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- Hide Preview | 27 Comments | submitted 3 years ago by MentORPHEUS [Post Locked]

One of my more popular posts from a year ago, updated for the Fuckonomics series of articles discussing the Sexual Marketplace using economic concepts.


While pondering the Sexual Marketplace using economic metaphors, I had an interesting insight that many relationship problems have "credit" in common, and there's a simple way to avoid many of the problems men face.

Pitfalls like Briffault's law and Covert Contracts can be avoided by engaging the sexual marketplace on a cash basis.

Don't offer your prospects easy relationship credit. Remember the fundamental SMP transaction: Men are the gatekeepers of commitment, women are the gatekeepers of sex. Parse out your commitment of time, money, etc in exchange for tokens of affection already received, like you're paying cash for services already rendered. Of course, you'll usually need to inject some seed capital at certain points of a transaction, from initiating contact, touching etc, to time/money in an LTR. You want to make sure not to invest so much at any point that you've built up a "debt" you're not willing to walk away from without regret. A man offering way too much upfront commitment in exchange for not enough affection/sex is not only a poor SMP negotiator, supplicating like this makes him downright unattractive even to low-value women.

To clarify, cash is a metaphor for whatever value you provide in exchange for her sex; not necessarily literally paying cash for sex. The principle applies whether you give back "nothing" but access to your Alphaness or a bag of skittles, all the way to the opposite extreme of maintaining a mistress. The point is to make sure whatever you give is present-oriented (cash basis) as opposed to past or future-oriented (relationship "credit.")

In the short term, keep a balance of IOIs, touches, etc. If you touch her a few times and there's no touching back, don't keep investing in a losing game, she's not buying what you're peddling so switch up your presentation or move on to another prospect. Once you've established some push-pull, the amount of her touching, kissing etc should settle into a pattern of 3 from her to 2 from you; this is the Golden Ratio of flirting.

In the long term there can be some credit latitude scaled to the amount of time you've been together and how well she's maintaining her share of relationship maintenance over time. As a man, though, you can NEVER relax your vigilance toward keeping the relationship balanced. Deadbedrooms and AskMRP are full of examples of men who became complacent once settled in a LTR or marriage, to the point of starfish sex or none at all becoming the norm. This is NEVER cured by the man putting more benefits on the table in hopes of future improvement of her relationship performance. The correct move is to withdraw your commitment of resources and attention, and to only restore it in exchange for improvements after the fact. This is like declaring relationship bankruptcy when her credit is maxed out, so she can't borrow any more and must live within her (your) relationship means by paying cash as she goes forward. In finance and love, it can be amazing how reasonable a person can become when they suddenly have to behave responsibly by paying as they go.


Covert contracts and the sunk costs fallacy depend upon your anticipation of deferred rewards from her in exchange for current performance by you. Both of these amount to offering "relationship credit" that never becomes redeemable on favorable terms for you if at all. The book [No More Mr. Nice Guy](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_More_Mr._Nice_Guy_(book) is a good resource if you have a problem with these.

Sunk costs are an easy trap for men to fall into after overinvesting in the past and expecting rewards in the present, for example staying with a woman who has become frigid, selfish and bitchy, because of all the time and effort you've invested into the relationship. The correct way to manage this is to forget the prior "sunk" costs and only consider the future costs needed to maintain the relationship against benefits received, in deciding how much more to invest or cut losses.

Covert contracts arise from overinvesting in the present expecting rewards in the future. For example, thinking "She'll (behave better/love me more/go back to the Rockstar sex we used to know) if I just (spend more time, money, attention) on her.

Aligning your expectations on a cash basis (Present commitment from you for present affection/sex from her) systemically prevents these traps from becoming possible by eliminating the root cause: unearned and unjustified relationship credit.


According to Briffault's Law, any past benefit provided by the male does not provide for continued or future association from the female. Any agreement where the male provides a current benefit in return for a promise of future association is null and void as soon as the male has provided the benefit.

In practice, this means that overinvesting time, attention, gifts, validation etc in a woman because you HOPE she will give you affection and sex in the future is a very poor bet. It's an easy pattern for well-meaning men to fall into, for we are socialized to care for women. However, TRP knows this leads to blue balls and empty wallets, and the emergence of the dinner whore, women who troll dating sites just to get fancy dinners for free on first dates they have no intention of even kissing. She doesn't have a relationship credit counter adding points for your future; only offer benefits or rewards after she has delivered what you want.

  • Avoid oneitis for those who don't reciprocate by not offering any commitment or exclusivity to a woman UNTIL she has delivered sufficient affection/sex to pay you for the consideration. Remember, you are the prize.

  • Avoid friendzoning that never matures into a relationship (a form of covert contract) by vigilantly observing the results of push-pull. Push some IOIs and affection into the relationship then watch; if she doesn't pull for more by giving it back, reduce investment and place it in another woman. If she doesn't respond to the withdrawal by trying to pull you back, well, there's your answer. Most of them never pull at all; you're looking for the ones who do. Dating is a numbers game; TRP preaches against oneitis because it will sap your energies with no return on investment.

  • Avoid expensive dates that lead to nothing by only offering only a simple, free or cheap first meeting upfront; Jamba Juice and the Civic Fountain work well for me. Before we finish our juice she's giving me IOIs and touches; by 1-2 hours there's been enough cuddling and kissing that "Hey, let's go to lunch/dinner now!" comes naturally and "prepaid." Scheduling first meetings at 10-11am and 4-5pm helps facilitate this. Schedule both timeslots with different women when screening new prospects.

  • Avoid feeling ripped off in the dating marketplace (a major complaint of men and driver to TRP) by letting your rewards of resources trail, rather than lead, her delivery of what you want out of the relationship. Like recreational gambling, you may have to pay in, early in the transaction; just remember to stick to a maximum risk value to invest before cutting losses without regret. This shows up in your behavior when you've internalized Abundance Mentality, and displaying this instead of butthurt when walking away from a bad deal will often cause her to tactically run after you and accept your terms. I learned this by accident, and it surprised me, especially before understanding TRP principles.

Briffault's law can be beaten by offering your "relationship benefits" in exchange for tokens of her affection that she has ALREADY given you.


Delivering your rewards on credit flies in the face of what is known about motivation and behavioral change.

Nobody places a high value upon that which comes easily; conversely, even an insignificant or token investment can magnify the perceived value. Experiments and studies consistently show people are more satisfied with, and more posessive of the same thing, if there is some cost involved, as opposed to it being "free."

Operant Conditioning depends upon the feedback (payment or punishment) being delivered after the target behavior. This operates on a primitive level, whether it is a couple establishing boundaries, or teaching a child to behave, or teaching a chicken to play a toy piano. Timely rewards strongly reinforce behavior. Rewards delivered regardless of behavior/performance result in extinction of desired behaviors, and emergence of undesired results like complacency/demotivation, disobedience, and undesired/unexpected behaviors. Wives seldom start out as demanding shrews, and bedrooms don't start out dead; these are the culmination of many failed transactions/tests. With a mindset of paying cash as you go, consistently holding your partner to expectations before delivering rewards, a relationship has a chance of improving over time, or at least not devolving into the shitter, one unjustified concession at a time.


Cautions and caveats

  • Application of this principle is subtle and flexible, not a hard, obvious tit-for-tat. Women are better than you at spotting behavioral patterns, especially changes, so don't be Captain Obvious Doofus about it.

  • Reinforcement is most effective in actions, not words. Explain less, do consistently. Acta, non verba.m

  • Remember the power of the intermittent reinforcement schedule as opposed to fixed rewards for fixed actions.

  • This is not a recommendation to reward less; the principle applies whether you are naturally parsimonious and frugal, or generous and lavish toward a given significant other. The important part is if and when to deliver the reward; the how much is flexible according to your personal style.

  • Make certain your own negotiated obligations are delivered in a timely manner; neither a relationship credit lender nor borrower be. Disregard the moralistic reasons if you wish; I've found this a highly practical modus operandi.

Engage the sexual marketplace on a cash basis, and you'll avoid many of the pitfalls of relationships, from Briffault's Law, to Oneitis and Covert Contracts.

  • Women don't give men relationship credit for the future, so don't offer it to them either.

  • Exchange value for value in the present.

  • Give your time and commitment on credit only at your careful discretion, and never more than you're willing to lose or walk away from.
[-] Newreddawn 16 Points 3 years ago

Fantastic advice for navigating a relationship with women, even if its just your first date.

Using economics to explain how people interact with each other is such a fantastic motif because it speaks to the pure logic encoded in many men. Your style certainly speaks to me and helps me understand familiar concepts using a different lens. Thanks for posting this again. Quality content.

[-] CyberninjaZen 9 Points 3 years ago

I totally agree with the avoiding exoensive dates part. I used to dinner and a movie. Not only was it a waste of money but it was also a waste of time!

[-] rporion 4 Points 3 years ago

It is true....

You could have gotten a neck tatoo, a bike and work as a bouncer.

[-] [deleted] 3 years ago
[-] yomo86 4 Points 3 years ago

Awsome post. Greatly written and a fluent writing style. When I compare your post to my personal experience it boils down to one simple rule most men never adhere to: You are the alpha, you pitch the sale ie. yourself but you never push the sale - if she does not want to buy either your goods are bad or your pitch was, any haggling over price and/or advantages shifts the power balance to the buyer ie the situation women are used to.

[-] [deleted] 2 Points 3 years ago

Don't extend credit to someone who hasn't proven themselves to be credible.

[-] RolandTheDickslinger 2 Points 3 years ago

What I really like about this post is that the OP gives one reason on top of the other to do the the simple shit that is preached here. If you're not convinced enough, forget about it.

[-] [deleted] 3 years ago
[-] [deleted] 1 Point 3 years ago

Great post. Clever, and sound analogies. Riffing on Briffault's law and economics is a clever juxtaposition. Even good pick up artists used to encourage noobs to calculate their price per fuck (add up the time, taxis, drinks, dinners, movies you spend on all dates then divide it by how many times you get laid). Most guys will fudge it and not include the hours wasted online or striking out at nightclubs or daygame, but when you are honest with yourself and break it down, it is illuminating. Even if your figure is shameful it gives you a benchmark. Dudes can often act like sick gamblers, they remember only the winners and forget the losers.

[-] sadomasochrist 1 Point 3 years ago

TL;DR : Don't give what you aren't willing to lose, i.e. no covert contracts.

This post is the basis of Mark Manson's "Models."

[-] TWYW 1 Point 3 years ago

Great post, a summary of rules useful also for guys like me who swallowed the pill years ago but need a reminder to keep on the right track.

[-] Velebit -2 Point 3 years ago

Whenever I try that it never works. I know it sounds great and logical and goes on the premise of "girls want high value guys and those don't buy them drinks so they sleep with them". However, whenever I try this, no matter how screwed up a woman is it never ends up as a net benefit. For example I had a girl asking me out, I could not go out with her when she was free, later on while chatting she asked me if I could teach her math as I have passed that test she has trouble with and I said that I will do it if she washes my floor. After she though this was a joke I kept going with it and how she can also make me a soup or fix my pants. After that things started going downhill and she saw me as a douche who is calculating. When I would call her to go out she would either ignore the question or say she can't.

-

Same for a lot of other women who initially show interest but after they see I am stern and uncompromising they just back out. Women have evolved to sniff out a "good deal", I feel that women that tend to give you a surplus (paying for stuff, initiative, attention, asking for commitment) are the most screwed up dumb ones who cannot even comprehend what is going on. Those girls tend to have daddy issues whereby they see you as an older male as a default authority figure who can provide them validation if they are good little girls. But having business with these women feels cheap especially since they tend to be sluts as other guys have cracked their coding long time ago.

-

There is also a lot of it simply due to female nature that women tend to have natural value of being able to birth babies and having a dowry from the getgo while a man has to be a hunter/fisherman/warrior and survive to inherit his stuff. By nature males don't have a vast choice and females are wired to seek a guy they can keep as in normal (without welfare) conditions a widow is a dead women/dead kids... a guy that look like a deliberate relationship accountant raises red flags for them. At least in my experience. Let me also add that I don't feel like cheated by the marketplace, I am pickier and more machiavellian than most guys and simply lack the protect/comfort female thing that most guys have. However while they tend to look like winies I tend to look like a total douche, however that just seeps out of me, not deliberate.

[-] the99percent1 2 Points 3 years ago

Welcome to trp. You have just discovered the nature of women and one of the ten commandments. Enjoy it. It doesnt change no matter how old you get.

Op advise is sound because it counteracts against their nature and it ensures you wont come out ripped off.

Use it to your power and knowledge. If a woman fails to offer up her value first, you move along.

[-] Velebit 1 Point 3 years ago

My goals are not to pickup and spin as many plates. Especially dirty cheap plates. Btw what I have found about "female nature" is usually the same thing you find in men except in men it's usually 10 times worse. I have never EVER in my life been called weak or judged by women for asking help or a favor. For men it's the other way around. If I suck at something and ask for help men will judge and start avoiding me, women will empathize and jump in. When I flip out and get angry about something men will be bewildered by sudden "drama" while women will tend to be understanding. When I need a hug women will do it without questions while guys will be all weird or outright reject. If I drive while I respect rules and drive "slowly" and someone honks and yells like a moron, ofc it's only males who do that shit.

I find all this cancer most men organically attribute to women all fits neatly in "boys will be boys" but somehow expect better from women. In my experience it's much easier for me to find a female friend than a male one. To bond with a female all you have to do is talk and open up. For men you have to game them just to be a friend, you have to appear to bring something additional to their life like connections, assisting during exercise, driving, winging women or being on a double date with his crush, being a great coplayer, having a place to make parties, bring them something from your travel etc etc... and as soon as they have no more need for you, you never hear from them again. Most of my friendships with men evaporate simply because the fuckers never call. Never did my friendship with a girl evaporate like that, they always stay in touch. You only need to game them to fuck them if they are on the fence and if they really like you they just tell.

I find this male hypocrisy disgusting because it's "normal" for men to be wolves to each other but when a girl is anything but all-accepting and kind and perfect, well that is "female nature" rofl, so idiotic.

[-] [deleted] 3 years ago
[-] RedPope 2 Points 3 years ago

Same for a lot of other women who initially show interest but after they see I am stern and uncompromising they just back out. Women have evolved to sniff out a "good deal"

You are absolutely correct, this advice will repulse many women. The blue masses have spoiled them. Even average girls are now accustomed to being fawned over like a 10. They can get what they want elsewhere far easier and a lot cheaper.

Treating her "normal" indicates that you think your SMV is higher than hers. But it only works if your SMV truly is higher than hers.

If this only works on "the most screwed up dumb ones" with "daddy issues" it may be that you need to improve yourself (or change your frame) to attract better women. Is that effort is worth the time? Only you can decide.

[-] Velebit 1 Point 3 years ago

Women are incredibly picky and they fall for guys who are natural, in both looks or in nonverbals. They can be as blue as they sky, baby blue for all I can care and they still dance, kiss and fondle even virgins in the clubs and bars etc. They just have incredible energy, attitude, looks and simply take charge of the situation. I am a good looking bloke but I am moody, phlegmatic, very slow in connecting the dots of social interactions unless I force them using a pre prepared plan and usually just can't be bothered to care about hedonistic bs, I despise drinking, smoking, dancing etc. Girls get excited about me but after they scratch the surface they see I am completely empty from within and just had a bit of luck with genes. They immediately realize I am not/cannot be excited about them or anything else and my thoughts are always about things like evolutionary anthropology, arms development, foreign affairs and that whenever they make a human expression I am analysing it and not just exeriencing it and enjoying the moment like they are. I have found out I can entertain them by, as Roosh says "being a clown for them" but I am not feeling it... I can't keep it up. The more I keep the act up the bigger the craziness I experience after I cannot keep it any more and it spills over on my family, work, college stuff. I am just not willing to be anything but myself and either I find a girl who is compatible or who cares. And I have high smv, also come from a rich, well connected family and will inherit a lot of stuff however I am not a player and refuse to see or accept promiscuity as any sort of virtue to signal.

[-] frgualidiot 1 Point 3 years ago

I'm willing to bet that you are a liberal female.

[-] Velebit 1 Point 3 years ago

I am a far right male. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hH6N06MeHAM

[-] [deleted] 3 years ago
[-] sadomasochrist 1 Point 3 years ago

After she though this was a joke I kept going with it and how she can also make me a soup or fix my pants. After that things started going downhill and she saw me as a douche who is calculating.

That's because you were being a douche. It's not quid pro quo. You just needed to work your message into a socially acceptable reply.

"I'd need to get to know you a little better before we have math together." etc.

Instead you just

IF A then B sperged it.

are the most screwed up dumb ones who cannot even comprehend what is going on.

They can also be women who haven't yet been damaged. Seen this the most with n=1 women with guys that have strong frame for good SMV. It's a good thing, but AWALT.

What you might be witnessing are "love bombers", bpd tell.

[-] Velebit 1 Point 3 years ago

Yeah but I can't do that math xD and I need a way to go around it so I don't look like I am dumb, I forgot everything.

yeah she is a 17 y old virgin... yeah she actually takes two medicines for her disorders, I don't think it's borderline but it could be. My first interaction with her was her saying "I think you are a moron, but why am I saying that you actually may be a really awesome guy" later on she flipped from laughing at my every joke about how nasty I was with some girls, than said she does not wanna have anything to do with me to later concluding I am a really good dude. She hates her mother who also goes to a psychiatrist. Her dad is slightly abusive and wants her to go to church but she does not want to go. She lives in campus away from her family though.

[-] Troll_Name -2 Point 3 years ago

Exchange value for value in the present.

This would have made a much better topic title than typing a bunch of ASDF JKL; QWERTYUIOP terminology.

[-] clme -3 Point 3 years ago

The logical conclusion of your post is "use prostitutes, don't waste your time with regular women". With the former, it's a clear and simple cash transaction. And you avoid all the taxing mental effort and transaction costs of devising schemes of intermittent reinforcement for the latter.

[-] Newreddawn 6 Points 3 years ago

Disagree. That is a logical conclusion, but not the only one.

Obviously prostitutes are a more upfront transaction. But women can provide so much more than purely physical fulfillment. I think these concepts lend themselves far more to LTRs than new prospects, but thats probably just bias on my part.

If you do meet a chick you actually like, you won't go wrong with OPs advice. I'm doing the dance right now with a 4 monther and I am already using tactics like these to secure sex, affection, favors, and emotional investment. Plus its way more fun playing the game than paying to play. Maybe that's just me though.

[-] empatheticapathetic 1 Point 3 years ago

Well that's one option, but that's not what he's talking about.

[-] [deleted] 0 Points 3 years ago

There are emotional benefits to having a woman who wants to spend time with you, for free, because she loves you.