The Scorpion And The Frog

One of my favorite Aesop fables is the Scorpion and the Frog.  There are many variations to this famed fable, but the short of it is as follows:

A scorpion and a frog meet on the bank of a stream and the scorpion asks the frog to carry him across on its back.  The frog asks, “How do I know you won’t sting me?”  The scorpion says, “Because if I do, I will die too.”

The frog is satisfied, and they set out.  But in midstream, the scorpion stings the frog.  The frog feels the onset of paralysis and starts to sink, knowing they both will drown, but has just enough time to gasp “Why?”

Replies the scorpion: “It’s my nature…”

There are many things one can take from this short story.  But here are the main points that jump out at me.

Accept Your Inner Scorpion

Ask a bunch of people if a person can change, and you will get various answers.  Some will say of course people can change, others will say that no in fact one cannot change their true selves.  I tend to agree with the latter.

Everyone can change their physical attributes with clothing, diet, makeup and/or exercise.  But can you really change your ingrained personality?  Well yes and no if you ask me.  You can learn social skills to become less introverted.  You can practice controlling your anger if you have issues.  You can attend alcoholics anonymous to get that drinking problem under control.

But in reality these are band-aids to the problem.  If you were placed in an environment where it was not necessary to be social to be accepted and/or succeed, you’d revert back to your introverted ways.  Give that alcoholic a consequence-free setting and an open bar, and you can bet he will start drinking.  Piss off that guy in anger management class and he’ll come out in a full rage.

The key is to realize who you really are, and accept that about yourself.  Once you accept that you love to drink, or that you should not be in a relationship, or that you are horrible at math, you will be better off.  Ever see someone go on a crash diet only to stuff themselves with a pound of cheesecake one day?  How about the guy who was pressured into marriage and then gets to go away for a weekend, only to end up fucking anything that walked by him?  Knowing your nature can help you adjust your life accordingly and generally be happier.  Otherwise once that scorpion’s sting surfaces, it may cause some significant damage.

Never Be The Frog

I can relate this to my own personal story from many moons ago.  Boy (me) meets girl at wedding and has sex with her hours later.  Girl acts like its no big deal.  Girl admits she’s had more partners than her age.  Girl admits she was a stripper.  Girl admits she has a past of sexual abuse.  Girl admits she has never been faithful to any partner in the past, but that this time, boy is different.  Girl will not cheat and will be the best girlfriend in the world.

Boy ignores the obvious nature of this particular scorpion.  Boy believes girl’s promise to not cheat and be faithful.  So boy dates girl seriously, and they become a couple.  One year later, the scorpion surfaced and stung the frog.  The girl cheats on boy because, well, that was her nature.

Be smart enough to realize that despite what someone tells you, it will be his or her nature that controls and not their empty promises.  While I learned this the hard way, I’m glad I did.  Whether it’s a girl, a deadbeat friend who asks to borrow money with the promise to repay, or a business partner you know is lazy, you need to be careful.  Never be the frog.

Read More:  The Harem, The Tribe, And The Pride

75 thoughts on “The Scorpion And The Frog”

  1. Thanks for posting this today. I just had an amicable divorce with a great woman. Overall I’ve been okay but occasionally I feel sad/guilty. However the reason I did it was because marriage was not true to my nature. Even my ex-wife acknowledged this. I’m just a guy who likes the company of a variety of women. So whenever I feel down about ending a “good thing,” I’ll think of the Scorpion.

    1. A lot of life experience hinted at in your comment and kudos to both of you for making it an amicable process. When we really do know ourselves, no one (least of all our conditioning) can make us live counter to that truth. Although there are deeper levels to our nature than may be readily apparent …

    1. Bitches will be bitches in absence of a good leader and decent man. Bitches need and want authority. Learn how to have authority. That is all a player does, although his aims are ultimately immature and childish, he has the right idea.

  2. What I got from the story: the author has poor judgement, so now he’ll only be capable of “caring asshole game,” and his bitterness prevents him from every applying himself to any endeavor ever again. Classic quitter.
    History books are full of people who strove to be more than what they initially were. The day you stop trying is the day you may as well drop dead.

      1. No, but nice use of chick snark.
        I suggest that he uses better judgement next time and not hang out with ex-strippers. I suggest that he keeps trying to improve himself instead of quitting on any attempt at self-improvement. I suggest that his quitter attitude will make a loser out of him, but that he’ll find some hamster “logic” means to rationalize his failure. This article was just pathetic, and it certainly is not manly.
        At first this site was interesting to me, but the losers here are losing me. This is quickly becoming a place for whiners, criers, quitters, and those too apathetic to look for a solution. I don’t want sob stories. I want to read about what someone has done to improve his situation. This “Cosmo for Dudes” shit is way out of hand.

        1. I don’t recall reading anything about him quitting self-improvement, granted I only skimmed through the article. I’m glad you enjoyed my snark, though.

        2. This post seems strange to me too. It seems that the author was the frog in that situation, which was obvious from the start, and his arguments only allow us to assume that he won’t be able to change cause it’s in our nature to always be more or less the same, i.e. our “true self”. I think most of us reading it anticipated that it’d be about his inner “scorpion” character to make it interesting. But I’m sure many guys can relate to his side too.
          Harry makes some valid points about the site, only thing I’d add is that it is obvious when the author is pretty young, around 25, and when he’s older, and the posts written by anyone over 30 at least, seem to be better and more interesting.

        3. “trying to improve himself” at what? Getting better at hanging on to banged up old jalopies? At “fixing” them?
          What wrong with getting better at realizing that what progressively indoctrinated, post civilized drones say, is simply noise emanating from a hole in their face. Nothing more. At all. The author seems to have picked up on that one, which is more “self improvement” than is achieve by most in a lifetime. Whores are whores. They can’t will themselves to become virgins again, no matter how hard they try. Any more than a Scorpion can will himself to become a frog.

        4. I’m not sure how this article implies that one should be a quitter. I think you may have missed my point. At no point am I advocating quitting on anything.
          If you’re fat, yes by all means diet. But if you accept the fact that you’re fat because you love to eat (nature), then you can adjust your diet accordingly to avoid the situation where you simply give in because you can’t take it anymore and binge eat (sting).
          Or let’s take the fable itself. Am I saying the scorpion should have given up and not crossed the river? No. But knowing that he would have stung a frog that gave him a ride, leading to its own death, he would have been better off seeking an alternative means of crossing.
          Now to address your point about the stripper. Should I have used better judgment? Hell fucking yes. But that’s the whole point – I did not and was stung. This happened 10 years ago and my experience with this has helped me avoid similar situations going forward.
          And I have to disagree about hanging out with strippers, they are very fun girls to casually be with. I just won’t date them.

        5. Could be. It could also be become a scorpion. Or that if you’re a frog you’ll never be able to change. Anyone can pick the most relevant to them.

        6. The more I work on perfecting myself, the farther away the others seem to be. Ultimately, we all have a need for connection and this is the true meaning of the fable “the Scorpion and the Frog”. Here we have a frog so much in need for connection that he accepts to carry a scorpion on his back and cross the river.

    1. “…so now he’ll only be…” “from every [sic] applying himself…ever again.”
      The words only, ever and never say a lot about someone’s argument.

  3. This is a good fable, but be wary of over-applying it to your life. You will become Bill Maher.
    I first heard about this fable from Drive (2011). Highly recommended, even if (because?) the love story is so weird and unrealistic. Watch it anyway.

    1. From any woman. Foreign women seem more loyal but actually you’re such a far superior option that their loyalty is never tested.

        1. Probably because they want to stay married while they cheat, let’s not get into what happens to a guy after he gets divorced, there are plenty of MRA sites for that.

        2. @theodora: You are right, they are not, but women care more about men’s faithfulness than their loyalty while men care about loyalty. A man is not so annoyed if his woman spends time with others as long as she don’t sleep with other guy, so he cares about loyalty. A girl will be piss off if she discover her boyfriend paying attention to other girl, being nice to her, spending time with her, more upset than an occasional sex. She’ll find him excuses :he was drunk, had a weakness ,he doesn’t care about that chick, but unfaithfulness …. well,that’s another story.

        3. @A. This is a very interesting analogy. It is in my opinion factual as well! I guess it is true when they say Man are from Mars and Women from Venus! 😉

        4. @Theodora – I was always faithful and monogamous with my former girlfriends and ex-wives. None of my friends cheat either. It’s a myth that all guys cheat.

      1. Nice observation. In the context of hypergamy, you offer the highest perceivable value therefore there’s no where to go but down. And women never trade down.

        1. you mean “never trade down intentionally”
          when they screw up and overestimate their SMV they’ll swing down and then just hamsterize that it was somehow a step up

        2. Understood and agreed. It depends on what she values and how she perceives her SMV vs. her partner’s – which could be an irrational assessment on her part.
          A woman who’s overestimated her SMV will be insufferable, with many warning signs. Probably far more rampant in AW/WW than anywhere else.

      2. Quite a good point. I am a foreign man. Long time ago I went through a similar story as LD with the stripper, although my girl just started her whorish life when I met her, actually she was 18 and virgin as well at the time we met. I got the sting in the middle of the river, but managed to get out of the river alive somehow. So I am not dead, but sometimes I still feel the wound I got. She is not dead either and married an anglosaxon man when she was about 35, clearly for his money, They live together like a perfect pair since then. I think, it is probably better that I do not know how she lived her scorpion life between ages of 18 and 35. The point is, she was not able to get a husband in this period of her life in her own country. But clearly, she needed some f. anglosaxon with money. It was a close call at age 35, but she finally got it.

  4. It’s good to always be in touch with our inner scorpion. However, we must also be rulers of our inner scorpions and not let it rule us.
    Our inner scorpion works best as a tool to enrich our lives, but not as an excuse for bad behavior.

  5. though the frog and scorpion story is timeless, we as humans are and can be above our baser urges. man can be whatever he damn well pleases. he can change in the flick of an instant. sometimes it’s by environment (near death experience, his father dies etc),
    sometimes something just clicks and he changes.
    It is woman who cannot change. they are creatures of nature.
    As men we all possess the capability to transcend our own inclinations and habits and forge new ones.
    There may be some innate weaknesses we have to accept (if you’re a dwarf, ain’t no inner gaming your way into an extra 24 inches) but many can be accepted or rejected with ease.
    Most times, weakness is an excuse

    1. “It is woman who cannot change. they are creatures of nature.”
      I’ll admit to holding a bias in this direction unless proven otherwise but I’ve met many men who are stubborn creatures of habit too. There may be very few women who can change but it is possible. I’m not being an apologist, merely honest with my experience. It’s also related to Muktar’s premise that a man has to train a woman constantly and Roissy’s idea of all women wanting a master. I believe a man with direction can be an instrument for a woman’s change, if she (for whatever reason) is motivated enough. It’s not our job to force a woman (or anyone) to change, but as the Zen expression goes “when the student is ready, the teacher will appear.”
      I’ve had several relationships of this kind – short-term enjoyment, clear communication ‘you aren’t the One,’ truthfulness and mutual growth, a desire to leave each other better than before we met. They and I are better off and better human beings. Recently, I even advised one to NOT attempt to trade up because her boyfriend won’t marry her (she’s early 30s, divorced with a child). I told her the straight up truth and because she trusts me, could ultimately see the logical for herself.

      1. i like a lot of what you said and you raised some good points here Tiger. but this specific sentence i’d like to call attention too:
        >It’s also related to Muktar’s premise that a man has to train a woman constantly
        isnt this the same as saying she can’t change? ultimately them needing to be handheld and potty trained the entire time shows that their growth is mostly dependent upon the particular man that happens to be in their life at that given time.
        sure there are residual effects from good partners, strong father figures etc but when it comes down to it, most are like an oscillating wave. though they may be up (positive growth) for a temporary while, they only cycle downwards again to their base nature after a long enough time frame, especially if left to their own devices.
        more succinctly put, a woman upon meeting her is the best you will ever get from her. if there is any change 99/100 it will be for the worse.
        i dont disagree with your assertion some men can be stubborn to change. but my point was that we (in the vast generalised term) are much more capable of it.
        by virtue of growing up in an environment where you have to verbally or physically fight for your worth (manhood and meritocracy) versus an environment where you’re deemed special and precious from the start (womanhood and inherent privilege), we are predetermined to be more adept at changing. quite simply, we adapt or die.
        they (women) have much more leeway so long as there are men there to support their inflexibility to change. when this dries up (usually when they themselves dry up) then they enter the male paradigm of survival of the most adaptable, usually ending up seeking the support of weaker males who lost at the ‘survive or die’ paradigm- beta’s

        1. Thanks anon1, and good request for clarification.

          It’s also related to Muktar’s premise that a man has to train a woman constantly

          isnt this the same as saying she can’t change? ultimately them
          needing to be handheld and potty trained the entire time shows that
          their growth is mostly dependent upon the particular man that happens to
          be in their life at that given time.”
          I really don’t like absolutes and I know some very evolved/wise women. However I think until/unless the impulse for self-correction takes hold or you’re very patient, they’ll be a major pain and you need to ask yourself why you’re spending your time with them vs. doing something else. Finding ones who are amenable to feedback/guidance commensurate to your level of mastery is key.
          I’ve appreciated David Deida’s perspective on this topic. Relating to heterosexual masculine (male)/feminine (female) dynamics, it’s not a man’s job to give a woman direction, but to know and live his life’s purpose. If a woman wants to align with our mission and we’re attracted to her qualities (feminine or otherwise), we can bring her in to our dance, she as ocean to our lighthouse. She may alternate between sweet and snarky but our focus is demonstrating mastery, of which a love relationship is an extension. How we relate to our work is how we engage in love. Any woman may come or go but our reason for being is constant and independent of her – or needs to be. A purposeful man is trustable, strong and masterful. When I am clear within myself that I don’t *need* any woman’s presence or approval, it’s not a pain to offer guidance. I also am not overly accommodating but don’t have to be mean or frustrated – that’s giving up my power and slipping into lower consciousness which makes me instantly less trustworthy (to her and the world).
          As much as women might drive us crazy, there is really no faster and more enjoyable way to learn about ourselves than through the dance – eyes wide open.

        2. Me: “It’s also related to Muktar’s premise that a man has to train a woman constantly”
          You:”Isn’t this the same as saying she can’t change?” Stimulating question. Is it about her needing to change or more about us understanding her nature? ‘Active efforting/changing’ has a heavier feel compared to ‘wise/least action.’ God knows I’ve done the former for decades and could slip again at any moment.
          Analogy: If a woman nature is like the ocean’s – potential for peace or fury – and we are the boat navigating to our destination, our journey will involve endless tacking back and forth, checking for hazards, making repairs, sunshine and hurricanes, etc. Do we blame the ocean for being as it is? Will it help either of us? Ride it or stay on land. I’ll savor the journey and pee over the side 😉

    2. men do not just change. this cannot be done. we change when there is a need; we adapt.
      we cannot go above our base urges. we can only go against them. in no situation does a man benefit from this.
      the key is to calculate your base urges into your grandoise scheme.
      or as the author of this article said, accept your scorpion. acknowledge it. delve into it and understand it completely. embrace it. only then can you achieve anything which remotely resembles rising above it.

  6. I’ve always preferred an alternate ending to that fable.
    While they’re swimming, the scorpion stings the frog. The frog asks the scorpion, “Why?” And the scorpion answers, “I can swim.”

  7. We’re living in an age of illusions, where boys aren’t told about their own natures, taught to deny their own wants, needs, desires, while also being misled about the nature of women. Learn both and you’ll swim, learn neither and you’ll sink.

    1. Can a homo change himself to be straight? Can a man change himself to get turned on by fatties? Can a woman change herself to get wet for betas?

      1. next you’ll be talking about transphobia and gender rights. quite simply it’s not the equivalent to natural heterosexual relationships
        look lets get one thing clear, in the vastness of human history the masculine is attracted to the feminine and vice versa.
        i don’t accept some of the lefty parts of the manosphere’s views that heterosexual dynamics can be grafted onto gay relationships, neither do i accept dawkins piss poor ‘gay lions defending the herd while the alphas hunt’ theory as to why homosexuality exists.
        lets get one thing straight, i do not have a clue as to why they feel the way they do, but it is NOT the equivalent to man-fattie abhorrence (aesthetics, genetics) or female attraction to alphas (Evo psych 101)

        1. i’m not surprised you didn’t read it (simpler to make a low information throwaway comment than give a rebuttal), and i’m not surprised you took the tired defense that taking a critical perspective on an issue means that you have that issue yourself.
          Are you a racist if you have a problem with immigration?
          Are you a repressed homosexual if you have problem with modern political correctness?
          Are you fascist if you don’t like cultural marxism?
          Are you a mysoginist if you believe women and men have distinctly different gender roles?
          Dude i think if there’s anybody projecting here it might be you.

    2. scott its the opposite:
      people cannot change their deepest nature, but they CAN change the outward expression through self-discipline or self-denial. Sometimes the intentional behavior change endures. Often not, because that deepest nature tends to surface even with the most disciplined of men

      1. The phrase ‘people cannot change their deepest nature’ got me pondering, like on a koan. I think it’s a good question at the level of personality (can we change ourselves? yes, I believe this) but to me ‘deepest nature’ means just that: a fundamental, unalterable center.
        What if changing our deepest nature is not the point, but simply recognizing it? What if it’s not a function of personality, preference, parents or past?
        By exercising our consciousness we’re capable of being frog, scorpion, both or neither and recognizing that spectrum in another.

  8. ” Never be the frog”.
    Your self-preservation and self-defense instinct tell you “never be the frog” , because you are afraid of suffering. In reality, there isn’t a pure scorpion, neither a pure frog; there is a light in every darkness and shadow created by the light. Good and sensible women are often attracted by a “ bad guys”. The more evil he is, the greater is her desire to change him, to bring out his inner light. She takes the risk and struggles “ to save” him, because she’s a dreamy creature and in her subconscious thinks that man will forever be grateful to her for getting him on the good side and consider her his goddess. Some might say she’s stupid , but ” the frog” has inner strenght and assumed the high-risk, never afraid to trust.

    1. @law dogger: As a woman I’m rather impressed by the last part of your article. Women who dates assholes I’ve seen plenty, ( instinctiv desire take over rational
      thinking) deluding themselves they can change, but there are only a few
      men who get in a LTR with a woman with a promiscuous past (knowing from the
      beginning her past), a few who see first the glass half full and not half
      empty. You said she promise you bla,bla, bla (we all do that), but just for my curiosity : the girl you dated felt shame, guilty , both or none for her past? The distinction between shame and guilt is important.

      1. glass half full or half empty, the reality is you only get half a glass. men who are willing to work for that half a glass are extremely thirsty.

      2. She felt no shame or guilt for her past. And I do not advocate getting into a LTR with an admittedly highly promiscuous girl, that was a mistake on my part and I was an idiot back then.
        A, you seem to imply you have a promiscuous past. If I can give you a piece of advice, it is to never – and I mean never – admit this to any guy you want to seriously date. As soon as he hears it you will be dead to him. I assume now that all girls are sluts, but once they actually admit it then it goes from assumption to reality and there’s no turning back.

        1. Thx for advice, but it’ s not my case. If she didn’t felt guilt, neither shame, than you were … naive. (no offence).

        2. The fact she didn’t acknowledged herself in the wrong or feel ashamed ,it should have been a sign to you that she will not be able to keep that promise.

  9. Good article, LD. A real morsel of wisdom. A distillation of a very important moral lesson, which can be phrased another way: if you want to know what a person is like, look at their track record. If someone’s track record shows a legacy of bad character, poor choices, and trouble-making, heed those warnings. Don’t delude yourself into thinking “things will be different this time”. Or, to state it in the vernacular: if your life and choices show you’re an asshole, then chances are, you are one. Unfortunately, it is a lesson that appears to have lost on some readers.

  10. THE MORAL IS : neither a scorpion nor a frog be… it’s not as the author presents it, since if the alcoholic fails to learn his life lessons and just says, well i am scorpion and so I should get loaded every day, or if the thief assures himself he can never run a good business, or the horny chick declares she’s such a slut that she should just have random sex with passing men in the bus stop…. the world would quickly sink into anarchy. People resist their natures, they find leaders to help them resist and they move forwards.
    It’s an alpha man’s job to be a leader, to show women their true nature, to show betas their weak nature and to lead society out of being scorpions and frogs.
    If you understand your inner nature the scorpion and frog, if you clear out the scatter and self loathing,then you can set life in order and those around you will also fall into order. It’s a tough and bitter path, but the only other option is to run with that voice in your head that wants nothing more than to swallow all the sleeping pills of pop a 9mm hollow point through your own skull. Go do it… one less clown on planet earth is a good thing.

  11. This was a great post. I always held the belief that after a certain age people don’t change. My old naive self would make exceptions for women because my beta upbringing led me to believe that they were the more honest of the sexes.
    Secondly, I had a book of Aesop Fables as a child and was always amazed at the lessons that could be learnt. I should really get a copy and reread them. You may not agree with me, but the Holy Bible is FULL of amazing and knowledgeable parables. For those that are non-religious, you have to filter out the divine stuff, but some of the lessons taught in the bible are amazingly timeless.

  12. Some of you people are worse than youtube. Look, I understand that most of you have been hurt by women in the past. Men have hurt me too, not because they are men, but because of who they were as individuals. And you know what? I got over it. Quit being sexist. People want their way as much as any other. Quit calling women “bitches” b/c that makes you lower than pond scum. Grow the fuck up, and learn from your mistakes before you drown in your own filth like the frogs you emulate .

    1. As usual, it is interesting how people assume that any and all criticism of women is based out of bad experiences with women.
      All this is projection, as women universalize bad experiences with men as indicative of how men, as a class, behave. Women are more likely to blame men as a class for individual men’s behavior – often hiding behind cries of patriarchy and misogyny – than men are to blame women as a class for an certain woman’s behavior.
      How is calling a woman a “bitch” indicative of immaturity, Miss Armchair Psychologist? Would you level that same accusation against a woman referring to a man as a “dick?” People get angry and say things they only feel in the moment. Moral judgmentalism never sounds so good when you get to levy it against men, huh?
      I would tell you, as a woman, to “grow the fuck up,” but we all know a man telling a woman to get their shit together is inherently misogynistic and reeks of male privilege.
      Keep believing society hates you when, in fact, it needs you more than ever as batteries.

      1. She is saying *exactly* the contrary of what you state.
        “as women universalize bad experiences with men as indicative of how men, as a class, behave”.
        She said exactly the contrary “Men have hurt me too, not because they are men, but because of who they were as individuals”.
        Savy ?

  13. Somehow I can see a female scorpion telling a male frog, “Not all scorpions are like that. Stop with the miscorpyonistic and sting-shaming language . You’re just bitter because you’ve been stung by other scorpions in the past. But I’m different…”

    1. I mean, they could lose weight, but isn’t getting a tattoo easier and just as sexy?

  14. Here’s a new perspective from me being a born scorpio. The scorpion wanted a change, and to change is to evlove, which is what we do. The scorpion wanted to live by the water, scorpio is a water sign, and most of us have to have some source of water by us. The scorpion set it’s mind to get what it desired, and analyzed every possible strategy to execute it’s plan, and we do deep analyzing and strategizing. The scorpion saw it’s way across using the frog, and by doing what a scorpio does, cunningly used his charm to his advantage. Just like scorpios, once he saw no more use for the front, he ceased any future engagement. Do we do it purposely? Honestly no, but like in the fable, it’s in our nature.

  15. Most girl have a slutty nature. I like the honest sluts; not the dishonest ones. Also it takes a lot of discipline to change a habit, if one is smart he will usually substitute an old habit with a new, productive one.

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