There’s a silly idea prevalent in “Red Pill” and “Manosphere” circles: that 80% of the women are only attracted to 20% of the men. While this is very exaggerated to say the least, it’s obviously true that being in the top 20% (or 5%, or 1%, etc.) is a big advantage. So who are the top 20%? What does it take for a man to be in these top percentages? Less than you might think.
Image and Presentation
Let’s start with a big and obvious thing that’s well within a man’s control: image and presentation. Look around the next time you’re around a lot of people; most men don’t dress very well and they don’t pay much attention to their appearance. Cultivating good posture (that’s what all those book-and-water-glass-on-your-head exercises in finishing schools are for…), grooming yourself well, taking good care of your skin, getting your hair cut and styled into something that flatters you, and wearing good-quality clothes that actually match with each other and fit your body well will make you look much better put-together than most men.
Notice how rich people and celebrities always have clothes that look good on them even if they’re something simple like a pair of blue jeans? It’s because they have all their clothing custom-tailored so it actually fits them. The good news for the 99% is that such services aren’t all that expensive; a middle-income man can easily afford to have all his clothes tailored if he makes it a priority and budgets for it.
All the tailoring in the world will only do so much if the body you’re tailoring it to doesn’t look good. While height, facial features, and the fundamentals of body shape are outside your control, there is an easy lever to look better that most men don’t take advantage of: fitness and weight.
Most of being a Cut Above is Just Showing Up
For all the moral panic about the obesity crisis, weight as such has surprisingly little effect on health unless you put on heroic amounts of it; nevertheless, having too much fat on you makes you look worse (including, all-importantly, in the face!), and makes lovemaking much less sexy than it should be. That’s reason enough to take the fat off.
Yet looking around makes it obvious that most men don’t even bother to keep pot bellies from creeping up on them; if you diligently count your calories and get said calories from the healthy and wholesome nutritious less-processed foods rather than highly-processed empty calories you’ll already be ahead of most men, likely vaulting you into the top 20% right there.
Fitness is another big one; women like their men to be physically strong. Though appearance as such isn’t as important to women as it is to men, it’s worth noting women also like their men to have a physique, to have some muscle on them. Not to bodybuilder proportions, mind you; just looking like you’re stronger than a cream puff will do, and that’s not too difficult.
Again, looking around makes it obvious that few men are anywhere near their genetic potential for strength with even modest effort, so just sticking to a strength regimen that challenges you for the long haul will put you in the top 20% in this department.
A Cut Above in Income and Wealth: How Much?
Another big one is money, dollars and cents, and this can be quantified much more easily. As of 2019 the median American man earned $50,000 a year. $100,000 a year is enough to put you in the top 20%. As of 2020 it took $150,000 a year to enter the top 10%, $201,000 a year to enter the top 5%, and $428,000 a year to enter the top 1%. This is for all men, who have a median age around 40.
For younger men just starting out, the salary needed is even lower. As of 2016 for a 25-year-old American man all it took to enter the top 20% was $50,000 a year, the top 10% $70,000, the top 5% $90,000, and the top 1% $140,000.
Wealth might be even more important. As of 2020 you need a net worth of $558,000 to enter the top 20%, $1.2 million to enter the top 10%, $2.6 million to enter the top 5%, and $11.1 million to enter the top 1%. Keep in mind older people tend to have a lot more wealth, so your effective competition (young and to a lesser extent middle-aged people) is less formidable than these numbers suggest.
For 18-24 year olds merely having zero savings and zero debt puts you ahead of 28% of the population; yikes. More to the point, you need only $37,000 to enter the top 20%, $94,000 to enter the top 10%, $141,000 to enter the top 5%, and $435,000 to enter the top 1%. For a 25-29 year old you need $75,000 to be in the top 20%, $152,000 to enter the top 10%, $230,000 to enter the top 5%, and $606,000 to enter the top 1%.
Much ink has been spilled on the topic of earning money as well as saving and investing, but the bottom line is if you have a decent income and are determined it’s not hard to save and grow your nest egg to six figures if you’re determined and invest very aggressively (like 3:1 leveraged stock index investing). Starting from nothing, investing $500 a month in this fashion will get you there in 8 years, and to $1 million in 21 years. For most men, entering even the top 1%, let alone the top 20%, in wealth isn’t that hard.
Confidence and an Interesting Life
Confidence and social dominance are perhaps the biggest factors in attracting women. “You’ve got it or you haven’t” applies to a large extent, but once again relatively modest effort can get you far. A shockingly large proportion of men can barely even talk, let alone hold a stimulating conversation with a woman, and another shockingly large proportion don’t take the initiative in planning any kind of fun stimulating activities for a date. With any serious level of effort almost anybody can do better than that. Having a plan in mind and inviting the girl along for the ride works wonders. So this is another area where it’s not too hard to break into the top 20%.
Having an interesting life aside from a humdrum career is always a plus, and this usually means pursuing passions or at least serious hobbies. It rounds out your personality and helps to attract women. In particular, I recommend a hobby that’s creative, keeps you in shape, and lets you meet a lot of new people. Ideal in my view are physical disciplines such as sports and dance.
Dance in particular has a uniquely magnetic quality; women love to be danced around, with a fun trip around the dance floor turning women’s “meh” faces into smiling misty-eyed faces, smiling and misty-eyed for you! Yet relatively few people pursue dance; busting out some salsa moves or confidently taking a girl around the dance floor just by itself likely puts you in the top 10%. Doing competition and show dances that actually look good vaults you well into the top 1%.
Dance cultivates many good qualities in both sexes, but in men it importantly cultivates the faculty of being dominant toward women and at once making sure they have a good time with you, always a winning combination.
Reach for the Stars!
The real magic comes in the combination of all these goals. Many fewer than 20% of men are in the top 20% in multiple categories; by pursuing all these paths I’ve outlined simultaneously an average man in terms of the endowments he starts off with might raise himself to the top 5% overall, possibly as high as the top 1%.
How high you should shoot for depends on what your goals are; if you want to have your pick of average women then just being in the top 20% overall is probably more than sufficient to get you where you want to go. If, like me, you’re aiming for higher-quality women, such as the top 1%, the top 0.1%, or even the top 0.01%, then you’ll need to up your goals accordingly.
Whether that’s attainable or not depends, but one thing is clear: for all the whining about how only the top 20% of men get anywhere with women, it’s striking how easy it is for most men to reach this level if they set their minds to it. My advice to them: man up and strive to be a cut above.