What’s Alpha and Beta… For A Woman? Part 2

Following on from yesterdays post of What’s Alpha and Beta for a Woman?  A reader sent in these great spreadsheets of Alpha and Beta traits for men and women. Noting;
I was thinking some more about one of your key concepts, which is that Alpha and Beta are not mutually exclusive but complementary qualities. Since your audience is supposed to be men, it would make sense to turn the tables around so they can see it with their own eyes. The female equivalent of a man being Alpha is that the wife looks hot in a tight skirt and she’s insatiable in bed. The female equivalent of a man being Beta is that the wife cooks and cleans. If she stops cooking and cleaning, it doesn’t make her more Alpha-equivalent, it just makes her less Beta-equivalent. Likewise, for men, there is no notion that to stop being Beta (to stop fixing things around the house and to stop playing with the kids) makes him more Alpha.

I thought that might help clarify your concept, because some people are still somewhat confused by everything else they read in the pick-up sphere. Just my two cents…  Olivier.
I think it spells it out fairly well, the only thing I have to add (again!) is that in my framework the Alpha traits evoke a dopamine response in the opposite sex, while the Beta traits evoke a Oxytocin / Vasopressin response in the opposite sex.
Alpha = attraction building = Dopamine = In Love = Excitement
Beta = comfort building = Oxytocin / Vasopressin = Pair Bond = Calm Enjoyment
I love the “shoveling snow” mention in the spreadsheet as well. More snow coming tonight…


  1. I love the framework, as it helps men understand the emotional space women bring to the table. There's a certain strain of thought in some parts of the the 'sphere that women are somehow evil for desiring alpha traits, which are abundant among assholes. This helps bring home that no, they're just as unconscious as being turned on by a hot girl, and while behavior can be modified by social pressure there's an extent to which the mental process is impossible to change. (It also emphasizes that there is no *moral* valence, positive or negative, to being alpha vs. non-alpha, by analogy with the silly notion that hot girls somehow being better people by virtue of their attractiveness.)

    Love the dissection of alpha-beta as a two dimensional space rather than a one-dimensional line, makes sense to me.

  2. Interesting, but let's remember that "balance" is not required (though it makes for a nice meme).

    I wager that men who ONLY offer hot, hot sperm are sexy partially because their progeny will similarly maximize mating opportunities by minimizing resources spent per female. As a corollary, cheating, as a character trait in men, can be sexy. In this sense, yes, any beta takes away from alpha.

    I also think it's true that slutty women can be sexy because a ruthless willingness to seek out the best quality DNA will carry over to her progeny. The sexiness vibe is tempered by the (un)likelihood that YOU will impregnate her, but since the cost is so low to try, that factor is negligible.

    The difference is in who is acceptable for relationships. Women and men vary, in the most severe way, in how confident they can be of being the parent. Thus, a slutty man is more worthy of a relationship than a slutty woman.

    My point is just that, yes, in some cases, decreasing beta does directly result in more alpha. That's probably not useful information for marriage game, but it's still a true statement about the world.

  3. Jet Tibet says:

    Beta for women: playing with kids, reading to them etc.

    Not Beta for women: putting kids in front of the TV

  4. Great stuff, Athol. It's this sort of thinking that inspired my most recent post on what not to do. Game advice for beginners has a lot of "back off on the beta" in it, but upon further examination it's really "don't be non-alpha." No gamer except Roosh is going to say "keep your apartment messy and practice dis-comfort rituals."

    "Non-alpha" =/= "beta."

  5. Something I never thought about before, but seems apparent by looking at these lists is that the alpha traits of one gender has a tendency to bring out the beta traits in the opposite gender.

  6. Athol is exactly right about Alpha/Beta being two independent scales. When you think about it, Alpha qualities are only relevant to the extent that they predict a man's ability to discharge his Beta qualities. E.g., what good is a man who is willing to provide if he is too weak to do so?

    Trying to act Alpha by acting less Beta is just as bad as not acting Alpha at all. The difference is that women are attracted to Alpha qualities initially — only after they realize that the big tough guy is, in fact, a loser do they leave him. Of course, a lot of guys on the blogosphere don't care about this. Their only metric of success is the number of notches in their bedpost. But then, these are usually the guys who wind up as rundown golf pros remembering their glory days while their ex-girlfriends come strutting in with rings on their hands.

  7. Athol Kay says:

    Just to be clear… if all you want from Game is notches with sluts, then pure Alpha is the way to go and Beta is barely relevant. There's no point even reading me for that when Roissy does a better job for that market.

    But for marriage and LTRs… the Alpha Beta mix is the key. However most men lack the Alpha, so following the pure Alpha advice does usually work and can change things around fairly quickly. But over the long haul, you have to go Alpha Beta. Pure Alpha in a marriage doesn't work.

  8. Susan Walsh says:

    Ooohhh, I like this. The pair of posts is simple yet illuminating. You've inspired me to write about this – look for the link.

    Game advice for beginners has a lot of "back off on the beta" in it, but upon further examination it's really "don't be non-alpha."

    Yes! So often when women talk about liking beta guys they're saying they love and appreciate beta traits, but yeah, it won't work in non-alpha package.

    No gamer except Roosh is going to say "keep your apartment messy and practice dis-comfort rituals.

  9. I think SeekUp raises an interesting point. Any thoughts on this anyone (looks in Athol's direction)?

  10. It's possible UpSeek and and Sai, though plenty of men burn themselves out as a Beta for horribly negative, sexless women. So not sure on that one fully.

  11. Jack Amok says:

    I don't think SeekUp is correct. I think it's just that high Alpha values push the other person to do whatever they can to measure up, ramping up their alpha and beta. But some people just have no alpha, not even any understanding of alpha, in them, so they go full-throttle on the beta. It's all they've got, so they give a lot.

    And I don't think I've ever seen and example of someone responding to their partner's exceptional beta skills by making themselves more sexy. Consider – what's more likely to get a wife into a slinkytight dress? Her husband fixing a leaky sink wearing grungy jeans and a sweatshirt, or her husband saying "I got a big bonus at work, so I hired a plumber, bought this snazzy new suit, and am taking you to dinner at the Ritz."

  12. Another late to the party comment …

    Jack Amok, the best way to get most wives into the slinkytight dress is to fix the damn sink, then shower, pull out the suit and say "I hired the babysitter, let's go party."

    I'm sure I'm not the only woman who finds male competence with tools more Alpha than his ability to dress well. One of my favorite Alpha males to look at (he's taken) is the editor of a woodworking magazine. I love watching his videos, he's so self-assured and confident.

    This is *not* Beta — I get hot, not comforted.


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