Identify your sphere of influence and be selective.
Theme: Giving the gift of yourself to others.
Author’s Note: This essay is based on a discussion Rock Kitaro, NovaSeeker, and I had under a previous post, Taking Headship by Force (2021-05-26), and is coauthored with Jack. Links to original comments are embedded in the first word of a paragraph. NovaSeeker’s words are in blue.
Length: 2,900 words
Reading Time: 10 minutes
When men enter into the SMP, it feels like it’s all hit or miss. Then they go through a phase of trying to figure out what women like and want, as if he could somehow work harder or say the right words and then he could check those boxes and make the sale.
What guys fail to understand about themselves is that this whole paradigm of striving for women is based on the fact that the guy has already picked out which woman (or women) he wants, and is therefore spinning his wheels trying to attain that idealistic goal. In taking this approach, he is not only setting himself up for failure, but he is also excluding a lot of possibilities.
Success is not about getting the girl you want. Instead, the key for success lies in identifying your sphere of potential influence, and working it to your advantage.
I’ll use the examples of height and baldness to explain how this works in the remainder of this essay. But the same principles could apply to just about any limitation (e.g. lack of athleticism, looks, wealth, etc.).
Identify Your Qualifiers
As men well know, women have a long list of qualifiers, and a small number of them are crucial.
Height first works as a threshold, cost of admission test. “He must be taller than me.” This is by far the most common requirement, even if women never say it. Almost all women want a man taller than she is. “He must be at least 6 feet.” Height in these instances isn’t an attractant, it’s the minimum entry requirement. “You must be at least this tall to ride this ride.” Like that.
If you’re in that tall guy sweet spot, which is around 6 feet to 6’3″, now height is an attractant. Now height will be used with other attractive features. But if you’re a tall guy and have no other attractants, well, you’re gonna have a hard time. Tall is necessary, but not sufficient.
That’s correct. This is why I was able to do “better” with women than many (not all, lol) of the guys I knew who were taller than me. They didn’t have the “height exclusion” against them, but they could have various other things against them (personality, face, fitness, humor, social skills, mastery, etc, etc.). The key difference between them and someone like me is that out of a room of 100 women, only roughly 50 or so, give or take, were in my “potential pool”. 100 were in their potential pool. But … by having more other things in my favor, I could do better in my pool of 50 women than some of them could in their pool of 100 women. All guys need to have some of those other things going for them, whether they are taller or shorter, in any case. If you are short, you need some more of them going for you, because your pool is smaller and … here is the critical thing … it’s a pool that taller men are also competing in, too! So you need to outcompete them also in your smaller pool — you just need to be more competitive, generally, in order to be successful.
Plus, with guys who are shorter than average height, how much shorter than average you are matters. Average height in the US for white guys is 5’9″ (Source). Even guys at that height get some height-related exclusions (the magic number here is 6’0″ in order to avoid any exclusion based on height), but every inch you go lower the harder it gets. So at my height, it’s pretty challenging in that the more attractive girls are just completely off the table for you unless you have very outlierish characteristics in other areas (are actually famous, and very wealthy and so on).
Guys who are just below that (say 5’8″) still do okay, but do get a good amount of height exclusion as you get to the prettier girls. I have known quite a few guys like this who have consistently dated 6s with perhaps the occasional 7. But generally not a steady diet of 7s, and 8+ is off the table (again, unless they have outlierish other characteristics).
In my height (5’6″), if you really push it in terms of looksmaxing, style and so on, and you have good social skills, you can date mostly 6s. You will have a very hard time dating 7s at all, or anything higher than that, unless you have outlierish other characteristics. And the thing at this height is that if you take your foot off the gas when it comes to maxing what you do have, you fall like a stone — that is, you don’t fall from 6s to 5s, you fall from 6s to 4s and lower in terms of women who are willing to date you. You can’t be a “normal” guy at this height unless you’re interested in below average girls, or being celibate. You have to work it.
As you get lower than my height, it gets really bleak for straight men. I have spoken with a number of guys over the years (in course of giving advice to shorter men) who are in the 5’4″ and 5’3″ range — and, really, these guys were incels. Even objectively unattractive women were not interested in them due to their size (again, barring other outlierish characteristics). No real answers for men in that range, but I will say this — quite a few of these guys today seem to be opting to become transgenders. Probably they realize that they can do better as a fake woman, sexually, than they can as straight men, and with all the propaganda today that is pro-LGBT I can understand how that could happen — as straight men, they’re pretty much SOL. In the past, these guys would have been priests or monks or something, but today … not a good life in a world where sex is pretty much at the top of the list in social importance in a very flagrant and open way.
Height works against you if you’re like 6’5″ and up. That gets to be viewed as freakishly tall. Advantage: Women 6 feet and up could gravitate to supertall men.
Women over 6 feet will often compromise on height because they have to. I once dated a 6’2″ former professional volleyball player. I’m 5’11”, I juuust missed the magic 6 feet mark. She played in the European leagues, had been on college scholarship, the whole bit. She often said she’d date shorter men simply because they were available and taller men were not. It didn’t last, of course, but she was open to dating shorter men simply because getting to date men was more important to her than holding out for a taller man. If she chose the latter, her dating opportunities would have been severely limited.
Control Your Pool Size
I want to explore the concept of “doing better in the smaller pool”. This is important for a lot of men who get down into intersexual dynamics.
I was in a similar boat as NovaSeeker, but my flaw was and is baldness. I started going bald at 17. I spent the 7 years of college and grad school going from Norwood 2 to 4. By age 25, I was at Norwood 5. Now, baldness is different from height in that it starts to matter less the older you get. But – and here’s the kicker – when you start receding and losing your hair in high school, it’s really bad. It’s terrible to be in college, 20, 21, and be noticeably thinning out on top when most men your age have really good thick hair. It’s terrible for your self-esteem, your social life, and your confidence. It really is – because you stand out so much and because it makes you look 10 years older than you are.
The only thing I did right was avoid creative combing. I did just about everything else wrong.
How do you deal with this? How do I wish I’d been coached on how to deal with it?
1. Accept that this is how it is.
You’re balding, going bald. There’s nothing you can do about it. Just own it, shave it or cut it very short, and just let it go. You are not a top 20% man. You’re just not, at least not right now. You’re a 6 at best. Yes, that stings. Put some Bactine on it, shake it off, and get moving again. That’s life. That’s YOUR life. You are genetically predestined to get great tans on your head.
2. Accept that being young and bald means your dating pool is limited.
Right out of the gate, your pool is limited to around 40% of all women in your age cohort. By that, I mean you are just out of the running for at least 60% of all women in your age cohort. You’re young and bald, so for that majority, you’re a no go from the get go. Yes, that stings again. Keep that Bactine handy. It gets better, I promise.
When you write off the 60% that’s already written you off, you can concentrate on the 40% that hasn’t written you off. You can become a big fish in that little pond if you max other things. And if you’re a big fish, the women in your little pool will really like you. So the moral of that story is: don’t even think about the 60% that’s eliminated you. Don’t even try. Don’t even go there. Don’t waste your time and don’t get needlessly frustrated. Find your pool, stay in it, and work within it.
Many times, I made that exact mistake. I tried to jump out of my little pool and swim with some of my follicularly gifted friends. I got plucked out of the big pool pretty fast. If I had stayed in my little pool, I would not have wasted time and effort on women who would never consider me. That, right there, was a source of great frustration and pain for me. But it didn’t have to be. It was, because I would not accept that I couldn’t swim in the 60% pool. I would not accept that 8s and 9s were not in my wheelhouse. I couldn’t accept that the one 8 I did snag was a complete and total fluke, and was completely out of the ordinary for me. Never happened before or since.
Look: This isn’t fair. It’s just how it is. This is how it is when you have a glaring physical flaw as a young man.
3. Accept that it’s going to be this way.
And it will be this way for quite a while – at least until you’re 30, and probably beyond. Small pool for you until your 30s. That’s just how it is. You are not going to slay 8s, 9s and 10s. Not happening. You are not taking home a different girl from the frat house party every other weekend. Not happening. You can, however, date 5s and 6s who may want casual sex, sometimes, but who will more likely expect more from you.
4. Remember that your pond is not isolated.
Pitfall: Even the women in your 40% pool will be like the 60% pool. Remember the women in your 40% pool can swim in the 60% pool too. They’re dating you, and the men above you. (And make no mistake: they are above you. They are objectively more sexually attractive and appealing than you are. They just are. They don’t have your flaw. That puts them above you. I told you to keep the Bactine on hand.)
So women in your pool have an advantage. They can and will demand more from you than they will from the guys in the 60%. To them, you’re not Fun Casual Date Guy. You’re Nice Steady Relationship Guy. You’re not Alpha McGorgeous. They see you as Billy Beta. And they’ll work on shoehorning you into the Billy Beta role.
They’ll demand that you go all in on commitment. They’ll run intersexual dynamics power plays on you. They’ll hold out on physical involvement, they’ll demand drinks and dinners. Alpha gets the fun; Billy has to wine and dine and work for it.
The way you have to deal with that is you go really slowly with them and keep them at arm’s length. Go slowly. Spin plates Christian style. Do things to distinguish yourself in the 40% pool. Nobody gets your exclusive commitment until she’s shown she won’t play games. This is where the “you step into my frame” and “you come to me, I don’t come to you” is crucial. If you’re a 40% guy you must adopt that attitude. Because even a 5 will absolutely steamroll you, if you allow it.
You must not compromise on “I’m the man, I’m running the show. It’s fine if you don’t like it, there’s the door.” You must set the terms. You must remember that there are still more in the 40%. And yeah, some will walk away, because they think they can control you and find out they can’t and they’ll move to other targets. But some of those women will be attracted to it and will start working for it. And there will be a few women with whom you can have relationships on your terms. (Now you can put the Bactine away.)
The thing is that you’ll have to wait longer and select from a much smaller pool. Because even in the 40% pool, a big number of those women will not go for “He’s in charge. I’ll submit. I’ll step into his frame” with you. This is to be expected in today’s market – why should they submit to a 40% pool man when maybe they can do better? Some women will look at it that way. But some women will not – they’ll see they’ve got a pretty good deal. However, you have to preserve that dynamic through the entire relationship. You don’t ever get to let up. You have to keep that going, forever.
The last thing I want to say is that if you’re in the 40% pool, you still have to adopt the mindset of “I set the terms, you step into my frame, you come to me. If you can’t or won’t do that, no relationship.”
Yes, you’ll be eliminating a lot of regular 40% swimmers. Just remember: You either do it that way, or you end up a guy married 15 years at your wit’s end with your marriage, your financial well-being, and the well-being of your children hanging off a cliff by their fingernails.
Such is the life of an early baldy in the late 20th- early 21st century. Hope this helps.
The TLDR for a premature balding man is: Even if you’re negotiating from what you think is a worse position, it’s better to stay single and not date, than it is to do it her way and step into her frame.
I’m a lawyer, and one of the things we do is a lot of mediation. When you go to a mediation you list out the things you must have and the things you can compromise on. Well, you are losing when you start giving up things you must have. So you don’t do it.
When it gets down to what we in the biz call “nut cuttin’ time”, you hold out for what you must have. If you can’t get what you must have, you walk away. No Deal. You physically walk away. You get up and you walk away from the table and out of the room. We all give each other a day or three to think about it.
Very often, when you do that, you find out that, hey, the other side does want to keep talking. They’ve found it in their hearts (and checkbooks) to give you what you need, so we can make a deal that everyone’s more or less happy with. It’s to everyone’s advantage to make the deal.
So it is with girls. Hold out for what you must have. Susie Snowflake, it’s now nut cuttin’ time. You come to me. You step into my frame. Must haves, baby, or No Deal. No? OK. I’m done. It was fun, but No Deal. Sometimes, Susie doesn’t come back. No Deal. And if it really is No Deal, that’s fine, but you have to make that stick and not compromise one inch on it.
But sometimes she does come back. And a Deal is made, and everyone’s happy. But you must hold up your end of the bargain and diligently make her hold up her end. You remind her of the deal, that that’s how it is, you’re not changing it, and she is expected to uphold her end of it.
Doing so displays the strength that they respect.
- Men’s Health (John Scott Lewinski): 4 Guys Who Went Bald Before 30 Tell You Why It Doesn’t Matter (2015-10-23)
- Σ Frame: Stepping up to the Challenge (2018-04-29)
- Σ Frame: How to Transform Your Image (2020-08-12)
- Σ Frame: A Conversation About Human Potential and Purpose (2020-09-04)
- Σ Frame: Prime Directive Vision (2021-06-29)