Most people view masculinity and femininity as discreet constructs. But they aren’t. They not only fall on the same spectrum, but they are “continuous” traits, which means they vary in degree. And where you fall on this spectrum can tell you something about your dating life and the people you attract.
In Changing Your Game, my book for men, I cite this formula I created:
Success with Women = Masculinity + Respecting Women
It’s a simple (albeit simplified) formula. Masculinity is what attracts women initially; treating them with respect is what keeps them around. Men who display both of these traits in reasonable amounts do pretty well with women. Men who are strong on masculinity but come up short in the respect department are called Bad Boys. Some women involve themselves with Bad Boys before they learn the hard way that these men are throwaways (if they ever learn). Men who are strong on respect but weaker on masculinity are what I call TNGs (Too Nice Guys).
One could offer up a similar formula for women:
Success with Men = Femininity + Respecting Men
Femininity attracts men on that basic, biological level initially. But having respect for men is what keeps a man around. Women who are very feminine but don’t respect men are what men call “crazy.” Like Bad Boys, they attract the other sex and then drive them nuts. Women who are strong on respecting men but haven’t tapped into their femininity are often “tomboys” and, like TNGs, can wind up in the Friend Zone.
One of best things about Intellectual Badasses is that they’re often well-balanced in on the masc/fem spectrum. IB men are rarely testosterone-drunk knuckle draggers who constantly have to prove how manly they are, and IB women are rarely prissy girls who need a man to take care of them. You won’t often see IBs making stupid sexist remarks or treating the other sex like some foreign creature who speaks a foreign language. And that’s a damned good thing.
However, it isn’t uncommon for the IB to focus so much on their intellects and achievements that they forget that the intellectual doesn’t attract the other sex, at least not initially. No matter how smart, how respectful, and how awesome you are, if you don’t trigger those feelings of attraction up front – you won’t get dates (or you’ll wind up in the Friend Zone).
The next several articles are going to focus on the mysteries of attraction and what the IB can do to increase his or her options. Join in and let us know your views on masculinity and femininity, and what’s attractive and what’s NOT.
Some useful links: