Denial of Desire - The Fox Grapes Theory
Ok, I have majorly revised my original article and added many new
sections; I am now posting the new version because the old thread got
too big. Thanks to Bean, Will the IW, Protagonist, Retrofit, and the
rest for suggestions. Thanks to rickster and neuroflex for supplying
living proof of my points. I would love to hear most comments and
suggestions. This article is also intended to help any one of us trying
to explain our side of things to women, or help IW friends see the
light and free them from the matrix.
Lately I noticed a lot of people on the forum making excuses for not
wanting sex, being celibate, or being intentional IWs. I gave several
responses to try to convince them to change their ways, and in doing so
I came to some realizations about why some guys resist the ladder
theory and continue in their IW ways. Some of this stuff might sound
like common sense to you guys, but I think it will help if I begin to
clarify it and put it into written format.
(Cliff notes: This article expains why guys should follow their desires
instead of denying them.)
These guys are afflicted with what I am calling "Fox/Grapes" Syndrome.
I am of course alluding to the classic Aesop fable for children here:
Basically the fox fails to get the grapes, so he comforts himself by
deciding that they were probably sour anyway.
A guy with fox/grapes syndrome is making a similar mistake by
convincing himself that women or sex is sour, because he needs to deal
with the fact that he is not getting any. He is finding a treatment for
the problem, not a cure. I have been there. I have done that. It
sucked. I hope I can spare other guys the pain. He simply needs to
learn how to do what is necessary to get the grapes, instead of
learning how to live in some form of denial.
Here is my thesis: any man (over 16 or 17, with normal sex drive) who
convinces himself there is some reason he should not have sex or
relationships with women is hurting himself and probably in some kind
of denial. Any man who has read LT and continues in his IW ways trying
to get women is guilty of the same thing.
Now we will look at some manifestations of this problem and how they
tie in with the ladder theory:
When a guy realizes that he is not having the success he wants with
women, and decides that he needs to change, he will probably be soon
undergo some of the following, in some kind of combination or order.
I. Low self-esteem:
He decides his failures with women are his fault, and that there is
something wrong with him, likes his looks, his personality, or
whatever. This can lead the guy to try to improve his looks, or his
connections, or his finances. He might even land a girl by accident. In
the extreme, he might resort to suicide, rape or murder.
He blames women for his failures with them and decides there is
something wrong with them. Strangely enough, according to LT this
attitude can make him slightly more attractive to women, so again, he
might be able to attract a girl purely by accident.
III. Denial-Based Mindsets and Worldviews:
He must reconcile the fact that he is a good person, yet he can't get
women. So he creates himself a skewed view of the world to maintain his
self esteem. Examplesˇa nice guy self-image,
religious/scientific/moral justifications, a victim mindset, or
escapism. I'm sure there are more that I haven't listed. Of course, if
a guy has religious/scientific/moral/political beliefs, he is not
necessarily guilty of being like the fox with the grapes. Everyone's
worldview is skewed in some way. What I mean here is that anyone who
skews their worldview even more to justify not fulfilling their healthy
desires is playing the fox.
Here is the kind of dialogue that might be playing in the guy's head.
He is deluding himself, but he doesn't know any better. I think most
guys will find this familiar:
"I am a good person. Yet I do not get women. If there is nothing wrong
with me, and nothing wrong with them, so there must be some reason why
I am not having the success I desire. I do not get women, so maybe
there is some reason why I shouldn't get women, or I shouldn't want
women...[now he thinks up some justifications like the ones I shall
(Of course, this kind of self delusion is not limited to guys trying to
get girls. Both men and women do it in many areas, such as making money
i.e. "I am a hard working person. Yet I don't make much money. There
must be some reason why I shouldn't have/want money..." My article is
written about women, yet most of it applies to just about any deep
Being around attractive women is bittersweet when he knows that he will
not be able to have sex with them. Every guy knows this intuitively.
However, some guys get addicted to the sweet part of unfulfilled lust,
and they learn to sooth the pain of the bitter part. So they create a
belief system or self-image which allows them to sooth or deny the
pain. At least his self esteem is not so badly damaged following this
path. However, a warped worldview is hard to maintain. I tried. I
failed. It sucked. Now I know better. Every time he sees a hot girl, or
hears his friends talking about chicks, he must remind himself of his
justifications for not getting women. Living in denial takes perpetual
Here is another manifestation of such skewed thinking: "I am not going
to change my identity just to get girls." So he simply sits and watches
the ladies pass him by. At some point, he needs to make a choice: is he
willing to do what it takes? More on this in my conclusion.
The problem with denial-based systems is that they create dissonance
between what the guy wants, and what he thinks he can or should get.
Eventually, after years of denial, he might get so good at it that he
has removed most of the pain. Repression becomes second nature for him
and he doesn't realize it anymore. Many adult males have followed this
path. I genuinely feel sorry for them.
i. The nice guy self image:
He becomes an IW. He might decide that he is destined to be a guy who
is "not good with girls," and contents himself with IW mediocrity.
However, he still might try to win the approval and affection of women,
so he starts (or continues) doing things for them and supplicating. In
this case, he becomes completely taken for granted and used by IPs or
ninja bitches (ninja bitch = intentional IP). In the end, he continues
doing things for girls to maintain his own self-image as a nice guy.
This is what happened to me.
He still can't resist approaching women, yet the only way he can make
himself comfortable doing it is by further repressing his sexual
interest in them. He hides his sexuality, so women whore him and treat
him like a doormat, instead of like a man.
To maintain this self-image, he sometimes takes supplication to the
extreme. He may believe that he is acting completely altruistically;
yet there is still a part of him that wants to bang her. He may not be
able to admit it, but either consciously or unconsciously he still
wants her. Everything he does will still be influenced by his desire to
sleep with her, even if he has consciously realized that this will
He believes that someday he will "get lucky" with women (because he
doesn't know how to attract them), and someday he might by pure
accident. He will probably have one-itis. He will get used as an IW and
maybe even pulled into a marriage. He will stay in this relationship
not because of "love," but because he has low confidence in his own
ability to find a new women in a decent amount of time. Often he will
be the provider. He may depend on his IP for validation of himself. Our
culture calls this "finding true love." Perhaps he might get sex a few
times, but this is an accident, and probably just occurs for kids, or
his IP wife feels it is her obligation.
Of course the original ladder theory has a lot more detail on nice
ii. Religious/scientific/moral/political justification:
Religion or morals might teach that having sex, or at least casual sex,
is wrong, superficial, or only meant for procreation. He will embrace
these beliefs because they excuse his mediocrity with women. He might
even embrace celibacy.
However, there is one thing that will not change (unless he gets an
operation or becomes a eunuch): sex feels good, and he physically wants
to have it. Sure, he can rationalize all day that desire is only
electrical signals interpreted by his brain, or sinful desires from the
devil, but that will not make those very powerful signals/desires go
away. He cannot rationalize away testosterone! He may be using
rationalizations or theories to explain why he is not getting women, or
why he shouldn't want women; yet again, this is a treatment, not a
Note on religion: Just because a guy is religious, it doesn't mean he
is afflicted with fox/grapes syndrome. Only if he is using religion to
curtail what he wants or to hurt himself emotionally. Religion and the
ladder theory can coexist; as long as his faith is his ally instead of
holding him back.
iii. The Victim Mindset
Instead of (or in addition to) blaming himself, or women, he blames the
world. He believes that "fate" or "the gods" or something is dooming
him to a life with no sex or happiness. Extreme bitterness and chronic
alcoholism might ensue (though it is not limiting to this mindset).
This mentality can often accompany low self-esteem or celibacy.
He convinces himself that he doesn't, or shouldn't want sex, that he
doesn't have time for it, or that it is somehow not for him, or not
important in the greater scheme of things. So he withdraws from it.
Virtual celibacy is often the result. Escapism usually happens in
combination with some of the mindsets I mentioned above.
He might try to convince himself that he can block out lust. We all
know that you can't really block it out; there is no "off" switch. God
knows sometimes I wish there was. You know, just a little switch in the
back of your head that you can flick when a hot, but unatainable girl
is near? He can deny lust, but doing that is painful and very hard to
do forever. He might use masturbation or porn to temporarily escape his
sexual tension (note: masturbation and porn do not necessarily mean a
guy is guilty of escapism.).
In the end, he withdraws into a monastery (in past history) or immerses
himself in his job, or traditional "guy" pastimes such as sports,
computer games, math, or other nerdery. I would hypothesize that a
large amount of discoveries in hardcore sciences or technology were by
men following this path. I heard somewhere that the increasing
popularity of football correlates with the decreasing success of the
modern man with the ladies. A lot of guys are in such a situation.
Note: just by enjoying his job/pastimes does not necessarily make him
guilty of this type of escapism. Only if he is doing it to escape from
his desires. Nerditude and escapism can often go hand-in-hand, but not
However, sometimes in the process a man might attain enough money,
power, or fame that he attracts women indirectly, again a strange
accident. He can often get very attractive women as trophy wives,
Unfortunately, it takes a lot of his life to get this kind of money and
power. Our culture calls it "success." Sadly, he is spending thousands
of dollars on materialism when he could do just as well with a new
attitude (which costs $0). He also might end up spending some of his
hard earned dough on prostitutes (though whoring is of course not
limited just to this section).
Note: If a man is accumulating money and power for the purpose of
getting women, he is not guilty of this type of escapism. His is
actually following part of LT without knowing it.
IV. He becomes a player/outlaw biker/pick up artist:
He reads LT or comparable material, talks to friends, or somehow
figures out how to do what is necessary to get women. This is what guys
mean when they say "be a man/grow some balls/be the alpha male/go fuck
ten other women." No longer are women a scourge on his self esteem,
because he doesn't have to base his worldview on not getting them.
There is a whole spectrum of "players." Here are the two extremes:
a. The Outlaw Biker: Also known as the "jerk," or the "asshole." His
strategy is "fuck and dump, rinse and repeat." He has naturally
attracted women since the teenage years with his attitude and pure ego.
He doesn't give a flying fuck about them or about anyone else, and so
they make a beeline for him. He often doesn't treat women very well,
and gives other guys a bad name.
Historically, a much larger percent of the population was this type of
outlaw biker. For instance, Vikings pillage town, and rape all women.
Or old beliefs that women were only good for procreation. However,
throughout the centuries, chivalry, feminism, and women's rights have
made outlaw biker behavior less extreme (i.e. "political correctness").
This is a good thing in my opinion, but the guys who weren't outlaw
bikers got caught in the cross fire.
Society indoctrinates men at birth to not be outlaw bikers
(exception=pop culture i.e. MTV). That is why nowadays there are so
many IWs etc...However, what our culture, political correctness, and
feminaziism don't realize is this: as long as some guys can be wilder,
more novel, more disinterested, and better looking than others, there
will always be outlaw bikers. It doesn't matter how pussified men get,
as long as the are all equally pussified, there will always be outlaw
bikers. It doesn't matter what the rules are, as long as they can be
broken, there will always be outlaw bikers.
Take a bunch of extremely polite and posh British gentlemen from the
1800s (heh my parents are British). Put them on a desert island with
chick. She will make a beeline for whichever one of them is closest to
A famous punk rocker pothead (the outlaw biker of the present) has
basically the same attitude as a Viking chief (the outlaw biker of the
past). The only difference is that Mr. Viking pillages towns and rapes
women at swordpoint while the punk rocker simply has a few body
piercings and plays bad music.
Advantages: OBs get sex naturally, often from day one.
Disadvantages: They make the world hell for women and other guys. They
might end up in jail. They rarely can teach other guys to be more
successful with women because they do it naturally themselves.
b. The Pick-up Artist (PUA) : You could also call him the "serial
charmer." He understands the art and science of attracting women. He
might use any of a myriad of techniques to seduce women as exemplified
on www.fastseduction.com. He is often a recovering IW or nice guy who
has consciously improved his inner game (self-esteem, confidence,
attitude, etc...) and outer game (techniques and approaches).
Eventually he gains control or his own mental and sexual state, and the
state of women he seduces. He might change so much that he appears, or
even merges with the outlaw bikers. I predict that more and more guys
will be following this path in the future as information such as LT and
fastseduction become more popular.
This is the path I, and alot of people on this forum are on. I have
tried most of the denial-based paths and they just don't work.
Advantages: The PUA's scientific approach can lead him to have much
more sex than OBs (of similar wealth/power) because he can learn from
his mistakes. He can often get lots of sex on a clean conscience
(whereas extreme OBs don't have much of a conscience).
Disadvantages: You can't start out a PUA. It can take him alot of
rejection, practice, and studying for him to get success. It ain't
easy. All an OB has to do is be himself.
In context: Most players fall somewhere in between these two poles. For
example, there are outlaw bikers with a conscience that treat women
well (though this seems to be less than 5% of OBs). There are also PUAs
that teach themselves to not give a flying fuck about women. If you
want, you could say that OBs are controlled by their testosterone while
PUAs control their testosterone.
Our culture sees only one type of player: the OB. That is why players
in generally get a bad name.
Conclusion: Seeing the Need to Change
You could say that modern men are somewhere in between these four
extremes: Outlaw Biker (OB), Pick-up artist (PUA), Nice Guy, and Nerd
Each guy starts out at a different point depending on his upbringing,
culture, and genetic makeup. Throughout his life, he will hopefully
move up to a level of sex that satisfies him. For guys closer to
OBness, getting drunk, watching Fight Club or MTV or James Bond,
listening to enough Blink182/Korn/Heavy metal, or getting told to "be
himself" or "be a man" might be enough to get him laid a few times in
his youth. For nicer or nerdier guys, it will take some healthy smacks
on the head from the real world, exposure to LT, or an article like
this one. For guys who want to fuck the really good looking women with
the best personalities, it takes either a badass OB attitude, or
fastseduction, or both.
This is one of the most common pieces of advice that our society gives.
For some guys, it will help them, by moving them closer to OB. For
others, it will hold them back, by making them resist change. They
develop the attitudes "I am not going to change to get girls," or "if a
girl doesn't like me the way I am, I don't want her."
Here is the way I look at it: having success with women is not so much
about "changing yourself," it is also about bringing out what is
already there. Some guys look at the process as a metamorphosis into
something new. Others look at it as a journey of self-discovery. You
can even take both views at the same time, whatever brings you the best
No man is really capable of "being himself" when he is very unhappy
(namely, when he is not fulfilling his desire for sex). All those
denial-based belief systems are manifestations of him trying to cope
with his unhappiness. Guys in denial about getting women are usually
not very happy, nor are they getting much sex. Therefore no man who is
in denial is truly being himself.
Personally, I began to see the need to change when I realized that I
was creating a definition of "myself" that involved getting no sex.
This just felt wrong, especially when I had to watch other guys (the
OBs) who I considered less deserving having all the fun. Why shouldn't
I, or any other guy, miss out on the healthy pleasures of life? Don't
just about all guys deserve it?
-- Tristan Acker
Well, I didn't realize that all these thoughts would turn into such a
long article. Writing it helped me clarify alot of my own feelings and
beliefs, and I hope it does the same for you guys. I am happy to hear
any questions, constructive criticism, or additions to it, because it
is only a piece of the puzzle.
EDIT (for rickster): some small updates on denial.
EDIT (Thx Bean!): Removed the section on homosexuality because it was
beyond the scope of my article, and because the ladder theory (which is
my basis) is meant for heterosexual relationships. I also gave a note
on religion to clarify, and added more to the section on belief
EDIT (Thx neuroflex and Protagonist): Added notes on age and eunuchs. I
also added the section on the victim mindset and info on trophy wives.
EDIT (Thx Will the IW): added a paragraph on IWs who are only
comfortable approaching women by turning off their sexuality.
EDIT (Thx Retrofit!!): Added the sections about players and moved it to
EDIT: Added more context and revised whole article.
EDIT (Thx Quinine): added notes at end on guys who resist change.
EDIT: I decided to move the the box and the sections on history/biology
to my old post in the old thread. I decided they were beyond the scope
of the article, but if anyone wants to read them, there they are. I
replaced them with the "Being Yourself" conclusion.
Get off the cross; we need the wood.