Monday, July 27, 2009

Alpha Male Other Guy

The issue of male friendship and camaraderie comes up time and again when high status behavior is discussed. The reason - let's face it - is that high status men are simply more interesting to be around than guys who are used to getting tooled.

But how can a guy be the most dominant leader of any group and hang out with other high/status males without constant conflict?

No one has thought and written more on this topic than Keith Johnstone. His motivation was not pick up, but good realistic acting. His job is to teach people how to improvise on stage. And he developed a great system to do so. Yet, soon he "noticed that the actors couldn't reproduce 'ordinary' conversation." Whatever he told his actors to do "the effect was 'theatrical' but not life as I knew it."

This seemed particularly puzzling when casual 'small talk' was considered. At first thought, two people talking about random topics should be the easiest situation to reproduce on stage. Yet, these situations proved the hardest. And so he wondered "If casual conversations really were ... operated by chance, why was it impossible to reproduce them at the studio?"

The reason, of course, is that even the most meaningless conversations are not random, but follow hidden scripts. There is a purpose behind any human interaction. Keithstone discovered that while we are mostly unaware of it - "every inflection and movement implies a status, and that no action is due to chance, or really 'motiveless'."

He went on studying "status play" for years to come, and his insights are priceless. Here are some highlights:
"Status [is] something one does."
"We want people to be very low status, but we don't want to feel sympathy for them."
"A person who plays high status is saying 'Don't come near, I bite'. Someone who plays low status is saying 'Don't bite me, I'm not worth the trouble'. In either case the status played is a defense."
"Status is basically territorial."

And one of the most important rules as to dominance and submission in human interactions:
"There is no way to be neutral."

This rule is as important as it is unintuitive. It means that whatever you do, you convey (reveal) your inner idea of self-worth. This is even true when no one is around: "Status is played to anything, objects as well as people". There is no way to hide it.

And the fact that you cannot be neutral is exactly where the crux lies for male bonding. It is easy to be friends and the alpha male if all your male friends are submissive. Yet, being the adored leader of the group who everyone looks up to is not the same as friendship. There is a difference between acting as big brother and being a buddy.

So what happens when you are friends with guys who are on your level?

Johnston's answer is "that acquaintances become friends when they agree to play status games together." This means that we deliberately dominate our friends, just to accept heir dominance a moment later. By flip-flopping in dominance over time, we become equally dominant on average. It's a "see-saw" principle. And any violation of this hidden rule (i.e. not accepting a friend's dominance when it is his turn or failing to "pay them back" for their dominance gestures) can destroy a friendship.

Thus, the only way that two alpha males can avoid profound conflict is by playfully bantering back-and-forth. The playful nature of the dom/sub gestures allows your friend to "look past" your attempted dominance/submission, and he will respond accordingly:
Instead of bringing someone a cup of tea and saying "'Did you have a good night?' or something equally neutral, the status being established by voice and posture and eye contact", "I might say 'Get up you old cow', or 'Your Highness' tea', pretending to raise or lower status."

The delicate nature of balancing out status between friends is astonishing. When we are with true friends, we need to constantly assess the status balance between them and us, and playfully subtract or add dominance whenever needed.

So, befriending other high status guys will not raise your status in the classical sense, since demonstrating to women in your surrounding that you are constantly dominating them is mutually exclusive with their friendship. But - could it raise your status by association? Is there something akin to status transfer?

It seems intuitive that "if you claim status because you know some famous person, then you'll feel raised when they are." This is one of the reasons why so many people are loyal and interested in the reign of the king - they will lose their rank at court if the king gets replaced by his rival.

Yet - as stated above - status is not someone has, it is what someone does.

There is a profound difference between claiming status - and playing it. Thus, it is possible that knowing VIP and associating with other alphas might simply boost your inner state - your perception of your own status, which in turn alters your behavior to raise your status. Whether or not belonging to an exclusive social circle directly elevates status is an interesting question.

Female attention surely gets guided towards you if you hang out with a famous person at the bar. Yet, just like with driving a sports car or flashing lots of money - these status symbols might be minor factors to the status conveyed trough body language and social interaction.

The bottom line is that there are rich awards for seeking high quality friends.
But your success with women shouldn't depend on it.


  1. Continuing along similar lines of my last comment on Tragedy of the Commons,once status is decoupled from larger wholes,it seems to devolve upon purely personal traits.Most especially physical ones.I mean "physical" in an expansive sense;body language,looks,verbal proficiency,fashion,etc..I think this can be healthy,and a corrective to largely Puritanical/religious mores, and overly-wrought civilizational ethics and manners,of the past.But it carries a danger insofar as the "physical" overcorrects,and we're faced with the present-day tyranny of female license coupled with rank hypocrisy.In fine;in the past we had the Madonna/whore complex,today we have the whore/Madonna one.

  2. 11, good post.

    this makes perfect sense.

    regarding status as something people *do*. i read a link on your side-bar to "alpha male behavior" or something along those lines, and decided to take note while out this weekend. i was at the bar, stumbling drunkenly noticing people's status displays.

    one status display for men is that we don't move out of the way of other by-passing men. there are two types of guys that run into you with their shoulders at bars and crowded places...there are those that are *consciously* aware of their status at all times and don't move out of the way because they are douchebags, and there are guys that are just naturally more aggressive and don't notice people they're running into.

    the latter is more dangerous and less of a "natural" because they are attempting to program themselves by acting a certain way. the latter, while annoying, are probably more naturally socially dominant and better with women. they have a natural self-centeredness that correlates with higher status, and they're probably better with women.

    keithstone is correct; it is very hard to consciously be aware of status (in the real world or on stage) without telegraphing that to the audience.

  3. it is very hard to consciously be aware of status (in the real world or on stage) without telegraphing that to the audience.

    Excellent point, Ovid!

    This is where many aspiring PUAs fail (and creep girls out). They are "inside their head" - one can simply tell that they monitor their own body language and try to control and modify it for the better.

    There is a constant aura of awkwardness around a guy who tries to mimic alpha male behavior by conscious effort. Just as one can tell a fake smile from a genuine grin, we can sense if someone is aware of their own body (language).

    This is one of the things that change once you are "in state" - your body language becomes congruent (and unconscious again).

  4. This may not be the topic to write this, but I gotta get it out. Reason is, once again a friend told me about this advice he got from women, which was utter bullshit, but he believed it, and took their words for mine.

    Basically just for fun, I read this dating book for men written by a woman, and was not disappointed.

    It was so much fun, I had to write a review about a woman's advice to men.

    Enjoy the ride.

    However, until that day, I never realized how clueless men are that women also face pressure, deal with insecurities, fear rejection, and get our hearts broken.

    So here we go. Men have no idea. Men have no symathy, empathy, and men hurt women.

    I always had guys chasing me…but as soon as they got to know “the real me,” they turned and ran the heck the other way!
    I can’t even count how many times I’ve been rejected and had my heart broken

    That, my friends in called getting dumped, not rejected. Rejection is about 150 possible rejections before you can actually get dumped.

    Btw, note that she was getting pumped and dumped. Guss by who?

    So, I wanted to write a book that takes you deep into the inner workings of the female mind. I want you to know what a woman is thinking, feeling, and experiencing on a night out with you.

    Here come the revelations.

    It doesn’t matter if you’re a great guy or not. A pushy approach makes a woman react by recoiling, regardless of her reason.
    Women experience this kind of pushy, annoying approach all the time.

    This is to be seen in later quotes. Guys dont be pushy. See, women dont like that. No no no..

    Persistence never works.

    Women put men into three categories:

    1.Dangerous/yucky/creepy/annoying guys (The Danger Zone)

    2. Friends and/or potential business partners, or neutral guys (The Friend Zone).

    3. Potential lovers and soul mates (The Love Zone).

    This was the point where I knew I was in for a treat.

    Not dividing the Love Zone into providers and fuckers? Another woman who has no clue.

    A woman has a dual reality.
    I have to constantly make sure that I don’t get caught up in a situation with “the wrong man.”

    Who is..... wait for it.. wait for it... pushy.

    A woman will drop just about everything to get to know you better if she senses that you are a Love Zone Guy!

    Yup. Distinction to be made:

    If you are the Provider love zone, she will definitely drop sex.

    If you are in the Fucker love zone, she will definitely drop everything to sex you fast.

    I’ll never forget the night that I was out with some friends, including some guys I didn’t know very well. … I asked one of the guys to walk me home... However, I knew something was up when he kept trying to take me in the wrong direction and walking me in circles to get me “lost.” I kept my cool though, and finally steered us back to my friend’s house…only to find that I couldn’t get in touch with her. … Finally I knew I had to make a decision. I decided that I would be safer with a “known entity” than just being alone on the streets all night where I had no idea what could happen to me. ..I had literally gone into survival mode while this guy was probably thinking how cool it was that he was gonna take me home with 6:00AM) I slid out of his bed. He woke up and asked where I was going. I told him I had to go to the bathroom. As soon as he closed his eyes again, I grabbed all of my stuff and snuck out. As soon as I was outside, I ran!
    For the next two hours, before I was able to get in touch with my friend, I sat on a park bench and thought about how “lucky” I was that I didn’t get date raped.
    Now does it make more sense why women develop defense mechanisms against men?
    One wrong turn could land a woman in a nightmare situation.

    What a dumb b....

    If she was going to be raped there were so many opportunities.

    Guys, can you see, how even a guy who does not touch her when he had all the opportunities, is a potential rapist in her mind.

    This woman, a dating guru, is a nutcase.

  5. Simply put, a guy who ends up in my Danger Zone is a guy who is trying to get something from me. Period. End of discussion.

    Wow. No of course the other dudes who got to lay her, really did not want anything from her.

    In other words, the coolest guy isn’t the guy with more notches on his bedpost; it’s the guy with fewer agendas!

    Fewer agendas = less need for her sex = many other women he is rotating

    With that in mind, let me tell you a story about a “pick-up” that worked for me…A few years ago, I had a cell phone that was the size and shape of a glasses case ...the screen went dead, and there was nothing I could do... So I took it into the store, where the manager, Adam,...The whole time, Adam was cracking jokes to make me feel better, and every time something else didn’t work (cell phone insurance wouldn’t replace it, etc.) he would look at me and say,
    “Don’t worry, I’ll take care of this.” And he would try something else.
    This would give us more time to flirt with each other.
    And we started dating.
    This is a great example of how to meet a woman without trying to get something from her (on the contrary, he was helping me out!)

    He definitely did not want anything from her.

    It’s not easy for women either.

    I have come to the conclusion that women make it difficult just by being women.

    If you, like some guys I know, have this crazy idea that going out to bars and clubs is “easy” for women because we can just kick back and get approached…get ready, because you’re about to learn the truth!
    The pressure is on a woman before she even leaves the house.
    Before I go out, I have to pick out the perfect outfit. It has to be sexy without being slutty.

    Wow. Just wow.

    Man, that is a lot of pressure. Oh boy. What should she wear?

    But the gem is coming:

    By the way, I’ll tell you a quick story about what it’s like to be a woman wearing the wrong outfit in a club. … I settled on jeans and a classy short sleeved shirt. I felt really good about my choice… Until much later that night, when we went out to a club. Suddenly, I was in a sea of women in heels, dresses, tight pants, short skirts, halter tops, and caked-on faces. All of a sudden I felt incredibly frumpy and plain. Not that I felt self-conscious about my ability to attract guys looking like I did… ... But every time I went to the ladies room, I was super embarrassed to be the only woman in there whose top had actual sleeves, and I could tell a lot of them were looking at me like “who invited the librarian?”
    If you’ve ever heard that women dress up for other women, it’s true. This is because I know that men will still hit on me when I’m in a ratty t-shirt and haven’t showered that day

    So where is the pressure coming from, guys?

    Can you see it?

    Ever had an “annoying friend” pull away a girl you were talking to? Chances are, that girl wasn’t interested and her friend was helping her get away from you.

    Uhhhhm. No. Usually it is the friend who is jealous of the girl having good time.

    Look, women aren’t idiots. A woman is aware that any and all men she knows will pretty much sleep with her upon request.

    So that is no agenda?

    That might seem like a nice luxury to the average, sexually frustrated male, but I personally find it sad…

    Damn I feel for her.

    Because I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve been aware that a male friend had a crush on me but he was too chicken to do anything about it.
    I’m not going to be interested in a guy that is too afraid to put it out there.

    Now guys, compare the pressure of getting blown out by a friend, to the pressure of choosing the right outfit.

    Oh you poor little girl...

    What happened to taking the initiative?

  6. Yeah, ouch. Now I knew that Seth was attracted to me, but he was being a wussie about it, and wussies end up in the Friend Zone.

    And by that, th guys she wants are wussies, and so the guys she gets are the pushy assholes.

    Guys, dont be wussies.

    It is bad for the ladies.

    Women don’t wait around for you to “get over your stuff.” If she thinks you look great but you are insecure about how you look, she will move on to a more confident man.

    And who is that?

    Anyway, if one woman puts you in the Friend Zone because you don’t fit what she’s looking for in a mate, don’t take it personally. What she wants has nothing to do with you.

    So you were not being a wussy?
    I am getting confused here.

    Did you know that if a woman fears that you don’t like her, she will actually put you in the Friend Zone as a protective reflex?

    So you are wussy, you go to the friend zone, you are not wussy, you... go... to.. the... friend... zone.

    This sentence could only have been written by a woman.

    I simply don’t have the patience to wait for you to make a move. If you aren’t going to do it, I’m going to move on.

    So if I dont have the patience of waiting three dates?

    The balance between pushy and wussie can really only be achieved by developing solid inner game.

    As we saw, there is no defined balance.

    The balance is defined by what she feels.

    Which is as stable as an atom bomb just when the neutrons let loose.

    When you call me is an indication of how strongly you feel that excitement about me.
    I’m going to lose interest in a guy who doesn’t feel that excitement or doesn’t know how to naturally express it because he’s too caught up in “waiting three days to call.”



    Vague.. so vague..

    In other words, I want you to ask me out on a date.


    If you made it this far, now you know why I am not interested in “the date”

    As a woman, I’m looking at a date as a slice of what life will be like for me if I pick you to be my life mate.

    Wow. First date, and thinking of life mate?

    No wonder men are running at full speed after the first date/lay..

    I know that sounds like a lot; it’s a first date and a woman’s already thinking about forever?
    Yes, subconsciously, yes, a woman (especially a woman whose biological clock is ticking) is probably looking for a life mate.

    That is in bold.

    There is a reason it is in bold.

    Be careful guys.

    First of all, it’s only recently in human history that women had the capability to really work and make as much money as a man does (though it’s still more difficult to get equal pay).

    And that is why 80% of consumer spending is decided by women. Damn they earn so little.

    In the Victorian era, a woman couldn’t own her own property by law, which meant that if she didn’t get married, she would either grow old as someone’s house guest or be out on the street.

    Men owned property. They just did not own their lives. Dying in droves in any war in history.

    I’ll be the first to confess that a woman doesn’t want to tell you what she’s thinking and feeling. She wants you to “get it.”

    Guys, time to learn mindreading. (or not giving a damn)

    It’s not that women are confused or shy; it’s that if I have to say,
    “Hey, I’m really attracted to you and I feel comfortable with you, so let’s go back to your place,” it will kill all of the romance for me.

    Romance = what is done for the woman

    Romance = woman taking no accountability or responsibility in the events to come

    Don’t worry; I won’t put you through that. Over the course of my dating and relationship studies, I’ve learned that most men live in their heads and aren’t as skilled at picking up the energy of the people around them as women are.

    Yes. Woman as the ultimate communicator.

    That is why (Undercover Sex Signals, Lowndes) they use secret, undercover, deniable, subtle cues to communicate with the man.

  7. When we were parked in the driveway, I was actively projecting the thought,
    “Kiss me!” in his direction.
    When someone’s actively projecting energy to you, it’s a million times easier to pick it up than if they are just in the same room as you.


    Communication 101, Chapter 1: Projecting your thoughts and feelings in subtle ways.

    “Wait, I know he wants me, but he also seems totally cool if nothing happens. He must be really confident and comfortable with himself. I want that!”

    You know why I am comfortable?

    Cause I got numbers in the black book which will provide your services without the drama.

    Many men seem to believe that women will always fall for the guy and want to make him commit once she has sex with him.

    Not all women are like that, eh?

    This is true for some women, but not all women.

    I told ya.

    I personally have enjoyed my fair share of “friends with benefits” that I had no interest in committing to.

    And now he wants a man who is excited to see her and is pushy/wussy balance in the right point, time and place.

    That said, women do release certain hormones during and after sex that create the “need to bond.”

    What happened to “its just sex”?

    What happened to “I can have sex like a man”?

    However, quality evolved women, just like quality evolved men, are not blindly controlled by brain chemistry.

    No, of course not.

    But they still want the man to take the lead, and are unable to show initiative.

    Damn evolution, you missed a point there.

    They are mature enough to handle whatever emotions come up without getting angry at you.


    And remember, many women will turn down one night stands with strangers just for safety reasons.

    WAVA is so safe for men.

    The REAL reason most women will hesitate to have sex:
    on a basic level, sex is for reproduction. A woman is biologically wired to hold back until she knows she can trust the man, and my guess is that the tables would be turned if it was the man who had the potential to end up carrying a baby for nine months (not to mention having to raise a child)…

    So a woman who has chosen many men to be potential fathers is acting in accordance with nature?

    I call that very picky.

    But in today’s society women have the option of safe sex, which lowers the risk considerably.
    So why the hesitation anyway? Is it just old biological programming? The fear of being in that “one percent” (as in, condoms are 99% effective)?

    Is that fear not hardwired?

    Or is that actually a wish to come true?

    That’s part of it, but there’s something else that I think has a much bigger influence.
    Remember how, in the first chapter, I talked about how most men hold the belief that the number of women they sleep with measures how cool of a guy they are?

    Well, if women select based on other women's choices, which they do, that makes him a damn cool dude...

    Well, guess what. There’s an equal and opposite widespread belief that women hold.
    Most women believe that the more guys she sleeps with, the more her value goes down.
    On a deep subconscious level, a woman feels like she is giving you a piece of her “female value” when she has sex with you.

    Maybe women are not able to handle “sex just for sex” that well, by nature?

    Historically, female virgins have been respected and even worshipped.

    STDs not curable for most of history, no abortion, no gene testing... ???

    Hopefully, this will help you understand the internal turmoil that goes on when a woman is with you and the situation could lead to sex.

    Poor ladies.. Oh oh...

  8. Well, I’m going to tell you something about women. It might sound crazy, but a woman actually believes in magic.
    I’m not talking about card tricks or pulling a white rabbit out of a hat kind of magic…
    I’m talking about the magic of attraction and sexual chemistry. From my point of view, when there is sexual chemistry between you and me, things “naturally evolve like magic.”

    And the man needs not be persistent, not have skill, etc.

    It just happens.

    That is why the pick up theories, etc work so well.

    Damn, IT IS MAGIC!

    After sex, ...This doesn’t require a long poetic speech. In fact, it’s probably best that it isn’t.
    A simple, “Wow,” followed by a big grin, will be enough.
    If I’ve experienced magic with you, I now want reassurance that what I felt was real magic and not something false that I dreamed up when the whole time you were just using me for sex.

    I thought the lady was evolved, and able to have sex just for fun?

    Women are capable of having sex for fun, and without commitment. There is no need to be dishonest or pretend you care more for a woman than you do in order to sleep with her – you can just as easily find women who are comfortable having fun, no-strings-attached sex with you.

    So what was the point of the “WOW” again?

    For a woman, sexual chemistry is magic, and she will feel turned on when the night seems to magically evolve into sexual activity

    Guys, dont worry, the magic just happens.

    After you rest, a woman wants you to acknowledge that the magic was real and not something that she experienced while you were “just getting laid.”

    What happened to evolution, to I am a strond independent woman” to “sexually liberated woman”


    Guys here you see few things:

    1.NEVER take a woman's advice on dating
    2.Women will not take responsibility, and it is their birthright
    3.Women will expect you to take all the risks, do all the moves, while ladies keep the right to deny everything, to reject you for any little thing, and still call the situation difficult.


    So that was it.

    Hope will have opened the eyes of some clueless brother out there.

  9. This is very difficult topic and you nailed it well...

    ...until you started to talk about status by association.

    I think you underestimate the power such association has on your own psyche.

  10. i agree with the last part, in particular. it can def help but should not be necessary. i find a bunch of dudes as a group when out on the prowl is just that, guys seeking gash. and there are too many variables, too many guys who play the online poker version of game (high risk, loose and fast) to garner consistent results. i find my best odds are with 1 friend, 2 at most, or better yet, solo.

  11. z. g. awesome post

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