*Mate*, by Tucker Max and Geoffrey Miller

I’ve found Geoffrey Miller’s earlier books quite interesting, even if I didn’t always agree with them.  A few years ago, however, he had a um…Twitter mishap…and since then I’ve been wondering what would emerge from that process.

His new book is…different.  Think of it as a guide to dating and mating for males, but unlike the pick-up artists he (with Max) focuses on the separating rather than the pooling equilibrium.  That is, he advises men to actually be better men, and not just to send clever signals, and so the subtitle is Become the Man Women Want.  Hard to argue with that, right?

The advice covers such recommendations as “Focus on the women who seem interested in you.” (p.257) and “Hang out with Intelligent People” (p.127), among other maxims.  Didn’t Nietzsche come up with a few of those?  Or was it Norman Vincent Peale?

Be aware that “She’s been dealing with creepy douchebags for a long time”; that’s a subheader (p.35).

Is it true that “Most guys have sexually repulsive feet, and women notice.”? (p.206)  MR readers are not always the ones to ask.

At first I thought I’ve never seen a market product so cleverly designed to segregate the actual buyers from those who will find it of value, but it has lots of five-star reviews on Amazon.  Sadly enough, maybe America really needs this book.

Addendum: Here is Robin Hanson’s review.


Be aware that “She’s been dealing with creepy douchebags for a long time”; that’s a subheader (p.35). - See more at: http://marginalrevolution.com/#sthash.WK366Lwe.dpuf

Wasnt it Margaret Atwood who said men are afraid of women because they might laugh at them, and women of men because they might murder them.

A simple heuristic for men interacting with unfamiliar women, is that she assumes you're a psycho serial killer until proven otherwise. If you wouldn't be comfortable hearing a line or joke from a 300 lbs bodybuilding cellmate in a penintary shower, then she's probably uncomfortable hearing it from you on the first date.

Tucker Max is living proof that you don't have to be polite and non-threatening to be very attractive to women. And the cellmate comparison only makes sense if you're hitting on a lesbian. Because if you were gay, you might thoroughly enjoy a crass comment from your large cell mate. Likewise, if you're attractive enough women don't mind strong sexual innuendo on a first date.

Pretty sure that's a joke. The douchebag is Tucker Max, who was WILDLY SUCCESFUL with women. The whole reading on this post, that I'm getting anyways, is "So Banal Nietzsche said it." What women deal with even more often than douchebags are unattractive men, which is to say all men, which is to say you and me, Doug. Doesn't matter if you are a jerk if you're one of those hot guys. Just ask Tucker Max.

Tucker Max is neither hot nor wildly successful

Well you have to separate Tucker Max the person from Tucker Max the cartoon character. *One* of those is, indeed, wildly hot and successful.

Hot is not exclusively a function of physical traits for men-folk.

We previously know from Sheryl Sandberg that “She’s been dealing with creepy douchebags for a long time” means she's been sleeping with inexplicably yummy bad boys for a long time, but that your time will come once she hits 30-35. So just be patient. When your time comes, she will probably be rather tolerant of any uncalibrated weird banter too, and all will end well.

Women exchange sex for resources, what more do you need to know?

That sex is also an end/objective by itself. If you only have "resources" but no sex, women will find it somewhere else.

Yes, that's why so many women are hot for starving poets and musicians. It's the resources.

Maybe there's no one strategy for either men or women? Based on my friends' choice of wives (incomprehensible to me, but seems to work for them), I'm pretty sure of it.

An actual understanding of women, perhaps?

The fundamental worldview of angry MRA summed up right here.

Why are those guys angry anyway? Weird, right?

Women exchange sex for resources, what more do you need to know?

This statement would indicate you are the target audience for the book.

(The authors would disagree with your assertion, or the broadness that stating it that way implies.)

Tucker's been trying to reinvent himself for a long time. He rarely tweets and models himself as sort the TED talks version of a dating coach. It's understandable, considering his old books were some of the most vulgar, un-pc stories to ever top the charts. The atmosphere has changed for that kind of book since 2009. I'd predict a lot of his old fans will be disappointed by this.

My Nerd is showing. I assumed at first the title referred to a *chess* book!

Being familiar with Tyler's interests, I don't think that's an unreasonable prior upon seeing the post's title, though familiarity with Tucker Max would probably lead to the correct view.

My "Aussie-ness" was showing.. i thought it was a book about Bogans..

but a book about Bogan mating would be err... educational to say the least..

Why become a "better man" if the signalling is cheaper and works just as well? Also in what dimension are we becoming better men? Tucker Max had great success signalling something, but it wasn't the type of studious academic and dependable family man that Tyler probably thinks is a better man.

Signals do not last. If your aim is a life long partner, then you need something more inherent then signals.

His new book is…different. Think of it as a guide to dating and mating for males, but unlike the pick-up artists he (with Max) focuses on the separating rather than the pooling equilibrium. That is, he advises men to actually be better men, and not just to send clever signals, and so the subtitle is Become the Man Women Want. Hard to argue with that, right?

Let's take this apart a sentence at a time. #1: No it isn't. #2: Don't know what you're talking about. #3: And that's original? No it isn't. See nos. 1 and 2. #4: I dunno if it's hard to argue. I dare you to publish a book with the subtitle "Become the Woman Men Want" and see what happens to you.

Tucker Max showed promise but ultimately he came to heel, prostrating himself for a respectability that he will never get. The boldface teaser from Amazon says "[Tucker and Miller] create "the" "dating" book for "guys" [italics original; scare quotes mine]. Probably some flack at the publisher's wrote that line but it still tells you everything you need to know.

the idea of a 'dating guide' has always baffled me. figure out the things that are important to you in a partner, find someone who meets those requirements (and whose requirements you also meet) and treat each other the way you'd like to be treated. I genuinely don't understand how you could pad that out into a book or a career or whatever.

Generally when someone says, "I genuinely don't understand," he is lying. Your post is embarrassing self-promotion.

lol self-promotion?

i'm unclear on what I'm supposed to be self-promoting. that my philosophy of relationships doesn't merit more than a paragraph? that hardly makes me an egomaniac.

Agreed. I would say "dickhead" not egomaniac. It's the pretentiousness.

(and whose requirements you also meet)

That parenthetical clause is the purpose of the book. It's easy for most guys to find a woman who meets his requirements. Meeting her requirements is a different kettle of fish.

that kind of reductivist thinking is harmful and stupid. everyone I've ever known has had different desires and expectations for a relationship. the assumption that all men want the same thing (holes and a heartbeat?) - while all women want a secret kind of man that tucker max happens to know - is flawed.

So, all it takes is that in the highly unlikely case that I find someone who meets my requirements, I meet theirs. And then we just treat each other the way we'd like to be treated. Didn't know it was that easy.

I've met professors who have devoted their lives to problems that seem similarly straightforward. Dunderheads.

There are people who think Tucker Max really has hooked up with hundreds of women? Do they think Taylor Swift really had all those angry breakups, too?

If Tucker Max was gay, it could easily be four digits.

Currently 7 chapters into the book after a friend recommendation. Very surprised at the content. There's a section on food (no gluten, no sugar), on workouts (crossfit and multi compound exercises), on mental health, etc.

The second chapter is a frame shift to place yourself in a women's perspective and go through a bar scene. The book is essentially arguing for empathy.

A main premise of the book is: develop strengths in areas that women value. Definitely not a pick up book. More of a self improvement book. The appendix with references seems solid, and the book recommendations after each chapter seem very solid (having read a few out of each).

4.5 stars / 5

Shouldn't a major recommendation be to find women at places other than bars?

Say what you will about the bar scene, but it at least there are a lot of women in bars that are actively looking for someone to date. Some people have access to scenes that have similar numbers of potential mates, but not everyone does. Besides internet dating, which has its own series of problems.

I've made similar points on cars.

If you looking to pickup a lady, drive a car that she can imagine herself driving.

Hint: 9 times out of 10 it is a Range Rover.

Evidence: As usual, the Black Man is far ahead on this. Look at their reproductive success with Range Rovers.

If you find a girl who can really picture herself in a Ferrari or other Italian project, you are in a for a real treat.

I haven't figured out the Mazda Miata thing but it usually a petite girl who likes those.

I'm completely unable to put myself in the shoes of someone who could write a post like this. Some kind of autism spectrum disorder?

I have autism and I disagree with it. Tata has done some great things in terms of developing off-road capability. Rover's are just short of a harrier in terms of ability to go straight up and down. But neither they nor Ferrari sell enough to make any inferences. Revealed preference suggests women can imagine themselves driving Fords, and a lot of Ford owning men are married, but I'm not sure how much they have to do with each other.

Haha on the point of sexually repulsive feet, it is true in my case. I went through my whole life barely noticing my feet until I met my current girlfriend who has informed my that my feet are some of the most disgusting she has ever seen. 23 years of blissful unawareness shattered. An illusion broken.

But on a positive note fellas, if a girl won't date you because of how your feet look you're probably better off in the long run.

Do you know if the intent was to use foot cream or mouthwash or copper or something to kill foot fungus? Did you try anything that worked?

MR readers are not always the ones to ask.

I get the sense that MR readers are either totally not the target market... or completely and totally the target market (though they may not know it).

After reading the post and the comments, I come to the (snap) conclusion that there are a lot of confused people out there.
Sadly enough, these two authors are 21st century P.T. Barnums.

Maybe they weren't.

Stupid stupid stupid. Where is that butt-plug guy to plaster this thread...

The only book called "Mate" that I will read has to deal with chess...

As for dating, just move to the Third World: Costa Rica, Moldova, anywhere in Africa but South Africa, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, or parts of rural Mexico, parts of China, Honduras, Bolivia, parts of Peru, parts of Brazil, and viola! you will get laid. Even if you're twice as old as the girl, or even three times as old.

Why is this so hard to understand? You don't need to take a course on it...

Guess what? In the developed world women have options these days that don't involve marriage or holy orders. The cost of getting and keeping a woman has gone up accordingly. Simple as that.

If the only places where women find a man desirable are desperately poor, maybe the man hasn't much to offer.

Fairly certain he's trolling at this point. Don't feed the trolls

The cost certainly has gone up—and the value's cratered. Sadly, they don't make 'em like they used to.

Note once again the implication: "I, Richard Besserer, have no trouble whatever paying the cost." Save your game for the bar.

Ray, genuine question. Do you perceive that other males resent your relationship with your girlfriend? I mean her relatives, friends, neighbors, because you, as a rich foreigner, are able to swoop in and pick up a local girl without having "earned" the relationship?

That seems like a pejorative and patronizing comment.

I live in Thailand where woman are equally human and equally able to make informed decisions as women elsewhere.

Thanks Ray, but for some readers being 3 or 2 times older than the girl means pedophilia. Even in the 3rd world.

Never thought I'd live to see the day where a group of tenured professors sit around and gravely discuss the latest Tucker Max book.

"Oh man did I tell you about that time I took two girls home and dumped in one's mouth?" This is high comedy, you see.

My favorite was his comparing himself to John Kennedy Toole. Max is (or at least was, but my mind is settled) the absolute worst.

"Sadly enough, maybe America really needs this book."

What's the rate of single parent/matriarch-led homes these days?

The role Geoffrey Miller plays here is interesting.

Is the new career model: lose Ivory Tower reputation by saying something even slightly non-politically correct, go whole hog and do a book deal with Tucker Max?

Explainer of the Twitter mishap... if, like me, you had to look it up:



I thought we established meeting with smart people isn't a good way to form a relationship. On the plus side, I did get a complete copy of cones of dunshire. Hint - the farmer is your friend.

Tucker Max is a professional troll.

For those of you who think money are all men can offer, this is not true. They almost all crave emotional connection. All but the feminists want to be the object of some all-encompassing desire, and most will go with a marginal guy they connect with and who is consumed with passion for them over the wealthy guy. Most also will never initiate for reasons I do not understand, so you can get initiator returns that are comparable to entrepreneurial returns in economic markets. You can also drive fitness to high levels - there's nothing difficult about this, it just takes time and focus.

There is a subset of the female population that is extremely shallow in regards to mate choice. They are called "gold diggers"

Mark Manson's "Models" is probably the definitive dating book for men, and Mark is a nice guy generally.

Tyler, thanks for the mention.

In Mate, we tried to pack a lot of concepts from evolutionary psychology, economics, signaling theory, behavior genetics, and individual differences into a form that would be highly digestible to ordinary young guys.

In case anybody's interested, all 1,700 references and suggested readings for the book are on our Mating Grounds website:

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