Clothes Make The Man

Comments on yesterday’s post…
Anon:  How come there’s never anyone commenting on here who’s a SR 3 and is diligently going to spend the next two years fighting his way up to a 5? Everyone’s a 7 working up to a 9!
Meggerz:  Eh, nobody thinks they are below average. Also, we are still susceptible to projection – because men value appearances so highly, they place undue importance on it when self-evaluating. Same with women and things like stability and personality.
I’m hatching a theory, though: I think men can more rapidly swing between numbers on the low end of the scale, while women can do so on the high end.
For a man, going from a 3 to a 5 could easily result from an attitude adjustment – a jolt of self-confidence (authentically felt or not). For a woman, going from a 7 to a 9 could be a change of clothes and makeup.
Because the 1-10 scale is both personal and sliding, I don’t think we can in any way have consistent unit sizes, or compare them to one another. My 7 is not your 7, and my 3 is not your 3, additionally, my 3-7 span is the same width as your 3-7 span.
In short, I read numbers as relative. 8:9? She is higher than him. 7:9? She is much higher than him. Period.
Athol:  Meggerz is very much on point. The slightly easier answer is just to say that Sex Rank is best viewed as a metaphor and there’s far more art than science as to what makes up any particular number.
In general I don’t talk about people less than a 6 ever, because that way MMSL starts sounding like Fugly Club, and the first rule of Fugly Club is no one wants to buy books about Fugly Club. I also tend not to talk about 10s because suddenly there’s no more room for self-improvement, plus it feels like MMSL is in league with the beautiful people.
You can’t be anyone else anyway. Just figure out the way to be the best version of you that you can be. A pair of sevens can be in love with each other and just as happy as a pair of nines.
I’m going to disagree with the idea that men can kick up a low Sex Rank quickly while a woman can do the same to a higher one. I think the quick swing up in Sex Rank has exactly the same cause – namely clothing, appearance and general confidence. So a crappy male 3 could vault to a 5 with a new wardrobe and haircut, and then have a lot harder time getting from 5 to 6. While a woman who already has a good looking body could vault from 6 to 8 with a new wardrobe, hairdo and makeup. A woman who is 100 pounds overweight simply can’t waltz to being a 9 because she has a rocking hairdo and hot pink lipstick She might go from a 3 to a 5 though. A well off guy that drives a beat up heap and dresses way down, suddenly rocking suits and a BMW can go from 6 to 8 overnight.
The sudden clothing and appearance switch is doubly important because not only does it increase your attractiveness, it signals your purposeful intent to be attractive and is an all purpose “open for business” flag. People can lose a ton of weight / gain muscle and get a moderate increase in opposite sex interest, but when that body shape change is coupled with a sudden new wardrobe, heads turn a whole lot faster.
As a final thought…
Why are they called “Plus Size Models” when the obesity is clearly a minus?

Getting Her To Pull Your Lever

Reader:  Follow-up question:  I like your analogy of the rat pulling the lever for a pellet of food.  If the rat always gets a pellet then the rat will only show moderate interest and only when its hungry.  If the pellet is random then the rat will get a bit more frantic about trying the lever.  If we apply this to the “initiating attention” question then it would seem that a women would never have to show overt interest because she can count on the getting attention/sex anytime she wants.  For example, my wife has probably been rejected for sex maybe 1 or 2 times in our marriage so the lever gives her a pellet anytime she wants it.  So obviously she doesn’t spend a lot of time pulling it.
My question is “is there any merit to holding back attention from your wife randomly and even sometime declining her for sex in an effort to get her to want it more”?
Athol:  You have that analogy correct. And yes there would be some benefit in mixing things up a little on her, but…
… the real trick is determining who is the rat and who is the lever.
If she’s in charge of the relationship / hotter than you, you’re the rat and she’s the lever. So you have to pull on the lever as many times as she likes before getting the sexual payoff. This is the whole Nice Guy trap of trying to please her, where the more you please her, the less payoff you get. Reducing your lever pulling efforts will likely result in her paying out an extra time or two, but it won’t really fix your problem of her basically not being wildly attracted to you. It’s more like a casino comping you free drinks; they still want you to be a sucker, they’re just trying to keep you at the table.
That is incidentally why when a husband has an emotional outburst about not having enough sex and being wildly unhappy in the marriage, he gets immediately laid by his wife. Once. Maybe twice. Then the crisis is over and she goes back to her baseline of disinterest. It’s about the same thing as “Oh wait don’t go! Here’s a Martini and $100 in free chips for our VIP player!”
However, once you start trumping her Sex Rank and start gaining control of the relationship, you become the lever and she becomes the rat. If you’re offering very high quality food pellets, many other rats will become quite interested in pulling your lever. Which would mean she would have to spend extra time clinging to the lever and pulling on it every time a food pellet was ready for delivery.
Then you just decide to become a high payout lever. Your rat is also pretty happy about having a high payout lever to pull and stays alert to guard it from other rats.
Of course once you’re the lever, mixing up the payoff results is particularly effective.
Be high quality food. 

Make A Move, Or Wait For Her To Make One?

Reader:  Athol, I have a question for you and or your readers.  You have stated that a guy shouldn’t be concerned about being the one to initiate sex most of the time.  Does this go for flirting and texting an so forth too?  You’ve had some good posts about sending texts to get things pointed in the right direction for the day, leading to bedtime later. In all these examples its always they guy doing the initiating.  Many of the Alpha moves, even though Alpha, are still with the guy initiating the attention.  Do you do most of the initiating in your relationship (affection, flirting, sex)?
It seems Beta in a way for the guy to do too much initiating of attention.  It can come off as needy which we all know is a huge beta turn off.  I also feel like if I’m giving out more attention than I’m getting from my wife, then I am in some way lowering her attraction (and her attention) to me.  What do you think?
Athol:  That’s a good question.
I think the key is to not get hung up on the outcome of the flirting / request for sex. If she reacts positively, cool. If she reacts negatively, move on with your day. But don’t just hang around her looking like a sad panda. Also by making a move on her and not hovering around her when she doesn’t want it, her shields don’t go up nearly as quickly. Constant hovering and circling around her and she’ll go to red alert every time she sees you.
The frame is that you are asking for attention and she either gives it or doesn’t give it. But you don’t wait on her giving her a ton of attention for no reason or return of attention.
There’s quite a bit of difference here between dating and being married with instigation and attention. If you’re dating and trying to create a relationship with someone, then Roissy’s rule of only contacting her twice for every three contacts she makes with you, is the way to go. It creates a sense of uncertainty and a sense that you’re in more demand than she is.
But in a marriage, you’re always going to be seeing each other and there’s always going to be a multitude of things to contact each other about. So it’s vastly harder to set her hamster spinning that another girl might get to you first, if in fact you’re in line of sight in the living room.
Female sexuality is generally responsive to male sexuality. So in a marriage the wife will tend to calibrate to her husband. So you waiting to make a move until she makes one… well you may be in for a very long wait. You’re far better off making multiple moves on her in the hope that her general interest in you perks up based simply on you acting more interested in sex and confident.
In terms of Jennifer and myself, yes I do about 90% of the initiating of things. Whether that comes across as needy or not very much depends on Jennifer’s interest level in me. If she wasn’t that interested in me, she’d say I was needy and it would be a turn off. But because she’s interested in me a lot, she enjoys the attention and my insistence that she pay attention to me. Overall I’m just a force of nature with her and she tries to keep up with me.
The goofy and groping thing is also great for recovery moves too. You can either just laugh things off as “just playing”, or you can up the ante with a recovery line.
“Oh wow that line completely failed didn’t it. I’m so embarrassed at myself. You can feel the awkward in the air can’t you. Oh god the awkward is everywhere. You’ve got some on you actually, let me just brush that off your breasts…”

Celebrity Crushes and Your Attraction Weak Point

Reader:  What is your take on when spouses have celebrity crushes? Harmless or worrisome?
My wife has them, has always had them apparently. My attitude has been to try to joke about it, but sometimes it irritates me. What do you think?
Athol:  It’s way better than having a crush on any guy she could have in real life. So nothing to worry about…
…kinda. 
Attraction isn’t controllable, so when a woman sees a highly attractive man who has a team of people helping him look even more attractive… it’s just completely normal that she would experience attraction looking at him. It’s the same thing with guys looking at photoshopped naked women – it’s more of a red flag if you aren’t turned on than if you are.
Women have a need for variety and stimulation just as men do, but a celebrity crush is safe venting of that need. It’s the same with romance novels, it just winds them up a bit and if they needed more stimulation, it will relax then and make them feel happier. You’re much better off with her reading romances for her thrills than her messaging ex-boyfriends on Facebook.
However if she has constant celebrity crushes, that tends to suggest that she has a highly persistent need for stimulation and excitement. She’s literally getting her dopamine fix off of cycling though celebrity crushes, which makes me wonder how much is leftover for crushing on someone in real life. Or the other way around, if she was crushing on someone in real life, how much would be left over for crushing on celebrities.
So it really depends how significant her interest in this stuff is. Just like I say about porn or anything else fun but potentially addictive, “It’s not a problem until it’s a problem.” If hours of her day revolve around this stuff and she’s not having a normal interest in you, then it’s a problem. If she’s just into a particular movie star and would rather watch one of his movies than someone else’s, it’s not a problem.
If it’s a genuine problem, you need to bring it up as an issue, if it’s not a problem, the solution is just to be the best you can be. Also if you pay attention to who she crushes on, there’s often a tip about what you could do to improve yourself.
So if she’s into following Mr Beefcake, and you’re not that in shape…
If she’s into following Mr. Moneybags, and you’re not doing well financially…
If she’s into watching Mr. Dominant, and you’re fairly passive with her…
If she’s into Mr. Bad Boy and you’re an awfully Nice Guy…
I’m not saying change your whole life to be just like them, I’m saying that’s your weak point where you can probably make easy gains.
As an example of just this effect, Jennifer loooooves Straight No Chaser. Which is essentially a bunch of guys wearing suits singing.
I work in group homes and my work clothes are jeans and running shoes. Then I come home and write. I’m not much of a clothes horse at all, and dress sense is quite honestly one of my weak areas. I rarely ever have an actual occasion to scrub up nice for, but when I do, Jennifer always gets excitable about me doing so. It’s just an obvious connection in my mind and once in a while I lightly tease her about liking them so much.
***EDIT***
At this point the editing process broke down into a discussion about how I completely misread her entire interest in Straighter No Chaser. It’s not because they wear suits, it’s because it’s smart, funny and musically quirky.
***END EDIT***
So anyway…
Wife likes men in nice clothes…
Purchased new shirts this weekend.
That’s about it.
I feel all Captainy.
Jennifer:  LMAO you’re going to get hate mail for that last line.

Green Eggs and Hamster

Soft Neg:  Often confused with an insult or a put-down, but is more properly a light playful teasing verbal instigation. Shows confidence and being unaffected by the beauty of the female target.


Hand:  The state of the male being the more dominant half of a couple on the basis of his strength of personality. Having hand is a key concept in game.

I am man

I am man
Man I am

That Mister-Man
That Mister-Man!
I do not like
that Mister-Man.

Do you like
soft negs and hand?

I do not like them,
Mister-Man
I do not like
soft negs and hand

Would you like them
Here or there?

I would not like them
here or there.
I would not like them
anywhere.
I do not like
soft negs and hand
I do not like them,
Mister-Man.

Would you like them
in a bar?
Would you like them
in my car?

I do not like them
in a bar
I do not like them
in your car.
I do not like them
here or there.
I do not like them
anywhere.
I do not like soft negs and hand
I do not like them, Mister-Man.

Would you like them
sext at work?
Would you like them
from a jerk?

Not at my work.
Not with a jerk
Not in a bar.
Not in your car.
I do not like them here or there.
I do not like them anywhere.
I would not want soft negs and hand
I do not like them, Mister-Man.

Would you? Could you?
in a truck?
Try me! Try me!
Wanna fuck?

I would not,
could not,
in a truck

You may like them.
You will see.
You may like them
and cock is free.

I don’t care that it’s free.
Not in a truck! You’re offending me!

I do not like sexts at work.
I do not like them from a jerk
I do not like them in a bar
I do not like them in a car
I do not like them here or there.
I do not like them anywhere.
I do not like soft negs and hand
I do not like them, Mister-Man

A train! A train!
A train! A train!
Do you, want to
on a train?

Not on a train! Not for for free!
Not in a truck! Mister-Man let me be!
I would not, could not, sext at work
I could not, would not, with a jerk.
I will not like it in a bar
I will not like it in a car.
I do not want it here or there.
I do not want it anywhere.
You’re an asshole Mister-Man.

Say!
In the dark?
Here in the dark!
Would you, could you, in the dark?

I would not, could not,
in the dark.

Would you, could you,
at the park?

I would not, could not, at the park.
Not in your truck. Not in the dark
Not in a car. Not at work.
Not in a bar. You’re such a jerk.
I will not date you here or there.
I will not date you anywhere!

You do not like
soft negs and hand?

I do not
like them,
Mister-Man

Could you, would you,
with a goat?

That’s in poor taste Mister-Man
Sloppy cut and paste, I’m not a fan.

Would you, could you,
on my boat?

I probably would not, should not, on your boat.
I will not, will not, you horny goat.
I will not like them on a train.
I’m gonna PMS, you hurt my brain!
Not in the dark! Not for free!
Not at the park! I’m wet, maybe.
I do not like them in a bar.
I do not like them in your car.
I will not sext you while at work
I do not like you, arrogant jerk
I do not like them here or there.
I do not like them ANYWHERE!

I do not like
soft negs and hand.
I do not like them,
Mister-Man

You do not like them.
SO you say.
Try them! Try them!
And you may.
Try them and you may I say.

Sir.
If you will let me be,
I will date you once
then plan to flee

OMFG!
I like soft negs and hand
I do! I do? I do! Mister-Man!
And I would like them on your boat!
And something something something goat…
And I will blow you in the rain.
And in the dark. And on a train.
And in a car. And for free.
It’s my choice, game doesn’t work on me.

So I will like them in a bar.
And I will like them in your car.
And I will sext during lunch at work
Naked pics? Just one you jerk.
And I might date you here and there.
Wait! Don’t leave! Take me ANYWHERE!

So I guess I like
soft negs and hand
Thank you!
Thank you,
Mister-Man

Male Captains Are A Sexual Turn On

So following from the last post, we are left with the question of why would it be bad to have a female Captain, or even an equal 50/50 relationship.
Alrighty, here we go…
Imagine for a moment that there are two groups each consisting of a man and a woman working together on a shared project for their job. In the first group, the man is the woman’s boss. In the second group, the woman is the man’s boss. The work takes several months’ effort in relative privacy.

Jennifer: Even knowing what the post was about, I was totally expecting Athol’s next line to be a question about which group had a better work performance… 

So… “In which group is the woman more likely to experience attraction to the man?”

Clue… Vaginas aren’t feminist.
The all too obvious answer is that in the first group with the male boss,  the woman is most likely to experience attraction for him. This is just the way the world is. Female nurses fall in love with male doctors far more often they fall in love with male nurses aides. Female teachers fall in love with male principals far more than they fall in love with male janitors. Female managers fall in love with male directors far more often than they fall in love with a male working the retail counter.
For most women, there is a natural dynamic creating attraction that starts kicking in when a man is in a postion of social dominance over her. The primary purpose of the Captain and First Officer model is to seek to use that natural dynamic, to advantage the eroticism of the marriage. The act of casting the husband in the leadership role, effectively casts him as the Alpha Male of the Group and that creates attraction for him just by doing that alone.
So just to say it one more time, (!!!!) there is absolutely nothing immoral, or inappropriate to having a 50/50 marriage or a female-led relationship. It doesn’t affect my happiness how you run your marriage. If it works for you, please continue it. Seriously… I. Don’t. Care. What. Works. For. You.
My only concern with female-led relationships is that by doing so, the woman unwittingly subverts her primary purpose in having the relationship in the first place. It is very common that wives that end up dominating their husbands, find their attraction for him diminishing over time. I get zero email from husbands who are leading their relationship saying they have a sexless relationship. I get an avalanche of email from husbands who have dominant wives saying they have a sexless relationship. It’s really that simple.
It’s a terrible irony that women who get married truly wanting an erotic relationship with their husband, can damage the eroticism by taking control of the relationship. Whereas if they let him lead, that would support the erotic potential of the relationship. This is a very subtle but cumulative effect at work and it can compound over several years before it really starts being felt in the marriage. The women very, very, very rarely are aware of this happening on a conscious level – usually they just struggle to understand why they fell out of love with their husband.
More frequently than not, women are appalled at the realization their sexuality actually works this way. You would think that the $74 trillion dollar romance novel market featuring dominant male leads would have tipped them off.
Jennifer plays the First Officer role not because she’s stupid, weak or incapable, but because she’s consciously aware that it adds to her sexual interest in me. Plus it allows her to feel more comfortable gaining enjoyment from moments of being supportive and submissive. It allows her to be her. Being First Officer is getting her what she wants from being married.
Being the Captain casts me as the Alpha Male of the Group, and creates attraction, but there’s also the equally important requirement that I continue my Beta Traits in the marriage as well, and seek to make Jennifer comfortable with our relationship. So all the Beta Traits related to comfort building are vital to have as well. Being the Captain is absolutely not about being a thug-husband.
I mean not for nothing, but probably 80-90% of my “orders” to Jennifer are simply to stop working so hard, rest, take a nap, go relax this is good enough. My #1 and #2 used items in my Captain’s toolbox are the words, “please” and “thank you.” I’m not forcing her to do anything.
Jennifer: I think what people are missing is that in terms of the quality of the decision, it’s wouldn’t be better or worse for either Athol or me making it. We talk the options out together, we just need someone to decide. I thought the question at the start of the post was going to be something about the team with the male boss being better than the female boss team. It’s not about that, it’s about attraction. 

Athol: And just to be clear on other possible misunderstandings…
This is not about all men being dominant over all women. This is not about what women can or cannot do in the workplace. This not about a religious dictate to do anything. This is not about a divine right simply for being male. This is about how to create and sustain an erotic long term relationship with one woman.
Alright I’m done, I’m starting to feel like I’m doing the roar on this issue…

Captain and First Officer: Making The Bigger Decisions

This is turning into Captain and First Officer week. Let the misunderstanding continue!
Reader:  I’m a woman. I have a problem with the decision process as stated by Athol. Why does the captain (man) get to make every decision? I understand that he gets input from the first officer, but ultimately he makes the decision.
In my marriage, the person who knows the most about the particular situation at hand or feels the strongest makes the decision. There are some areas where he’s the expert and others where I am.
If I’m better at choosing investments, for example, why shouldn’t I make the call, with my husband’s input, of course. If he is better at homeowner projects and overseeing our kids’ education, why shouldn’t he make the call? Shared responsibility for the various decisions that make up our life is both efficient and effective for us.
The way I see it, Athol is making decisions (all of them!) that he may or may not be best qualified to make. And Jennifer is put in a role of having to plead her case to Athol, knowing she doesn’t control the outcome.
Jennifer’s superior knowledge and expertise on a particular subject still doesn’t allow her to take the lead. And unlike a work situation, in which she would likely have the chance of a promotion to the decision-making position some day, in her marriage she’ll NEVER have that opportunity.
I understand it works for Athol and Jennifer, and evidently many of this blog’s readers, but it’s not a model I would want to impose on my marriage.
Athol:  Where did you get the idea that I make every single decision in Jennifer’s life from? Trust me, after a long day of monitoring developmentally disabled clients, the last thing I want to do is come home and turn a bright, capable, motivated woman into one of my patients. The kids make plenty of decisions for themselves without my input too. No one needs to raise their hand to go to the bathroom in the Kay family.
So back to the earlier post for a second… let me bold a critical line…
“The conscious agreement to play these roles is of value because of the way it can nearly completely eliminate serious conflict in the marriage over some of the bigger decisions that need to be made. Very frequently marital arguments are not over the decision itself, but simply who gets to make the decision. Once you remove that battle, everyone’s shields come down and you can have more of a calm discussion about the decision itself.”
The First Officer role is a capable one. The metaphor is based on being the second-in-command of a Galaxy Class Federation Starship… which if I can engage my full inner geek for a moment, has a crew compliment of 1,012. So there are a myriad of daily decisions a First Officer would make without even consulting the Captain.
Jennifer makes dozens of decisions without my input or even knowledge. She makes more day to day decisions than I do and it’s extremely helpful that she does that. I’ve got this whole smart-guy-on-the-internet writer thing going on, but that comes with a major dose of absent-minded-professor and I’d be utterly lost without her. She’s way more practical than I am and keeps my life running more smoothly that I would ever manage without her help.
There’s a reasonable amount of incidental direction that I give, asking for a particular thing for dinner for example, and Jennifer happily complies in part because she likes pleasing me, and in part because it was one less decision for her to make.
But for the bigger decisions, we do the full Captain and First Officer experience. Even then you’d be surprised how few truly big decisions there are in a marriage, as usually one major decision will create structural effects that essentially determine the need for many smaller decisions. Some examples: Which city we live in, job changes, housing changes, more children, response to medical conditions, vacations, major purchases and so on. I think we have about two or three of those major decisions a year.
Starting this blog was a major decision of that type. Jennifer and I talked about it in depth before I started it, and I decided we would proceed with it. Just one major decision, but now it’s been two years of structural effects from that decision.
When my father ran up the white flag and announced the cancer wasn’t going to be beaten, I was always going to go home to say goodbye. However New Zealand is a long way and we were faced with three options:
(1) Just I go to NZ. (+) Cheaper, (-) Me emotional and apart from Jennifer is really bad idea
(2) Jennifer and I go to NZ. (+) Athol emotional but supported by Jennifer, (-) kids very upset and missing parents for two weeks.
(3) We all go to NZ. (+) Family all supported and involved, (-) all the book promotion money is gone.
Jennifer and I discussed all those options in depth, and then I chose (3). Now as you can imagine there are dozens of other little decisions involved in throwing an international trip together; Jennifer made some decisions, I made some decisions and just about all of it was on the fly. Just two weeks later we were with Dad and mission accomplished.
It’s not about steamrolling Jennifer out of a say. She talks to me. I listen. I bounce things I’m thinking about off her constantly actively seeking her input. We’re adults.
Most of the time the big decisions aren’t a choice between something that’s clearly a bad idea and clearly a good idea, that’s easy to work out together. The trouble comes when you’re choosing between multiple good options, or multiple difficult ones. That’s the sort of thing that can get thrown back in your face for years, “Well I know that eventually worked out, but I still think we should have chosen the other good option, because it would have worked out better!”   That’s more easily side-stepped when you can both acknowledge there are multiple options, and someone needs to make a decision about them.
Coming back to the reader statement though, this one stands out to me…
“In my marriage, the person who knows the most about the particular situation at hand or feels the strongest makes the decision.”
I’m not saying this is the exact case for this particular reader, but this “feeling the strongest” is exactly how many men find themselves on the persistent losing end of marital discussions, and becoming more and more Betaized. Women are typically better than men at handling and displaying deep emotion, and a common Fitness Test tactic is simply to overwhelm him with an intense emotional state – tears, anger, joy, disappointment – until he folds and gives her what she wants.
As soon as a wife discovers she can control major decisions through simply feeling the strongest about something, the husband will lose every single important discussion. Once she masters this emotional terrorism, and can win discussions and debates at will, she is the Captain…



and a fairly nasty one at that.

Of course that immediately leads into the question of why the woman as the Captain is a potentially bad thing in a marriage. I’ll address that in my next post.
Jennifer: Athol is not a dictator.  We discuss big decisions together, and there’s usually a fairly obvious solution or two, and he takes the initiative to make one of them happen.  I’m good with that. 

Captain and First Officer in a Crisis Situation

Adding on to yesterdays post… 
(1) Captain and First Officer is a metaphor for marriage roles and chain of command. It is quite purposely based on Star Trek because it is immediately understood by readers as both roles being positive ones. It is extremely important that I take this approach, otherwise women almost invariably have an immediate and strong negative reaction to any suggestion of female submission and completely stop listening to anything else I have to say.
Once women can hear exactly what I’m saying, most admit to liking the idea.
(2) There are no combat situations in a marriage where a husband would need to send his wife and children to their deaths without them questioning his basic sanity. There is always time to discuss important family decisions. It’s a family unit, not a military unit.
(3) There are occasional family emergency situations where the Captain may simply give direction without discussion. If a kid falls out of a tree and breaks their leg, there is simply no time for discussion and clear instant direction is the order of the day. “You stay with the kid, I will call 911.”
(4) That being said, true emergency situations typically require immediate 911 calls as a default action. Both Captain and First Officer should be capable of acting appropriately in such situations, either alone or in tandem. Heck, the kids should know how to do this as well.
(5) True combat situations where the family is under direct physical threat of harm, the Captain and First Officer do their best to ensure the safety of the rest of the family. If need be, sacrificing their lives for the safety of the children. If there is a choice available over who lays down their life, the Captain does.
And just to underline that this is a shameless metaphor designed to speak to geeks, here’s a Captain and First Officer combat situation video lol.
And just to underline things one more time…
There is no requirement that you do any of this. It’s your marriage to live together. I’m simply describing a model of marital functioning. I don’t get upset if you have the wife as Captain and the husband as First Officer for instance; what you do in your marriage doesn’t affect my marriage. It works for Jennifer and myself, so we’re talking about it.
There’s no MMSL hell I send you to if you don’t live the Captain and First Officer lifestyle. I’m an author, not Mr. Deity.

The Conscious Captain and First Officer Relationship

One of the most touching moments of our marriage is when we were being filmed for Close Up by TVNZ. In response to a question Jennifer directly referred to me as “the head of household” to the interviewer. I thought that was very brave of her to actually say that to the watching eyes of an entire country. I don’t think a woman can compliment a man much higher than that. Naturally because it was a perfect statement of Captain and First Officer working as intended… it was cut and never made it to the final segment. 
Oh well…
One of the hard parts about writing about this stuff though is that I very much fear that someone is going to misunderstand me, and end up turning into a thug-husband. Add in the encouragement to explore rough sex, and it’s doubly worrying.
So let me restate things a little…
The Captain and First Officer model, does not explicitly require her conscious awareness, some couples just naturally slip into it. For those couples when they are told about C&FO they just go “Oh yeah we do that.” and it’s old hat to them. They probably just think of themselves as “traditional.”
But for almost everyone else, the whole Captain and First Officer model is going to be a little weird at first, and you will make mistakes in trying it out. Usually that’s just going to be the husband doing a momentary reversion back to being too Beta, sometimes though he’s going to push a little too hard on her though and hurt her feelings.
When these mistakes are being made, it is vastly easier to correct things if you are both consciously aware of what is going on. By which I mean you’ve had actual conversations together about doing it, and you’ve both agreed to try it.
Captain and First Officer is a voluntarily lifestyle. You can’t effectively trick her into becoming a First Officer, and you can’t intimidate her into the role either. The only way to do this easily is to be a man she respects enough, to want to submit to your leadership. So yes indeed there is an element of strength and assertiveness that creates a dominant presence, but it’s her own internal wiring to enjoy submitting to a safe but dominant presence, that drives her interest in the First Officer role.
The conscious agreement to play these roles is of value because of the way it can nearly completely eliminate serious conflict in the marriage over some of the bigger decisions that need to be made. Very frequently marital arguments are not over the decision itself, but simply who gets to make the decision. Once you remove that battle, everyone’s shields come down and you can have more of a calm discussion about the decision itself.
The decision tree looks like this…
Captain or First Officer – Identifies issue and brings it up with the other
Captain – Listens to First Officer
First Officer – Provides input
Captain – Considers effect of decision on both the Captain and First Officer (and the kids)
First Officer – Provides further input if needed, but otherwise allows Captain space to make decision
Captain – Makes decision
First Officer – Respects decision and abides by it.
If the decision turns out to be wrong…
Captain – Admits error in decision
First Officer – Doesn’t say “I told you so!”
Captain and First Officer – Revisit decision and seek ways of not making the same mistake again.
If the decision turns out to be right…
Captain – Thanks First Officer for input and abiding by decision
First Officer – Gets wet panties
At first glance that looks like the Captain can just run riot and do whatever they want, whenever they want, but the reality is that a good Captain isn’t going to “win” every decision and decide to get exactly what they want every single time. Doing so would eventually wear out his welcome so to speak as the First Officer would start to lose respect for him. Eventually she would quit the role in disgust.
However if she perceives him as being concerned for her well being and on balance making fair decisions, she will grow even more respectful for him. There’s a lot of responsibility on the Captain to get it right more often than not too.
All that being said  – I won’t lie – it’s really kinda cool to have a woman obeying you.
Jennifer:  Being able to trust that Athol is always going to try and make the best decision is very important to me.

The Male Rationalization Hamster

Anacona:  Discussing male infidelity with [another reader] it seems that manosphere has this idea that men that choose not to get attached to occasional sexual flings are indeed incapable of betraying their vows and moving on from their wife because they unlike women are not hypergamous. I contested this position because I lived in cheating island and I lost count how many times a man with a wife will break a marriage against common sense, convenience and even their life for the chance of just have sex with the woman they developed a sort of sexual frenzy for.
There is even a culture of “benching” for sitting in the bench, in which a woman might have sex with a married man in the hopes of becoming a mistress and later on a second wife, she usually picks an older established man that can support both but that could had never picked her as primary wife due to societal pressures and with the advantage of being a decade or two younger than the wife and tries to do her best to be sexually enticing and nice enough for him to choose her as second wife once his relationship with the wife goes south.
I was thinking that if women are hunting for better genes, men are looking for better fertility and fecundity odds, so it would make sense that if a man is banging both an older woman and a younger one his body will act to bond him with the one with the best chances of giving him more offspring and if he does that during his marriage then surely the aging wife would be read as “not fertile” anymore while the younger extramarital liaisons being read as “fertile” and more potential offspring for him, so again it will make sense for him do ditch the older wife and try and secure the conquests. Which will explain how often this occurs in my country and really Athol I had seen men willing to lose their jobs, social circle and money because a teenager drove then insane with lust so there most be some powerful forces at work there.
Athol:  You’re both partly right, and basically just describing the two standard sexual strategies that everyone chooses to play from.

(1)  The “monogamy” / long term / raise kids together / high commitment strategy
(2)  The “cheating” / opportunistic / get better genes / cuckold / low commitment strategy

So yes, men can have a wife (1) and a girlfriend (2) at the same time. He can screw the girlfriend casually and not get to wildly emotionally attached to her – because he’s not committed to her. She’s a pump and dump.

However as the wife (1) ages, she becomes less appealing on a Body Agenda level to make children with. So when he starts up a (2) relationship with a younger woman on the side, there starts being increasing risk that his Body Agenda will decide that the girlfriend is the better option to pursue a (1) strategy with. When that happens, he will experience a massive mental shift, and because he’s now committed to her, he follows through with all kinds of risky behavior to ensure that he creates a relationship with her.

When the shift happens, the wife is no longer the (1) strategy, and she doesn’t even qualify as the (2) strategy anymore either. So the shift means she becomes a person of no importance sexually to the husband. Very quickly any feelings for her will vanish so he can more easily discard her.

This is the classic “mid-life crisis” thing where a completely normal husband suddenly turns into a “teenage boy” and does a great deal of “Incredibly stupid things that mess everything up for everyone else.”(TM)  But as far as his Body Agenda is concerned, if he gets an extra couple of kids from it, it’s all worth the drama he causes.

During this shift in allegiance from the wife to the girlfriend, the husband will have the full fledged Rationalization Hamster experience. Old wife bad. New wife good.

So for the girls “on the bench”, it’s a potentially winning strategy as a way of mate-poaching. However they would be more successful at this strategy if they don’t actually sleep with the husband too easily and simply engage him on an emotional level. They are auditioning for the role of “wife” and not “girlfriend”, and a woman that doesn’t just give it up easily makes a better option for committing to. The more they hold out sex as something they require commitment for before they give it out, or threaten to take it away without commitment, the stronger their hand is.

There is also the risk for the older man that despite all the drama they go through to get in a primary relationship with the younger woman, they are being cuckolded by her. What the younger woman most needs from him is resources, what she needs least from him is his semen. It would be logical to assume that a woman capable of cynically waiting in line to mate-poach, would also be capable of cynically cuckolding as well. You can give up everything to be with a young hottie and turn into a cuckolded diaper changing chump that ain’t gettin’ any.

The resultant drama of dumping the wife and splitting finances may also damage the reproductive chances of the husbands children he has had with his wife. Maybe there’s no longer enough money for his son to attend college for example. Maybe his daughters never get their teeth straightened. So his risk to jump ship must be carefully weighed against multiple factors.

But in general, the hotter, younger and more sexually virtuous the girl is, the more likely the husband will fall head over heels in love with her.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand…because inquiring minds will want to know…

The best defense for the wife is to (1) stay as physically attractive as she can, (2) have brief periods of being out of her husbands routine observation, (3) suddenly display knowledge of new sexual techniques, (4) start wearing sexier underwear, and (5) attempt to engage in brief periods of hyper-sexuality with her husband – as in suddenly wanting it multiple times in a 24 hour period and being highly active and vocal during that time as well.  One notes that I did not say she should cheat on him, just…. well…  pull on his… attention.

Oh and also helpful is, (6) know some fabulous lawyers.