Geoffrey Miller is an acclaimed evolutionary psychologist, author, and Associate Professor of psychology at the University of New Mexico. He is known for his research on sexual selection in human evolution and has written numerous best-selling books such as Virtue Signaling, Spent, and The Mating Mind. We talk about the evolution of monogamy, the power of negotiations in marriage, and why a little jealousy can ignite passion into your relationship.
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Book: The Mating Mind
Book: The Fourth Trimester
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0 (0s): I think let's say if I was giving advice to a young woman, like my daughter or a grad student or whoever who's sort of trying to figure out, okay, here's a young man. He's saying he's like a good feminist and he's for women and he's respectful. And he has like, he agrees with affirmative consent culture and blah, blah, blah. You know, you can always ask for like, what are the real credible signals that he's actually doing anything? Like, what is he actually done in terms of investing time or money or effort or learning into supporting, you know, women or raising his consciousness or other people's consciousness. 1 (48s): Hello, everybody you're listening to Chatting with Candice, I'm your host, Candice Horbacz. So we're gonna start doing something a little bit new and I'm going to steal it from another podcast. I thought it was really fun. I'm going to read a couple of recent reviews on apple. So if you're listening to this, you can leave a review on apple or Spotify, or if your platform allows it greatly appreciate it. It helps me a ton with the algorithms. So we have one from a Lumo and he says, Candice does a great job asking the right questions from her. Brilliant and eclectic guests must listen. Thank you, Lou. And then we have one from J G F D X, K L O very interesting list of guests. 1 (1m 35s): And it's fun. The other one Barry says not even sure how I found this podcast, but nearly every guest she's had on has been in my wheelhouse from metaphysical stuff to numerology, to quantum physics. Candice has many of the same interests as me. She's a great interviewer and, and gets better and more seasoned with each episode. I'm really impressed and proud to support her in this endeavor. Five stars. Thank you, Barry. I'm trying to be better every episode, an uphill battle sometimes. And then I want to do a couple little quick shout outs to my supporters on buy me a coffee. So I wanted to say thank you so much to Zach. Holy cow. 1 (2m 15s): I didn't even see how many coffees you bought. That is a lot, a lot, a lot. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. That was beyond generous. Thank you, Steve. Thank you. Scout who's scout house, my pronouncing that right. And Lisa, you all are so amazing. I couldn't do this without you. And as you guys know, all of the funds go directly back into the podcast, whether it's for advertising or production value. So I really appreciate the donations. So we're gonna hop straight into this episode, please help me welcome Geoffrey Miller, Geoffrey. Thank you so much for joining the podcast. 1 (2m 57s): I've been following you for a while and following your work a while. And I just think that your insight to a lot of topics is really fascinating. Like you're a very well-rounded individual, especially on social platforms. 0 (3m 9s): Thanks, Candice. I appreciate that. Yeah, I have, I have pretty wide wide interests, but you know, most of my research focuses on kind of psychology and sexuality. 1 (3m 19s): Yeah. So I find, and I don't know if maybe you agree, but anyone that kind of has evolutionary in their title when it comes to work. So evolutionary biologist or evolutionary psychologist, you guys tend to kind of be the bad boys of research and the bad boys of industry people get very up in arms often. And do you have any insight as to why that is? 0 (3m 40s): It has a lot to do with kind of everything turning very political and everything becoming like a virtue signal of like, I'm a good person because I believe this and this and this, and you know, weirdly the last 50 years or so, the kind of blank slate idea that there's not really a human nature and genetic differences between people don't really predict anything. And there aren't really any meaningful sex differences. That's become kind of a, a very common default view about, you know, a lot of things, but it becomes particularly important when you get into the domain of sex and relationships. And so Darwinians evolutionists people who think there really is a human nature and that sex differences might actually kind of be important to understand, do get a lot of, a lot of flack and, and a lot of grief, which, which I think is, is sad because if you, if you try to understand sex and relationships without really putting human nature in its, its broadest context, its biological context and kind of compare humans to other primates, other mammals, et cetera, you're kind of fighting with one hand tied behind your back. 0 (4m 60s): You know, so in my experience personally, it's been really, really helpful to understand the evolutionary origins of sex and emotions around sex and relationships and you know, how men and women kind of fit together. And I think that's true for most people, I guess they learned about it that actually find it really helpful. 1 (5m 23s): Oh 100%. And I think, I feel like almost everyone that I know is aware that the whole blank slate theory has kind of been debunked. They say, we're the blank slate. Like we're not blank, but we're we're as blank as it can get. Meaning can get meaning that we can still adapt our behavior and adjust for like this conscious life that we want to have. But we do need to understand our programming. And I think that there's so much empowerment that comes when you understand why you feel the things that you feel and you react to the ways that you act, because then you can combat that. So you don't have to be a victim to like these reptile behaviors that are kind of preloaded into your software. And it's like, I read some of these books, especially now. 1 (6m 6s): And I'm like, I wish that I had this when I was in high school. Cause it would've made me understand my emotions a lot better. It would've made my relationships a lot better because I think we often justify how we feel. And we take that as an objective fact. And then everyone has to respect that fact because I feel a certain way rather than tackle these emotions that I might be having that are probably maladaptive, especially when we talk about things like jealousy, which I'm sure we'll get into. But today for example, I never read comments on YouTube. I cut myself off from that a long time ago because it wasn't healthy. And I feel like personally I have the Mo the most toxic following on YouTube compared to other platforms. 1 (6m 49s): So I just stay away. And I recently did a more conservative podcast and I was on two of them. It was for blaze TV. And I already knew what I was getting myself into. It's like, what did you think you were to go? And everyone was going to just open their arms and love you in the comment section. Like I knew what was going to happen, the reality of it. But for some reason this morning, I went into the comment section and it just set my whole day into this spiral. So I was having this natural response to get defensive and try to take an, I guess, an articulate or an insightful approach to something that was clearly happening to me from an emotional standpoint. So I had the opportunity and I guess the know how to recognize my own interstate and then tackle that. 1 (7m 32s): Cause I didn't want to feel those things, but then I could recognize in the comment section, you see things that are Virtue Signaling, right? Which are, this is not moral or this isn't her lifestyle is this, that, or whatever. And people having to wave this flag to justify their stance. And often it's at the expense of somebody else. And I just want to be like, if you would just read a book on human behavior or sexuality would be able to kind of dissect it and not think on the supervillain that you think I am. 0 (8m 1s): Yeah. And it's, it's really hard to be active on social media because you know, if you're out there and you're engaged with the public and two, you have followers, whether it's Twitter or YouTube or, or a sub soccer, like whatever it is, like the emotional and cognitive burden of dealing with the haters and the trolls and the negative feedback. It's extraordinary. And it's not something that I think previous generations would have had to deal with. Like if you're a journalist maybe in the seventies and you write something, maybe there's a handful of people who like write a letter to the editor and kind of complain about it, but you're not getting instant grief from, you know, thousands of people, all of whom, like having an agenda, wanting to do some Virtue Signaling. 0 (8m 52s): And they're often repeating talking points that they've just kind of picked up from mainstream media. And they're almost acting as if they're kind of like non-player characters. Like they're just conduits for views that they didn't invent and that are just kind of borrowed from somebody else. 1 (9m 12s): No, I totally agree. And I think that that's the difference between waking up and kind of just drifting and you have all these tools, like there's no excuse in this day and age, not to have the insight except for you just don't have the curiosity and you're not following it. And it's like, you can decide to be a main player in this game or you can be one of those conduits and just this little background player in a video game. And it's like, no one really knows you're just there to fill space. And it's like, do you want to add value to the conversations? Are you just trying to repeat something because you're again, trying to signal that you're somehow this better person. And I guess I think that's an interesting topic because when you think about the word Virtue or Virtue, like being virtuous, those used to be good things. 1 (9m 53s): That's something that you strived for and now it's kind of tainted and taken on this different meaning. And you've talked about reclaiming that. So I wonder like, can you reclaim it and like, would you say that there's, what would the opposite of Virtue Signaling be? Because to me, I would say that that's actually being virtuous. You wouldn't have to signal it if you were. 0 (10m 12s): Yeah. So I did, I did a little book called titled Virtue Signaling that came out a couple of years ago. It was kind of an essay collection with some additional like introductions and updates and commentary. And one of my key points there was, I think all humans have instincts for doing Virtue Signaling, but you can do it honestly, or you can kind of fake it and you can be signaling genuine virtues that are like real sources of, of goodness and value in the world. And that actually help people. Or you can kind of signal like fads and fashions and ideas that are kind of currently accepted as good, but that aren't necessarily good. 0 (11m 1s): And so like, I think it's all Virtue Signaling kind of all the way down, but you know, you can do it insightfully and knowledgeably and authentically, or you can do it kind of very reactively and in a very partisan way, that's just like, this is my team. That's your team. You guys suck. We're we're awesome. And that second way of doing it doesn't really take people very far. So my plea is just for people to become more aware that, yeah, we've all got this instinct to Virtue Signaling. And often our first reaction on social media is like, how can I show I'm a better person than that idiot. 0 (11m 45s): But doing that reactively often is not the most effective way to persuade people. It often doesn't really lead to further good conversation or often shuts down conversation. And of course I'm, you know, I'm guilty of this as much as anybody else, but, you know, we can try, we can try to do better. 1 (12m 6s): <em></em> so are you familiar? I guess the example that GAD sat is talked about with the Virtue Signaling is like the, what does he call it? The sneaky fuckers and essentially it's these males that kind of have to do this behavior in order to gain attraction from like a likely female. So they sneak their way in and you can kind of do this with the Virtue Signaling. Is there, I guess, is there a way to pinpoint like an authentic virtue signal that, that you were just talking about versus one that maybe is just more like invoke, 0 (12m 45s): Let's say if I was giving advice to a young woman, like my, my daughter or a grad student or whoever who's sort of trying to figure out, okay, here's a young man. He's saying he's like a good feminist and he's more women and he's respectful. And he has like, he agrees with affirmative consent culture and blah, blah, blah. You know, you can always ask for like, what are the real credible signals that he's actually doing anything? Like, what has he actually done in terms of investing time or money or effort or learning into supporting, you know, women or raising his consciousness or other people's consciousness versus is he just kind of recycling ideas and catchphrases usually it's, if someone really cares about an issue, like th the some issues I really care quite a bit about, you know, I often have to check myself like, am I really doing anything about it? 0 (13m 49s): Or am I just like comfortably and passively saying, yeah, dude, I really care about that, but I'm not actually enacting it. And then often I think there's another thing to look for is like, is there a mismatch between how often somebody talks about things that are very abstract, like national generic level, versus how often did they talk about it at a very local, specific, personal or family level? And like, in my experience, often, if people are talking about like, there's systemic sexism or whatever about this issue and let we have to fight it and smash the patriarchy, and then you ask them, like, what are you actually doing in your life? 0 (14m 38s): Your relationships, your family, your college off often the answer is nothing. And to me that's very counterproductive because like, it's really hard to change massive global belief systems, but you can often do quite a bit of good at a very local level. 1 (15m 0s): Do you think that's often why a lot of younger people focus on the big, like the very big existential problems, like we're going to tackle the STIs systemic issue rather than focusing on homegrown issues, because they know that there's no challenge there because it's just too big to tackle. So then they are not going to, there's no possibility for them to fail. 0 (15m 19s): Yeah. I think that's a good insight that if, if your enemy is so big, like a big boss at the end of like a video game, you know, sequence, then there's really no shame and failing to defeat them because of course nobody could. Whereas if your issue is like to fight for women's rights, we really need like more childcare places on my university campus. So that like female grad students and faculty can actually raise kids. Like that's something where you could actually do it and try and succeed or fail. And like, if you devoted like a 10th as much energy to that local issue, as you do to talking about the global issue, you know, it might actually make a difference. 1 (16m 9s): No, I totally agree. And I just think I also would, would suggest a lot of these issues that a lot of people think exist or are so prominent when you, if you were to take it down to a local level, you'd probably be like, I don't see it. I don't see that issue here. So then maybe you have to reevaluate, like, is this, does this monster even exist? Or is someone dangling something intentionally to make you to avert your eyes from what they don't want you to see? And that's okay. 0 (16m 36s): Yeah, exactly. You can, you can do that reality check of, of asking like, and we see this a lot in universities where, you know, a small number of like activist students will say, this university is systemically sexist or racist or whatever. And then you ask like, how exactly does that manifest itself in our department or our school or whatever. And like, they can't, they don't actually have an answer. Right. They can't point to anything specific. It's just like, well, vaguely, like I'm unhappy. Therefore there must be some problem that exists. 1 (17m 19s): Yeah. That was one of my, one of my moments that kind of woke me up. So when I was in university, I was taking this women genders class and they show you these really heartbreaking, like true stories of people that have, you know, like been abused or murdered or whatever on campus for being divergent sexually in some way. And they intentionally make you feel like there's no way that you can't after you watch these documentaries. And she was saying how, how big it had the south was and how Southern universities, these people are more at danger and they're ostracized and, you know, went on and on. Cause I went to school in South Carolina. So I found out that there was no, there was no like pride group or gay like club on campus and it got shut down or something. 1 (18m 5s): And it was kind of alluded that it was shut down because, you know, people weren't welcoming. I was like, okay, I'll, I'll just revamp this club. And then I'll hand it over to whoever wants to be president. Cause I'm not part of that community, but like, I'll get it off the ground. So we had this big PR like a parade, but like a kind of like lawn festival thing. And we launched the club and there was music and food and everyone was so welcoming. There wasn't a single person that said anything nasty, no one threw anything. People were like, they felt comfortable showing up. However they wanted to show up. And I was like, wait a second. This is not the campus that she just described in class. And you know what I mean? Like this world can be so much more beautiful than you're trying to make me to believe. 1 (18m 46s): And I'm not saying that these things don't exist, but it's not at the scale that you're trying to make me believe that it is. 0 (18m 53s): Yeah. And I think, you know, there's a huge demand for oppression and often there's not enough supply of actual question. And so you have to kind of create it or you amplify tiny little incidents and pretend that they're a general problem or, you know, in a lot of cases like activists will actually manufacturer kind of fake incidents and you know, that that's exasperating, but I think we should celebrate like where there are instances of like, no doubt, like 50 years ago, a typical South Carolina university might've been quite anti gay and, and pretty intolerant. 0 (19m 37s): And now probably not so much. And that's a huge win and that's, that's great. And, but instead of celebrating it, it's like, let's try to identify the last thousands of 1% of homophobia. 1 (19m 55s): No, exactly. It's we can't acknowledge any progress that's been made, but we have to keep focusing on the past because that's where the outrages, and for some reason we're just like so addicted and wired to be addicted to it. And I guess you would probably know more than most people that there's probably some adaptive behavior behind focusing on negativity and existential threats and all of that. But again, I think that's why it's so important to read these books and to understand your software because you can acknowledge what's happening and then try to rewrite that code, which is, I'm not saying it's easy, but I mean, you have the capability to do it. People have done crazier things. Yeah. 0 (20m 29s): I think generally it's just really helpful to have some psychological insight, you know, about yourself. And this is where I think one of the major benefits of, of understanding like good solid psychology comes from is to have that humility. And self-awareness so that when you get involved in these like big social fights, you have a little bit of, you know, suspicion about like, what are my own motivations? And do I really know as much as I'm pretending to know and are those other people really, as bad as like my emotional instincts are making them out to be. 0 (21m 14s): So again, it's kind of reality check on yourself. And I would love to be able to claim that maybe your typical psychology major is a little more evolved or advanced on those counts. But unfortunately, a lot of what they're being taught in modern psychology classes actually kind of pushes the opposite way and actually makes them more outraged and more overconfident and more politicized. 1 (21m 43s): Yeah. And I was listening to one of your interviews and it made a lot of sense. So I have my BA in psychology. I don't remember most of, I feel like I learned way more after university than I did while I was in university. But you were saying how, like when you get in fights with your wife over these silly things that you'll kind of just go one more, one more, blah, blah, blah. And you'll just kind of pick on each other and acknowledge that it's silly. And then in psychology and especially in a lot of counseling, they're like, no, every emotion is, is valid and important and let's magnify that. And I was like, yeah, that is kind of what, I mean, anytime I've been to counseling, that's what they say. It's almost like they're trying to create a victim out of you and create this outrage in you and say, well, that's not gonna help relationships at all. 1 (22m 27s): Like you have to acknowledge when you're being ridiculous and you're just succumbing to your human biology and vice versa. Right. So it's not to say, if you do something, that's actually bad, ignore that. But it's saying if you get mad at your husband, because he doesn't take out the trash, like maybe don't blow up and have like a week long fight over it, acknowledge that that's just something silly, I guess. Is there, is that intentional with the teaching methods is like, are you creating customers essentially, if you have all of these people that are rattled when they leave, I guess what's the purpose of that. 0 (23m 3s): Yeah. It's so I've been in psychology departments where we, we train a lot of clinical psychology, PhD students who go on to become clinical psychologist and marital therapist, a couple of therapists and, and, you know, have, can have a lot of power in people's lives. Yeah. I wish I wish we trained those clinical psychologists more often to understand that a lot of the, the conflicts that come up, aren't really about the things that the people think they're about. Right. We know one, for example, one of the major predictors of marital arguments is one or both people are hungry and The they're grumpy because they're hungry. 0 (23m 48s): And when you're hungry, like you end up picking fights over trivia. And the solution to that is not necessarily to go to couples therapy and spend an hour talking about the trivia that your brain convinced you is the reason you fought the solution might be maybe change your diet a little bit. So you don't have the sugars, spikes and crashes, you know, and you have more of a healthy diet that gives like sustained energy. And maybe that could reduce your frustration. Or I also think a lot of people become more emotionally sensitive if they're like not exercising and not staying in shape. 0 (24m 32s): And maybe they have a kind of embodied frustration that like, I haven't done any, like I haven't walked even a thousand steps today. I haven't lifted anything heavy. And so there's a kind of restlessness that comes with a sedentary lifestyle that often gets taken out on a, on a spouse or boyfriend or girlfriend. But unfortunately your typical clinical psychologist will be like, that's not my issue. Like health exercise, lifestyle, sunshine, like they'll kind of touch on it, but they won't really see it as like the first thing to fix. 0 (25m 16s): And often it's the most important thing to me. 1 (25m 19s): I couldn't agree more. And now you're not allowed to criticize anyone's diet habits or their lack of movement, or I guess like their physical neglect, because then that just makes you shallow and superficial. But I mean, I can tell any of my listeners a hundred percent, if I don't, if I don't do at least like some yoga or some movement, or like a long walk with the dogs, I'm a different person. I don't get enough sunlight. It's like, you're a houseplant. You have to kind of treat yourself like a houseplant. Are you getting enough sun? Are you hydrated? Is your environment clean? Like these are all super important things. And we just failed to recognize them. But I mean, sugar is absolutely a drug. So if you're just eating all this processed garbage, you're not in like a homeostatic state ever, like you're constantly on a drug and we just, we don't want to call it that because then that makes us feel gross. 1 (26m 8s): But I think we have to take some responsibility for how we treat our bodies because that's going to affect how we show up in our lives to everyone else that we interact with. 0 (26m 17s): Yeah. And I've, I've been to a few paleo lifestyle conferences, like paleo FX is a conference that happened in Austin, Texas. I went to some of those and you know, one thing that's striking about the paleo conferences is like, everybody's an incredible shape and super sexy and hot. And like, you look at the, the guys who were like, I want to be like that guy and the women. Ooh. So good. And they, but they also seem very resilient. And when you talk to them about their relationships, you got the sense that like, there's a lot of stuff that would annoy your ordinary sedentary people that just don't annoy these, these paleo people. 0 (26m 57s): They're like, if I'm going to CrossFit five times a week and you know, doing these incredibly challenging physical things and like suffering and really working through difficulty, by contrast to that, sorting out little marital arguments is pretty easy. Whereas I think for a lot of people, the marital arguments are like the most challenging thing in their life. And so it feels like really burdensome because they're not really actually testing their self control or their stoicism in any other domain. 1 (27m 41s): No, because it does take a lot of willpower to be in shape. Right? It's so easy to overindulge or to say that you're exhausted and you just want to watch Netflix. That's the super easy route, but if you don't test any of your mental endurance or resilience or, and especially your physical, then again, when these things show up in your life, you're not gonna, you're not gonna float that's 100% in the sink. 0 (28m 5s): And of course the other big benefit to, you know, taking care of your body is people tend to have more sex in a relationship. If, if they're in shape their sex hormone levels, we'll be better regulated and The like, feel more energetic. And if their partner's in shape, there'll be more attracted to them. And we know from marriage researchers like John Gottman, that a really good index of how good a marriage is, is you just take like the number of times per month that you have sex and you subtract the number of times per month. Do you have an argument? Right. And that's pretty much how, how good the marriage feels to both. 1 (28m 47s): Wow. 0 (28m 48s): So like often you don't really need to reduce the number of arguments. You just need to increase the amount of sex, which is like a major way that you kind of resolve arguments. 1 (29m 3s): Yeah. And I was reading when it comes to women's satisfaction, especially a lot of, or the ability to achieve orgasm and the way that she rates her sexual experience and satisfaction is how she sees herself. So if you're, if like, if you're like, oh, I'm like a little buggy and I don't feel very good as no, no nothing to do with how your partner shows up. And if he's a rock star, but if you're not happy with your exterior, it's gonna be a lot harder as a woman to achieve an orgasm. And I thought that was really interesting. And I think the reasoning was, is they said that when it comes to women's sexuality is more external. 1 (29m 42s): Like we, it's very important for us to feel irresistible. I'm not really sure what the evolutionary purposes, I guess, just meat selection probably. But yeah, like it's very important for us to feel wanted and wanted by a lot of people. So if we don't have that, then it's very hard for us to get where we need to be in bed. 0 (30m 4s): Yeah. And this was a big theme in women's romance novels, right? The, the protagonist, the woman character you're following the most exciting thing to her is when the man, the alpha male or whatever, like the object of her desire finds her so irresistible that he will take any risk. Do anything overcome any obstacle, you know, to be with her. And apparently women love reading stories where like, that is a major source of validation for them. Right. So how do you, how do you accomplish that? 0 (30m 44s): And it's the same with guys. Like guys also are kind of tracking, you know, am I in shape? And my hot am I desirable? Whatever. So how do you get that? Number one, you actually get in shape, but number two, you check in with your partner about, do they actually find you attractive? And usually the answer is more than you thought they did, right? We all have our own little neuroses about this. And like, oh, I have this flaw, this imperfection, or I'm a little too heavy or whatever. And then if you actually ask your girlfriend or boyfriend or spouse, how attractive do you think I am? 0 (31m 25s): What am I good features? Dancers are often surprisingly positive and very reassuring. But I think often married people kind of get in the habit of not giving each other enough praise just for like beauty or handsomeness or whatever, because we think, oh, I'm only allowed to praise them for that. Like their behaviors that they do, that's helpful to our marriage or home or kids. And instead, you know, what a woman might be seeking is just like daily affirmations that she is desirable. And guys often also create that. 1 (32m 7s): Oh, absolutely. And I think it's so easy to get complacent or to just make the assumption that they must know I'm attracted to them. I married them after all, or I've been with them for however many years, they know, but I think it's really important not to get lazy, which is a good transition into, cause I wanted to get into polyamory with you. And I thought one of the interesting arguments that I've heard this across the board from anyone that's had, like any kind of alternative sexual lifestyle, is that it actually makes you show up a lot more because you're constantly, I don't want to say like, cause this is, this is not what I mean, but I don't know how to articulate any better. It's like, almost like you're more aware of the threats, I guess. 1 (32m 50s): Like you're more aware of, of the options that someone has. And I think it's important to note whether you're not you're in a monogamous relationship or an anything that's alternative, that threat is still there. So it's just this illusion that we have because we agreed on monogamy that we're completely safe. I think that people in alternative lifestyles have a little bit more honesty when it comes to that, but it does make you aware. And it also you're like, I want to look good if I go out because maybe I'll meet somebody. So I'm curious as from an evolutionary standpoint, and I don't know if this is like agreed upon unilaterally, unilaterally or not, but have humans always been monogamous or is this kind of a new concept that now that we're settled and industrialized that we're doing? 0 (33m 41s): I think long story short, I think pair bonds, like where you fall in love with someone and you kind of have that as your primary relationship and you live together and you, you know, like the woman gets pregnant and then you raise kids together. I think pair bonds go back a long way, like two, three, 4 million years. And I think there's good archeological evidence for that and anthropological evidence. And like every society that anthropologists study are gatherers and farmers and pastoralists who hurt animals, you find pair bonds everywhere. The question is just how sexually exclusive are they? 0 (34m 24s): Like how long do they actually last? Is it typically a few months or a few years or decades? And then how ritualized are they like culturally or legally in terms of like marriage ceremonies and laws around marriage and divorce and inheritance. And so every culture seems to have pair bonds, but only some cultures turned it into like a lifelong monogamous marriage with total sexual exclusivity is the only acceptable norm. Right? And I think what most thoughtful polyamorous people are or swingers or people into open relationships will kind of admit is like most of them want a primary pair bond sooner or later of some sort. 0 (35m 17s): But most of them also want some other outside options that could be a secondary partner. They see regularly once in a while, it could be like more of a casual interaction with somebody else or, you know, doing a threesome with some outsider or whatever. So I think it's, it's important to acknowledge pair. Bonds are very often primary. And like that makes sense. If you get down to brass talks about raising kids, pair, bonds are pretty good. Extended families can help other lovers can help, but it kind of comes down to mom and dad cooperating, you know, to raise kids. 0 (36m 7s): So I think there's certain strands, certain subcultures of Holly Amery that kind of reject that and say, no, you shouldn't really have committed pair bonds. You shouldn't have primary relationships. You should not like relationship anarchy. You shouldn't define a relationship. You shouldn't have expectations. I think that's toxic and stupid and possibly work for anybody. Who's got like a job and a mortgage and kids, but that's what some, some people advocate, I just don't think it fits with human nature very well. 1 (36m 40s): So do you find that to be, I feel like some people would find that conflicting. So the idea that you could be in a committed relationship, but then still have sexual Liberty. And it's something that I try to explain to people. So I always say I've found myself an accidental monogamy. And so like the beginning part of our relationship, I was still in the industry. So we were open because I wasn't going to go shoot and then have him be a good little boy at home that wasn't fair for anybody. So we had to very carefully craft our, our rule book for each other because we, we don't have any examples. Like this is something that everyone tells you can't work and that it's immoral and all of these things. 1 (37m 25s): So you kind of have to just figure it out as you go. And then we, I stopped shooting. Mostly we had a baby and life changed and now we're like manag mission. It's great. But people think that because throughout the time that I was shooting you can't be committed to a single partner because you have these extracurricular activities. And like, they're not, they're not the same thing. And I don't know how to, to explain it, but you can absolutely be committed to somebody and build a life until, and still have these sexual liberties. Like it's not, they're not at as much at odds with one another that you would think that they are. 0 (38m 10s): Yeah. One, one way. I kind of try to get my normie friends to understand this is to go look okay, so your sexual exclusive, your monogamous, whatever. Okay. When you go see like a DC superhero movie and your, your wife is kind of admiring Henry Cavill playing Superman, like, oh, that was muscles. Oh. And you're admiring like Calcutta playing wonder woman. You're, you're kind of having an erotic response to these actors and these characters. And is that something that's consistent with being committed in a marriage? 0 (38m 56s): I think most reasonable adults would say, yeah, absolutely. You can be committed to your marriage and still enjoy looking at characters on a screen, then take it one level up. Okay. Can you still be in a committed relationship, even if you're watching porn by yourself or with, you know, your spouse and I think, yes, absolutely. And a lot of married couples could probably benefit from watching more porn together and broadening their sexual pallets and, and also being reassured about what kind of bodies your spouse is attractive to, which is often a much wider variety than you might think. 0 (39m 39s): Right. So if you start to get people into realizing, oh yeah, there's kind of, there's actually a gray area about what does commitment really mean? Oh, you can have commitment, even if you're admiring superheros or you're watching porn. Or maybe even if you have a little bit of a flirtation with a coworker or a neighbor or whatever, or some other parent who, whose kids go to the same school, not necessarily an existential threat to the marriage and then actually having sex with other people. It's, you know, more of, it's more sexual freedom than just like watching somebody on a screen. 0 (40m 25s): But it's not that it's not as qualitatively different as a lot of people like to pretend it is. 1 (40m 33s): Yeah. And I would also argue that people that are in those relationships or at least tested them out at some point, it really, it almost fortifying that relationship because you are, you have to have great communication if you don't have great communication, you can't do any of those things. And I think a lot of times when it comes to more traditional couples is when it comes to these, I guess like these topics that we get shy about, or we just get a little bit embarrassed about like watching porn, for example, we just avoid it. And a lot of the times we have people that show up in the relationship like a tyrant. And it's like, none of this stuff is negotiable. 1 (41m 13s): I feel that this is disrespectful to women. So you can't do it. Or I feel like you're cheating, so we can't do it. And then you have this discrepancy in sexual appetite. So maybe he wants to go three times a week and you only want to go three times a month. So now not only are you not negotiating your sex within the relationship, also taking away his outlet, which is a healthy outlet by most people's definition. If you take away, you know, the morality issue that some people have with it. So it's like, what, what are you leaving with him? Like, do, that's not a relationship you're kind of acting like a parent or you're acting like a dictator. So if you want to have a healthy relationship, you have to talk about these, these difficult issues that maybe you feel insecure about and everything has to be a negotiation. 1 (41m 59s): I think that's what happens in any kind of poly or open relationship is everything is negotiation. You're talking about what you're okay with, what your partner is okay with. What are your non-negotiables it's like consciously crafting that relationship. And I think that that's what is really beautiful about it. Even if you're in a monogamous relationship is consciously crafting that instead of just falling into it, because that's what everyone prescribed for you. And then you don't know why you're unhappy or why the divorce rate is so is so high. It's like, well, you never took the time to actually take a look at the relationship and realize you're two individuals and you have to figure out how it's going to work together. Not what society slapped on to you. 0 (42m 42s): Yeah. So, you know, we all grow up in this monogamous culture where we have a certain stereotype about what a marriage should look like and what the kind of expected ground rules are and what the kind of like the default options for like, if we don't negotiate this, here's what we kind of expect anyway. And that could be based on what your parents do, what the media says, what Hollywood says is normal. If you break out of that and you're suddenly in this zone of like, oh my God, we can negotiate anything with freedom that can result in a kind of prognosis where like, you don't know even where to start. 0 (43m 23s): So one thing I've been trying to do with some other sex researchers is try to figure out what are the kind of best practices and the things that typically work for these alternative relationships. And we've actually gathered data survey data from about 1200 people who are mostly in poly or opener, swinger relationships. And we can kind of track what predicts relationship, quality, what predict sexual satisfaction. And so far, it looks like a couple of key things are sharing information about which other people you're attracted to. 0 (44m 5s): And that could be, you know, which movie star is. It could be, which porn star is. It could be which people in like ordinary life sharing that information means you get better calibrated about like, who's actually a threat versus not a threat. You get a better insight into like, what does my wife or husband feel attracted to? And that could be reassuring cause you might go, oh, actually I have like seven out of those 10 things. Right. And when they show up in other people he's attracted to that. I'm not that unusual so that that's reassuring and it can also be a real bonding process where you're like, oh my God, we can share like actually intimate details. 0 (44m 55s): Things that might be threatening or shameful. And then you feel like, oh my God, we have a superpower as a married couple that we can talk about stuff that 90% of married couples don't have the guts to actually share. 1 (45m 12s): No, I, again, I think the communication level of people that have explored that, or even just again, consciously crafted their monogamous relationship is so much stronger than that. That just, you know, drift into it. When we were expecting our first child, there was this book it's called the four, I think the fourth trauma, the fourth trimester or something. And one of the exercises that has the couple do, because they're, they're trying to help you avoid that lack of intimacy or loss of intimacy that comes with, you know, having a giant belly and then having a newborn to take care of. And it was to create what they call the sexual buffet. And so you have your list and you don't have to share with your partner if you don't want to. 1 (45m 55s): But me and my husband did cause we're like, this is the whole point. And you would put down every single item that you want to do fantasized about turns you on that you haven't done or turns you on that you want your partner to do more of. And I've found that to be such like a fun and unique bonding experience because there was some stuff on his list that I was like, really like you're into that's I didn't know. And he did the same thing. And then it's just this fun lighthearted way to kind of rediscover each other's sensually. Because I think when you're with someone, cause we've been together for, we're going to be going on like 12 years. It's like you, you fall into this assumption that you know everything about them and not like they're this constantly evolving creature that you need to check up, check in on. 1 (46m 40s): So it was, it was really cool. And I like highly recommend that for all couples is to make a little sexual buffet list and then share it with your partner. Cause it was really cool. 0 (46m 48s): Yeah, totally. And you know, you hear these sort of horror stories from like my clinical psychologist, friends, and look, they're always very careful to be like respectful of privacy and anonymity, but sometimes they'll be like, oh, I was doing therapy with this couple and they've been married like 30 years. And the guy finally came out and said, you know, I've always had an interest in bondage and Shibari and like tying people up and the wife will be like, oh my God, for 30 years, I've been wanting you to tie me up. And there's like so much lost opportunity. And then they both have regrets like, oh my God, we could have been Shibari experts find now and going to bondage conferences. 0 (47m 33s): And we just didn't do that. And it's tragic. And the couples therapists should be promoting couple of sharing, these kinds of lists and the buffets. And, but often they're not often, they're not really helping people break through these walls of shame so that they're actually honest with each other about what they like and what they don't like. 1 (47m 59s): So why is that? We can, we can marry someone. We can have children with them. They can be in the room while we deliver. And they see all sorts of crazy things, but we can't talk to them about what we need in bed. Like what, where is that shame coming from? Especially if you're monogamous and it's, let's, let's say your wife or your husband, like why, why is that so uncomfortable? 0 (48m 25s): Sexual shame is complicated concern. So like general cultural elements where like, you don't talk about certain things, but partly just like, so kids don't have to confront it on a daily basis. Right? So you like protect the kids. That's one thing, a second thing though, is there's just a lot of like poly shaming, slut-shaming kink, shaming, where people kind of Virtue Signaling, like I'm normy and vanilla and all those degenerates out there who are doing other stuff like they're bad people. 0 (49m 4s): And it takes a lot of guts and a lot of courage to talk about anything that's socially stigmatized with your most like intimate partner, because if they reject you, if they don't accept it, if they go, Ugh, yuck, it's very deflating. And it's so the, you know, the longer you go in a relationship kind of hiding this stuff and having like a, a great wall where you're not really talking about what you want, the higher, the risk of actually revealing it because the spouse might be like, not only, Ooh, that's gross and disgusting, but also, oh my God, you've been having these secret fantasies for 10 years. 0 (49m 53s): That's super gross and disgusting. And also I think a big factor is we don't have good role models like portrayals in movies and TV of like high functioning, married couples who actually have these discussions just don't see this on screen. You, you, why? Cause it's, it's lazy screenwriting. It's so easy to create conflict between characters. If they don't accept each other's like kinks or fancies. 1 (50m 29s): No, that makes a lot of sense. So I was curious, did you see that recent article? It was saying that 40%. I want to say, I wish I had it saved. I think it was 40% of gen Z and pretty close to that of millennials identify as LGBT in some, in, in that category as something. And then I was reading one of your articles and it was saying that people that are in, as you say, stated poly relationships. So that's anything that's open. So open poly swingers, et cetera, that that's actually higher than the gay community. Is that still accurate with these, this younger generation coming up or has it been updated? 0 (51m 10s): Yeah, that's a good, that's a good question. So probably among, we don't have really good data on this, but probably among millennials and gen Z, like people under, let's say under age 35 poly and open relationships are surprisingly common. Like they're not the majority. They were not sure. It might be like somewhere between probably five to 15% of people under 35 are in some kind of open relationship or the some negotiated degree of like non exclusivity and the percentage of people who have like at least tried that at some point in their life is probably quite a bit higher than the, you know, previous data about what percent of people are LGBTQ. 0 (52m 3s): It was well under 5% until just a few years ago. And then you got this dramatic increase in kind of like woke culture and trans rights and a lot more kind of awareness of LGBTQ where it becomes kind of a, a badge of honor, rather than a badge of shame to be in that category. Personally, I think sexual orientation is largely biological in terms of like how attracted you are to a particular sex, particularly for males. 0 (52m 44s): Right? I think an awful lot of males are like really deep in their hearts, basically either straight or gay. And there's like some bisexuality, but it's not that common. I think for women, there's a lot more kind of flexible bisexuality and there's a lot of data on this. So the percentage of women who were like strict hardcore, lesbian, not interested in men at all is much lower than the percent of men who were gay, but there's a lot more women who are kind of like, yeah, I'm attracted to women, I'm attracted to men. I could go either way, depending on social circumstances. 0 (53m 26s): So I think a lot of this increase is kind of people aligned. It's partly people aligning with LGBTQ for kind of political reasons, right. You know, I want a signal I'm open and I'm not judging those people. So actually adopt that identity. And partly, I think it's an increase in kind of bisexuality, particularly among young women. So that's, that's my long take on that. And I think it's, it's interesting, it's important, but it doesn't necessarily mean that sexual orientation is suddenly like a lot more flexible and fluid than it was 20 years ago. 1 (54m 17s): No, I think it's important too, because I think if you have people that are in there in authentically, whether or not it's for the right reasons, I think you're, you're actually hurting the people you're trying to protect. And I think that this idea of fluidity across the board is also a little bit dangerous for the people that you're trying to protect because it was up until recently when we kind of realized that sexual orientation is there is a huge biological component. That's when you started to see the wind kind of come out of the arguments from the religious side of these conversion therapies, right? You're like, you can't change it and there's nothing wrong with it and you are born this way. So I think when you have people that are like, oh, I'm this one day on this, that other day. 1 (54m 60s): And it has nothing to do with biology and this doesn't exist. You're almost kind of setting us up to go back 20, 30, however many years. And that's just, again, like, who's that serving at the end of the day? Like you maybe want to sound like this enlightened individual, but human nature is human nature and you don't want to be a false actor in someplace. That's been traditionally dangerous for some people. 0 (55m 23s): Yeah, totally. You know, I went to college in New York in the mid eighties and gay rights was a huge issue then. Cause a lot of the Columbia university undergrad guys were gay aids crisis was a real issue act up and kind of aids awareness, political movements were, were very important. The conservative argument back then was sexual orientation is a choice and it's a sinful choice and we can fix you with conversion therapy or whatever. And then in the early nineties you suddenly get this sort of biological realism that says, oh, they're sort of gay genes. 0 (56m 6s): And homosexuality is sort of heritable. And it seems to be kind of set early in life and it's really stable over time. And that was the foundation for widespread American acceptance of gay and lesbian rights was the belief that sexual orientation is not something under your control. It's just the way you're made. You're born that way as lady Gaga says. And so you should accept it. And that led very quickly into acceptance of gay marriage. Very like one of the fastest changes in social attitudes ever. And that was all based on seeing sexual orientation as mostly biological. 0 (56m 49s): Now, if you challenged that, I think you're right. That opens up a whole political can of worms where, you know, if you can see a rapid increase in LGBTQ, you could also see a rapid decrease if you know, the political winds shift in the other direction 1 (57m 8s): And they always do. And that's the thing that people fail to recognize right now. It's if their team is the one that's in charge right now, they're doing all of this behavior that they think is okay, but it's like, okay, well imagine your opposition with the exact same amount of power that you want to have right now that doesn't help the masses. Like we need to be like this collective unit and stop fighting one, one another and realize that the real threat is the people that want to hold on to this power forever. Right? Like w what do you care about? You want, you want to be free to live the life that you want in a safe environment. Almost everyone wants that. So how do we protect that? It's certainly not by taking rights away from other people and voices away from other people. 1 (57m 49s): So that's, that gets a little bit frustrating for me, especially on social media, I have to remind myself, like, it's not real life. It's a small amount of people that are on Twitter and on YouTube and in the comment section, and this doesn't reflect the majority of people. And like you guys aren't seeing it or about to crash into the iceberg. 0 (58m 6s): Yeah. I think that's such an important point that if you, if you create a lot of social institutions that have powered, like to indoctrinate kids or a censor certain thoughts, and you think, oh, it's okay to create these, these power centers to control what people think, because like my side is in power and we always will be, but good luck with that. That's not how the pendulum works. All of this, like censorship infrastructure that you're creating could easily be used by your political enemies within five or 10 or 20 years, depending on what happens with the rest of global politics and the economy, and just changes in, in, in the media landscape. 0 (58m 55s): So you're creating a real hostage to fortune if you do that. And I think it's, it's way better just to try to argue for like, let's try to have good rational discussions and free speech and freedom of ideas. And, and that's the more resilient way to create a, a society that can actually deal with diverse views and values. 1 (59m 22s): No, I mean, I couldn't agree more. I just, I think it's so crazy how everything has gotten so political that we have politics in our bedroom. We have politics in the doctor's office. It's like, we've never, I've. I don't think the majority of people have ever cared so much about politics as the last five years, maybe eight years, it's all consuming. It's like, how do you, I think the way out is to stop letting everyone influence you in that way. It's you have, and also consistency. So we see when it comes to censorship, both sides are equally guilty when it comes to this. It's like, if I see my opponent getting censored to, then I'm not going to say anything, I might even cheer a little bit, but then when it happens to my side, it's like, how dare you first amendment, or you're oppressing me, whatever argument and terminology you want to use to label or to like, you know, signal to everyone, which group you're in. 1 (1h 0m 19s): But for example, you have like these payment processing companies that are telling you how you can spend your money and who can bank. And that's crazy, but you see a lot of the conservatives who are allegedly all about free speech and, and autonomy being quiet about it because they're shutting, they start with the sex industry. So anyone that's, you know, a performer or a sex worker, whatever, like they're getting shut down. And then again, we're not going to say anything because it's, it's for them, the moral high ground. And it's like, okay, well, what happens when you're not allowed to buy a gun? What happens when they say that that's not allowed? That's the next thing, the next thing. 0 (1h 0m 56s): Yeah. It's really hard to, for people to kind of extrapolate like even five or 10 years into the future, how, how will this go? If things shift even a little bit. And I think you're, you're totally right. Like some of the big bottlenecks and current culture are not, what is the government approve of? It's like, what does Amazon web services approve of in terms of hosting sites? What do the payment processors and visa and MasterCard, and PayPal, what are they not willing to handle? What kind of businesses are the banks not willing to handle? Like, will they handle, you know, the revenue, if you have like a legal cannabis business or an only fans account, or you want to trade crypto or whatever. 0 (1h 1m 49s): And I, you know, one of the reasons I'm, I'm very pro crypto, as I think it can kind of do an end run around those kinds of centralized controls over like who's allowed to trade what kind of good goods and services for, for other forms of value. 1 (1h 2m 7s): 100%. I think it's the only way that you get around all of these inflamed institutions, because at this point it's, it's absurd. I we're supposed to be the freest country in the world. And I mean, you can't do a legal business, right? Like legal cannabis and you can't bank. That's crazy, but you can have a pharmacy and you can bank. And I was like, how many people have those pills killed a lot more than that joint that's 100%. So w w like, whose best interest are we serving here? It's not people, it's not health. Not protecting anybody. Yeah. So I'm a, I'm really big in the decentralized movement to like, let's just speed this up along before anything gets crazier, because I don't know where things are going. 0 (1h 2m 51s): Yeah. And, you know, with, with like poly and open relationships, there's also a lot of institutional barriers to acceptance of that. I would not necessarily argue that we should have like plural marriages, like legal contractual. 1 (1h 3m 6s): Well, that's happened. Right? Like, I feel like I saw, I don't know if it was a catchy headline, but it was like three men that got married and a D the three of them adopted a child. I thought that was a little crazy, because then what happens if someone breaks up or divorces, 0 (1h 3m 18s): Right. It gets, it can get very complicated. And like in principle, you could have marriage contracts among multiple people that were kind of as, as long and complicated as like contracts among the founders of a startup company about like, what happens if the company goes bankrupt or splits or whatever, like you could do that. It would, it would be dramatically more complicated than most existing marriage was. And I, I wouldn't necessarily advocate that, but, you know, at the same kind of institutional and barriers that can prevent people from having those kinds of marriages could also be used, like to stigmatize people who let's say have too many kids, you could have like, woke eco activists who say, if you have more than two kids, you should be unbanked. 0 (1h 4m 23s): You should be stigmatized. You should be treated just like people aren't vaccinated now. Okay. And there, again, if you don't have ways to avoid these, the systems of centralized control, you know, you could easily have a, a society where that kind of antinatalism and anti baby, and like there's too many people in the world that could be weaponized against parents. 1 (1h 4m 53s): Yeah. I was. And I've heard this from a couple people, and I think it was in one of his, either one of your interviews or articles, but they was saying that being in an open relationship of any sort also comes into play in custody, and that can be used against you. And to me, this connection that people try to make with consenting adult sexuality, and somehow the harm of children is frustrating. It's so frustrating because again, if you're trying to help the kids, like let's be honest about where they're threatened, protects them. I think we all agree, protect kids against, you know, stumbling onto a porn site, protect kids from the consequences of divorce, all of these things and abuse, yada, yada go. 1 (1h 5m 36s): We're not gonna do that if we're pretending that just because you were in an open relationship or if you're polyamorous or because you've done porn, then all of a sudden that makes you a threat to the child, because that's not true. It's just simply not true in any argument against that or anyone that disagrees with me, you're coming strictly from a morality argument. And I would say, there's this quote, no one likes it when I say it. And it was like in one of Jamie wheel's books, and it says, eating people is only wrong. If you're not a cannibal, and it's obviously very hyperbolic, but it's to prove you that morality is this huge spectrum. And as a culture, we try to agree on most of the things collectively, so we can co-exist. 1 (1h 6m 19s): But I would argue that when it comes to sexuality, we have such a sanitized view of it. We can't have an honest conversation. So like anyone were to try to, you know, calls anyone because of my career choice. I mean, I would come for them, come for them. Cause I'm a kick-ass mom. And my decisions with my career have nothing to do with how I parent nothing to do with it. 0 (1h 6m 41s): Yeah. And you know, if you look objectively at like, what are the key risk factors that affect kids, parents drinking alcohol is like far and away the biggest risk factor for child abuse and, you know, beating up a spouse and having serious kind of dysfunctional chaos in a family. And so pretending that like porn or having a secondary partner or whatever is a bigger risk factor than like parental alcoholism is to me crazy. And you know, the other, the other big risk factors for teenagers are depression, anxiety, suicide, misery. 0 (1h 7m 32s): And I, I believe my colleague Jonathan height, that a lot of that, like he talks about in the coddling of the American mind is parents being overly protective about the physical and emotional wellbeing of kids and being helicopter parents and preventing the development of resilience and stoicism in the kids. And then the kids are like, they're 15 and to have hormones and they're miserable and they're heartbroken, and then they get depressed and, and, you know, then you have like the actual risk of suicide and like not finishing high school and, and that's tragic. 0 (1h 8m 14s): So it's very easy to kind of weaponize concern about the kids whenever you're demonizing somebody else's sexuality. But if like, if you're really concerned about protecting kids, focus on the things that are statistically actually the biggest risks to them 1 (1h 8m 36s): . So that argument that you hear all of all of the time, especially for more conservative people, which is that if, if we were to let too many people live this alternative lifestyle, that society, as we know it would crumble. Is there any evidence for that? Like obviously I think monogamy is important too. And I think that you and I are probably really unique creatures in the sense that we can see both things and we can see the benefits of monogamy. And we can also see the benefits of having a curated relationship and what is okay. And having some level of openness and that you get to decide that. 1 (1h 9m 16s): So I guess, is society going to crumble now that that number is going higher and more people are exploring openness. 0 (1h 9m 22s): I guess one thing that frustrates me about the polyamory subculture is that they don't do enough actively to kind of reassure conservatives on, on this point. I think the way to win over conservatives, at least that I've found in my experience is to be like, we do believe pair bonds are important. We do believe in marriage. We do believe in commitment. We believe in having kids. We think there's an actual, like ethical duty to have kids. So civilization can carry on and future generations. And we grant all of that and we are willing like the poly people should say, we are willing to fight for marriage and kids and family values. 0 (1h 10m 8s): We're only arguing around the edges about degrees of sexual exclusivity, but like we share this common ground, sadly, a lot of poly people don't a lot of them are young and single and childless, and they don't actually share those, those family values. And they don't have like the wit to realize that in 10 or 20 years, they probably will. And they're not, they're just not thinking ahead. So I think a lot of the conservative reaction against Polly is actually more a concern about like, are they going to lead like nobody to want to form a pair bond or get married or have kids like that? 0 (1h 10m 51s): That I think is the underlying concern. They don't actually care that much about, you know, are people having affairs on the down-low or are they having a fair as openly? And honestly, it's really about like, is this going to lead to demographic collapse, like right. You know, Europe and not like literally not having enough people to survive. 1 (1h 11m 18s): So you think that's, that's their concern when they say the crumbling of society is they think that people just are going to stop having children. 0 (1h 11m 26s): I think that's one of the major things, whenever I talk to conservatives, like, and try to dig into what are they really worried about with this? Why, why are they really focused on like, we must preserve monogamy at all costs. I think often it really boils down to like, well, what if everybody just decided to have like promiscuous sex all the time instead of raising families, that would be bad. 1 (1h 11m 57s): Yeah. Okay. That makes a lot of sense. Cause I'm like, where are you connecting these dots? Because I don't see it in a lot of the people that I know, especially in the industry are all married and a lot of them have kids and they, you would never know if you met them in real life. You would never know that that was their career path and you know, what they did for a living. So it was like, I don't understand. No one is at threat. Like we're a law abiding citizens. We're great parents. We're great spouses. I just, the connection for me has always been lost. So I guess that, that makes sense. And again, it's just having like a little bit of nuance with your thinking. Like two things can be true at once. You don't have to just pick one side and I mean, everyone can take that for a lot of topics right now. 1 (1h 12m 40s): It doesn't have to just be with sexual relationships. I feel like I constantly call myself politically homeless because I'm like, nobody wants me and I don't want to be in any bucket because that means I have to tick every single box. And I don't agree with every single box and the idea that because I'm pro second amendment and I'm also like, I do have traditional family values that, and I am pro legalization of weed. Like, well, what bucket do I go in? What bucket? You know what I mean? And I think that there needs to be more of that and less of people throwing rocks, because like I said, I just did that podcast. And holy cow, I was like, I guess I didn't expect the volume of negativity that I got, but I was like, I feel like I'm a good person. 1 (1h 13m 26s): And I wasn't emotional. I wasn't defensive. I was just like, I showed up open and just shared my perspective. And no one could even think to, to have a new idea or to have a new perspective to me, it's like, well, what do you do? Is that like a lost cause? Because obviously I think when you have a platform at all is you want to influence people and you want to try to get people to read a book or listen to a podcast or think of a new idea. But if some people are, have their heels dug in so deep and there, they have their team tattooed all over them, it's like, is that person last year? They can, they ever have nuance or I don't know, like there's that tribalism is so, so deep. 0 (1h 14m 8s): This is why I think it's so important for people who actually do a kind of complicated patchwork of political and social values and sexual values, like to come out and talk about it in these sort of longer form like nuance, podcasts and interviews, where you can kind of dig down into a series of issues and where the viewers and the listeners can go. Oh yeah. I agree with them about that and that not a, not about that, not that, but because I agree with them about some of it, I'm willing to think again about things I think I disagree about and really like wrestle with them. 0 (1h 14m 50s): Whereas the typical sound bites you get on CNN or MSNBC or Fox news tend to be more like single issue discussions where you, you never really see the whole range of someone's ideas and The, the full, like complexity and nuance of it. 1 (1h 15m 9s): <em></em> yeah. You're like, well, they like guns, so they must be racist or they smoke weed. So they must be a blue haired hippie. Like you just kind of semis a person to just this one concept. And I mean, you can't do that with yourself usually. So why would you do that to somebody else? It's just seems so unfair, but I guess our, our minds are a little bit lazy that way and we just want to get to the point quick. 0 (1h 15m 32s): Yeah. Yeah. And I, I think it's also good for, I mean, one, one downside, for example, of the pandemic and the work from home and remote working is it used to be, you'd actually have to interact with coworkers on a kind of regular basis and maybe even have drinks after work and maybe talk about politics. And then you're reminded that, oh, these are good people. I like, I trust them at work. They're good at their jobs, but they also disagree with me about 40% of the stuff that I think is important. And, and yet we can have civil discussions face to face about it. 0 (1h 16m 16s): Or likewise, if you're talking with extended family or with in-laws like, I work really, really hard to get along with my in-laws and they're lovely people, and I don't agree with them about everything, but the fact that I'm committed to getting along with them means I will listen to them about political issues, even when they do disagree. If you've got an atomized society where people aren't talking to family, aren't talking to in-laws, aren't talking to coworkers and they're just on, in some Twitter bubble, you're just not, you're not getting exposed to real people with this smorgasbord of ideas. 0 (1h 16m 56s): You're getting exposed to, you know, single issue soundbites. 1 (1h 17m 4s): No, that, that makes a lot of sense. And it's hard because I think so many of us don't have traditional jobs and we don't have a workplace. So even, even pandemic aside it's that, that interconnectedness is kind of getting lost. And we're, I feel like, and I'm usually I try to be optimistic because I feel like as a parent, you have to be optimistic. That's your, your job. You're not showing up as a parent. If you think everything is just fucked in the end. So you have to have hope for their future and your grandkids future, but you see things like meta coming out and people being so excited to detach from reality that I am concerned. I'm concerned that things are going to get worse because we're already so separate. 1 (1h 17m 47s): We're not understanding like the oneness of people and that we do have to co-exist and how to be civil and all of these things. I think we're going to just slowly turn into robots, but that's what I see happening. 0 (1h 18m 2s): Yeah. And, you know, it'll be very interesting to see how these, these Mehta versus, and virtual reality kind of play out in terms of marriages. You know, what would it be like to interact with a spouse in the metaverse where like my avatar could look like anything. My spouse wants it to look like I could look like Henry Cavalia Superman can look like wonder woman and then like, well that I could easily imagine it leading to people, not being very happy with their like actual physical bodies or appearance, but I could also imagine it reminding people that like, there's a deeper basis for my attraction to my spouse than the physical body. 0 (1h 18m 51s): Like, it might put more of an emphasis on playfulness and creativity. And like, you might be able to connect with them in the amount of verse in a way that is actually kind of hard to do and in real life. So it could be quite liberatory for couples, but I can also see the downsides of like isolation as you talked about, 1 (1h 19m 15s): Right? Because the other one requires work and effort and a lot of people are tired or they don't want to do it, or they have these bad behaviors, but I think it goes, it also emphasizes the importance of that, like that coupling and like that main partner choice is this is all gonna fade. It doesn't matter what you look like when you're 20 or 30 and how hot you are at some point, everyone ends up to a Razan. So you have to have these other attributes to keep you stimulated and keep you connected. And maybe not in like an erotic way, but still like essential ways to like holding hands and rubbing backs and doing those little things to show, you know, that you care and you're speaking your partner's love language, all of those things, I think it makes you have to be a more well-rounded individual. 0 (1h 20m 2s): Yeah. I, you know, the typical happy marriage now, like a lot of just hanging out together and hoping that you can find a Netflix series that you both like, and in the future, I think it'll be more like figuring out what activities can we do hopefully together, you know, in some metaverse that maybe is a little more active than exploratory and playful. Cause if you're both just passively consuming Netflix series, like you're not actually bonding that well, like it's sort of you're coexisting and you're kind of sharing an experience, but it's in a very passive way. 1 (1h 20m 50s): Yeah. Most people would probably hate how my husband and I watch shows because one of us is constantly pausing it. And I'm like, what do you think about this? Or what would you do with this? And I get like really heated, especially with some of the shows, my mom and I were watching the new sex in the city and my husband refused to, but he's like, why are you watching this? If you hate it so much. I was like, I invested 17 seasons into the show. I have to watch this new one, no matter how woke it got. So there's all of these issues that are real life issues. Unfortunately right now with, you know, kids coming home and identifying as non binary, but not even wanting that label because like labels are so passe and I'm like, oh, and then the school was in on it before the parents knew. 1 (1h 21m 32s): And I'm like, what do you think about this? And he's like, you need to calm down. We're like constantly picking apart these shows and like the psychology behind it and like real-world applications. So it's a little less passive in this household, but there's definitely shows where I'm like, shut up, Kevin, Costner's on. And I'm watching my Cowboys. 0 (1h 21m 50s): That's exactly. 1 (1h 21m 54s): Yeah. So I guess one of the last ones I wanted to get into, cause I feel like it's important and you touched on it a little bit was the topic of jealousy. And I find that really interesting because a lot of people come to me and they're like, well, how do you get over it? And a lot of people want this really quick five minute handbook on how to overcome jealousy. And I don't have that. I don't know if you have that. I think if anyone did, they'd be very, very wealthy, but I think it's important to, to point out what you've done is there are certain behaviors that we reflectively have that we know are not okay. They're not okay in society. So we have to work them out. 1 (1h 22m 34s): So you can't get mad and just like pop your partner in the face. Like that's not okay. And we have to, you know, we have to work to not shout. We have to work to communicate in a healthy way. So we do put in the work for other emotions, but when it comes to jealousy, for some reason, it's like this righteous feeling that we have and this entitled feeling that we have. And it's, it's something that it's like, how dare you expect me to work on it because it's there for a reason. And I'm sure that it is to an extent, but there is also an unhealthy level of jealousy. I've seen a lot of people have. So I guess what would you say, I guess is the initial, why is jealousy there from an evolutionary standpoint and then is it healthy or in our best interest to figure it out, like to learn how to manage it? 0 (1h 23m 26s): I think to manage it, you have to acknowledge it and you have to kind of validate it that this is a real emotion. It has deep evolutionary roots. It's been around millions of years. It has important functions and protecting pair bonds and minimizing certain kinds of costs. And it's legit. And the fact that once someone is feeling sexual jealousy or emotional or romantic jealousy is to be expected. That is what happens. If you have a social primate that evolves with pair bonds and wants to protect those pair bonds. Right? So I think the first step is like, you have to challenge the view. 0 (1h 24m 8s): The jealousy is just a social construct where it only came around the last few thousand years because of like patriarchy or ritualized marriage or agriculture or whatever. I think that's bullshit. It's it runs very deep. You see jealousy in every single culture that's ever been studied. So acknowledge it's it's real and it's powerful. But then I think that the pep talk you can give people is to say, as you mentioned, there's so many other emotions that are equally powerful that we learned to manage and inhibit and like habituate to, and like road rage. 0 (1h 24m 51s): When you're driving around, then someone cuts you off and puts you in immediate physical danger. And you feel that rage response of like, if I had a rocket propelled grenade, I would blow them up right now. Like you learn, I shouldn't do that. And I shouldn't act on that rage. Why? Because, because the cost of acting on it as much bigger than the benefit. And so we have social stigma against acting on your, your violent, aggressive impulses, right. Or challenging people to duels just because they like insult you on social media. We don't do that. 1 (1h 25m 32s): When it comes back. 0 (1h 25m 35s): I have, there's certain people I would love to get into a dual with, and I think I'd win. But So the pep-talk is to remind people like you've mastered so many emotions, dozens and dozens of emotions you've mastered throughout childhood and adolescence and adulthood. Why do you think jealousy is like the one thing that could never be controlled because there aren't any role models of people doing it very well. And there aren't that many examples of like couples who are out and open and who talk about here's how we manage jealousy. 0 (1h 26m 22s): So it's just kind of a taboo to talk about it. And then how do you actually manage it? I think it's a combination of like habituation and you just get used to the idea that like, yeah, I have a mate and she can go off and have a good time with someone else. And even like, like them and love them and have sex with them. And then they, oh, they come back to me. And if that happens, a number of times, your confidence in your pair bond increases and you feel less threatened and you feel less jealous and everything's better. And likewise, if they see you doing that, their confidence and your commitment keeps increasing. 0 (1h 27m 13s): And then you can also, you can also slightly hack the emotion by reminding yourself, like what was the original function of jealousy. Anyway, if you're a man paternity certainty, if she gets pregnant, isn't my baby. Right? You don't want to raise some other guy's baby. Okay. You've got a DNA paternity test. Like you can actually check that now. So that's a major function of sexual jealousy, second minimize sex, sexually transmitted infections, right? You don't want somebody going out, getting into like an STI coming back and giving you chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes, whatever. 0 (1h 27m 55s): Well, if you're practicing safer sex and you're getting regular STI testing, you can drive that risk down pretty low. Right. And then one thing I found very helpful with, you know, my wife and other, other open relationships I've been in as you can consciously cultivate like an, a gratitude for the ways that I'm uniquely suited to my mate, all the stuff that we have in common that they wouldn't have with anybody else. So my wife, Diane and I are very eccentric, unusual people in many, many ways. 0 (1h 28m 37s): And that gives me confidence that she'd be very unlikely to meet some other guy who matches her in like the 160 really strange ways that I matched her. 1 (1h 28m 52s): No, that's all really great. I mean, I feel the same way because it's, I w when I was back when I was dating, I would never last more than like a couple of months with somebody, there would always be something that I just like couldn't get over. That just drove me crazy. So it's, I would say as far as my husband's perspective goes, like he knows I'm, I'm probably not going to find anyone ever again in my life that I want to say until death do us part and have children with, it's not going to happen. I just, I don't own whole purchase ran into my window. Yeah. It's probably not going to happen. And I think he feels the same way too, because he has this list of things that he wants from a partner. 1 (1h 29m 36s): And they're so specific and so unique that the likelihood of getting that in one neat package is really slim. And the likelihood of him just finding someone attractive for a moment. And then coming back is really high. And I think like you said, you get that repetition and you realize the fear is the loss of that person, but you have no, it's not warranted because they keep coming home and they still love you. And they keep showing up as a partner and doing of the things that you do. So you, I think quickly realize that that emotion isn't justified for that situation. And even again, if you're in a monogamous relationship and let's say, and I know men that have been like this, they wouldn't let their girlfriend go out on girls night. 1 (1h 30m 16s): That's how jealous they were. It's like, you're not allowed to go have drinks with the girls. Cause I don't know what you're going to do, or who's going to talk to you, right? Like heaven forbid a man come up to you at the bar. So I feel like when it's that level of jealous, you absolutely owe it to yourself and to your partner to figure it the F out, because that's not healthy. That's not going to serve you. And if you think that your relationship is so fragile, that a casual conversation over a glass of wine at a bar with a stranger is going to implode your relationship. You didn't have relationship to begin with. 0 (1h 30m 47s): Yeah. And I think a crucial thing is like, if you're very jealous and controlling of your partner, then like, if you're a guy and she's going out and she's interacting with coworkers or random guys at bars, all of them are like putting their best foot forward. And they're, they're doing their mating effort. And they're being absolutely as fascinating and funny and interesting and dominant as they can be. And she's seeing the best of them. Right. And if you never allow her to experience like a whole weekend with that guy or a couple of weeks dating him, she never has the opportunity to get bored, frustrated, exasperated, and to realize, oh, he seemed really good at first, but actually unlike 80% of things, good old husband is better. 0 (1h 31m 42s): Right. So if you're super controlling, what you're basically doing is setting up a situation where the wife is thinking always the grass is greener with him. I could have a better relationship with him. You know, he's so hot. I bet he, I would be fascinated for the rest of my life with him. And then that never gets reality tested because she can't actually spend enough time with them to remind herself, like why she first fell in love with you and why you're still actually more compatible than she would be with anybody else. 1 (1h 32m 20s): That's a really interesting perspective. I, I think that's, yeah, that's the case with anything, if you're, you're too controlling or if you're inserting yourself into, I guess, threatening situations or what you perceive to be threatening situations, you're constantly manipulating the interactions that your partner has with other people. So let's say that some guy comes up to her at a bar and your just getting out of the restroom and you catch it. And I know so many hot heads that would go over and puff up their chest and be like, that's mine. And like, they feel like they have to stake that claim. But what I find more interesting is if the guy kind of laid back and just kind of watched to see how things would naturally unfold, no matter what you want out of the relationship, like, let's say you guys both committed that you're monogamous and you can't cheat, blah, blah, blah. 1 (1h 33m 10s): Just see how it unfolds. Because I think if you, if you interject yourself or if you manipulate that situation, it's not honest. And now you don't know how your partner would react and you don't know what's actually there. And what those, what the parameters of your relationship are. So things that you're actually creating a more, like, it's just like this facade that you are, you're deciding to have, instead of recognizing the reality of your relationship, you know what I mean? So like, is she going to cheat on you? Is he going to cheat on you? Or is he going to flirt? And then, you know, you guys are going to go have hot sex later because now you guys got to play, right. Like, see, what's going to actually unfold. And then you know what you're working with. But I think so often we just like, we're so scared we would have to control and keep everything like really tight and neat that we don't, we don't know what our reality actually is. 0 (1h 33m 55s): Yeah. And the funny thing is, if you're in that situation, there's some guys trying to chat up your wife. The, the unconfident insecure thing is to go up to him and immediately challenge him like, oh, if I don't immediately establish my physical and social dominance over him, then he's a real threat. And like, she might actually run off with him. That's such a loser mentality. Like the real alpha move is to be like, Hey, you introduce yourself to the guy and you get the Chatting with them. And you think if my wife is interested in him, maybe he's a cool dude. Let's let's have a conversation. And that shows the confidence and the power that I have things that my wife values that most other guys don't have. 0 (1h 34m 43s): And I know it and she knows it. And this other guy needs to learn that like you couldn't do it in a very confident, friendly, non possessive way. And I think if you do that, a wife's respect for you, I'll actually like increase. Whereas if you're jealous and possessive, that's what an unemployed loser does. 1 (1h 35m 5s): It's not attractive. Yeah, no, I'd have to ask another question if you have time, because, so we see a lot of the terms like alpha and beta, and I guess now even omega and the Manosphere. And I'm curious, because I feel like with other animals you have alphas and then you have these animals that can develop into alphas. I think one of these books, I was reading, there's like certain monkeys and their chest has like a red patch. And the one monk, if the alpha will have a red patch and then all of the betas will have like a light pink patch. But if one challenge, a beta challenges, an alpha and wins, his patch will turn red. 1 (1h 35m 52s): And then the alphas pat, the previous office patch will turn pink. So a beta can turn into an alpha and an alpha can turn into a beta or humans like that. Like you can a human that's maybe showing beta tendencies and he'd maybe doesn't have confidence yet. And he's not really a leader yet, but he has an interest. Can he become this alpha? Because you see in this mannose sphere, all of these eBooks, you can buy and programs and bunches and all of these meetups. And I wonder how much of that is taking advantage of these men that actually need some help and guidance. Is that, or is it like a lost cause I guess like some, if you're a batim human, you're going to be a beta human forever. 1 (1h 36m 36s): How does that work? 0 (1h 36m 37s): I think the whole alpha beta thing is enormously over simplified. And it's not really that helpful because you know, the amazing, the amazing thing about humans as social primates, you know, who've evolved to like live in, in clans and tribes and groups is this, all these different dimensions of social attractiveness and, and power, right? So there's like formidability, which has physical size and strength and how well you could fight. Okay. There's dominance, which is how much kind of social power you have over others in terms of like bossing them around then there's status, which is kind of how much respect do people have for what you accomplish and what you do for the group there's prestige, which is how much knowledge and wisdom do you have that other people can learn from you. 0 (1h 37m 34s): There's fame. There's like how many people have heard of you and know something about you? And if you say, oh, there's just all those on the betas and that's it. Like, it doesn't help remind young men or women, like you can actually work on all these dimensions. Like in parallel, you can increase your formidability. If like you work out and get in shape, you can increase your prestige. If you like learn about stuff and read non-fiction books and watch enlightening podcasts like this. And like, though, if you're more aware of all these different ways, you can be socially attractive, it immediately leads to, to young people asking themselves, well, what can I work on? 0 (1h 38m 21s): I could easily like boost this part of it, boosts that. Whereas if you tell young men, oh, like either you're an alpha or you're not an alpha, what are they supposed to do with that knowledge? Right. It's just not very helpful. And it, and also they have a stereotype of what an alpha looks like. Right. That has a lot more about like Dwayne, the rock Johnson than like Elon mosque or then like, you know, movie directors, Zack Snyder, or anybody else's doing 1 (1h 38m 57s): One would be considered an omega from what I've heard. So like omega is like, you have a lot of the attributes of an alpha, like you're, you're still sexually desirable, but in a non-traditional way. So maybe you're like, you're brilliant scientist or an inventor or a professor, whatever it is. So it's not like being this big chiseled guy. So I guess now they have their own category. 0 (1h 39m 22s): Yeah. The trouble is if you frame like physical dominance as the, the most important form of being an alpha, you're actually missing a lot of what women are attracted to. So yes, women are attracted to dominance, no doubt, but it's not the only thing. And particularly if you're a young man, you might not have the social confidence and the formidability and like the sexual experience to really succeed in projecting that kind of dominance. It's also ironic. A lot of the manosphere guys will be like the only way to achieve dominance is like buy my course and do these steps. 0 (1h 40m 7s): In fact, a lot of young men would be much better off just doing like some Dom sub role play in the bedroom and like figure out how do I just at least pretend to be dominant and kind of a explicitly sexual situation. I think that actually levels you up much faster than like taking a bunch of for seminars. 1 (1h 40m 31s): I think so too. Cause I was going to say, I think a lot of what these guys are looking for is how to show up as more attractive to their, their mate. Like they don't really care about being super beefy or, you know, having the thickest beard or whatever challenge that they're trying to meet. And I think a lot of women, we just want a leader in our relationship. You know what I mean? We want someone that makes us feel and safe and that they're not going to melt down in the face of adversity. So I think it's just, you know, reading the right books, consuming the right content, showing up how you want to in sexually embedded. I think role playing is a great way because it's a lot more liberating because if you can be a little bit more playful and goofy and mess up, and then hopefully you have that open communication where your partner is like, I really liked when you did this. 1 (1h 41m 18s): And you're like, okay, I'll do more of that. And then you constantly are building on top of that. And then that'll probably show up in the rest of your, your day to day activities with your partner. It's like, oh man, he was so great earlier, I'm going to be extra nice and I'm going to do this and rub his back and then he's gonna be like, oh, I'm going to take the trash out and walk the dogs because we had such a great time earlier. Like you can't those things aren't separate. They absolutely blend out into the rest of your life. So I think, yeah, I totally agree. And that's, I've never heard anyone suggest that, but I think that's seems very helpful. Yeah. 0 (1h 41m 54s): I guess one big takeaway is like, if you really want to understand your, your girlfriend or boyfriend or spouse, there's a lot of really playful, creative stuff you can do just between the two of you, whether it's conversation or like role play in the bedroom or whatever that can be hugely helpful in leveling you up and having a better relationship. And it just takes a little bit of guts to do it and the way to have the guts, to do it as not to make it like a pressure cooker of we're going to be very earnest about this and we're going to like treat it like couples therapy, the way to have the guts to do it as like, this is silly. 0 (1h 42m 35s): It's light, it's playful, the stakes are low. Let's just try something out, experiment, see how it goes. And then as you said, do like the debriefing and like talk about it afterwards. And what did we like? What did we not like? 1 (1h 42m 50s): No, I think it's great. It just made me think. So Valentine's day is coming up. And I was trying to think of what to get my husband. Cause he always gets me all of these key things. It's like, what do you get a guy besides wearing the thing that he buys you or whatever. And there was this ad for Rhianna's what is it? Her Savage line, but she made a line for men and it is like, it is it's silly for a specific type of guidance. That's not my husband, but that's the point. And they're like these very strappy flamboyant pieces for men. So I got that and I'm going to like, just get him this very elaborate Valentine's day gift, like the cards and all of that. 1 (1h 43m 31s): And I'm going to try it again and to wear it, I'm probably going to fail, but it's like bringing like that. Light-hearted goofiness into your relationship. Cause you had to do something. You can't just be lazy after that many years with somebody. So he's gonna be so mortified that I just said this on the podcast, but I'm really excited and hopefully he'll put it on. Perfect. 0 (1h 43m 52s): Yeah. I think from, from marriage to people, with, with kids, like we're used to expecting that you, you gotta be kind of playful and goofy and lighthearted with your kids when you're interacting with them, but then there's a tendency to think, okay, now if we're having like adult time, we have to set aside all the childish playfulness and like yeah. Be really serious and earnest and like totally authentic with each other. But no, actually what you can, what you can do is just be at least 10% as playful with your spouse as you are with your kids. And then 1 (1h 44m 28s): Yeah. That's great advice. Great advice. Well, Geoffrey, this was amazing. I really appreciate you giving me so much of your time and letting me borrow your mind for this almost two hours. Can you please tell the listeners where they can follow you, how they can support you in any way, any projects that you might be working on? All of that good stuff. 0 (1h 44m 48s): Yeah. I've got a website, primal, poly.com. That's got all my papers and books and interviews and all kinds of stuff there on Twitter. I'm a primal Polly also. And my books are, I've got five books, probably the most relevant is mate, which was sort of dating advice for young single guys. I wrote that with Tucker max, I came out a few years ago. My short book, Virtue Signaling, which is more about kind of politics and free speech. My book spent, which is about sort of evolutionary psychology of consumer behavior. And then my, my first book was the mating mind and that was about human evolution and sexual selection. 1 (1h 45m 34s): Awesome. Well thank you. Yeah, I had a great time. Take care. Thank you so much for listening to this week's episode of Chatting with Candice. I hope you enjoyed it if you did, and you know, someone else that would also like this conversation, please share it with a friend two or three. And if you have a moment or it's been a while, please leave a five star review and hit that like and subscribe button. If you are watching on YouTube and I'll see you next time.