The Nature of the Game

I had a reader ask me some questions recently and in answering it gave me some food for thought.

Are we stuck in our Alpha fucks/Beta cucks categories? Should we attempt to blend the two categories into the ultimate hybrid?

Or is there nothing we can do, but attempt to use the information that you have (brilliantly) given us as a navigational tool to find our way through this world and godspeed to every fellow?

Before this I came across these Tweets from Rian Stone:

I think a lot of guys new to Red Pill awareness tend to apply qualifiers to the ideas of what is Alpha and what is Beta. In a similar respect a lot of plugged-in Blue Pill conditioned ‘Beta’ men like to make similar qualifications, but their understanding is rooted in what their conditioning has convinced them of. For the newly unplugged guy, Alpha is whatever he hadn’t been doing before with women that is now working for him once he flipped his own script. For the plugged in guy, whatever he’s been convinced of that women say they want is ‘Alpha’ to him – and usually that means whatever benefits a woman’s sexual strategy in terms of long term provisioning, parental investment and security. They just don’t realize their own utility to women in that game.

That said, I don’t disagree with Rian here. Over the course of fifteen years and three books I have made every effort to correct critics who insist that “all those Red Pill guys think Alpha men are Silverback Gorillas or Wolves.” Roissy once called this Etymology Hate:

5. Etymology Hate

Hater: Your definition of an alpha male is false. In the animal kingdom, the alpha male is leader of the pack, not a cad/badboy/jerk who pumps and dumps women.

Isn’t it just like a nerd to get hysterical over the appropriation of a narrow-sense scientific term to conveniently illustrate broader truths about men and women.

These “broader truths” are why I still use Alpha and Beta as descriptions for men and their mindsets. Critics and disingenuous haters like to think that even considering men or behavior sets as being Alpha or Beta is cause for dismissing whatever is being said. There’s a reason for this blanket disqualification which I’ll cover in a moment, but what they (willfully) misunderstand is that these classification are abstractions for bigger ideas. Alpha and Beta are placeholder terms necessary to consider more complex ideas in intersexual dynamics. For the most part, when I hear or read Blue Pill conditioned men mock the idea of Alpha men and insist that it’s a direct derivative of believing those ‘idiot Red Pill guys thinking they’re Alpha wolves or Silverback gorillas’ I know that I’m not dealing with a serious debate. More on this later.

Rian is also correct in his observation that both Red Pill aware men and critics alike tend to think of Alpha and Beta as specific archetypes of men. I’ve written almost a dozen essays about the nature of Alpha, but in each one I make an attempt to dispel the archetype of what an Alpha or a Beta man is. The Beta archetype is easy to agree on because almost no guy wants to be a “beta male”. As would be expected we tend to think of betas as the stereotypical ‘cuck’ or ‘soy boy’, or the Nümale with his fear grimace agape.

I should point out that even the guys who we would categorize as Betas don’t think they are. Very few Beta men look in the mirror and go “damn, I gotta Alpha up”. They believe that they are the vanguard of the new definition of Alpha; that they and women have evolved beyond the visceral realities of Hypergamy and Beta is the new Alpha. Recently there’s been a concerted social effort to redefine what is acceptable masculinity in the wake of the narrative shift that would have us accept that all masculinity is toxic.

For men there will always be a want to believe that whatever qualities make up their own personality and their own lifestyle is what should define what is “alpha”. From Alpha:

Guy’s like Corey [Worthington] infuriate men who have invested their self-worth in the accomplishments of what they think ought to be universally appreciated and rewarded. So when they’re confronted with a natural Alpha being undeservedly rewarded for brazenly acting out of accord with what they think the rules ought to be, they seethe with resentment. The natural response in the face of such an inconsistency is to redefine the term ‘Alpha’ to cater to themselves and their accomplishments as “real men” and exclude the perpetrator. The conflict then comes from seeing his new definition of Alpha not being rewarded or even appreciated as well as a natural Alpha attitude and the cycle continues. Your respect (or anyone else’s) for an Alpha has nothing to do with whether or not he possess an Alpha mindset. 3 failed marriages and 100+ lays has nothing to do with his having or not having an Alpha mindset.

In the same way that a Blue Pill conditioned “beta male” believes he best represents the new “alpha” definition, so to do a lot of Red Pill aware men who play the same game of applying their own traits to what should be considered or appreciated as “alpha”. Nowhere is this more apparent than in Trad-Con circles – an Alpha is a guy who takes care of his family and is respected as the head of the home. He takes care of his duties to family, God and country, etc., etc. Really all this is is another grab at affirmation of personal worth. Blue Pill “betas” believe exactly the same self-fulfilling thing from a different set of ideological beliefs.

In the process both the plugged-in and the unplugged create convenient archetypes for the opposite of the apex they want to believe they are and what they hope will be confirmed and rewarded. Usually these are binary caricatures: the Alpha ‘Chad’ is usually whatever image of the popular high school jock that used to be their nemesis fits, while the Beta ‘doormat’ is the George McFly character whose introversion and lack of social intelligence places him at the bottom of the dominance hierarchy. Either one of these guys can be seen in a positive or negative light depending on the perspective of who’s doing the viewing. To the Nümale, whatever that classic Beta does should be what’s appreciated as ‘alpha’ and to the Trad-Con an Alpha is the guy who dominates, but only insofar as he sticks to what they think is his ‘duty’.

Funny how both tend think the Alpha Playah, the self-important ‘Cad’ who women tingle for, who follows his own sexual strategy shouldn’t be considered ‘Alpha’ in spite of women consistently, predictably rewarding him with sex and genuine desire.  Rian nailed this part; Alpha makes her wet, Beta makes her secure. Our Instinctual interpretive process understands the visceral reasons why women get worked up for that physically ideal guy who also completes the fantasy of the Alpha Fucks side of Hypergamy. But our Emotional and Rational processes want to recreate a reality in which what we have is what women really want. So we try to persuade and convince women to act against their own Instinctual interpretive process with respect to what they should find sexy and genuinely desirable – us, just as we are. We want to change the Game to fit our capacity, our skill, our genetics, to excel in it.

Beta men don’t just hope that women will perceive their own redefinitions of ‘alpha’ as the accepted ideal, they build lives and systems of belief around convincing others and themselves that we’ve evolved past the visceral realities of what arouses women. Trad-Con men, even Red Pill aware men, do something similar – they hope that their own definition of what should constitute Alpha, and best describes themselves, will likewise supersede the natural evolved impulse of what a woman’s hindbrain perceives as an ideal Hypergamous opportunity.

Alpha Seed, Beta Need

T-rex doesn’t want to be fed; he wants to hunt. You can’t just suppress sixty-five million years of gut instinct. – Dr. Grant, Jurassic Park

Hypergamy wants what Hypergamy wants, but it’s also important to remember that Hypergamy has two sides; Alpha Seed and Beta Need. When we look at the dynamic of Ovulatory Shift we see this play out. In a woman’s proliferative phase of her menstrual cycle she is predisposed to seek out sexual opportunities with high SMV, masculinized, dominant (to the point of arrogance) men. In her luteal phase she seeks comfort, rapport, security and protection qualities in men. Alpha Seed, Beta Need. As Rian pointed out, we’ve made archetypes (and caricatures) of the type of guy who embodies these needs, but we do so to persuade a woman’s evolved Instinctive understanding of what they are. Women’s hindbrains want to hunt for Hypergamous opportunity, men’s rational (and emotional) process wants to ‘feed’ Hypergamy by redefining what that Instinct should want.

Where both Nümales, Trad-Cons and more than a few Red Pill aware men get it wrong is believing that the security Beta represents should also be what gets her wet. We live in a day and age where men are so feminized that 80%+ default to ‘beta’ behaviors and mindsets because they believe it’s what arouses women. I’ve also written many essays about how anxiety, urgency and (sexual) tension are necessary factors in the ‘enthusiastic’ sex women have with men they genuinely desire. When it comes to comforting a woman, rapport, honesty, emotional investment and security the Beta men of today have been acculturated to have it all in spades. Where they fall short is the Alpha capacity to generate tingles based on making women uncomfortable. One reason men have a tough time with Red Pill awareness is because it all seems so counterintuitive to everything they’ve ever been conditioned to believe about women and sex and how to initiate it.

If you read Roissy’s old categories of Beta to Alpha it follows a predictable pattern. The same applies to Vox Day’s socio-sexual hierarchies (Omega, Gamma, Sigma, Delta, Beta, Alpha, etc), but what we’re really defining in these ranking is a male dominance hierarchy as it applies to women’s sexual selection process – Alpha seed, Beta need – and according to any individual woman’s capacity to demand any particular rank of man.

To answer the first question I began with here, I don’t think the “categories” ever really end because dominance hierarchies are something innate to our world. So, rather than think we can change this, change the nature of reality as equalism attempts to, I think men ought to learn to play it better. The nature of the game doesn’t change. In fact, the equalist mindset that wants to change it ends up making those who accept it and play it well appear that much more exceptional. 

Why? Because the game doesn’t change and our hindbrains know this. So when we see a man who is a “good player” of the game we evolved to play, who became so in spite of all the foolish efforts to change the game to better fit those who don’t play it well, our instincts are attracted to that person that much more. In other words the guy who Just Gets It is even more attractive in a world that women’s hindbrains know is trying to convince her that he shouldn’t just get it. This is why even the most staunch, egalitarian equalist feminist of women still adore a conventionally masculine man who looks and plays the natural role of Alpha man well. They still want to bang him, they still want to submit to him in spite of their ego investments. And they’ll coyly, shamefully, but without any self-consciousness admit they love being loved, fucked, protected, secured, etc. by that guy.

As an adaptation to increase the likelihood of reproduction men and women seek to change the Game that we’ve been playing for 100,000 years now. Only in our age of “gender enlightenment” are we so deluded as to think that prioritizing our emotion or reason above the realities our evolved instinct is spelling out for us might be a way to get intimate and reproduce. Women want to change men’s evolved sexual natures – via social constructionism, feminism, feminine-primacy – in order to reproduce with men they would naturally never have a chance breeding or pairing with, and without any burden of their own performance or merit. They want to change the Game to suit their deficits in playing it the way it is.

Similarly, men seek to improve their own reproductive success by also redefining the terms of the Game to also breed and pair (mostly breed) with women that their own Burden of Performance would merit them. This is why transvaluation (vulnerability is strength, etc.) features so prominently in this mindset. It is an effort in achieving reproductive success and intimacy without excelling in a man’s performance burden. This is precisely why Blue Pill men insist on defining Alpha and Beta in as literal a sense as possible. By rejecting and mocking these terms it self-reinforces the misbelief that they, and ‘quality’ women, have evolved beyond the visceral aspects of Hypergamy. By denying the realities of Alpha and Beta aspects in men the belief is it sets them apart from any natural dominance hierarchy. They’re “above all that”, “women (at least the ‘quality’ ones) are rational agents too and above their own Hypergamous impulses” and “people are all unique individuals set apart from all that human nature stuff.” Each of these rationales is linked to a core misbelief in blank-slate equalism (I’ll address in another essay), but they are also representative of an effort to remove these men from a natural dominance hierarchy and place them into a new Game they believe women are also playing and in which they, by default, are at the highest degree by virtue of having progressed beyond the old Game.


Backwards to Zero

Roissy has some definitive gems about Game deniers and haters in general in The Unbearable Triteness of Hating. These articles have to do with the most common forms of hate with regards to Game, but in that hate is an almost universal misinterpretation (or subjective redefinition) of what should be Alpha to the critic making the challenge (i.e. hate). Roissy is a bit flippant with a lot of his responses here – an attitude I can understand considering his standing in the manosphere – but there are the germs of some very important truths in his responses:

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.

Whenever I write an article with the topic of ‘Alpha’ anywhere in the title I’ve come to assume that all the resulting commentary will be contentions about what is or isn’t Alpha.

One of the most frequent and contentious responses I read is some variation of “No ‘True Alpha™’ would be blogging about, concerned about, or be peripherally aware of his Alpha status. Only losers spend their time so preoccupied with varying shades of Alpha-ness.” Ironically this is exactly the case I make for the Alpha Buddahs of the world – they are blissfully unaware of the latent Alpha ambience they broadcast. It’s just how they are, and you’ll never see a blog, read some ‘how-to’ article, nor ever see an objective opinion about his Alpha mojo. He just is.

What’s funny is it’s just this lack of Alpha self-awareness that infuriates ‘aware’ men – aware men have to work at being aware. If you’re reading this blog, if you’ve delved into the manosphere to any depth, hell, if you read AskMen or use online dating just out of curiosity, you’re not a Natural Alpha. The Corey Worthingtons of the world don’t write books on how to pick up chicks, he’s too busy fucking them (and dealing with the consequences) to have time for insight about himself, much less anyone else.

The Tao of the Natural Alpha may be a satisfying, if shortsighted, way to live, but it’s hardly sustainable. Eventually that Zen Alpha-ness creates circumstances that will create long term consequences. For the rest of us who must mentally work our way back to that feral Alpha mindset there is a lot of understanding and critical thought that goes into it. Personally I think appeals to “log off and get out and sarge” are exactly what most guys need. For all the PUA ‘charm’ readers like YaReally bring to my blog comments, he enthusiastically advocates for more time in the field and less time in the lab (i.e. the manosphere). KrauserPUA is also another favorite of mine since he actively combines Game theory with PUA applications.

The short version is Natural Alphas probably don’t blog or even have the awareness to consider the source, much less the applicability of their being Alpha, but the Learned Alpha, he does consider it, and that guy probably does blog – whether it’s out of vanity or altruism is for the reader to decide.

12. Fallacy of Misdirected Obsession Hate

Hater: A guy who spends his life obsessing over how to get women is a loser.

A guy who spends his life obsessing over climbing the corporate ladder to get more attention from women is a loser.
A guy who spends his life obsessing over mastering guitar and playing in a rock band to get more attention from women is a loser.
A guy who spends his life obsessing over pursuing financial rewards and acquiring resources to get more attention from women is a loser.
A guy who….. ah, you get the point.

The feminine imperative has used shaming tactics on men for more than half a century now, so it comes as no surprise that the feminine purpose for shaming would filter into men’s own narratives for shaming. When used by women, shaming has a different contextual quality than when used by men. For men, the root of shaming another man based on gender expectations are just as equally manipulative, but the appeal is to a man’s sense of pride and/or the way he’s chosen to live his life. In this context, the shame is used to disqualify a sexual competitor, while providing an ego affirmation for the accuser.

When women use shaming it’s generally used to force some compliance to their imperative. In other words “you should be ashamed for not embodying women’s (and by proxy, fem-centric society’s) expectations.” When men practice shame, either intentionally or unaware, even with the best of intentions, they are enforcing the feminine imperative from the standpoint that it is the societal normative. It “sounds right” for men to shame and discourage other men from learning how to better understand women. Remember, the most successful social conventions are those in which your target becomes an active, unaware, participant in his own exploitation.

By using shame, men dissuading other men from better understanding women serve the feminine imperative’s purpose in limiting The Threat of him becoming aware of his own sexual market value or potential value. Additionally, the shaming man protects the utility of the feminine mystique by perpetuating the myth that women are intrinsically unknowable creatures. “You’ll never figure women out, so don’t bother. Go back to Just Being Yourself and eventually you’ll meet the right ONE.” This is the mantra we’ve come to expect from White Knights, but it’s particularly damning for the Plugged-In when it comes from a Man they respect as an authority.

16. Dancing Monkey Hate

Hater: Men who run game are just doing the bidding of women. Alphas don’t entertain women.

If you want success with women, you are going to have to entertain them… one way or the other. The same is true of women. Once a woman stops entertaining men with her body, her femininity, and her commitment worthiness by getting fat, old, ugly, bitchy, or single mom-y, she stops having success with men. We are all doing the bidding of our biomechanical overlord, and on our knees to his will we surrender, by force or by choice. You fool yourself if you believe you have some plenary indulgence from this stark reality.
Or: If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.

For all of Men’s best intentions, for all our (dubious) aspirations of ‘higher-self’, what we do, what we are, what we achieve, will always be interpreted through the hypergamous filter of a woman’s perception of us. For all of our attempts to remove ourselves from the Game, Men cannot avoid this. By both biological impulse and social motivators, like it or not we are the performers, we are the approachers, we are the doers, even when (especially when) we think our purpose is not intended to be what we think it is. Abdicating from the Game does not excuse you from participating in the Game.

Whether you believe yourself the princely master of your own destiny or the pitiful victim of circumstance, on some level of consciousness you’re aware of the Game, and it’s a game of perceptions. Alpha’s, betas, Nice Guys, Bad Boys, and every guy in between, they ALL entertain women, even when they think they’ve gone their own way, even when they think they’re exempt from the Game, even when they’ve been married for 50 years.

It is a grave crime to tacitly or implicitly dissuade men from learning how better to master the Game. I can see how this misdirection might be used to disqualify a sexual competitor, but the same guys relying on rationalizations of higher-self-importance only better serve the feminine imperative they would otherwise rage against. Ironically it’s the feminine that’s arrogantly demanded every advantage in expecting society and reality itself to change for them in order better suit their gender’s drawbacks. They want to change the Game to better suit their ability to play it. They want to cheat the Game by playing in ‘God Mode’ and then wonder why it’s not fun to play any more.

I think we make the same mistake as men in our rationalizing expectations of the Game to accommodate us rather than learning to play it better.

Don’t wish it were easier, wish you were better.