Friday, April 17, 2015

Hacking Ovulation: Make Aunt Flow Your Ally, Men

Pretty much every dude is familiar with the female menstural cycle. Most men know women have periods about once every month or so. That's about as far as most of us get in understanding female fertility. That's too bad, because learning to hack your wife or girlfriend's (or random women you're trying to pick up) menstrual cycle can dramatically improve your relationship. Before we get to that...

Very Brief Explanation of Ovulation

For our purposes, all you really need to know about ovulation is the timing. Women ovulate (when an unfertilized egg is released from one of her ovaries) about fourteen days before they begin their period. If a woman has sex a few days before to a few days after ovulation, she can get pregnant. The actual window when the egg is viable is actually less than a day, but sperm can be viable inside a woman for days. If you want a much more detailed explanation, check this out

Charting Ovulation

So how do you know when a woman is ovulating? I recommend doing this in secret, though open-minded women would probably be on board with this project. Anyway, here are a few methods:
  • Use a calendar. Start marking the first day of her period on a calendar. After a few months, add up the days between each mark and average them. This is the average length of her menstrual cycle. Once you have an average, calculate when her next period will start. She will ovulate about 14 days before that future date. This is the easiest method. If she has a regular cycle, use this method.
  • Basal body temperature. When a woman ovulates, her body temperature increases about a half of a degree. Couples that are having trouble conceiving routinely chart the woman's body temperate to maximize the return on sex. To use this method, I recommend buying an infrared no-touch thermometer, then take her temperature on the same body part at the same time every morning. If you want to ramp up the creepy factor, do this while she's sleeping. Chart this temperature. I recommend using the same calendar from above; the data can be used to increase the reliability of the estimate.
  • Cervical mucus. A woman's cervix generates mucus that changes based on how close she is to ovulation. I highly doubt you have to go to this length, but it's useful nonetheless. About a week after her period, her cervix will start producing a thick white mucus. As ovulation nears, the mucus becomes clear and a little sticky... sort of like egg whites. That change in color and consistency is a relaibale indicator of ovulation.
  • Watch her behaviors. Women that are ovulating tend to exhibit observable behaviors which are motivated by hormones. The purpose of the behaviors are to attract sex because, well, that's kinda the point of ovulation. When women are fertile, they generally act more feminine. This inclused more revealing clothing (interestingly, this appears to allow them to out-compete other women, not necessarily attract men), walking with more of a sexy sway, talks with a slightly higher voice, exhibits more flirty behaviors, has a greater interest in social activities, and she releases pheromones that release testosterone in men (makes us horny.)
  • Watch your own behaviors. Us men actually have a sophisticated response system to female ovulation, it just occurs unconsciously. If our woman is ovulating, we engage in "mate guarding" behaviors like holding hands, adopting protective body language, staying closer in public, staring down other males, etc. If we're really self-aware, we can usually detect these very subtle urges in ourselves. 


If you read through my entire "Women, Explained" series, you're familiar with the role of sociobiology in dictating our mating behaviors. If not, here's a brief primer. Women have a dual sexual strategy I describe in the hypergamy post. They want an attractive, dominant alpha male for his sperm contribution (produces healthy kids) and they want a committed, supportive beta male for security and provisioning. Ideally, they find this combo in one guy. That doesn't happen often, though.

Because of that, nature has a funny way of making sure our species survives. When she's fertile, women crave masculine "manly" men (alphas) for their sperm. When she's not, she prefers the company of a beta male to help her and her children survive. Based on the nature of female desire, this sets up a situation where women's sex drive fluctuates with her menstrural cycle. She gets horny (usually on par with what us dudes experience 24/7) around ovulation, especially in the presence of alphas. This is when she's most likely to have advertising sex. The rest of the month she's significantly less aroused and far more likely to have maintenance sex

In our not so distant past (or sometimes even today), this meant women were committing to the best provider they could attract based on their sexual market value, but also having sex with the most attractive male they could attract based on their SMV. If these were different men, she'd likely give birth to the alpha's kid and the beta male would raise it (believing it's his own.)

How to Hack Ovulation to Improve Your Relationship

Okay, so how can this weird feature of ovulation be used to improve your relationship? It's pretty easy - just display strong alpha traits in the days leading up to ovulation, then kick back and beta it up the rest of the time. 

The more convincing you can play the alpha role, the more pronounced her arousal should be. I would recommend starting four or five days before ovulation, be an alpha whenever you're in her presence, and keep it up for about four or five days afterward. 

The Alpha Test

A lot of guys have asked me "how do I know if I'm an alpha or a beta?" There's a fun little test that can tell you exactly where you stand, at least in the eyes of your significant other. If she initiates sex enthusiastically around the time of ovulation, odds are good she sees you as her alpha. If you initiate and she responds enthusiastically, you're still in pretty good standing. However, if she avoids you when she's ovulating, you're in trouble. It means a) she does not see you as her alpha and is not sexually aroused by you (meaning you probably need to change), and b) odds are good she'll be prone to being seduced (or seducing herself) other alpha males. If she's dressing in that slinky dress with matching bra and panties for the "girls' night out dancing", that's a really, really bad sign.

The Pill

Birth control pills deserve special mention here. If your woman is on the pill, this entire post is probably invalid. We don't fully understand this effect yet, but women on the pill do not always follow this same set of rules because women typically do not ovulate. The pill, regardless of the brand and composition, more or less mimics pregnancy. In the absence of hormones that cause her to crave alphas when ovulating, women probably prefer betas all the time. 

This could explain the rise of the beta male since the development of oral contraceptives. Us men are nothing if not efficient. The sexual marketplace, post-oral contraceptives, demands more betas. We adjust our behaviors to make up for this demand by becoming more beta.

Of course, the problem with this is women are not really aroused by betas and that tends to deep-six relationships after a few years. I like flirting with this hypothesis because we typically blame the explosion of betas on our society on all kinds of social factors from feminism to capitalism. The fact that a tiny pill could throw our entire mating strategy off kilter amuses me. 


Understanding and hacking female ovulation is a very simple method to ramp up the passion in your relationship. In fact, mastering this technique is probably the easiest way to alternate between passion and intimacy. Ovulation can also be used to assess your own "alphaness." Finally, the development of oral contraceptives may have been at least partly responsible for our current "excess beta male" problem.

What do you think? If you're a dude, would you use this methodology? If you're female, what do you think? Do you notice this effect, or is it like "mate guarding" and occur unconsciously? Leave a comment!


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