Like many children of the 70’s and 80’s, my folks divorced before I was old enough to realize they were married. When I was two years-old, mom got primary custody and dad got every-other-weekend. Aside from 4 days per month, mom was both mother and father.
I love my mom. She did a great job raising me. But she’s a woman. And there’s only so much a boy can learn about being a man from a woman. I was like one of those boys who are raised by a pack of wolves, and think they are a wolf too. Except I was raised by a woman, and…you know.
Being raised by a woman, I inferred a lot of things about how to behave toward women. I inferred that men and women are the same thing with different bodies; that I must be polite and respectful; that I mustn’t make women sex objects; that I mustn’t be too assertive or aggressive; that I must listen to what women say.
I abided by these lessons for a long time. I grew up to be a polite, benign, sexless, ineffectual wuss. I had almost no relationships throughout my teens—living in a state of frustrated and unrequited sexuality. I was 20 before I lost my virginity—not by any virtue, but because I was so sexually retarded.
Like many, the cure for my frustrated sexuality was alcohol. Being drunk afforded me an opportunity to inhabit my masculinity—a state where I didn’t have to be polite or respectful; when it was okay to make women sex objects; when I could be assertive; when I didn’t have to listen to what women said because I could see what they wanted (2 very different things in my experience).
As it would happen, women responded far better to my drunken inappropriateness than my sober wussiness. As a drunken lout, I had a chance. As a polite and sober wuss, I had none.
Unfortunately, the more I drank, the more inappropriate and distorted my masculinity became. I slurred catcalls to women on the street. I hit on girls who were clearly not interested in me, once earning a black eye from a justifiably angry boyfriend. I tried to sleep with any woman who’d have me—a population that decreased inversely proportional to my rate of alcohol consumption.
These drunken years gave me a taste of what it meant to inhabit my masculinity, but the consequences of drinking made it an unsustainable formula.
Many years after getting sober, I recognized that my effectiveness with women—and life in general—was still lacking. I still had trouble attracting women and, I later realized, attracting all sorts of things in my life.
This realization led me to the world of “Pick-Up Arts”—a subculture made popular by Neil Strauss’s book, “The Game.” I can’t tell you all the things I learned while reading it in this post (it would get too long). But one of the main points is that women are attracted to alpha males.
What is an alpha male? An alpha male is a man who leads; he knows where he’s going and what he’s about; he doesn’t apologize for being who he is (including his sexuality); and he doesn’t seek other’s approval (probably the most important attribute). Alpha status can be established by brute force (hence why a lot of assholes get so much action) or cooperative power (nice guys can and do succeed with women and in life). Also, alpha status isn’t a hierarchal system; there can be multiple alpha males in a room.
I saw that I failed with woman because I believed what women said they wanted in a man—an open, respectful, caring guy. It’s not true. Women want alpha males—men who don’t apologize for who they are; who might want a women, but don’t need them or their approval. Many of my drunken forays showed me that first hand.
This is not to say an alpha male cannot be open, respectful or caring. My opinion is that real alpha males are inherently those things. But an alpha male doesn’t do those things to please others. He does them because that’s who he is.
With all this in mind, here are some things to think about today:
Men, stop being wusses! Stop being inoffensive. It’s offensive. It’s better to elicit a strong feeling, even if it’s a negative one, than no feeling (important note: I’m assuming that I’m addressing responsible men, who know how to respect boundaries and know the difference between right and wrong). Own your life. If you don’t, anyone and everyone else will.
Also keep in mind that wussiness with women shows up in other areas of your life. Where else do you bend yourself in the face of something you want?
Women, stop trying to out-alpha the men in your life! Stop trying to prove you are as strong as they are. Doing this leaves no space for men to be strong for you, which is what men want to be for you. And it’s what you secretly want to be done for you. What many women end up doing is proving their strength, but doing so alone or surrounded by their commiserating women friends. Neither situation is desirable.