What’s Alpha and Beta… For A Woman?

I’ve been asked a couple times what women can do as Alpha and Beta skills. It’s all pretty simple…
Female Alpha = Physical attractiveness, sexual interest and skill in bed.
Female Beta = Anything and everything else that she can bring to the table.
I’ve often heard people writing about women that are socially dominant and powerful as being “Alpha” but that’s really not within the framework I use where Alpha Traits evoke a Dopamine hormonal (excitement, pleasure, in love) response, and Beta Traits evoke a Oxytocin/Vasopressin hormonal (pair bonding, love) response.
Hillary Clinton for example is certainly powerful in the social sense, but she doesn’t really cause boners. Yet if she was a man in the same position of power, there would be gina tingles caused. Hillary has oodles of Beta but low Alpha. Sarah Palin on the other hand has a much higher Alpha simply because of looks and one gets the sense that she… would be “enjoyable”, but really who knows about her Beta stuff.
There is a big overlap in the Beta Traits for men and women, the difference is the Alpha ones. Just as for men, the Alpha and Beta balance is the way to go for women in a marriage.
And I am sorry ladies… the “beautiful you on the inside” does matter for the Beta Traits, but is worthless for the Alpha ones. But then you all knew that already anyway. Just confirming it.
Tomorrow we have a little more on this. I promise not to mention Hillary or Sarah ever again.


  1. Deansdale says:

    My comment got out of hand so I posted it as an article instead, at my own place :)

  2. Anonymous says:

    Would have to disagree on Palin's Beta traits… She did crank out 5 kids, didn't she? I

    If I may quote Roissy: "There’s no better way to remind a hip clubgoing single chick in the city who loves to travel and sip pinot noir of her impending infertility and genetic obsolescence than with the image of a woman who’s chosen not to ignore her biological imperative in favor of playing the field indefinitely."

  3. Anonymous says:

    So if a man is good at his career and is gaining rank and prestige, that's attractive to women as an Alpha trait.

    If a woman is good at her career and gaining rank and prestige, that's a Beta trait? And men find that less attractive than if she just put on a short skirt?

  4. Viliam Búr says:

    If a woman is good at her career and gaining rank and prestige, that's a Beta trait?

    And men find that less attractive than if she just put on a short skirt?
    There is zero sexual attractivity in woman's career. At least for me.

    Career means money; and it implies some character traits like intelligence, social skill, determination, etc. None of this is sexual. It also implies power, but… for men, their partner's power is not a turn on.

    (Maybe a career in modelling would be Alpha.)

  5. Todd Palin is an Alpha male. He porks Sarah whenever and however he wants. He just wants her to be president so he can plow her in the Oval Office.

  6. Athol, the alpha/beta metaphor seems an ill fitting garment when applied to women. (Some go on to say that even popular culture's application of the concept to human males is a weak stretch, but I think it useful and, so, keep it going).

    But for women who have historically played the role of sexual "choosers," who have far more to gain/lose from attaching themselves to the right/wrong mate, the same metaphor isn't quite right. It conjures up traits and mating strategies that doesn't distinguish a whole lot of women. We need a different metaphor here.

  7. Hambydammit says:

    Athol, I've been thinking a lot recently about the dreaded "patriarchy." What I'm leaning towards (and what I'll be blogging about at length when the idea congeals a bit more) is that we've been thinking about patriarchy and matriarchy all wrong. That is, when we have looked for matriarchies in the past, we've looked for patriarchies run by women. So no wonder we never found any. Women are different than men, and when they're in power, they don't set up the same system.

    I think you're tapping into this false equivalence. Women and men are sexually attracted to different things, and if we are labeling "Alpha" as "That which creates sexual excitement," and "Beta" as "That which creates a desire for long term attachment," then you're spot on.

  8. MNL – The metaphor I use is Alpha = Dopamine, Beta = Oxytocin /Vasopressin.

    Hamby and Vilian get it right.

  9. aTempDisplay says:

    When I talk to a woman about being "beautiful on the inside" what I means is this: For all healthy body types (which can honestly range from skinny to gently curved to more full figured) there are some men who find that body type attractive.

    There are TONS of men who like tiny breasts… but of all the tiny breasted women, they are more sexually attracted to the happy, joyfull, sexually confident, easy going small breasted women, than they are to the insecure small breasted women who see themselves as unattractive. Same goes for most body types – short, tall, big nosed, whatever.

    So I will have to disagree slightly with you, Athol. I definitely believe that being beautiful on the inside does help women in the "being sexy" department.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I agree that the alpha/beta thing doesn't work so well because socially dominant women aren't attractive whereas socially dominant men are. It's damn sexy when my man pwns some other dude. I would never like him see me doing that to another woman unless it was mud wrestling. Desirable women exhibit submissive traits. They are kind, caring, and often defer to men. They do what they can to be attractive to their men by staying trim and wearing feminine clothes, but they don't try to compete with other women.

  11. Susan Walsh says:

    This makes intuitive sense to me, but by this definition, the sluttiest women are pure alpha. And a woman who is attractive and interested in sex, but not very experienced would not be an alpha female.

    By this definition, does the 80/20 split apply to women, in your view?

    And will men trade a lifetime with a beta female for five minutes with an alpha one? I hear quite frequently from men that they wouldn't touch "so and so hot chick" with a ten foot pole, much less their own. So can promiscuity, the very trait that makes a woman alpha, also make her undesirable?

  12. Athol Kay says:

    I think some men do indeed make that trade Susan.

    However there is for both men and women a dynamic tension between the Alphaness of just wanting to fuck and the Betaness of being faithful to one person. The perfect combo is the person that could clearly go out and get laid twenty minutes after a break up, but holds it together for their spouse.

    I'd separate out the desire and ability for sex from the promiscuity question.

  13. How do we figure out if we are an Alpha or Beta female? Or both?

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