Sexual Marketplace

The sexual marketplace is governed by the forces of supply and demand just like any other market, be it crypto, equities, real estate, you name it. Yet the majority of people have not conducted proper fundamental analysis on this ever so important market, and therefore do not realize the significant changes that have been occurring over the past couple of decades. No market ever stays constant, and the sexual marketplace is no exception. By applying the principles of economics to study the past and examine the present, we can then identify important trends that will shape the future.

The Past

The past, as defined by the era before the age of globalization and information technology, was a much simpler, slower, and smaller world. Before the adoption of affordable aviation and information age technologies such as the smartphone, dating usually consisted of a young man and woman from the same local town or city meeting in person, becoming attracted to each other, and quickly settling down in their early 20s. Perhaps the college football hero meets the leading cheerleader and they come together and start a family. Life outside of that small town or city would practically be invisible to them, let alone life in another country.

This is depicted in this diagram, where generally speaking, a woman paired up with a man of the similar caliber when measured in sexual marketplace value (SMV). In other words, a "10" rated woman is paired with the "10" rated man, and a "9" rated woman is paired with the "9" rated man, etc. However, note that as discussed in the Survival and Reproduction section, men and women place emphasis on different traits, i.e. men value reproductive fitness traits in their female counterparts more, whereas women value survival fitness traits in their male counterparts more (relatively speaking).

The Present

Similar to how the equity markets behaved drastically different during the OTC trading days compared to today's fully automated stock exchanges, the rise of globalization and information age technology has completely upended the sexual market. The sexual marketplace of today now operates globally and at the speed of light. Whereas in the past, life outside of one's city was practically unknowable, dating apps and social media now allow 2 people from completely opposite sides of the globe to meet. Affordable aviation allows them to physically meet anywhere in the world in about 24 hours. Now the college football hero is not just competing with the other local boys in his town for the cheerleader. He is now competing against the multi-millionaire Saudi prince, who can instantly DM the cheerleader and fly her to the Middle East within 24 hours. Perhaps, the football hero is still able to find a partner, but that cannot be said for the rest of the men further down the ladder.

The result is a distorted sexual market as depicted above. The technological and geographical isolation of the past acted as a sort of anti-trust mechanism. Information age technology has removed those shackles. Free markets left unabated trend towards monopolization, and the dating market is no exception. The outcome is that more and more men are being priced out of the dating market.

The Future

Men that are "priced out" of the dating market are colloquially referred to as "incels" (involuntary celibates), and this trend is set to continue. This is not a demeaning statement, but purely a rational assessment based on the economic factors involved.

As depicted in the diagram above, the rise in sexless men has risen dramatically, almost in an exponential fashion, following the introduction of Tinder, which is a symbol of the digitization and globalization of the sexual marketplace. Interestingly, the % of sexless women has only risen slightly relative to men, which further suggests that more women are pairing up with the same small group of men.

By understanding these trends and the biological roots of mate preference (i.e. survival and reproduction value), we can view certain phenomenon from a better lens. Why is an average Western man who struggles to get a girlfriend in his home country treated as a status symbol and chased by women in South East Asia? His "average" income/lifestyle, which renders him invisible to western women, is viewed as extremely luxurious from the perspective of the woman in an developing country. This can still be a good outcome for both parties involved because the Western man is able to secure an attractive and feminine woman, while the woman is able to secure a man with a high income (relative to her native country) who can provide for her and her kids. In essence, he is applying the concept of arbitrage to capitalize on inefficiencies in the sexual marketplace.

As income inequality continues to expand and information technology continues to proliferate, geo-arbitrage as a dating strategy will certainly become more popular. However, the vast majority of men cannot apply this strategy because their income source is tied to their geographic location (i.e. he loses his high income in $USD if he relocates to the Philippines). Moreover, while this may benefit men who can live remotely, this actually hurts the local male population, who are further pushed down the pecking order and end up suffering the same consequences as the western man in his native country. Therefore, we expect the phenomenon of men who are unable to find a female partner to continue to rise.

By conducting thorough fundamental analysis on the dating market and identifying important socioeconomic trends, we can now analyze what product & services would do well by catering to this exponentially increasing market of men who are being priced out of the dating market.

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