Sexual economics and the FriendZone

21 Mar


So the OED has added “friendzone” to their dictionary, defining it as:



a situation in which a platonic relationship exists between two people, one of whom has an undeclared romantic or sexual interest in the other:

I always wind up in the friend zone, watching them pursue other guys

I think it’s impossible to understand the concept of the friendzone without understanding two related ideas: sexual economics and hypergamy.

Let’s start with sexual economics. It’s neat how the OED tried to make it sound gender neutral, as if either men or women could end up in the friendzone, but the explanatory sentence tells the story a little more accurately: men end up in the friendzone, watching women pursue other guys.

Why does that happen? Well, according to Amanda Marcotte (sigh, don’t you just love her?), it’s basically because you’re a fag. Oh my! How offensive! Does she really say it’s because you’re a fag? Well, not in so many words, but the sentiment rings loud and clear.


Red flags to look out for: inordinate amounts of time spent on Reddit, My Little Pony paraphernalia in his home or on his Facebook page, a tendency to use terms like alpha and beta male, and a paranoid belief that women in Princess Leia costumes have set out to destroy him.

Okay, correction. You’re not just a fag, you’re a geek, too.

Never trust a woman who scorns Princess Leia. I’m just sayin’…


Women like to claim that men just can’t handle rejection, and that men feel entitled to attention from women they are interested in, but I think there’s a little more to it than that. You see, the sexual economics in our culture have changed dramatically. When women were a little less willing to have sex outside of committed relationships, men had to work a bit harder to get sex. That’s not a bad thing, either, because men working for sex pretty much built the entire world as we know it, but now things have changed.

Let’s talk for a second about hypergamy: the practice of marrying up.

Women generally want to marry someone of equal or higher status to themselves. They want a man who has more qualifications, more education and more earning power than themselves. Lady doctors want to marry surgeons, not garbage collectors, no matter how terrific that garbage collector might be.

garbage collector

Nothing inherently wrong with that, if you ask me. I certainly married up, although part of me regrets not marrying a more working class man simply because our assumptions about the world would have been more in line. I didn’t marry FOR money, I love my husband very much, but I rejected previous suitors for not being high-status enough and that’s something I feel somewhat ashamed of, now that I am older and wiser. I also rejected a very high status, very rich man because he was widowed and had children already, and didn’t want more, so on the gold-digging whore scale, I guess I fall somewhere around the middle.

Where we run into a problem is that women now outnumber men on college campuses, and they are earning, in general, more qualifications and have higher educational attainments than men. That tightens the pool of available men – there are way too many women competing for way too few men.

cat fight

Combine that with easy access to sex, and men have the upper hand by a country mile. High status men, that is.

What is a girl to do? Sluts everywhere, handing out sex like party favors and too few men to chase after.

Well, in that case what you need is a plan B. A back-up plan. You need to keep the lower status men hanging around, just interested enough to keep up the pursuit, but without committing to anything, just in case someone better comes along.

The lower status men, with their obvious attention and interest can flatter your ego and vanity and lend a sympathetic ear to your problems and possibly even provide a few late night booty calls (which you can then pretend to regret deeply the next day and reassert that your friend with benefits is back in the friendzone), while you wait for that bigger and better man to come along.

Win-win, right?

Uh, no. You see, keeping a plan B man on emotional hold while using him to gratify your own feelings and occasional sexual urge is actually a really shitty, bitchy thing to do. It’s all about what the women feel and what the women want, and the men in the friendzone are basically just leftovers: something you will eat if you have to, but you’d rather have a nice fresh steak.


And gosh, big surprise here, some men DON’T LIKE BEING TREATED LIKE MEAT. They will react negatively to being jerked around by women when they have made their interest clear. That isn’t acting entitled to women’s attention: it’s acting entitled to a little bit of common courtesy and respect.

True story: JudgyAsshole met a young woman recently, with little in the way of accomplishment (she’s a file clerk) but more than average in the way of beauty, and she seemed like fun, so they went out a few times. And they had sex. JudgyAsshole considered it the beginning of a relationship.


Now, JudgyAsshole, like most men, is willing to trade accomplishments for beauty, among other things. Beauty is A virtue, but it is not the ONLY virtue. Kindness, thoughtfulness, generosity, cheerfulness- all those things go a long way, especially when combined with beauty.

PrincessGetOverYourself, however, had a rather high opinion of her own beauty and what that might be worth on the dating market, and she tried to friendzone JudgyAsshole. They could have a relationship and occasional sex, but this would have to be done on the down-low so she didn’t miss out on a potentially higher status man.

She works in an office with lots of men who are partners in the business, and of course, she was hoping to land one of those. In the meantime, Princess was happy to receive attention and flattery from JudgyAsshole, but he had to accept that she was still on the prowl for someone much bigger and better.

She was truly, genuinely shocked when JudgyAsshole told her to go fuck herself.


No seriously. Princess thought it was perfectly reasonable to use JudgyAsshole emotionally and physically in the short term, all the while scanning the horizon for something better. She didn’t even LIE about it. Nope. Couldn’t seem to figure out what his problem was anyways. I mean, really, JudgyAsshole is very conventionally attractive himself, and he is accomplished professionally and well on his way to an amazing career, but gosh…something better could come along.

A file clerk.

With a little beauty.

Feel entitled to a high status man.

And entitled to the attentions of a “lower-status” man (in her opinion) in the meantime

Who thinks she’ll be one of those women moaning where have all the good men gone in a few years time when her beauty isn’t quite so valuable anymore and she has no other qualities to offer?


Let’s be clear: I am not saying that men and women cannot be friends. I have several males friends who are very dear to me. PrinceCharming is a terrific guy with a sardonic sense of humour and a love of the absurd. I deeply enjoy his company.

CleverGuy is possessed of a wickedly acerbic wit and his ability to mock the ridiculous is unparalleled. We like to watch Star Trek and weep.


JudgyAsshole is incredibly perceptive about human behavior and we love judging other people and calling them out on their bullshit. We call each other out on our own bullshit, too. He also beats the shit out of me at Scrabble by playing all these stupid botanical terms that he learned from his father, who sells tools but also loves flower arranging.


All three of these guys are attractive and clever and accomplished and not one of them accepts being put in the friendzone by the women in their lives. No fucking way. And since I don’t see them as tools to use for my own gratification, yes, we actually are friends.

The whole concept of the friendzone rests on the assumption that the vast majority of men are disposable. They can provide utilities to women and society, but their worth is measured only in terms of what they deliver, and they can be discarded with impunity the moment something better comes along.

The idea that men are human beings, just as deeply interested in loving, complex, emotionally satisfying relationships with the people in their lives is denied. Men become beasts of burden, useful until they’re not.

What’s wrong with that?

I’ll let Mick Jagger answer that:

There’s only one response to being put in the friendzone: fuck off.

fuck off

Give her the flick, lads. She’s not worth your time.

Lots of love,


58 Responses to “Sexual economics and the FriendZone”

  1. Liz March 21, 2013 at 18:34 #

    Per the Judgyassohole/Princessgetoveryourself example:
    I didn’t know a woman could friendzone someone she is having sex with? Thought sex was the whole point. If a girl has sex with a male friend, isn’t he getting the best deal ever?


  2. happycrow March 21, 2013 at 18:41 #

    Cosigned. As soon as a woman friendzones you, she’s not *actually* interested in being either your lover OR your friend.


  3. gregariouswolf March 21, 2013 at 19:32 #

    Feminist types make a lot of hay about men feeling entitled to sex. However, I do not believe men have the entitlement attitude. A man who wants a woman does things for her. He takes her out. He buys her gifts. He gives her emotional support. An entitlement is something you get automatically. It like a right. You don’t have to do anything to get it. Men in the friendzone are trying to earn a relationship. They are putting their money where their mouth is, if you’ll pardon the expression. If men felt entitled to sex, they would not have the expectation of doing stuff to get it. They’d be all like, “nice shoes. Let’s fuck.” Think about all the hoops women make men jump through. Think about how far men will go to prove his love for a woman. Men do not feel entitled to love or romance.

    I’d say the situation is closer to the reverse. Women who friendzone men feel entitled to their attention. They get it for free.


  4. sqt March 21, 2013 at 19:39 #

    I have the same read on the issue that Liz and Happycrow have- no sex in the friendzone.

    I have had a couple of guy friends over the years that were in the friendzone who, I think, would have liked to have been more- but they never made the move to get out of the zone! My husband was smart. He was more than willing to start out as a friend, but he knew that he needed to break out of there quickly and make his intentions known. It’s not okay to back-burner someone in the hopes of a better offer, but I have known guys to do that too. I had one on-and-off boyfriend way back when who wanted to do the “friends with benefits” arrangement but I shut him down quickly on that one. Better to walk away than be used.


  5. Alex March 21, 2013 at 19:52 #

    most guys in the friendzone are looking for a full on relationship. if it was just for sex, they wouldn’t be in the friendzone


  6. Liz March 21, 2013 at 20:26 #

    This paradigm isn’t anything I’m familiar with.

    In my world men are usually the gatekeepers of commitment and women the gatekeepers of sex. If a woman doesn’t want a commitment and is willing to have sex it’s a great deal for the man. The key word in thye definition of friend zone above is ‘platonic’ meaning non-sexual.

    I know if I had wanted an open relationship instead of marriage with my husband way back when, he would have been fine with being booty call. He would have never taken me seriously as a future mother for his kids, but he wouldn’t have pined away wishing I’d commit, he’d just screw me among others and go along his merry way until something better came along.


  7. Alex March 21, 2013 at 20:38 #

    its a bit of a self esteem issue. most guys in the zone tend to not hve the confidence to outright voice their intentions


  8. TMG March 21, 2013 at 20:49 #

    Not to mention that thousands of intelligent, motivated, responsible, and successful men would rather have their left teste removed with burning calipers than pursue most modern women.


  9. Wilson March 21, 2013 at 21:53 #

    Yeah, a friendzone with sex seems a little strange, unless we are talking about sordid exceptions, like the woman has sex with the friend because she is mad at her boyfriend, but then is back with him and more in love than ever the next day, with the friend left out for another 5-year-dry spell, assuming he grovels for being such a selfish creep


  10. judgybitch March 21, 2013 at 22:02 #

    Yeah, its kind of weird, but she planned to pull him out of the friendzone for those Friday nights she didn’t have a date and then the next day, the whole “let’s be friends” conversation.

    That didn’t work more than once.


  11. Bob Wallace March 21, 2013 at 22:09 #

    I’m amazed at the number of women who don’t realize men see through them. I have a friend, good-looking, fairly wealthy, who has mowed through a hundred women, all of whom thought he was serious with them. He and every man I know realizes some women try to get a good-looking guy with a lot of money – and the guys know this, hold them in contempt and use them while the women are trying to use them.


  12. Athan Nyx March 21, 2013 at 23:09 #

    The friendzone concept seems strange to me. But then I’m a person who is like “Open relationships are fine with me just don’t sneak behind my back and don’t expect me to be monogamous if you aren’t”


  13. Kai March 21, 2013 at 23:22 #

    The classic example is no sex in the friendzone. This sounds to me more like being relegated to the occasional booty call, or friend-with-occasional-benefits zone, which is a different thing.
    The stereotype definitely doesn’t include a man being ‘used’ for sex while she waits for something better.


  14. LostSailor March 21, 2013 at 23:52 #

    Amanda Marcotte is an angry woman. She doesn’t really like men, and she crafts intellectually dishonest arguments.

    She’s made this “Nice Guy” argument many times before, dishonestly. She frames it thusly: men are raised from infancy to believe they are better than women and entitled to them. When a woman isn’t interested in a man romantically and “just want to be friends,” these men get angry because they think they’re entitled sex with that woman. They pretend to be “nice guys” but only have ulterior motives. They are also all sad-sack losers and geeks who eat Cheetos and live in their mother’s basement and are worthy only of scathing mockery and ridicule, which Marcotte dishes out with relish.

    But, then, as a feminist, she simply can’t face the truth since the truth undermines her “radical” feminism (which really isn’t “radical”–there are much more radical feminists–as much as it is just hateful).

    The truth is that most (beta) modern men have been raised since infancy to be genuinely nice guys. They’re told by mothers, sisters, teachers, guidance counselors, pastors, and priests that if they are nice, respectful of women, and “just be themselves” that love and relationships–and sex–will come. So that’s what they do. And that’s why they are put in the friend-zone. And it’s not that romantic intention by the guy are “unstated,” often they are. They’re just dismissed. What Marcotte can never admit is that women who truly want those beta orbiters want to use them for an emotional support system, which either imitates or gives a small measure of intimacy to keep the orbit stable while having no intention of reciprocating. It’s the emotional aspect that makes the friend zone the most painful for most men stuck there.

    Of course, she slips a little in this piece, admitting that women aren’t genuine in their “let’s just be friends” offer; they’re just trying to “let the guy down gently.” Nothing could be further from the truth. If it was just a brush off, they wouldn’t really have much contact with the guy after. Those that continue the “friendship” are using a man (as JB points out with her great examples). The guys that fall for this are generally clueless, still stuck in the feminist indoctrination they’ve been soaked in all their lives. Marcotte degrades them as losers because she finds them “creepy,” meaning she’s not attracted to them.

    Marcotte hates the term “friend zone” precisely because it puts the responsibility on the women who do this as well as on the feminism that molded these men. Which is not only intolerable, but impossible because feminism teaches that woman bear no responsibility for their actions, only men do. Or patriarchy does. Or maybe the Easter Bunny, FFS.

    Of course men and women can have real friendships. I have many women I’m real friends with. I’ve even had occasional sex with some of them, though none of us were interested in a relationship beyond friendship. Hell, I’m friends with my ex-wife. We still share our share of long-held season baseball tickets and go to games together…


  15. Mark March 22, 2013 at 00:16 #

    I don’t know if ‘friend zone’ relationships are the result of men who expect women to notice the man’s interest and take the initiative in starting a relationship (which is only fair, of course; men take most of the financial, social and legal risk, so in a just society women would take the initiative, as is often the case I believe with our cousins the chimpanzees) or if it’s simply women using men as insurance policies and backup plans.

    I’m inclined to believe it’s the latter that is the case, but perhaps only because it would help reinforce my admittedly misanthropic (but biologically and economically valid) belief that in reality very few people are friends in the world; most are merely either hosts or parasites.


  16. Mark March 22, 2013 at 00:25 #

    It is not out of the question that she will some day suddenly decide she ‘wants more’ with him (in other words, settle for him when the alternatives dry up); at which point, his failure to be sitting there waiting for her, to magically turn on his ‘more than a friend’ emotional switch, will be treated as a gross injustice against her.

    And she will likely console herself thereafter by eagerly sending every woman she knows those delightful little Hallmark Shoebox division greeting cards that imply how men are worthless, sociopathic, or should just kill themselves, with her ‘personal experience’ to justify her ire.


  17. judgybitch March 22, 2013 at 01:39 #

    I think that might have been the plan.

    But JudgyAsshole shut her down after round one.

    No thanks.


  18. Eric March 22, 2013 at 02:40 #

    Yes. My experience with LJBF is that she doesn’t want to be a real friend either. in other words, she’ll take my support and entertainment. She’ll accept me in her life as far as my benefit to her. But if I try to share my baggage with her when I need her support, like I’ve supported her, I’m out.


  19. Eric March 22, 2013 at 02:42 #

    Men fall in love, too.


  20. Mike Hunter March 22, 2013 at 02:45 #



  21. Mike Hunter March 22, 2013 at 02:52 #

    If she was occasionally banging him then he wasn’t in the friend zone. It sounds like she wanted him for a booty call, or friends with benefits; and was too insecure about her sexuality to be honest with herself about it.

    The most prominent feature of the friend zone is no sex. That is a woman demands emotional intimacy from a man, whenever it suits her; such as when she’s complaining about what a bastard her bad boy lover is. But refuses to reciprocate with physical intimacy.

    When ever you get friend zoned the best thing is just to move on, and find a woman who is into you. Politely tell the woman in question: “Thanks but I’m not really interested in being your friend. Feel free to call me up if you change your mind.”


  22. Mike Hunter March 22, 2013 at 03:03 #

    “When women were a little less willing to have sex outside of committed relationships, men had to work a bit harder to get sex. That’s not a bad thing, either…”

    Hell yes that’s a bad thing! Why should I have to chain myself to some woman for the rest of my life, and serve as her beast of burden just to get a little poon? Truthfully even if I ended up marrying a smoking hot chick I’d get tired of banging her after a while. I love steak. But if I was forced to eat filet minion every night; I’d eventually get sick of it and want a nice salad for a change.

    Society wants to make marriage basically worthless to men? I say bring it on! I’m just going to continue banging 18-27 year olds, while I sit back and laugh as I watch it all fall apart.


  23. LJBiFed! March 22, 2013 at 03:06 #

    Having been LJBF’d more than a few times (and LJBiF’d, more on that later), I’ve concluded the onus is really on the besotted one to come clear with our intentions. I “hung out” with guy friends for months in the hopes that they’d somehow take a romantic interest in me. It didn’t work. And I’ve also crushed on guys that I didn’t know were gay and got LJBiF’d by them too! LOL.

    On the other hand I’m sure we all have benefitted from good opposite sex friendships. Even some of the guys who LJBF’d me remain my friends today because our lives are enriched in some way knowing each other.

    Some people use friendship as a way to try and make someone attracted to them or fall in love with them but it just doesn’t work that way.

    I know its hard but if you can somehow manage to tell your crush how you feel as early as possible, it really will be for the better.


  24. LJBiFed! March 22, 2013 at 03:16 #

    “He and every man I know realizes some women try to get a good-looking guy with a lot of money”

    Well, good looking guys with money often have brains, personalities and character too. Its not like looks and money are the ONLY things they have to offer in a relationship. I can’t imagine “trying to get a guy” who I thought to be physically unattractive. Of course the eyes seek beauty and if there is brains, character, chemistry and things in common behind the beauty then why not pursue?

    Sounds like a winning combo to me!


  25. Mark March 22, 2013 at 03:41 #

    That’s a sensible enough assessment (if lacking in moral or social viability). I don’t agree with it, as I’m no hedonist, but cannot complain about the idea of women in the west reaping what the forebears have sewn. Of course, most people (including men, perish the thought) want more than sex, and so your take on life is as meaningless to them as theirs is to you.

    After all, do you get bored of your friends or your parents after a while? Consider trading them in for new ones every few week? To normal people, of course, inter-person relationships of basically every sort are enhanced by longevity.

    On the other hand…

    That fewer men are going to marry though is to me simply the obvious trend, and is simply the economical choice. Increasing the cost of marriage reduces the consumption of it. Perhaps we’re headed toward what they call a ‘tournament’ system of reproduction, in which most women mate with a small number of elite ‘alpha males’ in what I would call sequential harems; that is, not many women sleeping with the same man at the same time, but rather one after the other. Most men (‘beta males’), though serving a purpose in society, would be basically reproductively inactive (like worker ants or bees, which are all infertile females; with humans of course it would be males; and instead of a few highly fertile queen bees or ants, there would be a few highly sexually active male ‘kings’ so to speak).

    Such a system would of course have some inherent problems. STDs would be rampant, unless men follower Ian Ayres’s ‘rule of 3;’ that is, use condoms the first three times you have sex with a person; in which case, in a sequential tournament system where almost all sexual intercourse is in one-night stands (or brief relationships) in a large urban society, though hygienically sound, would cause the reproduction rate to be chronically far below what is necessary to sustain the population.

    Or, of course, maybe we’re not headed to a tournament selection mating system; maybe we’re just headed toward demographic collapse, or perhaps our society will simply be gradually replaced by more reproductive culture, such as those in the middle east, as happened when the migrating Germanic tribes demographically usurped the Roman Empire. Oh well, at least we had a good run.


  26. Mark March 22, 2013 at 03:52 #

    Don’t be ridiculous!!! Everyone knows all men only want one thing from women. The rotten bastards just feel entitled to it. Only women seek genuine, emotional love… which, of course, we all know isn’t real love if not attached to an expensive car, nice house, six-figure salary and a healthy stock portfolio. See, they understand how truly rewarding and enriching love is.



  27. Marlo Rocci March 22, 2013 at 04:15 #

    I find that a generally bad habit. But like smoking, I’ve beaten it.


  28. zykos March 22, 2013 at 05:52 #

    As the saying goes, you can’t con an honest man. Women who complain about all men being liars, cheaters and assholes are not just frail and innocent creatures, they really have nothing to offer and like you said, the attractive men see through their game.


  29. Brz March 22, 2013 at 09:00 #

    The funny thing is that “friendzoning” women is, in the contrary, an almost impossible thing to do for men : if you use an enamored girl as a fuck buddy, you’re an asshole (or even an “emotional abuser” rapist who deserve to be prosecuted); if you reject a girl who happens to be your friend, you’re an asshole because we assume that you’ve flirted with her and “played with her feelings” (because, yes, as a man, you’re always responsible for the feelings women hold towards you).
    That’s when a man reject a woman that female’s “entitlement” express itself in its most shameless form, when a man, for some reasons, isn’t neither a “walking dildo” trying compulsively to stuff his dick in some orifice, neither a “white knight” always ready to satisfy a woman’s desire but just a man who…. eh… don’t want it. You can be sure that the rejected woman won’t take it cool, that she won’t be a “nice girl”, there’s just simply no etiquette which dictates the decent way for women to react decently to rejection : maybe she’ll be just vexed, maybe she’ll be mad at you and call you an asshole or maybe she’ll cry and convince other people that you are, indeed, really an asshole (and you can maybe lose friends and your job).

    As a man cannot reject a woman, he need then to learn how to avoid the situations where he have to do it. He must understand that he’s not allowed to be a tease and that not only means that he’s not allowed to flirt without wanting something but also that he have to be careful not to send unintentionally the bad signals which could be interpreted as flirting.
    In the situation where a woman you’ve not flirted with is still waiting you to speak out your love or rip her clothes and fuck her savagely or something and start thinking about making the first move, you can use different tricks in order to avoid the awful situation where you’ll be forced to say “no” that mostly don’t work (“I think I’m gay”, “do you find this guy hot? I would like to look like him”, “I enjoy watching midget porn”).
    Although, there’s is an effective trick : the anti-PC bomb. If you live in a western urban era, odds are very strong that the entitled girl who don’t want to understand that you’re not interested is a faithful worshiper of the Progressive Religion (universalism, multiculturalism and hate of the west), she’s conditioned to think that if you say something non-PC, you’re Hitler, so if you seize the opportunity of a one-on-one conversation to say something like “I think Muslims rape often non-Muslims girls because that’s written in their holy book that it’s OK to rape infidels”, she’ll think that you’re an horrible person and that, therefore, you don’t deserve an enlightened intelligent anti-racist/sexist/homophobic like her. No drama, no tears, she’ll forget you without remorse.


  30. Sean11 March 22, 2013 at 10:51 #

    Widening the scope of the discussion to include polygamy might cast a different light. If that was the accepted practice, more women will have access to more wealth and status. There might still be lower status men getting sex off of these women on the side as Richy Rich might not be able to supply all that lurv. Imagine wife #73 texting her hubby for an urgent hook up to cover up Daddy’s Maybe!


  31. Liz March 22, 2013 at 11:58 #

    IOW, the male equivalent of the cat lady? Met one of those last night. Happens about 10 years later for men, but it happens.


  32. Björn Axén March 22, 2013 at 12:18 #

    “It’s neat how the OED tried to make it sound gender neutral, as if either men or women could end up in the friendzone, but the explanatory sentence tells the story a little more accurately: men end up in the friendzone, watching women pursue other guys.”

    Just wanted to say that I have experience of women in the friendzone. Nor as common but it happens.


  33. Björn Axén March 22, 2013 at 12:19 #

    By the way, great blog!


  34. happycrow March 22, 2013 at 13:21 #

    ding-ding. Give that man a prize.


  35. LJBiFed! March 22, 2013 at 19:47 #

    “It’s not okay to back-burner someone in the hopes of a better offer, but I have known guys to do that too. ”

    Why isn’t that ok? Why is it assumed that all dating is exclusive dating? Dating is just that, dating. Exclusivity comes with an official engagement or something close to it.


  36. LJBiFed! March 22, 2013 at 19:50 #

    “The stereotype definitely doesn’t include a man being ‘used’ for sex while she waits for something better.”

    Yeah. A lot of men would be happy with such an arrangement, unless they were madly in love with the woman already. However sometimes it happens that friends with benefits end up falling in love too. Either with each other, or unrequited. That’s a whole other topic.


  37. sqt March 23, 2013 at 03:51 #

    It depends on the situation. The only time I’ve experienced that personally was with a guy who came at me hard and told me he loved me only to suddenly back off and try to do the friends-with-benefits thing. I was young and didn’t understand what was going on and only later did I realize he was too screwed up to know what he wanted. He wasn’t a bad guy, just not the right guy. He tried to get me back later but I didn’t want to go through that again- and I think we both ended up in a better place thanks to ending the relationship.

    I guess my point is that I don’t think the back-burner dynamic is gender specific. Both sides do it. I only think it’s a bad thing when one party is more emotionally invested than the other. I’ve never done it to anyone myself (I’ve never been comfortable with dating more than one person at a time) but if someone else is comfortable with the arrangement- who am I to judge?


  38. Sterling March 23, 2013 at 15:19 #

    Provided they live that long. Some would, sadly, off themselves. Or some other circumstance might occur.


  39. Emma March 23, 2013 at 16:16 #

    A friendzone can certainly be a place where one’s exploited, but I was also under the impression that it can be any situation where someone tries to be friends first, waits too long and then their loved one no longer sees them that way. Based on this, I neither think that concept of friendzone rests of male disposability, nor on sexist misogyny, like the feminists say. Rather, I think concept of FZ comes up because men oversexualize women’s intentions, and women undersexualize men’s. And because the people involved often don’t state their intentions explicitly, feminists can say niceguys are secretly jerks, and the opposing side can say friendzoners are secretly exploiters.

    But yes, it’s a bad idea to stay in the friendzone, if you can’t be just friends. Although if I was in a man’s situation, instead of giving her the finger, I’d use something recommended by A B Dada (i think it was him): “Ah, you want to be just friends. But I wasn’t looking for a friend, I was looking for someone I can be more than just friends with/meaningful relationship. I hoped it could be with you, but I guess not. I’ll keep looking”. I like this one, as it seems calm, collected and not butthurt.

    Reason why I’m recommending a calmer approach? I guess because sometimes, its not clear if your friendzoner is exploiting you or not. Sometimes there is reasonable doubt – maybe they just think they can go on being friends, and since you always offered so much to them, they accept it. That way, you avoid looking like a prick, looking like a caring asshole, and you look higher value and save dignity.


  40. Mike Hunter March 24, 2013 at 00:50 #

    Yes all I’ll have is internet porn to fap to, and my tears to use as lube. LOL! I’ve never met a ‘male cat lady’? You know why? Because of simple demographic and social preferences favor men as they age.

    Men have a higher mortality rate. So for the ones that are left their cohort has a higher female to male ratio. Also men age like wine; women age like milk. That is to say two of the three things that makes a man desirable: wealth & power increase as he gets older. The things that make a woman desirable: youth & beauty decrease as she gets older.

    Of course the third trait that women desire in a man: virility decreases as he gets older. That’s why you usually don’t see senior citizens with 18 year olds. But if you take good care of yourself there is no reason why you can’t easily date a woman 10-15 years younger then you. That’s without even counting a ‘sugar daddy’ relationship. Or older men who find young women with daddy issues. Which I have seen older guys pull off.

    Hell one of my brothers friends was a baggage handler at the airport, with a high school education. He worked for the airlines, and got free tickets on standby. So you know what he would do? He would bring smoking hot chicks over from poor places like: Latvia, Thailand, etc on a tourist visa for a couple of months. These women would jump at the chance to: feed him, fuck him, and clean his place; in order to see a city in America and live what they saw as the good life. Then after 3-4 months he would just rotate them out. Even though a tourist visa can be good for 1 year, and you can renew it for longer after that.

    By the time that I’d have to resort to anything like that I’ll be making a lot more money then that guy. If he can do it; then I can do it to. But if only sleeping with one woman for the rest of your life is your thing; then by all means go for it. I just don’t see why you need to enter into an unfavorable legal agreement in order to do it.


  41. Liz March 24, 2013 at 11:36 #

    @MH: “I’ve never met a ‘male cat lady’? You know why? Because of simple demographic and social preferences favor men as they age.”

    I know a lot of them. I lived next to a sixty-something bachelor in DC and he had a heart attack right next door and I never would have known if he died. Fortunately, it was a day his niece came over to visit in the evening and saw him on the floor. I know a lot of men who have never been married and have a situation you say you aspire to (very well off, good career, can get laid when they want with minimal effort if they aren’t terribly choosy). In their forties. There’s a season in life for everything and they’ve expired the fun out of the no strings lifestyle. But they can’t live with anyone either, been alone too long. I don’t know ANYONE of them who is happy with that situation, they all wish they’d found someone and raised a family.

    While demographics DO favor men over time, it gets old to pick up new after new piece of strange who is only interested in your money. Cat ladies could do the same, and pick up a “kept” Thai boy as housekeeper but it’s not a lifestyle to aspire to.


  42. Mike Hunter March 24, 2013 at 18:38 #

    “…they’ve expired the fun out of the no strings lifestyle. But they can’t live with anyone either, been alone too long.”

    I don’t quite understand what the first sentence I’ve quoted from you means. Men aren’t women with extra body hair. Banging attractive young women never gets old; it’s what men are hardwired to do, to spread our genes. That doesn’t mean that you can’t have a romantic interest that you care about in your life as well, and continue that relationship for as long as it works for both of you.

    In fact that’s that situation I’m in now. I have the best of both worlds; and I’m honest with everyone involved about it. Monogamy is an artificial social construct that simply doesn’t work for me. Having a romantic interest that you care about, and wish to keep seeing doesn’t mean that you have to enter into a unfavorable legal agreement.

    If a guy gets tired of being single, and can still find mates; then there’s no reason he can’t settle down. Your assertion that “They can’t live with anyone either, [because] it’s been too long” doesn’t make any sense.

    Cat ladies could do the same, and pick up a “kept” Thai boy as housekeeper but it’s not a lifestyle to aspire to.

    That’s because men and women value different things in a mate. Men want youth, beauty, and kindness; women want wealth, power, and virility. Cat ladies don’t pick up a kept Thai boy because they want to be the one who is provided for and protected. They’re not interested in doing the providing and protecting.

    Yes as an older man you can pay for smoking hot women. There’s nothing wrong with that. But you don’t have to. As I said before there are young girls with daddy issues who actually like older men, or you could fly in your women and the only thing you’d have to pay for is extra food. I’ve seen both first hand.

    As I said before if chaining yourself to a battleaxe is your thing then go for it. That’s the cool thing about your life; it’s – your life -. So do what makes you happy. For me that doesn’t include marriage.


  43. Kai March 24, 2013 at 21:46 #

    I don’t think there is anything wrong with it if you were clear about your intentions. Then it’s up to the other person if they want to be your ‘in-the-meantime’.
    The problem is when it’s a tease.


  44. Mike Hunter March 24, 2013 at 22:24 #

    Oh I just wanted to add. I don’t think that all marriages are miserable sinkholes of despair. Judgy Bitch’s marriage is a prime example of what a good marriage should be.

    But with 50% of marriages in the United States ending in divorce; and slightly more then two-thirds of those divorces being filed by women the odds are certainly stacked against you.

    As a man why take that legal and financial risk for no reason? If you want all of the benefits of marriage [except for the tax benefits] with none of the downsides, just find a serious girlfriend.


  45. sqt March 24, 2013 at 22:32 #

    Agreed. Which is why it’s an arrangement I couldn’t go along with.


  46. Mark March 25, 2013 at 05:32 #

    The marital contract is supposed to confer permanence, which has the benefit of stability (not merely financial, but social and emotional stability); it was (less so today) the inception of a familial relationship, and familial relationships (parent-child, siblings, etc.) are generally life-long ones; the family institution serves the purpose of providing stability for its members, especially children.

    Non-marital relationships, as has been demonstrated by a number of sociological studies (I don’t know them off hand; some older ones can be found in one of the books of a James Q Wilson I read a while back) are a poor substitute for marriage. Particularly when it comes to child—rearing; for the benefit of society, it would behoove any male who restricts himself to such relationships not to reproduce, given the effects it has on children (such relationships, even when resulting in children, fall apart at a rate much higher even than modern marriages).

    Generally, marriage does increase the likelihood of a relationship being successful, in part because of the stability conferred by permanence. A relationship in which one party can with impunity jump ship when things begin to get difficult is virtually always doomed to end within a few years (if not months) unless a commitment to permanence is made. Such relationships do not remotely confer the primary benefit of marriage: stability. It is also worth noting that married men are generally found to be happier (by what measures of happiness sociologists can develop, at any rate) than single men.

    Now, I’m not defending the one-sidedness of the marriage contract in the modern west, please note. Properly, both parties were expected to make roughly sacrifices in entering into the relationship, and shame was associated with its failure, and sacrifice and effort was expected of both parties to keep it from failing; the fetishization of ‘true love,’ ‘love at first sight,’ etc. have done much to destroy the reality of the fact that viscerally fancying another person is grossly insufficient for a successful marriage; and, as you already no, the legal marriage is a terrible deal for the modern man and a racket for so many modern women. I wouldn’t blame any man for avoiding legal marriage on principle. One could just get married in a church or something, for example, without the civil contract. If two parties value the approval of an institution or community to their commitment enough to have a vested interest in preserving it (and would suffer shame upon its failure), it can serve as a reasonably viable substitute for the tragically contorted construct that the modern legal marital construct has become.

    I should add, ‘we’re hardwired that way’ is a poor argument for any sort of behavior. Murder, thievery, rape, war, and genocide are all, in a way, natural. It is socially and culturally constructed norms and rules vigorously imposed on people that ‘keep them in line.’ The repression of instincts is vital and necessary for the existence of civilization and culture. When people most persistently fail to conform to socially constructed norms, the word we have for them is ‘sociopath.’ Just because some kind of behavior is natural, or in accord with one’s baser instincts, does not mean that it is good. Not remotely.

    I guess you could say I’m more a Hobbesian than a ‘Rousseauian.’


  47. Mark March 25, 2013 at 05:35 #

    I think mine’s the longest one here. ‘lol.’ Sorry, couldn’t resist saying that in light of the Adria Richards story.


  48. binky January 28, 2014 at 11:48 #

    Men aren’t the onlyone’s in the “friendzone” women get tossed in their also.


  49. pvblivs April 26, 2014 at 21:13 #

    All descriptions I have seen of the “friendzone” are exploitative. The man is expected to be there for the woman on the woman’s terms. He exists to service her needs and his needs are not important.


  50. mistuhgee May 7, 2014 at 03:43 #

    In my limited experience, it is women who feel entitled to sex on demand. Because of my religious background and a refusal to risk bringing a child into the world without a family to raise him or her, I have declined about half a dozen serious offers of sex from attractive women. And HOLY HELL! I have rarely seen that kind of anger anywhere else! Seems I had no business turning down their offer and hurting their feelings like that. And these were women who either knew of, or shared, my morals and whom people thought to be utterly reasonable normal women.


  51. Reneé SingerSongwriter September 14, 2014 at 17:49 #

    Liz you are SOOOO right! If there is sex, then there is no friendzone. If that were the case, you know how many women would be “fzed” daily? As men are the “gatekeepers” of commitment. The whole point of the FZ is that he/she is not interested in you in the least. Not romantically, not sexually, NOTHING. He/she is like your brother/sister. “Oh he’s like a brother to me! I could NEVER have sex with him!” If the opposite were the case, then NO MAN WOULD EVER complain about being in the “friendzone”. As sex is what they most likely ultimately want….regardless of whether or not they have REAL feelings for the female!


  52. Reneé SingerSongwriter September 14, 2014 at 17:51 #

    Nope. They still would be in the fz. Bc thats the whole point of the fz. Having a man who is JUST a friend. eg. “I could never have sex with Jon or be romantic with him in any type of way. He’s like my brother!” Jon’s friendzoned. If sex were not a huge factor, NO MAN WOULD EVER complain about being fzed as he could get his nutt off and keep it moving. Most men in the fz want full on relationships. You’re right about that. But the fact still remains that once there is sex involved, he/she is out of the zone.


  53. Reneé SingerSongwriter September 14, 2014 at 18:05 #

    Once she has sex with him, he is out of the zone. Even if he only wanted her for the sex. If she gives it to him with no expectation of love/ commitment, he is not “friendzoned”. He is happy.


  54. Jeebus October 1, 2014 at 17:26 #

    Right, because you know us men never want anything more than sex. Sex sex sex, that’s literally all I care about.


  55. MakeMyDay October 4, 2014 at 11:27 #

    As a man, I *would* have complain. Back in my days all I wanted was a serious, long-term relationship and I didn’t care that much for sex you and I wouldn’t have been happy with it alone -at all. And I’m not even a “not until marriage” traditionalist nor asexual either (both of whom sum up for a lot of men as well), mind you.
    So unless you are being sarcastic, stop parroting that nonsense (or projecting your own thinking, most probably).

    BTW, Judgy, (occasional) reader first poster here and so far loving your entries. Keep on doing the good work.


  56. MakeMyDay October 4, 2014 at 11:28 #

    *Whops, miss-typed a pronoun there.


  57. Jack Strawb December 8, 2014 at 02:40 #

    Liz has a point. Most of the guys I knew in my teens and twenties would not have considered having sex with a woman they were attracted to as leaving them in the friendzone. A man having casual sex with a woman he wants a serious relationship with is a whole ‘nother category of relatedness.



  1. Friendzone | Yasers hörna - March 26, 2013

    […] [Sexual economics and the FriendZone] <- judgybitch […]


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