I’ve been watching with some interest the proceedings of the Ariel Castro kidnapping case. As more of the details come to light and the media aggrandizes the victims (virtually insuring a book or TV deal), there’s a lot of uncomfortable questions that need to be answered.

“Most of the sex that went on in that house, probably all of it, was consensual,” Castro said. “These allegations about being forceful on them — that is totally wrong. Because there was times where they’d even ask me for sex –many times. And I learned that these girls were not virgins. From their testimony to me, they had multiple partners before me, all three of them.”

I covered this a bit in He’s Special, making modern comparisons to the War Brides:

,..there’s been a lot of discussion on the forums I frequent about  Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus being held captive by Ariel Castro for a decade. Let that sink in a minute, a decade. That’s 11 years. That’s a lot of life to live. That’s a lot of normal to get used to. There are other cases like this; Jaycee Dugard and  Elizabeth Smart come to mind, but are all of these instances the results of a hard-wired Stockholm Syndrome in women?

Just for the record here, I wouldn’t dream of trying to defend Castro, but in eleven years time a lot can become normal. I have no doubt that Castro held these women captive for 11 years, and the media would have us believe they endured sex dungeon conditions living like the Gimp in Pulp Fiction, but there comes a point of normalcy in ones daily routine life.

“I am not a violent person. I simply kept them there without being able to leave.”

“We had a lot of harmony going on in that home,” he said.

In our lives there is a certain degree of routine and structure most people become accustomed to. I get up at 5am most mornings, I’m at the gym until 7:30 and I’m off to work until 5pm. Somethings change every day but I live in a set of patterns and I know what to expect most of the time. The more I read about Castro the more I’m thinking the guy settled into a state of normalcy with these women and they with him. In 11 years they made no reasonable dramatic effort to escape? They endured a forced abortion and a homebirth (not unlike Jaycee Dugard) and still no collaborative plan they could come up with was effective for 11 years until one day Ariel left the door open? None of these girls were malnourished, and they could stand to lose some weight.

Naturally the feminine-primary meme is that Castro was “blaming the victim“, but I don’t think that was his point. He knows he’s going to prison for life plus 1,000 years, why not just shut up and go away? There was something of a normal life that became a routine for them all for 11 years. That’s 11 Christmases, 11 Easters, 11 independence days. The MSM will spin the story of their heroic support of each other and I don’t imagine the girls wanted to be there, but at some point living with Ariel was their ‘normal’.

Ariel, got sloppy. He got comfortable in that normalcy. Even if he was abusive, after 11 years my guess is he expected for that normalcy to continue and this was what his plea was really about. He actually thought they “had a lot of harmony going on in that house.” It’s easy to pass off his words as insanity, but here was a guy who at least wanted ‘harmony’. At the end of it all, all he wanted was what most men want – his means were evil and reprehensible, but wanted harmony.


A week back CH had a study and post regarding the importance of dominance and how it’s ultimately dominance that attracts women to men. Of course Roissy would like for looks to play a lesser role in attraction, and my perspective is that arousal is based on the physical to a much greater importance than women can afford to let on, but dominance is a key factor in attraction. I would also argue that an elite physique is the most obvious environmental cue for male dominance. The best form of peacocking is a good build.

However, all of that breaks down if the guy lacks a dominant Alpha mindset. Without that self-confidence and competitive spirit, the best looking guy becomes a foil for a more dominant one. Conversely, enough bravado and fearless genuine Alpha dominance can make even the ugliest of guys attractive by order of degree.

Ariel Castro was one ugly motherfucker, my guess is he never had the Game needed to even sniff at the women in the porn he claims he’s addicted to, but what Ariel had in spades was dominance. Raw forceful dominance he used to enslave not one, but three captured women. Capturing  and physically coercing them to be his prisoners was an act of dominance, but the want, and the expectation that he could have a harmonious normal life with these women was a testament to his (delusional) sense of self-importance.

Irrational self-confidence is the cornerstone of attraction.

When we contemplate male dominance it’s important to remember that to whatever degree we can actualize being dominant – at work, with women, in competition – our own personality, both flaws and attributes, will be manifested in our dominant actions and our beliefs. Castro is a piss poor example of a human being, but he’s an excellent illustration of how his frustrations and his personality were transferred into his actions.

He’s the negative side of that coin, and much of what is termed the Dark Triad of personality traits might also be considered dominant self-importance. However, that same sociopathy that makes for the bad examples is also the root of the positive ones. It really comes down to the individual, their sense of purpose and how they choose to direct that dominance.

If all this sounds like a pep talk to get you to adopt a more dominant mindset it wasn’t really my intent. I’m asked a lot, “Rollo if confidence is the key, then how do I get more confident?” This is a common deductive argument, as if they sold confidence in bottles at the drug store and all you had to do was buy the right brand. It doesn’t work this way. You have to believe it.

It’s fine for me to tell you act irrationally confident, and hope that the act becomes a permanent fixture in your personality, but most men don’t feel confident even when they’re acting confident. Confidence, and dominance, come from real established options and the knowing that you can successfully generate more. This is what makes confidence attractive, it’s the unspoken message to a woman that this guy can, has proven before, and potentially will again, produce more than he needs and other men aspire to do so.

Published by Rollo Tomassi

Author of The Rational Male and The Rational Male, Preventive Medicine

35 comments on “Dominance

  1. Dominance, when applied to the increasingly sensitive modern social milieu, is a subtle art.

    Men learning the basics of seduction sometimes confuse the term “dominance” to convey a brash “shut up bitch” demeanor that betrays their wounded beta souls. Dominance can be communicated in subtext, through layered language and symbolic body language. It is more than mere strong-arm tactics.

  2. It’s just hard to believe that this could’ve all gone down like that. Either those girls wanted to stay, or they could’ve left all those years. They claimed abuse, but what abuse was it? Physical? Emotional abuse in my book is bullshit and a cop out.

  3. Rollo, if you know that you can do something difficult again, in what sense is your confidence “irrational”? In my view, confidence based on reality is eminently rational.

    1. True, but before you became proficient at something you had to irrationally believe that you could.

      The irrationality comes from daring to think you could.

  4. Not sure. Before I become proficient at something, I believe/know that I have the ability to learn. Why? Because I have done it so many times before. It is something that I know about myself. So it’s no big deal, for me. Perhaps we’re talking past each other.

  5. I don’t know how many of you guys know Jon Matrix ( instructor), but his dominance is extremely subtle yet extremely powerful.His sets are super boring, yet his nickname among the best London daygamers is Flake Zero. All that through body language, eye contact, cheeky smile and constant switching of rapport/teasing, scepticism when the girls invests and being unreactive. “Fair enough” and “ok” are his typical responses to girls:-)

  6. “I
    some kind of temporary sanity in this
    Sh*t, blood and c*m on my hands”

    Just made me think of that. Great song. TOOL rules.

  7. It’s a chicken-egg problem. It’s hard to be confident without having been in a pressure situation before. But it’s hard to get to that situation without exuding confidence in all of the action up to that point. You have to bring up both your ‘faked confidence’ and situational, been there done that confidence, parallel-ly.

  8. I don’t understand the end of your sentence Rollo

    “This is what makes confidence attractive, it’s the unspoken message to a woman that this guy can, has proven before, and potentially will again, produce more than he needs and * other men aspire to do so.” *

    Are you saying Other Men aspire to do the same kind of producing that he’s doing?

    Or that other men aspire to be him?

  9. In his book “The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature,” Matt Ridley makes a compelling argument as to why sex evolved in the first place.

    His reasoning is that man’s greatest enemies, viruses and bacteria, are like little keys constantly trying to “unlock” the door that is our immune system. Our species is able to survive because every time we mate, each of our genes is randomly mixed with our partner’s in order to produce a unique offspring that will (hopefully) be able to stay one step ahead of the microbes, who in turn are also constantly changing their own genetic identities.

    This is part of what it means to say a woman desires “good genes”, if only at a subconscious level. Just as men have evolved the ability to evaluate a woman’s genes by physical cues that reveal her relative age and level of genetic fitness (waist-to-hip ratio, for example, is an excellent indicator of estrogen levels and fertility in women), so too have women evolved the ability to determine whether a man can give her children genes strong enough to develop a healthy, resistant immune system.

    The prevailing theory is that human women, just like many other animal species, use the hormone testosterone as an indicator of male genetic fitness. We know that testosterone lowers immune system effectiveness, so it stands to reason that any man with large amounts of testosterone must, by definition, have a superior immune system, as only a man with a strong immune system could afford to have it handicapped by such high T. As a man’s genes provide the blueprint for his immune system, it’s not surprising to find that so many species tend to rely on male testosterone levels as fitness indicators of quality genetic makeup.

    Many of the things that women find arousing in men (and “arousing” is truly the operative word here-we’re looking at what turns them on, not necessarily what they desire in a long-term partner) are directly related to a man’s testosterone levels, both in the womb and at puberty onward. Muscularity, deep vocal intonation, a strong jawline, body and facial symmetry, scent, and even skin pigmentation (the “dark” in “tall, dark, and handsome”) are all directly influenced by testosterone levels.

    There’s one other major trait that’s influenced by testosterone: behavior. High T levels make a man act more irrationally confident, more aggressive, and more dominant than he would at lower levels. And while many of the physical indicators can be externally manipulated (muscularity can be built through exercise, scent can be changed via diet, vocal intonation can be consciously lowered, etc.), it is much harder for a man to will himself to become more confident/dominant/aggressive.*

    This makes behavior, in a sense, a more reliable indicator of genetic fitness than physical markers. It’s why a short, fat, balding man can potentially still succeed with women, as long as he confidently approaches her, aggressively pursues her, and dominates her and other men both mentally and physically. It’s why the alpha attitude is so alluring: a confident, dominant attitude means high T, which means a strong immune system, which means good genes, which is literally a matter of life and death. Five minutes of alpha is worth more than five years of beta because five years of provisioning and resources don’t mean squat when the kid dies of pneumonia before his second birthday.

    The lesson to take away here is that as men, our behavior is a big part of our attraction palette, and with focused effort and concentration we can change the way we behave. In doing so we can change the way women perceive our attractiveness, just as a woman who loses weight and puts on makeup can change the way we perceive hers.

    I’m sure someone will find a way to turn this into a negative (“why can’t she just love me for who I am?”), but really it’s a huge positive for the growth-oriented man. Absent radical plastic surgery, most women are stuck with what they were given at birth. Men should take advantage of this natural plasticity, as well as the knowledge provided by men like Rollo, to adapt to our new dating paradigm and maximize their personal possibilities in the sexual marketplace.

    * It’s possible, but difficult. It’s often easier to improve testosterone levels themselves via diet/exercise/sleep/etc., in order to reap the natural behavioral benefits high T levels bring, than it is to simply will oneself into behaving more confidently/aggressively.

  10. @Rollo

    True, but before you became proficient at something you had to irrationally believe that you could.

    The irrationality comes from daring to think you could.”

    Where is the irrationality if you indeed can do something sooner or later?

    I think most people suffer from irrational lack of confidence, they could, if they just knew that they could.

  11. Confidence is situational competence. You are confident when with old friends, when driving a car for 100000th time, but probably not playing golf or talking to hot blonde that normally doesn’t appear in your life.

  12. Something I don’t get about the idea: “Women want good DNA”:

    If a man starts out as Delta or Gamma, say, and then transforms to Beta or Alpha

    Is his DNA really Delta or is it Alpha?

    When we say ” A woman wants good DNA” are we saying his latent DNA he started out with. Or what he wound up as in life?

  13. I wonder how many female fans he’s going to have writing to him in prison now that he’s become famous, demonstrated aggressive/dominant behavior, and been labeled a ‘bad boy’?

  14. What a man would up as in life is not actually his DNA.

    DNA is hard set at birth. “A woman wants good DNA” could really mean “A woman wants a Natural Alpha/ Natural Sigma”

    If that is the case, a lot of guys are in trouble. Because the pure Alpha DNA – the natural Alpha – is obviously very rare

  15. DNA is not hard set at birth. It’s higlhly modifiable. Methylation is one way body upregulates and downregulates activity of certain genes that are later translated to proteins, viruses, retroviruses, mutations are other ways…I could go on and on. Those changes occur based on your life interactions and actions. So do your best to be the best yourself and in today’s society, you’re immediately among 3% most attractive males in the world just because you try.

  16. @ ondrej

    Testosterone capacity is hard set at birth. You can raise T, but only within certain boundaries, depending on who you are.

    Some men have naturally higher serum T levels , even when you take away environmental feedback, which can raise or lower it depending on outside victory or defeat

    Psychopathy disposition is genetic

    So is Narcissism. Also what we recognize as predisposition to high levels of Machiavellianism.

    Aggression capacity is genetic.

    So Testosterone, the Dark Triad, and Aggression are at least 4 variables that vary according to DNA.

    You can move up or down within natural boundaries, but there are DNA limits.

    So – not sure where you are coming up with the blanket statement ” You can change DNA”

  17. All I am saying that your DNA is changing every day, repair processes occur every day, methylation occurs, viruses integrate themselves to it and upregulate certain parts of your genome.
    So “rigid DNA” or “low variation in T levels” should be our reason to give up self-development and becoming better men? Great buffer, sophisticated one, but I don’t agree. Gym and infield practice will help anyone.

  18. So, fake it until you make it, huh…it feels so odd at first. Even my male friends react weirdly to it. I think I just need new friends.

  19. So, fake it until you make it, huh…it feels so odd at first.

    Try phrasing it as “Practice makes perfect” instead.

    Even my male friends react weirdly to it. I think I just need new friends.

    Unless your friends are red-pill aware and/or also working to improve themselves as a part of strengthening your wolf pack, then yes, you may need new friends.

    This is due to the psycho-social phenomenon of the Self-fulfilling Prophecy whereby people are unconsciously compelled to act in accordance with expectations and how they are treated. Your friends know and are comfortable with the “past you” and tend to interact with you in a manner that reinforces that identity. If they cannot accept what you are trying to do and are instead millstones dragging you down, then yes, you need new friends.

    That said, if you change friends/environments and still get treated the same way, then that is your true current SMV and you need to practice and seriously boost your SMV by at least a point or two before you change friends/environments again.

  20. When ancient Rome wanted to expand their populace from just a small tribe they invited another, larger tribe over for a party. Once everyone was good and plastered and mostly asleep, they killed all the men and enslaved the women. Sex slaves, mind you. This Ariel guy was just born in the wrong century, and may or may not be Pagan, who knows?.

    I imagine all those enslaved women by Roman men got along well with their new masters…after a few beatings. Probably very few.

    The moral?
    When it comes to defending a way of life…don’t depend on women.

  21. We used to think that women want goood and responsible guys. It proved to be false so now we, STUPID IDIOTS, think that women want..ehm…”dominant” guys. Cocky and ..ehm..funny.

    If you happened to be in the skin of an attractive man for one single day, you would understand WHAT WOMEN WANT. You wolud SEE and FEEL it. Are all this puas ugly dudes? All this WORK you have to do to be worthy of women? You have to do THIS you have to do THAT, you have to say this or that. WTF? Atractive man has not to do pretty much anything. Confidence? What the fuck is it? You SEE in her eyes that she WANTS you!!! So you TAKE her. This is no confidence, this is simple rational thinking. Heck, women themselsves WILL fuck the brains of this attractive dude out. Ok you can still fuck this up with 8-9s, when you are VERY weak, but you can still fuck 5-7s even being stupid and feminine looser.

    JESUS FUCKING CHRIST, we men are still stupid like little puppies. I think that tomorow we will agree on women wanting dudes with yellow hats. All men will wear them and we will elaborate thousand blogs about the sizes and shadows of this yellow colour. It is painful for me to realize the extent of our fucking STUPIDITY. It has to be evolution in work or I do not know fucking what.

  22. Irrational confidence and aggression need to be alloyed with coolness… by coolness, I don’t mean trendiness, I mean not really caring too much.

    When forging a sword: 100% steel is brittle and will (analogy intended) SNAP.

    Add carbon (coolness, whatever you wanna call it, outcome independence), and your blade will be stronger, more flexible, and hold a better edge.

  23. There is a pernicious meme that has taken hold like a dandelion. The meme is that irrational self confidence will aid your self interest.

    It is pernicious because it is a short term solution that it in the long term detrimental.

    I don’t want to look around me 15 years from now and see that my friends are all now crack addicted homeless bums. And so when I can I mention to people “Hey, it’s probably not a good idea to spend all your money on crack”.

    And I don’t want to look around 15 years from now and see guys not getting their intimacy needs met.

    And so I tell people, hey, it’s probably not a good idea to blind yourself to what women genuinely value in the competitive sexual marketplace. Work now to build real value – don’t just assume that you already have it.

    Everything does not boil down to confidence. While you can hypnotize yourself to believe that you deserve more than you really do, this is in the long term not in your best interest.

    The way self hypnosis, and irrational self confidence works, is this; your brain excludes all information that does not agree with the self hypnotic suggestion.

    “I don’t need a big dick to sexually compete. I’m great just the way I am.”
    “I don’t need big muscles to compete, I’m great just the way I am.”
    “I don’t need to be a great lover in bed, I’m great just the way I am.”
    “I don’t need to make more money than the next guy, I’m great just the way I am.”
    “I don’t need to get my own apartment and furnish it tastefully, I’m great just the way I am.”
    “I don’t need to get an impressive car, I’m great just the way I am.”
    “I don’t need to to dress well, I’m great just the way I am.”
    “I don’t need to be a successful entrepreneur, I’m great just the way I am.”
    “I don’t need to be tall, I’m great just the way I am.”

    Irrational self confidence will leave you blind to what the competition is doing. You will literally be incapable of knowing what their relative strengths and disadvantages are. Because any such knowledge would harm your irrational self conception.

    That is how the mind works.

    You have two main options in life: self hypnosis, or meditation. You can either exclude parts of the brain from speaking to other parts, and therefore get magical self hypnotic powers, such as being able to make your hand numb, or forget the number six, or make the wall turn blue, or fall asleep on command, or you can unify your mind, and the wall will remain yellow and you will remain cognizant of the mosquito itch and you will be able to do math in your dreams.

    The latter option is what you need to succeed long term.

    The former will help you to screen for girls at the club who are down to fuck and get same night lays.

    In my last two posts I made the readers aware that we have choices human psychological needs, and in order to be as satisfied in life as possible, you have to take these into account.

    I don’t want to see people in the manosphere follow Heartiste and Roosh into becoming the next Mark Minters.

    The dark triad traits will with absolute certainty fuck your life up.

    You will not be able to experience empathetic joy (psychopathy)

    You will not be able to know realistic confidence (narcissism)

    You will have boundary issues of not respecting others free will, and see others as nothing but a tool. (machiavelianism)

    If you want to lead a happy life, and not wind up a crack addict on the street, don’t choose the path of irrational self confidence.

  24. In discussions where we share ideas and examine them, accuracy is important. A small conceptual mis-step of one degree can after many miles lead one far astray.

    Irrational confidence necessarily means confidence that excludes data. It necessarily means deliberately ignoring reality. This type of thinking can not be applied only as required – it is a habit that will infect other habits, until you will be narcissistic in your world view – you will unconsciously avoid trains of thought that lead to a loss of esteem. You won’t be able to think clearly – even when you want to.

    It is possible to have confidence without excluding reality. You can know your relative strengths and weaknesses, and know how much more attractive you would be if you were more confident, and you can put on some rational bluster and fake confidence. That does not exclude reality. That is rational confidence. You can rationally know how much your display of confidence in real life affects reality.

    Reality respects us to the degree we respect it. Allegiance to truth wins out in the long game.

    Narcissists are charming, but can’t hold down relationships as sooner or later their bullshit is uncovered and they are revealed as shallow fakes. And when their masks are seen through they fly into a rage. There is even a name for that that – it’s called “narcissistic rage”.

    Narcissism is widely being deliberately taught as a seduction aid. Those advocating dark triad traits are damaged individuals causing social harm; they are harming the future happiness of our friends.

    A narcissist will be incapable of thoughts that threaten to damage his self conception, and is capable of great evil. Narcissism is a horrendous and dangerous trait, and is not an aid to your life. It is something to root out from yourself at every possible opportunity.

    A healthy ego and reality are good friends.

  25. xsplat: “It is possible to have confidence without excluding reality. You can know your relative strengths and weaknesses, and know how much more attractive you would be if you were more confident, and you can put on some rational bluster and fake confidence. That does not exclude reality. That is rational confidence. You can rationally know how much your display of confidence in real life affects reality.

    Reality respects us to the degree we respect it. Allegiance to truth wins out in the long game.”

    This is very good. I agree. There is no need – only real danger – to actually fake reality in order to succeed in various endevours.

  26. “the results of a hard-wired Stockholm Syndrome in women?”

    Most “news” media will not mention the fact that the Stockholm Syndrome is limited to women – no men ever confuse who the enemy is, and why they need to be killed. That is why no matter how long men have been held prisoner in times of war – or peace – when given the opportunity they will kill their captor and escape. Woman do not do that – they adapt to see the most bizarre behavior as the norm.

    This is why women will argue with you that the broken nose they were given by an ex was because he loved her. Yes, they really are that screwed up. So I do not doubt anything that he says – but the fact is, it doesn’t matter. He must be destroyed – just like anyone else that shows something people want to hide from or that contradicts their “view” of reality…

    Heck, I can thank that feature of women’s psycology for my life in general. I will date several women at once, they know of the others but they figure they are “special” and come up with reasons that waiting for my call is a better option than going out with someone else. Maybe it is – but I’m not that special – I’m just a horn-dog, but I admit it. I think this Ariel guy could have enjoyed a lot more women, on his terms, without having to pay to feed them if he had just “dated” women like every other guy. Of course, they may not have been the ones he wanted – but be real… He had the same 3 for a decade… Get a life… I get bored with a woman after 3 weeks – and those are ones that aren’t whining and complaining all the time… But hey… Whatever floats your boat.

  27. Why does this article sound like you actually admire Castro?

    The man is scum that deserves to be locked up until he expires.

  28. “Naturally the feminine-primary meme is that Castro was “blaming the victim“, but I don’t think that was his point. He knows he’s going to prison for life plus 1,000 years, why not just shut up and go away?”

    Why the fuck do you have to wrap this as some feminine primary thing? you ever think a mal-adapted person will lie and get defensive to make himself look good and lie? He had problems with his work and the women said he would test them and beat them if they failed a test, or are red pill men not going to believe women at all and think men all always more impartial even when it comes to fuck ups like this guy? also Castrol even went so far as to blame the FBI for failing to catch him so yeah he is definitely blaming the victim. SOmetimes a cigar is just a cigar

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