Most Attraction Is Structural

I’m getting less interested in pushing the Sexy Moves sort of advice, because increasingly I’m seeing the primary issues of attraction as being quite structural in nature. The Sexy Moves work amazingly well for guys who have the major issues of income, health and house basically in place and functional, but the ones that don’t, see little effect from trying the Sexy Moves.
The story this reader emailed me was a long back and forth, but essentially the extremely common thing where married life seemed pretty good, then suddenly two months ago his wife started pushing him away and things started falling apart very quickly. The good news being that he found MMSL, started the MAP and got into marriage counseling just as it was about to get very bad.
here’s one of my replies to him….
Okay, here’s what’s happened…
(1)  You have a lot of “structural weaknesses” in your ability to attract women in a general sense, in that you’ve stagnated your personal growth a lot. You’re stalled in your career, could be fitter, smoke pot etc. The good news is that you’ve started addressing those and are obviously scrambling to get that all caught up and back to being attractive. But that’s obviously going to take some time in that you can’t gain 20 pounds of muscle in a week, or switch jobs tomorrow. These things take time.
However you’ve been coasting along in your marriage with a very low level of attraction to pull your wife’s interest, which is fine as long as no one else pulls her interest. Which leads to (2)…
(2) There’s a very high probability that another man is involved in the picture somehow, and that started kicking in two months ago… which is when your wife’s behavior started to change. I’m not saying she slept with him, because obviously I don’t know that, but she is certainly attracted to someone else and is torn between him (dopamine) and you (oxytocin).
Your extreme jealousy is probably your intuition picking up on the other guy.
My suggestion would be to actively rule out the existence of this other guy – check credit card receipts, cell phone history, email history etc and see what you find. Though I caution you that it will drive you completely paranoid just doing that even if you find nothing. The taking the ring off, sleeping in separate beds, fighting with you and creating drama are all to get the creation of space between you and her, to allow her room to move toward him.
Bear in mind that (1) is your fault and what was leaving the door open for (2) to happen. If you find she has done something physical with someone else, immediately kick her out of the house and follow up with your marriage counselor.
You simply can’t rest on your laurels as a husband and expect your wife to remain attracted to you, if you do not remain attractive. The relationship can amble along just fine for years with no particular sign of danger, but the foundations are crumbling away underneath you and all it can take is one solid hit of interest from another man and it all can come crashing down.
Fixing the structural problems of your income and health can take a long time. When the shit hits the fan… you simply may not have the time to fix it before she does the unthinkable.


  1. But then most guys will stay with their wife when she becomes unattractive. Boom.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I don't think there is anything intrinsically wrong with smoking weed. As with all things, in moderation and never let it interfere with handling your business.

  3. Before jumping to the conclusion that there's another man in the picture, consider:

    1.) She's been stewing for years, but he laid one last piece of straw on the camel's back. A huge fight ensues, and now she's done pretending. Resentment of having the same arguments over and over with no change.

    2.) Her girlfriends/sister are going through separations/divorces and have opened the floodgates of all their problems. Reader's wife recognizes many of their issues match her own marriage's. Strength and courage in numbers boosts her to put out ultimatum of "Fix it or Fuck Off."

    The first step for ending a bad situation can be to tell others about it, to garner their support and motivation. Perhaps she's tired of faking a perfect marriage. If I were the Reader, I would start here rather than risk getting caught snooping.

  4. Athol Kay says:

    The reader in question and I exchanged fifteen emails. I'm not jumping to conclusions.

  5. Anonymous says:

    What level of wealth do you think is enough to snag an average girl. Assume a not naturally attractive man.

    I make 75k/year in a very secure job with good benefits, and I'm shy of 30. I figure by 35 I will make the equivilaint of 100k/year in todays dollars. That seems like it ought to be good enough, if I'm working on other aspects of my life.

  6. Other guy involved or not, she's acting bold and making a very hostile environment. So either she's trying to bully him into changing himself/the marriage, or she's trying to push him out the door.

    If I were Reader, I'd move out and start the MAP so at least I could get a peaceful night's sleep. If she (eventually) comes crawling back, it's because she wanted him to improve himself. If she doesn't, it's because she's glad he's gone, new guy or not.

  7. How you treat a girl is always more important than looks. I'll take an average guy who opens doors for me and brings me flowers anyday over a Brad Pitt (who is likely a worthless Player, anyway).

    That said, in addition to the MAP, go to the dentist if your teeth need whitening/straightening, see a dermatologist if your skin needs help, and consider surgery now if you hate your nose.

    The biggest thing is to be self-sufficient, fun to be around and a gentleman. Money may have snagged pretty women for the ugly Rush Limbaugh, but he can't keep'em because he's got a personality no one can live with (he's on wife #4).

  8. Anonymous says:

    If a marriage has started to go south because of these sorts of things, you are in deep shit. If nothing else because these things need months or years to fix, and you have weeks or months to do it in. Time isn't on your side.

  9. We don't really know much about the situation, so I can't speak to her behavior, but isn't "bullying him into changing" or "pushing him out the door" the essence of the MAP? She's taken the status quo off the table.

    This just serves as another reminder that the line between MAP ultimatums and out-and-out hostility can be pretty fine.

  10. You dont need much money to snag an average girl. You have enough money. The most important is your confidence and how you treat women.

  11. If a woman has hope, she will stay. He might not get the job immediately but striving to improve helps.

  12. The MacNut says:

    If your spouse doesn't like it, it's going to be a problem in your marriage. Just like any other habit that your spouse takes exception to, like drinking or smoking tobacco – only with weed there's also potential legal and employment issues to worry about (you can be arrested for possession in many places, and a pot smoker may be one drug test away from firing from certain employers or stopping employment with certain employers).

  13. The MacNut says:

    He'll have even less time than weeks if another man she's attracted to is in the picture.

  14. "Bear in mind that (1) is your fault …"

    This makes me cringe. Sure, he has his fair share of mistakes and must correct then ASAP; however, saying that everything is his fault is pretty unfair.

    She looks like one of those people that don't talk about the issues. She got pissed, and started going nuclear on him, instead of trying to ponder about it herself and try to fix it together. I always get disgusted at stuff like this, and I would never even consider marrying someone like this…

    Ok, I am a bit sensitive these days. But the core of what I said is what I really think.

  15. Ian Ironwood says:

    I'd add that HOW you spend your money is as important as the amount you make. DHV include generosity (in front of her), foresight (retirement, home ownership), and wisdom (do you really need a $150,000 Italian sportscar?). Money gets them in the door, but you need to demonstrate that you are not just a provider but a prosperous provider with long-term plans.

  16. Ian Ironwood says:

    Remember when someone told you that Life was Fair?

    Me, either.

    Look, regardless of what his past record is, the only way he's going to get her back is to own his problems and deal with them like a man. Whining about "unfairness" is the kind of Blue Pill crap that likely led him to this place in the first place. Athol is entirely correct: (1) is his fault, no excuses, no conditions, nothin'. It doesn't matter if it's fair or not. What matters is whether or not he can rise to the occasion, own his crap, and handle his business.

    Whether or not she deserves such an effort is, of course, entirely up to him. But it sounds like she was provoked by his actions and inactions to get to where she is, and while that might be compounded by her attitude, he alone must bear the responsibility for that. If he waits for her to own up to her responsibilities without being held accountable by him (and after he's managed to buff his SR significantly, preferably higher than hers) then that will happen just after the divorce.

  17. There are practical issues with smoking pot, but more importantly in this case is the attraction factor. LAZY IS NOT SEXY TO WOMEN. In fact, to most woman it's down right disgusting. Depending how productive and driven your wife is, you'll get more or less disgust. That's the main reason the pot thing becomes an issue with attaction. There's absolutely nothing more repulsive sexually than coming home from work to find a blob of a man parked in front of the xbox with cheeto crumbs down the front of his shirt and the house a mess…ugh! And please dont tell me "i clean the house when i'm high, i'm just as productive" because every pot smoker THINKS that, but I've yet to see that in reality.

    Add to that, if you've got an intelegent woman who likes witty conversation (most do) you're going to lose a lot a points when you can't follow a singele sentance to complettion. Again, every pot smoker seems to THINK that when they're high, this is when they're most reflective and insightful, but no, to others you look like you have brain dammage.

    Then add to that the SMELL. Unless your girl is also a smoker, she probably doesnt want to kiss you when you've been smoking and doesnt appreciate the house smelling that way. The smell DOES hang around for a day or 2. You might not smell it bc you're used to it, or your senses are dulled, but nonsmokers definately can. Especially a deep exhale during sex. yuck!

    I'm not saying that smoking is BAD or that people shouldn't do it. In fact I don't think you face any issue if you're a social smoker, but what I am saying is that, if you want to be attractive you really have to kinda be successful in life (meaning your wife doesnt want to have to treat you like a kid, you need to take care of the house and your responsibilites); you need to be physically in reasonable shape (and MOVEMENT makes you appear fitter than sitting on the couch does) and you need to smell good enough that she wants to put her MOUTH on your body.

    You might not think that you're doing it enough to create a repulsion in your wife, but it really does add up fairly quickly. Especially when other things aren't going well. It's very easy to feel "my life would be easier if I didn't have to cary around this dead weight"…

  18. moving out is ussually a bad move if you are trying to save the relationship. You can't make things better if you're not physically THERE to do the work…

  19. I would second everything Ian said. You want a guy who's a good PROVIDER and makes you feel secure. A guy who's responsible and generous is a HUGE win in that department.

    I'd also second what Jaz said about behavior and add to it that the guy needs to be FUN to be around! A guy who sits around the house doing nothing is no fun, nor is a guy who always complains and is sour about things. If you make everyday tasks fun and you seem excited about your life, then people want to be around you.

  20. Assigning blame and keeping score doesnt do much to help the relationship. The only thing he can change is HIS behavior, what the wife can do to change is irrelivant because he can't control that. If she shows up here asking what she can do for the relationship, she'll likely get mostly the same advice…

  21. says:

    You know, your last paragraph is something that I encounter a lot in the business world.

    I'm an online community manager, which means I support a product and I communicate the desires of the product's userbase to the creators of the product. Frequently the creators of the product are forced to decide between a decision that the userbase likes on one hand, and a decision that drives more revenue on the other.

    A good example is putting pop-up ads on a website. Everyone hates pop-up ads, because they're so aggressive—but they also get more clicks than banner ads, so advertisers who run them tend to pay more for them. From the people who are responsible for revenue, there will be pressure to run the more obnoxious ads. It's my job to warn them how the pop-up ads upset and frustrate the site's userbase.

    Here's the trick—if your website is the only website in your business, then you can run all the pop-up ads you want. People will hate them, sure—but it won't affect your traffic. If you're the only option in the picture, it doesn't matter if you become less desirable, because no alternative is available. You can sit on the couch and run pop-up ads for years at a time, and your beautiful audience won't leave you because there isn't another website in the picture. Then suddenly, a new website will come along, that can do everything you do but doesn't run those ugly pop-up ads, and suddenly your audience disappears all at once—and you're left scratching your head and wondering what you did that caused this to happen so suddenly.

  22. Anonymous says:

    That is where most marriage books fails–it assumes that your spouse likes you and is attracted to you. If your spouse is in a state of unattraction, "Sexy Moves" will come off creepy — I should know, that is where I am now. So what do I do? I am working on my fitness. I guess I will totally move my focus away from her and put it on my MAP, work, friends, and kids.

  23. Sexy Bearfriend says:

    Athol (referring to Jaz71's original comment), you may not have been jumping to conclusions, but it wasn't clear in your post what was and wasn't said in your email exchange. And knowing the literal nature of your male readers, we wouldn't want THEM jumping to conclusions! I think Jaz71's advice is great for helping your readers to flesh out a couple of additional reasons that a woman might increase the distance between her and her husband.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Hi. This guy that Athol was emailing was me. Thanks for all of your comments.

    On the Pot issue I wanted to state that I live in a culture where it is pretty generally accepted. (think western great white north). However, it was making my semen not good and repelling my wife. My wife and I were both habitual pot smokers for almost our entire marriage. I have broken that habit now since I know it was playing even just the smallest part in our problems. I also dont want to repel her if and when we have sex again. Same with booze for that matter.

    As for being creapy around not touching to reply to Anonymous.. here is what I am doing.

    being cocky and funny as suggested by Athol and being playful. It is having a great effect. She is playful back and actually seems not repeled by touching now. Still not 100% comfortable with it but not pulling away.

    MMSL has changed my life forever. If you are still thinking about it, just buy the damn book and get on it. Dont get into my situation.. its like digging out of a hole you never realized you were in until someone turned off the lights and you were totally in the dark.

  25. Just curious if after your changes, has she changed at all? Clearly your interactions have improved, has it triggered her to improve herself? How does your attraction to HER measure up lately?

  26. Anonymous says:

    Hi jane,
    my attraction for her is pretty high. My wife has spent the last 2 years working out like crazy and she looks amazing. Buff arms, sexy abs, hot ass.

    Has she changed at all? She is sleeping better at night now, before she was so stressed about our situation that sleep was pretty nonexistent. She told our counselor that she is seeing growth in me as well. She said yesterday for the first time that she feels a little different about me rather than just the same as always.

    I can tell she is trying hard to put herself into those uncomfortable places to allow me to wrap my arms around her and kiss. I even got an in public escalator kiss for the first time in months and months.

    I am not really hoping, but simply doing and being at this point. Thats all I can do really.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Me again.. the guy this is about. She has actually said to me a couple weeks ago that she does see responsibility for this on her side. She feels like she should have listened more a couple years ago when I was trying to work on things. However, she didnt know what was the problem, neither did I. She does feel responsible for allowing this to go on for so long with a nagging feeling in the back of her head though. Why she is still around now isnt just for the kids its also to give me a fighting chance to grow, change and become the stud she really wants. In her words "I owe it to you to give you time to try and figure this out".


  1. […] on “structural factors” instead of sexy move advice, saying that in a married context, most attraction will be structural in origin (once you’ve eliminated low-status behavior like failing fitness […]

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