Sexual dysfunction is not unique to the twenty-first century—nor, certainly, to the West. Japan’s “herbivores”—men who shun sex and prefer saving money and going on long walks to riding motorcycles and flirting with girls—have been well documented and are regarded by social scientists as the best example of male sexuality turning in on itself.
But although the sexodus, a new retreat into solitude by Western males, has a different flavour to it and dramatically different aetiology from previously observed social crises, many characteristics are identical. And what’s troubling about men throwing in the towel in both East and West is the rapidity with which the malaise is spreading across entire generations, fuelled not just by sexual dissatisfaction but also the economic and educational pressures felt by so many young boys.
Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised. It’s little wonder that in the disorientating modern world, men should seek out extreme measures to help them relate to, and get what they want from, the opposite sex. That probably explains the rise of Julien Blanc, who claims his seminars can transform the way women will respond to you. Blanc is at the extreme end of a movement known as “pick-up artists” or PUAs.
But other voices in the PUA or “red pill” movements, including Daryush Valizadeh, who goes by the pen name Roosh V, says there are structural reasons why society is evolving away from inter-gender contentment. Part of the problem is unrealistic female expectations, says Valizadeh. “Getting laid with attractive women has become extremely hard for average men. Women today of average or even below average quality desire an elite man with above-average looks, muscles, intelligence, and confidence.
“If an average girl works hard enough, she will be able to have a one-night stand with a ‘hot’ guy every now and then because he happened to be horny and wanted an easy lay. The girl then thinks that she actually can get such a man to commit to her for the long term, and so doesn’t give the average guys a chance, holding out for the type of stud that she had a brief sexual encounter with in the past.”
Valizadeh has some controversial views on the state of modern womanhood, too. He says: “It’s also damaging that the attractiveness of women is rapidly declining, mainly due to the obesity epidemic. No matter what members of the ‘fat acceptance’ movement say, men have an innate need for fit women. What happens is the few attractive girls left get unimaginable amounts of attention.”
According to Valizadeh, today’s sexual marketplace represents a Pareto distribution in which “20 percent of the top guys have access to 80 percent of the best women,” which has the effect of leaving women holding out for the perfect man, a man who of course never comes.
Valizadeh agrees with masculinity author Jack Donovan that men have been feminised by a culture that rejects and ridicules male characteristics and habits. “Good luck naming one male role model that men have today that actually helps them become men,” he remarks. These thoughts are echoed on occasionally rude but compelling male-oriented blogs, such as the phenomenally popular Chateau Heartiste.
They are also supported by the current state of the sex wars, which are constituted bizarrely. One of the remarkable things about recent high-profile skirmishes with feminists is how few mainstream heterosexual men have been involved. In the GamerGate video games controversy, opposition to “social justice warriors” and their attempts at censorship on Twitter has come from older gay men in public life and younger geeks, gamers and drop-outs; in the case of Matt Taylor, it was geeks and other women.
Straight young men simply don’t want to know any more. They’re not getting involved. Some women, too, horrified by what lesbianised third-wave feminism claims to do in their name, opt out of the argument. The absurd result is that geeks, queers and dykes are dominating the discussion about how men and women should interact. Jack Donovan, for example, is gay, as is your present correspondent. It’s as if gays are the only men left prepared to fight masculinity’s corner.
What strikes a lot of women as strange is how rational and systematic so much of this decision-making is by men. Many young men literally perform a cost-benefit analysis and decide that women aren’t worth the hassle. It’s girls who lose out in this scenario: men don’t need the sustained emotional intimacy that comes with a fulfilling sexual relationship and can retreat into masturbatory pursuits, prostitution and one-night stands much more comfortably.
But that’s exactly what it is, from a male point of view: a rational opting out from education, work and marriage by men who have had enough, as a remarkable book by Dr Helen Smith called Men on Strike warned in July last year. (The consensus on this stuff is growing rapidly.)
Men, driven, as many of them like to say, by fact and not emotion, can see that society is not fair to them and more dangerous for them. They point to the fact that they are more likely to be murder victims and more likely to commit suicide. Women do not choose to serve in the Armed Forces and they experience fewer deaths and injuries in the line of work generally.
Women get shorter custodial sentences for the same crimes. There are more scholarships available to them in college. They receive better and cheaper healthcare, and can pick from favourable insurance packages available only to girls. When it comes to children, women are presumed to be the primary caregiver and given preferential treatment by the courts. They have more, better contraceptive options.
Women are less likely to be homeless, unemployed or to abuse drugs than men. They are less likely to be depressed or to suffer from mental illness. There is less pressure on them to achieve financial success. They are less likely to live in poverty. They are given priority by emergency and medical services.
Some might call these statistical trends “female privilege.” Yet everywhere and at all times, say men’s rights advocates, the “lived experiences” and perceived oppression of women is given a hundred per cent of the airtime, in defiance of the reality that women haven’t just achieved parity with men but have overtaken them in almost every conceivable respect. What inequalities remain are the result of women’s choices, say respectable feminist academics such as Christina Hoff Sommers, not structural biases.
And yet men are constantly beaten up over bizarre invented concepts such as rape culture and patriarchal privilege. The bizarre but inevitable conclusion of all this is that women are fuelling their own unhappiness by driving men to consider them as sex objects and nothing more, because the thought of engaging in a relationship with a woman is horrifying, or too exhausting to contemplate. And the sexodus will affect women disproportionately harshly because research data show that when women “act like men” by having lots of casual sex, they become unhappy, are more likely to suffer from depression and destroy their chances of securing a meaningful long-term relationship.
It’s not just video games and casual sex that young men are retreating into. They are also immersing themselves in fetishes that to their grandparents’ generation would resemble grounds for incarceration, and which drive them further away from the formerly fairer sex. Consider, for example, the example of furry culture and anthropomorphic animal sex fetishism, both of which are experiencing explosive growth, fuelled by the internet.
Jack Rivlin’s student newspaper The Tab, which we encountered in part one, has noticed the trend spreading on UK campuses. (It’s already rife throughout the US.) Other alternative sexual behaviours, including homosexuality and transgenderism, are more prevalent on campus now too.
“It’s eminently plausible that there are a greater number of people who identify as homosexual, bisexual or other sexualities who are happy to be labelled as such these days,” agrees Cambridge Union president Tim Squirrell, from whom we heard in part one, speaking about the students he sees passing through his Union. “I think we’re becoming more open and accepting of people who live different kinds of lifestyles and have different kinds of identities.”
Gay emancipation, of course, may not have been a uniformly good thing for women. Depending on whose figures you believe—and you’re wise not to take the claims of gay advocacy groups or gay magazines too seriously, for obvious reasons—somewhere between 1 per cent and 10 per cent of the adult male population is gay. (It’s probably a lot closer to 1 per cent.)
Just a few decades ago, many of those men—at the risk of stereotyping, the most sensitive, artistic, attractive and highest-earning men; that is, perfect husband material—would have got married, had a few kids and led a double life to pursue their forbidden urges. They wouldn’t have bothered their wives for sex and they would have made great fathers.
But now they’re settling down with men, in many cases not having children at all. In other words, a healthy chunk of the most desirable men—men who no doubt would have cooed along approvingly to feminist exhortations—are now off the market, leaving even fewer eligible men in the dating pool.
(As a side note, here’s an argument you won’t read elsewhere: gay men test significantly higher, on average, for IQ, and we know that IQ is at least partially genetically determined. Gays don’t reproduce as much now they don’t have to keep up the pretence of straight relationships. In fact, surveys say they barely reproduce at all.
Is it too much of a stretch to ask whether society’s newfound tolerance of homosexuals has made society… well, a bit more stupid? Granted, it sounds far-fetched. But while there’s no doubt that liberating gay men from the shame of their secret double lives has been a moral imperative, driven by compassion, no rapid social change comes without trade-offs.)
All this comes before we even discuss the rapid growth of sadomasochistic sex among the young and the “new civil rights frontier” of transgenderism, a psychiatric disorder currently in the process of being repackaged by the Left as an alternative sexual lifestyle.
The response to part one of this series was colossal. To date, over 300,000 readers have shared it on Facebook. 16,500 readers left comments. Over 500 men wrote to me privately to express their gratitude and support, from every continent and in all age groups. The younger men spoke especially movingly. (Predictably, hundreds of angry feminists on Twitter scorned it as “entitled whinging from white male manbabies,” rather proving the point of the story’s premise for me.) Here are the most representative quotes from my conversations, reprinted with permission.
Mark, 24: “Everyone I know feels the same. Your article spoke directly to us. We’re not all losers and nerds, we’re just normal guys who are either scared of being accused of terrible stuff by harpies or simply can’t be bothered any more. I can’t believe I’m saying this but I just can’t deal with hassle of women any more.”
Mickey: “I say no to the whole thing, even though I am very heterosexual and would like the intimacy of a relationship based on mutual respect. Well, I thought I did, but it’s been so long and the standard of behavior for women remains so low, along with my tolerance for dating bullshit, that it does not look like a realistic desire anymore.”
Francis, 28: “I’m an athlete. My parents have a lot of money. I have plenty of friends and a good social life. I don’t hang out with women any more. Occasionally I’ll have one night stands, but mostly I fill my time with other things. I got accused of molesting a girl at college and since then I’ve just thought, whatever. I play sports instead.”
Tilo, 20: “I don’t know for sure but your article sounds like me and a lot of my friends. I do furry stuff online in secret. I’d be horrified if my parents found out but it’s all that gets me off. Girls are a nightmare. I have a brother who’s ten years older and he feels the same. We’ve given up.”
Hector, 26: “I did stick to that social belief for a brief time thinking that the need for a serious relationship would come with the age, but it never happened and slowly I gave up. Today, a few hours before reading your article, I was having lunch with my mother and she kept talking about girlfriends and how I needed to get married, meanwhile I kept thinking ‘why would I waste my life with this shit?’, and it wasn’t until I read your article a few hours later, that I realised. And I don’t think it’s just my generation that is affected by this.”
We can be quite sure now that the sexodus is not some fringe, isolated internet movement as “Men Going Their Own Way” has sometimes been characterised. A combination of disastrous social engineering, special privileges for women, the relentless mockery of white men on the basis of their sex and skin colour and the economic and educational abandonment for boys has created one, if not two, lost generations already.
Men created most of what is good about the world. The excesses of masculinity are also, to be sure, responsible for much of what is bad. But if we are to avoid sliding into decline, mediocrity and a world in which men are actively discriminated against, we must arrest the decline in social attitudes towards them before so many victims are claimed that all hope of reconciliation between the sexes is lost. If that happens, it will be women who will suffer.
9 Dec 2014
Some names have been changed.