thing, is not a good move. Either move close to those places, or move close to public transportation.
  • If you’re short on money, that’s fine. Young people tend to cluster in areas of cities that are cheap to live.
  • When moving to a new city, try and find a roommate. It’s a much easier way to meet new people. Also, if possible, try and live with a female roommate. She’ll be able to give you great advice, and you’ll probably meet some of her friends as well. Just make sure you don’t sleep with your roommate.
  • Your mating life should be an extension of your social life. Find areas where the two can overlap, e.g. intermural sports, volunteering, etc.
  • Your relative bargaining power is important. Simply speaking that means, what other options do the women around you have? If there’s a shortage of good men, you have higher bargaining power.
  • This is why LA isn’t a particularly good city for guys – because it selects for certain traits that are very difficult to change, namely power and influence in the entertainment industry, and physical attractiveness.
  • Generally speaking it will be easier for you to stand out and do well in second-tier cities, places like Phoenix, Atlanta, DC, Houston, Austin, Des Moines, Portland, Boulder.
  • When you’re taking a job out of college, don’t just think in terms of the pay and benefits, but also, where are you going to be working? Is it a good neighborhood in a cool city? What sort of people will you be interacting with? What is near the place that you’re working?
  • Speed dating is a really good way to literally see how a mating market forms in a very short space of time. And you can do really well there if you’re just better than the alternatives (which usually isn’t that hard).
  • If you’re in a mating market like New York, understand that you’ll be competing against rich, powerful guys. You need to be able to compete – but if you’re not rich, that’s fine, you just need to make sure you bring something else to the table, like being smart, interesting, empathetic, kind etc. You need to compete in a different way.
  • Picking a good mating market is a win-win – you’ll be going on more dates and meeting more great women, and those women will be meeting better guys.

Links from this episode

Podcast Audio Transcription:

Tucker:
So, on today’s Mating Ground’s podcast, we are going to talk about Mating Markets and I know we have talked about mating markets before on certain podcasts but we talked about in the context of Guys figuring out where to live, where to meet women, and the basic idea that we told you guys over and over is go to places or events or situations where there are going to be more women than men as much as possible even if its small groups, that’s the basic idea of Mating Markets. It can be much, much more complex and you can understand a lot more about sex and dating through mating markets. So, Dr. Miller, why don’t you start off giving guys sort of a good overview of what a mating market is and why they care?

Geoff:
So you know, market is just a concept that Tucker and I are borrowing from economics and Tucker actually majored in Econ in University of Chicago and I worked in an Econ department at University College, London for 4 years. So, a market is just a bunch of suppliers or retailers get together with bunch of consumers and there are products, goods or services or offer and supply meets demand and there are certain negotiations and bargaining and pricing. And you can apply that economic metaphor to interactions between the sexes, if you are talking about straight mating men and women.

Tucker:
Gary Becker, by the way, won a Nobel Prize doing this.

Geoff:
Yeah! So, one of your old professors Becker–

Tucker:
Literally one of my old professors at the University of Chicago.

Geoff:
Yes, back in the 70s pointed out, hey you can understand marriage and marriage dynamics and dating better by kind of taking this concept of a market and applying it to sexual behavior and interactions between men and women and understand the incentives and the preferences and who’s got what bargaining power in what specific situation. So, that’s the whole kind of intellectual background to this.

Tucker:
Let me be really clear about this guys, because I see a lot of dudes in places – certain manosphere writers, or there is other people out there a lot of religious fundamentalists – will take this argument and totally misconstrue it for their own purposes. Using the economic model of market with sellers and buyers is useful as a METAPHOR. Mating Markets are not direct economic markets because transactions are not directly one to one, sort of goods for services etc. It’s very complex, it’s only a metaphor, don’t think of it directly. We are not sitting here saying, “oh yeah, you basically are paying for access to a woman’s vagina and that’s how marriage works”. It’s nothing like that at all, Okay? Don’t go too far with this metaphor. Don’t be one of those weirdoes who think that everything about sex and dating and relationships and love can be boiled down to economic transactions. They cannot be. That’s wrong and if you take the metaphor too far, you will suffer as a result. I don’t mean like, we are going to be mad at you. I mean, your love life will suffer. Okay.

Geoff:
I mean, the biological markets concept is used by evolutionary biologists all the time to understand, like, how pollinators interact with flowers and how ant colonies interact with other ants. So, it’s really useful metaphor even for millions of species that have not invented money yet.

Tucker:
Of course, no species have.

Geoff:
It’s all about supply and demand, competition and incentives.

Tucker:
So guys, let me explain this to you. We are actually going to teach you a little bit about economics today, just a little bit. I remember, one day in one of my Econ classes, it wasn’t Becker, it was Fogel – who won another Nobel Prize. Some girl in the Business Ethics class, Fogel was talking about something and she raised her hand, she was like, well – she asked some ridiculous question – like “should I recycle or what are the ethics of recycling”, right, the business ethics. Some ridiculous question, but her basic point was, she was saying, she didn’t feel like she should recycle because it’s not good for the economy, it’s better for the economy to make new stuff. So, Fogel kind of looked at her for a second through his bushy eyebrows and he looks almost like a wizard from Lord of the Rings or something except short, like if a wizard fucked a dwarf you would have Fogel, right? He kind of looked at her from his bushy eyebrows and his goofy glasses as if he had real problems understanding this, like how stupid could this girl be? How does she get into the University of Chicago asking questions like this? He was like, “Environmental concerns aside, the economy is not a good in and of itself. A market economy only exists to allocate resources between different parties, there is no such thing as something good for the economy, there are only things good for people” and then turned back to the chalkboard and kept talking. I want to make sure, all of you understand this very simple concept that a lot of people don’t understand. There is no such thing as good – you can say good for business meaning good for a company and that can kind of make sense, but there is no such thing as good for the economy. The market economy is just a collection of different actors that are either selling goods or buying goods or selling labor or buying labor or services or whatever and that’s it. Alright? So, if you understand that then you can understand why talking about a market in mating can make sense. Even though there aren’t monetary transactions in any sort of relationship, relationships work because you meet each other’s needs. So, think of it as a market in meeting each other needs not in a market in buying and selling things and you are going to understand why the metaphors make a lot of sense and why it’s very useful to understand mating. Okay?

Geoff:
Yeah, and it’s particularly useful when you got the situation of mutual choice where both sides of the transaction have preferences. A good example is med school admissions. In America, there is a really well organized market for people applying to med schools and med schools choosing which candidates to admit and it’s a very, very efficient market. It’s basically just matching them up, there is a certain supply of candidates, there’s a certain number of places and an efficient market matches people up efficiently so that kind of everybody’s about as happy as they could be given the competitive nature of the market. Inefficient markets are ones where everybody’s kind of frustrated and they can’t find anybody and they can’t get their needs met and we will talk more about efficiency later but I think that’s a helpful illustration of, you know, the med school market it isn’t like people are bribing the med schools to get in. Right? So, when we are talking about the mating market, it’s not a prostitution market, it’s not about how much you have to pay for dinner when you take a woman out. It’s about how do your preferences overlap with her preferences.

Tucker:
So, I think may be the best place to start is start with mate value discussion because I think a lot of guys don’t actually know what that concept means. So, Dr. Miller, explain to guys what mate value is.

Geoff:
Mate Value is just the aggregate of – the sum of – all the traits that you offer to women given their preferences that make you attractive to them. So, mate value is not just your good genes, not just your good partner, not just your good dad traits, it’s not just your physical attractiveness, it’s not just status, it’s everything Tucker and I have been talking about for the whole many, many podcasts. It includes, yes, your status, but also your intelligence, your humor, your moral virtues, your artistic taste, you know. Everything we have been talking about, you sum it all up and that’s your mate value and it’s absolutely crucially dependent on the women out there and what they want.

Tucker:
So, that’s mating market, so let’s start with mate value. Understand, this is where the comparison to economics makes sense. Each of you has a mate value and as we’ve said before that mate value can change, you can improve it. Right! When you are in high school, it can’t literally be that high, it can be higher in college and it can be really high as you get out of the college and you start to make money, have jobs, do accomplishments, become more intelligent, more experienced etc., right? You can continuously increase your mate value, right? Now understand though that mate value is context dependent. So, think of it like this, a Ming vase or like a Faberge Egg. If you don’t know what those are, basically this Russian master, a few hundred years ago, spent all his time making these crazily, intricate eggs, they were literally perfect. You can’t find a – That’s how you determine a fake Faberge because there is one flaw, a tiny little flaw somewhere on there, it’s fake, Okay. And these things are millions of dollars. There is only couple of hundred in the world, and everyone knows where they are or whatever. Alright! A Faberge Egg in a totally efficient market is worth, let’s say a million dollars, okay? But if I am sitting out on the street and my house just burned down and I was able to carry my Faberge Egg out and nothing else and the next day I have to feed my family, I can’t get any money and whatever, there is a revolution going on, a millions things could be going on. That Faberge Egg is not worth a million dollars, it’s only worth what someone is willing to pay for it. So, if I can’t find the right market then I have to figure out a way to liquidate it over that amount of time. So, I might have to take a $100,000 for it from someone etc. There is a great scene in Schindler’s List that’s about this, it’s an amazing scene. Where Oscar Schindler tries to save all these Jewish people from the awful Nazis, and he is like, “Give me your rings, give me your money, I need to pay for the stuff” and one of the Jews said, “No no no, money is always worth money” and Oscar Schindler said, “No, it’s not anymore; your lives are now the thing that’s at stake.” He made a great point, there is no such thing as absolute value. Okay, so that being said, mate value is context dependent, so for instance in America in 2014, right now, I am almost at my peak mate value, but if we were to go to Russian Billionaires convention in Moscow, my mate value would probably be pretty low, it wouldn’t be that high because in that environment, you are looking at rich people, Russians, political connections etc. I don’t have any of that shit. I’m fucked. Now, one of those Russian billionaires were to go, hang out at a frat party at University of Georgia, like pretty much every girl there’d be like, “You are fucking disgusting, you are this creepy old Russian dude, get out of here.” All his money in the world not going to buy him anything. So, understand mate value is very real but it’s also very context dependent. Mate value interplays with the context you are in and we call that a Mating Market, alright? So, let’s talk about Mating Markets, what you think the next most important thing? Let’s talk about how they work locally. Let’s talk about just the basics of it. I know we’ve gone over this in podcasts before. But let’s talk about, like, how does a Mating Market work? Give, like a pretty decent example like a social group. Just like a social group of 20 people.

Geoff:
Well, you can really see Mating Market work a lot at conferences, where there is a few hundred people together in a hotel for several days and there is certain sex ratio of single men and single women or people who are on the mating market, people who are actively looking whether they are married or not. And the Mating Market is fundamentally a set of people, its men and women and what they each offer and what they each want. So, your local mate value is completely dependent on what the local women are looking for, what they value, and it’s also dependent on what all the other guys offer, how many other guys there are and what they offer relative to you. So, in Tucker’s example where his mate value is low among the Russian billionaires in their context, it’s all about what the rivals can offer and that they can match those women’s preferences better than you can in that context. So, one of the key lessons we are trying to convince you guys is a) you can improve your mate value through all the skills and habits that we teach, but also b) you can kind of automatically boost your mate value simply by choosing the best mating market given your traits, and given what women want.

Tucker:
So, exactly correct, this is why we say over and over and over: don’t go to bars and clubs to pick up women unless your mate value matches up very well with what women are looking for in those environments. That’s why that shit worked for me, because I am not super great looking but I am at least better looking than most schlubby dudes who don’t take care of themselves. So, automatically I may be in the top half looks wise in most bars and clubs, right? And then on top of that, I am really smart and I got great verbal courtship displays, I am really funny, I am really good at, I am very socially intelligent, I am good at navigating that scene. I am good at understanding what women are looking for in that scene. I am very assertive, I am very confident, I have all these traits that are very much exacerbated and selected for in club/bar type situations. Whereas if you put me in, let’s say, a dog shelter, volunteering, it’s not obvious that a lot of those traits work well for me, right? But if you are relatively reserved, introverted quiet, thinking type guy, a bar is terrible for you, but you go around and volunteer a library, all of a sudden, there is 10 women there and 2 guys and you fit perfectly in that mating market. You probably going to out compete me in that mating market unless I change my tactics and strategies, because you are exactly the type of person that the girl volunteering at a dog shelter or at a library, for example, might be looking for.

Geoff:
This can be simple as, like, Tucker has a pretty loud voice, you can talk louder than I can talk and in a bar with a lot of background noise, women can literally hear what you say better than they would hear what I say. If you use that same voice at a dog shelter, you terrify all the cats and go caterwauling, the dogs would start whimpering. So, you know, if you have a soft voice, don’t go to a place where women literally can’t hear you, that’s the wrong mating market for you. And you can make it a lot more complicated and think, well, where will I find women who appreciate my unique gifts, traits and talents, but most guys put so little effort into thinking about this, “Hey, I am competing with male rivals – where can I find places that I look relatively better than my rivals and where can I find places that women value what I uniquely offer?”

Tucker:
Exactly, if it hasn’t been clear to you let me say it again. We talk so much about how to improve yourself because that increases your mate value and increasing your mate value is going to help everywhere you go. Even the example like, if we’re at the Cannes Film Festival and all these Russian billionaires have their yachts there, I can’t compete with them very well but I am still good looking, I am in better shape than they are etc. So, alright, maybe I’ve got something to compete one with some girls who are just repulsed by ugly guys, but I am probably not going to do well, but I am going to do way better than any guy who is out of shape and is disgusting and fat and who is just as poor as me compared to a billionaire, right? That’s why we talk about that and then we talk about then taking your traits and going into the right mating markets. This is super important, because a lot of guys, we have talked about this before, don’t realize that we live in a very mobile society where you can kind of essentially pick the world that you want to live in. Most guys though I think don’t, most guys stay in the same hometown where like whatever reputation you had in high school never leaves whether it’s good or bad, or they stay in college town, or they get one job and they stay there, or they have their group of friends and that’s it, and what they’ve done is they’ve limited themselves in their mating market to this tiny little circle. So, let’s talk about some pretty clear obvious things, ways that the guys should be thinking about mating market that they don’t. I think first, number one is schools. We have talked about this multiple times. It’s tough to pick your high school but you can pick your college if you go to college, and if you are picking a college, I am not saying it’s the only thing that matters but I think I made a huge mistake going to the University of Chicago. If I had to do it over again, I will probably go to a southern school that had a lot of girls and not as many boys and football every Saturday. Football, that’s me, I would have gone to UNC or something. Better weather, more women better looking. Etc. etc.

Geoff:
This is the other things, a lot of guys who go to college, think they are stuck there. Why? You can often trade up. Go to a place, try and you can transfer credits. A lot of people just get stuck with their inertia and so if you go to a place and you do reasonably well, like, you are getting Bs, you can often just move somewhere else for the next year. Don’t think you are stuck!

Tucker:
So, that’s schools. Then where you live. Let’s talk about cities! We’ll link all the studies that talk about the best places for young professionals meant to live etc. etc. Generally speaking, you want to live in major cities because most young professional women move to major cities. That’s a great, great, great – we’re talking about like Atlanta, D.C., New York, San Francisco, not so sure about LA. I know there are lots of women in LA but LA is not a good mating market for guys because there are way more guys than women in LA, and the women who are actresses who are basically the worst people on earth. For most guys, LA is not the place to be. Phoenix, Dallas, Houston, Austin. Chicago has a lot of guys but there still lot of girls there, Chicago is fairly competitive for guys.

Geoff:
Bear in mind there is psychology behind this, right? For hundreds of thousands of years women or young women was the ones were transferred from their tribe of birth to the tribe where they –

Tucker:
If it was patrilineal, not all of the tribes were patrilineal, there were a lot of matrilineal – it was like 70-30 patrilineal to matrilineal.

Geoff:
Yes it’s more often that women all transferred tribes and you can also see this in terms of American mobility, the young professional women apparently are more willing to move away from home for their jobs.

Tucker:
Not apparently, they are. Especially now.

Geoff:
And the men, the young men are the ones who get stuck in a rut and stay in their home town and that’s just stupid, because males of all species, you know, the fundamental mating strategy is go where the females are.

Tucker:
Go where the women are, there’s nothing better. So another thing, we talked about travelling in one of the podcast before, great way, you can travel to a lot of countries where either there are very few Americans and the American guys are very valued or there are lots of women you know you can work in vacations spots. The guys I know that work in Club Med or work in Cancun get nothing but women all day long. It’s ridiculous because you get tons of women and you are like in an authority position and its vacation and you get through all dynamics in play. And also I think you should think about not just what city you are living in, where in that city are you living. So let’s say you move to a city like Austin. I live in Austin, Texas. Austin is a fantastic city. It’s about equal guy to girl but there is a lot of young cute fun girls and if you are half decent at all, I think you can find some pretty good girls there to have fun with. Where you live, that’s very, very important. Let’s say you are one of the guys who likes the bar scene for meeting women, and there are plenty of guys who like it and it works. Don’t live 30 minutes from downtown because then you have to drive there and drive back, which is a huge pain in the ass. You looking at DUIs, because there’s going to be tons of times you don’t want to get out of your car and go or you have too much to drink and a girl doesn’t want to follow you home but she doesn’t want to leave her car etc. Generally speaking, the best thing you can do is live as close as possible to where you going to spend most of your non-work time, especially because the assumption being that you are going to be spend most of your non-work time around a bunch of young people, your age doing fun things.

Geoff:
Yeah, live places you can walk to fun places to hang out and you can walk home from them and you can walk around and meet women. Like when I lived in New York University faculty housing, it’s right near NYU campus in Greenwich Village right near Washington Square Park. And that’s a wonderful location, because you literally just walk out the door and there’s people everywhere. If you are in a neighborhood where you walk out the door and it’s basically just a couple old folks walking their dog, that’s not a good mating market. The only advantage of that is when you are driving to a mating market you can listen to our podcast. But that’s like the only advantage.

Tucker:
I get if you live in New York, you’re like, “I would love to live in Washington Square but its fucking expensive”. Okay, New York city has subways; you can live in Queens really cheap, take the fucking subway. Right I was going to say Brooklyn, but Brooklyn is not even cheap anymore. The point is, if you are going to live in major city and you need to live far away because you don’t have any money. That’s fine. Live as close as possible to public transportation. Think about these things, they really, really matter. And also don’t automatically think you need to live in this center of the ‘hot’ part of town because usually the hot part of town of major cities are actually not where the young people are because it is expensive. Young people tend to be places that are cheap. So, like, in Austin you can live on the east side, which is actually not far from everything, it just used to be the poor, Hispanic part of town. Tons and tons of young people live there because it’s still kind of run down and cheap. Living in run down places with lots of other young people, it’s kind of like being in college for a little while after college. That’s a great thing. Do that. Another tip: when you move to a city – and you should be living in a city if you are a guy after college if you can at all swing it because that’s where most young women are, in America at least – I would actually not live alone. Lot of people like, “Oh, living alone is like a sign of status” and all the shit. Bullshit. First of all living with people is almost always more fun, assuming you pick good roommates – obviously pick good roommates, because if you don’t pick good roommates it’s the worst ever—but a great way to meet people in a city is by, you show up in the city, get on Craigslist, you know, seeking roommate and then look for roommates.

I’ll give you another tip. This is not easy to pull off. But if you can it will work really well. Live with women. Now you can’t be a slob, you’ve got to be a guy woman feels really safe around. Most women don’t want to live with guys, because most guys who are creepy losers. But if you have been listening to a podcast and taking our advice you should be pretty good at making women feel comfortable and so you might want to try that. See if…Christ, you can’t actually even use this is a way to practice interacting with women is going on not dates but roommate inquiries, like they are going to meet people, “Hey what’s up” and then be as un-sexual or as nonsexual as you can. It doesn’t matter how hot the girl is, don’t shit where you eat, don’t fuck your female roommate. Don’t even try to. First off, if you try to at all, she is not going to want to live with you and then if you don’t try that at all, if you make it non-sexual as possible, even talk about your girlfriend or something if you can, if you have one or I don’t know if you want to make one up. But show as much social proof as you can. Living with a female roommate is awesome. Almost every time I’ve lived with women, I probably hooked up with at least 3 or 4 of her friends. It’s a fantastic way to meet women. It’s a fantastic way beyond that to get advice about things from an objective female source. I keep telling you guys over and over take your female friends, take your sister whatever, here is great way to deal with women that’s very low pressure. Or you can get the benefits of female insight without having to pay lots to the cost.

Geoff:
Yeah! Like in college I lived in like a lot of mixed sex suites where it was like different bedrooms but around a central common area. And there’s so many times when I’d be going out on a date and all excited about and a female friend was like “Are you going wear that?” Or “What is going on in your room? No women would ever have sex in that room,” given what is going on in terms of tidiness and the more you get exposed to women and their psychology and their preferences, the better you will do.

Tucker:
Alright, so what other mating market things? We got cities and where to live in cities. Now in cities we have talked about this before. We are going to keep talking about it until everyone gets it. What do you do? I am not just talking about what do you do to pick up girls. I’m hammering this in your head because it’s so important. It’s not a little thing. It is absolutely crucial. Do not think of your dating life and your social life as being different. They are one and the same. I am not saying you have to develop new habits or new likes, you don’t. Maybe if you are super boring you do, but if you are a relatively normal person, then overlap the things you like to do with ways to meet women. We talked about a bunch; we are going to go back over them. Volunteering. There is a million causes out there. Pick the ones you like and then find the groups that are dominant, heavy women, most volunteering type activities are almost, all of them are heavily female. Intermural sports, lots of those, the big tip for this is volley ball. Lots and lots of women play volley ball, volley ball players are really hot. Also soccer, lots of women play soccer, very attractive. Probably soft ball; not so much. It kind of depends, although you can have a really good softball team.

Geoff:
Yeah, let’s not go there. The point is, everything you do locally that involves a social context is a mating market in some sense and if you think about it clearly in that way and you pay attention to “who are the other guys there”, “what do they offer”? “What other women want?” “Are they meeting each other”? Right? If there are other couples forming, in a particular context, that’s a good sign. If the sexes are interacting and nobody is meeting each other and hooking up and what the women want is not being matched by what any of the men can offer including you, that’s a failed market. Don’t go there, stop going there. Find a better one.

Tucker:
Should we talk about – we kind of skipped over this at the beginning of the podcast which might’ve been a mistake. Let’s actually talk again about how relative bargaining works in mating markets? So, talk for a second, let’s assume there is some group of 15 people, some charity thing. There are 10 girls and 5 guys. How does like vs. the other way around? How does that work?

Geoff:
Well, the concept of bargaining power is basically the strength of the position that you have in striking any deal is only as good as your outside options. Like, if this deal doesn’t work, what are the other possible deals you can make with other people? For example, if you are going to buy used car at a used car lot, you go when it’s towards the end of the month and the sales guys are all terrified of losing their jobs if they don’t sell a car, so they are under pressure. If you walk out of the lot, they lose and they know that. If you walk into the lot and you are like, “I absolutely have to get a car because I have a hot date tonight”, you lose. Right! Because you have no outside option, you have no fallback position. It’s the same in a mating market. If you are in a group where there are very few women and many, many men for them to choose from then the cost of any given women not choosing you and choosing somebody else is zero. But if you are the only guy on a desert island with 20 women and one of them doesn’t choose you, her outside option is no man at all. So, in that situation you have all the bargaining power, and the women have none. So, this is why sex ratio matters, it automatically determines everybody’s relative bargaining power in that context.

Tucker:
So, let’s actually apply that to some specific things. For example, here is something very specific that a lot of guys don’t think about. So, I said earlier, don’t go to LA, so why? Well, because LA, as a culture, selects for certain traits that are very difficult to change or improve attractiveness. For the most part, you can make yourself look better, but you are not going to make yourself look better than some dude who’s born stunning, like I am never going to look better than Brad Pitt or George Clooney or any number of other actors, Ryan Gosling. There’s just nothing I can do. Like I am pretty much maximizing my looks right now. This is about the best I can do. So, make sure you understand the place you are in. Because so like, what’s my bargaining power in LA? I lived in LA for 2 years – it’s far lower because so much of bargaining power there basically, there are two things; proximity to power in the entertainment business and how physically attractive you are. All these are the things that we are talking about with you guys, no one cares about no one. Whereas like in Austin, totally different. What kind of person you are, how kind you are, how smart you are, and how much fun you have, super important in Austin, no one gives a fuck in LA. So, you need to think about what do you bring to the table, where are cities where those things are valued. Like, everyone in NBA cares about height. So, people something like 20% of the guys that are 7ft and over in America play in the NBA because height’s very valued, same thing with mating market. Other places, what are some other ways where traits can vary that guys can think about. Social status, income. So, like social status, I mean that’s super important in New York, super important. In San Francisco, social status is very important measured in different way. In New York, your social status is essentially measured by either your money or your proximity to fame. In San Francisco, generally measured by your proximity to the tech industry, Silicon Valley or whatever other, there are a lot of other weird subcultures in San Francisco. Understand these things, they matter.

Geoff:
So many different forms of status, even in New York! Upper East Side status, which is largely about money, preferably old money, and then there is Upper West Side, which is more like your cultural savvy, and then there is kind of like Soho status, which is basically, which art gallery owners do you know? And you need a good clear mental map of, what are the little status like subcultures in whatever city I chose and how do I find the one where there are women who are like me, given what I offer?

Tucker:
Where my attributes and skills match up well with what women are looking for. Generally speaking guys, I would recommend second tier big cities or first tier small cities. So, when I say second tier big cities, every dude wants to move to the biggest cities. Places like Atlanta, D.C., Houston, it’s way easier to be an accomplished guy in those cities especially if you have a skill, like, I am one of the only number one bestselling authors who lives in Austin. I, be one of, how many in New York, 200? All the things about me, that are really important there is a million other people like that in New York. I’m not saying don’t move to New York. I mean, I can still do really well in New York, just saying understand what you have and realize, oh if I am going to go here to compete in the biggest pond, there’s probably lot of fish in the pond too, right, whereas cities like Austin, Portland, and Boulder, Colorado, Des Moines, Iowa cities, up and coming cities. A lot of times, don’t as many people but you can carve out a niche, if you are motivated and entrepreneurial, I would definitely recommend second smaller cities, that are up and coming, you can probably carve out a niche much easier.

Geoff:
Yeah, the big fish and small pond effect is very powerful and it used to be 50 years in ago in America before the internet, before digital entertainment, it was unbearably boring to be outside one of those major big cities if you had a brain and interested in culture. Not true anymore. You can access 90% of the culture than a New Yorker can access apart from live performance in Des Moines, now. That also means, it’s no longer the case that all the interesting women move from the small cities in the second tier cities to the big cities. There are lots of reasons why women might be stuck somewhere, maybe they have dependent parents, they have kid already, they got a sibling who’s got mental health problems. So, don’t be disdainful of certain areas and go, “Oh, they aren’t going to be any cool women in Nebraska”. No, there will be – not as many but if you move to the place that’s got—

Tucker:
Like, Omaha is not a bad city. If you are going to stay in Nebraska, be in Omaha, don’t be in Lincoln.

Geoff:
Yeah! Yeah!

Tucker:
Also think about the cultural norms because they vary, so places like Boulder, Colorado or like, Portland, you are going to find a lot more women who are probably sexually adventurous than Utah. If you are Mormon, maybe Utah makes lot of sense, you are looking for a wife. I don’t know what the answer is for you because you need to think, if you want a lot of short term mating then you definitely need to be in a big city with a lot of people looking for that or vacations spots where people are looking for that. Okay, where women specifically are looking for short term mating, if you are not looking for short term mating, you don’t need to be in those spots. We’ve talked about ease of meeting people, night life, if you really care about night life. Make sure, you have a good night life, you don’t need to worry about that. So, work Places. What are some things guys should think about in terms of work places as a mating market?

Geoff:
Well, it is a mating market.

Tucker:
Most people meet spouses at work.

Geoff:
I mean, a lot of guys think, I should just choose my job out of college or my second job based on purely how much will they pay me, what are the benefits? They don’t even think that hard about where do I get to live? Or who do I work with? What’s architecture like, how easy is to meet people at the workplace, little things like, what’s the office romance policy, that can matter but basically, if you are young and single, you should be thinking about choosing jobs that put you into workplaces and neighborhoods around workplaces that have a lot of interesting women who value the guy that you are. So, Google is an interesting example because it’s an awesome place to work and there are wonderful common areas, from everything I read and hear, I’ve never been there. I don’t know if the sex ratios are that great if you are a single guy but you know places like that where you can stay near the workplace for a lunch and hang out socially and make friends and meet people. If they have a gym on the work campus. The main point is, don’t think of your career as being separate from your mating effort. It can be an absolutely crucial way to meet people. You know, my professional life has probably resulted in like 80% of the women I’ve been with since grad school, and that’s how I met my ex-wife and everybody else. It’s’ very natural to combine your career and mating life.

Tucker:
I hope we don’t have to say this, but obviously, like, do it appropriately, don’t sexually harass girls at work. But if you do that, you are an idiot and probably deserve to get fired. So, other things to think about, apartment complexes you live in. You know, like, I know in Austin, there are 5 or 6 apartment complexes that are notorious for all young people live there. There are others that are all sort of old rich people, probably live with the young people. You know neighborhoods, you talk about clubs, classes. I tell you, this is the ultimate mating market. Guys, if you want to know how mating markets work, even in the super short term when you have a small group of people who don’t know each other, who are only around each other for a short period of time, if you want to see, there is no better evidence of mating market than speed dating.
When I first got to Chicago, after law school, I went back. That was right when speed was taking off and… I will never forget. I discovered it randomly. A friend of mine, this girl, was hosting speed dating events or something. She was like, they needed more guys, it was mostly girls. So, I got to go to a bunch of them for free and the first one was like, alright, whatever, and after I went to the first one for free. I went probably to like 20 more in the next 6 months, whatever. It was always, always more girls than guys, there was a couple which was maybe the same, even numbers, but there is always a certain percentage of the guys who are really bad, really pathetic. So, even if there are 20 girls and 20 guys, 10 of the guys are total losers and made me look amazing.

Geoff:
So describe how it works a little bit because some of the guys might not know about speed dating.

Tucker:
So, speed dating is basically where you get a certain number of guys and girls, let’s say 20 apiece. The girls all sit at 20 tables, say in a restaurant, and the girls don’t move and there is like a little buzzer rings and the guys get up and move. So, you spend about 3-5 minutes with each person and it is sort of like a date but the idea – you know, if you are really young – this is Tinder for real life. That’s what speed dating is. The idea is that you can tell if you are attracted to someone or not really quickly and the idea of speed dating is you meet a bunch of people in an hour and if you indicate you are interested in someone and they indicate they are also interested, then the company connects you over email. It really is Tinder for real life, like speed dating kind of came up before smart phones and Tinder. I wonder how popular speed dating is now, do you know, still?

Geoff:
I think it’s not popular as it should be, I have never done it but one of my best friends Peter Todd has done studies on speed dating and what actually leads people to write down who they want to meet, and it’s basically wit and physical appearance. But if you want to understand mating markets, even if you are not interested in speed dating per se, if you want to understand sexual dynamics, it’s absolutely worth doing because you will start to notice just how quickly people can judge each other.

Tucker:
Effectively by the way…

Geoff:
What mate value means, what the distribution, the variation in mate value is across the guys and across the women. You will learn how quickly you can assess a woman’s traits vice versa. And you will also get a sense of what romantic chemistry means, you know, how to sense when it’s there and when it isn’t. So, it’s a very, very efficient way to build up your kind of courtship, skills and repertoire and insight.

Tucker:
Guys, you can literally watch it. When I was doing mostly speed dating, I was so poor I almost couldn’t eat. I was dating girls who were below my level if they had a lot of food at their house. Seriously. I was at that stage in my life. But speed dating was so amazing because I am funny and quick witted and I am at least not ugly. So, speed dating was perfect for me, and I remember, I would walk in to these things and there always be guys like either nerdy or overdressed or whatever. All I had to do was just be funny, just be me really. Invariably, I would have at least 15 – I knew the girl who run it, she’d tell me – I‘d have at least 15 of 20, like 75% at least would mark ‘interesting’. I went on dates with a bunch of them, a bunch of them out of the context of speed dating were not super into me anymore, but in that context where there was 20 other guys, I am one of the top three. They want the top 3-5 and I always was in top 3-5 so I almost got marked by almost all of the women. That’s a mating market. All I had to do is be better than those guys in that context and I got selected by all the women. Now, of course it doesn’t automatically mean that is what she thinks about me forever. Like I said, I went on dates with plenty of girls and like we meet somewhere else, “Oh, you don’t have a job”?, all these other things came out that weren’t attractive about me, so it wasn’t perfect but it put me so far ahead of so many guys. If you have – I am not saying speed dating is not good for all guys but what it is, it really exemplifies how mating markets work, and why. It works the same way in all situations whether it’s a wedding or a conference or a party or bar. All mating markets work the same way.

Geoff:
It’s also really useful, if you can spare any attention from the women to pay attention to what the other guys are doing, that is either worth imitating or, more often, worth avoiding doing.

Tucker:
Yes.

Geoff:
So, you get a sense of kind who your competition is in a much more accurate way, this is another thing guys need to get about mating markets is, it’s not just about what the women want, it’s about who the other guys are who are in the same pool because the female choice is going to operate not just between you versus not you, it’s you versus all the other guys out there.

Tucker:
What are the other options?

Geoff:
What are their other options?

Tucker:
That’s why the guys who are the shit in college and move to a big city with their girlfriend, end up losing their girlfriend really quick almost.

Geoff:
This is why a lot of men back in the day were really worried about the wives going out to work.

Tucker:
I don’t know, I wasn’t alive then.

Geoff:
That’s patriarchy and claustration, keeping the women home is like well, if she’s got no else options and she never even meets any other guys, my position is more secure and I can get lazy, and I don’t have to entertain her. But then if she is going out to work every day and meeting other guys, suddenly your bargaining power is reduced.

Tucker:
Why do you think Islam puts their women in veils? Seriously, it’s fucked up and that’s why they do it, they are deeply insecure and a fucked up culture but whatever, that’s a different discussion. Another thing to think about is, not just sort of charities, almost any sort of social activism, you are always going to have more girls than guys, especially young. Another reason too, this is sort of like a thrown in. If you are dating a girl in high school and you guys go to different colleges, just fucking break up, don’t dick around with that. She is going to want to fuck other guys in college who probably are better than you, you going to fuck other girls who are probably better than her and they’re both going to be close and you are not. Right? Same thing, if you guys are in college, and move to different cities. Let it go or move to the same city otherwise it’s not going to work. Let’s end on this, I want you, because you talked about this with me many times and I think your specific experiences are very noteworthy. So, you have spent a lot of time in New York teaching at NYU and going to Columbia and then you also live in Albuquerque because you teach at the University of Mexico. Talk about the difference in being single and dating in Albuquerque versus New York.

Geoff:
Well, basically I don’t date in Albuquerque.

Tucker:
Albuquerque is what, half a million people? So it’s not like some, it’s like a hitching post on a highway. It’s an actual huge city. It’s where Breaking Bad was set.

Geoff:
They have a university and actual hospitals and grocery stores and malls the Wild West and international airports, but there aren’t that many women that are interested in me and value the kind of guy I am. Whereas in New York, last year, it’s not like I had super high status but at least I’d published a book and that counts for something. I had a reasonable income that was sufficient to at least cover subsidized faculty housing in Greenwich Village so I had a cool apartment, and there were women there who starved for interesting conversation. So, even if I was on a date with, let’s say, a Vice President of Goldman Sachs, I know at least enough about finance and economics that I can follow what she does in a way that a lot of other guys that she’d been on dates with, either had no interest in or fundamentally misunderstood or were patronizing about. So, that’s another great skill to have, just understanding the world well enough that you can talk to women from a lot of different walks of life and careers.

Tucker:
Dr. Heather Berlin talked about this in an interview, she said, yeah, like she married a white Canadian rapper, I mean don’t get me wrong, Babba’s really cool but she was dating, she could’ve dated essentially the richest and some of the most powerful men in New York. She picked him because he brought a lot of more at the table, right? But that’s the point is that, in this market in New York, you gotta bring a lot to the table. It doesn’t have to be the exact same things but it’s got to be something. One the other hand though New York, if you have something to bring to the table, New York City is a great city for men because there are tons of women, they are successful, professional, intelligent, attractive, a lot of them, and most of the guys are either gay or arrogant shitheads who think that having money is all that matters. So, you have no money compared to like a finance guy, some bond trader or whatever. But you are like an interesting, caring and empathetic, kind and assertive intellectual and so you have plenty of really high, I mean I met your girlfriend in New York, she is awesome, amazing, plenty of very high status, very intelligent women who are really into you even though you aren’t rich. So, understand, we are not saying, if you go to New York you have to be rich, but you have to be able to compete. There are plenty of ways to compete, in any market, think about this like a business, if every car dealer is selling same type of car and there are this big huge gas guzzlers and you come along with a small efficient thing that gets 50 miles to the gallon, there are lot of people who want that, not everybody, but a lot. Mating markets work the same way, you have to bring something, no doubt but you don’t have to be in the same thing everyone else does. You don’t have to be George Soros to get a girlfriend in New York, You can be Geoffrey Miller.

Geoff:
Yeah! I think the other thing that I did that a lot of guys in New York didn’t do is I remembered, almost everybody I go on dates with there is a professional woman who moved to New York specifically for her career. She cared so much about her career that she moved from wherever she is from and lives in a difficult, gritty city, where they aren’t enough guys, to follow her dream and her profession, and I always had an interest in what her work was. I cared about it and if you bear in mind, New York is full of workaholic women. And if you take zero interests in what she does 16 hours a day, 6 days a week, why would she want to be with you? At least, show some interest in whatever her passion is.

Tucker:
And chances are if she is in New York, she is probably decent at what she is doing. She probably had shit to say.

Geoff:
Yeah, and you can learn so much about just life in general.

Tucker:
How much did you learn from Hollister about design and fashion and…

Geoff:
And PR…

Tucker:
You learn a ton and you wouldn’t shut the hell up about Hollister, what she taught you, for months. “Hollister says this”. I was like “thank you Geoff, I know, that’s great”. The point is you did, you learned a shitload.

Geoff:
Yeah!

Tucker:
You are not just paying attention to get laid; you are paying attention because you could actually learn something.

Geoff:
Some of your best mentors can be women you are dating.

Tucker:
Definitely, Definitely. No doubt. God knows, I have learned so much from women. I think that’s pretty good. Right?

Geoff:
You want to wrap it up?

Tucker:
Here is the summary, “That’s pretty good”. In summation, what you need to understand is that mate value matters, mate value is the total sum of traits you bring to the table, and obviously we have talked over and over and over on how you can increase that. But think of that as one number that sums you up and you need to go to a place where your mate value is going to be highest. So, you need to go to a mating market, and that can be defined as a city, a job, a neighborhood, social groups, any sort of interaction, conferences, bars whatever. Every interaction, every group of people that you’re in immediately becomes like a tiny little tribe and understand that number of women and the number of men and where you fit in relation to other men will greatly impact your mating success. In fact it might be the most important factor and you need to make decisions about your life with at least understanding this. Not saying, every decision should be based on it but you need to make decision to understanding this is going on, and maximizing your goals, your mating goals plus your life goals.

Geoff:
And it’s a win-win for both sexes.

Tucker:
Yes! This is not manipulation. Women want to be around great guys.

Geoff:
If you choose, like a city or workplace or there are more women than men, yeah, it is good for you because you meet more women, but it also means there are fewer lonely frustrated women and most guys don’t move enough to where the women are. If more guys did that, there’d more happy women.

Tucker:
Exactly. I think that sums it up.

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