Is Attraction limited to carnal SMV indicators?
Readership: All; Christians
Theme: Perspectives on the Topic of Attraction
Length: 1,600 words
Reading Time: 9 minutes
The Limitations of the Exceptionality Model
I’ve been following along with what Deep Strength (DS) said in his post, Objective and subjective attraction measures and what the Church can do about it (2022-8-18). DS is pointing out how Christian men can bump up their attractiveness by developing PSALM traits and taking a leadership role at church, and then urging Christian men to do this in order to enhance their service ministry and attract more and perhaps better women. (More posts about the nature of attraction, including DS’s assessments, are listed below under Related.)
However, I’m having trouble putting together the details of his viewpoint in light of what I’ve been writing about in the last couple posts, On Curating a Christian Culture of Attraction (2022-8-18) and On Clarifying a Christian Culture of Attraction (2022-8-24).
I see DS and Thedeti as having basically the same assessment — that sexual attraction is the primary and indispensable vehicle for achieving a sanctified marriage. Where they differ however, is that DS believes a man can fill the drill by having a decent paying job, having a sublime purpose for living, maintaining chastity, working out at the gym, getting down below 20% body fat, serving in church, and so on, whereas Thedeti thinks this is a hopeless endeavor because of the inherently broken nature of females.
In my last two posts, I’ve been arguing that most of this is not much more than an appeal to what women find attractive according to their fleshly nature. In The Delusion of the Good (2022-8-19), Thedeti went a step further to point out how making efforts to assuage or fulfill feminine fleshly lusts is an anti-scriptural and hopeless ordeal.
Putting this all together, I think it might be easier and clearer for DS to simply say that a man must make himself exceptional in the eyes of God and in the eyes of man (and women too if he hopes to have regular marital sex). IOW, a man would have to be a very fit, handsome, successful, and wealthy saint, or like an Alpha version of Jesus himself, or more jokingly put, a hunky monk.
This would be an ideal goal for Christian men to have, but it does little to change the scenery on the ground. A similar misassessment (concerning respect) was observed by Dalrock in his post, Is Christian marriage only for elite women? (2019-1-14), in which he wrote,
“Pastor Foster explained that for a Christian man to be respected by other Christian men he needed to prove himself to be exceptional…”
“I pointed out that only elite Christian men would be able to marry under this model, since he had also argued that earning the respect of other men was essential to finding a wife. We can’t make the average man extraordinary, we can only improve the average.”
In our present discussion, the goal is not about earning respect, but finding marital sanctification, but DS is recommending the same approach — stand out from the crowd; be exceptional.
But it is still like Dalrock said; not every man can be extraordinary, so DS’s approach is limited to be an individual solution for those men who can make themselves exceptional. Even if we could improve the average, this would be followed by a corrective adjustment in the sexual market due to comparative hypergamy, leaving most men in the same place where we are now.
And yet, we do see some men who are less than exceptional who are relatively more successful in love and marriage than what the exceptionality model would predict (e.g. Derek Ramsey, Ed Hurst, Juliana’s, Juliana’s sister’s, and Rowena’s husbands, and others you might think of). Perhaps we should turn our attention to these types of men and their communities to find out what they’re doing right (or what they’re not doing wrong).
Yes, we could easily write this off as being due to the grace of God (or having a unicorn wife which is kind of the same thing), but I am thinking of the majority of men (and lots of women too) who cannot create a visceral sexual attraction but still hope to avail of this grace. I think the selection process is the key.
Thedeti is well aware of the latter men’s predicaments, but he believes there is no hope for grace. DS, OTOH, seems to be focusing on men who are on the cusp of being a top tier man, but who need a little more oomph to reach the playing field by becoming “visible” to women, or IOW, exceptional.
Is the Exceptionality Model Limited to Vectors of Sexual Attraction?
DS has attempted to shore up his position in some comments under the latter post. But I still think he’s arguing that attraction must appeal to the desires of the flesh (i.e. women’s hypergamy) to be effective towards marital sanctification.
So then, I was a bit confused when DeepStrength wrote,
“Basically, what I am driving at is that most of the things I recommend at least are not an effort in the flesh.”
In his earlier response post, he recommended men to develop PSALM traits – Power, Status, Athleticism, Looks, and Money. I’m having a hard time imagining these things are not of the flesh. He also listed Masculinity, and it’s easier for me to see how that could be a godly trait, but as Adam pointed out, Masculinity does not lead to Godliness.
“They are just natural side effects of being driven with a Spiritual purpose.”
PSALM traits are things that men must work hard at to achieve. Masculinity is a discipline that is presently persecuted where it is not lost altogether. How are these things “natural side effects”? I think DS means to say that generating attraction is a natural side effect of having PSALMs, as we already know. I agree that having a purpose can be a motivator, but it doesn’t need to be spiritual in nature to generate attraction or even to attain marital contentment. Granted it’s rare, but not necessary. Sex and marriage are perhaps the only areas of the human experience in which God grants grace to unbelievers.
“Obviously, there is the intention of the heart that can make one’s true intent good or bad but that is for God to judge, but those of us who are rightly seeking to use our gifts of the Spirit to lead and disciple others are doing a good thing…”
OK, so once a man develops PSALM traits, he should use these traits for God’s glory and His purposes. This is good, but even those who don’t will be able to generate more attraction compared to other men with less PSALMs. So how is it spiritual in nature? Isn’t this basically the same as urging Christian men to do what it takes to compete in the secular SMP (short of having sex) and then whitewashing it by placing it under a higher purpose for serving and glorifying God?
“…and it’s natural that those things are also attractive (given God created purpose and attraction both and they synergize when you do the right thing).”
Here, DS is assuming that godliness is attractive. I believe it is in some respects but yet rather unattractive in others. This is why the idea that godliness is attractive still remains a highly contested postulate in the Christian Manosphere.
“If we reduce things that are “attractive” to be an effort in the flesh then we’re essentially throwing out the baby with the bathwater.”
DS should correct me if I’m wrong here, but I assume that “the baby” in the idiomatic analogy is either sanctification or the sexual pleasures of the flesh. Or maybe he’s assuming that both of these are inseparably concomitant according to either a sex-centric reckoning or the Biblical ideal. Earlier, DS said, “the things I recommend at least are not an effort in the flesh”, intimating that he believes attraction is not merely of the flesh, which is what Juliana, Rowena, Elspeth and I have been pecking at. But here, DS is saying that the flesh is the most essential part.
Again, I can follow DS’s main point that putting God first can yield other blessings along the way, but the details are not very clear about how this relates to attraction and intersexual dynamics.
The main vacuity in our understanding here, is that so far, the current Red Pill lore about attraction hasn’t really established a compelling argument that attraction is anything other than the flesh. (The question of whether there is more to it than this is what I am investigating here.) That is to say, the Red Pill has given us an obscenely vivid understanding of the biological, carnal, and evo-psyche aspects of attraction, but we do not yet have a conceptual framework for the moral, metaphysical, and spiritual components of how attraction works. (I have identified certain elements, such as giving women attention, women’s need for attention, bonding, Csíkszentmihályi Flow, desire, ego, feedback loops, headship authority, humility, incentives / motivation, sexual authority, and trust, but how these factors interact to produce attraction and sanctification is still unclear.)
If DS had offered a convincing argument that enhancing one’s attractiveness is not an effort in the flesh, then Thedeti would have to agree to Juliana’s earlier claim that there must be something more to attraction than merely nubile T&A (for men) and LAMPS (for women). But so far, DS hasn’t, and Thedeti hasn’t.
Gentlemen, we still have work to do.
- Donal Graeme: The 5 Vectors of Female Attraction- A Restoration (2013-3-10)
- Donal Graeme: Going APE- What Attributes do Women Find Attractive in Men? Looks, Athleticism, Money, Power and Status (LAMPS) (2013-7-21)
- Christianity and Masculinity: Understanding Attraction (2014-1-31)
- Christianity and Masculinity: A Christian understanding of attraction — Part 1 (2014-6-15)
- Dalrock: Don’t blame Heartiste for the equation of Alpha with virtue. (2015-6-13)
- Christianity and Masculinity: A Christian understanding of attraction and the role it plays in marriage — Part 2 (2016-6-29)
- Σ Frame (NovaSeeker): Deciphering Concepts of Attraction (2021-4-19)
- Christianity and Masculinity: A Christian understanding of attraction, and the role it plays in marriage — Part 3 (2021-7-11)
- Truth and Tolerance: Godliness is not Attractive? (2021-8-10)
- Σ Frame: How is Godliness Attractive? (2021-9-1)
- Adam Piggott: Masculinity does not lead to Godliness (2022-1-11)
- Catacomb Resident: Desire versus Desire (2022-8-25)