This question comes up regularly at Le Chateau. You’ve got two schools of thought. The first insists that smarts, like any other positive attribute, can only raise a man’s dating market value because women are hypergamous and appreciate a smarter man than themselves. The other school says that women are put off by men who are too much smarter than themselves, and that experience shows women fall for lunkhead jerks all the time, perhaps because these types of men are less introspective and more unthinkingly assertive about hitting on women.
The science I’ve read on this subject has been all over the place, but the consensus seems to be that having some smarts is a net plus to a man’s desirability.
Where do I come down on this perennial issue? I stick by the Dating Market Value Test for Men at the top of this blog. A better-than-average IQ is beneficial, but the benefits to picking up women begin to dissipate past a certain degree of brainpower, because very high IQ seems to be associated with a lack of social savviness and other off-putting personality quirks. If you know a lot of Ivy grads in the sciences and maths (a group of smarties if there ever were) then you can’t help but notice how awkward they can be in social settings with women who are more likely to represent the meaty part of the IQ bell curve.
Anyhow, both schools of thought have a point. Chicks are more viscerally turned on by raw male power and alpha attitude than they are by male smarts, but because chicks are wired to seek men who are higher status than themselves on as many metrics as possible (except looks; no pretty girl likes to be upstaged by her man in the looks department) they will generally be turned off by men who are dumber than they are.
This isn’t just theoretical musing. I say this from a position of real world observation. I’ll use a short anecdote as example: I was once hanging out with some girls in my group of friends when one of them got hit on by a very good-looking guy. She had previously noticed him and was tittering about him with her girlfriends when he approached, so she was already emotionally lubed to accept his entreaty.
Having a ringside seat to this blossoming courtship, I happily eavesdropped on the proceedings from a half-concealed vantage among the crowd. It didn’t take long for the whole thing to implode in entertaining failure. The flash point was when she used a two-dollar word and he replied in a way that proved he didn’t know what the word meant. Lemme tell ya, you never saw a woman’s flirty face turn sour so fast.
Afterwards, she confided that his apparent dumbness made him seem so much less good-looking to her.
So maybe this is the best way to view male smarts from the perspective of pickup success: all else equal, it’s better to be smarter than the girl you are hitting on than dumber than her. Sounds obvious, but I think this simple point gets missed. Girls may not be immediately turned on by men who are smarter than them, but you can bet girls are immediately turned off by men who prove themselves dumber than them. Men’s smarts then, act as a threshold test of fuckability for girls; too much won’t necessarily help or hurt you, but too little (relative to the girl) will definitely hurt.
The above is not a maxim, because I find that it applies primarily to overeducated girls in the cities. Less educated and less intelligent girls, who, it should be reminded, occupy the bulk of womanhood, are neither as impressed by male smarts nor as turned off by male stupidity as are their smarter sisters. Mostly this is because the mediocre mamacitas are not going to be throwing around two-dollar words that test the verbal acumen of the men they meet. Secondarily, dumber girls don’t have the cortical horsepower to quickly ascertain male dumbness the way smarter girls do; therefore, other sexy male traits, like dominance, loom larger in the dumb girl’s head.
But no matter how smart you are, if you aren’t using your smarts to light up a woman’s limbic lust center, you may as well drop your pretense to genius and try to speak to her on her level; no man ever incited tingles in a girl by solving quadratic equations or philosophizing deeply about deep stuff. After all, the reason women are drawn to male smarts is not smarts per se, but the promise of resources and power that typically accrue to the smart man. It’s proxies all the way down.