#100 Men and Women See Love and Commitment Differently with John Marshall Townsend
We're going to do it through a number of mechanisms today's guest has looked at. He's looked at some of the cultural extremes around the world. So he's looked all around the world to see how men and women interact and relate to each other in relationships, love, and commitment differently. So we're looking at China, for example, which is pretty different from the U.S., and some other places.
We're also looking at how having greater experience with sex, having had more sexual experiences, influences how you look at it and behave. We're looking at some of the most active, sexual, young, adult populations today and what's going on there - how it's changed over time - and whether today's most common relationship type is in fact the marriage with extra marital affairs. So that's like secret affairs and basically marriage with cheating. Is that the most popular model today? So if that's true, they are getting married because maybe they feel they have to or they actually like the fact of being married, or they feel social pressure to. It could be a number of reasons. And then they're continuing to be polyamorous. So we'll dig more into that.
Today's guest is John Marshall Townsend, PhD. He's a Professor of Anthropology at Syracuse University. His research is into human sexuality, sexual attraction, marriage, divorce, and culture. He teaches courses on sexual attraction in cross-cultural perspectives, and cultural and sexual behavior.
He has published numerous studies and books. His latest book is simply titled: What Women Want - What Men Want. Currently, his research is focused on highly sexual, active, young adults, which we'll get into in this call.
Specifically, in this episode you'll learn about:
- What triggered John's interest in the differences in sexual psychology (06:03)
- John's perspective of looking at sexual psychology differences in men and women from a politically correct view (10:10)
- The study of casual sex at Syracuse University (11:15)
- Men do better with women when achieving higher status (15:03)
- The basis and methods behind John's research (18:28)
- An overview of the differences in sexual orientation (25:30)
- Modern day sexual freedom versus traditional commitments (27:25)
- Is biology a factor in more experienced men sleeping with more women (e.g. testosterone) or is it psychological? (34:40)
- Sexual behavior extremes in other communities and countries (37:40)
- Emotional alarms of women involved in uncommitted sex and the lack of connection from men beyond the physical act (43:25)
- Will the growing number of independent women have an impact on love and commitment over time? (59:00)
- The best ways to connect with John to learn more about him and his work (1:04:11)
- Top three recommendations for guys starting out from scratch to improve their dating life as fast as possible
Items Mentioned in this Episode include:
- John Marshall Townsend, Professor of Anthropology: John's bio at the Maxwell School, Syracuse University.
- What Women Want – What Men Want: John's Oxford University publication which argues the belief that differences in sexual behavior are "culturally constructed". It also provides perspective of what people look for in a mate based on attractiveness and possible economic status, modern society marriage, etc.
- The Evolution of Human Sexuality (Donald Symons): John noted reading this book in furthering his initial interest in human sexuality.
- Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus (John Gray): This book was also referenced by John while discussing his interest in human sexuality and the differences between men and women.
- That's Not What I Meant!: How Conversational Style Makes or Breaks Relationships (Deborah Tannen) and You Just Don't Understand: Women and Men in Conversation (Deborah Tannen): John noted Deborah Tannen and her work in social linguistics, and how men and women can understand and deal with each other's differences.
- Gender difference in emotional reactions and sexual coercion in casual sexual relations: An evolutionary perspective (John Marshall Townsend, Timothy H. Wasserman, Allen Rosenthal): This article is part of John's 20 years of casual sex study at Syracuse University.
- Sex differences in viewing sexual stimuli: An eye-tracking study in men and women (Heather A. Rupp, Kim Wallen): John referenced Kinsey studies that show the differences of how men and women are visually aroused.
- J. Michael Bailey, Professor: John mentioned Professor J. Michael Bailey's work regarding differences in sexual orientation.
- Sexual Attractiveness: Sex Differences in Assessment and Criteria (John Marshall Townsend, Timothy H. Wasserman): This study was discussed regarding modern day sexual freedom versus traditional commitment.
- Sociosexuality from Argentina to Zimbabwe: A 48-nation study of sex, culture, and strategies of human mating (David P. Schmitt): Published in Behavioral and Brain Sciences in 2005, this study explores sexual behavior extremes in other communities and countries.
- Amy Alkon: Known as the advice goddess, John recommends Amy Alkon and her book Good Manners for Nice People Who Sometimes Say F,ck for her views on some of the podcast issues discussed in this podcast.
- Women's Preferences for Penis Size: A New Research Method Using Selection among 3D Models (Nicole Prause, Jaymie Park, Shannon Leung, Geoffrey Miller): Angel talked about this study in the "DSR Fact" podcast audio pre-introduction. One of the authors of the study, Geoffrey Miller, was featured in Dating Skills Podcast: Ep. #67 The State of Evolutionary Psychology and the Mating Mind
Books, Courses and Training from John Marshall Townsend
Full Text Transcript of the Interview
[Angel Donovan]: John, thank you so much for joining us on the show today.
[John Marshall Townsend]: I'm glad to be here. Look forward to it.
[Angel Donovan]: Alright let's dive straight into what you're doing. What triggered your interest in your topic? What is it, just for the audience?
[John Marshall Townsend]: Well a few years ago, I got a national endowment for the humanities grant to study divorce and child custody arrangements and I did a comparison out in California which is where I'm from originally of Anglos and Latinos and we wanted to see Latino culture. You know, they had more extended, more supports, da, da, da.
So, I did a lot of the interviewing myself and I did collect data on the target topics but, the more I talked to men and women, the more I became aware of what Kinsey called the "basic sex differences." When women cheated, it's like their reasons were usually not the same as those of men who cheat, etc. I became more and more aware of these, what now are called gender differences in sexuality and sexuality psychology.
So, then I went back and reread the seminal work by my friend there at Santa Barbara, Don Symons the Evolution of Human Sexuality and I had not studied that when I was a graduate student. I worked in an area of mental disorders and so forth and reading Don's book, it just fell into place.
You know, in other words, I had studied other things and had really taken more of social construction approach looking at mental disorders and was well-versed with all that perspective and approach. The evolutionary view just seemed to make sense of a lot of data, a lot of different kinds of phenomenon that had been studied and these people that try to pick wholes and say, "Oh but, you know, women can do this and that."
I go, "No one that I know, no evolutionary psychologist denies the importance of psychological and social factors in modulating behavior." I mean, we all know that, right? Cultures are different. I'm a psychological anthropologist so I know cross-cultural variation right, in well mentalists orders and sexual behavior.
So, nobody denies that. The point is, there are persistent and sometimes pesky differences between men and women and they keep showing up. Books like Men are Mars Women are from Venus. Well, there's a reason why these things take off and become really popular or Deborah Tannen's work in sociolinguistics.
Women are of course the major audience for books like this. It's like it helps them understand. "Oh, it's not just my boyfriend or my husband who's a dork. It's like, this is male tendency and if I'm going to be heterosexual, I need to learn to deal with it. That doesn't mean that I let him get away with everything but, at least I know it's not individual, right?"
So, I get a lot of responses in my classes where I deal with these topics that women will even say like, "Hey, is it okay if I bring my boyfriend, right or my husband or whatever?" because, it helps them put it in...they keep hearing, "Oh, we're all equal. We're all equal." I say, "Politically yes, that's what we strive for but, are you identical psychologically?" and it's like, "No." "Are you identical anatomically?" "Well obviously not." "Well, for the same reason your sexual psychology is just as different as your external genitalia."
So you know, Symon's pointed out like in his original work, you give mating women all the risks and the responsibility and nine months of gestation and nursing and all of that and men only have to inseminate and walk. I mean, they could invest but, their biology doesn't require them too.
So, you create those vast differences. Then, you give both sexes the same sexual psychology? One with all the risks and responsibilities and the other with potentially none but yet, they'd have the same arousal system and all that? Evolution would never work that and neither would God unless he was a Satanist, right? Yeah I mean, it's astonishing that people just can't think of it that way. It's like, "Well, of course, right? They would have to have a different sexual psychology."
[Angel Donovan]: In terms what your view, where you're coming from and where do you see the politically correct view today to look at this?
[John Marshall Townsend]: Well, in the social sciences and hard-core programs such as like the program where you have evolutionary psychologist like David Buss's program in Texas or both scientific and clinical programs like Mike Bailey's there at Northwestern but, outside of that, I mean, the social social-sciences have been taken by the post-modern perspective and the humanities as well in the United States at least. So, the really politically correct is, "Oh, men and women would be exactly the same if it weren't for all these outmoded, archaic and patriarchal capitalistic restraining sex roles and it's all tied with their neo-Marxist feminist view of...it's all created by patriarchy, blah, blah, blah." And I just go, "I don't think that these differences that I'm discussing are created by patriarchy anymore the differences in the genitalia and as far as we know, that influence has not been proven."
[Angel Donovan]: Great and so to give a bit of context, I understand that you've been studying causal sex primarily in one of the top partying schools in the US?
[John Marshall Townsend]: Well yeah I mean, of course the administration is not proud of this but, Syracuse University...I'm not an administrator and besides, I didn't elect my school to be the number one party school in a recent poll but, it got chosen. Now, I don't who ranks that. It's Playboy or whoever does it but anyway, it's a perfect place for me to study causal sex because, party school is where it's happening.
There's less of this going on at MIT for instance, right? The athletic program and the fraternity systems and so forth, that's where the hook up culture exists. Like, hookups are like sexual encounters that have no strings attached or that you know, that's the goal anyway.
So, I have been studying this for a while and actually, 20 years and I find, of course women...there's no question about it, a lot of these young women...like one who was quoted on the internet, she said, "Oh, I'm kind of like the the Asian Sookie" this character from True Blood of the vampire saga. "I'm the Asian Sookie. My sophomore year, I hooked up with 25 guys but of course, you know after I graduate and want to get married. I'm going into the total Bridezilla."
I just think that these women are not going to continue to act like that and most of them know it. I mean, they just say, "Well, of course not. Of course not." They're going to want to marry and they're going to marry well.
That's another thing that I've studied for years and that is, this idea. the old idea. It's like when women are empowered, they won't care about men's status and earning power and so forth and it's just the opposite. The higher a woman goes then, the more she wants at least an equal or higher. I mean, she wants somebody she can be proud of, someone she can respect. Those are the terms that they use.
So, the men are...they don't want an idiot but, they don't care if she's a high school teacher or doctor. They really don't. I mean, I have empirical data on that. It's in those interviews. So, that means that these women, if they're not very attractive physically, they're going to have to marry down and some of them...you know, I published some of this stuff in journals and it's also in my book, my Oxford book.
Anyway, some of the women who were medical students and law students were very aware that their pool of acceptable mates was shrinking as their status increased and the guys who were moving up, gaining status, becoming doctors and so forth, they were very aware that their pool was expanding. I mean, some of them just said, "You have to believe that at the end of all this grind and the years of work and taking all these horrible tests, that there's pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, a pot of sex, right, of willing women."
So, the guys, they knew. They said, "Hey, in high school I was this skinny shit with glasses. You know, Dork and then, in college it wasn't much better but, medical school has been a bonanza right? It's like all these nurses."
[Angel Donovan]: Yeah and that's the stereotype today really.
[John Marshall Townsend]: Which is?
[Angel Donovan]: Yeah.
[John Marshall Townsend]: What do you mean?
[Angel Donovan]: Well so, the guys who were getting laid a lot at school tend to be...like tends to flip around a bit later on in life when they're getting more successful. So, it's a bit of a stereotype these days in places like Silicon Valley and areas like that.
[John Marshall Townsend]: Revenge of the Nerds, right? It's like...
[Angel Donovan]: Right, right exactly.
[John Marshall Townsend]: Actually, actually a Jewish mother told one of my students, she says, "What are you doing studying in Burt Library?" You know the regular library. Like, "Go to the law library or the med library. Start looking for a nice Jewish doctor or lawyer to marry," right? And like, "Oh those guys are so nerdy, blah, blah, blah" and the mother says, "So, what if he's short and fat and has white socks, he'll look a lot better with a stethoscope around his neck."
[Angel Donovan]: So, you mentioned guys tend to do better when they get higher status but the women, what is that dynamic? Why is that occurring?
[John Marshall Townsend]: Well, that's a myth and I talk about that in my book when they say, "Oh, men are threatened. They're threatened. They won't date me because I'm so smart." I don't want to be the messenger with the bad tidings but, I'm looking at this woman who's talking like that and I'm going, "Maybe they don't date you because, you have a 45 inch waist."
It's like the best looking women in that class of medical students that has plenty of dates and they knew that. They said, "We don't put down our colleagues and some of these girls are my best friends but, they're not in shape and da, da, da, da, da" and of course, they don't want to date down, right? So, a lot of these women just don't want to admit it.
So, it's a rationalization like, "Well, why aren't these guys dating you?" It's like, "Oh well, they're threatened." Then, I go, "Oh yeah, they're just quaking in their boots." You know? It's like, "What? They care if you have an MD or PhD or whatever? They don't care if you're good looking."
I do have some interviews with really great looking women who have high professional status and they just say, "Oh, it's a major advantage because, these guys don't expect...they expect you to be kind of dumb. Then, they find out you're smart. It just opens all kinds of doors and anyway..."
[Angel Donovan]: So in terms of sexual behavior and motivation, it's actually a lot in the interest of women as well to gain status? So, to pursue a career, to climb up the ladder and everything, it's in their interest as well?
[John Marshall Townsend]: It doesn't make them more attractive to men, sexually attractive. It does not. In fact, I've had like nine different experiments showing that. Like, you dress a guy in a real designer outfit, like Rolex watch, the whole business, right? You describe him as a doctor. Then, you have different models like, Handsome Guy, Medium Guy, Homely Guy, right? But, the costume and the description can just transform his attractiveness for women, right?
But, the woman, a really good looking woman, is a good looking woman. Now, she's better looking in a nice outfit than a waitress outfit but, if she's good looking and has a great body, the guys will take her out, even if she's a waitress. They might not marry her but, it's just overwhelming.
Looks are overwhelming and the idea of like, "Oh men are threatened by the woman's status." It's like, I didn't find that at all. They just like...they're indifferent. Like some of them had...they were going out with a waitress but they were going out with school teachers, nurses whatever and the female medical students just hated that and said, "Oh, they're dating down. How can they do that." I'm going, "That's because you have to compete with these women and you can't."
Now, everybody wants everything. I mean, I want what I want when I want it, right? These women, they want high status guys and high status guys can get pretty women and if the woman also happens to have good income and professional status and everything, most guys...let's put it this way, this woman would not be interested in a guy that was threatened, that was insecure that he was threatened because she had a degree or something like that.
I mean, what these guys are like these little nerds, "Oh my God! She has a PhD!" It's like, that's ridiculous. Guys like good looking women and if woman also has some professional smarts and everything then, all the better. That's what I've found. Women are attracted to confident men and confident men aren't threatened.
[Angel Donovan]: Yeah so, what is the basis behind the research? What kind of methods are you using? Are they surveys? You said they're empirical. So how you are trying to get at the truth because, we've had other scientists on and you know, we know that people try and come at the truth in different angles. How have been like trying to get at the truth.
[John Marshall Townsend]: Well, I mean the most telling is like the studies that show that gorgeous women tend to marry up. Like Sharon Stone is supposed to have a 160 IQ or something like that, right? Are men so threatened by that they wouldn't take her out? It's like, "Forget it, right because, she's fabulous looking."
How have I come at it? I've done experiments with different kinds of manipulating status, manipulating looks. So, it's theoretical like, "Would you go out with this person? Would you have a cup of coffee? Would you date this person? Would you have sex with this person? Would you marry this person?" Then, you have different combinations of physical attractiveness and statuses and so forth and costumes, okay? And all kinds of different status and costumes and so forth.
And women, you can say, "Rate this person on physical attractiveness" and one group has seen the guy in like a Burger Kind outfit right, and the other subjects are seeing him in you know a designer blazer, etc., right? Even when you say, physical attractiveness, women are hugely influenced by how he's dressed or his described status.
Where as men, if they're influenced at all, it's significantly less but, often it has no influence. You say, "How sexually attractive is she or physically attractive?" the guys are rating her mostly on looks. It just doesn't matter to them.
Oh, Michael Dunn at the University of Cardiff, he kind of spring-boarding off of my work has done this with cars. He has like a Bentley Silvercloud or whatever the hell it is versus a Ford Focus or something. You put the same guy...you know, half the female see this guy in a Ford Focus and the other half see him in this Bentley and, "Oh, would you go out with this guy, etc.? blah, blah." But it's...this is all...the paradigm is from my work.
Anyway, guess what? It has this huge influence on whether the women would even give this guy a time of day. They guy in the Ford, it's like, "Forget it, he'd better get a copy of Playboy." When women see that...and it's not like, "Oh, he has hot so, I would go out." It unconscious or usually unconscious.
Women are assessing queues to a male's success and confidence and also, does he seem kind and nurturing and all that, powerful but would be kind toward her and her children, right? That's the ultimate combination and some women just articulate that.
"I want him to be able to walk over anybody if necessary but, be nurturing toward me and my offspring." It's...some of these women medical students said that...that kind of thing. They knew exactly what they wanted.
So, all of these experiments including the classic one with Sadalla and Kendrick and dominance experiments. They had all dominance expressed in all these different ways including actors. The same actor acting really insecure and diffident or acting confident, not arrogant but confident and secure and women's assessment of his attractiveness and date-ability were hugely affected by whether he's acting diffident or confident and there'd been an actress that was doing the same thing for the men.
Men...we weren't asking him, "Would you like to have coffee with her?" "Do you find this woman attractive? Do you want to go to bed with her? Do you...?" and whether she was acting confident or insecure had no influence on whether they would take her out or not.
So, to answer your question, this been looked at by like...who marries whom? In other words real partner selection, martial partner selection. It's been done experimentally. I used in-depth interviews with medical students and done experiments with photos and those these status descriptions with law students and of course, thousands of subjects were undergraduates.
I've interviewed a lot of people in the community were the lawyers, doctors, whatever and I draw on everybody else's work. Thousands of subject like the American Couples studies. So, you find it everywhere.
People ask, "Well, don't looks count? Don't women like good-looking men?" and I say, "Of course, that's just gravy." But, this guy who's a construction worker who, if you dress him up and he talks right and say that he graduated from Oxford or Harvard or whatever then, they'd all be hot for it.
If you say, "Oh, he's a construction worker" and he talks like a construction worker, like a high school dropout, college-educated women won't get near this guy. Unless he's somehow, he has other status like he's in a rock band or something like that. Then, "Ahhh."
Then, that trumps his old status, right, his birth status but, this idea that women, "Oh he has a cute ass." It's like, "Yeah, it's cute ass because it's on Brad Pitt."
It's like, the construction worker actually...a gay man might say, "Oh this guy's ass is better" but, he's a construction worker so, the woman, "Um well no. His ass doesn't do anything for him."
Which brings to Chiver's work, namely...I mean, it goes back to the original Kinsey studies that show that men have a capacity for visual arousal at a distance. Like, I can just look at pictures, even like of discreet bodily parts, like genitals for instance and become aroused and of course, that's the basis of pornography.
Women need to see a story, they have to imagine themselves in it. I mean, you show pictures of genitals and it does nothing and so, way like...53 is when the Kinsey comparison of males and females came out and since then, every study has shown that.
Like, women can get into a porn thing if they can imagine the story and this and that and especially if they're with their boyfriend or husband or whatever and they turn it into this...but, just looking at pictures of [inaudible] right, penetration and all that, it doesn't do anything for them or just looking at naked people doesn't do anything for them and this has been updated by Meredith's work there that came out of Northwestern, that whole program Mike Bailey and those guys.
So, why is this important? Because it's Kinsey's, their research intimated, this difference between men and women, that males are visually aroused...oh, and also that women are more likely to associate sexual activities with some kind of emotional bond or affection or whatever. They don't always have to do it but, their tendency is that's the idea and they're drawn to that hence, romance versus hard core porn.
[Angel Donovan]: Is that something like looking Chiver's work and just for background, could you give like a rough overview of the Chiver's work and what the outputs of that have been for the audience?
[John Marshall Townsend]: Well, there's of that stuff about sexual orientation which, I don't really want to get into. I mean, in a way, it's a different issue but, it isn't. Namely that, Mike Bailey's point always has been, women don't have the same sexual orientation the same way men do.
I mean, they have a sexual identity, they have a sexual preference, da, da, da, da but, they don't have a sexual orientation because as he defines, sexual orientation it's...it is this capacity to just see something whether genital, tight skirt, whatever and find that sexually exciting and want to do something about it without knowing the person. It's like, all that can be relevant and that's the whole basis of men looking at porn and using it to stimulate masturbation.
That difference then Kinsey, they concluded well, then explains why men are so apt to see a woman, want to have sex with her before they even talk to her whatever. It's like kind of that's just something you have to do so that you can sex because you like what you see because what you see is stimulated lust.
Then, once you have sex with her, sometimes you want to see her again and sometimes you don't. You penetrated, you ejaculated and you may...it's a one-night-stand and that's all you wanted and anything else is like maybe you talk to her and that was cool. Maybe you didn't even want to talk to her.
The Kinsey people, they weren't judging this. He was an entomologist, right, an expert on insects and he was just dispassionate just saying, "This is the way it is. These are the differences." So they said, no matter sexually free a woman has been, we haven't found any women where we can just show them pictures of genitals, male or female and they turn on. They don't seem to exist.
[Angel Donovan]: Despite how sexually free we...you're talking about Syracuse University and over time we're saying that women have become a lot more sexually free. Despite that, the concept was that still...
[John Marshall Townsend]: They...it's the exceptions that prove the rule in this case and that's why, I've been looking at...that's why it's perfect. It's like, because it is historically unique and everything. These kids are freer than they ever will be again, right? They're not looking for marriage. They know they're not going to marry anybody they meet in college and that's very true, very different from say 30 or 40 years ago.
So, I actually did this experiment. I can send you this pdf of it too if you're interested. We got pictures of gorgeous models, male models for the women, female models for the men and we had them pre-rated. Yeah, they're all gorgeous. Well, because they're professional model.
Anyway so and they were in bathing suits. I wanted to know...there's instrument called the socio-sexual orientation inventory which has been used by a lot of people and I wanted to...and it rates, it measures like how sexually free and proactive someone is and versus wanting commitment. So, I wanted to see, "Alright, males are able to assess coital acceptability." Like if they want to have sex with someone virtually immediately just on the base of what they see, the physical appearance.
So I want to see, as guys do this, right do they become more able to do that and just say, "I don't need any more information. Just looking at this picture of this gorgeous chick in a bikini, I want to do her." Alright, does that increase? Does it stay the same? Whatever.
Now, we want to see these women. Like some of them are very, what used to be promiscuous, right. They've had a lot of hookup and all that. Are they more able to say, "I don't need any more information. I would do this guy. Just looking at him makes me horny." Alright.
So, does their sexual experience in any way correlate with their ability to make that kind of judgement and what I found is of course, men were much more able to say that but, like the means were significantly different of course. But, more importantly, the more hookups and casual sex men had the more they said, "Ha, I don't need any more information. I'd do her. In fact, I did three women last night because, I'm the quarterback," or whatever right?
So, they were used to doing it and they were more likely to say, "Strongly agree. I absolutely because, I do it all the time and the women, the mean was a lot lower than the men. Of course, that's expected but, there was no correlation. Doesn't matter a million hookups, whatever. They were no more likely than to say, "Yeah, I don't need any more information. I would do this guy. Just looking at him makes me want to have sex with him." They were no more likely to say that. That's the heart of the matter.
[Angel Donovan]: So the way you look at that, is that the more sex guys have, the more partners they have, the more free they get with this? So, that they become less inhibited and they're just like, "Yeah, she looks good enough."
[John Marshall Townsend]: They're used to it. It's like these athletes who get charged with date rape but, it's like a lot of them are drunk when this happens. I'm not excusing any of this mind you. I'm just saying that...
I know somebody was like you know, a sports photographer and everything and she said like, "Mike Tyson." She said, "This kind of thing happens all the time." Groupies go up to these guys rooms and they have done this so many times, hundreds literally, hundreds of women and everybody's pretty blitzed and booze and possibly other chemicals. So then, at some point, the woman decides.
She is flirting. She's up in this guy's hotel room. So, she knows she's not there to play chess. On the other hand, at some point, she decides, "No, he's just tearing my clothes off. I want more control in this." Maybe she would have had sex but, he's just, he's not being romantic.
He's just tearing her clothes off and she say, "No," and he just goes ahead and does it. Why? Because he's just so used to groupies and some of them do say, "Oh, no, no. Oh you big beast stop." Some of them do say those kinds of things.
Mind you, I'm not excusing it. It's like, if she says no it's rape but, what I'm saying is, the more men do it...it's not like they...women think like, "He got it out of his system. He got it out. Like Tiger Woods. He got it out." No, he got punished. He got punished and he's more discreet now, I'm sure.
Like if Clinton, he doesn't have office so, he can do anything, right? I mean, I'm just saying, men don't get sick of it, right? That's a female projection of their own psychology. They get tired of being punished by women for promiscuity.
[Angel Donovan]: Yeah I've wondered, just through the friends I've known, men and the people I've met over time, if that the more sex guys have, the more casual sex they have, the more sex partners have, if it changes the way they look at love and commitment. I know you've looked at that topic a little bit and the way I feel is I feel that it makes it harder for guys to settle down if they've had a lot of partners. Whether over a hundred partners or whatever, I feel like it makes it harder for them just from seeing what's around me, you know what I've seen over time that it makes it harder for them to settle down into some kind of monogamous relationship over a longer time.
[John Marshall Townsend]: I would agree with that and this is what I'm saying about like with this photo study I just described that and...so I have that empirically, that the more casual sexual experience men had, the more likely they were to just look at a stimulating picture and just say, "Ah, what information do I need. Absolutely, I'd have sex with her." Why? Because they have done it, these athletes.
I mean, this one guy, the captain of the rugby team, he was tending bar, in the jock bar and so, that helped too. But, he was big and husky and he knew how to act dominant and this was his freshman year but of course, he lied and never told the women he was a freshman. He screwed 30 women in one summer before school started in the fall, right, using his athletic status and also, his position as bar tender in this popular bar.
People often say, "Oh but, these guys are just bragging and blah, blah, blah" and I go, "A lot of them don't want to tell you because, there's opprobrium attached." There's a lot of prejudice, particularly from the women's studies people and all that. So, some of these guys are afraid to talk about it but, I know this guy and absolutely, he was credible.
Because I said, "Well, yeah. Rugby, of course is not a big spectator sport like basketball and football." He said, "Yeah, those guys are on TV and everything." I said, "So, do you have the same quality women or do you think that there's a difference?" He said, "Oh obviously, there's a difference." It's like, "We get their scraps. We get their leftovers." He said, "But, I think like Larry Fint, 'If you can't screw a ten, screw five twos."
I remaining neutral and taking all this in and ultimately going to report it somewhere and I'm thinking, "In all my interviews, no matter many hookups a woman has had and this and that, I've never heard a woman say anything remotely resembling that." Why would any woman want to screw five twos?
[Angel Donovan]: Right, right. So, I wanted to just talk about where that could be coming from. To give you a bit of perspective on where I'm coming from is, in our academy where we're coaching guys, (who sometimes don't have any sexual experience, these are things they want to get better at in life) we'll often look at their biology and start working on their testosterone levels. Get it tested. Start working on the biology aspect, right?
Then, we also look at the... basically, learning and getting rid of their inhibitions, right, more of a psychology angle. Over time like, I appreciate both. I think you really need both. So, I'm just wondering if you have a perspective on...you're saying, as guys have more experience, like they've slept with more women, then they tend to sleep with more. Is that like biological because, they have this higher need because, they have higher testosterone or do you think it's also through like getting rid of inhibitions or is a function of both?
[John Marshall Townsend]: Well, I...yeah, I haven't done hormone research myself but actually, one of my colleagues and friends here, Al Mazer [phonetically] has done testosterone research and he found like athletes after they won a game, their testosterone levels go up. Of course, you can't separate biology from psychology, right?
It's like how your feeling depends upon your hormones and all that. So, I mean, it's all interacting. So, success feeds the testosterone and your psychological feeling of success and confidence and everything which feeds back into the testosterone and lack of inhibition, etc., right? So these guys, I mean...and they're in a winning season.
The athletes on these campuses that have Division 1 Teams Angel, I can tell you, I don't even know if movie stars have it this good. I mean, the athletes and the leaders in the top fraternities because, movie stars, rock stars and whatever have to worry about entrapment. They have such fabulous incomes. They don't know if this girl could be underage. I mean, these guys don't have a lot of those risks, right?
These are middle class girls. They're not going to save their semen, you know like Monica. They can hook up with more than one woman every night if they want to. I've interviewed them and gotten to know some of them and I said, "You realize that all this is going to change as soon as you graduate, right?" They say, "Yeah, yeah we know, blah, blah, blah," and everything but, I think to myself, "Actually, you don't know."
"You think you know but, you're going to be a nobody. Right now, you're like a movie star and you're going to be a nobody. I mean, you go to law school, you're a first year. You're a freshman, right? You're going to be nobody for quite a few years and then, you're not going to be in this atmosphere with all these little acting out teenagers. You're going to be with women who like, don't mess with them. They'll sue you for harassment. Whatever."
I mean, the game changes totally, right and the stakes. So, I mean it is like a man's dream. In your questions, you know, your list of topics and everything you said, "Oh, cross-culturally where is the freest place?" I was like, "I'd say American secular campuses especially ones with strong athletic programs and fraternity systems and everything. It's like, that's male nirvana. It really is."
[Angel Donovan]: So, I know you've looked at other countries and how the compare in terms of sexual behavior extremes. One in particular, I thought it was interesting. Where would you say first? Are there different extremes in the world? Like if we were going to look at the most conservative or the most far and one way versus the other way. You said, in the states at college campuses is probably one extreme. Where would be the other extreme?
[John Marshall Townsend]: Well, at religious communities, right? I mean, that's where all the women are chaperoned. I mean it could be Hasidic or it could be Amish or even like Mennonites or whatever where the women... and this is the way it was throughout history too. It was like women were seldom alone and they were going to be married off at puberty. So, this idea of like all these hookups and of course, until recently convenient contraceptives were not available.
So, Dave Schmidt in 2005 published in Behavioral and Brain Sciences published a 48 nation study. So, can see like the most conservative places and the most...and obviously, strongly religious like Islamic countries or whatever but, anywhere. Like, rural Greece or Italy or whatever, it's like...in some ways, it's like going back in a time machine and the women are just not, they are not flaunting themselves and whatever. They're marrying when they're still teenagers. That would be some of most conservative places.
[Angel Donovan]: Yeah, I think China is an interesting place because, it's changed a lot in the last 30 years and you can start to see the kind of mechanisms...like, I myself have lived there for a while so, I've kind of experienced a change over an eight-year period which was...for me, it was quite shocking really especially like going to different areas in West China and comparing that to say like Shang Hai, Beijing. Is there anything that you saw from that evolution over the last few decades which was interesting about like how China's evolved and any clues it would give as to where our behaviors come from and what they're limitations...what limits us?
[John Marshall Townsend]: Oh, I think that China...and that's why I have a little section in my book. In the last chapter, I look at Margaret Meade’s picture of Samoa and China which are so different right but, China chose, you're right...oh, I've never been to China myself and I don't speak or read Chinese but, one of my best friends and has worked there for years and his name is William Jankowiak and he's at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Anyway, and so he contributed data from my section on China in my book and then, I also had a Chinese graduate student here who did library research to update everything. In the 80's the old Maos system was still in place and divorce was almost impossible to get. You'd have to go through brainwashing like, why are you into the cult of personality. It's like make do with your marriage and otherwise, you'll be sorry.
So, there was very little sex outside of marriage. It was quite puritanical. I mean, of course...see this is the thing, these tendencies will out. Some environments are more conducive to their expression and some are more restrictive but, they're always there. For instance, high status men are usually polygamous even in the most constrained situations, they'll have a mistress. Well, like FDR and Thomas Jefferson was having sex with all the slaves and everything. So, they'll do it even if there's approbem. They'll just try to do it discreetly.
So in the 80s, the [inaudible], you know the party officials, they tended to have mistresses but, they weren't just hooking up. They had a mistress like FDR had a mistress and most men in the 19th century were successful at mistresses. Anyway but the 90s, they opened up the economy and so, you begin to get all those rich business men who traveled, right and who had hard currency. They had American dollars and British pounds and Swiss francs etc. and those guys of course immediately became polygamists.
See, so here you can suppress and it was only party officials who could have a woman or two on the side but, now you have rich businessmen and guess what? They're divorce rates are, of course the highest of any group because, they're screwing around. They're taking advantage of it, right? They have all these girlfriends.
So I'm just saying like, you can constrain a lot but, you know look at the Old Testament. It's like, the punishment for adultery could be death, right? And yet, there are...two of Ten Commandments are about and that means it was a problem. In other words, you could die for this and some people still did it.
So, what does this tell us? It's like, these are powerful impulses, right and society sets up rules and tries to control. Like, "Oh, these things wouldn't exist if we didn't have...if it weren't a social construction." I say, "Well, then how can you explain pedophilia?" I mean, it's..."Oh yes, somehow he was receiving messages that he should like little girls or they were three years old or something." I mean, those things are just totally nuts.
Everything's a social construction and looking at the paraphilias, that's one of the best examples. How hard it is for a lot of gay men to come out even today and with their parents and everything. All the gay people I talk to, they said, "Oh well, if it were a choice, I probably wouldn't have done it because, it wasn't easy." But of course, it's not a choice and that's one of the things that Bailey and his crowd there in Northwestern have been working on for years, right?
[Angel Donovan]: So, one of the interesting concepts you came up with in your book, I found interesting was emotional alarms. You were talking about how this...maybe you should the concept yourself. I found it very interesting how it didn't differ between the women who had a lot of casual sex versus those who kind of avoided casual sex.
[John Marshall Townsend]: Let's put it this way...well, no I mean, there were certain kinds of disturbing thoughts and feelings that women can have if they're engaging in uncommitted sex, right? So, that's what I've been tracking now for like 20 years. Figuring out question because, obviously they're doing this.
Some of these women are racking up really high scores, how many guys they've hooked up with and everything but, what tends to happen and many of them say this. It's like, "Oh well, most of my hookups would have never happened if I had not been totally hammered. You know, totally intoxicated." A lot of them are blacking out and some of them end up in the ER, you know the emergency room.
So, a lot of them are anesthetizing these feelings but, when they haven't totally blacked out, some of them even say like, "Actually, I hoped that this guy doesn't do kind things like walk me home or loan me his sweatshirt or something like that or actually act like he remembers my name because, I'll get my hopes up." So, they're having to guard themselves and even so, you know...y
You see, this is the thing. You need people that can do intimate interviews or you're never going to hear this. I've been working on surveys, how to construct them for years and some of the stuff you just can't capture in a survey with forced choice questions like...that this woman said, "Oh, well yeah. Like I thought it was really cool that I thought he liked me because he loaned me his sweatpants," and I said...and so all these sorority sitting in around this table with me and I said, "Why is that cool?" They said, "Oh no, but see..."
Syracuse has like horrible snowy winters and everything and these girls are supposed to stagger home at 4:00 a.m. on their stiletto heels and their mini-skirts with their mascara smeared all over their faces and most of these guys are just, they just pass out or snoring or whatever. They won't even see them home.
So, if a guy at least says, "I'll loan you my sweatpants," then she doesn't have to be coming out in the morning or even that night in her miniskirt up to her crotch and doing the (when they still call it this) walk of shame. They call it that and obviously, nobody saw you home. Nobody gave a shit and made sure you were safe at least, right?
So, sometimes these girls...you know, even the smallest token of like, "He loaned me his sweatpants. Or, he gave me his sweatshirt. So, I thought he liked me and then, I got my hope up and blah, blah and then, the next day on campus, he acted like he didn't remember, didn't even know me." This really hurts them.
It's an emotional alarm. These little things like, "Oh, I thought he would text me and then he didn't and then, that very next night, I saw him hooking up with this other girl and she's a real skank and blah, blah, blah." They try not to have these feelings but they do. They do.
So by their junior and senior years, a lot of these girls, regardless of how permissive they've been or actually, because they've been so permissive, they start gravitating toward more control. They're not saying they want marriage right away or anything but, they don't want to just be hooking up with random every night. They just don't want to do it and so, they begin to have...
[Angel Donovan]: Because, they've had enough of these emotional alarms, these negative emotional kind of spikes?
[John Marshall Townsend]: For instance, this question like, "Every time I have sex with a guy, a different guy, I wonder if sex is all he was after." Alright, so guys...first of all, they didn't agree with that very strongly and their number of hookups was correlated with their answer to that question. But for women, the more hookups they had, the more they said, "Yes, every time I have sex I wonder if sex was all he was after."
It doesn't decrease with sexual experience for women. It increases because, they were doing it more. They always wonder and so, the more guys they screw, the more they'd wonder. They never just become inured like, "Oh who cares? He's a penis. He had a great penis."
I mean, guys are going like, "Oh Man, she had a great set of boobs or whatever." It's like, "Hey, he got his rocks off." So, their agreement with that question, that statement increased the more experience they had.
The question about, "Oh after sex, even if I didn't want to get involved, I feel vulnerable and wonder if he cares at all?" Women's agreement with that statement was much higher than men's and it didn't increase but, (it was super high anyway, the agreement) it did not decrease.
So, the women that have had one hookup compared to the women who have had 50 hookups, they're agreeing that having sex with a guy even when they don't want to get involved leave them feeling vulnerable and wondering whether he cares at all. Did you follow that?
[Angel Donovan]: Yeah. It sounds like women, even if they are sexually promiscuous...and I'm guessing you're going to say the guys, (as you were saying a bit earlier really) that guys sleep with many women, they don't feel a lot. They don't really feel like concerned about it. They're not going to worry about the girl the next day or if she's interested in a relationship or so on but, even a girl who's having a lot of casual sex and she's going to...like one of the open girls who's having a lot of casual sex, she can still get hurt when the expectations...it sounds like it's about expectations. The expectation isn't met.
[John Marshall Townsend]: She's got to work on it to not care about him, to not care whether he texts her the next day. So, I just had this student interviewing ten different sorority girls whom she knew the network and everything and some of them were just saying and they're angry and they're using the F word a lot. They say, "Oh you know, yeah I didn't really care but then, blah, blah, blah and I thought at least he would text me and everything. That bastard. He didn't even text."
Then, they say like, "You know, I try not to care and a lot of times I don't especially if I get really hammered" but, they're working on it. They're working on not caring.
You asked about the guys. The women never get over that feeling like a bit vulnerable afterwards and whatever. With the guys, their answer to that question, the more hookups they had the less they answered yes to that question. Of course, they don't or they wouldn't be doing it. They wouldn't be doing it.
[Angel Donovan]: One of the interesting things that you also mentioned was that some guys, they don't want to upset the girl, right? So, we're talking about the girl getting upset about the situation and it sounds like it's partly up to the guys because, he's setting so many expectations. So, you're saying like, she hopes that the guy doesn't lend her some pants to go home because, that would be a nice thing to do and then like, she'd get her hopes up to get a text in the morning or whatever.
So, is part of it like...could guys get around that? Like, a good idea for them....like, if they're only interested in casual sex to be very, very direct about it and then, the women are going to feel less effected by that. Does that make sense with your research or am I...?
[John Marshall Townsend]: Actually, some of the guys...I talked to two guys that were in one of the top...it's debated whether it's one or two, right? It's one of the top fraternities and I said, "So, do you think that a lot of these girls...? Yeah, they don't want to necessarily go steady but, they want you to like text them or loan their sweatshirt or..."
They just looked at me kind of like they were professional poker players or something and they just said, "Oh we know that, yeah and that's why you have to avoid anything like that." And I said, "Really why?" and they said, "Well because, they'll use as an excuse to see you again. It's like, 'Oh well, I've got to come over and bring your shirt back or...' Like they own a piece of you then."
I mean, they're trying to have no strings and loaning a girl anything or seeing her home or whatever is a string and they're right in a way see because, it does encourage the woman to get into some kind of expectation. They don't want any expectation.
They just want to hook up with...if they happen to see her and they've got nothing better to do then, they'll hook up with her again but, they don't want the female to think that it's anything except ejaculation in an orifice. Women, they can enjoy sex without going steady and all that but, they don't like to just be a sperm bank. They don't and it takes them, some of them a while to figure that out.
[Angel Donovan]: It seems a little bit complicated because, like there's part of them that seems to say like, "I don't want him to say anything nice. I don't want him to like walk me home or anything like that because then, I'll start to think that there's something in it."
[John Marshall Townsend]: But, they do want that. That's the point. They do want that to happen but, then they know that it's not going to happen, right? These guys...any guy they're interested has enough status so, he's not...he's going to be like the guys I described. He's going to be like, "I'm not going to give you anything of me."
So, it seems like...I know what you're saying. It's like, they do want that. They want some kind of recognition of themselves as people and having feelings. Women like men who are considerate toward them and are protective. You can't be a wimp but, if you are strong but then nurturant toward the female, that's the winning combination, right?
These guys, they act all strong and they're charming and everything and then, as soon as they've consummated their lust, they...most of them...I say, "Do ever show these...get these women home safely. It's not safe walking across campus at night. You know, we've got all these little lamp post things where you can do this rape alert thing or something but, I mean, that's the point. Why are they there?" A lot of these guys are like, "Ah, fuck her." You know, I mean just...
"Hey, Man I was hung over and..." I mean, they don't do shit. I asked these girls, "Do these guys even buy you a beer?" They started laughing. They said, "Oh God, these days, if I guy buys you a beer, it's like a marriage proposal."
It's like...and I'm thinking like...I keep my values out of this right or no body would ever tell me anything but, I'm thinking, "Good Lord, what are you girls getting out of this except sperm donations. I mean, these guys, these guys give you sperm, right? I mean, maybe they chat you up for a minutes and everything but, they don't even buy you a beer and they brag about that. I mean, it's amazing." Shit, it's amazing.
[Angel Donovan]: So looking from the guy's perspective, something I've noticed over time is a lot of the guys that we've coached, they're very concerned about upsetting the girls, right? So, say they start dating multiple women, there's a lot of guy that don't feel comfortable with upsetting the girls although that that's what they want. Instead, they're looking to get around that and manage the situation better so that they don't upset the girls. Is there anything in your research which is connected with that and where do you think that comes from because, it seems to like not fit the evolutionary theory or the examples we've been talking about where guys don't care?
[John Marshall Townsend]: I'm not saying that our cavemen ancestors were all touchy feely and warm and fuzzy or anything but, you know women are attracted to men who will be protective toward them, right? A man being domineering or dominating and guarding his mates, that would be adaptive certainly but, also being protective and making sure they survive and all that. I mean, that would be adaptive as well.
So, trying to at times be nurturant and protective is not necessarily against a man's interest and it fosters loyalty hopefully but, of course then, the guy wants some on the side. I mean, that's the typical picture.
Actually in my book, I have several guys who are functional polygamists and one of them was just out front about it. He had a couple of girlfriends and he was always open to new possibilities and the two girlfriends knew about it, knew about each other.
One time, he was with one and the other burst in and made a big scene and got hysterical and he just...you know, he's had all this psychotherapy so he just, "Oh, I can see you're upset" and he did all this therapy-speak and he didn't get ruffled by it. He said, "Well, if you feel that way, you want to cut it off. I mean, that will make me really sad," but like, he's not bending.
He wants to be polygamists and by God, he's going to it, right. He had enough status. He could do it.
So, she made all these noises and threats and blah, blah, blah and she did got out with another guy just to make him jealous and all that. He says, "Well, you've got to do what you got to do." I mean, the guy had all that confidence and pretty soon, she's back in the fold like, it didn't work, right?
So, I don't want to counsel guys on to how to get away polygamy but, in my book, there's some examples. This other guy, he never discussed any of this. It's like, he would go out with a woman and she would get tired of no commitment and no talk about getting more serious or whatever and then, she'd just cut it off, right? So, they had different strategies but, they were both functionally polygamists.
When you talked about like your clinic and all that and guys getting confidence...like the senior partner in a major law firm in New York city and they had negotiated a contract for me. But, he was interested in the book. He didn't do the grunt of [inaudible] but, he calls me up because, he says like, "Yeah, well you've got some wild stuff in here like these interviews with football players and everything."
So, we talked and he says, "I think that the thing that women are really attracted to is confidence, you know, blah, blah, blah." I said, "Yeah but Phil, you don't have confidence or you've got to fake it and they'll see through that if you don't have the goodies. If you have true confidence that means you do...you're good at what you do. You know it. Other people recognize it, whatever. They pick up on that."
If guys...my advice to guys, if they're striking out, they need to get in an environment where they have relatively high status and that means that that's right. Maybe that arena where they're relatively high status compared to any male competitor, maybe that arena doesn't have the best looking women right because, the best looking women are where the guys with highest status are.
But, I'm just saying, "Well, it's better than going after women that are going to dump on you, right?" It's better to realize you have X kind of status. You can improve by dressing nicely, working on your interpersonal skills, whatever but, some of it is just like a woman's physical attractiveness is so decisive.
For a man, it's like...I gave a seminar one time in Manhattan and this guy comes up afterwards. He said, "God, it's so true. It's like..." He says, "I met this woman and she says, 'Oh, I like you and everything but, you know you've got to make at least over $150,000 for us to live in a decent place and if we got married and send our kids to safe school, etc. At least $150,000 if not $200,000 and you don't.'"
Maybe she said it nicely but, that's what she said to him and I just said, "What can I tell you?" Kind of like, "You're going to have to...if you don't have that kind of money then, they're going to find it out, right?"
[Angel Donovan]: Do you have a view on...say we continue on a current trajectory where basically women are getting more and more independence, right? There are more women at college now than there are men. If we carry on this trajectory, do you see it having an impact on things because, less women are getting married as early? Do you think basically, the way love and commitment works is going to change over time? Is it changing now or do you kind of see it like fixed based on evolutionary biology programming?
[John Marshall Townsend]: Actually, I reviewed this...summarized this Singapore campaign in the 80s where the professional classes were not reproducing at a sufficient to maintain like...you know, it's got to be, for very baby, each woman has to have two kids because, two people are involved in producing it, right? So, each woman should have two kids or they won't maintain their numbers in the population.
Of course, the lower classes are breeding like rabbits, right? So, the government said, "My God, we've got to encourage these women, all these professional women with high status, they're not getting married or they're not having kids or they're having too few kids, blah, blah, blah. So, we're going to encourage this and this."
"We're going to encourage these women to date down and date guys that yeah, are successful but, they're working class and they don't have the same education and social status and everything as these women but, they can make great husbands. In fact, they'd be more loyal perhaps because, they have fewer opportunities."
Anyway, they had...Singapore's kind of very much like that. You know, public announcements on these speakers at intersections and stuff and movie theaters like everywhere, they were having these public announcements. This huge campaign in schools, whatever saying how elitist it was and unacceptable and unpatriotic to refuse to marry down, blah, blah, blah. Alright this lasted for a year or so whatever. Guess how much effect that had?
[Angel Donovan]: How much?
[John Marshall Townsend]: Zero. It just pissed the women off. It's kind of like, "Oh, you think he's so great? You marry him." It's a gut reaction. Their reaction to it is like a men's reaction to a woman that he finds is physically repugnant, you know, unattractive. It's like, "She's a nice person. I love to talk to her but, I do not want to have sex with her."
It's the same kind of thing that women just, "This guy's just yuck. I see him do something that's just so classless or whatever you know." He's just not in her league at all and it's just a turn off. So, it had zip effect except it alienated a lot of women and that's the way I feel about it and that's what I saw happening with these medical students.
It's like either these women would marry down or they would just have babies without...out of the context of marriage or whatever because, they're not going to get what they want. They're not going to find what they want.
[Angel Donovan]: Looking at that dynamic, it seems like there's basically less men at the top and there's more women. So, the guys have higher status are going to have a bigger pool of women to choose from.
[John Marshall Townsend]: There's no doubt about. It's like, before the women's movement financial independence, effect contraception, etc., just about everybody got married and most people stayed married. There were some extra-marital hanky-panky but not much, right?
Once you say, women don't have to have a man economically it just opens up...and she can contracept and she's not considered a whore if she has sex out of wed lock, it just opens up this huge sexual competitive marketplace and you're right. What it does, it opens the possibility of intense polygamy.
So like with elephant seals, only the top 10% of the males, the most dominant vicious grossly humungous males get to breed and the rest of them get the elephant seal version of Play Boy or Play Seal. That's what's beginning to happen here. It's like these fraternity guys are having so much more sex than the average, these women are all competing for the same guys say.
That happens with guys like JFK. JFK's a good example. All these women knew that he was a big player and that just made him even more of a challenge and he got his brains blown out in his early 40s. He's reported to have had 3000 and 4000 different sex partners. Frank Sinatra was about the same and a lot of that was before the pill was out.
So, what I'm saying polygamy has actually increased and it's been democratized so that even these fraternity boys can just have sex with hundreds of women and they are and that means that the regular guy who's just living in the dorm who's considered a nerd, he gets bupkis, right? He gets nothing.
Eventually, he may be able to marry but, I'm just saying like, a lot of these women don't have to get married. This is the point I think you're after. The women don't have to get married these days so, they're even more choosey and that means, the higher status can be even more polygamous.
So, this idea of like women's lib is going to diminish all of this and I' say, well inadvertently, it's increased the degree of polygamy because, women have the freedom to be choosier and what do they choose? They choose higher status men. So, it's kind of ironic.
[Angel Donovan]: Great, great. Thank you for that. Winding down a little bit here, just some quick fire questions for you. What are the best ways for people to connect with you and learn more about you and your work.
[John Marshall Townsend]: Well, I do have a website and if they Google John Marshall Townsend, Syracuse...probably that would be enough but, if you put Syracuse University after it, then they'll come up with my website and on that, I have my email address and for this kind of a stuff, I use my AOL address which I'm using with you. Also, I've got links to some of my publications. So, that's a way of getting started.
There's that one I did for that Australian journal for counselors and psychotherapist. That's an easy read, right? So, if someone is going, "Oh, I don't want to read all these statistical things and all that," that one is very readable.
My Oxford book, we tried to make it as readable as possible. You know even though it's an Oxford book, it's pretty readable. I mean, some of my students, you know my roommates read all the juicy interview excerpts.
[Angel Donovan]: Yes, we'll put all those in the show notes. Are there others?
[John Marshall Townsend]: I want to put a plug in for my friend who's a radio talk show hostess and her name is Amy Alkon and she's The Advice Goddess. So, if someone just Googles The Advice Goddess, they ought to come up with Amy's website and everything. She's very funny.
She's kind of like a...something between Ann Landers and Bette Midler. She's really got a great sense of humor and she's very politically incorrect in terms of...like me. I mean, she loves my work and I love hers and she's got a book out now and it's called Manners for People Who Like to Say Fuck.
And she talks about some of these issues, right? She doesn't really just talk about manners, right? So, that's a good read, right? She welcomes...I mean, her talk show, she has hosts on and then, she has call-ins and everything. That's a good source for people.
[Angel Donovan]: Great, thanks so much for that. What would be your top three recommendations to guys starting out from scratch without prior to improve their dating life as fast as possible? Based on what you have learned, would you have any recommendations?
[John Marshall Townsend]: Yeah, well it sounds like you guys are doing some good basic stuff there in your clinic. I mean, I haven't really seen what you do but, I think and Kinsey said this of course that the ability to deal with these gender differences depends upon our knowledge and our acceptance that they're not absolute but, these tendencies are strong enough to create problems between sexes.
So guys, for instance, it can be kind of cute if a guy already has high status and he's dressed kind of shabbily because, then it becomes kind of a shabby sheik. "It was Brad Pitt but, he was just in these old torn jeans and, you know." But most of the time, women, they're very attuned to how men are dressed.
Oh, that's another thing that a lot of people forget. There isn't just one...in modern nations, there's not just one status hierarchy. So, one way to dress for success, no. If you're going hang out with artists and you know, artsy fartsy tops, you don't wear Brooks Brother's suits and church shoes and stuff.
I mean, you have to know your hierarchy. Are you going out with women who are you know dating stock brokers, then you better know who to dress like that, right? Or if the woman is...she thinks that you're a rock musician, well then, you've got the long hair and everything.
There are different costumes but, the point is, you have to know what hierarchy she identifies with. Maybe she moves between some but, the point is, this idea of like, "Oh, I don't care. I'm just into my old T-shirt" or something like that. That can be cool if you already have high status within a hierarchy but, otherwise, women notice men who are dressed well. They do but, dressing well of course, depends upon what social arena you're in. So, that's one little tip.
[Angel Donovan]: Great, great. Thank you very much for that. Well, John thank you so much for making your time available today.
[John Marshall Townsend]: Hey Man, it's been cool. It's been fun.
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DSR Podcast is a weekly podcast where Angel Donovan seeks out and interviews the best experts he can find from bestselling authors, to the most experienced people with extreme dating lifestyles. The interviews were created by Angel Donovan to help you improve yourself as men - by mastering dating, sex and relationships skills and get the dating life you aspire to.
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