On Being Alpha

by
This is an edited form of replies I made on a few threads here. Once again I took the advice of Hope to make a full post of some them.

There is a lot of dogma in the game community and at Roissy’s. However dogma can be good for clarifying ideas. When you have grasped the ideas you can let go of the dogma.

Likewise alpha and beta are useful terms even if I prefer to see them in a broader scope than “gets laid a lot.” I believe that the alpha/beta distinction is useful perhaps more as a metaphor than a hard classification. I use the terms in a broader context than the PUAsphere. Alphas are the top 15 percent while betas are mediocre.

In my view a man does not become alpha by “getting more chicks,” he becomes more alpha and as a result has the chance to “get more chicks.” My definition is more in the leaders-of-men, builder-of-empires mold. Of course men that lead and men that have empires normally have little problem attracting women, but it is a benefit and not a goal.

I think many men come to “game” thinking that it will fix their life only to find that it doesn’t. Many PUA/Gamesters are hedonists looking for nothing more than a quick hit, but for many more men their failings (or feelings of failure) with women are symbolic of something else.

The thing that is wrong with beta males, the thing that causes them to suffer, the thing that causes all that pain, is their own nature. They are either fighting against their own ferocious nature (because chivalry, male feminism, SWPLness, etc.), or are NOT fighting against their own mild nature (introversion, agreeableness, etc.).

A man should be extravert, confident, competitive, ferocious, and perhaps a bit frightening. He should paint the world in bright hues and not insipid grays. He should sound like the rumble of a kettledrum not the delicate flutter of a harp. He is a salty, spicy broth and not a subtle, sweet sauce. Mediocrity is not something he knows and is not something he puts up with. He should not be mild. He should not be happy with a mediocre life. A man that is living a mild and mediocre life is not a man and is not living.

A man is judged by his position in society, by his accomplishments, and by his ability to lead. Mild men do not achieve great things, the do not lead great armies, and usually do not gain great status. But deeper than that, at some level a mild man is not living up to his masculine potential. He is hiding that warrior that is deep inside but in doing so leads a smaller more shriveled existence. A mild, gentle, and sweet woman is a wonderful thing. A mild, gentle, and sweet man is (to be polite) not a wonderful thing.

I think Roissy’s Beta of the Month and Look at this Herb threads sum it up well. What is wrong with the men described? Are they evil? Have they caused great harm? Are they destructive? Most look like decent guys, few could be called ugly, most are probably fairly smart and well educated, and they probably all hold middle class jobs. So what is wrong with them? What causes that visceral distaste (men and women)?
The problem: These men are mild. They are shadows of the real thing. They are a faded carbon copy, barely recognizable.

On alphas, betas, and PUAs

I think C. S. Lewis has some evocative phrases that he used in a different context but are useful here. He used the terms “men without chests” and “trousered ape.”

PUAs are the trousered apes. They are monkeys performing tricks in return for having peanuts thrown at them. Some of the monkeys get very good at the tricks but they are still monkeys and they are still performing tricks. For some men a diet of peanuts is good enough, these men are the PUA “alphas.”

Beta males are the men without chests. They are mediocre, unremarkable, and unnoticed. They are invisible beings that come and go and leave not a trace. There is not even some disturbed dust to mark that they may have passed through. It is not that they don’t have a shadow, it is that they are only a shadow.

The Alphas are the men of passion and drive. They are those ferocious beings that rock the world and achieve great things. They leave more than a trace, in fact they leave an indelible mark. They are not trousered apes but they do have chests.

On Pick Up

I have heard it said that no woman leaves the house hoping today is the day she is not swept of her feet. No man should leave his house hoping he is unable to sweep a woman off her feet today. No man should want to be one of many interchangeable chumps. Every man should want to be the one that rocks her world. Sweeping her off her feet and rocking her world is our job, we should do it well.

Even if bagging hot chicks were his only concern I still feel that a man should move beyond game (pretending to be alpha) and seek to become a better man (naturally alpha). They player will always be playing, he will always “on.” That is tiring. The man that has built on his mission, has built his confidence, and earned his status will not have to play; he will just have to be. If a man wants to keep a woman attracted (LTR) he cannot do it by playing alone as that is too tiring, too prone to slips. When he has earned his place he can just follow the old advice and “just be himself.” He can do that because “himself” is now an attractive thing, he can put away the furry hat because he is home.

For some pickup is about playing a trick, for some it is about magic tricks. For me it is about magic, the kind of magic that does not involve coins and playing cards. It is the magic that happens when a man is fully comfortable in his place in the world. It is the magic that happens when a men truly knows he is a good catch, because he is. It is the magic of the alpha man.

Personal Note:
As I said in my Real Beta Revolution thread this is about finding a place in this world. The drive for status and respect is probably driven, at a primal level, by the desire to attract mates. However, trying to short circuit that to just get lots of sex would not fulfill me. I guess that I am more of an idealist than a hedonist (which may put me at odds with many in the seduction/PUA community).

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22 Responses to “On Being Alpha”

  1. Hope Says:

    PUAs are the trousered apes. They are monkeys performing tricks in return for having peanuts thrown at them. Some of the monkeys get very good at the tricks but they are still monkeys and they are still performing tricks. For some men a diet of peanuts is good enough, these men are the PUA “alphas.”

    This is not going to win you a lot of friends in the PUA community, but it’s brilliant.

    The problem: These men are mild. They are shadows of the real thing. They are a faded carbon copy, barely recognizable.

    I think here is where I would disagree.

    A mild man can be relaxed, not timid. A mild man can be comfortable, not always out to prove something. It is a distinction of how this man feels, not how others perceive this man. If a man is happy with who he is, why tell him to be more “manly”?

    I’d much rather be with a gentle man who is at ease with himself, than an angry guy full of rage and always looking for something more. I think it’s more “beta” to be so pissed off at everything in the world. No offense, but we have it so easy nowadays.

    A man who is content in his life and accomplishments is relaxed in demeanor. He is only aroused to passion when things that truly matter come up, for example if his family is threatened or if he sees something that is worthy of his outrage. My fiance would look at something that would bother most people and go, “eh… whatever.” To me that is far more attractive.

  2. Default User Says:

    @Hope

    This is not going to win you a lot of friends in the PUA community, but it’s brilliant.

    Well at least I will have you as a friend, right?
    [so long as I do not post too many dating graph style posts…]

    I should point out that I have no antagonism towards those men that focus heavily pickup. Any differences are more aesthetic than moral. If a man’s mission is truly to be the world’s greatest pick up artist than that is a worthy endeavor for him. However a man should be aware that alone might not be what he needs to fix his life.

    On mild men: I agree, somewhat, with you. I agree that a man can be relaxed and still not be timid. I agree that a man does not always have to prove something. But those herbs and betas that are featured to such derision (by men and women) at Roissy’s probably fit your description (gentle men, at ease with themselves, comfortable, not out to prove something, happy with who they are). Maybe that is the distinction: relaxed versus timid.

    What I am talking about is the man who has lost the fight. A man who has lost the will or strength to fight for things he considers important. Perhaps the distinction is that betas can be angry but alphas tend to be energetic.

    Anger itself is not inherently alpha or beta. I think it can be useful for the beta guy to get his fighting spirit back. There is a reason that an alpha man can be relaxed and that is because he has all those victories to look back on. Calmness on the part of an alpha man is because he has nothing left to prove not that he has nothing to prove. It is easy to be calm when you are where you want to be. It is easy to be calm when you are the victor.

    I think many a beta guy is born by taking too many losses early in life. Never experiencing the sweet taste of victory but often suffering the bitter sting of loss, building battle scars but never receiving the medal, lining up for battle only to be driven back again. His body becomes weary and he raises the white flag, retiring from the fight. But while his body may be tired and worn out, while his mind may have surrendered, his inner warrior is still alive. That inner warrior is trapped but not dormant. It is the unanswered urgings of the inner warrior that cause the anger and unhappiness of the beta guy.

  3. Todd White Says:

    Default:

    I think you’re groping toward something important, but your writing is muddled, which makes it hard for me to fully understand your position..

    I know you’re anti-Beta. And I know you’re against PUAs who use Game for “hedonism,” as you put it. But does that mean you’re pro-Alpha (assuming we can remove the PUA hedonism from the term?)

  4. Bhetti Says:

    This post needs a graph, I say!

    think it’s more “beta” to be so pissed off at everything in the world.
    It is the mark of an omega that he is both completely pissed off and in active denial of the state, with no will whatsoever to engineer change in either in his self or his world. Aye, not even the will to recognise the problem or that he is spiralling in suffering in the first place.

    A mostly content man is one thing (though respect can only be paid to contentment that is mindful improvement if only for the sake of preventing stagnation of the soul, mind and spirit) but a man denying his true inner state and the causes for it is another.

  5. Default User Says:

    @Todd White

    I think you’re groping toward something important.

    Exactly. I am groping towards something important for me. I am not trying to lead a revolution. I am not trying to deliver salvation to beta males. I am not preaching the one true way to live. I am not trying to save society. I am, perhaps, trying to save myself.

    If my writing is “muddled” it is only because my own thoughts are “muddled.” They are “muddled” as part of the search to find my way and my place in this world. That said, I am really not sure what is “muddled” in my writing. It may not fit neatly into any dogmatic box but that alone does not make it muddled.

    I am not against PUAs. Indeed I feel every man should be well versed in the seductive arts. Attracting women (whether he is looking for the one or just another one) is one of the many things a man should be good at. But note I said “one of the many things.” I feel that focusing only on pickup will not make the majority of men happy. I believe that over reliance on canned routines and fake-it-till-you-make-it measures will do men less good than an actual course of overall self-improvement.

    I am not a hedonist in that I am more cerebral but I am not against hedonism. Why would I be against the choices of others? I simply believe that pursuit of pleasure absent the pursuit of challenge is also not good for most men. However, I enjoy nice surroundings, good food, and good sex like most other men. Again, my belief is that the majority of men will not be made happier by simply adding more beer, more food, and more sex, even if those things are good.

    This is what I said about alphas:

    The Alphas are the men of passion and drive. They are those ferocious beings that rock the world and achieve great things. They leave more than a trace, in fact they leave an indelible mark.

    There is nothing there about getting laid. If the above is a description of an alpha man then I am “pro-Alpha.”

    I am also pro-happiness. If getting laid a lot will make a particular man happy then I am in favor of that for him. However, his notch count is not how I will judge him.

  6. Default User Says:

    Dr. Bhetti prescribed:

    This post needs a graph, I say!

    No graphs here but there may be some in a future post.
    [cuz I know you all love them]

  7. Todd White Says:

    Beta: I think you’re on the right course. I am pro-happiness too. And that is why I have major concerns with how Game is practiced by most men. It seduces men into thinking that a very base, low form of physical pleasure is the key to happiness, when the highest forms of pleasure are emotional and spiritual. And in finding those higher forms of pleasure, Game has very little to offer; indeed, it’s counter-productive.

  8. Todd White Says:

    Also, there are at least 2 types of Alphas just like there at least 2 types of Betas. The Alphas you admire (the men “who rock the world”) will not be found in the Roissysphere. They are masculine, yes (I suppose). But they are dumb and malevolent in their masculinity. The superior Alpha are masculine in their intelligence, courage, and leadership, but the source of their power is not in their scrotum; it’s in their mind and soul – a greatness that draws and inspires others.

  9. Default User Says:

    @Todd White

    Just to be clear. I am not anti-game. As I said, every man should be, or at least aim to be, skilled in the seduction arts.

    I expect many of the men that post at Roissy are accomplished in some way. Most will be of above average intelligence. Few would be as you say “dumb and malevolent” in their masculinity. Some are just trying to get this one area of their life fixed, having done OK in other areas. I would not dismiss them the way you do.

    If you are looking for an ally in some anti-game crusade, you will not find one in me. I stopped posting at Roissy because it was not where I wanted to put my energy right now not because I had a low opinion of the posters there. I have no negative views of the application of game (or what we used to call seduction).

    Sex is an important drive for a man to fulfill. Sadly many of us have had (or have) trouble filling. A man who is happy in his sex life will likely be happier elsewhere too. At the very least he will not have the negative energy of an unfulfilled need dragging him down. Many young men will use “game” to score lots of women and then, with their wild oats sown, settle down to pursuing other things by their late-twenties (this does not mean they no longer pursue women, just that they are likely to end up in more stable relationships).

    It is true that leaders-of-men and rockers-of-the-world have an attractive quality but many can have trouble attracting women. In fact these are just type of men to fall into chivalrous, nice-guy mistakes that “game” tries to correct.

    I do not see sexual intercourse as a “base form” of pleasure. Even if it were, so what? If I am not a hedonist I am also not an anti-hedonist. We are physical beings and should enjoy our physical bodies.

    I do not want to get into an argument about game. As far as I concerned there is no argument. Game is a useful tool in a man’s armory. Just because I focus less on it than others does not mean I will dismiss it.

  10. aoefe Says:

    Default please game me and show me your ‘graph’. heh

  11. Todd White Says:

    Default: I’m not trying to enlist you in an anti-Game crusade. I don’t think Game is worthy of such drastic action.

    One note of clarification: I didn’t say that “sexual intercourse is a ‘base’ form of pleasure.” I said casual sex with women you’ve just met is “base;” not sex, overall.

  12. Default User Says:

    @aoefe and Bhetti

    You want graphs. You got ’em

  13. Default User Says:

    @Todd White

    OK. Thanks for the clarification.

  14. Tupac Chopra Says:

    Hope:

    I’d much rather be with a gentle man who is at ease with himself, than an angry guy full of rage and always looking for something more.

    False dichotomy.

    I think the alternative Default is talking about is “gentle man who is at ease with himself, warts and all” vs. “AMBITIOUS person who finds it low-class to be a slacker.” “Ambition” here is not limited to work/career but extends to all facets of life. “Flourishing”, if you will.

    And btw, Hope, what percentage of women in the U.S. would you say are content with a “gentle” man? No graphs needed, I’d just like your gut instinct.

    A man who is content in his life and accomplishments is relaxed in demeanor. He is only aroused to passion when things that truly matter come up, for example if his family is threatened or if he sees something that is worthy of his outrage.

    There are many things in this world that are worthy of outrage that don’t just involve one’s family.

    My fiance would look at something that would bother most people and go, “eh… whatever.” To me that is far more attractive.

    One of my ex’s would’ve called that apathy, and took it upon herself to write letters to newspapers and such. She would not have found your man attractive.

  15. Hope Says:

    “Ambition” here is not limited to work/career but extends to all facets of life. “Flourishing”, if you will.

    How does ambition translate into being “fierce” and outgoing? It doesn’t. A person can have a lot of ambition, be flourishing and not a mean jerk. Quiet, understated self-confidence might be overlooked by most boisterous Americans, but it’s the kind that I prefer.

    what percentage of women in the U.S. would you say are content with a “gentle” man? No graphs needed, I’d just like your gut instinct.

    You want my gut instinct? Most Americans are messed up, because American society is mostly messed up. Why should I look to what “most women” in the U.S. want as examples of behavior worth emulating? The kind of man that wants to bang lots of American women isn’t the kind of man I want to attract either.

    There are many things in this world that are worthy of outrage that don’t just involve one’s family.

    I did write “for example,” not “exclusively.”

    One of my ex’s would’ve called that apathy

    My ex would get so worked up over things he hears on the news and carried that negativity around with him, projecting it on everyone he came across. No thanks.

  16. Default User Says:

    @Hope
    To achieve any ambition needs energy and drive. You will often need to enlist others in your aid and that takes leadership.

    Drive, determination, and competitiveness do not mean being a jerk You can have those attributes and not be a jerk.

    I think Tupac’s point in asking you about the percent of women that might be content with a gentle man was that there might be very few such women. It was not about questioning your own choices. If there are very few of them a man might be out of luck if none happen to be in his area.

  17. Hope Says:

    I don’t disagree with the premise of having drive, determination, energy, ambition, etc. But what I wrote specifically in my first post was a contrast.

    This is what I personally experienced. The “fierce” man had a lot of ambition but did not follow through and often made life miserable. He talked the “alpha” talk, thought of himself as a great leader, and was competitive in a lot of ways. He certainly left his “mark,” but it was not a positive thing.

    The “mild” man also has ambition, but he has the ability to follow them and not be discouraged when things go south. The gentleness and stoicism help give him that determination. He doesn’t need to brag or be super extroverted. To borrow your terminology, he has the “salty and spicy” as well as the “subtle and sweet” attributes.

    Certainly not every man out there is going to fall under one of these two categories. I never said that. I mentioned that between these two I preferred the latter. I also never said that most women would even prefer the latter man to the former kind. Frankly, they’re welcome to them.

  18. Default User Says:

    @Hope

    It can be taken as given that I expect “fierce” men to live up to their hype. If he doesn’t then he is nothing more than a posing popinjay, and is certainly not alpha.

    I am not totally down on “mild” men. I am just saying that for most men too much “mild” is worse than a bit too much “wild.”

  19. Doug1 Says:

    There are both insights and confusions in this post, seems to me. I’m not going to deal with all of either.

    Your central effort though is to try to join two different definitions of alpha. The first being leaders among men, the worthy hard chargers, who most attain success and deserve to more or less. The second being Roissy and the PUA communities usual definition, those guys most able to pull hot girls for casual sex or relationships, whether or not they choose to rack up big numbers.

    In many ways it would be more comforting if the two were almost completely overlapping sets. However they aren’t. Now I’ll grant you that Roissy often does exaggerate, or seem to exaggerate the divergence. He likes to harp on the cases of death row murderers, thuggish gang members, and total assholes who make no money pulling in the girls. Reading him closely he does admit that most alphas are social and business leaders, but I do think he still thinks the divergence is great. I think it’s probably greatest in the 26 and under educated urban female cohort he most likes to date. Girls who are looking for thrills after (or during college) as much or more than anything durable.

    To my mind the biggest dating social problem currently is i) that the pool of guys that the top 40-50% of girls want to date is so small and ii) that it includes too many guys who are asshole losers rather than being socially contributive. Put differently the problem is that too many well educated and good job holding guys who are go getters at work can’t do very well in dating world at least with the younger, fun loving stage girls, before the go into their husband hunting phase. Often with a serious slutting it up with alphas history.

    In the picture you’re painting all the hard charging MBAs and lawyers and doctors from good schools, who aren’t high level followers but rather pushing ahead, would be doing really well in the poon department in their 20s etc. But they aren’t. Only some of them are.

    That’s where game comes in. I think it can help those kinds of guys most of all.

  20. Default User Says:

    @Doug1

    I am not anti-game. Indeed, like you, I believe that while the leader-of-men type has attractive qualities but they do need to build on them with game because their success alone will not get them laid.

    I also believe that as part of building his game a man should build himself. I probably sound harsher about PUAs then I really feel. I just think that some men pursue that life thinking it will make them happy when it will not.

    I agree with you on the problem (the small set of men that women chase etc.). If I do not focus on that it is only because this blog is more personal reflections and the topics are covered very well elsewhere.

    It there is confusion in my post it is only because of confusion in my mind. Sadly I am neither a master-of-the-universe nor a pickup artist extraordinaire (I guess I am more of the struggling and living in a cheap, ratty lofty type of “artist” yuck, yuck). So many of these posts are about me trying to figure out my own journey.
    [It would be nice they helped some young man figure that out now (as compared to waiting twenty years like I did).]

    PS:
    What did we call “game” before The Game? I like using the term “seductive arts” but was there a widely used term?
    [I guess there was “pickup,” “getting laid,” etc.]

    PPS:
    Whether “hard charging MBAs and lawyers” are “socially contributive” is a question I will leave untouched.

  21. Doug1 Says:

    What did we call “game” before The Game? I like using the term “seductive arts” but was there a widely used term?
    [I guess there was “pickup,” “getting laid,” etc.

    “He’s a real ladies man”. Yeah “seduction”. “Don Juan” abilities. Charm.

    It was thought of as much more inherent and not something that could just be learned by most though. As well I think looks were very often given more weight than they deserved, partly because women described (and still do) men who have a lot of alpha pull and charisma as having “that look”, or being handsome when really they aren’t. They just look edgie and playfully dominant. E.g. no way was Humphrey Bogart conventionally handsome.

  22. Default User Says:

    @doug1
    I often thought that Bogie was a good alpha study because, as you said, he was not particularly handsome or overtly masculine (in a muscular, thuggish way). As such you could concentrate on actions, mannerisms, and speech.

    Perhaps the greatest contribution of “game” was to teach men to ignore women’s stated preferences.

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