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.

II. Misogyny:
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 list]"

(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 desire.)

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 work.

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 never happen.

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 guys.

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 cure.

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.

iv. Escapism:
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 always.

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 OBness.

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 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 Escapist.

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.

"Being Yourself"
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 results.

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 systems.

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 the end.

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.