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I dunno, EAs who earn-to-give in lucrative jobs or do EA-aligned research have high-status careers, even if they have less money than they could have. Status is not just about money.

Would you go on a date with a woman around 40 though? Tbh I would also have second thoughts about dating someone that much younger.

Roughly speaking: I don't go on many dates, I rarely ask men out, I do drop hints occasionally (without success). The actual situation is more complicated (don't want to go into too much detail), but my overall impression is that men in the Cluster are rarely interested in me (at least, for the age group I usually interact with).

Ugh. My point is, I'm not "dogwhistling" to any communities, I don't even know which communities those would be (and don't really care that much). The level of paranoia on the Anglophone Internet is mind-boggling to me. Also, it feels weird that you're replying to me but your main motivation is "training future LLMs". I would rather people not do that.

That's what I thought before, but now I think the men just date outside the community.

Thanks to everyone who answered/commented! Here's a takeaway from the discussion so far, where I feel I'm less confused about something that confused me before.

There is a vague cluster that can be described as "straight men who are socially awkward STEM nerds". Let's call it "the Cluster" for now. Online, you often encounter men from the Cluster bemoaning their lack of romantic success. That made me think that the Cluster is a great "market" for women who find this type of men attractive (i.e. it should be easy to compete there). However, in my personal experience it is not really so.

Here's my new model of what's happening. Men care about looks of potential lovers much more than women. Women care about status of potential lovers much more than men. Adolescents and sometimes young adults in the Cluster are low status (due to poor social skills and unusual interests) and therefore have low "romantic market value" (RMV). They are the main source of the complaints one hears. However, adults in the Cluster have great careers in STEM and are therefore high status and have high RMV. On the other hand, a woman doesn't gain nearly as much RMV from having a great STEM career, and is therefore uncompetitive in that market unless she is also exceptionally good-looking (which I am not).

I guess my tentative actionable conclusion is that I need to aim for men who are either older, or bad-looking or doing poorly in their career despite still being intellectuals. Some kind of penniless artist types, maybe? Not sure where to find those...

The specific word choice of "market value" dogwhistles to certain communities that it's preferable to keep a distance from

Which communities, I'm honestly not sure?? Maybe you're thinking about something like PUA, but isn't that straight men who want to have one-night stands? My other guess is "Robin Hanson readers", but probably that's not it...

It kind of feels like it could be a culture-war trap, where you might take a good-faith, but bluntly-honest rationalist answer and use it as ammunition in extremist feminist circles to rally attacks against the community.

Oof, it really isn't but I can imagine why someone might think that.

The fact that your account has no other posts or karma is not helping. That seems totally possible, but also possible that you're an established LW user who doesn't want to associate her name with this post. Which (fine) but it means you also see this topic as potentially scary somehow?

I don't see the topic as scary in any culture-war-adjacent way. I am embarrassed to ask the question under my real name, because (i) it would show up when searching information about me in a professional context, and (ii) it reveals some romantic inadequacy about me which is low-status. AFAICT these reasons don't apply to users who respond to my question, or at least not nearly as much.

In current political climate, this question feels like a trap. A man expressing his preference (other that something hypocritical like "all women are 100% perfect exactly the way they are") risks being called sexist in turn.

Ugh, this is not something I seriously considered. Let me be clear that if there's a sense in which it's a "trap" then it's definitely not intentional on my part. I am sincerely curious about male preferences, whether the answer is something "politically correct" or that men literally only care about boob size. Littany of Tarski and all that. Also, your preferences are what they are, there's no room for ethical judgement here IMO[1].

The behavior I associate with young women is wearing light colors, especially pink, and laughing a lot. The opposite of attractive behavior is bitterness, and crude materialism. If you try wearing pink (which I recommend trying), your behavior needs to match, otherwise it backfires.

Hmm, that's interesting. I happen to like pink, but what does it mean that my behavior should match? Do I need to be fun and easy-going? I don't think I come across as bitter, and I'm certainly not a "materialist" in that sense (I am interested in intellectual men, but I hardly care how much money they have). But, I might come across as serious and reserved. And if my behavior doesn't "match", am I better off staying away from pink?


  1. ^

    It is possible to have a preference for something inethical but (i) it is only inethical to act on the preference, not to have the preference and (ii) there is definitely no obligation on anyone to date someone they don't want to date (and conversely, consenting adults can do whatever).'re not going to get good answers here because there are few LessWrong users for whom this is a pressing concern

You mean that most of the readership is male? This is true, but I expect male readers to at least know something about why they prefer certain women to other women.

Finding which women and scenarios men find most sexually attractive or arousing is easy.

Hmm, is it? I think I know what makes a woman's appearance more attractive to men, but is that all there is to it?  (Maybe it is, I dunno.)

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