The Notch Collector

I often meet a certain type of Western man in my travels: the notch collector. He is the man who collects notches like trading cards. He enjoys presenting his cards to you, occasionally dropping a card or two on the floor in the hopes that you or someone else will see it. He insists on seeing your cards so he can compare them with his. He has an accounting spreadsheet system to record his new scores. He assumes that his cards provide insurance against being unhappy in old age. He is blissful with his collection until he meets a man who has cards that he doesn’t. His cards keep him busy, and he would be confused on what to do with his leisure time if he was not allowed to collect.

If anyone is to blame for creating such a man, it’s me. I’ve described notch collecting in many posts and offered it as an objective view of your progress in the game. I’ve also published posts that put notches at the forefront of male achievement. Notches are one of many metrics I use to judge my satisfaction with women, but the notch collector uses it as the main source of his happiness with females and how he compares himself with other men. If another man has less notches than him, he feels happy. If the man has more notches than him, he’s unhappy. This is a troubling development, because notches in isolation are not enough to give fulfillment with life or women, and it’s not much different than men going around asking each other how much money they make.

I don’t blame the Western man who collects notches. What else is he going to do to feel like he has achieved something in life? Getting married and having kids would have been the answer 30 years ago, but now few men dream of this. Or maybe he could invent something and change the world, but the days of the solo inventor working in his personal laboratory are over. Most men simply won’t discover or create anything. Some can maintain internet hustles, but where’s the glamour in that? Sure, he makes $4,000 a month sitting in front of a computer screen pushing e-products or apps, but that money is just a number on a screen that he doesn’t touch or feel. It’s abstract and not a source of masculine pride.

He could pursue a life of good health by working out or learning a martial art, but hitting a certain goal on the bench press will leave him satisfied for three hours at most. Notches, however, are quite concrete—or at least they feel concrete. The vaginal penetration is real, a glorious achievement, but it quickly fades and you need to collect another to log into your spreadsheet. As long as you are actively notching, one builds upon the next and you feel the growing momentum of your achievements, your masculinity reaching ever higher, but the minute you take a break, whether voluntarily or involuntary, those old notches don’t nurture you in the present. There’s just as abstract as numbers in your online banking account. They become bits of fleeting nostalgia of the days when you were ready to embark on dozens of approaches on the street or in the club to get a lay that made you feel like you put all your faculties to good use in the pursuit of something pleasurable and worthwhile.

The notch collector is a sign of our times, analogous to the man who grew up poor and then later dedicated his life to pursuing riches and material possessions. But the gold chaser at least will still have his money when he wakes up one day and realizes his pursuit may have been at least partly foolish. But when the man with 200 notches gets tired, what does he have? Good memories, perhaps, and sharper social skills, but nothing that will give him the pride he felt when he gained those notches, when he was full-time in the game and plowing through great quantities of women that he would not remember had he not photographed the encounters. The point of a diminishing return for the notch collector is a drag indeed, and a trip to Southeast Asia to bang everything in sight is the last stop before the inevitable “Now what?”

I don’t fault the notch collector. He’s a product of societies with heavily defined social spaces and roles for men. There are few openings for him to become a pillar of his community or a businessman that makes a difference. Getting married and becoming a father was a path to fulfillment in the past, but now it’s a straight line path to ruin. No, the best thing for men these days is to make that internet money, travel the world, bang some sluts and share the photos with other men. The most admired men today are those known for fucking girls, because that has become the pinnacle of a Western male’s existence, while the most admired women are those who can take selfies of their big ass. The notch collector, the selfie whore, the mediocre rock star, the smartphone addict—they are a mirror unto ourselves, of being born in a time where there’s not much else to do to feel like a worthy human being.

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