“Safe sex, safe clothing, safe hairspray, safe ozone layer,…too late! Everything that’s been achieved in the history of mankind has been achieved by not being safe.”
– Lemmy Kilmister, Mötorhead
In the Think Like a Woman post comments Rational Reader Jeremiah presented me with a well worn question:
My question is, Tomassi, do you think alpha traits are usually learned or genetically inherited? What percentage of modern men “get it” and of the men who “get it” how many of them have always “gotten it” and how many of them learned to adapt? It is hard to believe there are still naturals out there when feminism is being rammed up the anus of every man before he sprouts his first tooth.
As I’ve illuminated in past posts, I don’t think distilling the essence of Alpha ‘presence’ in a Man is as subjective as most people feel compelled to qualify, enumerate or otherwise yammer on about in as personally identifying a manner as they can muster. In this humble blogger’s estimation Alpha is a state of mind, not a demographic. The manosphere will endlessly debate the qualifications of what is Alpha, but I think for the most part, the influence of an Alpha mindset (whatever the qualifiers) is more or less agreed upon.
However, with this in mind, I think it’s a perfectly valid question to ask whether an Alpha is born that way or molded into his Alpha mindset. This is actually the classic debate psychology has always always put to its various schools of thought; Nature vs. Nurture – is a dynamic influenced by inherent, biological, environmental prompts or is that dynamic a learned, socialized and acculturated phenomenon? And of course the equally classic conflict comes from people attempting to define various dynamics in terms of absolutes, when to greater or lesser degrees a dynamic is influenced by both nature and nurturing elements.
While the Tomassi school of psychology is firmly planted in the nuts and bolts of behaviorism, it’s also important to take into account that external influences can and too often do modify innate, inborn predilections – even inborn self-preservation instincts.
So with this in mind, my perspective on the origin of Alpha is that biology determines the starting point for Alpha, what happens to it from there is modified by a man’s environmental conditions. Alpha ‘energy’, for lack of a better term, is to varying degrees, part of a male human’s biologically determined “starting package”; from there, through social feedback, it’s either refined and developed by his upbringing, acculturation and social affirming, or it’s repressed, constrained and mitigated by his social environment.
When I was in art school one of my most influential teachers told me, “There are two types of artists; those who were born with a natural, innate gift for art, and those who lack that gift, but possess such a passion for art that it drives them to be good at it. The true masters are the artists that combine both natural talent and the drive that comes from a passion for it.” I’ve always referred back to this model in my creative efforts, but I believe this model can be extended beyond just the artistic sense.
The Learned Alpha
Roosh has an excellent breakdown of The Myth of the Natural that perfectly encapsulates the learning theory of Alpha. The premise behind this is that Alpha behavior, and consequently facility with women, comes as a set of modeled behaviors based upon trial and error.
If I were forced to agree on what a natural is, it would be a man who’s a prodigy of sex—someone who gets laid way above other men with no formal instruction in game. This means he was not exposed to any 12 DVD “Cocky Humor” sets or seminars in a hotel room with three dozen other guys. You look at him and think, “Wow, he gets laid automatically. He was born to get laid!”
But he wasn’t. Just because he didn’t read a book doesn’t mean he didn’t learn through trial and error like you did, practicing his game on a large number of women. It doesn’t mean that he wasn’t conscious and deliberate with his behavior, incrementally improving his moves and tactics over a long period of time. He has experimented like you have experimented, and he has also connected his attempts with results to figure out what works and what doesn’t.
He may not be obsessive about it enough to log his data into a spreadsheet, but he’s mindful and aware of what he’s doing. He understands the mechanism behind charm and can often turn it on or off depending on what he wants. He has learned the type of humor and story-telling that gets a positive response in women. The last thing you can say about him was that he was born into the world with the “automatic” ability to fuck a lot of girls.
Essentially what Roosh explores here is a very basic behavioral psychology premise – macro-psychological dynamics to micro-psychological schema are developed, deliberately or unconsciously, through a process of deductive trial and error management. Whether you’re aware of it or not, everyone has Game to varying degrees. Every man you know has some concept of behaviors and mental attitudes he believes will best help him arrive at sexual intimacy with a woman. Even the worst Blue Pill Beta believes he has some idea of how best to get with a girl.
All of this proto-Game has been in a constant state of trial and error management since you were five years old and had your first interaction with the opposite sex on the kindergarten playground, right up to the point when you discovered the Red Pill. And you will continue to modify your old behavior and mental sets based upon the new information available to you after you adopt formalized Game. In fact, in its rawest sense, the PUA community, the manosphere and all its permutations are really a meta-effort in behavioral modification by way of experimentation and information feedback.
For some this learning process comes easier than it does for others. Again Roosh:
The reason he blows you away isn’t because of his genetics, but because of how early he started. A unique set of circumstances threw him into the sex game years before you, during a time he was lucky enough to be surrounded by giggly schoolgirls. By the time you did your first approach, he had already practiced his game on hundreds of women.
While I do agree with this from a behavioral standpoint, this is where I have to depart from accepting Roosh’s theory entirely. There are far too many biological and environmental determinants involved in developing an Alpha male to ascribe an Alpha status based solely on learned behavior. The simple, observable, fact is that a genetically better looking, more physically arousing male is going to statistically have more opportunities to experiment and develop his Alpha Game prowess than a less physically impressive male. In theory, a man with a more advantageous physical presence will “start earlier” in his process of deductively evaluating behaviors since his efforts will be more frequently encouraged by the women who are naturally attracted to his physique.
Unfortunately all of that assumes developing a behavioral set in a vacuum. There’s literally a world of environmental conditions and variables that would predispose a man towards behavioral development of Alpha status or (more often) limit him from it. Roosh touches on this:
At this point you may be thinking, “Well, there have to be guys who were born with it. Look at Mozart!”
Nobody questions that Mozart’s achievements were extraordinary compared with those of his contemporaries. What’s often forgotten, however, is that his development was equally exceptional for his time. His musical tutelage started before he was four years old, and his father, also a skilled composer, was a famous music teacher and had written one of the first books on violin instruction. Like other world-class performers, Mozart was not born an expert—he became one.
I don’t think this example excludes for a natural, innate talent, but it does help to illustrate the environment’s role in molding a person by limiting or encouraging his behavioral development and ultimately his personality. In the Mozart example we see the success story (the story of a master artist) of a natural talent encouraged and developed to potential by favorable external conditions. Mozart was the perfect storm of natural talent and an ideal environment for nurturing it, thus giving him the advantage of an “early start” in his behavioral trial and error efforts.
Jeremiah laments, “It is hard to believe there are still naturals out there when feminism is being rammed up the anus of every man before he sprouts his first tooth” and of course this is a negative example of an environment (deliberately) averse to nurturing an Alpha mindset. There’s no shortage of examples, but feminization from a behavioral psychology perspective, is nothing less than a socialized effort in deliberate behavioral modification of men’s natural drives and predilections to better fit the feminine imperative. As men socialized in an all-encompassing, pervasive, fem-centric reality, we tend to see “Natural Alphas” as outliers because somehow, through some combination of innate gift and external development, these Men have developed themselves into an Alpha state despite the meta-environment we find ourselves in.
The Natural Alpha
A lot of people call my credibility into question when they read my holding Corey Worthington up as an example of an apex Alpha. Guys who believe that Alpha should necessarily mean “virtuous leaders of men” are understandably insulted by Corey’s indifferent Alpha swagger. As I started in this post, the ‘Qualities of Alpha’ debates aren’t going away, but I think there’s an overall consensus among the manosphere and legitimate psychologists alike that there is an innate (probably testosterone fueled) Alpha drive that manifests itself in human males.
No one has to teach the average, healthy, five-year-old boy how to be Alpha – he gets it on his own. In various contexts that ‘lil’ Alpha’ wants to explore his surroundings, take risks, see what works and see what doesn’t, even when the consequences may be endangering himself or destroying the thing he took apart to see how it worked. It may manifest as a boy attempting to ride wheelies on his bike or a kid tinkering with his dad’s computer, but that unrefined, irrationally confident, Alpha swagger, is by order of degrees, an innate element unique to the male condition.
When a boy is unencumbered with an adult capacity for abstract thinking (ages 3-21 progressively) he is as Alpha as he will ever be. He is unapologetically Alpha and it takes a lifetime, and an entire world of feminized social conditioning to repress and/or crush that Alpha vigor and turn him into the pliable Beta the feminine imperative needs to insure its social primacy. This is precisely why the raw, irresponsible, irrepressible, obliviously un-self-aware Alpha energy of the Alpha Buddah/Corey Worthingtons of the world offend our sensibilities so well.
All of the Game theory, PUA techniques, even feminine-serving appeals to Man-Up! or any other effort designed to help men better mimic or internalize an Alpha behavioral or mind set, all of those efforts’ latent purpose is to return a man back to that primal Alpha energy the five-year-old you had in spades.
Why are we teaching this young men to be this “alpha”, fellas? What is this “alpha dude”? Why are we not teaching boys to be free. To have integrity, courage and strenght. To live as a man, from their core. Learning – “alpha”, in other words learning to be attractive? If you happen to be attractive enough – symetric body, high level of energy and testosterone, and you are not complete IDIOT – all inherited traits, you ARE showered with feminine attention right from the start. They basically take you and fuck the shit out of you. You just let… Read more »
In kindergarten I convinced this girl to show me her pussy when we were outside during recess. She told her friend who then told an aid who then told the pricipal. So I got hauled into the office and had to have a meeting with the principal and my seething mother. Fuck that bullshit. Then in the 5th grade I grabbed a girls ass and she giggled (she liked it). An ugly girl reported me to the teacher and I got a lecture on sexual harrassment. I didn’t think of this then, but its clear now. The ugly girl saw… Read more »
Somewhere between my last few years in elementary school I lost my aggressiveness (probably due to getting in trouble for every scrap i got into) and that’s when I started just curling into a ball around girls.And then that turned into a huge introvert problem that didn’t resolve itself until my marriage fell apart 12 years after I first contracted betaitus.
I can relate to the anxiety you felt, as I was dealing with the lifelong debunking & abdication of my Christianitis upbringing which – without mention, or if mentioned, demonized sex & sexuality – & terrified me to the point of depression when I lost my virginity to a similarly & aptly descript girl. I remember sitting in my Jeep the next day smoking an entire pack of filterless camels in an empty parking lot until I puked (before I was a regular smoker) thinking I had just done the only thing that was preventing me from eternal damnation, as… Read more »
that was many many years ago, btw. hadn’t thought about how much that had effected me & turned me into a rebel of sorts (after being an emo about it) at a younger age than my peers, and set me apart from them immediately, revealing whole new worlds & perceptions – ones that even the LSD I’d experimented with before having sex at 16 wouldn’t show me. it switched my hormone fueled drive from ‘consciousness expansion’ rebellion to vagina-women-girlfriend-love-sex-experimentation-consciousness expansion hah
“No one has to teach the average, healthy, five-year-old boy how to be Alpha – he gets it on his own.”
There are little budding betas just like there are budding alphas. Being a kid doesn’t mean you’re automatically alpha. Some kids are shy or wary by nature.
And alpha has nothing to do with taking things apart, alphas exist only in a social context.
I still struggle with what exactly is meant by the term “alpha”. I know what an alpha is for a wolf or a horse or a gorilla. But what of a human where the cognitive powers of the human brain change everything? As I see it the term is being applied to a suite of attributes that revolve around male dominance and aggression. That dominance can be physical or psychological. But it involves the ability to control either through force or the power of persuasion. For the purposes of Game, “alphaness” is best captured by the concept of frame control… Read more »
We’re all struggling with trying to define “alpha”. I have theories that don’t amount to much, but I think the real question we’re asking ourselves is “Is it possible for me to become an alpha, or is it too late, or was it never ‘me’ to begin with?” Heartiste defines alpha purely in terms of quantity and quality of lays, but I have a hard time with that. Maybe one guy is just trolling the bars regularly, and bringing home drunk girls; whereas another guy is just minding his own business, and women are regularly approaching him. Could be the… Read more »
I also think that natural testosterone levels have a definite effect. Further, the ‘beta-ization’ of society may be promoted by dietary and environmental factors that have been shown to lower testosterone while increasing estrogen. Which just makes paleo diet and muscle-building exercise to increase testosterone and confidence that much more important.
I would really like to know if society is really more beta now than before. I actually really doubt this, everything is in place for the opposite trend: Men are taller, more muscular, than their fathers. Famine is the best producer of betas…if beta wasn’t a relative thing.
The confusion over what constitutes alpha owes to the borrowing of an ethological term for the narrow purpose of distinguishing among men in the sexual marketplace. In ethology, alpha means exhibiting the leadership traits which attract both men and women to the pack, period. Beta means followership. In pick-up, alpha means manliness and beta means emasculation. There’s the handy-dandy translation for late arrivals requiring a glossary. Insofar as manliness applies to picking up women, the PUAsphere focuses on those traits and defines alpha that way. As for alpha’s applicability beyond pick up (or even retroactively back toward the pack-dynamic)? PUAs… Read more »
This is an interesting reply. In ethology alpha means leadership which amounts to dominance. But dominance is neutral. George Washington was dominant as was Hitler; one was noble the other a monster. Alpha in the PUA ‘verse is about having psycho-sexual dominance over women for the purposes of seduction and romance. A man can be born with more natural dominance/leadership traits as a result of genetics or he can learn the skill set as a result of training. I’m doing real well with women now as a result of three years of hard work of constant approaching and working mid… Read more »
I think we’re all just intellectually masturbating anyway. Alpha is just the guy you’re pretending to be when you’re gaming girls.
The point is to eventually make it, rather than engaging in the perpetual fake it. Men qua men aren’t much into play-pretend. (Gays, actors, comic book guys, and DnD enthusiasts notwithstanding.)
If Rollo is right, then we’re all faking it. True alphas aren’t on any of these blogs: Why would they? They roll their eyes at this stuff, and look down on us.
Try not to take this as a flame, but,..
6. Unironic Internet Smear Hate
Hater: Alphas don’t blog. They’re too busy meeting women.
Because, you know, alphas don’t have hobbies. *alpha eye roll*
ps feel free to log off the internet any time.
Actually that’s where the whole model breaks down. Trying to translate the traits and techniques that work to get women into a model of ‘manliness’ that men are supposed to aspire to. It’s overreaching by over-intellectualizing betas who’ve spent their whole lives in the dark and (laughably) think they can translate their blogosphere-begotten enlightenment into some kind of grand philosophy. Except it always fails because there are so many inherent contradictions in trying to turn what women want into a model of what men should be. Ironically, since leading is supposed to be a core tenet of game, building up… Read more »
Men are supposed to aspire to being Alpha? I missed that memo.
IF you want to attract women THEN there are traits you can highlight.
That is how the world function. Is that an accurate description of reality?
I don’t hear anyone saying you SHOULD aspire to attracting women.
I’ve noticed that some people experience mental strain when given the task of holding two concepts in mind at the same time. There is the concept of attractive traits, then there is the concept of being admirable. Some people experience great stress when these two concepts do not overlap perfectly.
It’s overreaching by over-intellectualizing betas who’ve spent their whole lives in the dark and (laughably) think they can translate their blogosphere-begotten enlightenment into some kind of grand philosophy. How pat. Now what about those of us who haven’t spent our “whole lives in the dark” — despite the fill-in-the-blank presumptuousness that makes you dismiss us? The “blogosphere” did not provide me “enlightenment,” it provided me a common language and connection to like-thinking men. … there are so many inherent contradictions in trying to turn what women want into a model of what men should be. Where does “what women want”… Read more »
Eh, I think by “what women want” he means the female id: Alpha being the sort of guy who naturally attracts women, who doesn’t need game because, in a sense, he is game.
I think this corresponds with the principle that Rollo wrote somewhere, that men collectively define femininity, and vice-versa.
Your whole post is just social-political gender angst triggered at the thought of man creating himself in the ideal created by women, which wasn’t what was meant.
KingA. The war cannot be won by the men. But the women will loose it. It’s like a pendulum : You’ll see an ever greater increase in the structures that facilitates unbridled hypergamy. And then an apex is reached, and maybe if we’re lucky, we’ll see a slow decline back to a state of rest, with maybe a sortie in the opposite direction of Hyper-Sexuality, but not nearly as bad is the Hypergamy the preceded it. A pendulum loses its momentum after all. But there is something else that might happen : Catastrophe. The rod of the pendulum breaks. The… Read more »
ROLLO this is an amazing post. I loved the connections to mozart and your old teacher’s example of the best possible painter.
Kids really are the best flirters too. No holding back and no regard for anything except what they feel.
We should all send our sons to martial arts classes at a young age. Helps a lot to maintain and develop alpha.
Hell yes. I credit a great deal of my “unplugging” to an early but brief foray into martial arts. It doesn’t take much to learn the basics of respect, discipline, efficiency, and physicality in a good MA class. (But do avoid Rex Kwon Do.) Most important of all, MA annihilates the soft gnosticism of today’s civic religion, which presumes a Platonic separation between mental, physical, and spiritual, turning the typical man into a blubber mound with brain attached or Jersey Shore’s The Situation. Separation of body, mind, and soul just encourages the average boy to specialize in only one. Matt… Read more »
Recently, I read a post on the Manoshpere that allowed a reader to calculate his sexual market value. Apparently, if your IQ resides in the normal to high/average range, this is a + 1 for your SMV score. However, a person possessing a very high/genius level IQ must subtract a point from their SMV. This fascinates me. This particular question of the Sexual Market Value quiz had me thinking about different categories of intelligence and how each is pertinent to game. For example, a man with a highly developed social intelligence will pull exponentially more ass than guy with a… Read more »
Anyone who draws anything but the most general conclusions from Cosmo-style magazine quizzes is a dupe. The hook that drives the most web traffic (besides bikini pics) is the one that promises to quantify a phenomenon. “10 ESSENTIAL Things A Man Must Consider Before Depilating”; “50 Best Anime Pornos of All Time”; “The 6 Things You Thought You Knew About Gilligan’s Island But Are COMPLETELY FALSE.” Sure, the “-1” observation has a point: gaudy displays of superior intellect turn off women. Now what about dominating displays of secret knowledge that drill through a girl’s eyes into her id? Is that… Read more »
Alot to respond to, especially from Mathew King. * For me, alpha orients around dominance. That is its sine qua non. No dominance/leadership, no alpha. * Alpha in the sexual realm is psycho-sexual dominance or “Frame Control”. Natural or synthetic alphas who are masters at this get pretty girls. Lots of them. * Women respond to alphas because they are hard wired to. They have to be. Evolution revolves around sustaining life. Humans are animals; ie hairless apes. What good would it do for a female animal to be attracted to a weak male? * Women by their nature must… Read more »
You lose me when you start getting into biology and evo-psych, but what else is new. In today’s post-modern Leftist cesspool of a culture, Game is about turning yourself into a nihilistic cad in order to attract women who have been destroyed by Progressive education and Leftist culture. Agreed. But the question is whether game as presently advertised is an adequate reaction or sustainable counterattack to destructive “Progressive education and Leftist culture.” Even PUAs will agree it’s inadequate, but only because their fucks are not to be given about the culture at large except insofar as it stifles their mojo.… Read more »
Jack I don’t believe Roissy is a determinist at least based off his writings. He has written a few times about the idea of faking it til you’re making it. Think and you shall become. He seems to be a believer of this school of thought. Roissy has seemed to have put in a fair amount of work and dedication into becoming his persona. Once he commented and gave a plethora of game resources one should consume if your goal is to go on that path. He spouted some evo psych books (sperm wars, selfish gene, etc) as well as… Read more »
Roissy is a situational determinist. There is a deep inconsistency in his bedrock philosophy beneath game. His game theories are rock-solid in context, but not undergirded by a sustainable foundation. A boulder on sand. This is the hazard of treating a thought project like a hobby and being apprehensive about applying principles beyond their most immediate application (pick-up), i.e., the most common and familiar one. The PUA becomes easy prey for slipshod technospeak that sounds authoritative, like evo psych and “Laws of Power.” There is no ignoring the foundational principles just as there is no ignoring the ground beneath one’s… Read more »
[…] in the woman department to a man who is simply dominant. There are also a lot of people asking where the Alpha comes from. For the sake of this post, I am more interested in Alpha itself (and I think Rollo is mostly […]
Jeremiah laments, “It is hard to believe there are still naturals out there when feminism is being rammed up the anus of every man before he sprouts his first tooth” and of course this is a negative example of an environment (deliberately) averse to nurturing an Alpha mindset. There’s no shortage of examples, but feminization from a behavioral psychology perspective, is nothing less than a socialized effort in deliberate behavioral modification of men’s natural drives and predilections to better fit the feminine imperative. I have long thought that the feminine imperative must cause some sort of cognitive dissonance in men… Read more »
There is no keeping life from growing up through the asphalt. There will always be naturals, no matter what the official attempts at denaturing, and there will always be women naturally responding. The left’s end-state is predicated on the fantasy that human nature can be altered at will. They murdered 100,000,000 people last century in an experiment to prove themselves right, and they are now choking off the most advanced civilization in history at its peak. But the cocky smile still moistens. Now that articulate naturals are getting together to share the samizdat with their forlorn chump brothers, forget about… Read more »
Animals: Why does every women I know have a fervent, undying love for the endangered Chilean Armadillo? The plight of the Spanish Mule brings forth tears and sincere outrage, but every broad I know views male homo sapiens as a disposable commodity.
Why, Lord Tomassi, why? I’m well aware of the evolutionary benefits that come from women seeing men as the superfluous gender,but why the animals?
Next question please.
LOL! Thank you, and forgive my stale questions. Only recently have I discovered TRM. I have yet to absorb all of your teachings. Your blog is verbose.
[…] The Rational Male – Think Like A Woman, Filibuster, The Origin Of Alpha […]
Among the many traits that women find attractive is dominance. In the manosphere we term all confidence, frame control, and dominance related traits as alpha traits. It is well acknowledged that alpha traits are often not admirable, and that they can even at times be socially harmful. Nobody is saying what you should do to be a better man. What is discussed is an option of what you could do to be a more attractive man. There is no should in game. Game is goal oriented. It isn’t a philosophy of being the best man you can be, it is… Read more »
I definitely agree. I think dominance is more essential to being alpha than being laid a lot. Women’s sexuality is characteristically submissive, and there is ample evidence of this. This is why the alphas get laid a lot. But what is dominance? Careful with the term, women universally misunderstand the word, as if the word itself is masculine, and women just can’t hit on a moderate understanding of it. The best description of dominance I’ve seen, with respect to sexuality/romance, is trust. You are dominant over a woman when she trusts you, has faith in you. Then you’re understand why,… Read more »
It’s also why the bad guys get all the best lines in movies.
[…] The Origin of Alpha […]
“all of those efforts’ latent purpose is to return a man back to that primal Alpha energy the five-year-old you had in spades.” Very important point that guys who don’t study PUA shit beyond the surface but make judgements about it (there’s a couple in this very comment thread lol) and newbies-intermediates to pickup don’t understand is that while it looks like we’re teaching guys to do new things we’re actually just removing restrictions society placed on them. We give them routines to make this easier but most advanced PUAs hit a point years in after lots of success where… Read more »
I’d love to hear what you have to say about this article, considering you just wrote a whole article about Alpha males and this one hates all over the concept of alpha males http://postmasculine.com/butchering-the-alpha-male
[…] http://rationalmale.wordpress.com/2012/06/29/the-origin-of-alpha/ – Rollo Tomassi […]
[…] to jump through all these hoops for women? I just want to be myself. Why couldn’t I have been a Natural Alpha®? I blame my parents/siblings/teachers/God/liberals/feminists/media/society, maybe George […]
do you measure alpha by the amount of attention or pussy you get from women? if so, my brother is the alpha of alphas. women call him, “Adonis… just beautifully built & gorgeous.” they flock to him and can’t resist offering up pussy to him by the truckload; he’s fucked over 200 women, easily. but my brother isn’t corey worthington… he’s the complete opposite. he’s cool, soft-spoken, respectful and firm (but only when threatened). other than that, he simply ‘arrives,’ and leaves with all the pussy. now, he’s happily married and faithful to his wife… a great provider who knows… Read more »
[…] Çeviri : The Origin of Alpha […]
Good, but you’re ignoring another important reason why many boys leave their natural alpha energy & swagger behind: the competition and conflicts with other boys. There is a lot of confrontation with other boys that takes place as the boys grow, through plays and later even fights (verbal or physical) that leads to the stronger ones (both emotionally and physically) to intimidate and instill fear in the weaker ones. This fear is strong and internalized, and leads to modification of the boys attitude and behavior. Leads to hierarchies of domination in boys’ groups. This happens over many years, so that… Read more »
[…] through all these hoops for women? I just want to be myself. Why couldn’t I have been a Natural Alpha®? I blame my parents / siblings / teachers / God / liberals / feminists / media / […]