In January of 2001 I was entering a state university for the first time in my life at the ripe age of 32. My relatively late-life enrollment was the result of a what I believed then was a misspent youth and I was atoning for the indiscretions of what I call my ’rock star’ 20’s.
I had a lot of catching up to do thanks to the decisions I’d made in my early and mid-twenties and a sense of incompleteness that I felt at the time.
In hindsight I’m glad I did return to school, better late than never, because I was learning the intrinsic value of an education. I can remember listening to the grumblings of guys in my class who were ten years my junior saying, “What the hell do I need to learn this shit for? It won’t help me in the job I’m studying for.” I suppose I might’ve felt the same way at 22 if I hadn’t been more concerned with playing the next gig in the next band I was in on a weekend in Hollywood. I could never have appreciated the value of being an educated person. While a good job is definitely a concrete goal of bettering oneself, being educated, on a great many subjects, and learning how to learn, is its own reward.
Although I didn’t attend a ’liberal arts university’ per se, my degree is in fine art. However after having worked in design, advertising, marketing and branding throughout my professional life I knew that my minor (if later a double major) had to be in psychology. My initial interest in psychology was due to the want of a better understanding of the often difficult personalities I was forced to deal with in my career, so personality studies and behaviorism was a natural fit for me. Much of what I have compiled in this book is the direct result of over a decade of applying these schools of psychology to the gender dynamics I’ve experienced personally, as well as the collective experiences of millions of men around the world.
While I was studying psychology, I felt a natural attraction toward behaviorism. Like most people, I was peripherally familiar with the more touchy-feely branches of psychology like psycho-analysis and the “sit down on the couch and lets talk about feelings” applications most people associate with psychology. Behaviorism was a much more concrete approach; one based on behaviors and the motivators for them.
One of the primary foundations of Game-awareness is basing your estimation of a woman upon her actions and behaviors rather than her words or implied intents. This principle is founded in behaviorism’s cardinal principle — behavior is the only reliable evidence of motivation. Even motivations not consciously recognized by the actor can influence behavior regardless of a consciously rationalized motive. In other words, sometimes we don’t realize why we’re hypocrites or saints as the case may be.
Coming to terms with this behavioral foundation was the first dot I connected between hard psychology and inter-gender dynamics. For roughly a year or two before I enrolled I’d been actively posting on a few online forums attempting to help some young men with their ’girl problems’.
Initially these forums weren’t in any way related to what would later become the ’community’ or Game oriented in nature. I’d heard of the early Pick Up Artists like Mystery and a few others, but they weren’t promoting anything I hadn’t already known from my more libertine rock star twenties. I was more interested in helping these guys not make the mistakes (for much of the same reasons) with women that I had.
However I just couldn’t shake the feeling that there was a distinct connection between what these guys were going through, what the PUAs of the time were advocating and the behavioral psychology I was becoming more and more saturated in. The average Beta guys who were agonizing over their girlfriend problems and the behavioral basis upon which PUA techniques were founded on had a common root in psychology.
About this time I had joined the online community at SoSuave.com. This forum would become my testing ground for connecting the dots I was beginning to become aware of.
I should say that I did make an effort to propose that inter-gender relations were based in, sometimes harsh, behaviorism with colleagues and teachers. I was kind of taken aback more often than not when the same teachers who were promoting behavioral psychology as a hard science were the most outspoken critics of what I was brining to light for them.
I couldn’t understand, then, what would possibly prevent them from connecting the dots and coming to the uncomfortable conclusions I was making. I know now, and you will too by the end of this book, but at the time I hadn’t figured out the influence the feminine imperative and romantic idealism had on their willingness to accept what I was proposing in spite of their adherence to hard behaviorism.
My inquiries and hashing out theories and ideas would have to be done on a forum where I could look for input, or maybe find that other men had concepts I hadn’t considered, in a meeting place of similar ideas. SoSuave was that forum for me for well over twelve years. Most of the concepts you will read in this book are the result of over a decade of debate, critical inquiry and refinement. However, in most cases, I still encourage their questioning and none are unmodifiable or above further refinement.
What you’re about to read are a refinement of the core ideas and concepts I’ve formalized on my blog — The Rational Male (therationalmale.com). I began The Rational Male at the request of my readers on various men’s forums and comments on blogs in the ’manosphere’ in 2011. After the popularity of the blog exploded inside a year it became apparent that a book form of the basic principles was needed for new readers as I moved past them, and built upon the prior concepts.
For the most part I’ve rewritten and edited for publishing the blog posts of the first year at Rational Male. I’ve left in most of the jingoisms and acronyms that are characteristic of the blog (for instance, SMV is sexual market value) and are commonly used in the manosphere, however I’ve made every attempt to define them as I go along.
Furthermore, many of the concepts I explore in this book came from a question by one of my readers. As with most commenters, their anonymity is assumed in the form their online ’handle’. The important thing to remember is the concept being discussed and not so much the importance of who is proposing or contradicting a concept.
Before you begin reading
The primary reason I decided to codify the Rational Male into a book came from a reader by the name of Jaquie. Jaquie was an older, married woman, who genuinely took to what I proposed about inter-gender dynamics on Rational Male. Jaquie wasn’t exactly a typical reader for me, but she asked me to help her understand some concepts better so she could help her son who was about to marry a woman whom she knew would be detrimental to his life. Jaquie said, “I wish you had a book out with all of this stuff in it so I could give it to him. He’s very Beta and whipped, but if I had a book to put in his hands he would read it.”
So it is for the sons of Jaquie’s that I decided to put this book out. And it’s in this spirit that I’ll need to ask you, the reader, to clear your head of a few things before you begin to digest any of it.
The Rational Male literally has millions of readers world-wide, so there’s a strong
likelihood that you bought this book to keep on a shelf and loan to friends because you’re already familiar with its concepts. There’s a certain power and legitimacy that the printed word has that a blog or some online article lacks, so if you already are a Rational Male reader be sure you do loan the book out, or encourage the plugged-in to read and discuss it.
If you are picking this book up for the first time, or had it handed to you by a friend or loved one, and have never heard of the Rational Male or the manosphere or have had any exposure to the ideas I put forth here, I’ll humbly ask that you read with an open mind.
That sounds like an easy cop out — open your mind — it kind of sounds like something a religious cult would preface their literature with. We all like to think we already have open minds and we’re all perfectly rational, and perfectly capable of critical thinking.
I ask you to clear your head of the preconceptions you have of gender because what you’re about to read here are very radical concepts; concepts that will challenge your perspective on women, men, how they interact with each other, and how social structures evolve around those relations. You will violently disagree with some of these concepts, and others will give you that “ah ha!” moment of realization. Some of these concepts will grate on the investment your ego has in certain beliefs about how men and women ought to relate with each other, while others will validate exactly the experiences you may have had personally with them. Some are ugly. Some are not complementary of women and some of men, you’ll think I’m a misogynist on first glance because it’s the default response you’ve been taught to react with. For others, you might feel some kind of vindication for getting burned by your ex and realizing what was at play when it happened. I realize it’s a tall order, but strive not to let your personal feelings color what I lay out for you here.
You’ll love me and you’ll hate me. You’ll think “well, not in my case, and here’s why,..” or you’ll think “wow this is some really ground breaking stuff.” I’m not a psychologist, or a PUA, or a men’s rights activist, or a motivational speaker. I’m just a guy who’s connected some dots.