This is the second part of "Gurus of Seduction", a transcription and format of this video.

You can read the first part here.

In the first part we found out that:

Summarizing what we know so far, we've seen that men and women have equal expectations regarding what their ideal partners should be like; 25 percent more attractive than themselves in both cases, but they also have different methods of assessment. In the case of men, their valuation is additive. The important thing is that the positive features of a potential partner are generally more abundant than the negative ones.

In the case of women, the evaluation is multiplicative. A single serious defect is enough to disqualify a candidate. In addition, according to the calculations we've made the requirements for a majority of women should really not be many. Around 4 is the number of factors that best fits the Pareto’s distribution that we can see in their preferences.

As I said in the previous video, the question would be to determine what those factors are, and this is where various interpretations arise depending on whom you ask.

I have divided the different theories I have found into two large families which I have called respectively seduction of minimums theories and seduction of maximums theories.

Seduction of minimums Seduction of maximums
Interpretation typical of feminists, "pop" gurus of seduction and "good" people. Interpretation of PUAs or esoteric seduction gurus
Seduction as a simple process Seduction as a system
Seduction based on the avoidance of very evident defects Seduction based on the systematic application of pre-determined strategies
"If you don't flirt it's because you're sexist or you need a shower" "Follow this system to attract any woman easily..."

The first would be those shared by pop seduction gurus, feminists and some PUAs, and would be based on the interpretation that to seduce all that a man should do would be to fulfil a series of minimums, that is, a list of things not to do. For example, not to be careless about personal hygiene, not to demonstrate self-esteem problems or not to be sexist.

This is curiously where feminists coincide with their fierce rivals and where we also find advice as aberrant as that of Barbijaputa when she says that if you don't get laid you should become a feminist because you will drown in pussy.

The second family, on the contrary, are the interpretations which hold that to seduce any woman you must learn to practice and fulfil some fixed maxims, usually in the form of planned physical contact systems, or rhetorical persuasion strategies.

This is the interpretation of a majority of the PUAs, and of the more esoteric groups of seduction gurus, and according to their world view, every relationship between men and women follows these principles.

The only reason that people outside their circles can succeed without applying this knowledge would be because some people behave according to it intuitively.

Now, what they all have in common, and this is precisely why they agree with the feminists, is that they are relativists, in the sense that they all believe that attractiveness is a fundamentally cultural or learned trait. The main difference between them is that the school of seduction of minimums is exoteric, it seeks to make the outside world accept its ideas, while the school of seduction of maximums is esoteric, it believes it possesses a secret knowledge that gives it an advantage over the rest, and it seeks to exploit it for its own benefit.

In any case, as relativist groups, PUAs, seduction gurus and feminists, usually deny the importance of physical appearance as a factor of attractiveness.

In the case of radical feminism, it is even said that preferences for physical features are arbitrary beauty canons imposed by the patriarchy, and that we are all equally attractive, but there are good reasons to reject this idea.

First of all, 11 meta-analyses covering hundreds of scientific studies show that in general people from all cultures around the world agree that individuals are physically attractive and that individuals are not, showing that these judgments have a biological basis.

Secondly, we know that women certainly prefer more attractive men and even when they agree to go out with conventionally ugly people, they make them wait longer before going out with them.

This means that when a couple between an attractive person and an unattractive person is formed, it does not arise from their tastes, and as a result, each person will behave differently as if they were with a more attractive partner.

In fact, physical appearance is one of the most important factors of attraction according to studies.

The problem is that this is unpopular to say, and that is why the wishful thinking people who defend cultural relativism prefers to attribute to themselves the factors that, in principle, are easier to explain through cultural influence or education, such as personality. However, I do not believe that personality is a relevant factor in seduction, because generally, the differences between some people and others are not too great.

When we meet someone, unless they say or do something exceptionally good or bad, most people are essentially the same, and almost all interactions can be described as good enough without further ado. In fact, the opposite would be alarming.

Note: By this, I mean the personality during the first-approach seduction. Once a relationship has begun, personality does carry some weight, as we'll see later. Also, by "personality" I am primarily referring to objectively positive or negative qualities (e.g., "being a good person," or any of the other typically feminist ones), not to other phenomena such as homophilia (the tendency to mate with similar people), which is another matter.

Going back to the graph in the previous video, of how women rate men, if personality was the main ingredient it would mean that a majority of society are bad people, and this is clearly not true.

In fact, other studies indicate that psychological profiles related to the dark triad, psychopathy, narcissism and Machiavellianism, increase popularity with women. This is probably because psychopaths are more skilled at manipulating women's impressions.

Dark triad as a product of sexual selection:

We can conclude from these data that being a good person does not correlate with attractiveness, but it could be that other personality traits such as a sense of humor or intelligence are the main factors of attraction.

These last two, but above all humor, are one of the favorite proposals of seduction gurus. Unfortunately, humor is not a substitute for physical attraction.

According to this article, funny guys were indeed preferable to non-funny guys, but only if they were also attractive, and even worse according to this other one, the direction of the relationship is the opposite, that is, attractive people are perceived as funnier, but funny people are not perceived as more attractive.

The same can be said of intelligence an intelligent man is more desirable than one who is not, but he must first comply with a certain level of physical attractiveness for his intelligence to be taken into account. And as in the case of humor, people have a bias that makes them see attractive people as more intelligent. So when someone says that they like smart or funny people, there is a good chance that the opposite is true, the people they like seem smarter and funnier to them.

In fact, you can determine how little personality matters by comparing how people value the same individuals, knowing and not knowing their personality. And this is an experiment that the author of OkCupid already carried out on his website.

Here we can see how the personality scores that users give to their potential partners on OkCupid are in direct proportion to the assessment of their physical attractiveness.

This alone is not enough to say that one fact is a consequence of the other. Perhaps the most attractive people have a better personality, but it is very suspicious that there are profiles of very attractive people completely lacking text but in the top 1% of best personalities, and our suspicions are confirmed when we contrast the data with the experiment of the same author, in which he showed the same profiles to his users with and without text.

People determine the quality of your personality through your physical attractiveness, which is not surprising considering the nebulousness of the very concept of a personality quality. And this is not only true in OkCupid, science confirms, the same person's personality is evaluated differently before and after having cosmetic surgery, and each specific trait is associated with a certain perception. This type of judgment is carried out in only a few milliseconds after being exposed to a face, and its consequences in decision making cannot be corrected even when it is consciously not prejudiced. It simply seems that this is how the human brain works.

Consequently, we can be quite sure that physical appearance is the first element of attraction, and that personality is not relevant except as an exclusionary factor in extreme cases.

Specifically, scientific studies indicate that physical appearance is the main predictor of attraction [2] and that personality has no predictive power.

Furthermore, in the context of speed dating, only attractiveness and participation in sports or physical exercise predicted initial romantic interest, or in other words, face and body.

Another of the main themes of seduction gurus is that of self-confidence. According to this interpretation, a relaxed and determined behavior is the main determinant of the result of a seduction attempt. The advice that is usually given is, therefore, to have confidence in oneself. Or even pretend to have it until it comes naturally to you. Sometimes this advice overlaps with that of insistence, in a way that I consider quite dangerous and harmful to the apprentice seducer.

Leaving aside the question of whether it is really possible to fake this type of behavior realistically, the strategy itself is doomed to failure. This article finds that men with a false self-confidence were not more successful with women, and several other studies such as this one indicate that the same behavior is interpreted in a completely different way depending on who performs it.

When seduction gurus tell you that if you want to have the success of an attractive person behave as such, what they are ignoring is that even if your behavior were identical it would be perceived differently because you do not have the face of the person you are imitating.

All of this leads us to a rather depressing conclusion; that most people are very superficial and the only really important thing about seduction is the physical and facial attractiveness. But although at first glance this may seem extremely negative, I would like to end with a series of quite positive nuances that contrast with the more cynical part of the school of maximum seduction.

To begin with, everything we have seen so far refers only to the initial phase of seduction, and not to the dynamics that occur once the relationship has begun. Despite the interpretation of some PUAs, ironically similar to the radical feminists, that a relationship is a power dynamic that is maintained through the continuous demonstration of the man, his dominance and his masculinity, the truth is that the main predictor of the continuity of an ongoing relationship is kindness, not dominance, nor the physical aspect. It is a powerful tool to attract women's attention but it is not enough in itself to retain it indefinitely.

Furthermore, I believe that the fact that physical appearance is the only relevant factor of the initial interest is the lesser evil. This means that money and status do not have as much weight as some attribute to it. This does not mean that they are irrelevant factors, they are not, but physical attractiveness, which is much easier to improve than socioeconomic level, has much more relevance than this. In fact, one of the implications of the multiplicative model we discussed in the previous video is that for those at the bottom of the ladder it is relatively easy to move up, at least to the middle, because any improvement they make will have an impact on all the other traits as well. From there, progress becomes more difficult, but another positive impact is that, as everything is related each other, practically any improvement you make will be the right choice. In other words, there is no single formula to follow, as proponents of the seduction of maxims argue. In fact, it's just the opposite, the more variety you try, the better.

This means that PUAs scripted methods are wrong, and they are wrong because they are based on the wrong premise. The starting hypothesis is that women systematically test men to see if they are capable of neutralizing their defenses and that the correct way to pass these tests is to give them a reason to surrender to their pretender. But this is not true.

In the real world there is no evidence that women are playing hard to get, they just don't care about you. And here is where we come to the central issue of the video, the seduction strategies of PUAs and seduction gurus don't work because there is no seduction. When researchers directly observe these interactions between men and women, it turns out that the guys who end up succeeding are those for whom their partners already had a previous interest. The same applies to when men manage to have sex. In a scientific study on this subject, the results point to a very high correlation between the time this happens and the expectations of women, but very low with respect to the expectations of men.

Girls initiate and control the outcome of this supposed seduction, which means that all those techniques of PUAs and seduction gurus are superstitions that make their followers believe that they have some control over the other person's feelings. In general what is happening is that, through trial and error, these guys end up trying enough times to find someone who is interested. I think this makes sense if we consider how strange the very concept is that some sort of mental or linguistic trick can fundamentally change a person's feelings. Obviously, the seduction gurus sell you that the outcome of a flirty night is up to you because that's what they're in business for, and they focus on behavior because it's something they can pretend to teach you, whereas the physical aspect is not something you learn from a teacher. In fact, the outcome of a flirting night for most people, those who are not exceptionally attractive, depends mostly on the chance to exploit the natural differences between the tastes of different girls, and to be lucky enough to try it with someone who finds them more or less 25% more attractive than herself, there is no more secret.

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