List of theories on what drives male dating success

From, the incel encyclopedia

In the incelosphere there is considerable debate over what constitutes an effective mating strategy. Particularly for men. This article lists the somewhat overlapping and sometimes competing schools of thought on this topic.

The fiercest sub-debate among theoreticians is the looks/personality controversy.

List of schools[edit]


Non-autist school[edit]

The belief that not being autistic is the most beneficial thing for men in dating.

Mating effort school[edit]

The belief that being sexually motivated and pursuing a high level of mating effort is the most beneficial thing for most men in dating.

Self-confidence school[edit]

The belief that confidence and self-actualization is the most beneficial thing for men in dating.

Dog ownership school[edit]

This school believes that women prefer to mate with men who own dogs. Some extend the theory to include that women are sexually disinterested in men who own just cats as pets.

Dog ownership school theorists use anecdotes of women having sex with dogs as evidence of their theory. As well as various studies involving women's unconscious sexual attraction to non-human animals in general.

Evil moron school[edit]

Evil moron theory states women generally sexually select for immoral idiots.


A speculative theory (and term), possibly coined by Altmark22, states that women often explicitly select for "low-quality" or extremely unsuitable partners. This could be men of low moral character, intellect, physical attractiveness, or low social status. This theory claims that women will often make the worst mate choice possible instead of the "rational" one. It is similar to the "evil moron" theory noted above, but differs from it as it women are seen to be making poor mate choices and not ones that are ultimately evolutionary beneficial. Also women are seen to be making suboptimal mate choices in general, and not necessarily selecting for "evil" men. These choices will often inevitably result in chaotic, unstable relationships. This theory asserts women make these poor decisions for several potential reasons, including but not limited to:

  • Women lack the necessary behavioral adaptions to select suitable "high-quality" mates (due to a human history of arranged marriage).
  • Women's attraction seems less stable and more culturally influenced than men's. In a culture where freak shows and assorted riffraff are frequently depicted as role models or objects of admirations, many women will respond to this by seeking out men with similar traits.
  • Women often have extremely low self-esteem, have been sexually abused as children, and many have had poor relationship experiences in the past. These things can combine to make women think they do not "deserve" a high-quality mate.
  • Like the biblical Eve, women often seek to spite the Logos/God/natural law by making horrible mate choices. People often like the "forbidden fruit" and are bored by perfection.

'Factor X' school[edit]

The idea that there is a massively important unknown (possibly metaphysical) factor that is involved in driving women's attraction to certain men that can't easily be described or quantified.

Flirting school[edit]

The idea that being able to effectively flirt with women and pick up on women's (often subtle) signals of interest in men is the most important thing in dating. Related to autism theory (as autists often lack social awareness) and early training theory (as men with experience with women are trained to pick up on signals of interest more easily). Also related to pick-up artistry.

Archetype school[edit]

The concept that women are attracted to men mainly holistically and abstractly, and they are drawn to men mainly for what they represent and not what they are. Thus they are most attracted to men that effectively portray a coherent and distinct 'archetype' to the world.

Early training school[edit]

The idea that early romantic experience is crucial to a man's dating prospects, as women can easily pick up on, and are typically repulsed by, men who lack such experience. Such men are also argued to acquire the necessary social capital for dating (contact with female friends, ex-girlfriends, social circle, peer status, etc.) in this process. Related to the Matthew effect, in the form of accumulated early advantages stacking up over time to eventually have a massive effect on a man's later SMV. Involuntary celibate men are thought to be stuck in a negative feedback loop born of failure that is very difficult to extricate themselves from. Some also argue that women expect a man to behave in a certain way to her in order for her to be able to sexualize him and that men that have relationships with women develop this mindset and behavior over time through social reinforcement.

'Low inhib' school[edit]

The idea that being impulsive and extroverted is the most beneficial thing for men in dating. They state this is either due to these men having higher mating effort via approaching a lot of women (making it very similar to the mating effort school mentioned above) or because women sexually select for such men (making it more similar to evil moron theory or redpill theories) or both. Regarding the extraversion aspect, it is also similar to 'bluepill' lines of thought as it is thought that women are strongly attracted to emotionally warm, entertaining, and expressive men.

Hard Materialist[edit]

Money school[edit]

The belief that money is the most beneficial thing for men in dating

Just be white school[edit]

The theory that physical attractiveness is much lower determinate of a man's dating success than being white, or that whites are the most physically attractive race, the latter of which is analogous to orthodox lookism. The two positions are not mutually exclusive, though. Many Just Be White theorists state that women will generally choose a less physically attractive white man over a more physically attractive ethnic man.

Just be black school[edit]

At least one person in the incelosphere makes the claim that since blacks are out-populating every race, and because blacks are more masculine and have larger penises on average, that blackcels are locationcels at best.

Just be yellow school[edit]

The idea, mainly promulgated by the YouTuber Hell by the Dashboard Light, that since East Asian culture is apparently much more functional, pro-social, and effective at enforcing stable marital relationships than White (American) culture, Asian males have the highest long-term mating success. Some, mostly users of obscure Asian racial supremacy subreddits, also promote the idea that East Asians are the most physically attractive race on average, as they are claimed to be more likely to have facial features that lookists generally consider attractive, such as vertically narrow eyes, pronounced cheekbones, and wide/sharp jaws.

Hard lookist[edit]

Genetic determinist lookist[edit]

Ever since the beginning of the online incelosphere people have discussed the importance of physical attractiveness in dating. In the incelosphere, genetic determinism usually expresses itself in the belief that having 'superior' (i.e. attractive) genetically determined looks is the most important factor in dating. Prominent incelopsherians who advocate this theory include:

Soft Materialist[edit]

Gender ratio school[edit]

The idea that men outnumbering women in society primarily causes incel

Status school[edit]

The idea that women are most drawn to men high in peer status. This holds whether they are objectively high status in society (CEOs, high-ranking politicians, etc.) or men who display high status in smaller scale hierarchies.

Location school[edit]

The idea that being in a location with a large number of young, sexually available women is crucial for dating. Some areas have sex ratios that are unfavorable to men, and this seems to often create a preference cascade that makes the majority of women more choosy when it comes to dating. Other areas also seem to have women that have higher sex drives and are more promiscuous than others, as attitudes towards casual sex and female sex drive varies substantially by country.

Even areas with highly traditional social norms that repress women's sexuality may be beneficial to foreign men seeking to date. As the men in these countries are often oversexed, perhaps partially due to innate genetic factors such as a disposition towards a faster life history speed, it follows that the women may be also, but their sexuality is being constrained by norms that prohibit women from engaging in extramarital sexual behavior. When a foreigner who has no ties to the land arrives, the opportunity to engage in illicit affairs that incur less risk of punishment for violating these norms presents itself. Fast life history strategists also seem to be attracted to exotic looks, as they may desire genetic diversity in their offspring more (as it is argued are more likely to survive an unstable environment, due to greater genetic diversity and possibly also due to heterosis improving offspring viability).

Many women in these countries are also very poor, and thus many of these women are quite willing to whore themselves out to a foreigner. As such, location theory is often conflated with Just be White theory or money theory. Anecdotally, many incel people that have "ascended" (deincelized) have done so by altering their location, either within their own country to an area that is more conducive toward dating or to another country entirely, with South East Asia and Eastern Europe (the sex tourism hotspots) being prime locations for this.

Non-lookist genetic determinism[edit]

The idea that looks don't matter much in driving mating outcomes for men but genetics are nonetheless, decisive. Focusing on factors such as inherited status, genetic (and not environmentally determined) life history speed, neurotypicality, one's genomic level of mutational load. Generally claiming that largely immutable factors determine one's mating success, partly or largely independent of physical attractiveness.

Soft Lookist[edit]

'Oofy doofy' school[edit]

The belief that being ugly and/or goofy and effeminate is the most beneficial thing for men in dating.

Athletic school[edit]

The belief that being athletic and/or muscular is the most beneficial thing for men in dating.

Personality mismatch school[edit]

The belief that having your personality match your looks is the most beneficial thing for men in dating.

See also[edit]