Friday, August 19, 2016

Defining Alpha and Beta

One of the most confusing concepts I talk about on this blog is the idea of "alpha" versus "beta." Without a doubt, it is the single biggest misconstrued idea I talk about, mostly because there are all kinds of definitions of these terms used in popular culture. Biologists have a particular definition, different flavors of feminism have different definitions, the "manosphere" uses different definitions... it's pretty damn confusing.

So... here's my explanation. Alpha and Beta are two ends of a spectrum of male social hierarchy (I discussed Alpha Females in this post.) In any given situation, men will consciously or unconsciously organize in a hierarchy generally based on individual's ability to be effective leaders in that specific situation. In many cases, they will have a degree of expertise in that situation. The ranking below that top alpha is based on capability. The least-capable person occupies the bottom rung of the social hierarchy, and would be considered a beta male. 

The key, of course, is that the social hierarchy can and does change in different situations. The bottom-of-the-hierarchy beta can be the top alpha in a different situation. For men, the social ranking is all about effective leadership in getting shit done. That differs from women, who organize around an Alpha who keeps the group functioning socially. 

When I talk about "alpha traits" and "beta traits", I'm really describing the characteristics that cause men to rise up the hierarchy (alpha traits) or fall in the hierarchy (beta traits.) Generally speaking, the more alpha traits a dude can display across different situations, the more "alpha" he becomes and his sexual market value rises. Similarly, the more beta traits a dude displays across different situations, the more "beta" he becomes and his sexual market value falls. Ladder theory explains the ramifications of SMV

Our goal in San Diego Man Camp is to identify the traits that constitute "alpha", figure out how and why they work, figure out what impact these behaviors have on others, teach them, then practice whenever possible. This is what we mean when we say we want to teach men how to be better men. We're really teaching men how to be more effective leaders. 

Part of this process also involves teaching beta behaviors as something to recognize and avoid unless a situation warrants. For example, many "beta" traits like caring, compassion, cooperation, self-disclosure, peacefulness, etc. are necessary for long-term relationship success, parenting, or even leading. This shit is absolutely necessary, but a man has to establish an alpha frame before he can display beta traits. 

This is why we do what we do in the group.

Given the confusion on this topic, post any questions in the comments section and I'll answer them ASAP.


Thursday, August 18, 2016

Jason, Why Are There So Many Beta Males In The Ultrarunning World?

In the San Diego Man Camp Facebook group, we spend a lot of time discussing various hobbies. Many of us have at one time or another dabbled in the sport of ultrarunning. To the uninitiated, "ultrarunning" is participating in footraces of fifty kilometers or longer, often on trails. I'm intimately familiar with the sport as a participant and an analyst (it was the topic of my second book "Never Wipe Your Ass with a Squirrel".)

A few male and female ultrarunner friends, after reading this blog and my Sexpressionists blog, have noticed there seems to be a disproportionate number of beta males in the sport. I've made this same observation. In fact, my curiosity over this issue is what ultimately led me to start studying sex and gender issues again. 

What are some Possible Explanations?

There could be many reasons beta males are attracted to the sport, including:

  • "Running" itself is often deemed the opposite of "fighting" (think fight or flight), and people with stronger alpha tendencies are more likely to stick around and fight while people with more beta tendencies are more likely to flee. 
  • The activity itself lowers testosterone, which causes more beta behaviors to emerge. 
  • Ultrarunning requires hours upon hours of enduring physical pain in isolation. That combination tends to produce some really nice conditions to produce a therapeutic effect. I've found many (most?) ultrarunners have a lot of baggage from their past, and the long hours on the trails give them an opportunity to work through shit. Anyway, that baggage tends to be a) shit from childhood, or b) relationship angst. Both of these problems are synonymous with beta males.
  • The sport encourages participation over competition. For everyone but the elites, there's virtually no chance of winning an ultra. So everyone focuses on finishing to earn what amounts to a participation ribbon. That lack of competitiveness also lowers testosterone. 

How About Another Hypothesis?

I've noticed almost all of the "beta males" in ultrarunning don't quite fit the typical beta mold across the board. Maybe they're not real beta males. Maybe many of the dudes who appear to be betas are actually "Nice Guys", who are basically closeted natural alphas who, through the conditioning process of modern Western society, have internalized the idea that masculine behaviors are bad. Here are the reasons:

  • Ultrarunning is a "safe" sport in that it's non-violent (unlike my newer hobbies - Brazilian jiu jitsu, boxing, and mma.) This is a key as the beta male is exceptionally prone to the opinions of others and will avoid anything that will draw the ire of society.
  • It gives ample time to spend around attractive females in an asexual setting. "Nice Guy" beta males believe it is disrespectful to be sexually assertive with women, so they basically friendzone themselves by recruiting women as training partners, pacers, or crew members. They hope, by spending hours and hours with these women, they will eventually convince them of their worthiness as a mate (or fuck buddy.)
  • The females they are exposed to tend to be pretty fucking tough, thus more likely to be willing to take the lead in relationships and make decisions. "Nice Guy" beta males are petrified to make decisions because they're afraid of upsetting women, so they prefer to defer to women. They think they're empowering women. In reality, they're driving them insane
  • The closeted alpha "Nice Guy" beta can't totally hide his alpha tendencies, and ultrarunning feeds those primal alpha drives. Ultrarunning is a dangerous sport, especially the long mountain ultras. Death or severe injury is a real possibility, which is something alpha males thrive off. For the "Nice Guy" beta male, this provides his buried "alpha-ness" the danger and adventure fix it needs to keep him from going insane. 
  • The latter stages of long, hard ultras strips away all the niceties of humanity and reveals our true, primal self... and some men thrive off this. When it's 3am and you're seventy miles into a hundred miler, you're cold, hungry, fighting sleep deprivation, every part of your body in chafed and in pain, your emotional control is shot, life gets pretty fucking raw. Some men hate this spot. Some love it. Those who love it do so because it is the essence of masculinity - experiencing and overcoming incredibly difficult shit by continuing on. We don't get this opportunity in modern society barring freak accidents or natural disasters, so ultras give closeted alphas a change to prove their manhood. 
  • Attention. Ultras are, by design, really fucking stupid. The skillset required has little or no direct real-world application and they're stupidly difficult. To the general population, ultras appear to be insane. To the "Nice Guy" beta male, this attention fuels their need for external validation they should be getting from within.

How Do I Know If I'm One of These "Nice Guy" Beta Males/ Closeted Alphas?

Luckily, the warning signs are pretty clear, which makes it easy to distinguish between "Nice Guy" beta males who are really closeted alphas and actual natural beta males. "Nice Guys" have the following traits:

  • "Nice Guy" beta males are afraid of upsetting women because they believe it will ruin their chances for casual sex, dating, a long-term relationship, or sex within a long-term relationship. In other words, they're deathly afraid of rocking the pussy boat.
  • "Nice Guy" beta males have trouble understanding other males and their behaviors; they simply don't make sense. Things like cat-calling, fighting, bullying and teasing, or "peacocking" just seem like douchey behaviors that serve no purpose.
  • "Nice Guy" beta males do not understand why seemingly normal women fall for "bad boys."
  • When they enter into monogamous relationships with women, the sex always starts off good then slowly decreases in frequency and quality, to the point where all sex is "starfish sex." Intimate acts like kissing and blowjobs disappear. The "Nice Guy" will usually try anything and everything that would be considered a romantic gesture - being a better listener, buying her flowers, jewelry, lingerie, candles, exotic vacations... but none of it seems to help. Relationships tend to go like this
  • "Nice Guy" beta males have mates who tend to nag them all. the. time. 
  • "Nice Guy" males tend to have few if any male friends, nor do they spend time in all-male groups.
  • "Nice Guy" beta males tend to have a growing sense of existential dread, like they have no idea why they're here. They will have often worked their whole life to build what they have in the hopes it would bring happiness and fulfillment, but it only brings a feeling of emptiness, loneliness, and despair. "Nice Guy" beta males tend to bury these feelings behind a facade of fake smiles and optimism.
  • Read through a bunch of posts on Reddit's r/deadbedrooms subreddit. If this hits home and you're a dude, you're a "nice Guy" beta. Or if you're a woman and this hits home, you're probably in a relationship with a "Nice Guy."

What Can Be Done?

If any of this sounds familiar, I can relate. Like, REALLY relate. This was me (read my story about overcoming this plight in this post.) If this shit resonates, know there are many of us who have overcome this, made positive changes, and are now living lives far better than the lives we once lived. The best part? Our improvements have made us better leaders, better boyfriends and husbands, and better fathers. 

If you're interested in making positive changes, take a look at our Facebook group and consider a workshop. It could change your life. Sorry ladies, it's a male-only group, which is by design. I do have another mixed-gender Facebook group if any of these ideas sound a little too familiar. Or you just want to learn more about the topic. 



Monday, August 15, 2016

The Roadmap To Solving Sex and Gender Issues

I've been studying sex and gender for two decades, first as an experimental social psychology student, then as a high school psychology teacher, and finally as a writer. During that time, I've studied pretty much every issue that arises when discussing males and females; masculinity and femininity. The one primary problem that always eluded me:

"How do we effectively solve problems related to sex and gender that result in mutually-beneficial solutions?"

In today's social media-dominated world, many groups try to solve these problems from one of two very general perspectives:

  • "Feminism"
  • "The Manosphere"

"Feminism" includes all the flavors of feminism from Amazon to Trans-national with the common thread being some degree of vilification of men and masculinity as oppressors of women.

"The Manosphere" includes all flavors of pro-male groups including Men Going Their Own Way, Men's Rights Activists, The Red Pill, pickup artists, etc. The common thread tends to be a reaction to feminism and feminist ideals that have basically fucked up our social institutions. 

Neither group is effective at solving problems because they become echo chambers of bad ideas that have zero chance of success. There are all kinds of reasons for this, most of which can be explained with cognitive biases

I've spent the last three years either passively observing many of these groups, actively trolling them, or genuinely engaging in conversations. Damn, did I learn a lot! Specifically, I learned almost all of the people involved in these various groups and communities have a strong emotional attachment to whatever outcome they desire. It's not unlike the irrational attachment we see to political candidates or sports teams. I've come to realize this emotional attachment absolutely kills any chance any of these groups have of solving the problems they routinely bitch and moan about mostly because they ignore reality. At the most basic level, they cannot pass the simple test I like to use to reveal the barriers that prevent ideas from becoming reality:

Ask the "If only..." question. 

For example, "Men and women could achieve true gender equality if only..." where the answer will reveal what barriers are needed to overcome in order for the goal to be actualized. Sure, almost all of these groups WILL be able to answer the question, but their answer is not grounded in reality OR is completely unrealistic. 

In very broad, general terms, most of the feminists seem to want to destroy masculinity as a gender role and most manosphere groups seem to want to subjugate women. Both ideas are moronic because they fail to understand basic human psychology. So they bitch and moan, whine and complain. They blame, shame, and play the victim card. It's like a really, really unpleasant form of intellectual masturbation. And they go through this endless cycle because they seem to genuinely believe there will always be tomorrow. 

I ain't got time for that shit. 

I have an urgency because there won't always be a tomorrow. I don't know if I will be here tomorrow, next week, next month, or next year. I don't want to talk about problems. I want to solve problems. So that's what I'm doing. Anyway, I digress.

The Problem

As it turns out, I've discovered the problem is a whole lot simpler than I expected. Most "gender discussion groups" from any perspective are set up and administered by people who are fundamentally broken in some way (that's not a bad thing per se, as most of us have some degree of "broken".) This causes them to gravitate towards one set of particular beliefs that benefits them personally. That's why they cling to one perspective that makes no logical sense, nor has resulted in any empirically-verified positive outcomes. 

They're not doing what they do to make the world a better place; they're doing what they do to feel better about themselves. So they become emotionally-attached to the ideas and resist alternatives.

This was my experience in a group called "The New Masculine", which turned out to be a front for the stupid OneTaste cult. It was basically a bunch of low-value females emotionally manipulating a bunch of uber-beta males. The leaders of the group were clearly exploiting the men for affirmation (and apparently money) not because their ideas worked, but rather because they needed to power to overcome their personal shortcomings. 

To further compound this problem, a lot of gender discussion groups enforce exclusively masculine or exclusively feminine communication styles. That's problematic because that's not how our world works. When we police language with censoring, we create an artificial environment that does not represent the real world. Any discussions we engage in within that environment are subsequently useless. 

I hypothesize this is THE reason all of these groups have such shitty real-world outcomes... they're not based on the real world. Instead, they're based on intellectual musings of broken people. 

The Solution

Turns out the apparent solution is quite simple - create and administer a group that allows men and women to communicate like most men and women communicate in real life. This is exactly what is happening in my Cotton Underwear Nougat Troupe group. All I did was collect folks who have realized their world view might be wrong and throw them together in a group and toss out ideas to discuss. In one month, I've already made tremendous strides towards developing my own hypotheses and, more importantly, workshop content to help solve many of our most pressing sociopolitical problems starting on the individual level. 

The formula is pretty simple - keep out the extremists who do not have the ability to consider alternative points of view, then set a tone of civil discussion. BAM! Phenomenal discussions.

One other significant variable seems to be most if not all of the group's membership has the ability to communicate in either a masculine style or feminine style without losing their shit, which helps immensely with misunderstandings. Those who can't handle that usually don't last all that long without getting triggered and quitting the group. 

What develops are surprisingly organic discussions that closely mimic real-life interactions, which is significant. One of the greatest problems with online communication is the lack of body language and tone of voice cues, which is a fundamental problem with every other gender group I've experienced. 

This group, because of the quality of discussion, is a near-perfect conduit to actually solving all these gender-related issues. 

I'll be posting more on this topic down the road as the group continues to develop.


Saturday, August 13, 2016

The Alpha Female... What Does She Look Like?

My Fictional Alpha Female Crush

In my new gender discussion group (Cotton Underwear Nougat Troupe), we spend a lot of time talking about the idea of Alpha and Beta Males. Quick refresher. For men, the alpha/beta dynamic aren't discrete categories. It's a spectrum of social dominance. In any given situation, all of the men are ranked from the top Alpha (the leader), to the #2, then the #3, and so on. The most Beta is the dude at the bottom. When we talk about "alpha" and "beta" traits, we're really describing various behaviors that positively and negatively affect your position in the social hierarchy.

An important thing to note about males and social hierarchies - it's all based on utility. We rank based on our perceived expertise and ability to lead. And it changes from situation to situation. In the San Diego Man Camp group, I'm the Alpha because the entire thing is based off my ideas. Pick any other endeavor, however, and other dudes in the group would probably assume the alpha role because they would be the most effective leader. 

So What About Females?

Females have their own hierarchy, but it plays by much different rules. Instead of being set by situational hierarchies based on expertise, it's set by social utility in general and social bonding in particular. As such, the Alpha Female of the group is always the woman who can most effectively bind the group and direct its actions. Alpha Females exist to keep groups together, which differs from Male Alphas who exist to get shit done. In a healthy society, we need both. 

Interestingly, it's very easy to spot the alpha female in a group composed of all females. All other women will unconsciously point one or both feet at her. She often has the ability to utilize both feminine and masculine traits. 

Alpha Females tend to be charming, sexually-alluring, funny, driven, and have an ability to put anyone at ease. They're natural leaders. The most successful Alpha Females will, in addition, possess all three components of the Dark Triad (narcissism, psychopathology, and Machiavellianism) traits which help them protect their tribe socially, which differs from Alpha Males who physically protect and provide for the tribe. In other words, people don't fuck with Alpha Females. 

In any group of women, there's always only one Alpha Female, but the rest of the group plays specific roles like an enforcer, a joker/ weirdo, the conversation-starter, the gossiper, the whipping post, the girls who get ignored, etc. Each serves a purpose, and the Alpha Female directs them in their roles. There are no "Beta Females" per se, but there will be a ranking of each group member's importance to the group... so there IS a woman at the bottom. Additionally, most women have some Alpha Female capability, which could feasibly be used to rank women on an Alpha/ Beta phenomenon similar to how us dudes operate. 

If the Alpha Female leaves the group, the next-most capable alpha assumes the role OR the group simply dissolves. The quality and effectiveness of any given group of females is directly related to the "alpha-ness" of the current Alpha Female. 

One of the most amusing things about this dynamic occurs when two experienced Alpha Females enter a group. Since there can only be one Alpha Female, the lower-ranking Alpha Female will typically challenge the higher ranking Alpha Female to establish the position. It's never shared. This tends to create a lot of disruption (drama) because the group doesn't know who to follow.

It's also worth noting Alpha Females will always defer to capable Alpha Male leadership because they understand the utility that men bring to the equation. They understand genders are complimentary, not oppositional. Any effective team, organization, or even couples utilize the utility of Alpha Males and the social bonding of Alpha Females. This is the reason feminists are rarely if ever effective leaders... they don't understand this dynamic. Alpha Males aren't good at social bonding and Alpha Females aren't good at getting shit done.

Also worth noting - I've met precious few women who haven't self-identified as a "strong woman", and most seem to assume this means they're an Alpha Female. This is not the case. "Strong women" are usually the equivalent of beta males... they buy into the "you're special just the way you are" mediocrity bullshit pushed by the empowerment self-help industry.

Women, unlike men, do not get a boost to their sexual market value based on their alpha status, but it can get complicated because high value Alpha Males usually love Alpha Females. So there's that. But the actual traits aren't universally attractive. It's complicated. 

As a weird sidebar, Beta Males who have been friendzoned by women also become part of the female "group" and assume a role just like other women. Unfortunately for the Beta Men, they don't have the same intuitive understanding of subtle female behavior, so they fall to the bottom of female social groups. As such, Beta Men can never assume the Alpha Female role. 

Of all the gender-based dynamics I've studied over the years, this is the one I've spent the least time actually studying in real life... mostly because I don't care that much. It has zero personal relevance to me other than explaining it to my kids and knowing how to identify the Alpha Female in a group of women. 

Additionally - if any Alpha Females OR ladies interested in improving your Alpha Female skillz and wanna have some great discussions, join the CUNT group. We need more female voices!

Comments? Questions?


Saturday, August 6, 2016

Flavors of Men in Modern Western Society

I started a new Facebook group recently. The goal was to bring the discussions we have in our San Diego Man Camp Group into a forum that included women to discuss these issues without the new age hippie bullshit that permeates other gender discussion groups. And it has been magical. It has given the women of the group the opportunity to understand men from a masculine point of view instead of the typical feminine point of view. During the discussions, we often talk about different "kinds" of men - how we think, what we think, why we think that way, and how those thought patterns are manifested in our behaviors, beliefs, and attitudes. Understanding these groups and how they fit into this whole gender thing gives us a lot of insight to the real issues we face. Here's a few along with a very brief summary and rationale:

Natural Alphas: Natural alphas are men who have decidedly masculine traits, but have the ability and desire to temper these traits with feminine characteristics when the situation warrants. They were presumably born this way or have been trained since birth. In our modern society, these are the most desirable men. They want romantic relationships. They want to raise healthy families. They want to be community leaders. They have a life purpose outside their wives or girlfriends, and they chase that purpose with passion. They have a strong moral code and stick to it. They're fit, attractive, and stylish. These men receive a ton of female attention and have near-endless options in partners. Despite that attention, they remain loyal to their mate. Natural alphas usually have to resist their mate's taming behaviors by continually passing his mate's shit tests.

Rick is a natural alpha.

Recovered Alphas: Recovered alphas are natural alphas who, at some point in their life, turned themselves into beta males. At some point, they realize this was a very bad route, and work to recover their dormant inner-alpha. In most cases, these men will be emotionally manipulative "Nice Guys" during their beta phase. The San Diego Man Camp project specifically focuses on this group; we help men rediscover their inner alpha in a pro-social way. Like the Natural Alpha, the Recovered Alpha has to fight taming behaviors by passing shit tests.

Fuckboys: Fuckboys are smooth natural alphas who have no desire for long-term relationships. They have all attractive masculine traits to attract females, but prefer short-term relationships or one-night stands. These are the men described in this Vanity Fair article. Fuckboys are really just men having fun, but they tend to break a lot of hearts along the way because women fall for them, but they have no desire to settle down. Women WANT these men to settle down and usually go to great lengths to tame them. Fuckboys almost always settle into Natural Alphas when they find one especially high value female, they get tired of the hookup scene, or they get too old to attract a lot of female attention. Fuckboys always pass "alpha" shit tests, but usually fail "comfort" shit tests.

James Bond is a Fuckboy

Pseudo-alphas: Pseudo-alphas are men who do not have innate feminine traits to temper their masculine side. In many circles, this is the stereotypical "alpha male" douche. These are the loud, brash, arrogant men who treat everyone like shit. Think Jersey Shore. Pseudo-alphas are distinguishable from Fuckboys by their obvious lack of refinement. Still, these men have the ability to attract women for one-night stands, but these women usually have no desire for a long-term relationship with them. Pseudo-Alphas also pass "alpha" shit tests but fail "comfort" shit tests.

Stereotypical Pseudo-Alpha

Beta Providers: Beta providers are either natural beta males or broken alphas who never "wake up" to the fact that they're really alphas and make the effort to become Recovered Alphas. These men have a very predictable pattern they fall into, which I describe in detail in this Sexpressionists article. Often, these men get married to women who are sick of trying to find a natural alpha or have had their hearts broken by Fuckboys. These marriages follow a very predictable and tragic pattern. The women who marry these men also have a very predictable and tragic pattern. Beta providers fail almost all shit tests. These are the men who typically join SDMC and could most benefit from our workshops.

Ted Moseby (or an uglier version) is a beta provider

Pickup Artists: Pickup artists are beta males who have learned to mimic alpha behavior to pick up women for sex. Most of the time, these men are conflated with Fuckboys and Pseudo-Alphas. I draw the distinction because pickup artists are intentionally deceptive. They understand exactly what women are looking for, then become that person. The key, and the reason I place them in the "beta" category, is because their entire life revolves around women. Often, these men are really looking for female affirmations more than just sex. But sometimes it's just about sex. These men tend to be despised by women because of the deception. These dudes LOOK and ACT exactly like natural alphas, but it's a facade. Pickup Artists always pass all shit tests because they study how to pass shit tests.

Dangerous Betas: Dangerous betas are betas who build resentment towards women usually due to a lifetime of rejection. These men are perpetually friendzoned by women they perceive as their perfect soulmate only to watch them look up with Fuckboys or Pseudo-Alphas. They believe women are fundamentally evil or, minimally, completely immoral. These men are typically extraordinarily misogynistic. These are the men who stalk, rape, or kill women. Dangerous betas fail all shit tests.

Men will typically fit into one of the above groups. Sometimes men organize around various "communities." Here are a few of these communities:

The Red Pill (TRP): These dudes are almost always beta providers and generally want either lots of pussy (they want to become Fuckboys) or long term relationships (they want to become Recovered Alphas), so they attempt to learn how women operate, so they study female behavior in the real world through the frame of evolutionary psychology. They have excellent observations, but virtually no ability to sell the ideas without sounding like a decidedly misogynistic Hitler. Part of the problem is some of them actually ARE like a misogynistic Hitler (Dangerous Betas.) This is the group I most closely relate to, and the men I attract for SDMC tend to have the same goal of desiring healthy, long-term relationships.

Men's Rights Advocates (MRA): These dudes, almost always Beta Providers, generally have been fucked over in divorces (via alimony, child support, or custody) or falsely accused of sexual assault. They tend to be bitter about the skewing of our legal system towards women at the exclusion of men. This is the group who tends to use the term "pussy pass", which is the phenomenon of women getting shit from men simply because they're female (like showing cleavage to get out of a speeding ticket.) I do not like this group. While they do have legitimate grievances, they tend to play the victim card and come off as whiny little bitches. They play the victim card because they learned activism from feminists. They do not understand that men cannot use the same tactics women can use. Women can be victims and society takes notice. Men cannot. They just come off as pathetic. Many of these men have the potential to become Dangerous Betas, but their activism gives them a somewhat healthy outlet.

Men Going Their Own Way (MGTOW): This group, consisting mostly of Beta Providers, would *like* to have a secure, long-term relationship with a woman, but they tend to be too low value (ugly, fat, poor, too lazy to improve, etc.) They make a conscious decision to give up on the possibility of female companionship and tend to work towards other goals, usually professionally. These men usually frequent prostitutes to satisfy sexual needs. Ironically, these men's tendency to improve themselves and ignore women makes them far more attractive to women (they accidentally become Recovered Alphas), so they usually end up getting what they stopped chasing. In The Red Pill circles, this is what men do when they go into "monk mode" and ignore women for a few months to a year. As a society, we treat these men harshly, which makes me sympathetic to their plight. They're generally harmless and just trying to live their life without constant disappointment.


Men in modern society fall into one of these categories. Understanding why they do what they do goes a long way towards understanding male behavior. The more we understand the subtle nuances of these behaviors, the more effectively we can solve some of our weird societal gender issues that plague us today. Same deal with understanding female behavior. Knowledge is power!