Debunking Sexual Market Value (SMV) Theory*
What’s Wrong With Ranking Women on a Scale of 1–10?
(*Repost from May 2021)
Videos of men discussing Sexual Market Value (SMV) are flooding the internet. With the advent of social media and YouTube, the rationale and theory has become more publicized and accessible. While some claim a woman’s “ranking” of attractiveness is scientific (a la facial symmetry, BMI, age, etc.), others may refute this with the logical and straightforward rebuttal that attractiveness is subjective. While women may protest assigning a numeric value as objectification, men argue that it is natural to rate others and that women do it too. The question then becomes; What are we using to determine SMV, and is it a valid theory?
The online group ThePowerMoves.com defines sexual market value:
“Sexual market value (SMV) refers to an individual’s mating value, and it’s the sum of all resources, personal qualities, and fitness indicators that he possesses. In simpler terms, the sexual market value is an individual’s level of attractiveness to the opposite sex, and it’s equivalent to one’s own dating power.”
In conversation, men have used the factors described above to rank women on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the highest desirability. The question then becomes,
What is a 10?
According to SMV theory, the woman of the highest sexual market value (desirability) is in her early twenties, physically fit, agreeable (submissive), and career-oriented. SMV theory also posits that women’s desirability decreases with age and that by the time she is 35, her value is null.
The problem with SMV rating women on a scale of 1–10, or SMV in general, is that no universal scale can be applied to all women. It is also an outdated (circa de the 1980s) mechanism that uses an obsolete prototype as the baseline for the standard of desirability. Standards of desirability change from culture to culture, race to race, and sexual orientation over time and as society evolves. There is no one-size-fits-all.
Due to social and body positivity movements, the 1980’s — 1990’s Playboy Bunny or Victoria’s Secret Angel, who is impossibly thin with rock-hard breast implants and bleached hair, is no longer the “modern” standard of beauty. One could argue that breast augmentation has now been replaced with BBL — or Brazilian Butt Lifts, but this just further proves the point that standards of outward beauty and desirability change over time.
On Personal Qualities & Fitness:
What American white men find attractive differs from European white men. While in Europe, as a Black woman, I was approached by more white men (dozens) in a matter of days than ever in life in America. What many Asian men find attractive may differ from what the majority of Latin men. What non-black Hispanic men find desirable may vary from Afro-Latino men. And what African American men find desirable may be different from what African men on the continent of Africa find desirable. For example, I once met an African man who told me that I was not large enough (as in weight) for him to find me attractive. The point is, the range is drastic in what men find attractive across cultures and races. There can be no realistic “baseline” for physical beauty. Even if so, that is subject to change.
The views on socio-economic standards also vary greatly. Some men (especially extremely wealthy men who come from generational wealth) desire a woman of equal means or substantial social stature to be considered desirable. (Think Royals, Nicki Hilton, and James Rothschild). Others, such as the new, self-made millionaires and new billionaires (Think Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos), seem to desire women who support their career ambitions and are equally ambitious in their professions. Whereas, many upper-middle-class men (“thousandaires”) may not want to endure the stress that is the fallout from a partner working a corporate job. They prefer housewives. Finally, many lower-earning men often seek hypergamy. Since men come from different socio-economic backgrounds and have different perspectives on wealth management, does it make sense to set a standard for their attitudes on a partner’s resources?
Readers, brace yourselves. Despite the narrative that women lessen in desirability as they age, I was approached by many men in their early twenties while in my late thirties, and even at 40. They are persistent, aggressive, and unyielding in their pursuit. Even when I tell them my age and politely decline, they still pursue me and ask to connect. I even sense sadness or disdain when I tell them that I am not interested because they are too young. The cognitive dissonance of being approached by younger men was paralyzing at first. Society projected that once women reached the age of 30, they hit the wall. Yet, the reality was has taught quite the opposite.
Conversely, in my early twenties, I married a man over ten years my senior who found my lack of experience and maturity annoying. Many of my male friends have confessed that they are attracted physically to twenty-somethings but cannot hold a meaningful conversation because the priorities are so different. The notion that women’s SMV and desirability reduce as they age is false. It depends on the individual and the context. This is confirmed by first-hand experience.
I recall being in grade school and seeing handwritten lists of all the girls in class with numbers beside our names. The men in one company I worked for (pre #MeToo movement) even did the same for the women in the local office. They ranked us on a scale of 1–10, 10 being the highest.
For most adults, priorities, and values evolve from childhood to adulthood. Most boys are attracted to the most voluptuous girl because hormones in puberty drive them. Disney influences girls to marry a Prince because Princes are projected as most desirable in fairytales. As we grow, we learn realistic desirable traits to seek in partners beyond boobs and crowns. We develop our value systems based on our individual experiences and environments.
If everyone has their opinion of what is attractive, how could a universal ranking scale be applied to all women (and men)? The answer is, (for an evolved person): it cannot.
TCG by MBMM is a quarterly publication. Each quarter, TCG by MBMM Medium articles are archived on Patreon. This article was originally published in Medium in May of 2021. However, it is reposted because the author wishes to reach as many readers as possible. It is unfathomable that we are still “ranking” all women on a scale of 1–10 in 2022.