Ex-Boyfriends and Sex Rank

“I’m a big fan of your site. I just discovered it a month ago, but I’ve already read about half of the archives. Well written.
I have a small quibble with your sex rank explanation, though. My marriage recently ended because in my wife’s eyes, my sex rank plunged. (It had definitely fallen. I’d say I dropped 1-2 points. She’d tell you I dropped 3-4 points.) And you nailed it with “I love you but I’m not in love with you.”
The problem with your theory is this: my ex-wife’s sex rank plunged as well. Granted, she left me for an ex-boyfriend — but she had left the same ex-boyfriend before. But when she left, she was 15 pounds heavier (5’3″ frame), hated her job, and was generally anti-social and un-fun.
So my question is this: does the sex rank theory require some calibrating, or is there already a sex rank addendum to explain what happened to me?
PS – it is possible that my sex rank really did plunge on a subjective basis. I didn’t gain weight like she did, and I have a high-paying job. But my betatude was off the charts. Hmm.”
Well Sex Rank is by and large best viewed as a metaphor, so it’s hard to nail down exactly what a 6 is vs a 7 for example. I mean I could possibly come up with a chart and points for everything to map out what exactly makes up every level of Sex Rank, but then we’d all just get into a big fight about the chart disagreeing over the fine points. Some people find different things sexier than others. Anyway there’s a few points that might help.
Firstly female Sex Rank seems to be fairly fluid compared to male Sex Rank. Guys tend to have a particular number and then have to work extremely hard or totally slack off to change their number. For example a guy might go from a 7 to an 9 by becoming a doctor, a woman might do the same simply by wearing better make up and a tight dress often. Simple tricks like that for women sounds unfair in comparison to effort a man has to make, but the downside is that so much is dependant on physical appearance for a woman.
Likewise women’s sexual activity can increase or decrease based on their attraction to a male. So the same woman “with a low sex drive” with her low Sex Rank husband might suddenly discover “her sex drive just increased somehow” if George Clooney started asking to screw her. A woman with low sexual interest loses Sex Rank, and a woman with a high interest gains Sex Rank.
So some of your wife’s drop in Sex Rank might have been just a drop to match some of your decrease in Sex Rank. Women tend to calibrate to their man’s Sex Rank.
Secondly, Sex Rank is kind of a competition. If you were a 7 and the ex-boyfriend was a 6, advantage you. If you fall to a 5 and the boyfriend stays a 6, advantage ex-boyfriend. Even if she falls from a 7 to a 5 with you, she probably perks it up a bit with the ex-boyfriend straight back to a 6. I’m not saying it’s an automatic packing of her bags as soon as you drop lower than him, it’s just an influence on behavior.
Thirdly ex-boyfriends and especially ex-boyfriends that have had sex with your wife, are always going to have a much higher risk of influencing your wife against your interest in her. At some point he managed to trigger her attraction enough to get her seriously interested in him. No matter how badly the relationship ended, he can still probably flip at least some of her switches still.
I obviously don’t know all the details in your case, but I can guess there was some sort of ongoing relationship that reignited that you kinda sorta knew about at first that didn’t seem so bad, but then it was purposely hidden from you until it was all getting too late to do anything.
Moving to more general advice… ex-boyfriends, specially ones that were at all “alpha / dangerous / bad / edgy” can lodge in a woman’s mind forever. And of course men being men, if he’s still attempting contact with her… it’s because he still wants to see her stripped naked and doing that thing she does.
Though the other thing to watch out for is you obsessing about her ex-boyfriends. That communicates fear and weakness and is a Display of Low Value. High status males don’t need to worry about their females wandering off to find someone better. So basically ignore the entire topic unless one shows up on her radar again. Then watch carefully and be mildly annoyingly present as required…. by which I mean cock block.


  1. Susan Walsh says

    ex-boyfriends, specially ones that were at all "alpha / dangerous / bad / edgy" can lodge in a woman's mind forever.

    I can say from personal experience that this is true. I don't want to revisit that relationship, but it has survived as the most memorable of my experiences before meeting my husband. I worry sometimes that he will google me and find me. I really don't want to let that genie out of the bottle.

  2. Confidunce says

    Thanks so much for the thoughtful response.

    Above all, I think what deserves the most exploration is your argument that "women tend to calibrate to their man's Sex Rank."

    I think a lot of men — myself included — have noticed this, especially when you consider that a woman can increase her rank by increasing her own libido. Most of what we discuss in the PUA-for-long-term-relationships blogosphere is just a corollary to this rule. Witness:

    -If a man increases his sex rank, his woman will be more sexually attracted to him and put out more.

    -If a woman gets fat and stays that way for too long (accounting for things like pregnancy, mourning, etc.), it's because she doesn't care if her man wants to sleep with her anymore.

    -Couples tend to get fat or trim together.

  3. Athol Kay says

    Susan – I'm going to have to resist slow torturing the information out of you about the prior guy. :-)

    Confidunce – You have it exactly right with the weight issues in couples. I never ask my wife to lose weight, I just exercise and she follows me after a three week delay lol.

  4. violettapearl says

    15pounds added may have made a difference to the husband but men like all different sizes and shapes. More importantly a man knows that given attention no matter what weight a woman is spurs on "I want to please him" including…yes losing weight.

    Something her ex understood. Love them as they are and they will give you sex. Make them feel sexually exciting and they will want to continue to feel that.

  5. TNFarmgirl says

    Late post here, but I disagree with Violettapearl. All my husband did all day long was compliment my looks, tell me what a good wife I was etc. He totally had me on a pedestal. I wanted to feel worthy of those compliments, not just handed to me for doing nothing. Reality, he DID think I was hot in a ponytail and sweats–but I didn't. I know when I haven't showered in 3 days, lets not sugar coat things here! I don't want to be accepted that way. I want him to joke that maybe I could use a shower (should he join me?). Then, when I'm clean and primped THEN tell me that. I've earned it then.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *