As a Professional Men’s Dating Coach and Interpersonal Communications Skills Advisor, I receive many questions from men who have read my eBooks and/or paperbacks, men who have listened to my audiobooks and my weekly talk radio podcast program, and men who have paid me for an Email consultation, a Skype or Telephone consultation, or a One-on-One / Face-to-Face Dating Coaching session.
One of the questions I receive the most frequently is usually along the lines of, “Alan, what does it really mean to be an ‘Alpha’ male? How do you define that? Is ‘Alphaness’ based on how handsome a man is? How intelligent he is? How good his fighting and self-defense skills are? How good his sexual prowess is? How demanding and dominant he is with women? What? I hear this term all of the time and I am very confused on what it really means for a man to be ‘Alpha’ versus ‘Beta’. Please help me better understand!”
There are Different Types of Alpha Males in Society
To be ‘Alpha’ can mean different things depending on what aspect of a man’s life you’re referring to. For example, in American politics, the President of the United States is the ‘Alpha’ of political leaders, which means his decision-making carries more weight and influence than any other politician in this country.
With American football, the quarterback is usually the ‘Alpha’ of the offensive squad, and the middle linebacker is many times the ‘Alpha’ of the defensive squad. Men who perform in these two positions are usually viewed by their teammates as the ‘leaders’ of each squad.
In the business world, the CEO, Owner, or President of a company is going to be the ‘Alpha’ of that company or corporation. His business decisions will carry more weight and influence than anyone else associated with that particular company.
Among mixed martial artists and professional boxers, the man with the best fighting skills who is able to win multiple championship bouts in his weight class is going to be perceived as the ‘Alpha’ male among his loyal fans and fighting competitors.
In the world of street gangs, organized crime, and professional hit men, the man who is considered to be the most ruthless and merciless killer among his colleagues and peers is going to be viewed as the ‘Alpha’ male.
Generally speaking, an ‘Alpha’ male is one who – at maximum – loves to be a dominant ‘dictator’ (i.e., what some would refer to as a ‘control freak’) in his professional and personal relationships with others. At minimum, an Alpha male is one who is looked upon to lead others and make the final decision for important matters and issues in his professional and personal relationships with others.
Conversely, a ‘Beta’ male is one who not only does not have a problem following another person’s lead, but more often than not, he would prefer to be more of a ‘follower’ than a ‘leader.’ Beta males usually defer – either enthusiastically or reluctantly – to the leadership and dominance of an Alpha male.
Concentrating specifically on the arena of dating and romantic or sexual relationships, an Alpha male would be a man who seeks to be the leader and/or dominant partner and final decision-maker in his relationships with women, and expects for all of his female companions to fulfill his demands and requests, and exhibit the highest degree of respect and deference to him either sexually, non-sexually, or both.
A Man’s Alpha Attributes and Traits vs. A Man’s Beta Attributes and Traits
Many men believe that the more physically attractive a man is, the more ‘Alpha’ he is. Similarly, some men believe that the more muscular a man is and/or the more well-endowed his penis is, the more ‘Alpha’ he is. Other men believe a man’s level of intelligence and education is what validates a man’s ‘Alphaness.’ Still, even others believe a man’s ‘Alpha’ status is based on his degree of career success or his level of wealth and fame.
For the purposes of my books and the advice I give to men, here is what I would list as the Top 12 ‘Alpha’ attributes and traits and the Top 12 ‘Beta’ attributes and traits:
General Alpha Male Attributes and Traits
- Confident and self-assured in his speech and actions
(i.e., doesn’t hesitate to take action toward the achievement of his goals and the accomplishment of his objectives, and usually expects a positive outcome and desirable results from his actions and behavior)
- Above-average to exceptionally high degree of self-esteem
(i.e., thinks very highly of himself and what he has to offer the world)
- Strong desire to lead others in his professional and personal relationships
(i.e., wants to be the final decision-maker for the most important issues facing a business relationship, platonic friendship, or romantic / sexual relationship)
- Strong desire to erotically dominate sex partners
(i.e., wants to totally dictate when sex happens, how frequently it happens, what sexual positions will be used, what their partner will do to please them and satisfy them, etc.)
- Totally unfazed by and generally indifferent in response to other people’s subjective criticisms or insults of himself and his behavior
(i.e., could care less about the opinions and expectations of others)
- An extremely low desire to compromise with others regarding his wants, needs, demands, and requests
(i.e., he wants people to acquiesce to what he wants them to do rather than vice versa)
- Does not allow other people to treat him in any sort of disrespectful and/or undesirable manner more than once, and definitely not more than twice
(i.e., does not allow other people to bully him or exhibit behavior that is blatantly rude to him without that person facing some sort of repercussions or consequences)
- Possesses a very boastful and/or extremely competitive ego
(i.e., hates for rivals and adversaries to receive more attention, respect, and/or public recognition than himself)
- Tends to express his thoughts and opinions in a blunt, outspoken manner
(regardless of if he leaves other people’s egos bruised or feelings hurt)
- Generally tends to lean more heavily toward promiscuous and/or polyamorous sexual tendencies rather than strictly monogamous sexual tendencies
(i.e., tends to be more of a ‘player’ type and womanizer type rather than a ‘faithful husband’ or ‘faithful boyfriend’ type)
- Frowns on conversations and social interactions with others that he deems ‘trivial,’ ‘unproductive,’ or a general waste of his time
(i.e., doesn’t really care for ‘fluff talk’ and ‘small talk’ and social activities that primarily center on simply engaging in entertaining conversations with others)
- Would be willing to fight, and kill if necessary, in order to protect himself, his family, his children, and other loved ones
(i.e., very territorial when it comes to the physical safety of those he cares about)
General Beta Male Attributes and Traits
- Tends to optimistically ‘hope for’ positive outcomes and desirable results rather than confidently ‘expect’ them to happen
(i.e., an average to less-than-average degree of personal confidence)
- Possesses a very erratic degree of self-esteem
(i.e., sometimes, he feels good about himself and what he has to offer … and other times, he feels like he is worthless)
- Prefers to allow others to make important decisions and has no problem helping others achieve their goals
(i.e., doesn’t mind being a ‘follower’ rather than a ‘leader’)
- Enjoys very gentle, emotionally profound, monogamy-oriented sex rather than non-monogamous, no-strings-attached sex that involves no real emotional connection
(i.e., would much prefer to be a woman’s ONLY male lover as opposed to her having multiple male lovers)
- Is known to be very ‘thin-skinned’ and emotionally and/or egotistically sensitive in response to other people criticizing him or insulting him
(i.e., possesses a very fragile, insecure ego)
- Can be very agreeable, compromising, empathetic, and even doesn’t have a problem being subservient and acquiescent to others
(i.e., doesn’t like ‘verbal confrontations’ with others, and is somewhat intimidated by men who he perceives as more masculine than him and/or more dominant than him)
- Many times, will allow others to talk to him and/or treat him in a manner that is condescending, disrespectful, blatantly rude, or just downright mean-spirited
(i.e., doesn’t have enough strength of backbone to always stand up for himself)
- Usually looks to fawn over others and play up to their egos
(i.e., very flattering toward others and their appealing qualities)
- Tends to be extremely careful and cautious with his speech and rarely criticizes or insults people directly to their face
(i.e., always looks to converse with others in a very respectful and even deferential manner)
- Generally tends to be very accommodating, forgiving, lenient, and financially generous with women
(i.e., tends to place women on ‘pedestals,’ and genuinely cares about their financial well-being)
- Loves to be very ‘talkative’ and social with other members of his own gender as well as women
(i.e., loves to share entertaining anecdotes and biographical stories and does not mind accumulating a high number of purely platonic female friends)
- Very much looks to avoid physical confrontations (e.g., fisticuffs fighting) with others and generally attempts to avoid engaging in any type of gun violence or other violence with others that involves weaponry
(i.e., leans toward being a non-aggressive pacifist and hates people who are violent criminals and/or bullies)
The FOUR Archetypes of Hetorosexual Men
In Chapter 7 of the audiobook version of Mode One: Let the Women Know What You’re REALLY Thinking, I offer descriptions of what I feel are the four general types of (heterosexual) men as it relates to how they go about verbally communicating with women and generally socializing with women with the objective of securing romantic or strictly sexual companionship with them. My four categories are:
TOTAL Alpha male (i.e., a man who possesses no less than 11 of the 12 general ‘Alpha’ male attributes and traits)
An Alpha male with a few Beta traits (i.e., a man who possesses no less than 7 of the 12 general ‘Alpha’ male attributes and traits)
A Beta male with a few Alpha traits (i.e., a man who possesses no less than 7 of the 12 general ‘Beta’ male attributes and traits)
TOTAL Beta male (i.e., a man who possesses no less than 11 of the 12 general ‘Beta’ male attributes and traits)
You can click on the following categories below to read about each archetype in more detail (paid website subscribers only)