Saturday, August 15, 2009

What does it mean to be alpha?

A lot of young men believe that they will win over women by being the loyal, supportive, nice kind of guy.

Why would they think this? First, it's a cultural message. Hollywood churns out films in which the beautiful heroine falls in love with a goofy, unemployed guy who proves to be nicer and more loyal than her handsome, wealthy, preppy boyfriend/fiancé.

Second, women often say that all they really want is a nice guy who will commit to them.

The problem is that the Hollywood films are peddling a kind of fantasy. Nor can what women say be taken at face value. A woman may be telling the truth when she says she admires a man who is nice and reliable - she just may not admire him in a romantic way. And when she complains about men being bastards and asks where the good men are, she may just be expressing part of the drama of her romantic life - one that she isn't willing to give up just yet.

And so the young men who did their best to be nice guys become gradually disillusioned. The women they meet casually won't bother to respect them. The women they know well will be friendlier, but won't relate to them seriously as men. What's worse, our good guys will observe women rewarding over and over the bad boys: the ones who are reckless, unstable, shady and untrustworthy.

The result is confusion and resentment among a large number of men who thought they were doing the right thing.

As an example of the way women are drawn to the "bad boy", I'll quote the views of Samantha Brett, who writes a popular relationships blog for the Sydney Morning Herald. Samantha Brett is unusual in being upfront and honest in discussing her preferences. She is attracted to the "bad boy" player type of man, despite knowing that the long-term outcome isn't likely to be good. Thus, when Jerry Hall announced that in future she would only marry a man who didn't behave like her ex-husband Mick Jagger, who had fathered a baby with another woman during their marriage, Samantha Brett could see a conundrum:

Of course a man who doesn't "behave like that" [like Jagger] is someone who is the opposite of the archetypal playboy - loyal, kind and generous - who unfortunately, isn't the type of gent most women dream about, talk about, become addicted to, hanker after, get infatuated with and end up falling hopelessly (and often unrequitedly) in love with.

In fact, while out with a group of friends for dinner, when the conversation turned to the most desirable man, the women pooh-poohed 25-year-old Sarah's relationship (she had chosen a "loyal" guy over a playboy) for not having enough spark and encouraged her not to settle down with this "nice guy" any time soon ...

"You need excitement! You need va va voom! You need je ne sais quoi!" the women chanted as they began to indulge in the erotic reverie of the man who would sweep you off your feet, is wildly romantic, wildly appealing, doting and devastatingly handsome, all at the same time.

However, one woman at the table vehemently disagreed with their sentiment.

"You're all describing the player - the type of man who wouldn't be good in the long haul. I'm only dating men right now who I can see as being future husband material; who will be a good father to my kids. I don't really care how he looks or where he takes me holidaying in summer. That stuff doesn't matter when it comes to the future."

While she might have put a damper on all the fantasy talk that was going on, I had to agree. If only women would open their eyes to giving a chance to men who really value, love and cherish them, as opposed to the ones who keep them on their toes, like to play games and meddle with their emotions, maybe things would be a little different. And maybe there wouldn't be so many heartbroken women out there.


Samantha Brett sometimes gets women to describe their ideal man:

The thing that shocks me is that many of these women are often hell-bent on describing the type of man who will no doubt break their hearts, the bad boy who is exciting and fun and titillates all their senses. They often forget qualities such as loyalty, kindness and friendship - the attributes that should be the key to choosing a man to partner with for the rest of their lives.


But she herself is torn in two different directions:

I often find myself vacillating between men who are loyal and kind, and those who are exciting in a rock star sort of way.


You can see why so many young men are perplexed about what to do. If by nature you are a man of integrity, how are you meant to be the kind of man that women "dream about, talk about, become addicted to, hanker after, get infatuated with and end up falling hopelessly in love with." Are you supposed to mimic bad boy behaviour?

I can remember having exactly this thought in my mid-20s. I write this now without bitterness, having been married happily for some years. But back then I saw the women in my social milieu go for the damaged, reckless type of men. I really did wonder if I had to put on a leather jacket and torn jeans and pretend to be involved in some kind of petty drug trade to make a bigger impression.

There is a lot of discussion of this issue on the internet. It's usually framed in terms of women preferring a small number of high-testosterone alpha males rather than the average guy beta males. I think these terms are suspect. The term alpha gives the impression of superiority. In some cases, the women I knew really did go for men who could at least claim to be superior, such as those studying for high status jobs such as medicine and law.

However, a lot of the time, women went for men who were clearly losers. There were men whose drug habits led them to live close to the edge and this was attractive for some women. One female friend went for a man who was mentally ill but who was, in her words, "fun to be with". Men with borderline personality disorders can be highly attractive to women, as they are manipulative, unavailable, jealous, unpredictable and needy. In the school yard, you often see the bad boys, those who are more damaged, more unpredictably violent and who have the least chance of success in life, being followed around by a harem of admiring girls.

Women can also see men as "alpha" who haven't achieved more than other men but who are louder and pushier and who seem to dominate in a social situation.

Are these men really more masculine and superior to the quietly confident, intelligent and far-sighted men who are labelled "beta"? Supposedly some women believe that men who are reckless and aggressive are more likely to act ruthlessly in the interests of their families. But in real life it's the stable, prudent, intelligent men who will make the better providers.

It's also likely to be the so-called beta males who carry a civilisation. So again, I think the choice of the terms alpha and beta is unfortunate and inadequate.

Was the issue of women preferring alpha males as significant in the past? Perhaps. Look at the central themes of Jane Austen's novels. The women are drawn initially to the cads, the younger, sillier, more impulsive women more so, the mature and genuinely sweet ones less so. There is a very considerable effort made by society to suppress the impulsive, romantic inclinations of the young women. It is hammered into them that cads mean ruin and disgrace for them and their families.

And today? It's possible that most women today do know that they are better off marrying a beta. Samantha Brett's friend, for instance, justified her choice of boyfriend on the grounds that, "I'm only dating men right now who I can see as being future husband material; who will be a good father to my kids."

The problem is that women today have deferred a commitment to marriage and so are likely to spend much longer following their romantic instincts rather than looking for husbands. A woman today can support herself in a glamorous white collar job and can avoid motherhood via contraception. She can pursue unsuitable men throughout her twenties, demoralising the family type men in the process.

So what's to be done? I don't have a short term solution, but I can give some advice based on my experience.

It should be said first that not every woman is attracted to the wrong sort of man. Nor does every woman want to wait till her thirties to settle. So there's a window of opportunity for family type men early on, when these women are partnering.

It becomes more difficult when women are in their mid-20s, but then there's another window of opportunity when women approach 30. There are women at this time who are aware of the biological clock and who are no longer so keen on the rigours of full-time work. Beta men who haven't given up can do well at this time.

The problem, though, is that there isn't a great deal of time left to date, engage, marry and have children. A lot of men, too, will have given up by this time. So one of the things we can do, and ought to do, is make women aware of the dangers of leaving marriage so late.

What else can help men deal with the situation? It's useful, of course, to have a high status job. This can make you seem alpha even if you're not a bad boy type. Being passionate about a belief or pursuit can help. It sends a damaging signal if men don't have beliefs of their own they're willing to argue for. Standing your ground in a relationship, even if this means an argument or confrontation, is something you have to be willing to do at times. It's also possible to play at bad behaviour in a humourous, teasing way.

Don't expect women to reward the masculine virtues. These virtues are more likely to be recognised amongst men. You have to practice these virtues regardless of what women think.

Raise your daughters within a stable, loving household. Don't deny them paternal affection. Daughters from such homes are more likely to look for the right kind of men.

Be persevering. You're going to have to put up with more than men in previous generations did. Don't be thrown off for too long by failed relationships. Don't become fatalistic to protect yourself emotionally. Build up your career and your finances even if there is no immediate prospect of marriage.

Use your discontent to work for change so that your sons won't have to endure the unnecessary obstacles you yourself have faced.

Don't yield your integrity. It's one thing that's really not worth losing.

Don't expect, in our culture, to find a ready made woman. Look around you at the cultural influences on women. Do you really expect the average woman to withstand it all? You need good instincts about the underlying character of a woman. A lot depends on your judgement of how she is likely to respond to being a wife and mother.

If you don't like the feminist type of woman, then aim for the large number of relatively apolitical women. You'll find that these apolitical women have absorbed some feminist ideas, and will throw them at you at times, but in the main it probably won't interfere too much with your relationship.

The worst thing of all is to be insipid. You might not be the bad boy "alpha" male who women want to tame or rescue, but if you have a bit of masculine grunt you've got something going for you.

32 comments:

  1. 99% of women want 5% of men.

    And with Paternity Fraud the way it is, it seems women think it is perfectly acceptable to become impregnated by their boss, or neighbour up the road, and then deceive some unsuspecting NORMAL male into thinking it is theirs.

    Charming creatures, aren't they.

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  2. Anonymous, I'd put it differently. A high percentage of women want men, for sex and romance, who display signs of high testosterone. In some cases, this may be men who achieve high status jobs. However, in other cases it is men who show crude signs of testosterone: pushiness, risk taking, physical dominance, aggression.

    Women might want the crude high-T men for sex and romance but often don't want them as husbands and as fathers for their children.

    Yes, it's possible for women to try and combine an alpha lover and a beta husband which might then lead on to paternity fraud. However, some studies show that men who are confident in their paternity are only wrong in 2-3% of cases.

    I think it's still the case that most women are willing to have the man they marry be the father of their children.

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  3. As an example of female behaviour take Kylie Minogue, the Australian pop princess.

    Kylie is pretty, feminine and very appealing. Her first boyfriend was a fellow actor and singer, Jason Donovan. She dumped him for the ultimate bad boy, rock star Michael Hutchence.

    Hutchence was the opposite of promising husband and father material. He was a live fast, die young kind of guy who killed himself in some kind of sex act gone wrong. He fathered a child with another man's wife (Paula Yates) - Yates ended up dying young too (heroin overdose). Hutchence was high testosterone, but in a reckless, destructive way.

    Yet he was the great love of nice girl Kylie.

    Since then Kylie has had relationships with two much younger, sex symbol, womanising Latin men - again, not the kind of men most suitable for marriage.

    She's kept going with her romantic and sexual feelings into her 40s, so that she has never settled and married.

    If most women followed her lead we would quicikly return to a pre-civilisation. As it is, too many women are clinging to the romance and sex side of things for too long, delaying settling until their 30s when it becomes much more difficult to partner and have children.

    It's one of the reasons Western civilisation is teetering.

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  4. Mark Richardson says:

    If most women followed her lead we would quicikly return to a pre-civilisation. As it is, too many women are clinging to the romance and sex side of things for too long, delaying settling until their 30s when it becomes much more difficult to partner and have children.

    It's one of the reasons Western civilisation is teetering.


    The Derb has written a splendid article on love and "settling". He starts off bemoaning the fact that romantic heart is at odds with our pragmatic mind:

    Twenty-odd years ago in England, a thirtysomething female acquaintance told me she would be getting married to her current boyfriend. I knew the guy — amiable, sane, and healthy enough, if unambitious and trending towards portly. Knowing my friend's long dating history, I asked rather impertinently: “This is the real thing at last, then?” She sighed and shrugged. “Oh, he'll do.” So he did: They are still together, and decently happy, so far as one can ever judge these things.

    Having previously unmasked myself in these columns as an incurable romantic, at least when confronted with overwhelming evidence of the human hunger for love, I suppose I ought to have disapproved of that lady's having “settled.”


    But he concludes that womens romantic hope of making a "bad boy" over into a good husband is more often the triumph of faith over experience:

    Net-net, I think we should all start out hoping for the best, but keep in mind that hope can be a terrible liar. If the best doesn't show up, we should “settle”— as St. Paul said, it is better to marry than to burn — and then make the best we can of it.

    Derb points to an NYT article which suggests that petty novelties can put the spice of romance back into married life:

    What everybody wants to know, of course, is: What can you do to improve the odds? Here comes science to tell us. Long-married couples — presumably of either the love-match or the "settled" variety — can strengthen their bond by a dash of novelty. So says a report in the New York Times, anyway.

    The theory is based on brain science. New experiences activate the brain's reward system, flooding it with dopamine and norepinephrine. These are the same brain circuits that are ignited in early romantic love, a time of exhilaration and obsessive thoughts about a new partner. (They are also the brain chemicals involved in drug addiction and obsessive-compulsive disorder.)


    But ultimately the strongest bond between a man and a woman is (metaphorically) tied with the umbilical cords of their children.

    Love, like other kinds of happiness, has a way of showing up when you least expect it, as a by-product of something else you are doing. If that something else is the building of a family and the raising of children with someone you have settled for, take the deal: you won’t find many better ones.

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  5. Sometimes, when I am standing in the supermarket check-out aisle flipping through the celebrity mags, I do feel sorry for Kylie's chequered history of bad boys.

    It looks like she has left her run too late.

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  6. Excellent post.
    I am unconvinced though that cases where women who finally settle for beta men after years of promiscuity have happy endings- poor character + state subsidised divorce and single motherhood is not a good combination

    cf: [The women of Sex and the City will be our civilizational epitaph.

    For those who haven’t seen it, Sex and the City tells the story of four thirty-something single women living in New York City. They live a life that, while all too common today, is perhaps unprecedented in human history (especially for women). They are completely deracinated and homogenized, having no discernable family, either nuclear or extended. They have no religious convictions. Their life consists mostly of wandering around Manhattan, eating in chic restaurants, maxing-out their credit cards in fashionable boutiques, and engaging in a bewildering variety of casual sexual relationships.

    www.lewrockwell.com/latulippe/latulippe71.html ]

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  7. Problem is Betas won't be waiting in the wings for a rampant hoar to come to her senses.

    Even Betas value a box that hasn't been chewed out by an army of jerks.

    The seeds of destruction have been sown and the west has begun a permanent decline. Nietzsche would have been better served writing "The family is dead, the family is dead."

    Best blog piece on the decline of the family I have read to date.
    http://whiskeys-place.blogspot.com/2009/08/beyond-gay-marriage.html

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  8. I have better advice: DON'T BOTHER!
    Go Your Own Way and you'll be better for it. Modern women are not worth it anymore.
    As MarkyMark (markymarksthoughts.blogspot.com) would say - "the life you save may be your OWN ..."

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  9. Anonymous, I understand why you say don't bother. I almost gave up myself, not so much because of rejection but because of disgust with the way the women I was meeting behaved. I heard too many women brag about the one night stands they'd had the night before and how drunk they'd got. There was a mercenary quality to many of these women and an unappealing mannishness. I tried to be open-minded but I just couldn't find a way to envisage having romantic feelings for them.

    However, I persevered and I'm glad I did. I have to tell you that it's great having a good marriage and it's great being a father. It's a large part of what I was born for and of what brings me a sense of fulfilment.

    I suppose you can tell from the above that I don't support the idea of a marriage strike, even though it certainly has had an effect on society.

    The women who have acted most foolishly toward men are already being punished for their folly. There is a generation of women who mucked up in their 20s and who have been left stranded in their 30s and 40s - and who are devastated by the situation they now find themselves in.

    I can't help but think that we're denying ourselves too much if we close off the option of meeting a woman who is genuinely oriented toward family life.

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  10. Interesting thoughts, Mark, though some of your advice is ill-informed.

    "There is a lot of discussion of this issue on the internet. It's usually framed in terms of women preferring a small number of high-testosterone alpha males rather than the average guy beta males. I think these terms are suspect. The term alpha gives the impression of superiority. In some cases, the women I knew really did go for men who could at least claim to be superior, such as those studying for high status jobs such as medicine and law.

    However, a lot of the time, women went for men who were clearly losers. There were men whose drug habits led them to live close to the edge and this was attractive for some women. One female friend went for a man who was mentally ill but who was, in her words, "fun to be with". Men with borderline personality disorders can be highly attractive to women, as they are manipulative, unavailable, jealous, unpredictable and needy. In the school yard, you often see the bad boys, those who are more damaged, more unpredictably violent and who have the least chance of success in life, being followed around by a harem of admiring girls."

    The reason for this is that there are two types of alpha males - "male alphas" and "female alphas."
    Male alphas are high-status, leader of men types, while female alphas are men whom women instinctively want to have sex with. The two used to be the same in the West, but have become increasingly divergent in our degenerate modern world.

    "It should be said first that not every woman is attracted to the wrong sort of man. Nor does every woman want to wait till her thirties to settle. So there's a window of opportunity for family type men early on, when these women are partnering."

    Not sure what the situation is like in Australia, but in the U.S. marrying young and starting a family is economically impossible for anyone in the middle-class, due to college loan debt and other expenses. Breeding is increasingly becoming the province of either the very rich or very poor.

    "It becomes more difficult when women are in their mid-20s, but then there's another window of opportunity when women approach 30. There are women at this time who are aware of the biological clock and who are no longer so keen on the rigours of full-time work. Beta men who haven't given up can do well at this time."

    Once a woman has left her fertility peak (ages 18-24) and/or has had more than a certain number of sexual partners (3, 4 at max), her ability to bond with a man is severely compromised. The overwhelmingly majority of single women in their thirties are damaged goods who spent their prime years chasing alphas, hoping to get one to commit, and they only go to betas as a last resort. Those sorts of marriages usually end in divorce, because the very ground on which they were planted is poisoned.

    "What else can help men deal with the situation? It's useful, of course, to have a high status job. This can make you seem alpha even if you're not a bad boy type."

    Wrong, wrong, wrong. Women determine a man's "alphaness" by his social dominance. Unless the man in question is a rock star or some other famous celebrity, his job will do nothing to help. See this story of a doctor who donated his kidney to his wife only for her to cheat on him and serve him with divorce papers.

    "Use your discontent to work for change so that your sons won't have to endure the unnecessary obstacles you yourself have faced."

    Agreed. You may want to see my manifesto on how this might be done.

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  11. Two quotes from this discussion:

    "'You need excitement! You need va va voom! You need je ne sais quoi!' the women chanted as they began to indulge in the erotic reverie of the man who would sweep you off your feet, is wildly romantic, wildly appealing, doting and devastatingly handsome, all at the same time."

    "But back then I saw the women in my social milieu go for the damaged, reckless type of men. I really did wonder if I had to put on a leather jacket and torn jeans and pretend to be involved in some kind of petty drug trade to make a bigger impression."

    It strikes me that this whole phenomenon of Alpha Males and of women's attraction to them is an another instance of the Vitalist stage of Nihilism described by Eugene (Fr. Seraphim) Rose, in his short book on Nihilism.

    As I have summarized it:

    "In the Vitalist stage of society, people deliver themselves over to an unending search for sensation and excitement, for the exotic and the experimental, for ever-greater freedom and satisfaction of desires, for the 'riches of diversity,' for the transforming 'energy' that is produced by a society in constant change and motion--and with all these things being seen as, even explicitly promoted as, a substitute for any inherent truth and goodness in existence."

    What could be a better example of the Vitalist stage of nihilism than women seeking "bad boys," often abusive anti-social, and not only that, but boasting that this was a wonderful thing that they prefer.

    Also, there was a discussion about this Alpha Male / Beta Male analysis at Mangan’s Miscellany. I objected very strongly to this approach to human and sexual relations and it set off a further discussion.

    It’s really a society far gone in decadence, which takes a term originally coined to describe apes and their power relations with each other, and applies it to human beings in society, and then starts to classify and respond to people through the lens of these ape categories. But such is a society that makes Darwinist materialism plus liberalism its leading ideology.

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  12. Mark, you make some excellent points here.

    You don't make much of physical attractiveness, an obvious driver. In return for rejecting social and personal responsibility the bad boy types enjoy greater choice with more attractive counterparts. This does not seem like a logical relationship and perhaps it is a modern artifact; it seems especially strange when there is no obvious reproductive payoff.

    The only reason men whose integrity is in command of their libido would care about this condition is the natural pull of attractive women, regardless of the integrity of the latter. Even without physical interaction between these disparate elements the psychological pressures can be destructive of marriage and relationships generally.

    This can be a painful realization for presumably more conscientious beta males, particularly when the more attractive females often exhibit vapid and morose personalities. Such traits may represent a natural defense mechanism against the unwanted attention of men generally, but in its modern severity it is likely also a pathology indicating just how dysfunctional, confused and unhappy many modern women are. A man of moderate physical appeal who is kind and intelligent-- and would make an ideal husband and father-- really has no chance with such a woman. His feeling a strong attraction nonetheless is *his* disorder.

    I believe these roles are determined at an early age from peer pressure and parenting skills (or lack thereof)-- at or near the onset of adolescence. Genetics obviously plays a role as well. One can observe kids playing out social relationships that will last a lifetime even well before this period. Such differences have always existed but I think the media have exacerbated the divisions.

    Finally, the good news I think is that the significant percentage of people we might label "wholesome" or "normal" are relatively unaffected by the mainstream promotion of Babylonian morality and hyper-vanity. As you say, they are the ones who can and will keep civilization from total ruin.

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  13. For those who haven’t seen it, Sex and the City tells the story of four thirty-something single women living in New York City. They live a life that, while all too common today




    I don't think it is nearly as common as the media would have you beieve.

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  14. "Supposedly some women believe that men who are reckless and aggressive are more likely to act ruthlessly in the interests of their families."

    The reason the go for bad boys is that it would flatter their ego beyond measure if the they could tame the wild, aloof man whom other women have failed to capture. It is not about what he has to offer, it is about convincing herself that she is more special, beautiful, caring than all other women.

    A pathological worldview to be certain and one that wise societies have strictly controlled.

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  15. I'm not sure the alpha/beta distinction Mark outlines is the correct one.

    "Alpha", to me, has no necessary connotations of "bad boy" or crude behaviour; rather, it describes a man who is confident and unselfconscious in his masculinity. You know, like many of our grandfathers. Such alpha men--rare as they may be in modern times--can be excellent, faithful and devoted husbands.

    "Beta", on the other hand, has no necessary connotations of niceguyness. One particular line of females in my wife's family seems to be drawn solely to beta males, often with disastrous results. These particular men exhibit classically feminine behaviour involving emotional histrionics and manipulation, a high degree of self-involvement, and lack of forthright self-assertion.

    None of which is to say that less classically masculine men cannot be good providers, just that I don't think the alpha/beta distinction can be drawn in such a simplistic way.

    I think the root of the problem lies in the modern demonization of masculinity. Since there are few socially acceptable means of asserting masculinity, alphas too easily resort to taking advantage of their sexual advantages, while betas retreat into a milquetoasty semi-feminized persona. The alphas get lots of casual sex, the betas fail to attract women who don't want what they're selling, and women lose all round.

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  16. "... and women lose all round."

    Well, they created this mess. Mothers socially engineer their sons to be betas. They kicked Dad out of the house and nobody's around to teach sons how to be Men. If modern women are disgusted by modern men, they have nobody to blame but themselves. Of course, we know they won't do that because that would require reflection. As they always do, they'll just blame MEN and move on to the next distraction in their purposely distracted lives.

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  17. We wouldn't have this particular problem if our society was once again informed by The Gospel.

    While marriage failures certainly do happen among committed Christians, what I generally see among the very committed ones (across denominations) is a firm committment to sexual purity. Among this smallish subset of society is a much greater proportion of successful marriages with many children.

    I don't think secularism has anything to offer this societal mess.

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  18. I don't think the attraction to Alpha "bad boys" describes all of what we are seeing. As such, it only represents one extreme. The attraction of non-loyalty to non-loyalty. The other extreme is the liberal female attraction to the demasculated "beta" boy. This is a pathethic creature entirely loyal to non-loyalty with the non-loyal liberal female expecting absolute loyalty.

    These extremely liberal "instances" (real liberals only break relationship and never really commit to them) are predictably becoming more prevalent.

    And yet, in this liberal order, it is going to take a sort of "Alpha" male bad boy to get to the business of taming one of these extremely liberal females and make a mother and woman out of her. Commit her to the Lord and she'll be your wife.

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  19. "Thordaddy" is right. There's a number of women attacted to wussy boy's that they can dominate. An example would be both my sister and my sister-in-law. The latter likes the aimless, alternative-rock-guitar-picking type who's always on the verge of "making it big."

    Also, this type in biology is termed the "omega" not the beta.

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  20. Interesting discussion.

    The "definitions" of "alpha" and "beta" are simple and empirical: Which men have the most sex with the most women? This is a factual proposition, not subject to philosophical or linguistic manipulation. A man might "think" he is alpha, but if he isn't banging lots of women, he probably isn't (the exceptions are very rare). There is no shame in being a decent, hardworking, loyal beta. But don't confuse that with being an alpha.

    While we might debate the extent to which there are "alphas" who are "monopolizing" the pool of desireable, available women, it strikes me as utterly ignorant to suggest that no such phenomenon is happening. And the trend has accelerated with birth control and women's sexual liberation. The question is how to explain this phenomenon. On this score, "Darwinian" social psychology strikes me as full of powerful insights that should not be poo-poo'd just because we might not agree that Darwinian evolution explains existence.

    The fact is that most men are attracted to a minority of women, and most women are attracted to a minority of men. Under conditions of greater social and cultural control, these natural impulses were subordinated and most people found acceptable mates. But "acceptable" is not good enough these days; men and women expect much more -- everything they see and read about in the media. So men desire, say, the top third of women; while women desire, say, the top tenth of men (women are more selective naturally).

    So how does this work in practice? Obviously, a relatively small number of the more desireable men "service" a large number of the more (and less)desireable women. Think how Hollywood works, with the leading actors bedding a string of beautiful gals (and not-so-beautiful ones we don't read about). Which doesn't leave much "action" for less desirable men or undesirable women.

    Furthermore, most women's standards are higher than most men's, so they will not "settle" for average shmoes if they don't have to (and most women don't find out that they have to until it is too late). It is widely understood that most men will f*$k just about anything, but the same is definitely not true for women. Why does practically every party venue allow women to enter for free? Because there are a helluva lot more guys on the prowl than women. Again, these are factual, empirical generalizations.

    At the same time, many (most?) men have developed utterly unrealistic expectations about women -- every man thinks he can have a supermodel or at least a "hottie" and therefore turns his nose down at average females who might be open to relationships with them (or treats them like throwaways). A glaring example: The PA mass killer who apparently had no sex life because he only wanted "7s" or better. What a pathetic, foolish, loser. A product of our distorted culture. Yet many women feel the exact same way (they just don't commit mass murder over it). How many times, for example have you heard women scoff at scenes on TV or in the movies where a nice but slobby guy "gets" the hot chick? They know quite well that he never would have had a chance in real life.

    The whole "balance" is severaly out of whack. Lots of people who should be pairing up in satisfactory, if imperfect, relationships aren't. The sum total of happiness surely is less than it would be in a less "free" sexual marketplace.

    -- Roissy Reader

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  21. It's all good to explain the current dynamics, but if your the kind of "beta" male that wants to get to the business of carrying on our civilization within a sea of liberal women then it is simply a matter of manning up, taming one of these tragic figures, do her like an "alpha" male, make her mother and then make her a believer and then she'll be your wife.

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  22. Largely agree with the post but would perhaps question the extent to which guys are "confused" as to how to behave.

    I wonder how many of your classic bad boy high testosterone alphas can really "chose" to be any different than they are. The opposite applies also. I don't think your classic 'beta' has that much ability to change his behavior either.

    As societal rules/taboos break down then behaviour is determined to a greater extent by natural inclination. What I'm saying is that I'm not sure how much a guy can really chose to be 'player' or a 'nice-guy' in any meaningful sense.

    I think in the past natural inclinations may have been constrained to a greater extent by societal rules (in fact that was the whole purpose of the rules). With those rules gone each of us reverts to type. No 'choice' required.

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  23. "Standing your ground in a relationship, even if this means an argument or confrontation, is something you have to be willing to do at times. It's also possible to play at bad behaviour in a humourous, teasing way."

    Excellent advice in an excellent post. As a married man, I can advise that this is true. Don't behave like a wimp and your wife won't treat you like one.

    Don't necessarily take a woman's first, verbalised response as her true views during a disagreement or encounter.

    Julian

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  24. To make sense of this alpha and beta conflict in contemporary liberal society, you need to take account of Steve Sailer's parallel theory of masculine and feminine intelligence.

    Alpha males for example, seem to come in two generalised types:

    1. The economically successful executive type with the relatively masculine brain, nice car and pretty soccer mum wife.

    2. The gigolo or artist with the manly body and the effeminate brain who sleeps with a lot of different women

    Using this more nuanced analysis it clear the most masculine men overall don't actually sleep with the most women, it's the men with the masculine bodies and effiminate minds who score the most in today's feminised liberal society, as they present a more politically acceptable form of masculinity

    This gigolo type is also the one the masculine-minded betas blame for coverting all the available women.

    Hence, the masculine-minded (ie, traditionalist) betas need to assert their own masculinity by challenging the liberal society that puts them at a disadvantage, at the expense of the liberal gigolo.

    Unfortunately though, too many masculine-minded betas can't seem to shake off their interest in juvenille nerdy distractions and wake up to what's going actually going on.

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  25. Julian, thanks for taking the time to underline what I think is an important point.

    Men don't like having confrontations with women. It's a very unpleasant thing to happen and not what men look to relationships for.

    But there were some important issues early in my marriage that I thought were important for the long term future of the relationship. So I did hold my ground and there were a couple of unpleasant confrontations.

    But to my surprise my wife didn't react subsequently with hostility toward me. Yes, she used it as a kind of stored complaint for a while. But I got the sense I had found some additional respect from her. In other words, in the long term it improved my position.

    I'm not suggesting that men casually allow arguments to happen or that you argue about trivial things. But a relationship isn't likely to work if the woman completely sets the terms of what happens. I get the feeling that some men allow women to set the terms, then retreat into a kind of stoic dissatisfaction for a while, before the situation really deteriorates.

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  26. Mike, I do agree wholeheartedly that we're playing a losing game until we challenge the overall social trends.

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  27. I'm a moderate to traditional Christian young woman and I would like to say that :

    '' Bad boys '' are not Alpha
    They are just that
    Boys

    I dislike '' bad boys ''
    I don't even know why so many Black women love them ( I'm not Black but I am Brown skinned )

    '' Butch '' men or '' Hyper masculinity '' is WAY off the charts and is NOT Alpha

    Not masculine

    Masculinity is moderation with tinges of extremity

    Alpha means Top
    Dominant

    Mike ---

    '' 1. The economically successful executive type with the relatively masculine brain, nice car and pretty soccer mum wife ''

    Yep ... masculine

    '' 2. The gigolo or artist with the manly body and the effeminate brain who sleeps with a lot of different women ''

    I do NOT consider them masculine at all ... those types to me are gay

    They tend to shave all of their body hair all of the time , wear skinny pants and make up and whichever

    Even though I do not hate gays ( must be a habit I have since being lectured by liberals for being '' homophobic '' since I'm against '' gay marriage '' argh ... but truly ... I really don't hate them ) there are three main body types in the ''gay world''

    Either the hairless feminine looking 'twink' ('twink' is usually skinny and small), the 'bear' (which is basically a fat/obese guy with a fake beard and a lot of hair... he's like hairy) and the ''masculine'' looking 'twink' (feminine mind, baby voice and the 'masculine muscular' body) which to me resembles the gigolo a LOT (sorry couldn't help it but it's the truth)

    Weird that none of them get the ''ideal male'' body right

    The ideal male physique has to be a combination of natural body hair (or some hair), deep voice, balanced to muscular body and perhaps some male facial hair

    '' Using this more nuanced analysis it clear the most masculine men overall don't actually sleep with the most women, it's the men with the masculine bodies and effiminate minds who score the most in today's feminised liberal society, as they present a more politically acceptable form of masculinity ''

    True but not in all

    In the non American/non Western Christian circles the man with a balanced to masculine mind and a masculine body '' scores '' the most =)

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  28. It seems clear women will often settle for someone who is loyal and who they can dominate. They are also attracted to bad boys. A "good" girl attracted to a "bad" boy surely has the advantage. She may feel greatly for his difficulties and yearn for his freedom from restraint and responsibility but she doesn't have to take him seriously.

    Is that what its about having the upper hand? Is there a difference here between what we want and what we need?

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  29. Really great post and the comments are up to it too. I'm in my early twenties myself and I'm finding it very difficult to deal with the "alpha" romantic wants of women. Being a natural "beta", I'm always facing the pressure of changing, because you always end up in the unhappy friend zone, when what you need is a relationship. And I found adjusting to some "alpha" traits worked a bit. But it's still not natural for me and will not be forever.

    But the advice given by the author is very congruent with my own beliefs. Just focus on building up yourself as a man, because the marriage bells tick for women after mid-twenties and then most will settle. In their early twenties they just exchange the most popular, most ruthless guys, climbing a social ladder. It starts in high school and goes on in college.

    The hard part though is watching "alpha" peers in relationships at this age. And I guess you have to combine throwing in "alpha" features and not really caring so much about relationships (focus on career etc.)

    Other opinions on these ways to be happy in early twenties as a more "beta" inclined?

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  30. These were Beta Males. They worked hard on their farms, built great art and thought about science and philosohphy.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hoplites

    This was an Alpha Male. He collected women like a sexual numismatist :

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xerxes_I_of_Persia

    Get the point?

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  31. Generally, I often think that there must be corresponding female equivalents of me and that by reaching towards my potential given my personal circumstances, I can find a female who is doing likewise given her gender and limitations/strengths. The convergence of these developments at some point yields a good, stable marriage.

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