Thursday, October 20, 2011

I wonder what she'd be like in bed and what he'd be like in the ring

It's commonly joked that within the first few moments of seeing a woman, men are envisioning what it'd be like to have sex with her.

I have to confess that within the first few moments of seeing a man, I'm usually doing something similar. No, no, not that similar. I'm sizing him up, assessing whether or not I could take him. Is this normal? If not, what do guys think about first when they see other guys? How much social prestige he has? How wealthy he is? Not much of anything at all?

How about women when they see another woman? How pretty she is (without the gratuitous male imagery that accompanies it)? Her sense of style?

19 comments:

gwern said...

Ah, that reminds me of a good Carlyle quote I stuffed in one of my essays ( http://www.gwern.net/The%20Melancholy%20of%20Subculture%20Society ), which went:

“the ultimate question between man and man is ‘Can I kill thee, or canst thou kill me?’”

I don't know if Carlyle was using it in the context of the initial physical interaction, but it would certainly fit.

Anonymous said...

I think: Can this guy do anything for me?

Generally speaking, I don't mean in this in the sense of directly serving me or putting money in my pocket but in the sense of "does he have anything to say that will enrich my life"?

If the answer seems to be "yes," I say "Hi" and start talking. If it seems likely to be "no," I pretty much forget his existence immediately.

Son of Brock Landers said...

I do that in general at parties. I always feel I can take care of myself, but I shouldnt be the toughest guy anywhere, so if I am at a party and dont think a single guy could beat me up, I know I am at a SWPL or artist party (my wife is an artist).

Lexus Liberal said...

To The Audacious Epigone, do you happen to be a woman? If so, are most of your readers and visitors women?

Richard Dawkins in the "Selfish Gene" talks about how each gender has to use a gender specific survival strategy and tactic.

Men having more testosterone and physical capability in general can and will get into physical confrontations more often than women, who has to worry about protecting her sexual organs and valuable eggs.

Also since most women are weaker physically, it would make more sense for many of them to employ words and negotiation rather than direct confrontation. I suppose this is why gossip is highly important to many of them, since women can exchange valuable information between each other to enhance their reproductive success with "desired" men.

Women generally looking for protection and resources in the form of social power or fitness, while men look for reproductive success, hence attracted to younger healthy body types.

Audacious Epigone said...

Gwern,

That's relevant irrespective of the exact context. The initial, the mid-game, and the conclusion can be one in the same.

Anon,

That has to be a more efficacious way of going about things, and if I'm honest about it, it probably reveals more self-security, too.

Son of Brock Landers,

As an M:TG player, I definitely know the feeling, believe me!

Lexus Liberal,

Haha, I get that question a lot more than I ever expected I would. Male, as are most readers, not just here, but in most of the blogosphere that doesn't have to do with self-help or celebrity gossip.

Fenris said...

Depends on context, I was bouncer for 3 years and studied martial arts most of my life as well as street fighting as youth until the martial arts training got through to me that that was a bad idea. So I tend to enjoy imagining fights. However I only tend to to it in social isolated scenarios, walking down the st. meeting large groups of people etc. In informal small group settings I am more interested in whether that person would be interesting to talk to or train with. I don't tend to imagine most women in bed either though. Again I do that primarily in situations were I don't know anyone like walking at the beach in summer.

Ed Tom Kowalsky said...

Related to what SoBL said, one good thing about being in academia, I know I'm always the toughest guy in the room.

Anonymous said...

Is this normal?


I don't know. I do it, but my dad had a habit of slapping me around and I assume that's what made me hostile and suspicious to other men.

Anonymous said...

How much social prestige he has? How wealthy he is?


Never crosses my mind.

I read that guys are supposed to be all hierarchical and compete with each other in all sorts of ways. I'm competitive in games/sports, but other than that I don't rank myself vs other men.

silly girl said...

I always size up people by whether or not I can learn something from them or whether I know more than they do about everything, literally. So, I could even find a carpenter or concrete contractor interesting to talk to, but most women are intensely boring.

Steve Sailer said...

Off topic:

Razib has a table of what % of Mexican-Americans identify racially as white by state:

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/gnxp/2011/10/which-hispanics-identify-as-white/

As a commenter points out, eyeballing suggests there is a pretty high correlation between that number and how Republican the state is and/or how Republican the non-Hispanic whites in the state are. E.g., Texan Mexican-Americans are more likely to identify as racially white than are Californian Mexican-Americans.

I suspect causality runs in both directions.

bbartlog said...

I don't do this... sounds very 'Fight Club'. But I didn't get into a lot of fights as a kid and was never beaten up, so I expect that it was never impressed onto my unconscious mind as an important matter.

Anonymous said...

I don't do this. Not as a first thing, anyway. With men the first thing I am doing is trying to judge how smart they are. That actually sounds very much like what you are doing - just a different trait. With women - yes, first thoughts/analysis are sexual.

hbd chick said...

"How about women when they see another woman?"

i'm not your typical woman so i'm probably not the best gal to answer this question. but even i have some girlie traits, and i think the answer to your question is: "Is she more/less attractive than me?", i.e. where do i stand in the ranking compared to her. and after that: "Is she someone I should ally myself with (to help me get a man/men/social standing/whatever)."

am in full agreement with silly girl -- most women are intensely boring!

Trew said...

Yes, now that you bring it up, it seems like I do think "can I take him?" when I encounter a strange male in the age range of late teens to middle age. It's a very brief, almost unconcious thought; and not always. By "take him," I mean win a fight.

Yes, if a female is attractive, a first thought is often sexual.

Anonymous said...

I look at older men to see how they're holding up. Same with older women. I check out younger women for "fit and "finish". As for young men, teens especially, I wonder how conplicit they will be in their own death.

Anonymous said...

Do you really do that to every man and woman you meet? Perhaps you feel insecure or you have OCD?

I'm confident that I can beat most men in a fight so it's taken for granted. The only time I think about it is if the male is a big, alpha type and aggressive. In that case I'm already strategizing.

Likewise with women there has to be a stimulus, I don't find most women attractive. I'm only attracted to Nordish women of a fertile age who are at least above average in attractiveness. The more attracted I am to them the more I think about it. It's certainly not something I'm preoccupied with or scanning the room like a pervert undressing all the women.

However in Lithuania or Latvia I'd be in trouble! I don't know how the men get any work done.

Anonymous said...

As an M:TG player, I definitely know the feeling, believe me!

"M:TG" is "Magic: The Gathering", right?

You're beta as hell, man. Aren't you like in your late 20s or 30s too? So it's not like you have the excuse of being a kid or something.

Robyn said...

My boyfriend is 6'6 and I notice other men noticing him all the time. They turn and have to twist up their heads to see his head height. That brought to my attention that men immediately assess other men as a threat or not by how big they are. I have had older women comment to me in front of him that they find him scary and they don't believe me that he is totally kind.
For me, I look to see friendly they are but can't help noticing if they are handsome/pretty. That's it, I don't rank myself or look to get something from them. Of course if its an aggressive male then i would be looking to get away from them as fast as possible so I am not immune the the threat thing either.