Alpha males. Beta males. If you’ve read a romance, you’ve most likely run up against the rough, possessive kiss of a dominant alpha, or spent hours in in bed making love with a sensitive beta. They define the romance genre and are one of the main reasons we pick up a romance novel in the first place.
You probably have a favorite, too. I tend to like the alphas—the James Bonds of the romance world. They’re tough and confident, they have big muscles you just love running your palms over, and they know how to make a girl’s sex drive rev up in the red. They have primitive appeal that the woman in you just can’t deny.
The betas have their allure too. They’re intelligent, emotional, and more sensitive to your needs: This kind of guy might invite you to join him in a candlelit bath.
And yet, both of these archetypes have their downfalls. The alpha man might blow your mind in bed, but will he stay around after the fireworks fade away? Probably not. While your primitive mind says yes, I want him, your more rational side is telling you he isn’t your ideal mate.
And the beta…well, he can be a little timid, a little less willing to go for it. He may force you to make the first move, and getting him into bed can be a little problematic. Attitude like that isn’t very attractive, sexually, for most women; so while he might stay around, who wants him, in the first place? Rationally, all is good, but your primitive side says blech.
So…what about that new type of male, the gamma male? Where do gamma men fall in that behavioral spectrum? And are they any better than alphas and betas?
I’ve seen a lot of definitions of gamma males recently. It seems that this archetype continues to develop in the collective consciousness. Still, most commonly, gammas are described as falling somewhere in the middle between alphas and betas. A gamma male isn’t beating his chest, slinging a gun around and wearing combat fatigues like Rambo. Nor is he the 40-Year-Old Virgin, a nice guy who’s still trying to get laid for the first time, one who wants to truly understand women and who puts a priority on listening and sympathizing.
No, the gamma male is in a place between alphas and betas. He may have started out as an alpha as a kid, but then toned down those alpha antics as he grew older and became more socially conscious. Or, he might have been a beta boy who finally “grew a pair” and started fighting back rather than shrinking away.
Whatever the case, he attracts both your primitive and rational mind. He doesn’t lead the pack, or follow it—he simply has nothing to do with the pack at all. He satisfies his own needs, but is also aware of your needs and makes a point of satisfying them, too. He’s also his own man, confident in his looks and his own self-worth. That kind of confidence is extremely sexy, and yet, with this guy, we get the sense that he’s going to stay around for as long as we want him to.
He’s Kevin Costner in Bull Durham, he’s Leonardo DiCaprio in The Great Gastby, he’s a romantic who will kiss your tears away, paint your toenails bright red, and then blow your mind in bed. He’s a nice guy who doesn’t finish last–he finishes best.