What people want in a sexual partner, and what people want in a marriage partner, are quite different. It’s important to have an accurate assessment of one’s meet market value.
Many young people, especially females, fail to recognize that there is a difference between their sexual market value (SMV) and their marriage market value (MMV). They are two different things, really. Of course some of the things that go into determining one’s SMV (especially one’s overall level of attractiveness) are also components of one’s MMV, but the MMV has a lot of other things in it as well, such as the individual’s values, attitudes and social/sexual history.
One important thing to consider is that a female’s SMV hits its peak between the ages of 22-26, and declines sharply after that. By contrast, a male’s SMV grows very slowly and peaks in his mid to late thirties, and only falls very gradually after that.
Another very critical point is that the attractiveness component of one’s MMV is more calibrated to peer-levels than is the attractiveness component of one’s SMV, at least when it comes to women. That is, a woman does not need to be a SMV peer of a man to generate sex appeal and success in the Sexual Marketplace, she merely has to be over a certain threshold for the guy. The same guy, however, when assessing a woman’s MMV, will be looking for a woman who is much closer to his own SMV.
Another way of saying this is that high SMV guys will have sex with, and even date, women with lower SMVs, but they won’t marry them. They will only consider marrying a woman who is their SMV peer. So a woman, when assessing her own MMV, has to take into account that the relevant aspect of her attractiveness for purposes of her MMV is not the highest SMV man she can attract for sex, but rather the highest MMV man who is in her same general SMV “banding”.
This is a transition that can be quite hard for some women to make if they become used to dating men with SMV’s that are considerably higher than the men in her own SMV peer banding. If a woman is totally “broken” by being spoiled by the attentions and affections of males who are much higher in SMV than her own, often times, they simply cannot recalibrate, which means, they can no longer become attracted to any of their SMV peers. In this case, the best course for them is to avoid marrying, because a marriage to one of their SMV peers will likely be miserable for both people.
In regards to the male point of view, a male will find it very difficult to remain “faithful” (viz. monogamous) with a female who has a substantially lower SMV than his own. As soon as he has a chance with a higher SMV female, the temptation will likely become more than he can handle. So it is advantageous for women seeking a long term relationship to choose a man within the same SMV banding as her own.
On the flip side, men will also find it laborious to remain satisfied with a woman who doesn’t display natural expressions of respect and gratitude on a regular basis, regardless of her SMV. So women would do well to nurture these aspects of their feminine side, if they hope to have a happy relationship with a man.
The qualities that build a woman’s SMV/MMV are discussed other previous posts, listed here.
- Sigma Frame: How does a woman attract (and keep) a husband? (October 5, 2009)
- Sigma Frame: Why Should a Woman Change Herself to “Get Along” with a Man? (October 6, 2009)
Now for men, there is not such a large disparity between their SMV and their MMV. Most men can easily transition from a sexual relationship, to a marriage, if they so desire. The challenge for men is to achieve the SMV/MMV that they know they are capable of. This often doesn’t happen until they are in their mid 30’s, so men shouldn’t get too critical of themselves until this age.
Men can significantly improve their SMV/MMV through the following.
- Maintaining a consistent frame of mind. (very important)
- Learning and practicing “Game” on a regular basis. (also very important)
- Giving the impression of being unshakeable, unpredictable, aloof and sophisticated.
- Being purpose-driven, focused on their careers and various interests.
- Attaining an education and accumulating wealth and a reputation.
- Dressing to kill on a somewhat regular basis.
- Having a life, e.g. a job, a car, a girlfriend, a social agenda, and a small number of good guy-friends.
Men who fail to possess the above characteristics fall shamefully behind other men in the SMV/MMV competition. This doesn’t change for men after they marry. In fact, it becomes even more important to maintain their SMV/MMV status in marriage, if they wish to appease, and thereby avoid, their wives hypergamous nature. But on a positive note for men, their SMV/MMV is less likely to fall more than that of their female counterparts.
Marriage is ideally for a lifetime, and to make a lifetime commitment, things have to be as close to perfect as possible. Therefore, it’s better to marry at your SMV peak, while you have a lot of choice, because if you have a lot of choice, then you can make a better choice. There are so many people who don’t want to get married at the height of their popularity, because they prefer to receive the attention and affection of many partners.
For women passing their SMV peak, as they get older, they can no longer can attract the same quality and quantity of partners as they did before. At this time, there is less choice, and less opportunity to make a satisfying choice. Some women experience this change very suddenly, drastically, and abruptly, and this phenomenon is colloquially called, “hitting the wall”. If a woman has not found a suitable marriage partner before this time, she is likely facing a lot of sublimated regrets and angst, while being forced to accept some very unattractive choices about how to spend the rest of her life.
For men reaching their SMV prime, they experience what is commonly called a “mid-life crisis”. They realize they have much more choice and opportunities than they ever before realized, and they feel stupid and ashamed to have made the choices they made earlier in life. These men often make the mistake of throwing away everything they have invested their lives in, just to pursue the possibilities of what they might have missed out on.
In summary, recognize your own SMV/MMV, and count it worthy of cashing in on at the SMV/MMV peak of your life. By doing so, you will wisely make the most of your personal assets, and do the best towards achieving your own happiness and potential.
- The Rational Male: Final Exam – Navigating the SMP (June 4, 2012)
- Christianity and Masculinity: The Sexual Marketplace and Marriage Marketplace (September 13, 2014)
- The Rational Male: The Myth of Sexual Peak (November 23, 2018)