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The toyboy power move (& why men need power-dynamics knowledge)

Yesterday I had an interesting situation.

I was at a networking event in Chiang Mai, which is full of digital entrepreneurs.

I got there early, and there were two people only: a white woman, and a Philippino guy.

The guy had his own business training people to ride horses, did motocross, and was a competitor in strength and endurance competitions -yes, it's a strange mix I didn't know existed, but apparently it does-.
He had all the cards to be an overall cool guy, plus he was obviously ripped and looked like a male model.

His girlfriend was the organizer of the event.
Not really attractive, but she was socially skilled and power-aware.

Let's see how that couple matched up.

Assortative Bartering: Looks for Status

This was an atypical couple, somewhat.

He was vastly more physically attractive, while she was by far more socially and power-aware.

How could this be?

Well, in "sexual market place 101" I introduced the concept of"assortative bartering".
In a nutshell, the concept says that mates can trade different values to end up at a similar level of overall mate value.

Usually though it's the woman who trades looks for status.
But, alas, dating is full of exceptions, and this was one.

She was trading status, network, and social intelligence and he was pitching looks and physique.
I don't know if that was the case for this couple, but since whites here are considered higher status here, we might also argue that "race" was also part of the trade here.
Such as: he worked his ass off to be attractive and equally successful, so that he would make up for the "racial status gap".

But I'm speculating here.

What's definitely true is that, on paper, he had all it took to be the leader of the relationship.
But he wasn't.
He wasn't because he was power-ignorant.
He just didn't see the social dynamics at play.

See here why.

The Toy Boy Power Move

Now listen to this.

The 3 of us, me the girl and the Philippino guy were chatting.

Investigative as usual, I asked if he was there to help, how they met, etc.
Here are the two most important bits of that conversation:

Me: Are you also one of the organizers

Him: No, she is

Her: Yeah, I brought him along

That already says a lot.
He doesn't realize he is coming across as a "tag along" who had little else to do.
Which is ridiculous considering he has a business and trains professionally every single day.

And a bit later:

Me: How did you guys get to know each other

Her: (...) and then we got together because he's cute. (looking at me) He's cute, isn't he

LOL, I'm laughing as I type this (it's a sort of dating dark humor).

What a slap to his face.
That was sooo demeaning.

Little explanation needed here, she was basically saying "he is my toyboy".

I laughed and was about to say "yeah, he's kinda cute" but didn't because I didn't feel like aggravating his situation and he seemed a nice person.

You Need Power-Dynamics Awareness

Moral of the story:

You can't coast on either looks or personal success.

Work on both, but they're not enough.
You need awareness of power dynamics.
Both to increase your personal value, and to avoid being taken advantage by others -and being made the butt of the joke as in this situation-.

Kellvo, Matthew Whitewood and 3 other users have reacted to this post.
KellvoMatthew WhitewoodStefRiley Thomasoccam
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

Damn, that was brutal. She's basically saying that his looks are his best (and only) quality, and that he's basically her pet.

I give it six months, tops.

Stef has reacted to this post.