The 12 Levels of Dread: Level 1 – Tests

“Masculinity is not something given to you, but something you gain. And you gain it by winning small battles with honor.”

-Norman Mailer

If you have been studying the principles laid out in the last article of this series, you should be beginning to understand what type of basic tactics to employ and at what times.  If this is all still a jumble of information, don’t worry.  This is a lot of complicated concepts that take a lot of pondering and practice to get down pat.  Just continue to follow the OODA loop: Observe, Orient, Decide, and Act.  These tactics aren’t something you can initiate in a week.  Even if you were a savant, you still couldn’t successfully achieve the 12 Levels of Dread in a short time for one crucial reason.  Can you guess why that is?

Because you are only one piece of the puzzle.  Your wife is the other.

Why Are You Here?

Dread Game is a very potent tactic to restore balance and harmony to a marriage or long term relationship.  The only reason you’d be interested in learning how to successfully implement Dread Game on your spouse is if you feel that balance has been disrupted by cultural shifts (ie – 3rd Wave Feminism), your wife’s conniving “friends”, or simply your own ineptness.

Don’t beat yourself up too badly.  Many men suffer from the same problems.  In truth, men in Western society are, in many aspects, fighting an uphill battle.  This isn’t an MRA rant so I’ll keep it brief, but men today face legal discrimination, usurpation of his power and influence within the family unit, and public shame for simply displaying masculine qualities.

Most men quietly back down from the challenge.  For them, they see it as simply too much.  The societal norms of getting married and having kids puts the pressure of placating women to facilitate these demands.  Many men get swept up and never take a step back to ask why they’re following the trend when they should be setting their own terms.

Because there is very little honor left in American life, there is a certain built-in tendency to destroy masculinity in American men.

-Norman Mailer

Level 1 of the 12 Levels of Dread is all about setting your own terms and taking your first step to reclaiming your masculinity…

Recognizing & Mastering Shit Tests

To be able to recognize and properly respond to a shit test, you must first understand what a shit test is.  A shit test in its simplest terms is any test a woman performs to determine a man’s level of worth.  These tests come in a few different flavors but all seek the same purpose:

To gauge who is at the top of the totem poll.

Think of it as a scoring system.  You pass a shit test, you get a point, sometimes a few points if you aced it.  You fail a shit test, and you lose points in the same fashion.  This is what I meant when I said earlier that you can’t implement all these tactics in a week.  If your “score” is too low with your wife or girlfriend, she won’t take your Dread Game attempts seriously.  It has to be a gradual process where she can see you steadily increasing your Sexual Market Value (SMV) with no indication of slowing down.  You must prove to her that this is the new norm and that she better shape up.  Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will your transformation.  This will take months, possibly years to complete.

Let’s review the types of shit tests starting with, well, the shit test.  The common shit tests (aka the fitness test) are typically a snarky, insulting remark, an argument over a trivial matter, or a no-win question with the intent to see how you’ll respond.  Think of it as their shock-and-awe strategy.  It usually comes out of the nowhere leaving you thinking, “Well, that escalated quickly.” and leaves in the same fashion.

Do not, I repeat, do not get defensive or angry.  This is precisely what they are looking for.  Are you confident under fire or do you meltdown?  Remember the principles of Amused Mastery.  Your response should be one of an indifferent and/or flirty nature.

“WE need to talk about _______________________.”

“No WE don’t.  Sounds like the only person who has a problem with it is you.”

“Why can’t you fold the damn laundry the way I told you to?!”

“Because I love watching you do the chores.  You got a sexy French maid outfit you can throw on next time?”

“Does this make me look fat?”


If you’re thinking, “These answers are going to land me in the doghouse!” we’ve just identified your problem: You’re spineless.  You are scared of your wife and what she’ll do to you.

Apologize for nothing (unless you really do cross a serious line) and treat it like a game.  She’s not taking it seriously so why should you?

Comfort tests are another form of shit tests that often frustrate the hell out of men (I know they annoy the piss out of me).  The most common comfort test is “Why do you love me?”  Unlike the basic shit test, this test stems from a need to be reassured.  Comfort tests are used when a woman is feeling insecure and vulnerable about where she stands in your eyes and is looking for some assurance.  This doesn’t mean you need to pull out the flowers and poetry though.  That would be a mistake as it displays your willingness to instantly comply to her frame.

Remember this important piece of advice: Women crave emotions like a smoker craves a cigarette.  It’s not so much what you say, but how you make them feel.

“Why do you love me?”

“Why wouldn’t I love you?” (followed by a mischievous smirk)

“Do you think I’m pretty?”

“Depends…Which answer is going to get me head?”

If your wife is giving you comfort tests, it usually means one of two things.  Either she believes you are the superior in the relationship (good for you!) or she is interested in someone on the side and is wanting to make sure she can keep you around.  If you’re confident she isn’t interested in anyone else, then that means you’re on the right track.

Finally, we are going to wrap up with compliance tests.  Compliance tests are probably the simplest to recognize and master as you only need to know one two-letter word: “No.”

Okay, okay, there’s more to it than that but not much.  Compliance tests fall near to shit tests in their purpose but differ due to how they’re administered.  As the name implies, a compliance test is used to determine just how far a woman can push you before you tell her no.  Particularly cunning women will start with very small requests and slowly up the ante.  It is important to recognize these tests as soon as they start cropping up or risk becoming their butler.

Compliance tests range from the stereotypical request for you to buy her a drink at the bar to more subtle ones like holding her purse while she uses the restroom.  If you are married to the woman, don’t feel like you must say no to every single request -marriage is about give and take after all- but you should be able to recognize the difference between serious requests for assistance and compliance tests.

If she’s busy cooking dinner and asks for you to change the kid’s diaper, that’s a legitimate request.

However, if you’re both sitting on the couch watching TV and she asks you to get her some popcorn, that’s a compliance test.

Your response depends on a few criteria such as your mood and the current situation looks like (Is she actually busy or being lazy?), but the most important criteria off all for her to check off before meeting one of her requests is this:

Has she earned your compliance?

Has she been conscientious of your wants and needs lately, taking steps to show you that she cares?  Is she living up to your expectations of her?  If so, yeah get up and make her some popcorn.

submissive man
“You need a refill on your coffee, honey?”

However, if she’s been distant lately, not giving any consideration to the rough work week you’ve been having, perhaps she needs to go get that damn bag of popcorn herself.

Don’t apologize for telling her no and don’t offer any explanation for your answer other than you don’t feel like doing it.  She will either drop it right there and do it for herself or she’ll follow up with a shit test.  At any rate, unless you’re dealing with a complete sociopath or are VERY far down on the totem poll, the issue will blow over quickly and with little incident; typically nothing more than a small pout.

One last note on compliance tests are to tailor your response to the situation.  If a girl you’re flirting with at the bar asks for you to buy you a drink, just smile and tell her to buy you a drink.

Same rules go on the home front.  No need to go overboard on them.  You’ll find that as your position on them totem poll increases and you regularly pass the compliance tests, they’ll reduce in their magnitude and frequency.  It’s akin to Cherokee parable of two wolves.  The more you starve or feed the evil wolf, the weaker or stronger it becomes respectively.

I can tell you from personal experience that although the compliance tests are the easiest to recognize, they are initially the toughest to overcome due to your own self-doubt.  Feed the brave wolf and tell her no.  She will be angry, but subsequently begin to respect you again.  My wife used to try to tell me to go sleep on the couch when we were having a spat.  After me laughing at her and telling her no multiple times, she stopped trying.


Level 1 is a trial by fire for most men.  Most men are rather direct in the way they communicate and so many shit tests will naturally fly over our heads at first.  We’re all guilty of missing some blatantly obvious shit tests when we’re first starting out.

Focus on being in the moment when conversing with women.  All women shit test so use them as practice for the woman that really matters, your wife.

Recommended Reading:

The next few levels that we’ll be discussing will be much more straightforward and easier to grasp, but by far, Level 1 is the most crucial.  Without an indefatigable frame and quick wit, all the other lessons are dust in the wind.


Author: Jak

Jak, married and father of three, seeks to help the Red-Pill Community take its next step past the petty cynicism and ineffectual anger. While he recognizes that men are significantly handicapped by the modern legal system and culture, he doesn't accept that traditional marriage is untenable in today's social climate. Rather, men must be willing to adapt to this new world by implementing new tactics and approaches to maintaining a balance of power. Jak is here to provide you with these lessons.

17 thoughts on “The 12 Levels of Dread: Level 1 – Tests”

  1. One advantage single guys have over us in passing shit tests is they always have the option to walk. Add six kids into the mix and it changes the scenario

    1. Absolutely. Back in my blue pill days my wife would often use the kids as leverage when we’d fight. That stopped almost immediately when I started nuking her shit tests out of the water.

  2. Damn, this was FANTASTIC piece. I get a ton of comfort tests all the time, and “Do you think I’m pretty” or something along those lines is Exactly what I’m often asked. Note, as you know my wife just had a kid, so she’s self conscious.

    I’ve also gotten the “Why do you love me?” and I’m never quite sure how the fuck to answer it besides kissing her and maybe initiating sex.

    Got to love women. They never will tell you what’s on their mind and the answers they want, you have to guess it – and make them feel good in the process.

    I’m going to devour every piece in this series.

    1. One option is to be brutally honest when they ask questions like that. But, follow up at other times with compliments out of the blue. If her makeup makes her look like a clown, tell her. Sometimes, a honest conversation is in order.

      Most of the time, I will just tease and swat it away.

  3. I’m not good at passing shit tests unless I’m in the mood for taking the piss.
    which happens automatically:

    gf (size xs, very fit – 100lbs): “I think I have body dis-morphia”
    me: “that’s because you’re fat”
    gf: fish mouth
    us: great sex

    often though I get caught up in the nonsense — always a huge mistake…

    first post here. Looks good — checking around….

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